T Nation

Respect Due

Not to be an ass kisser-but T-mag is unbelievable. This, DeFrancos site and Elite Fitness Systems are my absolute favorite sites. I know college is important and I will appreciate my degree, however, I feel that I have learned more in the last 4-6 months of visiting and researching these sites that DIRECTLY relates to my career than I did in my entire acedemic career. Training/Coaching info on these sites are science based and backed by results. I feel sorry for any strength and conditioning professional or those who aspire to be one who does not know these wonderful resources exist. Thank you to all of the editors and READERS/POSTERS who make this kind of valuable info available. I know you all have helped me in my quest to be a great coach. KEEP FEEDING ME. My Athletes definately benefit and thank you. After all, that is what it’s all about.

I hope you do realize that your degree will get you the job you want in the future. Don’t de-emphasize this part of your education. Websites such as these are great, don’t get me wrong, but even in today’s world of university degrees being a buck a dozen, that piece of paper will pay huge dividends.

I definately know what a uphill battle it would be without a degree. It shows credibility and a work ethic to get long term goals accomplished. My degree coupled with my side/post graduate research will hopefully make me very employable. Any suggestions on what employers look for in this industry aside from a degree and internship?

Just out of curiosity, what exactly are you studying?

By getting a degree in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Human Kinetics or any other related field gives you a strong base of knowledge that will allow you to understand the science that programs on this site are based on. You may even be able to create and manipulate your own successful program based on your knowledge of anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics you gain in school and the training knowledge you gain here.

I’m a Kinesiology major w/ emphasis in Fitness, nutrition and health @ SDSU. Most of the course work is geared towards general public fitness. My best classes have definately been human anatomy, exercise physiology and a weight training class that used the NSCA book as the text.

Fuck all that shit…if you want be a strength coach …start fucking COMPETING RIGHT NOW…if you dont compete you will get very little respect in the feild…i am not saying you have to be a powerlifter but you need to compete at some form of weightlifting…olympic, powerlifting, or strongman…if you cant make your self at least “ELITE” AT ONE OF THESE SPORTS …THAN I AM SORRY YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THE GAME NOW AND BE A PERSONAL TRAINER AT BALLYS…also get certifed by the NSCA then forget everything they taught you…the NSCA sucks balls…bring yourself to a elite level… you wont learn 1% of what you need to in school to be a strength coach…you will learn 99% of it under the bar and competing…sorry about the rant but this subject really strikes a cord with me…big m

I’m with that BM!! I’m 22 5’9" 190lbs so right now I trying to get my weight and strength up. I’ve been working out for a few years but now it’s time to get serious! I’m starting WESTSIDE on monday and based on what I gather, as long as I bust my ass I should see serious results. I would love to compete but living in So. Cal my opportunities are limited. I graduate in December and am thinking I may have to seek work in another state that takes strength training seriously and doesn’t view 24hr fitness as a hardcore gym.

big martin,

Are you saying only individuals that are capable of training people who play football, basketball, hockey, baseball, tennis, soccer, etc… are people who compete in powerlifting, weightlifting, or strongman for no other reason then that they are very strong?

Unfortunately, other than certain positions in football, those types of training exclusively are not ideal for many athletes, even those football players need a training program thats specific to their sport. While I was playing hockey, if a Strength and conditioning coach told me he was the best trainer for me because he was a powerlifter I would of thought he didn’t know a thing about hockey and what it takes to play at an elite level.

Getting a degree is one of the most important things you can do because it shows you have a solid base of knowledge about how the human body responds to exercise. Stuff you will never learn, or will have great difficulty learning, on T-Mag, in the gym, or from any other unregulated source of informantion.

If you have an athlete come to you with a shoulder injury and needs you to help them rehab it. Do you just give them a generic shoulder rehab program you read in T-Mag? Or do you assess their injury and, using your knowledge of anatomy you acquired when you were in university, decide which structures in your athletes shoulder have been injured and devise a rehab program specificly that individual with that specific injury. A program which will not leave any weak points to develop that may of developed if the athlete were to follow a cookie cutter program from the internet.

