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How to Become a CrossFit Coach (2019 Guide)

How to become a crossfit coach: header image for article

Want to learn how to become a CrossFit coach? Not to worry.

In our 2019 guide, we cover everything from CrossFit coach certifications to how to open a CrossFit gym (just in case you wanted to take things to the next step!).

Whether you decide to pick up your Personal Training Diploma first or try to land a role as a full-time CrossFit coach, we take you through every step along the way.

Benefits of learning how to become a CrossFit Coach

The benefits are the first thing that you should look for when considering a new career in fitness. Without them, there would be little reason to change jobs in the first place.

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So, what are the benefits of learning how to become a CrossFit coach?

  • Earning money whilst doing what you love
  • Meeting and introducing new people to fitness
  • Feeling the rewarding benefits of transforming people’s lives!
  • Being part of a fast-growing
  • The option of flexible working hours (if you work part-time)
  • Gaining the experience to even open your own CrossFit gym (more on this later)
  • Enjoying freebies like gym membership

Now we’ve breezed over the benefits, let’s actually get into how to become a CrossFit coach!

CrossFit Coach Certifications

The first step to consider when learning how to become a CrossFit coach is getting your certifications!

There are four main CrossFit coach certifications, and they are as follows:

Level 1 Trainer Certificate

The purpose of the Level 1 certification is to introduce aspiring coaches to CrossFit teaching methods as well as the essential mechanics and movements.

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The available slots for the Level 1 certification in the UK for 2019 are:

  • 4th-5th May, Manchester
  • 18th-19th May, London
  • 1st-2nd June, Manchester
  • 8th-9th June, Cardiff
  • 15th-16th June, Berkshire
  • 29th-30th June, Manchester

In a nutshell, with the Level 1 certification you’ll learn the basic skills it takes to instruct a class, apply workouts to all ability levels, deliver a high standard of body mechanics to each individual, and aid them in reaching high levels of intensity during workouts.

Prerequisites: there are no specific prerequisites, apart from the fact that you need to be over 17 years of age.

Course length: 2 day course and test

Cost: £380, but sometimes your box will actually cover the cost for you (depending on which one you go to).

Level 2 CrossFit Certificate

As you might’ve guessed, this one is a step up from the Level 1! It builds on the foundations that you already made a start on, and also prepares those going the full mile for the Level 3 certification.

The available slots for the Level 2 certification in the UK in 2019 are:

  • 8th-9th June, Manchester
  • 8-9th June, London
  • 29th-30th June, Glasgow

This qualification is all about CrossFit coaches strengthening their knowledge in the areas covered in Level 1, such as helping students to execute workouts and movements correctly and with good form. This is extremely important, especially in preventing injuries!

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Prerequisites: the Level 1 CrossFit Certification, and it’s also recommended that you have around 6 months of experience coaching both groups and individuals in a CrossFit setting.

NOTE: this is optional, but CrossFit inc. also recommend that you complete their Online Lesson Planning Course, Scaling Course, and Online Spot the Flaw Course.

Cost: £760

Course length: 2 day course and test

The Level 2 Certification also provides 13 CEUs (continuing education credits) to Certified CrossFit Trainers

Certified CrossFit Level 3 Trainer

This is where things really start to get serious when learning how to become a CrossFit coach.

Levels 1 and 2 and classed as entry level courses in comparison, as the Level 3 Trainer and Level 4 CrossFit Coach certifications are gained through examinations.

As you can imagine, the structure is a little different to the previous qualifications.

It is tested via a multiple-choice examination, which has 160 questions. The subject matter includes programming, coaching, nutrition, management of classes etc. and its purpose is to test students on their ability to execute them effectively.  

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Prerequisites: the Level 2 Certification, and a CPR certificate.

NOTE: it’s also compulsory to update CPR certificate when necessary, and gain 50 CEUs (continuing education credits) and 300 hours of coaching every three years.

