My position in the CrossFit world is twofold. As someone who is an athlete and a coach, I’ve always got my radar on for advantages as a student and as a teacher.
There are few disciplines that demand the breadth of competence that an advanced-level athlete or coach needs more than CrossFit. Mixed martial arts (MMA) is very similar to CrossFit in the number of subsets an athlete or trainer could expand upon. For example, just within the weightlifting segment of CrossFit, you’ve got powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting. These two disciplines are as deep as any ocean when it comes to levels of expertise. So much so that elite-level Olympic weightlifters couldn’t hold a candle to the expertise of an elite-level powerlifter, and visa versa. Keep in mind how similar these two disciplines are when you consider the array of skills in CrossFit.
CrossFit asks its athletes to have as much of a handle on middle-distance running as they have an understanding for gymnastics and weightlifting. Though no athlete will reach master-level competence in any single discipline while training them all, it still behooves athletes and coaches alike to advance their education and experience in each of these subjects.
After my Level 1 trainer course, I’ve slowly taken on continuing my education in the various subjects under the CrossFit umbrella. Right away I took Coach Burgener’s Olympic Weightlifting Certification course. This was crucial to my development in learning my way around a barbell as a student and a coach in a Barbell 202 type of way. From there I took on the Coaches Prep Course in hopes of being a Level 2 coach one day. Next month I will enroll in Rob Orlando’s Strongman Certification course.
Now, I won’t be competing in the summer Games as a weightlifter anytime soon. I won’t don a red shirt touring with the HQ staff teaching L1 Courses, either. And, Lord knows I’m not going to be winning any strongman competitions.
What these programs have done, however, is help me both grow as an efficient athlete and use more resources to coach others. Most of us in the CrossFit community have embraced this ideology that says the goal is to be “Better Than Yesterday.” Therefore, we train five and six times a week. Why, then, wouldn’t we put forth an effort to improve our knowledge and understanding?
Even though we as athletes and coaches are just scratching the surface on disciplines like gymnastics, weightlifting and running, having an arsenal beyond surface level is crucial to our legitimacy as athletes and coaches. What better place to expand beyond our simpleton horizons than with the subject-matter experts in their respective domains?