Competing at an elite level of any sport will increase your credibility as a S&C coach, but it doesn’t have to be a strength sport. Having a degree and having played an elite sport will increase your credibility to your potential clients.

AHAHA, Big Martin pretty much stole my thoughts on this subject. I agree 100% with gettin NSCA certified then forget what they taught you. I also agree that you should compete in something, Powerlifting, OL, Strongman, whatever…

and yes, you will probably learn more from reading books than you will from all of your text books.

Chris…your going to have hard time convencing me of that…as i have a degree and working on a masters certification right now…and i 100% beleive that a strength coach is there to make you a stronger more well conditioned athlete…i do not beleive in sport specific training at all…usually those programs based on sport are copouts because the player dosent want to work hard and sitting on a balace ball doing cable cross overs is a lot easier than doing a dyanmic squat session…i see this primarly with baseball players i work with they dont need any sport specific crap becuase usually they can cant even squat 135 pounds and cant do a single glute ham raise…there is a small majority of coaches out there that beleive in my thoughts 100%…i did not come up with this info on my own…devoping elite level strength can only be taught by those that have done it…you dont have ot agree with me its fine…but this is what i have been taught by the likes of joe keen, dave tate, louie simmons, jim wendler and many other elite level coaches…it is usually the physically weak strength coaches who argue this point against me…sorry we dont agree…big m

If an athlete has a serious shoulder problem, send them to the athletic trainer…that is what they are there for.
I do love the term “unregulated” source of info. Listen, if you can honestly tell me that you think you will learn more from a bunch of text books than you can from a book like Supertraining or Science and Practice of Strength Training…then fine, go off, read texts and give your athletes “sport-specific” programs.

“The Science and Practice of Strength Training” is a textbook. Dr. Zatsiorsky is a professor at Penn State.

Actually, bm, i agree with some of your points, I just disagreed with you making it sound like there’s no point in going to school and to be a respected strength coach you have to compete in a strength sport.

Since you’re going for your masters I imagine you actually do feel it’s important to advance your formal education. I’m also aware that just having a degree doesn’t qualify you to be a strength coach. There are a number of professors at my school who have their CSCS. From looking at and talking to them, they clearly have no idea how to train for strength.
I’m saying that it is necessary to get a degree on top of all the practical experience you must also gain during your career.

Now I wouldn’t want my lab instructor who told me that she only performs one set per exercise because “2 sets is too much work” to give me (or anybody) a training program. Obviously for a strength coach to adequately train an elite athlete in a sport that relies on strength and power (such as football, hockey, basketball) they can’t be some PT at Bally’s that squats 200 lb… They definately need some experience in lifting themselves, but I don’t believe they need the title of being a powerlifter, strongman, or olympic weightlifter.

I also, never claimed sport-specific training involved performing cable cross-overs on a swiss ball. I was implying that an athlete that might not necessarily need elite level strength (ie: a tennis player) does not need to train like a strength athlete, therefore they don’t need an elite strength athlete to train them. Which means training like a strength athlete is not specific for them or their sport. However, if a strength coach, who happens to be a strength athlete, realizes that this athlete does not need to spend months apon months increasing their squat to 600 lb. then they can help this athlete become the best they can. This athlete could also do with a coach who squats just as much as they do, but is knowledgable and experience in how tennis players need to train.