There are more, but to give you an idea of how many centres there are here’s a list of UK Testing Centres:

  • Pitman Training Centre - Edinburgh
  • IT Professional Training Academy - Edinburgh
  • Glasgow Clyde College, Cardonald Campus - Glasgow
  • GP Strategies Training Ltd - Stirling
  • ACT Recruitment & Training - Coventry
  • Sievemk Gateway Ltd - Milton Keynes
  • TDM Wyre Academy - Birmingham
  • Birmingham City University - Birmingham
  • Pearson Professional Centres - London
  • London Metro College Ltd - London
  • Global Knowledge - London
  • UK Fast - Manchester
  • Taitec - Manchester

To apply for an exam, you need to fill in an online application. You can apply to that on the CrossFit Trainer exam application page.

Cost: the application fee is around £116 ($150), and the exam fee is around £387 ($500)

Length: 3 hours and 55 minutes

Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach

On the CrossFit website, this one is still labeled as ‘coming soon’. It’s also going to be the highest level of certification, and will make you as qualified as you possibly can be when learning how to become a CrossFit coach.

Prerequisites: Certified CrossFit Level 3 Trainer qualification along with CPR and AED training (up to date)

NOTE: it’s also compulsory to update CPR and AED training when necessary, and gain 50 CEUs (continuing education credits) and 300 hours of coaching every three years, so more or less the same ongoing requirements as the Level 3.

How to Become a CrossFit Coach: Careers

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Now that you know what the process entails when learning how to become a CrossFit coach, the next step is to find out about the career prospects that you’ll have.

So, how do you go about landing a role as a CrossFit coach?

The truth is, if you search for ‘CrossFit jobs’, you won’t find many listed across the UK. But don’t panic! This is only because of the structure of how CrossFit jobs work, so stay with us.

Becoming a CrossFit coach is quite different to becoming a Personal Trainer, which you can do here at OriGym. Coincidentally, it also comes with different career prospects.

Usually, the types of CrossFit coach are as follows:

  • Full-Time salaried
  • Part-Time salaried
  • Part-Time pay-per-hour

This is true of any roles you will see online when searching for CrossFit jobs, or for jobs that you find by networking at CrossFit gyms and being an active member of the community.

This actually plays a big part in learning how to become a CrossFit coach and start a successful career. The more you put yourself out there, the more job opportunities you will hear about.

Who knows, there may even be a position at the box you train in!

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To make a profitable career in CrossFit you should:

  • Be 100% committed to it as a sport, and as a hobby
  • Have a real and sustainable passion to help others reach their goals
  • Be prepared to work scattered hours
  • Be mentally and physically prepared to deal with the job (it’s very demanding on your body!)
  • Be ready to get clued up on marketing
  • Consider your options outside of working full-time for CrossFit

As well as this list you should also know that regular 8 hour 9-5 shifts are a rarity in CrossFit, even if you do land a full-time job.

With many CrossFit gyms in the UK being open from 6am-9pm, it’s pretty obvious that the 9-5 routine doesn’t fit into this schedule. You could have morning classes, a gap in the afternoon and then more classes until 9pm.

If this is something that you’re comfortable with then go for it! Many CrossFit coaches go with this option as they are passionate enough about their career to adjust to a new routine.

 

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However, if this doesn’t sound appealing to you then let’s take a look at other CrossFit career options.

One thing to consider when learning how to become a CrossFit coach is that viewing it as a part-time career does not mean that you’re lacking in passion for the sport! It just means that it doesn’t suit your lifestyle preference.

If you’re pursuing a new career in fitness then you want it to be exciting. You’ve already come so far, so why make it something you don’t want to show up for every day?   

Life as a part-time CrossFit coach does not mean that you can’t have a full-time profitable career.

For example, if you’re already working a day job then you could use your CrossFit quals to earn extra money outside of working hours!

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Alternatively, if you gained your OriGym Personal Training qualifications as well as learning how to become a CrossFit coach then you could balance out both careers. This might interest those who want to make a full leap into fitness with a guaranteed way of making ends meet.

Working as a personal trainer alongside becoming a CrossFit coach means that not only will you be more likely to have a secure income faster, but you will also find it lighter on your body.

As you can imagine, doing CrossFit for hours each day would be extremely difficult for you to sustain! Not to say that you wouldn’t be great at this if you had the right passion.

