Elisa Fonseca structural balance test

(Picture of above is from part of a structural balance assessment)

I started training people for a living in 1999, a few months after finishing a four-year enlistment in the Marines Corps. Since this time I’ve had three main training certifications, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and Poliquin International Certification Program (PICP). I learned from them all but the PICP certification has taught me the most by leaps and bounds. Charles Poliquin is one of the most successful strength coaches in the world and created his PICP certification around 2003. There are five levels. I took Level 1 as soon as it came out. I took Level 2 in 2011. Level 1 and Level 2 are acquired by attending a certification seminar and passing the test with at least a 92%. Level 3 through 5 you have to not only attend the certification seminar but show proficiency in your knowledge by accomplishing the practical requirements.

For an individual sport, you must coach an athlete to a Top 5 placement in a Junior/Senior/Masters National Competition.

For team sports, you must coach a National Championship Team, Coach an athlete that participates in 60% of games during the season, or placement game at the national level, coach an athlete that participates in any multi-national competition but does not meet the requirements.

All Sports & Federations need to be recognized by GAISF and/or IOC and strength must play a factor.

Coaches must submit:

  • Letter from athlete confirming the coach’s role in preparation for the event/season
  • Media that confirms your athlete’s placement (website with final results)
  • Programs used to prepare the athlete showing they use PICP methods.

On August 2, 2017, one of my athletes won a national championship in Karate. Here is the letter she emailed on my behalf so I could hopefully get my Level 3 certification.

Screen Shot 2017-09-07 at 11.09.24 AM“Last month I completed at the USA Karate National Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. After a seven-year hiatus from karate competition, I won the women’s – 61kg Kumite (sparring) category, which now qualifies me back in the national team pool.

While competing in my twenties, I became the most decorated USA female karate athlete and still hold that record. But with seven years of retirement and having two children, I was unsure about my chances of returning to high-performance competition. Chris Grayson has been my strength coach throughout this process and has helped me tremendously to get back into elite athlete condition. I appreciate his knowledge of sports science and trust his recommendations as a coach.”

Elisa Au Fonseca

USA Nationals results – see page 63
USA Open results – see page 37
PICP Level 3 2On August 28th I got an email congratulating me on achieving my Level 3 certifcation. Many certifications you can take online and only require a 70% to pass, and to me, many certifications aren’t worth the paper they were printed on. If you’re considering hiring someone to help you achieve your fitness goals, make sure the personal is qualified.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous reading
Next reading