Introducing the Trident Athletics team

Meet the fitness experts ready to help you achieve your fitness goals.

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Trident Athletics

Our team of fitness and nutrition professionals are invested in your health. We make every decision with our members’ well-being in mind. Achieve your goals with us!

The Team

Chriss Smith owner of Trident Athletics

Chriss Smith

Founder & Co-Owner of Trident Athletics CEO of Trident Mindset

Chriss is a former navy SEAL, Entrepreneur, Extreme Adventure athlete, Husband, Family Man, Mentor & Dog Lover. He understands the beauty of total body fitness and its role in everyday life. He believes sport, fitness, and fun play a vital role in the success of a healthy lifestyle. His mission is to help others overcome self-doubt and their perceived limitations and increase confidence allowing them to unleash their warrior within. “I can relate to a broad spectrum of people from all walks of life. It’s not just about becoming a SEAL but also the journey once we leave the SEAL Teams.” My Why I exist to find a Better Way to positively impact others by creating deep and meaningful relationships. I do that by helping make sense of seemingly complex situations and perceived adversity. I have a unique ability to Simplify problems into easily digestible concepts and solutions to continue forward. What makes my brownie? I can quickly simplify problems into easily understood concepts and solutions to continue the momentum. What’s your favorite workout? If you consider “Rest” a Workout, that would be my choice. Still, my favorites are usually bodyweight WODs, “Cindy,” and “Elizabeth.” When you’re not CrossFit-ting, you’re… Probably playing, inside or outside. It doesn’t matter. I’m down for just about anything. ya just gotta ask. Advice for someone starting or wanting to start CrossFit: Don’t be intimidated; everything is scalable. Certifications, Experience, Honors Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach (CF-L4), CrossFit HQ, Level 1 Seminar Staff Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Olympic Lifting Certification, CrossFit Level 1 Triathlon Certification, CrossFit Endurance Certification, CrossFit Powerlifting Certification, SEALFit Level 2 Certified Trainer, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, POSE Running Certification, CrossFit Mobility and Recovery Certification, Athletes Performance Tactical Mentorship Certification, Competitive Ultra Marathon Runner, Multisport Athlete, Winner of Discovery Channels “One Man Army ep 5″, Certified Life Coach, Adventure Athlete Competed in “Eco challenge Fiji 2019, an 11-day adventure race, GODZone” Chapter 8 New Zealand, 650km adventure Race. “Primal Quest 2016,” a 465-mile 10-day adventure race, competed in the “Arrowhead 135,” a 135-mile ultra race. (I didn’t finish that one, but I will) Current Project Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge The premier event in ocean rowing – A challenge that will take you more than 3000 Miles west from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, Spain (28oN 18oW) to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour, Antigua & Barbuda (17oN 61oW). Team Shut Up & Row

Andrea Smith coach at Trident Athletics

Andrea Smith

Founder and Co-Owner

Co-Owner Misha’s Coffeehouse and Roaster Andrea is a former competitive gymnast, coach, and USGF judge. Andrea has always made athletics a focus in her life. Her drive led her to become a competitive road cyclist and triathlete, and when she discovered CrossFit, she was hooked. As a CrossFit trainer, Andrea’s enthusiasm has helped individuals achieve their personal goals, from elite athletes to fitness rookies. As co-owner of Misha’s coffee house and roaster in Alexandria, Andrea brings 18 years of commitment to the local community to Trident CrossFit. WHY: I exist to challenge the status quo, seek unique ways of approaching things, and create innovative solutions to existing problems. HOW: I attempt to learn as much as possible about any subject that interests me and can help me expand my perspective and knowledge in life. I aim to make meaningful changes not only in my life and business. But in the lives and businesses of others. WHAT: What makes me different is that I seek to challenge the status quo. Not just to rebel or create change but to make any community I am part of better and contribute to something greater than myself. What’s your favorite workout? Anything that helps build my booty. Anything with Oly lifting, I am a big fan of lunges and hand-stand pushups. When you’re not CrossFit-ting, you’re… I am running Misha’s Coffee House and walking my dog Auggie. Advice for someone starting or wanting to start CrossFit This program works for any and everyone. Don’t be intimidated; walk in the door. Certifications, Experience, Honors CrossFit HQ Trainer Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach (CF-L4) CrossFit Trainer Certification (CCFT) CrossFit Trainer Certification (CF-L3) CrossFit Level 1 Trainer CrossFit Gymnastics CrossFit Weightlifting CrossFit Gymnastics CrossFit Kids CrossFit Mobility CrossFit Judge USAW Sports Performance Certification Functional Movement Screening Certification Former Competitive Gymnast, Coach, and USGF Judge Winner of the 2012 Leadership in Business and Career Development Award from the Alexandria Commission for Women Two Time Masters National Weightlifting Champion 58Kg, 40-44 yr old division 2013 & 2014 Two Time IWF Masters World Weightlifting Champion 2013 & 2014 58Kg, 40-44 yr old division.

