“I had done many of the bodybuilding routines in the past and I had done a few triathlons but nothing prepared me for the “real world” as well as CrossFit”

Nolan Mooney, from Crossfit FSF, Doorn (Netherlands) talks about his gym, his past in Us Army, his experience in Crossfit. A very interesting interview !

Sport Is Everywhere : Can you explain the history of Crossfit FSF ? How the project started ? Who are the coaches ?

Nolan Mooney : CrossFit FSF started when I decided to move to the Netherlands.  I was already very much involved and committed to CrossFit in the United States so I knew when I moved to the Netherlands I wanted to continue that.  The first step was finding a place to train and that was at the local fitness center.  There I meet two other trainers, who are now my partners, Jos Hermans and Dennis Tanamal.  They could see how enthusiastic and passionate I was and after one workout they were hooked.  A couple months later they went to America to become certified Level 1 CrossFit trainers.

image001CrossFit FSF officially began in January 2009 but we didn’t have regular classes until about May.  The next step was finding our own location and finally after bouncing around a little, we found our own place and offer 23 different class times per week.

How did you start practicing Crossfit ? What are your professional and sport background ?

My background in fitness/sport began in the United States Army.  I spent four years in the Army as an airborne Infantryman in Cco 1-504 PIR, 82ndAirborne Division.  After the Army I spent four years in the Air Force National Guard as an Airport Fire Fighter.  Needless to say both jobs were physically demanding and I knew firsthand the physical demands of “real world” actions.  I had done many of the bodybuilding routines in the past and I had done a few triathlons but nothing prepared me for the “real world” as well as CrossFit. I first came in contact with CrossFit while I was working as a firefighter in August 2006 and I never looked back.  Several months later I became certified as a Level 1 Trainer and in the following months/ years I’ve attended several other specialty certifications: Basic Barbell, Running and Endurance, Kettlebell, and Gymnastics.

Do you have some favorite WOD’s ?

In the beginning a lot of people will have a favorite WOD but as you become more experienced you realize that  allthe WOD’s are equally beneficial thus equally “cool,” so I can’t really say that I have a favorite WOD.  Because of my military and civil service backgrounds I take great pride in the Hero WOD’s and really try to really push myself to honor those that have fallen.

Can you explain the importance of Olympic lifts and powerlifting for health and physical condition ?

If your goal is to become “Faster, Stronger, Fitter,” than there is nothing that will compare to the Olympic and Power lifts.  They are functional in nature and provide the best stimulus to disrupt homeostasis and force adaptation in your body.  Basically, facilitate progress.

How many participants do you have at Crossfit FSF ? What are they looking for ? What are their goals ?

Currently we have 21 members at CrossFit FSF.  In the beginning everyone has different goals,however, as they progress with their training and begin to understand the CrossFit Method, everyone’s goal becomes the same.  They all seek a broad general and inclusive fitness.

Is it the same motivation in Netherlands and in United States ?

Yes, I believe the motivation is the same in the Netherlands/Europe as in the United States.  Modern societies throughout the entire world are weakest and most unfit than ever in History.  It is no longer necessary to “hunt and gather” or face physical demands on a daily basis.  The convenience of the modern world has enabled people everywhere to become weak and unfit.  Not everyone is content with that and they want to do something about it.  Whether you’re in America, Europe, Japan, or Australia there are people that want to be more than an inactive overweight couch potato surfing the internet.

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

I am really passionate about CrossFit and fitness and if you ask me about it you can tell.  If we have the time I can talk for hours but mostly I limit it to brief summary.  CrossFit is a broad, general and inclusive fitness regimen that uses constantly varied, functional movements, executed at a high intensity.  Then I explain what that means… haha.

What are the first WOD ?

I don’t have a specific WOD for the first timers.  I assess the individual and give them something that they can handle without sending them home never to come back.  I limit it the WOD to about 10 minutes and keep the movements simple.

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

I believe it is as easy or difficult as you make it.  Like most CrossFit affiliates I don’t have an extensive marketing program/plan.  I depend mostly on word of mouth from our clients.  I believe that the quality of our training is the most important factor.  As long as the quality of our training is high we’ll be alright.  I’m constantly trying to improve my skills and I expect the same from my trainers as well.

How do you imagine the future of Crossfit in Europe ?

I think it will evolve very much like it has in the United States.  People everywhere are tired of the boring and senseless bodybuildingroutines.  They are ready for real fitness; they are ready for CrossFit.

What would be your advices to someone that would like to open a Crossfit gym in Europe ?

Passion.  The best advice I can give is that you have to be passionate.  If you don’t absolutely love training, training other people and actively trying to improve both, than I would think long and hard about starting an affiliate.  Just like any business there are risks involved, but if you really love CrossFit, you eat, breathe and sleep CrossFit, your girlfriend/wife, kids, and friends can all quote the 10 General Skills because you talk about them so much; then you’ve got someplace to start.  Be prepared to invest a lot of time but if you’re passionate about it, it won’t be a problem.

Do you have some relations with other affiliates in Europe ?

Yes we are all in contact with each other.  So far we’ve had one group meeting are trying to organize a Dutch affiliate competition sometime in 2010.

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

No, not yet.  I would like to participate in the Regional Qualifiers this year though.  I think it would be a great experience and an awesome chance to meet some really great people.

Crossfit FSF : http://crossfitfsf.com/blog/