Strengths, Weaknesses, and Assignment #3

Hey all, hope you are all staying cool.


Thank you for responding to the last assignment, each of you had some excellent thoughts.  If you haven’t already done so, please read through the comments and see what your classmates are saying.  There are some common threads, and also some distinct differences.

Many of you mention program design as an area that you would like to improve on.  This will always be the case, I am still trying to grasp it all.  With all the information and various philosophies out there, just when you think you have a handle on it all, something new to will show up and get you to change.  The important thing is to understand concepts, and apply those to whatever program you are creating.  You each have wonderful suggestions, and I agree with many of them.  We do need to get some more clinical experiences in as well.


The site visits have started.  This past week I have visited Ryan Koening and observed as he whipped a football team into shape at 6:00 am.  Getting 120 9-12th graders to do your bidding is a challenge, however, it seems that Ryan is very much up to the task.  I also had the opportunity to visit Nick DeCelle at the Sunnyview Rehab Hospital where he is working with all kinds of individuals and being exposed to new things.  At this hospital they have an interesting pool.  You stand in the middle of what looks like a normal floor, and then all the sudden, the floor lowers, water rushes in, and you have a pool.  Fascinating.  The visits will continue, keep up the good work.


This assignment is two-fold and stems off of last week’s assignment. 

Part I

Tell us about a certain experience that you have had so far that has really made you think.  Maybe you learned a new technique or philosophy and asked yourself “Why that?”  Or, you have been working with an individual that has some issues that you aren’t familiar with.  Describe what you are doing, what you are thinking, and what you have learned. 

Part II

Many of you are working with supervisors and other staff members that have various levels of education.  Please tell us what education levels you have experienced (college degree, self-taught, etc) in your supervisors and what certifications you have become exposed to (ie do the people you are working with have their ACSM-HFI, NSCA-CSCS or CPT, or even NASM).  Also, take a look at each of the following websites, and discuss which certification(s) you would like to take and why.  You each hear us talk about them all the time, but there are lots out there, and you need to take a look and see what is best for you.  The last site is for NASM, which is a certification that is up and coming.  :


Good luck with everything, and keep up the good work.

Take care


27 Responses to “Strengths, Weaknesses, and Assignment #3”

  1. Anthony Papacoda Says:

    Part I

    Just this past weekend I atteneded the two day Pennsylvania State Strength and Conditioning clinic with Coach Kamal. It was an all day affair for those two days, with coaches speaking every hour, each with their own topics. I learned about implementing plyometrics into your program and how to build off of it, by making it harder with more advanced athletes. A few speakers talked about speed training and the four phases of how to coach speed. I even learned about sandbag training and the benefits of implementing that as an alternative exercise to many different lifts.

    However, when Andrea Hudy, the strength and conditioning coordinator for both men’s and women’s basketball at Kansas University spoke, she showed us some really crazy things that she does with her athletes. She trains her athletes extremely hard, and also allos some room for them to enjoy their rigorous workouts. Some days she have them use boxing in their training, whether it be heavy or speed bag work. Certain days they might go mountain biking. The exercise that she uses for both footwork and hand-eye coordination while on defense, was just stunning to me. She uses the video game Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) with her athletes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I mean its a video game, how exactly is this going to benefit an athlete. As I began watching it, it all started to make sense. The athletes had to work on footwork by placing their feet on the pad at the right moment or else they would lose and not get as many points. They also would take the pad off the ground and put it up so that way you can use your hands to play the game to work on hand reactions for defense. I realized that this type of exercise can be extremely beneficial to your athletes because it takes them away from the traditional training and throws a curveball at them, allowing them to have some fun. Also it adds a competition aspect to the program by having two athletes compete against one another, to see who gets more points. I would be interested to see how a bunch of football players would react to this, to see if they benefit from this and also for my amusement!

    Part II

    My supervisor, Coach Kamal, has recieved both his undergraduate degree, and graduate degree. He is NSCA-CSCS certified, as well as USAW certified. I feel personally, that I would like to take the same certification exams, in the near future, because they are the two certifications that are very well accepted in the field of strength and conditioning. I would also think about becoming CPT certified because I have also thought about becoming a personal trainer later on in life. As for now though, the two certifications mentioned earlier are going to be at the top of my priority list.

