As a coach, I have a tendency to over-share. I like to break things down for my clients before and after the workout. During the workout, I am there to motivate and help adjust movement patterns as I see areas where they can improve and increase safety. Some people like that, other people tend to just want to go. They see the workout on the wall and they are just wanting to attack it.
To them, I say…slow down (even if it is on a rare occasion). Ask your coach “why?” They need to be able to answer that. They need to be able to offer you a better answer than “It will crush you, just do it”. A quality coach will be able to tell you why and how you need to approach each workout. Your trainer MUST be able to explain how you need to approach a workout so that you get the result that you are paying them for. If they are not willing to do that, or cannot do that, then perhaps you need to find a different trainer.
A piece of paper means absolutely nothing. Lots of pieces of paper saying this person is an expert means nothing…if they cannot get you to your goals. If they cannot give you the path that they have you on to get there, then you need to tell them where to stick that piece of paper. They are not good for you or your health.
If you are a person that judges your trainer by the amount of pain you feel the next day or how long it takes you to recover, then you are, in my mind, part of the problem. You need to care about what is going on with your training. Please do not simply have the attitude of “I pay this guy, he knows what he’s doing”. Take an active role in what is happening with your own training.
Can you ask your trainer when you need to take a recovery day? Do you listen? Can you trust your trainer when he says today you need to go a little lighter…or heavier? Can your trainer explain the importance of these two options? Can your trainer explain why you need to work on getting stronger (most love this domain) or why you need to work on getting faster (many neglect this arena). What about nutrition?
The only time to neglect asking questions is if you look in the mirror and really don’t care about your own training. That’s IT! If that is you and you don’t care, then keep running yourself into walls, wondering why you hurt all the time, why you are weaker, and why you still struggle to run that mile. If you don’t care, then those pieces of paper are worth every penny that trainer paid for them.