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Hey Team and welcome to August’s newsletter for everything Valesco.


This month we are going to keep this part short and sweet as there is so much good stuff included in the newsletter this month it needs very little introduction but as a short overview….


Coaches corner contains an awesome piece of writing from Coach James regarding Progress and Comparison and it’s a really insightful and well worth reading, thanks for sharing James.


We have three new coaches to announce and we would like to take this opportunity for them to introduce themselves to you and offer them a super warm Valesco welcome.


Finn and Harley are trying to make you all chipper about September and what feels like the end of, quite frankly a pretty pants weather wise, summer.


A round up of South West Regionals competition that VFC absolutely had a ball at and showed what VFC is all about.


And finally make sure you check out the ‘what are we up to in classes’ programming article included in this months newsletter. It will let you know what we are up to in the brand new 14 week programming block. Exciting stuff.


Keep working hard, supporting each other and making Valesco the awesome place that it is.


Lots of love and positive vibes,

Amy, Ellie and Leila xx


Katie B August 2023

Welcome to the monthly Member Shout out section where we like to celebrate some of the good things we see in the gym day in and day out.


Shout out from Coach Sarya – V2 member Katie Burns. ‘she’s leaving to move back home in September, she’s been a huge part of the V2 community and getting everyone social and involved. Top gal and will be missed’ This is seconded by all us coaches here at V2 one of the OG’s and always comes in with a smile and we are all going to miss having her around. Please don’t be a stranger Katie xx


Shout out from Coach Ella V2 – Heather Savage – ‘for just a bit of a ledge, is smashing her training and a core member of the 18:30 crew’.


Shout out from Coach Amy to Harry- Joe Gallimore at V1 ‘I just wanted to give a shout out to Harry-Joe this month. Not only is this guy super committed to his training and always has a smile on his face he also goes above and beyond. Regularly at the end of his Open Gym session (almost always being the last to leave) Harry-Joe goes out of his way to tidy up the space and put kit away that he hasn’t even used! As a coach at the end of a long evening shift this is massively appreciated. Thanks so much Harry-Joe, keep being awesome’


Shout out from Coach Will – V1 member Loretta Allen‘Always soldiers through a workout and pushes herself, and is just great fun. Her squat mobility has come on so much and it’s awesome to see what commitment and dedication can do’


Shout out from Coach James – V1 member Linda Laboun‘It was also her birthday this month but aside from that, she’s great and deserves some recognition. She is super consistent with her training, always smiling, works super hard (she’ll almost always do gymnastics straight into FFC on a Tuesday and isn’t afraid of a Sunday Sweat) and there are so many noticeable improvements throughout her training a pleasure to coach!’


Shout Out from Coach Ellie to V1 member TK! ‘She joined us just over a month ago with a little trepidation but has been super consistent and is a real pleasure to have in class. Keen to get fitter and learn to Olympic lift TK gives every class her best effort and the results are already starting to show!’


New Coaches August 2023

Or should we say coaches?? Yes that’s right we are welcoming 3 new coaches to the Valesco Coaching crew and we would like to take this opportunity to introduce them too you, well actually its probably best they introduce themselves.


Thea Hill – I have been a member at Valesco for the past 18 months (with a tiny wee break to be on a Worlds Cheerleading team) where I fell in love with the sport and community of functional fitness and achieved my Level 1 in November.

My gymnastics repertoire includes over 10 years coaching: artistic, tumbling, acro, display, trampolining and cheerleading, from beginners to Olympic hopefuls all around the UK and in America.

I love to play about with stunting so will most likely be found upside down or in the air when not coaching.

I strive to encourage, assist and empower as many people as possible on their fitness, well-being and personal journeys and goals and excited to share my enthusiasm and passion with this powerful community.


Johnny Barlow – Hey I’m Johnny and I have always valued the importance of health, well-being and nutrition, and in 2014 I started my CrossFit journey. I have five years of FT/PT coaching experience and am currently a CF-OL1 Trainer and a L1 British Weightlifting coach.


Alongside that I am also training towards my 3rd Dan in Shotokan Karate with the Bristol Karate Academy, and have just finished studying music, gaining a first honours degree. I am now embarking on a master’s degree in composing for film and television this September as I clearly felt my degree wasn’t punishment enough! I am also the coach to approach for any vegan dietary tips!


Jim Stacey – Hey everyone, I’m Jim and I’m really excited to be joining the Valesco team! I’ve been coaching CrossFit part-time at a gym in Oxford for the past year alongside a job in the Corporate world but I’ve recently taken the plunge to pursue my passion of Fitness & Nutrition full time, by coaching 1:1 and more group sessions!


