Ask a CrossFitter to describe their CrossFit box (in case they aren’t already talking about it), and you’re sure to leave the conversation knowing the name of at least one of their coaches.
Why? Because they’re that impactful.
While day after day, they’re reminding us to keep our elbows up in a front rack and break parallel in a squat, CrossFit Heerlen coaches serve a deeper purpose. They create an environment where one can scale movements without being overcome by embarrassment, where neither the number on the scale nor the weight on the barbell define worth, where confidence is built rather than broken. That’s also why everyone in our member community already knows the name of our coaches team’s last addition; coach Armand.
His full name is Armand Louis. As cliche as it sounds, CrossFit was also life-changing for him.
“The transformations that unfold both mentally and physically are truly remarkable. Pushing through when we are faced with challenges, seeing myself do things I once thought I couldn’t, watching my body change and get stronger… all these things play a role in what makes CrossFit so attractive.” – Coach Armand
After experiencing it for himself, he is thrilled to be able to help others see it for themselves in coaching.
Get to know coach Armand!
Can you tell us a bit about you and your sporting background?
In my youth I played soccer for a couple of teams on a recreational level. The last 10 years I have had a couple of gym subscriptions but they never lasted longer than a few weeks, at which point I lost my interest and motivation.
How long have you been doing sports? And CrossFit?
I played soccer since my youth until I started exercising in a gym. The last 10 years I have had a couple of globo gym subscriptions but they never lasted long. I lost my interest and motivation. At that time I joined CrossFit Heerlen. I’ve been doing CrossFit since September 2016.
What made you want to try CrossFit in the beginning?
During my last globo gym subscription one of the coaches told me that a friend of his did CrossFit. That friend would go to a competition not knowing what the workout was going to be. I was immediately intrigued by that concept in which you had to be ready for everything.
When and how did you find out about CrossFit Heerlen?
In the beginning of 2016 there was only Crossfit Batteroaf in Maastricht and a box in Weert, Primal Performance. There were some rumors about a CrossFit box opening in Sittard, so I waited. But in the meantime CrossFit Heerlen opened it’s doors at In de Cramer and a friend of ours went to the opening party and told us a couple of weeks later about it. It wasn’t long before we, my wife Saskia and I, dropped by, which was during the qualification for the Lowlands Throwdown. Immediately we were welcomed by some of the members, the vibe was great and we felt right at home. The decision to join Crossfit Heerlen was almost made at the spot.
What made you apply for a coaching position? And what is your favorite aspect of being a CrossFit coach?
Already after a few months of doing CrossFit I felt a growing ambition to do something within CrossFit. Saskia pointed me towards the coaching position. Something I never thought about since being in front of a group of people wasn’t something I dreamed about. But my passion overwon my fear and I took the CrossFit Level 1 Course (CF-L1) at July of 2017. I was hoping in the near future a coaching position would open up at CrossFit Heerlen. At the end of 2017 it did and as of March 1st I’m an official Crossfit Heerlen coach. The thing I like the most about coaching is when a cue I give really sinks in, when it clicks in the mind of an athlete, and I see the sparkle in their eyes when they notice and feel the change/difference.
As a coach, what is the best advice you can give to early CrossFitters? And what advice would you give to someone who might be interested in trying CrossFit but is too nervous or feels like they need to get into better shape first?
The best advice I would give a new CrossFit athlete is to be patient. Have patience, CrossFit is something you will be working on for the rest of your life, so you have the rest of your life to learn the skills and grow stronger. But none of this will happen when you don’t take the time to learn and master the techniques and the mechanics of a movement. When you have an interest in CrossFit but you think you’re not ready to start; watch Netflix “Functional Fitness”, watch Youtube “Older People CrossFit” and see that
everybody can do Crossfit. It doesn’t matter if you’re 70+ or overweight, we scale load and intensity, we don’t change the workout. “The need of an Olympic athlete and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind”, from the article ‘What is fitness?’ on Crossfit Journal.
What was your first CrossFit WOD ever?
Back squat (40/25 kg)
Shoulder press (40/25 kg)
What’s your favourite CrossFit WOD?
Everything in which I can utilize my body length (wall balls, running and rowing). I also like longer WODs (10+ min).
And what’s your favourite CrossFit movement/exercise?
The Overhead Squat, I love how you have to “fight” to keep the weight overhead when you go down.
What’s your favourite workout music (genre and/or track)?
You can play almost everything except “Hollandse Hits”.
What are some of your favourite activities outside the box?
At the moment a lot of my time evolves around longevity; how can I become the fittest version of myself and how can I keep it at that level for as long as possible. I’ve found a growing interest in the human body and I’m studying to expand my knowledge and becoming a better coach.
Finally, what is your ultimate goal in CrossFit and/or at CrossFit Heerlen?
Giving up my day job and becoming a fulltime coach at Crossfit Heerlen would be the ultimate goal for me. Coming in early and staying late, absorbing and spreading the positive vibes and energy I get from the Crossfit Heerlen community.