If that title confuses you, believe me you’re not alone. In fact, most people within the fitness industry probably couldn’t tell you the difference ether. While the answer is just my opinion, I’m going to give it anyway.

I hear it time and time again from one trainer to another, “Man, I killed my client in her workout today. She almost threw up and could barely walk out of the gym.” While these type of “Gut Buster” workouts do serve a purpose in certain circumstances, the problem lies in the intent. As a trainer, if your only goal for a client is to make them throw up today, then what happens tomorrow?

I feel like before I continue, I should point out that there is nothing wrong with this approach, if that is what your clientele wants. There has actually been circumstances where I have referred business to another fitness professional who offers these types of services because I think they will be a better fit. If your target market is middle-aged parents, who work forty plus hours a week and want to loose 10 pounds and be more active, but are only willing to give you an hour a week, then maybe this type of protocol fits them perfectly. Any form of exercise that is done in a safe way, is better then no exercise at all. I do however feel that there are certain elements that trainers over look before giving this broad prescription.

Assessment of current, past and potential injuries, should be done before attempting to give a client the workout of there life. More often then not, these types of workouts are cookie cutter and don’t take into account a clients specifics and individual needs. It takes a great deal of motivation, willpower and confidence to approach a fitness professional and ask for help in improving yourself. This is why I get so frustrated when the person who they put there trust in, is negligent with there needs and it results in an injury. It’s sad to watch someone be determined to better themselves and end up with any injuries that leaves them farther back then where they started.

I asked the question above, if your only goal for a client is to make them throw up today, then what happens tomorrow? Killing someone in the gym is for today. Anybody can put together a tough and challenging workout but it takes an educated trainer or coach, to build you an individualized plan for success. This plan may be for 6 weeks or 6 months and it may not be the most challenging and grueling from day 1. All of my clients hear me speak allot in regards to linear progression. A program needs to be periodized, with a specific peak in each progression. If you peak your intensity from day 1, then how do you progress from there in a linear fashion. The answer is, you can’t. Set attainable short term goals so you can measure progress towards your long term goal.

To to summarize and tie all of my chaotic opinions together, the best trainer isn’t always the one who works you the hardest. It’s the person who has the skills to build a specific training program that is catered to your individual needs.