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My 5 Big Takeaways from the CrossFit L1 Seminar

The following is an article written by one of our members, Daniel Billinkoff, on his experience at the CrossFit Level One certification held at CFW on June 21st and 22nd.

My 5 Big Takeaways from the CrossFit L1 Seminar
By Daniel Billinkoff

IMG_3024I attended the CrossFit Level One Certificate seminar this past weekend here at CrossFit Winnipeg. In short: it was awesome. The instructors, the pace of the course, the material… everything was run with care and professionalism.

Why did I attend? Because I love CrossFit and want to make it a greater part of my life. I attended to get better at the basics, to learn more about the fundamentals of programming/nutrition andto get a sense of what it takes to coach.

Monday morning, Coach Leonie asked me whether it was a life-changing experience. I wouldn’t quite say life-changing (starting CrossFit was life-changing), but I would definitely call it reaffirming.

I think most CrossFit Winnipeggers would agree that the more you get into CrossFit, the more you love it. And the more you learn about it, the more you respect it. This past weekend I learned a LOT about CrossFit and it was truly inspiring.
Looking back on the weekend, here are my 5big takeaways:

1. We never once talked about how CrossFit makes you look.

This was a two-day fitness training seminar, and there was not one mention about how CrossFit makes you look. No talk about looking good at the beach, getting shredded or ripped. The focus all weekend was improving health, fitness and performance. Getting lean and muscular is a benefit of CrossFit, but it’s really about increasing speed, power, strength, agility, endurance, coordination, stamina, accuracy, flexibility andbalance. As the father of two little girls and someone who’s struggled with body image issues, it’s refreshing and exciting to see the conversation focused onthe amazing things your body can do, not how it looks.

2. I should be focusing more on the fundamentals and less on PRs.

We spent a lot of time in small groups working through the fundamentals of squats, presses and deadlifts. There was a lot of squatting… a lot. And I learned that my squat needs serious work. My squat kind of sucks. Without the fundamentals in place, it’s pretty clear that I’ll either stall out in my progress or hurt myself. I definitely learned this weekend that I need to focus more time on my form and less time on PRs. How can I do that? Less weight on the bar, more guidance from coaches and more oly club.

3. Coaching is hard.

We did a lot of coaching drills this weekend, and coaching is VERY hard. I knew that before going in, but I have even more respect after the drills. Watching CrossFitters do complicated movements at high intensity with music blasting, timers ticking and bars crashing is crazy hard. So listen to your coaches, don’t be afraid to add a minute to your WOD time to get the technique down and, most importantly, never be afraid to ask for help.

4. People need to respect the kitchen as much as the gym.

Showing up 3-5 days a week and doing the prescribed WOD is one thing, but bringing that dedication and precision to the kitchen is a whole other story. CrossFit is my life and I strive for constant improvements – I do this with ongoing tweaks and refinements to my diet.Nutrition is fundamental to CrossFit and the L1 seminar hammered that home. Once again, it’s not about how your diet makes you look, it’s about how it makes you perform and how it makes you feel.

5. If you’re going to be obsessed with something, you could do a lot worse than CrossFit.

On the second day, Coach Zack Forrestsaid this: “I don’t know about you guys, but CrossFit is my life.” Call it passion or obsession, I feel the same way. I have to fight myself to take days off (which are important by the way) and I’m all over the CFW blog on Sundays waiting for the week’s workouts to be posted. Some people might call CrossFit cultish, but is there anything better to be obsessed with?Do you think that any of us are going to look back in our 70s and 80s and say, “I wish I spent less time focusing on my health and fitness?” I really doubt it.

Whether or not you plan to train or coach CrossFit, the level one certification is a fantastic experience. Fundamentals are key, and this course is all about the fundamentals.

Thanks Tania for hosting it and I encourage anyone and everyone interested in expanding their skills and knowledge to attend in the future.


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