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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Renouncing the SPARTA Personal Trainer Certification
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

One of the things I admired most about Nautilus inventor Arthur Jones was his willingness to admit when he made mistakes and do what was necessary to correct them and learn from the experience. I make a continuous effort to be aware of my own bias and to play devil?s advocate to my own positions and to modify them when required based on the evidence or information available. I am now in the uncomfortable position of having to admit to and correct an enormous mistake ? endorsing the Sports Performance and Resistance Training Association (SPARTA).

Since the end of the SuperSlow Exercise Guild there has not been an exercise instructor certification program up to the high standards of knowledge and competency established by Ken Hutchins. One of the reasons I resigned from my position as director of education at the SuperSlow Zone was I did not feel the franchise was upholding those standards. Over the years since, there have been many discussions with other former SuperSlow master instructors about starting a new organization for the purpose of providing the same high level of instructor education and a comparable certification exam, but little progress has been made for various reasons.

When I heard about the SPARTA certification I was optimistic, knowing the founder Chris Lutz had been a SuperSlow instructor, and although I knew little about the actual certification program I recommended it because it appeared to be consistent with general high intensity training principles. I was ?grandfathered? into their certification program by having already been SuperSlow certified and later offered to administer exams for them here in the Orlando area.

After having more time to review their manual and written exam, and having viewed several practical exam video submissions, it is my position that their materials are grossly overpriced considering they offer little or no value to anyone who is already familiar with basic high intensity training principles, and I do not believe they are qualified to educate, much less certify people as personal trainers. I expressed my disbelief at how bad the practical exam video submissions were, but Chris did not seem aware of many of the problems with what was being taught and demonstrated, which causes me to also seriously doubt his knowledge of proper exercise form. Some of the videos are so bad I have used them as examples of how not to teach an exercise during a high intensity training workshop I conduct for personal trainers.

Further, the organization and marketing of SPARTA gives the impression it is primarily an information-product business and not a proper personal trainer education and certification organization.

On June 20th I gave notice I would no longer be administering exams for SPARTA and expressed my extreme disappointment with their lack of standards and that I do not believe they are qualified to teach or certify personal trainers. I asked that they remove all mentions of my SPARTA personal training certification and anything that could be construed as an endorsement of them from their materials. I have also removed their link from this site, taken my SPARTA certification down and ordered new business cards which do not list them under certifications.

Initially, I had planned on doing this quietly, assuming it was enough to just stop endorsing them. However, during several recent discussions personal trainers mentioned planning to become SPARTA certified based on my recommendation and one has already paid for it, so I felt it necessary to go a step further than quietly retracting my endorsement and actively discouraging people from becoming SPARTA certified. I do not want to be responsible for anyone else wasting their time or money on it.

Endorsing the Sports Performance and Resistance Training Association and their certification program was a huge mistake and I am sorry to anyone who has purchased materials or certification from them. Really, really sorry. In my optimism I neglected to thoroughly look into their materials, exam and standards before getting involved, and am terribly embarrassed by it (at least as embarrassed as they should be by their deplorable standards). Since I highly doubt SPARTA is going to refund anyone what they paid for their certification materials or exam, I am going to take responsibility for this and offer anyone who purchased a SPARTA certification based on my recommendation prior to today?s date (Monday, June 27, 2011) either a six week phone consultation package or a $400 discount on a three-day High Intensity Training Exercise Instructor Workshop in Orlando (proof of payment to SPARTA required).
In the future, I will temper my optimism with a bit more skepticism and investigate more thoroughly before recommending any organization claiming to offer education or certification in high intensity training.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Apologies also for the weird formatting (question marks where there should be em dashes, apostrophes, etc.). This was copied from a blog post and I didn't realize the formatting would not copy over.
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pharaoh1063

My goodness! I was just looking at this today and saying, "Well, I guess this must be OK cause Drew was endorsing it!"

