1

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Hack my local Crossfit coach

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 19, 2011 at 4:33 PM

I really enjoy weightlifting but like to dabble in Crossfit for conditioning. I'm a member of a great globo gym; one of their trainers on staff has a level 1 Crossfit cert, and he and the owner are planning to start an affiliate at the gym. Sometimes said trainer puts workouts up on the whiteboard for people to try, and I've noticed they include Crossfit-esque movements, but are consistently really long (many different movements, always 5+ rounds, often the "warmup" is running a mile or so). Yesterday I saw the trainer doing a private training session with a gym member, and he was having her do typical big-box-gym-trainer things like putting her on a bosu doing squats (partial) & lunges.

I'm no Crossfit expert, but it doesn't seem like this dude is really buying in & is employing outmoded methods, and I wonder if this is shaping up to be a quality affiliate. What do you guys think?

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on June 13, 2012
at 11:32 AM

But what is "teaching CrossFit?" Programming varies from gym to gym, and CrossFit, Inc. does not own any particular movements or types of equipment. My gym now has an official Crossfit affiliate and the programming has remained the same: hour-long metcons. I like this trainer, really I do; he's pretty well-known in my area and has many years of experience- I just don't agree with his version of CrossFit, and I don't think he has a good understanding of how humans should exercise on a regular basis.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on June 13, 2012
at 11:28 AM

But what is "teaching CrossFit?" Programming varies from gym to gym, and CrossFit, Inc. does not own any particular movements or types of equipment. My gym now has an official Crossfit affiliate and the programming has remained the same: hour-long metcons.

318374167f4c3bf3ac0f13ce48211c75

(106)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:56 AM

I think the trainer at your gym is doing EXACTLY what he's supposed to be doing. He's NOT allowed to teach CrossFit under a name that isn't an affiliate to CrossFit. It would be illegal for him to teach CrossFit at your globo gym which is why he's showing new clients the bosu ball and not functional movement with PVC like you would in a foundations class at CrossFit. If he wanted to teach CrossFit, he would need to affiliate which it sounds like he might be doing anyway. oh and yes....in CrossFit our warmup is your workout. So, yeah get used to seeing a mile run as a warm up For more Pale

318374167f4c3bf3ac0f13ce48211c75

(106)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:53 AM

I think the trainer at your gym is doing EXACTLY what he's supposed to be doing. He's NOT allowed to teach CrossFit under a name that isn't an affiliate to CrossFit. It would be illegal for him to teach CrossFit at your globo gym which is why he's showing new clients the bosu machine and not functional movement with PVC like you would in a foundations class at CrossFit. If he wanted to teach CrossFit, he would need to affiliate which it sounds like he might be doing anyway. oh and yes....in CrossFit our warmup is your workout. So, yeah get used to seeing a mile run as a warm up.

7cc85cf98e4d0cac622f755294ac7ee1

(355)

on August 19, 2011
at 07:16 PM

Ruth by "on ramp" I mean a month long course(variable by the athletes level) where the first two weeks are 1 on 1 sessions focused on fundamental movements. The last two weeks should be a small group and short metcon duration where it is a good combination of intensity and safety in form. That being said, some athletes can pick things up MUCH faster and be ready to go after a week, while some people may need two months working 1 on 1 to get the persons body working properly. Just as with paleo no "one size fits all". Rather funny the old saying "assuming makes an ass out of you..." Cheers!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Thanks for weighing in!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Thanks! Once this affiliate opens, they'll be the only game in town :( I've gone to the next closest one and liked it, but's a half hour drive.

B883e32a79f743ff8fee345567393074

(132)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:55 PM

And granted, I can't comment on that ladies fitness needs, or why he chose to use a BOSU ball. In my opinion doing squats on a BOSU balls, make you good at doing squats on a BOSU ball. There is very little carryover. The law of specificity is key. I've only been to one crossfit gym, and I watched with a skeptical eye to see how they did. The one I went, I approved because adjusting the WOD for the individual, coaching form etc, actually teaching. But I've heard of others that are nothing like that. I don't do crossfit for the reason, that it is way too expensive. I'm a poor grad student.

97b7c27e8f062fefd1174d59a91b98aa

(10)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:45 PM

There are many ways to get people up to speed on movement training, adaptations, progressions, etc. outside of an 'on-ramp' class. If the goal of the box is to have each class moving at similar skill and intensity, then yes, an on-ramp or separate path is a good idea. It also depends on the goal of the trainee. I've done it all ways - on-ramps of 3 private sessions, 2-4week class, testing, and yes having a newbie hang close to me in the class and willing to be patient with development.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Thanks for chiming in! Unfortunately my nearest box is about 40 mins away; I've been really looking forward to this one starting up & hope it'll turn out to be a good one despite my misgivings...

