9 Ways to Survive Your Next CEC Fitness Workshop
If you’re a trainer, you are familiar with the acronym CECs. Unfortunately that doesn’t stand for “Continuous Extra Chocolate,” although how awesome would that be if it did?
In the fitness biz, CEC stands for “Continuing Education Credits,” and most nationally-accredited certification bodies require a certain amount of them to be obtained every two years. They also call them CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) and this time around to earn mine, I took a TRX suspension trainer workshop in San Francisco.
I even met a guy with a Batman tattoo. BATMAN! Tattooed on his calf, did I mention it was a Batman tattoo?
Want to endear yourself to me lifelong? Batman tattoo = instant street cred. We bonded over DCAU (DC Animated Universe) movies, and I might have showed him the 10 or so DCAU films (yes, they are films, calling them movies is am insult) I have on my phone. But I digress…
Workshops are usually great. You get to meet new people, learn new things and use equipment you may not have previously used. Plus, I usually get all geeked out with ideas afterward for my own workshops, and this time was no different.
If you’re a fitness pro, since this is something you have to do, I’m going to share with you my tips for getting through your day (usually 6-8 hours) to help you get the most out of your workshop experience.
1) Get all of your stuff ready the night before
When I raced my mountain bike, I always gathered everything I needed the night before and put it by the front door. It alleviated a ton of stress to only have to grab a bag and go on event day. This included planning what time I was getting up and what I was going to eat for breakfast. I do the same things for a workshop.
These things seem like no-brainers, but you’ll be amazed at how easy they can make your day when you do, and how tough they can make it if you don’t.
Here’s what I gather the night before a workshop:
- I pack my bag with earbuds (this is something I always carry with me), an extra hoodie and training pants (most fitness workshops have audience participation, so I like having extra dry clothes to put on), food, water bottle, pens, notebook, wallet.
- You might be able to shower onsite post workshop, so you can also bring an extra set of clothes.
- Any equipment I might need. This is more for when I’m teaching, but it might apply to your event.
- If you have a garage, I’d even leave your bag in the trunk for one less thing to think about in the morning.
- Fill up the tea pot with water, the french press with coffee and put my travel mug on the stove. Again, this is a KEY POINT.
2) Charge your phone/tablet/laptop the night before
This is a critical step and will go a long way to alleviating stress the day of the event. I’ve also got a car charger, so when I unplug my phone, it goes on the charger in the car until I get to the event to make sure I’ve got the battery topped off.
3) Download your favorite podcast/playlist the night before
This one isn’t critical, but including it in my pregame plan, it always helps. I like to listen to fitness podcast on the way to the event to get my head in the game, and nerdcasts (Fatman on Batman by Kevin Smith is one of my favorites) postgame to help me unwind on the drive home.
4) Go with a friend
This time around I went with Alison from Goldilocks Training. You will meet new people throughout the day, but its nice to break the ice with a familiar face. Plus, they can lend you a pen: You rock for that one, AC!
5) Leave yourself plenty of time to get there
If you’re driving to the workshop/seminar, make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get up, eat, get ready and drive. You may as well add in a few minutes for parking too. Some places might have a parking lot/garage; other spots might just have street parking.
It’s also a good idea to get there early to sign in and save as much time as possible. It also gives you a chance to explore the area to find out where all the places are you can get coffee (again, KEY POINT) and food during your breaks.
It will also give you time to scout out the facility to find out where the restrooms are or places to fill up a water bottle.
6) Bring food and drinks
I’ve been to seminars where food and drinks were provided and I’ve been to ones where you needed to supply your own. Either way, its always good to have your own supply. Plus, M&M’s (there’s that chocolate thing again) make friends. Meaning, if you’ve got things to eat, sharing it with other people is a great way to make a new fitness friend.
I like to bring:
- Coffee tankard, I mean mug (KEY POINT)
- Water bottle
- Dried fruit
- Nuts, peanuts, seeds, coconut flakes
- I got some Earth Balance Peanut Butter and Coconut spread packets and they were a quick hit that definitely hit the spot.
- Energy bars, I like making my own. Not a fan of eating things that have every letter of the alphabet in them.
- Essentially, if it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, bring it.
7) Know the parking situation
This is another advantage of going with a friend. If you can carpool, it smoothes the day over quite a bit.
There are a few other things you need to think about in regards to making sure you’ve got a spot to park:
- Does the facility have its own lot (or one nearby) or is there only street parking
- If you have to park on the street, is it metered?
- How long can you park in that particular spot?
- If it is metered, do you need change, or can you use plastic?
- If you have to feed a meter, how often and how long of a walk is it from the event?
8) Prepare for the event in your workouts
Since I don’t do a ton of suspended training in my workouts, about four weeks out from the event, I started the TRX Force workout. Its a 12-week program that seems to have only one goal: giving you a bulletproof core. This turned out to be a great idea because it made the day a lot more manageable from a “OH MY GOD THIS IS BRUTAL” perspective.
9) Put your keys where you can find them in the morning
This seems like another no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how big of a difference this can make. If you have to scramble for your keys in the morning, you’re introducing stress you don’t need. So, put your keys where you can find them the night before and save yourself the hassle!
Alright, there are my nifty nine for pregame prep for your next workshop. Thanks for reading!