Youth Fitness Program - An Overview
Welcome to the Kids’ Fitness at CrossfitRBP, our Grades 4 thru 8 Kids Strength and Conditioning program.
We started this program in 2018 with a small group of kids who wanted to keep moving over the winer break. Word has gotten out, and the program has grown. It is so exciting to see kids discover hidden strengths and new interests, and develop surprising fitness skills they can be proud of. Knowing that we’ve been able to make kids enthusiastic about fitness brings us unexplainable joy.
A main goal of this program has always been to introduce good, fitness-related habits at an important developmental stage. In learning these habits, students become stronger and smarter about how their bodies work. They learn to lift heavy things, move in surprising ways, and push past uncomfortable barriers. They climb ropes, jump on boxes, run around the block, thrust barbells into the air and catch them before they hit the ground.
This program affects body composition, athletic ability, outward perception, and most importantly self confidence. If students learn to enjoy the process, love these results, and stick with fitness over the long haul, they should live longer and better lives.
We should be 100% clear: Our youth program is not a “Crossfit” program. We are a kids' strength and conditioning program. We confess, however, that we shamelessly borrow many ideas and methods from them.
Our methodology aims to develop a well-rounded athlete. We use movements from several sports, including weightlifting, gymnastics, and endurance. Our custom is to build a unique workout every day by mixing and matching various types of movements, loads, intensities, and time variety. We train athletes to perform in unexpected situations, improve the body mechanics of how they move, and see their progress through measured results. Most importantly, we see fitness as a life-long journey. We strive to have emerging athletes want to come back by keeping the workouts manageable, challenging, and fun.
Is it a sport? An activity? Just fun?
You might have encountered the sport of crossfit while channel surfing. Big strong people flipping tires, throwing impossible weights around, and pushing themselves to their physical limits. Who knew that you could compete at pushups, olympic weightlifting, mountain biking, and kettlebell swings all at the same time?
The sport of crossfit uses competition to inspire a little extra effort from each person. It is our custom to measures and score every workout. We keep it fun and supportive, but nothing inspires maximum effort in the same way as the idea of scoring a point against an opponent.
What, exactly, do you do?
Short answer is: something new every day. One level deeper: we borrow movements from 3 distinct categories of sports -- Gymnastics, Weightlifting, and Endurance -- and weave them into a unique and fun workout.
You surely know of the Olympic sport of Gymnastics. Our definition expands this to include virtually any activity that demands higher levels of body control: Jumping, Pullups, Tumbling, Stretching, Balancing, Sprinting, Handstand Walking, etc, etc. Few specialized athletes build or maintain life-long strength and coordination like a gymnast does.
There are several different sports that fall into the category of Weight Lifting. For example, Bodybuilding (lifting weights to look a certain way), Powerlifting (Bench, Squat, and Deadlift as much as humanly possible), and Olympic Lifting (“Snatch” a barbell in one movement over your head, OR “Clean” a barbell to your shoulders then “Jerk” it above your head). We LOVE olympic lifting. Nothing builds strength, power, coordination, flexibility, speed, agility, balance, and accuracy like these special movements do. To do these lifts well, a wide spectrum of training is required. And we love it all.
The final category is Metabolic Conditioning (what you might think of as “cardio”). Running, Biking, Rowing, etc. Virtually any light-load activity performed for an extended duration. Stamina and endurance, the final aspects of fitness, need a healthy dose of these movements on a very regular basis.
Is it Safe?
There are 2 short answers to this question: “yes” and “no”. Yes, there are safe ways to lift heavy loads, swing from a pullup bar, jump on a box, climb a rope, walk on your hands, throw a ball, raise a heavy weight overhead, and work at high intensity. Students learn safe ways to do these things under the guidance of experienced coaches who have the wellbeing of each athlete at the top of mind.
On the other hand, one might argue that doing any of these things is less safe than sitting on the couch, eating chips, and watching TV.
By learning how to move properly, students prepare themselves for challenges in the real world which is full or risks and pitfalls. They become more aware, agile, nimble, and strong.
Even if athletes do almost everything right, they are likely to get scraped, bruised, sore, or blistered. Some things they do make them vulnerable to collision, falls, or mishaps with equipment. Although very rare, is not unheard of for athletes to strain a muscle, lose some skin, or break a bone. Eliminating these risks would defeat our purpose. So we introduce kids to these exciting activities in a way that aims to both keep everyone safe while also igniting the spark that keeps them growing.
Coaches have a close eye on the ability of each athlete. We make sure kids work within their own capacities. As a student demonstrates that they are able to move well, we gradually increase complexity and load until we find that athletes optimal thresholds... this is where they train.