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?
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.