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5 Tips to Being Coached Better whilst doing CrossFit

5 Great tips on how to get coached

So you signed up to your local CrossFit affiliate and now you are on your way to being the next Matt Fraser, I am sorry Rich Froning, but we have to celebrate the new CrossFit Games champion of 2016. If you don’t know who Matt Fraser is, you really are very new and this article is especially for you. Click here for a handy reference to Matt Fraser.

There is so much information available to you online as a CrossFitter and budding fitness fanatic through any box website, from workouts to nifty videos on the You of tubes. We get to download a lot of information about how to do things and the correct form to follow to achieve our personal best. What is never covered is the optimal way of being coached. Sounds like it should be easy to be coached, right?

But being coached doesn’t mean showing up and receiving instructions. There is a lot more to it. 

Coaches are gifted with 2 inputs from you that help to coach you. Visual and Auditory. Visual is what they can see and auditory, those nifty little grunts you make at the bottom of your new-found squat position.

A coach looks at your movements and makes some ability, movement and capability assessments. He or she then feeds back some cues to help you correct. This normally results in a one-way dump of data in your head before you have a complete blow out mentally and frustration ensues.

This post is designed to help you tap into your coach’s secondary input, the auditory one. Coaches so often spend time data dumping all of their excellent knowledge, that they don’t receive the auditory input back.

Now its time to take a massive data dump on your coach. 

  1. Arrive Early

Quick Summary: Asking the coach before the session begins means you have a chance to get some extra attention before the class environment takes priority. 

15 Minutes will add up and completely change your session.

15 Minutes will add up and completely change your session.

This isn’t the usual rant about coaches needing to make sure you are briefed and stalling the class to brief you twice, it is about you getting to the class and looking at the whiteboard to get an idea of what you should be warming up for. If you have a particular area that you battle with and its the main section of the WOD, you might need to spend a little longer warming up that area in order to make sure you get the full benefit of the workout. It also gives you an opportunity to talk to the coaches beforehand and ask for some help on warming up and some possible things to stretch.


  1. Announce yourself: 

Quick Summary: Coaches need reminding of your unique niggles.

I am not talking about walking into the gym, throwing your hands in the air and telling everyone you are the next Katrin who is the daughter of David, I am talking about the part where you arrive nice and early as above and remind the coach that you have x or y wrong with you and ask how they think you should approach the session. You can also do this immediately after the briefing, once you recognize some limitations you have for the workout of the day. Although it is best to address this before class because you got there early.

  1. Stop the coach: 
Staap PLease

Staap Please!

Quick summary: The coach is throwing so many acronyms at you that you start checking for subtitles.

There is a lot of jargon. WOD, AMRAP, EMOM, EOMOM, 1 REP MAX, MIDLINE, DEPTH…Koombayaya! Yeah we get it, we dig lingo because they shorten sentences to get the message across, so we spend more time training and less time talking.  Getting tons of input is frustrating and confusing, so remind the coach and ask him or her to slow down. Let them correct the first thing before moving on to the next input. Coaches are excited to help and super eager about telling you how to do things better, it’s ok to ask them to slow down.


  1. Grab the Coach: 

Quick Summary: Ok the brief didn’t make sense and you are uncertain, grab the coach and ask for an extra eyeball of attention to check you are good to go. 

Coaches make necessary adjustments across the class, there are lots of things to fix and adjust. Sometimes it’s possible that they get stuck in the far corner with “Jim Jones” who really is battling with squat depth. Take the time between reps to ask for some extra guidance on areas where you are battling. Everyone in the box has a “Jim Jones” moment, let the coach know, their existence in the box is built around being there for you.


Quick Summary: Keep a journal 

There will come a point in time where we ask you to work at a percentage of your 1 REP Max. if you are not writing it down, it does not exist. Beyond the aeons of value a journal gives you on your personal journey, when you go to a coach with a problem or for advice, take them your journal. He will be able to page back on the weeks of training you have done and pinpoint some possible problems and high five your super successes.

If you didn't write it down, it probably didn't happen.

If you didn’t write it down, it probably didn’t happen.














About The Author:

Steven Murray is a founder and head coach at CrossFit Ex Animo. He loves to help new athletes on their way and introduce them to Crossfit. Setting up the CrossFit Ex Animo box in Craighall in August of 2014 the CrossFit Ex Animo box is now an established box in Johannesburg that serves the Sandton, Craighall, Parkhurst and Randburg areas.

You can find us at:

Shop 21a

The Valley Centre

396 Jan Smuts Avenue



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