From A Sergeant to CrossFit Athlete and Coach, Meet Sandro Grou

Blog Cover - Interview with Sandro Grou - Crossfit semi-finals athlete and coach in dubai

Eight years ago, Sandro, a former football enthusiast, discovered CrossFit and weightlifting while he was in the Portuguese special forces. 

In the ever-evolving world of CrossFit, stories of remarkable journeys and incredible transformations continue to inspire and captivate us. Meet Sandro Grou, a former Portuguese sergeant in the special forces who decided to embark on a thrilling new adventure - becoming a CrossFit athlete and coach. But he didn’t stop there, he made a big move to the vibrant city of Dubai to become a coach at InnerFight Gym

With unwavering determination and a passion for pushing his limits, Sandro has overcome the odds and carved a place for himself in the competitive world of CrossFit. 

Join us as we dive into Sandro's inspiring journey, the sacrifices he made, and the triumphs he has celebrated along the way. 

Get ready to be inspired by this extraordinary tale of resilience, dedication, and the pursuit of one's true passion.

Sandro Grou - Fitness in Dubai - Crossfit Semi Finals athlete from Innerfight

Hi Sandro, tell us a little about yourself. 
Originally, I’m from Portugal, but now I am a Coach and athlete at InnerFight gym in Dubai. 

How has being active/or involved in your sport changed your life?
A lot, moving to Dubai!

How did that happen?

Because I wanted more quality time with my family, and then I start looking for a job in Dubai. They are here with me now.  Of course, moving to a different country, as many expats will know, has its challenges! But Sandro is positive about the change, he is “enjoying every day,” he says, even though “my work is challenging every day.” It confirms that something worthwhile is hard work, and the more difficult, the more reason to do it and not give up.

What is one or more of your most memorable moments (s) in training/ competing?
CrossFit games semifinals this year in South Korea. Amazing, the best experience I have ever had. The people were so friendly, and they loved my mustache. Eheh! 

Sandro was in a team from his gym in Dubai, Innerfight CrossFit DXB. The team was made up of other expats living in Dubai: Andrew McTaggart, Victoria Engelmann, Matthew Threadgold, and Rachel Reidy.

What was it like competing in a team?

Even though it's nice, we had some challenging days, but we stuck together and worked together as a team.

Sandro and his team from Innerfight Dubai fitness on their Korea Semi Finals Crossfit trip

How do you balance training and coaching?
Sometimes it’s not easy, but when you do what you love, you make it work. My wife gives me all the support to keep going and push myself, which is the most important.

What has been the hardest thing you’ve had to do for your sport?

When I have to stop training. 

you find that you make a lot of sacrifices to be able to go after your goals?
Yes, 100%

What are your current and long-term goals?

To get to the CrossFit games. 

If someone is interested in becoming an athlete in your sport, what would you tell them?

Never give up, and keep pushing every day.


Sandro is a portugese crossfit athlete living anc coaching in Dubai. Weightlifting and intense training goes into his fitness program


We asked Sandro what is something he wish he had known when he started CrossFit, and he said, “Double Unders.” Double Unders are when you are skipping with a rope, and the idea is to get the rope to go around and under your feet TWICE as you jump in the air. 

So we asked him to share some tips for those who are trying to get Double Unders.

Sandro’s Tips:

  1. Start doing singles with a short rope. 
  2. Keep the elbows inside close to the body
  3. Start making 1 - 2 - power jump, and so on. 1, 2 singles, and then on ‘power jump’, you have to jump higher, double under, and keep going. 

Doesn’t sound THAT hard, does it? Give it a try and tag us and Sandro in your double under attempts on Instagram. 


You can find Sandro on Instagram: @Sandro_grou_fitness 


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Photos provided by Sandro Grou - Innerfight Fitness

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