In most jobs, continuing education programs are not only the “norm” but also a requirement of maintaining your employment. CrossFit training should be no different. If you are training at an affiliate multiple times a week and you have a sense that you might know more than the person who is instructing you, please get out and find another place to do CrossFit. Your coach is the gatekeeper to direct hands-on knowledge when it comes to CrossFit training. But it can go beyond his or her training, instruction and advice. Finding a group within your class or similar skill dynamic can go a long way in terms of growing your CrossFit experience and just making training more beneficial and enjoyable. Being comfortable with a few training partners allows you to bounce ideas off one another, help with lifts and talk about form, and it also gives you a target group to monitor and compete against when the scores go up on the whiteboard each day.
There is so much material in the forms of books and magazines (such as The Box) out there that you’d be foolish not to invest some of your time reading them. With anything, a little research goes a long way in regards to the relevance of what you’re reading. Make sure that if you are following a blog or site, the author is not giving you theoretical advice, which can be dangerous. I’d look to someone with some quality background and diverse experience in training methodologies related to CrossFit.
I am a visual learner. I’ve realized from years of coaching that if someone explains a soccer drill to me, I can sort of get the idea. If I see the person walk through it, I can completely duplicate it and demonstrate it to others. There are so many videos on YouTube either through the CrossFit Journal or the CrossFit YouTube channel that will help you learn about everything from double-unders to muscle-ups to handstand push-ups to clean-and-jerks. I used to read interviews all the time about people around the world learning about CrossFit by watching the original CrossFit HQ staff from California doing workouts and explaining the movements in their videos. As with the coaching and reading, make sure the videos are from sources you trust so that they are worth your time.
Seminars are popping up all over the place. The cost can be off-putting at times, and you really need to know that you are getting quality for the money you are dishing out to attend these one- or two-day events. Research the presenter and the staff before making the commitment to attend, and make sure that this is something that you’d have to pay to learn and not something that your own coach could be helping you with if you’d just taken the time to ask him or her. Whether it’s for nutrition, programming, gymnastics or lifting, a seminar can definitely add quality to your training experience.
What are some ways you continue your education beyond just showing up and training multiple times a week? Share your sources and ideas in the comments section.
Stay on the Grind.
Jamie Toland is a high school English teacher and soccer coach and works part-time as a CrossFit Level-1 trainer at Capital City CrossFit in Springfield, IL. He has been training in CrossFit since 2010 and has logged close to 1,000 workouts during that time, including competing in a variety of local competitions at all levels. Jamie has worked for CrossFit Games Media for two years in the capacity of an athlete and team profile writer for games.crossfit.com. This past summer, he worked in the television production department for the 2014 CrossFit Games. Jamie also works as a freelance CrossFit writer for various online and print publications. Follow him at @JTolgrinder