Over the years we have battled with how best to approach our CF Kids and Teens training programs, there are big differences between 15 year olds and 8 year olds and also between kids of the same age. Often CrossFit kids has been seen as a supplemental program at best, providing extra training for footy or netball or one of many other sports. While this is great and we always encourage kids to play all sports especially in teams, we have decided it’s time to put CrossFit first. This means we want our kids, yours and mine to see CrossFit as a sport, their sport. We want to develop strong, fit, healthy kids with a strong and confident mind. To do this we must give our program the attention it needs and give the kids the structure to develop. This means our CF Kids program will be moving to the CrossAxed development program 4 days a week from 4:15pm to 5:00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There is also the option for participating kids in the development program to train in the adults class of a Saturday providing they are accompanied by their parent in the class.
The development program will be for kids aged 12 – 17 years old, if your child currently does the kids program and is younger than 12 they are welcome to continue however no new kids under 12 will be accepted. Older Kids around 17 transitioning to adult classes will be “tested out” prior to joining the adult classes.
Kids under 12 (Pre-pubescent) develop differently. If you think of trying to increase work capacity (the ability to do a given amount of work in a given time or as little time as possible) we can use our formula for Average Power (work) which is how we measure fitness P=FXD/T. To produce more power aka fitness we can either increase force, move the object or ourselves further (distance) or do it quicker (Time) all of which are pretty self-explanatory except for how we can increase force (F) and the best analogy I can give is the formula for Force which is F=MA (force = mass x acceleration) whereby increasing mass, think weight on a barbell, or moving faster, think standing the bar up from a squat quicker) creates more force.
Stay with me……
When we relate this to kids it is not quite so simple. As adults we respond to an increase in Mass by building and repairing muscle aided by the hormone testosterone (yes men and women), kids that are yet to go through puberty do not respond the same as they simply do not have testosterone to help with muscle growth and repair. This means there is little to no value in giving kids under 12 any weight to lift as it increases the risk of injury, prevents the increase of acceleration of movement and thus reduces their ability to get fitter. Kids under 12 get better by practising good movement and then repeating that movement faster (increasing acceleration therefore producing greater force).
As you can imagine this creates some issues in the class as kids don’t want to hear that explanation they just want to lift what the older kids are lifting.
Due to the above factors along with the issue of having older teens wanting to do the adult classes which is not the best environment for them we have decided to create the development program.
Not wanting to leave the little kids out altogether we will be holding one CF Kids class from 9:30-9:50 on Saturday morning. This will be a class for kids aged from 5-12 years old which will be games based with CrossFit movements. Hopefully in the future we can bring back a regular class for kids under 12.