Affiliate Owner Spotlight - Richie Wong, Functional Strength

Affiliate Owner Spotlight - Richie Wong, Functional Strength


Photo supplied by Richie

Richie Wong - Owner, Functional Strength

Richie is the relatively new owner of Functional Strength in Rosedale, Auckland. He has been in the CrossFit game since 2009 and has had a passion for sport from a young age, martial arts and rugby to name just a few. After a few years training his love of CrossFit led him to becoming a Coach and now an Affiliate Owner.

Richie not only runs Functional Strength but has recently married his beautiful wife Hannah and has three awesome kids.

Richie and Hannah purchased Functional Strength HQ from the power couple Richie and Pip Patterson near the end of last year after Richie had worked for almost 8 years as a Coach for both the CrossFit and the Olympic weightlifting sides of Functional Strength.

Functional Strength has always been a massive part of Richie's life - from competing at Mixed Martial arts, CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting to Coaching weightlifting at an International level. 

Richie was lucky enough to have Olympic Athlete and previous owner Richie Patterson as a mentor in developing his coaching and owning a business.

Richie loves the fact that he and Hannah get to carry on the legacy that is Functional Strength. To continue to educate people to move the way that their bodies were designed to move, promote quality movement and changing lives by focusing on many aspects of health and wellbeing.

Read a little below about Richie, his honesty and clear passion for the job. 

What was it that got you into CrossFit after many years in Martial Arts? 

I initially got into CrossFit Via Mixed Martial Arts as my MMA coach at the time Bryan Cardeno (Owner of CrossFit Cool Town - Coolum) introduced me to it as a form of Strength & Conditioning.

After retiring from fighting and Martial Arts, I was hooked on CrossFit and found I wasn’t too bad at it.

What are you enjoying most about lockdown and the gym being closed?

I'm currently enjoying enforced family time, it's been great to spend time with the family and to have some time to draft up some ideas and put action plans in place for when the gym reopens.

What are you missing most about the gym being closed?

I am missing the community!

Photo supplied by Richie

We have a great community at Functional Strength, I miss having a laugh and watching everyone grow on so many levels with everyone giving it their all.

Your favourite all out cheat meal

Hahaha well everyone who knows me well knows I am a bit partial to KFC when given the opportunity. Love me a good bit of chicken!

Biggest learning since becoming a business owner?

How much behind the scenes stuff that I never realised Richie and Pip did, also now that we make the decisions how it directly has an impact on members and their health and wellbeing etc.

What you would say to people wondering if CrossFit was for them? 

I would consider myself old school when it comes to CrossFit as I have been involved for over 10 years now.

I am of the belief that CrossFit is or can be for everyone as it has so much to offer with its ability to scale and vary the intensity. We talk a lot about health and wellbeing but that doesn’t always mean creating athletes.

Peoples’ goals can vary but encouraging people to move, be active, create structure in their lives and challenge them to be better than they were yesterday.

CrossFit gives the ability to cater for beginners or athletes.

Three things an athlete can do to get the most out of their training

Personally I see lots of people doing excessive amounts of volume.

Don’t get me wrong, there is always a time and place for volume but a lot of athletes need to take time to focus on:

  1. Quality of movement
  2. Structured loading during movements (creating longevity).
  3. Recovery and reflection

Lastly, how you find managing your work and home life balance

It’s pretty tough actually on many fronts, realising now as an affiliate owner I can’t coach as many classes as I used to, as I need some time to work on the business. As well as trying to make enough time for a growing toddler who needs time with his dad and for my wife as well.

Balance is something if I am honest , I’m still trying to find the right mix. 

Photo from Functional Strength website
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