  2. Emma Homberg Says:

    Part 1
    Lately, I have been in charge of initial jumpstarts for joining members. Just basically going over the FITT principle, target heart rate, specific goals, and also orientation on some of the nautilus equipment. I have found that each woman I talk with is very different. However, I have come across a couple woman that have talked with me about exercise and not being able to sleep. Some woman have expressed to me that they have trouble sleeping the more cardio that they do. I found this really strange seeing as when I work out I have the initial energy spike and then I crash. I asked them if they were exercising at night or if they are post menopausal because I know both of those can effect sleep patterns. They both said no and that they had been on and off different medications and they wanted to continue exercising but didnt know what to do about their sleeping issues. I have been researching the topic some more but can’t seem to get to the bottom of it all. This is one issue I have encountered while working at Healthworks.
    Part 2
    My supervisors all have their masters but they are not all exercise physiologists. My main supervisor went to springfield college to become a teacher and she did her undergrad in sports management. She is now a fitness director here at Healthworks. I found this interesting although she has both her ACE and ACSM certifications. She is very much into athletics and has coached at the college level. If I were to get any certification right now I think it might be ACE or AFAA. I am not yet certain if personal training is something I am set of doing. Because I am so unsure I think just getting one of these certifications would be good for right now. If in the future I become more serious and realize I do want to go into personal training I will probably end up taking ACSM. All are so expensive! I want to make sure I know whatt I want to do before taking ACSM or NASM. I am anxious to get more experence at North Shore Medical Center to see if clinical is the route I want to take.

  3. Mike Tremble Says:

    Part I:

    Coach Wright is really big on functional training and he has been very successful with his players. He is just starting to get in to how important the foot is in function and in sport. It really got me thinking. At first I didn’t understand it but after his presentation at the Perform Better Summit it became clearer. The foot is important because in sport is constantly in contact with the ground. If there is a dysfunction with the foot such as a tight subtalar joint meaning that the calcaneus has trouble inverting or everting most commonly everting then you will be likely to find problems up the kinetic chain. Therefore foot problems can be masked by a sore knee, tight hips, or a tight T-spine many times all of these. In evaluating an athlete it is important to learn how to isolate each area in order to identify where a problem may be hiding.
    That is really one of the biggest things that blew my mind so far this summer. I am working with Coach Wright to learn how to administer a functional movement screen and also on how to non-functionally evaluate an athlete. I hope that by summer’s end I will have a better grasp on the concept and be able to help other athletes and coaches on the topic.

    Part II:

    Coach Wright has his bachelor’s degree from Springfield College and did master’s work at Clemson University. He is C.S.C.S. and SPAR-Q certified and sits on the faculty on the Gray institute which deals with functional training. Logan Schwartz has his bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Texas and is C.S.C.S. I have taken the C.S.C.S. exam and passed so upon the completion of my internship I will be C.S.C.S. as well. As far as other certifications go I am not going to chase after many more. In my opinion the C.S.C.S. can’t possibly determine who is a good or bad strength coach or who will or won’t be good. It is simply a benchmark that has become commonplace in the field. It is not a difficult test to pass and is outdated. The NSCA does nothing for me at all and I feel that it just sucks money away from strength coaches. That is my own opinion, however. This is not the case for people who go in to the clinical side of the field. It is important to ascertain a level of education for the people who will be going into clinical exercise physiology or cardiac rehab.
    I think that the most important thing for a strength coach to be successful is for him or her to expose themselves to as many different training philosophies as possible. When they find one that they believe in that person should find a coach who is respected in the field and shares your views. From there you can begin learning more about the philosophy. It is important to always attend conferences, and continue your education. There are new training ideas and techniques coming out constantly and it is only going to grow more in the future. The body is an amazing structure and we have only scratched the surface as to understanding it. Always keep an open mind and always be hungry for new information.

    Mike T.

  4. Colleen Faltus Says:

    There are various things that occur in the strength room that have caught my eye and I have paid very close attention too. However two things imparticular that I have noticed have to deal with plyometrics and foot work.
    Ploymetrics are an essential aspect to all strength programs in order to develop muscular power and generate a lot of force quickly. Their is such a variety of plyometrics that can be utilized and integrated in an athlete’s program that it is difficult to justify that one particualr form of plyometrics is suitable for any or all athletes. I would like to touch base on an example of how plyos can advance as an athlete progresses in his/her training. When freshman athletes come in, a plyo pushup s used using a single MB. The athlete puts one hand on the MB while the other hand is flat on the ground. The athlete then goes down into pushup position and then presses off the ball to switch hand positioning. As the athlete progresses in his/her training, plyo boxes and stability balls can be used.
    A second thing that caught my eye as I have been observing in the strength room is the importance of footwork. There has not been one day where an athlete has not incorporated foot work into every session. Whether they utilize the dot pads, quads, or squares all athletes must do some form of footwork before end their session. There is so much emphasis on footwork because it can apply to any sport, from football to cross country. Being able to enhance one’s speed, agility, balance can aid an athlete’s performance and allow them to be more efficient at the particular sport they play with fuidity and ability to transition with change in direction.

