I was watching “The Amazons Workout” featurette on YouTube recently. As most things with Mark Twight (or one of his disciples) do, it made me look back at the roughly seven years I’ve been involved in the fitness industry as a trainer at varying levels. I realized that the best students I’ve had have been women: women of various backgrounds and abilities, women who consciously or otherwise chose to show just what they were made of. And I am more proud of them and of what they have done than of myself or anything I’ve ever achieved.
I can’t figure out exactly what it is that makes women – in my experience, at least – more receptive to coaching than men. Certainly one of the biggest factors is the lack of superficial ego: few women walk into a gym and think they’re the strongest, most amazing person there. Funny enough, not everyone is better because of that absence: Maita, for example, took on everything and anything thrown at her because she couldn’t conceive of herself doing any less than her very best. What she never did was assume she knew everything there was to know, which meant she was willing to learn even from someone with markedly fewer sports achievements than she.
Another factor is that women tend to be better listeners than men. The difference between someone waiting for a chance to brag and someone with genuine interest is the difference between a brick wall and a warm embrace. There is always something to be gained from someone with whom you can sit down and have a long, thoughtful conversation with. That aspect is one reason I enjoyed training Bai so much, perhaps almost as much as watching her achieve things she didn’t think possible.
Perhaps it’s a combination of all of these traits and my own luck in having found people who showcase them. It certainly hasn’t always been smooth sailing – I’ve had enough fights with trainees to know I can’t get along with everyone all the time. Whatever it is, I am constantly left in awe of the women who pass through my care.
Seeing someone do things they never thought possible is and has always been the greatest thing about being a coach. That always brings me a sense of wonder, as it would to any real coach. And I’m always grateful for the women who’ve shown me that.
5min Airbike @ progressive pace
5x10s hard / 50s easy Airbike
10x Pike Push-up
10x TRX Row
45s work / 15s rest
3 rounds / 60s rest
Press @ 2×25# – 19 / 26 / 24
Hammer Curl @ 2×25# – 12
Airbike – 4cal / 3.9cal / 3.7cal
10x30s Plank / 30s rest
- This is cribbed off the original “300” training program, though originally with an Arnold Press instead. I was looking for something that fits what I call Sns – Short ‘n’ Shitty. I found it with a hard Airbike at the end of each round.
- I might have to get around to reviewing my air bike some time. It isn’t an AirDyne or some equally well-known brand or model (an Inspire CB1), but it certainly gives everything I wanted. And it sucks.