Coaching, Yelling and Clock Babysitters

IMG_9883Is your trainer a coach or just a guy/gal who yells?

I’m all for motivation. Each of us need a push every now and then. But constant yelling and hype barking with beginner and intermediate CrossFitters isn’t exactly a good thing.

A coach is someone who instructs on form, technique, posture and position. He yells cues to an athlete who is breaking down.

A barker just wants you to “just do the thing.” More often than not with a form-be-damned attitude. He/She sets the clock, turns up the music and yells at everyone to just go faster.

In CrossFit, the loads we lift and the reps we perform add up. Learning a movement, especially a new movement pattern, requires low time stress and loading. Snatches for time anyone?

Skill based work should be done without a sense of urgency. To ingrain the movements, the reps should be done again and again with impeccable form. Coordination is a skill. Learning to control your body is a skill. You need to practice excellent form over and over and over. When the “wiring” is turned on, you can start upping the weight. Only then will you maximize your body’s strength, ability and work capacity.

If someone is just learning the snatch, the last thing they need to do is “Randy” (75 power snatches for time at 75/55#). So what if the load is light and the duration is short. If you want to get in a workout, your best bet would be to do 75 heavy (for you) kettlebell swings.

More isn’t better. Faster isn’t always better. Better is better.

Until we understand that, I feel CrossFit is going to continue to gather its group of haters. A CrossFit coach shouldn’t be a stopwatch babysitter for exercise enthusiasts. He should teach skills, connect the dots to movement and show how not only will xyz movement help you in class but in life as well.

At CrossFit Waxahachie our coaches provide a mix of encouragement and technical critique. We aren’t just clock babysitters who make you run and do jumping jacks to kill time. And if we yell…we mean business.


About the Author

chrisChris Biles, DC is the head trainer and owner of CrossFit Waxahachie. He is a Level 1 CrossFit Trainer and is passionate about all things fitness. He has competed for many years in adventure racing, mountain and road bike racing, and marathons. His main sport now is the new Sport of Fitness- CrossFit.