Do you love working out? Have you been eyeing those CrossFit coaches at the gym and wondering what it takes to become one?
You’ve probably also scrolled past countless selfies of celebrities, friends, or co-workers boasting about their WOD and talking about how they can’t imagine life without CrossFit.
If you want to join the hype, then you’ve come to the right place!
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of how to become a CrossFit coach and start a fulfilling career helping people achieve their fitness goals.
- An Overview of CrossFit Coaching: A Primer
- What You’ll Need to Become a CrossFit Coach [& Associated Costs]
- Is It Hard to Become a CrossFit Coach?
- How to Become a CrossFit Coach in 5 Simple Steps
- Reasons to Consider Becoming a CrossFit Coach
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Gigs to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of CrossFit Coaching: A Primer
CrossFit became a popular workout program in 2000. This was around the time when box gyms started popping up across the country and the world.
Today, CrossFit is practiced in over 120 countries by roughly 4 million members in more than 13,000 affiliated gyms. There are approximately 7,000 gyms in the United States alone that offer this program.
So, what exactly is ‘CrossFit?’
In short, CrossFit is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that emphasizes strength and conditioning. The exercises are made up of various functional movements.
These moves may be the same ones you do in your normal everyday life, like pulling, pushing, or squatting.
However, they’re done at a more intense level and feature variations to build muscle and boost stamina.
As a workout style, CrossFit also involves a combination of calisthenics, weightlifting exercises, and running.
One of the most popular parts of CrossFit is the program’s workout of the day, which CrossFitters famously refer to as ‘WOD.’
This is a daily workout that CrossFit members are encouraged to complete on the same day.
To master WODs and all other moves, CrossFit trainers work with their clients to help them find a level appropriate to their current fitness level. They can also suggest substitutions tailored to meet each person’s fitness goals.
According to CrossFit Journal, these workouts are effective because they focus on speed, distance, and load. As a result, participants develop high levels of strength and power.
To accomplish these elements, CrossFit coaches bring into play a wide range of equipment including the following:
- Speed ropes
- Medicine balls
- Plyo boxes
- Rowers and bikes
How Much Do CrossFit Coaches Make?
On average, a CrossFit Level 1 trainer earns around $50,000 annually.
As they advance in their careers and progress from Level 1 to the highest credential Level 4 CrossFit Coach (CF-L4), their pay gradually increases.
Also, many gyms offer CrossFit coaches commissions as an incentive to bring in more clients as a way of boosting business and making more money.
Another silver lining is that membership costs for CrossFit gyms, or Boxes, are typically higher than ordinary gyms. This is because of the personalized guidance and attention each member receives from their CrossFit coach, even when they’re in a group of 10–15 people.
As a result, a CrossFit coach usually makes more than a standard fitness coach.
What You’ll Need to Become a CrossFit Coach [& Associated Costs]
Unlike other job positions, you don’t need a bunch of high-level certifications to become a CrossFit Coach.
That said, however, there are certain skills and qualifications that will help you go far in this profession.
Here’s a list of some of the things you’ll need to become a successful CrossFit head coach and their estimated costs:
- 6 months to a year of experience as a CrossFit coaching assistant for both groups and individuals or prove that you’ve completed 1,500 hours of CrossFit training.
- CrossFit Instructor Insurance: The price varies based on your specific needs and circumstances, but the average cost will be around $11 per month to $29 per month.
- Level 1 CrossFit Certification (CF-L1 Certificate): This course lasts two days and costs approximately $1,000. To be eligible, you need to be 18 years or older.
- First Aid/CPR Certification: Although it’s not mandatory, many gyms will ask you for one just to be on the safe side. The average cost ranges between $40 and $60.
- Level 2 CrossFit Certification (CF-L2 Certificate): A 2-day course that costs between $750 and $1,000
- Level 3 CrossFit Certification (CF-L3 Certificate): If you already have levels one and two, then you only need to document 750 hours as a CrossFit coach. If you have no previous certifications, you can prove you’ve completed 1,500 hours of CrossFit exercises.
