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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 10-05-2006, 09:38 AM   #1
Howard Wilcox
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Hello folks,

In scanning the posts, the general consensus seems to be that a crossfit certification and a WL club coach certification are the two most important certs to get for running a club and/or being a trainer.

Given that, does the NCSA certification add much? Is is good for general knowledge (especially for people from a bodybuilding mentality) or is it obsolete? I think there are two certs, the CSCS and the CPT. I'm not sure of the differences though I think CSCS is more comprehensive and/or more difficult??

Looking for opinions as I begin long-term planning, thanks.

:-)

Howard

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Old 10-05-2006, 11:03 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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All depends on your goals and training focus...if you want to train bodybuilders then any CPT will do...if you want to train Crossfit style then you will need a Crossfit Certification and also a WL club coach too. If you want to be a strength coach for a school or team, then they will require a CSCS.....you are not going to find many people who favor a bodybuilding program in fitness as it is outdated (or molds to the gym environment of machine based training) or only for those interested in competing as a BB. True fitness and athletic ability needs so much more....so again, it all depends on what you truely believe is your training focus...because if you got certified as a crossfit trainer and then worked with people doing machines...you would go against everything your certification is supposed to teach you.

By far the Crossfit certification will give you more practical and real applicable fitness information than a standard CPT that still worries about leg adductor machines and making sure you are in a fat burning zone for cardio.
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Old 10-05-2006, 12:04 PM   #3
Howard Wilcox
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That's kind of what I thought about the CPT. Does the CSCS cert have meaningful information that won't be gained from crossfit/WL or is it redundant or actually counter to crossfit (from the standpoint that I agree with the crossfit methodology)?

Thanks again...

Howard
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:46 PM   #4
Jesse Woody
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It may be redundant, but its value lies less in the efficacy of its information than in the percieved value of those letters you get at the end of your name and the piece of paper you get to keep in a filing cabinet at home. I eventually plan on attempting to get my CSCS, because the sad truth is that quite a good portion of the population carries degrees and "official" certifications in high-regards.

How about a little personal experience; I am currently working part-time as the strength coach for the private school with which I am employed. A certification from ACE (with their independently accredited credentials) helped me to secure the job, while my Crossfit cert and my study of Crossfit methodology helped me to become the best trainer I could possibly be. The only trouble I have is the fact that I chose to party and have kids after high school as opposed to pursuing an education. While a possible full-time job sits waiting, I am relegated to 2 hours per-day as strength coach, and 8 hours per-day working on the grounds crew. Whether or not I know what I'm talking about when it comes to strength and conditioning, the faculty and administration at the school cannot fathom taking somebody seriously who only has a high school education with some random and useless college classes under their belt...

Just something to consider ;)
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Old 10-05-2006, 04:12 PM   #5
John Seiler
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Mike and Jesse are right on the money. I think it's a good move to have the certs. Whether it's starting a gym or training, people want to see the letters; at least in the beginning. As Mike mentioned, if you're thinking about the strength coach route, you need the CSCS.

In regards the knowledge base. You don't have to have the technical knowledge to have the practical knowledge. However, it's nice and will help you understand the why behind the what. If you already have a strong working knowledge of exercise science concepts it's not necessary to get the national certs. I got my CSCS a few years with no formal training in exercise science. I'd picked up a fair bit of knowledge along the way, I read their (NSCA) book once or twice, and took the test.

I will say this, getting ready for the test help solidify and colate a bunch of that knowledge running around in my head. BUT, Crossfit has helped me apply it. I've learned more useful, practical information about getting in shape from Crossfit than anywhere; and that's just off the site. I can't wait to get to a seminar!

Finally, I think you can get more helpful input if you specify your goals.
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:46 PM   #6
Howard Wilcox
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Thanks folks,

John, your response seems like what I'm thinking. I'm not fully sure of my goals right now as I'm still ramping up on the crossfit knowledge/system. I still don't know how to do oly lifts, but plan to learn in the very near future. The idea of opening a crossfit is swirling in my head, but that is at minimum a year out, probably more.

From reading here the dominant view is to obtain the crossfit cert first and a WL club coach cert second. So, I was going from there.

I've been out of lifting for a while and previously had a bodybuilding mentality (though not technically a bodybuilder), namely the parts approach. The amount of reading in the last couple of months has accounted for a huge paradigm shift for me. I started training with KBs (and still do) and then started adding heavy, compound movements (squats, deads, BP, MP, etc...no curls :-) ). So some days would be ETK ROP stuff and some days would be heavy lifting (somewhat following super squats, though I'm not drinking a gallon of milk/day). I kind of view that as my prep-phase for crossfit :-)...

Now I want to move into WODs, oly lifting, etc...and I'll probably keep the lifting days (which seem to be called ME and/or black-box days here??) to get to respectable poundages.

To summarize this too-long post...right now my goal is to learn as much as possible since it's like being a kid in the candy store. Where it goes from here, I'm not sure...but the mind is working.

Thanks for everyone's insight.

Howard
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:50 PM   #7
Kenneth Urakawa
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Just a thought--

I have had my CSCS for about 8 years, went through the USAW Club Coaching Cert about the same time. All well before CrossFit, obviously.

I first learned about CrossFit 18 months ago, and went to the Certification in February. One thing that struck me there was the sheer volume of information presented.

I personally felt like I was at something of an advantage over those that didn't have some sort of general grasp on exercise physiology, training methodology, etc. Not that those people didn't get a ton of useful info, but I felt like I was filling in the details, not trying to make sense of everything.

I guess the point of this is that, to me, CrossFit is (and should be) the pinnacle. But it helps to have a solid foundation in place before you climb directly to the peak. ONE way to establish this foundation is by getting certified.

Anyway, just wanted to throw that out.



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Old 10-06-2006, 04:50 AM   #8
Keith Wittenstein
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I agree with the comments so far. The CSCS seems to be a good set of letters to have behind a name especially when dealing with those that aren't familiar with Crossfit. Also there is a lot of good information presented the NSCA material although much of it is not readily applicable to day-to-day coaching (unless you immediately go to work for a sports team). Too much education is rarely a bad thing IMHO.

I am a registered yoga teacher, NSCA-CSCS, USAW Sports Performance Coach, CrossFit Level 1 (soon to be L2).

I believe it is more about hands on experience. If you can get your hands on people and learn how to coach them, you'll get far. Having the letters behind the name is fine, but getting out there and actually getting people to squat is the real trick.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:13 AM   #9
Howard Wilcox
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Thanks Kenneth and Keigth,

That last line is a good quote, btw.

Howard
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Old 10-09-2006, 06:54 AM   #10
John Tuitele
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One more CSCS weighing in.

NSCA provides a good science base. It is not an easy test. I've always viewed it as a great learner's permit, and the value of the letters after your name is that it communicates a basic threshold of knowledge. I'd do it again.
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