Fun, quality of movement and the prescription—those are the three elemental pillars part and parcel to the CrossFit Kids program.
“It is imperative that you pair fitness with fun—has to happen,” Todd Widman says during a CrossFit Kids Trainer Course at CrossFit New England. “If they do not have fun, you have ruined them for life.”
Just remember that fun changes as preschoolers become preteens and then teenagers.
Quality of movement is also paramount.
“We’re training children how to move so that we can embed these movement patterns for life,” he explains.
Children primarily become stronger by building muscle-to-brain connections. Thus, it’s essential for coaches to place emphasis on good movements—not the amount of weight children are moving, Widman says.
Finally, the CrossFit Kids prescription is similar to that of the adult program: constantly varied functional movement executed at high intensity. But Widman says the timeline is different. For children, years should be spent on mechanics and consistency before moving to intensity.
“For children, do less better,” he says. “We’re not trying to load them up. We’re not trying to get them to go fast and hard. We’re trying to get them to move better for years.”
Video by Again Faster.
Additional reading: Throwing Down the Gauntlet by Hilary Achauer, published Nov. 19, 2011.