October 23, 2014

CrossFit Certification

For those who have seen a CrossFit competition, or visited a CrossFit gym, it is undeniably obvious how different this atmosphere is from a traditional gym.  Crossfitters are intense!  Like, really intense.  What’s more is that their workouts, postures, exercises, equipment and forms are very different from those you find in a traditional gym.  Accordingly, to train within this realm you need a unique understanding of the CrossFit world and its training methodologies.  Let’s start to dig into it a little deeper…

Physical fitness training is becoming an extremely competitive business. Personal trainers understand that certification is necessary in order to advance their careers. The credentials; however, should not be concentrated in one area, but in multiple disciplines of physical fitness. Doing this is a means of making oneself available to a larger client base. One area of certification which is starting to generate a lot of notice is Crossfit certification. It is a component of the physical fitness industry that is in full blossom.

Crossfit from 10,000 feet

CrossFit at its bare-bones is a strength and conditioning program. As its website proclaims, the specialty of CrossFit is that it does not specialize at all. This Zen approach to conditioning is premised on the concept that being adaptable to given circumstances benefits the student more than a highly structured and designed program. CrossFit makes a point of saying that its conditioning regimen scales the load and intensity without changing the basic program. The primary concept is constant and varied functional movements that will be executed with as high a level of intensity as the participant can do. The program looks at ten basic markers for fitness:

  • Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Accuracy
  • Agility
  • Balance

Put in more simple terms, senior citizens and professional athletes alike can benefit from the same exact program when adapted to their particular needs.

CrossFit Certification: The Steps

CrossFit prides itself on being an elite form of fitness training. Personal trainers and fitness professionals who want to be certified in this form of conditioning have three levels of qualification to build their skill set.

1) Trainer Course: Fundamentals

This introduces the person to the methodologies of CrossFit. Classroom sessions include the basics of the program; including, how to optimize training and what nutrition strategies work best for clients. Students are given hands-on training and have their own techniques inspected and critiqued. This is the base on which the other parts of the overall CrossFit certification program are developed.

2) Coach’s Prep Course

The Coach’s Prep Course builds on the Level 1 Trainer Course. At this level the program design and implementation skills of the student are enhanced.  A primary focus is placed on the management of a class and cultivating an atmosphere of success. If a student has had six months of prior experience training clients with the CrossFit methodology, the learning is much quicker.

3) CrossFit  Coach’s Certification

The final level in the CrossFit program, the Coach’s certification takes on an almost academic nature. This is a course in which an extensive assessment is made of the training skills and knowledge of the student, as it pertains to the methodology and principles of the overall CrossFit program. This would include evidence of expertise in both group training and one-on-one sessions. At the culmination of the entire program, students are to have completed both of the earlier levels and have at least one year of experience coaching that makes use of the CrossFit program.

One final certification CrossFit has available is the CrossFit Kids Trainer Course. This centers on the scaling of the CrossFit movements for children and is a special benefit for those children who are homeschooled. It does require that the trainer successfully complete the Level 1 Trainer Course.

Why Get Certified in CrossFit?

The proverbial $64 question for CrossFit certification is quite simple: How do I benefit from this type of certification? There are a number of physical fitness related certifications available, and it is possible that adding one more may do very little to improve your personal training career path. Yes, CrossFit appears to be very cutting edge in its approach but does it have really any advantage?

Intensity is where the benefit lies in the CrossFit program. Its proponents will gladly testify to the positive results of doing both compound and functional movements in various ways at a high intensity.  CrossFit programs have received positive feedback from military and police organizations as a means of getting members in peak physical condition in a relatively short period of time. All the testing suggests that this is a very legitimate means of reaching fitness goals.

CossFit Benefit to Client

A fitness professional has the client in mind at all times. The great advantage of the CrossFit program is that it is scalable enough to fit the needs and limitations of almost any of your clients. While it does require that the trainer be cognizant of a client’s individual limitations, the program can most likely produce enviable results for that person. Trainers also need to be aware of the background of whom it is he or she is serving. For someone who is in an active occupation such as firefighting, or possibly mixed martial arts, CrossFit has been shown to be quite successful. The CrossFit certification program can give a personal trainer the skill set needed to better address the needs of more active people.

The instruction inherent in the coursework forces a student to analyze movement from different angles and offers ideas on how to get the maximum results of what are basically fundamental movements. This feature of CrossFit provides a trainer with the tools to create a program that really helps the client achieve desired results. That flexibility of options could be reason enough for a fitness trainer to consider working on a CrossFit certification.

This type of certification does come at a set price. Each individual training program for certification costs in the ballpark of $1,000. The trainee has to be willing to “let go” of preconceived notions and be willing to specialize in essentially not specializing at all. This may all seem like it comes from the mouth of Yoda, but it really does have strong merit. CrossFit is a novel means of training for peak performance. Both CrossFit and later variations will no doubt revolutionize the fitness industry as a whole.

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