My background has always been in sport, playing Rugby competitively for a number of years and studying Sports Science at Uni. I found CrossFit around 4 years ago and the community element reignited my love for fitness/coaching and a new way of training. I can’t wait to get to know you all better in the coming months and helping you progress whilst having some fun along the way!


We would like to extend a massive warm welcome to the Valesco family. If you see any of our new coaches in your class make sure you say hello, introduce yourself and treat them kindly like we know you lot will.


Welcome to the Team Thea, Johnny and Jim.





DID YOU KNOW THAT EACH SITE HAS ITS OWN MEMBERS FB GROUP? They are awesome little places to ask questions, find out information or just share funny memes or moments from the gym. If you aren’t a member but would like to be please follow this link and request access.

V1 – St Philips

V2 – St Werburghs


Class Reservations and block booking… 

It’s so great that so many of you want to come and train and we love to see busy classes, however late cancellation and no shows aren’t cool and we would like it to stop.

Please only book the class you genuinely know that you are going to attend rather than reserving a space just in case you might. Very few classes are actually fully utilised when it comes to the start of the class but we have several waitlists per week. If everyone only booked the class then KNOW they are going to attend we are confident waitlists would be a thing of the past.

This is an issue we are facing this issue at both sites and we need a behaviour change before we are forced to take further action by either increasing fines or restricting the booking availability to the day of the class.

With summer holidays over it is likely that we will see a slight increase in demand for classes and we will, as always, be keeping a close eye on this to make sure everyone can train as they would like too. We are also keeping an eye on member data including where people are block booking and cancelling (even within the cancellation period) and those late cancelling and no showing.

Please help us to help you.


Brand New VFC Stash Range

Fix up look sharp the new VFC stash range is now available to buy via the shop on out website page

There is so much choice and so many great colours to choose from you would be mad to miss out.

The first order deadline is 18th SEPTEMBER to get your stash by the start of October.


Parking Wars

Parking at both sites is in demand at certain times of the day so please do your best to park sensibly and leave your car at home as much as possible. If there isn’t space directly outside either unit before 5.30pm please consider parking a bit further away and walking in. Around V1 there are lots of one-hour stay bays just up the road and by V2 there is plenty of off road parking before the entrance of the trading estate just around the road (think along the 400m run route). It’s all extra steps and movement.


The South West Regionals

August has been a great month for the VFC Team and the first weekend of August saw a whole bunch of athletes heading to the Southwest Regionals, which where held in Bristol at the SGS Filton College.

In the individual category on Saturday saw Gemma, Sarya, Glen, Dan, Lorenzo, Mitch & Jonny C take to the dance floor and in the same sex pairs category on Sunday Leila + Co, Emma C + Tash, Tor + Beccy E, James Iles + Harry-Joe, Mooney + Jack F, Will + Simone, Rich + Alex S, Harry B. + Greg, & Harry F. + George all went out to show everyone what Valesco is about

Massive well done to all of you who took part, its scary putting yourself out there but from the look of the pictures you all seemed to have a blast. Well-done Team VFC.


Thank you also to all the VFC crew who helped out and went and supported the athletes always comment on how amazing it is t have you all there shouting and cheering them on….not to mention capturing some banging shots for the gram!

Massive shout out to Coach Ella as the running of South West Regionals is just another string to her bow and everyone has said what a well run and fun competition it was so please take a bow our Coach Ella.



This week is deload week and we hope you are making the most of the reduced intensity. Deload weeks are just as important as the bigger weeks where we put in the hard work so be sure to listen to your coaches when they encourage you to take it down a level this week!


Next week we start a totally new block, which means lots of new and exciting movements for you, some you won’t have seen in classes with us before!

What can you expect?

Lots of variety as always, some new skills and some specific work on mobility (in a fun way of course!) as well as throwing around some heavy barbells (with good form) and generally having a ton of fun with all things fitness!


The new block looks something like this:

Monday: Power cleans and Zombie squats! Our focus on the Power clean is going to be barbell cycling and volume! And the zombie squats are going to be a great accessory and really support the Squat Cleans that will follow in the 2nd half of the cycle! On Mondays you can expect to find shorter, sharper workouts as you’ll have already worked super hard in your class.