All in all, once you’re qualified as a CrossFit coach you have a range of options. If you want to play it safe and test things out first, then landing a part-time position as well as your existing job or working/freelancing as a personal trainer would be a great start!

Whatever you decide to do, it’s probably important for you to find out what your earning potential could be, which leads us to the question of CrossFit coach salary.

CrossFit Coach Salary: How much does a CrossFit coach make?

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Undoubtedly the question of ‘how much does a CrossFit coach make?’ has entered your mind whilst considering your next career step. Good job you’ve landed on our article!

When it comes to CrossFit coach salary, you might have guessed that things can depend on what your schedule is/how often you work for CrossFit.

According to Glassdoor, the average CrossFit coach salary in the UK is 21K per year.

If broken down, this is roughly equivalent to £9.60 per hour. That’s not too bad!

Also, if you head over to the payscale website then you’ll find the following information:

how to become a crossfit coach: screenshot of head coach salary

This isn’t too far from glassdoor’s prediction, which is a great sign if you ask us!

Bear in mind, this is estimated from those who learned how to become a CrossFit coach then managed to land full-time roles, which aren’t hugely common (but certainly not non-existent).

It just may take a bit of time to establish yourself as a full-time CrossFit coach, which is fine if you have patience and a willingness to find the right role for you.

If you follow our advice of becoming both a CrossFit coach and a personal trainer simultaneously, then you will likely earn a better salary quicker (unless you’re very lucky and land a role straight away).

We’ll end our CrossFit coach salary section on a reassuring note:

how to become a crossfit coach: screenshot crossfit coach salary


This is solely based in the UK too (which is even better). Take into account that these CrossFit coaches may be supplementing their careers with personal training also, as it is a popular option in this industry.

If you take a look at OriGym’s article on Personal Trainer Salary, you’ll see that most personal trainers earn between 26K and 30K per year when they start out. This figure also rises significantly over time, especially if they gain further qualifications and market themselves effectively.

It may be useful for you to read more into this, as you might decide to go down this road as well as learning how to become a CrossFit coach (especially if you are earning more by still doing what you love).

CrossFit Coach Insurance

If you’re asking whether CrossFit coach insurance is something that you need, the answer is yes (unless you want to risk declaring yourself bankrupt in the worst case scenario).

To save you the trouble of worrying about where to look up CrossFit coach insurance (which can be a little hard to track down online), we’ve listed off some known insurance providers.

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When selecting a provider, it’s vital to ensure that you’re choosing the right cover for you and your role.

If you miss out something that you could need at a later date to save money in the present, then you could certainly regret this decision. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

NOTE: it’s a great idea to use review website TrustPilot  when selecting a provider, as you know that you are getting honest reviews from genuine customers.

So, what will you need to be covered for when it comes to learning how to become a CrossFit coach and stepping into the fitness world?

  • Damage to your CrossFit equipment
  • Client injuries
  • Injury to yourself
  • Loss of earnings
  • Any lawsuits or claims

These are the main things that you want to be covered for, but there are usually more options open to those who need them.

Take the time to read your policy properly before purchasing insurance, and then you’ll be able to coach with confidence!

How to Open a CrossFit Gym

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We couldn’t write an article on how to become a CrossFit coach and miss out on this popular question. Keeping things as short and sweet as possible, here’s how to open a CrossFit gym for those planning on taking things to the next level.

Overview:

  1. Plan how to open a CrossFit gym
  2. Make sure your gym is legal/meeting requirements
  3. Market and advertise your gym efficiently
  4. Recruit the right staff

Once you’ve learned how to become a CrossFit coach and had a good dose of experience in your field, you may look to your new career with a stronger eye for business.

NOTE: we wouldn’t advise trying this without at least a few years experience in CrossFit, as getting to grips with how things run will be crucial to your success.

1) Plan how to open a CrossFit gym

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This is probably the step that will take the most effort but will also be the most helpful in the long run (and the most crucial to get right).

