We feel lucky and priveleged to have Manfred Johnson as the new coach at CrossFit Heerlen. Manfred is a Level 1 certified CrossFit trainer and also a husband and a father.
Manfred Johnson (A.K.A. The Dancer) is an exceptional individual with a passion for helping others. He has built a reputation in the CrossFit Heerlen member community for his commitment, good vibes and attention to detail. Manfred’s desire to do the little things is what sets him apart. He wakes up early to set up everything for the kids classes and assist his wife Nadesch while she is coaching the kids and teens. At the sidelines he encourages members as they rock the WOD. He goes out of his way to meet with (new) members, asking them what their goals are, answering questions, and helping them.
2016: Manfred in the early beginnings of CrossFit Heerlen (old location): “The feeling he gets when he walks into our gym” 😉
Being a husband, father, breadwinner for his family and coach is demanding enough, but Manfred is ever present giving us his best guidance, knowledge, cheering, and motivation.
Get to know coach Manfred!
Age: 32 (1987)
Can you tell us a bit about you and your sporting background?
I’m happily married with my wife Nadesch and I’m the proud father of Ojani and Shiyah. When I was younger I did play some football in the weekends and globo gym fitness. I lost my interest in globo gym fitness because of the continuous cycle, every week the same. Because of our busy family schedule I stopped football. I also loved (and still love) to go mountain biking.
What made you want to try it in the beginning?
Danny and Thess where at a family dinner and told about something new and exciting (CrossFit was not so well known at the time), so my wife Nadesch and I went for a trial class in an abandoned school in February 2016. I was hooked immediately and I really liked the “constantly varied movements at high intensity” philosophy. Due to having a lot of hobbies I started 6 months later, and still going and growing. 😅
What is your favorite aspect of being a CrossFit coach?
Being able to help others move better. Using the right cue for the right athlete, and then seeing the click in the mind followed by the movement. Flawless. That’s a great feeling and that’s what it is all about. Especially when you see the athlete enjoying it all.
What made you apply?
My wife Nadesch is already coaching since February 2017, so it’s a shared passion to talk about helping others to move better. When I took the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course in March 2019 I had no intention to train others, but the chemistry of the CrossFit Heerlen coaches made me wanting to join and share the knowledge and passion with the rest of the community.
As a coach, what is the best advice you can give to early CrossFitters? And what advice would you give to some one who might be interested in trying CrossFit but is too nervous or feels like they need to get into better shape first?
Trust the process. It takes time to go from ring-rows to ring-muscle-ups, so take your time, keep listening to the cues from the coaches and work hard, stay humble!
What was your first CrossFit WOD ever?
I remember that the workout of the day was an AMRAP12 (As Many Round/Reps as Possible in 12 minutes) of box jumps, floorwipers and barbell roll-outs. I don’t remember the rep scheme anymore. I had never had so much muscle soreness before. 😅
What’s your favourite CrossFit WOD?
I like all WODs, especially WODs containing snatches. I love the variety of movements in our sport.
And what’s your favourite CrossFit movement/exercise?
The Snatch! Because it’s relentless, everything needs to be exactly right to make it work, toes out of line: no rep. Same for pinky, thumb or knees even your mind has to be in the moment. But when it all comes together, the barbell feels almost “weightless” while pulling overhead.
What’s your favourite workout music (genre and/or track)?
When I’m really my “zone” during the WOD, I don’t really hear any music. So I don’t care that much what’s playing.
What are some of your favourite activities outside the box?
Everything with my wife and kids is what I like the most. Games, trampoline park, bike rides, dinner, things like that.
Finally, what is your ultimate goal in CrossFit and/or at CrossFit Heerlen?
I like where I’m at right now and I enjoy every moment. But I’m always trying to improve my skills. Both as a coach and as an athlete. A great coach never stops learning and I want to be a great coach for the CrossFit Heerlen athletes. I want to be the best version of myself. Only then, I’m able to improve the lives of others.
Read more: Coachpage Manfred Johnson