Certifications & What They Mean

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by Madmick, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Okay, I'm as big a hater of CPT's as anyone, because most are ignorant of strength & conditioning, but in the "Joining a Gym" thread there were a lot of assumptions and misinformation and very little actual information being exchanged. Bas Fan was the only one in that thread demonstrating an actual knowledge of these certifications and their distinctions.

    Instead of posting in that thread, I thought it was important enough that everyone got at least a primer on the Strength & Conditioning world and its certifations. This is far from a complete list.

    Here are some organizations you should know that you can trust:
    NSCA= National Strength & Conditioning Association
    NASM= National Academy of Sports Medicine
    NATA= National Athletic Trainers Association
    ACSM= American College of Sports Medicine

    Here are some common certifications you'll see on business cards at the gym:
    PT= Physical Therapist
    ATC= Certified Athletic Trainer
    CSCS= Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
    PES= Performance Enhancement Specialist
    CPT= Certified Personal Trainer

    Physical Therapist (PT)
    Requires: 5 years of graduate level study.
    Rehabilitative. You know what they do.

    Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)
    Certifier: NSCA
    This is an exceptionally challenging certification to acquire, and these trainers are mainly devoted to preventing injury, although they also rehabilitate. They usually work as part of a sports medicine team with professional athletic teams, and tend the athletes before, during, and after games. They must have a working knowledge of which exercises an athlete may do without injuring himself, which exercises will strengthen a previously injured area or muscle so that it won't be reinjured, and which exercises are best for preventing injury in that particular sport altogether.

    Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
    Certifier: NSCA
    The standard in the strength and conditioning world. Nearly every professional trainer has one. If they don't have one, they have a M.S. or Ph.D., and usually (when they do have graduate degrees), they have it in addition to these. The text on which the test is based is "Essentials of Strength & Conditioning," but a bachelor's degree and professional first aid certification are required to sit for the test (although the B.A. doesn't have to be in a related field). They are devoted to strength and conditioning for athletics where CPT's are devoted to aesthetics and general fitness.

    Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES)
    Certifier: NASM
    In order to be a head trainer in the NBA, you must have this credential. My boss told me it actually wasn't as challenging as the CSCS test, but you must have a bachelor's degree in a related field (you can't be an English B.A. and sit for the test). The core texts are all provided by the NASM, you can't access them without purchasing the course. This is really the NASM's version of a CSCS, but not nearly as prevalent. It's unlikely you'd see a PES that wasn't already a CSCS, but if you do, you can trust this certification demonstrates a reasonable knowledge of strength and conditioning.

    Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
    Certifier: Too many to list
    As BasFan already pointed out, not every CPT certification is bad. I agree that 95% of them are underinformed, especially concerning strength and conditioning, but their job is to get you pretty, not strong. Two CPT's that are considered reputable are the ones issued by the NSCA (as Bas Fan already mentioned) and the NASM. I think there are a few more that are good, but these two are considered a head above everyone else. Something like 75 organizations issue a CPT, and many are just total crap; it's a "Send in $500, we send you a plaque" kind of deal.
    Even in the NSCA and NASM, you aren't required to have a bachelor's degree to sit for the test, but they do require professional first aid.
    For the NSCA, you can purchase the core text: "Essentials of Personal Training."
     
  2. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Amateur Fighter

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    I always believe that a certification is just a feather in your cap. I know one trainer in my gym with several certificate but he can't make a decent program or even teach proper form. Just goes to show that you can memorize everything but if you can't apply it, the certificate is worthless.
     
  3. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    What are his certifications?

    Sorry, but you're blanketing, and I think your statement is untrue. You realize an M.D. is a certificate, right?
     
  4. pbradish

    pbradish Guest

    Even though "it doesn't mean anything" I kindof want a certification or two just to have. I'm not sure why really. Just, you know, something to throw on the wall in my home gym or next to my computer certifications or something.

    Anyone else want one, just to have one?
     
  5. pbradish

    pbradish Guest

    Madmick, thank you for this thread by the way... It explained quite a bit to me.

    A+
     
  6. Sean S

    Sean S Brown Belt

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    Blah just figured out you were talking about the first sentence... Nothing to see here.

    Good post though.
     
  7. my big toe

    my big toe Yellow Belt

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    Great post Madmick, thanks for answering my question. I think it's like anything else, the certification tests give you a baseline knowledge, but real-world experience counts for a lot as well. The physical therapy center that I go to has some really good PT'ers and some not so good (i.e. less experienced). And we all know that there's some really good coaches that don't have any certs, but in the professional world, many employeers and trainees like that warm-fuzzy feeling knowing that the coach/therapist passed some standard test.
     
  8. good info.
     
  9. PariahCarey

    PariahCarey Purple Belt

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    +1

    Certificates, titles, badges, etc...

    ...are needed so incompotent/impotent people can get a job, form an identity, take their proper place in society...no not everyone who has certificate is a drone...but i see alot of insects these days. Alot of knowledge but little ability to think. MD's? BAHAHA. Good luck getting better with one of those.

    The Guide by Timothy Leary

    In the greatest sessions
    One does not know there is a guide
    In the next best sessions
    One praises the guide
    It is sad when
    One fears the guide
    The worst is that
    One pays him...
     
  10. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    You are certifiably a fucking moron.
     
  11. PariahCarey

    PariahCarey Purple Belt

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    Madmick, why must you get so personal from an opposing point of view? It really is silly. Your insults i find amusing cause they have no effect on me but say volumes about you...
     
