Saturday, April 20, 2013

Turbo Kick Instructor Training!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't even know where to start. Let me start with some very important things I learned at my training.
  1. I'm fat. I watched myself in front of mirrors for 7+ hours. 
  2. I need a hair cut. Again. I know people tend to look like shit when buckets of sweat are pouring out of them, but my hair was really in a class of its own.
  3. I can't Turbo in cotton socks. I wore my Spartan Socks (the ones that are mud stained from the race last year) and they chafed the shit out of my feet. I don't know why I didn't take my normal socks. And I have no idea what my normal socks are made of but I know they feel a hell of a lot better than these.
  4. I'm out of shape.
I didn't get much sleep Thursday night, and I couldn't decide whether or not I wanted to drive to Durham Friday night or just get up early Saturday and go. There's some serious construction in the area that required a significant detour and I was worried I would be late. I ultimately decided to sleep Friday night (because I was tired!) and get up around 3 AM Saturday. The only problem was, I couldn't fall asleep Friday night. I tossed and turned until midnight. I finally fell asleep and got up 3 hours later. It was a brutal, 4 hour drive. I was exhausted and scared shitless that I wouldn't have the energy to get through the day. I got to the YMCA about an hour before I needed to be inside to get read. I tried to get a little nap, and slept for about 20 minutes.

There were about 18 people at the training yesterday. I was on the look out for a local woman who said she was going to go, but she wasn't there. In a way, I am very relieved not to have the competition for classes here. Almost everyone was young and in fairly good shape. I was nervous about having to move in front of these young 'uns but got over it.

We started the day with the trainers introducing themselves. Amanda & Stephanie were both very fantastic, very helpful, and very funny. They totally knew their shit. Amanda has been a Turbo Kick instructor since the very first round came out. Stephanie has also been doing it a while. At some point - and I honestly don't remember if it was before or after the trainer intros - Amanda took attendance. I expected some more get to know you shit but it was really quick. Amanda did ask if anyone was an instructor/trainer, and there were a couple, but for the most part, most of us had no experience. She didn't even ask us what our experience with Turbo (in any format) was. That really surprised me. One of the girls I chatted with was fairly experienced, having done Turbo Jam for years. I liked her a lot, and she was amazing all day. 

After that, Amanda & Stephanie went over the history of Turbo Kick, which has it's roots in Brazilian martial arts. I'm not going to bore you with the details of all that shit (you're welcome) but it was pretty funny to see Amanda imitate some of the early Capoeira moves. Ginga has always been my favorite, and one reason I love, love, love Cardio Party 3!! Then they outlined how the day would go and I'll be honest, it was scary! 

The first thing we did was go over the written test. I don't know why they call it a test. It's mostly common sense, if you were listening to the trainer's introduction and read the first half of the manual. We didn't even test. We just went over each of the 50 multiple choice/true or false questions and talked about each one. That was it. The easy part was over. Time to get physical. They went over some of the basic moves, and we spent some time practicing them. That was tiring but not too bad. I suppose it would have been easy had I been in any kind of shape besides doughy blob.

Then it was time for the Master Class, which is the actual round we are learning, as an actual class. Stephanie led and it wasn't too bad. There were no particularly difficult moves in it. It was just long. No longer than any other Turbo experience, but keep in mind my lack of shape and abundance of weight. I do know that the fucking finale felt like the longest damn finale I've ever done in my 5 years of doing Turbo! That shit was never ending. I can't remember if we did Finesse. I love Finesse. I'm glad we didn't do legs or abs, and just did our cool down. The sucky thing - TWO FUCKING TURBOS! I was not happy LOL At one point, I think I threw up in my mouth a bit. But in true die-before-I-quit fashion, I swallowed that shit down and carried on!

After that hell, we took a lunch break. I laid on the floor most of the time and ate an energy bar. Class resumed and we spent more time going over the punches and kicks - four of each. We did lots and lots and lots of punches and kicks. We paired up and critiqued each other. We did them in a large group. It felt like we did nothing but punch and kick.

The worst part was definitely when we had to break into small groups and figure out how we would present a section to a beginner class. We got lucky and had to do kicks, and keep it very, very basic. The point of the exercise was to practice feeling the music and cueing the moves. Let's just say I suck at both. There were four of us in the group. One was an instructor and was excellent. Another was my Turbo Jam friend. She was really good for it being her first time. I totally sucked at it, and the other girl didn't even take a turn cueing. Our group, as I said, did the kicking, which we just introduced as a tap/tap, then a lunge/tap, then a lunge/knee, then a lunge/kick (all of this was sideways, with a roundhouse kick). Then we had to do the same thing front, ending in a front push kick. It looks weird all written out, but it's very easy to do. Except when you're trying to stay on beat with the music and try to cue it.

