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Old 08-21-2008, 12:51 PM   #21
Sean Dunston
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

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My comment is, unless you’re planning to affiliate, attending a two day Cert for $1,000 is NOT the best value. The support material is a bunch of back issues of the Journal, which the last time I checked, were not even referenced or indexed, let alone printed. You have 5-6 hours of lecture, 7 hands on breakout sessions which vary in quality, pending your instructors, 2 hours of doing Fran-FGB and some Misc stuff. End of day Sunday, off you go with a Level 1 Cert doc. If you plan to affiliate, then you’re set to go with starting that process, if not, then its back home to use your new found skills and knowledge.
hohhhh cheese...



Value is in the eye of the beholder.

Okay - I began training with my Affiliate's owner, prior to him being affiliated, and I was one of the "founding members" of the Affiliate when it did open in July 2007. I generally go to WODs at the Affiliate 4 or 5 times per week. I have subscribed to the CFJ for almost a year.

I never had formal weight training growing up - I was on my HS wrestling team - and everything we did was bodyweight (or partner's bodyweight) - especially for those of us at the lightest end of the weight classes. I believe I learned a TON from the instruction I received from the 3 different trainers at my affiliate, but I still wanted to attend a Cert because I WANTED to learn more. I could not -- and probably should not -- have even tried to learn the olympic and power lifts on my own, and I definitely would not have gone up in weights as much and as quickly as I did without a good, motivated trainer who believed in me, knew my abilities and was not afraid to push me. Thus, I NEEDED to be a member of an affiliate to even BEGIN CrossFit.

I attended a Level I Cert in May 2008. Even though I have been trained 4-5 times per week in my WODs, and I have been subscriber to the CFJ for a long time, I still found the materials (all of the CFJs) incredibly helpful and the experience at the Cert to be absolutely enlightening.

First of all - I have a hard time believing the assertion made that the quality of the instruction at a Level I Cert would vary (at least, not by much) since the instructors at Level I Certs are all Level II certified - and the Level II Certification is not a cake walk (rumor has it, they have less than a 50% pass rate).

Secondly - for the WODs that you do at a Level I cert, there is INTENSIVE instruction on form for each movement prior to the WODs. This is incredibly useful and it gives the attendee coaching cues (for himself, and if he trains others, for other people too) as long as he is aware of what is being said and what he is doing.

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Wouldn’t that person NOT planning to Personal Train or Affiliate, be better off going to an Affiliate, spending 2,3,4 days working 1 on 1 with a trainer, say 3-4 hours per day. That person would leave with a much better skill set then just the 6-7 basic exercises that are taught at the cert and the affiliate would make money. Even if the attendee had to fly in, get a room, he’d still have to do that with attending a Cert.
Short answer -- not in my opinion. That is not a knock against my affiliate, because I think (and know) that my trainers are all excellent. It just comes down to the person and how he/she learns best.

If you like to be spoon fed little bites, then attending an affiliate is fantastic. Believe me - I've done it and I still do it and don't plan to stop.

If you like the occasional bender where everyone is like-minded (they are there to learn and get the most out of their 2 day experience) and is eager to cram as much -- fill in the blank -- as possible over 2 days, then a Cert is the way to go. Again, I can say: believe me - I've done it, and I still do it (I am signed up for a gymnastics Cert next month) and don't plan to stop!
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Last edited by Sean Dunston : 08-21-2008 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 08-21-2008, 01:38 PM   #22
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

Elliot,
My experience suggests to me that there is much to learn from the cert even after an excessive time spent on the boards. At the Level 1 cert we get the party line without the other influences that the board has. The converse is also true IMO, I can extract more knowledge out of the boards and videos etc, because I have the entry level knowledge.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:26 PM   #23
Brandon Oto
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

Jay, all I want to point out is how enthusiastically you were recommending certs way back when.
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Old 08-21-2008, 03:43 PM   #24
Derek Maffett
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

I agree that a good coach is better than a cert. However, you can get a lot out of those two days if you pay attention.

As an example, my Olympic lifting was pretty pathetic before I went to the CA cert, but now I have a good idea of what I'm doing and I can analyze my own lifting, correcting mistakes. It's not even remotely similar to having a coach, but it's the best I can do for now. Maybe the Level 1 isn't of as great quality? Can't say as I haven't been to one.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:01 PM   #25
Jay Cohen
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Jay, all I want to point out is how enthusiastically you were recommending certs way back when.
You're absoulety correct, but as I think back, the skills that I picked up and improved on at local affiliates, attending Greg E, Coach B and Coach Rip, all cheaper then 1K, and the fact that Certs are running like friggin wild, made me reconsider.

Again, I rather pay for one on one for 15-20 hours at a kick butt affiliate, then standing out in a cold parking lot with PVC doing 20 minutes of p, pp, pj. I've been to about 6 different AF's and these guy know there stuff. I have Rogue, Hyperfit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, DC, VA all within driving distance, and most of the time, someone will put me up, hence, no plane, no hotel.

1,000 bucks is ALOT of money, and while we blast the rubber stamped work shops and Certs in the rest of the fitness industry, come Sunday afternoon, you ain't got much with a Level 1 Cert doc.
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:11 PM   #26
Derek Franks
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

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Originally Posted by Brandon Oto View Post
Jay, all I want to point out is how enthusiastically you were recommending certs way back when.
Pot... Kettle... Black...
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Old 08-21-2008, 04:13 PM   #27
Brandon Oto
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

Pardon?
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:00 PM   #28
Stephen Flamm
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

Was waiting for this...
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #29
Elliot Fuller
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

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Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr View Post
Elliot,
My experience suggests to me that there is much to learn from the cert even after an excessive time spent on the boards. At the Level 1 cert we get the party line without the other influences that the board has. The converse is also true IMO, I can extract more knowledge out of the boards and videos etc, because I have the entry level knowledge.
You're right, Robert. I wasn't trying to suggest that the boards are really a substitute for the certs. However, I do agree with Jay, in that essential knowledge and skills can be acquired from the boards, cfj, and affiliates, without the price that accompanies a cert, of which the primary goal is ultimately to affiliate or qualify to affiliate.

Just suggesting (or seconding, rather) that if the goal isn't necessarily to affiliate, then similar, equal, or even better/more thorough "training" can be achieved independently for probably a lower price. Not bashing on the certs by any means...
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:10 PM   #30
Stephen Flamm
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Re: Certs-Cash Cow and Over Hyped.

On a more serious note (at least to Mr. Cohen)...

I actually looked at my level I cert almost as a fantasy camp for CFers, in which I would meet the founder (Mr. Glassman was in attendance), receive instruction from top-notch instructors (Pat Sherwood, Andy Thompson, Jeff Tincher), soak up lectures from the likes of Nicole Carroll and Dave Castro, and interact with a community as obsessed as I was. I got all of that, and that alone would have been worth the money for me.

On top of all of that, I also witnessed true intensity for the first time, and a tiny affiliate-opening seed was planted in my heart. I'm on that path now, so in effect, the cert truly was life-altering.

Many of the afore-mentioned could occur through visiting local affiliates, but certainly not all (come on, Glassman, Castro, and Nicole?), and definitely not in one weekend. Whether an experience like that is worth the money for everyone is unclear. I would have paid much more, in retrospect.
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