Working With Masters

By John Van Every

In Coaching, Special Populations, Videos

June 17, 2011

Video Article

“You just have to be patient,” says John Van Every, owner of CrossFit Longevity in Santa Cruz, Calif. CrossFit Longevity specializes in coaching masters athletes, 50 years of age and older. The more complex movements like the overhead squat may take some time because many older athletes lack the strength and flexibility to achieve proper positioning, Van Every says.

His group of athletes is typically new to exercise.

“You have, you know, somebody that’s getting off the couch for the first time because their doctor tells them to exercise. They’re not going to be breathing fire when they walk in the door—they’re going to be scared,” Van Every says. “They want to walk into an environment where, I think, they’re understood, and what their needs are … doesn’t need to be communicated.”

As a coach, Van Every says he always checks in with each of his clients to see how they are feeling and tailors workouts to meet their needs and motivation levels.

“Let’s make it enjoyable,” Van Every says “At the end of the day, we want them to be here long-term.”

7min 24sec

Additional reading: Seniors and Kids by Greg Glassman, published Feb. 1, 2003.



7 Comments on “Working With Masters”


wrote …

This is Perfect! John, you are going a great job working with Master's. Working with Master's is done in Baby steps, great work!


wrote …

This is the best thing I have seen in a while. People I am trying to introduce that are terrified should see the balls these masters have. Awesome work John!


wrote …

I love this focus. While I completely admire and cheer on the Elite Athletes of Crossfit it is the complete applicability of Crossfit to all age groups and levels of fitness that I believe is the True genius of CrossFit.


wrote …

This coach has an absolute perfect mentality and demeanor. He seems very approachable and personable. Well done indeed. I hope I find a coach like this in 20 years.


Cody Limbaugh wrote …

I am loving these segments! We started a Masters Class a few weeks ago for ages 45 and up. It has really taken off! Keep these coming!


wrote …

John, Awesome work. I belive there is no higher calling than to work with a group of people that are not natural athletes. I find it very gratifying to work with people that never thought they would be able to squat or do a pull-up. You have inspired me to bring a similar program to our box.

Do you have any suggestions on how to reach out to the Masters in our community? Do you have seperate classes for Masters or do you integrate with your general classes?

Keep up the good work.


wrote …

The written introductions have a bit of condescension toward older Crossfitters, of which I am one. Is age the most important factor of being scared when you first walk into a box? I have seen scores of younger prospects scared to death as newbies -- just like me.

You might have led with the maturity, confidence, and sense of purpose that some of us with a few grey hairs often display.

Edward Gray
Colorado Springs
53 yo

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