The CompTrain Academy and How Ben Bergeron Wants to Shape the Future of the Sport of Fitness
Big things are brewing at CompTrain and CrossFit New England.
We are less than two weeks into the 2021 calendar year and already two top 10 athletes from this year’s Games have announced they will be relocating to Massachusetts to train full-time at CrossFit New England with the CompTrain team.
As it turns out, it is all part of a larger plan from CompTrain’s owner and head coach Ben Bergeron in steering the direction of the development of athletes at various levels by creating a program whose holistic approach meets the demands and maturation of the sport of fitness.
Enter the CompTrain Training Academy, or as Bergeron puts it succinctly, a “world-class training facility designed to help people excel at the CrossFit Games.” The facility, which has plans for construction around the month of June, will be an addition to the CrossFit New England affiliate location, and will feature a full-service concierge style approach for its athletes.
- A full-time staff of coaches including subject matter specific coaches, an expanded dedicated training space for academy athletes, and media capabilities that will allow athletes to record, access, and breakdown their performances reliably.
- Dedicated recovery space that includes an athlete lounge, and a multitude of recovery amenity options such a sauna, normatec boots, and professional bodyworkers to help athletes in the time between training sessions.
- Athlete managers whose purpose is to take care of outside stressors so that athletes can focus on training, and will act effectively as personal assistants for them for everything from scheduling appointments, administrative work, and errands.
The academy is the result of a longtime vision by Bergeron to improve upon the professionalization of athlete development and preparation that he feels has fallen behind in relation to the growth of the sport.
- Bergeron: “I think that our sport in general is starting to mature, but the way people train for it has not caught up. In every other sport, which by the way have less of a future or earning potential than ours — track and field, gymnastics, skiing, wrestling — for all of those sports if you want to become world class, you go to an academy.”
As far as athletes are concerned Samuel Kwant and Amanda Barnhart are part of the highest tier of athletes in the sport that will be — along with Katrin Davidsdottir — the tip of a three-pronged spear that will serve as the hierarchical structure for any athlete that becomes a part of the academy.
- Elite level — A close-knit collection of podium contending athletes that are perennial top 10 athletes at the Games. These athletes are true professionals, and will subsequently act as brand ambassadors for the program and academy.
- Development level — Fringe level CrossFit Games athletes that are not perennial contenders but may have already earned some high level competition experience. Age will be a strong consideration as these athletes will likely be in the realm of “college age,” meaning that they have time to continue to develop and mature.
- Youth development level — The level with the most parameters and appropriately so. These athletes will be teenage level (14-18 years-old) athletes that pay to be a part of the academy (but can apply for a scholarship), will not be allowed to compete in CrossFit, and must play at least one team sport per season for the purposes of character building and burnout prevention.
So far the academy is in its infant stages and is focused solely on the elite level with a four year plan to build out the remaining two levels. As they build out the two developmental tiers, Bergeron and his team have a specific criteria — some of which has been omitted for proprietary purposes — that will be used to vet potential athletes accordingly.
- Character: A moldable trait in the eyes of the CompTrain team, any prospective athlete will need to possess a certain character while leaning into what Bergeron has identified as the “Three C’s.” “Committed, Curious, and Competitive,” with the latter centered around not necessarily winning but the state of continued self-improvement.
- Physical potential: Criteria that the CompTrain team keeps much closer to the vest but factors in sport and training background, and anatomical factors.
Bergeron has stated that his plan for the elites includes four to six athletes, and considering that they will be the primary focus of the academy in the short term, the question is which athletes eventually fill out the initial roster.
The CompTrain Academy may be the first of its kind in the sport of fitness but the concept is something that can certainly help push the sport forward if it becomes widely accepted and more like it pop up in the future. With the new CrossFit ownership’s enthusiasm for the sports place in the bigger picture, it could only be a matter of time before they become commonplace.