In Coaching, Kids, Videos

November 24, 2011

Video Article

At a CrossFit Kids Trainer Course, Todd Widman of HQ Seminar Staff discusses how teen weightlifting should be structured for safety and efficacy.

“This is a by-invitation-only class. I want you moving fast and hard with moderate loads long before the game is trying to move as much as possible,” Widman says. He looks for mental maturity in the teens and the ability to move well before he allows them to lift heavy.

To add weightlifting to teen programming, Widman focuses on two movements (deadlift/sumo deadlift or back squat) twice a week an hour before the regular CrossFit Teens class. Each teen is encouraged to find a 3-, 5- or 7-rep max.

Why deadlift and back squat?

“You cannot parallel with any other movement the amount of weight you could push or pull with those two,” Widman says. “I want them to get as much adaptation as possible in the least amount of time.”

He adds” “Getting stronger in these two will get you stronger in everything else.”

Widman goes over class structure and rules of lifting he implements with his teens to keep them safe. According to him, the goal isn’t always setting a new PR. Instead, sometimes the teens need to spend the workout mobilizing or back off and practice with a 20-rep max. He only prescribes a 1-rep-max for sports-specific needs.

“By making it an invitation only, it’s the cool thing to do,” Widman says. “It becomes a very serious, very awesome thing, and the next thing you know, it explodes because it’s fantastic.”

Video by Again Faster.

11min 56sec

Additional reading: Throwing Down the Gauntlet by Hilary Achauer, published Nov. 19, 2011.

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4 Comments on “CrossFit Kids Trainer Course: Teen Weightlifting”


wrote …

Great stuff. Good to see Widman back on the videos. What kind of results did your kids see especially on the days they hit an hour class of weightlifting and an hour class of crossfit? Did you scale down the volume in the metcons for those kids that participated in the weightlifting session? I love the tracking of the PR w/ the 3rm 5rm and 7rm. Great yet simple modification of the linear progression. Plus the attention to detail, rigidity of the class and the seriousness of lifting heavy weights struck me as highly significant.

On a side note: I wish more parents could see this video. I work at a high school (athletic trainer/track coach/and now football coach/ moderator of an after school strength and conditioning club) and train a large number of kids yet other kids in the school that do not train with us feel they should be allowed to just walk into the weightroom and follow their own program and lift by themselves (because their coach told them to get big, yet does not even give them any idea or guidance as to what this encompasses). When we tell them they need supervision (because we are there to supervise our own athletes) they piss and moan and the next thing you know their parents are breathing down the Athletic Director's neck. I just don't understand in the age of litigiousness and liability why these parents would complain about a rule that means that their children must be supervised in the weightroom while they are lifting heavy weight. I won't go into the fact that there should be a delineation between supervised and coached. Anyways sorry for the rant and great work Todd


wrote …

That was awesome Todd.

Every bit as good as Jeff would have done it and there is no higher praise I can give you than that. Nailed it.

And for anybody who wants to know what CFSB 2.0 looks like, that was pretty much it right there. All the essential concepts were there and illustrated very well.

Great work, wish I could have been there to see it.


wrote …



wrote …

Awesome video. The 3,5,7 rep scheme is brilliant. As a former powerlifter I have always trained with percentages taken off of 3,5 and 8 rep maxes and have never considered 1 rep maxes to be a training tool. It is nice to see someone in crossfit advocating the same idea. Of course your idea of using the three maxes depending on the teens performance at the moment is just fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

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