About Us 2017-09-11T15:48:19+00:00


We are here to inspire as many people as we can to live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives!

We believe that quality coaching improves results, prevents injury, and provides proper motivation. Our coaches are a dedicated collective of health and fitness experts, and our members are a tight-knit community. We welcome those of all skills, abilities, and physical levels. Our members range from elite athletes, military personnel and first responders to grandmothers and everyone in between. The best way to learn about our program is to come experience it. Trust us… You won’t be disappointed!


  • Gyms are about looking good.  We are about pushing past our physical and mental limits to forge our strength from the inside out.

  • Gyms have Ego.  We check our egos at the door!

  • Gyms hope their members don’t come so they can make more money.  We contact our members if we haven’t seen them in over a week!

  • Gyms have mirrors. We have none.

  • Our athletes can and would pick up an injured person equal to, or more than their body weight, and carry them a long distance to safety.

  • People in gyms exercise and workout.  WE TRAIN FOR LIFE!

  • Gyms have lots of useless machines.  WE ARE THE MACHINES!


Fitness has always played a very important role in our founder Cyril White’s life.   Prior to founding Strength from Within Fitness and Country Spirit CrossFit, Cyril founded, built and in March of 2014 successfully sold his financial advisory firm White House Investment & Financial Services, which he built over almost twenty years from zero to over 150 long term clients.

Cyril’s fitness journey started by jogging when he was a sophomore in high school, to get in shape for high school sports.  He also started lifting weights around the same time, primarily to deter any high school bullying and to impress the girls.  He grew up idolizing people like Arnold Schwarzenegger and read every Muscle and Fitness magazine cover to cover.  He is convinced that his commitment to fitness in high school kept him out of a lot, although not all, trouble.

Cyril played varsity basketball in high school, and although he was not the best player he always stove to be in the best shape! He was the sick person who actually looked forward to the unending sprints after practice because he loved that feeling of pushing yourself through the mental and physical pain and it was the only thing that he could be better than his teammates at. Cyril believes that is the only reason the coaches kept him on the team!

When he discovered CrossFit type training, he realized that the part, which he enjoyed most about any sport was primarily the fitness aspect and not the sport itself!

Cyril always loved to run and enjoyed the clarity of mind that long runs provided. He never ran a competitive race until the age of 30 when his father-in-law, who ran, got him to do a 10K, the Detroit Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving with him, this led to half marathons and he decided to run his first full marathon at age 35. Well of course he couldn’t stop there and after training and running several more marathons, in 2009 he ran in the Boston Marathon at age 43.

After this he was becoming board with running and his knees started to hurt so he focused more on martial arts which he had started studying in college and had always loved, earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and also studying Aikido, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga. While these activities satisfied his lust for competition on an individual level, he still missed competing against a group of my peers in larger events. Therefore, he decided to try his hand at competing in triathlons even though he couldn’t swim very well and hated biking! He began competing in short distance sprint triathlons, then Olympic distance, half Ironmen and finally completed the Florida Full Ironman triathlon ( 2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike, full marathon 26.2 mile run at the end) in 2011 at age 45.

When his local martial arts school closed he decided to find a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial arts school and study that style, in which he had always been interested. The closest Jiu Jitsu school rented space in this gym called Hyperfit USA (AKA CrossFit Ann Arbor) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which was located in a warehouse. The Jiu Jitsu school was upstairs, which was open so you could see everything going on down on the workout floor. The people working out on the floor below with a trainer would blast all my favorite heavy metal songs and drop their weighs, row, do push ups, pull ups, kettle bells and all this other crazy stuff! Little did he know that it was in fact CrossFit training!

His Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school also closed and he really needed to do something besides running, biking and swimming, which he had been doing while training for his Ironman triathlon so he decided to check out training at Hyperfit USA and learn more about it. After what he now knows was only the warm up he was pretty well spent and thought, “I must be ill or something. I’m an Ironman!” Then came seven rounds of ball slams and wall balls for time after which he REALLY felt like he was going to die and he thought, “Oh yeah, this is definitely for me!” “Fitness IS the sport!” And the rest, as they say, is history.

