CrossFit Meppel officially starts in January 2010 with its facility, but I am training the local soccer team (mvv Alcides) and got my first 5 members already. My girlfriend and I are training with CrossFit since August 2009. My name is Sierk Rijkeboer and am the owner of CrossFit Meppel.

I finished the fitness trainer, personal trainer and sport massage course in the last 5 years. Last august I went to Chievres (Belgium) to participate at the level 1 Certification and in November my girlfriend and I are going to Milano to participate at the level 1 Certification. This will be the second time I will participate at a level 1 Certification because I want to know more about the Olympic Weightlifting techniques.

I have a background as fitness trainer and personal trainer in several facilities. I have noticed that the guidance of the members in the conventional gyms is very little. What I want is to give the best to the members and see results ! After learning more about CrossFit I fell in love with it. This is a program that everybody needs to follow. So the main reason I started my own CrossFit gym is to give people the very best and make them see that life is much more interesting when you are truly fit. Together with my girlfriend Carry Zegstroo, we want to built a CrossFit community in Meppel.

Is it difficult to open a Crossfit gym in the Netherlands ?

Starting a CrossFit gym in the Netherlands should not be so difficult. But due to government rules and that kind of crap it takes a long time to get all the paperwork done. We struggled the most with finding the right location (not too expensive and where it is allowed to start). The local government is really picky about where you start and about what you exactly want to do (CrossFit is still very unknown in the Netherlands). At the moment there are already 4 gyms in the Netherlands. And it will grow in the future I am sure. We have a good contact with all of the other CrossFit gyms in the Netherlands. We started to visit each other and have a kind of Dutch CrossFit meeting, including a WOD of course.

A favourite WOD ?

Not really no. Just the surprise of doing a different ones every day is the thrill I think….. I like it to push your body to the limit. So that means basically every WOD.

How many participants do you have at Crossfit Meppel ? What are they looking for ?

We are still finishing the last construction work and waiting for some orders to come in. But already 23 official members, 8 of them are in training and the other 15 are starting in january. They all have very different backgrounds. Some do crossfit as a support for their sport (soccer), for other people it is their way of being fit and lose weight (young and old). I want beginners to start with 2 times a week and in the future 3 times a week. This because I guarantee results (so I expect them to train hard at least 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 Meppel ?

If they are interested they should make an appointment and I give them a short introduction about what we do in general and what a workout looks like. We work with introduction days, here people can come in and try a workout (with the proper technique off course). If they are really interested they can become a member. I don’t have a year membership or something like that. Just like CrossFit Gymert I want a commitment of 3 months. After that they can choose if they want to continue or quit. Do you want to be the best or do you want to goove around and have no results.

What is the first WOD ?

In the first few weeks we do fundamentals. 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.

How do you explain Crossfit to someone who doesn’t know it ?

What CrossFit is all about: functional, varied and intensive. After this I ask them a question: “How long have you been a member in a fitness center, how is the guidance and how are your results in this period”. 9 out of 10 has the same answer: “There is only guidance in the beginning and I don’t have any results……”. Then I explain what CrossFit can do for them, but that they have to work hard. People notice my passion, my enthusiasm, and they start to get really interested. So people in Meppel are spreading the word about the new way of training with personal guidance. That’s what is missing in all the other fitness centers (guidance). CrossFit Meppel is not large, but we don’t want to work with large groups. We have a max of 10 persons at the same time.

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

Having worked in several fitness centers in and around Meppel, people know that there is something new coming. So mouth to mouth promotion works best. We are officially not open yet but trying to reach people in anyway possible, so think about the website (www.crossfitmeppel.nl), hyves and blogspot. In december we are giving a try-out workout. This to let people have a little taste of CrossFit. As crossfit gyms together we can promote it in the future but in a ‘CrossFit’ way, so no big marketing plan.

Do you have some relations with other affiliates in Europe ?

The CrossFit gyms in the Netherlands have a good relationship, we are planning to have a meeting in the beginning of 2010. To see what everybody’s expertise is and how we can help each other.

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

No I haven’t. This is something for the future, first train hard and then kick ass in America.