The Professor comes to Lisbon

Brent Fikowski is Canada’s leading professional CrossFit athlete, having finished in the top four spots for the past three years, including a second place finish in 2017. Recently, he was invited to host a training workshop at CrossFit Alvalade, a Wodify-powered box in Lisbon, Portugal. We spoke with Coach and personal trainer Artur Sayal about his motivation for bringing Brent over to Lisbon and what benefits his box received from the two-day Training Camp.

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W: How did the workshop with Brent Fikowski come about?

Artur Sayal:  I organize engaging Training Camps at Alvalade every year. This year, I wanted to bring over a major CrossFit athlete who could also teach the attendees of our workshop and demonstrate his skills. So who better than "The Professor" Brent Fikowski?

I wanted to give our Portuguese athletes the chance to meet one of the best and close the gap between our training methods and those of a premier Games athlete. Even though it took almost 10 months to organize, once plans were finalized, we used Wodify Live to set up the workshop and it sold out quickly.

W: How was the workshop structured?

AS: The Training Camp took place on Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 4pm, and it was packed with activities. Brent shared a lot, including his insights on CrossFit training, workout strategies, and different exercise techniques. He also covered nutrition and meal planning, as well as ways to eat properly during the different seasons. And then of course, he led some WODs!

W: What were some positive outcomes of organizing the event?

AS: Organizing this event was a big challenge because we had to borrow equipment from neighboring boxes including CrossFit Almada, CrossFit Park of Nations, and Level CrossFit. But coming together as a community to get everything ready on Friday night and disassembling it so that the box was ready to go on Monday was a real achievement. It was totally worth it because we got a lot of positive feedback both from Brent and from everyone who enrolled.

W: Do you think hosting this event was good for business in terms of profitability, visibility, and attracting new members?

AS: I didn’t organize this event because I wanted to make a profit. This was a unique opportunity to bring over a major CrossFit athlete and there were a lot of costs involved (airfare, hotel, transportation, etc.) However, we definitely raised the visibility of the Portuguese CrossFit community because we had major TV news and sports stations covering the event including RTP and Sport-tv. That was very good. As for gaining members, I don’t know if the new athletes who continue to come into our box are because of the workshop or because Alvalade does an excellent job of training and motivating our community.

W: Do you have any words of advice for people thinking about organizing an event?

AS: If your organization's goal is just financial return, I think there are other types of events with less risk and more immediate profit. But if you want to stand out, do something different, and have success in the long run, it’s events like these that set our box apart from the general CrossFit community. It’s important to have a strong support team. We’re so grateful to our members, our neighboring boxes, and Wodify who came together to make it such a success.

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