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Becoming a Certified CrossFit Trainer

Taking on Level 3 to continue my evolution as a coach.

Like many of you, my CrossFit Level 1 has come up for renewal. I finally took the plunge to solidify my goals in CrossFit with my L1 seminar more than five years ago. In the back of my mind, I knew I’d have to make a move soon, but when I got the automated email from CrossFit HQ, things got real very quick.

I loved the Level 1 seminar and what it gave to me and the rest of the people in our group. I remember being so impressed at the delivery and clarity in which the “red shirts” communicated important, basic principles. I remember saying to myself, I want to demo movement like that.

Some time later, I was fortunate enough to take Coach’s Prep (which later became the new Level 2). The idea of self-induced pressure to be a better coach was real, and it sent me home wanting to evolve further.

Like many of you, I felt some untimely pressure to progress my education to be recognized for the advances I thought I made in my own career. It wasn’t until my time to take the Level 3 that I began to appreciate this opportunity more fully.

As a proud affiliate owner, I had two choices: 1) renew my Level 1, or 2) take on the Level 3 test. Not doing one of the two would jeopardize my affiliation. I was fairly confident I wanted to go forward with my evolution as a coach in CrossFit rather than what felt like going backward by redoing the Level 1, but I was pressed for time. The safe route, which I wouldn’t recommend, would be to simply retake the Level 1. There would be nearly 100 percent chance that I’d end up in good standing, and it would cost about the same amount as the Level 3 out of pocket.

However, the Level 3 intrigued me because I’m usually not interested in the easier of two paths, and I firmly believe the ethos of CrossFit. I figured the Level 3 would challenge my seemingly thorough knowledge of the how’s and why’s of the CrossFit movement. And it did.

By the time I procrastinated enough on the enrollment process, I found myself with just enough time to attempt the Level 3 and potentially have one more crack at it before my Level 1 expired. Looking back, the timing might not have allowed a second try, but the pressure felt good.

Literally everyone I know who has taken the exam has failed it. The failure rates swirled through my head, but I had to try it. So here I was studying all the old articles and videos that laid the groundwork for my love of CrossFit.

I won’t speak to any of the details on the exam, but it was thorough. There were moments during the test that I felt excited not just at the prospect of passing the test but that this test existed. I was excited to be challenged. I was excited mostly because I was confident that in that moment, there wasn’t another certifying body with a test so important and inclusive in the fitness industry as this one.

I hope you all have the chance to attempt your Level 3, not because I passed it but because I’m confident that the new organization of CrossFit’s trainer certification is the best available on the scale in which CrossFit operates.