How to Become a CrossFit Coach
Since CrossFit emerged on the scene in the early 2000s, it has taken fitness to a whole new level. It seems like everyone who joins the movement becomes a “do-or-dier,” and they multiply like crazy.
It makes sense, as this high-intensity fitness training program is known to deliver amazing results.
Some CrossFitters enjoy it so much, they want to make a career out of it.
If you feel that way, this guide is you. This article will cover everything you need to know to become a CrossFit coach.
What Do CrossFit Coaches Do?
There are two primary types of CrossFit coaches:
- CrossFit coaches (with a lowercase “c”) who teach CrossFit in non-affiliated gyms
- CrossFit Coaches (with a capital “C”) who are certified to teach CrossFit and work in an official CrossFit “Box”
Non-Affiliated CrossFit Coaches
Many coaches offer private or group CrossFit training sessions at privately owned gyms.
These CrossFit instructors aren’t necessarily certified, but they are knowledgeable on the CrossFit theory and fitness strategies. They teach the CrossFit methodology but don’t require their students to go to an actual CrossFit Box (or a CrossFit-specific gym).
The Benefits of Teaching in a Non-Affiliated Gym
In a CrossFit Box, you are only allowed to teach classes authorized by the CrossFit organization. Working in a non-affiliated gym gives you more freedom.
If CrossFit isn’t particularly popular in your area and your classes don’t fill up, you can teach other types of classes.
CrossFit Box Coaches
Some CrossFit instructors want a more in-depth connection to the CrossFit community.
These Coaches work at a CrossFit Box run by another coach. There are thousands of certified affiliate CrossFit Boxes across the country (11,000 and counting).
The Benefits of Teaching in a CrossFit Gym
While your job opportunities may be limited by your proximity to a CrossFit Box, this mode of coaching has many benefits.
Working at a CrossFit affiliate gives you the ability to track your hours of coaching and put them toward your CrossFit Coach certification. We’ll discuss this in further detail soon.
These positions usually involve shadowing another coach to learn the ropes.
There is also a unique opportunity to have your certifications paid for by the owner of the Box. To get this benefit, you must work for the Box-owner for a certain amount of time so that they see a return on their investment.
How to Get Certified as a CrossFit Coach
The certification of “CrossFit Coach” is the final certification of CrossFit’s four-level program.
To become eligible for a Coach certification, you must obtain some prerequisite certifications and ascend through three CrossFit levels:
Level 1: Fundamental Principles
This level introduces you to the fundamental principles and exercises of CrossFit. You will need to complete a two-day course that lasts from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. each day.
During these 16 hours, you will participate in various CrossFit workouts and learn how to teach them to other students. You will also be introduced to some CrossFit nutrition plans.
This course costs $1,000, and if you pass, your certification will be valid for five years.
Aside from a general interest in CrossFit, the only prerequisite to enter this course is that you must be seventeen or older.
Note: Once you pass the Level 1 certificate course, you are technically certified to teach CrossFit in a gym or affiliated Box. However, you can increase your salary through continuing education and by earning extra credentials.
Level 2: Intermediate Concepts
This mid-level course expands on the concepts from the Level 1 course. It is another two-day course that lasts from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., and it costs $1,000.
To be eligible for this course, you must first complete the CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1) course.
Level 3: CrossFit Trainer Certification
This is where it gets serious. In Level 3, you have the opportunity to earn certification as a CrossFit Trainer.
To get this certification, you’ll have to pass a 160-question exam to prove that you understand CrossFit theory and are capable of training clients safely and effectively.
You can apply for this exam here. The exam comes with a $150 application fee.
Level 4: CrossFit Coach Certification
Alright, this is where you become an official CrossFit Coach (with a capital “C”):
If you’ve achieved Trainer status and still want to level up your resume, this is where you do it.
To become a certified CrossFit Coach, you must pass a performance-based evaluation. In this evaluation, you’ll have to coach two CrossFit classes by yourself.
A representative of the CrossFit organization will watch and judge your performance to ensure that you’re teaching properly. If they approve of your performance, you’ll be certified as an official Coach, and you’ll be able to instruct courses at the highest level.
At CrossFit.com, you can sign up for a Coaching evaluation and learn about the various fees attached to the exam.
Additional Skills That Can Help You Become a CrossFit Coach
Aside from being a genuine people person and having a passion for personal training, a CrossFit coach should believe in and practice the CrossFit lifestyle.
This requires hard work and self-discipline.
It also helps to know CPR and have first-aid knowledge and certification.
The Essential CrossFit Coach Kit
CrossFit certifications aren’t the only things you’ll need to be a Coach; you also need some equipment and software.
You’ll also want a personal website to market your coaching services (we’ll get into that below).
Even though you won’t be a gym owner, you should have a few key pieces of equipment. At the very least, you should have enough to complete each of CrossFit’s “workouts of the day” (WODs).
Here are some portable pieces of equipment that you should stock up on for when you need to create a workout on the go:
- Jump ropes
- Kettlebells (several different weights)
- Battle ropes
- Plyo box
- Medicine ball (several different weights)
- Gymnastics rings
- A thick yoga mat
Whether you’re teaching small groups or teaching as a personal trainer, you’ll need to stay on top of your calendar. Any product that will help you do so is well worth your investment.
