Take Aways From CrossFit Level 1 Certification

From the moment I hit the “submit” button to finalize my registration for the Level 1 Certification Course, my nerves increased thinking about the class. As the class drew closer, and the morning of my nerves increased. I’m not sure if it was the idea of having to take a test at the end of day two, questioning if a 42-year old mom with two sets of twins with only one-year of CrossFit experience would stick out in a crowd of 20 somethings or perhaps it was the instructors telling us to get changed as we were going to start the class off with doing FRAN. I looked the lady next to me, wait did they just say we are doing FRAN? My mind was racing as I was pretty confident, I had never completed Fran. I quickly opened Wodify and there it was, blank performance. I thought to myself, now I’m really going to stick out! Well thank goodness they were joking with us about completing Fran, and I quickly learned our class was filled with men and women of all ages and experience. Each one of us came into the class with
difference backgrounds, CrossFit experience, and all looking for different takeaways from the class. Looking back, this class was more than just learning how to properly do squats, presses, deadlifts, snatches and pull-ups. As I look back on my two-days of lecture, here are my top takeaways:

  • So, what really is CrossFit? It is constantly varied, high-intensity functional movement. CrossFit is simple, a Sport of Fitness. Our individual power defines our intensity in workouts. However, we ALL need to scale at times to get our near limits to reach HIGH intensity. Why…..to reach RESULTS!
  • There are 10 General Physical Skills and complete fitness trains in ALL 10. Hence, why we row, bike, run, jump, do burpees, mountain climbers, sled pulls and pushes, and lift using dumbbells, the barbell, and our bodyweight. So, the next time you look at a workout and get frustrated with a movement, if you’re like me, it’s because it’s our weakness looking us in the face. The fittest athletes have a good balance of ALL 10 skills. Our workouts are designed to help us improve on these 10 skills. Four of these skills (strength, stamina, flexibility and endurance) come through training. To improve we must show up to see measurable organic changing in the body. Another four (coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance) come about through practice. A great example, double unders, in order to perform them we need to practice them. The final two (speed and power) both improve with both training and practice. So I encourage you, the next time you see sleds, running or the bike on a workout, don’t hit the cancel button, save it for a day when you REALLY need a rest day.
  • We all have those days where we feel like our name is being called out a lot in a work out due to technique. It comes in all forms, squat lower, hook grip, fast elbows, etc. Well imagine being the one picked to be the “squat” example for everyone to watch and learn during the training class. With a bright red face, I squatted away, concentrating hard and praying I didn’t have a hole on the backside of my pants. Technique is so IMPORTANT! It’s the reason we all were required to take the important On Ramp classes. Proper technique not only protects you, but you need it to reach your full potential in fitness. Therefore, when you hear your name called out, remember nobody else really hears it and that technique is an intimate part of Safety, Efficacy, and Efficiency
  • This next one I’m sure will make you all sit up and listen. Ok, I hope it doesn’t as it’s the foundation in all of our fitness journey. Nutrition plays such a critical role in our fitness. NO, Kari didn’t ask me to make this into my article, but having worked with her, I can share that everything she shares with us, was covered in our lecture. It’s so important that when you look at the Theoretical Hierarchy of the Development of an Athlete, it’s the first thing on the pyramid. I’m not going to tell you to make huge changes before the holidays, however, consider making small changes now to help feel good throughout the holidays. You aren’t going to get anywhere in terms of optimizing your performance on a bad diet. The right food and amounts will increase your energy, sense of well-being, decrease fat and increase muscle.

Overall this class was so was amazing and I’m excited to attend the Level 2 course down the road. While I didn’t have to get my first time in a group of strangers, I walked out with a better squat, my first kipping pull up, and knowing that we get to learn and be pushed by the best owners. So, the next time you want to complain about a workout, or get frustrated for being yelled at because you aren’t using hook grip, please remember it’s because you have coaches who care about you. In closing, each one of us needs to stop and look back at how far we have come in our fitness journey. While somedays you might feel frustrated for not being able to go faster or hit a PR, what you don’t realized is you are more than likely motivating another athlete in class without even knowing it. So show up on those days that you don’t feel like showing up, as you just might help some else get out of their comfort zone.

-Erica Erickson, CrossFit Coach

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Derek Williams

CrossFit Coach

The questions ‘what does CrossFit mean to me’ and ‘Why do I want to be a coach’ come down to a simple quote that I immediately thought of. “It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” – Dr. Edward J. Stieglitz
He wrote that in a book on longevity, and I believe that CrossFit has added life to my years and is responsible to adding life to the years of countless people and will continue to do so for many years. I have more life in my years because I’m more physically fit, because I have developed a habit of working out 4 times a week, because I track macros and count calories and because I don’t have to figure out what I’m going to do in my workouts. I feel better, I’m able to be more active with my family and friends, and I’m generally happier than I would be otherwise. And that’s all because of CrossFit. I thought about exploring coaching a while ago because I thought it would be a good way to develop my knowledge of the sport as well as help me develop coaching skills that jobs that I want in the future are looking for. Becoming a coach has given me experience with managing different personalities, meeting people where they are, motivating people in the most effective way and advance my understanding
of this sport and fitness in general. But more importantly, I add different energy, experience, capability, and level of respect to the coaching team.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Chris Jackson

