Seeing is Believing


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 more than listen to them. Often times we say ‘did that hurt” and the client responds with a no. The client then walks away rubbing their shoulder or their back. What they do speaks so loudly it makes me question what they say! I implore the coaches/ trainers to ask again and then again. Often, the client comes around and admits to some degree of discomfort.

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 the set but, after the set. What is their reaction? Is it a hand on a shoulder, or a hand on a knee? Maybe it’s 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.

The truth is that clients appreciate when you catch them in a lie. It shows you care and it shows you are paying attention. If you really want to keep your clients healthy you need to tune into their body language as much as their verbal language.

Remember, “what you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say”.

Want to learn more commons sense training ideas? Take a look at Functional Strength Coach 5.

One Response to “Seeing is Believing”

  1. Reilly Edwards Says:

    Great point. Ironically, I read this after last night witnessing the worst trainer I’ve ever seen. The client was skinny fat and needed help for sure. And the trainer has a 2.5 BW DL so he must know something, which makes this even worse… I saw trainer tell client do DB curls, then trainer walked away to do his own squats and leg presses. Trainer then returned, told client to do 4 sets of 10 DB front raises, then left client again to do leg his own extensions and bench presses. Talk about NOT watching your client…I was dumbfounded.

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