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Old 04-17-2012, 10:00 AM   #1
Brendan McNamar
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USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

So I'm trying to decide if I'm going to attend a local USAW Cert. class. I have already attended the CrossFit Oly Cert., but the new videos from the Journal make it clear Burgener has overhauled his curriculum and how he is teaching the lifts.

If you have attended both what is your opinion?

How much does the USAW Cert. go into programing? This was one of the things missing from the CrossFit certification. I would like to gain a better understanding of how to help athletes get better after the basics are learned.

Programing to improve the weakest point of an athletes lift to allow them to continue to make gains from improving technical skills, not just brute strength.

We are moving this month so cash is tight. I'll have to give something up to attend so I want to make sure it is worth my while.

What was your experience?
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:11 PM   #2
Jose Sanchez
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

Great topic to bring up. I am on the verge of signing up for one or the other. I have a been trying to look for detailed descriptions of both. I get basic info on what is covered in each program. I would also love to here what others who have been to both or either have to say. I would like to got to one of the workshops in the next few months.
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
Jeremy Galo
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

Brendan, if you're talking about the cert at Anvil Athletics, you should do it. Some huge names in weightlifting will be running that... Jim Schmitz will be teaching that along with Butch Curry and I'm sure that alone will give you some great insight to some info that you probably won't find anywhere else.

I'm USAW certified and I'm sure Burgener puts on a great CF Oly cert... but as a general rule though... I would think the USAW is a more universally accepted cert (and it's cheaper). Of course, I say if you really want to LEARN the lifts and learn how to coach them, a 2-day cert is nowhere close to enough.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
Keith Martin
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

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Old 04-17-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
Theo Tsekouras
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

Remember, burgner is a international USAW coach. Go with USAW. Reason being, as of now, it carries more weight in the community. The way CrossFit is headed though, theirs will be top notch as well. Either way, 2 days will not make you proficient. You have to study, learn, apply, fail, regather & attempt anew. Loves me some oly
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
John Kaupp
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

Brendan,
If money is tight, I would say no. You will be able to get a better feel for programming looking at different sites and what may, may not work for your athletes. The problem borrowing somenone's program and applying it word for word is that you don't necessarily know who is was programmed for and if it will help you or your athetes in a wholesale fashion. Try to get a feel for what the end goal is and how best to apply it to you or your athletes and their weaknesses.
I did my USAW cert with Coach B back in 2005. I don't know if it has changed since then, but a good an two hours each day was dedicated to classroom time going over weight classes, meet setup, rules, etc. Only went over the very basics of programming. Calculating volume, basic periodization.
The CF cert is better in terms of going over technique, positions, assistance exercises and identifying weakness.
The best thing to do for programming advice is to find some local weightlifting clubs or gyms in the area and sit in on some of their sessions if they are willing and ask questions to the point of being just short of annoying.

If you would rather put your money towards a vacation, come out and see me in Monterey, CA. Or email me a kaupp58@hotmail.com
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #7
Brendan McNamar
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Galo View Post
Brendan, if you're talking about the cert at Anvil Athletics
Yep that's the one. Hard to turn down a good cert. 2 miles away from my gym/house. By my normal schedule I still get to sleep in and go.

So along the same lines what are good sources for learning beyond the basics of teaching the lifts? I kind of get the feeling so much of this Oly lifting information is passed around by word of mouth from coach to coach. Unlike power lifting where the information is much more widely available. Of course this might just be because I'm in the U.S.A. and power lifting is much more popular here.

Unfortunately I don't have free time for side projects at this point in time. Hopefully in a year or less I'll have a couple of good trainers to free up some of my time for the longer term projects. Until then it has to be weekend certs., books and the internet.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
Jeremy Galo
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
Yep that's the one. Hard to turn down a good cert. 2 miles away from my gym/house. By my normal schedule I still get to sleep in and go.

So along the same lines what are good sources for learning beyond the basics of teaching the lifts? I kind of get the feeling so much of this Oly lifting information is passed around by word of mouth from coach to coach. Unlike power lifting where the information is much more widely available. Of course this might just be because I'm in the U.S.A. and power lifting is much more popular here.

Unfortunately I don't have free time for side projects at this point in time. Hopefully in a year or less I'll have a couple of good trainers to free up some of my time for the longer term projects. Until then it has to be weekend certs., books and the internet.
The best source for learning beyond the basics is to go learn from experts. As one who studies and reads all the time about any topic, I can humbly say that there is seriously no substitute for experience. Books, certs, and internet are great tools, but you have access to some of the best lifters in the US only 2 miles from your house. The cert is a good place to start, but it's definitely not enough. Alex Lee (a world class level lifter) lifts there a couple days a week (and the rest of the week, he's with us at East Valley CF) and Summer Krasinski is a consistent national level lifter that can outlift most guys. Certs are great, but there are always nuances. And troubleshooting specific issues for specific lifters that plateau goes beyond 2-day certs.

I think we all know that the "free time" thing is an excuse. If it's important to you, you'll make time. If not, you'll make an excuse. I'm not saying go FULL TIME, but why not go out there and lift once a week with them and bring your coaches (That's 1-2 hours a week... surely you can find that time). Just remember, in the time it takes you to READ a chapter, WATCH a video, or REMEMBER something from a cert, you could have been in the gym actually learning it properly and FEELING the right way to do it. In less than 6 months of ONCE a week lifting under proper supervision you'll make more progress than a year of self-coaching and a 2 day cert.

Just my 2 cents

If you're dead set on internet resources:
www.pendlayforum.com (WFS) will get you better specific weightlifting info/discussions
www.californiastrength.com (WFS) has many how-to videos
www.cathletics.com (WFS) has many demos and helpful videos
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Last edited by Jeremy Galo : 04-18-2012 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
Brendan McNamar
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

It is not my own lifting that I want to improve (though I'm sure I need plenty of improvement). I want to learn how to coach others better. So being coached myself only teaches me to correct people like myself.

What I really need is to go hang out at California Strength for like a month of observing their training sessions. Unfortunately there is no way for that to happen.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:45 PM   #10
Jeremy Galo
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Re: USAW Cert. vrs. CrossFit Oly Cert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
It is not my own lifting that I want to improve (though I'm sure I need plenty of improvement). I want to learn how to coach others better. So being coached myself only teaches me to correct people like myself.

What I really need is to go hang out at California Strength for like a month of observing their training sessions. Unfortunately there is no way for that to happen.
You're taking a pretty narrow view of your own lifting if that's how you view it. I'd wager that EVERY portion of your lifting will need work.

every.single.thing.

Unless you think portions of your lifting is perfect (It's not), then coaching others like yourself will be luckily all-inclusive. Outside of rote beginners, the difference in coaching others differs by DEGREE and not KIND (sound familiar?). Everybody will cut their pull short to some degree, everybody will bend their arms early to some degree...etc... but the fixes will be similar. But you won't be able to spot those mistakes and fix them as easily unless you've gone through the same work yourself.

While I learned a fair amount of info at my USAW cert, reading books upon books on weightlifting, and watched countless videos from all the sites I posted along with many random youtube videos... I can safely say I learned more from 6 months of actual weightlifting coached by qualified weightlifting coaches.
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Last edited by Jeremy Galo : 04-18-2012 at 01:54 PM.
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