#1015 – Andre Houdet | CrossFit Wonder Coach

Sevan Matossian (00:02):

Bam. We’re live 37 seconds early. Can you guys hear me okay? Rambler? What’s up? Good morning. Can you hear me? Zach? What’s up? Saber Slater? Can you guys hear me? Oh good. That means good Will says good morning. Does that mean he can hear me? I got a new road caster. It’s crazy. I don’t want to say anything bad about this company, but here it goes. Anyway, I think I’ve bought probably 10 of these between the one I bought for Caleb, the one I bought for myself. Susa has one and then I’ve probably gone through six and every time there’s at least one thing wrong with these things now. Hey, can you hear me, Andre?

Andre Houdet (00:41):

Yeah, I hear you. You hear me? Oh,

Sevan Matossian (00:43):

Awesome. Yeah, crazy.

Andre Houdet (00:45):


Sevan Matossian (00:46):

I wonder if the audience can hear me. I hope so. But I got a new, during the podcast people can call in and that line that they could call in on, I was having a little glitch, it would go, and this piece of equipment that takes in the phone calls costs 700 bucks. And I was like, okay, instead of sending it back to them, I’m just going to buy a new one and then probably sell that one for cheap, like two or 300 bucks to someone and tell ’em, Hey, the phone line’s broken. Well, I got a new one and my new one’s broken too.

Andre Houdet (01:21):

Oh, damn. Different

Sevan Matossian (01:22):

Problem. I know. So now it’s like, well, now I got to send it back. Right?

Andre Houdet (01:27):

Yeah. I mean it is worst problems, right?

Sevan Matossian (01:29):

There must be some Yeah, to Oh yes, yes. There must be some phrase in Danish that’s like, so is life or something, right?

Andre Houdet (01:40):

Perhaps. Perhaps. I wouldn’t know. I don’t speak that much. Danish, go ahead.

Sevan Matossian (01:48):

Go. No, you go.

Andre Houdet (01:50):

I mean, I speak fluent Danish, but at home we speak English together. And with my parents, it’s French. With my daughter, it’s Danish. She’s one year old, so we’re trying to teach her some. Danish

Sevan Matossian (02:03):

Is your first language. People who were born in Denmark, their first language is Danish though, right? Everyone is talking to you in Danish.

Andre Houdet (02:10):

Yeah, exactly. But because it’s such a small country, everyone learns English at a very early age and we don’t have anything dubbed. And all the TV and songs are primarily in English, so even my grandmother speaks pretty perfect English. Not that I do, but we at least do for a second language. I think we do a pretty good job.

Sevan Matossian (02:32):

And you trained with Frederick a GIAs, right?

Andre Houdet (02:38):

I’ve never really trained that much with him. We played American football in the same club and we also played the same position. And so I moved up to his, he’s I think eight years older than me or something like that.

Sevan Matossian (02:53):

He is? He’s that much older than you.

Andre Houdet (02:55):

Yeah, I think he’s 36 or 37 and I’m 29, so we never really got to play together, but he played in the same club. So towards the last couple of years where I played, we started doing some offseason CrossFit, and at this point he was already doing a lot of CrossFit and was with Annie and was pretty famous. And so we started doing some CrossFit and he was helping the team out with it. And that’s also one of the ways I got introduced to it. Yeah,

Sevan Matossian (03:25):

The reason why I bring him up, because his English, he doesn’t even, there’s a couple of you guys over there and Frederick’s Danish, right?

Andre Houdet (03:32):

Yeah, a hundred percent

Sevan Matossian (03:34):

His English. He sounds like he’s American. And I know Mads isn’t Danish. Oh, is MAD’s Danish living in

Andre Houdet (03:44):

Yeah, I think he’s Danish. Yeah,

Sevan Matossian (03:45):

He’s Danish. His Danish is crazy. He sounds like he just felt he’s from California.

Andre Houdet (03:50):

Yeah, he is incredible languages. He can also, in all the Scandinavian languages, it sounds like he can master all of them. They’re pretty similar, but it’s still a pretty big task to be able to speak perfect. Norwegian and Swedish and Danish.

