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Old 04-05-2007, 09:06 AM   #1
Steve Shafley
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Default XF PL Cert

Disclaimer: Mild Assholishness. "Sheeple" Confusion.



I have to confess that I'm conflicted.

On one hand, I think Rippetoe and Kilgore had some good things to say in "Starting Strength" and "Practical Programming."

On the other hand...these lifts aren't that difficult. Neither is their programming.

The whole "certification" thing throws me too. Powerlifting is a sport, much like Olympic lifting is. You don't need to be "certified" to compete, or to even practice the lifts. I mean, come on, you need to be "certified" to show some average man or woman how to bench press? These aren't high skill lifts like the OLs.

I think there are much better options out there. Here they are:

1. Visit WSB in Columbus, OH. Call Louie. Ask to visit. Visit. See the machine in operation. Buy him, and maybe a few other guys lunch. Pick the brain of the most eclectic and creative thinkers in powerlifting. A man who lives and breathes powerlifting. Guess what...he won't care if you lift raw and the price is free.

2. Go to an EliteFTS seminar. Yeah, this costs money, but you are exposed to people who've lifting and coached at the highest levels, and who've given many, many seminars. And who give back to the sport of Powerlifting.

3. Find the local group of powerlifters to lift with. Cost: Gym membership at that gym, MAYBE. Make a new group of friends.

I understand there is money to be made. And I understand that guys like Rip and Kilgore probably could use the extra cash. They've put their time in, coaching and lifting, that's for sure.

This is just me, but I have a very hard time with the whole process of "selling out". I mean, man, I'd love to make some money, but I can't quite bring myself to do it the way the Matt Furey or Ryan Lee folks set it up. I do like the business model of Crossfit and the way they are working things and promoting stuff like OL, PL, and gymnastics, but I think the price of certifications are getting out of hand.

Just my $0.02...like I mentioned elsewhere, I'm glad to see Mike Burgener is making a bit of money after decades of hard work coaching Olympic lifters. I feel mostly the same about Rip and Kilgore.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:13 AM   #2
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Sometimes I get worried that I'm walking the path of Holden Caulfield, but instead of getting unhinged about things that are "fake", I get unhinged when I see stuff like the Furey Inner Circle or Ryan Lee methods of marketing something like fitness and stuff.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:11 AM   #3
Danny John
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Well, my coaches weren't certified to coach. Coach Ralph Maughan wrote the throwing section of the Rules Handbook and he never took the workshop on how to coach.

I agree with you about certs. I learned more going to an O lift meet than any clinic...same with track, too. Being "certified" to coach football for example would get you laughed out of the coach's office here at work.

I think the reason I have a hard time charging people is that the best coaching I have had, Dick Notmeyer, Ralph Maughan, Bob Lualhati among others, has been from people from the trenches sharing with me their passion.

So, I have no issue with making money on this stuff, but I feel that I still owe more than I should receive.

I'm still dumb enough to think that learning from the best of the best (Brian Oldfield, Juri Sedyk, John Powell, Andy Bloom, Mark Twight and many many others) is the way to learn a discipline.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:20 AM   #4
Mike ODonnell
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instruction and learning seminar is one thing.....certification is just silly....too many organizations out there giving certs for "Swiss Ball".."Core".."Bicep curls" etc....it's a business at that point....hey want more money? Come up with another way to certify people so they can put it on some business card and look professional.......people are selling out all day long....Oprah's trainer makes more money than me saying that side leg lifts are the way to tone the glutes....just the way the world works....Money is the big factor of course. Not that it wouldn't be worth the money to have Rip do a 2 day seminar. From a business point of view....great idea...you have people willing to shell out $ for anything you offer....so expand your offerings and that same group will have something new to buy into. Business 101 and yes I would do the same. To get educated by the best like Rip. it's worth paying some money....but until the whole training industry comes under some sort of national certification program...people can do and will do what ever they want....

Reminds me of the whole bootcamp industry.....get 40 people running around doing bodyweight stuff for an hour for $20 a head....the person running it looks like a business genious making $800/hr....people get a value compared to personal training rates....but there is no way anyone is worth $800/hr to tell people to do pushups and run around....but would I complain if I had that business? Ummmm....No...
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:19 AM   #5
Derek Simonds
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IMHO Certifications do two things;

1) They show that you have basic understanding of the field you are certified in.
2) They (just like a college degree) show you have the capacity for learning.

I hire technical people all the time (tech support, graphic artist, web developers, programmers) and certifications might help get an interview but not the job. In fact the majority of my hiring decisions have been made based on prior practical application of the skill I am looking for at that moment. I have interviewed plenty of applicants who have certifications but couldn't perform the most basic requirements required for the job.

A very basic certification for Tech Support is the A+ cert. It is a total joke. The only reason it exists is for the company providing the certification to make money. They have done a good job marketing that an A+ technician has a solid knowledge base. Maybe, but a lot of people who show up with the cert couldn't diagnose a tech support problem if their life depended on it.

Interestingly enough if you apply the above to PT I think there is a large overlap. I don't know if a xFit PL cert has enough marketing behind it that it would carry any weight in a hiring or consideration decision.

A good trainer will have knowledge of many different exercises, protocols and programming options. They should also have a body of work (no pun intended) that can be used as a reference point.

I agree with what DJ was saying in that he learned more at an O lift meet or a Track and Field meet than in a certification or seminar. It is pretty simple, there is a huge gap between knowingness and doingness. Certification shows some level of knowingness but participation and results are doingness.

I have no problem with making a profit and I have no problem with supporting the people that are providing me with information. I agree with MOD if DJ or Robb, Greg, Mike Mahler, Alwyn Cosgrove (to name a few) were doing a seminar that fit into my schedule I would be there. For a couple of reasons, one I am confident that I would learn a ton from any of them, and two they all have shared information "from the trenches with passion" freely.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:58 AM   #6
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Certs are supposed to have a standardized test at the end to make sure you know the information that was presented....otherwise it's just a seminar in disguise. Certs are presented for the most part to make the certifying business make money....seminars are personal investments by people to learn more...for the most part, only a few certs carry any weight in the training industry...the rest are just resume builders for those who want to impress the general public who don't know better.

Life and personal experience of yours or someone else is far better than what any standard course can teach you...
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:54 PM   #7
Steve Liberati
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While I agree in large part with the above...let's not dismiss the fact that most people make decisions NOT based on the facts, but rather the story they tell themselves (i.e this guy is the best in the business, I read his books and would love to see him live, etc). They've come to trust and believe in CrossFit and as a result, guys in the extended network like Rip and Mike B have full permission to market their services to the community at rates well above market value.

Sure you can get a better deal elsewhere but these guys win b/c they have a captivated audience waiting and wanting more. Damn right you can find a better less expensive cup of coffee than Starbucks but you'll be hard pressed to find a coffee shop with such a long line going out the door. Demand follows popularity.
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Liberati View Post
Damn right you can find a better less expensive cup of coffee than Starbucks but you'll be hard pressed to find a coffee shop with such a long line going out the door.
I go to Cariboo Coffee now....got sick of Starbuck's attitude. lol
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:13 PM   #9
Steve Shafley
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I make my own.

I am only one step away from actually starting to roast the beans myself.

A metaphor, right there.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:14 PM   #10
Steve Shafley
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And, shit, I understand the money behind the equation.

Like I said...it's something that bugs me.
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