Fitness Coach

Our wealth is our health…I truly believe there is no better investment any of us can make than in our mental and physical health.   Living an active, healthy lifestyle enables us to get more out of life and live it to the fullest.    As a lifelong runner, I came to Widespread looking to find balance in my fitness by building strength and power.  What I found was a community of people who motivate, encourage and support one another inside and outside the gym.  Coaching at Widespread gives me the opportunity to help our athletes on their journeys toward health and fitness.  Learning new movements, improving technique and hitting PRs motivates athletes of any age, and it’s critical for those of us who want to continue growing.   Life is better together, but life is rich and full when you are healthy and fit.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course

Amy Poshusta

Fitness Coach

As I have reached my mid-40s, my desire to find balance in a healthy lifestyle has peaked; balance in how much I train or workout, how much emphasis I place on healthy food choices and how much time I spend socially connecting with my family and friends.  To me, CrossFit is this balance.  It is the overlapping region on my own personal Venn diagram of training, nutrition and lifestyle, and it is providing me the best quality of life and health.  It is about challenging one’s capabilities with new and demanding workouts, nurturing bodies to grow and supporting mental health with a super fun community of like-minded and encouraging people.  CrossFit is challenges and rewards. It is individually competitive and collaborative.  It has pushed me to better how I move and to mentally persevere.  And as a result, I am the strongest, and perhaps the happiest & healthiest, I have ever been in my whole life.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course

Erica Erickson

Fitness Coach

When I sit down to think about what CrossFit means to me this is what comes to mind…..self-confidence, strength, peaceful mind, supportive tribe, willingness to get out of one’s comfort zone, and not being afraid to show weaknesses.   Growing up playing sports, becoming a mom took a toll on me physically and mentally.  After our first set of twins, I tried to stay active, but after our second set, I found I didn’t have time.  I woke up one day sick of being tired, out of shape, and I knew I wanted to be a better roll model for our children.   After getting the courage to ask a friend about her CrossFit classes, I signed up for a No Sweat Intro.  After meeting with Matt, I just knew it was something I had to try or I would always wonder “What if.”  I quickly fell in love with everything about it.  The variety of the classes, the community that pushes you to step outside your comfort zone, and the incredible coaches who help you believe in yourself when you feel like stopping because you haven’t work out in years.  CrossFit has dramatically changed my life and I LOVE helping others realize the same benefits in their lives.  Knowing that I get to assist others become stronger, both mentally and physically, is the foundation of why I love being a coach.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course

Ani Monroe

Fitness Coach

Coming Soon!


Brand X Method Kids Course
 National Exercise Trainers Association

Kari Kirkendall

Nutrition Coach / Event & Media Director / Youth Fitness Director

CrossFit literally changed my life. Now I know this sounds cliche or a little extreme, but it honestly did. CrossFit not only gave me a self confidence I had no idea I could posses, a self love I didn’t think was possible and an outlet to any challenge life threw my way, but also gave me my husband, my way of living and a discovery into a passion that consumes my life in the best way possible.

What I do every day is incredible. Every day I see something amazing and inspiring happen to people that I truly care so much about. And what I am talking about has nothing to do with being able to deadlift a huge amount of weight (although that IS awesome and I am always pumped when that happens) it’s about athletes coming in with stories about being able to do something they haven’t been comfortable doing in over 2 decades (whether it’s fitness related or just wearing a piece of clothing), or seeing two children under the age of 10 tell their mom and/or dad they want to be strong like them some day, or watching people become comfortable in their own skin in a way that 3 months ago they never thought they would ever be able to do. It gives me a passion and a drive to never stop doing what we are doing.


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course
 CrossFit Kids Course
 Brand X Method Kids Course
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Matthew Kirkendall

Head Coach / Owner

To me CrossFit means opportunity……..

Suffering a stress fracture to my femur, while training for my first 100 miler ultra, I sought out a different outlet to prove my fitness and stay active.  CrossFit gave me this opportunity.  Besides mostly disproving my actual fitness level, it provided me with a incomparable challenge and more accurate way to set physical and mental limits for myself.

Going through heart breaking personal struggles at home and making the life changing decision to move out west alone, away from friends and family, I arrived craving personal connection and sense of belonging.  CrossFit gave me this opportunity.   All it took was suffering side by side through a WOD before it felt like I had been a part of the community for years.

Years of reading, studying, testing everything I could on fitness and what is meant “to be fit” could only be so gratifying, I wanted to share my knowledge, experience and passion with others.  CrossFit gave me this opportunity.  It’s the feeling and joy I get when, I am able to coach a new athlete through a task that seemed impossible minutes before or see their face light up when a movement feels effortless after weeks of struggle, that makes me realize this is what I was meant to do.

Whether it be working for a national corporation or coaching at the local box, I have often questioned their ways of doing business, claiming I could do it better if only it was my business.   CrossFit gave me this opportunity.   Operating a successful fitness facility is a dream come true and proof that I can accomplish anything with the determination, patience, sacrifice and the opportunity.


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Pain-Free Performance Specialist Certification
 CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course
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