Ms. DM is my personal training client. She came to see me because she wants to be in shape. To begin her story, let me give you some of your background including medical information. Disclaimer: this is a fictitious story about a pretend client that could be anyone who is deconditioned. Ms. DM is a Hispanic female, 83 years old, who hasn’t had any exercise program since her early 30’s. She has Rheumatoid Arthritis and has bone on bone in her left knee. She experiences low back pain and has had injections to lessen the pain. For nerve pain, she takes Gabapentin; Hydrocodone for tingling in her legs and Alprazolam, which is the generic for Xanax, for sleeping.
Today, our exercise consisted of a Corrective Exercise routine which includes Self Myofascial Release, aka, foam rolling. Corrective Exercise is a modality that has 4 components. First is inhibit the muscle, second is lengthen or stretch the muscle, third is create resistance or strengthen the muscle and fourth is create synergy with the muscle with a total body exercise such as a squat.
Ms. DM had a lot of inflammation in her IT Band and right calf. Years ago, she was in a car accident and hurt her right leg but didn’t follow through with a physical therapy program or exercise. Thus having the injury travel up to the knee and hip in later years. As you can imagine, she tolerated the foam rolling on her IT Band well with a little wincing with the pain of the adhesions we pressed on and held for 30 seconds. We then stretched her hamstrings and calves by sitting up and reaching for the toes and holding for 30 seconds. We used resistance bands to walk sideways back and forth 8 reps. We then did a wall ball squat for total body synergy.
Her short term goal with me is to exercise 5 days a week and and long term goal is to eliminate the above meds from her life. I believe with eating clean and following through with her short term goal, we will accomplish her long term goal and more. The more will be manifested in improving her quality of life and the ability to walk and possibly volunteer one day.
One of my clients asked me today what was the reason for 12 reps or 8 reps. I explained the high number of reps are for beginners. Depending on their chronic condition, we will do between 8-20 reps and 2-3 sets. The more endurance we gain, the less reps.