Do We Need Another Certification?

The short answer is no.

We don’t need another multiple choice test, we don’t need a weekend course on how to use the newest training tool and we don’t need to prove our merit as a coach by performing in a fitness challenge.

What the fitness industry needs is a definitive standard of practical competency to license its coaches. Currently, in the fitness world there is no standardized state or national licensure that requires a coach demonstrate practical competency in their craft.

Private certification businesses rule the fitness world, allowing for much variation of what is considered “standard.” The most troubling part of the fitness certification business is that there is no requirement to demonstrate basic practical competency. The current gold standard for personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches requires that you only pass a written exam!

It should seem alarming that the ability to correctly recite answers from a book allows you the professional right to manage the health and safety of other people.

How would you feel receiving a a shot from a nurse who had read about it in a text book but had never actually done it before?

Would you get a haircut from a barber who had never picked up scissors but instead just passed a written exam on how to provide a bowl cut?

As absurd as the previous two examples sound this is how we gauge the practical acumen of fitness professionals. Trainers are set free to coach clients with no requirement to demonstrate that they can properly prescribe fitness and coach adaptively to another living, breathing human being. Collectively, this is a gigantic failure for the fitness world.


As fitness professionals we need to collectively raise the bar in our industry. The Certified Functional Strength Coach certification hopes to remedy the shortcomings of professional licensing in our field by demanding that coaches master the practical aspects of coaching.

The CFSC is based on the core coaching philosophies that have made Mike Boyle’s Strength Conditioning and it’s coaches some of the industries best. Becoming a CFSC signifies that you have demonstrated the ability to demonstrate and coach the fundamentals of strength and conditioning.

It’s time that we demand more out of our certification process. For more information or to register for a Certified Functional Strength Coach certification visit