Sevan Matossian (04:06):

Yeah, it’s crazy. There’s got to be something about that language. You never hear a Russian who has, sounds like they’re from the us. There’s got to be something that some academic could explain that like, Hey, Danish people in English. Somehow, the way the languages are set up, when you hear Americans speak Danish, can they trick you into thinking that they’re Danish?

Andre Houdet (04:26):

No, I don’t think so.

Sevan Matossian (04:28):

Alright. Alright.

Andre Houdet (04:30):

Danish is also such a difficult language and odd language pronunciation wise, so it’s like a really tricky language to learn to sound Danish. I mean, a lot of people can learn it, but it’s just difficult to make it sound like you’re a local. But I think the reason why we speak more American English is because we have more American, the US produces more movies and music and we consume that. Compared to the UK or British English, there’s just less coming into the country from their side. I don’t know why. I mean, they’re also way smaller than you guys, so

Sevan Matossian (05:08):

I don’t want you to take any of this personally. Fuck these guys. But they’re already chiming in Heidi’s saying, cancel the tea because she can hear you swallowing, swallow away. I love swallowing. Swallowing is great, but what I find a little disconcerting here, Andre, is that she thinks you’re drinking tea. I feel like that that’s an attack on your character, that she would assume it’s tea or maybe not an attack, but just a judgment. Can you confirm it’s tea or coffee?

Andre Houdet (05:35):

It’s coffee.

Sevan Matossian (05:36):

Ah, yeah. Fuck you Heidi. Sorry, I apologize. Sometimes I have to fight with my friends. I know. I tell my kids not to fight when the guests are around. Going back to where you live, I want to show you this. Is this really what it’s like? Or is this you just trying to flex on us? Is this really what it’s like where you live?

Andre Houdet (05:54):


Sevan Matossian (05:56):

No shit. You train in that?

Andre Houdet (05:59):

Yeah, I mean my home is covered by fields. And that particular field that you’re looking at right now, they do that every third year. I dunno what it’s called in English, but it’s like a sort of oil wrap. Seed oil. Okay,

Sevan Matossian (06:16):

Okay. Yeah.

Andre Houdet (06:17):

So they use that every third year. They have some sort of cycle between different types of corn and production in order to not ruin the soil. And every third year it’s that. So yeah, it’s really beautiful.

Sevan Matossian (06:33):

That’s amazing. Is crazy. That is great. How far is your actual, are you sitting where you’re sitting right now close to that field?

Andre Houdet (06:42):

Yeah, that particular field is just 400 meters down the road, but we have fields all around the house. There’s like three houses on the whole street. It’s like two kilometers, so it’s pretty remote where I live, to be honest.

Sevan Matossian (07:00):

Let me ask you some hippie stuff. What about them spraying on those fields and you living by that, that affecting your water and you and breathing that in, do they spray poisons on those fields?

Andre Houdet (07:11):

They probably do, and I think that’s just part of the game, part of life. Yeah. I mean I think Denmark has pretty strict regulations on those things. We’re very strict on a lot of things.

Sevan Matossian (07:25):

Tell me something, anything pop in your head that you guys are really strict on that we would laugh at, that we could laugh at? I mean, I’m from California. It’s going to be hard to be stricter than us. Do you guys allow stealing? We allow stealing?

Andre Houdet (07:36):

No. I mean, yeah, I feel like a lot of things are illegal here and we’re pretty strict with things, but nothing really comes to my head.

Sevan Matossian (07:44):

Okay. You like living there, you think you’re going to stay there, that’s home for you?

Andre Houdet (07:49):

Yeah. Yeah, a hundred percent. I’ve lived in Paris, I’ve lived in Dubai, I have lived in Michigan, so I’ve lived a few different places and this is definitely the place I’m going to stay. I mean, I’m very proud to be Danish. I’m also half French, so I have dual citizenship and yeah, Denmark is an amazing country, great welfare, great healthcare system, education system. It’s very safe. It’s very small, so it’s very accessible. It’s very international. You go to a cafe in Copenhagen, you’ll most likely have somebody who will offer you coffee in English and it’s not speaking Danish. And I like that. We have a lot of different cultures like that. I think it’s good for you.

Sevan Matossian (08:39):

Yeah, I agree. And it is small but still has farmland.

