Training can be very taxing on the body and the mind. Let’s face it, as trainers and assessors we often give so much of ourselves to our students that it can be very draining for us.

We need to manage our state very effectively if we are going to be healthy, present and available for our students when they need us. I have taught numerous qualifications over long periods of time and I once had an experience of training 20 days straight. Even though it was tiring, I made a commitment every day to be the best trainer I could be and to do whatever I could to make sure the students were enjoying themselves and that I was too.

Here are seven simple tips that you can use to maintain and maximise your energy levels during courses.

1. Know your ‘why’

The ‘why’ I am referring to here is: “Why do you do what you do as a trainer?” We often forget that training should never be just a job or a role. Training is so much more. It is a way to have an impact on the world around us and teach skills and knowledge to students so that they change their thoughts, actions and their lives. Make sure you define your trainer mission and what problems you are out there trying to solve or help people with. Once you do this, it will make waking up on training day a breeze and energize you to go out there and achieve your mission.

2. Make sleep a priority

After a long training day, commit to going to bed at an appropriate hour. We all know how hard it is to train with limited sleep, so block out your evenings during training weeks and make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time – whatever that is for you.

3. Know your food

Meals are routinely served during training courses, however, people are often unaware of the after-effects of food on our energy levels. You should know what energises you, what depletes your energy and how you can use this to your best advantage. For example, most of us know that eating white bread at lunchtime will normally deplete energy and create yawning students. Start to investigate what foods really work for and against you.

4. Take breaks the right way

Many trainers will take breaks at the wrong time. The first break you should take is during your training session while your students are doing activities. Grab a stool, take a break, and have a sit-down.

Then during the official break times for students, make sure that you are preparing the next lot of material you will be training. Although standing for a long period can be draining, if you are sitting for too long during breaks, lunchtimes or before training begins, your energy levels actually drop.

Your posture and energy levels are very closely linked. If you have your head down or you are sitting in a chair, your energy levels will lower. If you are up and moving around, your energy levels will be higher. Motion creates more energy and emotion. So sit down sparingly and make sure that when you do take a break you go grab some fresh air as well, as this will keep your mind alert.

5. Take care of your voice

Your voice is your most important tool as a trainer – full stop. If you lose it, you are out of work. So make sure that you rest your voice on breaks, be aware of how much you talk and if you are overusing it, give it a rest. Make sure you do vocal warm-ups. I personally do them every single morning before I train, especially if I am going to be in noisy or highly air-conditioned venues.

Be aware that your voice is highly sensitive to particular foods, so watch what you eat (e.g., avoid dairy, alcohol, red meat and sugary items as these all affect your vocal cords and create mucus). Also, make sure that you drink lots of water, as this is the best preventative approach.

My last two tips are the most important of all:

6. Make your students do most of the work

If you are getting overly tired, have a think about your work ratio. Students should be doing about three times the amount of work of the trainer. It’s your job to teach, and then let them try it, apply it, review it, etc. Tiredness can often be a sign of not letting go and allowing the students to play with the information or skills.

7. Take time to recover

After a long day of training, make sure that you do some form of exercise and also that you schedule in ‘shut off time’ for the evening. Make sure that you take at least an hour out for yourself to recover and recharge after a big day. Take a hot bath, have a nice meal, zone out in front of the TV or do some form of activity that will de-stress you. This keeps you fresh and ready for the next day.

Have fun and as always keep in touch as we love to hear of the success stories from our past and current students.