ISSA is one of the better-known trainer certification groups, but I never knew what the letters stood for. I still don't know for sure, but I'm betting ISSA stands for the "Institute for Sculpting Suma-dat Ass," because they're now offering, for only 12 monthly payments of $33.29, a glute specialist certification:
"ISSA Certified Glute Specialists want to give clients the glutes they never could achieve before. Knowing how the glutes ultimately affect overall muscular function, ISSA Glute Specialists provide clients with direction and coaching to see 'post-worthy' results."
Makes perfect sense. How could you trust your pulchritudinous globes of ass meat to some ordinary, non-glute-certified trainer? Would you go to an ophthalmologist to treat your irritable bowel? Would you ask a bra salesman to help you decide which underpants to buy? Crazy!
Beyond that, how are you going to make your haunches, as ISSA promises, "post worthy" and get thousands of likes on Facebook, tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, or multitudes of paying customers on Only Fans if your posterior looks like a deflated basketball?
No, if you want the type of ass adulation that would inspire country singer Trace Adkins to refer adoringly to your butt as, "that honkey-tonk badonkadonk," you need a certified glute trainer.
Why risk your self-esteem, your fragile ego, your pathetic need for approval, with an ordinary trainer?
In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic.
Sigh. I guess I should have seen this coming; we all should have seen this coming. It was fait accompli that some organization would want to take America's love affair with the ass and further capitalize on it.
But a whole year for certification? I mean, sheesh, who knew the intricacies of ass science were so vast? You can get a Master's Degree in quantum mechanics in a year.
Of course, it's possible that ass science and quantum physics are, scientifically speaking, joined at the hip. For instance, the latter posits that all matter is waves, and that theory is abundantly supported by the video for Cardi B's 2018 anthem, "Twerk."
Maybe I'm being too critical. America is tush-crazy, and tush-hungry females hang on every word from ass mechanics like exercise phys guy Bret Contreras. It's only natural that some trainer certification org would exploit this hunger.
And, truth be told, part of me is hugely grateful for this ass trend. Those of you who didn't reach sexual maturity by the 90s have no idea what the world used to be like back then.
Most lean women had no butts back then. They just carried two tiny underdeveloped beans back there – navy, coffee, pinto, or even Lima, depending on their ethnicity and whether or not they suffered from hypochromic anemia.
As evidence, take a look at almost any Playboy magazine from that era. Bums were ho-hum, virtually non-existent. Tush historian Sir Mix-a-Lot captured the ass zeitgeist this way:
So your girlfriend rolls a Honda, playin' workout tapes by Fonda
But Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda
My anaconda don't want none
Unless you've got buns, hun
You can do side bends or sit-ups
But please don't lose that butt
Oh, there were some women (and men) who had ample buttocks in 1992, but those people were invariably on the fatty side and their buttocks were squishy. Whatever form their booties did have was because of their restrictive undergarments and once they were removed, their buttocks would fall and slap the ground and spread out like the Sandman in Spiderman 3.
Sure, some men and women – usually the occasional track athlete – had impressive bottoms, but they were rare. Likewise, the occasional Hollywood icon had a shapely butt, but along with that butt came an appreciable amount of body fat.
No wonder American men were almost exclusively breast men or leg men back then.
But then came bodybuilding, i.e., resistance training. She heard your plea, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and she did not let you down. Booties were simply muscles and men and women learned how to grow that thang, to coax them to grow to delightful proportions and breathtaking shapes.
Men and women suddenly had a new body part to appreciate. America developed into an ass culture. Large breasts on women were suddenly like parsley on your chimichanga – you were fine with it but it didn't much matter if it was missing.
In some ways, it was like the sequel to the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". Astronaut Dave Bowman, long thought to be dead, promises the Roy Scheider character that "something wonderful" is going to happen and lo, a second sun shows up. Same thing with this "new" body part that suddenly showed up, only it's big, shapely butts that dominate the horizon instead of another star.
There are those, however, that took this trend and turned it into an obsession. As I wrote in The Kardashian Butt Must Die, https://www.t-nation.com/alpha-life/the-kardashian-butt-must-die/ the fascination for Kim Kardashian's behind ripped the seams out of the rules of proportion:
"Countless females around the country have grown up with that thing in their faces, noticed how much attention it got, and have perversely wanted to have one of their own, too, whether by surgical intervention, marathon workout sessions geared solely towards butt development, adopting fashion styles that accentuate size over substance, or worse, freeing it from dietary restraint and letting it grow unfettered, all so they can be like Kim."
Despite these proportional aberrations, most, like me, are thankful for this glute revolution. Still, the point remains: Do trainers really need a glute certification?
Isn't glute training part of the whole kit and kabootie when one studies for a training certification? After all, there are no biceps certifications, pec certifications, or rectus femoris certifications.
Such specificity seems little more than a marketing gimmick, but I'm sure it will be an effective one and glute-certified trainers will find plenty of easy pickin's among the cog-ass-centi.
Author Note: Okay, I kid ISSA. I actually think they're one of the better trainer certifications around. However, I think even they'd agree that this glute certification deserves a little ribbing.