CrossFit has become a popular strength & conditioning program, with over 13,000 affiliates worldwide. With the growing popularity of the sport, there are many job opportunities to become a CrossFit Coach. However, the level of competition to work within the CrossFit & the fitness industry has significantly increased.
If you are thinking of changing careers to become a coach, or just as a part time hobby, this blog post is for you.
Why become a CrossFit Coach?
Passion For The Sport:
CrossFit has many attributes which make you fall in love with the sport. It is competitive but inclusive, it is challenging but achievable, it is an individual sport but shared with others. Becoming a CrossFit Coach means your hobby will become your job, and for this to be a long-term career choice, or even as a part-time position, you have to be passionate about the sport.
Do you spend your spare time watching CrossFit YouTube videos?
Do you frequently read blogs about CrossFit and the art of coaching?
Passion For Coaching:
Coaching is the art of guiding, motivating and training others to be a better version of themselves, through the good times and the bad. If you are interested in becoming a CrossFit coach, it is imperative that you care for the strangers that walk through the front door of your CrossFit box. Members become friends and – your reason for showing up at the gym at 5am every single day.
Being passionate about coaching is that burst of happiness you get when your male client who struggled with bullying from an early age, successfully squats 100kg for the first time. Passion for coaching is that sense of accomplishment when your female client, under pressure from the world who states she should look a certain way, achieves her first pull up and stands up for what she believes.
To Escape The Office Job:
Stuck in a job that’s not for you?
Are you sitting in an office from 9am – 5pm every day? Coaching is an active job which is very social and fun. The one hour a day that members spend in your gym should be the best hour of their day. How does that impact you? It is your job to make it fun, engaging and enjoyable. A slightly different role compared to sitting at a desk all day.
However, do not under estimate the difficulty of being active all day. You may have just finished a tough leg workout, have had minimal sleep and not enough time to eat, but there are 15 paying members waiting for you to lead a class & demonstrate perfect overhead squats. Ouch.
Challenging Through Diversity:
CrossFit is broken down into 11 different areas of fitness such as power, strength, flexibility etc. Now what makes CrossFit so challenging is this: you may be able to deadlift 500pounds, but can you also row 2 kilometres in under 7minutes? In CrossFit, the aim is not to be the master of one area of fitness, but to be the jack of all trades and have minimal weaknesses. This diversity is what makes CrossFit challenging, but it is also what makes becoming a CrossFit coach very difficult.
To be a CrossFit coach, it is helpful to have knowledge in each area of fitness. You do not have to be able to coach a muscle up to the same standard as Dave Durante, or coach weightlifting like Chad Vaughan, but knowing the basics & being able to successfully communicate these basics to the members safely & effectively is important. Delivering points of performance on multiple movements, ranging from running to pull-ups to snatch is not easy, and as a coach, you will have to learn how to deliver the basics of these movements to your members, even if you do not enjoy running yourself.
Now this does not mean that mastering how to coach gymnastics or weightlifting is not desirable, as you can have great success in specialising in a chosen area of fitness, especially in the search for a coaching job. However, just because you can coach an athlete how to successfully snatch 300lbs does not mean you will be able to avoid coaching a member through toes-to-bar progressions.
If you type CrossFit onto YouTube.com, you will see many athletes in incredible shape, lifting heavy weights, doing impressive gymnastics & running like it is the start of a zombie apocalypse at the CrossFit games, but this only portrays a very small percentage of people in the world who regularly participate in CrossFit.
Many people will strive towards competing at the CrossFit Games, however, stepping into your local gym as a coach will be an entirely different scenario compared to that. What you may see though, is the average joe from down the road working hard towards achieving his goal of completing 30 push ups in a row. In the CrossFit affiliate, you may see the mother of two learning how to pick up an odd object from the ground without putting herself at risk of injury. Entering a CrossFit affiliate, you will see people smiling, learning and having fun whilst training towards their own personal goals.
The community of CrossFit is what keeps people coming in the door, 5 days a week. Without a fun, inclusive and determined community, CrossFit would not be the same. Becoming a CrossFit coach means you take a lead role in creating a community.
If you want to become a CrossFit coach so that you can spend all day in the gym to workout, coaching CrossFit is not for you.
Things To Keep In Mind As A CrossFit Coach
Overnight Millionaire Success Rate Is Low:
If you want to become a CrossFit coach because you want to earn lots of money in a small period of time, you may want to think twice. As a coach, you will usually receive either a salary as a full-time coach, plus commission for any extra personal training sessions you complete or potentially a pay-per-hour rate. If you are part-time, you may be coaching for an hourly rate or to simply cover the cost of your membership at the gym you train at, which is often the case and not a recommended action for CrossFit affiliate owners.
Can you earn a good living from coaching CrossFit? Yes.
Is it easy to do? No.
To earn a good income as a CrossFit Coach, it will require years of consistency to gain clients, many hours spent coaching, studying and marketing, but it can be achieved.
Be the best coach that you can be. Master your craft to the best of your ability. Work hard and stay consistent. Provide the best results to your members as possible, and the rewards will come.
Scattered Working Hours:
Working an 8-hour shift as a CrossFit Coach is rare. As an affiliate owner, 8 hours is an easy day at work.
Coaching for 2 hours in the morning, then 2 hours in the evening is a more common approach used by affiliate owners.
The work timings are not usually a problem, but it is not for everyone. There is a reason CrossFit coaches love strong coffee and power naps.
Would the scattered hours of work be an issue for you?
Do you like the repetition of working from 9am-5pm every day?
Air Squats, Not Muscle Ups:
Only a small minority of athletes compete at a high level. If you are thinking of getting involved in coaching CrossFit as you want to teach people muscle ups every class, you may be in for a surprise.
As a coach, you will spend most of your time drilling the basics such as an air squat or shoulder press compared to teaching high level gymnastics every session. You should be prepared to coach the same class over and over within 24 hours, and to coach the same movement for that day. Yes, there will be times where you get to challenge your coaching ability and teach people how to do a handstand push up, but coaching the basics of movement is the main priority.
This should not take away from your motivation to becoming a CrossFit coach. Witnessing a 65-year-old lady complete her first push up and seeing the smile on her face light up everyone in the room is just as good a feeling as seeing a games athlete back squat 500lbs for the first time.
Do you still want to be a CrossFit Coach, but do not know where to start?
Do you want to turn this dream into a reality?
It is time to gain the qualifications, knowledge and experience you require to start making steps in the right direction.
Check out this AdventureFit Travel post for your guide to starting your coaching journey:
Sam Main grew up in England, playing every sport he could, with success in football (soccer). The passion for travel and coaching started early, heading to South Africa to coach rugby to under privileged kids and then USA to coach swimming in between periods of study. Completing his BSc Sports Coaching in Wales, UK, Sam headed to Dubai, UAE, to coach CrossFit full time. In Dubai, Sam gained experience through multiple CrossFit certifications and hours of coaching. With the itch to travel, Sam attempted coaching in England and Thailand, but the urge to travel continued. Sam, now a guest coach, travels from CrossFit gym to CrossFit gym to cover short term for affiliates when required. Combined with this, Sam coach’s clients online, as well as writing daily on his public Facebook page, The Athletic Nomad. Sam has a passion for helping people improve their life through being active and traveling.