Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 113

TRAINER COURSE

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc. All content herein is Copyright CrossFit, Inc. No content, in part or in whole, may be reproduced without prior written consent from CrossFit, Inc.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS2 I. INTRODUCTION5 II. CrossFit Kids SCIENCE15 III. CrossFit Kids MOVEMENTS31 SQUAT32 FRONT SQUAT34 OVERHEAD SQUAT35 PRESS36 THRUSTER38 PUSH PRESS40 PUSH JERK42 DEADLIFT44 SUMO DEADLIFT HIGH PULL46 HANG POWER CLEAN48 IV. HOW TO TEACH KIDS53 CrossFit Preschool Class Structure59 CrossFit Kids Class Structure60 CrossFit Teens Class Structure61 CrossFit Teens Weightlifting Class Structure62 V. CrossFit Kids GAMES69 VI. KID SAFETY79 VII. PROTECTING CrossFit Kids FROM PREDATION87 VIII. NUTRITION95 IX. CrossFit Kids BUSINESS ESSENTIAL RESOURCES 103

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I. INTRODUCTION

NOTES

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I. INTRODUCTION
CrossFit Kids is not merely a scaled down version of CrossFit. It is entirely and absolutely CrossFit, geared and designed for a special population and the specific developmental needs of that population. Mikki Lee Martin, CrossFit Kids Co-Founder

Program Description
CrossFit Kids combines gymnastics, body-weight calisthenics, and weightlifting elements to develop capacity across Jim Cawley and Bruce Evans 10 General Physical Skills, with additional focus on elements that encourage bone density and vestibular system development. Children and Teens have a great opportunity to maximize their physical skills when exposed to this stimulus during years of peak development, and the elements are combined to keep children engaged and entertained, while teaching them proper movement mechanics and creating a broad athletic foundation. For CrossFit Kids it is imperative to pair fitness and fun, thus creating a lifelong love of health and fitness for our children.

5
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Excerpts from CrossFit Kids 101


By: Cyndi Rodi and Mikki Lee Martin, CrossFit Kids Magazine, April-December 2007 & January-October 2008 Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance in CrossFit Kids CrossFit recognizes 10 general physical skills that can collectively be used to assess the functionality of any fitness regimen. These 10 general physical skills, as enumerated by Jim Cawley and Bruce Evans of Dynamax and adapted by CrossFit, incorporate every aspect of athletic activity, as well as each of the human energy pathways. A comprehensive fitness program addresses each of these skills and can be deemed successful only to the degree which it offers improvement, while individuals are considered fit in equal measure to their competency in each of these skills. Coach Greg Glassman, the creator of CrossFit, gives us the bottom line regarding the 10 general physical skills: Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance: youre only as good as your weakest link. Coach recognized early on that the conventional definition of fitness was severely lacking. After much observation and shock at how specialized athletes are held up as prime examples of fitness, a more comprehensive approach seemed necessary. In real life (e.g. nature, sport and work) the demand for the elements of physical fitness are never separated. Segmented training leads to segmented capacity. Greg Glassman Therefore a functional fitness program, one which prepares the individual for the rigors of daily life, must collectively enhance each of these areas of fitness. CrossFit was Coach Glassmans solution to that problem. The first two of the 10 general physical skills, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance and stamina, determine the bodys ability to gather, process, deliver, store and utilize oxygen. When cardiovascular endurance is enhanced, the athlete is more efficient in using these energy systems and an avenue for recovery (is provided) (Sefcik). Measurable changes in the bodys ability to successfully perform these processes are achieved through consistent training that incorporates a wide variety of high-intensity workouts. This goes beyond the obvious exercise choices like running and rowing. Repetitive, physically taxing movements performed at a rapid pace create the metabolic reactions necessary to markedly improve these systems. Increased cardiovascular/respiratory endurance and stamina manifest themselves in the ability to maintain elevated levels of activity for increasingly longer periods of time, as well as a more rapid return to pre-exercise breathing and heart rates following exertion. The CrossFit Kids program, modeled after the CrossFit program, uses the template of randomized, functional exercises performed at high intensity. Adjustments are made to accommodate the specific needs and requirements of children

and teens. Workouts consist of exercises containing elements drawn from the above-enumerated physical skills, while special attention is paid to utilizing progressions for difficult or compound movements, and progressive loading dictated by size, age and consistency in form. Using the above template, CrossFit Kids often perform workouts with a time component, moving quickly from one exercise to the next, thereby creating the intensity necessary to achieve these goals. Highly vigorous exercises like box jumps, tuck jumps, jump rope, sprints, etc. create aerobic and metabolic changes that increase cardiovascular/respiratory endurance and stamina. This positively impacts the bodys capacity for exercise and lays the foundation for the remaining general physical skills. Coordination in CrossFit Kids Coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance are four general physical skills that are improved through practice, which results in changes in the nervous system. The benefit of training in these areas is an increased ability to control ones body. Muscle memory, achieved through repetition of movement, is a predominant feature of this type of training, as the demands for increased neuromuscular control contribute to positive adaptations. Quite simply, the more you stimulate your nervous system, the better your brain is able to communicate with your musculoskeletal system (Gaines). This improved communication provides for marked improvements in each of these areas. There is no age at which these skills are superfluous. CrossFit Kids seeks to develop body control early in life, thereby preparing our children for the challenges they will face in sport, play, and (eventually) work. The first of these, coordination, refers to the ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement (Glassman). The practical applications of this are infinite. From the cradle to the grave, daily life is filled with tasks that require the consolidation of a series of physical movements into a singular action. We often speak in terms of our children being gifted with coordination (or not). In spite of popular opinion, we have found coordination can be trained into an individual. We take every opportunity to improve coordination levels and increase confidence in even our most awkward children. The gains we have seen made by our CrossFit Kids are phenomenal. Repetition is our greatest ally in enhancing coordination. For example, a lift move, performed in X-number of reps for X-number of sets, naturally begins to develop a competence for that move. Regular practice at handstands trains the body to recognize and apply the force and muscle activation required to invert oneself and remain in place. The same can be said for an unlimited number of physical demands that become easier to perform with repetition. The bodys capacity to adopt most any movement as second nature inherently increases coordination.

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

One invaluable tool in the quest for improved coordination is gymnastics training. Here we encounter any number of movements that test an individuals capacity to multi-task on a physical level. Take, for example, the push-up. At once, a child is required to properly place and balance on the hands, tighten the abdominal muscles, avoid a sag or lift of the rear end in order to maintain a solid plank position, bend at the elbows, lower the body, avoid falling to the floor, and then fluidly push back into the up position. One push-up, multiple considerations, and an eventual marked increase in coordination. These most basic movements go a long way toward improvement and create a learning base for the more complex gymnastics skills that require and develop increasingly greater levels of coordination. Flexibility in CrossFit Kids Flexibility is the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint (Glassman). It is achieved through training that, once again, results in measurable changes in the body. To improve flexibility means to increase range of motion, as well as increasing bone, ligament and joint stability (Sefcik). Flexibility is an oft-overlooked aspect of physical fitness. However, a lack thereof can hinder performance in every other general physical skill. CrossFit stresses flexibility both in relation to multiple modalities and in terms of overall fitness. A comprehensive CrossFit Kids program addresses flexibility training in each and every workout. In most cases the application will be a product of the movement; i.e., elbows up in a thruster or hips back in a squat. Other times we emphasize a specific area of flexibility; i.e., active stretching and mobility work (with our Teens) or various gymnastics movements (for all ages). Jumps to support on the rings, tuck sits, L-sits, progressions from parallettes, headstands, handstands, muscle-ups, bear crawls, crab and seal walks are all incorporated to improve flexibility. Flexibility, as much as any general physical skill, is an ongoing process rather than a static point of achievement. Consistent training offers marked improvement that is continuously countered by aging joints. We are helping our kids embark on a path that will allow them to bend and stretch beyond the years of those freakishly flexible joints of childhood (watch the contortions your kids achieve while watching TV). Strength in CrossFit Kids Strength is another general physical skill that results in measurable changes in the body that are brought about by training. Strength can be defined as the ability of a muscular unit or combination of muscular units to apply force (Glassman). Strength does not take into account the speed at which a task is performed. It is a measure of the ability of an individual to move a weight irrespective of the time it takes to move it (Rippetoe/ Kilgore). Gains in strength indicate the body has increased its ability to apply force.

CrossFit Kids participate in training that provides a means to foster these adaptations. The lift movements such as shoulder presses, deadlifts, and thrusters frequently make their way into workouts. Medicine balls and D-balls are thrown and pushed in exercises such as wall-ball, slam-ball and throws for height and distance. Benchmark workouts like Lil Diane utilize a couplet of deadlifts and handstand push-ups in which increasing weights and decreasing times are indicators of gains in strength. These movements build strength by exposing the body to stressors that enhance its capacity to handle such loads. Mindful of the need to maintain attention and focus with children, we incorporate fun, game-like elements while maintaining the stimulus. Additionally, the need to make careful use of progressive loading according to skill and capacity when working with children is of primary concern. The importance of strength training cannot be overestimated, as it is foundational to the development of all the motor skills. Strength training not only increases the ability to apply force, a pivotal aspect of power, but it also improves endurance by prolonging the amount of time it takes for muscles to fatigue. These neuromuscular changes affect every aspect of life, from the way one looks and feels to fitness training and involvement in specialized sports (Rippetoe/Kilgore). For the young athlete focused on strength gains, optimal sports conditioning can be best accomplished through a carefully crafted CrossFit program. Agility in CrossFit Kids Agility refers to the ability to quickly transition from one movement pattern to another (Glassman). This is what we often recognize in athletes as quickness and ease of movement. For example, a soccer player dribbling the ball down the field must utilize his body to carry out multiple movements and directional changes at a moments notice. An accomplished soccer player is nimble, displaying the ability to quickly and precisely change the bodys direction. We might say, He can turn on a dime. Agility, like the other general physical skills, does not stand alone. It requires balance, coordination, reflexes, speed and strength (Wikipedia) and is improved through consistent practice that brings about changes to the nervous system. Agility training has at its core those movements that require the individual to repeatedly practice and improve the ability to effectively change velocity and direction. Displays of agility are not isolated to the sporting field. For most of us the need to transition is more necessary to daily life. Dodging a moving object such as a teenager on a skateboard, spying and avoiding a stray glob of chewed gum on the ground, and running through a crowded airport all require agility.

7
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

CrossFit Kids become more agile by practicing movements that force repeated changes in direction and fast reaction times. The most obvious of these is the use of an agility ladder. Hopping forward on one foot or two between rungs and high-stepping or side-stepping down the ladder all improve agility. Hopscotch is a great way to challenge the agility of a child. Obstacle courses that require directional changes and weaving in and out are effective training tools. Olympic lifts highlight agility by improving ones ability to shift seamlessly from one movement pattern to another. For example, the snatch requires the athlete to begin with an upward jump then immediately reverse directions to drop under the bar. Here are a few games we use to improve agility: Shuttle Run: Set up the drill by placing markers (i.e., draw lines, place cones, mark with tape) at increasing distances from a finish line, approximately 5 yards apart. Line the kids up sideby-side at the finish line. When you say go the kids sprint to the first marker, touch the ground, explosively turn around and sprint back to the finish line. Immediately, they explosively turn and sprint to the second marker, touch the ground, turn around and sprint back to the finish line. This continues until they have traveled back and forth between all the markers. We usually have the kids hit 3 or 4 target points. It is important that transitions from forward to back are made quickly. The faster the kids are changing directions, the better. You can even turn this into a race, but pay close attention. Some kids will have an inclination to skip bending down and touching the target point in the interest of winning the race. A reminder that it is mandatory to touch the marker line may be helpful. Snake Drill: Line the kids up side-by-side, spacing them a sufficient distance apart so they will be able to run between one another. On go, the first person at the left of the line turns and begins to run in an S pattern (like a slalom) between the other kids until she reaches the end of the line. Quickly shift all the kids to the left, being careful to maintain the space between them. (This may require a few practice runs to allow the kids to figure out how far to shift each time.) The person who is now at the beginning of the line begins to snake through the line. Once she reaches the end, the entire line shifts left again. Continue until everyone has snaked through the line. Variation: Use a medicine ball to increase the difficulty of the drill. Have the kids hold a medicine ball as they snake through the line. In this drill, each child travels to the end of the line and back. He passes the ball to the next person in line, then runs back to the end of the line as the entire group does the shift to the left. Then the next child in line begins to snake down the line and back. Continue until everyone has snaked back and forth through the line.

Balance in CrossFit Kids Balance is another of the general physical skills developed through practice, which leads to changes in the nervous system. Balance describes the ability to control the placement of the bodys center of gravity in relation to its support (Glassman). Balance is a physiological mechanism that is regulated by the vestibular system within the ear. Anyone who has had an innerear infection can attest to the necessity of balance. Navigating life with a compromised equilibrium is an uncomfortable and even dangerous endeavor. There is no movement without balance, other than that which leads to a face firmly planted on the floor. This is even more pronounced when we begin to add the complex movements of exercise and sport to our routines. By improving balance in the most strenuous of situations, we render the average movement as safe as sedentary pursuits. CrossFit Kids workouts address the development of balance in a number of ways. One primary contribution is the CrossFit commitment to midline stabilization. This is in contrast to the faddish isolation core work being promoted in gyms and magazines across America. Midline stabilization refers to the ability of the torso to function from a position of stability and strength without compromising correct posture, form or function. Stabilization requires the collective and cooperative functioning of the entire torso including, but not limited to, the abdominals. The key to midline stabilization is understanding how to use your muscles and connective tissue to hold your spine, hips and head in line irrespective of your body orientation, standing, squatting, pulling or pushing (Okumu). Midline stabilization is paramount to achieving stability and fluidity in movement and an increased ability to maintain good posture. This is a necessity in daily life and of immeasurable value in the face of increased physical challenges. Balance is also improved through an emphasis on appropriate form, which creates the need for kids to properly place their bodies in order to achieve the best movement. In a nutshell, if a child does not have a good center of gravity, form will inevitably break down as the child loses balance. We often see this as rocking to and fro, traveling hands attempting to regain center, and heels leaving the ground. Because all movement requires balance, every aspect of a CrossFit workout addresses this issue. Squats, box jumps, wall-balls, handstands, broad jumps, running--the need for balance in each of these is readily apparent. Unique activities that have allowed our kids to practice and improve balance include walking across a low beam, work on the climbing wall and even slacklining.

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Balance training, like coordination, frequently relies on gymnastics movements. Once again drawing on the push-up example, a child who lacks balance will struggle with the plank position. He may drop to the knees or move the butt up or down in an attempt to achieve the center of gravity necessary to remain on his hands and toes. Additionally, we may see the same child fall to the floor at the bottom position, not from a lack of strength, but due to the inability to maintain balance. A similar example would be the handstand push-up. From foundation (placement of the hands on the ground) to apex (a successful return to the top position), handstand push-ups require constant monitoring and appropriate adjustments regarding ones position in space. Olympic and power lifts rely heavily on balance while, at the same time, facilitating substantial gains in its acquisition. While a failed lift may occur for a myriad of reasons, lack of balance is always a primary suspect. Stepping forward or back, shifting the center of mass by leaning or arching, and letting the bar drift are examples of ways in which a lifter may compensate for lack of balance. Form and midline stabilization are paramount in lifting, not only in order to successfully complete the lift but also as necessities to safety. Speed in CrossFit Kids Speed can be defined as the rate at which a person or object moves. It is the distance an object travels divided by the time it takes to travel that distance. As a function of the 10 general physical skills, speed is the ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement (Glassman). Conventional wisdom tells us that each of us is born with a genetic potential for speed. Natural ability for speed is governed by inherited muscular makeup. To be a world-class sprinter, one must be born a world-class sprinter. However, this does not preclude the development of speed. Increases in speed are possible through neurological and muscular changes. Each of us is born with a specific makeup of three types of skeletal muscle fiber. The percentage present of each type of fiber is as unique as the individual. Slow-twitch fibers (Type I) utilize oxygen (aerobic) to produce energy and fuel activity. They fire slowly and, so, fatigue at a slower rate. This is useful for prolonged physical endeavors. In sport, a marathoner or a long-distance swimmer would benefit from slow-twitch fibers. Fast-twitch fibers are able to metabolize fuel anaerobically, allow for short bursts of energy, and fatigue more quickly. There are two types of fast-twitch muscles. Type IIa muscle fibers, also known as intermediate fast-twitch fibers, use both anaerobic and aerobic metabolism. Type IIa muscle fibers are important because they can take on the properties of both slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibers and therefore can accommodate a

wide array of activities. Type IIb muscle fibers use anaerobic metabolism exclusively, have the highest rate of contraction and fatigue within a few seconds. Type IIb fast-twitch muscle fibers are able to produce the most speed and are beneficial during such events as a sprint or a one-rep-max effort in weightlifting. The ability to produce a speedy movement is directly related to the number of fast-twitch muscles in the skeletal system. Numerous scientists have demonstrated that the phenotype of mammalian skeletal muscle can be altered. From rats to cats and ultimately humans, laboratories across the world have investigated and proven that muscle fiber types can be changed. This means the capacity for speed can be altered by increasing those muscle fiber types (fast twitch) that are responsible for high-velocity movements; e.g., those that allow us to minimize time cycles. These changes are brought about through training and practice. Significantly, endurance training and high-energy intermittent training have been shown to decrease Type IIb fibers. We really didnt need a scientist to point this out. Look at a successful marathon runner and youll likely see a gaunt individual with no body fat and very little muscle--not the picture of health. The cost of regular extended aerobic training is decreased speed, power, and strength (Glassman). CrossFit avoids the pitfalls of a specialized program by constantly varying the stimuli, hitting every aspect of fitness. Aerobic/anaerobic, fast twitch/slow twitch--you name it, its there. Through consistent and diverse training, muscles can develop and change while adapting to handle the stress of exercise. Speed offers an important illustration of CrossFit efficiency and efficacy in its correlation with the other general physical skills, an interdependence that cannot be ignored. Increased speed is only possible through adequate development of the other skills. At the same time, excellence in the other skills often depends upon increases in speed. Without proper neuromuscular development and sufficiently improved heart and lung capacities, speed cannot increase. By the same token, speed plays an integral role in almost every athletic endeavor. By training each of the general physical skills, we enhance our ability to perform in any given area. Olympic and power lifters further demonstrate the crossover of the general physical skills. Here again, we see that no one aspect of training will foster success. For many, weightlifting brings to mind images of muscle-bound men in singlets pushing up ridiculous amounts of weight. In reality, it is not solely the size of the muscle that matters. It is the type of muscle available for use coupled with the athletes ability to move the weight with speed. The capacity to lift weight is rooted in power, a combination of strength and speed. No lifter worth his salt will neglect speed training.

9
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Rare is the activity in daily life or sport that requires we move in only one direction at a fixed rate of speed or interval of time. Gains in speed, or any health or fitness goal for that matter, require a broad spectrum of applications. It is the interplay of the general physical skills that allows CrossFit to consistently pump out finely tuned, high-performance professionals, homemakers, and student athletes. Power in CrossFit Kids Power is one of two general physical skills that have equal requirements for both training and practice. Power is defined as the ability of a muscular unit or combination of muscular units to apply maximum force in minimum time (Glassman). Power can be quantified using the equation: Force x Distance Time. Work = Force x Distance. It is the inclusion of the metric time that gives us power. A standard pull-up and a kipping pull-up involve the same amount of work; however, the kipping pull-up takes less time, and thus more power is produced. The smaller the unit of time (faster speeds), the greater the quotient. That is, as time goes down, power goes up (Glassman). We can then conclude that increased speed leads to greater power regardless of the load. By the same token, increased force provides for a greater dividend and naturally to an increased quotient, which means that gains in strength (the ability to apply force) should lead to improvements in power. Still, the most effective function of power combines strength and speed. Practically speaking, How much can you move, and how fast can you move it? (Rippetoe & Kilgore). Developing power requires the application of vertical and horizontal movements wherein each individual repetition will overcome resistances by a high speed of contraction (Sefcik). Some of the most effective tools in the development of power are Olympic lifts: the clean and jerk and the snatch. Here we find that simply pulling the weight is not enough. Successful completion of these movements demands that strength be coupled with bar speed, allowing the individual to move under the bar rather than muscling the weight into position. Lack of speed causes the movement of the bar to stop short of overhead, leading to a failed lift. Likewise, no amount of speed can compensate for an inability to handle heavy loads; e.g., if its too heavy, moving it faster wont likely get the bar overhead. Combined strength and speed, acquired through repeated exposure to the lifts, is mandatory for successful Olympic lifting. This is far more effective than the standard gym routinesay, a biceps curl--because it increases the distance the weight is moved, the speed at which it is moved and how much weight can be moved.

Functional movements (pretty much everything we do in CrossFit Kids) are unique in their ability to express power, from box jumps, in which body weight is being explosively moved, to thrusters, which become laborious, nigh impossible, without sufficient bar speed. As noted above, compare standard and kipping pull-ups. If an individual completes a set of standard pull-ups followed by the same number of kipping pull-ups, the load and distance moved would be identical. However, kipping pull-ups generate more power due to the amount of time it takes to complete them (remember as time goes down, power goes up). This means the kipping pull-ups place a greater physical demand on the individual and, as such, are more effective. Strength is important. Speed is essential. But power is the metric that we seek. We want our kids to move bigger loads longer distances FASTER! In the quest for fitness, power trumps all. Defining Functional Fitness The majority of humans in developed countries do not physically operate at the level at which we were intended. Created to be hunters and gatherers, we are now largely a population of chair-bound, sedentary individuals. Technology and modern conveniences have caused our activity to drop to alarmingly low levels, while our health has declined at a proportional rate. Though physically less taxing, the quality of our lives is suffering greatly. What can we do to counter the ill effects of our cushy lifestyles? For most of us, a return to hunting and gathering is not an option. Not many people possess the land necessary to reap and harvest their own foods or raise their own poultry and cattle. Very few geographical locations continue to sustain wild herds that are ripe for the hunting. But lets face it: how many of us would really want to go back to the hunting and gathering stage? We are completely reliant on our modern system of shipping and shopping to meet our needs. Unfortunately, driving to the grocery store and pushing a cart down the aisle do not constitute exercise and, as such, will not improve our fitness levels or our lives in general. The only way we can take back our health from this monster of degeneration is to plan and execute physically functional movements that will return us to our pre-modern-society state of health. So how do we accomplish that? If we look closely, we will discover our daily lives still demand that we move and function in ways that are similar to those required of our hunting, gathering predecessors. The only way we will be able to successfully perform such movements past our childhood years is to train and strengthen our bodies in ways that mimic those early human activities and prepare us to effectively meet the challenges of daily life. Our goal, then, is functional fitness, which means we must engage in functional exercise. So what is functional exercise?

10

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Functional exercise replicates functional movement; that is, those movements we use to get things done in our daily lives. Standing from a seated position, placing things overhead, pulling ourselves up, throwing, running, picking things up--these are all functional movements. A functional fitness regimen, then, would be one that utilizes functional exercises to address and enhance our ability to successfully complete these types of everyday tasks. Functional exercise allows our bodies to perform the way in which they were engineered. Squats, push-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts, box jumps, broad jumps, running--these are but a few of the tools in the CrossFit arsenal. Pared-down gyms equipped with boxes and weights, D-balls and medicine balls, ropes and monkey bars are the fertile grounds from which functional fitness is born. Our goal at CrossFit Kids is to educate children and teens about functional fitness and inspire them to pursue it. We believe these will be the foundational experiences our children require to embark on lifelong journeys of wellness that will enable them to effectively perform simple yet necessary tasks well into their adult years. Our dream is to foster a generation of healthy, fit individuals who require limited assistance and enjoy freedom of movement and activity throughout their lifespans. To that end, we design each of our workouts with the varied modalities that will increase fitness levels across a broad spectrum of performance and health considerations. Always functional, never boring, CrossFit Kids resolves the issues of our sedentary, noxious lifestyles. Working the body according to the way it was designed, we are training a generation to take responsibility for their health via the path of least resistance.

Group Health, Inc., WebMD. What is Obesity?; www.ghihmo. com/yourhealth/encyclopedia/articles/obesity_basics. Hongo, K. and M. Siegel. Tobacco Control , 2003; 289-295. Levin, Madeleine, MPH and Diane Zuckerman, PhD. National Research Center for Women & Families, www.center4research. org. Smoking Is A Womens Health Issue, May, 2004. Maitre, Marie. www.tobacco.org/articles/categories/fashion. Westwood criticizes spoilt fashion world in show. Mayo clinic. www.mayoclinic.com/health/amenorrhea/DS00581. Amenorrhea. National Heart Blood and Lung Association. www.nhlbi.nih.gov/ health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/risk. Aim for a healthy weight. National Womens Health Resource Center. www.healthywomen.org/take10/october2004/october. Healthy Women Take 10, October, 2004. Oregon Health & Science University. www.ohsu.edu/landing/ goldberg. OHSU, Sports Illustrated Partner to Prevent Steroid, Drug Use Among Teen Athletes, 2006. Potter, Alicia. www.infoplease.com. Mirror Image. Quinn, Elizabeth. About: Sports Medi-cine. www.sportsmedicine. about.com/cs/body_comp/a/aa090200a. Body Composition vs. Body Fat. Sharkey, Brian J., Dr. Fitness and Health, 4th ed. Champaign, Ill: Human Kenetics, 1997.; Tomeo, Catherine A., et. al. Pediatrics, vol 104 No. 4, October 1999, pp 918- 924. United States Naval Academy. www.usna.edu/MDC/Clinical/eating%20disorders/statistics. Eating Disorders: Statistics, 2002.; Weaver, Jane. msnbc.msn.com/id/7348758, Steroid addiction a risk for young athletes, April, 2005.

Sources
American Academy of Pediatrics. pediatrics.aappublications.org. Youth Tobacco Use: A Global Perspective for Child Health Care Clinicians, Vol.118 No. 3, Sept. 2003, pgs. 890-903. American Health and Fitness Foundation. www.alpha.montclair. edu/~junius/hrpf/sld008. Fit Youth Today Program, The, 1986.; Austin, Dr. Bryan S. and Dr. Stephen L. Gortmaker. American Journal of Public Health , 2001; 91:446-450. Bartell, Susan S., Dr. Moms of Teenage Girls! Help Your Daughter Create a Healthy Body Image: Body Image Basics, 2000.; Center for Disease Control. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/ mmwrhtml/ss5302a1.htm. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance--United States, 2003. Day, Michael. Cincinnati.com. www.enquirer.com/editions/2002/05/15/tem_afat_vs_fit_-_weight.html. Fat vs. Fit The Weight Debate, 2002. Fitness Club. www.pwp.value.net/~fitness/walknews. Body Builders Burn Slightly More Calories Walking. Gregor, Steven. www.psychology.au/publiciations/inpsych/12.2_65. The man behind the mask: male body image dissatisfaction, June 2004.

11
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Suggested Expectations for Parental Support


Kids may attend CrossFit Kids as often as they can and want. If children have a sport practice schedule, ensure you evaluate their schedule. We have coached many kids who lettered in multiple sports while also attending CrossFit Kids classes. We recommend CrossFit Kids be maintained even during sport season; just be sure to discuss programming with parents to avoid overtraining. Have parents bring or purchase water so children can stay well hydrated during CrossFit Kids class. Also ensure they provide appropriate athletic clothing (and, if applicable, layered clothing for changes in temperature) and athletic shoes (flat, Conversestyle are preferred). Shoes must be tied, and jewelry, belts, etc. should be minimal. Speak with parents to discuss how, as a CrossFit Kids trainer, you may best provide care for their child; it is especially important to know if there are any special needs or medications for a child, and changes in health status should be discussed as they occur. Incremental matriculation from CrossFit Kids Preschool to main-page CrossFit Trainers will determine when children are ready to move from one program to the next. This will differ for each child; the age recommendations for each program are simply a guideline. When a child is ready to move on to the next class, and the trainer deems the child mentally, physically, and emotionally ready, the trainer will advise the parents, and the child may then attend the new class. There are three primary elements that are evaluated in the child to make a step from one class to another: maturity, safety, and ability (in some cases physical size can be a factor). Many children excel in one area but not in another; movement to the next class is at the trainers discretion. The goal is to take children from Preschool (ages 3-5) to Kids (ages 5-12) to Teens (ages 12-18) on to main-page CrossFit. Suggested ages aside, know moving from one class to another is based primarily upon ability to fit within the class, not the age of the child.

Suggested Reading/Viewing
1. Jeff Martin. 2008. CrossFit Kids Introductory Lecture, CFJ. September. Link: journal.crossfit.com/2008/09/crossfit-kidsintroductory-lecture.tpl Jeff Martin and Cyndi Rodi. 2008. The Inherent Responsibilities of Training Children and Teens. CFJ. July. Ken Robinson. 2009. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. Ken Robinson. 2011. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative. Stuart Brown. Why Play is Vital Link: www.youtube.comwatch?v=HHwXlcHcTHc Tom Myslinski. The Development of the Russian Conjugate Sequence System Link: www.elitefts.com/documents/tommyslinski.pdf www.strongkid.com Yuri Verkhoshansky & Mel Siff. 2009. Supertraining. l

2.

