Most of my clients are “A” personality women – managers/etc at work and mothers – they are constantly running/moving and multi-tasking, so when I’m saying “slow down” they think they aren’t working as hard, and it translates (in their mind) to “under-achievement”. Getting these particular clients to take a “day-off” is a herculean effort at times.
Keys I’ve found that work (with my clients);
1. Trust/Validation/Return to Focus – there’s a way to say “Listen to me, I’m your Trainer” that gets the client’s buy-in when you slow them down (people don’t care how much you know until you show how much you care). Understanding that regardless of how long you have been working with a client – when they are constantly being told to work harder/faster/etc (in most areas of their lives) there’s a battle in the mind that can over-rule common sense in the body. I consistently remind my clients that this is “personal” training and we’re doing what’s right for her body.
2. Keep them busy; as previously commented – mixing it up definitely helps! I throw in little “surprise” exercises – and change up the program regularly, especially when they “think” they know what’s next. The benefits for muscle confusion are great (of course), and the need to learn a new “flow” or way to do an exercise keeps them mentally stimulated and connected. The fact that they “slowed down” to learn the new exercise/move never occurs to them.
3. Cardio bursts are the bomb! 3-5 min burns or intervals can silence the “push me harder” chant. It soon turns into “recovery is over already? really?”