During my writing practice (which I proudly do at Menotti’s Coffee Stop) yesterday, a young woman sat next to me. She was studying for a test to earn an accreditation from a major governing body in fitness. Her moments reading this introductory text would, in some respect, mark the beginning of a hopeful career successfully training other people. Many of these companies have certification tests so fitness professionals can earn credentials, which can add legitimacy to a coach’s repertoire.
I couldn’t bring myself to ask her about it, but I (mentally) wished her well. You see, it’s a jungle out there, people. The fitness industry is a wild landscape of diversity with various creatures fighting for their corners as a reigning King of the Jungle. Each modality and governing body draws lines and defines fitness and its components differently. To argue about who is right is like asking, “Who is the greatest athlete of all-time?” It’s an impossible question with no real answer. Different sports demand different things. How could you compare the championship rings and game winning shots of Michael Jordan to the world titles and big wave barrels of Kelly Slater, anyway?
Weightlifting isn’t better than gymnastics, it’s just different.
What this young woman probably couldn’t have known was how little the answers to her test really matter. Much of the wild jungle I described earlier is full of creatures that can pass a test, while fewer can teach movement. In fact, there’s virtually no on paper validation for coaching. Furthermore, I would never pay me for coaching for what I’ve accomplished on paper. Remember, fitness is a desired outcome. Those that can guide others to it, in my opinion, are the trainers we’re all truly seeking. Plenty of people have credentials, while very few can take an unfit person to a competency of skills and capacities that make them truly fit.
Around here, the answers to “the test” are in the definable, measurable performances. Can you or can’t you? Are you better, the same, or worse? Real coaching doesn’t happen in a multiple choice test, it happens in the yard.
Complete the following for time:
10, 9 , 8.. 1 Ring Dips
1, 2, 3… 10 Power Snatches (135/95)