An Interview with Roy Walter Wollgast Jr.; Founder and Former Co-Owner of CrossFit Oak Harbor, CrossFit Athlete and CrossFit Coach
Written by: Linnell Gribble
After four years of being embedded in the CrossFit lifestyle Roy Walter Wollgast, founder and former co-owner of CrossFit Oak Harbor, as well as CrossFit athlete and coach, will move on to new changes in colder climates. Roy is a well loved and respected CrossFit coach from Whidbey Island who will, after helping hundreds of individuals toward a healthier, happier lifestyle by teaching them the basic functional movements of life, move to Ketchikan Alaska to start a new career in outdoor adventure.
Roy started CrossFit because he wanted to train hard to become a Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewman and he says, “I wanted to compete really bad. I still do, but inconsistency, you know?” He chooses “The variance of movements” as his favored aspect of CrossFit and feels energized by the need to be ready for anything. Roy says, “You have to be ready for everything. The two competitions that I did we had no idea what the final events were going to be until that moment so you had to be ready for the unknown and unknowable.” Roy has been a passionate athlete since 2010 and has earned his CrossFit Level 1 and 2 certifications, Attitude Nation Level 1 Olympic lifting cert and attended the Outlaw Parabellum Seminar. Clearly, his expertise as a coach is well founded.
Coach Roy’s expertise springs early in his client interaction. When asked what CrossFit is by the potential new client, he doesn’t have a pat response he uses on all, but bases his answer on the individual. He lets them know it’s a strength and conditioning program, “I don’t really have like a special spiel I give, but it depends on the person and what level I think they are at.” In the gym Coach Roy practices patience and has phrases and ideas unique to each athlete. The thing about Roy is it's not really what he says, but when he says it. You feel skeptical, he gives you confidence; you feel angry, he gives you space; you've given your all, just killed a hundred pull ups, dying on the ground, Roy kneels close to your ear and says, “You’re tenacity is amazing.” Coach Roy has helped to instill in CrossFitter’s hearts pride, joy and love for the sport of CrossFit.
Having a pretty in-depth knowledge of the sport of CrossFit,Roy’s response to how he would change the sport was, “I am constantly critiquing it.” He believes, “The transparency needs to be consistent,” and says it usually is, but for example, “At the Games the scoring this year was not transparent, and what you believed about the score Saturday, because it was shown on the scoreboard, were expected, but what appeared on Sunday was switched up.” But, even with the critiquing Roy believes in its evolution of grassroots to competitive professional athleticism CrossFit has still retained its enamoring beauty because, “I have a 65 year old lady who kills it, to a 15 year old girl, and everyone in between, casting a wider net for a healthier lifestyle.”
Roy’s experience as a box owner has peaks and valleys also.As a co-owner he uses the phrase, “Too Many Chiefs, not enough Indians.” The owners each bring their own ideas, but mash it out to find solutions. Furthermore, owning and working in the box has brought him close to people, “I get to see everybody and make friends. Tomorrow night’s so hard. I feel I have a personal…, like I influence people. Roy’s ability it open a gym and work with the members allows him to feel proud about, “Anything where someone makes a five pound PR to Mary adding a 10 pound plate to her box jumps.”
It is because of these considerable and cherished relationships Roy has developed that we, the members of CrossFit Oak Harbor, will miss the pleasures of being pushed and rewarded by Coach Roy Wollgast.
Famous Roy quotes plus interesting quips and sentiments:
"Whatever you think you can do, just add 20 pounds"
“You should be fine."
"This WOD's perfect for you Shane!"
"So, uh, now ..." This is always followed by a surprise grueling directive such as: "...run a mile.”, “...scale the 10 to one backup!“or, "...pick up the kettle bell and run to…”
“Marisol, jump! Jump!”
“You don’t need that much chalk.”
“Nobody stops moving until Marisol is done”
Julia says, "I've only known Roy three weeks, but it's the hardest three weeks of my life!"
Jack sarcastically remarks, "Thanks for the sore ass Roy, I could barely sit down!"
“Roy, you have been so supportive of me with all of my fears. You have pushed me to be stronger than I thought possible. I will truly miss you my friend. Good luck,
“Roy, you’ve been a great coach, friend, and motivator since I first moved to the island. Thank you for everything!’
“It’s not going to be the same without you. There is going to be a part of the gym that will not feel complete. I just wish you and Nicole all the very best.”
In teams of 4 complete the following as a relay for time and weight.
9-12-15 reps of
burpee box jumps
Front squats 155/110
After the 9 reps the team will have 7 minutes to find a max snatch then after the 12 reps the team have 7 minutes to find a max clean and jerk. Then finish with the 15 reps as a relay
1) EMOM for 5 minutes complete 3 power snatches starting at 50% + 5lbs of your max snatch and adding 5 lbs each minute.
2) EMOM for 5 minutes complete 3 power cleans plus 1 jerk starting at 50% +5lbs of your max and adding 5 lbs every minute
3) Back Squat 1X8@ 70%, 1x8@ 75%, 1x5@ 80%, 2x2@ 85%
4) Same as the general programming
Posted on Fri, August 7, 2015