In October 2014 we had our very first Certified Functional Strength Coach Level-1 event. Since then we have certified over 1100 coaches at events across the United States, England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The feedback has been incredible. We were striving to set a new standard for certifications when we started the CFSC, and judging from the feedback of those that have gone through the course, we have delivered.
Since we began work on the CFSC project back in 2013 our mission was to raise the quality of the professionals in the industry by delivering the best educational experience possible and by requiring all coaches to pass a live practical exam. By doing this we are creating a skilled network of coaches that can deliver great demos, and provide clear and concise coaching cues, all within a systematic approach to programming. Our goal is to make good coaches great and great coaches even better.
What Separates Us From the Rest?
From a quick glance the CFSC may seem similar to other certifications out there. But once you take a closer look, you will see we are building something that will revolutionize the fitness industry. Even with the current gold standard certification of the strength and conditioning field, all you do is sit down at a computer and answer multiple choice questions. What about the ability to coach athletes and clients? What about being able to modify your athlete's or client's program on the fly when situations occur such as not being able to perform an exercise correctly due to fitness or pain? This is where the whole idea of, “The Art of Coaching” comes in. The ability to address these situations as they occur on the training floor.
The Practical Component
To become certified it is required that you attend a 1-Day CFSC On Site Training. We believe one of the major omissions of strength and conditioning certifications is the absence of a practical component. Even if you can pass the written exam that doesn't prove you are a great coach. With the CFSC we require applicants to not only attend an On Site Training, but also that you pass a practical exam at the end of the day.
At the 1-Day On Site Training you will be in a small group (about 12-15 attendees per coach) to mimic how we run our groups at MBSC. We want every person that attends the On Site Training to have a personal experience and the attention necessary to make sure they get the most out of the training. Throughout the day we will breakdown the MBSC program bit by bit and demonstrate our system of progressions and regressions for each movement pattern.
Once the training is complete, each attendee will take a practical exam where they will be tested on their ability to demonstrate and coach the basic movement patterns we use at MBSC. The attendee's knowledge of the progressions and regressions system will also be tested. CFSCs will be ready for many of the common situations that can occur while training.
Here is a brief look at our first CFSC Practical Event:
Yes, people will fail. If you can not move properly or demonstrate knowledge of the system, we can not pass you. As mentioned before, the reputation of the CFSC certification is something we hold in a very high regard. To prepare you, we have created a database of step by step videos explaining the coaching cues, the common mistakes, and the progressions/regressions we normally use for a given movement pattern. For special circumstances we may offer retesting as well as video submission if someone fails at one of the On Site Trainings.
The Written Exam
While we put a great deal of stress on the practical component of the CFSC, we also have 5+ hours of lectures, a CFSC Manual, and an eBook version of Mike's, “Advances in Functional Training.” A 50-Question multiple choice written exam has been comprised based on this material. We simply want you to have a clear understanding of the CFSC methodologies as well as how and why we program the way we do at MBSC. Registrants are required to pass the written exam before attending one of the On Site Trainings.
Level-1 vs Level-2 Certifications
With Level-2 of the CFSC we are applying that original mission statement to the athlete population and the programming system. To achieve this we are using the same educational process that has been so successful with Level-1. Once you register for Level-2 (keep in mind you must already be Level-1 certified) you will gain access to the educational material on the back end of our website. We have about 5 hours of lecture content, the Level-2 Coaching Manual, and a multiple choice exam based off of that content which must be passed before the event. This allows us to dedicate the whole 1-day on site training to practical education.
In Level-2 we will be building off of the foundation of what our Level-1 CFSCs learned. Focus will be on athlete specific warm-ups, speed drills, medball exercises, plyometics, and of course strength training. The methods we use to coach and demonstrate the olympic lifts at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning is a major focus of both the online content and the practical event. This includes hang cleans, barbell snatch (hang clean grip), dumbbell snatch, and our regressions/lateralizations such as jump squats and kettlebell swings.
Not only do we pride ourselves on our required practical component to become certified, we also are proud of our low participant to coach ration. You will never see one coach with a group of 40+ attendees. For Level-2 we have made our groups even smaller with a 10 to 1 participant to coach ration. This assures that each attendee gets the attention and feedback they need to succeed.
What Happens After I Sign Up?
Within 48-hours of registration you will be e-mailed a username/password to access the educational material from our website. You will also receive information about the completion deadline and requirements for the written exam (generally 30 days prior to the Hands On Date). There will also be information detailing hotel accommodations in the On Site Training's location.
We Are Partnering with the Best
We are partnering with two of the best organizations in the industry to offer an incredible value to CFSCs. While we do not require the use of these great resources, we at CFSC find them to be invaluable. That is precisely why we have worked with them to offer special discounts on their certifications and educational content for CFSCs. These discounts are EXCLUSIVE to CFSCs and available after being certified.
First, the leader in screening, Functional Movement Systems. The Functional Movement Screen has revolutionized the way we screen now athletes and clients giving us an in depth look into potential movement dysfunction and asymmetries.
FMS is extremely pleased to be a part of CFSC certification process. We have no doubt, with Coach Boyle's experience and leadership this certification will quickly become one of the most sought after certifications in the industry. -Lee Burton
Second, the leader in general population and sports nutrition, Precision Nutrition. Dr. John Berardi and his team at PN has put together an amazing system that has helped 1000s of people reach their performance and physique goals with proper nutrition. The Precision Nutrition certifications provide an amazingly in depth education in to nutrition as well as the psychological aspects of behavior change.
Precision Nutrition is excited to be partnering with the Certified Functional Strength Coach Certification to offer an exclusive promotion on the PN Nutrition Certification. -Dr. John berardi