For this installment of our “Coach Spotlight” series, we’re featuring Rick Wells! Father, teacher, Marine, Relentless Coach, avid golfer; these are just some of the terms that can be used to describe him. You’ll frequently find Rick at the gym on weekday afternoons, and while he doesn’t have a regular coaching schedule, he’s always there to lend a helping hand to members and cover classes when we need him. Keep reading to learn more about Rick!
- What was your athletic background prior to CrossFit?
Prior to CrossFit I have been working out in a typical gym for about 25 years. I started working out for baseball while in college. I got great results and then it just turned into a habit. I followed many of Weider’s principles, such as, split routine, isolation exercises, and supersets. I was also exposed to the intense training of the Marine Corps. This added running, high intensity workouts, and conditioning hikes to my regimen.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Joe Weider was a Canadian bodybuilder responsible for creating the Mr. Olympia competition, co-founding the IFBB, and publishing numerous magazines including Muscles & Fitness and Men’s Fitness.
- How were you introduced to CrossFit, and how long have you been doing it?
I knew the initial owner of CrossFit Relentless, because I worked with his wife. He was also a trainer at the gym where I worked out. My wife bought me a six session training package for Christmas in 2009 and placed a gift-wrapped medicine ball under the Christmas tree. I began to train in 2010.
- What made you want to be a coach?
Six months into training CrossFit, I decided to get my CrossFit Level 1 certificate. I took the course at CrossFit Milford. When I returned to the box the following week and told the owners how much I enjoyed the certificate course, they asked if I would like to coach. I said, “Yes!”
- What are your favorite/least favorite movements?
My favorite movements are the clean and jerk, deadlift, and snatch. I always enjoyed lifting weight and the addition of these movements to my training was and still is exhilarating.
I think that the Bear Complex is one of God’s great gifts to humanity.
If I never see another jump squat in a workout, I think I’d be OK with that
- What are your hobbies outside of CrossFit?
My only real hobby outside of CrossFit is Golf. I wake up, read, journal, and get ready for work. I teach school, work out, and there’s always a kid activity going on like concerts or sports
- What is something that very few people know about you?
Before I went into the Marine Corps, I was a personal trainer for DT Thomas of Kool and the Gang and his daughter, the late Michelle Thomas.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For you young ‘uns who aren’t familiar with Kool & the Gang. they sang hits including “Celebration” (i.e. “celebrate good times, come on!) and “Jungle Boogie.” Interestingly enough, Rick has another “in” to the music world: he will forever be a part of the 90’s hip hop scene, thanks to his appearance in the video for “OPP” by Naughty by Nature.
- What is the greatest advice you can give members?
The greatest advice I can give members is to seek mastery over performance. In short, mastery focuses on learning and performance, display. Both have achievement as their outcome, but each influence your training differently particularly in a class environment. Mastery mindset asks, “What is the best way to increase my ability and skill?” Alternatively, Athletes focused on performance are concerned with the question, “Is my ability adequate or inadequate?”
- What do you see as the “next step” in the CrossFit world?
My athlete philosophy is focused on three principles: longevity, vitality, and virtuosity. I maintain a longevity mindset when training. I’ll be training through all my days, and in order to accomplish that, I need to moderate my training. That means balancing my enthusiasm for a workout with self-control. For example, the prescribed weight does not determine my workout weight. I see how I feel, consult a coach, and rely on instinct. I also plan to be active and have the energy to do the things I deem important in life. I manage my time well and have a goal to be present for my kids. Virtuosity is a tenet of CrossFit and I abide by it. I try to do the common uncommonly well. Aspire to make your movements beautiful with the profound understanding that technique and speed are not mutually exclusive.
That all said, I think athletes need to take a hard look at the relationship between CrossFit and their health and reconcile the influence of the CrossFit Games on their attitude, ambitions, and approach toward training. This quote is from the CrossFit Training Guide:
“It turns out that the intensity of training that optimizes physical conditioning is not sustainable past 45 minutes to an hour. Athletes who train for hours a day are developing skill or training for sports that include adaptations inconsistent with elite strength and conditioning. Past one hour, more is not better!”
So the next step for the CrossFit athlete is to analyze their present state of wellness and develop a compelling plan for their health and longevity. Start by creating an inspiring vision of yourself winning at life!
- What inspires you, as a coach and/or athlete?
I am inspired by the effects of CrossFit and athletic training on an athlete’s life. My symbol for this inspiration is the barbell. I believe it is one of three convictions for discovering the Fountain of Youth.
- What is your proudest coaching moment?
My proudest coaching moment was introducing my daughter to CrossFit. We are currently working our way through the On-Ramp Curriculum. Winning!