Here are a few of our favorites:
The ZenPlanner is an all-in-one business management tool for fitness professionals. It can take care of billing, scheduling, and even integrate with your website.
It’s such a comprehensive program that it might be overkill for a one-person freelance business. However, it is worth looking into, especially as your business grows.
Wodify is similar, but it has the added feature of heart rate monitoring and workout performance tracking. This way, you can monitor your clients’ performance using the same app that you use for scheduling and billing.
These are just two of the many CrossFit management software programs out there. It’s essential to do your research and find the program that best suits your needs and matches your personal preferences.
Another important item in this digital age is your website.
Having a website listed on your business cards shows clients that you work at a professional level. It also makes it easy for you to market yourself on social media.
This article offers some great examples of successful websites that you can look towards for inspiration.
How Much Should You Charge to Teach CrossFit?
Setting a price is a decision all freelancers face.
Charge too much, and you might scare off some clients. Charge too little, and you could be missing out on vital income.
As a general rule, it’s best to start low and increase your fees as you gain experience.
Don’t sell yourself short, though. Know your worth, and don’t settle for anything less.
Read this article on how to earn enough money as a fitness coach. Then, check out the average CrossFit membership prices to get a good understanding of how much people are paying to be CrossFit athletes.
This video shares some good insight on how to make money as a CrossFit coach, too.
How to Find CrossFit Coaching Jobs
There are a few different sites that you can visit in search of CrossFit coaching jobs.
Indeed and LinkedIn are two evergreen job search sites that you should check out. Lots of gyms hire freelance personal trainers to teach classes, and they may be looking for someone to coach CrossFit.
You may have better luck with a site that focuses on fitness jobs, such as Barbell Jobs. Just type “certified CrossFit trainer” into the search box and set your location to see all kinds of listings in your area.
Of course, nothing replaces the good old-fashioned way of procuring a job: find the gyms nearest you and apply in person.
How to Gain More Clients as a Certified CrossFit Coach
If you are looking to gain more clients for personal or group classes, there are several ways to market your services and reach a wider market:
Market Yourself Online
Posting on social media, creating YouTube videos, and publishing blog posts on your website are great ways to tell people about your services.
When people read your content, they’ll see how knowledgeable you are about CrossFit. Even if they don’t call right away, they’ll remember your content, and they’ll call you if they ever want to get in shape.
Everyone is busy. Instead of making people come to the gym, offer them in-home training at a time that suits them.
Individualized training sessions are super effective and cost more than gym sessions, so it’s a win-win scenario.
Offer Virtual Training
Virtual training is very in demand, especially in the last few years. If your clients are practicing social distancing due to the pandemic, virtual training is a viable alternative to in-person classes.
Free Session Cards
One easy and cheap way to get people to try your classes is to hand out cards offering a free session.
You can hand them to family and friends or place them on the counter at gyms to get the word out about your services.
Compete in the CrossFit Games
One way to get noticed and have people take you seriously as a CrossFit athlete is to compete in the CrossFit Games.
Whether you do well or not, the fact that you were dedicated enough to put yourself out there and compete says a lot about your passion for the lifestyle. With a picture of yourself competing in the Games on your website, you’ll look much more professional.
Tips and Tricks for Success
As with any job, you’ll have competition and other struggles along the way.
Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you stay ahead of the game:
Keep a Varied Workout Schedule
As we’ve already discussed, people are busier than ever.
If you only offer one class a day, most people won’t be able to fit that class into their schedule.
It’s best to offer courses in the morning, afternoon, and evening on different days of the week.
Build a Community
For some clients, CrossFit is just as much about the community as it is about the workouts.
If your clients are interested, consider hosting social outings to break up the hard work with some good times.
You might even offer healthy cooking classes as part of your training and hold cooking competitions with prizes for the winner.
Never Stop Learning
Even after you’re a certified Coach, keep learning.
Important Tip: Don’t Forget About Taxes and Insurance
The actual coaching component isn’t the only part of being a professional CrossFit Coach; you also have to handle the business side of things.
This includes insurance and taxes:
Since you aren’t a full-time employee, you won’t get benefits from your employer. So, you must find your benefits.
As a CrossFit coach, there are several types of insurance that you may want to invest in to protect yourself and your clients:
- General liability insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Health insurance (for yourself, in case of injury)
Gigly offers supplemental health insurance for freelancers. Learn more about our benefits today!
Taxes can be a big headache for freelancers, but they don’t have to be.
The key is to track and manage your finances all year long so that you have everything documented and ready for tax time.
As an independent contractor, many deductions could save you money.
Most of the money you spend to do your job can be written off as a business expense:
- Membership fees
- CrossFit exam fees
- Software costs
Gigly offers legal and financial benefits for freelancers. Our tax pros will help you find all of the deductions you qualify for so you can save money at tax time.
Following these steps will ensure that you successfully become a CrossFit coach.
To help others to reach their fitness goals, you need to be passionate and willing to go the extra mile.
It also helps to have experts on your side who can provide the advice and resources you need to keep yourself and your business healthy.
That’s us! We’re here for you. Learn more about Gigly today.