- Level 4 CrossFit Certification (CF-L4 Certificate): CF-L4 is a performance-based evaluation that not many coaches seek out, but it’s a standard requirement for those looking to work with professional athletes. To earn this certificate, you need to pass a one-day training course and a final exam, which costs around $1,500.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a CrossFit Coach?
After looking at the general requirements of what it takes to become a CrossFit coach, it’s time to tally everything up and give you an estimate of what you can expect to pay.
At the basic level, the cost of becoming a CrossFit coach will be around $1,200–$1,500.
This includes the costs of insurance fees, a CF-L1 certificate, and a First Aid/CPR certificate.
The more certificates you apply for, the higher the cost.
Is It Hard to Become a CrossFit Coach?
Being a CrossFit trainer can be taxing physically. You always need to be in top physical shape, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and have a high level of energy to keep people motivated.
As a coach, it’s up to you to instruct your clients on the proper technique of each movement and make sure they’re following through using the proper form.
Yet, if you enjoy fitness in general, then you’ll find it a pretty rewarding career path.
Helping clients achieve their fitness goals, whether it’s to lose weight, build muscle, or increase stamina, can be immensely satisfying.
Not only that, but you get to see first-hand the effect that staying physically active has on their physiological and psychological health.
You also need to be able to do the nine foundational movements of CrossFit:
- Air squat
- Front squat
- Medicine ball clean
- Push jerk
- Push press
- Overhead squat
- Shoulder press
- Sumo deadlift high pull
How Long Does It Take to Become a CrossFit Coach?
Before you can start training, you need between six and 12 months’ worth of experience coaching individuals and groups.
In addition to that, many gyms nowadays won’t hire anyone to train a CrossFit class unless they have at least a Level 1 certification, which usually takes around two days to complete.
Then, you’ll need to wait 4–6 weeks for your trainer certificate to arrive in the mail.
So, all in all, it should take no less than seven months to become a CrossFit trainer.
How to Become a CrossFit Coach in 5 Simple Steps
Becoming a CrossFit coach means you’re interested in learning new and creative training techniques to build strength and stamina. It also means you enjoy helping others become the best versions of themselves.
To get started in this career, here’s what you should do:
Step 1: Do Lots of CrossFit
The best way to learn as much as you can about any subject is to practice doing it, and the same applies to CrossFit.
Attend classes, and pay attention to what the coaches say and do. You can approach them for feedback and advice.
Even if they’re not that talented, you can learn from them what not-to-do as a way of avoiding their mistakes.
It’s recommended that you have no less than six months of CrossFit experience as an athlete prior to becoming a coach.
Then, once you become a CrossFit coach, make sure you regularly assess the effectiveness of your coaching techniques. Ask your clients and fellow coaches for feedback and be willing to make any necessary changes.
Step 2: Learn the Biomechanics of the Human Body
You don’t have to be an expert in anatomy or memorize the names of every muscle and bone in the human body by heart.
We’re simply saying that it helps to understand the fundamentals of how the human body moves. This is especially important in almost all CrossFit exercises since they involve specific muscles and joint movements.
Knowing about this theoretical part of the job is the best way to work smarter and safer. It also makes you better equipped to prevent injuries as well as what to do if they occur.
Step 3: Become Certified
The certification process for becoming a CrossFit coach is to apply for a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate. After you pass this 2-day course, you’ll receive your certificate in the mail, which will be valid for five years from the date of issue.
You should also seek out certifications in CPR and First Aid.
Once you’ve covered those two basic certifications, you just need to work on putting in more hours as a CrossFit coach.
Then, when you feel ready for the next step, you can always apply for levels 2, 3, and even 4 Certificates.
After you’ve earned all the certificates you feel you need at your current place and time, that doesn’t mean you stop learning.
CrossFit techniques are continuously changing and evolving, and new workouts are constantly being developed.
So, you need to always seek out relevant information through books and articles. You can also attend workshops and seminars to stay up-to-date with the latest training methods.
Step 4: Develop Your Coaching Style
Having the knowledge and the right qualifications doesn’t automatically make you a great coach. You need to learn how to talk to different kinds of people and adjust your mannerisms accordingly.
