It still feels so crazy to say that I am completely finished with my Box FIIT Certification!! While I felt like I worked diligently on the certification, it still took me about 2.5 months to finish, but considering everything else I had going on (teaching, subbing, blogging, working… oh yeah, and planning my wedding!), I don’t think that’s too bad!
Before I get into the details of what the certification was like/what to expect, things I liked, things I would change, etc., I want to say that this is the best certification I have EVER done. George Foreman III (“G3”) clearly put his heart and soul into this certification and every time I felt overwhelmed by how much work it was, I reminded myself that GF3 put a hundred times more time & energy into this certification and that helped power me through 🙂 It’s seriously incredible everything that he put into making this certification and it far surpassed all of the other certifications I’ve done in terms of teaching you the basics, advanced levels and how to teach it. AND, I get 7 AFAA continuing ed. credits as part of the certification- amazing!
Ok, let’s talk about the certification now! I have wanted to teach at The Club for a long time now. I had previously gone through the hiring process but for one reason or another, never ended up teaching there, so when I saw that they had a public certification, I knew I had to do it. Between my love of boxing/cardio kickboxing and my want to start teaching at a new-to-me gym, I knew it was the perfect certification for me. Oh, and they had a crazy deal at the time so I got the whole thing for SO cheap!
Once I signed up, I had a Skype introductory meeting with GF3. He went through all of the various stages of the certification, suggestions on how to complete it, what to expect, what he would like to see, etc. and he answered all of my questions. From there, I jumped right in with watching the videos. I took LOTS of notes, but that’s because that’s how I learn best. If you don’t need to take notes, you can print off notes from the library, which is what I did when it came time to do my videos so I could remember the specific cues that I should use.
There were 5 Learning Paths: Boxing (this included 5 rounds within the path: Footwork, Defense, Offense, Combinations & Styles), Strength (this included 8 rounds within the path: Core, Squat, Lunge, Clean & Row, Push & Press, Turkish Get Up, Suspension & Safety), Conditioning (Rowing/Cycling/Ropes/Plyos & Running), Teaching Classes (and using the trainer app) and Mittwork (mittwork & sparring). If that sounds like a lot- it was! But I really did find everything in the videos to be extremely helpful and they really inspired me to be a better instructor and boxer. GF3 taught the videos on the boxing learning paths and Anthony Diluglio lead all of the non- boxing learning paths (conditioning, strength, suspension training, Turkish Getup, squats, lunges, etc.). Both of these guys are incredible instructors and I learned SO MUCH by watching the videos and executing the moves.
For each phase you had to watch various videos on content related to the learning path, do your “homework” which was watching short video clips of the exercises and cues he wanted us to focus on, video yourself demoing the focus exercises and then video yourself teaching someone how to safely and accurately execute the exercises. While the video part didn’t bother me (hello, I post videos and selfies all the time!), I did struggle with finding time and people to teach for video purposes. I also found it hard to tape some videos based on the equipment necessary- I tend to go to the gym during busy times which is not conducive for videoing 😉 But it all worked out- I was able to make trips to the gym during off hours and find gracious people to help me! Also, I had invested in a cell phone tripod from Amazon (not sure the link anymore, but it was $7!) that was a LIFESAVER throughout the certification process.
I want to talk now about the things I loved about the certification- there are so many!
- Attention to detail and thoroughness of the certification- As I mentioned earlier, this certification is the best I’ve ever done. Each part of the boxing and strength experience is completely broken down to make sure that we, as future instructors, know our shit (for a lack of better words 😉 ). There is nothing worse than an instructor who instructs incorrectly, so it was clear that GF3 and Anthony really made it a priority to make sure that wouldn’t happen.
- Communication- GF3 was very active with communications, whether via email, Skype, Twitter, etc., he was around. Also, he responded to EVERY video that I submitted- either with notes or tips or tweaks to make or just a “nice work!” note (<- those were my favorite 🙂 ). Knowing that he’s actually looking at the videos and taking the time to give us feedback is awesome. Nicole Schultz was also a HUGE help when it came to communication- I emailed her countless times for random questions I had throughout the certification. She is amazing!!
- Expertise- GF3 is so incredibly knowledgeable about boxing AND teaching- truly a master of his craft. And Anthony was just as knowledgeable about the other exercises we learned as GF3 is about boxing. The tips and cues Anthony gave throughout the videos have helped me SO MUCH in my own teaching.
- Content- The content was spot on and I truly felt like I finished the certification with such a better understanding of the human body and how it relates to and reacts from exercise and movement so much better. Rather than skimming the surface of boxing and conditioning and strength, they dug really deep to help us drill down the necessary fundamentals to safely and correctly execute and teach the movements.
- Resources- The “library” which holds all of the individual movement videos was invaluable to me during my certification because it also linked to written notes about each exercise/movement with specific cues/teaching points. Also, the trainer dashboard is awesome and having access to so many other trainers and workouts is going to be so helpful as I get going with my teaching. The BoxFIIT Trainer App is also great- so long paper notebooks with my scribbles on them! The app allows you to create your entire workout right in it AND link to music. It’s awesome!
With every list of pro’s, there’s usually a list of con’s, right? I don’t really have much negative to say about the certification because it was truly an incredible learning experience. However, I will say that this certification is not ideal for someone who isn’t serious about wanting to teach a BoxFIIT/boxing class because it is a lot of work and does take a lot of time. Going into the certification you really need to be prepared to work hard because you can’t slide your way through it like you might for other certifications. I think the hardest part for me was finding people and time to do the video submissions, but I do know they are really important for an online certification. I would’ve loved a 2 day intensive in-person certification, but I think online is much easier for most people because you’re able to go at your own pace. Attending the recent BoxFIIT clinic at The Club a few weekends ago was SUPER helpful in getting the in-person experience that I personally crave.
The only other things that I thought got to be a little redundant were the videos on teaching, but again, I think that’s because I’ve been teaching for 4 years and have a pretty good handle on that. I think those videos were targeted towards people who have never taught before, so when I reminded myself of that, I realized how important they were!
All in all, I couldn’t be more impressed with this certification, nor more grateful that I took a chance and added it to my plate during a very busy time in my life. I can’t wait to continue learning from some incredibly motivating, inspiring, talented and smart people in the field. GF3- thank you for everything- you’re amazing!
If anyone is interested in learning more about this certification, PLEASE let me know. I believe I can get you a discount code, or at least put you in touch with Nicole and George.
Also! I will be teaching my first classes on TUESDAY (May 24th) at 5:30pm and 6:30pm at GymIt in Watertown. Let me know if you’re interested in coming (would love the support of some familiar faces on my first night!) 🙂