Abby Thomas coach at Trident Athletics

Abby Thomas


I aim to build trust in my community through open communication with a focus on listening. Then, building off that trust, I look to contribute to others’ goals and provide clarity through objective, quality evidence, and examples.

Melanie Rowland coach at Trident Athletics

Melanie Rowland


Melanie has been doing CrossFit since 2008 and coaching since 2011. She has been a lifelong athlete competing at the collegiate level in Powerlifting, Lacrosse, and Marathon and has competed in CrossFit national and international competitions. In addition, Melanie spent 15 of her 20 years in the Army serving in Special Operations units. Hence, she understands first-hand the importance of being physically and mentally ready to meet any challenge. Coupling that experience with a fascination for our body’s need for fuel, Mel earned her Master’s Degree in Biochemistry/Human Nutrition to share the importance of proper nutrition with others. Supporting people in finding joy through movement is her passion – she does this through coaching CrossFit and teaching Yoga and nutrition. What’s your favorite workout? Probably Cindy. When you’re not CrossFitting, you’re…Working at my day job and keeping my husband fed. Advice for someone starting or wanting to start CrossFit: Jump in! We got your back and will help you along the way. Why: Better Way: I want to help people find and go beyond what they thought possible for themselves. How: Making Sense: Create and/or Improve the process; make sense of it, break it down, baby steps… the journey should be challenging and fun. What: Simplify: A solution or path that is understandable and achievable. Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 CrossFit Level 2 CrossFit Weightlifting CrossFit Kids CrossFit Conjugate CrossFit Gymnastics Active Life Professional RYT (Yoga) 200-hr.

Marcus White coach at Trident Athletics

Marcus White


Marcus White began CrossFitting in 2010, achieved his Level I certification in 2011, and Level II certification in 2013. He currently enjoys coaching at Trident and competing in Olympic Weightlifting competitions. He has been a life-long multi-sport athlete and fitness fanatic. His endeavors included organized football, basketball, and cross country/indoor/outdoor track. Marcus’ primary sport of fencing is where he made his mark. After achieving All-American status as a junior at The College of William and Mary, Marcus went on to compete with the U.S. World Cup team in 2001 and 2002. Now that his competitive fencing days are done, Marcus has become an Olympic Lifting specialist. He has succeeded as a Master’s level lifter with a Bronze Medal in the 2021 Masters World Championship and a Gold Medal at the 2021 Howard Cohen American Masters Championship. He still relies on CrossFit during the off-season to stay in shape. “Out of all my athletic participation, the CrossFit intensity, resulting fitness levels, and sense of community are the most impressive I’ve ever encountered. ” My passions are built on a right-way mentality. Seeing things executed consistently at a high level brings me significant satisfaction. The only way to ensure things are done right is to clarify concepts to raise the level of performance or understanding for others. I look to nurture trust in my capabilities, as others do things the right way based on my assistance, personally and professionally. My favorite WOD is DT. My least favorite WOD is Fran. When not at the gym … I’m working or entertaining my pup! CrossFit Level I Cert CrossFit Level II Cert CrossFit KB Cert USAW Weightlifting Cert.

