Blue Flame Part 1

By Jon Wilson

In Affiliation, Kids, Sports Applications, Videos

January 06, 2011

Video Article

“Just like adults, children love to be challenged every day physically and mentally. In my opinion, our program before CrossFit was not doing that,” says Jon Wilson, a PE teacher. Wilson founded Blue Flame CrossFit, a non-profit club affiliate at Pickens High School in South Carolina.

After Wilson discovered CrossFit, he was eager to bring it to his students.

“I saw the changes it made in myself and in my training, and I knew it would transfer over to high-school kids,” he says.

The success of CrossFit and enthusiasm of the students has won over the entire school.

“The kids just absolutely fell in love with it,” Wilson says.

Fellow PE teacher Brittany Kelley even used CrossFit as her research topic for her master’s degree. She compared two of her classes: one doing CrossFit and another following a more conventional PE program. The class following CrossFit made phenomenal progress.

“In a matter of six weeks, my class dropped a huge amount of time just on their mile run at the end of the PT test,” Kelley says.

“I’ve discovered that basically any kid that comes in and gives 100 percent is going to really reap the benefit of the program,” Wilson says.

11min 08sec

Video by Again Faster.

Additional reading: Facebook or Fitness by Peter Jordan, published July 11, 2010.

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28 Comments on “Blue Flame Part 1 ”


wrote …

Hell yeah! Home state representing!


wrote …

The kid doing burpees is jorts is my hero.


wrote …

Way to go Jon. Im glad your doing this and changing young lives! Way to represent the Blue Flame!


wrote …

Those Pickens County boys will sport some jorts now.

Fantastic program. Way to get it going for those kids.


wrote …

I'm a High School P.E. Teacher on the Eastern Shore of Md and my colleagues and I have incorporated Crossfit into our curriculum. I think what you are doing down there is fantastic. Keep up the great work!!!


wrote …

Keeping crushing those kids ! Its a grid session for sure ! CFR is going to have to take a field trip out to the next throw down !


Adam Kayce wrote …

Congrats on the success of your program, Jon - I was with you at your cert in VB, and we talked about what you were getting going then; how cool to see how it has come to fruition. Great stuff you're doing there.


wrote …

Good to know that non profit affiliates are not required to pay the same fees. I am excited to see more non profit affilitates in our communites resulting in stronger and healthier communities. Think of the possibilies and positive changes!


Tammi Byxbee wrote …

That was great-loved the burpees and pullups-more kids should be exposed to this and have as great a coach such as Jon.


wrote …

Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback!
These kids are the future of our nation. Jorts or not, lol, they do work! This vid was made last year, and I am happy to report that our numbers are now at approximately 150 kids in the program. Also 3 of our 4 PE teachers are now L1 certified.


wrote …

Proud of you brother.


replied to comment from Jon Wilson

Jon, great work! It is very motivating to see Crossfit implemented in the PE classes. I am a PE teacher in upstate NY and I try to incorporate it when I can during classes. Seems like you have a good system there. Congrats!


wrote …

Jon and Brittany what a great thing you are doing for your kids! I have been teaching CrossFit in my PE classes for the last 3 years at Souderton HS in PA. The results and the mental challenges these students have achieved and accomplished are amazing. I currently own and run CrossFit Apex with my wife and another owner. I love the idea of creating a non-profit CrossFit Program that could be done during the school day at my school. I would love to hear more about how you went about that process. I have created tons of workouts that can be done in our weight room, on the track/turf or in the gyms. I am currently with my wife holding workshops and conferences throughout our community to try and have more PE programs exposed to how beneficial this program really can be. Keep up the great work and I would love to talk with you guys.


wrote …

Nice work guys, keep working them and changing the future. I also teach PE at the HS level and have had a fitness, I mean CrossFit class for the past 3 years. The kids enjoy the challenges. We usually got dumped on, the so called trouble kids. Well, CrossFit has helped change these kids for sure. Their grades, attendance improved, behavior issues decreased and of course they got fit. Like Josh above I also own an affiliate outside of school, so it has been nice to have the kids transition into our program. It is still an uphill battle within the district, old school mentality. Our current system focuses on game participation, but of course this lacks substance. Hard to believe that kids are getting fit while on their phones playing really lousy volleyball. We are trying to get the elem schools involved, baby steps. Feel free to contact me about anything.
Have a great day.


wrote …

YAY. Congratulations trailblazer!


wrote …

With the state of this country's fitness and seeing so many kids running (err excuse me) walking around that are approaching morbid obesity at such a young age, it's great to see someone being proactive. Hopefully someone do something like this at the elementary school level with scaled down workouts. So many of them are sitting in front of their XBox or Playstation instead of getting out and moving.

