CSCS question

Anyone out there with their CSCS or working on their CSCS care to talk about the experience, their program, the programs pre-reqs, what they did in preparation for the program, e.t.c.

It would also be great to hear what you're doing with your CSCS.

I'm thinking of a career change and I'm interested in exercise physiology, as a field of study, and what the CSCS can do for me.


I got my CSCS in 1994, at the NSCA national convention in
New Orleans. It's the only certification I've had that I've kept
up, and I still read the NSCA journal all the time.

At the time I was working as a personal trainer, and had
completed several other certifications: ACE, AFAA, ACSM.
Although my college background had been in liberal arts,
when I prepared for the CSCS test those other certifications
let me feel pretty comfortable with the basics of anatomy,
fitness testing, and safety.

For the CSCS exam, I focused on several additional things.
There were many questions about teaching and breaking
down the OL's. For example, I remember questions about
teaching a power clean by teaching the high pull and the hang
clean, and I also remember a question about the drop snatch.
I also learnt more about bioenergetics, physiology of exercise,
periodization, sport-specific training, and facility management
(I remember that one of the questions I missed was something
to do with what kind of signs should be in a college weight

I used the NSCA textbook, which I still refer to all the time,
and some videos that they provided. They had some kinds of
lectures on audio tape that I found to be useless.

The test itself was pretty hard; a lot of guys I talked to
afterwards were totally baffled and thought for sure they had

After I got the CSCS I ended up training more athletes. I
worked with a variety of serious amateur and professional
athletes in sports from competitive aerobics to tennis to
motorcycle racing. I also organized and directed a large youth
fitness program at the YMCA for a while. I can't say that
having a CSCS directly enabled me to do any of that stuff but
it probably helped. These days I train a few Sanshou guys but
am in a different career.

It is my impression that a CSCS alone won't get you a job, but
it might make the difference between you and another equally
qualified guy. I think to do anything significant in exercise
phys, you need a bachelor's or master's degree. It kind of
cracks me up when these guys put "CSCS" after their names
like it is some sort of college degree. I probably studied for
three weeks before the CSCS test, while my college degrees
took a lot longer than that.

Hope that helps some.

Yeah, the least you need for a good career in exersice physiology is either a BA with an accredited certification from a university as in: ADA for nutrition or anything else of the sort. The CSCS will be a nice touch but it doesnt have enough sway to get you into places on it alone. I know becuase i'm attending U of H right now working on getting my degree in Human Nutrition and Foods along with an ADA certification for dieretics, minoring in exersice physiology and I'm also enrolled in their pre-med program there. Through all the interviews and research with outside trainers they always say, "make sure you get more than a BA, at least a certification or even a Masters degree..." the field is huge and theres a lot of competition out there.

I'm working on a BA (though it should be a Bachelor of Science but my colleges powers that be won't let that happen) in Exercise Science. I'm minoring in Nutrition which will be a big help in my career.

Now the CSCS is an important cerification to have BUT believe it or not some schools value a MA (Masters degree ) more than that certification.

Also some colleges would like you to have, in addition to a CSCS, CPR certification and USA Weightlifting club coach certification. Also all that with a BA or BS is good but even better with a MA.

If you have a BA and the CSCS along with the other two certifications (CPR; USAWL Club Coach) you will likely be an assistant S&C Coach on the college level instead of a Head S&C Coach. And that about 10 - 20 grand difference in pay.