For those of you who don't know about the CrossFit Games... It's a BIG deal! And an even BIGGER deal that our amazing Coach Trang won "Fittest in Vietnam" in the Open, which secured her place to represent her home country, Viet Nam, in the competition this July! The CrossFit Games is the international BIG competition with the fittest people from every nation in the world competing to be crowned "Fittest on Earth". It is HUGE deal, SUPER impressive and UTTERLY wonderful that Trang has secured a place!
Trang Nguyen is an incredible coach - she is relentless in providing a high energy positive atmosphere in classes, is an expert in adapting movements to cater for athletes with all fitness levels, and keeps you wanting to come back for more! She really is one of the top fitness professionals in Ho Chi Minh City... If you don't believe us, come try a class with Trang! She is incredible!
Read our up close and personal interview with Trang below; learn about her fitness journey, the amazingness of CrossFit, and why she won't ever look back to her former career in public accounting!
How did you get into CrossFit? Tell us your story!
I happened to learn about the CrossFit when I was in my junior year in college in the U.S. All of our workouts were built around two medicine balls, a few skipping ropes, and two pull-up bars. Despite the simple set-up and the lack of equipment, I always got a kick out of each workout and started to crave more those high intensity, varied workouts. I joined “CrossFit Blacksburg” (now known as “Trebel School of Fitness”) in Blacksburg Virginia. That was when I developed my appreciation for CrossFit – its principles and its approach, and above all… the community that CrossFit brings.
All my best friendships were made at CrossFit.
After three years, I decided to resign from my then profession at a public accounting firm to pursue a full-time career in CrossFit coaching. I moved back to my home country Viet Nam in September 2017 and worked part-time at CrossFit Tay Ho in Hanoi. I received my CrossFit-Level 1 Trainer certification in November 2017 and made a move to Ho Chi Minh City in March 2018 when I was offered to join the CrossFit Thao Dien team as a coach and as a Gym Manager. Since then, I have never once regretted my decision!
Why do you do CrossFit and coach at CrossFit Thao Dien in Ho Chi Minh City?
To me, CrossFit is not exercising…it’s a lifestyle and an attitude. I used to be very self-conscious. Growing up in an environment where I was expected to be slender, slim, and have “thigh gap,” I was very stressed when I was nothing like my high school female friends. When I went to college in the U.S., I experienced “Freshman Fifteen,” which means that I gained 15 pounds (about 7kg) during the first semester of my freshman year. Hitting the second semester, I went to the other end of the eating disorder spectrum. Instead of overeating, I then decided to starve myself. My weight yo-yoed throughout my freshman year until I started going to the gym in my sophomore year. However, I also got bored easily with treadmills and free weights. I started to spice up my exercise with outdoor running until I found this fitness club on campus in the junior year of college. CrossFit really has shown me a brand-new way of looking at training and looking at myself. I am not bounded by the expectations of the physical appearance, but I am motivated by what my mind and my body allow me to achieve – my capacities.
When I first had my interview with the owners of CrossFit Thao Dien, I was in love with the idea of working for a start-up CrossFit box. I love the challenges and the organisational dynamics that a start-up business brings... as the saying goes “high risks high returns.” Moving from Ha Noi to Ho Chi Minh City was an overwhelming experience in the beginning since the vibe and the lifestyle is much faster and busier. However, thanks to the dedicated team of owners and colleague coaches, I have fallen in love with this city and the community of athletes at CrossFit Thao Dien. Each member at CrossFit Thao Dien has his/her own unique personalities that make each of them standing out and indispensable. The title of a “CrossFit Coach,” though it has not yet earned its full merit and understanding in Viet Nam, is rewarding since I get to see the commitment of our members to better and healthier lifestyle choices, and to accompany them and guide them through the progress that they make in their training. Being a coach does not only mean being a trainer inside the classroom but also being a friend that members can trust and share their ups and downs. These small rewards are what kept me motivated every day and fill my life with purpose.
How do you feel about going to the CrossFit games?
Everything still seems very unreal to me! I am excited about this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I am more nervous to compete with many strong athletes worldwide. It will be a great exposure for me as an athlete and as a coach.
What do you want to come up in a workout at the games? What do you hope doesn't come up in a workout at the games?
I don’t have any movements or workouts that I really crave for. Certainly, I don’t want anything that I am weak at to come up in the Games 😉 However, the CrossFit Games is a test of fitness so there will be no room for cherry picking. I have already told myself that whatever workout or movement comes up, I will head to the event with confidence and do the best I can!
Trang is an incredible coach - she is relentless in providing a high energy positive atmosphere in classes, is an expert in adapting movements to cater for athletes with all fitness levels, and keeps you wanting to come back for more! She really is one of the top fitness professionals in Ho Chi Minh City... If you don't believe us, come try a class with Trang! She is incredible!