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 (http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/certs.shtml):
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.