SparkPoints's not you, it's me!

Sunday, August 03, 2014

So, when we lived in Florida, I worked out with a trainer for over 3 years straight. Many of you remember I affectionately referred to him as "Stasi Guy", a sadistic brute of either East German or Russian origin, he grew up learning advanced torture techniques somewhere behind the Iron Curtain. He had no soul and put me through endless tortures under the guise of helping me "get in shape". I hated him, yet I kept going back, 3x/week for 3 years.

When we moved to Virginia last year and I developed my own personal training program based on my 3 years with Stasi Guy. Even on my own, I kept hearing his thick Slavic accent in my brain, egging me on whenever I felt like quitting, "Vat izz dees? (What is this?). U must doo tree more reps before vee moof on! (You must do three more reps before we move on!)"

Well about 2 months ago, I hired a new trainer, thinking I'd found someone with whom I could perfect my kettlebell technique. Somehow, he (let's call him "granola-eater"....I haven't been able to find any better way to describe him) pulled off a successful bait and switch on me, because in 3 months we haven't once touched a kettlebell, but have instead been doing all sorts of mobility and range of motion drills. (see blog )

Yesterday, I read the Current Status of one of my Sparkbuds, NancyAnne55, where she said something about how her trainer had made her do some crawling type moves, which I thought was pretty cool, because just the other day, a guy in one of the on-line kettlebell forums I hang out in mentioned the benefits of doing crawls as well. (see video )

How much more karma do I need!

So when I showed up for today's session, I told granola-eater that I'm going to start my next round of Strength Training to get ready for another Powerlifting meet at the end of October (see blog ).....and oh by the way does he know anything about how to do crawls.

He almost chokes on the mouthful of trail mix in his mouth. As he washes it down with a sip of some frothing mocha latte cappuccino crap from Starbucks, his eyes light up and he launches into a tirade of, "Oh my God Yes! Do you mean Bear Crawls, Panther Crawls, or Spiderman Crawls? Watch!" and dives down to floor to give me a demo of 3 different and painful ways in which you can contort your body on the ground

I look down at my shoes, shake my head and mumble, "I don't know, dude, I just heard they were good for you."

Now he becomes super-animated, on some trail mix/caffeine high and says, "OK, here's what we're going to do, to get you ready for your Powerlifting meet, we'll do some deadlifts, some Spiderman Crawls, and some ball slams!" (I didn't like the sound of that last one, but decided to get my mind out of the gutter)

"What's a confortable deadlift for you, a number where you'd feel good doing about 6-8 reps?"

Now he was in my territory.....this is where the Lion pounces on the Gazelle!

I shrugged my shoulders back a little, "Well, I did 395 lbs at the end of June (see video ). I'd be OK doing 255-275 lbs" I said as I man-stared right into his 20-something baby blues.

"Hmmm, OK, tell you what, let's just shoot for 225 to make it easier to load the bar"

The Lion was about to enjoy the feast!

At one end of the gym, he sets up a bar with 225 lbs for deadlifts and at the other end he places a 20 lb slam ball.

The Lion is wondering what kind of crazy evasive move the prey just pulled.

"OK, so here's what we're going to do, I want you to do 8 deadlifts, then Spiderman crawl to the slam ball, give me 8 ball slams, then run back for some more deadlifts"

"Yeah, OK.....what's a Spiderman crawl again?"

He gives me a's a picture and a video I found on Youtube ( )

The Lion's wondering whether or not this gazelle is worth it....maybe I should turn around and go after that one I saw limping at the end of the herd

Anyways, I chalk up my hands and crank out 8 perfect deadlifts with 225 lbs.....piece of cake. Then I contort myself into a pretzel on the ground and start Spiderman crawling over 20 yards to get to the Dynamax Slam Ball. By the time I stand up after the crawls, I am out of breath. I pick up the 20 lb slam ball, thankful to be doing some more strength moves.

But after slamming that thing down as hard as I can just 5 times, I am beat. I finish up 3 more then saunter back to the deadlift bar.

Granola-eater is still nursing his frothing mocha latte cappuccino crap, peers over his rimless glasses and says, "OK, take a minute to catch your breath, then let's do this again."

I am seriously starting to hate this guy.....fond memories of Stasi guy begin to form in my mind, like an abused child remembering only the good times in an abusive household.

I gird myself up for another round, finish off the 8 ball slams, and make it back huffing and puffing.

Hands on my knees, my head hanging low, I look up at granola-eater and plead with him, "Please don't make me hate deadlifts.....they're my favorite exercise....I don't want to associate them with these traumatic memories"

He chuckles into his frothing mocha latte cappuccino crap, almost horking some through his nose, "You're fine, just take a minute and keep going"

We did 8 rounds of that felt tike the universe just slowed down and focused all the pain it held into those tiny few minutes from when I picked up the bar for that first deadlift to throwing down the last slam ball.

Finally, we were done.....the whole session took less than 30 minutes.

As we unloaded the bar, I looked over at Granola-eater. "Dude, unless you're going to give me some massage therapy for the remaining 30 minutes of our time today, we're done!"

"Ok, that sounds fine. You did really good. I can see that was a challenge....oh by the way, you need to renew your lessons before next week"

As I walked down to the desk to charge up another 5 sessions with this madman, I told myself it wouldn't be too late to just make a beeline for the door, find another gym to workout at on Sundays and never look back.

