3 Ways To Make Our Clients Better, Not Just Tired
A lot of us get caught up in working as hard as we possibly can in every training session, which we carry over to our clients. Whether it’s the social media age where if it isn’t instagram worthy, you don’t have some crazy exercise or you’re not pushing yourself to the brink of death, a shift in gym fads that favor high intensity training, or culturally wanting to get results as quickly as possible, the intensity I see in most training sessions is far beyond necessary.
We all need to recognize the difference between difficult training sessions that will lead to adaptation, and those that are difficult just for the sake of being difficult. For the former, there should be a gradual increase in intensity from session to session, week to week, month to month (think periodization).
Here are 3 steps to take to make sure we’re providing the appropriate dosage and intensity for our clients.
Program For Our Clients’ Goals
For us, as coaches, we need to remind ourselves of what our job really is. Anyone can take a client and make them tired; it’s the easiest thing you can do. It takes thought, progression and time to make someone better. And that’s our real job, make people better and train for results.
In doing that, we have to constantly analyze if our
programs are really catering to our clients’ goals, or if it’s more for us.
There are times when we get so drawn in to a certain type of training or programming that we attempt to make it fit for anyone and everyone. While the intention may not be to harm a client, we aren’t really giving them what they really need. I’ll use myself as an example.
There was a period where I was super into powerlifting. I saw how it transformed my body and confidence and knew (thought) it would do the same for all my clients. While there was some merit to my thought process, such as progressive overload, building strength, and periodization, I was also misguided into believing that barbell lifts at near maximal loads were essential for all my clients. Instead of using it as tool I could apply to certain areas, I used it as a foundation of my training identity.
This would have been fine if I was training powerlifters, but I wasn’t. I was training general population clients with previous injuries and mobility restrictions. I was putting the programming ahead of what my clients actually needed.
We have to broaden our training horizons if we’re going to work outside of specialty populations. Accumulate tools for the toolbox to employ when necessary to achieve specific goals.
Don’t Just Do It For The Gram
A lot of the programming and exercises necessary for our clients’ continued success won’t be flashy or look cool on social media. They’ll be basic movement patterns that we do over and over again until movement becomes proficient and we can progressively load it.
Again, we have to remember why we’re actually doing this. Is it to look cool and obtain a certain level of fame or popularity? Or is it to genuinely help the people we work with?
There are obvious reasons why we would want to increase our reach and popularity, but there are appropriate ways of achieving that without putting our clients health and well-being at risk.
Actually Pay Attention
This may seem ridiculous to mention, but it’s something that tends to get overlooked by a lot of trainers— we need to actually pay attention to our clients when they’re working out.
Maintain your level of coaching and make adjustments as necessary. Don’t let a client try to complete sloppy reps because you’ve given them a target number to hit, or a time frame to work with. Always choose quality over quantity.
Although the high intensity craze is in full swing, we need to coach our clients into understanding appropriate intensity. Contrary to what we tend to think, more isn’t always better. Remember, we (should) know the science and principles behind adaptation. Our clients (usually) don’t, so maintain a certain level of control over the sessions.
Stick to these points and help your clients see better results, feel better and avoid crushing them into the ground every session.