Chris…i agree with a lot of your points…and i beleive that there is a need for such coaches as tenis coaches in the private sector that work with tennis players…there is a need for a such thing…but at the university for example you would be amazed at how weak most these athletes are…like i said i work with college baseball players who cant do a single glute ham raise…i have foot ballplayers who’s coahes stressed the push press so much in hs they can push press 315 and only low box sq 300…there is a serious need for pure strength in these sports it is not being done at the hs or college level…what i dont understand is i run a powerlifting team that is made up of a buch of 19-23 year old kids who were not very good genetic athletes in fact a few of them never played sports or were cut in hs…these guys are the bottom of the barrell when it comes to athletic genes…yet they all have aquired large amounts of strength in short periods of time…in fact all my powerlifters would easily be the top 2 or 3 guys on any div 1 football team in america…even if you take away there equipment…they dont train in fancy university weight rooms they train in my garage…and they for damn sure are not the cream of the crop genetic athletes in america…so tell me why when you go to joe defrancos web site he has some 300 pound division 1 offensive line men box sqauting 545 pounds that he is bragging about… that is speed weight in my gym full of poor gentic looser powerlifters…if your a 300 pound offensive divison 1 linemen with massive genitic talent and obvious gentic size you better be able to squat 545 or your a fucking joke…i have a 242 19 year old kid who has trained for 2 years who can do 545 on a 12 inch box with a ssbar and he got cut from the fucking hs football team…if you dont have massive amounts of strength or aquired it yourself or are around it everyday average becomes elite to you…to me every 300 pound offensive lineman in a merica should be able to squat a easy 700 and bench a easy 450 or so…because if the looser athletes on my team can reach these goal those fucking athletes should be able to do it like its nothing…who’s letting them down in my opinion its those that think a 300 pound kid doing 545 15 inch box squat is good thats who…this menatlity never came to me or i never understood it until i met jim wendler…some one who has played for college national champioship and has squated near a 100 pounds now as a football player…he taught me that what you think is good isnt good…its something i hold dear to heart…sorry for the rant…big m

Since when did ability to gain strength had anything to do with playing abilty and skill?
I doubt Michael Jordan could be an elite level powerlifter…

I never said it did…in fact i said there is a need for specialized coaches in certain sports…basketball would be a good example…i my self played a skill sport in college baseball and there were tons of very weak players who were great players…i am talking about athletes in sports that need strength…and in the sports where the athletes i work with mainly football lineman wishing to gain wieght and get stronger and other football players many of these players come with a already level of strength that 99% of out of college NSCA certified strength coaches have not equaled there self…how can they show a lineman wishing to bench 400 to bench 400 if they themsleves cant bench 400…i also work with a ton of college wreslters who some weigh 120 pounds are 20 years old and bench 300 or so pounds most college grad wannabe strength coaches i meet in my classes would love to bench 300 pounds why would the 120 pound wrestler choose to listen to them if he is already stronger than him???..i dont work with basketball players as basketball is not a strenght sport and i am a STRENGTH COACH…i have never claimed strength helps with all sports…but a baseball player who can do 10 glute ham raises will have a much better off chance of not being injured than a player who cant do a single one…sure there are going ot be examples of sports where strength is not important…and i give credit to those coaches who work these players for there sport making conditioning a priority but these coaches are not strength coaches…strength coaches are paid to make athletes in certain sports who need strength stronger…and your right skill is the number one priority of a coach…my job as a strength coach is to do what the player asked of me make him stronger…big m

What about Speed? This must be developed for most sports including football. Shouldn’t a strength coach develop his/her own speed and agility so to properly teach it? I personally try to engage myself in almost every activity before I prescribe to an athlete of mine. I may never be a 4.3 40yd guy or a 500lb bench presser, however I damn’ sure will improve all aspects of my athletic ability. This IMPROVEMENT is what I expect of myself as well as my ATHLETES.

Sorry, I meant just because a football player is a better geneticly and skill wise doesn’t mean he should be stronger than someone who got cut from the team. Perhaps the better player is just more wired for reactivity and reflexsive sharpness which is more important on the field. Sure he will get better with greater strength, but it doesn’t mean he is automaticly better able to be stronger than a lesser skilled player that is all I meant to say

Think of two different things. Great athletic ability, thern strength. Big Martin’s right. I’ve seen people with the athletic talent be pretty weak considering. a lot of this silly core work, balance etc., will do nothing to get you strong.

Most athletes just need to worry about getting stronger first. It’s probably the easiest thing to improve on them.