Cyril remembers the proud feeling he got when his CrossFit coach referred to him as an “Athlete”. Even though he had been working out since high school he never played anything but club sports in college and never thought of himself as an “Athlete”, however, it felt so good to be thought of this way and it made him think differently about how I was treating my mind and body outside the “box”.

The other great thing Cyril discovered about CrossFit is the group dynamic. One of the things he enjoyed about doing Ironman triathlons, is that even though you are not a professional athlete you get to compete in events where there are professional athletes competing and even more motivating are people just beginning their fitness journey! It was so motivating to see some of the great gifted super athletes in his classes and even more motivating to see people who weren’t super athletes pushing themselves past their limits. Every time he would leave the box he felt like he could literally conquer the world! It is just such an amazingly positive feeling!

Another great benefit of CrossFit Cyril discovered is that it appeals to, and works for, BOTH people who love fitness and those who do not. Because it gets results fast and is fun at the same time even though it is very hard work! Cyril’s daughter Regan was going through some very difficult times and he needed to keep an eye on her so he brought her, kicking and screaming, to one of his CrossFit workouts. He told her she didn’t have to workout but just watch. He knew that his coach Mike O’Brian would make her feel very welcome, like he did to everyone and he did just that. She saw that it wasn’t just running and the people were all awesome and so supportive and friendly to her AND many were out of shape and not fitness models too. She never worked out seriously before and hated it when she did. So she started doing it and getting great results which led Cyril’s wife Leslie to try it also. Leslie was also one that hated working out but knew that she needed to and she loved it as well!

In addition to fitness the other thing that Cyril is passionate about is building and running businesses. He hates working for anyone else and loves the control of his own destiny and creativity that goes with owning your own business. Because of this he loves researching and learning about other businesses that are successful. Since he was getting so into CrossFit he started researching the business since it was something he was passionate about and was obviously a VERY successful business model. He then tried to implement some of the great aspects of CrossFit in his financial services business but he was becoming more and more frustrated and bored with the financial services business and couldn’t figure out how to make that happen. He tried bringing in a junior partner to help him manage and grow the business, however, the partner had some undisclosed compliance issues and had to leave the business and he offered to buy his business from him, however, he did not want to sell it at a reasonable value. Cyril was really surprised by the fact that he found himself feeling envious of his ex-partner for being able to get out of the business and get some cash for his business at the same time to do something completely different. In 20 years as a financial advisor Cyril NEVER thought that he had wanted to do anything else but now he was having thoughts that he just may! As part of TRYING to bring in this new partner Cyril had to get the business valued professionally so that they would know how much of a partnership percentage his partner would get and what the value would be if he did join the business. When the valuation came back Cyril asked the company that did the valuation if they thought he could actually sell his business outright to someone else for this value and they told me that they could. So he started seriously thinking about selling the business but he had no idea what he would do after that. Cyril knew that he wanted to do something completely different that didn’t just deal with money and that really helped other people. He thought about becoming a paramedic and even enrolled in a program to do so.

One day Cyril was sitting in his office talking to a friend Pat on the phone and he asked him what he was going to do when he sold the business and Cyril told him he was going to get his Level 1 CrossFit coaching certification that weekend. Pat said that he thought Cyril should open a training business at his farm in his barn because he would be good at it. The more he thought about it the more this really resonated with him and he could not get the thought out of his mind! Cyril thought long and hard about exactly what he would do if money were no object and what he loved to do just about his entire life and he kept coming back to FITNESS! He pictured all his CrossFit coaches and it struck him that THAT would be something which was very fulfilling, deal with exactly what he was passionate about and REALLY help people! So he went and became certified and started researching what it would take to open a fitness business.

Cyril sold his financial business in March of 2014 and opened Strength from Within Fitness and Country Spirit CrossFit in June of 2014! He had never coached a class or trained anyone else in fitness besides himself prior to coaching his first class that June in his gym! He was amazed at how natural and easy it was for him. It felt like THIS is EXACTLY what he was supposed to be doing with his life! His daughter Regan also became certified as a coach and works with him in the business so that makes it even more special! It is not easy at all but all the positive impacts in all of the lives we have transformed, and all of the great friends we have made in such a short time makes it more and more fulfilling every day!





