Crossfit Certification this weekend in Manchester

Next week I’m attending the first ever Crossfit Instructors’ Certification being held outside of America, and I have to travel exactly 1.1 miles from my front door to get to it at Crossfit Manchester!

Interestingly I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it though. One the one hand, it is in itself an exciting event. The Crossfit certification is bringing together Crossfitters from across Europe and I believe as far afield as South Africa, which in itself will be great. Getting couched by Crossfit HQ trainers like Annie Sakamoto will also be totally awesome. Or course getting my Level 1 cert will be a great achievement (assuming I pass) considering my lard arsed past.

However that is tempered by several things. First there’s the fact that I already enjoy excellent Crossfit coaching from Mark and Karl, the Level 2 Crossfit coaches. So I strongly suspect whereas for many who attend who have only been Crossfitting off the website, I probably have less to learn. That’s not meant to sound condescending, but I simply wouldn’t have stayed at Crossfit Manchester for the last 18 months, if I didn’t think that the quality of the coaching was among the best I could get. If I had just been going off the website myself, I’m reasonably sure that myself taught technique would probably be appalling.

Additionally there’s the slight trepidation of 2 full on days of workouts and the slight fear that I won’t be up to the fitness standard, especially judging by how much I still ache from Barbara on Saturday! Finally there’s the disappointment at the news that Greg Glassman himself won’t be attending, which we’d all be told he would be. Whilst I have no doubts that the coaching will be world class, it would have been great to shake the hand of the man that invented Crossfit and personally thank him for the life altering changes it has had on me.

Still it’s going to be great I’m sure. In preparation, Crossfit HQ has sent me all the Crossfit Journals all 70 of them! I’ve already read the last 2 years worth, but some of them have some great articles. As someone who has suffered 15 years of knee pain, had been told by Doctors to stop doing exercise till it was better and was extremely worried about any form of exercise when I started Crossfit, the following article snippet was particularly apt (my highlights):

By Mark Rippetoe – He has 28 years experience in the fitness industry and 10 years experience as a competitive powerlifter. He has been certified as an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 1985 and is a USA Weightlifting Level III Coach and Senior Coach, as well as a USA Track and Field Level I Coach.

Anyone who says that full squats are “bad for the knees” has, with that statement, demonstrated conclusively that they are not entitled to an opinion about the matter.

People who know nothing about a topic, especially a very technical one that requires specific training, knowledge, and experience, are not due an opinion about that topic and are better served by being quiet when it is asked about or discussed. For example, when brain surgery, or string theory, or the NFL draft, or women’s dress sizes, or white wine is being discussed, I remain quiet, odd though that may seem.

But seldom is this the case when orthopaedic surgeons, athletic trainers, physical therapists, or nurses are asked about full squats. Most such people have absolutely no idea what a full squat even is, and they certainly have no concept of how it affects the knees, unless they have had additional training beyond their specialties, which for the professions mentioned does not include full squats. Because if these people knew anything about squatting, and the difference between a full squat and any other kind of squat and what they do to the knees, they would know that “full squats are bad for the knees” is wrong and thus would not be making such a ridiculous statement.


Now, this is not to say that doctors, PTs, and nurses haven’t been exposed to knee anatomy. They have, but they have not, as a rule, been exposed to correct squatting, and thus they have no idea how the movement is related to knee anatomy. The fact is that the knee and hip anatomy actually dictate correct squatting technique. Smart as these people are, you’d think that they could figure this out, and thus derive correct technique, the way we ignorant, uneducated lifters have. But I guess you’d be wrong if you thought that.

Hahaha, Rippetoe is famous for his no nonsense blunt approach to life and this article is indicative of the great quality content the Crossfit Journal contains. It used to be delivered as an emailed pdf each month, but they have just changed this to a subscription based website.

On the subject of knee pain though, I never did get a satisfactory answer as to the cause of mine from the several consultants, x-rays, MRI’s and exploratory surgery I had. All I know is that for 15 years I’ve been unable to kick a football, or walk down stairs without fearing my knee would give way and I’d fall over. But within just 3 months of Crossfit, all that went away. I’ve had np knee pain for over a year now and I have no fear of any knee effecting activity or exercise. All hail the mighty Crossfit, and bring on that cert! 🙂

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Davie 9 September 2008, 6:48 am

    Colin, I have no doubt that you will not only cope with the workouts over the course of the weekend but that you will excel at any and all of the workouts.

    as for Gregg Glassman not coming over, that is a bummer but im sure whoever comes over it is going to be one great weekend!

  • Steve J 9 September 2008, 1:44 pm

    Hats off to Karl and Mark!

    I’ve only trained with Karl so far, but I’ve learned so much from him.

    I’m really pleased Manchester got the gig, those guys deserve success. I hope this showcases Crossfit in the UK and promotes it too.

    You are a lucky man living so close, heck if it wasn’t an 84mile round trip every session I’d be a regular too.

  • Colin McNulty 9 September 2008, 8:30 pm

    Cheers Davie, I’ve done something crunchy to my shoulder so am taking it easy this week to make sure I’m it tip top condition for the weekend. I’m being a good boy with the diet too and will be maxing out the fish oil come the weekend. Tis a shame about Glassman, I was really looking forward to that.

    Steve, yep the Crossfit Manc coaches are the roxors and I do consider myself very lucky to have it so close.

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