CrossFit’s educational program offers credentials for the entry-level coach, the highly experienced coach, and anyone in between. With multiple opportunities to advance their coaching skills in the Level 1, 2, and 3 courses, as well as a variety of online courses for more specific skills such as programming, scaling, and nutrition, for example, aspiring coaches have endless opportunities to continue their education and understanding of the CrossFit methodology.
“The CrossFit program delivers a broad, general, and inclusive fitness for its athletes by pulling from multiple disciplines within sport and athleticism — from weightlifting to gymnastics to metabolic conditioning. Our coaches must develop the skills and expertise to coach athletes in all areas of CrossFit and for all ability levels,” said Nicole Christensen, Senior Writer for CrossFit Education and owner of CrossFit Roots. “That is no small ask, but one that CrossFit coaches willingly and enthusiastically take on as they know firsthand how the interplay of the methodology, the coach, and the athlete delivers an unparalleled level of health, fitness, and longevity. For this reason, CrossFit offers a robust set of educational opportunities to support the coach at all levels of their development and within the various disciplines.”
A Professional Pathway for CrossFit Coaches
Recently launched, the Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach title (CF-L4) is now the highest credential offered by CrossFit. The CF-L4 is a chance for experienced coaches to prove they are extremely proficient in the six domains of coaching: teaching, seeing, correcting, class management, presence and attitude, and application.
“The CrossFit Level 4 credential is the pathway to demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills learned over the years of pursuing CrossFit education,” Christensen said.
Those who wish to pursue the designation of CF-L4 must be experienced CrossFit coaches who hold a current CF-L3 certification, as well as a current CPR/AED certificate.
“The CrossFit Level 4 evaluation is for the coach ready to test and prove their ability to coach and lead athletes in a real-world setting, effectively. Individuals who are actively coaching at a CrossFit affiliate, who have immersed themselves in the continuous refinement of their daily work, and who have assimilated the academic knowledge of CrossFit into their work with athletes in real time are good candidates to take the exam,” Christensen explained. “For individuals who are not yet at this level, the Level 4 is your pursuit. Every CrossFit coach should aim for or encourage others in their coaching sphere to do the same as better coaches make better athletes.”
The CF-L4 consists of a one-day performance evaluation of a trainer’s ability to effectively coach CrossFit movements and run an effective class. Candidates will coach two workouts and be assessed using the six domains of coaching as a framework. If they pass, candidates will receive the designation of CF-L4, a mark that denotes an expert CrossFit coach.
“The CrossFit Level 4 evaluation was created to bring a performance-based in-person assessment to the credentialing structure of CrossFit’s coaches,” Christensen said. “The CrossFit Level 3 exam tests an individual’s knowledge of CrossFit in a computer-based format and is the first certification in our list of credentials. The Level 4 is the second certification — it tests an individual’s ability to do the job of a coach in real time, and do it at the level of mastery. An in-person performance assessment is a unique phenomenon in the fitness and strength-and-conditioning spaces, and one that CrossFit is proud to offer.”
History of the L4
In previous years, experienced CrossFit trainers were grandfathered into the L4 credential after having earned the CrossFit Level 2 credential and passing the rigorous evaluation that accompanied it: passing the Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT) exam and staying up to date on CEU requirements. However, the process to earn the CF-L4 has been revised over the years, and the new CF-L4 evaluation was created.
Originally slated to launch in April 2020, circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic halted the launch of the CF-L4. Now, CrossFit is excited to finally offer this opportunity for many coaches in the community to establish themselves as expert coaches.
“The CrossFit Level 4 evaluation assesses a candidate’s ability to coach athletes in a real-world setting — on the training floor in CrossFit affiliates around the world,“ said Nicole Carroll, CrossFit General Manager of Education. “The assessment for the Level 4 is rigorous and challenging, and the CF-L4 credential is our way of identifying the most senior coaches in the community. The release of the CF-L4 makes CrossFit’s suite of credentials the most advanced in the industry.”
CF-L4 evaluations will begin in January, 2023.
Learn more about the history of CrossFit’s credentialing program here.