    Both of the coaches I am working with are CSCS certified. Coach White graduated from the University of Vermont with his bachelor’s in exercise science. He then advanced his eduacation to graduate school at Columbia University where he earned his Master’s degree in applied physiology. Coach White also has his certification from the USAW. Coach Rick Blackador, assistant coach at Providence College, earned his Master’s degree at Springfield College.
    Of the degrees mentioned and the one’s I have become familiar with through classes, I am interested earning certifications as a CSCS and a CPT. I would like to intially start out as a strength coach but later on in my life I would like to expose myself to personal training. I would also like to be certified in the area of sports nutrition. I am interested in the field of nutrition and I feel that with a combo in both nutrtion and strength and conditioning it would help me out in the long run.

  5. Colleen Faltus Says:

    oh and Mike congratulations on passing your CSCS exam……

  6. Mark Says:

    Good comments so far. Mike, strong words on the CSCS. I like strong opinions, hopefully someone will respond. You may want to check out NASM’s certifications as they are very functionally based and it seems that this is what you are looking for.

  7. Mark Says:

    Just a reminder that each of you are able to get big discounts on your CSCS, CPT, and HFI exams for being part of the SC program. For all NSCA tests, you get $50.00 off, and for the ACSM exams you get 50% off.(For the ACSM exams, that makes the cost about $120.00 rather than $240.00). I am good at math.

  8. Nick DeCele Says:

    Most of the things that I have done at my internship this summer have been tasks that I have never been asked to do before, nor I have witnessed before. One of the things I have been doing is working with a 27-year-old quad. It has been the most humbling experience. This past semester I took psych of dis, and to come out to my first real field-work experience and putting everything I learned to actual use, it made me feel like I was really helping someone and it’s a feeling that really can’t be described. I also worked with a patient recovering form a stroke. Just coming up with exercise that they can do but also keeps them interested and motivated has been a challenging task. But, defenitely humbling and very educational experiences.

    The supervisor that I am working with is an Ithaca grad with a bachelors in exercise science and has NASM, NSCA, and ACSM certifications. What I have heard form him in our discussions is that each certification covers different aspects of exercise. NASM really covers the “why” aspect, ACSM covers risks, recommendations, etc. But, just like we all know there are countless different types of philosophies out there and each certification has their own philosophy, but all with the same goal of being healthy, active, etc.
    There are other workers I am with, not many of them have degrees in exercise science, but all are certified personal trainers and have experience. They have all been working at Sunnyview for a number of years, they have their own general philosophy, and they all have a great reputaion with the clients. Each of them offer different knowledge for me to absorb.

  9. Michele Coriale Says:

    Being in the sports performance side of this field i see many different level athletes as well as ages everyday. Where i am working currently trains kids from the age of 7, 6 in some cases up to elite athletes. As a coach it is our job to adapt to each athlete we are coaching and to train at their level. Something i have recently experienced was working with a child who has Aspergers Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome is a newly recognized neurological disorder. It shares many of the same characteristics of autism, although people with Asperger’s Syndrome do not have the accompanying disabilities. This child has trouble paying attention as well as understanding cues or words that are said to him. This experience has really tested my coaching skills as well as patience. I am glad that i have been given this experience because it will only help me to improve my coaching skills and working with an athlete that isnt my everyday kind of kid! Secondly, another situation i have been working with is a high school female track athlete dealing with compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome is a painful condition that results when pressure within the muscles builds to dangerous levels. This prevents nourishment from reaching nerve and muscle cells. She has it in both legs and is recovering from surgery in one of them. This has been an interesting case to work with because everything she does needs to be done “softly” or cautiously due to the pressure she gets in her shins. Again, i have enjoyed working with all the athletes i have been training, but having cases like these two are always helpful to learn more about what many athletes go through becasue not everyone is in perfect condition!

    The franchise i work for uses all their protocols and such from NASM. Every worker who works under Parisi Speed School needs to be certified under NASM, so this way everyone will be under the same umbrella. Although, i have noticed that every trainer and/or head trainer that seems to be the most experienced and are “more knowledgable” are certified in NSCA-CSCS. In this field I feel that cert is clearly above all others which is why i am taking that exam very shortly as well as NASM. Furthermore, all the head trainers under Parisi’s have their BS and MS in exercise science related fields.