3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

12

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

II. CROSSFIT KIDS SCIENCE


13
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

14

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

II. CrossFit Kids SCIENCE Why Work Out? Exercise And The Brain Function
By: Cyndi Rodi, CrossFit Kids Magazine, May 2006 We have been told consistent exercise is a necessary component of a long and healthy life. Yet, Americans are becoming less active with every passing year. This is never more evident than in our children and teens. The American Heart Association reports the average child spends four to six hours per day on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games. Clearly, the promise of longevity is not enough to get our children moving. But what if we could promise them success? Research indicates that exercise can enhance scholastic performance. The Journal of Exercise Physiology looked at nearly 900,000 middle-school-aged children to investigate the link between physical fitness and performance on a standardized achievement test. Six fitness goals were assessed along with math and reading. Overall fitness scores and mean achievement scores rose in conjunction with one another. The more fit the child, the higher the test scores. This suggests a positive correlation between overall fitness and academic achievement. In 2005, New Scientist reported that walking three times a week for as little as half an hour improves learning, concentration and abstract reasoning by 15 percent. The same article cites a U.K, study in which 10- and 11-year-olds who exercised three to four times a week achieved higher than average grades on their exams. Scholastic achievement is directly linked to higher functioning levels in the brain. Acta Psychologica (2003) compiled and analyzed statistics from dozens of studies on the short-term effects of exercise on cognition. Their findings offer compelling evidence that exercise can facilitate cognitive functioning. Benefits of exercise reported include the following: brain changes associated with better performance on an attention-taxing task; improved abstract reasoning in the higher mental processes of memory and executive functions involving planning and organization; and the ability to multi-task more effectively. Scientists can only speculate regarding this causal relationship. What is certain is that exercise increases cerebral blood flow, thereby delivering nutrients and oxygen to brain cells at a higher rate, a coup in terms of the physiology of the brain. Furthermore, this increased blood flow can cause cerebral blood vessels to grow larger, creating a healthier, more efficient brain. Perhaps more importantly, exercise aids in the generation and retention of nerve cells and neural pathways. Exercise positively affects the delivery of chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, to the brain. Neurotransmitters largely aid brain function by countering the negative effects of cognitive-suppressing conditions such as anxiety and depression. This is likely where the practice of taking a walk to clear ones head derived, as the physical nature of the walking actually reduces stress, thereby improving cognition. This exercise-induced delivery of neurotransmitters to the brain also provides the essential component of what is called the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which one University of Irvine neuroscientist has termed a brain fertilizer. BDNF boosts the overall performance of the brain. It has also been reported that an increase in neurotransmitters helps lock in memories when they form, which may aid in the eventual recall of facts. This heightened brain function can facilitate scholastic achievement. Just how much exercise is required to experience positive brain changes? Scientists have yet to place a value on the exercise needed to achieve cognitive benefits. However, research suggests the real advantages of exercise come from a commitment to regular activity, with the greatest benefits to the brain resulting from planned periods of aerobic exercise. A dose relationship exists, in that, increased amounts of exercise lead to heightened brain enhancements. This underscores the need for our children to be not only active on a daily basis but also to incorporate sessions of vigorous activity routinely. The ultimate responsibility for the health of children and teens falls squarely on the shoulders of parents. In an article titled Top Ten Ways to Help Children Develop Healthy Habits, the American Heart Association suggests methods for encouraging healthful, lifelong behaviors among our children, with parents as positive role models and family activities being listed as the primary means to this end. Experts warn that parents should not rely solely on school-based physical-education programs or involvement in team sports to fulfill their childrens exercise needs. Instead, children and teens should be taught the value of planned exercise sessions. This will allow for the formation of habits that will continue to benefit them long after P.E. and team sports have lost their interest. Thomas Jefferson wrote, A strong body makes the mind strong. His concurrent recommendation of two hours of exercise per day may have been extreme, but his concept is clearly supported by modern science. Brain function is positively impacted by exercise. Although we may not be able to guarantee our children success, we can certainly help them gain a cognitive edge by encouraging them and modeling for them the practice of regular exercise.

15
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Sources
Alzheimers Association. srchalz.org. Physical Exercise Pumps Up Your Brain, Too, April, 2006. Bower, Bruce. www.sciencenews.org. Neural Again Walks Tall, February 21, 2004. Douglas, Kate, et. al. www.newscientist.com. 11 Steps to a Better Brain, May 28, 2005. Elias, Marilyn. www.usatoday.com. Want a Sharp Mind for the Golden Years?, August 17, 2005. The Franklin Institute. www.fi.edu. The Human Brain-Exercise, March 28, 2006. Gavin, Mary L., M.D. www.kidshealth.org. Exercise, February, 2005. King, Delores, Boston Globe staff. www.edupr.com. Exercise Seen Boosting Childrens Brain Function, November 9, 1999. Lowenstein, Marisa, Health Magazine. www.lime.com. Working Out for Body and Brain, March 3, 2006. Real, Royane. How You Can Be Smarter, excerpt taken from www.smartwalks.com. www.americanheart.org Top Ten Ways to Help Children Develop Healthy Habits, April 9, 2006. www.NextGenerationFitnessUSA.com. www.wikepedia.org. Zadmin, S. www.schizophrenia.com Exercise Boosts Brain Function, September 1, 2005. l

16

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Will Crossfit Make Amercian Kids Smarter?


By: Lisa Bakshi, CFJ, Jan. 26, 2009 Fact 1: America is falling behind the rest of the world in the classroom. A 2003 study conducted by UNICEF ranked the U.S. 18th out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of its educational system. Only 20 years ago, we ranked No 1. Fact 2: To remedy the situation, classroom time devoted to math and language artsand to rigorous testing of these subjects has increased, and the time has mostly come out of exercise. A study (Dollman, Boshoff & Dodd, 2006) found that daily P.E. exists nationwide at only 8 percent of elementary schools, 6.4 percent of middle schools and 5.8 percent of high schools. It found that some educational leaders see time spent on regular P.E. as disadvantaging children in regard to core academic areas, and that Illinois is the only state that mandates P.E. every day for every student, although 25 percent of its school districts have been allowed to relax the P.E. requirement. Fact 3: The U.S. is experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of childhood obesity, which has increased 35 percent in the past 10 years. Todays students now run the risk of becoming the first generation of Americans to have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents, due to obesity-related heart disease and diabetes (Olshansky, Passaro, & Hershow, 2005). Carrying excess weight for years can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and premature death. We are also now witnessing, for the first time, a substantial number of children with Type 2 diabetes, a condition that normally develops in adults. Question: Is there a casual relationship between these three facts? Could it be that the alarming declines in student health and academic performance are both due to the lack of physical education? And, on the flip side, could restoring physical education to schools help restore Americas standing in the classroom? Answer: Yes. A number of studies have documented the link between childrens activity level and academic performance. These studies support one another in suggesting that when a substantial amount of school time is dedicated to physical activity, academic performance meets, and may even exceed, that of students not receiving additional physical activity (Shepard, 1997).

The relatively recent field of neuroscience also provides researchers with a great deal of insight into the physiological impact that exercise has on the brain. Human and animal studies show areas involved in movement and learning are intimately connected, and physical activity could increase those neural connections (Jensen, 1998; Shepard, 1997). Learning complex movement sequences stimulates the prefrontal cortex used in learning. Animal studies indicate that exercising rats have more neural connections, nourished by more capillaries, than sedentary rats (Jensen, 1998). Furthermore, researchers are now certain that voluntary exercise can increase levels of brainderived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), stimulate neurogenesis, increase resistance to brain insult, and improve learning and mental performance (Cotman & Berchtold, 2002). Additionally, physical activity might alter arousal through neurohormonal mechanisms, which could improve the childs attention in the classroom (Shepard, 1997). Despite the tremendous amount of research in this area, those in the field of nutrition and fitness are continuously trying to convince policy-makers that there is value in what they provide students. CrossFit as a Solution As a second-grade teacher, as well as a member of CrossFit SoCal, I firmly believe that those in the field of education have a social responsibility to encourage students to eat healthy and exercise. Providing children with more opportunities to exercise will help them fight obesity, grow up to be healthy adults and, quite possibly, perform better academically in school. That is precisely why I made the decision to conduct my masters research thesis on the impact that fitness might have on my class of 20 second-grade students. The purpose of my research was to determine whether or not an increase in cognitive function was observed in elementary-aged schoolchildren as a result of consistent rigorous physical activity. In preparing for my research, I concluded that the critical component was, in addition to exposing my students to exercise, keeping their heart rates elevated for an extended period of time. One of the major problems with most P.E. programs as they are implemented in our schools today is that students are failing to achieve this target heart rate. For this reason, I decided to implement the fitness program known as CrossFit Kids.

17
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Those familiar with CrossFit Kids know that it is a strength and conditioning program for many young athletes and the primary P.E. program for many home schools and charter schools. It is used by athletic teams, martial arts schools and many parents who want their kids to grow up healthy, strong, and with a lifelong love of working out, thus avoiding the common problems associated with childhood inactivity and obesity. The program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. By participating in this program, students were required to take part in different daily workouts that incorporated a variety of activities such as running, push-ups, pull-ups, box jumps, thrusters, squats, and much more, all with the goal of maintaining an elevated heart rate for an extended period of time (ideally more than 20 minutes). The CrossFit Kids program (www.crossfitkids.com) is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any child, regardless of experience. The treatment group in this study consisted of 20 secondgrade students from King Chavez Primary Academy (KCPA). KCPA is a three-year-old Charter school in the Stockton/Barrio Logan area of San Diego. The composition of the treatment group was 13 boys and 7 girls. Ninety percent of the participants in the treatment group were English Language Learners. Five percent of those same participants had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), meaning they fell under the umbrella of special education. All (100 percent) of the students were living below the poverty line. The variable in this research project was the implementation of the fitness program known as CrossFit Kids. Students participated in a variety of workouts for at least 30 minutes every day of the week, while other classes received 50 minutes of P.E. every six weeks. What did the results show? Recently released California state standardized test results showed that 100 percent of the students in the treatment group scored proficient or advanced in mathematics. This was an achievement that, to date, had never been accomplished in mathematics at that school. This score was up 15 percent from the previous year, in which 85 percent scored proficient or advanced in mathematics. In English language arts, 36 percent of the students scored proficient or advanced, a 12 percent rise from the previous year. This enormous increase in achievement in the core subjects was accomplished despite the fact that students were out of the classroom and away from direct instruction for 30 minutes a day in order to take part in the CrossFit Kids workout of the day.

The previously cited argument that participation in daily fitness classes takes away from academic performance was simply not observed in this research project. The fact that the treatment group was able to outperform every other group of students in the school in the area of mathematics may even provide indirect evidence of a causal relationship between exercise and cognition. Additionally, at the end of the program, students were given attitude surveys regarding their experience in the program, as well as their feelings towards exercising at school. These surveys demonstrated a strong desire for the program to continue and revealed how the students believed CrossFit Kids impacted not only their health, but their academics as well. In examining the results of the survey, I found that 65 percent of the participants reported that their favorite activity at school was physical education. About half (47 percent) of the participants reported that the main reason they exercised was because it made them feel healthier, while 47 percent said it made them feel smarter. No participants indicated that they exercised simply because they were made to do so. All (100 percent) of the participants said they would like to continue CrossFit Kids the following year, and 100 percent of the participants reported that they have changed the types of food they snack on as a result of participating in this project. It is my strong belief that these participants have not only increased their awareness of their own health, but that their overall confidence in themselves in both fitness and academics has changed as well. I observed the participants desire to push themselves harder and harder each week, both physically and mentally. Participants who were initially timid with some of the exercises were later participating with both confidence and ease and were eager to demonstrate their progress. I witnessed a change in their social interactions as well. The participants had a sense of teamwork that initiated in the fitness program but later extended into the academic setting of the classroom. They were supportive and encouraging of one another, and this led to a decrease in the aggressive behavior that was observed at the start of the school year. Overall, the program had a tremendously positive effect on the entire classroom dynamic. As an educator, I know that I have a responsibility to prepare my students for the 21st century in the areas of reading, writing, and math. But, when we as a society are faced with such a grave health epidemic in our nations youth, I believe educational institutions have a responsibility to teach lifelong lessons regarding health and wellness as well. I sincerely hope that my research and the research of others will inspire educators to take action on this critical issue.

18

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author Lisa Bakshi has been teaching second grade in San Diego after earning her masters at San Diego State University. She began training at CrossFit SoCal under the instruction of Krista and Ahmik Jones and implemented bits and pieces of CrossFit with her students immediately afterwards. She got her Level 1 CrossFit Certificate during her second year of teaching and wrote a grant to buy enough equipment to run a full CrossFit Kids program. She also began an after-school CrossFit Kids club for kids of all ages.

Sources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1997). Guidelines for school and community programs to promote lifelong physical activity among young people. Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, 46, 1-36. Cotman, C. W. & Berchtold, N .C. (2002). Exercise: A behavioral intervention to enhance brain health and plasticity. Trends in Neuroscience, 25, 295-30. Dollman, J., Boshoff, K. & Dodd, G. (2006). The relationship between curriculum time for physical education and literacy and numeracy standards in South Australian primary schools. European Physical Education Review.12, 151-163. Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Olshansky, Passaro & Hershow. (2005). A Potential decline in lifeexpectancy in the United States in the 21st Century. The New England Journal of Medicine, 352(11), 1138-1146. Shepard, R. J. (1997). Curricular physical activity and academic performance. Pediatric Exercise Science, 9, 113-126. l

19
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Excerpts From Vestibular System: What Is It? And Why Should We Care?
By: Cyndi Rodi, CrossFit Kids Magazine, September-October 2009 The Vestibular System in a Nutshell. The vestibular system is an extremely complex system located in the inner ear, where semicircular canals, hair cells, and otolithic organs collectively offer information to the brain regarding the bodys position in space. These structures are extremely sensitive to even the slightest changes in rotation and linear movement of the head, providing the feedback necessary for the brain to dictate adjustments that allow the body to maintain equilibrium, the state of being able to maintain bodily balance. This information is transmitted to the brain via the vestibular nerve, which specializes in the sense of balance and the transmission of space-orientation impulses. The Vestibular System, a Study in Diversity. The vestibular system is one of the pivotal mechanisms in the human body. We generally recognize it as a system of balance. However, its roles in the realms of visual function, posture and muscular control are of the utmost importance to activities of daily life, and its impact on our physiology rivals that of the heart and lungs. The interconnectedness of the vestibular to major systems in the body is profound. This complex system has been linked to the functioning of both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. It plays a role to varying degrees in vision, muscle coordination, motor development, respiration, learning, language, and, of course, balance. Numerous studies, to be discussed later, have demonstrated a strong link between vestibular therapy and improvements in the areas of visual, auditory, and motor function, and overall human development, including among children with disabilities. One study even suggests that the structural integrity of the developing spine is dependent upon the accurate interpretation and integration of vestibular information/input. A functioning vestibular system contributes to sensory integration and eye movements that are imperative for reading and learning. In fact, Delayed vestibular maturation correlates significantly with sensory integration dysfunction, slow vision processing, and reading disability. Visual neurons require input from the vestibular system in order to properly process visual stimuli, while the vestibuloocular reflex that produces rapid compensatory eye movements to stabilize vision while the head is in motion are inextricably connected to vestibular information. Without these rapid adjustments, we would not be able to see clearly.

The auditory system is intricately linked to the vestibular system. In fact, the receptors for both are located in an area of the temporal bone called the bony labyrinth, which encases the inner ear. Damage to either system negatively impacts the functionality of the other. One study found that two-thirds of hearing-impaired subjects had significant vestibular deficits. The vestibular system is crucial to the processing of auditory information. Vestibular abnormalities frequently lead to difficulties in both the processing and production of language. The vestibular system influences motor control and planning that are necessary to use those fine muscles to produce intelligible speech. Multiple therapies for speech and movement have found strong correlations between the two. The vestibular system influences the function of our muscles. The vestibulo-spinal tracts originate in the brain stem at the vestibular nuclei and extend into the spinal cord, where they mediate postural adjustments and head movements. Our ability to remain upright is dependent on the proper functioning of these tracts. The central nervous system uses information from the vestibular system to orient space perception, strongly related to proprioception. Without information from the vestibular system, our muscles would not be able to accurately compensate for changes to the bodys place in space. Movement of any kind would cause us to fall. Neuromotor development and maturation relies on accurate perception and integration of sensory information within the vestibular system. Improper function of either process can lead to delays in motor development. The close relationship of the vestibular system with other regulators of sensorimotor functions is well documented. Gross motor milestones are only possible with the input of a properly operating system of balance. One early study found that infants who participate in sessions of mild semicircular canal stimulation demonstrate significant improvements in gross motor skills compared to control groups. Motor delays can often be traced to a faulty vestibular system and/or its failure to appropriately interact with the major body senses; i.e., vision, sight, touch. The vestibular system plays a role in most activities related to daily life. This small but complex system can mean the difference between wellness and illness, depression and peace, accurate or faulty interpretations of the world around us. Quality of life depends, in many ways, on the proper functioning of the vestibular system.

20

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Early Vestibular Development. Vestibular development begins early in gestation, around the third week of life when the epithelium (sensory organ) is formed in the semicircular canals and otolithic organs. By Week 6, the central vestibular nuclei are formed and begin to extend to the endorgans in the inner ear. Hair cells in the semicircular canal and otolithic organs have matured by Week 9. In just nine short weeks, the five receptors of the vestibular system (semicircular canals and otolithic organs) are fully differentiated, and by 14 weeks these receptors will have almost reached adult maturity, with full myelination of neuronal tracts occurring at about 20 weeks of life. Still, vestibular development is a long-term project with full maturation spanning childhood and early puberty. Development of the vestibular system is crucial to both motor and cognitive functioning throughout the lifespan. There is much that we can do to enhance this development from the earliest of ages. The vestibular system plays a major role in the functioning of our senses, informs important mechanisms of balance and coordination, and has far-reaching effects on activities of cognition, learning, and daily living. It is no surprise, then, that quality of life is negatively impacted as vestibular function declines. Early Intervention. Childhood is a time of crucial development of the vestibular system, a time when we can facilitate positive changes that provide for the overall health and well-being of our kids throughout their lifetimes. Children experience the same vestibular disorders and symptoms as adults but have the added complication of important developmental deficits with vestibular dysfunction. These unfortunate kids experience delays in communicative, social, cognitive, and neuromotor markers. Early intervention can help to alleviate, even eliminate, deficits in the vestibular system. In fact, there is some evidence that vestibular stimulation can be implemented in utero. So important is this early development that entire therapies have been devised to target the pediatric population. Such techniques include those activities that provide for maximum development of the vestibular system. Significantly, these therapies have been shown to have profound implications for at-risk populations. These forms of vestibular stimulation use repetitive, scheduled vestibular-stimulating activities as a means to overcome developmental anomalies or delays, override pathology and rehabilitate trauma. Vestibular stimulation has been utilized successfully as a form of therapeutic intervention with special-needs children and premature infants. Developmentally disabled children have shown improvements in these areas following vestibular therapy:

Improvements in spontaneous verbal language use (the ability to use recognizable language) Increases in visual and auditory alertness Marked improvements in ability to complete a cognitive-perceptual task Significant gains in gross motor skill and reflex integration Improvements in motor coordination and performance Increased alertness and curiosity Enhanced verbalization.

Repeated studies have demonstrated the importance of the vestibular system and its relationship to the CNS (central nervous system) structures in developing motor skills, integrating postural reflexes, establishing and coordinating eye movements and visual attention skills, developing exploratory behavior, and regulating arousal level. Other studies have pointed toward the role that vestibular function plays in allowing an individual to perceive a sense of self, a separating of him or herself from the larger world. These therapies have been shown to successfully assist children with special needs in these areas. Similar gains are being reported among premature infants who are experiencing various developmental delays. Infants who are exposed to vestibular stimulation show significant advances in gross motor, visual, and auditory responses over their non-therapy counterparts. They moved better, track and fixate on objects more effectively, and responded more efficiently to stimuli. Improved eye-hand coordination and hand-to-mouth coordination is reported. Greater weight gain and decreased distress behavior have been observed, while scores for levels of mental functioning are significantly higher among the treated group. The prescriptions incorporated into such therapies will sound familiar. They are simply those movements that act upon the developing vestibular system, because the most efficient way to develop the vestibular system is to use it. Things that children do naturally--rocking, swinging, spinning, rolling, cart wheeling, getting upside down, moving from side to side--challenge the vestibular system and thereby force its development (though apparatus that rock and swing the children are most often used in therapies.) Healthy kids do these things because their bodies instinctively know it is what they need. There is a reason young children are in constant motion. The child enjoys stimulating his vestibular apparatus and challenging his equilibrium and skills against the Earths gravity pull from the first time it lifts his head. How many times have you seen a toddler stick its head on the ground and backside in the air? The vestibular system requires movement to develop, and that movement, if properly administered, can produce amazing results.

21
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

CrossFit Kids and Vestibular Development. CrossFit Kids has a unique opportunity to address vestibular development through proper programming. That is why you will see constantly varied use of vestibular-challenging activities in the daily WODs, buy-ins and cash-outs. We are always looking for the most efficient and FUN ways to bring vestibular development to CrossFit Kids. We incorporate vast amounts of gymnastics movements, including swinging, rolling over, handstands (and handstand push-ups), cartwheels, push-ups, toes-to-bars, knees-to-elbows, wheelbarrows, and bar and ring work, to name a few. Agility work is used to challenge the vestibular system. A few examples include hurdling, jumping, dot drills, agility ladders, lateral hops and runs. Olympic lifts are an extremely effective way to develop the vestibular system, because the changes in direction required to complete the movement engage it in a unique and effective way. This is something we get excited about at CrossFit Kids. Exercise isnt just about heart rates and blood pressure. By getting our kids moving in this way, we are improving their odds for appropriate development and future success in multiple areas of daily functioning. What an amazing opportunity and responsibility!

McDougal, David and John Harting. University of WisconsinMadison. Unit no. 2: The Brain Stem. Ottenbacher, Kenneth. Physical Therapy. Developmental Implications of Clinically Applied Vestibular Stimulation. Panthuraamphorn, C., Dookchitra, D, Sanmaneechai, M. The International Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, vol 10, no. 2, pp. 181-188. The effects of prenatal tactile and vestibular development on human development, 1998. Salt, Alec N., PhD. Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory, Washington University, St. Louis. oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/intro3.htm. Cochlear Fluids Composition. Salt, Alec N., PhD. Cochlear Fluids Research Laboratory, Washington University, St. Louis. oto2.wustl.edu/cochlea/res1.htm. Measurement of Endolymph Flow Rate. www.dizziness-and balance.com/disorders/bppv/otoliths.html. Otoliths.; Shields, Gordon, MD, et. al. UTMB, Dept. of Otolaryngology, Grand Rapids Presentation. Vestibular Function and Anatomy, April 2004. Simoneau, Martin, et. al. BMC Neuroscience 2009, 10:102. Evidence for cognitive vestibular integration impairment in scoliosis patients, August 2009.; Tantorski, Edward, P. Functional Neuroanatomy, Unit 9, Postural Control. vestibular.org. Vestibular Disorders Association. Statistics. vestibular.org. Vestibular Disorders Association. Sensory Input, June 2009. l

Sources
Clark, DL, JR Kreutzberg, and FK Chee. Science, Vol 196, Isue 4295, 1228-1229. Vestibular stimulation influence on motor development in infants, 1977. Duchesne, CJ and Sans, A. American Journal of Otolaryngology, vol 6 (Issue 5): pp 378-87. Development of vestibular receptor surfaces in human fetuses, 1985. Hernandez, Joseph P., Faid Xu, and Donald T. Frazier. Journal of Applied Physiology 97, 835-842. Medial vestibular nucleus mediates the cardiorespiratory response to fastigial nuclear activation and hypercapnia, 2004. Kranowitz, Carol Stock, MA. The Vestibular System and AuditoryLanguage Processing, excerpted from The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, February, 2009. Lewald, Jorg and Hans-Otto Karnath. The Journal of Neurophysiology, Vol 84 No 2, pp. 1107-1111, Vestibular Influence on Human Auditory Space Perception, August 2000.

22

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What About Bone Density?


By: Nicole Dehart, CrossFit Kids Magazine, March 2009 Bones are an incredible asset to the daily health and well-being of our lives. Bones are a storehouse for nutrients, they provide a protective barrier to vital organs, and they contribute to our overall quality of life. But bones can be unhealthy, just like the lungs of a smoker can be unhealthy. Bones can be brittle and may easily break or fracture. Bones can also become fragile from loss of tissue, typically from a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D, and can cause a person to obtain a medical condition known as osteoporosis. Having fragile and brittle bones can detract from a persons quality of life and can significantly impact a persons overall health. So how can we get our bones to be the healthiest they can be? Numerous studies have shown a direct link between physical activity and an increase in bone mineral density. An increase in bone mineral density is critical to the wellness and strength of the bone. Granted, there are many factors that contribute to an increase in bone strength, like a persons age, reproductive hormone status and nutritional status, but a large bearing on the bone strength is physical activity, with numerous studies showing a strong correlation between physical activity and an increase in bone mass. What is even more interesting is that studies have shown that exercise provides the best long-term benefits in bone mineral density when it is initiated before puberty. Why when initiated before puberty? Well, 50 percent of bone growth peaks before late adolescence. That is a large amount of bone growth in a fairly short period of time. By the time a people are in their 30s, they have all the bone they will ever have and will actually begin to lose it gradually. This means that there is a short window of opportunity for children to start early in developing strong, healthy bones. More and more evidence has shown that putting bone mass in the bank at a young age is one of the best preventive measures for osteoporosis. This is crucial because thousands suffer from bone fractures and medical conditions, like osteoporosis, yearly. Now comes the question of what type of exercise helps increase bone density in children? In order for bone mineral density to be gained, an exercise needs to overload that bone, and the overloading must be greater than loading experienced during daily activities. A study was conducted at Oregon State University that found children can significantly increase bone mass through a weekly exercise program that includes impact loading exercises. The study was conducted on several children ages 7-8. The study lasted about seven months and had the children come in three times per week and jump onto a 24-inch box 100 times per visit. The results? The children who performed the impact-loading exercise of box jumps had 5 percent more bone mass than a control group who performed non-impact exercises. This 5 percent increase translates into a 30 percent

decrease in the risk of these children having a hip fracture in adulthood. By just incorporating box jumps, these children were able to increase their bone mass in a relatively short time. That is amazing! Another study was conducted with the objective being to examine how physical activity can change bone mass and structure in school-aged children. Fifty-one children participated in this study and three times per day did 10 counter-movement jumps. Dietary calcium, physical activity, physical performance and anthropometry were all taken into account during the study. The results? Intervention children gained significantly more bone mineral content at the proximal femur (2 percent) and the intertrochanteric region (27 percent) of the femur. These children had a significant increase in bone mineral content from engaging in a brief, weekly exercise program. Sound familiar? Impact-loading exercises are crucial in helping children boost bone mass. There are numerous studies that discuss the bone-density gains made by gymnasts due to the continuous impact loading of their movements. It is also good to note that the bone-mass gains made in children and teenagers may be retained in adulthood, even if the program is discontinued. Therefore, exercise that includes impact loading, when initiated during the childhood and teenage years, is helping individuals bank bone for the wear and tear of adult years. CrossFit Kids has specifically programmed more impact-loading exercises into the workouts to help children bank bone for those later years. By incorporating impact-loading exercises (box jumps, broad jumps, tuck jumps, jump rope, etc.), we can help build stronger bones in childrens lives. This is a testament as to why CrossFit Kids is not simply a scaled-down version of CrossFit. It is absolutely, entirely CrossFit, geared and designed for a special population and the specific developmental needs of that population. Let us continue to forge the future of fitness within our children.

