There are some clients that I work with who work hard but not as hard as I know that they can. Do you have any tips/tricks that work for getting that client to push themselves harder to reach their full potential? (For example I really want this client to work harder but since we work in a pool I often feel like she isn’t working as hard as she should be). Any suggestions would be great.
If the client has no issues, it should take several months to build up to each increase in intensity, duration, and frequency. This process of progression is often moved along too quickly and is one of the reasons many clients lose interest in exercise. Not to mention the increased potential for undesirable outcomes (injury, medical emergancy, etc.).
There are only two ways to track intensity. RPE is not accurate and can be very subjective from day to day (everyone has good days and not so good days). Heart rate is a very consistant measure of intensity. While there are factors that can alter heart rate (medication, illness, diet, etc.), as long as the client is cleared to exercise (in some cases, you can get their doctor to specify a heart range as well) you can utilize heart rate to directly give the client intensity feedback. I would use a heart rate monitor and educate the client about heart rate/intensity relationship. Then both you and the client will have a clear indicator of intensity. And you will be able to progress intensity in small increments of HR, length of each session, or number of sessions each week.
If you don’t understand how to monitor and manipulate intensity, I suggest you find a CEC course to gain the knowledge needed. Or at least research the topic further.
Is there a way for her to wear a water proof heart monitor to check her heart rate?
Pushing a client is tricky
You don’t want to discourage them
I switch workouts up regularly and encourage my clients to do the best they can do
I also measure their waists and keep track of their progress which we discuss on regular intervals.
I agree with Joshua’s answer…what are the client’s goals and purpose of the workout? If you feel your client is not working to her potential, you can both encourage and give specific feedback on how they should feel during the workout. (I also look at their face to gage the intensity). 🙂
Ultimately, it is up to your client and her internal motivational factors as well as her stage of change. This will determine how hard she will work and how much effort she will give to her workout.
Thank you everyone for your input!! I think I need to remember that not everyone thinks the same in the way of exercising. She is improving for sure. She wants to lose weight but trying to encourage (much better word- 🙂 thank you) her to continue to work hard in the pool, continue with moderate exercise outside the pool, and eat healthy is a challenge. But, you are right. All I can do right now is encourage and praise. (And turn up the jets as needed…lol)
Two things I would add are:
1. What is the purpose of the workout? what physiological adaptations are you trying to achieve? If it is for the aerobic system or heart conditioning for example, you can use the talk test to determine if it is aerobic or not. You want to use the least stressful stimuli necessary to cause the body to adapt. It serves no purpose to workout harder then necessary as aerobic capacity is based on volume not intensity.
2. You also need to look at psychological adaptations. If your client is not working as hard as they can maybe you could focus on the mental side of exercising. Just like physiological training psychological training and pushing one self should happen gradually over time it is not something that you can just push someone into.
Ultimately it comes down to the clients goals and what they are trying to achieve/gain if they are happy or still improving there really is no point in them pushing themselves harder.