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:04 PM

by 'on ramp class' i bet you mean more than a 3-session one-on-one intro?

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:33 PM

Glad to get your perspective, thanks! :) Maybe I am being too harsh on the guy.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:32 PM

Good points, thanks! I have done many a crunch on the bosu in my day! ;)

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Thanks! I'd been hoping to see what he does with individual clients since he got into Crossfit; hopefully I'll get to see some more...

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7 Answers

4
7cc85cf98e4d0cac622f755294ac7ee1

(355)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I have been involved with Crossfit since late 07. Despite what coach Glassman says about quality taking care of itself, I have seen many instances of the contrary. Level I certification is a very easy test, a person with any level of basic physical conditioning and ability to take a test can get the certification. During my travels I have visited some 30 different Crossfit facilities, from globo gyms to top end facilities... There are some absolutely HORRIFIC coaches, who have no business even teaching someone to squat around at the moment. Quality control is a major issue, probably the biggest issue with Crossfit going mainstream.

IF YOU ARE STARTING CROSSFIT, PLEASE GO TO AT LEAST 3 DIFFERENT CROSSFIT FACILITIES!!! If the facility does not have an on ramp class, just run far away.

As to the original question, if a guy is giving long duration metcon work to "newbs" then yes he is a blithering idiot. Then again that probably should have been given away if someone is doing "1 mile runs" as a warmup.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:04 PM

by 'on ramp class' i bet you mean more than a 3-session one-on-one intro?

97b7c27e8f062fefd1174d59a91b98aa

(10)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:45 PM

There are many ways to get people up to speed on movement training, adaptations, progressions, etc. outside of an 'on-ramp' class. If the goal of the box is to have each class moving at similar skill and intensity, then yes, an on-ramp or separate path is a good idea. It also depends on the goal of the trainee. I've done it all ways - on-ramps of 3 private sessions, 2-4week class, testing, and yes having a newbie hang close to me in the class and willing to be patient with development.

7cc85cf98e4d0cac622f755294ac7ee1

(355)

on August 19, 2011
at 07:16 PM

Ruth by "on ramp" I mean a month long course(variable by the athletes level) where the first two weeks are 1 on 1 sessions focused on fundamental movements. The last two weeks should be a small group and short metcon duration where it is a good combination of intensity and safety in form. That being said, some athletes can pick things up MUCH faster and be ready to go after a week, while some people may need two months working 1 on 1 to get the persons body working properly. Just as with paleo no "one size fits all". Rather funny the old saying "assuming makes an ass out of you..." Cheers!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:08 PM

Thanks for chiming in! Unfortunately my nearest box is about 40 mins away; I've been really looking forward to this one starting up & hope it'll turn out to be a good one despite my misgivings...

4
B883e32a79f743ff8fee345567393074

(132)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:00 PM

It's hard to make a judgement on an individual based off only one observation of them.

My thoughts personally are that BOSU squats and lunges are a waste of time for most people. The only time, I think unstable surface training is useful, is when I am rehabilitating a sprained ankle, and some knee sprains. I also use it for some shoulder stability training. Mainly I find it only useful for rehab purposes. For general fitness training, there are much better modalities to use.

I have mixed feelings about crossfit in general. Mainly because I feel like some gyms, just throw out these huge workouts. Without regard to an individuals fitness level, experience level, injury history etc. I think crossfit can be great, if coach takes the time to work with the individual and modify workouts accordingly, and build in progressions. Anybody can create a workout that will kick your butt, and make you tired. But it takes knowledge, experience and skill to create an individualized plan for an individual based off their need. Just like everyone here has a paleo diet that varies, there is no one size fits all. The same is with fitness programs.

I would continue to observe him some more and see how much individualized training this guy does, and how much variation there is between types of programs. If you see him doing the same thing over and over with every client. Also if he is routinely throwing out these huge WOD's, without respect to teaching the movements, ensuring they are done correctly, or modifying for individual circumstances; then I would consider finding someone else.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Thanks! I'd been hoping to see what he does with individual clients since he got into Crossfit; hopefully I'll get to see some more...

B883e32a79f743ff8fee345567393074

(132)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:55 PM

And granted, I can't comment on that ladies fitness needs, or why he chose to use a BOSU ball. In my opinion doing squats on a BOSU balls, make you good at doing squats on a BOSU ball. There is very little carryover. The law of specificity is key. I've only been to one crossfit gym, and I watched with a skeptical eye to see how they did. The one I went, I approved because adjusting the WOD for the individual, coaching form etc, actually teaching. But I've heard of others that are nothing like that. I don't do crossfit for the reason, that it is way too expensive. I'm a poor grad student.

