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Components of a Great Class by Adrian Bozman and E.C. Synkowski - CrossFit Journal

Components of a Great Class

By Adrian Bozman and E.C. Synkowski

In Coaching, Reference, Videos

March 30, 2010

Video Article

Watching a great trainer run a CrossFit class is a fantastic experience. As he or she works, you can pick up all sorts of things that will make you better in the box. The best coaches employ a wide variety of skills to give their athletes the best possible experience, and learning how to do that will improve your effect on your athletes.

In this video shot at a Coaches Prep Course at CrossFit Santa Cruz, Adrian (Boz) Bozman leads a group through a WOD, and then E.C. Synkowski breaks down exactly what he did.

Time management, clarity, presence, consistent cueing, appropriate scaling, communication of movement standards, solid demonstration and personality are all important aspects of training, and top coaches find a way to incorporate all these things—and more—into a session.

The Coaches Prep Seminar builds upon the Level 1 Certification and is designed for coaches looking to take their training to the next level. To register for the course, visit

11min 54sec

Additional reading: You Be the Trainer #4, published Sept. 30, 2009.

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11 Comments on “Components of a Great Class”


Mauricio Leal wrote …

Awesome. As a trainer just getting started with my own group program, sometimes I feel like the magical fairies who put these videos together are timing the release just for me, haha.


wrote …

Great Video! I really want to take one of these classes before I take my Level II.

Boz was at my Level I cert back in 08, one GREAT GUY!!!


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wrote …

Hijacking my husband's account for this post:

I attended the seminar and it was a great coaching and learning experience for me. All of the HQ staff was exceptional at teaching, listening, and interacting with us. As the video shows, Boz is an effective ringmaster as a coach--he orchestrated the large group through a complex movement with ease, and he honestly connected with each and every one of us. The ring dip modification worked really well: accommodating everyone at their level while still providing a challenge. I love the idea of cumulative rep count--why didn't I think of that before? Finally, I enjoyed the cool-down where we came together to stretch and give feedback on the workout. Sometimes in our day to day CrossFit classes we can let workouts run the show and leave little time for group cool-down. I think he showed how valuable it can be to give your clients class time to stretch while giving you the opportunity as a coach to get their feedback, make sure everyone is okay and recovered, and pass on your knowledge about fitness, nutrition, upcoming events, etc. It was an effective class and a memorable weekend! I am honored to have had the opportunity!

Kristy Amory
CrossFit Santa Cruz


wrote …

Pretty motivationg and thought provoking at the same time. I think the seed of introspection was planted.


Erik Larson wrote …

So great guys! Boz, I appreciate your teaching style and as I am about to open Aspen Crossfit, I look forward to learning more from you and the other amazing coaching/teaching staff. What a remarkable organization and family CrossFit is... Thank you all. Peace, Erik


wrote …

I liked that one very much.
Good article, thank-you.


wrote …

Great video of what appears to be a great course. One of our gym owners attended and she loved the entire weekend.

Near the end, when E.C. commented on "connecting" with clients or having "empathy" for clients, she said that there is no prescription for that trainer skill. I'd argue that, when viewed from a different perspective, there is a way to approach a prescription for connecting with your clients.

While some use the ethereal term "empathy," a better concept may be learning your individual client's reinforcers. Some use prefer the more consumer-friendly term "motivators." Over time, and with careful observation, active listening, and other data collection, it is possible to learn the stimuli that reinforce and/or punish specific client behaviors.

The terms positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, and negative punishment have been butchered by pop psychology and various "how to parent" manuals, along with freshman psychology textbooks...which are mostly terrible, by the way. These terms have specifice, mathematical operational definitions which, when applied systematically, are measureable, predictable, and very useable in the hands of a skilled coach.

A review of the writings of the American psychologist, B.F. Skinner may provide just the prescription needed to help trainers acquire more Boz-like connections with clients, and ultimately increase their performance and, as such, overall fitness.

Keep up the good work. You guys are truly incredible!


wrote …

This was a very good and helpful video


wrote …

Excellent video. I'm kicking myself for not registering right away for the Prep Course in Herdon, VA, and now I'm on the wait list. After seeing this video, I know the course will be worth every cent. I hope I get in!


Adam Brown wrote …

Very inspring video guys. I am a part-time personal trainer in Sydney and I recently completed my Level One Cert at CrossFit FX. After flirting with CrossFit for about 12 months (it took me a while to get my head around it all), I am now a massive advocate and I pretty much use CrossFit training with all of my clients. Videos like this give trainers like me a lot of good pointers to use, and a benchmark to work against. Thanks.

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