How To Train Clients and Not Hurt Them with Dan Ritchie

How To Train Clients and Not Hurt Them with Dan Ritchie

I often receive questions from trainers regarding what they can do train clients and not hurt them. I have discussed this a lot on, and I also asked Dr. Dan Ritchie this.

He goes through suggestions in the below interview.

Rick Kaselj

How To Train Clients and Not Hurt Them with Dan Ritchie

CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video interview.

Rick Kaselj: I am here in Orange County with Dr. Dan Ritchie. We are at the Fitness Business Summit, a large conference with 550 fitness professionals, learning different types of exercise techniques and different types of ways that we can help our clients and help communicate with our clients throughout the world with videos, blogs, and emails.

I often see people grab a magazine or watch a video on YouTube for an exercise or an exercise program, or they will jump into a class and then end up getting hurt. They injure themselves or aggravate a back, knee, hip, or shoulder issue. I wanted to talk to Dan about what to do and what other options are out there when it comes to these injury-creating programs.

Dan Ritchie: I have to ask you a question first, Rick! I didn’t see you at the 6:30 AM Bootcamp this morning. Were you there for the workout?

Rick Kaselj: I did not make this morning’s Bootcamp. I was chatting with Martin Rooney and Rob King. Our discussion continued late into the evening, so that’s what happened.

workout and get results Train Clients and Not Hurt Them

Functional Fitness Solution

Dan Ritchie: Well, I wasn’t there either. One of the reasons we created Functional Fitness Solution is because we see people like you solving so many people’s injuries from exercise or injuries from maybe too much running or overdoing the sports. There are a lot of fitness programs that are not appropriate for people with a knee replacement or a reconstructed ACL. I have so many people that need a functional fitness solution. They want to be able to move better.

The first thing I hear is, “I want to be able to move better with less pain.” For the most part, once you are over 45, you don’t care about being on the cover of a fitness magazine. I don’t have to do 500 burpees to get into the best shape of my life.

I need a fitness program that addresses my needs for regular life. To be able to walk on the beach with my kids, go swimming, play golf, or go hiking – but I don’t want my ‘x’ to be killing me all the time. If I want to be still active and hike the Grand Canyon with my grandkids someday, my knees can’t be killing me, so I want a fitness program that solves that.

Functional Fitness

Rick Kaselj: And then maybe we can step back and explain what functional fitness is, like how it is different from all the other kinds of fitness programs out there?

Dan Ritchie: Yeah! Great question! We address the client’s needs in terms of that functional component, for example, what it takes to climb stairs. There is a human functional component to that in terms of the hip, knee, and lower body strength.

You don’t have to squat 300 pounds to climb stairs. Often, we are training people in their 50s and 60s with way too heavy weights and incorrect techniques, and that’s not even the outcome they care about. They want to be able to go up and down stairs without pain. They don’t need to deadlift or squat three hundred pounds.

The training program is about how I do functional movements from rotational movements, often when people hurt their back. They play 18 holes of golf and don’t realize that if their hips and back don’t rotate, they will have back pain.

We teach people how to rotate with force, translate from their right foot to their left foot, and move better, making them more functional as they age, which is essential. When we think of somebody who is 80, we assume they are less functional than somebody who is 40, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you exercise correctly, you can maintain almost all of your functions.

Ratcheted-up Intensities

Rick Kaselj: Alright! That is cool! That’s interesting! It is the kind of approach I believe in and follow. For many people, the issues leading to injuries are due to ratcheted-up intensities, even if they haven’t learned to do a certain exercise. They have increased the load way too drastically. They are continuing to fatigue. So, all of these things happen.

I like what you mentioned when it comes to the outcome the individual is looking for. Not everyone wants to be ripped or lose a whole bunch of weight. There are a lot of people who want to be able to live and enjoy life. You have a resource when it comes to helping people move better. Maybe you can explain and talk about that a little bit.

personal training session Train Clients and Not Hurt Them

Dan Ritchie: Yeah! We designed our program with a 45 to 55-year-old in mind who is not exercising … or even for a 70-year-old who hasn’t exercised in thirty years. It is called the Functional Fitness Solution. If you are 45 and haven’t exercised in twenty years, and you jump into a Bootcamp, your back, knees, and all kinds of things will hurt. They are going to need a lower level. We built the program with four levels. There is a level 1 designed for someone over 60 who hasn’t been exercising and up to level 4, where Shawna Kaminski, a super fit gal in her 50s, was put to the test.

If you are a 50-year-old and think, “I just can’t do the high-intensity things. I can’t do the dynamic jumping or the pounding, but I want to work out hard”, “ level 4 is designed with you in mind because it’s intense. It challenges Shawna Kaminski, but there are no ballistic movements, so we don’t have any jumping or pounding. We teach people how to do burpees without impact.

Unfortunately, activities like burpees are great for losing weight and getting in great shape, But they can be hard on your back if you don’t do them correctly. We try to teach people how to exercise at an intense level without breaking down their bodies. Because, in the end, nobody wants to say we are breaking down their bodies. And we want to feel better right after our workout. We want to feel better the next day.

Difficulties in Training

Rick Kaselj: That’s not funny at all! But I do get those questions from people who are in their 70s. They watch some of the exercises I do or the workout videos I get from my friends and on EFI and then tell me that they are way too intense or too hard. They usually say, “I can’t do them, or is there something that is not too difficult or at a lower level that matches what they are looking for?” It sounds like this is exactly what people are looking for.

Dan Ritchie: Yeah! This will be ideal for them because they can start with level 1. The workouts are as short as 14 to 15 minutes, which is still pretty fatiguing for some people. There are several Level 1 workouts. As they get better and feel like they need more of a challenge, they go to level 2. Some clients will never get to level 3 or 4, which is fine. They will get great results from level 1 and level 2.

senior woman with personal trainer

Rick Kaselj: Yeah! That is rtant! I mean, because you don’t have to be in pain to get results.

Dan Ritchie: No pain, no gain is not that.


Rick Kaselj: It’s not a good long-term strategy! So to wrap up the interview, where can people get more information about this?

Dan Ritchie: Well, I assume you will give them some link where they can grab more about it.

Rick Kaselj: Yeah, I mean, I will have a link down below in the interview to the product but are there any other things you have, like a YouTube channel or a blog that people can visit and learn more about you?

Dan Ritchie: Yeah! So on YouTube, if you punch in Functional Solution, we have several videos about what you should not be doing and exercises you should incorporate. So that is a simple thing: Dr. Cody, my partner, has created a number of videos, and then is where we write on things like “Are you Ready To Live To A 100?” Are you ready to live to a 100, Rick?

Rick Kaselj: I am on the journey to figuring it out.

Dan Ritchie: Those are some places where they can get more resources. Our program is very simple. There is a book that comes with it, then a series of videos, and there is even a bonus from Rick Kaselj.

Rick Kaselj: Staying injury free! So there you go! Thank you very much, Dan. Thank you very much for watching the video. We are enjoying it here in sunny Orange County.

Final Word

Enter in your injury or pain. There is a good chance that I have an article, a video, or an interview that will help you overcome your injury or pain. Make sure to swing by

Secondly, if you watch this on YouTube, head above and hit “Subscribe.” Every couple of days, you will receive a video like this where I talk about different tips and tricks on overcoming and preventing injury or pain.

Thirdly, head down below, hit “Like,” and leave Dan and me a question or comment.

Rick Kaselj, MS

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