Questions :
CrossFit Gymert started last January with it’s facility (actually it was ready bij the end of January), but I was involved with CrossFit since 2005. The process of searching a facility and get through all the official processes lasted 2 years (which was too long).
My name is Charles Verschuren and as owner of CrossFit Gymert I gave people advice and trained them in other places untill I got my own facility. At the moment I also work as a teacher on the University of Applied Sciences at the faculty of Physiotherapy and as a strength and conditioning trainer for a soccer team.
I have a background as physiotherapist, movement scientist and I also received my CSCS at the NSCA. I have worked in several jobs in relation to my education, but was always looking for the best. And I have found it in CrossFit. So I wanted to start my own CrossFit facility. Currently I am the owner and coach, but my oldest son, Niels, also got his certification. He will now help me and he will get more experienced being a coach in the future. He also studies Movement Sciences in which he can relate more to crossfit in the future.
Starting a crossfit gym should not be so difficult in the Netherlands. It’s just finding the right location (not too expensive and where it is allowed to start). So the first years of my CrossFit experience I started from my house, but now we have our gym in the south of the Netherlands in Gemert. I was the first official crossfit gym in the Netherlands, but at the moment there are already 4 gyms. And it will grow in the future I am sure. We have a good contact with all of the other CrossFit centers in the Netherlands. We started to visit each other and have a kind of Dutch CrossFit meeting, including a WOD of course.
Personaly I don’t have a favorite WOD. I guess as crossfitters we are more sure of WOD which cause problems….😉
– How many participants do you have at Crossfit Gymert ? What are they looking for ? What are their goals ? Is it the same motivation in Netherlands and in United States ?
We are still growing of course and currently have almost 35 members. They all heave very different backgrounds. Some do crossfit as a support for their jobs (police, army) for other people it is their way of being fit (young and old). Because we are not open all week people train at CrossFit Gymert 1 or 2 times a week. Their goals are the same as in the US. And the motivation: once they have done it they are really in to it.
– When you meet someone interested by Crossfit, for the first time, what do you tell him ? What looks like the first contact at Crossfit Gymert ? What are the first WOD ? How do you explain Crossfit to someone who doesn’t know it ?
That’s a good question. If they are interested they should make an appointment and I give them a short introduction what we do in general and how a training looks like. We don’t work with one training to try what it is doing CrossFit. People should make a commitment just as I am committed to train them. I want motivated people. So they should at least try it for 3 months or not.
In the first few weeks we do fundamentals and have one on one sessions. We do this as long as I think is necessary.
I scale the WOD’s down to the individual. My background helps me in this proces.
I don’t tell anything else as the main issues what crossfit is alle about, functional, varied and intensive. But people notice my passion, my enthusiasme, and the personal guidance is worth a lot. That’s what is missing in all the other fitnesscenters.
CrossFit Gymert is not large, but we don’t want to work with large groups. We have a max of 5-6 persons at the same time, most groups are smaller.
Peopel often mention: “If I had to do this at home on my own I would have stopped 6 times already.”
– Is it easy to promote Crossfit in Netherlands ? And in Europe ? What are the difficulties ?
Mouth to mouth promotion works best. We started of and want a slow growing gym. And this works as we do it.
As crossfit centers together we can promote it in the future but in a ‘CrossFit’ way, so no big marketing plan. Good things go slowly at the beginning, and don’t need a marketing manager.
We have to stand for quality and spend our time on that, not about thinking how to grow. The rest will come, just be patient.
– How do you imagine the future of Crossfit in Europe ? What would be your advices to someone that would like to open a Crossfit gym in Europe ? Do you have some relations with other affiliates in Europe ?
Part of these questions are answered in the previous answers.
As crossfit gyms in the Netherlands we have plans to organize a kind of crossfit game in 2010.
– Have you ever participated in Crossfit Games ? Ever thought about it ?
No I haven’t. My son will perhaps go for this in the future. He’s still young but training hard.
People often mention: “If I had to do this at home, on my own, I would have stopped 6 times already.”