  10. Lauren Culyer Says:

    My experience in the personal training field has made me realize that there are alot of philosophies out there and depending on who you work for or with makes the philosophy work. I have been working with a general member who wants to lose major weight. He weighs about 410 lbs, is 6’1 and 41 years old. We have been working together for about 5 weeks now and there has been a major difference in his stress level, energy level and over-all well being. At first i developed a circuit workout he did on tuesday and thursday and mon, wed, friday he got in and did cardio. I know have developed a weight training program for 5 days a week. Each day is a different muscle group and consists of high intensity lifting and then doing 30 mins or more of cardio after lifting. I learned from my supervisor that strength training for large individuals is key to success because they are working twice as hard and burning more calories then cardio. So far working with the member has opened to my eyes to the public and how uneducated they are on health and fitness. I enjoy working with him and seeing progress. He has already had to buy a new belt and his friends have noticed a difference which is great and rewarding for me!

    My supervisor is N.C.C.P.T certified and also certified in every subdivision that association has. He is also a Nike Sparq coach and does testing for high school and college athletes. All of the other trainers at the gym are either N.C.C.P.T certified or certified through A.C.E or another association I havent really heard much about. I am not sure what certification I would want but I am thinking along the lines of A.C.E or acsm-cpt, nsca-cpt. I think for now I just need to get certified in something so that I am more appealing in the job market. I also dont know if personal training is the route for me anymore. I am applying to health fitness corporation jobs now in north carolina and really considering the corporate wellness route. I am also applying to a YMCA in Cary, NC which i feel is more exciting rather than strictly personal training. I want to explore more avenues in the health fitness field and see what is out there.

    One last thing, with the 450 hour practicum I think that it should be broken up into two 6 week practicums rather than at one spot. I think this will allow the student to get a feel for what is out there in case they find they are no longer interested in what they are doing at their current facility. This will allow us to explore and really decide what is right for us. Just a suggestion!

    Hope its going well for everyone!

  11. Chris Fee Says:

    Part I
    I have had a couple of experiences this summer that have made me think about my own philosophies. For example, the one area in which I think about all the time is what kind of coaching style do I want to use with the people I’m working with. The age groups that I’m working with range from middle school kids to high school kids. In my opinion you have to be careful with what you say to this age group because they can just shut you out. Since the first day at my internship it has made me rethink the way that I’m going to coach. There are times when you need to be real intense with them and than other times you need to sit back and correct them after. I also believe now it’s getting to know the person or team you are working with . People respond to all different styles of coaching; what works for one might not work for someone else. This summer is really making me understand this process of getting to know your athletes.
    Part II
    My site supervisor Rob Mangino, graduated from my local high school in the 80’s, and went on to earn a degree from the University of New Haven. Mangino is NSCA-CSCS certified. Mangino has been an active member in the Strength and Conditioning community for over 15 years. It has been a pleasure this summer working with Rob Mangino. This is one of the certification I believe is worth getting. I also think it’s important to work with people who are certified in this area.

  12. Ryan Koenig Says:

    Part 1
    When our strength and conditioning program first started for the athletes three weeks ago, there were a lot of young athletes coming to train that have never lifted or exercised before. One of the most challenging things that I have had to do so fare is teach all of the incoming freshman football players how to properly lift. Terms such as “keep a flat back”, and “keep your core tight” mean absolutely nothing to these athletes because they have no idea what I am talking about. Some of the athletes catch on quick and can perform the lifts with great form, and then there are others that just don’t get it. I could tell them a hundred times in a row to keep a flat back and squeeze their scapula together, and every time they still perform the exercise wrong. I talked to Coach Pic and asked him for some advice on how I could better teach these athletes the proper way to perform many of the lifts. He showed me a way to actively involve myself with the athletes, so I am not just telling the athlete what to do, but I am working right along with him. For example while the athletes are doing RDL’s there are a number of guys that are performing the lift with their shoulders hunched over. Even after I verbally tell them to correct their form they still hunch their shoulders. So I take my hand and put it right in between their shoulder blades and tell them to squeeze my hand throughout the entire exercise. Now they are consciously trying to retract their scapula, an they are learning what it feels like to be in the correct position, so the next time they perform that lift, they will automatically know how to position their bodies. This was just a little coaching tip that really helped me do my job better.

    Part 2
    My supervisor at Shelton High School has his bachelor’s degree in exercise science, and his masters in secondary education. He is certified through the NSCA with his CSCS, and he has his USAW certification. I am currently certified through the NSCA as a certified personal trainer, but I would like to get both the CSCS, and USAW certification. Right now I think that these are the most well known certifications, and will help me the most out in the field. I am not limiting myself to just these two certifications, but as of right now I think these are the best ones to get.

