Personal Trainer Overexerts Client Causing Permanent Muscle Damage

    Exercise Science ExpertThis case involves a 55-year-old woman who tore a ligament in her hip while performing deadlifts with her personal trainer. The woman weighed 148lbs during the time of the injury and had been working with this trainer weekly for one year. At the time of the injury, the trainer had the plaintiff lifting 135lbs, for 3-4 sets of 15 repetitions. Following the injury, the plaintiff was never able to recover full mobility in her right leg. An expert in personal training and exercise science familiar with the written literature regarding the proper execution of deadlifts was sought opine on whether or not the trainer had his client working at her appropriate base level during the time of the injury.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please explain your background in, and knowledge of, personal training and exercise health and science.
    • 2. Can you discuss whether or not this individual was lifting too much weight, for too many repetitions, during the time of her injury?

    Expert Witness Response E-009387

    I have 12+ years of experience in the personal training and fitness industries. I have a master’s degree in nutrition and exercise physiology as well as vocational certifications in personal training, health fitness, and strength training. It seems like 15 was a high number of repetitions, given that 3-4 is considered a high number of sets. This could have caused a strain on the trainee’s body. If she was tired, her form could have been compromised, which can lead to injury. The standard protocol for introducing an individual to deadlift training is to start by having them lift dumbbells. Once they can do that successfully for more than 10 reps, they can move on to the 45lb bar. If they can do the 45lb bar for more than 10 repetitions, then the trainer can have their client move up in 10lb increments. I would like to know how the trainer came to the 135lb choice for his client.


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