Personal Trainer Explains to Clients

How to Explain the Importance of Recovery to New Clients

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Working with a new client can be great on many fronts. You get to meet someone new, teach them about fitness, and help them reach their goals.

Another benefit is that new clients tend to be more enthusiastic and receptive to tips. In many cases, such people are eager to jump head-first into a demanding training program and make quick progress.

But, as a coach, you understand that training alone doesn’t drive progress. Training recovery is equally as important.

The question is, how do you explain the importance of recovery to new clients without sounding boring or crushing their enthusiasm?

Let’s discuss.

“Progress occurs outside the gym.”

You’ve probably heard this one before. It is a great starting point for explaining recovery and getting new clients to appreciate its importance. 

Newbies are obsessed with training progress and want results immediately. So, what better way to get them to recover than by explaining that progress depends on it?

As a coach, you understand how progress occurs. We first stress the body through training, which leads to fatigue and impaired athletic performance. Given enough time to recover, the body repairs the damage and grows stronger to handle the same training stress better in the future.

From a bird’s eye view, it looks like this:

Training (stress) Fatigue (weakness, soreness, etc.) Recovery Progress

The average recovery stage lasts for up to 72 hours, but it can be longer if the training program is more demanding.

“Lack of recovery leads to overtraining.”

The second way to explain the importance of recovery is to go over the consequences of not resting enough.

As someone with fitness experience, you’re probably aware of overtraining. Maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself. 

If a person trains hard enough and doesn’t recover well, they will eventually fall into a state known as overtraining. Instead of making progress, people begin moving backward: losing muscle, getting weak, and not having any motivation to keep working out. 

Some common overtraining symptoms include:

  • An inability to sleep well
  • Irritability and brain fog
  • Loss of motivation to train
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Excessive soreness
  • Digestive issues and loss of appetite

“Not recovering well will put you at higher risk of injuries.”

There is no such thing as immediate recovery. The human body needs time to repair exercise-induced damage for people to stay healthy and injury-free in the long run.

Not recovering well puts people at a higher risk of overuse injuries that often take weeks or months to heal.

Three Practical Recovery Techniques For Your Clients

Adequate Sleep

Sleeping at least seven hours per night is crucial for supporting muscle protein synthesis, which repairs damage and promotes muscle growth.

Eating Enough Protein

Protein is the nutrient that supplies your body with the building blocks it needs to recover, grow, and develop. 

According to most research, the ideal protein intake is 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Recovery Workouts

A recovery workout is one where trainees exercise at a lower intensity and don’t push themselves too much. 

Doing so stimulates blood flow to various parts of the body, supplying muscles, joints, and connective tissues with oxygen and nutrients for recovery.

You can prescribe a recovery workout to a client every once in a while, especially if they start displaying symptoms of overtraining.


Most people obsess over their training, often believing their gym efforts play the most significant role in their fitness success.But, as you can see, good recovery is equally important and plays a crucial role in turning the training stimulus into progress.

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