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CrossFit Leeds

The Forge

Unit 8 Kirkstall Ind. Park




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Mike Rawlinson - Owner & Head Coach, CrossFit Leeds

After graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in Economics, Mike began a career working for a large financial company in Harrogate. After five years with the company Mike was becoming increasingly disheartened with his desk job and in 2008 resigned in order to pursue a more rewarding career.


While studying for his qualification as a personal trainer Mike discovered After reading around the website and watching countless videos Mike began incorporating CrossFit workouts into his training and rapidly saw consistent improvements in his strength and fitness. Mike started using CrossFit methodologies with his personal training clients and group classes who all began enjoying their training more than ever and achieving excellent results.


In August 2010, after many months of planning, Mike set up CrossFit Leeds to offer a well equipped, functional, strength and conditioning facility where people could go to get quality coaching and become better educated on how to improve their all round health and fitness. After 4 years of continual growth and building up a solid and experienced group of coaches, Mike went on to open The Forge, a 4,000sq ft facility in Kirkstall.


Mike prides himself on teaching his members proper mechanics in order that they can train safely and effectively in order to get the optimum benefit from their training. He puts his heart and soul into supporting the members at CrossFit Leeds and takes great pride in watching members consistently achieve new goals. Mike has coached 17 different athletes to compete at the CrossFit Games Regionals level and inspired 7 former members of CrossFit Leeds to go on to open their own CrossFit affiliates around the world.


Having a sporting background in football and athletics Mike enjoys getting involved in the competitive aspect of CrossFit and has been competing as far back as the CrossFit Games UK and Ireland Sectional in June 2009. Since then he has been part of the team that finished second at the annual Divided We Fall Games, won a gold medal at the English Indoor Rowing Championships, and has competed for CrossFit Leeds at the CrossFit Games European Regional competition 3 times including a 4th place finish in 2011.



Premier Level 3 Personal Trainer

CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer

CrossFit Kids Certified Coach

CrossFit Gymnastics Certified Coach

CrossFit Weightlifting Certified Coach

CrossFit Endurance Certified Coach

CrossFit Football Certified Coach

British Weight Lifting Level 1 Coach

UKSCA Weightlifting Instructor

OLF Extreme Kettlebell Instructor

Premier Sports Massage Therapist

First Aid Qualified



Alex Heslop - CrossFit and Head Gymnastics Coach

Alex moved to Leeds in 2011 to study at Leeds Metropolitan University. This is where his interest in athletic performance and passion for fitness began after participating in strength and conditioning sessions for team sports. He was introduced to CrossFit in 2013 by his sister and mother and was instantly hooked by the new challenge of constantly varied training.


Upon graduating with a Degree in BSc(Hons) Sports, Physical Activity & Health in 2014 in which he studied the health effects of high intensity training for his dissertation Alex began working as a PT and Fitness Coach as well as working with University and College cricket teams planning and coaching strength and conditioning sessions before joining the CrossFit Leeds coaching team in August 2015.


During his time coaching at CrossFit Leeds Alex has developed a passion for gymnastics movements and skills in particular. He feels that gymnastics training is a great way to develop a perfect foundation by improving coordination, strength, flexibility and many other skills that are beneficial for not only CrossFit but also day to day life.



Crossfit Level 2 Trainer
BSc(Hons) Sports, Physical Activity & Health

CrossFit Aerobic Capacity

GymnasticBodies Athlete

British Weightlifting Level 1
Level 3 Personal Trainer
Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage

Level 2 Swimming Instructor
First Aid Qualified



Lucy Hack - CrossFit and Head Endurance Coach

Lucy has been competing as a regional and national level sprinter and middle-distance runner since moving across from hockey in 2006. During this time Lucy has made finals in the 400m and 1500m, competing for Derby AC and Leeds Met University. A highlight for Lucy was making the British University Championships 1500m final, and having the opportunity to compete in the London Olympic Stadium. Having come from a competitive athletics and hockey background, Lucy understands what it takes to develop the necessary skills to train for increased performance.


Lucy took part in her first CrossFit Leeds class in March 2011 after being persuaded by her sprints coach to give it a try. She is now addicted to the training style, people and the benefits it can bring to a runner. Alongside coaching CrossFit and running, Lucy is in the 2nd year of her PhD in responsible business while also working as a free-lance personal trainer.


Lucy coaches regular CrossFit classes at The Forge and CrossFit Leeds alongside our popular hill sprints, track sessions, and endurance classes to help our members develop the technical aspects of each discipline, including pacing and periodisation. Lucy believes “CrossFit can help endurance trainers, just like endurance training can help CrossFitters. Combining the two creates some pretty awesome athletes!”



CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer

BA (Hons) Sports Development

Active IQ Level 3 Personal Trainer

First Aid Qualified



Sam Wild - CrossFit and Head Barbell Coach

Sam is in his final year studying Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Leeds. He started CrossFit in 2012 and always showed a talent and passion for weightlifting. He is a BWL Level 1 Coach and in 2014 he chose to focus specifically on weightlifting as an athlete and coach and has been programming for and coaching individuals for the past 12 months. As well as getting out on the platform to compete himself he is also responsible for coaching the current Scottish Under 23 national champion adding 50kg to his total in a year.


Sam has developed a huge interest in all areas of weightlifting and is always seeking to further his knowledge through his own training and studying the training and performance of others, making his involvement with the Barbell Club an ideal role.



Year 3 of BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

British Weightlifting Level 1 Coach

First Aid Qualified











Rosie Plowman - CrossFit Coach and Pre/Post-Natal Specialist

Rosie has over ten years experience working one to one with personal training clients and coaching group fitness classes. While always working to improve her own knowledge and experience, Rosie constantly strives to better educate the people she works with in order that they can get the most out of their training.


Rosie has been doing CrossFit since the opening of CrossFit Leeds in September 2010. She has dedicated herself to learning and understanding the techniques and skills it takes to become a great CrossFit coach while consistently improving her own physical competencies. She went on to complete her CrossFit Level 1 Certification in May 2011 and has been a valued part of the CrossFit Leeds coaching team since then.


Rosie enjoys the competitive aspect of CrossFit and earned a spot on the affiliate team that finished fourth at the CrossFit Games Europe Regional in 2011. Since then she has competed for CrossFit Leeds at more European Regional competitions including one just 9 months after giving birth! She has also won a gold medal at the English Indoor Rowing Championships and finished as the sixth fittest female in the UK at the annual CrossFit Central Manchester Games. Rosie has also enjoyed competing in three seasons of triathlons over sprint and Olympic distances and notes that her CrossFit training has improved her fitness and speed to make her stronger in all three disciplines.


Rosie believes in working hard for what you want to achieve in life, be it your career, fitness or goal of any kind. “If you believe in yourself, put the effort in and keep having fun along the way, you will be rewarded with great results.”


Rosie is available for personal training as well as taking group training classes at CrossFit Leeds and The Forge.



NASM Level 3 Personal Trainer

Level 1 CrossFit Certified Coach

CrossFit Kids Certified Coach

Level 2 Certified Triathlon Coach

British Weight Lifting Level 1 Coach

NASM Junior Athletic Conditioning Coach

NASM Advanced Pregnancy Training Specialist

First Aid Qualified



All photos courtesy of Paul Turnbull Photography, Leeds



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