Andre Houdet (08:45):

Yeah, there only 5 million people compared to Netherlands. I think they have 17 million and they have a country, I think one third of the size of ours. So we have maybe not a big country for the amount of people. I mean compared to Sweden, they have double as many people, but they have maybe tenfold a decisive country.

Sevan Matossian (09:06):

Right, right. You’re born there. Are your parents, farmers, how do you end up in a field, how you end up living in field? Are your parents farmers?

Andre Houdet (09:19):

No, I’ve never even been out here before we purchased the house here, we always just had this dream, me and my fiance to live in the countryside. We wanted to have a place where we could do all the things that we love to do. Have a training facility where we could coach people and have an office where we can operate our company out of a place where with a big garden where our kids or our kid can play games and sports and run around our dog, can run around, maybe grow some of our own vegetables and just generally speaking, have peace. And as we worked remotely, primarily there was no point for the same amount of money living in a 75 square meter apartment inside of Copenhagen with a one square meter bathroom out here. We have almost 500 square meter house in a three and a half thousand square meters ground. I don’t know what that’s equivalent to in foot, but in this country that’s a pretty big place. And because of the country, it’s really small. It’s only one hour from city center. So whenever I need to go to Copenhagen, it’s only one hour and my family lives there, so it’s also not so far away. So this was kind of the best middle ground we could have

Sevan Matossian (10:35):

Between Oh, your house is huge. Your house is huge. That’s 5,300 square feet in the United States. That would, in my neighborhood, that would be a fucking $10 million home. That’d be crazy. I don’t even see 5,300 and I kind of live in the country too. That’s nuts. Wow. And what is your vocation? What do you do? What jobs do you have out there? Are you a farmer?

Andre Houdet (11:06):

No, I’m a coach.

Sevan Matossian (11:08):

Full-time coach. CrossFit

Andre Houdet (11:09):


Sevan Matossian (11:09):

Full-time. I knew that. I just wanted to ask

Andre Houdet (11:14):

You if you’re a farmer. I’m a former athlete.

Sevan Matossian (11:18):

Yeah. Yeah. What an interesting journey you took. And so that is full-time for you and they come out there to you, that’s why it’s important for you to have space and room. They come out to you

Andre Houdet (11:32):

For training camps? Yeah, we don’t have any onsite athletes that live here or train daily out here, but we host, I think last year we hosted maybe five or six training camps out of the home here. We also have a 75 square meter apartment upstairs where we have five bedrooms, or not five, sorry, not five bedrooms. We have basically two rooms and there’s five beds. So next weekend we’re hosting, or two weekends we’re hosting our first training camp of the 2 24 kind of season. And there we have six athletes sleep at the house and be able to train at the facility. So on a daily basis we don’t have any. And I’m not sure if we’re going to, but for now we just use the training camp format and that works really well.

Sevan Matossian (12:23):

And the name of the training program is No Shortcuts?

Andre Houdet (12:26):

Yeah, no shortcuts training.

Sevan Matossian (12:28):

And how long has that been around?

Andre Houdet (12:30):

It’s been around three years, but my fiance and I started our first coaching company doing the same as we do now in 2015. And that was called Trinity and that was our first programming brand. And that later evolved to know showcase training in 2020 when we moved back to Denmark. So it’s three years of that, but it’s eight years of running programming company, coaching

Sevan Matossian (13:00):

Company, train and see

Andre Houdet (13:04):

Trainee. That was the

Sevan Matossian (13:05):

First, oh, train and T. Okay. Well hey, anyone out there? I just came up with another good one. Then I like mine too. Train and see, train and see what happens. It’s short for train and then see what happens. Train and see. That could be one of your modules. Train and see.

Andre Houdet (13:21):

Yeah, it could be side projects.

Sevan Matossian (13:23):

Yes. You have so much time for side projects. Oh yeah. You talked about dividing your time between being an athlete, being a father and being a coach. And have you removed athlete from that?

Andre Houdet (13:44):

I wouldn’t say athlete, I would just more say like sports. I would not consider myself an athlete if I’m not competing and if I’m not training to compete, if athlete is not the number one thing that I do, then I wouldn’t say that I’m perhaps an athlete. But I mean it depends on how you look at it. I’ll still be training a couple hours every single day or six days a week, and I’ll still be getting better at CrossFit and fitter overall, but I’m not going to be putting for now at least more time than that into it. And it’s not a primary goal. So training is the third priority on the list.

