Is Quality Control Necessary in CrossFit Gyms? My Two Cents.

So this video was uploaded by CrossFit HQ, and it’s sparked some pretty interesting debate.  I thought I’d chime in a little bit and gage some reactions from fellow fire-breathers.

CrossFit has exploded in the last 5 years or so, and its not to say I’m on the outside looking in on this seemingly cult movement.  I caught on to this training program two years ago, and while the time I’ve spent learning the nuances of teaching others, its exactly that still–two years.

The feeling is similar to the that of realizing I’ve only been married to Jennie for 3 years, being that it seems like so much more time has passed.  I’m not alone in this sentiment however as people are jumping into the programming, getting hooked on the “kool-aid” and attending a level 1 cert at an alarming rate.  Now this isn’t a bad thing, the more educated trainers the better.  The problem is, the power you have with a level 1 cert is quite high.  If you’ve got the money to affiliate, the level 1 is all you need to open your very own “CrossFit MegaAwesomeSuperIntense” in your very own city.  So before people jump on me in the comments section, lets get a couple things straight: I do not own an affiliate, and I am not accusing other affiliates of ANYTHING.  I hold a level 1 cert, nothing more besides my ISSA certs.  I’m not on a soapbox talking down to anyone.

In my opinion, HQ needs to up the standards for affiliation.  As I said before, the level 1 cert allows you to affiliate if you have the money to do so.  So I just pulled this from HQ’s certification page (

          On completing a Level 1 CrossFit Trainer Course, attendees will have the resources and sufficient foundation from which to               continue development as a CrossFit trainer and/or athlete.

Now this is an outstanding course, and when I finished I felt as if my head had been opened up and crammed full of useful tips, verbal cues, and general knowledge that I couldn’t wait to teach others.  The first time BNI’s owner Mike let me train some clients, I unloaded with all sorts of trainer jargon like triple-extension and whatnot and one client look me in the eyes and said “what the hell are you talking about?!”  I had exactly what the site had advertised, a sufficient foundation from which to continue development as a trainer.  A year later, I know how to better make corrections with clients, explain fundamental movements for those working out seemingly for the first time, and adjust motivation techniques for those that need it.

Saying that the course gives you the foundation to continue development and also saying “Hell yeah, open a gym and do some WORK!” is a head scratcher.  My suggestion?  Require trainers to prove a certain level of teaching proficiency outside of the two day level one seminar before being allowed to affiliate.  I’m not saying those who already own a box need to attend or close down, but set the bar from this point on to control the explosion of affiliates (3200+) and reduce the risk of running into the “Boogeyman” that Coach G is talking about.

Lets move on to injuries related to CrossFit.  You’ve seen this scenario before: HQ posts the next days WOD on FaceBook and it says “Rest”.  Comment #1 is something along the line of “Rest is for the Weak!” or something arrogant like that.  Yeah, we get it–you’re a badass–but science is science and the fact is overtraining leads to injury.  So as a trainer, what am I supposed to do when I see Jon WODkins show up for the fifth, sixth day in a row and he’s telling everybody how he’s SO drained but can’t rest because “this is how you get stronger”… Do I knock him out and put him in a coma for a day?

Another example, I teach form over speed to all my on-ramp attendees, but I always see a few of them get into regular classes to find a veteran firebreather knocking out the WOD nearby.  So what happens?  We start seeing deadlifts that look like elephant trunks flailing around in an effort to keep up… I can yell “reset your stance!” and “shoulders back!” all day, but as you can imagine, they sometimes need to learn what a sore back feels like because Mr./Mrs. Ego got in the way.

My point is this, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them take bubble baths or something like that.  Let me know your thoughts.





My name is Nic, and I like to Party.

Yeahhhhhhh buddy, that’s me. This was our 7th grade musical “Into the Woods” which I played the pivotal role of Milky White the cow. I tried to make the role something special, but the closed minded directors at the ECS drama club were quite frankly holding me back from reaching my true artistic potential. A couple years later, the same musical was performed, and the role was given to a cow shaped piece of plywood on 4 wheels. THE POINT IS I did not have the greatest childhood as you can imagine. I was your typical overweight kid with little skills, it may have taken me 20 minutes to hobble a mile, but I would whoop that ass on the sega genesis. All jokes aside, the fat kids have it tough enough but when your parents want you to wear skinny jeans because they don’t want “baggy jeans hangin off your butt” or sweat pants, the sky is the limit with how other kids can be dicks. Routinely I would get out of school, plop on the couch and down a bag of Lays because I couldn’t do much else. I tried to play sports, but I wound up quitting the football team Freshman year because I was simply too out of shape to keep up.

My saving grace would be a summer job at a local rafting company on the Delaware River where I simply pulled rafts out of the water and stacked them up day after day. It was brutal work for the shape I was in and now that I recall, it was uphill (not to sound cliche). Two friends of mine that worked with me gave it to me straight that the reason I caught so much shit at school was how bad of shape I was in and how badly I let what others think get to me. They signed me up for the football team Junior year without me having a choice in the matter, and they single handedly pushed me to finish out, and from that point on I was a three season athlete and would be named captain of the track team (I was good at throwing, who knew?). It was those summers on the river where I learned that the will to change absolutely has to come from within, with a little support in the right place.

Jump to the fall of 2004, I was trying to enlist into the Air Force but I weighed 225 lbs. My challenge was to lose 20 lbs to make weight by that December. Using an elliptical machine and my fathers weight bench, I shipped out that July for Basic coming in at a lean 182 lbs. Lets do the math here people, 43 lbs in 8 months. I had experienced my transformation.

I still serve today, stationed at MacDill AFB here in sunny Tampa Bay. I found my better half, Jennie is a 2nd grade teacher at a local elementary school and she keeps me in check. We have a great house, a wild Parson Russell Terrier named Champ, and great family and friends to share our lives with. I’m still working with that same drive I found as a 16 year old, and I have actually found my calling as a fitness trainer. Since those days in my basement on the elliptical machine, I’ve pretty much done it all: distance running, bodybuilding, powerlifting, hell I’ve even done cardio kickboxing. Two years ago, I stumbled across CrossFit and found it’s programming to be outstanding. Last June I got certified as a CrossFit trainer and I’ve been doing a lot of teaching at CF B.N.I. just trying to help the owners out where I can and bring my experiences to the table. I’m not your typical fitness trainer who’s always been good at working out. I don’t need the money (already work a full time job), I’m just passionate about helping people take that next step. I’ve been through the mud and I know what it’s like to feel like you’ll never reach the finish line.  

For the longest time I’ve been going about my business at work, the gym, and teaching. While I had toyed with the idea of starting a blog, I had always talked myself out of it. Nowadays, I find that I have a lot of insight I can provide about a lot of things related to CrossFit/general fitness and life in general. If there’s one thing I accomplish with this, it’s for people to read it and understand me when that inevitable question of “who the f*** is this guy?!” comes up. Let’s really get down to it…

Comment question this week:
-Screw your Fran time, why do you work out?

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