Episode 101 – Level Up with Nathan Holiday & Josh Price


This is a VERY visual episode, so I’m going to include the video recording of the discussion. It’s not edited or produced (as the podcast always is) but it’s worth an hour in front of a screen to see it.



If you visited CrossFit.com in 2006 (as I did,) you would have found the original CrossFit message boards. And one of the most-discussed concepts was the idea of a “belt system” for progressions in CrossFit. Many of us sketched out our own, but none were ever perfect, and most weren’t even usable.

Until now. I think Nathan Holiday has done it.

Even Nate failed when he tried it the first time. And the second. But what he has now in the Level Method not only shows what clients need to do to be progressing, but also gives coaches a way to create meaningful moments in the clients life cycle. The Level Method gives you a system for rewarding “moments” in the client’s life cycle.


I recommend reading “The Power of Moments” by Chip and Dan Heath as soon as you can. Make that your next book.


Today we dive deep into the Level Method. Nate is very knowledgeable on the coaching side, and we get technical about energy systems, biomechanics and progressions. After a full half hour of nerd talk, Josh Price joins us to talk about his experience with using the Level Method in his gym and how it has helped his CrossFit gym grow.


Creating a leveling system allows a coach to evaluate where a client is and then progress them. Nathan originally got involved with the leveling system soon after getting out of the army and becoming involved with fitness. He created many leveling systems only to fall apart due to lack of experience. After years of trial and error he was able to determine what worked and create a lasting system. Many of the problems with his earlier systems were from creating them in too much of a linear system. However, many of these systems did not work as they are different for each person.


The Level Method system is an engagement tool and pairs great with creating bright spots. When engaging with an athlete, the level method allows the coach to know exactly where they are at any given moment. This give coaches a lot more handles on where the athlete stands and what needs to be done to improve them. Having this system with rules in place, takes out the guesswork needed to help improve clients and reach their goals.


The Level Method is built upon three elements. There is the “MAP”, which is the methodology behind the system. In addition to this, there are the energy systems that lay the foundation. The final element is the why, which is engaging clients and progressing people and giving them results.  We want people to be excited about their own progress where they take control and asking questions to coaches on how to get better. As soon as someone levels up they receive a certificate and an award is given in class. Listed today to learn all about this system, how it can help your gym, and also how to implement it in the new year!






1:44 – Level Up Introduction

4:46 – Why create the Level Method system for functional fitness

6:01 – What does a Level Method system with CrossFit looks like?

12:04 – Giving people concrete goals and incentives at your gym

14:53 – The three elements of the Level Method

17:06 – What does a promotion ceremony look like for the Level Method

20:15 – How is the map organized and each level of the Level Method calibrated

23:01 – What effect do the levels have on age? Is there a master’s program?

26:09 – The foundation of the Level Method, energy systems

34:19 – The importance of plumbing, or cellular fueling

40:38 – The actual Level Method map itself

51:35 – How is a program like the Level Method implemented by a gym owner?

54:14 – Josh Price’s experience with using the Level Method in his gym

58:07 – A real client example of using the Level Method system

59:51 – What does a typical Level Method ceremony look like?

62:19 – Using the Level Method to engage with clients

64:04 – Success stories from gyms using the Level Method

70:08 – How to get started using the Level Method?


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