You also need to use terminology that the average client can understand. They don’t necessarily need to know what the scapulohumeral rhythm refers to or how acidosis works.
Another characteristic of successful coaches is that they show interest in their clients. They smile, ask questions, and pay attention.
Last, but not least, you have to learn how to manage groups that consist of different skill levels. Speak in a manner that tells everyone you’re in charge.
At the same time, don’t be in a hurry to move from one move to the next. This may mean that you have to explain the same move several times.
When they finally get it right, don’t forget to praise their efforts. Remember, good communication is vital in coaching.
Step 5: Promote Yourself as a CrossFit Professional
Whether you’re starting your own business or working in a CrossFit gym, you need to market and promote your classes.
The most obvious place to start is social media. Create profiles on various platforms, and start sharing videos, posts, and stories.
Another crazy, but effective, marketing idea is to offer a free class. Then, wow them with your charming personality and great coaching style, and they’ll definitely be back for more.
Keep in mind that a great product sells itself without too much of a fuss. Your clients will look to you for inspiration so it’s important that you always set a positive example.
Master all the moves yourself before telling your clients to do them. When they see you practicing what you preach, they’ll have more faith in you.
Work on demonstrating a strong work ethic before, during, and after your workouts. Each time you explain a move, make sure you show good form and technique.
These features will go a long way in helping you promote yourself as a successful, knowledgeable CrossFit coach.
Reasons to Consider Becoming a CrossFit Coach
Like any other job, being a CrossFit coach has its perks and drawbacks.
Some of the upsides of choosing this career path include:
- The fulfillment of helping people change their lives for the better: One of the best things about CrossFit is that it’s easy to modify to all fitness levels, allowing you to work with a wide range of clients of all ages and fitness levels, even kids.
- Flexible work schedule: Even if you work in a gym, you can set your hours, unlike a typical 9–5 job.
- The ability to move almost anywhere in the world and still find work: CrossFit coaching is in high demand globally, which ensures long-term job security
- Enjoy sponsorship opportunities from fitness gear and nutritional supplement companies
- You can do your job indoors or outdoors: Having that versatility can come in handy when the weather is nice and you get to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
- You get to work out at work: Need we say more?
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Is CrossFit Good For?
CrossFit training benefits everyone because it uses basic movements to improve your strength from head to toe.
The best part is that each movement features similar variations of the same workout to meet everyone’s physical capabilities. For example, a 60-year-old athlete can do a similar variation of the same move as a 25-year-old.
There are also CrossFit Kids classes to help young athletes develop coordination, motor skills, and balance.
What Skills Do CrossFit Coaches Have?
CrossFit coaches need to demonstrate each move correctly. They also need to have the patience to teach and correct each move.
Another vital skill is that they need to be able to manage groups of different levels and physical capabilities.
They also need to have a good attitude and be able to encourage clients and motivate them.
Similar Gigs to Check Out
Love the idea of working out, staying healthy, fit, and living a healthy well-balanced lifestyle? Then, why not check out these job opportunities?
They’re in the same industry as CrossFit but with slight variations. Take a look.
Most health coaches start their careers with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, counseling, or another related field.
Next, they must complete a training program approved by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) along with 50 health and wellness coaching sessions.
All you need to become a spin instructor is a high school diploma or its equivalent and a basic knowledge of different kinds of exercise bikes.
You can also complete a Spinning Certification program, which takes about 12–18 hours to complete.
The minimum requirements to become a football coach include a bachelor’s degree in sports studies, coaching, exercise science, or a related field.
Coaches at higher levels go on to pursue secondary degrees in sports medicine, sports management, kinesiology, or sports performance.
If you love leading an active, healthy life and are excited to share that passion with others, then learning how to become a CrossFit coach should be right up your alley.
The good news is that it’s pretty easy to enter this profession, provided you have the necessary skills.
The pay may not be as high as other job opportunities. However, with a bit of patience and effort, your salary is bound to increase.
So, what do you think of our guide? Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to share!