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


October is Menopause awareness month and we wanted to say MASSIVE thank you and draw your attention to the outstanding video which is incredibly honest, damn right funny and so true about training and hormones, featuring our very own super human Torie and filmed by the very talented V2 member Ben Walton.


If you haven’t seen the instagram post please check out our social media channels. For menopause awareness month we have launched a brand new campaign ’30 day fitness and the menopause programme’ and if you think this would be of interest to anyone you know please point them in Amy’s direction at as we would love to get them training and provide support at this challenging stage of life.


The new stash range is out and it’s great to have seen it popping up around the gym. The pre Christmas order will be going in, in the next few weeks so please do make sure that you scan the QR codes on the posters round the gym to get your orders in and don’t miss out on what’s likely to be the best present this year!


This month an awesome piece in coaches corner from Coach Leila and it’s all about injuries and how you can train around them and leads nicely into our supporting piece from Lucie Peters, who is our fantastic in-house Sports Rehabilitator, all about SHIT recovery and both are well worth a read to keep us training in the safest way possible.


There has been loads of talk about SiD this month and if you’re not sure whom or actually more like what SiD is there is a great write up all about it by Coach James. On that point we want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to everyone who has committed to and worked hard to be part of competition training this year, you make Valesco very proud.


Talking of new names we also have two brand new coaches to join the Valesco team this month and we have introduced them below. Please make tem feel super welcome and congratulate them on joining the Coaching team when you next see them in the gym.


Make sure you also check out the dates for your diary section as we have added a fair few first dates for 2024 and we would love to have you join us on as many as possible, we love seeing you guys both inside and outside of the gym. That’s what community is all about.


We hope you are enjoying the current block of training and there is certainly a buzz in classes at the moment and we absolutely love it, we are as excited for part two of this block as you guys are.


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



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 Thea – V2 member Nikki Powell ‘pleasure to have in classes and always super hard working and lovely and encouraging to the rest of the Team. She’s challenging herself outside of her comfort zone with more gymnastics and really focused of nailing down good techniques’


Shout out from Coach Amy V2 members Greg and Tomersince joining V2 these two have become a huge part of the community. They take their training very seriously and are regulars in the early morning sessions. It’s been great to have them involved as activities such as Pride and see them develop inside the gym too. They are both always all smiles and it’s awesome to have them both as part of the Werbs team’


Shout out from Coach Ellie to Naomi Bolton at V1 ‘works super hard in every class, always focusing on moving well before going heavy. Always willing to get stuck in, never complains and always finishes with a smile. Thanks for being great to have in classes, Naomi!


Shout out from Coach James and he has two this month – V1 member Stacey Head ‘She’s often in one of my classes and is someone I always recognise for moving incredibly well. She works hard, applies a lot of the things we call out when we’re coaching a movement and is super strong. Always lovely to have in class!’


And V1 member Kayleigh Thruston ‘who always works hard and has some serious mum-strength! She’ll often be in on a Friday and the load she’s able to deadlift – and I’ll add with great form – is so impressive! She’s much more humble than I would be if I was deadlifting (what I’m guessing is more than double bodyweight!) like that. Super inspiring’.


Shout Out from Coach Will to V1 member Robyn Burman! ‘Robyn has been committing to weightlifting and is gaining more confidence each week! So great to see her progress’


Shout out from Coach Jade to Steph Ewers from V21– ‘She seems to be killing it on handstand walking, showed huge support for Torie’s menopause month highlight. All round good egg and team player’


Simone and Jade

We wanted to take this opportunity to formally introduce two new coaches joining the Valesco family. Jade Alexander who is an experienced coach and ROWWOD regular and Simone Bellofatto who is a long standing member (circa 8 years so one of the OG’s) and has just finished his internship with us and will be coaching classes across both sites. Here is a bit more about each of them.


Jade began her professional life as a Senior School teacher, before she was officially bitten by the Functional Fitness bug. So in 2018 Jade retrained as a Personal Trainer and has been working as a qualified Functional Fitness coach for the past 5 years (alongside an amazing, if brief, stint as an On Call Firefighter).

Jade fully believes in the mental and physical benefits of the training we do here at Valesco is the key to long-term health and happiness and she states she is honoured to be able to coach in such a joyful, inclusive, and diverse gym. Jade knows, first hand, how wonderful the Valesco community is and is so excited to meet you all.

Make sure you grab Jade any time for a chat about DnB, the Ancient Greeks, or her baby Bolt!


Simone’s been in the CrossFit game for 8 years, and he’s making coaching his side gig because he’s all about that fitness passion.

By day, he’s rocking it as a Marketing executive in the financial world. Simone’s got a furry sidekick named Gino, a tireless Jack Russell who probably has more energy than all of us combined. Simone and Gino are inseparable, and they’re constantly on the move, just like a barbell on a deadlift day.

Simone’s not just about the gym life; he’s a globetrotter, too. Originally from the land of pizza, pasta, gelato and Vaffanculo – Italy, he brings a touch of European flair to our gym community. So if you’re looking for some travel tips or want to practice your best Italian hand gestures, he’s your guy.


We can’t tell you how excited we are to have both of these super humans join the coaching team and we can’t wait for you all to benefit from their knowledge and energy!



Recovery and Overtraining


What is right for recovery and the subject of overtraining varies from athlete to athlete,

  • What you are training for,
  • Who is writing your training schedule,
  • General tolerance for exercise.