Sources
Oregon State University (1998, October 6). Exercising Youth Can Bank Bone Mass To Fight Osteoporosis. ScienceDaily. Beck, Belinda R.; Snow, Christine M., Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: Volume 31(3)July 2003pp 117-122. Bone Health Across the Lifespan-Exercising Our Options. Janz KF, Medema-Johnson H, Letuchy EM, Burns TL, Gilmore JM, Torner JC, Willing MC, Levy SM. Subjective and objective measures of physical activity in relationship to bone mineral content during late childhood: The Iowa Bone Development Study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 42:658-63, 2008. McKay, H.A Bounce at the Bell: a novel program of short bouts of exercise improves proximal femur bone mass in early pubertal children. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2005;39:521-526, 2005. l

23
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Boosting Brain Function


By: Cyndi Rodi, CrossFit Kids Magazine, March 2009 Introduction A major topic of discussion at the CrossFit Kids Seminars is the way in which exercise improves brain function. This covers a wide scope of information including developmental markers that drive our programming for kids, methods for training that maximize learning, and improvements in cerebral physiology and cognition that are directly related to exercise and have profound effects on daily life and scholastic performance. One question that has been raised by seminar attendees is the relationship of the research literature to the CrossFit methodology; that is, given that current studies utilize aerobic activity as their testing modality, how do we extrapolate this information into an exercise program that operates primarily in the anaerobic pathways? Can we infer that anaerobic metabolism facilitates a boost in brain function similar to that induced by aerobic metabolism? Our answers may be found by tracing the role that lactate plays within the human brain. The Traditional View of Lactate Lactate plays an important role in energy metabolism (See CrossFit 101, January-November 2008 for a discussion of the metabolic pathways). Recent research has sought to remove the stigma of lactate. Once believed to be a deleterious product of anaerobic metabolism, lactate has been cleared of its erroneous reputation for creating muscle fatigue and soreness. Instead, it has been shown to be an important part of the overall metabolic story In the anaerobic energy pathway known as glycolysis, intense bouts of exercise can cause the production of lactate to exceed a muscle cells ability to utilize it, which is commonly referred to as the lactate threshold. This overproduction or, more accurately, under-consumption creates a spilling of lactate into the blood. The lactate, now circulating in the blood, can be taken up by surrounding muscle cells for further metabolism or can be delivered to various organs within the body such as the heart and lungs. It is most notably utilized in the Cori cycle, named after Carl and Gerty Cori, who first discovered it. In this system, lactate is taken up by the liver, where it is stored as glycogen. When energy demands dictate, the liver converts stored glycogen back into glucose and sends it out to various tissues within the body to help meet energy needs. The Brain Needs More than Glucose Traditional wisdom tells us that the brain is a voracious consumer of glucose. It is, however, a less-known fact that the brain utilizes multiple energy sources for its functioning. One of the most prolific of these non-glucose energy sources is lactate, which plays a key role in facilitating the energy demands of the brain. In fact, under certain conditions it is the brains preferred form of fuel. This means anaerobic activity, like that experienced during a CrossFit workout, produces one of the major alternative fuel sources for the brain.
24

There is much debate regarding how this takes place and which mechanisms provide the brains abilities to process lactate. One thing most researchers agree upon is that lactate can be utilized and/or distributed by astrocytes, the star-shaped caretaker or support cells in the brain. Astrocytes are in close contact with the blood and can readily take up large quantities of substances needed for energy metabolism, despite the blood-brain barrier. There are several theories under peer review at this time. The most popular of these is the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle hypothesis (ANLSH). Other contributing theories include the lactate-alanine shuttle, peroxisomal lactate shuttle, and the spermatogenic lactate shuttle. Discussion of each of these would require a separate series of articles. For our purposes, the existence of a mechanism or combination of mechanisms which allow for the uptake of lactate and provide for the subsequent utilization of that lactate as a fuel source within the brain is solidly established. Regardless of what theory or mechanism is found to be the correct one, it has been clearly demonstrated that lactate is an important alternative fuel source for the brain. The Brain under Duress Lactate is the preferential fuel source of the brain under duress. Numerous studies have shown that abnormalities in brain function and/or cessation of appropriate brain activities cause a sharp rise in the utilization of lactate within the brain. Lactate has been shown to play a protective role within the brain. This is borne out in studies of brain-damaged patients who experience sharp increases in lactate uptake levels within the first 12-24 hours following injury. The significance of this shift in fuel utilization lies in the fact that lactate metabolism requires fewer steps than those required for glucose metabolism and, so, is a more efficient way to sustain the brain during periods of stress and danger. In fact, in the direst of circumstances, glucosesensing mechanisms within the brain are able to just as effectively sense lactate. This means that lactate can be utilized for energy metabolism in the absence of glucose. Moreover, lactate metabolism in the brain has been shown to accompany decreased oxygen consumption. What this means to the CrossFitter is that we can count on the lactate that inevitably spills into the bloodstream during our anaerobic workouts to fuel our brains during the extreme stress of the WOD and beyond, and the oxygen deprivation created by high-intensity exercise is not going to negatively impact that metabolism. This makes sense when we consider that early man would have been a quick lunch for a predator if he was unable to move and think concurrently. Our brains can continue to function quite well (maybe not by the end of Fran) despite the fact that the lions share of glucose and oxygen is diverted to muscle cells during a workout. Synaptic Function Lactate contributes to healthy, efficient synapses. Synapses are the microscopic areas between neurons where communication takes place. Lactate is able to reactivate synapses that have been shut down by glucose depletion, whether as a result of

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

pathology or in the case of a high-intensity workout. Lactate metabolism kicks into gear whenever the blood glucose supply has been diverted elsewhere, providing for continuity in synapse function. Furthermore, lactate contributes to neurotransmitter homeostasis in the brain. These chemicals are the impetus and regulator of all brain activity. A state of homeostasis means that strong, efficient synapses contribute to a well-functioning and productive brain. Anaerobic activity, like that in a CrossFit workout, produces the fuel source necessary for healthy synaptic function. High-Intensity Exercise and Lactate Metabolism in the Brain Just like muscles, the brain works harder during intense exercise. The high-intensity aspect of a CrossFit workout leads to a change in energy production and consumption that is in stark contrast to the long-term aerobic activity of documented studies. As CrossFitters, we largely tax the anaerobic pathway. During bouts of intense exercise, the brain actually shifts its focus from glucose consumption and begins to use lactate as its primary energy source. Lactate, produced by anaerobic activity like that found in CrossFit, is taken up by the brain and used in processes that facilitate and enhance the continued proficiency of the brain. Herein lie the answers to our original questions. Can we generalize the findings of the literature reporting the benefits of aerobic activity on the brain? The answer is somewhat. Aerobic activity has been shown to increase capillary size and produce new capillaries as a response to the oxygen deprivation induced by the exercise. How much more, then, can we assume the deprivation of an anaerobic workout would create a similar, if not accelerated, response? Ever hit near hypoxia during a WOD? The implications seem obvious. In addition, like aerobic activity, a positive effect on neurotransmitter activity within the brain brought about by anaerobic exercise and its accompanying lactate metabolism can play a major role in brain health. Beyond these, however, anaerobic activity is a completely different animal than aerobic activity and possesses its own set of mechanisms and considerations. Fortunately, we are able to demonstrate an entirely different set of benefits to the brain. Can anaerobic activity boost brain function? The answer is yes. Our workouts produce a powerful brain fuel that positively impacts the brain. In fact, we can quite possibly argue that anaerobic activity is more important to the brain than aerobic activity. But that is another article.

Borg, Monica A, William V Tamborlane, Gerald I Shulman and Robert S Sherwin. Diabetes 52: 663-666, 2003. Local Lactate Perfusion of the Ventromedial Hypothalamus Supresses Hypoglycemic Couterregulation. Cornell News. www.news.cornell.edu/releases/June04/astrocyte_neuron.hrs.html. Astrocytes in brain metabolism. July, 2004. Dienel, Gerald A. American Journal of Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 287: R1519-R5251, 2004. Lactate muscles its way into consciousness: fueling brain activation. Gladden, L.B. Physiology 558, Number 1, 5-30, July 1, 2004. Lactate metabolism: a new paradigm for the third millennium. Kaufer, Daniela, et al. Evidence for the Mitochondrial Lactate Oxidation Complex in Rat Neurons: Demonstration of an Essential Component of Brain Lactate Shuttles PLoS ONE, Aug 2008. Kemppainen, Jukka, et al. Journal of Physiology, Volume 568, Number 1, 323-332, October 1, 2005. High intensity exercise decreases global brain glucose uptake in humans. Lemire, Joseph, Maillous, Ryan J and Appanna, Vasa D. Mitochondria Lactate Dehydrogenase is Involved in Oxidative Energy Metabolism in Human Astrocytoma Cells (CCF-STTG1), PLoS ONE, Feb. 2008. Leverve, Xavier M. and Iqbal Mustafa. Lactate: a key metabolite in the intercellular metabolic interplay. Critical Care, August 2002, Vol 5 No 4. Philp, Andrew, Adam LMacdonald and Peter W Watt. Journal of Experimental Biology 208, 4561-4575 (2005). Lactate-a signal coordinating cell and systemic function. Quistorff, Bjorn, Niels H. Secher and Johannes J Van Leishout. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Published online before print July 24, 2008 as doi: 10.1096/fj.08106104. Lactate fuels the human brain during exercise. Schurr, Avital. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism (2006) 26, 142-152. Lactate: the ultimate cerebral oxidative energy substrate? Schurr, A, CA West and BM Rigor. Science, Vol 240, Issue 4857, 1326-1328. Lactate-supported synaptic function in the rat hippocampal slice preparation. Science Daily. During Exercise, Human Brain Shifts Into High Gear On Alternative Energy, October, 2008. University of California Newsroom. www.universityofcalifornia. edu/news/article/9069. Study Challenges Conventional Treatment After Traumatic Brain Injury. l

Sources
American Chemical Society. Carl and Gerty Cori and carbohydrate metabolism, 2004.; Bak, Lasse K, et al. Glucose is necessary to maintain neurotransmitter homeostasis during synaptic activity in the cultured glutamatergic neurons. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism (2006), 26, 1285-1297.

25
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Brain Breaks For Academic Success


By: Cyndi Rodi, CrossFit Kids Magazine, August 2009 Research has been emerging for years that learning is optimal when kids are moving. Studies continue to demonstrate that classroom success increases when children and teens are physically active. Intense exercise sessions appear to produce the most striking differences. However, simply allowing children and teens to take a break and move around can improve memory and enhance attention. In addition, behavioral issues that may hinder the learning experience may be mitigated through the inclusion of physical activity. Physical activity aids in the formation of memories. Researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) state that regular breaks are key to forming memories. In a study funded by the National Institute of Health, David Foster and his colleagues found that the brains of test subjects (in this case rats) that were allowed to take breaks between learning sessions replayed the information they had gathered, leading to permanent memory. In response to a given stimulus, certain brain cells fired in a specific sequence. This activity in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is pivotal to memory formation, was replicated every time the stimulus was repeated. Of utmost significance was the fact that during breaks between the repeated activity the same cells continued to fire, but in reverse order. Researchers theorize that this repeated rewind allowed other areas of the brain to process and store the information. Memories were formed over time as the brain replayed the event again and again. Learning breaks that promote movement are being linked to the ability to pay attention. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that breaking for physical activity prompted marked improvements in testing that measures the ability to attend to a task. A post-exercise analysis of event-related brain potentials (ERP), neuroelectric signals that are a covert measure of how the brain manages attention, indicated that kids who took time off from the learning activity to be physically active were better at allocating attentional resources. Test results indicated that they could attend to a task or learning situation better than their non-physical counterparts. Researchers are hopeful that future studies will help to solidify the link between attention and time allocated to physical activity. While the bulk of the study focused on intense bouts of walking, the researchers recommend a simple recess time as sufficient to gain the attentional benefits of movement. Based on this research, some teachers are beginning to implement periodic brain breaks throughout the school day. Brain breaks have movement as their foundation, while some of them include learning activities in conjunction. Elizabeth Cook, a teacher who has been featured in the prominent publication Educators World, utilizes a schedule of two to three breaks within each 120-minute time period. A firm believer in the link between cognition and movement, Cook has devised creative ways to engage her students in physical activity within the confines of
26

her classroom. This is an important expenditure of class time, because statistically kids who get up and move around during the school day are better able to handle the work environment as well as the cognitive stress of the learning process. Further and important benefits of physical activity are related to the modification of negative behavioral issues within the class structure that hinder the learning experience. One school in Kansas City reported an over-60-percent decrease in disciplinary problems once a regular physical education program was implemented within the school. Terry Smythe of the Concept2 Rowing Company enthusiastically promotes physical activity within the classroom, especially for specialneeds children. Her experiences have lead her to encourage teachers to utilize exercise as a tool for ADHD students to work off energy and regain focus, for anger management and control of aggression, to use as a reward for work completed well and done early, etc. There are numerous websites and publications that offer suggested activities for such interventions. However, it is important to carefully investigate the credibility of each by verifying the science behind the plans. Large-scale movements, such as Brain Gym, which promotes specific movement patterns as having an unusually stunning impact on educational outcomes, have come under fire in recent years for their inability to statistically back their claims. Educators, administrators and parents need to bear in mind that popularity does not equate to reliability. The most important thing to remember is that physical tasks of any kind enhance learning, while the more vigorous types have been shown to offer the most profound effects. Physiologically and neurologically the brain needs a rest, a change in sensory input to process, learn and remember new information. The strategic inclusion of movement-based activity breaks within the study/learning environment can offer the promise of better, more efficient learning. Greater attention abilities, effective memory storage, and a decline in negative behaviors that detract from the capacity for sorting through and absorbing information add up to a more effectual learning experience.

Sources
Education World: The Educators Best Friend. educationworld. com/a_curr/teacher_feature/teacher_feature146.shtml. Jensen, Eric. Enriching the Brain: How to Maximize Every Learners Potential, 2006. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., San Francisco. PE4Life.org.; Science Daily. Physical Activity May Strengthen Childrens Ability to Pay Attention. sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090331183800.htm. Wagner, Mary Jo, Dr. ADHD: Disorder or Just Different? How to Help Hyperactive, Inattentive, Impulsive Kids. adhdchildrentoday.com/ADHDSessionThreeHandouts.pdf. l

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Exercise, The Brain And The Black Box Concept


By: Mikki Martin, CrossFit Kids Magazine, March 2009 What is happening in the field of exercise and brain function? We hear increasingly more chatter on this subject as research and evidence build. Consider the recent CrossFit Journal articles Is CrossFit Making Our Kids Smarter? (Lisa Bakshi), CrossFit Algebra (Amie Taylor), and the article from 2006 CrossFit Kids Magazine Exercise and Brain Function (Cyndi Rodi). At CrossFit Kids HQ, we call ourselves CrossFit Kids geeks because we are committed to looking at the latest information that we can use to constantly promote better fitness and overall health in our kids, including their brains. Anecdotal stories of academic work performed post exercise are building; we hear them at every CrossFit Kids Seminar. Additionally, research and information on the new findings on exercise and brain function, even cell growth, are becoming more prevalent. This article is not intended to reiterate the current research and science on the subject--Google searches return hundreds of thousands sources, which we definitely recommended checking. Instead, this article is to suggest ideas to implement various academic activity post/during workouts in whatever environment you find yourself (home gym, school, CrossFit Kids affiliate, etc.). The short version: there is about a 30-60-minute window post workout that we want to capture and make use of with our kids, which improves brain function and may improve their academics. While we wait for the official recommendations on specifics in application, shouldnt we begin to apply the black-box concept? We know what to add in, and we know what comes out is positive. How it happens, although very intriguing, is the venue of scientists. We can act now and start adding elements to produce the desired outcome. There is virtually no limit to the ways to incorporate this concept into training, and we encourage your creativity. A sampling of ideas follow:

Post-workout academic work may be implemented as post-workout cool-down or skill work. Direct your kids and teens to read, study or do homework just after the workout for 15-20 minutes. Use flash cards post workout. Change subject matter every 4-6 weeks. A short WOD like Karen could be divided into 2 rounds of 75 wall-balls with a study break in the middle. Use the 3 minutes between rounds of Barbara to get the kids to answer questions (word or concept definitions would work well here). Fight Gone Bad could be performed with 10-minute academic breaks. Divide Grace into 2 15-rep sections with a 5-10 minute study or assignment period between. Use a deck of memory cards within an AMRAP WOD scenario. For example, in a box-jump/pull-up/burpee WOD, you would complete the proscribed exercises plus find one pair correctly before going to the next round. For older kids you could increase the required number of pairs in every round. The Pull-Up Ladder WOD: one pull up on the minute can be done instead with multiples or a multiplier. Each athlete can be given a different task. Athlete A could be given a multiplier of 2, while Athlete B could be given a multiplier of 3, minus 2 each round. Rounds would proceed as follows: 1, 4, 7, 10, etc. Tabata workouts could contain 10 rounds and 3 exercises with breaks between rounds for academic work.

Keeping BIG (broad, inclusive, and general) FUN in mind, and our fitness and training goals, this is not something we suggest you incorporate into every workout, but it is certainly worth some randomized shuffling into the program. CrossFit Kids and Teens are going to experience overall improvements in cognition because the condition of being fit has also been correlated with improved brain function. So what do you think will come out of the black box?

27
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Suggested Reading:
1. Dr. Jon Gary clips, CrossFit Journal 2011 journal.crossfit.com/2011/04/kidspractice.tpl journal.crossfit.com/2011/02/ kidsmemorylearning.tpljournal.crossfit. com/2011/02/kidsbrainfunction.tpl Research by Dr. Charles Hillman. Link: kch. illinois.edu/Research/Labs/neurocognitive-kinesiology/publications.html Darla Castelli, Charles Hillman. 2007. Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement in Third and Fifth-Grade Students. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 29: 239-252. Charles Hillman, Sarah Buck, Jason Themanson, Matthew Pontifex, Darla Castelli. 2009. Aerobic Fitness and Cognitive Development: EventRelated Brain Potential and Task Performance Indicies of Executive Control in Preadolescent Children. Development Psychology. 45 (1): 114129. Keita Kamjo, Kevin OLeary, Matthew Pontifex, Jason Themanson, Charles Hillman. 2010. The Relation of Aerobic Fitness to Neuroelectric Indicies of Cognitive and Motor Task Preparation. Psychophysiology. 1-8. Research by Dr. Avery Faigenbaum. Link: www. tcnj.edu/~nursing/healthex/faculty/documents/ FaigenbaumPUBS2007.pdf Research by Harold Levinson. Link: www. dyslexiaonline.com/evidence/papers.html Jennifer Etnier, Priscilla Nowell, Daniel Landers, Benjamin Sibley. 2006. A Meta-Regression to Examine the Relationship Between Aerobic Fitness and Cognitive Performance. Brain Research Reviews. 52(1): 119-130. August 30. Research by the California Department of Education. Link: www.sportsmedia.org/ sportapolisnewsletter19.htm Maria Aberg, Nancy Pedersen, Kjell Toren, Magnus Svartengren, Tommy Johnsson, Christinana Cooper-Kuhn, David Aberg, Michael Nilsson, Georg Kuhn. 2009. Cardiovascular tness is associated with cognition in young adulthood. PNAS. 106 (49). Dec. 8.

12. John Medina. 2008. Brain Rules. 13. Lisa Bakshi. 2009. Will CrossFit Make American Kids Smarter? CrossFit Journal. January. 14. Cyndi Rodi. 2009. Boosting Brain Function. CrossFit Kids Magazine. March. 15. Mikki Martin. 2009. Exercise, the Brain, and the Black Box Concept. CrossFit Kids Magazine. March. 16. 17. Cyndi Rodi. 2009. How To Build a Better Neural Highway. CrossFit Journal. April. 17. Cyndi Rodi. 2006. Why workout? Exercise and Brain Function. CrossFit Kids Magazine. May. 18. Jon Gary. 2010. Exercise exerts its eects on the brain through IGF-1. CrossFit Kids Magazine. March. 19. Ron Gellis. 2009. ADHD and CrossFit Kids. CrossFit Kids Magazine. December. 20. Victor Carrion, Brian Haas, Amy Garrett, Suzan Song, Allen Reiss. 2010. Reduced Hippocampal Activity in Youth with Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms: An fMRI Study. Journal of Pediatric l

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10. Henriette van Praag, Tiany Shubert, Chunmei Zhao, Fred Gage. 2005. Exercise Enhances Learning and Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Aged Mice. The Journal of Neuroscience, 25(38); 8680-8685. Sept. 21. 11. John Ratey. 2008. Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.
28

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

III. CROSSFIT KIDS MOVEMENTS


29
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

30

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

III. CrossFit Kids MOVEMENTS


The purpose of this section is to provide an organized, easy-to-reference, uniform method of teaching childrens cues for the 10 CrossFit Kids Foundational Movements (the 9 Foundational Movements from the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course, plus the thruster). In this document, the term CrossFit Kids will reference all children 3-18 years of age. Some cues and teaching methods will vary across the CrossFit Kids age spectrum (Preschool: ages 3-5; Kids: ages 5-12; Teens: ages 12-18) due to proven effectiveness with a particular age group, and the specific class designator will be used in that particular case. It is imperative when teaching children to be very clear and descriptive (yet simple) in explaining movement and instruction. Four universally successful teaching methods are: 1. 2. 3. 4. Give children where to start, where to go, and where to finish every movement. All movements, regardless of age group, begin unloaded (nothing in their hands) before subsequent load (PVC pipe or more) is used. Tell children what you want them to do, as opposed to what you do not want them to do; i.e., Stand all the way up at the top of the squat instead of Dont short the top of the squat. Try to teach and cue children as a class. Most children do not want to be separated from the group; be very careful with singling them out. Instead, endeavor to give cues and corrections that can be performed with multiple athletes participating.

We have found these four general methods to be very effective. You will most certainly have other methods--just be sure to always make it fun; a childs lifelong outlook of fitness is being forged by a coachs approach to training.

31
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

SQUAT
Squat Teaching Points There are four primary teaching points: 1. 2. 3. 4. Stance Hips Back Bottom Position Finish Position

1. Stance This is where to start


Adult Cue Feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned out, weight rooted through the heels. Preschool & Kids Cue Thumbs on outside of shoulders, match heels to thumbs (and/or tape on ground about 12 apart and match heels to the tape). Teens Cue Thumbs on the outside of shoulders, match heels to thumbs (and/or tape on the ground about 18 apart and match heels to the tape.

2. Hips Back
Adult Cue Butt back and down. CrossFit Kids Cue Hips back. Have the CrossFit Kid(s) put their hands out and then grab their hips; explain that these are their hips. Then, telling them to keep their chest up and knees straight, have them push their hips back and re-stand, bending only at the hip. Ensure the hips are doing the moving backwards and forwards, not the chest falling and rising.

3. Bottom Position This is where to go


Adult Cue Crease of the hip below the knee. CrossFit Kids Cue Pockets below the knees. Have the kids interlock their thumbs and push their arms straight out in front of their body so the hands make a butterfly (rocket or eagle for the boys) in front of their face. Then repeat the hips back drill from above several times, this time with arms raised. Then have them push their hips back and sit down so the pockets are below the knees.

4. Finish Position This is where to finish


Adult Cue Stand all the way up/knees and hips fully open at the top with a neutral spine and body bisected by the frontal plane. CrossFit Kids Cue Stand up like a superhero. Have the CrossFit Kid(s) stand tall and the end of the movement, chest out like a superhero and hands on hips.

32

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Squat Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 Stance Begin movement w/ hips. Stand tall at top. Kids Stance Begin movement w/ hips. Hips below knees. Stand tall at top. Teens Stance Begin movement w/ hips. Chest up and lumbar curve maintained. Weight in heels. Knees in line w/ feet. Full range of motion.

Squat Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Knees cave in on descent and/or ascent. Cause Weakness, flexibility, or Teens using too heavy a load. Fix PVC outside of pinky toes perpendicular to the ground. Knees pushing out to and in contact with the PVC throughout the full ROM. front Bench in front of the knees

Sliding See-Saw

Disengagement of the hamstring Disengagement of the hamstring then reengagement in the ROM Flexibility, posterior chain awareness, and/or balance Flexibility, balance, or awareness

Falling backwards

Position back towards a wall and squat down with butt sliding vertically along the wall. Position back towards a wall and squat down with butt sliding vertically along the wall. Reinforce hips back and down and wiggle toes throughout the squat. If theres still a problem, then slide butt down the wall, pause at the bottom. Wall squat facing the wall (or use trainer shelf ). Slowly move the closer to the wall or raise trainer shelf as they improve. Verbal cue for Preschool. Verbal cue & squat to med-ball/D-ball as skill work for Kids & Teens.

Hips back at top, but then straight descent Weight shifts forward onto mid-foot

Flexibility, balance, or awareness

Loss of lumbar curve or chest down

Flexibility, balance, or awareness

Depth

Perception and/or flexibility

33
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

FRONT SQUAT
Front Squat Teaching Points There are two primary teaching points: 1. 2. Air Squat Rack Position

1. Squat
The font squat builds off the mechanics of the squat; nothing discussed in the squat changes. Start the front squat by reviewing the squat, and remind Kids and Teens the front squat is the receiving position for the Olympic clean.

2. Rack Position This is where to start/finish


Adult Cue Bar racked on shoulders, hands outside shoulders, loose fingertip grip on barbell, elbows high with upper arm parallel to the ground. Preschool and Kids Cue Unloaded or dumbbell only. Hands on shoulders, pretend elbows are lasers, point lasers at targets on the wall. Teens Cue Bar racked on shoulders, hands outside shoulders, loose fingertip grip on barbell, elbows high with upper arm parallel to the ground.

3. Front Squat Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Stance Rack position Begin movement w/ hips Stand tall at top Kids Stance Rack position Begin movement w/ hips Hips below knees Stand tall at top Teens Stance Rack position Begin movement w/ hips Bar in contact with torso Bar path in frontal plane Chest up and lumbar curve maintained Weight in heels Knees in line w/ feet Full range of motion

Front Squat Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Chest down and/or elbows down Cause Flexibility, balance, strength, or awareness. Flexibility, awareness, or laziness. Fix CrossFit Kids trainer shelf and slowly raise the shelf as they improve. TEENSroll the bar back onto shoulders and push elbows up.

Bar not in contact with body

34

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

OVERHEAD SQUAT
Overhead Squat Teaching Points There are two primary teaching points: 1. 2. Air Squat Overhead Position

1. Squat
The overhead squat builds off the mechanics of the squat; nothing discussed above changes. Start the overhead squat by reviewing the squat, and remind Kids and Teens the overhead squat is the receiving position for the Olympic snatch.

2. Overhead Position This is where to start/finish


Adult Cue Bar is overhead in the frontal plane, active shoulders, armpits forward and elbows locked in extension. Preschool and Kids Cue Unloaded and as skill work only; make a Y and hold up the sky. Advanced Kids and Teens Make a Y and hold up the sky, or bar overhead and cover your ears with your shoulders.

Overhead Squat Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Stance Overhead position Begin movement w/ hips Pockets below knees. Stand tall at top. Kids Stance Overhead position Begin movement w/ hips Pockets below knees. Stand tall at top Teens Stance Overhead position Begin movement w/ hips Bar path in frontal plane Chest up and lumbar curve maintained Weight in heels Knees in line w/ feet Full range of motion

Overhead Squat Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Chest down and/or hands not overhead Cause Flexibility, balance, strength, or awareness Fix Preschool and Kids tap their hands or move them to overhead. Teens verbal cue pull the bar back; if it is still in the improper place, move them to overhead. Loss of active shoulders Flexibility, strength, awareness Preschool and Kids tell them to hold up the sky; if theres still a problem, tap their hands and move to overhead. Teens Verbal cue active shoulders; if theres still a problem then move to the proper position.

35
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

PRESS
Press Teaching Points There are four primary teaching points: 1. 2. 3. 4. Stance Rack Position Overhead Position Bar Path

1. Stance
Adult cue Feet hip width apart. CrossFit Kids cue Have Kids jump up and down several times, and then yell freeze.

2. Rack Position This is where to start/finish


Adult cue Hands outside shoulders, elbows down and slightly in front of the bar, tight midsection and closed grip with thumbs around bar. Preschool & Kids cue Fists on thighs with thumbs pointed out. Then put thumbs on shoulders and point elbows at the trainers knees. Teens cue Hands outside shoulders, elbows down and slightly in front of the bar, tight midsection and closed grip with thumbs around the bar.

3. Overhead Position This is where to go


Adult cue Active shoulders, elbows fully open, bar overhead and in the frontal plane. Preschool & Kids cue Unloaded and/or dumbbells only, pretend to hold up the sky. Teens cue Bar overhead and cover your ears with your shoulders.

4. Bar Path
Adult cue Bar starts in the rack position, drive through heels, keep whole body rigid, bar travels straight up, head moves slightly back to accommodate the bar, press to locked-out arms with active shoulders. Preschool & Kids cue Unloaded and/or dumbbells only, pretend to press up the sky. Teens cue Bar starts in the rack position, drive through heels, keep whole body rigid, bar travels straight up, head moves slightly back to accommodate the bar, press to straight arms with shoulders over your ears.

36

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Press Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 Stance Rack position Overhead position Kids Stance Rack position Bar path Overhead position Teens Stance Rack position Bar path Tight midsection Overhead position Active shoulders

Press Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Bar forward of frontal plane Cause Awareness Fix Preschool & Kids tap their hands and move them to overhead while cueing hold up the sky. Teens verbal cue pull the bar back. Elbows not open and/or shoulders not active in overhead position Strength, awareness Preschool & Kids tap their hands and move to overhead while cueing the sky is heavy. Teens verbal cue shoulders in ears and lock out elbows. Leaning back Flexibility, strength Preschool & Kids pull hands and body into position and ask for them to put it there for you again. Teens shoulder stretches and review big breath and locking down the rib cage. Arcing bar path Awareness, strength Preschool & Kids unloaded and/or dumbbells only, correct the overhead position. Teens practice moving the head out of the way with light loads while the trainer holds PVC vertically in front of the bar.

