By Nick Pappas CF-L3, CrossFit HQ Kids Seminar Staff
“I wish I had CrossFit as a kid.” Over my years of training CrossFit Teens I’ve heard this comment more and more. It seems that most of us feel the program would have benefited us if we found it at an earlier date in our own lives. I found it as a 19-year-old kid and still wish I had it earlier. We do not have a time machine, but we do have CrossFit programs for our Teens. While not every gym needs to have Teens classes, I’m grateful to X-Factor’s community for supporting one for so long. CrossFit has changed our lives, and these classes can shape theirs. Here’s how:
The teens class is meant to be challenging, however, success is our goal. We want to create an emotional connection of working hard, and having fun. What’s fun? Getting faster times, a new gymnastics skill, and more weight on the bar. Being successful is fun. Each individual may have their own version of this, but this allows for the class to be open to anyone and everyone. From a first time exerciser to a standout athlete: everyone in class gets challenged appropriately, and finds success.
The athlete’s quality of movement earns intensity. We watch our athletes move, give them corrections to make it better, and continue this process until the trainer is satisfied. Everyday this process is repeated to prove consistency. What happens when this is done over years? They move well during their whole workout, under any load, and when picking up their future kids. This may seem overbearing, however, this age group is constantly changing. They are growing, and learning at a rate that we need to catch up with when they walk through the doors. Our goal is to do no harm, and this process allows us to make important decisions for their health and fitness.
Follow the Prescription
Constantly varied, functional movements at relative high intensity is the CrossFit prescription. This is a general physical preparedness program. I can teach them to squat, press, deadlift, push, pull, row, run, etc. I cannot teach them how to swim. Our goal is to make them coachable, capable, and hard workers. Relative high intensity is a part of the prescription for a reason. Everyday the athletes work to earn the highest intensity possible for their workout. That is a skill that can transfer to any sport, as it more importantly transfers to our lives.
I would love to see 20 teenagers doing CrossFit at the X-Factor. However, I would more so love to see all teenagers doing CrossFit at schools, homes, gyms, and with friends. This program works, and getting to do it with a community of our peers is one of the main reasons it is so much fun. If we can start a community here, maybe we can help start a movement around the world. It would be great to start hearing someday soon “I started CrossFit as a kid”.