CROSSFIT KIDS AND TEENS
CrossFit Outpace is a CrossFit Kids Registered Program Affiliate, and we have separate classes for kids (8-12 years old) and for teens (13-18 years old), 3 days a week.
Our kids program is designed to be fun in order to nurture the athletic development of our children. We combine gymnastics, body-weight calisthenics, monostructural training and certain weightlifting movements to create fun workouts and games. Instead of playing on phones or tablets or watching TV., our kids stay active moving their entire bodies running, jumping, rolling, and participating in fun activities!
The philosophy of our teens program is rooted in fun as well, but some of the focus begins to gravitate towards improving performance, especially for those kids that play competitive sports.
Courtesy of Crossfit, Inc.
Because the safety and health of your child is your and our first priority, we are sure you have questions about the program. While we are always available and eager to discuss our philosophy and approach with parents, we have prepared answers below to some of the most common questions we typically receive.
What if my child/teen already plays another sport? Why should they add CrossFit to their schedule?
We are big proponents of kids participating in other sports as part of their overall athletic experience. Given that we don’t charge “initiation” or “enrollment” fees, nor do we have long term contracts to sign, your kid can focus on his/her sport of choice during their season, and then come back to CrossFit to develop his/her fitness during the rest of the year. We are very flexible in terms of kids/teens coming in and out of the program as their individual sport schedule permits. CrossFit plays a critical part in developing and improving the fitness of teenage athletes, setting them up for success in their sport of choice
In fact, while focusing on a single sport can often lead to overuse injuries, a general physical preparedness (GPP) program, especially one with the breadth of skills and focus on motor coordination with functional movement such as CrossFit Kids may help prevent injuries and will be very beneficial for their overall fitness development.
Isn’t it dangerous for my elementary or middle school aged child to be lifting heavy weights?
We have a strict policy within our CrossFit Kids program at CrossFit Outpace: Quality of movement always supersedes load and intensity. Our focus is on the fundamentals of the movements, not loads. Your child will learn and perfect his/her technique under the watchful guidance of a coach with no load before adding any significant weight to the movement. With this focus on technique, we ensure the safety of your child if and when they eventually progress toward any heavier weights.
Even then, it may be months for teens, and possibly even years for younger participants, before weight is ever increased. For example, with kids (8-12 years old), for the oldest and most adept in this age range, a max load may approach 10-pound dumbbells for front squats, various pressing movements, and cleans; while a 20-pound kettlebell may be used for deadlifts. Most kids will use little to no weights, instead using PVC pipes.
These same standards are also used to load teenagers. As mechanics and consistency improve, loads can gradually increase. The mandate is that the load is always well within the margins of safe and efficient movement. Furthermore, load and expectation adjustments are made daily based on developmental status, growth spurts, injuries, psychological state, level of recovery, and many other factors that can affect performance.
Our kids do not ever attempt one-repetition maximum lifts, and neither do our teens, unless they are mature enough, experienced enough within the program, and demonstrate a very high degree of proficiency within the movement.
My child does not enjoy exercise. How will this keep him/her engaged?
We know that “working out” can be met by groans from many children (and adults as well!), which is exactly why we have developed our program to be fun and engaging for kids. We play fun games in addition to the workout of the day and pair them with skill work so that the element of fun is woven into the program.
Making the subject or activity interesting is another way to create engagement, and we know that what is interesting or important to different age groups varies dramatically. For example, while explaining to junior-varsity athletes that getting stronger will increase their chances to making varsity next year, the same reasoning will not motivate an eight year old. For the younger ages, a motivator may be letting them know that the more they exercise, the longer they can take their pets for a walk, or the more races they'll win at recess.
One of our main goals with CrossFit Kids is to lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle. Because so many people feel burdened by the idea of working out, CrossFit Kids is an excellent way to instill a love of fitness in your child from a young age.
CrossFit Kids and Teens classes also provide a great opportunity to hone valuable life skills, such as perseverance and working hard, acknowledging personal responsibility, accepting feedback and coaching, working with others, following rules, and exhibiting etiquette.