2
B5cc60ce970d2efed2de1f01c3b33e86

(410)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:16 PM

Well here is my thoughts. I am a level 1 coach and I have a friend who owns an affiliate and I am friendly with a few other Affiliates throughout Louisiana and Houston. I have meet a few people who say they Crossfit and do similar to what you are describing. Now with that being said. This trainer is not legally allowed to train people for money using the Crossfit name or anything that would violate the agreement we sign to become Level 1s. Also some trainers get caught up with making long chipper WODs the majority of the programming because the clientele like to see this because they think they are working harder the longer the workout is. "Spartan" style WODs. Clients don't want to pay for a workout that only last 4 minutes because they don't think it is enough. These people haven't done "Fran". Unfortunately not all Level 1 coaches are good programmers. All this being said I am not judging what this person is doing, for it may just be what the clients want. It could be any of these things I have said. After the affiliate is opened give it a try. If the programming doesn't change then maybe try a different box. Good luck and if you give it a try, welcome to the community!!!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:33 PM

Glad to get your perspective, thanks! :) Maybe I am being too harsh on the guy.

2
40449b985898b088a64660b40f329f0f

(951)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:12 PM

It is possible that since has has a cert, and the affiliate is not off of the ground yet, he is trying to incorporate some CrossFit into a routine that also uses more traditional gym exercises. Maybe once the pure CrossFit gym is established, it will run parallel to traditional CrossFit. When he was working with his private client, maybe that's what the client was interested in doing? A bosu may not be the greatest training tool, but people are at different fitness levels, and its a training too nonetheless. My guess is that if they wanted a CrossFit trainer, they probably would have gone to a CrossFit gym. I would also consider Stu's suggestion and observe him more.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 05:32 PM

Good points, thanks! I have done many a crunch on the bosu in my day! ;)

1
4bf5827bfb7df85c5b4b485db0945e64

(1386)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:54 PM

When a coach doesn't have the realization the warm-up should model after the exercises being performed in the workout/WOD, that's a bad sign. I have a level 1 and, as a previous poster stated, it's easy to get and does not qualify someone as being a good or competent coach. Also, there's absolutely zero quality control from affiliate to affiliate so you may get someone who has a legit background, has taken some anatomy and physiology classes, and stays current on all the training techniques and modalities OR you might get someone who was delivering pizzas last month. With that being said, realize being a PT at a globo gym does not qualify someone but also keep an open mind. You'd need to do further investigation. Oh... And any weighted exercise on a BOSU ball is a bad sign lol.

1
2c66c70d033e7ec05327026121d2ceb4

on August 19, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I would echo a lot of what has already been said.

1) It's hard to judge the trainer based on one observation. However, there are definitely programming biases that exist. If most of the workouts that you have seen on the board are longer time domains, then maybe it wouldn't fit with your overall program, and if you wanted to augment your training with some Crossfit, this new affiliate may not be the best location to do so.

2) If you are going to sign up at a Crossfit facility, DEFINITELY compare multiple locations, and ask questions about how the trainers and/or programs can be customized to the individual. The idea that workouts should be scaled in intensity, and not kind, is definitely up for debate to say the least. Your goals should be the most important part of your decision making process. A great coach and facility won't matter if they don't help you meet your goals.

Good luck with your search.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:58 PM

Thanks! Once this affiliate opens, they'll be the only game in town :( I've gone to the next closest one and liked it, but's a half hour drive.

1
97b7c27e8f062fefd1174d59a91b98aa

on August 19, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Putting a WOD on the board for people to try is not coaching. That's called marketing. It's also an irresponsible and reckless way to introduce people ANY program, especially something that has the potential for injury without a watchful and experienced eye. You've witnessed him train - that is his skill set, which seems mediocre at best.

Coaches are always learning, trying, testing, compiling data and implementing what works. Not throwing workouts together to see if their clients like them, and going with the ones they do. What you're seeing is testing to see if CF (or whatever they call it) is going to be a viable source of revenue based on popularity...how many people tried what was on the board, how many would like to do that x times a week....etc. That's how Globo works, and why it would be a rarity if they were to make it happen the right way. With solid coaching first, teaching the basic movements and standards, expanding the client's skill sets along with true improvements in strength, conditioning, etc....and looking at intensity/capacity last.

BTW - CF or any other 'coaching-based' training works VERY WELL in a private setting. That's how it started. If he's training privately in a style vastly different but wants to coach a group in a CF class, be very wary. CF is VERY HARD to coach in a group setting for obvious reasons. He's surely capable of doing it, but it's not something you jump into without experience, training (coaches need to be coached too), mentor/shadow training, and then working with 1 then 2, then basic movements....then classes with people that have different abilities, experience, strengths/weaknesses, need for adaptation... See how the class environment can be challenging to coach? It's no joke...this isn't a 'cardio-pump', 'spin', or 'zumba' class.

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 19, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Thanks for weighing in!

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