Coaches: How do you strike a balance between pushing clients to their max potential, and avoiding injury/overexhaustion? Often people get hung up on the mental roadblocks to maximum performance, and as a coach it’s your job to help them past that, but how do you ensure you’re not pushing them to a level that’s beyond their ability?
Hello Cory Lowery,
That’s the hard part where communication and knowing your client come to fruition as the saving grace. Keep precise records and let the client know that there is nothing they can’t tell you; because, you work as a team and an injury may delay if not halt all progress and future dreams.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
I need a very good reason to train even elite athletes to their maximum potential. The chance for injury rises as intensity and duration are taken closer to an athletes maximum effort. A true maximal effort is rarely achieved even in athletics. Ask any Olympic lifter how often they make lifts with the best ever load. It is not a regular occurance for any world recorder holder to repeat their best effort, in training or in competition.
So, why would I take a fitness client or a weight loss client to the edge of their potential maximum effort?
Now you may be referring to finding things like a client’s current voluntary maximal action. Or designing programs to gradually increase some aspect of measureable effort. And a client may be training for an event, such as a 10 K run or their first 100 mile ride. These clients may want to train in a manner that would be used for a training elite competitors in the specific event. But to do so literally would be ill advised. Training should be designed around each individual client’s abilities, needs, and level of fitness.
And all training whether for competition or fitness is dictated by recovery. If the training method used does not allow for proper recovery by the next time the body systems involved are asked to train again, the method needs to be regressed or the recovery period extended.
From my experience I have used a combination of RPE and HRMs. These have been very helpful in terms over exertion. To avoid injury/stress/strain I have used 10 RMs for sub-max testing. From there, the programming is based on percentages of a theoretical 1 RM. I have found this to be safe and effective.
I do not train athletes but ‘ordinary’ people, and I ALWAYS err on the side of safety. I would not forgive myself if somebody got injured on my watch. I do not train for maximum strength but rather for strength endurance. It is a lot more applicable to real life for most people, and the injury risk is much reduced.