A while back I inherited a personal training client from another trainer because the client wanted to train when the trainer was busy. Although the client agreed to the shift, I don’t think the she was that happy about it. She had already developed rapport and trust with my colleague during the initial visit. She knew she was giving up a trainer who had worked with professional athletes.
The client was a former athlete herself, and she wanted to work hard. She was accustomed to pushing past her pain, and believed that was the way to progress. Maybe she thought that my suggestion to listen to her body was a bit too frou-frou. Maybe she thought that I was a sissy.
I chose some challenging exercises for our session. When I’m teaching someone an exercise for the first time, I usually demonstrate it. However, if the exercise is straightforward and I don’t think the person will benefit from a demonstration, I may just explain the exercise. If the client seems to struggle or asks, I demo. Halfway though our session together we came upon one such exercise. She asked for a demonstration.
Of course, I was happy to demonstrate. When I demonstrated the exercise with relative ease, she seemed surprised. While it’s a simple exercise, for many people it is difficult, difficult, lemon difficult to perform. I think I gained some of her trust and respect by completing it. I think she realized that I could help her.
Even though phrases such as “no pain, no gain,” “pain is temporary, pride is forever,” and “push through the pain” are rampant in the fitness industry, it doesn’t mean they are right. Exercise doesn’t have to be painful to get results. Honoring your body is something that you can and should be proud of.
Now discomfort, I recommend. I ain’t no sissy.
Thanks for reading. I hope you listen to your body and have a safe and healthy week.