In early December, we had the privilege of attending the Pain Free Performance Specialist Certification (PPSC) course at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance in Renton, WA with Dr. John Rusin.
This is a two day certification course where you learn how to implement the six foundational movement patterns; squat, hip hinge, lunge (single leg), push (upper body), pull (upper body), and the loaded carry. 


I have followed Dr. Rusin’s work over the last year, and have been most impressed with the consistency in which he pumps out valuable content to his readers. I appreciate his no-nonsense approach and his emphasis on remaining injury free. 
There’s a real problem in the fitness industry these days where people think they need to go as hard as possible in order to get results. There’s very little attention paid to rest and recovery, or intelligent program design and the end result is typically injury.

At Figarelle’s Fitness, our main objective is to keep our clients performing at their best, while staying injury free. Your training in the gym should make you a stronger, more capable human being, not leave you broken and constantly struggling to recover. 
All of Dr. Rusin’s assistant coaches were professional, knowledgable and exuded a passion for movement. They were helpful, and eager to answer our questions. Each day we started and ended on time, and there were plenty of short bathroom breaks. Lunch was on our own. 
The entire weekend was phenomenal, and I highly recommend this certification course to anyone who wants to improve their programming, and help their clients get out of pain. We especially enjoyed the hands-on learning portion of the course. If I could offer suggestions for improvement, there are just two: 
The long lecture portion of the course was necessary, but it was uncomfortable to sit for extended periods of time. I’m not sure how this could be remedied, perhaps adding a third day to the course could be an option, but I recognize this would pose different problems. Having more time to spend learning everything in the manual would be great, there was so much valuable information to go over and I feel like we missed a few things. 
With certification courses I’ve attended in the past, there was a T-shirt included. For this course, you had to purchase the $25 shirt separately. I was disappointed about that, but I’m sure John has his reasons. There’s something special about receiving a shirt affiliated with the brand or organization that you want to be aligned with, it’s like a badge of honor. You want to feel like you’re part of the tribe.
To pass the course and become certified, you had to take a 30 questions multiple choice exam on the computer. I actually really liked this. The exam had a few tricky questions but if you studied the manual, and took good notes, it was easy. 
As I’ve become a more experienced coach, I pick and choose my continuing education wisely. I’m not interested in wasting time, energy and money, and I do a lot of research before carefully selecting a seminar or course to attend. I only want to learn from the best. 

As fitness coaches in an unregulated industry, I feel we have a big responsibility to uphold a high standard in an effort to keep our clients safe and healthy. We can all make efforts to improve ourselves every day, and it starts with seeking out stellar coaches in the industry and learning as much from them as possible.
The Pain-Free Performance Specialist Certification course is a certification that I feel every reputable coach should have. It’s not just about letters behind your name, it’s about the knowledge you acquire and implement so you’re clients get the best of you. Don’t sleep on this one.