Nick Cruickshank AKA Coach Crook
A fellow Veteran opens up and share’s some of his experience in the Army, what he calls “deadset best job in the world”, and what drew him into the Frogman Project.
The team at FPHQ have watched Nick calmly and quietly kick Frogman programmings arse! He is confident in his abilities and often shares his mental talk going into some of the harder more challenging workouts like Warrior Mindset Development sessions.
Coach Ben has shared before the challenges of becoming a veteran and missing the brotherhood so he can absolutely relate to Nick when he says he missed the Army and was seeking a community! Starting Frogman Project was a big part of creating that community especially for fellow veterans so it’s awesome to hear how it’s filled even just a small part of that void for Nick.
He is an inspiration to us and our athletes and it’s been awesome getting to know a bit more about Coach Crook. He is in our eyes the Ultimate Teammate! Enjoy . . .
Why did you join Frogman?
After leaving the army and moving back to Sydney, initially I loved the freedom and the novelty of being a civi again but soon I started missing the army big time! It wasn’t the drill and the seemingly pointless exercises but the friends, the community and the emphasis on fitness!
I found Frogman Project on Instagram and I was drawn to it cause I felt that it ticked all the boxes! On top of that as a PT and Strength and Conditioning coach myself I was spending all my time programming and training other clients and neglecting myself. Sort of like a chef who eats take away after working their night shift. I was too busy trying to work on my business and my clients to push myself the way I needed to be pushed. I had faith that the FP boys would deliver a solid program and keep me accountable. And they have!
Can you give us a bit of history on your Army career to now?
In 2007 I enlisted as a Combat Engineer in the Army. After Kapooka and IETs I was posted up to Enoggera and from there deployed to East Timor in 2010 and then to Afghanistan in 2012 as part of a high-risk search team. The 2 trips were worlds apart but both were some of the best times of my life.
During my time posted to 2CER I got qualified as a Combat Fitness Leader and would run PT for my section, troop or squadron and this sparked my interest in becoming a PT so I started doing my Certificate 3 in Fitness online.
Back in 2013 it was looking more and more likely that Australia would withdraw from the Ghan and I didn’t see the point staying in the green skin without the chance of deploying in the near future so I bounced and started running a Bootcamp back in Sydney.
About 18 months later I got accepted into Fire & Rescue NSW which has been incredible! Deadset the best job in the world! I continued growing my PT business along the way and just last year opened up a PT studio.
What are your current training goals?
This year I’m looking at improving my ability in some more gymnastic and crossfit style movements. I’d like to perfect my levers, barbell snatches, handstands and bar muscle ups. And of course the primary goal is always to get bulk strong! I’m going to squat 2 x BW by mid-year!
You have been with us since September, what has been your biggest improvement since joining?
Where do I start? My adherence to the program, which in itself is an accomplishment for me, has seen improvements in every facet of my fitness. It’s stoked the coals and renewed my passion for fitness. I put aside time for myself to train now that’s a non-negotiable!
I make time for mobility because it’s in the program. I’ve got heaps stronger because I stick to the % and progressions in the strength components. But I’ve got to say I feel a massive difference in the way I approach challenges, mental and physical, thanks to the WMDs. I love em! They suck but I love em.
What’s your sporting / training background?
I’ve played baseball on and off since I was about 7 and played rugby union later in life too for a local club and then in my regiments team. But I’ve always been a keen gym goer. Understanding the correlation between the gym and the field or the fireground has always motivated me to stay fit.
What do you enjoy the most about Frogman?
Like I said, as much as the WMDs aren’t pleasant at the time, each Friday I look forward to reading what’s in store for the week ahead and when I do it I get a real sense of accomplishment after the session and really take a lot from them.
But also the community vibe is second to none! There’s no egos, everybody is super supportive, inclusive and actually wants to see each other progress and succeed. It’s awesome! And it’s definitely helped to fill the void that the army left.
Just want to say thanks to you guys! Ben, Sean and Mandie and to all the other athletes, keep smashing it!
Follow Coach Crook on Instagram and stop in for a WMD session if you’re in Sydney!