The weekend of September 21st, I had the opportunity to attend the CPPS (Certified Physical Preparation Specialist) class at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, FL. Earlier this year I completed the CPPS certification online, but when I heard they were hosting the course at the WWE Performance Center, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
The CPPS is a training certification created by two legends of the strength and conditioning world, Joe DeFranco and Jim “Smitty” Smith. After years of training and taking different certification classes, they felt it was best if they created their own. Most other certifications just have you read a book and take a test. This is where the CPPS is different. There are two days full of hands-on learning and instruction. After the two days, you take a test and submit videos of you applying what you learned by coaching clients. The level one certification is available a few times per year at different training facilities around the United States. They also offer the online version. After you complete level 1 you can continue to attend any of the classes they offer free of charge. You just need to pay for your travel. This is great because it allows coaches to continue to pursue his or her education in strength and conditioning while building a network of coaches across the world.
As a lifelong WWE and professional wrestling fan, as well as a trainer, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. I have followed Joe and Smitty for years and this was a great opportunity to learn more from them. The course is split into two days. We covered everything from proper breathing techniques to correct form on the essential movement patterns. I like the online course because I went at my own pace. Plus, I have access to the video modules anytime I need a refresher. But, being able to learn and interact directly with Joe and Smitty was more valuable. They also had Sean Hayes, strength and conditioning coach for the WWE, and Brian Oberther, who owns Infinity Athletics. Both are CPPS coaches who have been through the course and were there to pass their knowledge along. Sean even gave us a Stone Cold Steve Austin impersonation, which was another highlight of the class.
Another great part was meeting and working with the other coaches who attended the class. We worked together in team demonstrations and were able to participate in the course, rather than just listening to Joe and Smitty talk. Connecting with the other coaches will expand my network going forward. I will be able to contact them with questions or share ideas. Everyone I met was a genuine, good person, with no ego and have a passion for training and fitness.
I am a visual, hands-on learner so the approach Joe and Smitty take with the CPPS is perfect for me. We went into depth on many topics and were able to apply them in real situations at the course. For example, when we were learning about speed training we got to actually do sprint drills and push the sleds. Hands-on demonstrations of warm-ups, squatting, deadlifting, and bench pressing were also great learning tools.
This class was a highlight for me and I look forward to attending more in the future. I also plan on completing the level 2 certification. If you are a trainer, coach, or just someone who has a passion for training, then I recommend the CPPS course. The online course is great, but the on-site class is even better because you get to interact with Joe, Smitty, and all the other coaches who attend. The knowledge I gained from the certification far exceeded my expectations and was better than any other certification I have taken. If you want to learn from the best and build great connections for further development then this is the certification for you! Feel free to contact me if you have questions. For more information on the certification visit https://cppscoaches.com/.