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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 01-24-2011, 12:06 AM   #1
Pär Larsson
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Brand new person walks into your gym...

...and wants to do CrossFit and get in on your regular super awesome super friendly friends classes.

You:

1. set them up with a "fundamentals"/intro set of classes or let them "test" out of it if they have prior history/knowledge?
2. let them join right in and learn as they go with each trainer doing the "intro" stuff before each big class WOD?

Obviously things will be different based on the type of client (elite Olympic weightlifter vs. obese vs. average grandma) but I'm just looking for generalities.

AND:
3. What are the list of most basic things you teach to that new person in the first week or two?

After a bit of brainstorming I came up with a list that I'd love to be told is way wrong and I should instead use yours:
Air squat
Deadlift
Row technique
Run technique
Pushup
Pullup - jumping to kipping
Situp
Rope jump
Med ball clean
Box jump
Rope climb
Dip
KB Swing
Wall-ball
Handstand against wall
Shoulder press
Back squat

RHABDO
SAFETY

...with the rest of the Olympic Lifts coming in week two or three or later.

I'm sure this has been brought up in these forums before, a quick search didn't locate it. Feel free to bonk me on the head and tell me I didn't search hard enough because of <insert link>.

Cheers. Also - that CF-L1 test was not easy. Ouch.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:13 AM   #2
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pär Larsson View Post
...and wants to do CrossFit and get in on your regular super awesome super friendly friends classes.

You:

1. set them up with a "fundamentals"/intro set of classes or let them "test" out of it if they have prior history/knowledge?
2. let them join right in and learn as they go with each trainer doing the "intro" stuff before each big class WOD?

Obviously things will be different based on the type of client (elite Olympic weightlifter vs. obese vs. average grandma) but I'm just looking for generalities.

AND:
3. What are the list of most basic things you teach to that new person in the first week or two?

After a bit of brainstorming I came up with a list that I'd love to be told is way wrong and I should instead use yours:
Air squat
Deadlift
Row technique
Run technique
Pushup
Pullup - jumping to kipping
Situp
Rope jump
Med ball clean
Box jump
Rope climb
Dip
KB Swing
Wall-ball
Handstand against wall
Shoulder press
Back squat

RHABDO
SAFETY

...with the rest of the Olympic Lifts coming in week two or three or later.

I'm sure this has been brought up in these forums before, a quick search didn't locate it. Feel free to bonk me on the head and tell me I didn't search hard enough because of <insert link>.

Cheers. Also - that CF-L1 test was not easy. Ouch.
Everyone goes through the Intro Program now. Experimented with just letting them "slide in" the group class and it didn't work at all. We recently switched from 12 group sessions over a month period, to 4 personal training sessions. It integrates them into the group faster and has more perceived value.

Your list is spot on. The only thing I do differently is I go right to the barbell clean. No more med ball cleans. they're silly and have minimal transferability to the actual barbell clean. It actually frustrated people more trying to learn the MB clean than just going straight to the bar, but that was probably my subpar coaching ability Also, you don't get to kip right away. I save that for later.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:45 AM   #3
Casey Raiford
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

We have the option to test out of the On Ramp, but everyone does a baseline fitness assessment. The On Ramp covers your list, plus we have regular workshops for more technical work like Oly lifts. Like Randy, we experimented with sliding inexperienced members into groups and it didn't work for us. We've also ditched med ball cleans for the same reasons.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
Mark Ritchie
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

Casey:

What do you do for you baseline fitness test? We're working on that as well, and would appreciate knowing what folks are doing.

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:30 AM   #5
Casey Raiford
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

We use the baseline from Andy Petranek's fitness milestone chart:

For time
500M row
40 squats
30 abmat situps
20 pushups
10 pullups

It's fast, less than ten minutes. We record the results on a new member intake/waiver form, along with any scaling. I think the fastest time we've seen so far is 3:18 from one of our trainers.

Anyway, we've seen that the results on the baseline correlate really closely with subsequent WOD results in terms of readiness, intensity and results. It hits just about all the diagnostics I need to see in any case.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:58 AM   #6
Mark Ritchie
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

Great! That looks excellent.

Thanks.

-Mark
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:08 AM   #7
Tony Young
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

Included in this list of docs (wf/s) is our Elements training guide which lays out our 12 session beginners class. Borrowed and massively adapted from NorCal's (wf/s) On Ramp program. I've tried to condense it to 4 or 6 sessions and while we can cover the instructional parts easily enough, we like giving folks more exposure to the movements for practice and to get comfortable. We use the more experienced people as good examples and demo models. Besides, we've only had couple people in over a year who were as good as they thought they were and didn't need much form correction.

We use the first warm up and Day 1 workout as the fitness baseline.

Ditto on the med ball clean. Fuggedaboutit.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:06 AM   #8
Randy Tarasevich
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

We added a 400m Run to the end of Casey's Baseline and made the pull-ups strict. Our resident beast did it this morning at 6:17 on a icey 400m course at -3 degrees.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:21 PM   #9
Jesse Gray
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

At my gym, the first time a client comes in we run them through a free assessment. Typically, a 5 RM deadlift to assess strength and then we have them do "Jackie" with a 15 min. cap.

This gives us an idea of where they're at in terms of strength and endurance. It does not affect whether or not they go into our fundamentals program. Everyone, even those with experience lifting weights goes through the program. this ensures that we have everyone on the same page, they know our terminology and they move safely. The only exception to this rule is experienced Crossfitters coming to our box from other gyms. If we have to correct something here or there with them, it's not a big deal and most people who have been training Crossfit for a while have a relatively good idea what's going on.

For our fundamentals, we keep it pretty simple. We want to get the basics down and move them into classes where they make frieds and have fun because come on, Crossfit is as much about the friends you make as it is about geting fit. So, we do 3, 1-on-1 sessions that last an hour each. We try and have them get it all done in one week, mon-wed-fri works best.
Day 1 is typically, Air squat, back squat, front squat, over head squat. When teaching these lifts, we do not go heavy, we're just teaching the movement, not giving them a workout. After the lift, we do a short WOD that incorporate one of the lifts and some other CF specific movement (jump rope, wall ball, row, etc.)
Day 2 we deadlift, power clean/clean and for some advanced clients we may work on the snatch as well. Again not heavy and then a short WOD following the same formula.
Day 3 we press, push press and push jerk/split jerk same with the WOD, incorporate one movement and introduce one or two new non lift moves into the wod.
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:36 PM   #10
Lincoln Brigham
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Re: Brand new person walks into your gym...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey Raiford View Post
We use the baseline from Andy Petranek's fitness milestone chart:

For time
500M row
40 squats
30 abmat situps
20 pushups
10 pullups

It's fast, less than ten minutes.
On the surface this tests intensity but doesn't really get into mechanics or consistency.
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