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Old 05-19-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default Coaching Minimum Proficiency Level

Today I told a story about a strength coach I crossed paths with that had a max 300 squat and 350 deadlift.

Q1: Strength/Powerlifting Coach

I posed the question...Do you believe there is there a minimum proficiency levels for a strength coach to have so that he personally understands the demands of heavy weight?

The coach in question trains powerlifting and to a lesser degree Olympic lifts. But he isn't really the issue.

To make myself clear, this thread is not about believing that someone has to squat or deadlift X amount before they can give advice.

A powerlifting coach is tasked with training men and women who are lifting an ever-increasing body-taxing amount of weight. A 400 squat is much more demanding than a 300 pound squat, and a 600 pound squat is much more demanding than a 400 pound squat.

Do you believe that a strength coach who has never experienced a squat over 300 pounds can grasp and personally train a lifter to handle the demands of a 500+ pound squat? I am not saying he can or can't...just throwing the topic out there.

Q2: Muscle Building Coach/Trainer

If a muscle building/bodybuilding coach has never risen above the level of beginner gains (minimum proficiency) do you believe they have what it takes to train others?

Again, the core of this issue is...this coach has never personally had to train under an extremely difficult set of demands. Without this personal insight, do they have enough experience to coach?
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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Q1. Dependent on bodyweight to a certain degree but the numbers that you are quoting are NOT difficult to achieve. The fact that he has not coached himself beyond that level would make me question his validity. There will always be exceptions to this but typically the best strength coaches are going to have been above average lifters themselves. I'm sitting here now thinking of examples from my circle of lifters and from coaches that I have seen in videos or read about on the internet and they are all or have all been at one point, successful. Louie Simmons, Mark Bell who everyone knows or my friends Neil Abery and Dean Mikosz who are both National/European and, in Dean's case, World record breaking drug free lifters.

I'm finding it hard to get my point across here without waffling too much so I'll try to sum up my thoughts:

Question: Do you have to be elite level strong to be able to coach people to that level?

Answer: No but it's damned hard to do if you haven't.

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Old 05-19-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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I think we should also understand that there are different tiers involved here....

I think a strength coach/lifter with a solid grasp of form and programming but not so "uber" lifts could absolutely assist rank beginners to early intermediates either in person or on a forum.

But a strength/powerlifting coach with a 300 squat/350 deadlift...I personally do not have confidence that they fully grasp my unique demands.

Obviously there are some special cases here...but if I am being honest, I think a 300 squat/350 deadlift is no better than early intermediate and it leaves me with questions as to why this coach has never surpassed these marks.

Strength Standards for Men - Muscle and Brawn - Bodybuilding and Powerlifting

These numbers are intermediate level according to the strength standards for men, and surely reveal that the coach has put in some effort. But I think any trainee that has been lifting for longer than 18-24 months should be able to surpass these numbers...IF they have been training for strength...which, we should not forget, is what our coach is coaching.

He is not a bodybuilding coach who may have lower numbers for whatever reasons. And along these lines...the average person NOT interested in powerlifting who is reading this should NOT assume I am attacking their lift totals. I am not. Please stay grounded in the reality that this is a strength/powerlifting coach and we are talking about trainees who are specifically training for strength numbers.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:22 PM   #4
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And for a bodybuilding/muscle building coach with 5-10 years+ in. If they haven't surpassed beginner gains, would you trust them? Or do you believe they are missing something and have a blind spot?
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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any trainer...

if they look the part and act the part.: i look at their build and talk to them and ask for credentials of some sort. just figure out where they are coming from and their overall experience.

if they dont look the part, i ask for credentials and speak to their clients to see what they have accomplished.



...anyone who has watched branch warren or ronnie coleman train have seen their trainer (its the same guy) he doesnt look like much, but look what he can do to people. you might miss out on something if you straight up just judge by the overall look of a person.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:37 PM   #6
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In looking at getting certified. There is a big difference in the certifications. Believe it or not a Coach is below a Trainer.

A Coach is general knowledge. A Trainer is way more in depth and more certified. Certified Coach is like a substitute teacher, Certified Trainer is like a teacher and Certified Master Trainer is the principle.

Anyone not certified and claims to be is in for some posable law suites.

The advantage to getting certified as a Coach is to show you past tests showing you have the general knowledge to pass on, and cover your butt.


But yes I agree when they get certified they should personally and physically practice what they preach. This will put more stock in what they know. They should have a track record to back up there claims to knowledge.

I hate being in the gym and seeing trainers 40 lbs over weight pushing people in better shape than them. Isn't this the POT calling the Kettle black?
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanCT View Post
any trainer...

if they look the part and act the part.: i look at their build and talk to them and ask for credentials of some sort. just figure out where they are coming from and their overall experience.

if they dont look the part, i ask for credentials and speak to their clients to see what they have accomplished.



...anyone who has watched branch warren or ronnie coleman train have seen their trainer (its the same guy) he doesnt look like much, but look what he can do to people. you might miss out on something if you straight up just judge by the overall look of a person.
Great point. Look at Charles Glass. He don't look like much but he has a track record of a thoroughbred.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Knapp View Post
Great point. Look at Charles Glass. He don't look like much but he has a track record of a thoroughbred.
Rich, is that sarcasm or not? Charles Glass still looks pretty big.

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Old 05-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanCT View Post
any trainer...

if they look the part and act the part.: i look at their build and talk to them and ask for credentials of some sort. just figure out where they are coming from and their overall experience.

if they dont look the part, i ask for credentials and speak to their clients to see what they have accomplished.

...anyone who has watched branch warren or ronnie coleman train have seen their trainer (its the same guy) he doesnt look like much, but look what he can do to people. you might miss out on something if you straight up just judge by the overall look of a person.
I agree. The trolls on BB.com do this all the time.
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espm1000 View Post
Rich, is that sarcasm or not? Charles Glass still looks pretty big.

1. You know who he is to brouse for a pics.
2. Have you see updated pics how he looks in gym gear? In his gym sweets when he's not posing for a pic, he looks like a burned out "Cheech & Chon" fan. lol
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