CrossFit brings a new dynamic to fitness and exercise. Designed to push you to your limits and help you to achieve peak performance, CrossFit is not for the faint-hearted. Bringing together people from all walks of life, CrossFit combines a blend of disciplines to bring you the most high-intensity workouts.
Using functional movements, CrossFit encapsulates techniques, and movements from running to gymnastics and even weightlifting. CrossFit groups, or boxes as they are more commonly known, are run by independent and qualified trainers.
What Is a CrossFit Coach And How to Become One?
The beauty of becoming a CrossFit coach is that there are no pre-requisites to becoming a coach. This means it is open to anyone and everyone. In the mix, there are CrossFit trainers and CrossFit coaches. A trainer has passed both the CrossFit level 1 and 2 certifications.
A CrossFit trainer needs to be at least 18 years or older to qualify, and after completing both levels can train individuals and small groups.
A CrossFit Coach has passed both levels, as well as a 3rd level and then ultimately to obtain a CrossFit coach status has been tested (after some time has passed) by senior coaches.
Becoming a CrossFit Coach
To become a CrossFit coach, you would need to complete both levels 1 and 2 of the CrossFit training. After obtaining these credentials, you can train either individuals or small groups, using the CrossFit training program. As a CrossFit trainer, you will need to repeat the relevant courses and pass the appropriate exam every five years to stay certified as a trainer.
After accruing 750 hours of training (either individuals or groups), you can apply for level 3. Level 3 earns you the status of being a certified CrossFit trainer.
Once you reach level 3 status and have completed sufficient time as a certified trainer, you can apply for the final level, level 4.
Level 4 in the CrossFit ranks is a certified CrossFit coach. It may take some time to get here, but the journey is worth it. If you want to coach the top athletes, then it’s certainly a necessity.
How Much Do CrossFit Trainers Make?
In the US, generally, CrossFit trainers can earn between US$ 15 – US$ 20 per hour. Because their classes or individual training sessions may not be constant and booked on consecutive days, their pay fluctuates. CrossFit prefers to keep the groups to a smaller number of students, to ensure that the trainer can manage to keep an eye on technique.
Of course, the coaches who’ve had some excellent results themselves in the CrossFit Games like Andrea Montalvo can command a lot more money.
What Does it Really Take to Become a CrossFit Trainer?
What Are The Different CrossFit Certification Levels?
There are four certification levels you can aspire to in CrossFit. Here are some brief details about each one of them.
This level allows the new trainer to get a basic understanding of the core principles of CrossFit. At the same time, new trainers will get a feel for the basic movements that make up CrossFit. This takes place using both actual classroom instruction as well as training together in small groups for more individualized attention.
The classroom instruction focuses on teaching the new trainer how to coach their CrossFit class. It also teaches them how to train a class while maintaining the technique required for the exercises. These are usually high-intensity movements, and the technique is essential. The new trainers also learn how they can alter their training so that they can accommodate people at different levels.
What is the CrossFit Level 1 Course Like?
Check out this short video below for all the details you need to know:
While level 1 spends time on the movements as well as the technique, level 2 takes a more in-depth look into the mechanics of the movements. It is vital that the new trainer can both see and communicate this when a participant in their class is not doing something correctly. CrossFit focuses very much on not just the movements, but the technique too.
LEVEL 3 (CERTIFIED CROSSFIT TRAINER)
To become a CrossFit trainer, there are two ways to get there. The first is to have completed both levels 1 and 2 of the CrossFit training program. Also, you have to have 750 hours of CrossFit Coaching. This can be to either individuals or groups, either or a combination of both is acceptable. The 750 hours have to be accrued within not more than 5 years to be able to obtain level 3
The second way to obtain level 3 is to prove that you have achieved 1,500 hours of active fitness coaching. You do not have to have completed levels 1 and 2, but you do need to have the coaching hours logged at either college or professional level. This also applies to the past 5-year period and must be based on GPP-based training (general physical preparedness). Unfortunately, sports coaching will not count towards these hours.
You may also wish to take some speciality courses, such as this popular CrossFit Kids Certification.
LEVEL 4 (CERTIFIED CROSSFIT COACH)
This is the highest level of coaching you can achieve in CrossFit. This is a new level, testing the trainer’s aptitude when they are coaching CrossFit in groups. More senior CrossFit trainers will test the trainer’s abilities and grade them accordingly.
You need to be a certified CrossFit trainer to apply for this level. This level is more suitable for more experienced trainers, who have a sufficient number of years training.
Learn more here: CrossFit Certifications.
How to Make Money as a CrossFit Coach
What are the Qualities of a Good CrossFit Trainer?
A common question that beginners to CrossFit have is, “What makes a good CrossFit trainer?” A good (or bad) CrossFit trainer can make or break your experience. If you have a good CrossFit trainer, you’ll learn the correct technique, avoid injuries, and make gains in your performance. They’ll also help you stay motivated with varied, challenging workouts that will keep you coming back for more each week.
