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

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Old 07-25-2013, 07:45 AM   #1
Joel Edwards
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What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

I'm currently looking into schools and programs, but what was wondering what the "Community" thought would be the best degree to go along with a CF-Level 1 Cert. Primarily, what would be the best to start coaching. I'm new to the whole personal trainer/coaching world, and wanted to continue to learn and grow in the field. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
Paulo Santos
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

It kind of depends on what you like to do and who you want to train. If it is strictly CrossFit related, I'd get an Olympic Weightlifting Certification, Powerlifting, Kettlebells.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:00 AM   #3
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

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Originally Posted by Joel Edwards View Post
I'm currently looking into schools and programs, but what was wondering what the "Community" thought would be the best degree to go along with a CF-Level 1 Cert. Primarily, what would be the best to start coaching. I'm new to the whole personal trainer/coaching world, and wanted to continue to learn and grow in the field. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
A degree in Kinesiology or Exercise Physiology would be helpful.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:04 AM   #4
Richard Colon
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

save your money.

spend it instead on books. go to seminars. buy a nice squat rack, a good bar and some plates. start lifting - A LOT. A degree won't teach you what it feels like to be pinned under 400lbs but you learn quickly when it keeps happening to you and why. study youtube (you learn quickly what to ignore but there are free videos on the net of people sharing knowledge that have forgotten more than you'll know.) Study coaches and trainers that you respect. try and analyze their programming - breaking it down. Understand their consistency among them. Do they ALL program olympic lifts? If so, is it often before strength work? After? Or does it replace the strength work entirely?

spend your money on a good coach yourself. Learn the O-lifts. Get another cert. RKC if Kettlebells are your thing. Wanna Powerlift? See how you can get into some westside barbell/Elite FTS type of cert/seminar thing.

I'm all for education. I have 2 college degrees (unrelated to fitness) and 4 certifications related to fitness - and one is 50hours of practice cert, not just a quick flash 2 day thing. On the job training as they say is king.

I've learned by practicing the moves I coach/teach every single day and volunteering (literally free training) for years on various clients than the education will teach. Will an actual exercise science/kinesiology degree help?

Sure... but when I look at/think of Bela Karoli (sp?), Abadjiev (sp?), top Olympic coaches, Burgener lets say in the Crossfit world, Outlaw and Rudy, DeFranco, Ben Bergeron, OPT, Thibadeau (bodybuilding world), Simmons, Dave Tate, Matt Wichlinski, CJ Martin at Invictus, and other people I follow or respect - I have no clue if they have a degree. and I don't care. Point is, of course education can be great but don't let it bog you down and put you into a 2-4yr process of preparing to learn how to be better. Don't let the financial commitment burden you from starting something now or getting involved with something now. A full degree - say a 4yr B.S. in Exercise Science costs a lot. With that, you could go to a seminar in 2 months with the strongest dudes in the nation. You could pay some top end coach for a week to teach you foundation stuff to base off of. You could fly to Cookeville or NorCal and pay a temporary month maybe and see if you can hang around Froning or the Khalipa crew. Certs are certs but education, while great - we are talking 10s upon 10s of thousands of dollars and years of investment.

You need to decide that for yourself, just givin' some insight.

now if you are talking about therapy or rehab then don't pretend to be a DR. and diagnose if you aren't one. There is a difference. Physical Therapists, Orthopedic Surgeons, specialists, nutritionists, dieticians, chiropractors, etc. A lot of that is legal stuff. I have a client that is a doctor twice! Seriously. 2 specialties and each in cardiac. He still doesn't grasp (well not from a training perspective) why Burpees and Med ball slams make his heart feel the way it does. We are talking about someone with 20+yrs of degree knowledge related to the same muscles that are trained day in and day out...

