The Ultimate Certification

THE ULTIMATE CERTIFICATION
Most people that know me, know I have a few basic beliefs about certifications as they pertain to strength & conditioning. Just in case you are unaware (I don't expect everyone to know how I feel), here it is.

1. Certifications will never get you a job but they can keep you from getting a job.
2. Being certified does not make you a good coach. It means you have the minimum qualifications to keep athletes and clients safe.
3. Certifications can protect athletes from dangerous training and can protect coaches in a court of law.
4. Most coaches who criticize certifications are not certified themselves.
5. Most coaches who claim certification aren't necessary are no longer in the field.
6. Not all certification are the same, nor should they be.

So what is the Ultimate Certification?
Well, there really isn't one. Currently. What I wanted to do was talk about how the best qualities of each could make the most comprehensive certification available. If I were to design the end-all-to-be-all certification, what would it look like?

Why am I qualified to create the ultimate certification?
Well, there are probably others that would be just as or even more qualified but, would make an outstanding one man committee based on the facts that...
A.) I believe in the certification process
B.) I have experience becoming certified. I am currently certified by the NSCA, The CSCCa, USAW, and NASM.
C.) I have hosted certifications tests form both the NSCA and USAW.

So what is the issue with certifications?
The two biggest gripes I hear about certifications is that:
1.) People are butt-hurt when other people get certified thinking the certified person feels they are superior or better suited to be a coach. Which is rarely the case. Most coaches realize that being certified is a necessary evil.

2.) Coaches are often offended by the weekend certifications.

First, certifications are not for everyone and not necessary for all populations. I wrote about it here:
Certifications are about context as much as content

Secondly,there is a disconnect with what a "weekend certification" really is. So let's define it. Basically, if you can complete the entire certification in a 48 hour period than it is a weekend certification UNLESS, you have had to prepare for a period of time beforehand.

So, if you can look over some notes, show up and complete the course. That is a weekend certification. If that is what fits your career goals, then that is the certification you should get. If you are employed by a CrossFit gym, then you should get your Level-1. Would you be a more well-rounded coach if you had your USAW or CSCS? Absolutely. But you have to spend your time and money on what will help your career. Remember, context AND content.

Recently, there was a quote by Dmitri Klokov which touched on these certifications.

"You know, there are many things I don’t like in Crossfit. I talk about them. The more popular you are, the more people listen to you. For example, these Level 1 seminars that make you a coach in 2 days. 2 days!!! In just 2 days you learn gymnastics, rowing, weightlifting, and everything else.

I attended one of such courses. The instructor knew me, so I could see the shame in his eyes when he was talking about weightlifting. He knew that it was their problem. According to Igor Zaripov, the same can be said about gymnastics. Crossfit is not a sport. It is business. Well, it is sport for athletes, but it is business for businessmen.

There are many injuries in Crossfit. They don’t have a gym culture. They throw plates everywhere. Look at our weightlifting gym and their Crossfit gym.

How can American coaches teach others if they know nothing themselves? They don’t have weightlifting in America. And they come to Russia to teach us weightlifting on Crossfit certifications!"

So, whether he is right or it was taken out of context. Klokov has become rich and an international celebrity from people that like weightlifting, most of whom are CrossFtitters. How do you say "Bite the hand that feeds you" in Russian?

Now, the CSCS is about a 5 hour test as is the SCCC test. But to say they are weekend certifications is ludicrous. Both require months of studying and the latter requires a 640 hour internship to even take the test. Not a weekend certification.

Recently, I heard Mike Boyle talk about his new certification and one thing I thought was genius was they actually have a written test just to talk the certification. He made a great point that when you do these hands on certifications, one person can ruin the whole thing. Either by being way behind or just by being a fuckface trying to show everyone how smart he is.

Get to the point
Ok, Ok. So here is my idea for the ultimate certification portfolio. Now none of these are really original ideas. Most were adapted from current certifications, but here is what I would propose.

Pre-requisites
Before taking the test these are the steps I would require.

1. Bachelors degree in a related field. (NSCA)
2. Online Pre-Test (MBSC)
3. 640 hour internship w/ a certified coach (CSCCa)
4. 2-Day workshop with certified staff members.

The Test Itself
1. Standard test to demonstrate proficiency on scientific foundations.
2. Exercise Technique clinic in front of panel of coaches.
3. Program Design session (given with no prior notice). Candidates must create an 8-week program for the assigned sport with 1 hour time limit.
4. Candidates must take teams through two, one-hour training sessions while being observed by panel of coaches.

Now I realize that some of these requirements will be hard to implement and regulate. But can you argue that this may be a better overall test of a coaches potential and competency? Let me ask you this, how many coaches do you know that would be willing to go though this and would actually pass this? Answer honestly.


MONDAY
Clean & Jerk

60 for 5 singles
70 for 5 singles
*Really irritating going this light but I cant afford having a another blow-up with my neck. Last few times I did this exercises the pain came back immediately.

BB Bar Back Squat
302 for 2 triples
*This is the 1st time really squatting with a bar on my back in a long time. Jordan suggested I make an adjustment and place the bar higher on top of my traps. The front squat usually places the unwanted stress on my neck and the SS Yoke bar has been fine. Not sure what this is going to feel like tomorrow. When I measured the bar speed using the PUSH, the it was faster with the higher bar placement and it was definitely deeper.

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