On the other hand, a bad CrossFit trainer will often not emphasize the correct technique. This will result in injuries that will keep you from achieving your maximum athletic performance. They also won’t help you stay motivated when times are tough! It really is worth it to seek out a good CrossFit trainer and stick with them for the long haul if you want to increase your speed, endurance, strength and agility!
Without further ado, let’s talk about the qualities of a good CrossFit trainer.
#1 Focus on the Foundations
The foundation of any movement or exercise you do is correct form. What is the point of learning how to do something incorrectly? You’ll just have injuries down the road, as well as be unable to progress as far as you would be able to with good form. It’s just downright dangerous to be doing something like a squat with a lot of weight when you’re not doing it correctly!
This focus on the foundations also applies to how quickly you scale. A good CrossFit coach will help you progress slowly in order to build a foundation. Sure, it may feel good to lift a ton of weight, or do a ton of reps but if you come too far too quickly, it will only hurt you in the long run when you encounter injuries. It’s better to start CrossFit slowly, and ensure that you’re ready to start breaking some personal bests. A good coach will help you with this and in the end, get you to where you want to be.
#2 Focus on Relationships
A good CrossFit trainer will remember that the athletes they are training are people! While this may seem pretty obvious, it’s actually possible for some trainers to forget this. A good CrossFit coach will listen, notice how people are feeling, be flexible and able to adapt workouts. They’ll check in regularly and know if you’re making any progress toward the goals you have. They’ll know what your goals are in the first place! General fitness, weight loss, cross-training for another sport, bodybuilding, etc.
Basically, a good CrossFit trainer will just care about the people they train.
#3 Is Receptive to Feedback
A good CrossFit trainer will be open to receiving feedback from the athletes that they train. A good sign is at the beginning of the class, the trainer invites you to speak to them throughout the session, or after to share your thoughts on what worked or didn’t work. It can be hard to accept feedback sometimes, especially if you’re a honed athlete, but a good dose of humility is required. Does your CrossFit trainer walk with a swagger and intimidate people? Or, are they down to Earth and easy to talk to. I certainly know which kind of CrossFit coach I’d want!
Can your CrossFit trainer remember what it was like to be a beginner? Hopefully they can! Inviting feedback is one good sign that they’re able to empathize.
#4 Coaches Everyone in an Individualized Way
In some of the bigger CrossFit gyms, there are classes according to the level. However, in most boxes around the country, there is one class for beginners to advanced. The best CrossFit coaches will recognize this and be flexible enough to tailor workouts to their specific athletes. They can do this in multiple ways such as increasing reps, weight, time, etc. The key is that everyone is challenged, but not totally overwhelmed.
The best CrossFit coaches will also keep a close eye on the total beginners. It can be easy to make a ton of mistakes in your first few workouts with form, and overdoing it, but a good coach will be there for you every step of the way. The most important thing is to not get injured and have fun! Is your coach helping you to do that? Total beginner? See: Frequent Asked CrossFit Questions.
#5 Doesn’t Micromanage
We’ve all been there. A coach or trainer who micromanages every single thing we do. This is especially tough when you’re a beginner and trying to learn everything all at once. The good CrossFit coaches will observe carefully and intervene if you’re making any serious mistakes that can potentially cause injury. They should let very minor things slide for beginners and correct them later once you’ve gotten the basics down. A good coach knows what’s important in the beginning and what is not.
For intermediate or advanced CrossFitters, they’ll wait and see if you’re able to correct yourself first. You often know what you did wrong! Your elbow should have been tucked in. You should have gripped the bar one way instead of the other. Your hand position isn’t quite right. They’ll only step in if it’s apparent that you’re not able to correct yourself. A good CrossFit coach is patient!
#6 Should be in Great Shape Themselves
Why would you want to learn CrossFit from someone who is out of shape! That is obviously not as motivating as learning from someone who is in great shape and regularly works out. Related to this, your CrossFit trainer should also have perfect technique. Watch them when they demonstrate a move-does it look smooth, solid and like they know what they’re doing?
That sums up our article on the qualities of a good CrossFit trainer. We wish you success in finding the CrossFit gym and trainer that works for you. Remember that there are a ton of choices out there, particularly in the bigger cities around North America. If you’re not happy with a CrossFit gym, try another one. If you don’t like a particular trainer at a gym, go to another class and see if you like the trainer a bit better. Keep going until you find a CrossFit trainer that you like and don’t give up on CrossFit due to having one or two bad CrossFit trainers!
The Takeaway on How to Become a CrossFit Coach
While CrossFit provides you with a total body workout, it may not be for everyone. But the word on the street is that if you haven’t tried it yet, you haven’t lived.
Incredibly, CrossFit is one of the most addictive forms of training. Both mentally and physically, CrossFit will make you push yourself to places you have never been before. That place may even be the next CrossFit trainer in your area.
Have your Say about Becoming a CrossFit Trainer
Did we answer your questions about becoming a CrossFit coach? If not, please leave a comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
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