Last edited by Richard Colon : 07-25-2013 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:18 AM   #5
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

If you have poor background, a degree, or at least a few classes would help to understand everything. The only thing I think college is good for (a guy who hates school) is you are forced to learn things that you otherwise might not give the time of day yourself. You don't get to choose what the prof teaches. Now, you might or might not want to take nutrition classes. If you like to get all your advice from paleo bloggers, you will not like college nutrition classes. I have taken many ACSM oriented courses as filler for my Pre-PT undergrad. I learn a lot from them in a short period that would have taken longer had it not be facilitated for me. I am sure I would have learned it eventually but sometimes it is nice to streamline things.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:29 AM   #6
Steven Wingo
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

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A degree in Kinesiology or Exercise Physiology would be helpful.
The bottom line is you can have any degree or no degree at all. If you are looking for something specific to athletic training to become an expert, however, I agree Kinesiology or Exercise Physiology is a way to go--particularly Kinesiology. Exercise physiology is relatively easy stuff if you ask me and you can learn on your own there. Kinesiology is more difficult and formal training is probably more important.

Ultimately, however, you need to be a great motivator and relate to people really well to be a great coach. The basic movements and designing workouts are the easy part. Working with a wide variety of people, interacting with them, motivating them, changing their behavior--that is the harder part.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #7
Matthew Vesey
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

I would also toss some Psychology in there. I am looking at pursuing a masters in Sports Psyc after my degree. Understanding the mind and how to motivate people would also go a long way. If you could do Kin with minors in psychology (specifically looking at Motivation, Behavioural Psyc and Sports Psyc) or A Psyc Degree with minors in Kinesiology-centred programs, it would greatly assist you.

My plan and the way it is looking currently is:
1) Criminology Degree with a Focus in Psyc and a Minor in Law will be done in 1 year. After that degree I would need about 1 more year of schooling to get a Psyc Degree with a minor in Biology (specifically Human Physiology within that). After those degrees, higher education in which Sport Psyc becomes a masters and potential PHD candidate.

If I had to do it all over again, I would personally go Kinesiology with a minor in Psychology (focusing on the above courses) with my second option being Psyc with minor is Kinesiology and focusing on higher learning for a sport psyc masters.
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Old 07-25-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

Karolyi was a boxer and a hammer thrower while his wife was a gymnast. In college he started coaching gymnastics after studying and practicing gymnastics and the rest is history.

Abadjiev wrote a paper stating his methods going into microbiology but I haven't confirmed whether he went to university. More than likely he went to a sports school before or after his career as a lifter as most communist athletes did.

If it's CrossFit, you go to everything CrossFit and it wouldn't hurt getting and putting some actual time in Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, and Powerlifting.

CSCS is something to think about as well.
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Old 07-25-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
Pearse Shields
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

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Originally Posted by Bill M. Hesse View Post
A degree in Kinesiology or Exercise Physiology would be helpful.
These look good on paper as well as helping give a grasp of theory. I'm just starting into a degree majoring in Physiology myself.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:04 PM   #10
Joel Edwards
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Re: What's the best degree for CF-Level 1 Cert

Thanks to all for your responses. I wanted to pose this question without giving a lot of background just to see what the responses would be, and they are helpful. I've been Crossfitting for about 5 years now, just got my cert in Feb. with no real intentions of doing anything with it. I just wanted to do the class for my own personal benefit. Anyways, I've just started getting more and more people coming to my house to workout and it's got me thinking that this may be something I could do full-time. Not necessarily from my house, but maybe at a local affiliate. Since I've got this GI Bill wasting away, I figured maybe I'd put it to use with something that could help towards this idea. I'm a Training Instructor by trade (Security, Firearms), and when I teach it's all about the "why". Why do it this way, why hold it that way, etc. Sometimes when I'm talking about/coaching Crossfit, I don't always feel like I know the "why" or at least how to properly explain it. I know I need to go to more CF Certs, but the GI Bill doesn't cover that. Thanks again for your help, and I'll be looking into those fields mentioned in the earlier posts.
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