Each group had to get in front of everyone and do their two minute presentation of the basic layer. There was one person with instructor experience in each small group, and they were not picked to lead the presentation. My Turbo friend was picked to do ours. Then surprise, each group had to do it twice, with a different person on the second presentation. That would be me for our group. I have no problem saying I sucked, and I sucked hard. I was so busy trying to listen to our instructor cueing me to cue the group that I lost focus, couldn't remember which moves I was supposed to be doing, and I was totally out of sync with the music. It was the worst two minutes of my life, and I would much rather crawl through a barbed wire mud pit than experience that again. 

After that, we went over form and technique again. Those two things must be important or something. We spent close to an hour punching and kicking the air again. We took another short break and took care of the last of our paperwork and purchases. I did buy the Elite 11 package (which is a box with 10 rounds, in addition to the one you train on) for a great price. Rounds usually cost $55 each, and the Elite 11 was $140. Rounds come with the dvd (which has previews, then the whole thing put together, kind of like a workout, except I think it has all the layers on it), a sheet with the choreography nicely typed out by section and layer, and the CD with the music to teach to on it. There are two main conditions to being allowed to call yourself a Turbo Kick instructor - you use the choreography provided and the music provided. You can swap out sections in one round for those in another, but in order to be considered Turbo Kick, you have to use their shit for the majority of the workout. And that also helps you (or the gym where you will teach) get around licensing fees. The facility doesn't have to pay for the use of the Turbo Kick name, moves and music. That's all part of YOU.

Ok, so we took another quick break before the practical assessment. That's a check of your form, technique, and personality while doing the basic punches and kicks. Amanda & Stephanie split us into three rows and let the music fly. The first row did all their punches, then took a rest while the second row did theirs, and then the third row did theirs. Amanda would tell us which punch to do, and the row would do the punch until she told us the next punch. She went down the line and watched each person do their moves. The kick section was the same way - one row at a time, doing each of the kicks while she watched and made notes.

And then we were done.

Except for another fucking Turbo. Fortunately, we were not evaluated on that. I will say, the Turbo for Round 53 is really pretty cool.

Things I need to work on:

  • Form - because everyone has to work on form. 
  • Smiling - because instructors are supposed to be crazy cheerful!
  • Power in my punches & kicks - I'm sure once I'm in better shape, this will be less of an issue.
  • Slow down - This wasn't actually pointed out as something I need to work on but it's something I've noticed. I try to do the moves so quickly that I get out of sync with the music, I lose my balance, and my form suffers. I confuse speed with power. 

And I have to say, watching the DVD of the Round, it doesn't look like the instructors get nearly as low or get their knees up nearly as high as we're told we need to be doing! It's also very confusing. I tried doing the round, but the workout on the DVD has all the layers on it and it gets overwhelming very quickly. I'm not going to be able to learn the round by doing the workout on the DVD. I'm going to have to learn it with my notes, the previews, and the actual music, section by section.

When we first arrived to the training, we were given a little goody bag with some candy, our Round 53, a pen and a blank Thank You card in it. Amanda said we were to give that card to someone who made it possible for us to be there at the training that day. I thought long and hard and thought, "I got my fucking self to this training. It was all me, me, me." Then I realized that there was one very important person, my Turbo Cheerleader, who encouraged me to do it over and over again. She connected me to the Facebook group for instructors and she's been like my own Turbo Sister. So Emme, your Thank You card is coming.

And yes, I realize it's been an entire week from the time I had my training and the time I actually got around to posting this. I tried to let it sit so this post would be good and insightful, but the truth is, the training was straightforward and not at all what I was really expecting. I know this isn't going to win me any points with Beachbody (but hell, I've blasted them in the past so this is probably not going to be a surprise), but I'm rather disappointed. I basically paid them to just be allowed to use the brand, not to really learn anything. I understand a lot of this comes from practice, practice, practice, but really, it would have been nice to spend more time on shit that wasn't punching and kicking. I probably need to get a few rounds under my belt, then go to an All Star Presenter Camp. I love Turbo with all my heart, and I do believe 100% in Beachbody products, from a fitness standpoint. From a marketing standpoint, I'm not all that happy. And don't get me started on becoming a Beachbody Coach. I have resisted for years. I know "they" say to sell what you love but really, I don't see how I wouldn't lose money being a Beachbody coach. I absolutely hate when someone says, "Oh, I'm a Beachbody coach and I can tell you all about such and such and such product." In their heads, they are saying, "Oooh, fresh meat to push Shakeology on! Maybe they will even become a coach under me and I'll make even more money." So I'm still not totally down with Beachbody coaching. All I want to do is Turbo.

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