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Paul Chek Internship

Has anybody here ever taken Level 1 of Paul Chek’s internship program? I did over a year ago, and I am very disappointed with the “results”.
My 2 cents is that I have learned more things on this site that I can directly apply to the people I train, than I ever did during the internship.
I am not even considering cost in this comparison, even though this site is free and the internship tuition alone was $3000, not counting hotel, meals, travel expenses etc.

I had a friend who did the same thing. He was totally enamored by Paul Chek before he went and dropped 3500 on a internship program. We used to talk all the time in classes, all he ever talked about was using a swiss ball and freemotion machine for everything. The wave of the future, I was told “functional training” would create absolute monsters of functionality whose "cores’ were so strong they would rule the world. While I was getting high on pulling logs up the hill in my backyard, he chided me as a little child, that I was training like a savage, not an educated “Exercise Physioligist”. After he got back, well, he wasn’t satisfied. Sure Paul Chek has an impressive client list, but there are no blood and guts, so I have been told. Now we drag logs together, long live Testosterone.

Is there anyone else out there? Even if you were not in the internship, have you or do you know or possibly train with somebody who has?

I have taken many of Paul’s Internships. I have used the assessments to evaluate where a client may break down, however you do not learn anything truly valuable about working with a hard core client who has even a reasonable amount of exercise background. I train people with Paul’s material to gain stability and mobility (rehab clients/elderly etc.) I use some of the more advanced techniques to sharpen an athletes nervous system (takes about 2 weeks) then it’s Christian Thibaudeau to the rescue and we drop the swiss ball (not entirely) and propel the athlete forward with more realistic training (renegade Christian Thibaudeau’s philosophies and imagination) If you have clients that can exercise reasonably well and no injuries, then Paul’s assessments are nice but that’s pretty much where it ends.

One of my best friends is CHEK level 1 certified. I would not say that he learned a great deal about “strength training” however this was not the exact reason he sought a certification with Paul Chek. What he was after was how to help people with health problems in a hollistic manner. Buy becoming chek certified he accomplished this. His goal is to help people feel better, and he does. He is making a very good income, which is do to his Chek certification.

I personally disagree with some of Paul Chek?s methods and beliefs, however if I was seriously injured in some kind of accident I would definitely seek him out to help me get better. I am considering becoming Chek certified myself.

On a side note. I was talking to this same friend this weekend and he claims that Chek and Poliquin have been disagreeing with each other quiet a lot. It is believed that they used to be friends; however they have had some kind of falling out, and since have gone in opposite directions. Maybe the boys at T-mag have a little information on this. I see that a fellow named Christian Thibadeau recently completed the first level of Poliquin?s certification. I would like to here about this, if it is the same Christian Thibadeau that we all know and love.

guys, thanks for the feedback, I guess my biggest problem with the internship was that I was taking to learn to better train myself and athletes. As you all have alluded to, that was a mistake on my part.
Bamit-where to you get all this information from-you could be a star reporter for T-nation. like in musclemag with that gossip section that they have. I think a lot of people would find that interesting.

HI everyone, I?m a new contributor and I am CHEK level 1 training. Here is all you have to know. Paul Chek?s internships are all about REHAB! The internships are not designed to help you make athletes bigger faster and stronger. They are about rehabilitating back pain and spinal problems. A lot of my clients are not perfectly healthy athletes who can bench press 300lbs. I have some middle aged women who can barley perform a split squat without pain let alone bench press anything. The Chek internships helps me with clients that have orthopedic problems or are in a state of pain. I feel quite confident t hat I could go head to head with a lot of physiotherapist in my area when it comes to managing back pain and spinal injuries. If this sort of thing interests you then I would recommend the Chek internship. But keep in mind it is not about creating top of the line athletes. However the protocols do help if any of your athletes become injured.

Just my two cents hope this helps.

spineflow-thanks for your input. As was stated before by myself and others, it was my mistake to enter the intern with the goals that I had. However, I will say that it is my impression Paul Chek has in several instances, claimed his methods to work for all, not just rehab patients. It is only after having done the intership for 1 level, and having read his stuff with a more open mind, that I see it really having a much more limited scope than he seems to claim.
how this applies to the internship, I can only say that it is not advertised as such, that being rehab only. I was pretty much crammed up his ass when I started that internship, and it suprised me when I found out that he really didn’t walk on water.
spineflow-my question to you is: what do you do for a living. during the intern I was learning assessment tools that I really feel were overboard and out of the scope of practice of a personal trainer.