Cyril S. White
Cyril S. White

Cyril has been passionate about fitness, maximizing human performance and sharing his passions with others since he discovered the barbell and running as a sophomore in

high school. He is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, a CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, and Barwis Methods Level 4 Applied Coach and has competed and completed full-length Ironman triathlons, the Boston Marathon, Tough Mudder, GORUCK and martial arts competitions.  Cyril holds a black belt in the Chun Do Kwan of Tae Kwon Do and has also studied Ninjitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Commando Krav Maga.  Cyril is also a Certified Financial Planner ™ , holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago and Bachelors in Engineering from the University of Michigan.  He feels strongly about giving back to his community and has repeatedly put that belief into action, serving on boards and committees of many community nonprofit organizations, including Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Chelsea Community Hospital, Chelsea Rotary Club, Chelsea Wellness Foundation, Peter Sparling Dance Foundation, Chelsea United Way, ArtServe Michigan and the Chelsea Center for the Arts.  He lives on a horse farm in Chelsea, Michigan with his wife and their three daughters. To learn more about Cyril please check out his personal website at www.cyrilswhite.com.

Shannon Tobias-McKenna
Shannon Tobias-McKenna

Shannon is our Fitness Foundations class instructor and has been in fitness since she was seven years old. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and a

Certified Senior Fitness Specialist. Additionally, she is CPR / AED Certified.  She began competitive gymnastics at age seven and continued in the gym training until 2006. Of course, was a cheerleader and entertained everyone with her back flips. Shannon also enjoyed track and field along with cross country running. After graduating from Dexter High School, Shannon moved to Florida and attended Daytona Beach State College where she received her Associates Degree. She continued taking medical and dietitian classes. While in Florida she pursued her fitness desires: power lifting, weightlLifting, entering a few amateur body building shows, duathlons, mountain biking, beach volleyball, road cycling and her favorite, long runs on the beach! After returning to Michigan in 2001, a friend recruited Shannon to start competing in Fitness Shows. In 2003 Shannon won Miss Michigan Fitness; she continued to compete in Pittsburgh, PA and Las Vegas, NV through 2004. In 2013, Shannon obtained her Personal Trainers Certification. Shannon finds it rejuvenating to see people want to become healthier. She loves to inspire and encourage others to want more for themselves. She finds that this also benefits their families who love and depend on them. Shannon plans to continue her fitness education so that in her 80’s she can still be active and inspire and encourage others.

Joon Shin
Joon Shin

Joon found CrossFit in 2013 when he was looking up power clean tutorial videos on YouTube and found the Rich Froning “Day in the life” documentary video. After seeing the daily training

regimen of a CrossFit Games athlete, Joon was immediately obsessed with trying out CrossFit for himself and one day competing. Joon trains 5 days a week and does his best to do a long aerobic session on his days off. Although he has tried eating clean for a while, Joon eventually determined that he needed to have some leeway in his diet in order to consistently train at a high volume. Joon eats fairly clean, but he loves cheeseburgers!

After obtaining his Level 1 Certification in 2014, Joon has developed his coaching style to be methodical but with the flexibility to adapt his strategy based on the athlete he is coaching. His favorite part of CrossFit is by far the Olympic lifts. Joon’s favorite CrossFit movement is the Snatch, and his least favorite movement is anything involving the Assault Bike.

When done correctly, Joon believes that CrossFit is, by far, the absolute best training methodology a person could follow.

Regan White
Regan White

Regan started CrossFit after a major shift in her life– despite never having been too fond of exercise. Never did she think she would find a passion that includes exerting energy on

purpose! Regan has overcome significant personal challenges through this lifestyle and strives to help others do the same. She has always been passionate about helping people and her favorite part is to watch the clients change and grow in front of her eyes. Regan hopes to continue to be a learner and teacher in this business so that one day it will be handed down to her to continually grow and flourish. She has a fitness history in martial arts and hip-hop abs. Tough Mudder challenges are the highlight of her year!

