Growing up in Lincoln Park, NJ, Jake has always been into playing sports, mainly football because of his love for contact sports. After a brief stint in the Marine Corp., Jake discovered the Olympic Sport of Taekwondo. Jake has always been fascinated by the beauty and power of Taekwondo, the ability to dynamically kick and move around an opponent with lightening reflexes, speed and accuracy. He opened up his first Taekwondo center in 1993 in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. Aside from some side jobs while attending College, his Taekwondo center called Martial Sports, was the first real business that he owned. Jake quickly found that it would be nearly impossible to compete in Taekwondo at the level he desired while also running a TKD center full time. So, he decided to focus his efforts on building a competition program and being a Taekwondo Master. After a year or so coaching the sport, he realized that one aspect in the sport was missing, comprehensive strength conditioning. In late 1999, Jake began to study kinesiology and sports conditioning at the CHEK institute and participated in an internship with Shane McDermott, a very talented strength coach and kinesiologist. By early 2001, Jake began training several elite TKD athletes including 4-time US Olympian Steven Lopez. The Lopez family, consisting of 3 brothers and one sister (Jean, Mark, Steven and sister Diana) were and are to this day considered the top Taekwondo fighters in US history. In 2002, Jake and the Lopez’s went into business together and produced a series of Taekwondo videos called the “The Cutting Edge” and a fitness program called “Fit360″. Fit360 was destined to be a huge hit in the fitness industry, but due to financial constraints the project was abandoned in 2003.
Being out of work and looking for a new opportunity, Jake discovered a building that was vacant in Seattle’s Greenlake neighborhood. It was rundown and being used as a storage center for the old Vitamilk plant. He immediately saw the diamond in the rough and signed a lease on it, transforming it into a Taekwondo center. At the time, Jake was coaching part time at Rain Fitness and Athletic Engineering as a personal trainer while he built up the new TKD center. After a couple of months, Jake found that he had lost his passion to teach Taekwondo, mainly due to a torn labrum in his hip and a herniated disc in his back. He decided to focus more on providing rehab services to broken down athletes. His talent for helping others recover from setbacks became a passion, which he used to quickly build up a large personal training business. In 2006, after 3 years of running his PT business, Jake discovered CrossFit. He was fascinated by its simplicity, but was also extremely skeptical, believing that it was a typical fitness fad. However, by early 2007, he had changed his mind with the help of a fellow CrossFit Coach, Craig Cooper, who currently owns a successful gym called Urban CrossFit. Craig and Jake decided to transform the gym from a personal training studio into a full fledged CrossFit gym. By 2008, they had built a great program. Craig left in the spring of 2008 to pursue his own venture while Jake took over the entire operation at Northwest CrossFit.
After being a TKD Coach and personal trainer for most of his life, where all the focus was on himself, Jake decided to build a business based off of the best team of Coaches he could assemble and the services they could offer. Finding talented coaches and growing the CrossFit business has been a mix of successes and failures. There was no business model template to follow, just a lot of throwing mud against the wall to see if it would stick. Having been down the road of competing at the highest level in an Olympic sport of Taekwondo, Jake knew a thing or two about perseverance, so he stuck it out even when it looked like the future was quite bleak. Jake reached out to several mentors he had acquired through his PT practice for advice and before long he started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. In 2009, NWCF had won the CrossFit Affiliate Cup at the CrossFit Games and had made it through a tough year of learning what works and what doesn’t. In addition, NWCF had successfully expanded its program to Bellevue, WA. Having two CrossFit gyms was an anomaly in the CrossFit industry.
The main lessons that Jake had learned from his mentors, as well as from NWCF’s successes and failures over the past few years, was that in order for NWCF to be successful, NWCF had to make sure it had the right people, the right processes and the right service. These tenets became NWCF’s guide as it struggled to build its program. By the end of 2011, NWCF had built a world class staff and implemented its expansion plans, opening up a 3rd location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.
These past couple years have gone by so fast; Jake can hardly keep up with all the events that happen every week. The gyms have all been expanded and built to completion; NWCF is proud to have a career oriented world class coaching staff and 4 outstanding facilities being fueled by one of the best CrossFit programs in the world. In 2013, NWCF was recognized by Mens Fitness magazine as one of the Top Ten CrossFit Gyms in America and Jake has enjoyed the many success stories of our members that we see daily in the gym. Jake is so proud of and grateful for what NWCF has become and he pledges to never stop enhancing NWCF’s service to its members. Jake often recalls something CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman said at a seminar that he attended several years ago. “Excellence is obvious to everyone.” As the CEO and President, Jake Platt will always make sure Northwest CrossFit strives for excellence.