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Help: Cross-training Coach Wanted! - A Health Related Fitness Unit
Most recently taught: December 2023

Key Concept: Change

Related Concepts: Choice, Perspectives

Statement of Inquiry: The choice to change often relies on perspectives and opportunities.

Global Context: Scientific and Technical Innovation (Opportunities)

Learner Profile: Knowledgeable (students will gain an understanding of a variety of fitness terminology and different methods people use to train)


Unit Outline


In this unit, students will take on the role of a coach, but also be coached towards a SMART goal they set. Students will explore a variety of different fitness activities and training strategies such as AMRAP, EMOM, etc. As the unit progresses students will have time to work towards their goal in individual, partner, or group exercises of their choosing. With 3 of the 4 assessment criteria being assessed the focus will be on the student's interpersonal skills, ability to create a meaningful fitness experience for a “client” using cross-training terminology, and collaboratively working towards their individual fitness goal.

Learning Experiences

I tried to include a unique "WOD" in each lesson as a warm-up (ex. EMOM 8 pushups for 5 minutes). Toward the end of the unit students were creating the lesson "WOD". 

Lessons 1

  • Introduction to Cross-training

  • Workouts involving the terminology (amrap, emom, sets/reps, asc/desc pyramid, time, interval)

Lesson 2

  • Review terminology

  • Criterion B Formatve SMART goal setting (students should get a baseline for the "measureable" component)

  • Students have a chance to explore/research/discuss the equipment and ways they can work toward their goal

Lesson 3

  • Student-led Yoga and then Pilates Circuit

  • SMART goal work, students to write their exercises and terminology on board as they go to give others ideas

Lesson 4

  • Stations: Mix of cardio, kettlebell, dumbbell, and resistance band movements

  • Medicine Ball Plank Circle (pass ball underneath as you plank) and Medicine Ball Situp Circle (pass the ball with situps)

Lesson 5

  • Youtube 10 Minute Ab-workout to follow along

  • Powerpoint and discussions based on what makes a good coach. Qualities they believe are important to have coaching fitness

Lesson 6

  • Criterion AB Formative Individual Workout Plan and terminology definitions

  • Students should create their own workout, define and use fitness terms in their plan before performing the routine

Lesson 7

  • Students to partner up and help each other work through their fitness plan created in the last lesson

  • Discussion on how they were a good coach today

Lesson 8

  • Steeplechase Cardio Challenge, Individual Jump Rope, Group Jump Rope Challenges

Lesson 9 - 11

  • Start Criterion AB Summative Coaching Plan

  • Students should interview their "client" and start creating their exercise plan using the information gained

  • By lesson 11 each student should be prepared to be a coach and client for their partner and perform the exercise routine created for them.

Lesson 12

  • Criterion D reflection completing questions based on their experiences as a coach and as a cross-training client in this unit

  • Finish with a game chosen by the students

Formative Assessments

Station work allowing for teachers to observe students' form and effort during activities. 

Students create their own personal workout plans before their summative assessment and reflect on the types of training and exercises used. (Crit A, B)

Partner work for students to gain experience “coaching” someone exercising.

Students set a fitness goal at the beginning of the unit in the "SMART" format. (Crit B)

Summative Assessment

Criterion A: Knowledge and understanding

Terminology prominent in cross-training workouts will be looked at in this objective. When creating a workout plan for their client, each coach will need to use the different types of fitness (AMRAP, Sets/Reps) and create a workout that is varied and based on the personal interests of the client. As the client has a different goal then their personal one, the coach will need to apply these fitness types to an unfamiliar situation.

Criterion B: Planning for performance

After formatively creating a workout plan for themselves, students will be assigned a client who has a different fitness goal. Each student will act as a coach for their partner and create a workout plan for the client based on the answers provided in an interview. The reason each exercise is included should be explained.

Criterion D: Reflecting and improving performance

Alongside their SMART goal, students will reflect on their coaching experience. What strategies did they use to help their client, and what were their personal successes and experiences in this unit.

ATL’s focused on in this unit

Communication - Negotiate ideas and knowledge with peers and teachers

In order for students to know and understand (Criteria A): the fundamental skills of cross-training, they will need to negotiate ideas and knowledge with peers and teachers through group discussions, sharing their perspectives and experiences on fitness, and work with their partner to create a fitness plan.

The strategy that will be explicitly taught is: 

-Negotiate ideas: sharing perspectives on fitness, create a personal fitness plan, and coach a student. Creating a relevant goal, meeting the requirements.

-Share knowledge with peers and teachers: recognizing individuals' ability and creating personalized fitness plans, responding to teacher and group discussion questions.


Research - collect and analyse data to identify solutions and make informed decisions

In order for students to reflect and improve performance (Criteria D):  in reaching their fitness objectives and the journey to get there, they will need to collect and analyse data to identify solutions and make informed decisions. This quantitative fitness data, qualitative peer feedback will allow students to recognize their strengths, successes, and areas for improvement in this cross-training unit. 

The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

-collecting data on the exercises they perform, making notes on how many they do.

-understanding what failure means in various fitness contexts: endurance vs strength

-using this data to decide on your performance, as a coach and athlete.

Thinking - propose and evaluate a variety of solutions

In order for students to plan for performance (Criteria B): by developing a cross-training plan, they will need to propose and evaluate a variety of solutions before deciding on the optimal strategy for themselves and the partner they are coaching. They will evaluate the data to decide on whether their plan was effective.

The strategy that will be explicitly taught is:

- Propose: setting a S.M.A.R.T goal and working with a partner to develop a personal fitness plan.

- Evaluate: working with a partner to provide feedback on exercises, trying out exercise types to see what is effective.


Self Management - Set goals that are challenging and realistic

Students will set SMART goals at the beginning of the unit based on their fitness interests and work towards this goal throughout the unit. 

Teacher Reflection (2022)

In terms of promoting student agency and letting students take the unit in a direction that was of personal interest to themselves, this was the most successful unit I have taught. Overall students were highly motivated to reach their goals and support their “client” succeed as well. 

While my school has gained more fitness equipment, the emphasis still had to be on making use of bodyweight and creative exercise types.

I had previously done SMART goal setting last year with these MYP 4 and 5 students which helped students develop a focused goal that was measurable this year.

Help Cross-training Coach Wanted!.png

Thoughts, questions, concerns? Let me know on twitter @tannernickel or send me an email. I am always looking for ideas and ways to improve my inquiry teaching.

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