  13. Tony R Larkin Says:

    Part I

    Ollie and Brijesh incorporate an isometric exercise at the end of just about every athlete’s workout that has warranted several questions from me. The isometric holds are tailored to a specific position that is part of a movement in sport. For example, one of the movements is the split squat hold. The difference between our split squat and the norm is that the front heel is elevated an inch with all the pressure being on the toe. The back foot’s heel is elevated to the point of being perpendicular to the floor. The athlete’s head is looking forward with a “big” chest and shoulders pulled back. The next cue is to have the athlete pull both legs together without actually moving them. This allows the posterior chain to fire, as well. The finished product looks much like being in mid-stride of a sprint. Doing this allows the athlete to train the muscles to fire properly during a specific movement. I seem to think that placing it at the end of a workout will recruit some of the muscle fibers that weren’t activated during the workout, and teaching the body to maintain form while being tired (by leaving it until the end of the workout) will teach the body to still fire properly instead of compensating and losing the form.

    Part II

    Both Ollie and Brijesh have received their Masters degree and their CSCS certification through the NSCA. Brijesh also has the NASM certification. I currently have not spoken with Brijesh regarding his NASM certification, but I will next week at some point and will comment on it. I currently have the CSCS certification, as well. At this point, I am content with this and will not explore any further certifications. I had tried for the CISSN (Certification for International Society of Sport Nutrition), but unfortunately, did not pass. I will eventually get this certification since it is a major topic of interest for me and I feel it will be an important one.

  14. Mark Novellano Says:

    Part 1

    During my internship I began to change my mind and think much more differently, than I had, on how I will train my clientele. When I designed programs for a client, I used to base it on a more athletic point of view; however, upon completing my internship my views have changed and realized that I am working with an average person. In coming to realization every person is different and/or not up to the physical level performance I am capable of; especially when determining the amount of sets and reps. For example, the average person is not going to sit inside a gym and do 30 sets of exercises because of their physical level or it consumes to much time of their day especially when doing abdominal training. In my final report I designed a core workout program for a client who has back pain which can be associated with a weak core. When I made my initial program my supervisor, Chad looked it over and explained that the program would be a good core workout for an athlete; but not someone who has a weak core with pain. I thought at first this was an easy program and I even tried the core workout myself ; it did not seem hard from my point of view; however, it was still hard for the client because of the pain she was experiencing. As a result, the sets and reps were decreased.

    Another experience I had during my internship was with a 15 year old male who had extensive knee problems, however, he wants to play football for his high school. One knee problem is Osgood Schlatter, which is basically when your child has an adolescent growth spurt, his or her bones grow rapidly. If your child is involved in a lot of running and jumping activities during this time, he or she is at risk of developing Osgood-Schlatter disease, an overuse syndrome that causes pain, swelling and tenderness over the bony prominence of the upper shinbone (tibial tuberosity) just below the kneecap. The condition is also referred to as tibial tuberosity apophysitis. Osgood Schlatter is temporary and as your child’s bones finish growing the pain will dissipate as well. Furthermore, he also has additional problems with his patella and ACL.
    He has pain most of the time so it made me think of how I could design a program that would strengthen the knee joint in order for him to play football and not injure it even more. I have come to realize that surgery and rehab is most likely the cure to correct these problems. I am not a doctor and do not have that type of knowledge, but this case does have me thinking outside of the box.

    Part 2

    My supervisor, Chad Smith ,graduated from my high school Sachem North. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science and a Masters in Physical Therapy. Chad is also certified in first aid, CPR and is a member of the American Health Association. In addition, Chad has many certifications in Skilled Specific Physical Therapy Techniques, as well. He has worked in the rehab area for hospitals and also has his own private P.T business. In addition, he also takes courses at the Hospital For Special Surgery, when offered, to keep updated with the newest techniques and theories.

    The certifications I would like to obtain are first NSCA-CPT. This type of certification is for an individual who wants to be a personal trainer and train a client on a one on one basis. This would be an ideal certification for me when I graduate college because I want to be in the Personal Trainer field. After that I then would like to become certified in NASM-CES. This certification helps people with muscle imbalances or rehab musculature problems. I think this would be great asset to my personal training especially if I have a client who has an injury I will have knowledge on how to train around the injury and rebuild the muscles so they would not have any problems. These are the first two certifications I would like to obtain. After a few years out in the field, eventually I would like to pursue my CSCS certification. This is my dream and I would love to train an athlete specifically for a sport or even train a sports team. However, I believe that in order to be a good strength and conditioning coach experience comes first.