37
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

THRUSTER
Thruster Teaching Points There are three primary teaching points: 1. 2. 3. Front Squat Press Linking the Front Squat and the Press

1. Front Squat This is where to start/finish


The thruster builds off the mechanics of the front squat; nothing discussed in the front squat changes. Start the thruster by reviewing the front squat.

2. Press This is where to go


After the front squat, the thruster then builds off the mechanics of the press; nothing discussed in the press changes. Once they have reviewed the front squat, continue working on the thruster by reviewing the press.

3. Linking the Front Squat and Press


To link the front squat and press, affix numbers to portions of the movements, thus creating an easily communicated partition to the sequencing of movement to be gone over one piece at a time: 1. 2. 3. 4. Standing in the front squat rack position to bottom of the front squat Bottom of the front squat to the top of the front squat Elbows from front squat to press position, and press to overhead Overhead back to front squat rack position.

Once this sequence is learned it can be simplified: 1. 2. 3. Standing in the front squat rack position to bottom of the front squat Bottom to top of the front squat, elbow transition press position, press to overhead Overhead back to front squat rack position.

Thruster Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 Stance Front squat. Press Kids Stance Front squat. Press Teens Stance Front squat with elbows and chest up. Drive with an explosive and aggressive turnaround. Press Overhead position Active shoulders

38

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thruster Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Not changing from front squat to press position with the elbows. Cause Awareness Fix Focus on the four-part sequence for the movement, or add another numbered step going from front squat rack to press rack position. The Simon Says drill moving from front squat position to press position also works well. Preschool & Kids go back to the numbered sequencing to ensure they are stopping at the rack position of the front squat in order to count a repetition. Teens one warning; if it is still happening, reduce the load.

Crashing

Awareness, rushing the movement, strength.

39
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

PUSH PRESS
Push Press Teaching Points There are three primary teaching points: 1. 2. 3. Press Dip Drive Dip Drive and Press

1. Press This is where to start/finish


The push press builds off the mechanics of the press; nothing discussed above changes. Start the push press by reviewing the press, and remind Teens the push press is a skill-transfer exercise for the push jerk.

2. Dip Drive
Adult cue Shallow dip with your chest vertical and extend the hip rapidly. CrossFit Kids cue Dip like an Oompa-Loopa from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

3. Dip Drive and Press This is where to go


Adult cue Shallow dip with your chest vertical and extend the hip rapidly, followed by a shoulder press, locking out at top with active shoulders and the bar in the frontal plane. CrossFit Kids cue Dip like an Oompa-Loompa and press.

Push Press Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 Stance Dip Press Kids Stance Dip with vertical torso Press Teens Stance Dip with vertical torso Drive with explosive and aggressive turn around. Press Overhead position Active shoulders

40

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Push Press Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Forward inclination and/or muted hips Stalling in the dip Pressing out of sequence Cause Awareness Fix Preschool and Kids - Face wall, elbows up and sliding vertically along wall. Oompa Loompa dip drive drill Break into a biphasic drill of Oompa Loompa, then press; gradually speed up commands until it is one cue

Awareness Awareness

41
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

PUSH JERK
Push Jerk Teaching Points There are three primary teaching points for Kids and Teens (it is an advanced move, thus will not be addressed in the Preschool class): 1. 2. 3. 4. Jump from feet in Press position, hands at your sides Jump from feet in Press position, and land in a partial squat, hands at your sides Jump from feet in Press position, and land in a partial squat, hands in Press rack position Jump from feet in Press position, and land in partial squat, hands punch to the sky from the shoulders after the jump and lock out overhead before the land

1. Jump
Advanced Kids, Teens & Adult cue All are cued the same: jump is the focus.

2. Jump and Land in a Partial Squat


Advanced Kids, Teens & Adult cue All are cued the same: jump and landing in a partial squat is the focus.

3. Jump and Land with arms in Press Position This is where to start / end
Advanced Kids, Teens & Adult cue All are cued the same: jump and land with bent knees in a partial squat, pause, and stand, all while remaining in the press rack position.

4. Jump and Land, arms from Press to Overhead Position This is where to go
Advanced Kids, Teens and Adult cue All are cued the same: jump and land with bent knees in a partial squat, pause, and stand; moving arms from pressing position in the jump to punching the sky and locking out the arms before the land all the way through the stand.

Push Jerk Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 N/A Kids Stance Jump and land with bent knees, full extension of the hip in the jump. Lock out arms in overhead position. Stand with arms overhead. Teens Stance Jump and land with bent knees, full extension of the hip in the jump. Lock out arms in overhead position. Stand with arms overhead.

42

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Push Jerk Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Movement out of sequence Cause Over-thinking / confusion with the movement Fix Break the movement back into its base of jump and land with no arms, then progress back to the full movement as appropriate. Work a foot movement drill walking from hip width to shoulder width, slowly increasing speed of the transition to a trap door jump. Chalking a point on the ground for each position can aid in this process. Work on the press mechanics, then work on the jump and land movement progression.

Landing too wide

Lack of body awareness and/or trying to get under the bar without bending the hip

Improper finish with lazy lockout and/or bar forward of frontal plane Hip not extending in the jump.

Flexibility, strength, awareness

Over-thinking / rushing under the bar

Break the movement back into its base of jump and land, and have them intentionally jump higher. Once they are jumping higher work you way back through the movement progression.

43
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

DEADLIFT
Deadlift Teaching Points There are three primary teaching points: 1. 2. 3. Set-Up Lift Reset

1. Set-Up This is where to start/finish


The sumo deadlift is taught unloaded or with a kettlebell to Preschool and Kids as it is a much more natural movement for them to adapt and use. Teens use both the sumo and standard stance deadlift with barbells. Adult cue Lumbar curve, weight in heels, shoulder over the bar, bar in contact with shins, arms straight, head neutral. Preschool and Kids cue Stand over and line your ankles up with the object. With your knees straight, bend over and grab the object. Get an angry gorilla back. Teens cue Hide the knot in your shoelaces with the bar. With your knees straight bend over and grab the object. Without moving the barbell push your knees forward until you touch the bar with your shins. Get an angry gorilla back. (If lifting an object other than a barbell, then use the same cues as the Kids).

2. Lift This is where to go


Adult cue Drive through the heels and extend legs while hips and shoulders rise at the same rate, once bar passes knees, hips extend. Preschool & Kids cue Keeping an angry gorilla back, stand up with the object. Teens cue Staying weighted through the heels, drag the bar up your shins.

3. Reset
Adult cue Hips push back as shoulders move forward slightly, delaying the bending of the knees. Once the bar crosses the knee, the torso angle is set and the knees flex back into the start position. Preschool & Kids cue With an angry gorilla back set the object down. Teens cue Keeping the bar against your legs, push your hips back and lower the bar to your knees. When there, bend your knees and return the bar to the ground.

44

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Deadlift Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 Set up Stand up with back straight. Kids Set up Body directly over load Load remains close to body Hips and knees fully open at top Back straight throughout entire movement. Teens Set up Body directly over load Weight on heels. Hips and shoulders rise at same rate until the knees, then the hips push forward to stand up. Hips and knees open at the top Neutral spine throughout entire movement

Deadlift Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Loss of lumbar curve Weight on toes or forefoot Cause Flexibility and/or load too heavy Awareness Fix Practice angry gorilla or reduce load. Tell them to sit onto the heels and pull the bar into the shins Rock forward into hand and practice the set-up until they are able to reproduce that position. Check the set-up, if set-up is good, cue hips and shoulders at the same time. If this does not work try a verbal cue lift shoulders first, or begin the lift with your shoulders. Show them that the load moves away from the body when doing that. Verbal cue the bar and hips move together. Check start position (bar rolling forward when making contact with shins) and initial pull (do hips rise first?). Verbal cue drag the bar up your legs. Practice returning the bar to the ground with PVC, and verbal cue push the bar down your legs.

Shoulders behind bar

Awareness

Hips rise first

Awareness, strength

Shoulders rise first, bar pulls around knees

Awareness

Bar loses contact with legs

Awareness, strength

Improper descent

Awareness, strength

45
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

SUMO DEADLIFT HIGH PULL


Sumo Deadlift High Pull Teaching Points There are four primary teaching points: 1. 2. 3. 4. Set-Up Lift and Shrug Pull Reset

1. Set-Up This is where to start


Adult Cue Feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes out, weight in heels, lumbar curve, shoulder over bar, arms locked, symmetrical narrow grip inside legs with bar in contact with the shins. Preschool & Kids Cue Arch your back like an angry gorilla. Teens Cue Feet wider than squat, hide the knot in your shoelaces with the bar, bend down and grab the bar in a narrow grip, angry gorilla back and knees forward until the shins touch the bar.

2. Lift and Shrug


Adult Cue Sumo deadlift and shrug after opening the hips. Preschool Cue Angry gorilla, stand, I dont know. Kid & Teen Cue Angry gorilla, stand, shrug.

3. Pull This is where to go


Adult Cue Elbows high and outside, pull the bar to the chin. CrossFit Kids Cue Zipper drill (place hands on your coat zipper, zip up the coat).

4. Reset This is where to finish


Adult Cue Return the bar in reverse order; that is, extend the elbows, bend the hips, flex the knees to the start position. CrossFit Kids Cue Zipper drill (unzip the coat), keeping an angry gorilla back return to the set-up position.

46

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sumo Deadlift High Pull Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 . Set up Zipper drill Kids Set up Stand, then shrug Zipper drill Teens Set up Hips and shoulders rise at same rate until the knees,then the hips push forward Hips open violently before shrug Bar is pulled to the chin Elbows are higher than hands throughout the movement and finish high and outside Bar brought back to waist in descent before hips bend Neutral spine throughout entire movement

Sumo Deadlift Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Hips not open before arm bend pulling early No Shrug Elbows Down Weight plunging to ground Cause Awareness Fix Review Zipper drill from above knee until correct, then repeat from the ground Practice stand, then Zipper drill Hit trainers hands with elbows Count rep at waist before returning to ground. In severe cases, return to counting game in ascent and descent to partition the movement. Start pull from waist until correct, then from just above the knees until correct, then from ground

Awareness Awareness Awareness, strength

Segmented movement

Awareness

47
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

HANG POWER CLEAN


Hang Power Clean Teaching Points There are three primary teaching points for Kids and Teens (it is an advanced move, and thus will probably not be addressed in the Preschool class): 1. 2. 3. Set-Up Dip Shrug Drop Stand

1. Set Up - This is where to start/finish


Adult Cue Knees and hips in full extension, shoulders neutral and object in hands at arms length. Kids & Teens Cue Standing tall with the ball in hands with arms hanging straight.

2. Dip Shrug
Adult Cue Dip and shrug after full opening the hips, arms staying straight the entire time. Kids Cue Oompa-Loompa, I dont know. Teens Cue Dip shrug, arms staying straight the entire time.

3. Drop Stand This is where you go


Adult Cue After the shrug pull yourself under the object, receiving it in a partial squat, elbows high and ball on chest, stand keeping the ball in the front rack position. Kids & Teens Cue Drop under the ball and stand with the ball on chest.

Hang Power Clean Points of Performance


Preschool 1 2 3 4 5 . Kids Full extension of the hip. Shrug Partial front squat with elbows up and back straight. Teens Good set up Full extension of hip Shrug Ball received in partial front squat. Stand up at top with ball in front rack position

48

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hang Power Clean Therapy Problems and Fixes


Fault Hips not open No Shrug Curling the ball Cause Awareness Awareness Awareness Fix Go back to dip shrug drill skill work. Go back to dip shrug drill skill work Wall drill: face wall with ball between body and wall, work dip shrug drill skill work without moving away from the wall. Wall Drill

Tossing or flicking the ball

Awareness

49
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

50

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IV. HOW TO TEACH KIDS


51
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

52

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IV. HOW TO TEACH KIDS Teaching Styles, Making It Work


By: Anita Taylor, CrossFit Kids Magazine, January & February 2009 What makes CrossFit Kids so appealing to children and parents is its philosophy of combining fun and fitness. As a parent, CrossFit Kids instructor, or other adult working with children, your goal is to make that happen. And you do that by creating the right environment where each child: Feels special. Has the ability to learn and enjoys participating in class activities. Is comfortable interacting with you and other children. Feels engaged and a sense of community. You also do that by creating an environment where parents are engaged in the progress and success of their child. If children enjoy the activities, make progress in their fitness levels, and want t o come back, then youve created the right environment for children to have fun and to get fit at the same time. But how we accomplish that is going to be different each day and will be different for each child. That will be dependent upon teaching styles. Every child you interact with is different. Some are quiet or shy; others are outgoing and noisy. Each one learns differently--some may learn by watching; others may learn and have more fun by doing. Each one had different comfort levels in how they are praised, corrected, or supervised. Each one will interact with you differently. And every child is different in what makes him or her feel special. You may think a child isnt learning or isnt having fun, but she might just be introverted. Someone may not respond well to an activity youve planned--it might just his personality. Maybe one child will respond well to positive praise. Another might respond better to quiet one-on-one dialog about form. One child might cringe if you raise your voice; another might respond well to the energy and dynamism of shouting. When it comes to activities, one child might enjoy leading. Others have more fun following. Others might prefer repeating something theyve done before. In order to accommodate all these differences, youll need to employ a variety of teaching styles to give all children an equal opportunity to learn and to have fun in the way that suits them best. Examples of Personality Types / Learning Styles Active Learner Enjoys group work. Works within well-established methods Visual Sequential Learning is linear, logical, stepwise paths Extrovert Prefers to talk aloud More comfortable interacting with others Might prefer collaborative work Introvert Reflective learner Prefers to work alone. Responds to innovation Dislikes repetition Verbal Absorbs material randomly, then they suddenly get it

Introvert Prefers quiet environment Listen rather than talk


53

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

During my 10-plus years of teaching, I have found that incorporating a broad range of teaching styles and strategies is extremely helpful and effective in engaging different types of children. In addition to the styles and methods that you would naturally use, others that can give you a fresh approach. First, well take a very broad look at these, and then well give examples of how they apply to a CrossFit Kids class and how theyll work for different personalities. You may wish to consider this a checklist or handy reference guide. It may be helpful to pull it out once a month, or quarterly; reflect on your particular style, how you run your classes, how you interact with the children. Think back on whats been successful or not. Is there a child who just doesnt seem to be participating? Is there something different you want to try? Is there something youve overlooked, that you could incorporate into your lesson plans? A different or a fresh approach might just make the difference that can help a child achieve goals and have fun doing so rather than get frustrated and quit. Overview of Teaching Styles In contemporary research, there are five broad categories of teaching styles, as defined by Anthony Grasha. You may instantly recognize your own style in one of these, or yours may be a blend of one or more. There are no right or wrong to any of them. What is important, though, is to use each of these strategies and methods as you are able throughout your class to adapt to each childs learning style and personality. Of course, your use of any of these styles or strategies will be dictated by your ability to reasonably do so within an appropriate class structure while maintaining the safety of the children. Facilitator Emphasizes the personal nature of teacherstudent interactions. Guides and directs students by asking questions, exploring options, suggesting alternatives, and encouraging their exploration of options. Develops the capacity for independent action, initiatives, and responsibility. Demonstrator/Personal Model Oversees, guides, and directs by showing how to do things. Encourages students to observe and then to emulate the instructors approach. Acts as a coach or guide .

Formal Authority Provides positive and negative feedback. Establishes learning goals, expectations, and rules of conduct. Concerned with the correct, acceptable, and standard ways to do things. Provides students with the structure they need in order to learn. Expert Possesses and shares knowledge and expertise that students need. Delegator Enables students to work independently on projects (or as part of a team). Teaching Styles and CrossFit Kids OK, so how do these styles apply to a typical CrossFit Kids class? The structure of a typical CrossFit Kids class beautifully allows for each of these styles to be used. Lets look at the various aspects of the class and show different examples of effective approaches while: Interacting personally with students (making them feel special). Handling questions. Designing and executing activities. Setting expectations, learning goals, and responsibilities. Giving feedback. Structuring and pacing your class. Interacting with parents. Additional engagement activities. Personal Interaction Lets say your interaction with the children begins when they enter they gym. This is your first opportunity to make each child feel comfortable and special, and you can begin to create the right environment for learning and for fun. Some children will want to run into the area immediately and explore (will respond well to Delegator style). Others will hang back and need some gentle encouragement (Facilitator or Demonstrator style). Some will feel comfortable picking up equipment and playing, and others might need some direction and ideas on what they can do (Formal style).

54

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Recognizing these differences and using different styles to interact with each childs separate personality will help make each feel comfortable and create an environment that is fun. Using more of a Facilitator style is an excellent method to help children feel special. Children love to talk about the events in their lives (maybe a new brother entered their family, they bought a new pet, or they were able to do a good push-up at home.) Spending time at the whiteboard and giving children time to share their stories with you and the others is a good opportunity. For quieter, shyer children, you might need to prompt them by asking them a question (Demonstrator style). Think about other times during class where you can personally interact with each child individually--such as during a water break, setting up equipment, etc. Using their first names, making eye contact with them, asking about events in their lives, even bending /stooping down to talk to them at their level are all methods that facilitate personal interaction with children. Handling Questions Fun and learning will only happen if children feel comfortable asking questions throughout the class. Provide opportunities for them to do so--both formally and informally. Some children will feel very comfortable asking a question in front of a group (or raising their hand to do so). Others might need some free time to come up to you alone. Look for that, and make yourself accessible. Others might need prompting--they might not even know how to ask their question. You might need to ask them to show you what youve just talked about to see if they understand it. Another facet of your style is how you handle questions and interruptions in class. Can children interrupt you while youre explaining a movement or an activity? Or do you want them to wait until you say its OK to ask questions? Do you encourage questions--maybe stopping part way through and asking them if they have a question? Explore a variety of methods to reach out to children. And if they do interrupt you with a question, how do you respond? With a smile? As if youre irritated that they interrupted you? Are you patient with them or do you hurry them along or cut them off? Do you prompt them in order to make them feel more comfortable if they are shy speaking up? Not only will children have questions, but so too will their parents. Build time in your schedule to talk to shyer students alone, and to chat with parents.

Designing and Executing Activities and Demonstrating The primary way in which children learn during a CrossFit Kids class is through active learning. You may have found though that children will have a variety of responses to activities and which ones they enjoy. Because the typical structure of a CrossFit Kids class includes several activities, you have opportunity to come up with a blend that makes everyone happy. Allowing Children to Suggest Alternatives Many children enjoy the creativity of suggesting alternatives. Instead of following your lesson plan, driven solely by your ideas, some children will find much more satisfaction if their ideas are listened to. For instance, if they have a suggestion, and it works for the objective of the activity, run with it. They will feel that they are valued, and it encourages engagement and participation. If you see a child doing something different than what youve planned (maybe they spontaneously start doing jumping jacks instead of tuck jumps), maybe go with that instead. Setting up equipment and seeing what children do with it provides that opportunity too. Be open to flexibility and spontaneity to satisfy the needs of children who respond well to that. On the other hand, be conscious that other children will feel uncomfortable with being spontaneous. Theres no need to put pressure on them; that is just their style and their personality. They might quickly enjoy implementing others ideas but might be reluctant to generate ideas of their own. Thats OK. For them, they might respond better to following along with an activity that is structured. Exploring Options Likewise, giving children time to explore options to accomplish an activity is another teaching style and appeals to those who prefer collaborative work. Some children might thrive on being given a project and developing a solution--a perfect example is the CrossFit Kids game Build and Move a Fort. Some children might not be ready for independent work. If others hang back, you can gently encourage their participation by giving them a specific task, such as bringing over a medicine ball. Make them a part of the team rather than expecting them to come up with an idea of their own. That way, theyll have fun but in their own way. With activities like that, be prepared to give attentive supervision, or gentle guidance, to those who are not ready for independent work.

55
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Teamwork/Interaction with Others Some children will enjoy interacting with others, and one of the goals of teaching is to help children feel comfortable doing so. Include activities that facilitate teamwork. Some children thrive on a group atmosphere and begin interacting with the other children immediately (an extrovert). Others are shy and need some time and space to grow comfortable (an introvert). Some will respond well to controlled, structured activities to interact with others. Here youll find the need to strike a balance. There will be children who want to lead and are vocal about it; others would like to try leading but hang back and are quiet. As you become more aware of your students personalities, reach out and encourage the shyer ones. Consider taking turns so quieter students have an opportunity to step forward. The Value of Repetition and Structure At the opposite side of the spectrum will be children who thrive on repetition and structured activities. They will enjoy activities that they are familiar with, ones that are repeated from past classes. You may see them instantly light up when they recognize something theyve done previously. Also, younger children might respond better if some parts of the class, such as the warm-up, are always the same. For them, repetition and consistency equals comfort. Try to plan your class activities to include structured, formal activities, a gradual progression of older activities, along with ones that let children explore ideas of their own. Time for Reflection Learning is reflective--yet often we dont give children time to work on things on their own. Be patient and give them time to express their thoughts, especially when learning a new skill. Just as we learned at the CrossFit Kids Seminar, make time at the end of class to reflect. What did you learn today? What was hard? What was your favorite thing? What would you like to do again? Summarize what theyve learned. Help reinforce the points you want to make.

Showing Children How to Do Things/Demonstrating and Participating Ive found that demonstrating skills and activities and how you interact with children during the class is one area that needs the broadest range of teaching styles. Weve learned to teach a new skill to a child in three different ways: by seeing, hearing, and doing. Those same approaches can be used for every activity in your class. A more Formal style is needed to explain the activity, and outline what the expectations are. Another child might respond to the Facilitator style--asking questions of them such as What do you think a round is? How many times are we going to do that? Yet others will enjoy and have more fun with the Demonstrator style--where you actively participate in part of the activity or game with them. This will work especially well for new activities, where children may be unsure of expectations or appropriate conduct. By participating on the same level with them (laughing and being silly along with them), you give them a model that they can copy.

Setting Expectations and Responsibilities


Expectations A key element to a smooth-running class (i.e., minimal chaos) is to set expectations and boundaries. Again, youll be more successful with this if you use the right approach. A Formal style might be effective at whiteboard time or when explaining an activity. Some will respond better to a Facilitator style when you encourage, or suggest, the right behavior. Using other childrens behavior as an example: Brian, why dont you put your dumbbells away where Sharon did? is the Demonstrator approach. Some children thrive on repetition; all need a certain level of consistency. So when you set a practice or expectation, such as Please raise your hand to ask a question, be sure to always follow it. On the other hand, allow for some flexibility in meeting those expectations, especially when it comes to children. Youll need to adjust your own expectations based on what children can do that day, their stresses, their energy level, and their moods.

56

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Responsibility Children will achieve a sense of pride and accomplishment as they master new skills, but also as they complete tasks that they have been given responsibility for. This can be as simple as expecting the children to keep track of their own rounds, signing their names on the whiteboard when theyve completed a workout, or putting equipment away in its proper place. Dont do everything for them. Your own style may be to quickly set up and dismantle things on your own, or to be completely prepared and organized before class (Formal style). But use other styles to give children that sense of accomplishment. Allow time to assign responsibilities to children (Facilitator style). Show them what to do, but allow them to master it (Demonstrator style). Giving Feedback Giving feedback, praise, and constructive comments is an integral part of teaching. Almost all children will respond well to praise. But when teaching CrossFit Kids, not only will you be praising, but you also need to provide feedback to them on what they are doing right or wrong. This is one area where its crucial to match your teaching style with each childs sensitivities. For instance, what you consider praise may be highly uncomfortable for a child. Do you give corrections to the group as a whole or single out a child? Some children might be mortified if singled out in front of a group (even to demonstrate a move) but might respond well if you pull him or her aside during a break in the class. (In fact, most children will adore a little one-on-one time with you--that goes a long way towards making them feel special.) Others will shine if theyre called out in front of the group. A method to consider is equal time: if you do something with one child, do it with all. For instance, if youre addressing a childs form, you may want to make sure that you do the same thing with every child at that moment, so one doesnt feel that they are being singled out and corrected. Other teaching style elements to consider: How do you give corrections? Do they know by your language and tone of voice that corrections are not bad and that you are helping the child get even better? When do you give feedback? As they learn a movement? As they are executing an activity? At the end of class? How do you provide feedback--always just by compliments? Find a balance between corrections and praise. Dont have them leaving the class thinking they did a lot of things wrong. An effective practice is to make sure youve praised each child at least once. Tying It All Together: Structuring Your Class and Pacing Weve already discussed the need to include a variety of activities in your class plan. Broadly, though, its important to have a plan. Even though the WOD might be random and varied, for learning to occur you need some overall structure.

Ive worked with many teachers who are completely spontaneous when teaching. They enter the classroom, studio, or gym, and based on intuition and assessment of the group decide on the spot what will be taught and how the class will be run. Yes, an element of flexibility is necessary in order to respond to childrens moods and energy levels that day. But all children will respond better to established routine, expectations, boundaries; otherwise youll lose discipline and focus of the class if you have too much unstructured time as you think about what you should do next. Children will become confused and unsure. Structure begins with your lesson plan and how prepared you are. Do you have an objective of what you want to cover or accomplish that day? If youre introducing a new movement, or activity, or game--have you rehearsed or practiced it so that you can execute it properly, and do you know what equipment youll need and where the children will end up? Is your style to follow your lesson plan relentlessly, no matter how the class is going? Or, if you see an activity isnt going well, can you quickly assess, adjust, and start over (What CrossFit Kids calls your back-pocket plan)? Pacing: The Ebb and Flow of Energy in the Class An important element of the structure of your class is pacing. Your style of controlling the activity levels in the class also enables learning. A natural ebb and flow that allows children to synthesize one activity, rest, and transition to the next activity will facilitate learning and will also make the class much more enjoyable. A chaotic rush from one activity to another wears out children and isnt fun for them or for you! CrossFit Kids program elements are already adjusted for a childs attention level. But your own style is necessary to combine them into a flow. Allow for material to be synthesized. Allow time for children to work on a skill on their own. Give them a few moments to rest (mentally and physically) and regain their energy for the next activity. Last But Not Least: Parent Interaction Your teaching style encompasses more than just how you help children learn and have fun. In order for your classes to be successful, you also need to find the appropriate style of interacting with the childrens parents. They want to know how their children are doing: Are they progressing in class? Do they need disciplining? Are they having fun? How is CrossFit Kids better for my child than another program? Your response and interaction with parents can make or break the success of your class.

57
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Consider different styles to approach parents: When parents arrive to pick up their children, what is the extent of your interaction with them? Do you just answer their questions with a blank, formal explanation? Or do you seek them out? Do you try to find out their real concerns and address them? How much do you bring them into the class? Are they watching the entire class or not allowed in the workout area? Do you take the time to explain what the children have done that day or just let them collect their children and depart? Do you regularly ask them if the program is meeting their expectations? Being receptive to their needs and helping them understand and enjoy the program will assist with their childs progress as well as their enjoyment. (CrossFit Kids Editors Note: Use caution if you choose to ask them if they have ideas or suggestions). Engagement Teaching styles encompasses not just how you interact with children during class, but also your level of engagement beyond the class time. How do you create and foster engagement and a sense of community? One of the hallmarks of CrossFit is the sense of belonging to a community. Engagement increases motivation, better learning, and, of course, more fun! Some ways to increase engagement Acknowledge birthdays. Active website or blog--encourage posting of comments. Newsletter/email. Whiteboard of achievements. Student of the month. A challenge of the month. Acknowledging new PRs. Field trips (virtual or IRL). Watching adult classes. Take-home copies of notes or articles. Homework assignments, maybe a special WOD.

Summary In conclusion, weve demonstrated how applying a variety of teaching styles to your class can ensure that children make better progress and have more fun. Weve also shown how these styles can lead to greater parent, trainer and student satisfaction Hopefully, youve gained an understanding of why children react the way they do to certain activities or behave the way they do and learned some new approaches and methods to use to facilitate the fun and fitness that is CrossFit Kids! l

58

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CrossFit Preschool Class Structure


Ages: 3-5 Class Length: 15-20 minutes Whiteboard (Explain the Workout): 3 minutes Put the whiteboard on the ground and kneel down with the kids while explaining. Make your instructions colorful and fun and use pictures (draw objects and named concepts; i.e., a frog for leapfrog). Pick a special leader for the day as a demonstrator for the rest of the class. Focus/Skill work: 3-5 minutes Work on specific points of performance (distinct portions of movement). Introduce 1-2 skills for a 4-6 week period. Examples: Press rack position, deadlift set-up, superman/ hollow position Warm-Up: 3 minutes General in nature. Examples: shuttle run, jump around, freeze tag. WOD: 3-5 minutes As many reps as possible (AMRAP) format works best. 3-5 repetitions max for each movement. Examples: AMRAP in 5-10: Forward roll, balance-beam walk, 3 perfect squats. 5 rounds: 3-5 press to the sky, 1 plank, 3-5 squats. AMRAP in 5-10: skip across the room, 3 press to sky, 1 monkey hang. Game Its a must to get to the game; make it age appropriate and fun. Examples: duck-duck-goose, follow the leader, ring around the rosie.

