Say Hello to Coach Rico! Rico is Head Coach and Co-Owner of CrossFit Tay Ho, he recently earned his L2 Credentials, and has been a qualified Nutrition Coach since 2019 with his Nutrition Coaching platform “Mission Nutrition”.
Rico arrived in Hanoi in 2017, with a plan of sticking around for six months…six years later, and he’s still here!
Rico began his CrossFit journey in the UK back in 2015. After looking for something to replace rugby after years of loving the physicality and the comradery of team sports, he found it in CrossFit. Once in Hanoi, Rico immediately joined CFTH, and overtime grew from a respected member turned coach turned co-owner. He was encouraged by members, and made the decision, to take-over CFTH in 2019. And after a short hiatus, he came back to Hanoi to build out the new facility and to help CFTH really fulfill its potential.
In his own words:
“The Team and I wanted to build a space that enabled people to become the best version of themselves possible. A home from home. A judgment-free zone where people can come and shake off the stresses and worries of life and cheer on a few mates who are doing the same thing.”
Since then the gym and its members have gone strength to strength and he’s really enjoyed all of the moments of hard earned success shared with our members. Too many to count. And just to add the cherry on top of the proverbial CrossFit cake, the team of Coaches rounds things out for Rico. He says, “I’ve really enjoyed being able to find and build a team of coaches who are truly committed to the community and enjoy having a laugh alongside it.”
Read on to find out more about Rico including his very solid advice on getting started (including proper gym etiquette!), how he compares CrossFit to cooking, and his inability to share fun facts about himself.
Certifications: CFL2, PN1
Hometown: Spalding, Lincolnshire, UK #represent
How did you get into CrossFit and how long have you been doing it?
2015. Joined my local CF box in Nottingham England after watching Dan Bailey and Jason Khalipa’s “Iron Triathlon” (great video). Met some amazing friends and was guided by some of the best Coaches in the UK. It’s been 8 years and I haven’t looked back.
Do you remember your first ever CrossFit workout?
No. But I remember getting into my car afterwards, hands were shaking - thinking “Yeah, that’s it!” I’d been looking for something to replace rugby after years of loving the physicality and the comradery of team sports.
When and why did you decide to become a Coach?
I decided to become a Coach to pay forward all the inspiration, motivation and support that I’d received from my Coaches. I also quite quickly noticed that everyday I would wake up and be thinking about intervals at 6am with my mates. After intervals, I’d get to work in the morning and all I’d really care about was the WOD at 5pm with my mates again. I knew at that point that the clock was ticking on office life and my future was going to be in the business of fitness.
What do you like about coaching?
Seeing and helping people to achieve things they didn’t believe they were capable of. High fives, tears of joy and watching the evolution of our members from day one to day 501. I honestly love sitting down to program and test workouts and then watching people do them. It’s similar to cooking dinner for someone you love… Creating a recipe, carefully considering the ingredients, the seasoning. Choosing the amount of time in the oven and at what temperature. Then serving it up and just watching them tuck in…
To carry on the analogy, I love BIG portions, filled with ingredients I know you don’t like… served extra spicy.
What advice do you have for people just getting started with CrossFit?
First and foremost… Arrive early. Chalk stays in the buckets. Don’t drop empty barbells and Clean up after yourself.
Secondly, enjoy the process of being new - we were all new once. Remember in moments of self-doubt that even the fire-breathers you see in the gym were once struggling just as you are now. Enjoy the learning process, don’t rush your progressions and celebrate your successes and the successes of those around you.
At times it’s going to be hard - it’s meant to be. Lean into that. That's where you’ll craft the mental toughness and resilience you need to face the difficulties you’re going to find in life outside the gym. That’s where you’ll find your true potential and you’ll begin to love the person you’re becoming.
What is your favorite CrossFit Tay Ho moment?
I couldn’t pick one specific memory, there are too many. I get goosebumps everytime we take the really BIG group photos. It always reminds me of how far we’ve all come from those early days on Xuan Dieu to becoming the Best Gym and the fittest community in Vietnam. Maybe I’m biased - maybe.
A weekly highlight is… Saturday morning TeamWOD followed by a solid brunch and a good coffee with the squad. The good life, man.
What is a fun fact that would surprise us about you?
Fitter, Better, Stronger - forever.
Rico's Official Bio
Rico started Crossfit in 2015 after looking for an alternative to playing competitive Rugby and becoming uninspired by years of Chest and Triceps, Back and Biceps training in globo-gyms. After seeing Jason Khalipa and Dan Bailey doing the Iron Triathlon on Youtube, he signed up for a trial at CrossFit Nottingham, UK. Within 4 months, he found himself fully immersed in the sport, the lifestyle and the community - making friends for life. After a number of years competing around the UK, Rico earned his CrossFit L1 certification with the ambition to help spread the word and educate people on the physical and mental benefits of the methodology.
In 2019 Rico became Co-owner/Head Coach at CrossFit Tay Ho and has since dedicated his time towards growing and developing a supportive and motivational place for members to train and overcome their moments of self-doubt by achieving things they never thought possible. Rico also programs and coaches our sessions tailored towards competitive athletes - preparing them for the specific demands and challenges involved in competitive CrossFit.