  15. Jesse Demers Says:

    There are a few things that def. catch my eye. The first thing that I really want to talk about is the pathology of technique and injury. For instance by the way some one runs/walks/ or lifts you can tell a lot about where they are weak and what things you need to correct or focus on. Each muscle is affected by another and sometimes it’s as simple as teaching or strengthening. I have learned that many things come down to posture. How a person stands and positing of hips, feet and shoulders can determine many things. Since I split my time in a clinical setting with a strength and conditioning facility I see many people coming off injury. Learning more about the body and how it truly works is what I have been concentrating on learning. There are thousands of ways to correct form and stature, and this might mean the difference between a person who makes gains and a person who stays the same.
    I have two advisors, Dan Bourqe is my day to day supervisor and Jim Ronai is my head supervisor. Dan holds a Masters from Southern CT as an Exercise Physiologist. Dan also is certified by the NSCA (CSCS) and the ACSM ( HFI and RCEP). Dan has recently has be voted as a member at large. This means he will be asked to advise and help manage certain things for the ACSM. The RCEP is the closest to licensure that an Ex. Phys can obtain. Jim Ronai received a masters degree in PT from Springfield College and is also a certified ATC and CSCS. I currently hold a CSCS and am looking to take the RCEP exam at some point.

  16. Henry Ruggiero Says:

    It is hard to pin point one experience so far that has really made me think, because of the fact that everything is so new and different that practically everything has made me think. But I guess one thing in particular could be the fact that practically on athlete comes into BC and is immediately allowed to squat with a bar on their back, almost everyone starts out on the bear squat machine. This is because individuals do not have the flexibility to get into good squat position, whether it be because of tight hips, tight hamstrings, weakness or whatever. The bear squat is used as a teaching tool to help athletes learn to squat safely the proper way. It elevates the individual and does not make them stabilize them selves as much so they are therefore at less risk for injury.

    Russel DeRosa is my supervisor and he is CSCS certified, as well as having both and undergraduate and graduate degree both in health fitness related fields. This is also the certification that I would like to obtain. It is one of the most widely recognized and virtually essential to have in order to be a collegiate strength and conditioning coach.

  17. Alex O'Keefe Says:

    So far the philosophies and techniques that we have been teaching have not really made me think. Some of them are new to me but I understand and completely agree with them. Some of the unique experiences that I have had have been with some of the younger athletes and the female athletes. I find myself have to come up with new ways to explain correct form and different reasons why we do the things that we do in the weight room. The female athletes always seem to be reluctant to move up in weight because they think they will get too big. We have found that we really have stay on top of those athletes so that they continue to push themselves to get better and we explain to them what actually will happen when they put themselves through our whole program. I have found that all the athletes really crave information and they are all willing to listen and learn why. It is a really good way to get the athletes to work harder and it is a really easy way to develop a great relationship between you and the client.
    My supervisor Erik Kaloyanides is a graduate of Syracuse University, is CSCS certified and is a SPARQ trainer. I know that I need to obtain the CSCS to advance in the strength and conditioning field but I dont feel that it should be the measurement of any strength coaches knowledge. I feel that you will learn more through experieces such as internships and different jobs should help you advance much farther. I think that learning other peoples philosophies and seeing how other places work is a much better way to develop. I have already found myself picking other peoples brains that come from different backgrounds to find out how and why they do things and have had other people ask me the same thing. I think that those type of situations are going to be much more beneficial and useful than any certification.

  18. David Forrette Says:

    I’ve been seeing a huge variety of techniques and philosophies at Equinox, and I would say that the philosophies are driven in a marketing sense. By this I mean that each trainer has a different way to market themself, and a unique style of course, but much of the programming is structured the same. Since Equinox has it’s own continuing education program, Equinox Fitness Training Institute, or EFTI, a lot of the principles for their programming is the same, but it allows a wide variety and creativity for the trainers. The most unique experiences I have been subject to are department interactions and training with the new Kinesis Wall. What is great about Equinox is that there is a desire for individuals to show their talents in order to educate others. Today I had a pilates session with the head instructor, and he is giving all staff the chance to get a free 1/2 hour with him to learn about pilates and be able to educate members on it better. And thats just one case, so it is really a great atmosphere to learn not only from my peers in personal training, but in other services that I would not have had the opportunity to take. Getting back to the Kinesis Wall, that piece is really interesting, as it’s main focus is to be utilized to keep a body in movement against resistance over time. So work is not calculated directly through absolute weight and distance moved, but rather time and movement complexity to achieve a high workload volume. So that concept in itself is really new, and it’s a great practice to experiment and develop.

