Friday, October 24, 2014

Train the Trainer

This familiar term in corporate America refers to training trainers so they’ll be proficient in facilitating a course.  Back when I was on the road delivering three-four day leadership courses in person in different cities, we trainers attended train the trainer sessions whenever a new course was developed and ready to roll out.

Today, though, this term popped into my head as I headed out the door to meet my workout buddy and our latest trainer. We are trying our best to train him. My workout bud and I have been together for close to five years and have been through as many trainers.  And no, it’s not that we’re difficult people.  We’ve come to realize that if we’re in it for life, as I like to say, then our trainers will come and go.

After six months, our first trainer, whom we still see for the occasional dinner out, decided to take a full time job. We found another trainer and continued our twice weekly sessions with her.  She was a tad less convenient in the morning rush hour traffic, so when our original gal went back to personal training, we returned to her. When she moved on the second time, she steered us to Gold’s Gym and told us which trainer would suit us best.

We were extremely happy with our new guy, a Marine.  He called us only by our last names and was a 6’5” gentle giant who upped our game considerably.  Alas, after a year, he was promoted to Training Manager and handed us over to another trainer.  We liked our new guy equally well. He was even tougher than our Marine, though a bit less stern, and we enjoyed our banter with him. When you can hardly lift your arms to style your hair, you know you’ve had a good workout.

Then the Marine left and shortly after that, our trainer decided to set up shop at his home and build his clientele there.  Neither of us can afford the travel time to go to his home, so once again, we have a new trainer.  

Here’s where the train the trainer part comes in.  We are trying to give him a chance. He proclaimed he had to see us in action before he could settle on a regimen for us…to be sure he didn’t cause any injuries.  We thought that meant one session, but after two weeks, we’re getting a bit impatient with his approach. This week we finally had to tell him to up the weight on one of the machines, and when he said something like, “let’s see if you can make it to 12 V-ups,” I gave him an incredulous look and replied, “make it to?”  After five years of abdominal work, we can easily do that and more.


He’s offered to let us try another trainer, but we’re not quite ready to start over again.  Instead, we’re working on “training him” to work us harder.  We’ve been pretty clear about needing to increase the weights for our arm workouts because we’ve long since passed the three-five lb level, and today he gave us 30 lb kettle bells, so he may be catching on. On the other hand, he gave us a back-handed compliment on our box jumps today, observing that we were doing well in that “most women jump up one foot at a time,” and then demonstrating a tentative little jump.  You’ll all be happy to know I didn’t slug him for that somewhat sexist comment.