Tuesday: Push Jerks and press accessories so we can work on some higher skill overhead movements and still work on our overhead strength at the same time.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays there will be longer workouts alternating with a skill section and a shorter metcon.  As with the Double-unders and Pistols from the last block we will alternate between Overhead squats (keeping them light and working on form to begin with) and Crossovers! Can you learn to Double-under Crossover over the next few weeks?!


Wednesday:  Metcon Mayhem of course! But, instead of working on speed and power we’re going to be focusing on Zone 2 work – think long cruisy workouts at a steady pace! Zone 2 training is essential for aerobic development, but it also helps you improve your body’s energy efficiency, prevent injury & improve recovery…so when your coaches tell you to not hit the workout too hard you need to heed their advise if you want to reap the benefits!


Thursday: As well as our alternating skills and longer workouts we’re going to be looking at Handstand press ups AND handstand walking as our gymnastic focus for this block.  BUT worry not – we know being upside down feels really scary and a long way off for some of you but as with everything we do, no matter your skill level and confidence we can give you scaled options that provide the same stimulus without the scary upside down bit! And if you want to learn how to be happy upside down we can’t wait to teach you!


Friday: Deadlift are BACK! But not as you’ve seen them before.  In this first half of this block we’re going to be looking as high volume with max efforts at specific %’s – a fantastic way to increase muscle mass (and muscular endurance) ready for the 2nd half of the block where we make that posterior chain reeeeeal strong! And, as always, Fridays are finished with a partner WOD so grab your training buddy and be sure to get booked in on Fridays!


Weightlifting classes: Snatch! So if you’re just stating to get the hang of snatching on Mondays worry not… you can continue to work on snatch in weightlifting classes.


Gymnastic classes: Kipping and butterfly pull ups are on the menu and even if you don’t yet have them you can come along and start learning the technique and continue building the strength you have been working on in Thursdays classes.


We are super excited about this new block – loads of new skills to learn and massive fitness gains to be had!!  As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask your coaches, they love to talk about this stuff and even more they love to help you achieve whatever goals you have!


Harley and Finn Arnos

Hey Pup fans.

Welcome back to pup corner where this month the troublesome twins wanted to share some positive thoughts about September.


So Mum keeps moaning on that’s summer is over and lets be honest it’s been pretty pants for the sunnier weather (although we have loved it as we are completely rubbish in the heat), so we thought we would cheer you lot up by sharing some positive vibes about September.


Okay, so yes we will admit the mornings are darker (no one likes the dark 5am alarm, not even us) and the nights feel shorter, school traffic is back on the roads, no more Bank Holidays now until December and teachers have to go back to work but let’s focus on some positives.


  • Weather – Yes the Classic British point of conversation but the weather is often drier and warmer in the first few weeks of September (this week is set to be a belter) than August, so don’t pack away those Sun Loungers and BBQ’s just yet.
  • Crowds and Costs – for those of you that have not yet taken that summer break September can be a great option for holidaying in the UK and abroad. Travel prices are lower and demand is less meaning you can get a good deal on some well needed downtime. Popular places to visit can also be less crowded now the kids are back at school.
  • Food – This is our favourite subject ALWAYS. With September leading us into the autumn there are loads of food festivals on all over the country. We love a trip to these as always loads of crumbs to be hoovered form the free samples the hoomans hoover!
  • Valescos Birthday – and this year we will be 8 years old. Always a lovely time for our hoomans and you lovely lot at the gym to come together and celebrate with some food and drinks and chat all things fitness.
  • Kids are back at school – we think this one speaks for itself (sorry teachers).


So pup fans we hope we have managed to help you see the positives that September can bring and can’t wait to see you all smash a new block of training after a well deserved deload week, see another positive.


Lots of Love and Slobbery Licks,

H&F xx



This months Coaches Corner is written by Coach James and it’s all about solo Progress and Comparison. Take it away James.


The dictionary definition of progress is “Forward or onward movement towards a destination” and it’s something that can be easy to both overlook and to give yourself a hard time over.


The reason I want to talk briefly about ‘Progress’ is that, in fitness and sport it is something that gets talked about a lot, celebrated and highlighted on social media and is typically seen to be measured through tangible, objective achievements. How much weight can someone Snatch? How many unbroken Pull-Ups can they do? Did they beat me in the class workout today? Can they do a Ring Muscle Up? While these metrics can be useful checkpoints and look great on Instagram, their representation of ‘progress’ is almost useless without context and look completely different for everyone.


