Interview with Stefanie, Crossfit coach

Fit & Training door laura FG

Stefanie is a dedicated CrossFit coach in Belgium and one tough (but sweet) cookie. We sat down with her for a one on one to find out more about her, what she loves and what CrossFit exactly is.

So, who is Stefanie? And what does she do?
I'm a 31 year old fun loving GIRL living in Antwerp: a CrossFit junkie, sneaker addict & clean eater. I’m also a project manager at an advertising agency during the day and a CrossFit coach in the evening.

Why did you start with CrossFit?
After I lost my best friend to cancer I started to realize that I was blessed with a healthy body but wasn’t taking care of it. Stress, smoking, sleeping & eating bad, partying too much… Out of respect to her I wanted to turn that around and start to respect my healthy body more. I quit smoking, started running and got myself a less stressful job. During that process I got introduced to CrossFit and was addicted right away to the “lifestyle”. I met likeminded people and felt my body getting healthier and firmer with every session.

I became a coach because I don’t want to spend my time discussing the colours of a button on a website, but actually make a difference in peoples lives. Make them get healthier and move better so they can use their body more efficient & stay healthy and mobile longer.

What exactly is CrossFit? And is it for everybody or should you be very athletic if you want to start?
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program with the aim of improving, among other things, muscular strength, cardio-respiratory endurance, and flexibility. You should not at all be athletic to start! That’s the beauty of CrossFit, it’s scalable for everyone. You can have a very fit athletic boy training right next to an older lady and at the end of the workout they will have had the same intensity. CrossFit will make you athletic as hell!

We see CrossFit everywhere nowadays. A lot of women are doing it and getting toned. Why do you think it’s so popular?
Because it’s super fun to do. It’s different from a regular gym because you all train and “suffer” together. No headphones allowed. It doesn’t get boring because every day the workout is different. It stays challenging, because there are so many movements you can get better at. You can keep adjusting your goals.

CrossFit isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Why is that?
Starting CrossFit can have quite an impact. You meet tons of new people with the same goals… It will help you focus on what you really want in live and pursue it, you will gain confidence with every WOD (Work out Of the Day). You will discover things about yourself you thought you would never be able to do.

Why is Paleo often linked to CrossFit? And most importantly, what is Paleo?
Paleo is one of the 2 “diets” CrossFit recommends depending on your goals and commitment level. Paleo is suggested for quality and can provide a great way to be healthier without having to measure calories or go hungry. The other diet is The Zone, it’s suggested for quantity and gives the most benefits in performance. Of course the combination of these two would be great, but it takes more effort. In a nutshell, Paleo is: MEAT AND VEGGIES, NUTS AND SEEDS, SOME FRUIT, LITTLE STARCH, NO SUGAR.

Do you have any advice or tips for anyone who is thinking on starting with CrossFit?
Don’t be scared & just do it!