Foundations of Coaching Lifts

  • The NSCA’s Foundations of Coaching Lifts: Hands-on Approach to Coaching Lift Progressions certificate course lays the groundwork for teaching athletes and clients how to properly perform the bench press, push press, power clean, and squat. Led by some of the best in strength and conditioning, this course covers exercise application, lift progressions, and coaching cues. 
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    This course is designed for aspiring fitness professionals, sport coaches, physical education teachers, and students who have vested interest in strength and conditioning, but may not have practical coaching experience or a background in exercise science.   
    The Foundations of Coaching Lifts: Hands-on Approach to Coaching Lift Progressions certificate course provides a coaching and teaching model for foundational exercises commonly used in strength and conditioning. Foundations of Coaching Lifts covers the utility and application of exercises, progression from rudimentary to complex movements, basic biomechanical concepts, and teaching methods. To assume that the progressions covered in Foundations of Coaching Lifts are the only ones that are appropriate can be misleading and even dangerous; the intent of this course is not to solve every possible problem that may arise. In lieu of an endless series of standards and technicalities, coaches should be engaged in an ongoing process of learning and problem solving.


    The Foundations of Coaching Lifts course is comprised of online, self-paced learning modules and two days of hands-on, active-learning. Coaching course attendees must pass both a written and performance-based assessment to obtain a course certificate. 



    • $400 for members
    • $450 for non-members
    • Are you part of an Education Recognition Program or the Volt Family? Contact coachinglifts@nsca.com


    Learning Objectives 

    Upon completion of the Foundations of Coaching Lifts course, attendees should be able to: 

    1. Understand the anatomical, physiological, and safety concepts and terms related to the squat, bench press, push press, and power clean (“lifts”). 
    2. Understand the utility and application of lifts. 
    3. Instruct lifters in proper exercise technique and use of progressions. 
    4. Identify technique errors in the performance of lifts. 
    5. Use coaching cues to improve lifters’ performance of lifts.  
    Online Learning
    After purchasing the Course, candidates will be granted access to the course manual, in-depth videos, and section quizzes. It is strongly recommended to review the course manual and videos as soon as possible. Next, attempt/pass the section quizzes prior to attending the live event. The passing score for each quiz is 100%. Candidates may attempt retakes at no additional cost.
    Live Event Schedule 
    The live event is conducted across two days. The first day and a half provide insights on coaching technique, strategy, and improving movement through cues and feedback. Candidates will gain invaluable feedback on their coaching from fellow attendees and industry experts. The final part of day two is dedicated to performance assessments. Candidates will be evaluated on their ability to meet the learning objectives.

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    Course materials  

    The key in getting the most out of your experience is to understand the basic terms, core concepts, and progression rationale for the squat, bench press, push press, and power clean exercises before attending the live event. We recommend the following:  
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    1. The course manual is broken into five sections: overview, squat, bench press, push press, and power clean.
    2.  The videos demonstrate exercise progressions, correct and incorrect performance of the exercises.
    3. Passing score for each quiz is 100%. Candidates may attempt retakes at no additional cost.   
    4. Attend the live event and pass the performance assessment.
    Updated Course Content
    The Foundations of Coaching Lifts materials are continually updated. The newest versions of the course manual and videos will be available at no additional charge for attendees who maintain a professional or student membership. Non-members will be able to access the course materials for up to 1-year after purchase.


    The NSCA reserves the right to cancel the Course at any time and will refund registration fees. Candidates are fully responsible for all other expenses; e.g., travel, meals, lodging. Candidates may request a refund prior to the event through coachinglifts@nsca.com. The cancellation policies are listed below:    
    8+ weeks - 100% refund minus $20.00 (USD) processing fee 
    4-7 weeks - 50% refund
    Less than 4 weeks - No refund
    Upcoming Course Dates, Locations, and Instructors
    Aug 18-19, 2018 Arkansas Tech University Russellville, AR Gina Kraft Register 
    Sept 8-9, 2018 Engineered Sports Everett, WA Doug Berninger  Register 
    Sept 29-30, 2018 Regis University Denver, CO  Erin Connolly Register