10 things I learned at my CrossFit Level 1 Certification

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By: Trice Sweet


It’s Wednesday, two days after the long Memorial Day weekend, where I spent Saturday and Sunday at my CrossFit Level 1 Certification course.

My shoulders are still aching from the 6+ minutes of thrusters and burpees on Saturday, and I dreamt of functional movements and the proper progressions to a sumo-deadlift high-pull last night.

What a blur those two days were. I’ve been reviewing the movements over and over in my mind, trying to remember specific cues I can use, and going over and over how it felt to have someone push me to my absolute limit.

It’s safe to say that it hasn’t all sunk in.

Here’s a list of 10 things I’ve processed so far:

1. My squat isn’t as good as I thought it was. 

Nor was my kipping pull-up, overhead squat, or push press. No matter how good I thought I had movements down, the coaches picked apart what felt like every inch of my form. I actually think they picked up on any arrogance within the group and promptly tore people apart (in a loving way, of course).

2. Community is almost everything. 

Proper technique, high intensity, and bacon are all very important in a CrossFitter’s career, but having 60 otherwise strangers suffer with you and cheer for you is entirely unforgettable.

3. Being able to talk about CrossFit for 48 hours without fear of being judged feels like a mini-vacation. 

“When did you start CrossFit?”

“I’m really struggling to get a PR on my snatch!”

“I’m this close to a strict muscle-up.”

“Did you see that heat at Regionals this past weekend?”

4. The only appropriate way to tell someone you’ve made improvement is “gainz.” 

With a Z. Always with a Z.

5. Why functional movements and high intensity are integral to the CrossFit program. 

How they relate to one another, why they’re so important, and how being a long-distance marathon runner doesn’t fit in with either of these principles.

6. Why CrossFit stands behind their kipping pull-up. 

Hint: It’s something about total power output in a workout.

7. Cherry picking workouts will end up biting you in the butt. 

I’ve avoiding workouts that are less than 10 minutes for the last 3 months or so, mainly because the intensity has got to be high… and well, it hurts. I was about three thrusters from coughing up a lung and keeling over on Saturday, something I would have been much more prepared for if I had actually followed a program properly.

8. Beer is the best recovery drink. 

Kidding, I already knew that.

9. I should really be tracking my workout and diet progress. 

Mainly because I really couldn’t tell you how far I’ve come other than with my lift numbers. I have no idea what Fran time I put up in the past or how much faster my baseline got from the first time I did it. On top of that, there’s no way to know where the pitfalls in my diet are actually coming from, because frankly I don’t pay any attention.

10. I have so much to learn. 

Most importantly, I will always have more to learn. Class management, human movement, properly lifting with a barbell, creating a fun environment, and being the best possible source of information and encouragement for athletes will always be challenging, and as a coach, there will always be room for improvement.


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