Take 30 year old James and 60 year old James. At some point, constantly hitting new PRs will become a thing of the past and there will come a time when ‘objective’ measures that are important to me now become, by definition, an indicator of more regression than ‘progress’. I know which James will have the bigger bench press and who will have the biggest sets of muscle ups, but I also know who will feel the greater amount of progress if it’s viewed in a positive way.


So what’s got me talking about ‘progress’? I recently did a workout that I did back in 2020. I remember it being brutal at the time but remember smashing it through the floor. It’s nothing more than a random workout I stumbled across in my notes but I found the programming, lined it up and went again recently. I was a minute slower than when I last did that workout 3 years ago.

I didn’t understand this when I saw my time? I’m stronger now, feel fitter, more capable… but yet couldn’t beat my previous time? It’s a very small example – and served as a really poignant reminder – of something that ultimately doesn’t matter and to apply some of the thinking I share below. It was a good chance to check in with myself and I figured I would share that. Anyway, It took a few minutes for me to get there. Was I slower? Yeah, sure. But only by a minute. Do I feel good about it? Absolutely. During the three years in question I have broken both my wrists (at the same time, lol), torn my Patella tendon, aged by 3 years (and that feels like 10) and my life looks very different. That said, I enjoy training more than ever, I feel good about the bigger picture and why I train, I let ‘having fun’ be the thing that dictates what I do, when I do it and how hard I push and I’m only a minute slower than a 30 year old ‘gym above all else’ James? That’s pretty cool.


If you feel like you’re not making progress with your fitness journey, maybe because you perceive others to be achieving greater or faster results, it’s essential to remember that everyone’s path is unique. Comparing yourself to others can be discouraging and demotivating. Instead, focus on you and celebrate the small victories along the way.


Here are some simple things worth considering:


  • Don’t compare yourself to others. Your fitness goals should be achievable and relative. You don’t have the same home life, work demands, time constraints or other lifestyle factors as other people so why have the same expectations around what you should be achieving? You also never know if you are watching someone on their best day or them on one of their worst. With that in mind, don’t be hard on yourself but also don’t be arrogant. Have some fun, do what feels good and focus on you.
  • Have goals to reach your goals. Break down your larger goals into smaller, manageable milestones that you can celebrate as you reach them. I have a checklist of the next 5 things I want to be able to do as an Athlete written on my phone. I check them off when they are complete and add the next new goal to the list. This helps to offer clear direction for now and shows you how far you’ve come over time.
  • Try and have good bad days. There will be ups and downs, good days and bad days. That’s ok. Stay committed to your process, try to make the tougher decisions on the harder days and remember that consistent effort over time is what makes the difference. Had a long day at work and don’t feel like working out? Maybe just go for a walk or put your gym kit on and see how you feel? Something happened at home? Feel good about the rest your body will get before going a bit harder tomorrow and not bad about your plans changing? Try and have great good days and find the victories on your good bad days.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences. We’ve all heard the saying; you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Their mind-set, approach to self-care, their outlook and discipline will all subtly influence your own behaviours. I personally have inherited entire phrases of speech without even realising! Whether it’s friends, family or a supportive fitness community, share your struggles; goals and successes with like-minded individuals who can help keep you motivated and accountable.
  • It’s Win or Learn. Even failures offer a positive opportunity for direction and a chance to develop. What positives can you take from something that feels like a big negative? Be kind to yourself, be patient and avoid self-criticism. Ask yourself; did I win or did I learn?  What went well? What would future James take from this? What have I learnt? Celebrate the effort you put in and look beyond the immediate outcomes.


Remember, your fitness journey is about the stops along the way, not so much the final destination. Stay focused on yourself, stay in your lane, be consistent and most importantly, make sure you’re having fun and enjoying the process.


Remember, you’re probably inspiring someone that you don’t even know is watching.


Screenshot 2023-09-04 at 10.44.10

Easy Protein Pancakes

This month we have gone Pancake mad and why not? These little beauties are great whatever the month and whatever the time of day. Super easy to make and a base for all your favourite toppings.

We have also included a great vegan recipe here.


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

Valesco Fitness Collective 8th Birthday – Saturday 16th September

Christmas at VFC – Friday 8th December. Full details to be released very soon but please keep the date free.

Who Wore It Best

WWIB August 2023

Check out this months ‘Who Wore It Best’ from two of our super smiley V2 members Hannah and Christa!! They even went as far as to be Synchro throughout the workout – now that’s what we call commitment to twinning. Awesome job you pair!


Have you turned up looking the same as another Valesco member? Then we want to see. Send your snaps to to be in the next newsletter. We love seeing them!