59
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

CrossFit Kids Class Structure


Ages: 5-12 Class Length: 30 minutes Whiteboard: 3-5 minutes Keep it colorful and creative. Ensure explanation is clear and concise. Draw Points of Performance in movement. Draw logistics of WOD layout. Warm up: 3-5 minutes Can be game-like, skill based, or a combination of the two. Examples: 1. 2. 3. 2 x 9 supermans, 6 squats, 3 forward rolls. 2 x 1:00 each of handstand holds and tarzans. 3:00 of cartwheels and plank holds.

Focus/Skill work: 5-8 minutes Technique work for movements or distinct parts of movements. Can also cover information such as nutrition (macronutrients game) or What Is Fitness? (draw the sickness-wellnessfitness continuum while in the bottom of a squat). Introduce 2-3 skills in a 4-6 week period. Examples: kipping, forward roll, handstands. WOD: 5-10 minutes Mostly AMRAP format. Examples: 1. 2. 3. AMRAP in 10-12: 3 pull-ups, 5 push-ups, 7 squats. 15-12-9: wall-balls (4-10 lb.), pull-ups. Squats: 18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2, pull-ups: 2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18.

Game: 5-10 minutes Standard Games with a CrossFit Kids twist (dodgeball: if you get hit move to the side and perform 10 squats, then you are back in). Examples: dodgeball, bulldog, leapfrog races.

60

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CrossFit Teens Class Structure


Ages: 12-18 Class Length: 40-50 minutes Whiteboard: 5 minutes Looks like an adult whiteboard. Describe the workout: demonstrate movements, define range of motion and discuss common problems. Warm up: 3-5 minutes Must be engaging, can include skill work. Examples: medicine-ball warm-up, kneeling jump work, 2 x 200 m run, 10 box jumps, 5 broad jumps. Skill Work: 5-10 minutes Generally focused on whole movements. This is a great opportunity to work on movements to be used in the WOD. Examples: handstand to forward roll, slackline work, vertical-jump and broad-jump maxes. WOD: 2-15 minutes Looks a lot like an adult WOD but can also have a twist; the novelty in a workout can be a surprise (Rolling Randy, Bar Disappearing Act, etc.). Key role of a teen trainer is to design the WODs so that all athletes can compete. Examples: 1. 2. 3. 3 Rounds: 7 DB thrusters, 7 push-ups, 15 side-to-side hops, 7 DB thrusters, 7 push-ups, 15 side-to-side hops, prowler push 35 m. IS THIS PRESCRIPTION REDUNDANT IN ERROR? Complete as many rounds in 15 minutes as you can of: pistols (5 each leg), 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats. Complete as many rounds in 15 minutes as you can of: 400 m run followed by 3 rounds: 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats.

Skill Work: 3-5 minutes Usually, but not always, a different skill that was worked on before performed immediately upon completion of the WOD while heart rate is still up. Examples: planches to handstands, lever progressions, wall walk. Stretch: 5 minutes Stretch and mobility work: Kelly Starrett at mobilitywod.com, Dick Hartzell at jumpstretch.com. Study: 10-15 minutes The brain is prepped for the most efficient learning; have them bring in homework and provide information (CrossFit Journal, SAT Prep, etc.) for their use.

61
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

CrossFit Teens Weightlifting Class Structure


Ages 12-18, by invitation only; athletes must move well with no weight long before putting large loads on the barbell. 60-minute class two days a week. One major lift per session, deadlift (both sumo and standard stance) and back squat. An auxiliary lift can be used if time allows, but not at the expense of the deadlift and squat. Session starts with PVC pipe working on proper mechanics. If movements are problematic, mobility work may be appropriate. If movements continue to be a problem, then significant load is not appropriate for that day. Every lift is supervised by a coach, with one coach per platform. Safety is ensured and enforced by unwavering focus on technique and making the smallest jumps in weight possible. 3-5-7 repetition scheme Single repetition max for sport-specific training only. l

62

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Weightlifting and Kids: Dispelling the Myths


By: Jeff Martin and Cyndi Rodi, CrossFit Kids Magazine, February 2008 Common knowledge is sometimes neither accurate nor helpful. Case in point: the pervasive misconceptions and mythology pertaining to kids and weightlifting that have swirled around the health and fitness communities. For years, the ominous warning it is not safe for kids to lift weights has been spoken with authority and rarely challenged. The customary rationale behind this point of view has been that lifting will hurt their growth plates. To hear the naysayers tell it, kids who lift weights are going to grow up to become misshapen dwarves. This has not been our experience at CrossFit Kids HQ. Nor is it what is being reported by CrossFit Kids programs around the world. Looking at the active kids we are raising and training, we see the opposite effect. We see strong, lean, healthy kids, standouts in P.E. who are able to adapt to a wide range of sports. OK, some of them around here may be short, but that is due to genetics, not weightlifting. What Is a Growth Plate and Why Should We Worry? A growth plate, also known as the epiphyseal plate or physis, is an area of developing tissue located near the ends of long bones in children and teens. Each long bone has at least two growth plates located at each end between the widened part of the shaft of the bone (the metaphysis) and the end of the bone (the epiphysis) (1). It is at these ends that growth takes place. Growth plates are weaker than the ligaments and tendons that connect the bones to one another, and as such are extremely vulnerable. The energy-absorbing capability of the growth plate is lower than that of bone, ligament, or tendon, which explains why the open growth plate is the preferential site for failure when the joint is injured (7). Trauma to the joint is more likely to cause a growth-plate fracture than injury to the bone or connective tissue. Because the growth plate is the last portion of the bone to harden (ossify) (1), damage to this soft tissue is always a concern in the event of impact and/or trauma. Several factors determine the prognosis of a growth-plate injury. Severe injuries that cause the cessation of blood flow to the end of the bone can stunt growth. A shattered or crushed growth plate increases the likelihood that abnormal growth will occur, resulting in a shortened or deformed limb, and infection is always a risk when open wounds are present. The age of the child plays a key role because younger bones have a greater ability to remodel (9). This is why an adolescent who is near the end of the growth phase is at greater risk for long-term problems. Finally, the location of the injury and its type (classified by such factors as blood supply, nerve damage and degree of separation) determine the ability of the body to heal itself.

The presence of rapid growth means the bones of children heal faster than those of adults. If not promptly and properly treated, a growth-plate injury can lead to lifelong difficulties created by abnormalities in bone development. Clearly, this gives us reason to pause when considering loading our children and adolescents with weights. This may account for past assumptions and attitudes regarding weightlifting and kids. In 1983, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a position statement that concluded weightlifting should be avoided by preadolescents due to its high injury rate. This opinion was reinforced in a paper published by Sewell and Micheli (1986) in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. Despite a later paper by Micheli (1988) that reversed his stance regarding preadolescent weight training, the earlier publication continued to influence perceptions and beliefs. A second American Academy of Pediatrics position paper was published in 1990 and added prohibitive language for adolescents in weight training, stating that, Unless good data becomes available that demonstrate safety, children and adolescents should avoid the practice of weight lifting, power lifting, and body building (12). Such policies resounded through the medical and fitness communities and set the tone for subsequent studies and publications for many years. Unfortunately, these men and women were forwarding bad policy based on erroneous and unfounded assumptions. Anecdotal Observations CrossFit Kids have soundly demonstrated this position is a fallacy. Our kids routinely lift weights and have experienced none of the injuries or negative effects historically attributed to childhood and adolescent weightlifting. Connor is 16 and has been CrossFitting for four years. During this period of time, he has progressed from working movements with PVC to lifting numbers that grown men envy. He has had no broken bones, regularly spars full contact and has been competing in varsity high-school wrestling since his freshman year. Connor is a fierce competitor who aggressively works to achieve his many goals and holds the record at Brand X for several benchmark workouts. No evidence of injury in him. Keegan is 14 and has been CrossFitting twice a week for three years. He is a top-notch soccer player who has been recruited to play for older intra teams, and he is an accomplished climber whose advice on the wall is sought by kids and adults alike. Keegan is routinely one of the fastest players on his soccer team and possesses the stamina to play hard into the final minutes of the game. In the past year, Keegan has been able to up the ante on his weightlifting regimen and has achieved several body-weight and over-body-weight lifts with no injury or growth issues

63
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

David is 17 and is the quintessential athlete. He is a talented soccer player who was invited to play soccer overseas and on the La Jolla Nomads in Southern California. As a freshman in high school, he lettered in three sports. He has been training with Connor from the beginning, four years ago. David has made remarkable strides that are the combined result of his natural athletic talent and his incredible work ethic. He routinely challenges himself and has come to embody the promised potential of the CrossFit method. Through it all, David has remained free of injury and continued to grow in a normal manner. Each of these young men competed in the 2007 CrossFit Games. Though CrossFit Kids does not recommend or condone max efforts for the majority of children and teens, we felt it was both safe and appropriate to allow them to participate in the CrossFit Total due to their lengthy CrossFit histories and carefully supervised training protocols. In addition, all three boys were exhibiting secondary sex characteristics associated with increasing testosterone production, a benchmark for gradually shifting to maximum lifts. Prior to making the decision to allow them to train and compete at this level, we had taken great pains to scour the current literature to determine the legitimacy of claims that adolescents are at greater risk for growth-plate injury. We found no data to support such claims. In fact, there is evidence that one-rep-max lifts are safe IF (and its a big if ) the teen has demonstrated a mastery of the technique. All three athletes had been participating in CrossFit since their preadolescent years and demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to compete. Each had a fantastic showing at the Games while incurring no injuries or physical problems as a result of his participation. This makes for a great story, and we are very proud of their efforts. However, the truth of the matter is, even if we hadnt allowed these young men to compete at such a level, they would still have been lifting on a regular basis. Kids are exposed to lifting whether they like or not. Duncan is 9 and has been CrossFitting for three years. He lifts weights in CrossFit Kids classes but, more importantly, he lifts in his daily life. Every day, Duncan has to lug his 10-lb. backpack to school. In the process, he performs multiple lifts and strength movements. He lifts it from the floor (deadlift), carries it on his back, picks up the things that drop out of it onto the ground (lunge/squat), climbs into the truck with it on his back (weighted pull-up) and delivers it safely to his classroom. When he returns home in the afternoon, he stows his backpack on the counter by overhead pressing/push pressing it into place. He routinely lifts half his body weight as a course of his normal activities and continues to move his limbs unimpeded by growth-plate problems.

The same experiences are true for most kids. Girls and boys alike encounter daily experiences that dictate their participation in unsupervised weight training. It is not possible to get through life without performing some sort of lifting. This is why we decided several years ago to teach our kids to properly and safely perform lift movements. In the true spirit of CrossFit, our goal was to simply give the kids the skills they required to meet the demands of daily life and to improve their health and fitness. The added benefit was the phenomenal gains our CrossFit Kids began to make, growth-plate injury-free since our inaugural workout nearly three years ago. Our kids are testimony that weightlifting is a safe and positive activity for kids. Not only are we seeing injury-free strength gains and increased coordination but we are also witnessing perceptual changes in what they believe about themselves and their abilities. These things didnt happen by chance. We have taken great pains to design a program that is safe and effective. Each child or teen has been carefully supervised and trained. Each one has been treated as an individual, with strengths and special needs considered and addressed. As a result, the individual stories are uniquely compelling. Justin is 9 years old and has been CrossFitting for three years. Justin came to us shy and lacking confidence. He was physically capable but afraid to risk looking silly. We brought Justin along slowly, helping him to recognize his potential. Justin has gone from using PVC pipe to low-weight dumbbells and barbells, each step made only after demonstrating a solid understanding of technique. He recently completed a set of 45 beautiful hang squat cleans with a 15-lb. bar. Justin has sustained no injuries as a result of his lifting efforts. Darby is a 12-year-old female who has always worked hard but came to us with profound flexibility issues. We spent time working individually with her, performing a number of drills to help her improve in this area. Darby participated in the 2007 Fight Gone Bad benefit at the C level, which required her to perform the push press and sumo deadlift high pull with a 35-lb. bar. Darby accumulated 203 points in FGB and has not demonstrated any pain or injury from these or her other weightlifting efforts. Delaney is 9 years old and has, from the beginning, demonstrated a penchant for detail. Her movements are often flawless, and her efforts have been impressive. Delaney attended Coach Burgerners Olympic Lifting Seminar at the age of 7. Our efforts with Delaney have been to keep her enthused and continually challenging herself. Delaney is a healthy, injury-free CrossFitter.

64

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

McKenna is 7 years old and, like all these kids, has been with us from the beginning. Always devoted to CrossFit Kids, McKenna has only recently begun to demonstrate the physical and emotional maturity to move beyond PVC or low-weight dumbbells to actually perform slightly higher-weighted movements. McKenna has had to weather the storm of watching her older peers achieve beyond her abilities and is gradually finding her own path. She is currently using 8-to-15-lb. bars and dumbbells and a 12-kilogram kettlebell. McKenna is injury-free and, in fact, is much taller than many of the older kids. Courtney is 10 years old and has been a CrossFitter for two years. She is bold and fearless, willing to challenge boys and adults alike. We immediately realized Courtneys potential but knew we needed to temper her enthusiasm with realistic expectations. Courtney worked with the Kids class for a number of months until we felt confident her technique was proficient. We then moved her to the advanced Kids class where we continue to hone her lifting skills and monitor her maturity. By her last summer break, we felt comfortable giving Courtney permission to work out beside her parents in adult classes. Courtney has become a top performer at Brand X. She recently completed Jackie in record time, then went on to participate in a weekend soccer tournament. No injuries here. All our kids regularly appear in the CrossFit Kids Magazine, the CrossFit Journal and on our website demonstrating proper form and recording stellar efforts in weightlifting and other strength training. We regularly include videos on the CrossFit Kids website of children ranging in age from 4 to 18 performing weighted movements; thrusters, shoulder presses, cleans, etc. Each of these was sent to us by proud parents who are willingly subjecting their children to this type of training. Is there simply an abundance of bad parents in the CrossFit community? Or is it possible that weight training does not pose a danger to children and teens? Significantly, none of the kids in these videos show signs of abnormal growth patterns or obvious injuries. As parents, we want what is best for our kids, and we take our roles as trainers and programmers very seriously. Of course we dont want to encourage something that could potentially harm the development of any child. So in spite of anecdotal evidence to the contrary, we were compelled to ask the question, Is it true that kids who lift weights have a disproportionate amount of growth-plate injuries compared to the rest of the population? Looking for Empirical Data CrossFit defines a successful program as one that works. Is it safe? Is it efficient? Is it efficacious? The answers to these questions are empirically derived using measurable, observable, repeatable facts; i.e., data (17). Our laboratories are CrossFit boxes around the world that test and retest, try and retry the various facets of the program. That which consistently produces the desired results is chronicled and shared with the greater community; that which doesnt goes the way of the dinosaur. It is a scientific system that has been proven time and again. To

paraphrase Coach Glassman, we simply dont need men in lab coats to tell us our methodology is sound or our results statistically significant. This does not, however, preclude the careful review of available peer-reviewed data. Upon considering the role of weightlifting in CrossFit Kids, we felt it prudent to investigate the literature of the scientific community to determine if they, too, supported our assertion that weightlifting for kids is indeed safe. We searched numerous peer-reviewed journals, and our efforts to clarify the role of weightlifting in growth-plate injuries yielded no evidence to support previous claims. In fact, we found a mound of evidence that challenges and disproves the once commonly held beliefs about kids and weightlifting. A host of articles generated by the scientific community fail to mention weightlifting as a cause of growth-plate injuries and, in fact, clearly state that strength training is safe and beneficial for children and teens. Strength training has been found to be an important part of fitness training for children and teens, contributing to improvements in multiple aspects of health and life. There has been much discussion about the ability of children to improve strength and enhance muscular development. Critics believe a lack of testosterone renders weight training with children useless. This is a ridiculous notion. There are a plethora of studies that document impressive strength gains and increases in muscle mass via weight training in both women and the elderly, two populations that are not known for their high testosterone levels. Dr. Avery Faigenbaum (et al.), one of the foremost experts on strength training with kids, has published numerous articles that have revealed significant increases in muscle strength and mass in preadolescent boys and girls (13), and similar findings were reported by other researchers as early as the mid-1980s (15). Beyond the benefits of strength gains and enhanced muscle mass, Reports indicate that youth resistance training may improve motor performance skills, may reduce injuries in sports and recreational activities, and may favorably alter selected anatomic and psychosocial parameters. In 2005, a study was presented to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) which offered sound evidence that resistance training brought about significant increases in strength and favorable body composition changes in overweight and obese children. The accompanying press release stated that such training can safely play a role in a comprehensive healthenhancement strategy for girls and boys alike, including those with a disinterest in physical activity. The statement went on to say, Parents and coaches who are concerned about the safety of resistance training for kids, and even young athletes, should know that it is a safe and effective activity for this age group, provided it is well designed and supervised. Strength training has been shown to protect muscles and joints from injury, boost heart and lung function, and lower cholesterol (8).

65
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Weight training increases bone density. According to the American Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, weightlifting produces healthier children who are less prone to injury. It also helps fend off bone degeneration in later life. Osteoporosis has been called a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences. The amount of bone mass that is created during childhood and adolescence is an important determinant of lifelong skeletal health (11). Healthy habits that contribute to increased bone density (e.g., bank bone), like weightlifting in the early years, can help to fend off such degenerative diseases. The positive effects of strength training go beyond the physical. Some experts report that strength training may boost self-confidence and improve social skills in young people. The Mayo Clinic concurs, calling on studies that suggest strength training can improve self-esteem and decrease the chance of depression in children and teens (8). According to Dr. Faigenbaum, lifting weights offers positive feedback in the form of visual reinforcement that becomes a tangible marker of how much progress is being made. He discusses the positive impact weight training can have on the psyche of an obese child. Because weight lifted is positively related to body weight, heavier children typically train with heavier loads than their lighter peers. Unlike most athletic activities in which extra body weight is undesirable (e.g., running, jumping, soccer, basketball), strength training actually favors larger youths and gives them a much-needed sense of physical achievement (6). In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics (1) issued its new policy statement regarding strength training by children and adolescents. Recommendations of this new policy include: Strength training programs for preadolescents and adolescents can be safe and effective if proper resistance training techniques and safety precautions are followed, and specifically with regard to growth-plate injuries, Such injuries are uncommon and are believed to be largely preventable by avoiding improper lifting techniques, maximal lifts, and improperly supervised lifts. Dr. Bernard Griesemer, collaborative author of the AAP statement, was later quoted as saying, We support anything that gets kids to become active and stay physically active--and that doesnt cause injuries--and strength training can be all those things (5). A complete reversal of previous policy, the AAP statement paved the way for positive changes, limited only by the hold prior beliefs maintain upon educators, trainers and the medical community. So why the shift in perception and recommendation? It turns out its not weightlifting that is hurting our kids. One large study showed that the majority of growth-plate injuries in children resulted from a fall, usually while running or playing on furniture or playground equipment. Competitive sports accounted for one-third of all injuries, while recreational activities such as bicycling, skateboarding, and skiing contributed one-fifth of all cases (9). There is a dearth of empirical data regarding growth-plate injuries and weightlifting. It simply

does not exist. To the contrary, several studies have shown the risk of growth plate injuries to be LESS during weight training compared to other sports, and in published literature, all incidences of injury were attributed to either poor training design or lack of supervision (15). Furthermore, the American College of Sports Medicine has stated that 50 percent of preadolescent sport injuries could be prevented in large part by youth strength and conditioning programs (13). The relevance of such statistics lies in which sports are being linked to growth-plate injuries. We dont hear physicians counseling parents against letting kids play soccer. Nor do we see the American Academy of Pediatrics issuing a policy statement recommending that parents not let their kids ride bikes until they have reached puberty. Yet these sports have statistically high injury rates including fractures, dislocations and sprains--exactly the types of injuries that pose a danger to growth plates. The concern with these activities is not necessarily the risk of severe trauma but in minor injuries that can negatively impact the growth plates. An injury that would cause a sprain in an adult can be associated with growth plate injury in a child (9). Weightlifting does not appear among the ranks of those activities that pose such a danger and, clearly, is not the high-risk behavior it was once thought to be. Empirical data has successfully confirmed our anecdotally derived conclusions. It is important to note that current recommendations do not condone strict weightlifting that calls for exposure to extreme loads and max efforts. Neither the empirical nor anecdotal data support carte blanche in applying weight training to children and adolescents. This distinction cannot be overemphasized. It is these types of activities that can produce the strain and torque necessary to cause growth-plate injuries. Instead, strength training is defined as resistance training that incorporates the use of free weights, weight machines, elastic tubing, or body weight (1). Recommendations for this type of training with children and teens are very clear: Strength training should emphasize well-trained, low-weight reps under highly controlled and supervised circumstances. l

66

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

V. CROSSFIT KIDS GAMES


67
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

68

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

V. CrossFit Kids GAMES


CrossFit Kids Policy CrossFit Kids believes in and endorses this type of weightlifting for kids. We utilize body-weight exercises and free weights to build strength, improve muscle tone and enhance performance. We do not endorse max-effort lifts for kids. We believe in using the smallest stimulus possible to achieve the training effect desired, whether young or old. Due to their still-developing neuromuscular systems, kids receive a training effect from sub-maximal efforts. Ignoring this is foolish, reckless and exposes kids to the same risk of injury that other age groups risk when going for max efforts. It is the hallmark of a bad trainer to expose young clients to this risk. Gradual exposure provides significant results while avoiding the pitfalls of excessive loading and max efforts in children and teens. A properly managed training regimen is imperative to both safety and efficacy. Weightlifting allows our kids to be successful and safe. It is, by design, the art of moving an object without injuring oneself. Children who engage in weightlifting learn the proper fundamentals when they are young enough to still be developing neural pathways. Motor recruitment patterns become ingrained movements for life. They will be able to draw on those patterns to become better athletes and safer individuals, coordinated and able to lift objects safely whether in sport or daily life. The task, then, is to create a template for safe and effective weight training. Age-Appropriate Training Recommendations regarding the appropriate age to begin weightlifting with children vary widely. There have been studies that demonstrate the safety and efficacy of weight training with children as young as 4 years old (14). However, weight training with kids is not simply a scaled version of what we use for adults. There are special considerations which apply to young children that will adapt and increase in complexity as they grow into experienced adolescents. Weight training with young children should be fun and informative at their level of understanding. The object is to introduce the body to the stresses of training and to teach basic technique and form (14). No kids workout program will succeed if you cannot keep them interested. Thus, training sessions should be short and basic. Use weightlifting as skill work or as part of a short WOD to avoid boredom. Five to 10 minutes, depending on the age group, will probably be the cut-off for their attention spans. Break complex movements into separate segments of focus work. After each portion has been mastered, link the movements together. Always begin young childrens training with un-weighted or PVC movements. This allows them the luxury of comprehending and perfecting technique without the dangers associated with loading. Once trainer and child are confident in the childs abilities, move to low-weight dumbbells. Motor pathways, once developed, become the foundation for future increased efforts. Increasing loads should never be the goal with young children. Strength gains at this age are neurological rather than a result of hypertrophy. Training with multiple reps at low weights allows children to build a physiological pathway for their technique (14). This ripens the child for positive adaptations that occur as a result of repetition rather than heavy loading. Increases in load and intensity should be gradual and should never be prioritized ahead of safety and efficacy. Gradually increasing the demands being placed on a childs body creates a training protocol that is both safe and effective. This same principle applies to older kids who have not yet received qualified and carefully supervised training. Advanced weight training with kids still has safety and efficacy as its focus. Though weights can be increased at a greater rate during adolescence, the primary goal continues to be perfect form. Unlike earlier years when weights are light and perfect is relative--meaning each childs performance is rated only on his or her abilities for that day--utilizing heavier loads in adolescence demands a strict definition of perfection. This is an integral part of advanced training that can often times be met with resistance. Kids who are watching their peers lift superior amounts of weights may have a difficult time understanding and/or accepting a training protocol that moves at a slower rate. However, the clock and a focus on numbers can become a hindrance to a safe and effective training program--a fact that must be repeatedly driven home to teenagers. The increased possibility of injury means training teenagers to accept small gains and to value good form over heavy lifts is of utmost importance. A good and responsible trainer will find a way to effectively hold this ground while maintaining the interest of a teen. Delayed gratification has become a littleknown entity. Weight training requires trainer and trainee alike to step back and view the bigger picture. The eventual gains to be made when good form is deeply entrenched in movement patterns are immeasurably greater than those achieved in a premature rush for big numbers. We learned this the hard way at CrossFit Kids HQ and had to spend an entire frustrating year backing off the weights and retracing our training steps with two of our teenage boys. The results of this arduous journey, however, have been performance gains and weightlifting increases beyond what we could have imagined. By considering safety first, we managed to also improve both the efficacy and efficiency of our program.

69
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Conclusion Weightlifting with children and teens has gotten a bad rap over the years. Unfounded allegations dominated and directed the attitudes and policies of the fitness and medical communities for nearly 20 years. Fortunately, the myths surrounding this activity have been dispelled, and policies have gradually been rewritten as mounds of research have demonstrated that weightlifting is not only safe but also offers numerous positive benefits. Research has confirmed the observations of CrossFit parents and trainers around the world. Weight training is good for our kids. Weight training with kids should be a highly supervised, methodical process of developing motor pathways followed by small incremental increases with experienced adolescents. No amount of glory brought about by an overly ambitious lift can justify the inherent danger in moving kids along too quickly. Helping children and teens to appreciate the value of small gains should be of primary concern to a trainer, just as demonstrating perfect form should become a coveted source of satisfaction for kids. The goal of a weightlifting program should not focus entirely on strength gains. Teaching kids about their bodies, promoting safe training procedures, and providing a stimulating program that gives participants a more positive attitude towards resistance training and physical activity are equally important (16). A sense of selfworth, feelings of competence, lifelong improvements in overall motor skills--these are but a few of the benefits to be gained from weight training with children and teens. Learning to appreciate little victories while looking with anticipation for the rewards of later years help to hone the physical, emotional and social skills of a child. Train them to do it correctly, teach them the value of doing it well, and the big lifts will come.

Faigenbaum, A.D., EdD, et. al. Pediatrics. pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/104/1/e5?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hi ts=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=strength%2Btraining&search id=10788745 84555_14893&stored_search=&FIRSTINDEX=0&s ortspec=relevance&journalcode=pediatrics. The Effects of Different Resistance Training Protocols on Muscular Strength and Endurance Development in Children, Vol.104 No. 1, July 1999, p.e5. Grogan, D & Ogden, J. Pediatrics in Review. www.pedsinreview. aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/13/11/429. Knee and Ankle Injuries in Children, 1992. mayoclinic.com. www.mayoclinic.com/health/strength-training/ HQ01010. Strength training: OK for kids when done correctly, January 2006. Medical College of Wisconsin. www.healthlink.wcw.edu. Growth Plate Injuries, July 5, 2005. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. www.niams.nih.gov. Growth Plate Injuries, October 2001 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/bone/Bone_Health/ Juvenile/default.asp. Juvenile Bone Health. August, 2002. Pierce, K., Byrd, R., Stone, M. coaching.usolympicteam.com/ coaching/kpub.nsf/v/dec06. Position Statement and Literature Review: Youth Weightlifting.. Westcott, W. & Faigenbaum, A.D. www.ssymca.org/quincy/str_ train_youth_fitness.htm. Strength Training For Youth Fitness.. Hatfield, Disa. USAPL, powerLINES. www. usapowerlifting.com/ newsletter/15/features/features1.html. Getting Strong Safely: Considerations for Youth Strength Training, October 2003. Isaac, L. Queensland Weightlifting Association. www.qwa.org/ articles/effects.asp. The Effects of Weightlifting on the Youth Physique.. Faigenbaum, A.D. www.nsca-lift.org. Youth Resistance Training,. Glassman, Greg. Understanding CrossFit. CrossFit Journal, issue 56, p4.

