Intern Sean’s CrossFit Level 1 Experience

CFNH Coaching Intern, Sean Cady wrote this up about his experience taking the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course. It's something we require all of our aspriing Coaches to attain. As you may have noticed however, simpily attending a Level 1 seminar does not make you a Coach at CrossFit New Haven. Read about Sean's experience below:

So a few weeks ago, Emily and I traveled to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania to get our Level 1 certificates.  It was a great time, and I wanted to give everyone the highlights.  Crossfit KOP is a pretty neat box; it used to be a theater.  The owner, Aimee, shut down her gym for the weekend so the L1 course could be hosted there.  Our L1 staff for the weekend were Aimee, Denise, Keith, Joey, and Rob.

Before day 1, there is a decent amount of reading.  I completed most of the reading a few weeks in advance.
Day 1 kicked off with instruction and overview.  The staff outlines the weekend with the movements they are going to cover, nutrition, programming, and legal stuff.  All of the programing maps back to part of the training guide.  The flow is great – they give you a demo of how a movement should be performed, some errors you might see, and how to make corrections. After the demo, we break out into groups and the fun begins.  You can be the most experienced CrossFitter and the staff will still find improvements that can be made.  For me, I found I have been doing my dip wrong since forever.  Over day 1 lunch, the L1 staff crushed the WOD Linda.  It was impressive. Towards the end of the first day, we did our first workout. The workout was fun but intense.  We had to remember what was taught but also try and push ourselves.  At the end of the day, they broke out some beer and we got to hang out and chat.  The people who are taking the L1 vary widely and it makes for a fun set of conversations.

Day 2 is similar to day one, more instruction and another workout.  However, we were sore from the previous day, but the energy from the staff and attendees helped to keep me awake and focused.  Day 2 was especially challenging for me because I was picked twice to demo the movement in my group to look for problems and fixes.  Let’s just say my sumo deadlift high pulls are a lot better now. As day 2 finished, we had to sit for the L1 test.  Once that was done, we went home and counted down the 7 days to find out if we passed.

So here are my takeaways from the L1 course. 

First, most people may understand how to do a movement, but very few people (if any) are perfect.  Check your status and ego at the door and listen.  I learned that I have done the dip wrong since forever, that my triple extension is not timed right (I go into my toes before opening my hips), and that intensity is more important than clicking the Rx button

Second, teaching a movement is very different from performing a movement.  Coaching is about fixing the most important issues first and helping an athlete improve.  Dumping a ton of fixes and walking away doesn’t help most people.  You need to work on incremental improvements

Finally, there is a method to the madness that is a CrossFit WOD.  It is not easy to come up with good programming across the board.  It takes a lot of learning, planning, and feedback to build a solid program (Publisher note: we wrote about all the planning that goes into CrossFit New Haven's Programming back in April – check out the video here:


**bold, italics, underlines and emphasis added by publisher, not author


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