Nate Pipke coach at Trident Athletics

Nate Pipke


Nate walked into Trident on the second day the gym opened and hasn’t left since. He started his CrossFit journey trying to do WODs off at a local “Globo-gym” but soon discovered that Trident was a much better home. After a couple of years, Nate got his L1 certification and joined the coaching staff. As a teacher in “real life,” Nate loves working with his students and seeing those “light bulb moments” when understanding occurs. Finding those faces amid the sweat, grunts, groans, and pain of a Trident WOD is harder but just as rewarding. Trident is a family affair for Nate, as both his kids have grown up at the gym, attending CrossFit Kids classes. When Nates is not at the gym, he is chauffeuring his two kids to their activities. All the while trying to get outside to enjoy hiking, sports and reading a book every once in a while. Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 CrossFit Level 2 CrossFit Kids

Stacey Nichols coach at Trident Athletics

Stacey Nichols


Stacy began her CrossFit journey in 2012. After being introduced to CrossFit and seeing the fun, intensity, variety, results, and community – she was hooked. She has been a coach at Trident for over 8 years. Stacy has been a multi-sport athlete, including soccer, volleyball, and softball. CrossFit introduced Stacy to Olympic Weightlifting, and she has found a new passion as an athlete and coach. She was IWF Masters World Champion in 2019 and USAW Masters Weightlifting National Champion in 2021. She has competed in 15 competitions and medaled in 14. CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting have changed my perspective on fitness and wellness, and I want to help others work toward their goals. Why: I want to contribute to the greater good – in all facets of my life. I want to support people and organizations by making them better. If I feel passionate about something, I am very vocal about the benefits and successes because I want everyone to know about it and be a part of it. How: I contribute to building trust with those around me by being educated on subjects that contribute to people’s success. And going the extra mile to help them. What: I want to help individuals find success by following the guidelines and processes set on achievements, which will help them achieve the desired results. Fun Fact: I have traveled to 38 countries and lived in 12 places (both stateside and overseas). Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 CrossFit Level 2 CrossFit Weightlifting CrossFit Kids CrossFit Conjugate Methods

Donnie Nusbaum coach at Trident Athletics

Donnie Nusbaum


I discovered CrossFit in 2007, experimenting with workouts on my homemade pull-up rig and my rusty old garage weights. I relocated my gym at Trident in 2010 and have been CrossFitting there ever since! Working out at Trident has increased my overall health and allowed me to overcome physical obstacles in my everyday life. With that, I have gained mental confidence giving me success in both my personal and professional life. As a coach, I want to help athletes achieve their fitness goals and break mental barriers that will lead to success in other areas of their life. I look forward to seeing you at Trident to serve you and help with your fitness journey! Certifications: CrossFit Level 1 CrossFit Level 2

Herman Phillips coach at Trident Athletics

Herman Phillips


Herman is dedicated to empowering athletes to achieve their goals and improve one rep at a time. His CrossFit journey began more than a decade ago. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, he walked into Trident and never looked back. But, after his first workout, he realized he’d become deconditioned over his last few years on active duty. Herman earned his initial CF-L1 in 2014 and has coached since. He’s served as event staff core leadership at the CrossFit Games since 2015 and the Rogue Invitational since 2019. He is a native Washingtonian and the father of two amazing humans. His certifications include: CF-L1 CF-L2 Active Life Adaptive Trainer CrossFit Mobility CrossFit Judge It’s the next rep that makes you better!

Sean Drumheller coach at Trident Athletics

Sean Drumheller


Sean discovered CrossFit in 2011 and has been a Trident coach since 2016. He spent over 20 years in the Navy as a Naval Flight Officer in the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18F Super Hornet and currently works in the cyber security industry. He strives to Make Sense of seemingly complicated issues to provide a better understanding to himself and others. He believes that goal is best achieved by assessing how to tackle a problem and determining the Right Way to address and solve it. Ultimately, Sean will not be satisfied with “good enough” and will continue to learn and experiment until he has achieved Mastery of a particular topic. Certifications, Experience, Honors CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2)

Hugo de Leon coach at Trident Athletics

Hugo de Leon


Originally from Guatemala, Hugo de León is a former firefighter and softball coach. Both disciplines taught him the importance of having a strong general fitness base as the foundation of any physical activity, whether for high performance sports or in daily life. Hugo is committed to developing both the physical and mental strength of his athletes. He believes that exercise and an athlete’s achievements inside the gym transfer to success in all aspects of daily life. He’s worked with active duty military, first responders, law enforcement, as well as athletes just beginning their fitness journey or those coming back from an injury, always in a safe and effective way. As a personal trainer, Hugo has had the opportunity to work with highly competitive athletes in baseball, softball, soccer, boxing, and karate. He also coached the 2019 CrossFit national champion from Guatemala, and a regional Latin American qualifying team in 2014. Most recently he’s worked with a female athlete (Teens division) who finished 32nd in the world during the 2021 CF Online Qualifier.

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