But no, I renewed for another 5 sessions, telling myself, this was all good for me, this was all good for me, this was all......

So, maybe the problem all those 3 years I cursed Stasi Guy out under my breath, wasn't really about Stasi Guy....maybe it was me....maybe I just secretly hate anyone who trains me....maybe it's not's ME!

Have a great night Spark friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This still cracks me up! I thrive better on a hard-ass type of instructor as well. Hard-ass in a granola coating? Cracks me up.
    2495 days ago
    I'm still looking for a trainer that will do more than look at the watch while I do interval training.

    It's disappointing because I would love to have someone actually do the drill sergeant routine with me and push my lazy a$$ (and I have even said as much on multiple occasions) but have never found anyone up to the task. They start off strong, but then just slide into complacency and are all just too passive.

    I'm still looking....

    So...consider yourself lucky!
    2530 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5940981
    Enjoyed your blog. You seem to thrive with this kind of training.

    Feel free to suggest that granola dude needs to do is leave the trail mix and crappuccino in his locker so you don't need to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on him through your exhaustion.
    2534 days ago
    emoticon I agree with ADVENTURESEEKER, any trainer with less than a drill instructor personality would go down like the ancient lame gazelle on the outer fringe of the herd.

    The last time I did crawls in karate class, maybe "army" crawls or something where we dragged our legs behind us using only our arms to gi pants kept being pulled down so I had to keep stopping to pull them back up. Not a productive exercise IMHO!
    2553 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4876431
    :) LOVE IT!!!
    Some of my clients love to hate me too:) Gotta keep pushing!

    Keep us posted on your progress! Sounds like a great program!
    2554 days ago
    Baha! Being a type A, you would thrive in a competitive setting, under the watchful eye of a bootcamp instructor/trainer. Keep up the hard work. I am going to have to look up these crawls you speak of. One of these days. Maybe. But then I'm sure I'd try them. And where am I going to fit them into my day? And how do you track them? LOL

    Anyway, glad you enjoy your hipster trainer. emoticon emoticon
    2556 days ago
    I enjoyed your writing! :-)
    So you like "torture coaching" or you don't?
    Do you miss the iron curtain guy or not?
    2557 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    I am impressed!
    2558 days ago
    What a great blog and what a great way of writing!
    I could hear you pant in my living room after your training session with granola-eater!
    Once I can do some push-ups I will add those spiderman crawls to my routine
    Keep pushing! You will get even STRONGERRRRRR
    2558 days ago
    You might be onto something, George....
    2558 days ago
    Such a good blog...really enjoyed reading about your session. =)
    2558 days ago
    bwahahahahaaa....... I do spiderman crawls - and hate them with a passion, but love the results. You will too, I promise.

    Hang in there! I like the Granola eater!

    2558 days ago

    There. I am done yelling. But let it be known that you read more into it than I implied.

    Although they probably are good for me.

    I've only done these once. And I hate it. So we are even. And I'm actually sorta glad I have someone to join me in my misery. Although I also feel sorry for you.

    So I apologize. Kinda.

    My guy has me doing all of the panther/bear crawls (my choice) I can in 5 minutes, non-stop. (I can go sideways if I want, too. I tried this, thinking it would help alleviate some of the pain. It does not. It is harder. Don't mention this to Granola Guy unless you want to be side-crawling down to that medicine ball, then side crawling back to the bar when the ball slams are done. Because you KNOW Granola Guy will make you even up your sides.) Anyhow, I'm doing the crawls, forwards then backwards to the beginning, for 5 minutes, then KB swings for 10 sets of 10 , and then 5 KB get-ups on each side. (Funny: I'm doing KB work, yet you are the one who went to the trainer to learn KB's). That's all I have to do. 3 moves. Just like you. 4 days a week. The same thing. Every day. Yeah. Not so happy about that.

    It's supposed to help me burn fat. I'm starting to consider liposuction.

    I think next I'm going to post a status that my guy has me doing inverted wall push-ups and then see what Granola guy does to you. Maybe that blog would make me laugh as much as this one did. :-)

    Very well written,. I'm so glad I posted that status update. (It seems there are no evil grin emoticons.)
    2559 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/3/2014 10:40:06 PM
    Great story! I know they mean well but I wonder if they do have a sadistic streak. I've never had a personal trainer, but at my local gym a while back I noticed they had a feedback slips, so I started filling out slips putting in a good word for any of the floor staff whenever they would spot me on a strength exercise. Apparently, they get a big bonus for that or something because it backfired on me big time. The floor staff started stalking me all around the gym and making me squeeze out a few extra reps on every exercise, or add negatives, or do an additional exercise to blast the same muscles I had just worked to failure. I did get pretty strong back then, but I was just there to do a normal average joe workout so it was a little overwhelming. Now I exercise at home mostly.
    2559 days ago
    Gotta love it when the gazelle wins. LOL What's that phrase.....oh yeah...."Be careful what you wish for." LOL I'm kinda surprised with all this powerlifting you do, that you've not gotten into crossfit.
    2559 days ago
    Oh my goodness! That had me laughing! It's like you're going from one kind of torture to another and you (chuckle) seem to like it and relish it. Still trying to picture a trainer, especially nicknamed "Granola-eater" drinking a foo-foo coffee drink while training a client. I never heard of crawls and though I got a bum knee, gonna look them up and try one, even if the distance is only a foot.
    2559 days ago
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