Leslie White
Leslie White

A lifelong athlete and practitioner of holistic health, nutrition and healing Leslie makes her natural Kombucha drink for our athletes which helps promote good health and

recovery. Leslie is a competitive pickle ball player and also enjoys horseback riding, organic gardening, volunteering, cooking and canning. In July of 2012, she completed her first triathlon, the HeTried/SheTried, with her husband and teammate, Cyril.

Shelby Platt
Shelby Platt

Shelby is a CrossFit Level 1 certified trainer and comes from a well-rounded athletic background, Shelby has always had a love for fitness. In high school, she competed in many

travel sports such as softball, volleyball, tennis, and many others. Shelby discovered a love for CrossFit in 2015 and is excited to help others reach their fitness goals. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education e from Central Michigan University. Teaching and helping others is something Shelby is passionate about and she couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the Country Spirit CrossFit team.

Ken Hamilton
Ken Hamilton

Ken grew up playing hockey, football, baseball and Olympic style wrestling, in which he competed in college. He carried his love for fitness to the fire department, implementing and

leading fitness programs for his fire fighters. He began his CrossFit journey in 2010, quickly recognizing it as the best way he had found to stay in shape for the rigorous demands of being a fire fighter. He also became a Level 1 Certified CrossFit trainer in 2011. Ken is also a certified trainer with the American College of Exercise. Ken retired from the firs department after 23 years of service. When he is not coaching CrossFit, Ken teaches CPR / AED, Emergency Medical Technician, and Paramedic certifications.

Angela Maniaci
Angela Maniaci

Angela graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. degree in Nutritional Science. After realizing her passion in life was centered around exercising and eating right, she

wanted to learn as much as possible about the physiology and nutrient interactions in the body. She is CrossFit Level-1 and CrossFit Mobility certified, with plans to continue strength and conditioning certifications. Her wellness career started off in East Lansing instructing group fitness classes and organizing health-oriented “boot camps”, where she helped clients with individual exercise and diet plans to reach their goals. Angela enjoys helping people utilize the synergy of proper nutrition and functional exercise for much greater health goals such as: hormonal balance, managing Type 2 Diabetes and autoimmune issues, helping athletes with maximum output and proper recovery, and more. Angela hopes that the clients at Country Spirit CrossFit will benefit from her passion and knowledge of fitness and nutrition!


  1. ACCOUNTABILITY:  Accountability is the KEY to achieving results!  This is the piece that is typically missing from so many other programs, especially if you are trying to go it alone.  Yes, you could team up with a workout partner and that works for a while, however, one partner usually ends up slacking at some point.  In our program, you are accountable to your coach and your community which helps get you through our doors when your mind is giving you all kinds of excuses why you shouldn’t.  You end up coming more and working harder due to this accountability which translates into results!
  2. RESULTS: Our program is focused on getting you the specific health and fitness results you desire.  Period!  We help you define specific goals and then create and implement a plan to help you achieve them measuring your progress every step of the way!
  3. FUN: Our program is different every day and you have other great people to do it with who encourage you to do your best.  We also have many fun events such as Bar BQ’s, Karaoke parties, and participating in events outside our facility together.
  4. HARD WORK: Yes, it IS hard work but that is why it GET’S RESULTS and enhances your life!

ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Most of our members come to us after not having worked out for decades, overweight, with bad backs, shoulders, and knees.  Our mission is to help inspire as many people as we can to live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives, which means that the more unhealthy, unhappy and unfulfilled you are when you come to us the MORE we can help you!!  All you need to do is walk through our doors!

FACT: Many more people are injured from doing NOTHING or jogging than from doing CrossFit. Yes, if we train hard injuries are part of training. However, we do everything we can to prevent them. This is why we have coaches in every class watching every athlete. You are much more likely to get injured trying to exercise on your own without an experienced coach than you are with one.

If you are injured our experienced coaches will work with you to get you back to 100% as we have done with many of our athletes, most of whom are injured doing things OTHER than CrossFit. However, you must continue to come and train, albeit at a reduced level to make this happen! DON’T QUIT!

As Mean Joe Green said, “Anyone can play this game healthy!”

