T Nation

Exercise Science Alliance

Has anyone ever heard of the Exercise Science Alliance as a certification agency? Anyone been certified by them? Any experience with this agency? They are pursuing me as a potential person to teach their weekend certification seminars. Ok, I know all certifications basically suck, but most personal trainers have to get one. I figure that if I’m doing the teaching, they will at least leave with some new valuable information. Anyway, I’m leaning towards turning down these people, but wanted to know if anyone else has ever dealt with them. They are kind of along the line as ACE and AFAA and share CEC’s with these organizations. Thanks for any input.

Jason: If your potential employer is along the lines of ACE/AFAA,
allow me to share with you my AFAA experience. Hopefully, it will
shed some light on these organizations and their mindset.

A little over 5 years ago, I became an official "AFFA Certified Personal Trainer." Of the 120 people attending the 3 day certification course, 5% were "hard-core lifters," 90% were housewives, and the remanianing few were most likely "she men!" Many had less than 1 year of weight training under their belts.

From personal experience and association with AFFA, its personnel, and its tenets, this is what have I gathered. AFFA is diametrically opposed to just about everything we on this Forum hold sacred! They espouse 70% carb diets as GOSPEL - no exceptions; they are vehemently opposed to hi-protein diets. (Anything over 1 gram per kg. of BW is potentially dangerous!)

Perhaps the most shocking revelation for me was learning just how horribly out-dated AFAA's training material actually was! At the time I took the course in 1997, the most recent footnote in the AFFA training manual was dated 1983; however, most were between 1971 and1978! ( I am not making this up!) When I brought this to the attention of my teacher, who was the head AFFA instructor for the East Coast Region, her reply was "The human body has not changed since 1978, young man!"

What angers me most is that to retain their certification one has to keep taking more courses every year or so.

The letters AFAA stand for - the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. So, this should give some idea where they are coming from! (Yes, a distinct preference towards "BODY SCULPTING" classes!)

P.S. Jason, sorry for being so negative. But unless the Exercise Science Alliance is any different than AFAA ........ you fill in the blanks.

Jason, wasn’t there an article in T-Mag sometime last year or the previous that was a breakdown of these certification agencies? I don’t remember seeing Exercise Science Alliance as part of the list. But it’s been awhile since I’ve read it.

I was certified via ISSA. I thought they were pretty good.

Doesn't Paul Chek provide certification now, too?

Thanks for the info Joey Z. Sometimes when money is involved in the thought process, you stop thinking clearly. I received some more information about their program. I reviewed and Eric reviewed it and we both came to the same conclusion: pyramid scheme that could work if you dedicate a whole bunch of time to it, but something that is not worth my time and effort. I was selling myself short by thinking of this organization as a way to make some side income. Anyway, why I thought that I might be able to work for such an anti-T organization, I don’t know. Glad to be thinking clearly again :slight_smile:

How did you like the ISSA. I’m currently doing the Specialist in Sports Conditioning certification course and I’m really not that impressed. I chose the ISSA out of respect for some of the guys on the staff (Charles Staley, Fred Hatfield, Tom Platz, Bill Pearl) but I’ve found tons of typos and non sequiters in their manual. It is also outdated and does not seem to have been updated in several years. Anyway, I just wanted to do a certification program and liked the option of independant study and chose the ISSA. How were the Martial Arts and Fitness instructor certifications (I remember this from your letter that got printed in reader mail)? Did you notice similar problems or inconsistencies?

Hi Jason! Uh, well - I still have all the material for both certifications. The Fitness was really no biggee - but yes, typos and one section of the book was upside down(!) Wierd. The Martial Arts Conditioning material was authored by Charles Staley. I thought that was much better, believe it or not, than the Fitness material. I believe the reason I enjoyed the Martial Arts certification was due to timing. I had begun training in Karate and Kickboxing. It really helped me utilize weight training to assist me in my MA training.

The one thing I liked about the ISSA is that there is a comaraderie among other trainers who are ISSA certified. And the ISSA was still very helpful even AFTER I was certified. I also liked the labs/gym tests that you had to perform. What that did was really improve my observational skills. You see, I have absolutely no formal training, all that I know is from trial and error in the gym - so another thing that this certification did for me, was show me that I actually did retain ALOT of info in my noggin. That I could actually pass that info onto someone else in layman's terms and the information could be useful. That was definitely exciting.

Overall, certainly better than ACE. I was considering getting recertified by ISSA. And I did find out from them that the Fitness Cert. manual I had could still be used. So, that kinda worried me. However, Charles Staley has updated the MA Certification manual. I'd like to get my hands on that! It's funny, I went through the ISSA for the same reasons as you! But I am curious about the NPFT(?) - National Profesional Fitness Trainers(?).