    I have 3 supervisors in a way: Joshua is the Regional PT Manager, Victor is the Dartmouth club Fitness Manager, and Judy is the MOD (Manager on Duty). Josh is NSCA-CSCS, and I am not quite sure of Victor’s or Judy’s certifications. I know that Equinox has a very strong relationship with the NSCA, but they do accept trainers of all certifications, including AFAA, NASM, and potentially ACSM, although I have not confirmed that. I feel that my NSCA-CPT stands up well with the other certifications my peers hold, but I would like to go for the CSCS to further my knowledge and credentials in the field. I do know that having an open and broad mind is the most sound advice to follow in the world of commercial personal training, so I feel that you do not NEED to have every certification that those around you have, but use the opportunity to ask questions about your clients and where you are having difficulty to see your problem and how to fix it.

  19. Jenny Smith Says:

    I recently started training a 30-year-old woman who is in between pregnancies. The program that was made for her when I first started here did not work on the goals that she wanted to achieve. The program had her doing supplemental exercises first and was not well written at all. She is very negative about working out because she knows that she is going to have another child, so she thinks losing weight now is useless. I explained to her that if she works hard now it will be easier after the next pregnancy. The program that I created now focuses on her stomach, light weight training and cardio. I spent a lot of time writing this program because she gets very bored easily and is always negative. Every exercise I have her do I have to explain to her how it will be beneficial to her. She has only been doing this program for a week, but she seems to be enjoying it.

    The Program Manager, Assistant Program Manager and Health Fitness Specialist are all certified in AFAA and in SPIN. Group exercise is very big in corporate fitness and is something that all employees above health fitness specialist’s are required to have. Only one of the employees here is certified as a Health/Fitness Instructor through ACSM, which surprised me. I noticed that all three employees through MediFit have some sort of physical therapy experience and they all have a BS/BA in Exercise Science or Kinesiology.

  20. Jenny Smith Says:

    I am looking into getting certified as a Health/Fitness Instructor through ACSM. Before the end of the summer I would like to be certified in SPIN and in AFAA. I think these are the most important certifications that you need to have in the corporate setting. ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor would be good to have as it is designed for employees of preventative health programs and targets low-to-moderate risk individuals, which is the primary group that corporate fitness deals with.

  21. Shayna Richardson Says:

    I am about half way done with my 90 hour internship and things are going great I have learned a ton of stuff. There is however one thing in particular that has really made me think, and that was how to know when to increase a patient’s speed or incline. My supervisor Luci gave me the file on one of the patients and asked me to try and figure it out. After an attempt she explained that increasing the speed and incline are based on target heart rates and when the patient is no longer within their target heart rate during the exercise portion of the workout we increase the patients speed and/or incline. Now that I have learned how to do this I have been deciding when to increase patients speed and incline. I work with three different people two are registered cardiac nurses and one has a bachelors degree in exercise physiology as well as the NSCA-CSCS certification. I myself have taken and passed the ACSM-CPT test and I want to continue with the ACSM tests because I feel they are the best fit for me.

  22. Lauren D'Arrigo Says:

    Part one
    For the past two weeks I have been working at Harvard for my internship and on almost every day I work with the football team. On both days that I am in there they do power cleans as their olympic lift for the day. As I see it, many of the players do not complete this exericse as well as they could if there was 50 less pounds on the bar. Not many of them get their elbows up as high as possible and they catch standing straight up. Even though many of them perform their cleans this way, they are still bumped up in weight and then seem to struggle even more. I asked about this and they said “its fine if they catch high, just tell them to get their elbows up and they will”. I have tried this and it hasnt worked to well, they try but just cant do it. I just think that technique should come first instead of how much weight you can put on the bar. With all the other teams this is the case, but not with the football team and I think that it is not right.

  23. Lauren D'Arrigo Says:

    Part Two
    The three coaches I work with all have their CSCS. As much as I enjoy the team environment and implementing programs for them, I am most likely going into Physical Therapy to get my doctorate. I will probably still go for my CSCS because for a year or two I think I’m going to try and work with athletes and teams. I think I will also go for my NASM because it is geared towards more of a rehab setting, which is what I’m leaning towards doing. I had never heard of this certification so now that I know about it I am more interested in it now.

  24. brian bert Says:

    An experience i encountered which really made me think was teaching incoming freshmen the workout program. I had to teach the kids all of the Olympic lifts that they perform in the program. i had alot of fun doing this however i really made me think about proper technique and how to break it down so they can understand it. With a little help from the head strength coach i was successful in teaching the lifts and learned alot while doing them. My supervisor has her masters degree in strength and conditioning. She is certified with the CSCC, USA weight lifting, and CPR-AED. I found it interesting that she does not have her CSCS which i asked her about. She then told me about the CSCC which is very similar to the CSCS however you must be a college coach to get it whereas any person with a bachelors degree can get the CSCS. I am interested in getting the CSCS and hopefully going on to possibly get the CSCC. I am still learning alot with this internship while having alot of fun doing it.