Sources
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. www.orthoinfo. aaos..org/topic.cfm?topic=A00040&return_link=0 . Growth Plate Fractures, October 2007. American Academy of Pediatrics. www.aap.org. Strength Training by Children and Adolescents, June 2001. American College of Sports Medicine. www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Search&template=/CM/HTMLDisplay. Obese Children Benefit From Resistance Training, June 2005. Benjamin, H., Glow, K. & Mees, P. Physician and Sports Medicine, The, Patient Advisor. www.physsportsmed.com/issues/2003/0903/ben_pa.htm. Sept. 2003. Davis, J. webmd.com. www.webmd.com/news/20010605/ strength-training-safe-effective-for-kids. Strength Training Safe and Effective for Kids, June 2001

70

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Suggested Reading:
1. Mikki Martin. 2011. A CrossFit Kids Class at CrossFit Brand X. CrossFit Journal. journal.crossfit.com/2011/01/kidsclass.tpl Mikki Martin. 2009. CrossFit Kids: Inside a Class. CrossFit Journal. journal.crossfit.com/2009/11/crossfit-kids-insidea-class.tpl Policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 2008. Pediatrics. 121(4), April. Policy statement of Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. 2008. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism. 33: 547-561, Policy statement of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. 2009. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23(5): 560579. August. Kids & Weightlifting: Dispelling the Myths. 2008. CrossFit Kids Magazine, 27. February. catalog.brandxmartialarts.com/pub/CrossFit KidsKids&WeightLiftingFeb2008.pdf Articles by Avery Faigenbaum. Link: www.tcnj. edu/~nursing/healthex/faculty/documents/ FaigenbaumPUBS2007.pdf l

2.

3. 4.

5.

6.

7.

71
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Concepts For Creating Crossfit Kids Games


By: Mikki Martin, CrossFit Kids Magazine, April 2009 The first thing to remember about CrossFit Kids Games is that they are conceptual: elements can be changed and adjusted as needed, or as equipment, class size, and age range dictate. To create CrossFit Kids Games, we use a combination of elements around which we can create exercise-intensive fun, simple props, popular childhood games, holiday themes, carnival-style games, relays, races, and sport. We always want to keep the kids moving or working on a skill or strength movement, while keeping it fun. For younger kids, this generally means a game or race of some kind. If you find that lines form, or kids are backlogged at a base or station, create a requirement to do something while in line. An example of this would be to maintain the plank position while in line, or to do pistol squats while waiting. If the line is long, use intervals of planks, pistols, etc. Observe the things kids enjoy. I simply take time to see what the kids are doing. Watch them at school at recess, while waiting for class to begin at the gym, and observe your own kids and their friends at home. You will get piles of ideas in this manner. This is also a good way to find a prop they will enjoy. PropsCard Games (Earn a turn with a prescribed number of reps of a favorite exercise, or allow the winner to decide the next exercise for the group). Use www.TheHopperDeck.com, the new Scrabble Slam Card Game, etc. For iPods and iPhones, use the popular application www.MotionX.com with CrossFit dice. Build something, move through it, exercise on it or under it. The most well-known version of this would be the use of the parachute in elementary schools. Kids surround it and hold the edges, then switch positions, or crawl or hop or roll, etc. to get to the other side. You get the idea. Using a team format, one child performs an exercise, while the other child has either a balloon or an inflatable punching ball. Length of continued movement/number of squats in this example is determined either by 1-minute intervals or by the length of time a teammate can continuously keep the balloon in the area by tapping it, or the punch ball moving. This concept could have a myriad of variations. It could be used for sport by using a skill-specific exercise: for basketball a certain type of dribbling while teammate exercises; for soccer, juggling the ball; for wrestlers, sprawls, etc.

Popular Childhood Games: Playground and board games, hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, dodgeball, checkers and CandyLand have all appeared in the CrossFit Kids Magazine in CrossFit Kids Game versions. Kids can literally act as pieces in the game or earn turns in a chalk or scratch version through exercises. Carnival-Style Games: Games of accuracy like throwing to a target work very well with kids. Simply create 3 or 4 lanes with 3 or 4 exercises with a set number to complete before moving forward to earn a shot at the target. Making noise and destroying things are generally popular with boys. We use a game called Medicine Ball Ammo Boxes, where we set up a stack of three (donated) military-style metal ammo boxes in the classic milk-bottle carnival configuration and use an overhead soccer throw with a medicine ball to knock them over. Relays and RacesRelays can be made into circles or squares for continuous movement. Elements of a relay can be added to obstacle courses. Sprint races can be run forwards, backwards, sideways. Have younger kids sprint while singing or repeating a phrase. Pit one movement against another and make adjustments to make the race close. For example, walking lunges vs. farmers walk: the weight can be varied to make the speed become more even. Alternately, the distance can be different for the different movements, as in an agility run around cones (longer distance) vs. a wheelbarrow walk (shorter distance). Dont forget firehose races: the kids run with the firehose, then pull it back (like a standing rope pull) and then race back to the start position. SportsSports-based workouts for kids can be created from a sport, substituting CF movements for other movements or using a single element of a sport. Many of these are fun with adults as well, such as CrossFit Baseball (a given number of reps of different exercises at different bases, something extra for a run, 3 fouls-call on bad form-and you are out, return home with no score). The following example of using the sports concept is from CrossFit Kids trainer Cheryl Polack and her family of homegym CrossFitters: We morphed last nights CF Kids WOD into a CF Family WOD by changing ball throws to basketball shots and loosely structuring the rules around a mishmash of childhood basketball games. Each time someone missed a basket, he had to do push-ups and squats. You were also required to take a letter for each missed shotthe first person to spell kids was out (started out spelling CrossFit Kids but soon realized the game would go way beyond 5 rounds)! If you made the basket, the next person was required to make the same shot from the same position. We literally wore ourselves out doing push-ups and squats, and even more so from laughing.

72

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Themes Holiday themes, seasonal themes, even classic CrossFit themes. For instance, Spinning Diane: have the kids spin individually in a circle 5 times before starting each round. A playful idea from CrossFit Kids trainer Belinda Platts: The Barnyard RaceBasic premise: 3 barnyard chores to be completed by each team in a race: 1) throwing hay bales in the barn (wall-balls), 2) taking water to the animals (farmers walk), and 3) shoveling manure (virtual shoveling). Pattern of activity: first team member throws hay bales into the barn (Station 1: wall-balls) and then progresses to carrying water (Station 2: farmers walks) and than moves to shoveling manure (Station 3: virtual shoveling). Second team member starts when first team member finishes wall-balls. Team members must wait for previous team member to finish chore in front of them before starting chore. Race ends when last team member completes shoveling. Rounds/Repetitions: 1 round; repetitions at each station to be determined by fitness level and group size. Scaling could be done with variable weight at each station. Running between stations encouraged and dependent on size of area available. Simplicity- Games must be able to be explained and understood quickly. Remember, the Internet has a wealth of information to help you with thousands of teaching sites and hundreds of games sites to help with ideas, rules, and strategies. Two of our favorites: www.gameskidsplay.net/ www.indianchild.com/outdoor_games.htm Of key importance are creativity, flexibility and the willingness to throw out or adjust what does not work. But most of all, be willing to be playful and have fun! Top 20 Crossfit Kids Games 1. Dodgeball A CrossFit Kids favorite. You can find great soft, inexpensive dodge balls available from www.ssww. com (Gatorskin Foam Softisport Dodgeball). Use the following rules: Divide playing area with rope. Divide class into two equally numbered/sized teams. When a player hits another player without the ball being caught, the player hit is out and moves to the side and performs 10 of the exercise associated with the color of the ball (affix different exercises for each ball and post in an easily seen area for the kids). The player then comes back in. If the opponent catches the ball, the thrower is out and has to move to the side and perform 10 of the exercise associated with the color of the ball. Advise all players to stay in constant motion. Play for an allotted amount of time, and all hits are legal except head shots!

2.

Bulldog Outline the area the game is to be played in: a large rectangle with cones as corners, with a small rectangle inside marked by gymnastics mats. One person is chosen to be the bulldog and starts in the middle on the gymnastics mats. On go, all the other children try to get from one side of the cones to the other without being tagged by the bulldog. In order to successfully pass through, each child must touch two feet on the mat. If the bulldog successfully tags others, then they are in the pound (the designator for the mats) and will help attempt to tag people in the next round. Variations: play with movements other than running (bear crawls, duck walks, broad jumps, etc.). CrossFit Kids Baseball Set up a baseball diamond for the following: home plate-10 push-ups, first base-10 squats, second base10 tuck jumps, third base-box jump. For 5-10 minutes have kids perform the above exercises at each base before progressing to the next base. Sprint between bases. The trainer stands at the pitchers mound to score each run. Lay out enough equipment to supply all players if they are at the same base together so there is no waiting. If you have a second trainer to watch form for fouls, kids can earn 3 fouls before getting called out and sent back home. CrossFit Swat the Fly Pick an exercise to do 10 repetitions of it if you get hit. Designate one kid as the fly swatter, and the rest of the class are flies. Arm the fly swatter with a pillow, sit the flies down in a designated area, and on go they scatter while the fly swatter attempts to hit them with the pillow. If they are hit with the pillow, they move to the side and conduct 10 repetitions of the designated exercise before coming back into play. Older fly swatters can be asked to double swat to score. Flies can crawl, crab walk (dying flies) or hop (maggots). CrossFit Kids Leapfrog Write several body-weight exercises on 3x5 cards and place them in a paper bag or bucket. For the game, divide the group into two teams. Have each team form a leapfrog line by having everyone bend over and rest their hands on their knees. The last person in line begins leapfrogging towards a predetermined finish line. When he gets to the front of the line he takes the leapfrog position and the next person starts leapfrogging. The first team to get all their players across the finish line gets to pick an exercise from the exercise bucket for the losing team to do 5 repetitions.

3.

4.

5.

73
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

6.

Musical Medicine Ball Set medicine balls up about two feet apart in a single row or circle (use one less ball than the number of players). When the music is turned on, the players conduct an exercise around the balls (lunge, duck walk, roving plank, etc.). When the music stops, the players run to a medicine ball and perform continuous squats over it (hovering just above the ball in a squat stance). The player left standing without a medicine ball is taken out of the game along with a medicine ball. The music is started again, and this is continued until only one person remains. If there is ever a tie in getting to a medicine ball, the two children can have a squat-off (or use any exercise of choice) where, with the kids counting, they each do as many repetitions as possible in 15 seconds, with the one getting the most reps winning and the other being out. CrossFit Kids Limbo This game is a simple variation of limbo. Have two helpers hold a PVC bar or wooden dowel at a predetermined starting height, 4-6 inches shorter than the tallest participant is a good place to begin and to get everyone moving. Make sure there is a minimum 3-foot clearance between the holders so the limbo-ers can outstretch arms if necessary. Each limbo-er begins by doing one push-up and then limboing under the bar. Upon exiting, the child should circle to the back of the line, and when back at the front of the line the PVC will be lowered and they will have to double the number of push-ups (1, 2, 4, 8, etc.) before attempting the new height of bar. Difficulty can be increased in the game by doing multiples and changing or adding exercises. Failing at any of the exercises makes the participant ineligible to limbo; failure to limbo and the child is out. CrossFit Kids Animal Soccer This effective upper- and lower-body conditioning game is played with rules that are almost identical to regular soccer, except that the version of an animal crawl is used for locomotion. Also, rules can be specified as to what body parts can be used to control the ball; this allows for significant variations. One effective approach is to change the movement or appendage used to control the ball, for goalies and fielders, every 3-4 minutes. Also, the number of balls in play simultaneously can be change throughout the game.

9.

CrossFit Kids Line Ball Designate a starting line for the thrower and three lines, each one farther from the starting line than the last for the defenders. Designate a movement for each space between each defender line. The goal of the thrower is to throw a ball (soccer ball, light medicine ball, dodge ball, etc.) and have it land in a space between the lines. The goal of the defender is to catch the ball before it hits the ground. If a ball hits the ground all three defenders must do 5 of the exercises listed for that space. If a defender catches a ball, then all of the throwers must do 5 of the exercises closest to his line. Rotate from thrower to Line 1, Line 1 to Line 2, Line 2 to Line 3, and Line 3 to the back of the thrower line.

7.

10. Virtual Snowball Fight Create a rectangular area about 5x10 m. Create walls or block at short ends with soft material such as pillow stacks or gymnastic landing pads. Be creative; just make sure you use fairly soft but firm material. The ends will be designated as team igloos. Teams can play in front of or behind and around igloos. Make 6-10 virtual snowballs by crunching up three sheets of paper towel and covering with plastic wrap. Divide your group into teams of equal participants and have each team assemble in front of their igloo. Divide snowballs equally between the teams. Teams begin a snowball fight on go! and no one can leave the igloo to avoid being hit, but they may, duck, jump, step aside, etc. If a participant is hit, he/she must leave the igloo and perform the appropriate exercise. Hit to the torso = plank position 1 minute. Hit to the leg or foot = 10 squats. Hit to the arms = 10 push-ups.

8.

Any hit to the head, neck or face is a foul, and the thrower must do 10 perfect burpees outside the igloo. Activity level can be changed by the addition of snowballs, size of playing field, number of participants, number of exercises, difficulty of exercises, etc. Adjust variables accordingly to maintain fast active play. 11. Dragon Tails Mark off a play area, about 30x30 feet and a no tail exercise area about 10x15 feet. Provide each player with a tail to tuck into the back of his or her waistband (plastic flags, T-shirts, paper towels, high-top socks, etc.). Players play tag (every man for himself style) trying to remove the other players tails. When a players tail is pulled, he or she goes to the no tail exercise area to perform the required exercise before re-entering the game. Exercises can be rotated every 2-3 minutes; the trainer simply calls out the change.

74

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

12. Build and Move a Fort This game takes some creative thinking on the part of the trainer, teacher, or coach. The concept is to have the kids build a structure (built first by trainer, teacher, or coach), then, as a team, crawl or climb through it. You can then add squats, push-ups, burpees, etc. When the entire team is through the fort, move it to a second location one piece at a time (no dragging as a whole). Repeat this at multiple locations as a race between teams. Encourage teamwork, talking to each other, division of work, leadership, etc. 13. CrossFit Kids Kickball Designate two teams with a minimum of four players each or three players each with a neutral pitcher. The ball (a 4-lb. medicine ball) is pitched to the team kicking. Players kick the ball and immediately begin broad-jumping to base. There is no running; players broad jump between all bases. Players can be tagged out by any outfielder. The standard rules regarding outs apply: fly balls caught are out, 3 fouls or 3 strikes are an out. Additionally, forgetting to broad jump is a foul. The first outfielders to touch the ball must do three squats before picking it up; they may then run with the ball or pass the ball to another outfielder. Players are forced to the next base by regular kickball rules. Runs are scored in the traditional way. For advanced groups, the 3-squat/ broad-jump scenario kept the action going and the game came up pretty evenly. Other exercises can be substituted as long as the timing works well. The goal is to have the outfielders get to the ball and perform 3 squats by about the time the kicker is three-quarters of the way to base, which maintains the right amount of tension in the game. 14. CrossFit Kids Pong Using the available number of buckets, arrange them in a staggered line a set distance apart from each other. Assign a drill or exercise to be performed to each bucket, and vary the distance to each bucket to increase or decrease the difficulty. Divide the class in two groups or teams. The object is to beat the other team by eliminating all of its buckets first by throwing/tossing the balls into one of the opposing teams buckets. Allow one throw/toss per team member, and alternate throw/toss between teams. Once a bucket has been hit, flip it over and the opposing team has to perform the drill or exercise prescribed for the bucket. Continue until all buckets are flipped over or a team succeeds in eliminating all the opposing teams buckets, at which point the losing team will then have to perform 10 repetitions of an exercise chosen by the winning team.

15. Musical Wagon Wheel Equipment: four jump ropes, two medicine balls (or object of your choice), four cones. Cone off a large, circular area for the kids to stay in. Lay two jump ropes down in a plus sign, one vertical and the other horizontal, having them each cross over in the middle. Lay the other two jump ropes down slightly diagonally so that you have created a wagon wheel. Put the medicine ball in two of the sections divided by the jump ropes. Have the children spread out around the perimeter of the wagon wheel, turn on music and have the kids lunge around the spokes. Turn off the music after 20 seconds or so, and whoever stops in the section that has the object must do 5 squats (or other designated exercises). Repeat. 16. Plank Wars This game is a fantastic way to practice holding the plank in a dynamic fashion. Two kids face each other holding the plank position. To start they reach out and clap their right hands, then left, then right again and begin. The object is to force your opponent to touch the ground with any body part other than the feet or hands. When this happens, a player has been dropped, and one point is scored. The two players restart immediately after one has been dropped. They do not need to clap hands before starting again. The goal is to score as many points as possible in 30 seconds. Contact may only be made with the hands, and the opponent may only be touched on the elbow, forearm, wrist, and hands. Players may move forward, backward, and side to side, but they must maintain an active plank position. After a round of 30 seconds is completed, have the kids find a new partner and go again. Depending on the kids, 30 seconds might not be long enough, but often the attention level drops off tremendously at this point due to fatigue or lesser ability. Plank Wars could also be used in a round-robin tournament spread out over a couple of weeks of class. One or two rounds per class, and at the end you can write on the whiteboard the Plank Wars Reigning Champion.

75
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

17. Zig-Zag Ball Drill Arrange cones 6-10 feet apart in a zig-zag pattern. Place string (flat on the ground) from cone to cone in the pattern you want the athletes to run (something that works is to have them run around the outside of each cone and circle the last one). Show kids the run pattern prior to beginning, and have them run the pattern one time without throwing the balls. Once they know the pattern, explain that two or three balls will be thrown to them to catch while running towards the last cone. They must return the balls while running the same pattern, returning the same color ball to the person who threw it to them. Difficulty can be increased/decreased through number of cones, number of colored balls used, pattern to be run, etc. If they drop the ball or return the wrong color to the wrong person, they move to the side and do 5 squats before going to the back of the line. 18. CrossFit Kids Relays Relay races, though seemingly overly simplistic, are always a hit. Put two teams together of all ages and abilities and just pick a skill. Bunny hops, one-legged hops, backward runs, rope climbs, box jumps-you name it. Pick a distance and a number of reps (usually 10 each kid), and then pick an exercise and say go. Kids love it, its super competitive, and the older kids really start to coach the younger kids. For ease and control, visually mark the start point and end point with cones or chalk to avoid shorting the distance. 19. CrossFit Kids Hot Potato Have kids form a circle, leaving an arms length between them. Choose a direction for passing the hot potato/medicine ball. Explain chest-level passing and safety rules (pass, dont throw; keep at chest height; controlled movement, etc.). Using lightweight, soft medicine balls (4-6 lb.), have the kids pass the potato around the circle until the trainer calls freeze! At freeze, determine a body-weight exercise (squats, burpees, plank hops aka wallabies, vertical jumps, lunges in place, etc.) to be done by each athlete holding a medicine ball for 5 reps. If the pass is catchable and is dropped, the dropper must complete 5 repetitions. If the pass is not catchable, then the thrower must complete 5 repetitions. For increased complexity, add more balls into the mix at different intervals.

20. Farmers and Lumberjacks Spread several large traffic cones (trees) throughout the gym-some standing and some knocked over. Divide the class into two teams: farmers and lumberjacks. The goal of the farmers is to stand all the trees up, the goal of the lumberjacks is to knock the trees down. After several minutes, have the two teams swap roles. Equipment 1. S&S Worldwide: Dodgeballs/Gatorskin 2. 3. 4. Tifn: Cheer/Gymnastic Mats Swain Mats: Crashmats, ooring & pole covers Rogue Fitness: Dynamini, portable pull-up swing, wooden rings, small-diameter bumper plates and bars Rage Fitness: Cargo nets, knotted ropes Athleticstuff.com: Agility equipment, hurdles, etc. McMaster-Carr: T Channel hardware for adjustable pull-up bar

5. 6. 7.

Do-It-Yourself Equipment 1. Build a Prowler Video: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=QmDax19SHMM 2. 3. 4. Games 1. 2. CrossFit Kids Magazine. Issue 13: Tire Sled CrossFit Journal. Issue 13: Parallettes CrossFit Kids Magazine. Issue 26: Box Jump www.gameskidsplay.net/ www.indianchild.com/outdoor_games.htm

CF iPod Apps 1. Motion X Dice 2. The Hopper l

76

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

VI. KID SAFETY


77
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

78

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

VI. KID SAFETY


Environmental and Box Safety Start of each class: ask how they are doing and eyeball the class. Teach Freeze as soon as possible. Advise hydration often, appropriate clothing, jewelry, athletic shoes. Use padding where needed, such as on poles and under rings. Sanitize and disinfect bars, weights, pull-up structures often. Use of anti-viral, staph, MRSA, bacterial lesion spray (IV 7 Ultimate Germ Defense) as soon as injury detected. Equipment Keep C2 rower display in upright position to avoid handle crashes into display. Warning to avoid putting fingers under rower seat, as well as loose or tied clothing that my be caught beneath the seat. Use wooden or plastic rings, no metal or ceramic. Do not pick up weights until told to do so; clanging dumbbells together degrades welds. Stagger lines when using PVC, hold vertically until told to move. Use cones to divide training space and outside to provide traffic barriers where needed. Teach Teens how to ditch bars. Teach Kids to swing the kettlebell to eye level only. Staffing Trainer at front and back of group when running outdoors. Trainers Child CPR trained Health Issues/Medical Information Upgrade CPR and Defibrillator certifications to include children. Create and maintain Emergency Card info on site. Be aware: Parents dont like labels for their children and getting information may be difficult. HIPPA/PAR-Q can of worms: liability issues are everywhere. We recommend the following: What do I/we need to know so that I/we may provide the best care for your child? Instigate parental communication regarding changes in childs health status. Find out if you need a release to administer medications in your state/province/country. Common meds for kids, asthma inhalers, ADHD medication. Antibiotic awareness; some antibiotics have side effects specific to what we do. Cipro, Levaquin family = weightlifting and potential tendon rupture.

79
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Special Populations Give a trial period to see if it works and evaluate benefit for child vs. class disruption. CrossFit Kids has had success with integrating ADHD and children with autism, cerebral palsy, brain injuries and developmental disabilities). Parents MUST stay during class. Staffing may need to be increased to accommodate well. CrossFit Kids has a database/network of people working with special-needs populations; email to be included. Reference CrossFit Kids Magazine Issue 37 Special Needs Athletes and CrossFit Kids Rick Foreman/ CF Works If you have questions, please contact info@crossfitkids.com. Rhabdo and Kids From your CF Level 1 Course: What are the primary symptoms of rhabdo? It can occur in Kids and/or Teens. Very rare in kids; the theory is that they naturally stop but can be pushed. Read Dr. Mike Rays article on rhabdo from the CrossFit Journal and Level 1 Training Guide. Rhabdo: Myoglobin leaking into the bloodstream potentially reducing or stopping kidney function. Kids and Teens do not have the same exposure/symptom profile. Common causes of exercise-induced rhabdo: High-rep eccentric movements-such as jumping pull-ups, partner pull-ups, jumping squats, kettlebell swings, GHD sit-ups, downhill running. Additional factors contributing to increased risk: Dehydration, alcohol or drug abuse, use of statins, periods of long-bone growth (adolescence), recent flu, use of Tylenol. Common symptoms in adults: Extreme muscle soreness and weakness, swelling/inflammation and dark colored urine (cola color). Teens may not present all three symptoms and still have rhabdo (they often show only one or two of the symptoms). Teens are more likely to get rhabdo than Kids because: They will push themselves harder for the time/weight, just like adults. In teen growth spurts, long bones grow and muscles are stretched taut before having a chance to lengthen and accommodate bone growth; thus, muscles are predisposed to muscular degradation and break down before any activity. l

80

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

An Inherent Protection Against Eccentric Damage


By: Dr. Jon Gary, CrossFit Kids Magazine, September 2010 I thought it would be a good idea to write an article on rhabdomyolysis considering the 12 male high-school athletes in McMinnville, Ore., who were subjected to a practice that induced this painful and life-threatening condition. See the article at: www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/08/combination_of_intense_drill_h.html Introduction Rhabdomyolysis is a general term for the acute release of muscle-cell contents into the bloodstream. Some of the earliest recorded cases of rhabdomyolysis occurred in the U.K. during the Blitz of World War II. Patients who survived the initial blasts but sustained concussive or crushing injuries died several days later of acute kidney failure. Indeed, the effect on the kidney is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality for rhabdomyolysis. It is generally thought that the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream is particularly toxic to the kidney (1,2). Myoglobin, like hemoglobin, is a protein that shuttles oxygen; while hemoglobin is present in red blood cells, myoglobin is most prevalent in muscle tissue. In rhabdomyolysis, the excessive amount of myoglobin that accumulates at the microscopic filters (glomeruli) within the kidney leads to the production of reactive oxygen species. Through a subsequent cascade of events, the kidney stops functioning properly, resulting in the need for medical treatment (1,2). Crushing injuries are not the only way of inducing rhabdomyolysis; muscle cells are also damaged during exercise. Muscle breakdown and subsequent repair is a normal cycle and actually a mechanism for the adaptations observed from exercise. However, the excessive release of muscle components can occur with strenuous, unfamiliar, prolonged, and repetitive movements, especially if there are other risk factors (e.g., hot weather, dehydration, certain medications, or genetic disorders)(1). This more serious exercise-induced muscle damage is referred to as exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER). In many cases, ER can resolve itself without serious consequences, but the onset of symptoms such as muscle pain, muscle weakness, and darkcolored urine indicate the need to seek medical care. Clinically, rhabdomyolysis is diagnosed by the previously mentioned overt symptoms and the presence of excessive amounts of creatine kinase (CK) in the circulation; CK is a marker for the release of muscle-cell contents. The presence of myoglobin in the urine is another common diagnostic test and the cause of the urines dark color.

Before moving on to the research papers, perhaps now is a good time to describe the structures within a muscle cell. The protein scaffolds that might be the most familiar are the actin and myosin cables that run the length of a muscle cell, parallel to the main attachment points to bone. These intracellular cables are what generate the force of contraction; myosin is the molecular motor (utilizing ATP) that moves along an actin track. This structures overlapping and repeating-unit nature provides its strength and power; the repeating units are also what make up the M-line, Z-disc, as well as the A- and I-bands you may have learned about in physiology (see www.apsu.edu/thompsonj/ Anatomy%20&%20Physiology/2010/2010%20Exam%20Reviews/Exam%203%20Review/CH%2009%20Sarcomere%20 Appearance.htm). One additional player that should be mentioned is the protein titin, the largest protein in our bodies. Titin is also positioned parallel to actin and myosin and may serve to add structural integrity to the actin/myosin complexes and provide a mechanism for sensing strain during contractions (3). Surrounding this entire contraction apparatus (the myofibril) is the sarcoplasmic reticulum. The sarcoplasmic reticulum is a reservoir for Ca++ in muscle cells. Ca++ is released upon electrical stimulation, activating the contractile apparatus. The sarcoplasmic reticulum is also responsible for sequestering Ca++ once the signal for contraction has ceased. In addition to this complex along the major contraction axis, there are also a number of proteins that are oriented perpendicularly (see Figure 2 and www.duchenne-information.eu/ complex.gif). The two primary transverse proteins are desmin and dystrophin (the latter discovered in relation to muscular dystrophy). They anchor the myofibril to the cellular membrane on one end (the sarcolemma) and the nucleus and other internal organelles such as mitochondria at the other. Desmin and dystrophin are crucial because the force generated inside the muscle cell by actin and myosin needs to be transferred externally where it can do productive work (1,2). The efficient transfer requires the longitudinal machinery to be connected to the membrane that surrounds the cell at many points (via the desmin/dystrophin attachment to the sarcolemma). Proteins embedded within the membrane make the final connections, either with surrounding muscle cells or connective tissue. Together, all these components make up a highly cooperative muscular unit. The above has been only a very general introduction to rhabdomyolysis; additional references are available from the CrossFit Journal (1/2010 Ray; 11/2008 Webster; 10/2005 Glassman).

