Why I dislike the P90X "Certification"
Wait, I am a Beachbody Coach...so that means I have to love everything Beachbody right?
No, it doesn't. When I set out to become a Beachbody Coach, my goal was to help others, yet also keep my honesty and integrity, because I want people to know my personal opinion about what I recommend/suggest. This goes for workouts, supplementation, education, research, etc.
I have done my fair share of ragging on Crossfit in the past, so I think it is about time I share my displeasure with Beachbody as well. The similarities as to why I dislike the P90X "Certification" are eerily similar.
What has become strikingly apparent during my time as a fitness professional and learning more and more about the business of health/fitness is that, like any industry, in order to grow your business, you need to 'sell' through as many avenues as possible. I don't necessarily fault anyone for that. We must all remember that at the end of the day, Beachbody is a business. Businesses make money. That is their goal. What I enjoy about Beachbody is that I believe they produce some great products, especially at a great value!
P90X is, from what I understand, the highest-selling home workout program of all time. It is a great program, one that can be used by a wide variety of skill levels and ages. I am a Beachbody Coach largely due to my start with home workout products like P90X. That is not the topic of interest here, however.
I know why Beachbody wishes to expand their P90X brand, it is to get their name into gyms across North America to share with folks just how great of a product P90X really is. There are some problems, in my opinion, with this model.
Similar to Crossfit, there are no requirements to become P90X "Certified". The reason why I put "Certified" in quotes is because this isn't actually a certification that is recognized by any of the major governing health and fitness bodies in the USA. Sure, it is recognized as a continuing education credit or course, but that does not mean that it is considered a full-blown certification.
To become Crossfit certified, you pay your fees, take a weekend course, and boom, you are free to use the Crossfit brand to go and market yourself to individuals who wish to, well, do Crossfit.
Although a 'dilution' effect can be present in any field of health and fitness, certain aspects can exacerbate this issue. For example, allowing essentially anyone and everyone to become P90X "Certified" can muddy the waters when potential clients are searching for trustworthy, viable options for their health and fitness.
Just as with Crossfit (or any personal trainer certification, really) you have the potential to be 'trained' by someone who is either uneducated, or lacks the knowledge and/or experience to help you reach your goals safely and effectively. Sure, there are some great trainers out there, but as a "Certification" becomes diluted, your likelihood of coming across a 'bad' trainer increases.
So what happens when more and more people come across 'bad' trainers? The name becomes tarnished. There are some very knowledgeable, skilled, and trustworthy Crossfit (for example) trainers out there. I follow a number of them and enjoy reading and watching what they have to say. However, as their business model grows, so to does their risk for injury and malpractice as injury rates increase from the bad trainers.
I can see P90X "Certification" heading in the exact same direction. The goal right now seems to be finding as many trainers to get that P90X logo into as many gyms as possible, causing a dilution, and no doubt allowing some very bad trainers to go and tell folks what to do. Similar to any other form of training, P90X is and can be very dangerous, especially under the watch (or lack thereof) of a proper trainer.
Not only that, but I see many individuals using P90X "Certification" as their introduction into personal training. If you were to go apply for a personal trainer position at a gym or fitness facility, saying that you are P90X "Certified" on your resume, you will be looked at like you have 2 heads.
Basically all the certification allows you to do is teach P90X classes and legally attach that trademarked logo to your class. I would rather see folks go, purchase their learning materials, study, learn, and write and attain a more reputable starter certification from a trustworthy governing body (NSCA, NASM, etc.) so that their certification can actually mean something, with broader horizons.
*It should be noted that the P90X "Certification" strongly encourages individuals to have at least a 'baseline' certification along with their P90X add-on, and I also strongly recommend those interested should do the same. You will learn a more broader spectrum if you become certified first, then, if you are still interested, become P90X "certified".*
Not to toot my own horn, but there is a very specific reason why I chose to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA. I knew that their governing body mandated very specific criteria in order to even qualify to write their exam. One such stipulation, for example, is to ensure all qualified participants have a Bachelor's degree.
That, along with other stringent guidelines and testing procedures keeps the CSCS name reliable and trustworthy amongst gyms and strength facilities due to their reputation.
I am not saying that I know everything there is to know about health and fitness, but the choice I have made to become CSCS certified has put me in the right mindset to constantly study and evaluate current health and fitness trends, and to be a reliable, honest, and trustworthy source for everything health and fitness.