Last week we discussed CrossFit training for seniors as a viable – and necessary – option for improved functionality as we all age. We started with the insightful quote from Greg Glassman, “The needs of the elderly and professional athletes differ by degree, not kind.”
We could also take this same idea and flip it to the other end of the spectrum – kids! The physical training needs of kids and adults differ by degree, not kind. The great thing is that kids, just like the rest of us, want to be fit. They want to be fit so that they can grow up to have physical jobs – baseball player, firefighter, Army Ranger. They just don’t know how to get there. They don’t know the path to walk to get to Mount Olympus where their heroes live, but they know they want to be there.
We teach the squat to kids because their target is on higher-level “hero” skills, like a box jump, and then dunking a basketball. We teach the deadlift to kids because they know their mom can deadlift 200 pounds, and she’s stronger than any of the other moms they know.
We keep the weights light and demand near-perfect execution, so that the movements are engrained properly in their muscle memory, and they don’t make all the same mistakes we did growing up. I can still remember one of my high school football coaches telling us to “do 3 sets of 10 power cleans” and when we asked him how to do it, he said, “just freaking pull that thing up to your shoulders!” Thanks to CrossFit and weightlifting coaching becoming more widespread, now we insist on proper technique before ever increasing in weight on our pull-ups, push-ups, squats, deadlifts, presses, clean and jerks, and snatches. This is path toward functional competence and confidence as kids get older and get to test their skills on the playing field.
As our CrossFit Kids classes are populated with kids that want to have fun in the gym (and sometimes we get them to put their little foot on the gas and work hard for a few minutes), our CrossFit Teens classes are full of “kids” that are now engaged in sports and want to get better. Practicing your sport is the highest priority of course, but strength and conditioning training is a close second for a teenager that honestly wants to improve – at any sport. In the Teens class, you will find motivated boys and girls that are willing to work hard, both because of the opportunity for improvement but also because now they know that it’s fun! We have lots of examples of teenagers that grew up in our Kids program and now enjoy the idea of pushing themselves and the camaraderie of the group. Whether or not they realize it, CrossFit Teens is quite literally a sport that they get to compete at, sometimes win, mostly lose, and always be a good teammate.
Thanks to all of our CFKI parents that have entrusted us with the physical development of your kids. It’s truly an honor and one that motivates us all the time. If your kids haven’t given CrossFit a try yet, see if they want to come in and experience how fun and rewarding it can be. I’ll go ahead and say what I’ve heard all of our coaches say before: “I wish we had this when I was a kid!”
Our CrossFit Kids class is Saturday at 10:15am. You can purchase a class or a package of classes here, or just shoot us a message and let us know you’d like to try it out. First class is free!
Our CrossFit Teens class is currently meeting on Mondays and Thursdays at 3:30pm. This will change in the next few weeks as schools starts up again, and we will communicate that next schedule as it is solidified. You can purchase a class here, or a monthly membership for your Teen here. Or again, just give us a heads up and bring them on in to give it a free try.
The kids are our Future, and it’s going to be AWESOME.