At Flemington Strength Studio, many of our clients have previously enlisted the help of a personal trainer and been dissatisfied with the result. The most common reason for their disappointing outcome is that their trainer “pushed too hard” and “just didn’t listen”. That’s unfortunate because personal training, when delivered correctly, can deliver exceptional returns.
Personal trainers are not immune to the pressures of society. The stereotype would have us believe that as trainers we must shout, yell and scream at our clients and deliberately push limits that otherwise would have been respected. While some in the industry may be happy to support such an image, it’s not something that we condone. Limits exist to be respected, they are the body’s way of controlling stress. Deliberately and consistently ignoring warning signs can lead to injury, illness and lack of motivation.
In order to improve, the body must be exposed to stress. Physical activity is stress and stress needs to be carefully managed in order to produce the desired outcome. The appropriate stress stimuli will result in a positive form of stress called eustress. Excessive stress stimuli will result in a negative form of stress called distress. By paying close attention to a clients reaction to exercise, a trainer can gauge the appropriate amount of stimulus needed to produce eustress. Failing to recognise early warning signs results in clients being pushed beyond their limits, at which point their training becomes counter-productive.
I’m not suggesting that personal training shouldn’t be hard work, challenging and at times uncomfortable but the notion of “NO PAIN, NO GAIN” just doesn’t fit with our philosophy. One of my earliest mentors taught me that in order to progress the body must be stimulated, not obliterated. It is this concept that allows us to keep our clients in a sate of eustress, thereby promoting a gradual and continuous rate of progress.
“No pain no gain?” We prefer “Stimulate, don’t obliterate”.