Hi Mike

First off all, nice talking to you and everyone else… everyone seems very cool on this board which is a good thing. I too believe that some of the evaluation methods are overboard. But on the other hand they are straight out of physiotherapy and rehab protocols. I have two books which explain all about neurological examination. And the CHEK internship isn?t over board compared to what you can do. Just for personal training it is a little over board. But if someone comes to you with pain or weakness that you believe is neurological in nature the examination methods serve an important purpose in determining what the problem area is.

I too was disappointed with certain aspects of my first internship. But level one I thought was very good. You basically learn how to identify and rehabilitate spinal problems. Everything from fractures to disc bulges. Also in my first internship we learned the squat in great detail as well as the dead lift and its variations. It was also the internship that introduced me to the reverse hyper extension exercise.

I have worked with a few local strength coaches and Poliquin interns around my area. The CHEK stuff does not go over well with athletes. But if they are hurt it works very well. I had a discussion with a local Pysiotherapist and chiropractor the other day. And I feel more than confident to take on any of their injured clients based on what I learned in the internship since they are already using a watered down version of what I learned. And these people went to school for 10 years?

You are right however that it really should be marketed differently. I had an interest in rehab from the start so it has served me very well but it does not have a lot of strength and conditioning protocols for athletes. But I believe that will change.

Speaking of Poliquin and Chek having a fall out. I have not heard that. Poliquin often in his articles recommends Paul?s videos to people. The funny thing is the last Poliquin intern I spoke too told me Charles had a fall out with our very own T-Nation.com crew! I don?t think he writes for them any more does he?

I also have a list of what Paul can put up in the gym. I?ll post it later. Just for interest sake.

Also a Poliquin intern and CHEK level 3 practitioner recommended the resistance training specialist internship

you guys ever heard of this?

he said it makes up for a lot of the weaknesses in the CHEK and Poliquin internships


what do you guys think?


Thanks for the great information. What I heard about Poliquin and Chek could all have been hear say. I was hoping to get first hand information from someone on this site. I think both of these individuals have enough knowledge of strength training and rehabilitation to fill 10 books. Some of the stuff Poliquin writes blows my mind, and the same can be said for Chek. I have a couple of questions for you.

  1. Did you think the Chek certification was worth it?

  2. Or you using what you learned from Chek to make a living?

It was a sad day indeed when Charles Poliquin quit writing for T-mag. I suggest that all novice readers to this site read every Charles Poliquin article on this site.

I may be attending an RTS lecture in February. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Tom Purvis and this course.

On a side note, does anyone have any of Ian King’s certifications or programs?

Hey bamit!

And I agree. CHEK and Poliquin are two of my favorites. To answer your questions

1 Do I think the internship was worth it?

Well I learned a lot of great rehab stuff and I had a good time. But I have to admit it was very expensive! I think it can be improved upon as well as I have said. Its really hard for me to answer that question with a straight answer as I appreciate what I have learned especially when I see what a crappy job pysios are doing for people these days. But at the same time my wallet felt it pretty hard. But This seems to be the norm. I have spoken to Poliquin interns who have spent a small fortune and some of the stuff they learned was a little weird to say the least. All internships seem to cost out the ass but I believe it is a good way to learn.

2 Am I making a living based on the internship?

This is a good question but I have to say I don?t believe what you know has anything to do with the amount of money you make in this business. Hardly anyone out there in the general public knows who CHEK or Poliquin or Stanly or ACE or NSCA or any thing else really means. I think it all comes down to your ability to market and sell yourself as a business person. So any money I make is never due to my internship or what I know, its more due to my business skills and marketing. There are some God awful trainers out there making great money. I used to work at an uppity fitness facility which was straight crap for information. But it was making money hand over fist and so where their crappy trainers because of customer perception and marketing.

Just my two cents

spineflow, where did you take the internship at, and who was your instructor. I had suzi nevell out in long island, ny.
we were never showed the reverse hyper exercise, that is why I am wondering about where you went?

About Charles’s falling out with T-mag, TC talked about this some time ago in one of his columns. turns out, TC wrote somehthing in jest, and charles somehow took it way too personally, and never talked to TC again. maybe TC can give you a much more detailed picture than that.

I do agree with spineflow, that the internship should be marketed differntly, it would save a lot of trouble.

