“We are trying to reach the populations that would otherwise never consider walking into a CrossFit gym. That was goal #1 was, when we first put this out to people, if you’re the least likely person to go to a CrossFit gym, we want you. And it was followed pretty closely after that with, we will meet you wherever you’re at. And, got a pretty good response just from that. We have targeted two primary populations. One we call special populations, and that covers everything from the severely overweight to chronic disease: diabetes, COPD, you name it, we’ve got it. And, that was our primary target was a special populations class, and then reaching seniors, and the people who didn’t have exposure to any kind of physical activity, let alone CrossFit, and teaching them some of the skills that would be necessary to keep them living independently.” – Michele Mootz
When it comes to helping seniors and other “unlikely exercisers” become active and functionally fit for a lifetime of health, Dustin Jones and Michele Mootz are leading the charge.
As a home health physical therapist, Dustin Jones works to keep older adults resilient and independent at home. He is also the founder of Geros Health and the Geros Health podcast, where he connects thousands of clinicians to share information and education about caring for older adults.
Michele Mootz is a true CrossFit original, getting her start in Santa Cruz back in 2004. An experienced physical therapist, she fell in love with CrossFit methodologies and ultimately left her formal work as a physical therapist to become a full-time coach. Michelle has worked on the CrossFit Seminar Staff member for 10 years, currently serving as a Flowmaster. Most recently she has taken over the CrossFit Heath program at CrossFit HQ where she works with older adults as well as those struggling with obesity and chronic disease in an effort to help them regain their health and independence.
Michele, Dustin and I met up at a recent CFMDL1 seminar to share a discussion on how we can bridge the gap from the hospital to the affiliate. In this episode, we discuss the considerations that go along with working with these special populations, how affiliate owners can get start their own senior and special populations programs, and how healthcare providers can get involved with their local affiliates.
In this episode we discuss:
- The stereotypes surrounding CrossFit, and the initiative CrossFit HQ is undertaking to reach populations who would never consider trying CrossFit, including obese populations, those with chronic disease, and seniors
- How a box owner or a dedicated coach can create an inviting environment for those who need CrossFit the most so they feel welcomed
- The criteria CrossFit HQ uses in allowing those interested to join their CrossFit Health program
- Scheduling and programming considerations for special populations
- What primary care physicians should look for in an affiliate in order to feel comfortable referring patients
- How healthcare providers can get involved with their local affiliates
- The Derelict Doctors Club or “DDC”
- The trickle-down theory: why the MDL1 is not open to all healthcare providers
- How HQ is working towards a directory of doctors who CrossFit
- The reasoning behind CrossFit HQ’s decision to track quality of life over other health data markers
- Michelle’s action steps for box owners and coaches who would like to get started helping special populations
- Julie’s action steps for medical providers who would like to consider using functional movement to help their patients
- Dustin’s thoughts on why functional movement is so important for rehabilitation patients
- Contact CrossFit Health to learn more about the MDL1
- Geros Health
- CrossFit Maximus
- Stave Off with Christina Prevett
- Black Flag Athletics
- Ep 16 – Pete Katz and his physician on using CrossFit and Paleo to overcome chronic disease
- Ep 31 – Robert Porter and his Coach, Patrick Flannery on Losing 90 Pounds with CrossFit and Finding the Right Community For You
- Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Fighting Chronic Disease, and the “Five Buckets of Death”
- Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease
- Ep 88 – From Hypocrite to Advocate: Dr. Rebecca Blonsky
- Ep 96 – A Hospital Affiliate: Kirby Medical Center and CrossFit KMC
- Ep 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull
- Ep 118 – The State of CrossFit with Coach Greg Glassman
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.