CF L1: Yay or Nay?

Believe it or not, I try and stay away from blogging about topics that are CrossFit only specific. While all probably TEND seem to have a fitness related undertone, most bottom lines and key messages are applicable to various aspects of life. Or so I like to think… Please don’t burst my bubble.


However, this week I’m going to be straight with y’all. This post is undeniably, blatantly staring you in the face, couldn’t deny it even if I wanted to flaming with fitness. I spent the better part of last weekend learning the ins and outs of this thing/cult/sport we call CrossFit at the famous CrossFit Level 1 certification course. The three hour commute to and from the seminar served as a great time for my famous Kenzie to Kenzie talks (yeah, I talk to myself, what about it?) These exclusives social events are filled with monologues of my personal thoughts, feelings, reflections, apprehensions, doubts, musings, etc. It’s safe to say a pretty solid foundation for this post came out of this time alone. So, for anyone that has their CF L1 cert, you can appreciate the content of this entry. As for anyone considering embarking on the path to a CF L1 title, well, you’re welcome in advance. Because I’m about to throw down the classic pros and cons list necessary in any decision-making process. Please respond accordingly through your actions, if you’re on the cusp of pursuing this cert. No greater justification for actions exists then, “because Kenzie said so. ”

Just sayin…

Pro: Building community

The bottom line for anything in this great fitness endeavor called CrossFit is community. The L1 is just that: a gateway for CrossFitters looking to grow more deeply into the community. Yes, you walk away with a piece of paper that says you can coach (JK, it gets mailed to you in 4-6 weeks, assuming you pass the test), but chances are you’ll realize this is just the beginning. L1 grads that are serious about continuing their CrossFit education can choose from a growing number of specialty certifications on top of that. Having your L1 will also open doors within your own CrossFit community. Plus, a weekend of networking never hurt anyone.

Con: The price

$1000 aint chump change. At least not where I’m from. God bless the credit card. Depending on how much you value the education, or how much money you can make off of the investment… Or how much money you have laying around that needs to be spent, this factor can be highly deterring.

Pro: Hours and hours of PVC pipe work

I remember back to when I first learned the beauty of the barbell (“everyone remembers their first time” is what my husband would insert here…) As a young Oly grasshopper, I partook in daily activities that utilized a PVC pipe: the Bergner warm up, holding/isolating proper positions, focusing on bar path and slowing down movements. Muscle memory is where it’s at! We tend to forget these as we become more advanced in our abilities. I was reminded how beneficial working without any weight can be to movement patterns.

Con: Hours and hours of PVC pipe work

While learning a lot, this can be monotonous, and surprisingly taxing. As I was looking forward to a weekend of recovery and resting my body after a brutal week of training, constant drills kept me from achieving this. Womp womp.

Pro: Back to basics

When you go through the same movements every day, whether it’s a pull-up, a barbell movement, or something as simple as an air squat, you tend to stop thinking about it. You just DO, without thought. It’s easy to forget the very fundamental points of these movements. These education sessions really break those things down and expose the root of every movement, which is beneficial to not just coaching these moves, but looking at your own self and finding room to improve. Exhibit A: Kenzie sucks at air squats. I don’t wanna talk about it…

Con: They fired Fran

Back in the day, completing Fran was like a right of passage in completing a CF L1 course. While she’s not my favorite bench mark lady, I love a good quick and dirty from time to time. I know it’s no longer the mandatory workout for whatever reason, but I always thought it was kind of cool that it came along with the experience. That being said we had another equally as crappy workout to endure, but something about doing the dreaded 21-15-9 Thruster/Pullup combo really makes you feel like you deserve that CF-L1 title.


Pro: REALLY understanding.

If you’re like me, you wandered in to your local CrossFit box one day because you had heard it was awesome or someone suggested you try it, but you had no idea really what it was about. Now we work out four or five days a week, for an hour or two, do a few competitions, and we like to think we know some stuff. Yes and no. Experiential learning is an actual thing that tells you the “what to do” and the “how to do it” but it doesn’t tell you the “why it work.” This ish is scientific man. There’s a reason Greg Glassman is a rich mofo… Because he put that “why” down on paper and trademarked the title CrossFit. #baller


Con: They don’t feed you

People of food. That’s just a fact. A lot of the workshops and professional events that I attend provide a meal, at the very least small snacks. Eight hours of learning should be rewarded, especially when you speak about nutrition, it only makes sense to provide your audience with a little morale booster. Also, a great learning tool. ZONE BLOCKED PALEO TREATS FOR ALL!


Pro: Matt effing Chan

Walking into that seminar on Saturday morning to find Matt Chan passing out nametags was like attending a political science class taught by Barack Obama…or some other political figure you find to be an ultimate badass. Too legit to quit. Obviously, Matt Chan won’t be at every L1 (sorry folks), but the CrossFit HQ seminar staff includes some of the biggest names in CrossFit—Chis Spealler, Neal Maddox, Katie Hogan, Austin Malleolo, Christmas Abbott and that one girl, I think her name is Camielle? Though we know them as Games athletes, these individuals are first and foremost superb coaches; most own their own affiliates and have thousands of hours of coaching experience. What an incredible opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching from one of the best in the world, right?!

OH yeah, and there’s this thing where you get discounts at Lululemon with any sort of trainers certificate. Not that I care about that though….

There ya have it-the Holy Grail of CrossFit L1 cert Pros and Cons. This is historic.


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