Fitness trainer, business owner, and US Marine Corps veteran, Raphael is a multitasker to say the least.
The Circuit Works trainer and founder has actively competed in martial arts, baseball, football, track and field, swimming, underwater diving, sky diving, repelling, cycling, mountain biking, open sea kayaking, hiking, skiing, snow boarding, and gymnastics.
Raphael offers the practical knowledge of an athlete and an outdoors person, coupled with scientific and clinical research, all of which are combined to designing an effective personal group training program; one that can benefit everyone, regardless of age, level of fitness, weight or personal busy schedule.
Today, we caught up with him to learn more about his fitness philosophy, his experience in the industry, and what keeps him going.
Après: So Raphael, how did you get into fitness?
Raphael: I got into fitness through training in MMA in high school, and after enlisting in the Marine Corps.
Après: Wow! Thank you for your service. Is there anyone who comes to mind as your inspiration?
Raphael: My inspiration was my Mom, who I lost in 2018. She regularly told me that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to.
Après: Do you mind sharing more about your fitness philosophy?
Raphael: My main advice: "listen to your body and find your training rhythm." Training in rhythm, following a pace, wins the race! Motivation is what got you to start, but consistency gets you to your goal.
Après: Are there any obstacles you’ve encountered throughout your journey as a Black fitness instructor?
Raphael: As a minority fitness professional and business man, the main obstacle I faced was that because of the color of my skin, I had to work twice as hard as someone else to even be looked at as an equal. And equal was never enough to win.
Après: What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from owning a fitness studio?
Raphael: It takes a team to win the race. My worth as a business owner was the gift of enrolling others in my vision and trusting their great ideas and input. I learned that a real leader creates leaders within his or her team.
Après: What would you like to see change in the fitness industry?
Raphael: I would like softer rules and regulations in opening fitness locations. Currently it's twice as hard to open a fitness studio then it is to open up a fast food restaurant like McDonalds. I would also like to see more financial help from the government and financial institutions for minority-owned businesses.
Après: We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Après: While the actual fitness is very important, we can only assume nutrition plays a huge role in your health. What food is always in your fridge?
Raphael: Spinach, eggs, and fish!
Après: How do you start your day?
Raphael: Black Coffee, Lemon water, and a class at circuit works!
Après: After that circuit works class, what is your favorite thing to do to decompress?
Raphael: Hot tub and meditation.
Après: Hot tubs are the best!
Après: Do you have a favorite ritual?
Après: Favorite workout move?
Raphael: Box Jumps!
Après: Those are killer and last but not least… can you give us a fun fact about you?
Raphael: I love salsa dancing!
Après: Love it! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us about your philosophy and fitness journey.
Here's where you can find Raphael online:
Fav spot to support: Simply Wholesome