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3 Things: A Review of Strength Faction Philadelphia


Living in northern Vermont there aren’t that many loca quality continuing education seminars. Each year I budget and save to attend three out of state seminars to learn from some of the industries best when it comes to coaching, program design, assessment, specialty populations, business, and rehab. If you read my three things on certifications, my stance on continuing education is right there- we have to keep our tool boxes full, and our minds sharp. 

I had the chance to spend the last three days in Philadelphia at Warhorse Barbll attending the Strength Faction fall seminar with guest presenter Doug Kechijian of Resilient Performance (NYC).  This was my second Faction seminar and man, it did not disappoint. 

Here are my three biggest takeaways from this weekend of learning. 

Chris Merritt, myself, and Todd Bumgardner. Two of the three Jedi’s behind Strength Faction. Proud to call these guys my Coach.

Chris Merritt, myself, and Todd Bumgardner. Two of the three Jedi’s behind Strength Faction. Proud to call these guys my Coach.

 1) Being a better Coach is being a better human.

Todd Bumgardner delivered my favorite presentation of the weekend about coaching development. One of the biggest takeaways from this presentation was when he made the statement  “bravery can be extrapolated”. Whether this is with our clients or co-workers, if we can help them achieve success in one environment, they can take that process/feeling/emotion and carry that over somewhere else. Whether that’s athletes in sport, the work place, relationships at home, you name it. If we help people achieve success, those actions can be extrapolated elsewhere. 

 Spoiler alert: I have a whole page of quotes from Todd’s presentation that will be it’s own “3 Things”...

 One last comment. If you aren’t attending workshops or learning about human psychology, personality types, communication methods, or behavior need to. These are the aspects that will help your clients succeed.

2) Data collection is only as good as your ability to connect the dots.

I’ve been guilty of this in the past. I loved assessing clients...measuring every joint angle, runnning them through a variety of passive and active movement screens. Chris made a great point in his presentation of “if the environment impacts my ability to see what I am trying to assess, I need to change that environment”. If a client is struggling with balancing on an FMS board during an in-line lunge, taking them off the board might be the answer. Is it the standardized test? No. Was I then able to assess their lunge pattern? You bet. 

Doug made a great statement as well that really hit home. “Information is only as good or bad as the way you can apply it”. I love this statement. Keep the assessment process simple. Know what the outcome will be with the data you are collecting, and train to see if improvement is made. You may swing and miss, you may make contact. Good assessment and training procedures will have more hits than misses.

  3) A Seminar is only as good as it’s attendee’s.

One thing that makes Faction seminars stand out -other than the presentation topics- is the variety of professionals they draw. Professions this weekend include; Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Strength Coaches from pro sport, collegiate, and private settings, commercial gym trainers, facility owners, students, and aspiring fitness professionals.


Lots of exeperience in the crowd asking a variety of questions and providing their insight on questions. I could even say I learn more from the questions asked than the information given. Next time you’re looking to attend a seminar, think about how many types of professionals it will draw...this will help gauge the level of activity and variety of questions asked. 



Interview with "Whats New, Coach?"

Back in March I had the opportunity to connect with Neal Snyder where he interviewed me for his website, Neal has done a tremendous job connecting with individuals in the Fitness Industry and asking some great questions that shed a lot of light on what we do. 

Check out my interview with Neal here: