CrossFit Football

The NFL presents some of the most powerful athletes in the world, who run the gambit of speed, strength and agility. Just take a look at the Green Bay Packers’ linebacker A.J. Hawk, who at 248 pounds has run a 4.59 40-yard dash.

The CrossFit Football certification, created by John Welbourn, a retired NFL offensive tackle and guard, aims to help athletes improve their strength, speed and capacity. The certification teaches CrossFit Coaches to use multi-plane compound movements to simulate what athletes experience during a contact sport, such as football.

Chris Noraka, a Coach at CrossFit Low Oxygen in Frisco, Colorado, was introduced to CrossFit Football in March 2013. His Box had been asked to work with the local high school football program on student athletes’ strength and conditioning. CrossFit Football proved to be a valuable certification in this endeavor.

“The collective amount of knowledge that the CrossFit Football staff have to offer is amazing,” recalled Noraka. “They pull knowledge from all over the place — neurologists, physical therapists, orthopedics, professional athletes, professional sports coaches, power lifters, biochemists, Olympians. Combine that with their own backgrounds of collegiate and professional sports, and you have an amazing resource on how to train athletes.”

The proof of the certification’s value lies in the results student athletes have experienced at CrossFit Low Oxygen. “The level of increased performance we are seeing from the student athletes is incredible,” said Noraka. “They are getting stronger, faster, more coordinated, moving properly, and more than anything, they are performing better in their sport.”

Student athletes aren’t the only ones benefiting. Noraka has used his CrossFit Football certification to aid adult members with their fitness goals as well. “In the Box setting, we have a number of athletes that are adhering to the CrossFit Football template who are getting stronger, faster and more explosive — but by far the biggest benefit is that they are moving more efficiently with proper posture than they had before.”

Although the certification is helpful for football athletes, it’s beneficial to athletes in other sports as well. “Though it’s called CrossFit Football, the program is not just for football players,” Noraka continued. “It is a program designed around creating stronger, more explosive athletes, and what athlete wouldn’t benefit from an increase in strength and speed?”

As a result of his CrossFit Football certification, Noraka has gained a level of expertise and additional knowledge he finds extremely valuable. Noraka and two other Coaches at CrossFit Oxygen are certified in the CrossFit Football program. The Box runs three strength and conditioning classes a week, exclusively for the CrossFit Football template. “The CrossFit Football seminar was by far the most fun and beneficial seminar I have been to,” he said. “I suggest it to other CrossFitters, sport coaches, athletes and anyone else who is training towards a goal. Prepare to be challenged in a good way!”

For information on how to become certified in CrossFit Football, visit


Rachel Zabonick is the editor-in-chief of Peake Media. Contact her at