  • You should be qualified in CrossFit at a minimum of Level 1
  • You need to be prepared to pay the license fee (around £2300 annually)
  • Choose the right location for your CrossFit gym (city centre or town centre locations usually do best)
  • Establish a monthly membership fee
  • Plan a marketing/advertising strategy (social media, website, content marketing etc.)
  • Think about which classes you will run (running more than competitors is the best path to success)
  • Build relationships and network with other owners of CrossFit gyms

Obviously, there are a few more complicated steps involved such as finding insurance for your gym and making sure that the premises are legal to operate in, but this covers the basic and most important steps.

Once you’ve planned all of this out, it’s on to step two.

2) Make sure your gym is legal/meeting requirements

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This is definitely important. As well as making sure that your gym is safe for your clients, you also need to make sure that every element of it is legal and meeting CrossFit’s requirements for their affiliates.

For more information on this, you can visit the How to Affiliate with CrossFit page. This gives you a simple outline of the application process along with info on the requirements and cost, so you know exactly what it involves!

NOTE: your CrossFit coach insurance won’t cover your premises, so you will need to get a separate insurance policy out for this. The company you have selected may provide this too, or you may have to find another provider.

GET INSURANCE. Without it, the risks are endless.

3) Market and advertise your gym efficiently

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Marketing and advertising are two of the most important elements when it comes to learning how to open a CrossFit gym. Keep this in mind!

The best way to do this is to set up a site for your CrossFit gym/box and use it as an online base.

CrossFit will actually link to your site once your application has been approved if you do this, so there’s at least one great benefit to becoming a CrossFit coach who opens their own gym!

  • Get your site up and running
  • SEO optimise your site
  • Set up social channels for your gym
  • Implement digital marketing methods on social media (VERY important, location based content will work well too as you’re drawing in a local customer base)
  • Use some content marketing on your site (e.g. blog posts)
  • Use posters in and around the area of your gym to attract custom
  • Think up some special offers before opening, and use these to market yourself (announce through posters, social media etc.)
  • Submit a press release to local papers/media (this will work best if you have special offers planned!)  

4) Recruit the right staff

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Last but not least from our quick-fire section on how to open a CrossFit gym, recruiting the right staff should speak for itself!

The staff that you hire are either going to make or break you. If they’re good staff, they’ll follow your direction and strive to connect well with clients. They’ll be passionate about their work and encourage others to get involved with CrossFit.

Most importantly, they’ll abide by CrossFit requirements.

This is why it’s so important to fill your CrossFit gym with the right people. Recruit those who will excite and inspire your clients as well as be responsible and abide by the rules, and you’re onto a winner.

FAQs

#1 - Are CrossFit trainers certified?

The short answer to ‘are CrossFit trainers certified?’ is yes. They will have to get hold of CrossFit coach certifications, and only then can they train others in the sport.

#2 - How much does a CrossFit coach make?

This one can depend on a number of things (as outlined in our CrossFit coach salary section), but the average in the UK is around 21-25k per annum.

#3 - Do I need CrossFit coach insurance?

Yes, yes, and yes. If you learn how to become a CrossFit coach but then practice without insurance, you’re putting yourself and your clients at risk. Be smart and get CrossFit coach insurance.

See our section on this for help choosing a provider!

#4 - How long is a CrossFit Level 1 certification good for?

The answer to ‘how long is a CrossFit Level 1 certification good for?’ is possibly a disappointing one.

You have to renew it every 5 years at a cost of £380 unless you progress to a higher certification, which is one of the downsides of becoming a CrossFit coach.

One benefit to OriGym’s Personal Training qualifications is that you don’t need to get recertified!

Before you go!

Feeling motivated now you’re clued up on how to become a CrossFit coach? We hope so!

Becoming a CrossFit coach can be incredibly rewarding in terms of seeing your clients succeed and earning a good wage doing what you love.

Want to find out more about launching your fitness career? Go check out our Level 3 Personal Training qualifications, or download our free prospectus for more info! 

 

Enquire to Become a Personal Trainer

Enquire now and kick-start your fitness career!

Written by Chloe Twist

Qualified Personal Trainer & Blogger

Chloe is a qualified Personal Trainer with a passion for blogging, gaming, and playing the guitar. When she's not in the gym, she can be found in her room either swinging kettlebells or binging on Netflix.