What is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)?By
Professionals who are Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCSs) train athletes with the main goal of improving their athletic performance. To accomplish this, CSCSs apply scientific knowledge; carry out sport-specific testing, and they design safe and effective conditioning and strength plans for their clients. They also assist with injury prevention and proper nutrition. CSCSs also collaborate with and refer to professionals in other disciplines as needed, such as exercise physiologists, kinesiologists, personal trainers, chiropractors and physicians in order to optimize the program and results for their clients. CSCSs work with sports teams and individuals. In 1985, the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist program was developed in order to recognize individuals who have the knowledge and skills to create effective and safe training programs for athletes. The goal of the program is to raise the standard of quality in strength and conditioning training by ensuring a higher level of competence among CSCSs. There are now over 21,000 CSCSs. Chiropractors are among those professionals who hold this credential. Chiropractic doctors often work with athletes and are experts in the skeletal system, which combines well with the skills and knowledge gained in the CSCS program. Other professionals who commonly pursue the certification include elite athletes, athletic trainers, strength coaches, physical therapists, personal trainers, educators and researchers. Professionals with the certification usually offer services related to health and wellness, strength training, sports conditioning, endurance training, and weight loss. Those who wish to obtain the certification must have attained at least a bachelor’s degree or a degree in chiropractic medicine from an accredited institution. They must also have current CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and Automatic External Defibrillator certification. Receiving the certification involves taking an examination, which is offered several times a year in locations all over the US and in other countries. Once certified, CSCSs must maintain their specialist certification by staying current with evolving skills and knowledge in the fields of strength and conditioning. They maintain their certification by completing a certain number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) each year, and submitting them to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NCSA) for approval. Continuing education can be acquired by attending conferences, clinics, symposia, seminars, or workshops. Additional university work in the field, publication of articles in respected journals, and home study can also provide CEUs.
References NCSA Certification. Available at: http://www.nsca-cc.org/cscs/about.html. Sports Conditioning Services: http://www.sportsperformancecentres.com/fitness-services.html