There is a CrossFit craze going on in Cairo now. With boxes opening up in almost all the major districts in Cairo, to normal conventional gyms offering CrossFit classes; the question becomes: Can anyone actually coach CrossFit despite the complexity of its program?
Becoming a CrossFit Coach
According to CrossFit Inc., the one step you need to be a coach is to take the Level 1 (L1) certificate course; which is basically an introduction to CrossFit’s methodology and its foundational movements. The course is taken over 2 days only and costs around 1000 USD. Although the course has no prerequisites, it does allow you conduct a class!
In our previous article, “How To Avoid CrossFit Injuries?“, we highlighted that it is crucial to choose a well educated coach to help you reach your goals, and work around your weaknesses while avoiding injuries.
Is the CrossFit Certification Enough?
No. It is definitely not. In fact, some of the coaches were successful athletes with a great passion to CrossFit that they decided to shift careers – but have no coaching experience. With the L1 Course being a pass/fail exam, fairly not very expensive and having no prerequisites, literally anyone can become a trainer.
The CrossFit program combines elements of cardio, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, core training, and others. Such elements can never be covered over a 2-day course; Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics – for example -require a high level of technique and can lead to serious injuries if badly performed. Unfortunately, CrossFit Inc. does not enforce any kind of supervision on coaches and some boxes depend solely on the head coach being a L1 certificate holder!
To add to the mess, CrossFit Inc. offers a variety of other specialty courses for gymnastics training, powerlifting training, and others. The Weightlifting Trainer Course – for instance- is again over 2 days, costs around 595 USD and requires no prerequisites. The fact that this trainer course allows its certificate holders to instruct others about Olympic lifts is quite a silly joke!
The Egyptian Olympic Weightlifter Mohamed Ehab, commented on this saying “For anyone to train Olympic Weightlifting, they need to have a sports education background and a minimum of 5 years experience. Otherwise, they will be only applying the methods they used to train and teach themselves; disregarding the individual physical differences of their members.’ ‘ And that is what leads to injuries’ Ehab added.
Moreover, a typical class is conducted in a group; requiring the trainer to monitor, coach, motivate and correct each one while baring in mind their individual weaknesses and strengths. If the trainer does not enough experience in conducting group fitness classes, how will he be able to coach and monitor the skills and the techniques of a gymnastic move for example?
So, Is CrossFit a Fraud?
CrossFit had been endlessly attacked for its intense workouts and injury rates. However, there is no sport that is injury-free. CrossFit as a sport has been proved to be a great way for increasing overall fitness and athletic performance. CrossFit as a business, on the hand, is a bit too commercial with its minimal requirments regarding coaching and affiliates regulations.
Our final advice? If you are considering CrossFit as a sport or even as your new exercise program, you will need to invest some time choosing the right coach to train with.