Charles Verschuren, owner of Crossfit Gymert, talks about his gym :

CrossFit Gymert started last January with its facility (actually it was ready by the end of January), but I was involved with CrossFit since 2005. The process of searching a facility and get through all the official processes lasted 2 years (which was too long). My name is Charles Verschuren and as owner of CrossFit Gymert I gave people advice and trained them in other places until I got my own facility. At the moment I also work as a teacher on the University of Applied Sciences at the faculty of Physiotherapy and as a strength and conditioning trainer for a soccer team.

I have a background as physiotherapist, movement scientist and I also received my CSCS at the NSCA. I have worked in several jobs in relation to my education, but was always looking for the best. And I have found it in CrossFit. So I wanted to start my own CrossFit facility. Currently I am the owner and coach, but my oldest son, Niels, also got his certification. He will now help me and he will get more experienced being a coach in the future. He also studies Movement Sciences in which he can relate more to crossfit in the future.

Starting a crossfit gym should not be so difficult in the Netherlands. It’s just finding the right location (not too expensive and where it is allowed to start). So the first years of my CrossFit experience I started from my house, but now we have our gym in the south of the Netherlands in Gemert. I was the first official crossfit gym in the Netherlands, but at the moment there are already 4 gyms. And it will grow in the future I am sure. We have a good contact with all of the other CrossFit centers in the Netherlands. We started to visit each other and have a kind of Dutch CrossFit meeting, including a WOD of course.

A favorite WOD ?

Personally I don’t have a favorite WOD. I guess as crossfitters we are more sure of WOD which cause problems….😉

How many participants do you have at Crossfit Gymert ? What are they looking for ?plaatjes CrossFit Gymert1

We are still growing of course and currently have almost 35 members. They all have very different backgrounds. Some do crossfit as a support for their jobs (police, army) for other people it is their way of being fit (young and old). Because we are not open all week, people train at CrossFit Gymert 1 or 2 times a week.

What are their goals ? Is it the same motivation in Netherlands and in United States ?

Their goals are the same as in the US. And the motivation: once they have done it they are really in to it.

When you meet someone interested by Crossfit, for the first time, what do you tell him ? What looks like the first contact at Crossfit Gymert ?

That’s a good question. If they are interested they should make an appointment and I give them a short introduction about what we do in general and how a training looks like. We don’t work with one training to try what it is doing CrossFit. People should make a commitment just as I am committed to train them. I want motivated people. So they should at least try it for 3 months or not.

What are the first WOD ?

In the first few weeks we do fundamentals and have one on one sessions. We do this as long as I think is necessary. I scale the WOD’s down to the individual. My background helps me in this process.

plaatjes CrossFit Gymert4How do you explain Crossfit to someone who doesn’t know it ?

I don’t tell anything else as the main issue, what crossfit is all about : functional, varied and intensive. But people notice my passion, my enthusiasm, and the personal guidance is worth a lot. That’s what is missing in all the other fitnesscenters. CrossFit Gymert is not large, but we don’t want to work with large groups. We have a max of 5-6 persons at the same time, most groups are smaller.

People often mention: “If I had to do this at home on my own I would have stopped 6 times already.”

Is it easy to promote Crossfit in Netherlands ? And in Europe ? What are the difficulties ?

Mouth to mouth promotion works best. We started of and want a slow growing gym. And this works as we do it. As crossfit centers together we can promote it in the future but in a ‘CrossFit’ way, so no big marketing plan. Good things go slowly at the beginning, and don’t need a marketing manager. We have to stand for quality and spend our time on that, not about thinking how to grow. The rest will come, just be patient.

Do you have some relations with other affiliates in Europe ?plaatjes CrossFit Gymert2

As crossfit gyms in the Netherlands we have plans to organize a kind of crossfit game in 2010.

Have you ever participated in Crossfit Games ? Ever thought about it ?

No I haven’t. My son will perhaps go for this in the future. He’s still young but training hard.