Getting an A in CrossFit

By Vince Miserandino

In Kids

February 04, 2009

PDF Article

Vince Miserandino, M.Ed., is a CrossFit Level I Trainer, Teacher, and Coach at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts. He writes about the impact CrossFit has had at St. John’s: they are officially offering a CrossFit class.

As a Physical Education teacher and strength coach for the last 10 years, I’ve long had a vision of what I believed a high-school physical education program should be. I’ve found it in CrossFit, which has had an immediate positive impact on athlete performance here at the St. John’s Preparatory School, an all-male, Xavieran Brothers-sponsored Catholic academy of 1,300 students in Danvers, Massachusetts. Next fall, we will take it a step further, becoming what I think will be the first high school in the world to officially offer CrossFit 101 as a for-credit elective.

SJP CrossFit became an official CrossFit Club Affiliate on April 9, 2008. Any given day, from 15 to 40 athletes show up after school at the weight room, including individuals and the sport teams that use the facility during their seasons. CrossFit is voluntary; most do it. I post the WOD and teach the kids the exercises as needed, constantly correcting improper form and giving feedback to reinforce both intensity and perfect technique. I train athletes in almost every sport the Prep offers: fencing, rugby, wrestling, football, basketball, skiing, and so on.

I believe that CrossFit can be the future of Physical Education curricula and that every high school should have it as their strength and conditioning program. After all, it’s all about improving the quality of life of our teens. Can St. John’s Prep be the seed that helps to grow affiliate clubs in high schools all around the country and even the world? That’s my dream.

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9 Comments on “Getting an A in CrossFit”


wrote …

Now this is what I like to read about. Awesome Football Fran. Congratulations on introducing your athletes to athletic work capacity. Your teams wil possess the confidence and strength to meet success. Wins and loses are times determined by the level of talent an individual or team faces, but in your stiuation I know that your individuals and teams will meet and beat those who resist the element of work capacity. Coach you seemed to have rekindled your enthusiasm towards training, wait the best is yet to come. Great web site also. Good Luck.


wrote …

Vince, as an Austin Prep alumna, NOW i understand why you guys have been beating us for years. : ) Great job with the training and getting Crossfit 101 as an elective at St. John's. It will be amazing for the boys during college interview season! Keep up the good work!


wrote …


Thanks for the inspiration/motivation. As a teacher at a small MN Charter high school, I have been struggling for a long time with the lack of resources we are able to dedicate to phys ed at our school. I am slowly starting to work with a few students on a simplified crossfit program that takes full advantage of the few pieces of training equipment and limited space that we can afford to dedicate for phys ed. Hopefully it will catch on and I can expand my operation; your article will give me a little extra boost to keep pushing it. Thanks again for sharing!


wrote …

Thanks for sharing your story Vince. I teach P.E. and coach football in a high school in Maryland. I got my level I cert last spring and started using it with our athletes. I have incorporated a hybrid approach(starting strength/crossfit) with both my weight training classes and our football offseason conditioning. We started last year and the results have been inpressive. It takes time to rework form and get the kids emphasis off of pounds lifted and on to quality movement, but the payoff is well worth it. We had our best season in 16 years last year with the fewest number of injuries, which I attribute at least in part to our focus on quality of movement. In just one year word is starting to spread and more kids are signing up for our weight training classes. I never thought about an affiliation for the school, I will have to look into it.


wrote …

Great article! I went to Xaverian (the Prep's rival school) so my only problem is that we didn't implement CrossFit first! Let's just say I won't be surprised if you start to dominate the competition...


Nuno Costa wrote …

I am looking forward to reading this. I am in the process of obtaining my teaching credential and have been teaching CrossFit in San Diego since i got certified last summer. I absolutely love it, and cannot wait to bring it to the classrooms.


wrote …

I could only hope that schools around the world would be teaching teens the fundementals and getting them interested in their own health and physical fitness. It truly is the best thing we could teach them and I hope that one day it becomes a reality. Good job Vince!


wrote …

Amazing work!

Would love to see programs of this sort implemented around the world.

Females would really benefit from this too.

There are far too many young girls with eating disorders & depression that would benefit immensely from an introduction to CrossFit early in life.


wrote …

This is a good thing. On February 4th, my partner and I spoke at our local high school football teams strength workout. We spoke to them about the benefits of CrossFit and challenged them to a mini "Cindy" for 5 mins. We invited them to our free class that Saturday. To our surprise 6 of the football players were dropped off by their parents for a workout, they loved it. We have e-mailed some of the other High Schools in the area. Let's see if they bite. We hope to have as much luck as you did.

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