I came across an interesting fitness blog post recently. It is a great point of thought, I make it a point, regardless of the program design for my client to ask how do they feel. Asking and listening to a client is very important and should determine how you proceed before training. How do you all address this subject with clients.
It can often be difficult as trainers to know whether our clients are experiencing “pain” or muscle soreness. Often clients who are new to exercise or new to pushing themselves to new levels of fitness, do not know what they are supposed to be feeling. Like others, I often coach my clients of what they should be feeling and what they should not be feeling. Then we talk about the difference between fatique and pain. I go by the rule that if a certain area is experiencing true pain and its a new pain that they haven’t experienced before or sought medical treatment for in the past or is a pain that has reimmerged in an area where they’ve had a previous injury and that pain continues for more than a week after it has been rested, then they need to be referred. Once a client is experiencing pain, we rest that area, no longer work it, although I will work other areas of the body that do not affect that particular site of injury.
I think its important, as others have stated, to talk about the difference between fatigue and pain with clients. Its also important to perform a proper medical history prior to training so you can be aware of any previous injuries or medical conditions that may make them prone to pain or reinjury. Always err on the side of caution and client safety.