Maybe someone as notable as Markus Reinhardt should be notified of your decision, since he, also, has a business that depends on consumer goodwill.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

I'm not sure why Markus is involved, but I have also contacted him about this and anyone else I know who is involved.
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overfiftylifter

Drew, I admire your high standards. I may look at resistance training and diet from a different prospective but you seem like a man with high integrity and that earns my respect.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Thanks. Embarrassing myself all over the internet to correct this is a little less painful when people understand why I'm doing it.
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Not unexpectedly, Chris is now trying his best to do damage control and turn this around and claim this is an ?emotional response? and talking about how I?ve ?left multiple organizations, usually on bad terms?.

My renouncing SPARTA is definitely based on an emotional response ? severe disappointment ? which is appropriate considering my objective evaluation of their standards based on the written materials and Chris Lutz?s praise and proud display of deplorable performance in certification exam videos.

I left the SuperSlow Zone because they failed to uphold the standards Ken Hutchins set with the SSEG. The week I quit I was sent to Idaho to spend several days conducting a workshop to help prepare trainers for their certification exam. They were completely unprepared and did not take the workshop seriously, goofing around and joking instead of trying to learn. I informed Ken of the situation and strongly recommended they not be allowed to take the certification exam as they were not ready, but the CEO insisted and they did take the exam and were undeservedly passed. That was the final straw and I quit.

I walked away from a director of education position with a national personal training franchise because they did not stand for what I thought they should. To his credit, Ken Hutchins did the same, also disassociating himself from the organization.

Despite Chris Lutz now criticizing the SuperSlow Exercise Guild and people associated with it, and despite any disagreements anyone might have with the specifics of the SuperSlow exercise protocol, the SSEG in the 90′s had by far the highest standards of exercise performance and instructional competence in the industry. Chris is not, as he claims, a ?Master Trainer? (and I?m getting sick of deleting the title from his posts every time he comments) and does not even begin to compare to the Master Instructors Ken Hutchins appointed in the heyday of the SSEG.

I figured there would be some kind of damage control attempt, but did not figure it would include personal attacks on me.

The bottom line is, SPARTA?s materials offer very little value to anyone familiar with basic high intensity training principles and their certification standards are so low as to be meaningless. The education they provide and standards for passing their exam are far, far below the minimum I would expect from a personal trainer.

Like I said, I planned to just do this quietly, but when several trainers mentioned considering the certification based on my recommendation I had to do something or I would have been responsible for them wasting their time and money.
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Frank Scott

Is this the same Drew Baye who promised a much publicised (and sought after), 'book'
in February 2009?
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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Frank Scott wrote:
Is this the same Drew Baye who promised a much publicised (and sought after), 'book'
in February 2009?


The content from that is instead being broken down into numerous smaller books with a more limited scope or focusing on more specific training goals.
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entsminger

Virginia, USA

==Scott==
I admire you Drew for admitting you were wrong and coming clean about it. That took a lot of guts!
Personally I've always wondered if these trainer certifications were worth their weight in salt regardless of who gives them. Can't you just see Vince Gironda jumping for joy as he passed some kind of trainer certification test? Yea, right, ha ha..

I guess they could be good for the average guy who wants to be a "trainer" and doesn't really know much about exercise but for me the guy I'm gonna trust is the one who's been around the gyms and knows what people are doing and what works from seeing it happen. To me a certification paper means about as much as a College degree as far as being able to do the job once you have it.

Most of this stuff you just have to learn from experience and no certification paper or trainer course is going to give you that.
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

Drew,

Considering your expose on certifications back in the old "Exercise Standard" publications. I would have expected that you could see right through any sub standard practices at this point. This should be any area of expertise for you.

Joshua

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Drew Baye

Florida, USA

Joshua Trentine wrote:
Drew,

Considering your expose on certifications back in the old "Exercise Standard" publications. I would have expected that you could see right through any sub standard practices at this point. This should be any area of expertise for you.

Joshua



Josh,

You are correct, and I have no excuse. I never would have thought the standards were as bad as they were, and should have tempered my optimism for a HIT certification with a bit more skepticism.
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Acerimmer1

I just looked at this site... What a massive cliche.

Unbelievable! If anybody is buying into this please send me $397 and I'll tell you how I made my first $397 online.


