I recently had the opportunity to attend the CrossFit Level 2 seminar in Seattle at CrossFit Belltown. To say it was a great experience would be a massive understatement and I would like to share with you why. First off lets discuss what the Level 2 seminar is:
What is the CrossFit Level 2 Seminar?
“This course is ideally suited for any CrossFit trainer serious about delivering quality coaching. Students enhance their understanding of the CrossFit methodology, program design, and implementation, and they advance their skills while coaching others in movements and workouts. Students need to come prepared to be heavily engaged; each leads individual and small-group training sessions, and classroom sessions are discussion-based. Peers and instructors provide feedback and evaluation.” (source: CrossFit Training)
There you have it in the most simplistic of terms, however, simplistic it was not. As always I am in awe of the Seminar Staff from CrossFit HQ. For this particular seminar I was reunited with my Level 1 Coaches Kurtis Bowler (Rainer CrossFit), Jesse Ward (Lynnwood CrossFit), Nadia Shatila (CrossFit Belltown), along with Dan Hollingsworth from Kitsap CrossFit.
I knew Day 1 was going to be an interesting day because I got up at 3am and drove straight to the seminar from home. I knew it was going to be a long day but hey, since when isn’t it? Once the seminar began I immersed myself in the lecture portion. The “AHA!” moments began to unfold as multiple years of training experience began to be shared among the group. It was rather invigorating and everyone quickly dove in, which was awesome considering most classes don’t begin to meld well until day 2. To say it was a well-versed crowd would be an understatement, yet we were all there to submit ourselves to a weekend full of critiquing both by our peers, and by the seminar staff.
At the moment of break out sessions, we were separated into a group with about eight others. We each then took turns instructing each other on how to perform one of the nine foundational movements of CrossFit. During this time our Seminar Staff Coach would be providing critique. Blunt, straight forward critique. To say they broke us down and built us back up would be an understatement and we each took our training in stride as we knew it would only make us better. Always maintain an open mind and be coachable right?
However, I can safely say, I feel it was the best seminar I have ever been to. Not only was it great to be critiqued on my coaching abilities, but it brought me back to my original CrossFit roots and reminded me what CF was all about and why I originally fell in love with this methodology and sport. Below are my key take aways from such a great seminar:
- How do you know your programming is working?
This question was asked and nobody could answer it. Sure we all thought our programming was good, but what made it good? The answer, was simple, what kind of results does your programming produce? Are the members improving? Are they losing weight? Putting on lean muscle? I have heard far too many times somebody say, “Yeah that gym over there, I went there once and the programming was great.” Oh really, one session huh? You must’ve gotten some amazing results from that one time. The fact of the matter is that it takes consistency to reap the benefits of a program, so try to stay focused on one, let the results come around with time.
- Don’t settle for anything less than what you WANT from your athlete.
Too many times we settle for “okay”. As a quality trainer or coach that is not good enough. Be relentless in your pursuit to help others achieve virtuosity and infect them with a desire to become the BEST they can be.
- When you are in front of a class then be prepared to explain the why behind the training.
We should always be prepared to explain to our athletes the why behind a movement standard, progression, or modification at any point. Glazing over a workout and simply stating this is what we are going to do is not coaching, it is administering. If routine is the enemy and we hold fast to that principle then simply standing before a class and reading the whiteboard to them without any substantial explanation or coaching behind it is not acceptable. EVER.
I have to say that training with and leading my peers through workouts and movement standards reignited my passion for this sport all over again and I am excited to bring the passion to everyone at ATCF. I have seen just in the past few weeks so many of you make amazing leaps of progress just by having more time to spend with you during class to find those “AHA!” moments.
I have always considered myself a lifelong student. If you are a professional athlete, you better stay sharp and continue to improve. If you are a teacher, you better stay up to date with new techniques. And if you are an instructor like me, the learning is never over. As for myself, our coaches, and this gym, we will always keep the promise to our members to continue improving and polishing our craft to bring you the best quality training possible!!
CrossFit is indeed for everyone…at any time…at any age…no matter the circumstance…now let’s get back to training gang!!