Combining the skills of both massage and personal training can have a powerful impact on your clients training outcomes, says Christine McCormack, Massage and Fitness Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness, WA.
Throughout any training program a client may find themselves training below their optimum level. The reasons for this can vary greatly from injury, to training plateaus, to fatigue, and more. It is at these points where a client can truly benefit from the effects of massage.
One of the main reasons a client seeks massage is for pain reduction. Having already created a rapport and a sense of trust with the client, a personal trainer offering massage can assist the client with pain management, allowing them to resume normal activities as early as possible.
Some clients come from the “no pain no gain” mindset and are willing to “push through” in the hope their pain will dissipate. In most circumstances without intervention a “niggle” can escalate into something more sinister. Educating and treating a client with pain offers them the opportunity to overcome the issue and potentially reduce their recovery time.
A client can benefit from both the physiological benefits of massage and the psychological benefits. Pain can also leave a client unmotivated. A massage treatment may assist to leave the client feeling positive, relaxed and empowered by taking a role in their pain management plan. Massage also assists to enhance sleep, essential for recovery and emotional wellbeing.
If training is the stimulus for change and recovery is when the change occurs, then the benefits of massage can play a integral role in the recovery process. Massage is thought to assists in increasing blood and lymphatic flow to the tissue increasing delivery of oxygen and nutrients while assisting to remove cellular waste. Recent studies have found that massage can also reduce the effects of DOMS and muscle fatigue.
Without appropriate recovery time the muscular system can be left feeling tight and inflexible.
Through massage, muscle and connective tissue are positively impacted encouraging muscular relaxation leading to increased range of motion at a joint. This in turn may decrease the risk of injury. Massage also assists in the break down of adhesions within the muscle and promotes the healthy formation of scar tissue.
Connective tissue within the body is also impacted in a positive manner. Muscles are surrounded by and connected to the bones with connective tissue. Nerves are supported within the connective tissue. Muscular, neural and fascial function may be improved with the application of massage. The effect of massage may influence the conduction of nervous impulses to the muscle. The efficiency of nervous impulse conduction can affect the timing of activation and deactivation of muscle tissue and correct timing can be critical in injury prevention.
Great Personal Trainers focus on assisting clients to achieve their goals in the fastest and most efficient way possible. This includes training well, avoiding injury, training smart, staying motivated and recovering well. A massage background offers these benefits and more. No matter how a client presents upon arrival, a Personal Trainer with a massage qualification will always have something to offer their client to assist them to achieve their goals.