Friday, May 23, 2008

I just got a telling off...apparently I'm too forceful

Warning: Rant to follow:

Not here...but on an Irish fitness forum...they seem to be concerned that my 'tone' would upset people...and that if there were complaints...that they'd have to 'act upon them'...whatever the hell that means. Well that's yet another internet forum to which I will not be returning.

I think what actually offended and prompted the warning was probably not that I was simply commenting on the fact that people constantly complain about how crap and useless fitness instructor, personal training and strength and conditioning courses are...keep in mind...most of the people making these comments have actually done one or some of these courses. I think the thing that actually offended was the fact that I'm willing to bet that a good proportion of the moderators of this particular site either a) Teach and instruct for these organisations or b) That they got their 'qualifications' from them and are actually just annoyed with themselves for being useless when they did the course and feeling like fools for sitting there and lapping it all up or...and this is just a shot in the dark...c)That many of the board sponsors and advertisers just so happen to be these self same courses that even one of the moderators at the site who has done one of these courses...thinks that they are rubbish...and rather than being worried about me emotionally damaging someone with my commentary...they may have been more worried about their advertisers being miffed...but then again...I could be wrong...I often am.

I just find the hypocrisy of these people complaining incredible...and I just don't understand it....these are the same people who sat through the rubbish presented to them during these courses with their mouths shut...saying nothing...in most cases...then regurgitated it all for their exams. One of the posters admitted as much...which just plain annoyed me...sitting there doing the course...knowing that the instructors are spouting rubbish...then doing the exam and giving them back this same rubbish in writing...then getting your qualification and THEN whining and moaning about it AFTERWARDS...is just pathetic. These people should give themselves an upper cut.

These courses are run as businesses and I find it appalling that people put up with the level of garbage and erroneous information that is dished out and do absolutely nothing about it...please tell me...in what other industry could this possibly be served up and accepted by the people actually paying for it? Language courses where no one learned to speak a word? Cooking courses taught by people who couldn't turn an oven on? Where else but in the fitness industry would a bunch of people sit there and listen to instructors go on about only performing quarter squats because squatting to parallel or below is considered by them to potentially lead to permanent injury? Please....someone tell me?

The reason that the fitness industry and personal trainers have such a bad reputation is because people out there know that we put up with this rubbish. To sit there and listen to it and 'learn' it for exams when you know it is wrong...and say nothing...they realise that we're either incredibly stupid or just plain cowards.

I actually want to know from anyone reading this blog in Ireland if there is actually a fitness instructors qualification that is good? Is there anyone here who has one that they are proud of?

End of rant.

15 comments:

Matt P said...

I've got the CSCS from the NSCA in the States. It's considered the "gold standard", and honestly even though I nitpick over it, it's not *that* bad.

It won't make a coach, but that should be obvious -- unfortunately, it's not.

What I don't like is how it's built up to be The Greatest Thing Ever. The test just wasn't that hard, or comprehensive for that matter. Some of it was downright wrong or even potentially dangerous (And for what it's worth, I did bitch about those things on the test, and still raise hell about them).

But again, that's more or less nitpicking -- certainly compared to the other certs offered in the States. No idea what's offered over that way, but I'd make an easy guess it's not much better.

Otherwise I agree with you. Certs are more about marketing and presentation than they are about education, unfortunately.

Will Heffernan said...

I just don't know how people expect things to change/get better if no one is willing to put their hand up and say 'actually that's wrong'...if 20 people in a course tell an instructor that he's wrong and show them that they are wrong and they've all paid €1000 to do the course...what are they going to do...fail them? You could say goodbye to that qualification and school if they did...so naturally they wouldn't fail them...they'd actually have to update their course and make it relevant to their consumers....just like every other course in every other industry.

You don't have to succeed...but you have to at least try.

Ian Mellis MSc CSCS said...

Hi Will,

I totally agree with you I work as in London and basically the hoops you have to jump through to get a course certified in this country are ridiculous and still rely upon you giving examples of chest press machines and leg extensions without actually entering a full pros and cons discussion. We have managed though to get our course certified through the right channels and the more advanced stuff are along the lines of we will teach you everything- including the negative points hopefully giving a more rounded educational process, not relying on twenty year old text using information from the best in athletic performance such as Boyle, Cressey, Berardi etc. The reason we did this is because every new person we employed had to be retrained to train people which is pointless (even though these guys carry a reps level 3 certification so they think they know something). It's not totally perfect but hopefully it will differentiate our training organisation from others and the mindless clones they produce. Also, a lot of educators (a)don't train anyone (b) have limited experience but with "good" certifications (c) don't educate themselves further. You can tell the good people in this industry by the one's who keeping learning and working with varying populations. Rant Over, good blog by the way!

Anonymous said...

I have to say I did laugh when I saw your posts on boards.ie. I have to say the fitness forum isn't bad at all but there are a few untouchables that you dare not offend. I've never fully figured out all the angles as regards who the vested interests are but they are there that is for sure.

