I spent Saturday and Sunday at CrossFit Monrovia doing my Level 1 Certification class.
IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!
The main things that stuck out to me from this weekend were:
- The instructors LOVE teaching people about the in’s and out’s of CrossFit. They were so knowledgeable, but they were also very clear and fun communicators. You could tell that they were excited to be there and to teach and train us.
- Everyone was pretty friendly and helpful. There were over 60 people attending and they represented all kinds of CrossFitters, newbies and old school garage wod types.
My 1 year CrossFit anniversary is coming up at the end of this month. This L1 Cert was actually the first time I’ve been coached by someone not from my box. It was fun/educational to see different coaching styles and cues. It was also affirming to have my movement critiqued by the instructors. I got a compliment on my PVC Push Jerk & PVC Snatch during our skill drill sessions.
If you’re curious, this is how the weekend went. There were lectures intermixed with break out sessions on the 9 basic movements of CrossFit.
Lectures covered things like “What is CrossFit?”, so what do we really mean when we say constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement, as well was “What is Fitness?”, programming workouts and nutrition.
The 9 basic movements were taught in groups of 3. We covered the squat series Saturday morning (Air Squat, Front Squat, Overhead Squat), the press series Saturday afternoon (Shoulder Press, Push Press, Push Jerk) and the last set on Sunday (Deadlift, Sumo Deadlift High-Pull, Med Ball Clean).
The instructors would first demo/explain the movements and then we’d break out into 6 groups to be led through it by one of the instructors.
SKILLS & DRILLS
The break out sessions were the best part of the weekend. In addition to the 9 basic movements, they also took time to teach us pull ups & thrusters (so we could then do Fran), and strict muscle ups and snatch. This wasn’t just about teaching us how to do these movements, but also showing us the simplest way to coach others.
Day 1 was a team version of Fran. For those of you who don’t do CrossFit, “Fran” is the name of one of the most notorious CrossFit workouts, and this is how it is written:
- Complete the following for time (as fast as you possibly can, no stopping):
- 21 Thrusters (95lbs for men, 65lbs for women)
- 21 Pull-Ups
- 15 Thrusters
- 15 Pull-Ups
- 9 Thrusters
- 9 Pull-Ups
Basically, you do 45 reps of both Thrusters and Pull-ups but break them up.
What’s a Thruster? It’s like a Front Squat & a Push Press got married and had a baby.
You can ask most any CrossFitter about “Fran” and it calls them to a dark place. I haven’t actually done Fran since I got my pull ups, so I don’t have an RX (doing the workout as it’s written without modifications) Fran time yet. That day is coming, though, and I fear it with joy. If that’s possible.
Team Fran worked like this: Four person team, so multiply the reps by 4 and you get…
- Complete the following for time:
- 180 Thrusters (Yes, we did 65#)
- 180 Pull-Ups (2 ladies modified this to jumping pull ups)
- Only one person on the team works at a time.
- If you drop the barbell, your entire team does 20 burpees each.
- Avoid dropping the barbell by using the “human rack” – the team member working holds the bar on their shoulders when they’re ready to be replaced. Two team members grab the bar and hold it while the third swaps in and gets to work.
My team took around 20 minutes I’ll say to get this done and I walked away with 3 beautiful momentos to remember it by.
Day 2 was more of a coaching opportunity. It was an 8 minute workout doing As Many Rounds As Possible of Push Ups, Med Ball Cleans and Sit Ups. This is how it was written:
- 8 Minute AMRAP
- 8 Push Ups
- 10 Med Ball Cleans
- 12 Sit Ups
We were partnered up and we each took turns either doing the workout or coaching our partner through it. This was really helpful as it allowed the instructors to come by and help us with our coaching cues and developing our “eye” to see what someone was doing wrong in real time.
Highlights of L1:
I fell in love with CrossFit all over again. Our instructors really embodied the best of the CrossFit community.
Definitely feel like I better understand the basics of CrossFit, and appreciate it more as a fitness program.
I enjoyed meeting new people and working out with them. I didn’t even bother trying to take photos for instagram or anything. I just lived the moments and had fun.
I was happy to see that my skill set has a good foundation. I need a lot of improvement of course, but my coaches at CrossFit Surf City have done a great job of teaching me the basics.
Cool T-Shirt. Advertising CrossFit, of course.
I was pleased that the test at the end of the weekend was conducted with a care and integrity. Yes, it was just a multiple choice scan-tron job, but there were several different versions handed out, the questions were fairly representative of the many different aspects of CrossFit, and for the most part, well written.
I’ll admit I was nervous to realize there were over 5 questions that I really wasn’t sure about. However, I only had to get 35 correct, and I’m fairly confident I did that. We’ll find out later this week, though.[UPDATE: I heard via email on 6/9 that I passed and on 7/6 I received a paper certificate in the mail.]