CrossFit Level 1: It isn’t just for aspiring coaches

I completed the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course yesterday, the most introductory course offered by CrossFit.  I’m sure you’re wondering why a person participating in CrossFit just shy of 1.5 years would do this, right? I’ve not planned on coaching and I’m not currently associated with a CrossFit Affiliate.  So why on earth would any CrossFit athlete pay that kind of dough to attend a weekend long series of lectures, workouts, and technique work? I’ve got a few good reasons why I attended a CrossFit Level 1 course, and why I encourage you to as well.

You’ve got the basics secured. Your CrossFit Level 1 gym coaches are generally there to ensure newcomers get instruction, and you’re feeling pretty confident in your capabilities.

Or so you think. No amount of praise my husband or I have received for appearing fit, lifting heavy, or excelling at gymnastics skills means we know it all. Or most of it!  In fact, the longer we’ve participated in this world of fitness the more, “Yeah yeah, I got it. Go tell Newbie Nick over there, he lifts less than me” we’ve become. Odds are you’ve started to think lifting big is the only way to be awesome and that when coach tells you to take weight off the bar, use an unweighted bar, or the greatest of evils (PVC pipe only)… he’s a dick. Truth?  Coach did you a solid, and you’re ignoring the basics.

CrossFit Level 1 trainer course assess technique

How this clipboard lady isn’t screaming and waving her hands in the air to, “PUT THE BAR DOWN!” is beyond me. Is this lift intense? Oh yeah.. but wrong all over and anyone can see that. It’s time for this athlete to head back to basics…

Attending this CrossFit level 1 and participating in the rudimentary squat was the first group movement we assessed. A friggin’ unweighted squat, folks. Watching my “I’m a BAMF” husband sweat bullets while just trying to be stable at the bottom of a squat was glorious beyond all understanding. Dissecting his form with our instructors and fellow course participants was even more fantastic. Why?  Because his basic unweighted squat form was ugly, as was mine! You can’t continue to load the bar, you can’t SAFELY PR, and you can’t lift confidently without the shit you learned in a foundations class being done right every day.  It takes practice, and while it’s not awe-inspiring work to look at you need to do it to progress. This course, and it’s sharp-eyed instructors reminded us we are always beginners in some capacity, and even someone like my husband with a full range of skills and above average lifts can look like ass doing to a simple air squat.

You eat, cook, and live the Paleo Diet, so you’re the total picture of health…right?

Have you had your cholesterol, blood pressure, and body fat percentage checked recently?   No? BAM!! One demerit! This is where the RN in me jumps up and get’s handsy with a ruler. It’s easy to follow a popular dietary prescription like the Paleo Diet that allows for food staples you really enjoy (meat, fat and even frying them together… so long as it’s in coconut oil, right?) as a part of your regular intake. But the ratios and volume of these items can be reaaaaal off the charts, creating the conditions that CrossFitters so viemently stand against: hypertension, heart disease, and obesity .

CrossFit Level 1 Zone Diet training

I’m sure you’ve NEVER said this. Neevver. Yeah, me neither so you’re in good company.

If you’re consistently spending  time working out the likelihood is substantially reduced, and it’s easy to proclaim the  glory of the program that got you there!  No person is perfect, and balance is not my favorite thing, (um, see every food posts here. I love my booze!) but the Zone education provided at this CrossFit Level 1 course was direct and simple. It emphasizes how balance will create greater performance, but also just overall health! Paleo Diet is great. It’s real food and I love it, but it’s not particularly balanced for carbs, proteins, and fats. Furthermore, it has some notable restrictions that may not work for your lifestyle (cheese, and alcohol to name a few).  Zone Diet does allow these in moderation, y’all! I know many gyms offer nutritional education sessions like the one I received at this course, and I HIGHLY recommend attending one offered near you. 

I ‘m confused about my gym’s workouts. Gym XYZ doesn’t program like this, so it must have fitter/more injured/<insert random thought here> members.

No two people are created alike, so not surprisingly neither are two gym owners/managers/WOD programmers. Each affiliate has it’s own goals, target demographic, culture, etc.  While we educated ourselves and read the materials available at regarding how workouts are created and why, we couldn’t say we had a holistic understanding of WOD programming.  We now have a much clearer understanding of general programming, and that’s a step in the right direction. WOD’s  are varied to fit the CrossFit prescription. They are designed and not picked out of thin air, there’s a method to the madness! The CrossFit Level 1 programming lecture reinforced that each athlete is unique in their skill set, drive, and goals and that tailored programming is important to develop a well-rounded happy athlete. A good coach should be able to tell you how the programming for the day relates to week,  and how it relates to helping you achieve your specific fitness goals. Coaches aren’t mind readers, you have to tell them your goals, man. They can scale or enhance the workout to make the workout appropriately challenging while still preserving the same movements. As an athlete we have a job too! We have to be realistic about our current level of fitness/skills to maximize the workout, and listen to our coach’s instruction. After getting to know your mental fortitude, skill sets, and physical capabilities a good coach can often make a smart call for an intense AND safe workout!

CrossFit Level 1 programming: scaled or rx

Scaled or RX… feel it. FEEL THE BURN!

The great benefit of the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer course specifically is that it immerses you in all things fitness. You’ll certainly benefit from the full weekend of witnessing bodies (your L1 instructors) who practice all of these principles on a daily basis, and readily see their fitness capabilities at work! Sure, going to local or national competitions allows you to watch the results associated with proper technique, diet, and programming. However at the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer course you are expected to participate, actively learn the building blocks of fitness, and garner a serious respect for each component.  Don’t be jealous or presumptuous of how fit bodies with superior skills came about!  Study the materials, attend a CrossFit Level 1 course, and become one.

Good Luck fellow athletes!

4 thoughts on “CrossFit Level 1: It isn’t just for aspiring coaches

  1. Cherie

    Love it, thank you, -Cherie

    • JisforJudy

      Wow @ Cherie! I absolutely did not believe you ( or any of our excellent L1 trainers) would read this. Thank you, and best of luck in all you do!

  2. Crossfit Chef

    Great post. I have been Crossfitting for 4 years and have completed in Scaled and Rx competitions. I always think that I could be more well versed on Crossfit. I really liked the nutrition and programming sections. Good info. I’m glad you had a positive experience.

    Just don’t let the sound of Coach go to your head. Haha

    • JisforJudy

      It was great information! While a lot of people would avoid it due to cost it’s an excellent foundation for more specialized learning (powerlifting, gymnastics, endurance,etc).Oh,and I bet people have spent this much in CrossFit tees anyhow, why not spending it on really learning CrossFit? 😉

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