Sevan Matossian (14:29):

Do you have a competition itch? Do you have a goal that you don’t speak out loud like okay, watch when I’m 40 what I’m going to do?

Andre Houdet (14:37):

I’m extremely competitive and it doesn’t need to be in sports. For me right now it’s with building no shortcut training and being a good leader in that company and trying to provide the best coaching that is out there available. And that comes with pushing myself to learn more and to build a good team around me that can help with that mission. So I don’t have a competition goal per se, where I participate myself, but my number one goal is to help the athletes that I work with do the best they can do and achieve their goals

Sevan Matossian (15:17):

From over here. The limited knowledge we see or the time we have to put into athletes and people in the community, everyone would just, I think sees you as a, you were two time games athlete. Oh bye Andre.

Andre Houdet (15:31):


Sevan Matossian (15:31):

Welcome back to the show. Are you two times games athlete, Andre?

Andre Houdet (15:36):

I’m two times individual and then I’ve qualified once on team and I’ve been once on teams. I have four qualifications and three participations.

Sevan Matossian (15:45):

And so I think you’re most well, well-known, at least in the circle that I run in as an individual athlete, specifically very strong, great at the Olympic lifts and a ton of potential. And then not kind of, you stepped out and you started coaching and I think the way you’re so sure of yourself and the way you present yourself, and I think also in the cleanliness of your movements, you’ve climbed quickly in terms of people having respect for you and your potential now as a coach. But before we go into that, at the tip of the spear isn’t the only place you hang out. You have crazy street creds. You have a client that you helped lose 280 pounds.

Andre Houdet (16:37):

Yeah, Mohamed.

Sevan Matossian (16:39):

Yeah. That’s amazing. And there’s another picture where you’re at the beach with him. Can you tell me about that journey when a guy shows up at your gym weighing 530 pounds? He came out to the farm, he came out to the fields.

Andre Houdet (16:54):

No, this is when I lived in Dubai. I lived in Dubai for three years. I worked in a gym called Inner Fight and we had a lot of amazing clients and Mohamed was one of them. And he came in with the goal of losing weight and he was weighing over 500 pounds and could barely even wear shoes or anything like that. And I was very fortunate to be able to be part of his journey and helping him get a more normal life by losing weight and seducing training and fitness. And it was a really great journey to be part of for the couple of years where I was there. And it was just amazing to see how he found a love for sports and he actually had a lot of also natural talent. I mean, from carrying around so much body weight, you just build a lot of strength. So as he was losing hundreds and hundreds of pounds, he was just moving really well and powerful and it was just to see how happy that made him and how the other things in his life also started changing, became more social and just got more creative, more hobbies otherwise that he could not have done because just when you weigh over 500 pounds, you can’t really do much.

Sevan Matossian (18:11):

He had so much extra weight on him that he couldn’t put shoes on is basically what you’re saying. His feet were fat.

Andre Houdet (18:16):

Yeah, exactly.

Sevan Matossian (18:18):

It’s crazy. Can you tell me about his first day when he comes in and any party? How did you grow as a coach? Was any part of you was like, fuck, I don’t want to deal with this fucking, this isn’t what I do.

Andre Houdet (18:30):

No, no. I mean, if you’re coach, you love helping people getting from A to B, that’s part of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s somebody who wants to win the CrossFit games or lose weight. I mean now I have more so some people who compete in CrossFit, but when I started out as a coach, it was the regular Joe’s and that’s not worse or better than the other. Everyone is on their own journey and helping him was really incredible. And the first day he came in, it was just mostly a chat and getting to know him and just a slow start. And with time we build also friendship and that also just helps that process and him trusting me more and wanting to come more and wanting to do more. And that just helped that weight loss process a lot.

Sevan Matossian (19:20):

How about going the opposite direction? Was any part of you, you’re saying you’re very competitive, was any part of you when you walked in, you’re like, oh God, I hope I get him, I could do some this. What a fucking challenge, because basically you made a new human being. Going from 500 to two 50 is like, you’re not the same person.

