For what it’s worth, I am a trainer and work with a lot of older guys. Everyone I train pushes, pulls, squats, hinges and carries. Virtually everyone of them start with body weight and limited range of motion and progress from there and most will never get to things like back squats and conventional pulls from the floor. In my opinion “muscular stimulation” is secondary to movement, body control, coordination and strength, especially for older individuals. (Not meant as a swipe to anyone, just my standard opinion on the superiority of basic movement training over machine based training for general fitness and “function.”)
How do you think your father would feel about a trainer? If he won’t hire one perhaps you could for him? (Although if he doesn’t want one enough to hire one himself, he may not value them enough to get the most out of their services.)
If I were in your shoes I would do some research, find a smart, knowledgeable trainer in your area and see if you can connect the two. I personally do a free assessment/consultation, and something like that could give him the opportunity to talk with someone face to face.
That being said, if he insists on a machine circuit - it’s a lot better than nothing.[/quote]
I’m 57 and have been lifting for almost 40 years. I made the mistake, IMO, of doing too much machine stuff when I was younger. The last 15-20 years has been mainly free weights. At this point, I agree 100% with Waylon, movement, body control, etc is much more important than muscle stimulation. I would try to get him to find a trainer that is certified for the Functional Movement Screen to get a baseline of how he moves and work from there. Look at the websites of some of the functional training guys like Mike Boyle, Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey, etc. They don’t have a real high opinion of machines. As has been mentioned, if that is all he will do, better than nothing, but I would nudge toward bodyweight work until movement patterns are straightened out, then smart free weight work. Good luck.