Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Recently I was fortunate enough to enrol in the CFSC level 1 course during the Perth leg of their first trip to Aus. CFSC stands for Certified Functional Strength Coach, and it's a course I strongly believe every trainer should take.
The motivation for creating this course was to raise the standards of the industry, as many feel the basic requirements for becoming a trainer are not high enough, especially considering the impact we can have on people's health. This was not a course where you just show up and you're automatically given a certificate, but where you are given hours of content to study, a written exam and then a practical exam to ensure you paid attention and retained the information. The systems used in this course are based around decades of experience from Mike Boyle and his team over at their facility in Boston. (In case you don't know who Mike Boyle is, keep an eye out for a later post diving in to the leaders of our industry).
On top of gaining a better understanding of my role as a coach, I actually feel as though the information I gathered from the course has put my mind at ease. We are flooded with information on a daily basis with more and more professionals (some worthy of that title, some not) telling us that a particular method or protocol is "the best thing you're not doing".
Often people come to me saying they're not sure what to do in the gym and it's usually because they're able to rattle off 10 different approaches that have been promised to work but at the same time seem to contradict each other.
There's a feeling of frustration and confusion for people wanting to learn that I completely understand. As a coach, we can feel the same way because whether you're experienced or not, there can sometimes be a sense of anxiety around your choices, and if they are best for you clients. The promise of something better is too inviting and often disappointing for many.
What this course does really well is take you through some really good training principles and show you how to apply them with a systems based approach to managing the needs of every individual.
Having a system is very different to using a cookie-cutter style approach to training people. The big difference here is the way we assess your current ability before prescribing particular exercises. Having a baseline set of standards makes the decision making process quite simple, and allows for more time and energy spent on proper coaching. We then have the ability to prescribe appropriate regressions, progressions or lateralisations based on what we may be seeing on any given day.
What does this mean for you as a client? It means that you have an adaptable coach who can completely personalise a program for you specific needs, even in a small group setting. It takes the guess work out of things and gives us some go-to's when an exercise is too easy, too difficult or just not right for you. It also gives us a much deeper understanding of how to get you stronger, fitter and moving better without taking unnecessary risks, which is more important than people realise.
I'm definitely looking forward to joining them again the next time they roll through Perth as it's one of those things that you end up taking away more every time you revisit the content.
For more information about training options or if you're a trainer wanting to know a bit more about my experience here, email firstname.lastname@example.org