81
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Research Id like to investigate the potential mechanism of ER with respect to eccentric muscle contractions. As CrossFitters, we understand the association between rhabdomyolysis and eccentric contractions from firsthand observational analysis, but in this article, I provide evidence from the literature that suggests they are also associated on a physiological and biochemical level. In fact, the intracellular hallmarks of ER are depletion of cellular ATP (energy) stores, reduced function of the Na+/K+-ATPase (involved in intracellular ion balance, cell-volume control, and many other functions), increased intracellular calcium ions (Ca++), and damage to the muscle cell protein architecture (2). Quite similarly, following eccentric contractions, muscle cells undergo immediate as well as prolonged loss of contractile strength, an increase in intracellular Ca++, and a disruption of internal architecture (4,5). It may also be that they are so closely intertwined that we have evolved mechanisms to thwart the onset of rhabdomyolysis! Zhang et. al. (5) did a set of experiments on the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle extracted from mice. In their first experiment, they measured the change in muscle tension after the electric induction of 10 isometric versus 10 eccentric contractions (EC). Tension immediately decreased by eight percent after the isometric contractions and returned to 100 percent the pre-contraction value within five minutes (5). The muscles that experienced EC, however, declined by 24 percent within the first minute and continued to decline to 56 percent of the initial value by the 60-minute time point (5). Similar results were also observed in earlier studies done by Lieber et. al. (4) on the identical muscle from rabbits. Clearly, eccentric loading has a dramatically different effect on muscle cells than isometric contractions. During the former, muscles are damaged to a much greater extent and require a much greater time to recover full contractile potential. Now that a measurable external feature of eccentrically contracted muscle has been identified, the authors began to look at changes on the cellular level to determine the cause of the loss in available force production. Lieber et. al. observed that the eccentrically exercised muscles had various histological abnormalities compared to isometrically or passively contracted muscles. Muscle cells that underwent the latter protocols appeared as normal, tightly packed polygonal structures (4), while the eccentrically loaded muscles appeared large and rounded and had irregular contours for many of the cells (4). Interestingly, even the EC tissue samples showed no defects in the regular arrangement of contractile proteins (4). Besides the gross cellular changes, Lieber et. al. also noted a decrease in desmin staining and an increase in titin staining. As described in previous articles, staining for a particular protein is done on thin slices of tissue using a solution of antibodies specific for the protein of interest that are coupled to a dye that can be visualized under the microscope. Therefore, a decrease

in desmin staining is interpreted directly as a loss of desmin. Usually the opposite result, increased staining, indicates the presence of more of the target protein. However, in the case of titin, the abnormal condition of the cells indicates that something unusual is happening internally. The increase in staining is actually indicative of the antibodies having greater access to titin, not necessarily the presence of more protein. If the structures around titin are less dense or loosened, then the antibodies have a greater chance of interacting with newly exposed titin, which then appears as a darker stain under the microscope. Zheng et. al. repeated these observations with desmin and titin, as well as dystrophin (also a decrease), in all cases showing that the changes first appear between five and 10 minutes post eccentric contractions (5). The loss in muscle tension after EC appears to have a cause at the protein level! In an attempt to figure out what could be causing the loss of proteins crucial to the proper functioning of muscle cells, both sets of authors point out that one of the biochemical consequences of eccentric contractions is an increase in Ca++ within the cytoplasm of the cell. Normally, Ca++ concentrations are highly regulated, especially in a muscle cell where the sarcoplastic reticulum is the primary reservoir of Ca++. Can this fact about an increase in cytoplasmic Ca++ provide any clues to explain the protein staining results? Part of the normal complement of proteins that are present within cells are a class called proteases. The sole purpose of these proteins is to break down other proteins within a cell. Proteases comprise a very large family, and as you might expect based on their potentially destructive activity, they are very tightly controlled. One of the many mechanisms used by cells to control protease activity is to regulate the amount of available Ca++, which turns out to be a necessary cofactor for some of these proteins. If the increase in Ca++ leads to more protease activity, it could also lead not only to the direct loss of desmin, dystrophin, and fibronectin staining but to the increased exposure of titin (by removing surrounding proteins) as well (4). This hypothesis was directly tested by Zheng et. al. They repeated the EC and staining experiments on muscles in solutions that either lack Ca++ or contain a protease inhibitor (leupeptin) (5). Under both experimental conditions, the loss of desmin and dystrophin staining was completely stopped, and the increase in titin staining was no longer observed (5). But does the rescue effect observed for the proteins translate to alleviating the overt symptom of EC, the subsequent loss of muscle tension? Indeed, Zheng et. al. found that the absence of Ca++ or the presence of leupeptin in the mouse EDL muscle experiment, mentioned above, significantly improved post-EC tension. At the five-minute time point, rather than have 76 percent of initial tension, the treated sample retained 86 percent. The 60-minute time point showed an improvement of ~16 percentage points (5).

82

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Although the prevention of proteolysis caused by an intracellular Ca++ increase leads to a substantial reduction in the effects of EC, the improvement is not complete at either time point (5). From this difference, Zheng et al. suggest that the desmin and dystrophin connections to the cell membrane must not be the only mechanism for force reduction following EC. Other, additional mechanisms will no doubt be identified in future research. Closing Thoughts Why have we evolved to have this proteolytic mechanism within our muscle cells after EC? What is the point of the overall force reduction after EC? I submit that this research implies a built-in delaying mechanism against the onset of rhabdomyolysis. If EC were to continue without the degradation of some of the transverse desmin and dystrophin connections, and without a further decrease in muscle tension (via an as yet unknown mechanism), the force on the cell membrane would be overwhelming-leading to rupture. The rupture of muscle cells from exercise we have already defined above as ER. Therefore, although we may bemoan the weakness we feel during/after EC, it is our bodies trying to reduce the EC-specific damaging forces on our muscles. An additional mechanism for the protection from eccentric damage that may also prove important for the occurrence of ER is the notion of repeated-bout effect. Lehti et al. (6) look at the effects of repeated-bout exercise on eccentric damage to leg muscles in rats. The rats were divided into two experimental groups; one set was exposed to a single eccentrically loaded training session (R1), and the other group was put through five identical sessions spaced 14 days apart to allow for recovery (R2). The eccentric loading was induced by having the rats run on a downhill incline (13.5 degrees) at 17 m/min for 90 minutes using a five-minutes-on, two-minutesrest protocol (6). Please take note that prolonged downhill running can be added to the list of loaded eccentric movements! At various time points (3, 48, 96 hours after the R1 groups single session or after the fifth session of the R5 group), muscle biopsies were taken from the animals for analysis. The R1 group showed a decline in dystrophin content at each time point compared to pre-exercise measurements (80, 79, and 70 percent), while the trend of the decline was dramatically reduced for the R5 group (96, 88, and 88 percent)(6). Similar improvements were noted for other traits associated with ECbased damage: cellular swelling, loss of titin, and loss of desmin (6). These data indicate that the repeated-bout effect (we call it training) may be another mechanism for protection from the onset of ER. Continued training with a subclinical amount of eccentric loading appears to provide protection at the cellular level when challenged with similar movements at a later date. Muscles adapt to repeated-load stresses to optimize performance under similar conditions. Thats great for getting bigger, faster, and stronger, but in terms of EC it also has benefits for reducing the likelihood of ER for trained individuals.

There appear to be several systems designed to attempt to stop EC from beginning/continuing. Obviously, these protection mechanisms are not foolproof with respect to ER, because it still occurs. One reason may be that we do have one part of our body that we can blame for overruling our muscles attempts to stop EC damage: our brain. So exercise smart! Stay hydrated, reduce exercise time in the heat, avoid pushing past failure when lifting, keep heavy eccentric exercises to a manageable volume, eliminate jumping pull-ups, and break when youre tired.

Sources
Khan FY. Rhabdomyolysis: a review of the literature. Neth J Med. 2009 Oct;67(9):272-83. Review. PubMed PMID: 19841484. FREE TEXT.; Patel DR, Gyamfi R, Torres A. Exertional rhabdomyolysis and acute kidney injury. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Apr; 37(1):71-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 20048490.; Maas H, Lehti TM, Tiihonen V, Komulainen J, Huijing PA. Controlled intermittent shortening contractions of a muscle-tendon complex: muscle fibre damage and effects on force transmission from a single head of rat EDL. J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2005; 26(4-5):259-73. Epub 2005 Nov 9. PubMed PMID: 16322914.; Lieber RL, Thornell LE, Fridn J. Muscle cytoskeletal disruption occurs within the first 15 min of cyclic eccentric contraction. J Appl Physiol. 1996 Jan; 80(1):278-84. PubMed PMID: 8847315.; Zhang BT, Yeung SS, Allen DG, Qin L, Yeung EW. Role of the calcium-calpain pathway in cytoskeletal damage after eccentric contractions. J Appl Physiol. 2008 Jul; 105(1):352-7. Epub 2008 May 22. PubMed PMID: 18499778.; Lehti TM, Kalliokoski R, Komulainen J. Repeated bout effect on the cytoskeletal proteins titin, desmin, and dystrophin in rat skeletal muscle. J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2007;28(1):39-47. Epub 2007 Apr 14. PubMed PMID: 17436058.

Suggested Reading:
1. 2. Formula for School Success. CrossFit Kids Magazine. 2010. Issue 57. Special Populations. CrossFit Kids Magazine. 2008. Issue 37. l

83
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

84

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

VII. PROTECTING CROSSFIT KIDS FROM PREDATION


85
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

86

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

VII. PROTECTING CrossFit Kids FROM PREDATION


The decision to have a child is momentous because it is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. --Elizabeth Stone As CrossFit Kids trainers, the gravity of teaching children is fully within our direct influence. We must protect and mitigate risk to kids well-being while under our care at the gym, and we further must educate both them and their primary care-givers to help protect throughout the other 23 hours of the day. Through mentorship, education, awareness, and training, we have the opportunity to make a dramatic impact upon our kids safety. Child-Abuse Prevention By: Todd Rakos, CrossFit Kids Magazine, September-October 2009 Most of you who are running a CrossFit Kids program are doing so because you have a genuine interest in helping children; unfortunately that is not true for everyone. I would like to spend a little time to educate you on what to look for in the area of child abuse that will hopefully give you the tools to spot abuse and help limit your liability as a child instructor. Most states have laws that require certain occupations-like teachers, health-care professionals, social workers, and members of law enforcement-to report suspected child abuse when they encounter it. I feel, however, that is the duty of all adults regardless of their profession to make such a report (Canada already has such a requirement). There are two basic types of child abuse-sexual and physicaland for both types the abusers can be men or women. About 90 percent of the time the abuser is a family member or relative. Sexual Abuse Indicators There are several indicators you may see in a child that might indicate sexual abuse; some are more obvious then others. Obviously if a child complains of pain or bleeding in the anal or genital area, you should be concerned, but the child might not verbalize this; you might only notice the child has difficulty walking or sitting. While children seem to have knowledge about sex at an ever-decreasing age, you still should be concerned if a child has an inappropriate knowledge about sex. You should also be concerned if the child tends to have inappropriate play with toys, him- or herself or others, or seems overly affectionate. Sexually abused children often have poor peer relationships. They have been taught that sexual contact is normal, and when they try to transfer that conduct to their peers, they become ostracized. Lastly, you should be wary of a sudden, unexplained change of behavior. Why has your normal student suddenly started acting differently? Maybe the single parent is dating someone new, or a new person has moved into the neighborhood and the abuse has just started. Physical Abuse Indicators Again there are several indicators you might see in a child who is being physically abused. The most obvious are unexplained injuries or explanations of injuries that are inconsistent with the injury. You might also find that the child is frightened of a parent or caretaker and is afraid to go home after class or is wary of all adult contact. As is the case with sexual abuse, a sudden change in behavior or performance might indicate a new dynamic in the childs life. You will also find that a victim of physical abuse often has a poor self-image and is subject to behavioral extremes. The child has been told he is no good and is desperately trying different behaviors in an attempt to find the one behavior that will be met with acceptance. What Should You Do There are several things I recommend you do to help protect the children you teach. First, have a set of safety rules in place and make sure all of your trainers are aware of them and follow them. Require your parents to get out of their cars and walk inside your facility to drop off and pick up their children. When teaching classes, always do it in the open and have a place where parents can sit and watch the class and feel comfortable. Establish safe areas in your facility. Children often come early to class or are sometimes picked up late. Have a designated area where they are to wait during this time. This area should be out in the open where they can be observed by you and your trainers. Have a well-established presence in your facility. Know when someone new walks in and greet him or her promptly. Be aware of what happens in and around your facility. Know if one of your adult clients seems to always be hanging around after class to watch the childrens class or is always hanging around in the parking lot. And lastly, if you suspect abuse, report it to your local law enforcement and child protective agencies. These reports can be made anonymously if you are more comfortable that way. Often we as a society tend to suppress our natural ability to know when something does not look right. We rationalize it away and then later say we did not feel right about somebody but were afraid to offend. Remember, it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting children. Child Internet Safety Next I would like to talk about Internet safety for children and what parents should look for to help keep their children safe. I will talk about signs that your child might be at risk, methods abusers use to get child victims, and tips you can use to protect your child. The Internet has become the newest way for adult abusers to locate potential child victims. Where an adult abuser used to have to venture out in public and risk being noticed, he can now troll the Internet in anonymity.

87
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Signs That a Child Might Be at Risk You should be wary if your child spends large amounts of time on the Internet, especially at night. Like most adults, abusers also work during the day, so it is the nighttime that they have free to look for victims. You should also be concerned if you discover large amounts of pornography on your computer. Predators will often send pornography to children as a way of making it seem normal. An at-risk child might also receive phone calls from unknown numbers-sometimes long distance-or will receive gifts or packages from someone the parent doesnt know. You should be concerned if the child suddenly turns off the computer or changes screens when you enter the room or you discover they are using an Internet account that belongs to someone else. It is also important to be aware if the child suddenly becomes withdrawn from the family; remember, the predator wants to be the childs best friend and confidant, and the best way to do this is to get the child less dependent on you as the parent. Grooming Grooming is the term used to describe the way predators use to get to their victims. It is simple manipulation of the victim and their way to get from bad intention to sexual exploitation. It often involves flattery, sympathy, or offers of gifts, money, or jobs. Its intent is to make the victim feel loved or comfortable enough to meet in person. Remember, while the predator is enjoying his online time, his ultimate goal is to meet the child in person. The predator will often first meet the victim in a public chat room but will soon ask to go to a private chat area. They will then ask the victims questions to get to know them better. They will ask where the computer is located in the house so they can determine the risk of a parent watching the conversation. Then they will want to know the childs interests or favorite bands/ designers/or films. They will often use this information to send the victim gifts. Predators will often offer to help the victims get jobs or money as a way of ingratiating themselves into the childs life. Ultimately, they will ask for the childs phone number as a way to make the contact more personal. If none of these tactics seem to be getting the predator closer to an in-person meeting, they may finally result to threats. They will threaten to tell the childs parents or make public the private conversations the child has been sharing.

Parent Tips So what can parents do to help protect their children? The most important thing is to talk to your children. In an age-appropriate manner, warn them of adult predators and the grooming methods they employ. Set reasonable rules and guidelines for their Internet usage. Know your childs friends. Is there some new friend in your childs life that they are reluctant to talk about? Are the friends your child used to have no longer coming around (remember, the predator is trying to come between the child and everyone else)? And lastly, investigate. Monitor the websites your child goes to; learn how to check the computers history. Check your childs cell phone and bill for unknown numbers or suspicious or coded text messages. Look in your childs room. Parents often try too hard to be a childs friend instead of a parent. It is your job to protect as best you can, while that may be upsetting to the child now, in the long run he or she will thank you for it.

88

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

8 Red Flags for Identifying Child Predators By: Yello Dyno, Protecting Children from Child Predators, www.yellodyno.com 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. If someone enjoys being around your child more than you do. A much older child or adult spends excessive amounts time with your child. Your child has new toys or gifts you did not buy. Your child speaks knowledgably of places and activities you did not introduce him or her to. A person continually offers to care for your child to give you a breather or time for yourself. (He or she often does not want payment for watching your child). A person comes to your house regularly to spend time with or transport your child to activities. A person engages in activities that involve only him/herself and your child; activities that do not require others to be present. A person is preoccupied with and/or stares at your child.

Questions For Your Childs School By: Gavin de Becker, Protecting the Gift, 1999 Do you have a policy manual or teachers handbook? May I have a copy or review it here? Is the safety of students the first item addressed in the policy or handbook? If not, why not? Is the safety of students addressed at all? Are there policies addressing violence, weapons, drug use, sexual abuse, child-on-child sexual abuse, unauthorized visitors? Are background investigations performed on all staff? What areas are reviewed during these background inquiries? Who gathers the information? Who in the administration reviews the information and determines the suitability for employment? What are the criteria for disqualifying an applicant? Does the screening process apply to all employees (teachers, janitors, lunchroom staff, security personnel, part-time employees, bus drivers, etc.)? Is there a nurse on site at all times while children are present (including before and after school)? What is the nurses education or training? Can my child call me at any time? May I visit my child at any time? What is your policy for when to contact parents? What are the parent-notification procedures? What are the student pickup procedures? How is it determined that someone other than I can pick up my child? How does the school address special situations (custody disputes, child kidnapping concerns, etc.)? Are older children separated from younger children during recess, lunch, rest-room breaks, etc.? Are acts of violence or criminality at the school documented? Are statistics maintained?

89
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Questions continued... May I review the statistics? What violence or criminality has occurred at the school during the last three years? Is there a regular briefing of teachers and administrators to discuss safety and security issues? Are teachers formally notified when a child with a history of serious misconduct is introduced to their class? What is the student-to-teacher ratio in class? During recess? During meals? How are students supervised during visits to the rest room? Will I be informed of teacher misconduct that might have an impact on the safety or well-being of my child? Are there security personnel on the premises? Are security personnel provided with written policies and guidelines? Is student safety the first issue addressed in the security policy and guidelines material? If not, why not? Is there a special background investigation conducted on security personnel, and what does it encompass? Is there any control over who can enter the grounds? If there is an emergency in a classroom, how does the teacher summon help? If there is an emergency on the playground, how does the teacher summon help? What are the policies and procedures covering emergencies (fire, civil unrest, earthquake, violent intruder, etc.)? How often are emergency drills performed? What procedures are followed when a child is injured? What hospital would my child be transported to in the event of a serious injury? Can I designate a different hospital? A specific family doctor? What police station responds to the school? Who is the schools liaison at the police department? Questions For Baby-Sitters and Nannies By: Gavin de Becker, Protecting the Gift, 1999 What is your philosophy about discipline? Have you ever suspected that a child in your care was being sexually molested by someone? What discipline method did your parents use? Do you have children of your own? Do you have younger siblings? Why do you do this work? Have you ever been in an emergency situation while baby-sitting? Have you ever been in an emergency situation? What is your opinion of drugs and alcohol? Describe a problem you had in your life where someone elses help was very important to you. Who is your best friend and how would you describe your friendship? Describe the best child you ever baby-sat. Describe the worst child you ever baby-sat. Are you willing to provide a copy of your driving record, credit report, and a list of references?
90

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Test of Twelve By: Gavin de Becker, Protecting the Gift, 1999 Do your children know 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. How to honor their feelings-if someone makes them uncomfortable, thats an important signal; You (the parents) are strong enough to hear about any experience theyve had, no matter how unpleasant; Its OK to rebuff and defy adults; Its OK to be assertive; How to ask for assistance or help; How to choose who to ask; How to describe their peril; Its OK to strike, even to injure, someone if they believe they are in danger, and that youll support any action they take as a result of feeling uncomfortable or afraid; Its OK to make noise, to scream, to yell, to run;

9.

10. If someone ever tries to force them to go somewhere, what they scream should include, This is not my father! (because onlookers seeing a child scream or even struggle are likely to assume the adult is a parent); 11. If someone says Dont yell, the thing to do is yell (and the corollary: If someone says Dont tell, the thing to do is tell); 12. To fully resist ever going anywhere out of public view with someone they dont know, and particularly to resist going anywhere with someone who tries to persuade them.

Suggested Reading:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. National Sex Offender Website: www.meganslaw.com Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website: www. nsopw.gov/Core/Portal.aspx National Sex Offender Registry: www.familywatchdog.us/ default.asp Information and Education: www.yellodyno.com Gavin de Becker. 1999. The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence. Gavin de Becker. 2000. Protecting the Gift. l

91
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

92

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

VIII. NUTRITION
93
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

94

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

VIII. NUTRITION
CrossFit Kids is the optimal fitness program for children and addresses the 10 general physical skills via a variety of functional movements performed at high intensity. However, without changes to food intake (both content and volume), physical progress, though exceptional, will be muted relative to the athletes potential. For the most part, children do not purchase their own foodadults do. In this way, parents have a great deal of control over what kids and teens eat. Parents are therefore instrumental in the health (fitness added up over a lifetime) of their child to the extent that they intervene with their dietary choices. We highly encourage parents and children investigate dietary options to support optimal health. Below is a simple, effective starting point with children and food. The sugar industry is enormous. It is an international commodity, produced from sugar cane or sugar beet and consumed in massive quantities across continents and countries. Reportedly, global sugar consumption increases by about 2 percent per year. In the United States alone, statistics indicate the typical diet contains about 30 teaspoons of refined sugar per day. This statistic increases when you add in the amount of sugar consumed in soft drinks. But cane and beet sugar are only a part of the picture. Sugars come in many forms and carry a wide variety of names. A good rule of thumb is to look for anything that ends in ose, such as sucrose, fructose, levulose, lactose, maltose, and saccharose. Other common varieties and forms of sugar include cane sugar, corn sugar, brown sugar, confectioners sugar, grape sugar, dextrose, fruit sugar, malt sugar, milk sugar, invert sugar, and maple sugar. As you can see, there are many ways to sweeten a product, and companies go to great lengths to market this product in all its various forms. This gets us hooked and ensures that they have a ready market. Often this marketing includes sneaky tactics designed to trick consumers into a false sense of buying and eating healthy. Even more insidious is our dependence on those products that are not typically thought of as sugar sources. Not the oses but, rather, those which eventually behave like simple sugars once they are in the bodys systems. We strip our harvests of their natural goodness in an attempt to make them palatable and, in the process, leave them nutritionally depleted. A whopping 85 percent of all grains eaten today are refined--white bread, white rice, processed breakfast cereal, snack chips, etc. These create a response in the body that is (at least) equally as harmful as any of the obvious sugars. In the interest of overall health and wellness for our children and teens, it is incumbent upon us as parents, trainers and affiliates to educate ourselves on this subject. In the next few paragraphs, we will look at our modern relationships to sugar and discuss the ways in which we can attempt to safeguard our families and clients against its ravages.

Sane Nutrition for Kids/Teens in 150 Words


By: Jeff Martin Our goal with kids is not to get them on the Zone or any other highly specific diet. Rather, our goal is to get them to think and make good choices about what they eat. Our goal is to teach them very basic concepts. For example, sugar is bad; protein is good and should be included in every meal; nuts and seeds are good fats; pasta, white bread, white rice, and even whole grains are not that good for you; colorful fruits and vegetables are good for you. Look at your plate, make a fist, eat that much meat every meal. Next, turn your hand over and fill it with nuts and seeds, eat that much good fat. Fill the rest of your plate with fruit and vegetables. Fill your plate this way at every meal; do not eat more.

Sugar Parts 1-4


By: Cyndi Rodi, CrossFit Kids Magazine, March-June 2009 Sugar is widely consumed and accepted, habit forming and seductive, and we cannot deny the grip that sugar holds on modern society. We use it as a reward for good behavior, for comfort on a stressful day. We wrap it in delightful packaging and conceal it in presumably healthy dishes. But what price are we paying for our addiction to this product? Sugar can make you sick. I dont mean sick to your stomach, like when youve eaten too much candy. I mean ill. Sugar consumption has been tied to numerous illnesses and diseases, some of which are potentially fatal. Our reliance on sugar as a flavor enhancer, food additive and personal reward is driving us toward extinction.

Sources:
www.illovosugar.com/worldofsugar/internationalSugarStats. htm Consider this seemingly contradictory statement: sugar is essential to human health. Our cells use sugar in the form of glucose (aka blood sugar) as an energy source, and we would not fair well without it. The distinction is in amount and kind. Here we set about to understand the bodys relationship to sugar.

95
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Our bodies utilize substances called macronutrients to harness the suns energy. These macronutrients--protein, fats, and carbohydrates--are found in the food we consume. You can gain a greater understanding of how this occurs and how our bodies metabolize these substances by reading the CrossFit Kids Magazine series CrossFit Kids 101 on the metabolic pathways, February through August 2008. For our discussion of sugar, we need to simply understand that the carbohydrates we eat are broken down through various mechanisms of digestion into simple sugars. These sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream, where they are escorted into the cells of the body by something called insulin. Insulin is produced and distributed by the pancreas. The release of insulin into the bloodstream sets off a chain of events that involves and/or affects every organ of the body. Insulin is the bodys friend unless its relationship to the body is changed. Too much insulin or an inability to utilize it properly can lead to a host of health issues. Still, insulin is imperative for our cells well-being, and we can help our bodies remain efficient insulin users through some pretty simple lifestyle choices. The speed with which the food we ingest is broken down is dependent on which type of carbohydrate is being consumed. There are simple sugars--those with single sugar units called monosaccharides and those with double sugar units called disaccharides, both of which compose a large portion of the standard diet in the developed world. Simple sugars, like table sugar and other natural sweeteners, are broken down with lightning speed and immediately enter the bloodstream. Disaccharides, such as fruit and honey, digest a bit slower but still produce a profound physiological response. The same is true of carbohydrate sources such as white breads, pasta and white rice. While this may seem like a desirable scenario, the truth is this causes the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin into the blood in order to move the sugar from the bloodstream into the cells for use as energy. Big spikes in blood sugar play a crucial role in illness and disease. And the fast breakdown and removal of sugars means that hunger levels remain elevated, which causes one to get hungry sooner. These types of sugars can cause one to gain weight, because ineffective hunger control typically leads to an over consumption of calories. Obesity itself is linked to numerous health issues. Complex carbohydrates, called polysaccharides, contain multiple units of simple sugars that are bonded together. This bonding makes the breakdown of these carbohydrates a slower process. Hunger is better controlled by these types of carbohydrates (such as can be found in many vegetables), and the sources from which they are derived are often more nutrient dense than simple sugars. Still, these produce a similar insulin response in the body as that caused by simple sugars such that, given too high an intake, even complex carbohydrates can be a health concern.

Many nutrition experts are recommending that carbohydrate consumption in all forms be kept to a minimum. Coach Glassman put is quite concisely in his World Class Fitness in 100 Words, which became the basis for all CrossFit Kids nutritional standards: Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. In our next discussion of sugar, we will begin to investigate the ways in which sugar and the corresponding insulin response can wreak havoc on our bodies. Nutrition is a touchy subject. It can quickly bring a conversation to a fever pitch. Ive heard that Coach Glassman has compared it to discussing religion. Folks just dont want to hear you criticize their faith. Demonizing something like sugar and refined carbohydrates that are such an integral part of our culture may not be met with the kindest acceptance. Im sure Id have an easier time broaching the topic if sugars were a bacteria or a virus. Unfortunately, sugar can do just as much damage as the meanest strain of either. It has become impossible to deny the negative impact of sugar on the body. Conduct even a cursory Internet search using the words sugar and disease and you will quickly discover that the intake of sugars and refined carbs has been solidly linked to numerous health issues. Our society has developed the habit of medicating individuals in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms of such diseases, but this amounts to nothing more than putting a small bandage on a gaping wound. We can no longer bow to popular culture on this issue. Our childrens very lives are at stake. Dramatic? No. Emphatic? Yes. Too much blood sugar is disease-inducing, and excess blood sugar is largely related to the diet. In response to increases in blood sugar (glucose), the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. The body needs insulin in order to convert glucose into energy. This hormone unlocks the cells of our body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. Too much blood sugar causes an inordinate spike in the amount of insulin in the blood. The adverse effects of too much insulin in the blood include weight gain; elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides; increased plaque deposits on arterial walls; and immune suppression. Furthermore, too much insulin can desensitize the cells of the body, leading to insulin resistance, which means the body cannot use insulin efficiently. This can cause enough problems on its own, but to make matters worse, the body can eventually lose it ability to use insulin, leading to further complications. High blood sugar is reportedly responsible for 3 million deaths around the world each year.

96

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Excess blood sugar is the culprit in the over-production of insulin, exposing the body to various health risks. According to a study published in The Lancet (2006), Blood sugar deaths are comparable to the 4.8 million deaths from smoking, the 3.9 million deaths from high cholesterol and the 2.4 million deaths from overweight and obesity each year. Again, high blood sugar most often finds its roots in what we eat. That is why we MUST get our childrens diets in order. I have been guilty time and time again of relenting on this issue, so dont think Im preaching. It is each adults responsibility to gain an understanding of this topic and, armed with that knowledge, enact positive change for the children in his or her life. Children and most teens do not shop for groceries. They do not cook the family meals or pack their daily lunches. Now is the time to help them gain an understanding of positive nutrition and create healthy eating habits. In the interim, its OK to force our ideas of healthy eating upon them. In fact, we owe it to them. The following information should solidify our resolve. Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is low blood sugar. It is not a disease. It is an indicator of another problem, usually diabetes or pre-diabetes. This may seem like an odd thing to include on our list, because we are talking about too much blood sugar. However, low blood sugar causes a series of reactions within the body that impacts the overall blood-sugar picture and negatively affects the bodys organs. The far-reaching effects of this condition are evident in its vast array of symptoms. Glucose is the brains preferred energy source, and a deficit of glucose may cause multiple problems including confusion, abnormal behavior, visual disturbances (i.e., double vision or blurred vision), and (rarely) loss of consciousness. Hypoglycemia also forces the body to regulate blood sugar through the production of hormones that are similar and/ or the same as those which induce the fight or flight response. Symptoms include heart palpitations, tremors, intense sweating, and hunger. Hunger, as you might imagine, brings on a host of problems of its own. Hormones that are produced to convince the body it needs more glucose to resolve the hunger can lead to overeating and obesity. The condition of hypoglycemia creates a constant see-sawing of blood sugar, created by the need more glucose/need less glucose cycle, which can take its toll on the body.