"How I made my first $397 online"
$397 dollars only
real value = http://www.usdebtclock.org/
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Joshua Trentine

Ohio, USA

i'm not even quite sure that i get the point of a H.I.T certification in the first place
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chasbari

Ohio, USA

Joshua Trentine wrote:
i'm not even quite sure that i get the point of a H.I.T certification in the first place


Due diligence? If you can say your instructors have ANY sort of certification does that CYA for insurance purposes? Not saying it should.. but sometimes a piece of paper is all part of the game.
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HeavyHitter32

Joshua Trentine wrote:
i'm not even quite sure that i get the point of a H.I.T certification in the first place


I was going to say the same thing.
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krazy kaju

What EXACTLY are your problems with SPARTA?

For some reason, I get the feeling that you would've criticized Arthur Jones for poor form had he been around now.
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crazeeJZ

krazy kaju wrote:
What EXACTLY are your problems with SPARTA?

For some reason, I get the feeling that you would've criticized Arthur Jones for poor form had he been around now.


All SuperSlow guys would have.
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Frank Scott

If it took you two and a half years not to write a book for which there was a long list of people wishing to pre-order, how long will it take not to write the totally vague 'numerous books'. They'll never materialise. The evidence is of unreliability and lack of commitment. Esse quam videre.
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Acerimmer1

Frank Scott wrote:
If it took you two and a half years not to write a book for which there was a long list of people wishing to pre-order, how long will it take not to write the totally vague 'numerous books'. They'll never materialise. The evidence is of unreliability and lack of commitment. Esse quam videre.


He does have an E-book I just checked his website. But I think it's actually closer to 7 years.
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krazy kaju

crazeeJZ wrote:
krazy kaju wrote:
What EXACTLY are your problems with SPARTA?

For some reason, I get the feeling that you would've criticized Arthur Jones for poor form had he been around now.

All SuperSlow guys would have.


And therein lies the problem. If Dr. Darden or Arthur Jones or Mike Mentzer had a personal training organization, it wouldn't live up to the great "Mr. Drew Baye's" standards.

It's not that Drew Baye has high standards - the problem is that he has totally different standards from 99% of the physical culture community AND totally different standards from most HIT advocates.
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Acerimmer1

On Drews website the guy behind Sparta says "Only 4 people have ever completed it. I would think that if it was so easy, people could get an A. Shouldn?t be too hard considering it is an OPEN BOOK HOME STUDY COURSE."

So my question is, how many people have actually tried to complete it? Specifically is it more than 4?

Also if only 4 people out of a considerably larger number have completed a course which he claims is not too hard then surely the responsibility for that is primarily his. There isn't after all much value for the customer in a high standard of examination if they are not supported properly in meeting those standards.

Another issue I have with this is his BJD style challenge :

"I?ll offer a reward too. The first guy to pass it with 90% or better will get it for free. If you can do it without plagiarizing, it?s your?s free. If it?s so easy, let?s see it. If you guys have ANY OTHER QUESTION IN YOUR MIND,"

I'd just like to mention also that I'm offering the same incentive with my book

"How I made my first $397 dollars online" Now only $397 and the first person to prove my book is worthless will recieve This E book free of charge along with an addition free gift in the form of a free copy of my 2nd book due in August.

"How I made my first $1191 dollars online selling my E-Book to a bunch of know-it-alls critics and nay-sayers".

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krazy kaju

Guys,

This was an exam video that Drew and Fred Hahn was of too low quality: http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=Qcib_TD_L_A

Now I want you guys to use your common sense and tell me if this woman should be HIT certified or not.
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Acerimmer1

I don't really know about the content but the marketing methods on this website have alarm bells ringing in my mind.

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Acerimmer1

krazy kaju wrote:
Guys,

This was an exam video that Drew and Fred Hahn was of too low quality: http://www.youtube.com/...h?v=Qcib_TD_L_A

Now I want you guys to use your common sense and tell me if this woman should be HIT certified or not.


In an exam you meet the selection criteria first and worry about the rest as a second priority if at all.

It seems like the assessment criteria is heavily loaded towards, above all, not putting your feet on the floor. I can't stress that enough if you put your feet on the floor THEY WILL MELT!

Actually they won't melt but you probably will fail the exam.
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