Andre Houdet (19:41):

No, no. That’s a hundred percent true. Yeah, definitely. With everything that comes in, it’s always a challenge. And when you’re a competitive person, you combine competitiveness with passion for helping others, then yeah, I think that’s the perfect combo in helping people. So yeah, it was a great challenge and I love being a part of it.

Sevan Matossian (20:05):

Andre, what’s his first workout? His first workout? A guy who walked 530 pounds. What do you do for the first workout?

Andre Houdet (20:14):

I mean, at this point he couldn’t even stand up for long periods of time, so we need to start with something where he receded. That was anything we could be as creative as possible with. It was seated skiing and seated banded exercises and seated dumbbell exercises. Actually a little bit like with adaptive athletes in the wheelchair, I took some inspiration from them. What kind of exercise can you do if you’re sitting down? And then it was just about making it fun and making it progressive so that next time he came, maybe we’re going a little further on the ski or we were lifting a little bit heavier so that he could feel that, oh man, I could actually do a little bit more today. Maybe his muscle tissue and neurological system hadn’t adapted already from day to day, but I could start him maybe 5% less at a less lesser level than he actually could perform at. And then that we could every week advance it instead of having him start at what he was a hundred percent capable of. And then we could not really advance that much week after week. We were able to just start a little bit lower and then keep the momentum for longer periods of time.

Sevan Matossian (21:24):

Hey, I hear lots of stories. It’s crazy how common this story is where someone who is a hundred pounds overweight, 200 pounds overweight, they pull up to the CrossFit gym, they’re in their car, and then they drive away and then they pull up again and they’re in the parking lot and then they drive away. And then you hear one day a coach is like, yo, and walks out to their car and they’re like, dude, come inside. And I remember Greg telling me he had a client that I think was over 200 pounds overweight and the first workout was getting them out of their car, walk them to the gym, sit them down, talk with them for 20 minutes, and then walk them back to their car. And it was like you were saying, Mohammad could barely walk, right? He could barely stay on his feet. Does he have a story like that where he didn’t want to come in or he was scared? Do you remember anything about that?

Andre Houdet (22:11):

Yeah, yeah, he did. His sisters were training in the gym, so they had been trying to convince him for long periods of time and they were quite fit. And then they were like, Hey, I think Andre would be a good fit for you. Because the place where I worked, it was a lot of big intimidating men and women, just

Sevan Matossian (22:33):

Tons of buffed. Yeah, great, beautiful people.

Andre Houdet (22:37):

They made me definitely look like a little kid. And some of them were games athletes. Even the girls like Mia Heskett was working there, Carmen Bossman, Phil Hess. It was just hardcore people. And also boss would be

Sevan Matossian (22:51):

Intimidating for anybody.

Andre Houdet (22:53):

Oh yeah, definitely. The place called Inner Fight with the slogan a weakness. It can be intimidating, but I think it’s also that intimidation that kind of brings attention to the brand and why people are keen on learning more about it.

Sevan Matossian (23:12):

Yeah, I think so too. It It’s a crazy balance, but I think that’s an important one. People should never forget the people who do CrossFit like it because hard and they want to excel and they want adaptation and they want change and they don’t want to waste time. They want to get down to business.

Andre Houdet (23:29):

And I mean, I think everybody chases that to have a good life. I don’t think you can have a good life without doing something difficult almost every day. Like a rule.

Sevan Matossian (23:38):

Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.

Andre Houdet (23:40):

Yeah, I want to try to do something difficult every day. And it can be anything. It can be pushing a little hard in the workout or doing something that’s boring but necessary or reading a bit more or doing some things that are just, it doesn’t need to be a huge thing, but needs to be a small thing. It can also be taking a cold dip in the ocean or just do something that’s difficult because only through difficulty, I think you can get a meaningful feeling, I think instead of chasing things that are fun on a daily basis, like watching something that’s fun. I mean, that’s nice as well, but fun. I don’t think it’s very superficial, but difficulty overcoming that. That’s a whole nother level and that’s what makes you feel truly good. And yeah, end of story.

Sevan Matossian (24:31):

Well, I interview a lot of people who have never done anything difficult. All they’ve done is CrossFit. They’ve never done anything. Well, they’ve done physically difficult things. They’ve never done anything mentally difficult. And because of that, talking to them is completely fucking, it’s like talking to a fucking bag of cotton balls.

