From Dance to Dumbbells


Becka Adams was sitting on her couch, flipping through TV channels, when she saw Julie Foucher driving a sled down the field at the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Coming from a dance background, Adams said she had little knowledge about CrossFit. “I thought it was just one of those fads. I saw the women … and I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s amazing!’ So I decided immediately that I wanted to try it,” said Adams.

That year, she started taking classes at a Box in Los Angeles, California. And she became so interested in the sport that by 2013, she received her Level 1 and started coaching at CrossFit Hollywood. That same year, she completed her first CrossFit competition.

Her dance background, though she admits is a “random” transition into CrossFit, actually helps her coaching. “The similarities there are to stay in shape and do everything properly. With dance, technique is drilled into your head. And when you’re doing it in a group setting, you have to do it the exact same way so that you all look the same. So it’s very much about specific body movements,” said Adams. “It’s the same with CrossFit. You want to make sure you’re doing everything completely properly. Even though your lifts might not look exactly the same as someone else’s lifts, the mechanics are still very much the same.”

Her experience in teaching dance also helps her break down movements. In fact, she described her brain as that of a “cartoon character,” using imaginary analogies to teach technique. For instance, she explains kipping by telling members to pretend they’re jumping off a floating step. But she knows those analogies don’t work for everyone.

LastRep2“It’s all about being flexible and adapting your cues and your coaching style to the individual. That same thing goes when I’m coaching a class,” said Adams. “You have to know and recognize how people respond to different coaching styles and different encouragements. It’s fun because it’s always a puzzle trying to figure out what works for some people. And if one thing doesn’t work, how to come up with another solution to get the proper results.”

Most importantly, Adams wants her members to know she cares. While they may be physically tired leaving one of her classes – she coaches CrossFit, Elements and Olympic weightlifting classes at CrossFit Hollywood – she wants them to leave feeling encouraged and accomplished. If they do, she knows that she did her job. “It’s really important that you’re not just doing it for the money or you’re doing it as a job, but you actually care about the people that you’re working with. It’s not even caring about CrossFit. It’s about caring for the people,” said Adams.

Besides Olympic lifting, Adams said her favorite part of coaching is ultimately seeing members progress, however that looks. “It’s just such a good feeling to see them light up and see them do things that they never thought they could do. And knowing that you were able to help them do that,” said Adams.


Hayli Goode is the former digital editor for Peake Media.