Certified Personal Trainer comfort zone

Q: What's the best way to handle a client who seems to know it all?

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine

A. Usually a client with that sort of attitude has been working with an unchanging set of moderate-intensity exercises with which he's comfortable. Try putting your client through a series of exercises just out of his comfort zone. What I like to do is simply take the client through four or five exercises with a 10- to 15- rep range. The first exercise might be something simple like a single-leg reach or step-up to press. With these, it's important to learn how to use the stabilizing muscles and activate specific muscle groups. Doing a couple of sets of an exercise with correct technique will make him sweat--and feel what he's been missing.

Ask questions like "How do you feel?" or "Do you need some water?" to get feedback on how intense you can get with the client. Many times, I have experienced clients who struggled with the basics of certain exercises and realized that they didn't know them after all. They come to understand (and appreciate!) your progressive approach that keeps their goals in mind better. The keys here: Be patient. Don't over-exhaust the client. And never say, "I told you so."


Expert: Nick Gombold, NASM-CPT, a personal trainer in San Diego, had his own aha moment when he was introduced to the foam roller to help correct muscle tightness.






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National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

Since 1987 the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the global leader in delivering evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations to health and fitness professionals. Our products and services are scientifically and clinically proven. They are revered and utilized by leading brands and programs around the world and have launched thousands of successful careers.