Andre Houdet (24:52):

But you don’t think that’s mentally difficult,

Sevan Matossian (24:54):

Hard CrossFit. It is, but it’s in such a narrow domain. It’s in such a narrow place. Lemme give you an example, as opposed to someone who has a kid who didn’t know where they were going to get every meal every night and their dad was beating their mom, now they have a survival challenge and you talk to them and you’re like, oh, this person’s got some depth. They’ve had to make some room. The circumstances of life have brought them into something that they’re forced to face. That’s what I mean. Go ahead.

Andre Houdet (25:34):

But the only thing you can have depth without having experienced those things, do you think you have to go through those things in order to have it? Or could you learn it from speaking to people or reading books or

Sevan Matossian (25:45):

No, I don’t. I think when you, no, I would be curious what you think. I think when you talk to those people who’ve learned depth as opposed to been forced to go there it is. It’s like talking to someone. I mean, I’m not saying that there’s not value there. If someone’s read every book on rollercoasters and they talk to you about roller coasters, they may be very eloquent in talking about the twist and turns and the G-force. But you talk to someone who’s been on all the best roller coasters in the world and they’re going to give you, they’re going to emote some shit. You know what I mean? Do you think it’s the

Andre Houdet (26:17):

Same with coaches?

Sevan Matossian (26:20):


Andre Houdet (26:20):

Do you think you have to have been an athlete to be a good coach?

Sevan Matossian (26:23):

I don’t know about that, but I did think of something you were saying when you said you’re still really competitive. I thought, wow, that means that your athletes have to perform for you and they feel an accountability to you because they don’t want to be fucking up your program or your reputation. And in my brain, some people would think that’s unhealthy. I think that’s very healthy.

Andre Houdet (26:49):

Yeah, I think, do

Sevan Matossian (26:50):

You know what I mean? I think you should want to perform for someone. I think people are like, oh, you should just want to do it for yourself. You should just want to do it for yourself. I think that’s important. But I also think that when you show up on game day, I think it’s good to want to impress someone.

Andre Houdet (27:07):

And if you look at kids in sports, you always want to impress your coach or your teammates. And I don’t think there’s a problem with that. I think as long as you’re intrinsically driven, then it’s a plus when you know you’re accountable to your coach. And I think that’s exactly why people hire a coach. They want to be having to be also accountable to them because it’s not that they don’t have discipline to be accountable, but it just helps that process. And if it helps the process, it would be a disadvantage not to take to use it.

Sevan Matossian (27:44):

I was jumping rope with my sons the other day and we were doing just sets of a hundred with the jump rope and then rest and then do another set of a hundred, and we were doing 10 rounds. And anytime I sense myself getting lazy or not chest up or anything, I wouldn’t have cared if it was by myself, but with him there, I wanted him to sense no weakness. I wanted him to sense some things that you taught, intention, discipline, focus. You know what I mean? I don’t talk. I look forward, I turn it on, I perform for him of what? So that he can, I’m emulate. I feel the pressure of being a father, and I like it. And I love it. I fucking love it.

Andre Houdet (28:22):

Yeah, I think having kids makes parents better people for sure. You want to impress your kids, you want to be a good leader for them, or at least I think you should. It’s not sure that everybody does that, but you should. And I think it’s the same as when you have a coach. And I think that’s also why it’s important that you can be very close with your coach. That can be an incredible bond, but it’s not a friendship for us. And I definitely try to not break that line between it’s coach an athlete, you’re hired for a job and your job is to help them get to their goals. And you can build an incredible bond and you can spend a lot of time together and you can have a really good emotional bond with them. But you don’t call them maid, bro, friend, homey.


And you don’t always talk to them in a professional way. And you also in return want them to talk in a professional way to you. So there’s always a bit of distance that’s never broken. And I think that’s key for the coach to do their job so that when the athlete is at the competition and they ask themselves the question, am I ready? Have I done enough? The coach is there to answer that question and say, yes, you are. And because it’s not your friend or your girlfriend, your boyfriend, it’s your coach, you trust when he says or she says you’re ready, you trust that decision because that bond, you’ve never broken that bridge between being a coach or friend to the athlete.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

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