Recap: CrossFit L1 Certificate Course
Over the last few years, I contemplated different ways to increase my fitness. I’ve had good attendance with the CrossFit Open, and had a brief love affair with weightlifting. But there was always an itch to do more. Finally, after associating myself with this type of exercise for a little over 6 years, it was time to move into something new.
Coaching is something I’ve always entertained, but never something I thought I’d have the courage to do. Who would listen to me? My LinkedIn profile will tell you that I’ve spent the last 8 years in finance. None of it lists any experience within the fitness industry. I don’t have an outstanding resume that boasts high place finishes in competitions. Nor have I qualified for any national or high-profile events. I’ve experienced the CrossFit newbie “high” you get when you first join. And I also have the seasoned perspective on how to approach workouts. All the while, I’ve also had to weather some serious injuries and tribulations. In short, I’ve actually got a lot to say and what better way to share my knowledge than to try out coaching.
There was a moment of divine intervention when I saw the CrossFit Level 1 Certification was being held just across the Bay in Oakland! I have a few friends at Pacific Strength, and knew it was a great place to have a seminar. Bonus points for the fact that it’s across the street from a kick-ass Whole Foods.
Long story short, I passed and am now the proud holder of the CF-L1 designation. Anyway, let’s answer a few questions that I’m sure you have from my experience!
Who was there?
Level 1 instructors are usually big or O.G. names. In my case, my trainers for the weekend were O.G. instructor Leah Polaski, Northern California gym owners Dave Eubanks and Austin Begiebing, and Adrian “Boz” Bozman (who really needs no introduction).
As far as the crowd goes, there was about 40 or 50 of us from all over Northern California. A few had travelled as far as the Nevada side of Reno, with majority of the crowd coming from the outer stretches of the Bay Area. I found myself in the minority being from the city. Most of the people in attendance had at least two years of CrossFit experience, except for two brave souls. These two had never done CrossFit before and endured their first CrossFit workout at the seminar. Talk about brave!
Did you sit in chairs all day?
Nope, not at all. One of the biggest takeaways was how hard things can be with just a PVC pipe. From learning how to properly hold the bar in the front rack position to learning the second pull of the snatch, there were A LOT of demos. The course outline is available online when you sign up, and it’s pretty true to form. A classroom setting is used to explain general theory and the demos are used to reinforce the positioning.
Most of the time was spent going over the nine fundamental movements in CrossFit. Other movements such as pull-ups, cleans, snatches, and the GHD machine were taught but in shorter sessions. The hands-on piece was pretty fun! Learnings were taught in small groups and we were taught key points of performance and spotting faults.
What lecture was the most interesting?
I found the lecture about how to program the most interesting. One of the reasons I fell in love with CrossFit was the programming. Seeing the fundamental principles of how a gym’s programming should be constructed opened my eyes to how my own gym programs. I’ve definitely got a new appreciation for the level of thoughtfulness that goes into what we do. At the same time, it also highlights the instances when I’ve been to gyms with poor programming, who don’t acknowledge their responsibility to program for their athletes. Writing random workouts on the whiteboard without doing some planning ahead is a disservice to your members.
Did you work out at all? Was it double “Fran”?
It wouldn’t be CrossFit if they didn’t hint at possibly doing “Fran.” Throughout our Day 1, there was a strong insinuation that you’d need to be proficient in both thrusters and pull-ups for the upcoming workout. The tension amongst the class was palpable. Alas, it was revealed that there’d be no need to chalk your hands up for pull-ups. Here was WOD #1 from Day 1 and WOD #2 on Day 2:
3 rounds for time:
15 thrusters (95/65#)
AMRAP 8 minutes
10 Medicine Ball Cleans (20#/14#), 10 Sit-ups, 10 Medicine Ball Push Jerks
But seriously, is the test hard?
I’ll say this much, if you’re paying attention throughout both days, and you’ve got some level of familiarity with CrossFit, you have the ability to pass. There are no guarantees, but I can say with certainty that the course feeds you what you need to know. And when I say pay attention, I mean actively taking notes or listening to the lectures. Not scrolling on Instagram, or pretending that you’re above what’s being taught. Having heard and done majority of the movements and content in the course, I still found the test to be a challenge. There certainly aren’t a ton of “gimme” questions. Knowing the application of the movements is essential, which goes back to needing to pay attention.
At the end of it all, I couldn’t be prouder to start on this new adventure. I never would have guessed that I’d be in a position to start sharing my knowledge. At the same time, this feels like a natural progression. I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you!