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.