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7/31/2014 5:47:07 AM - Brandon
To become a top trainer I know you have to read a lot of shit and have hands on experience, but when it really comes down to it is hands on experience more beneficial

Yes. I have over 10 years of experience working as a trainer, high school and college strength coach, and rehab tech as well as having my master's in applied physiology with a focus on S&C. I have overseen many interns and without fail, the ones with no practical experience have SUCKED RHINO BALLS. You try to look at it from a teaching perspective that it doesn't matter where someone is starting from as long as they want to learn and will put in the time and work to get better, but if you do not have intimate experience with what a person is doing (i.e. maxing, hitting fatigue and failure on reps, training tired, sick, injured, stressed, early, late, hungry, hungover, etc) and have not done the exercises you are trying to teach and coach hundreds if not thousands of times, then you have absolutely no idea what they are feeling and what problems will arise and how to correct them and therefor you have absolutely no business coaching them as they have more experience than you.
There have only ever been a very few interns I have worked with who were able to go from not knowing anything to being an awesome and helpful members of the staff from the dozens I have worked with. Maybe this is a poor reflection on me, but I try to teach them how to teach others while also stressing the need to train themselves and learn the ins and outs of the exercises they will be showing others. Everyone always wants to learn how to teach, but no one wants to put in the work and sweat and pain to learn how to do it heavy, fast, to failure, or whatever themselves.
If someone doesn't train himself and hasn't already been trying to read articles and learn things on his own, then no amount of theoretical knowledge or education will make him a better or even half way decent coach or trainer. Of all the people in my graduate program, including those ahead of me, with me, and behind me, only about 5 of 100 or so are competent to train other people and it is because of their practical experience. I would ten million times over rather have someone with years of experience under the bar trying different training and nutrition paradigms on himself to see how they work, or how they don't work, what problems arise, how to deal with them, and how to use what you know to achieve different outcomes than someone with all the certifications and degrees in the world. I know hundreds of chuffs with all kinds of letters after their names who don't know jack sh!t about actually training people. Meanwhile, I don't know a single person in any aspect of the exercise/fitness industry who I would consider a qualified trainer or coach who doesn't have years of practical experience training both himself and others. I could keep going on like this for hours because I believe that over educated idiots with little to no actual experience training themselves and others are quite possibly the biggest problem in the fitness industry (including S&C, PT/rehab, personal training, and anything else you can think of).

You need knowledge, but you also need to know how and when to use it,
Andy Deck

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