Get to Know Your Coach | Kris Kobold

Ask a CrossFitter to describe their CrossFit box (in the odd instance they aren’t already talking about it), and you’re sure to leave the conversation knowing the name of at least one of their coaches.

Why? Because they’re that impactful.

Unlike so many – if not all – other sports, in CrossFit, the last person to finish is the one cheered on the loudest. The person who fails rep after rep is greeted with the same high-five as the person who cycles through Rx’d movements with ease.

It’s these unique characteristics that separate and define CrossFit, and it’s the coaches we owe thanks to for putting them into practice day in and day out. 

While day after day, they’re reminding us to keep our elbows up in a front rack and break parallel in a squat, CrossFit coaches serve a deeper purpose.

They create an environment where one can scale movements without being overcome by embarrassment, where neither the number on the scale nor the barbell define worth, where confidence is built rather than broken.

Where does your passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle come from?

It comes from Crux, actually. Before coming to Crux, I had never been a “gym-rat.” I played high-school football and rugby, softball and karate before that, but once high school ended, I basically did no physical activity for almost twenty years. Starting at Crux was a sea change for me in terms of fitness and wellness.

Why do you coach, what motivates you to teach?

I know well (and am grateful for) what CrossFit and the Crux community has done for my quality of life; I want to promote and share that same experience with others. It’s not just about having others “drink the CrossFit Kool-Aid.” It’s fine if you do, but there are so many intangible qualities that come along with it: increased confidence, physical competence, increased mental toughness and determination. For the coach, what CrossFit offers is an opportunity to lead people to a realization and understanding that they can better themselves.

What do you think separates a great coach from a good coach, or a good coach from a poor coach?

All coaches fall somewhere on a spectrum of strengths and weaknesses: one might be more/less technically excellent in terms of execution/demonstration of movement, another might communicate and cue very effectively, yet another might be a keen observer of movement/physical capability and know their clientele’s fitness/wellness needs very thoroughly. All of these things are important—and we all strive to be the best we can in these domains—but to them needs to be added a sound basis of knowledge, a willingness to continue to learn from experience and the best practices/expertise of others, and an infectious enthusiasm for imparting that knowledge and experience to others. At Crux we’re very lucky to have a great coaching staff who take all of these aspects very seriously.

What is a typical day in the life?

Depends on the day, but I’m often at the gym early, coaching, and sometimes later into the evening, too. I prefer to work out in the morning. For more information regarding my typical day, please refer to CrossFit Crux’s class schedule in Zenplanner!

What is the most rewarding part of coaching?

Definitely seeing others succeed and watching the slow and steady development of a member’s increased confidence and physical competence. Over years, I experienced that success myself—savoured it, in fact—and it’s incredibly rewarding to see that positive change happen in others when they give themselves over to the programming and simply trust the process.

What is your favourite movement/benchmark workout and why?

Turkish get-ups (weird, right?). Cleans are a close second. Not sure that I have a favourite benchmark.

What is your most hated movement/benchmark workout and why?

Definitely not a fan of ring dips. Not sure I have a most-hated benchmark. It used to be MURPH, but it’s kinda grown on me.

What is something most people don’t know about you or something interesting?

Ego disciplinam aut studium in lingua Latina septimos annos confieri. (Trans: “I studied Latin for seven years,” but that’s not very interesting, I know.)

What type of music do you like to work out to?

I’ll listen to just about anything, but would prefer something heavier, played on actual instruments—not the drek that plays on Top 40 radio these days.

Where do you spend your time when you aren’t at the gym?

At home or ferrying my youngest to his hockey/lacrosse games, it seems.