A couple weeks ago, I got the chance to go up to Belfast and complete my CrossFit Level 1 certification. Getting this opportunity was really cool, knowing that if I were to complete it, I would be able to coach group classes at CrossFit Ireland. I went up to Belfast excited for my mini getaway, and ready to learn what it takes to be a Level 1 trainer.
I headed up to Belfast on the Friday before, excited for the weekend ahead. Upon arrival I checked into my hotel, just to hangout, and have an early night, for the course started early the next morning.
Saturday morning I made my way over to CrossFit Belfast to check in and meet the others that were in my course. There were only 9 of us doing the course, which made it easy to meet everyone and get to know them straight away. Our instructors for the weekend, Davs and Andy helped us check in and we got to know them as well. 9AM came along and we began.
Saturday consisted of going back and forth between lectures and then some hands-on learning, going through the basic movements and lifts of CrossFit. The lectures started with “What is CrossFit?” Followed by “What is Fitness?” We learned how to define these two, and how we can better understand CrossFit through the aims, prescription, methodology, implementation and adaption of the sport itself. We then went into our first hands-on lecture, where we learned the squats: air squat, front squat, and overhead squat. This was challenging because we learned how to do the movements properly, as well as fix the mistakes we were making in our own movements. Basically we spent about an hour squatting, which turned out to be harder than we thought. However, it was beneficial because the squat is a basic movement that transitions into a lot of other CrossFit movements. After our squat session, we went back into our seated lecture, where we discussed more methodology and the different methods of fitness. We then got a lunch break. I enjoyed these lunch breaks because we all got to sit and talk, getting to know each other better.
After lunch, we discussed technique, and the importance of good movement. We then had another hands-on lecture going over the shoulder presses, including: strict shoulder press, push press, and push jerk. This again was challenging because we spent a lot of time in a static position, but was useful because we got to correct our mistakes and practice. After this we got the put the two movements we learned together, to learn the thruster as well as the pull-up. We practice progressions for both, then got to do a workout: 3 rounds for time of 15 thrusters, 12 burpees. Gassy AF, but was good fun to push each other. That was basically the end of Day 1, but the guys got us some beers and we got to hang around for a bit. This was really cool, and is a good reminder that in CrossFit we can have fun after all the hard work. We then went separate ways for the night to do as we pleased (my night may or may not have included a unicorn onesie) until another early morning on Sunday.
Sunday would have a similar setup to Saturday: a mix of lectures and hands-on activities to learn movements. We started off reviewing things we learned Saturday, and then got moving straight away. We learned the deadlift, and then progressed to the sumo deadlift high pull ending with the medicine ball clean. After this, we had another lecture, going over nutrition and supplementation. This was interesting as this is the basic diet that most of the elite CrossFit athletes use. After this we got to go on our lunch break, again all of us hanging out together. We came back to learn about the GHD and how important this can be to CrossFit, for it builds a strong core, which is a necessity in all movements, in all sports. We talked about programming and scaling, going through a sample week where we got to create workouts. We came up with some good ones, some we all said we would try and report back how they went. We then learned the muscle up and snatch, going over progressions for both, which were extremely helpful in that I almost got my first strict muscle up. After we did another workout, this time an AMRAP for 8 minutes of 20 Abmat sit-ups and 20 med-ball cleans. This time we helped coach each other, which was good fun. We then did a review and got prepared to take the test. The test was not too bad, and initially after finishing, I thought I did well. After the test we all got together and talked about what was the next step, and said our goodbyes. It was sad, but we all exchanged information and agreed to stay in touch.
Coming back to Dublin, I was a bit nervous to hear about the test results, as we were told we would have to wait a week to hear back. However, the results came that Wednesday morning by surprise, but I was thrilled to learned I passed, and that I am now a CrossFit Level 1 trainer. Looking back, the weekend was so fun and I learned a lot. Looking ahead, I am excited for what the future holds. I am excited to start coaching and helping people reach their goals. I am very thankful for this opportunity and being able to coach at CFI.