The beauty of is it requires less equipment than what you see in a normal high school gym. Which is good when you consider the fact that a lot of schools are stripping Physical Education because of cost. Hopefully those that have already been forced to can bounce back with this type of program. I do think that, just like when it comes to nutrition, state's guidelines are still in the dark ages and a lot of bureaucrats won't be able to wrap their heads around a concept like crossfit because they are still used to jumping jacks, toe touches and playing kickball. I think something like Crossfit is better suited for Jr High and High School because with the goal setting aspect, kids are more motivated to come back. Shaving off a second here or there or a couple more reps in an AMRAP gets them pumped. Results, even small ones are apparent. Which will boosts anyone's confidence especially in those that don't play JV or varsity sports. School then gets just a little easier.

With any luck, when kids are showing enthusiasm about this, it will spread to those parents that aren't exercising regularly. This will get more people healthier and result in fewer trips to the doctor and better checkups. Thus putting less of a burden on the healthcare industry which in turn will put less stress on our healthcare costs. See the picture?

Keep doing what you're doing.


Dustin Kreidler wrote …

Brilliant!! I work at a non-profit high-school in NYC, not as a PE teacher, but I moderate the weight room in the afternoons. One of our math teachers and I got our L1 certs last month and have been trying to figure out how to incorporate CF into the kids lives a bit more officially than "wow, mr. K is doing some *seriously* f--ked up stuff in there... let's go back to wrist curls!" We have spotty support from the PE teachers (one is a marathoner, the other a basketball guy, neither has any experience in the weight room, or with CF-type training, other than what we're trying to expose them to), so having this as an example of what we *could* be doing is awesome.

Jon, keep up the good work, and maybe someday soon the SC All-Stars can come up to challenge the NY team! Cheers, brother!



wrote …

inspiring video. did anyone else hear those 4 or 5 really loud audio pops?


wrote …

I am a PE teacher in Chicago. I have too have incorporated cross-fit into some of my classes. I struggle with students not wanting to work hard. I don't understand this mentality. Jon mentioned that he was able to "hand-pick" the students to have in his program. I wanted to know if any of the other PE teachers have had this same luxury or if they had just randomly selected students in their classes. When I think HS PE, I think Cross-Fit. Why don't my students agree?


wrote …

I am a PE teacher in Chicago. I have too have incorporated cross-fit into some of my classes. I struggle with students not wanting to work hard. I don't understand this mentality. Jon mentioned that he was able to "hand-pick" the students to have in his program. I wanted to know if any of the other PE teachers have had this same luxury or if they had just randomly selected students in their classes. When I think HS PE, I think Cross-Fit. Why don't my students agree?


wrote …


This is Fabulous!!!!

What is your email adress? (mine is


wrote …

I am a PE teacher in an N-8 independent school in RI working toward getting a CF kids cert in order to incorporate more CF into my classes and potentially into athletics. I would be interested in any conversation that is generated from this video (great work, Jon and Brittany). email is


wrote …

This video needs to be made free so people can send it to their local high school coaches.


wrote …

Wow!! So great to see that others have the same mentality as I do! I am an Elementary P.E teacher and have also been incorporating CrossFit into my classes. As a P.E teacher I feel the burden on my shoulders to increase the health and wellness of our country and get us out of this state of growing obesity. CrossFit is the answer!!! I love where this is going, and also have plans of starting a non profit affiliate at my school.

In addition, I would love to see CrossFit be recognized by the Association of Health and Physical Education Recreation and Dance. I know they have endorsed other programs such as C.A.T.C.H and Fitnessgram (great programs!!), so how about CrossFit?

Lastly Jon, thank you for reassuring me that this is real and can be accomplished!!

If anyone would like to get into this a bit more shoot me an e-mail @!


wrote …

And I don't like when people complain about not being able to see video's. It's $25.00 A YEAR!!! Sign up dude.


wrote …

Here is my e-mail


wrote …

Thank you for leading the charge on this crucial issue. PE in America is broken and has been for a long time (with a few exceptions). What you are doing is a big step toward fixing it. Now I feel empowered to seek club affiliation also.
Thank you and keep it up!


wrote …

Jon, you're doing great work here. I've started with 20 year8 students as a trial to incorporate Crossfit into our curriculum here in Australia. I have to write a work program from scratch and would love to talk with other PE teachers about what works/what doesn't. My students are 12-13yrs old, so a lot of the WODs will have to be scaled, we also don't have much equipment, medicine balls, skipping ropes, hula hoops, etc. And we have an outside oval to work on. Our school caters for many indigenous and low socio-economic students (we're not a rich school), but the kids are more than enthusiastic as they showed yesterday when I tried to teach air squats. They'll give it their all and then fall about laughing at themselves at the end. I wish I had their energy. Thanks.

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