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Old 09-23-2007, 06:18 PM   #1
Mike Marin
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Going back to school

Ever since I was in High school I loved working out, and I loved helping others working out. Somewhere in my life's journey, the office job came to me and took over my life for almost 10 years. But now I'm ready to go back to what I loved the most - Working out/working others out.

I'm planning to go back to school and getting my B.S. in Kinesiology/exercise physiology. Along with as many Certs as I can accumilate, starting with the Crossfit L-1.

Can anyone give me some advice or insight on whether it'd be a good move or not? Or if maybe there's another degree i should look into? I really want to be a Personal trainer, and a coach of some kind.

Thanks!!
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:14 PM   #2
Jon Gilson
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Re: Going back to school

Mike,

Unless you're looking to coach at the professional/collegiate level, you may want to skip the B.S. (figuratively and literally). At a cost of $20,000+, you could get a heck of a world-class education outside the classroom for the same price.

That's hundreds of hours of personal training with the best in the business, a dozen certifications, and enough left to travel to the far corners of the globe--twice.

Unless you have an absolute inability to get yourself to study, retain, understand, execute, and reiterate, my opinion places you outside the classroom and at the side of the best coaches alive. Go lift with Burgener in SoCal and visit the Olympic Training Center. Visit Santa Cruz for your Level I, and go back after you've got some real world experience for your II. Learn powerlifting from Coach Rip. Visit a local Highland Games competition, where you'll meet some of the best throwers on earth, and then ask very politely where they train. Take notes, absorb, and talk as little as possible.

Apply everything you learn to your own training, and reach the 90th percentile in terms of performance.

Find a few folks who want to know what you know, and do your damndest to teach it to them. Once you've done this, go watch some other Coaches teach their athletes. It's amazing how much you can learn by training under/observing a fantastic coach.

Look into NSCA certifications (your choice), USA Weightlifting Certs, the outstanding USA Track and Field Coaching Certifications. Find a sport that has nothing to do with CrossFit, and see if you can apply the principles of athletic movement to that sport. When things get stale, do everything I recommended to this point again: train hard, visit the best, get a new Cert.

Most of all, dedicate yourself to developing a personal philosophy on movement and an ability to communicate that philosophy clearly.

You can mail me a check for the difference

Best,

Jon
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:30 PM   #3
Jay Cohen
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Re: Going back to school

Damn Jon, that post was great, will you adopt me?
Good stuff, obviously your blog writing is really tuning your literary skills, that was good.
You should paste in that latest blog article.
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Old 09-24-2007, 03:40 PM   #4
Derek Maffett
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Re: Going back to school

Good post, Jon. Definitely something for me to think about.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:58 PM   #5
Adam Head
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Re: Going back to school

Mike, You just got some amazing advice.

Jon, I'm inspired even more now.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:48 AM   #6
Mike Marin
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Re: Going back to school

Jon, thank you. Your post TRULY inpired me and cleared up a lot of the questions I had.

My biggest concern was whether a degree would give me some kind of professional advantage as opposed to just having Certs.

A very good friend of mine has her Bachelor's in Kinesiology and says that filling out applications is a joke when it comes to the "education" part. But other than, she really doesn't use it.
I don't plan to coach a professional team or nothin'. But since i live in L.A., a super-model, maybe an actress or two would be just fine for me.

Another concern I had/have is the saturation of trainers in L.A. I go to the now famous Santa Monica Steps every friday and there's usually about 5-6 trainers within a 30ft. span - including Owen Mckibbin, the guy who's article inspired me to want to become a trainer 9-10 years ago.

I just want to make sure that I'll always be able to put food (Zone friendly, ofcourse) on my table. Like any new endeavor, it's scary.

But you put it so simply and easy: Learn how to train from text books? Or from Coach B., Coach Rip and Coach, etc.? NO BRAINER!!

Again,
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:25 AM   #7
Jon Gilson
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Re: Going back to school

Glad to help, Mike! If you'd like to talk about dealing with the uncertainty of leaving a safe career track for the gym, shoot me an email.

Over the last two years, I slowly phased my "career" out of my life, leaving a salary to train full-time. It was a very scary decision to put in my notice, but I haven't regretted it for a moment. In the end, these things have a way of working out.

Stop thinking about what you have to lose and start thinking about what you have to gain--freedom of time, freedom of place, and the ability to dictate your own terms of employment.

It's a beautiful thing!

Best,

Jon
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:26 PM   #8
Adam Head
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Re: Going back to school

Mike,
If you really want to learn CF, why not go check out Valley CrossFit or Petranek Fitness (also LA)? And do what Jon said. (I'm saving my nickels as we speak )

Adam Head
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