A lot of PTs build up their profiles on the boards and I reckon bring in some nice business from it. All these PTs have an understanding, somelike you flying in, throwing the cat amoung the pigeons has really upset them all.

And finally in their defence I know that at least some of these PTs are actually decent PTs, inspite of theirn dubious qualifications.

Will Heffernan said...

Ian,
All I can say is Thank God. I'm glad you like the blog and I hope you'll continue to make a contribution any chance you get because if you and others do I think this blog could become more and more useful...basically the less it has to do with me the better off we'll all be.

Glad to hear of the positive changes you've made to your course even if I think Boyle is too skinny, Cressey too rosy cheeked and Berardi...well Berardi is way too Canadian...but no course is perfect.

Will Heffernan said...

Anonymous said...
I have to say I did laugh when I saw your posts on boards.ie.
So I didn't emotionally scar you with my forceful posting?

I have to say the fitness forum isn't bad at all but there are a few untouchables that you dare not offend. I've never fully figured out all the angles as regards who the vested interests are but they are there that is for sure.
See the problem is I never think of these things...I have severe 'business retardation'...I know I should probably shut up and play the game but I just don't seem to be able to bring myself to do it.

A lot of PTs build up their profiles on the boards and I reckon bring in some nice business from it. All these PTs have an understanding, somelike you flying in, throwing the cat amoung the pigeons has really upset them all.
Awh...the poor little darlings...crying over their spilt protein shakes. They'll all be happy now anyway because they have their playground back to themselves...no big bad bullies running around.

And finally in their defence I know that at least some of these PTs are actually decent PTs, in spite of their dubious qualifications.
I am sure there are...I've no doubt about that. I just wish they'd speak up and show their faces...because I haven't met very many of them.

Ian Mellis MSc CSCS said...

Sounds like Boyle, Cressey and Berardi have got their own niches sorted! I guess that's better than balding, weak or retarded!

StopCock said...

Will, I've done your new test, where should the results be posted?

Christina Fraquelli said...

Yes, I know what you mean about those fitness tests. They are absolutely crap - I took three classes and quit. I think staring at a wall would be a better use of my time than the crap they taught.

Especially since out of 50 of the students I met, only 3 of them actually exercise and know how to use weights. The rest of them were just looking for a way out of a crappy office job.

Have you checked out Crossfit? They have awesome certification courses that are probably more worth your money and you'll get serious professionals and athletes there. The guy who created it, Coach Glassman, even put out a bet of $10,000 to anyone who could beat any of his top Crossfitting women. No joke either, particularly as one of them is a powerlifting world champion and another is 50 and still creams anyone in the workouts posted there. Their website is www.crossfit.com

I'm pretty sure you know it if you read a lot about conditioning

Will Heffernan said...

Ian Mellis MSc CSCS said...
Sounds like Boyle, Cressey and Berardi have got their own niches sorted! I guess that's better than balding, weak or retarded!
Funny you should say that...because those last three things sort of decribe them as well.

StopCock said...
Will, I've done your new test, where should the results be posted?
Email me the results.

Christina Fraquelli said...
Yes, I know what you mean about those fitness tests. They are absolutely crap - I took three classes and quit. I think staring at a wall would be a better use of my time than the crap they taught.

Especially since out of 50 of the students I met, only 3 of them actually exercise and know how to use weights. The rest of them were just looking for a way out of a crappy office job.

Have you checked out Crossfit? They have awesome certification courses that are probably more worth your money and you'll get serious professionals and athletes there. The guy who created it, Coach Glassman, even put out a bet of $10,000 to anyone who could beat any of his top Crossfitting women. No joke either, particularly as one of them is a powerlifting world champion and another is 50 and still creams anyone in the workouts posted there. Their website is www.crossfit.com

I'm pretty sure you know it if you read a lot about conditioning.
I do know crossfit and have seen it done well and poorly in equal measure. I've a lot of time for the majority of crossfitter's but I think the powers that be at crossfit HQ are pretty much loons.

Barry said...

I did the NCEF level 1 course a few years ago and it was a joke. It taught you to build a step aerobics routine and how to do a triceps kickback with a pink or light blue dumbell. The only use I got out of the course was the basic anatomy. Before the final test I had to show pretty much all the students hot to deadlift and squat because they were not shown how properly. I would rather stick hot pins in my eye than do the Level 2 course.

CBD- B said...

how long since youve seen the standard of australian PT's will?

i think its the same everwhere

Will Heffernan said...

All is was saying was that we need to lift our game...no point pissing and moaning about it if you aren't going to do anything about it. I wouldn't sit through that garbage with my mouth shut and neither should anyone else.

CBD- B said...

the problem is most people sitting through it dont know any better. Its such a prouction line process here now to feed the ever growing chains of fitness firsts, i cant honestly see it changing ever

hundreds of new recruits pumped out ever year programmed to carry someones towel and drink bottle and laugh at their jokes, and as long as their haircut is groovy and they rock up to work in their brand name skins, i honeslt dont think much more is expected of them... least of all results

Will Heffernan said...

You're such a cynic.