How do you keep your clients from over training (doing more than what their program design is and never taking a day off).
When clients start exercising, they keep thinking MORE is better. MORE can be extreme and their bodies may not be structurally or physiologically ready when beginning their training. How do you prevent them from over training and lowering their chances of chronic injuries downn the road?
One very important point to make here is that Teaching clients that Rest is just as important in their programs as their workouts.
I teach them to be anabolic...building muscle...not catabolic.
I am also big on sending them evidence based research to back up my contentions.
Once a trainer has done that, along with great Biomechanics and program design and Progression and Overload, most clients get it!
It is tough for triathletes to feel they CAN take a day off...but with instruction...they get it!
I say to a Trainer who has an athlete who is over training to just take time to teach them these principles and in time they will adhere to your good advice!!
If a client is determined to do more, more, more, I HAVE to decrease the intensity (which I define as a percentage of maximal effort/1RM, NOT how much they sweat or "feel" like they're working out.)
On the other hand, when clients are limited on time, intensity MUST go up.
I explain to them before we even begin about the typical stages of a new clients excitement and how that leads to burnout and loss of motivation completely. A client needs to be educated on why starting slow is beneficial and its not just because of overtraining. What we do as trainers is help to start a healthy lifstyle meaning for "life" not just the next few weeks of months. It is a marathon not a sprint. Starting slow keeps that enthusiasm in the client so that they are always lookin forward to the next workout and not dreading it.
I make this very clear to all my clients before my first session and if they really want extra credit I give it to them as an option, but it is something that I planned out in accordance to my program for them. Most clients won't do the extra credit, but if they do then you know exactly what they are doing.
Most people want their results yesterday. So, they need to know how crucial it is to give their body the time it needs to adapt. Too much, too soon, and they won't be able to do anything for a long time (an injury could sideline them for weeks or months). Of course, that would be the worst irony for this group! I like to remind people that slow and steady is not for wimps. It's the smart ones who continue to get stronger, feel more energized, and prepare for greater challenges.
As with most things in our society, everyone wants everything FAST!
Many of my clients get over zealous in the beginning, we talk about it and I will offer modifications and suggestions.