White Rose CrossFit
This month's Box of the Month is White Rose CrossFit, based up in Leeds. To get the lowdown on what makes his box so awesome, we caught up with the head coach, Rakesh Patel.
KB: Why did you decide to open White Rose CrossFit?
RP: I decided to open White Rose CrossFit because I believe that through balancing exercise with the principles of yoga and mindfulness, and a healthy diet, we can live in a healthier, more peaceful World.
If we're happy within ourselves we're more likely to spread positive energy around our communities - and I saw that in the early days of UK CrossFit back in 2010.
Coaching people, and helping them find a better balance in life, and living the life of their dreams (their most outrageous dreams), is what lights me up. I love serving people and feel a sense of inner fulfilment when somebody gives me the opportunity to help them become healthier. I'm so passionate about this topic and this life purpose of mine, that I wrote it in a manifesto.
What do you love most about your box?
We focus on more than just the physical side of training and diet. We look at life from the physical and spiritual sides to help people find inner peace as well as living the life of their dreams in this physical reality.
The training goes beyond just trying to achieve an end result but rather finding out what people want in life, then help that individual navigate a path that's unique to them, a path that lights them up and makes them feel they're living and not just surviving.
Our emphasis is on the fact that life should be enjoyed in each moment, that challenges can be overcome and fear is the doorway to peace. By focusing on the physical and non-physical aspects of life, bringing in meditation and mindfulness and providing one-to-one consultations, we feel as though we're exposing something unique.
What have been the highlights since you opened?
Attracting a family of members that are loving, caring and supportive in our mission to help create a more peaceful society.
Our members certainly make this place a pleasure to be in. The energy here is phenomenal despite it being a very large industrial unit! It feels very welcoming when you step inside.
Seeing people change body shape and live healthier lifestyles has certainly been the most heart-warming outcome we've had. Especially those that have been going through tough times in their life. We also got nominated for Leeds' best fitness facility and appeared on live television.
What's your coaching philosophy?
Quality movement: focus on technique in every class. Train hard by applying high-quality movement and intensity to workouts.
Tailor the workout to how you feel: it should be enjoyable therefore listen to your heart and tailor the intensity of the workout to what is enjoyable for you. Everyone is different and you know your body best.
Focus on mind, body and spirit: neglect any of those and the balance can be lost very easily and the stress pours into the rest of your life. Training/exercise should enhance your life not detract from it.
Once your goals are set, come back to the present moment and live in the Now. Enjoy it!
I won't push anyone to work harder, but I will ask them to ask themselves what they want? How do you feel? Slow down if it feels like you're drowning and you don't like it. Why would you do something you don't enjoy?
Question everything - What is true for somebody else may not be true for you. Take what works for you, what you enjoy and use it.
What are your members like?
Like a loving a family! They're all beautiful souls that are caring and open-minded.
They epitomise "oneness", all treating each other as though we are one big family, the Human Race.
What happens in a typical day at White Rose CrossFit?
Our classes begin a breakdown of the workout ahead and a specific focus. We usually relate our workout to something in every day life, like how this workout will relate to relationships or following your dreams.
We then follow with a dynamic warm-up, skills practice and finally the workout. In each part of the class we check everybody's technique ensuring they're targeting the right areas of their bodies.
We also provide specific advice to the participant ensuring that each person receives at least one piece of feedback in the class. We also sit down with our members on a one-to-one basis and discuss their goals and requirements every 3 months so we can give them specific advice in class and ensure that they're getting what they want.
What does the future hold for you guys?
I see our box as a physical, mental and spiritual wellness centre. Hosting experts in all 3 areas and having a focus on Holistic Health.
I see our box as being a community hub for people in the local area to get their daily health needs. I see the box supporting the NHS and providing a referral centre for GP's to refer patients for things like diabetes, high-cholesterol and other exercise/diet related problems.
I see the box having a strong community presence and helping keep the streets clean, promoting walking/cycling to work, working with colleges and universities to provide work placements and learning opportunities, working with businesses to promote healthier lives.
And finally, any words of wisdom before we go?
A quote I took from my manifesto. My life purpose indeed:
“I, Rakesh Patel, firmly establish that the classes and additional services at White Rose CrossFit are intended to help create a positive influence on the World. Our intention is Global communities of friendly and loving people that care for each other as friends and family do.”