Active Life Podcast, Ep. 15

Pat Barber Coaching Development, Gym Management, Podcast Interviews

Heyo! Check out Episode 15 of the Active Life Podcast. We talk about:

  • Gym culture
  • Extreme ownership
  • How to earn and keep the trust of your members
  • “Uncoachable” people
  • Some hard lessons I’ve learned when managing teams
  • Staff communication
  • My thoughts on the resentment some affiliates feel towards HQ
  • Programming vs. session plans
  • … and a whole bunch of other stuff

Please give the episode a listen and let me know what you think!

Additional Resources
How to test-drive friends and irritate people
The ‘uncoachable’ athlete (an Instagram post by Active Life)

CrossFit Movement Demos & Instruction

Pat Barber Coaching Development

Taz and I searched through the CrossFit Journal archives and the world wide web to compile a list of videos and resources on just about every movement, and then we organized everything we found so that coaches can quickly and easily find what they need. This is a master list that we’ll add to and update every so often. It’s not a quick read. 🙂 It’s meant to be something that you refer to when you need it. That is unless you want to binge and watch everything in one sitting. Which would be sort of crazy. (Our kind of crazy.)

There are some old school videos here, and not all of them are perfect but that isn’t the point! Each and every one of these has a nugget or two that can help your game.

Let us know if you think we missed something.

Box Jump

Burgener Warmup


  • Burpee — CrossFit Demo
  • Skill Transfer of the Burpee with Carl Paoli
  • Burpee Skill Transfer with Carl Paoli — Part 1
  • Burpee Skill Transfer with Carl Paoli — Part 2
  • Burpee Skill Transfer with Carl Paoli — Part 3
  • Burpee Skill Transfer with Carl Paoli — Part 4
  • Burpee Skill Transfer with Carl Paoli — Part 5
  • Burpee Skill Transfer with Carl Paoli — Part 6







Jump Rope

Kettlebell Swing








Rope Climb





Tire Flip


Turkish Get-Up

Wall Ball

End of Three Fitness Podcast, Ep. 47

Pat Barber Podcast Interviews

Jerred Moon, of End of Three Fitness, is a strength and conditioning coach who runs a business and podcast focused on developing better humans. He coaches and writes programming, but his goals go beyond getting people healthier. He wants people to move more, be more productive, be more positive, and think critically. We both want people to be stronger, faster, smarter, kinder and happier. And we both believe we can help people be better humans by coaching fitness because we both understand that coaches coach people through a lot more than just deadlifts. We are counselors, mentors and friends to those who trust us.

So I was excited to go on his podcast and talk about building better humans. In the interview, I discuss:
– My thoughts on the L2 and L3 seminars.
– Why I believe awareness, or paying attention to how people respond to you, is the key to jumping ahead as a coach.
– Emotional intelligence (EQ) and coaching.
– My favorite Games memories.
– Why I believe in always assuming positive intent.
– My one tip for becoming a better coach (and human).

You can listen to the podcast episode here.

And please let me know what you think about the interview!

A Question on Priorities

Pat Barber Gym Management, One Minute Q&A

In today’s One Minute Q&A: We read a lot of stuff on the internet now about these amazing new affiliates with showers, fabulous changing rooms, fully kitted out with rowers, assault bikes and GHD machines for everyone in each class. In what order should you prioritize the following: equipment, size of facility, coaching, community, programming, atmosphere.

The Chief Life Podcast, Ep. 64

Pat Barber Coaching Development, Gym Management, Podcast Interviews

I recently talked with Stacey and Matty of The Chief Life Podcast about the beginnings of CrossFit in Santa Cruz, New Zealand and Australia (which is where they live). Then we dove into a bunch of other stuff:

  • How I interview coaches, plus my hiring process.
  • How the coaching development program at NCFit evolved to lead 60 coaches in the Bay Area. We briefly discuss a few things we incorporated into the program, such as weekly meetings with coaches, knowledge packages with articles and learning material, a coaching summit, and so on.
  • How you might cater the material of your coaching development program to the two different types of coaches at your gym: lifers and part-timers.
  • Why I think session plans are such a great tool for coaches.
  • My opinion on the importance of competitions and competitors in CrossFit, and how they can impact a community for better or worse.
  • The parallels between effective coaching and effective parenting. And how we all need to do a better job of owning our part in the situation when something goes wrong.

Please give the podcast a listen and then let me know what you think!

How do I ask for feedback from coaches?

Pat Barber One Minute Q&A

In today’s One Minute Q&A: Sometimes I can’t tell when I’m doing a complex move (with barbells especially) if my coaches think I nailed it, or if they even saw my execution when they walked by — how do I politely ask for more feedback?

Coaching and Emotional Intelligence

Pat Barber Coaching Development, Gym Management

“You’ve got to play to the majority and tailor to the minority.”

When you’re coaching a class, you have to find things that work for a larger group, and then tailor to the few who need something different. To do this, you need to be aware of how your words and actions are affecting others. This is where emotional intelligence (EQ) comes into play. I define emotional intelligence as the ability to see the subtly of human emotion. It’s a skill that helps you connect to people in an individual way so they feel seen, heard and understood.

Some coaches are naturally bubbly, happy and entertaining. They bring tons of energy and laughs to class. This charismatic personality appeals to the majority. But if this type of coach isn’t self-aware, if they don’t have higher levels of emotional intelligence, they won’t tailor their approach to the few people in the class who aren’t vibing well with their over-the-top personality. And if the coach doesn’t tailor to the few, they’ll lose those members to another class (or gym).

A simple way to address this is to teach your coaches, or yourself, about emotional intelligence. Here’s one way to do that:

Step One: Awareness
Simply introducing your coaches to the concept of EQ can have a profound impact on their relationships with members. EQ is a skill. It can be taught just by getting coaches to pay more attention to how people respond to them. Awareness is a powerful thing.

Step Two: What? Why? What?
Drill your coaches on monitoring people’s reactions to them. An easy way to do this is to teach the ‘What? Why? What?’ Method. It’s very scientific. 🙂
• What? — What’s happening?
• Why? — Why is that happening?
• What? — What am I going to do about it?

So when a coach offers feedback, delivers a cue, briefs the workout, greets someone, each and every interaction, they step back, monitor the member’s reaction and then self-reflect.

We have to remember that our job as coaches goes beyond getting someone that first pull-up or PR. We are friends who are here to listen, to give people a kick in the butt when they need it, or a safe place to rebuild their confidence. So when we talk to members, it should be clear that we care about them, and what’s going on in their lives, more than their performance in a workout.