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Old 04-14-2013, 01:05 PM   #1
John Hamilton
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CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013

Pre-Course Info

Having recently completed the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate course, I thought I’d leave an up to date review to hopefully help those who are due to attend in the near future or thinking about signing up. I completed the course at Reebok CrossFit Stockport (near Manchester, UK) over the weekend 23 - 24 March 2013.

To give a gauge of my experience I am 29 years old and I have been training using CrossFit methodology for 6 months now, of which 4 months has been at an affiliate. I am in the military and have always been physically active.

As far as preparation for the course is concerned my only study material was the CrossFit Training Guide, which contains most of the theory covered during the course. Some exposure to CrossFit prior to the course would be beneficial however it is not a show stopper if you haven’t had any, there were a couple of people on this course who had no exposure to CrossFit and got by just fine.

The Course

The course itself was a mixture of theory lectures and practical breakout groups where we covered the core concepts and methodology as well as the 9 foundation movements; additional to the foundation movements we also covered ring muscle ups, snatch, kipping pull-ups and the Glute-Ham Developer (GHD). The remaining course content was nutrition (zone diet & paleo), programming and of course the test (get to that later). At my level 6 months into CrossFit I found the programming lecture to be the most beneficial, it opened my eyes to an area that you normally don’t have to think about when using an affiliate.

Each day we had around an hour lunch break; as far as Stockport is concerned you will need a vehicle if you have not brought any lunch with you the local amenities are around 1 mile from the box. There is also plenty of time to fit in your own training session if you want.

There is a WOD each day, for my course they were as follows:

Day 1 – 1630hrs

7min AMRAP of 8 x Push-ups, 10 x Medicine Ball Cleans, 12 x Abmat Sit-ups

Day 2 – 1000hrs

In a Team of 3 for time: 100 x Thrusters, 100 x Pull-ups

Do not worry if you are fairly new to CrossFit or not in the best shape, the seminar staff are excellent and will scale each workout to ensure you are able to participate at your own level. There were a few people carrying minor injuries and the seminar staff helped them manage their injuries during WOD’s and the practical breakout groups.

The Test

As always the word test gets the best of us nervous, the test itself is a 50 question multiple-choice paper with an 80% pass mark. The test FAQ document states the best way to prepare for the test is to, “attend a level 1 trainer course and study the CrossFit Training Guide” this is absolutely right however do not think you can memorise the training guide & regurgitate it during the test, you will need to understand it.

The test is not a typical multi-choice paper where there are blatantly obvious incorrect answers and often I found it tricky to split between a couple of answers. Many of the test questions had multiple correct answers e.g. 3 of the 4 answers displayed were correct on one of my questions. There were a few questions on the core concepts and methodology of CrossFit which were fairly routine providing you had studied the training guide, some on nutrition (including paleo). There were quite a few questions geared around pictures of athletes, which you would have to either identify faults in their technique or choose appropriate corrective measures, therefore paying attention to the seminar staff during the setup, execution etc of the foundation movements is important. And lastly I remember a couple of questions regarding energy systems and the metabolic pathways.

Overall I found the test challenging however completely achievable providing you study the training guide & pay attention during the course, and if you are fortunate enough to train at an affiliate this prior exposure will stand you in good stead before the course. I received an email 4 days after the course telling me I had passed (thankfully) however should you fail you do have 12 months to take a retest costing $150 each all of which will be explained in your pre-course documentation when you sign up for the course.

Hopefully this helps any fellow CrossFitters looking to sign up for the level 1 course, I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would highly recommend it to anyone be it someone who just wants to find out what CrossFit is about to the more experienced athlete who plans to open an affiliate and coach.
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Old 04-15-2013, 10:35 AM   #2
Hoku Kinzie
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013

Thanks for the breakdown. The L1 is something I've always been interested in. It's good to hear they help the injured attendees out since I'd be coming back from one.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:35 PM   #3
Steven Nedorolik
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013

I was injured DURING my level 1 class! Fell off the pull up during the Saturday WOD. Anyway, everyone was really supportive about my limitations on Sunday and I think I learned more due to taking on more of a trainer roll than just doing movements.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:36 PM   #4
Bryan Castro
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013

I'd eventually love to go through the Level 1 certification. Are there any physical requirements? I've read that the workouts are scaled, but are there any minimum standards?

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
John Hamilton
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013


The requirements to gain the Level 1 Trainer Certificate are:

Attend the entire 2 day course (9am-5pm) to include:
-Exposure to all lectures.
-Participation in all practical breakout sessions.
-Participation in all workouts.
-And pass the Level 1 written test.

All workouts are scaled as appropriate for each athletes needs, for example on the team WOD some athletes were using a PVC pipe/empty barbell for thrusters, and bands to assist with pull-ups.

As long as you can physically participate in some manner you will be fine.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:19 PM   #6
Clint Harris
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013

Was it actually worth $1000 ? (or 5-7 months of CF at a box).
Are you telling yourself it was worthwhile to justify the cost ... or was it actually worth that. Especially for someone who is not actually in the fitness industry.
How about if there was a star rating system, like value, price, content, enjoyment, and things learned
Would it be like 5 stars for content, enjoyment, and things learned
2 stars for value
1 star for price

(and if it was gratis, then the review should also reflect that).
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
John Hamilton
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013


Gratis indeed, I am a physical training instructor in the military therefore my unit paid for the course. That said I booked the course before finding out I wouldn't have to pay, so the price was never an issue for me.

In my opinion the value/price of the course would have to be looked at on an individual basis; clearly some people are not in a position to spend $1000 on a CF course however for those that are financially able to do so, I think it is good value.

5* by the way...
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:43 AM   #8
Craig Horstman
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013

signed up for mine 18-19 may now to figure out how to get the army to pay me back for it.......
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:07 AM   #9
Gary Ostroski
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013

Where did you find that 80% is passing? All I could find from HQ is the below.

"The cut-point (I.E. passing score) for the test was determined through a passing score study led by Professional Testing
and approved by CrossFit’s Level 1 Advisory Panel. The cut-point is determined relative to the minimum knowledge that new CrossFit trainers should be able to demonstrate."
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:09 PM   #10
John Hamilton
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Re: CrossFit Level 1 Course Review - March 2013


You are sent a PDF when you register for the L1 cert "CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Test FAQ" please see below a couple of paragraphs I have extracted from this document:

What can I expect on the Level 1 Trainer Course test?

The test is 50 multiple‐choice questions based on the core concepts, methodology and
foundational movements of CrossFit. All of the material used comes directly from the two‐day
Trainer Course and the CrossFit Training Guide. It takes approximately 1 hour and is a closed
book/ notes test.
Please also read through the Participant Handbook for detailed information on the Level 1
Trainer Course and Test.

How difficult is the test?

The test is designed to be a review of the two‐day Level 1 Course and reinforce the essential
elements behind CrossFit training and has an 80% pass rate. Anyone who studies the CrossFit
Training Guide, actively participates in a Level 1 Trainer Course, and has had exposure to
CrossFit training via the website or a CrossFit affiliate, should have little difficulty passing the
test. Unlimited opportunities to retake the test should ensure success for anyone driven
towards achievement.
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