I'm watching Dr. Phil. The show today is the Ultimate Fat Debate. There is a guest named Michael Karolchyk, owner of the Anti-Gym who is wearing a shirt that says "No Chubbies". He is the perfect example of what I've found in most commercial gyms. If he thinks he is helping the obesity epidemic with that method he is wrong, however, watching his video I see no obese members of his program. This is what I've found in my quest for assistance with an exercise program, gyms and trainers are for skinny people.
First, most machines cannot accommodate obese (morbidly or super morbidly). Treadmills and elliptical machines do have weight limits, and weight machines don't allow room for big legs and bellies. I started my workouts at 500lbs in the water, my swimsuit didn't fit, but I wore shorts and t-shirt over it because I was determined to get in the pool. However, it can be difficult to find a pool with steps; obese people have a difficult time with pool ladders.
Second, personal trainers don't seem to want to help the obese. I did find Matt at the SOMC Life Center to be helpful, but that was a hospital based gym. At Bally's, LA Fitness, etc, they aren't interested in really helping. I sign up and show up; as soon as I mention I have a medical condition that might limit what I can lift I'm deemed "not willing to try". I do try, I never refused to do a workout, but I notice while I'm working out the trainer is looking at other chicks. I later find out he didn't have the machine seat level properly set for my height. I inquire about water workouts and I'm told "they are not a good workout". Never was asked for detailed medical information. While I was on an upper body weight machine he noticed the scars on my arms and asks "are those surgical scars?" Sure are...and even then he didn't ASK for any further information.
I just mentioned this to a friend last week. I would love to partner with a personal trainer/exercise physiologist and develop REAL workout program for someone with lymphedema/lipedema. I live in Miami; there are tons of trainers around here, anyone interested in the challenge?