"The CrossFit community is my work life, my social life, and my family. I could not imagine being anyplace else." - Jeff Germond, Owner and CrossFit™ athlete.
Affiliate Name : CrossFIT NOLA
Owners : Jeff Germond and Mollie Pate
Introduce yourselves and give us a little background. When did you start CrossFit? What were you doing before opening CrossFit NOLA?
Jeff: I started CrossFit in Early 2009. I was back in school and had some extra time, so I started working at the gym and working out a lot. I actually was trying to run 5K and 10k races and lift at the same time, which was counter productive. I found CrossFit, tried it for a month, and it was more fun than anything else I had been doing, so I kept going.
Mollie: I began crossfit in 2009 to supplement my triathlon training out in California. I was working as a musician in the summers on the west coast, so I hired a CrossFit coach who taught me how to run correctly using pose method, and also introduced me to Crossfit. When I first began, I was so weak I couldn’t even pick up a bar! CrossFit, specifically CrossFit endurance, helped me drop my 5k time by 3 minutes!!!
Tell us more about how you started CrossFit NOLA and why? Any funny or stressful times when you were first opening up the gym?
We started the gym in a space that used to be an auto shop (and now again, after we moved out, is an auto shop). Both of us wanted to share CrossFit with the community, so we figured we could start small, and if we could pay the rent and have a place to train ourselves, it would be considered a success.
It became funny and stressful when we we running a class of about 10 and doing a fundamentals class in the street. We knew that we were going to need a bigger place!
What’s the functional fitness scene like in New Orleans?
It is still growing. More and more people have an answer when I ask them what a functional movement is. I used to get blank stares, now I get decent answers. There are more CrossFit gyms in the area than ever before and more of the community is hearing about the benefits of fuctional training for everyday life
CrossFit NOLA is currently one of the best reviewed CrossFit affiliates in LA. What do you contribute that too and what advice would you give to someone that is thinking about starting their own affiliate/gym?
We are very fortunate to have a very knowledgeable coaching staff. We are able to cater to people of all age groups which we think makes our community very special. We have a CrossFit Kids program which caters to pre-teens, and we coach master athletes 40, 50 and 60+ years of age. We make our programming scaleable so it is accessible to everyone!
Also, don’t open a CrossFit gym for the money, do it because you are passionate about it. Your passion will be contagious and you will have more fun with your community, which will ultimately drive your success and your business. Also, don’t think of it as a part time job, an affiliate needs all of your attention
Where do you see CrossFit NOLA in 5 years? Any plans or game changing ideas? Will we see a CrossFit NOLA expand outside LA?
We hope to remain the number one choice for functional fitness in the Greater New Orleans area. We hope to have a robust community that trains together, has fun together, and lives healthier. We would like to see competitive athletes from different backgrounds come train with us to get better at their sports (Weightlifting, endurance, obstacle racing… etc). We want top area functional fitness athletes to come to us because they want to make it to the next level.
We don’t have any plans to expand outside of LA, but we never had plans to expand past our first location either,and now we have 3 locations! You never know!
Questions for Jeff
You’ve been a CrossFit Regionals/Games competitor for the last five years, what advice would you give to someone that is looking to take their performance to the regional level?
Get a coach who knows what they are doing. A new competitor needs someone who understands the trends, the pressure, and the sport at a high level, and can help set realistic expectations and goals for an upcoming season. Get some training partners, even if you don’t train together every day, once a week with a buddy will be much more fun and something to look forward to!
Does eating copious amounts of Frozen Yogurt contribute to any of your success as an athlete and successful business owner.
Probably, it gave me something to look forward to. I used to go every Sunday after training and take down over a pound. It was my time to destress, socialize with some friends, and look back on a hard week of work and training.
Questions for Mollie
You have a pedigree in triathlon training (placing 12th in the sprint world triathlon championships in 2009), what made you switch to CrossFit solely?
I love CrossFit because there are so many aspects to it! With triathlons, you have swimming, biking and running, but with CrossFit, there are about 50 components to challenge you every day, including gymnastics, weightlifting, olympic lifting, running, rowing, jump roping ...you name it! It’s so hard to be good at everything and I really enjoy pushing myself. I love that it is also a community based sport, so even though I am a competitive athlete, I can train with my friends in a positive, supportive environment!
Many people might not know that you are also a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. How many of your fellow orchestra members can do a muscle up?
Haha! Ya, I’d say you don’t find that quite often! You might be surprised to know that we have 5 musicians in our orchestra as members of CrossFit Nola, three of them being french horn players! I have been the principal horn player here for quite a few years now, and I find music and CrossFit are a good balance for each other. I have to be super focused on stage for performances, and I find CrossFit compliments that, as I can go in the gym and blow off some steam for the day. CrossFit is one of those sports you can train the way you need it to work into your lifestyle. It’s never boring. You can go to keep fit, lose weight, have fun, challenge yourself, improve your mindset, or just go to sweat with others. The choices are endless!
Also anything you would like us to promote?
Jeff is sponsored by ATP Mechanix, ROMWOD, 10 Institute, Formula Training, Junk Brands and Power and Grace Performance