Diabetes Diabetes makes our list because it is one of the most prevalent blood-sugar-related diseases in existence. I think the best word to describe our relationship to this disease is desensitized. We hear about it so often that it doesnt shock or scare us anymore. But it should. In the United States alone, there are reportedly 23.6 million people with diabetes, while as many as 41 million are believed to have pre-diabetes. Based on death-certificate data for 2002, there were nearly 225,000 deaths related to the disease. This figure is believed to be a grossly underreported, because individuals with diabetes generally present with multiple chronic conditions that may obscure the diabetes connection at death. The total economic cost of diabetes (in the United States) in 2007 was estimated to be $174 billion. Clearly, this disease demands our full attention. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce insulin or is unable to use it properly. There are two major types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is marked by the bodys inability to produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, the most prevalent type, is a result of insulin resistance, meaning the body cannot use it properly. Cells that cannot get fuel into them-like those which are unable to use insulin-will literally starve to death. The connection between diet and Type 2 diabetes is well established. Foods that cause spikes in blood sugar, like those we discussed last month, create a dangerous internal environment in which insulin is being produced in massive quantities in order to move the sugars from the blood into the cells. Overproduction of insulin leads to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes, a risk factor for cardiovascular events. Diabetics are at high risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol, which explains why heart attack and stroke account for nearly 70 percent of deaths among diabetes patients. Excess body fat elevates the risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 80 percent of cases of Type 2 diabetes are in overweight or obese individuals. Fat cells increase insulin resistance. These cells have fewer insulin receptors than muscle, which means the insulin produced to service them is not utilized efficiently, thereby causing a surplus in the blood. Excess glucose that is not used for cell metabolism is converted to body fat. This increased cellular mass--which is inefficient at using insulin--causes an overproduction of the hormone in an attempt to service the new cells. To further complicate things, fat cells release free fatty acids that interfere with glucose metabolism. More insulin and less ability to use it--you see the problem.

97
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Metabolic Syndrome X This is a group of cardiac risk factors that are a direct result of insulin resistance. These include obesity (especially around the abdomen), blood-clotting abnormalities, and lipid fluctuations that are considered abnormal. An individual who is diagnosed with Syndrome X has an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. Care to hear a list of the other possible symptoms of Syndrome X? Fatigue, hypertension, high cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, difficulty losing weight, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hormonal disturbances, peripheral neuropathy, uncontrollable diabetes, blurred vision, depression, sleep apnea, skin problems, heart palpitations, memory problems. Not convinced yet? The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey indicated that 24 percent of the U.S. population has Metabolic Syndrome X, and that percentage increases with age, reaching 43 percent in the 60-69 population. What do they recommend to combat this rampant syndrome? Diet and exercise. They state, It is universally agreed that an ideal diet consists of protein, vegetables, fruits, unsaturated fats, complex carbohydrates ... . High protein, low carbohydrate is the way to go. Heart Disease Blood sugar is intricately tied to heart disease, and its no wonder based on what weve learned so far. As early as the 1960s, researchers began to tie sugar to coronary heart disease. Studies have been difficult to control, so the data is sketchy at best. However, there is solid evidence that bloodsugar levels do, in fact, have significant impact on the cardiovascular system. Diabetes doubles the risk of heart disease, and the higher the blood sugar, the higher risk. A study out of Johns Hopkins University found that, in Type 2 diabetics, every percentage point increase in blood glucose levels boosts risks for heart disease and stroke by 18% and ups the risk of clogged arteries in the legs by 28%. This study and others like it have caused some researchers to call for lower than normal blood-sugar levels in diabetes patients. But it doesnt take full-blown diabetes to endanger the cardiovascular system. Male heart-disease patients have been found to be at greater risk for death when their blood-sugar levels are in what is considered the normal range. Normal blood sugar, a glucose level of 100 or less, has been statistically shown to triple the death rate among such men compared to those who maintain lower-than-normal levels. More studies are needed. What is confirmed is that improper levels of blood sugar can cause damage to the cardiovascular system. The implications for our children are staggering. The longer we allow our children to willingly elevate their blood-sugar levels, the greater risk we expose them to. Yet, this is something we can largely control. The potential long-term, cumulative damage to the cardiovascular system brought about by a lifetime of poor dietary choices can be minimized by creating healthy eating patterns early in life.
98

Brain-Related Diseases Elevated blood-sugar levels increase the risk of degenerative diseases of the brain. A recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that consumption of sugary sodas was correlated with a doubling of plaque deposits in the brains of rats. Studies have shown that plaque causes brain cells to distort or malfunction on multiple levels. Significantly, subjects in the sugar group performed more poorly on tests of learning and memory than did their nonsugar counterparts. The limitations of the study are found in its small sample size. However, another study out of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that Type 2 diabetes ups the risk of Alzheimers disease. Of great concern is their finding that people who have raised blood-sugar levels without the presence of diabetes were at equal risk for developing dementia and Alzheimers disease as those with Type 2 diabetes. A study conducted by Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif., tracked 22,852 patients with Type 2 diabetes for eight years. The researchers found that those with very poor blood sugar control were more likely to develop dementia, while those with the worst blood glucose levels were 78 percent more likely to get dementia. Our children arent likely at risk for dementia or Alzheimers at this point in their lives. Still, we cannot deny the effect of elevated blood sugar on the brain. Why would we continue to allow our children to, in effect, damage their brains? Maintaining reasonable, safe levels of blood sugar may prevent harmful plaque residue and minimize the long-term degeneration of the brain. Elevated blood-sugar levels are tied to numerous health problems and diseases. Blood-sugar levels are undeniably controlled, in large part, by the diet. Positive dietary habits can help our kids avoid the debilitating effects of blood-sugar diseases upon every organ in their bodies. Weve established a connection between blood sugar and various health issues and diseases. But when we think of diseases, there is one that seems to strike the greatest fear in our hearts and minds. That is cancer. If we can somehow control our or our loved ones chances of being diagnosed with this frightening disease, shouldnt we? Evidence continues to accumulate that high blood-sugar levels increase the risk of various cancers and mortality risk among cancer patients. Researchers tracked more than 1 million Koreans ages 30-95 over a period of 10 years. Study participants with the highest fasting blood-sugar levels and those with diabetes were more likely to develop cancer or to die from cancer. The risk of developing cancer was comparable to the risk of dying of cancer. The strongest association was found for pancreatic cancer with the risk almost doubling for men and more than doubling for women.

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia, both blood-sugar related, can be implicated in the development of pancreatic cancer. In response to this, a recent study out of Stockholm, Sweden, sought to examine the association between the consumption of sugar (i.e., sugar added to coffee, soft drinks, sweetened fruits, etc.) and this type of cancer. In a seven-plus-year study following nearly 80,000 women and men aged 45-83, researchers found a positive association between sugar consumption and pancreatic cancer, with the risk rising the more sugar was consumed. Those who consumed sugar soft drinks had the highest incidence of the disease. This is consistent with an earlier study involving nearly 140,000 men and women, which found that sugar-sweetened soft-drink consumption was a significant risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Other studies have found a connection between sugar and multiple types of cancer. A study out of Sweden followed nearly 65,000 men and women 40-60 years old for eight years. Both men and women with the highest blood-sugar levels were more likely to develop certain types of cancer, including urinary-tract cancer and malignant melanoma. Participants with the highest blood sugar were 2.5 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. The women in the study who had diabetes were twice as likely to develop endometrial cancer. Those with the highest blood sugar were twice as likely to develop breast cancer. A separate 19-year study in the United States found a 40-50 percent increase in the incidence of colon cancer among overweight and diabetic men. Dietary glycemic load may play a role in the development of colorectal cancer. However, to date studies have been inconsistent. A 2004 study that followed nearly 40,000 women for an average of 7.9 years found that those with the most high-glycemic-load diets were three times more likely to develop colorectal cancer. However, a similar 2007 study found the correlation not to be statistically significant. More research is needed. Other studies show a stronger relationship between sugar and cancer. An epidemiological study of 21 countries offered compelling evidence that high sugar intake is a major risk factor toward breast cancer. An animal study of mice that were injected with an aggressive strain of breast cancer showed a dose-dependent relationship between blood-glucose levels and survival rate. Those mice which had the lowest blood sugar had the highest survival rate. Does Cancer Love Sugar? There are conflicting claims by various experts regarding the response of cancer cells to sugar. Some say sugar has no negative effect on cancer cells, pointing to the fact that all cells use simple sugars as fuel. Others say sugar creates the perfect environment for cancers to thrive. I will offer you some of the facts regarding this relationship and allow you to draw your own conclusions as to whether the risk is worth the brief, sweet reward.

Insulin causes cells to grow. This is a good thing in our healthy cells, but too much of a good thing can mean playing into the hand of opportunistic cancer cells. Remember, insulin is a response to sugars in the blood. Too much sugar means too much insulin. Too much insulin in the blood means cancer cells can experience rapid growth. The relationship between sugar and cancer cells has lead to breakthroughs in the detection of cancer. Low doses of radioactive substances are chemically linked to sugar and injected into the body. Nuclear imaging (PET and SPECT) are used to detect these radioactive substances within the body. In this way, we can see where the radioactive substances migrate to and where they concentrate. The radioactive sugar can help in locating a tumor, because cancer cells take up or absorb sugar more avidly than other tissues in the body. Excess blood sugar favors unhealthy cells. Cancer cells love glucose. They show a 3-5 percent increase in the rate of glucose uptake compared to healthy cells. Sugars in the blood can actually contribute to the impairment of the immune system by decreasing antibody production and suppressing the destruction of dangerous bacteria by neutrophils, a type of white blood cell (a phagocyte) responsible for ingesting harmful foreign particles in the blood. Sugar feeds the sickness and impairs the bodys natural defenses. Cancer cells have a different energy metabolism than healthy cells. This was first established back in 1931 by the Nobel laureate in medicine that year, Dr. Otto Warburg. Recent research out of Duke University indicates that cancer cells make use of a protein that promotes glucose metabolism even when healthy cells are unable to do so. This means cancer cells can survive adverse conditions that healthy cells cannot. Sugar promotes the health of sick cells. Why would we continue to saturate ourselves with those substances that enable the survival of the least healthy cells in our bodies? Sugar intake, high blood sugar and its related conditions create a toxic environment for healthy cells while nourishing and pampering unhealthy cells. Do we really want to help the enemy thrive? Limiting simple sugars and maintaining healthy blood-sugar levels is a simple way to lessen the likelihood that we will invite certain types of cancers into our lives.

99
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

One important footnote to this article: The quoted literature features adult studies in relation to this topic. This can be partially attributed to the fact that longitudinal studies are easier to conduct with regard to timing and protocol using adult subjects. However, let us not be deceived. The time frame from birth to 8 years of age is exactly the same in days, hours and minutes as it is for an adult from 40 to 48 years of age. The same sugar-related damage that occurs in the bodies of adults almost assuredly occurs in the bodies of our children, maybe even more so because of the growth factors being introduced at a rapid rate. Take charge of their diets and teach them well. Help them avoid the pitfalls of compromised eating. Stand firm in the knowledge that you will be contributing to their long-term health.

National Cancer Institute. imaging.cancer.gov. Cancer Imaging: Nuclear Imaging (PET SPECT).; New Hope Medical Center. www.newhopemedicalcenter. com/2008/120sugar-and-cancer.html. Sugar and Cancer, 2008.; Schernhammer, Eva S. et al. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Vol. 14, 2098-2105, September 2005. SugarSweetened Soft Drink Consumption and Risk of Pancreatic Cancer to Two Prospective Cohorts.; UPI.com. Study reveals why cancer cells like sugar, April 2008.

Suggested Reading:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Barry Sears. 1995. Enter the Zone. Gary Taubes. 2008. Good Calories, Bad Calories. Gary Taubes. 2002. What If Its All Been A Big Fat Lie. New York Times. July 2. Jamie Oliver TED prize link on Children and Nutrition: www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver.html Lierre Keith. 2009. The Vegetarian Myth. Loren Cordain. 2002. The Paleo Diet. Loren Cordain. 2005. The Paleo Diet for Athletes. Michael Norden. 1995. Beyond Prozac. Michael and Mary Eades. 1996. Protein Power.

Sources
American Institute of Cancer Research. Collins, Karen Dr. www.aicr.org/site/New2?JServSessionIdr004=k4ewt15ge3. app7a&abbr=pr_hf_&page=NewsArticle&id=118. Blood Sugar: A Piece of the Cancer Risk Puzzle, June 2007.; Boyles, Salynn. Diabetes.webmd.com/news/2005011/high-blood-sugar-raisescancer-risk. Diabetes Linked to Increased Risk of Pancreatic and Other Cancers, Study Shows, January 2004. Higginbotham, Susan, et. al. Oxford University Press. Dietary Glycemic Load and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in the Womens Health Study, 2004.; Hitti, Miranda. www.webmd.com/cancer/ news/20070227/high-blood-sugar-linked-cancer-risk. High Blood Sugar Linked to Cancer Risk, 2007. ithyroid.com/cancer.htm. Regulate Blood Sugar to Slow Cancer Growth. Larsson, Susanna, Leif Bergkvist and Alicja Wolk. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 5, 1171-1176, November 2006. Consumption of sugar and sugar-sweetened foods and the risk of pancreatic cancer in a prospective study. Larrson, Susanna, Edward Giovannucci, Edward, Alicja Wolk. American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol 165(3)1, February 2007, 256-261. Dietary Carbohydrate, Glycemic Index, and Glycemic Load in Relation to Risk of Colorectal Cancer in Women. Lowe, Kenny. Johns Hopkins Gazette, Vol. 18, No. 18, January 2005. High Sugar Levels Increase Cancer and Mortality Risk. Mercola. www.mercola.com/article/sugar/sugar_cancer.htm. Cancers Sweet Tooth.

10. Michael Pollan. 2008. In Defense of Food. 11. Richard Bernstein. 2007. Diabetes Solution. 12. T.S. Wiley. 2000. Lights Out.

Responsible Nutrition Websites


feedmepaleo.blogspot.com www.sweetcheekshq.com everydaypaleo.com

Responsible Cookbooks
Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson l

100

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IX. CROSSFIT KIDS BUSINESS ESSENTIAL RESOURCES


101
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

102

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

IX. CrossFit Kids BUSINESS ESSENTIAL RESOURCES Prerequisites For Starting A Crossfit Kids Program
In order to start your CrossFit Kids program, the following items need to be completed: 1. Each CrossFit Kids training facility must provide proof of insurance naming CrossFit Kids as additional insured at the following address: 1250 Connecticut Avenue, N.W. Suite 200 Washington, D.C., 20036 2. 3. Please note that insurance shall have industry-standard coverage for abuse, molestation of, or injury to minors. Each CrossFit Kids class must be programmed and run by a CrossFit Kids trainer who has completed their CrossFit Level 1. Helpers must also have completed a CrossFit Level 1 and passed the test by December 2011. If you or one of your trainers has already completed the CrossFit Kids trainer course, please provide the name of the trainer, as well as the date and location of the completed CrossFit Kids trainer course. Each trainer must complete yearly background checks through CrossFit Kids. Per CrossFit HQ policy: CrossFit Kids training programs must be named CrossFit Kids followed or preceded by their approved CrossFit name. Your website should have the CrossFit Kids link and logo displayed on the facilities main web page as well as any subsequent kids pages and/or blogs.

4. 5. 6.

Once CrossFit Kids HQ receives your insurance, they will email you the CrossFit Kids link and logo for your website. If you have any questions or concerns with the above, please email info@crossfitkids.com.

Business Planning/Public Relations


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Pursue excellence. Find out about your community and look at your demographics (stay-at -home moms versus commuters, homeschool market, etc.) to determine optimal time slots. You are not in competition with the time slots of other programs and activities; rather you are optimizing time to ensure a lifelong love of fitness. CrossFit Kids does not provide daycare; we are optimizing a lifelong love of fitness. No elements classes for kids; matriculate new athletes directly into classes. Investigate special promotions at your gym (i.e., bring-a-friend day, earn a T-shirt, etc.). Talk with local coaches. Show up to your local sports practices on cut day.

103
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Suggestions for starting a CrossFit Kids class: 1. Start with the one age group that you are most comfortable with (Preschool, Kids, or Teens). 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Pick the right trainer for the right age group. Start small, preferably 2-3 kids from current adult members or staff; work with these kids for 4-5 weeks before adding others. Set your box up to be kid friendly. Use the suggested format and time frame as a start point for each different age group. Teach the movements in the order taught during the small-group breakout (squats, presses, and deadlifts first; front squats, thrusters, and sumo deadlift high pulls second; etc.). For Preschool and Kids teach safety immediately, such as freeze,line up, etc. Build a class culture from the start; i.e., set behavior and contact expectations and stick to them. Set parental expectations (logistics, clothing, water, medication, drop-off and pickup, payment, etc.).

10. Add kids only when you feel comfortable both with your ability to teach and your space/gear allows. 11. Re-evaluate constantly; are they having fun and being challenged? Suggested pricing strategies: 1. Price your CrossFit Kids fees in the range of local dance schools, gymnastics classes, martial arts, etc. 2. 3. 4. The first child per family roughly half the price of an adult member, siblings half of the first-child price. Family plan discount. Free week trial sessions for children.

Infant Swimming Resource And Crossfit Kids


Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) has been committed to preventing childhood drowning for over 40 years. With the safest and most comprehensive drowning prevention effort, over 7 million safe and effective lessons have been delivered. Children six months to 6 years old who participate in the program will receive one-on-one, personalized instruction for 4-6 weeks with lessons five days a week for 10 minutes at a time. CrossFit Kids has established a joint initiative with ISR to allow more families to have access to the safest survival swimming lessons in the world. By sponsoring children of first responders and underserved populations, CrossFit Kids is showing their appreciation to service people in our communities and eliminating the economic boundaries to drown-proofing kids. Starting in April 2011, CrossFit Kids has provided free ISR survival swimming lessons to at least 150 children in Miami, with plans to expand to other cities where there are high rates of children drowning. CrossFit Kids will be sponsoring children in Philadelphia in the near future. In order to participate in this CrossFit Kids/ISR initiative, contact a CrossFit Kids-certified program in cities where ISR swimming lessons are available (www.infantswim.com/crossfitkids).

Starting With The Crossfit Kids Website


General Guidelines CrossFitKids.com is created as a tool for parents, teachers and coaches to use with their children. We expect that kids will look at the site and be excited and motivated by the videos and pictures, but that a parent, teacher, or coach will help monitor and guide them through the workouts. It is important to keep in mind that just like CrossFit, sometimes a workout will hit your kids strengths and they can do it as prescribed, and other times it hits their weaknesses and you have to scale or modify. For the kids, this means that even though on some days they are in one group, another day they may be in a different group.

104

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CrossFit Kids program-specific descriptions: Buy-In and Cash-Out: Exercises, movements, and skills to be practiced and completed before (buy in) and after (cash out) the WOD. This is a CrossFit Brand X, not CrossFit Kids, training tool. Varsity: This is a scaling we would use at CrossFit Kids HQ in our CrossFit Kids Teens Class, either kids with long exposure to CrossFit (at CrossFit Kids HQ we have kids who have been CrossFitting 3-4 times a week for seven-plus years) or with older kids or teens who have had a year or more exposure to CrossFit and have consistently show technical mastery of the movements in class with intensity. Big Dawgs: Intended for Young Teens who have been doing CrossFit Kids regularly and have mastered the movements; usually 1-2 years experience with CrossFit Kids. The Porch: Intended for young Teens who find that the Pack workout would be too easy but cannot quite handle the weight and/or reps of the Big Dawg workout. These are generally 10-12-year-olds with a year or more experience with CrossFit Kids workouts. Pack Members: Intended for 9-11-year-olds who have been doing CrossFit regularly and in the first year of CrossFitting, or young teens who have been deconditioned. Puppies: Intended for ages 5-8, any advanced beginners during the first 6-12 months of CrossFitting, or older kids who are deconditioned. Buttercups: Intended for ages 3-5, beginners during the first six months, or any extremely deconditioned kids. This group can also be used as an introduction to the movements and for younger kids who want to follow along with an older sibling. CrossFit Kids Magazine The CrossFit Kids Magazine content is now in the CrossFit Journal. Subscription questions? Please contact journalsupport@crossfit. com. Interested in CrossFit Kids Magazine back issues? Please contact info@crossfitkids.com.

Crossfit Kids Lesson Plans


CrossFit Kids Lesson Plans are available for sale at: www.crossfitkids.com/index.php/Store/

105
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

Sample Crossfit Kids Parent Letter


09 March, 20XX Dear CrossFit Kids Parent, Thank you for allowing your child to be a part of the CrossFit Kids Class! The commitment to our childrens future is a beautiful, arduous, amazingly nuanced path; the coaches are excited you have chosen CrossFit Kids to be a part of that path as CrossFit has changed all of our lives immeasurably for the better. With your child, we are not only able to potentially enhance their lives, but we also have the opportunity to shape their lives and their realities within them. It is with this endeavor I have dedicated my life; your childs safety and opportunity to potentiate their personal lives are my primary focus. I wanted to take this opportunity, now that the Kids Class is underway, to introduce myself formally and to set some policies and procedures for the safety of your child and the efficacy of their CrossFit class experience. My name is .. I started training .. We will be running three major groups for classes: Preschool (ages 3-5), Kids (ages 5-12), Teens (ages 12-18). Please note that it is not the age of your child that is the deciding factor for what class he or she attends. It is largely based upon individual skill, athleticism, and maturity and is ultimately decided upon by the head coach to ensure your child is getting the most out of the CrossFit experience. Preschool class lasts 20 minutes, Kids class lasts 30 minutes, and the Teens class is broken into a one-hour weightlifting session (by invitation only based on their movement mechanics and desire) and 50-minute classes that look much like an adult class. As previously stated, your childs safety is paramount to the coaches, and it is with this focus I need your help. Below are some rules that we must enforce as a CrossFit Community to best protect your child; please: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Walk your children inside the building for the start of the class, and come inside the building to pick them up. Bring your children to the designated Kid area, where the head coach will meet them and take them onto the gym floor for the days class. Immediately notify the head coach if you see anyone in the parking lot or in the gym who does not belong there. Unless pre-arranged with the head coach, the children are only allowed to go home with the person who drops them off. Until I get to know all of you and your children by name, please sign your child in and out with the head coach so I can ensure they are going home with the appropriate person. Payment is month to month, and due the first of each month. A waiver, signed by a parent or legal guardian, is required for each child before he or she is allowed to participate in a class. Ensure your child has a bottle of water, or a bottle that can be filled up at the drinking fountain. Dont forget to put your childs name on it! Ensure your children are wearing clothes appropriate for running, jumping, rolling, pulling, swinging, climbing, crawling, throwing, and being upside down.

10. If you choose to stay and watch the class (which I hope you do!), please do not coach your child. 11. Children with disciplinary problems: first warning-free of consequence, second warning-sit out the first two minutes of the game, third warning-go to the parent. 12. Finally, please make the head coach aware of any special needs for your children that may facilitate their individual safety, learning, and growth (i.e., medications, illness, physical/mental limitations, injury, sports, etc.). I look forward to getting to know all of you personally and training your children to the utmost of my ability. If you have any questions, comments, problems, or concerns, please dont hesitate to get a hold of me at the following:

Signed,

106

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

CrossFit Kids Template for Emergency Card & Photo Release


What information do I/we need to know so that I/we may provide the best care for your child? Emergency Contact Information: Date: Child/Minor Name (and nickname if any): DOB: Parent/Guardian: Cell phone with area code: ( ) Email: Home phone with area code: ( ) Work phone with area code: ( )

Spouse/Partner Contact Info


Cell phone with area code: ( ) Email: Home phone with area code: ( ) Work phone with area code: ( ) The following people have my consent to pick up my child from Located at: Name/Cell phone with area code: ( ) Name/Cell phone with area code: ( ) Name/Cell phone with area code: ( ) Release to administer medication (Tylenol) and or rescue inhaler

Photo Release
I hereby give permission for images of my child, captured during regular and special activities, through video, camera and digital camera, to be used solely for the purposes of CrossFit, CrossFit Kids or Licensed CrossFit affiliate promotional material publications and website and waive any rights of compensation or ownership thereto. Last names of minors will not be given or posted on the internet or website. Name of Minor: Name of Parent/Guardian: Signature: Date: / /

107
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

CrossFit Kids Insurance


Tony Schmidt, ARM President Pacific Risk Solutions, LLC 2897 Kalawao Street Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822 Tel: 808.988.3215 Fax: 808.988.3217 Cell: 808.223.3786 Web: www.pacificrisksolutions.com Vaughn T. Vernon Vaughn@vaughnvernon.com Aliate Guard Director Curtis J. Vernon Insurance Agency 46 West 200 South Suite 2 Bountiful, Utah, 84010 (801) 292-5529 Oce (801) 677-0077 Fax (801) 688-4883 Cell Eric Reingen Account Executive License No. OE14627 111 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 243 Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266 (310)937-2007 ereingen@nexoins.com

108

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

NOTES

109
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

NOTES

110

CROSSFIT KIDS

Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

NOTES

111
Copyright CrossFit, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

TRAINer COURSE

ABOUT CROSSFIT KIDS


Since late 2004, CrossFit Kids has been Forging the Future of Fitness and is currently in over 400 gyms in North America, Australia, Europe, Africa, India, Japan and Panama.! CrossFit Kids is a strength and conditioning program that is specially designed for kids and teenagers and helps them to develop a lifelong love of tness.! In a group setting, children and teens participate in fun and engaging workouts that deliver measurable results and prepare them to be well-rounded athletes.! With a network of over 2000 CrossFit Kids Trainers, CrossFit Kids is being implemented in preschools to high schools with before- and after-school programs and integration into Physical Education curriculum.! CrossFit Kids publishes a free website with thousands of posted workouts, video demonstrations and informative articles that provides interested parents or teachers with a foundation for understanding how the CrossFit Kids Program can be implemented at home or school.! To nd an ofcial CrossFit Kids Program near you visit www.crosstkids.com

CrossFit Kids has pledged to provide children with Infant Swimming Resource's Self-Rescue survival swimming lessons. ISR and CrossFit Kids are working together to teach children water-survival skills, safety and condence that will help these children prepare for the unexpected.

If a disease were killing children in the proportion that accidents are, people would be outraged and demand that this killer be stopped. C. Everett Koop, MD
Drowning is the leading cause of death for infants and young children between the ages of 1-4. (U.S Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention, 2007)

Preparing Children For The Unexpected

For more information, please visit www.infantswim.com/crosstkids

ABOUT THE INITIATIVE


Infant Swimming Resource and CrossFit Kids are working together to teach children water-survival skills, safety and condence that will help them Prepare for the Unexpected. CrossFit Kids has pledged to sponsor children of rstresponders and under-served families with ISR's Self-Rescue survival swimming lessons.! CrossFit Kids strongly supports ISR's mission that Not One More Child Drowns.! With the launch of this joint initiative in April 2011, CrossFit Kids has already sponsored ISR Self-Rescue swimming lessons for over 150 children.! Working together with ISR, CrossFit Kids immediate goal is to make sponsored lessons accessible to thousands of children in cities around the world.!

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED


Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75 percent are missing from sight for 5 minutes or less. (Orange County, CA, Fire Authority)

Become an ISR-CrossFit Kids Instructor:!


If you have completed the CrossFit Kids Course or are a trainer at a CrossFit Kids Program, you are eligible for exciting opportunities should you wish to become an ISR Instructor.! You can also leverage your business relationships and local community to sponsor a CrossFit Kids Trainer from your box to become an ISR Instructor and bring this lifesaving program to your community.

Sponsor Lessons: Make a donation to sponsor lessons for children of rst-responders or families who cannot afford them. On average, ISR lessons cost $700 per child, so monetary donations in any amount are welcomed and greatly appreciated!! All donations will go directly to helping ISR & CrossFit Kids provide ISR lessons to families who would not be able to afford them, and to expand ISRs reach into areas where there are currently not any ISR Instructors. Join our Fives Saves Lives Program: Pledge just $5 a month to the general scholarship fund to help families who cannot afford survival swimming lessons. Provide a Location:! We are always looking for new pool locations to expand our reach. Please let us know if you have a pool or a connection to someone who could provide a new location. A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child age 4 and under. (Orange
County California Fire Authority)

For more information on how you can get involved, or to donate, please visit www.infantswim.com/crosstkids and click How you can Help

ABOUT INFANT SWIMMING RESOURCE


Infant Swimming Resource is the safest provider of survival swimming lessons for infants and toddlers worldwide. With more than 40 years of research and development behind ISRs Self-Rescue program, ISR teaches each child survival skills in conjunction with basic swimming lessons to give them the competence required to safely enjoy the water.