Is Your Client Only Interested in Building Their Six-Pack?

What To Do If Your Client Only Wants to Work on Their 6 Pack

A personal trainer can not only help you develop your six-pack, but also assist you with reaching your fitness goals in general. As a personal trainer, you undoubtedly have the expertise to help someone reach their goals, but do you have the patience?

Yesterday, I headed to the big city (Vancouver) and did an in-service for the personal trainers that are part of the individual training department at the Arbutus Club.

The week before was a private in-service in Richmond; this week, it was Vancouver.  It has been a lot of fun doing these small and personal in-services.

I just got another invitation from the City of Burnaby to share some of my tips, tricks, and exercises with their group fitness instructors, weight room instructors, and personal trainers.  I am looking forward to hearing what they would like me to share.

If you would like me to come to your fitness facility to share some information on exercises and injuries, send an email to [email protected].

While in Vancouver, I did a video for you after my in-service at the Arbutus Club.  I thought I had the camera on the right setting for video recording, but I just took a picture of myself.

Here is the goofy photo:

I had done the video on a foot issue that one of the trainers had and what she could do about it.  I will re-do the video and get it to you next week.

Now let’s get to a question that came up during the in-service.

One of the trainers asked:

What do you do when your client wants to work on their six-pack?

#1 – Education on Six-Pack and the Core

Start with education on the 6-pack and the importance of the Core as a whole.

I know this can be tough.  It is hard for many of our clients to change their 20-year-old beliefs.  Change needs to start somewhere, and you can do your best to get it moving.

The Rectus abdominis (6 pack) is essential for a healthy body, but all parts of the Core are equally important.

Take some time to educate on what the six-pack is, what the Core is, and how they work individually and together.

#2 – Muscle Balance and Imbalances

The world will not end, and the client will not break if they do some six-pack or abdominal training, but we want to balance out the body by working out all parts of the Core.

Focusing on one part of the Core will lead to muscle imbalances, leading to pain, injury, decreased fitness results, and poor performance. I go through things in detail here.

#3 – Plane of Movement Core Training

When it comes to training the Core, I look at training the Core in three planes of movements for the healthy and fit client.

Sagittal Plane (Forward and Back Movement)

If your client wants to work for six-packs with traditional abs exercises, that is fine, but I want to balance things out by working in the opposite direction of the sagittal plane.

I would get them to work on the lumbar extensors (lower back).  For example, I would get them to do Superman’s and back extension exercises to neutral.

We have countered the forward bending movement that has been balanced out in the sagittal plane by doing abs exercises.

Frontal Plane (Side to Side Movements)

I would follow up the sagittal plane movements with frontal plane movements (side-to-side movement).

One of the exercises that I like is side planks.

Transverse Plane (Rotation Movements)

Lastly, I would move to transverse plane movements (rotation).

One exercise that I like is moving from a side plank to a front plank.crunchless-Abs

Sum It All Up

It is always a difficult balance between providing what your client wants and preventing injury and future benefits.

If your client does the three exercises above, they will feel their Core and get a better burn than if they just did crunches.

Rick Kaselj, MS

P.S. – If you want more resources on abdominal training, core training, and back injuries, here are some for you…

Invincible Core