Most Important Credentials for Posting Training Advice?

What credentials must one have in order for their advice to be taken seriously on here?

Which ones are the most important?

Lifting numbers?

Progress pics?

Working in the industry?

I’m at the stage i an more concern with one’s experience level and formal education if any. Along with if they have gotten good results instructing others. Of course that’s just my point of view.


Are you trying to filter through the BS online?

Here’s my unofficial hierarchy.

  1. People with an education who walk the walk.
  2. People with experience who walk the walk.
  3. People with an education - actual college work.
  4. People with weak personal training certs.

I have an education and years of training experience, but I haven’t been coaching anyone so my growth has probably stalled. Coaches are in the lab every day and that’s the best way to learn and grow as a coach. I’d consider myself a 1.5 on my own list, and that only applies to what I know. I wouldn’t dare go to the physique or power lifting section because that’s not my thing.


The Paul Carter thread has been an eye opener

Especially the issue with Greg Nuckols giving muscle building/nutrition advice

Factor in folk on here who have never put themselves out there via progress photos yet giving out advice.

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That’s a big red flag. We’re talking about a business/hobby built on physique and looks. It’s like trying to sell a car but hiding it in a shed.

Your body is your marketing.

Paul’s podcast with Dr Schoenfeld has great explanations about science and experience.

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For a forum like this. I feel if no one in the real word doesn’t ask your advice on stuff regularly. One might not want to push themselves as all knowing. Which you see allot in newer lifters.


I think the 'net/social media has thrown a monkey wrench into people being considered worth listening to. I’ll expand on that in a moment.

First, IMO Walking the Walk is key. Anyone can pop on PubMed or read someone else’s opinions on a study and parrot the info to make themselves sound smart. It’s in the APPLICATION of the information that we see just how good someone is.

My brother wrestled in school. He was great. Seriously great. Taking Varsity matches away from Seniors in his Freshman year great. His skills though,… well, lets just say he had a limited tool box to work from. The key factor though was that he knew those tools inside and out, and could use them so well that a “better skilled/experienced” opponent would find themselves at a disadvantage very quickly.

I liken this to the information needed to get big and ripped (or even to get to the contest stage if that’s your goal). Sure my own background involves respectable schooling, and a constant upkeep through the CSCS journals and online publications, BUT, I still always realize that you don’t need to know the latest studies in order to reach your goals. Guys in the 1950’s got pretty damn impressive without pubmed or their favorite online gurus to chase around and quote. Even now, as I constantly talk to many coaches and competitors (assisted and naturals) and it always comes back to the exact same “tool box” of information and approaches.

Think about this… Why don’t the “most knowledgable” guys who are always talking about how it’s best to train/eat/progress have all the best competitors coming to them to help them reach their ultimate potential? Why haven’t they ever excelled themselves in the sport they supposedly know so much about? (you’ll get plenty of excuses for this one, and the few [one?] that do mention competing will always show one photo, and never of the actual contest line up they were in)

With social media, all it takes is someone else who has already established a following to give you the “he knows his stuff” and your following will take off. Hell, I saw one guy who on his resume (his official/send it in to apply for a job resume!) listed that he was “approved” by another more known online coach… seriously?! Is this where we are? @BrickHead
And if you’ve got an angle,… an attitude or a funny way of writing, you watch how quickly you get more attention than a stuffy but possibly very knowledgable individual (ever listen to a podcast with Scott Connolly?)



I think honestly it’s goal based.

If you want to know how to squat big, you should talk to someone who can squat big or someone who has coached a ton of people who can squat big. Those are the credentials.

I’ve always thought either get with someone who has done it or someone that has helped tons of others do it.

Just like in the NFL, a lot of the coaches never played in the NFL and some not even college football. But they understand the game and have helped DEVELOP tremendous players, so even though they themselves never reached that level, their techniques, strategies, etc. are known to produce results.


I agree with the walk the walk comment, but it needs to be understood that one getting coached by them will not become them. A lot of people have been going to Ed Coan forever for training advice. He’s a smart individual who walked the walk, yes, but he was also genetically predisposed for the sport. So if a client or someone who wants general knowledge can take this into account and learn to adapt their own body to the knowledge they learn from someone who has walked the walk, I can see the importance in it.

If that is not conveyed, it could mean absolutely nothing. Not necessarily in the Coan example, but maybe someone who has been strong their whole life and begins coaching people. You see it a lot in the fitness social media area where people are strong or massive/ripped and begin coaching people. Yeah they’re huge and or strong, but have no business coaching people or giving people advice because they don’t know how to help others. It’s a very slippery slope in these terms IMO.


Case in point…buddy of mine was a very high end competitive bencher . Would not say he was that good at coaching others.

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I’m more inclined to listed to someone who says “I” vs “studies show”

From there, it depends on what the “I” has accomplished. I’ll listen to someone that has coached successful trainees more than someone who simply IS a successful trainee, but I’ll listen to someone who IS a successful trainee before I listen to someone who is just parroting the things the successful coach has said.


Coaching, and I mean real coaching, is a delicate science. Each athlete is different and will respond differently. In a team sport setting, you can’t just tear into everyone the same. One athlete might respond very well and another might shut down. True coaches, or at least good ones, figure this stuff out and find a way to deliver their message in a manner that will be successfully received by the athlete.

I think training/coaching in the gym is the same. You want to push your athletes but you can’t approach them all the same. I could train a meat head and tell him he’s a worthless pile of crap and possibly get him to push harder. If I said the same thing to someone with low self esteem then they’d probably cry and walk out. Same coaching, different results.

I wish I could force myself to become an internet training whore and sell myself online because I genuinely think I could help people and it’d be great to make some side cash. Unfortunately, it’s not my nature. A couple years ago I offered to coach people for free. I had about five people hit me up. None of them followed through. I even offered to monitor their nutrition and critique their diet. One guy got bored with the workouts because they didn’t change over four weeks and the others just didn’t want to commit to anything.

I learned that people need to sacrifice something in order for me to take them seriously. In the case of the training world, that sacrifice is money. They don’t value things that are free.


For the record I have stated many times @The_Mighty_Stu falls under what I considered viable advice.

There have been a few who give good advice IMO while never posting pics. Considering some just like to maintain their privacy.
But others … its funny how guys come in spew allot a shit and once confronted wont provide proof of shit.

Funny story… a certain “Professor” tried that once and entered the lions den that was the Powerlifting forum at the time. It didnt end well.

Credentials for the masses:

  1. Look good in a stringer.
  2. Strong IG following.
  3. SSC
  1. only be slightly stronger then your followers


Great post.

Coaching is what happens when a knowledgeable, experienced person meets a driven, goal oriented student.

Unfortunately, baby sitting is what happens 90% (99%) of the time.

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I think Phil Jackson admitted that he treated Jordan differently - which may be the exception that proves your rule.

The less dogmatic and the more open minded to reasonable ideas, the more likely I am to listen. That’s simply because it seems like the actual best coaches are always open to learning and aren’t dogmatic themselves.

In real life, I look at how many people they have managed to make better over a long time.


As posted elsewhere recently, this conversation applies.