People lie, even those with the best intentions. This includes most of our clients.
What does this mean? It means that our clients want to work out. When we say Does It Hurt ( my favorite article I have ever written), they lie. However, look at the quote below.
“what you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say” ( maybe an Emerson quote?)
I teach our coaches and trainers to watch clients as well as listen to them. Often times we say ‘did that hurt” and the client responds with a no. The client then walks away rubbing a shoulder, or their back. What they do speaks so loudly that I have to question what they said.
I implore the coaches/ trainers to ask again and then again. Often, the client comes around and admits to some degree of discomfort. Most clients want to keep working out and want to do exercises that they like or, think are beneficial, that's human nature.
I think a big key as a personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach is to watch as much as listen. Watch every client not just during a set but, after a set. What is the reaction? A hand on a shoulder? A hand on a knee. Two hands in the small of the back? All of these actions tell us in a non-verbal way that something is not quite right.
Track coaching legend Boo Schnexdayder had a great quote at this summer's Perform Better Summit. He said “our job is not so much to write workouts as to watch workouts”. That really applies to our adult clients.
The truth is that clients will appreciate when you catch them in a lie. It shows you care and it shows you are paying attention. Remember that quote “what you do speaks so loudly that I can't hear what you say”.