FMF, I have “heard” of people who have taken purvis’s course, RTS, some liked it, some thought it was in their words pointless. I personally have very little respect for Tom Purvis as a fitness professional. His bowflex commercials alone make me want to throw up. He sometimes says things that are pretty crazy, not because in my opinion he is stupid, but because he knows that being different will get him attention. Stuff like precontracting your scapula on rows and pulldowns (which screwed up a couple of my clients shoulders) to breathing in on the concentric of a bench press, have led me to call this guy a hack from time to time.
Having viewed some of the RTS materials, I really feel it is techinical overkill, and has very little practical carry over to actual practice in the field. Two guys who I know took the course, were both purvis junkies, and raved about how great he is, no different than the paul check devotes, who self title themselves “chekies”
funny thing is that neither of these guys could lift dick in the weightroom. one was skinnny and weak, and the other guy was weak with a pot belly, and a giant cranium. so I seriously questioned how effective the methods were that they learned.


Thanks for the info. I’ve never seen any of the Bowflex commercials, but worked with some trainers who knew Tom from when he worked for NASM. You may have saved me some $$$.

hmmm really. thats strange because the guy that recomened the course to me is a Chek and Poliquin intern also he has done seminars with Westside. I would imagin he would know his stuff. He is also one of the Premier trainers in New York. I meet Clair Daines at his gym :slight_smile: Not that that means anything but if Tom’s stuff is crap I wonder why he is recomending it?

if you want knowledge, go to university and get a degree in anatomy/biomechanics/and or physiology.

These guys are assclowns out to make a quick buck and thats it. Chek institute is listed on Quackwatch for christs sake… he will have to resort to infomercials within a few years and sell his gadgets that way.

Cheks extrapolations of rehab data to healthy individuals has been slammed by the people who actualy published the data (it doesnt get much worse than that).

If their methods were so far ahead of everyone else why dont they havent they set up their own country so that they can dominate world/olympic champions?


coz it dont work, thats why.

bottom line… if someone is asking a huge amount of cash for info… IT WILL NOT BE WORTH IT. everything you need to know is on the net for free, given out by those who actually have knowledge.

spineflow, the guy you met, his name is Joe Dowdell or something like that. I keep fudging up his last name, but I know that is his first name and is pretty close to how you spell his last name. He trains more than claire danes, I know on his website he says that he also works with a couple of supermodels and that really hot chick that was dating david blane the magician, but her name escapes me right now.

Suzi Nevell, the instructor at my chek intern, had nothing but nice things to say about him in regards to his training practice. I believe that at the time, she was renting a space out of his facility so I can only assume that she knew him pretty well.
I will not say anything negative about him since he was nice enough to return an email that I randomly sent to him about career development. so my only interaction with him was a positive one and it would be bullshit to say something bad about him.
why he recommonded rts, I have no idea. He recommended it to me too, but because of my previous experience with purvis, I passed on it. he also recommended the chek intern as a good starting point, but as you can see, that was a disappointing decision too, based on my goals.
for all I know maybe he did get something out of it, it is just that everytime I see something from purvis, I wind up very disappointed because he will go on for a long time about biomechanical minutia, while never seeming to get to anything that would have an impact on my work with clients. I find that type of information good for boosting my ego as a trainer, because it makes me feel like I am better than others cause I know things that they don’t, but I have also found that ego has dick to do with career development (as do intials behind your name).
If you want my opinion on career development, I say forget having such a hardon over getting a cscs or acsm (which I admittedly did), and spend some time on this website, reading the programs and then spending some time under the bar doing them. It is much harder than going to a seminar, but gives you much more in return. you could also go out and injure yourself a couple of times, which I accidently did, because nothing on this planet will teach you more than rehabing one of your own injuries.
all the above mentioned things I said about purvis are true, all the pre contracted lats stuff etc. is all on tape if you want to find it, he was with NASM when he did it. plus, I really can’t seem to get over those bowflex commercials, really slimy stuff in my opinion.

spineflow, one additional note is that while I refuse to say bad things about the aforementioned trainer, I will say that being one of the premier trainers anywhere means less about actual training skill, and more about marketing. models tend to be hot before they work with trainers in that there is no exercise you can do to give you jessica biels ass kicking bone structure, and their genetics tend to make any training program work. since most of them chain smoke and don’t eat much, they are not at home stuffing their faces with donuts and pancakes, so what ever muscle you do build will not hidden under a layer of fat, which incidently is the problem with most people anyway. I have seen some of the crappiest (sp) designed programs that I have ever written provide unbelievable gains when my clients controlled their eating habits.

I also agree that most of the information you will ever need to know is out there for free or is at least really cheap. one of the best books I ever bought, that really helped me talk to people on a down to earth level, as well as provide simple but effective exercises, only cost me 10 bucks. the book is called “The Multifidus Back Pain Solution” and it is written by PT Jim Johnson. It really helped me stay within what I feel is the ethical scope of my practice, while still being able to help people. the chek stuff just seemed to be way over complicated and too in detail for use with the average person with mild back pain or weakness.