Q and A session with Crossfit Owner & Coach, Will Richardson

MORE Q & A SESSIONS! Today I want to bring to your attention my amazing cousin-in-law, Will Richardson. Will is a self-made entrepreneur and business owner in Mobile, Alabama. He owns numerous Crossfit gyms in Mobile and while he started out pretty small, he has grown his businesses tremendously! I want to ask Will some questions because he not only coaches at his gyms, but also coaches and trains other Crossfit coaches. So if anyone knows his stuff, it’s Will. Will manages to run his businesses as well as maintain an active lifestyle, working out 5-6 days per week. He’s also a father and a husband. So if you think you are too busy to find time to train, take a look at his schedule! If you live in the Mobile, Alabama area I recommend you step into one of his gyms to begin a healthier lifestyle with the help of some awesome and supportive coaches. Let’s get started!

How long have you been doing Crossfit, and when did you become a coach? Also, give a brief history of the gyms you own in Mobile (locations, name, when they opened). I started CrossFit in late 2007 at a gym downtown with a buddy of mine, Ross. After a month or so the owner basically kicked us out for getting chalk everywhere and taking up half the gym to do our workouts! LOL.. .so we decided to build our own setup in my backyard so we could train whenever we wanted without worrying if we were bothering anyone.  Everyday after work we would meet at my house and do the WOD (workout of the day posted on the crossfit.com site).  After a year of doing this we decided we wanted to open our own CrossFit gym and share what we had grown to love so much. Over the following 8 years I opened 3 different CrossFit boxes (gyms) (CrossFit Mobile, CrossFit Mobile Midtown, and CrossFit Mobile Downtown). In May of 2016 I sold my midtown location.

How many workouts do you usually fit in each week? Also please tell us about the importance of incorporating stretching/yoga-type exercises as well. 

I try and do 2 separate sessions a day, 5 days a week, and an active recovery day on Thursday which consist of some sort of rowing, biking or mobility work. Sunday is my day for complete rest as well as spending time with my wife Tiffany and son Tucker. On my workout days I spend about 30 min before and after each session mobilizing, you can never get too much of that.  I also require my competitors as well as my class athletes to mobilize on their own and in class. The key to avoiding injury and executing movements with more power and efficiency is MOBILITY!

How do you manage such a busy lifestyle – between coaching, your own workouts, as well as being a father and husband? What do you say when people tell you “I don’t have time to workout”?
 I still haven’t figured this one out yet! LOL. I just do what I can and try to balance each one the best I know how. I think Programming takes up the most time.  Trying to program for class athletes, individuals and teams takes up a ton of time.  I’m usually up each night until 2am studying results and making the changes needed to continue building a better program.  Most people don’t realize how much time is put into each day.  I am usually up and going around 8 and don’t finish my day until around 1:30-2am.  So anyone that says they don’t have time to workout needs to come do my job for one day and I promise they will find time!
What kind of foods do you eat on a daily basis? And, if you ever have a “cheat” food, what are your favorites?
 I follow Titan Trained Nutrition which my buddy Spencer Murphy and his wife Melissa own. They focus on macros and customized meal plans. I follow a higher protein and fat diet with moderate carbs that are focused around my workouts 5 days a week, on the other 2 days I use them as re-feed days in which I up my carbs and lower my protein intake.  There’s a lot of good info out there and a lot of good nutrition coaches that can help anyone achieve there goals but I feel like Spencer and his wife do a better job of creating a plan that’s easier to follow than most. I’m also just like everyone else and love sweets! If I see something I want then I’m going to eat it.  If you never cheat it makes most people hate eating healthy so I say if you want it, eat it.  Just don’t over do it and make sure you’re not stepping out all the time. It’s about balance.
Why is weight training so important for everyone, including middle-aged+ people? Also, please explain why it’s never “too late” to get started.
 Weightlifting not only helps you burn calories and increase metabolism but it helps keep your bones strong and healthy. Most people don’t realize that after a weightlifting session your body continues to burn calories for hours (as opposed to cardio where you burn calories during the movement only). So those who are trying to burn fat and lose extra pounds should start supplementing weightlifting into their normal routines and they will see faster results and start feeling healthier and stronger much faster than doing cardio alone.
What is your favorite CF workout or favorite exercise to do (e.g., a specific one or deadlifts or snatches or squats etc.)? If you have more than one favorite, feel free to list.
 My favorite CrossFit would have to be “Murph” which is a hero WOD named after a fallen Navy Seal named Michael Murphy, who I also named my dog after. The workout consists of a 1mile run followed my 100 pull-ups, 200, pushups, 300 squats and then another mile run.  I have a few close friends that were Navy Seals so this one really hits home when doing it..  The funny thing about it is, if you ask any one that knows me they would tell you that I hate running and this has 2 miles of running in it! LOL… I like workouts with more Olympic lifts in them (snatch or the clean & jerk).
If you had to pick ONE fit tip to give others who are beginning an active lifestyle, what would it be?
 Definitely to stick to a program and don’t give up. Think about how long it took you to get “out” of shape, so don’t expect  to get “in” shape over night. It takes time, so trust in the program whatever it is you choose to follow. I prefer CrossFit or Olympic Lifting.  Don’t be intimidated by what you read or see on TV.  CrossFit is a program that can fit anyone’s needs no matter your level of fitness.
Lastly, please tell us why you love Crossfit and the benefits you’ve seen in your life since incorporating Crossfit on an almost daily basis?

 I fell in love with CrossFit on day 1.  I loved every aspect of it especially the community.  I love how everyone comes together and forms a gym family that carries outside the walls of the gym.  You won’t go into one single CrossFit facility and find a stranger.  Not only is everyone there to help themselves but they are also there to help make you a better you. Like I said earlier, CrossFit is for EVERYONE as long as you’re willing to put the time in and learn.  CrossFit will create a “you” that you’ve never seen before. My goal is to live a long healthy life and be able to do the things I do now with my children and their children and I feel like CrossFit will allow me to achieve that.


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