At CrossFit Kitchener, coaching is our not-so-secret sauce

November 19, 2023

I've only been a CrossFitter for 2 years, but in that time have made, what I believe to be, big strides towards the level of fitness I've always wanted. And I attribute my progress to one thing–coaching.

The coaching aspect of CrossFit is the piece that separates it from other fitness programs and gyms, and gets you meaningful results in the shortest amount of time.

Because CrossFit encompasses so many different fitness modalities–weightlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, and cardio–it’s unlikely that the average person would be familiar with them all. The movements themselves are complex and require training and practice. As such, to ensure the safety of athletes performing these movements, coaching fills this gap between complexity and safety.

For some time, I’ve had this itch to join the ranks of my fellow coaches and become a coach myself at CrossFit Kitchener. And so, to scratch that itch, I spent two days in Toronto with CrossFit seminar staff to get my CrossFit L1 Trainer License. A weekend packed with in-depth and thorough training around the methodology behind CrossFit and why it is unquestionably the best fitness program around that delivers the best results for the athletes who practice it.

The role of coaching in CrossFit is a balancing act called “threshold training”. Imagine a teeter-totter, on one side you have technique and on the other you have intensity. When these two are balanced, you, the athlete, get the best possible results, and your coach is the one you can thank.

Let’s take a simple example with a personal favourite movement of mine, the squat. 

The squat is the foundation of several other powerlifting and olympic lifting movements found not just in CrossFit, but more importantly in everyday life, making it a fundamentally functional movement. Squatting involves picking something up off the ground, in the gym it could be simply your bodyweight, aka the air squat or a barbell, a kettlebell or dumbbells. In life, it’s picking up anything and everything–kids, groceries, TV’s, furniture, you name it.

When performed properly the humble squat unlocks new, more complex functional movements that build speed, power, agility and balance. It’s the role of the coach to ensure that even the most fundamental movements are performed with precision, demonstrating technique before increasing intensity. That last bit, in more formal terms is the Charter of Safety that all CrossFit coaches must adhere to.

A note on safety, I know what you’re thinking here, you’ve heard that CrossFit gets you hurt because the barbell movements are too complex, that butterfly pull ups will rip out your shoulders, etc. So how can it possibly be safe? It’s safe because until an athlete can demonstrate technique and consistency, they simply won’t be allowed to add loads that would be unsafe, this is what the coach is there for.

Coaching at CrossFit Kitchener is the relentless pursuit of providing athletes with a structure and foundation of safety. To knowledgeably scale every movement down to meet the athlete where they are with their ability, mobility and level of fitness, while challenging them to progress towards their fitness goals. 

So, if you’re considering giving CrossFit Kitchener a try, rest assured in the knowledge that every single class is planned with warm-ups and workouts modified to fit each individual in the class. You’ll be taught new new skills, and challenged to push yourself to try things you might not have considered before. And, along the way you might enjoy a few new personal bests like these–a first pull up, a first push up, a double under with a jump rope, a handstand, a heavy deadlift, a 20 inch box jump, a clean, a snatch… we can’t wait to celebrate these firsts with you.