  25. Andrea Gallo Says:

    One of the things I love most about the setting that I am in is that I get to work with everyone from professional athletes to kids and see that vaying levels of ability. It is working with the younger atheltes that I have the most fun. There have been a few clients that have started since I’ve been at Future Fitness and I have really seen them improve their strength and form. Watching this development has made me realize how much middle school and even high school aged kids grow in that time and proper training now can carry over later in life. One thing that I see in my internship is the introduction to the hang clean when the athlete is of a young “training age” and sometimes uncoordinated in the basic lifts that can set one up for the olympic lifts. I notice that many times the elbow position is completely forgotten and that the athlete will rock to get the weight up initially. I have limited experience in olympic lifts, but feel that more of a progression is need and form really worked on before this lift is incorporated.

    The staff that I work with is a very diverse group. There is Pete, the owner and also a certified trainer through the ISSA, who graduated with a bachelors sociology before realizing his dream of strenght training and has developed his training though experience. Sara is also cretified through the ISSA and holds a sports nutrition certification and is also taking the CSCS. Brian holds a degree in AEXS and Pre-PT, and there are two trainers my age working towards a bachelors is AEXS and AT. I have just recently passed the NSCA-CPT test, and would like to go back and take the CSCS as well.

  26. Lisa Thomas Says:

    Sorry this is so late Mark, I was actually on vacation (home) from the internship for the last week and a half. I just got back today
    To answer part one, I recently worked with a lady who had scoliosis. This was new to me. And training her was very difficult because he back was very uneven. There were many upper body exercises that she could not do because of her back. This was difficult because her goal was to increase upper body strength. I asked a few people that I work with what they would do and came up with a workout for her using mostly free weights because due to her imbalance she would not fit in the machines.
    Most of the people that I work with have ACSM-HFI. This is the certification that the wellness center requires upon hiring or within a certain time frame after. Some workers have athletic training certifications and the NSCA-CSCS as well. I asked the site director which one he would recommend to me and he said the HFI only because it is more broad and covers more areas but that the CSCS is also a good one. He also mentioned that they are trying to stay away from the ACE certifications, as they do not feel as though they are credible. Along with this, my co-workers all have bachelors degrees in exercise science.

  27. Erik Garnis Says:

    One experience that made me think, dealt with the teams olympic lifts at the beginning of their weightlifting program. The football team lifted three days a week, but on each of the three days they would perform cleans. They would perform the olympic lift from different positions(floor,below/above knee,lift-to-press) to add variations, but I was still curious as to the overtraining and injury issues that could be associated with this. I have previously heard that cleans should not be performed from the floor with college athletes due to the increase risk of injury. I also believed that the explosive lift or movement should be changed each training day of the week to change the exercise stimulus and to keep the athlete constantly getting stronger, more powerful. I learned that each training day focused on a different aspect such as strength/power or speed and the percentages and volume would change to dictate this. The angles of the lift constantly changed to simulate a real game like situation because never in a game will the athlete always have to generate power from the same angle, it will always change on the football field. I learned that performing cleans from all angles will help teach the athletes to use power/strength at all angles and only limiting them in the clean will limit their ability on the field to be able to draw and use their explosive power. As with the overtraining issue that I was concerned about, the coach felt that the athletes were being trained to be able to perform at a high level even though they were tired. This would dictate directly onto the field because in a real game like situation the athlete would be tired and would have to draw explosive strength/power to make or stop a play. So this was training the athletes to be able to competetively compete at a higher level.

    The Head Strength and Conditiong Coach has his bachelors in exercise science and his masters in sports administration. His certifications include NSCA-CSCS, CSCCa-SCCC and NASE(national association of speed/explosion). One of the GA’s has his bachelors in kinesiology and health and he is currently getting his masters in health and physical administration. As for myself, I would like to get my NSCA-CSCS certification because it has become a benchmark of testing and knowledge in the exercise science field. I would also like to be certified by the CSCCa(collegiate strength and conditioning coaches association) and become a SCCC(strength and conditioning coach certified) member. I feel that even though the CSCS has become a benchmark, it has strayed away from the orignal purpose of being dedicated to college strength coaches. It now involves more athletic trainers, physical therapist and even doctors in its association. The CSCCa seems very dedicated to specifically improving the skill and knowledge of collegiate strength coaches. Since this is what I am most interested in doing with my career I feel it would be a strong choice to become a member and get certified by this group.

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