You shouldn’t be doing Group CrossFit….yet.

You don’t have to search very hard on the internet these days before you find a negative article or blog post critical CrossFit. The vast majority of these are “click bait” used by bloggers to get more hits to their site, and the content is long on inflammatory language, but short on actual facts. Done as intended, CrossFit is just as safe (and far more effective) as any other fitness modality or sport. Let me say that again….DONE AS INTENDED. The genesis of CrossFit was in personal training. Working with clients individually, building up their skills, confidence and fitness level slowly and under direct supervision. Only when the client demonstrated an acceptable level of competence were they allowed to “team up” with other clients for group workout sessions. Today, the vast majority of group exercise programs ignore this fact in favor of throwing new members directly into large group classes.
The primary concern for any fitness trainer should be safety. Putting an untrained, new client into a large group class is the equivalent of throwing someone into the pool with the water polo team before taking swimming lessons. It rarely turns out well. Understanding a client’s individual strengths, weaknesses, and specific goals is crucial if they are to succeed in any fitness program. The client needs time to learn how to move correctly under load, and understand how to scale or modify movements appropriately in a one-on-one setting. This sets them up for long-term success if/ when they feel they are ready to join a group training program.
Clearly, people come in all shapes and sizes, with vastly different levels of fitness. A new client who steps directly into a group fitness class has no chance of having his/ her specific needs taken into account. By working with a personal trainer in advance of starting group classes, the trainer is able to customize the sessions perfectly for each individual. The difference would be like learning a complex mathematical concept in a large lecture hall compared to learning the same concept from a private tutor.
Providing personal training sessions before sending a client into group fitness classes benefits the trainer as well. By spending time with the client, a bond is formed. All of a sudden the client has a friend, mentor, coach and cheerleader all rolled into one. The trainer is more able to motivate, advise and develop a client that he/ she knows personally. Even when the client moves into a group setting, the trainer will always “have their back” and will be checking in along the way.
At CrossFit Schaffhausen, we honor the original ideals that Greg Glassman founded the program on, and start our new clients off with a “Foundations” program lasting 12 sessions. Our Coaches introduce new members to the culture of CrossFit, and train them in the movements commonly used in the group classes. Each new member is treated as an individual, and the sessions are tailored to their specific needs. The Coach then becomes that client’s “Coach for Life” and is there for them at any point along their fitness journey, both inside and outside of the gym. We have found that this is the best way for anyone to start CrossFit safely, effectively, and with their long-term success in mind.
If you would like to find out more about our CrossFit Schaffhausen’s unique entry process, just click THIS LINK. We are happy to offer anyone a free one hour personal training session that includes a warm-up, mobility and fitness assessment, and short workout. Since it is tailored to the individual, there is no minimum fitness level required. Anyone can do it!


James Gordon
Owner/ Head Coach
CrossFit Schaffhausen

James is a Level 2 CrossFit Trainer with multiple specialty certifications and over 6000 hours of Coaching time logged in both Group Fitness and Personal Training.