Please watch the following video for more information on this subject: https://youtu.be/di1U2BhDK4Q

No! One of the leading women exercise scientists Dr. Stacy Sims has this to say about getting big and bulky from lifting weights: “By doing power moves and low-rep, high-weight strength training, you enhance the number of fibers recruited for a contraction but don’t really grow the size of your muscles very much. The short of it is that you end up with a stronger, more powerful contraction with less muscle bulk.” – Dr. Stacy T. Sims, Author of ROAR and leading exercise physiologist specializing in women athletes.

Please watch the following testimonial video that talks specifically about this issue: https://youtu.be/eSSzkL6GuhM

Your FIRST CONSULTATION and/or CLASS is Always FREE! What do you have to lose?

We can ASSURE you that our rates are the most competitive in the area for the VALUE and RESULTS that our athletes receive!
Before we can quote you the financial INVESTMENT you will make in yourself to participate in our programs we need to know more about you, your goals and you need to know more about us!

Please contact us at [email protected] or call (734) 433-9607 to schedule a FREE initial consultation!

Again, we are so confident in the value and results of our programs we welcome you to try it for FREE and to ask any of our athletes about their experience. Also, please check out the TESTIMONIAL videos.

We offer both small group AND individual one on one coaching rates.

We do not offer punch card or class package type memberships for a very good reason. Please click HERE to learn more about our policy regarding punch card type memberships here.

Muscle weighs 15% more than fat but takes up less space. This is why people who start our program experience positive body composition changes very quickly but also may be heavier in weight.

DITCH YOUR SCALE! It only causes you stress! Focus on your body composition and how you FEEL! Do you feel stronger? Do you have more energy? Those are the things that are MOST important! Your body has a specific weight it will always try to attain based on your lifestyle and energy levels. While it is definitely not healthy to be overweight you should not obsess about being some arbitrary weight you have in your head that has no justification in reality. The most important thing is if you FEEL BETTER and STRONGER. PERIOD!

Watch this video for more information: https://youtu.be/_kA7bY8aKeE

Watch these videos on proper hand maintenance and wearing gloves to work out.

Training is no different than life. It has ups and downs. If our progress was continuously linear just based on the time we train we’d all be deadlifting and squatting 100,000 pounds and running the mile in 1 second. Hitting a plateau in training is completely normal. If you were out of shape and have trained correctly and hard you will have great gains early and then it WILL plateau. What you have to always remember is where you came from and what would happen to your progress if you STOPPED training! Please watch the following video for more information on this topic:

To receive the maximum benefit from our training only requires three sessions per week. Depending on your goals, you may wish to add additional sessions to three per week.

We recommend that athletes, who are just getting back into shape, train with us NO MORE than three times per week. After three months of coming an average of three times per week, you can add an additional training day if you wish.

You should allow one day in between sessions as a beginner. The recommended schedule for an advanced athlete is typically three days of training, one day off, two days of training one day off.

WARNING: Our program is very addictive and gets great results fast! You will probably experience great results in a short time period and will start to feel superhuman after training in our program for a short amount of time! Faster than anything you may have experienced before! However, you must understand that the benefits of exercise come from the RECOVERY period after the exercise and not from the exercise itself! The more intense the exercise, the more recovery your body needs. If you do not let your body recover, especially from a higher intensity programs like ours, you will over train, hit a plateau, and risk injury! MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER! TRAIN SMART! No more than times per week at the beginner level and five times as an advanced athlete.

Supplementing your training with us with light walks, jogs, mobility work (e.g. rolling out, stretching, yoga, etc.) on your off days is optimal.

You WILL be very sore from your initial sessions with us, typically the second day after your workout. This is normal. Make sure you pay close attention to the mobility (e.g., rolling out) part of your Foundation sessions and drink lots of water. Taking a cold shower or bath also helps.

The best thing for soreness is movement. After you have one or two rest days after your session which made you sore come to your next session with us! The thought may seem daunting because you are still very sore, however, once you get the blood flowing in the next session with us, your soreness will be less.

The more time you spend on your mobility (e.g., rolling out, cool down exercises, stretching, etc.) after EACH workout the less sore you will be. A good rule of thumb is to spend at least 20 minutes on your mobility after the workout for each hour of an intense workout session.