While the profits of having a personal trainer far outweigh the losses, clients sometimes dream of the day they might get to scream back at us, “One more! You can do it! C’mon one more!” We know they concoct fantasies of seeing us–their trainers– panting, sweat dripping down our faces as they time our sprints and battle rope intervals. Long-term clients, Robin and Libby Schaefer, after ten months of training with us and losing a combined 105 pounds, that day came last Saturday at the Indian Valley Campus.
Beqir and I thought they would just program our session based on what they detest the most–kettlebells, 300 squats at a time, three-minute planks etc. Instead they did some research and programmed a workout based on preparation for an 11 mile obstacle course run in Squaw Valley called the Tough Mudder.
Their session for us lasted sixty minutes and included 5 hill sprints, battle rope intervals, weighted lunges, weighted push-ups, renegade rows, deck squats, and on and on and on. As I fought my way through the session, I had a double epiphany.
The first revelation was pretty basic: personal training works. There were our clients saying all the same things we say to them–keep going. You can do it. Dig deep. Control your breath. Slow down but don’t stop. Drive with your arms. Human beings are inherently lazy. We don’t generally kick our own butts during workouts. Trainers need trainers just like doctors need doctors and lawyers need lawyers. Goals are not achieved solo.
The second bombshell involved the crucial importance of constant variation. Beqir and I do CrossFit for our own fitness and most of the time we find ourselves feeling jealous of the kinds of training our clients do. We love CrossFit but it’s generally the same 20 movements. It’s also done in a group and the coaches are way too busy to perfect every individual’s form everyday.
Training indoors, we don’t get to do hill sprints, battle rope, sled-dragging, and some of the other crazy stuff we put our clients through. I realized how much I love training outdoors and how much I need to change my own routine of power-lifting and get back to running and hardcore phosphagen training once in a while.
This revenge of the trainee workout was such a great experience for us as trainers and for our clients too. It’s important for us to feel what they’re feeling. It’s imperative for them to get a feel for the challenge of programming a total body workout that’s not repetitive or boring while motivating us the whole time. They kicked our butts. We didn’t quit or stop or complain. It was a phenomenal experience we hope to have several times in the future.