Intensity might be the most important aspect of a training session with your clients. Keeping the right level of intensity will push your clients without breaking them. Or leaving them feeling underwhelmed with the workout.
Having a client leave a training session feeling like it was a little hard, but not as hard as they expected, could quite possibly be worse than having too much intensity. The client may feel as though they are not getting any value out of hiring a personal trainer. They may want to discontinue your services in search of another means of meeting their fitness goals. This of course is bad for business and your reputation.
Creating a workout that is too intense could deter you clients from returning. They may feel as though you are setting goals to destroy them every day. While this is not the case, this is how they could view it. In the long run if many clients feel this way it could also be detrimental to your reputation.
Measuring intensity will be different with each client. It depends on their workouts, goals, fitness level and mindset. Some clients appreciate a very intense workout and would not accept anything less. Other clients just want to build a decent sweat and call it a day. Being able to change your approach with different clients will ensure that you are being the very best personal trainer that they could ask for.
There are several ways to measure intensity. Maintaining a conversation with your client during the workout and between sets will tell you a lot about how they are doing. If your client is unable to speak with you between sets and appears to be losing motivation, it could be a sign to ease back just a bit. Or if your client seems to be breezing through, it may be time to step it up.
Checking their heart rate frequently will allow you to maintain a certain level of intensity throughout the workout. This is a more exact approach and is very useful. Having your client wear a heart rate monitor might also be a good idea. Slight changes in rep ranges, amount of weight and duration are all good ways to raise or lower the intensity of a workout without your client really noticing that much. This can allow you to push them harder than their last session, without causing them any distress or worrying about what is coming.
Finding this sweet spot of intensity with every client may seem hard. But once you train with someone for a bit you will learn their body language and physical demeanor. Being able to measure and change the intensity of a workout is key to giving your clients the best possible workouts you can.