  12. Rjkd12

    Rjkd12 Certified Bastard

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    Its funny that all the people who are bashing certifications don't have any. Getting your M.D. or PhD is really easy. So is winning the UFC belt (which is a certification). Winning the heavyweight tourny in pride doesn't mean anything either, its just a feather in your cap. You have no idea how many times me, who hasn't even passed being a white belt, has whooped the ass of so many UFC guys who have shitty certs such as "black belt" and "Naga champion." I would take a cancer diagnosis from my doctor as quickly as I would the janitor that washes his floor since they are probably equally competent.

    Granted I have seen PhD's who are not that bright outside of a book and I have seen personal trainers that don't know anything. That doesn't mean getting that cert doesn't prove anything. Prove me wrong, those who think a cert is stupid, why don't you take the test, pass it and then make the world a better place by sharing your vast knowledge (which most likely came from a book somewhere)?

    What do you do for a living? Do you, or are you going to get one of those dumb certifications called a "High School Diploma?" If you did you would probably know the difference between
     
  13. Rjkd12

    Rjkd12 Certified Bastard

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    Ha, you have no idea how many people I know who write for big newspapers who don't know anything? Personally from posting on sherdog I find myself just as qualified as you. Jobs for big newspapers are for impotent/incompetent people. English and writing degrees are for morons to attempt to prove they know something.
     
  14. Sean S

    Sean S Brown Belt

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    Because he's calling a spade a spade. You, as far as I can tell, said that an MD is useless. Maybe you should be more specific as to why you said that.
     
  15. BoxingFanNoMore

    BoxingFanNoMore Blue Belt

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    Dude, you are a fucking tool. Spare us with the opposing point of view bs, and fashionable non-conformist poems.

    Do you think certified EMT's are incompetent/impotent? When you see people go into cardiac arrest do you just call a taxi to get them to the hospital, and just laugh at the incompetent/impotent person with the worthless certification, who is just trying to form an identity and get a job.

    I know of at least one HS wrestler, who sure is glad somebody got certified on how to use an AED.

    BTW, it is incompetent, not incompotent.
     
  16. PariahCarey

    PariahCarey Purple Belt

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    The title of this thread is" Certifications and What They Mean" and i stated what they meant in my post...
    ...we have become a society that once used titles, certificates, roles to serve us now we serve it.
    ...noncomformity is not a fashion to some jsut like Hip-Hop or Punk was not a fashion at one time
    ...i'm a freelance writer so i don't go on job interviews and yes newspapers/journalists suck worse than ever today, but being freelance i don't work for them it is somehwhat of an entrepreneurial endeavor that i'm doing while i do stand-up at dive clubs in nyc...but i was in the military and have worked different jobs so i know what politics and certificates do for each other
    ...no doubt i live in the matrix so i must pick and choose my battles so its not about black and white but light gray and dark gray...i belive i stated that not all are drones just most...there is a term some native american's use for a style of life that goes against the grain...its called "survivance." It is the act of surviving within the system while still being defiant of it.
    ...MD's status is way overrated...thus the second OPINION... one needs to ask questions and decide for themselves how to care for themselves...an education can do this for you...a certificate can not...the cancer argument is the extreme end of the argument and like asking a pacifist , "well what if i walked up to you and punched you in the head would you fight back then." But even after a diagnosis is made one must listen to their own voice about which course to follow...as you start dealing with doctors you'll see what i mean bro
    -you guys with the spelling/grammar corrections are so funny...
    ...you need to chill R2Djk2...i'm all for books...i'm all for knowledge...i have respect for the common person...but when it comes to getting the job done that trust must be earned that respect must be earned...i will not heed it because you have a certificate, a title, a uniform, fame, money, a certain family name, a rank,a collar, cause everybody says so...its how you do it that matters and defines who you are...
    ...we need more leaders...free thinkers...renegades (thats renegade not crimnal)...outside the box people...communicators. Less...ceritificates...suites...lawyers. Principles before techniques...people before forms...
    ...And BFNM i'm glad your HS wrestler friend had a compotent emergency personel treating him...
    ...and i love the sherdog forum for its raw communication and sharing i've learned alot and hopefully others have learned from me (although probably not alot on this thread).
     
  17. PariahCarey

    PariahCarey Purple Belt

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    I'm not a hippie like Tappin-U-Out used to call me...more like...a stoner metal-head JKD communicator...thats what the certificate should say for me...
    ...I'm in league with Satan
    I was raised in Hell
    I walk the streets of Salem
    amongst the living the dead
    don't need anyone to tell me
    whats wrong or right...
    ...look out...beware...when the fulls moons high and right...in every way...i'm there...every shadow into the night...
     
  18. wasptrash

    wasptrash cynical swine

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    I can't believe fucking personal training certifications are being compared to PhD's, MD's and EMT's. What the fuck. Personal training certifications are simply to comfort the exercise illiterate among us. Many of the certification programs can be obtained via mail or weekend course. How much can someone really learn from that? Go to your local gym and have a conversation with a certified trainer and you'll figure it out real quick. If you want to get strong, ask a strong person...if you want to get slick hair tips, ask a certified personal trainer
     
  19. BoxingFanNoMore

    BoxingFanNoMore Blue Belt

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    Jesus, were not just talking about CPT's. That was the whole point of the thread. Dont you see physical therapist on there?


    BTW, good post Madmick. I am sure some people will find it useful and helpful.
     
  20. my big toe

    my big toe Yellow Belt

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    Drifting...Drifting...Drifting...awaaay.

    A little boy inside a dream just the other day
    His mind fell out of his face and the wind blew it away
    A hand came out from heaven and pinned a badge on his chest
    It said 'Get out there, man, and do your best'

    They call him Astro Man
    And he's flyin' higher than
    That :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek: Superman ever could

    Oh, they call him Cosmic Nut
    And he's twice as dense as Donald Duck
    And he'll try his best toscrew you up
    The rest of your mind
    Oh, look out!....

    Jimi Hendrix
     

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