Training Day

Colorado’s Loren Landow has quietly become the go-to trainer for a host of world-class athletes across a variety of sports. What’s his secret?

November 2012

Landow graduated from Westminster High School as a multisport athlete. He majored in exercise science at the University of Northern Colorado and moved right into a training career, tending at first to everyday athletes trying to rehab an injury or get back in shape. Although Landow acknowledges he’s not as fast or as strong as the athletes he trains, he says he’s not far off. Before anyone starts an exercise, Landow first demonstrates it—precisely. “I have to show these elite-level athletes I can do it better than them,” he says. “I really work on my craft a lot so I get that buy-in. If I show them that at 39 years old I can be very, very athletic and stay in shape, that’s when they realize there’s something here.”

Every minute of Landow’s free time, except for his occasional indulgence in a round of golf, is directed toward his family: wife Michelle, a physical therapist, and their two daughters, nine-year-old Taylor and six-year-old Morgan. Landow calls his wife “a saint” for allowing him to pursue his time-consuming career, though it does have benefits—such as when Missy Franklin showed up at Taylor’s Olympic-themed birthday party. “There are bonuses, because my family gets to meet a lot of these athletes and spend time with these special people,” says Landow, adding that Taylor has already declared her intentions to win Olympic gold in gymnastics. “It creates a nice win-win for everybody.”

He credits his children with showing him what’s worth a meltdown with his clients and what’s not. “Having kids taught me patience and to pick my battles,” he says. “Is the next rep on the bench as important as the handshake and the hug I give you after the session? I’m a big believer in letting these athletes know they have someone in their corner. They have coaches who are there for them on their team, but as soon as they are done, they’re gone. I’m a coach for life.”