Many trainers adhere to the idea that you should never train with your clients. We acknowledge that this is generally a good rule of thumb: if you the coach are training, who's coaching? However, there are instances training w/your athletes, specifically your intermediate to advanced athletes, is VERY beneficial for them. (This assumes you are in a small group situation of course).
For instance, we have 4 young men who are squatting 400+. What will they benefit from training with athletes squatting in the 3's?(majority of the gym currently). They have been there done that. It's tantamount to being a varsity athlete, but practicing with jr high kids; It's a different world. Rather, they must see there is another level for them to strive for, otherwise self satisfaction as the "top dogs" will set in. This is where it's critical as a trainer to be able to step in, train with them, and show a higher level of focus, and most importantly, a higher level of strength.
The Marine Corps teaches the concept of "Ductus Exemplo", Latin for "leadership by example". The Corps says that to be an effective leader, you must set the example; and if you cannot, you will struggle mightily to get good performance from your Marines under you. Top power lifter and coach Dave Tate explains this concept as it applies for strength coaches: "How can you teach strength if you have never possessed it in the first place? I was always brought up with the belief to never ask someone to do what you would not do yourself. As a coach you must workout. You would think this is a given but it is not" (Tate 2003).
Sadly, as Tate alludes to, many trainers do not lead by example. They attempt to get kids stronger, when they never got strong themselves. They preach good nutrition, but often carry less muscle mass than their clients, or worse, are overweight. Often these trainers are well meaning and acquire multiple certifications, but fail time and again to produce results.
At 212 our trainers adhere to Ductus Exemplo: we don't just talk the talk, but WALK it too.