On February 9th and 10th South Beach, Miami will be jam-packed with some of the modeling industry's most beautiful faces and bodies going head-to-head at The 2013 Dirty Dutch Model Beach Volleyball Tournament. But the event attracts much more than just perfectly sculpted physiques and bronzed skin-tones.
We recently sat with former tennis professional turned CrossFit competitor, and entreprenuer, Nathan Forster for his take on the event, the competion, and how fitness is not only his life, but also his livelihood.
MF: So Nathan, you're a former professional model, a CrossFit competitor and the owner of two 'boxes' - Reebok CrossFit 5th ave in NYC and Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach in FL. Is there anything that you don’t do?!
NF: Well, I was a professional tennis player before the modeling, so I played on tour for 2 years. But, the biggest thing I can tell you about is my company, Rhinoco Fitness. It's a full circle of wellness. Basically we have a supplement company, called Nutriforce Sports. And then we have the gyms, (Reebok CrossFit 5th Ave and Reebok CrossFit Miami Beach) which is the fitness side of things. We also have an athlete management aspect where we manage different athletes and a management company that manages the fitness gyms, so we have the staffing and everything that goes with it, we call it the Rhinoco Management Group.
MF: That sounds like a lot. How did you get started with that?
NF: We started with the gyms (or 'boxes'), then we decided that our whole take on life was that we wanted to represent the full circle of wellness. To us that includes fitness, recovery and nutrition. So, we’re covering the fitness and the recovery with our gyms and wellness centers in the gyms. We have physical therapists and MAT, ART, and chiropractors that work in all of our locations, so there’s the recovery. As for the nutrition aspect, we have the supplement company, Nutriforce Sport. We're really hope it's is going to take over the marketplace because all of our stuff is all-natural. No artificial sweeteners, made by athletes for athletes, so it’s pretty cool stuff.
MF: Wow, very entrepreneurial...
NF: Yea, I’m definitely a major entrepreneur that’s for sure. My role is growing the business. I'm the guy that goes into the meeting and gets big deals done. I also ensure the business goes into the direction that we want. I love my job and I love doing it. One of my biggest sayings that I live by is that if you don’t love what you’re doing, then you’re never going to do it well enough. So love what you do, that’s important.
MF: Any big partnerships or projects that you've gotten started on?
NF: Well there's another new company that we just got involved with, FUSE Science. We just partnered with them and they are doing great things with electrolyte technology. Basically, it’s a company that has a muscle rub and an electrolyte energy gel. The gel is pretty interesting. It goes under your tongue to get into your body quicker than taking a pill or doing anything else. So, we just started working with them and we’re very excited about it.
MF: Crossfit is pretty huge right now. How did you get involved in that game?
NF: I used to own some nightclubs in South Beach and one of my business partners and friend of mine, Gaby Balzola, took me to my other business partner, Michael Alfaro's CrossFit box. Mike opened up one of the first CrossFits in Florida called IMT CrossFit. He took me by and said, ‘Bro, you got to try this workout it’s pretty cool.’ I went, I got the crap beaten out of me and I fell in love with it ever since. I really got the results, I changed the way I was eating and it just became a huge part of my life. I finally got to a point where I just wasn’t loving the nightclubs anymore and I ended up selling out of them. That's when Mike was like, 'hey bro, let’s open a CrossFit together on South Beach.' And I was like, 'you know what? Let’s do it!' Now we have some of the biggest ones in the world and a partnership with Reebok that’s phenomenal.
MF: That's incredible, man. Well, we've got a big weekend coming up – The Dirty Dutch Model Beach Volleyball Tournament in South Beach. How’d you get involved with this whole thing? Tell us a little bit of what it’s all about.
NF: Yeah, so I played it the last two years for Next Models and even participated in the Triple A National Championships. So, I’m pretty good and I love to play the sport. It’s one of the best sports in the world. Playing for Next Models, we did pretty well. I think each year we finished 4th, I think. The company that throws the event is owned and operated by Olivia Ormos who is a very, very good friend. She’s the one really in control of filling the event and I’ve always told her that I’d love to get involved. This was actually the first year we could actually do it and I was like let’s sponsor it from Reebok Crossfit, let’s do it the right way and have some fun. And it happened this year so I’m really excited about it.
MF: What would you say you’re looking forward to the most at the event?
NF: There are a couple of things. Probably the first is that I get some sun. I’m in New York City so much now that I look like Casper the Ghost. So I’m excited to be on the beach running around and playing a sport which I love. I’m also excited to get Reebok Crossfit the brand out there. I think that more people need to see it. I think that more women need to see it and realize that CrossFit works for everybody and even if you’re a model or a waitress or a dancer, you still can do the workout to get the results that you’re looking for. So I’m excited to get it out to that market. There’s also going to be a lot of very beautiful people running around in not a lot of clothing, so it definitey can’t be that bad.
MF: As far as the tournament, is it extremely competitive?
NF: The good teams are extremely competitive. There are like 4 or 5 teams that are pretty good and it gets pretty tight. You’ll get a firsthand view, but people want to win, and it’s a very good prize. You get a free trip to the Bahamas and a free membership to Reebok Crossfit Miami Beach, which are both worth a ton of money. So these teams really go hard.
MF: Was there any training that you did going into this event? On top of the two workouts you prepared for us?
NF: I’m a CrossFit competitor and I’m getting ready to actually compete in the CrossFit Open to get ready to go to The Reebok CrossFit Games. When you train CrossFit at a high level, 6 days a week, you’re going to be fit to do anything. So, just doing CrossFit. But I would say that the movements that I went over would be the first things you want to do. Those box jumps and different things like that are really going to help you move quickly and jump out of the sand, which isn't easy. If you stick to those movements and do those things, you’ll be good to go.