The SHIT (STIFF, HEAVY, IRRITABLE, TIRED) framework is quite a nice model to use for helping you as an individual decide what is right for you. By no means does the SHIT framework make overtraining and recovery a less of a complicated subject; however it hopefully simplifies and explains it a bit better. At no point does it say “Do Not Train” but more that if you feel SHIT adjust the training stimulus.


The key points;

  1. If you feel 2 of the categories, use recovery strategies from each of the relevant category
  2. If you feel 3 of the categories, adjust training/ stimulus
  3. If you feel all 4 (so really SHIT) consider reducing the training stimulus


This is all suggestions and does not replace advice based on you as an individual, but bear in mind that with an increase in fatigue and overtraining brings an increase in injury risk. If you have further questions, speak to myself, or your own therapist for further help and support.



The end of year is often a busy time for a lot of our competitive Athletes. This is the time of year that Strength in Depth start their qualification process. This year, although starting much earlier than we were expecting, was no exception! Strength in Depth – or SiD if you’ve heard us talking about it and wondered who Sid is – is a team competition for teams of 12 athletes, hosted first online and then, hopefully, in-person in Bath and is a regular event on the calendar that’s significant for both our gym and our competitive teams.

Since the middle of September, almost 40 Valesco Athletes have been working hard planning, strategising and completing a whole load of different ‘online qualifiers’ in an effort to get two teams to the finals. The teams had six weeks to complete the qualifiers and now await the results that will confirm how many teams we will be taking to the finals, which take place in Bath University on the weekend of February 3rd and 4th.

This year there were three qualification workouts; one completed in Pairs, one in teams of four and one in teams of six and teams must include a particular make-up of sexes and ages – which not only makes the competition broad and inclusive but also allows us to show off how incredible our diverse community really is – in their team composition. Over 150 teams entered the qualifiers this year and the top 70 teams earn a spot to compete at the finals.

If you’re interested, the workouts are below:

In Pairs;
0:00-8:00 – Max Distance Ski
8:00-9:00 – Rest
9:00-14:00 – Snatch and Hang Snatch for Max Weight

In Fours, working in Syncro Pairs;
25:00 Time Cap
1-2-3-2-1 Rounds (per each pair) of:
5 Syncro Power Cleans
10 Syncro TTB
15 Syncro WallBalls

In Sixes;
16:00 Time Cap
120 Pull-ups
80 Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
60 Bar Muscle Ups
Two Athletes attempting one max-effort set each before the whole team complete the following. This is completed ahead of each two athlete’s attempts;
10 Syncro Down-Ups
20 Syncro Single Arm Overhead Dumbbell Lunge

After completing all three of these workouts – twice for both our teams – and with some people completing workouts multiple times in an effort to get the best possible scores, all our videos and scores were uploaded ahead of the October 30th deadline and our Athletes have finally earned themselves a well-deserved break and a welcome return to some normal training. If you happened to see any of these qualifiers happening, either before a class or at the back while you were in the gym, you will know how tough the workouts were and how hard everyone worked to show their best efforts.

The SiD process is always one we enjoy. It brings people together, births new friendships, encourages people to push harder than they thought they could for themselves and their team mates and creates an energy and an environment that is so special, no matter how many times you have been through it. Everyone that took part in the qualifiers, came to any of the training sessions, helped judge, video, support or organise – thank you. You played a huge part in something really special for many and helped in making this year another success. The amount of incredible and inspirational athletes we have has never been more notable.

Everyone inspires someone they don’t even know is watching and all almost 40 of you are no better example.

Thanks for a great six weeks and we’re looking forward to the coming months and seeing what’s next.


St Werbs

Sooo how did you enjoy the mid cycle deadload? Hopefully you enjoyed a week of taking it a bit easier and are ready to get your teeth stuck into the second half of the block.


We love programming lots of variety and helping you develop new skills as well as throwing around some heavy barbells (with good form) and generally having a ton of fun with all things fitness!


The second half of the block looks like this:


Monday: For the 2nd half of the block we’ll be looking at Squat Cleans and Clean Pulls. Sticking with Olympic lifting on Mondays we’ll be putting the work on Zombie squats to good use over the next few weeks!  You can still expect to find shorter, sharper workouts to get the blood pumping on a Monday so dig in and have some fun.


Tuesday: Split Jerks will be our new OH movement – these can be a little tricky to get the hang of but learning new skills is rewarding and fun so stick with them – we promise the effort will be worth it! 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! The next 6 weeks we will be working on steady state conditioning, less zone 2, think more sustained efforts at 70-75% throughout.  Your baseline fitness will have benefitted from the last few weeks of Metcon mayhem so now let’s put it to the test… can you go out at an increased steady pace and maintain it?


Thursday: As well as our alternating skills and longer workouts we’re going to continue looking at Handstand press-ups AND handstand walking this half of the block. For the next 6 weeks we will be looking at Kipping HSPU instead of strict and we’re keeping the HS walking due to popular demand! Almost got your first kick up into a handstand against the wall?  Took a few steps on your hands and want to build on them?  The next week 6 has got you covered!


Friday: Dead stop Deadlifts are staying! In this half of this block we’re going to be putting those nice strong hamstrings to use and building weight over decreasing reps for the next few weeks. 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! We’re sticking with this for the next 6 weeks so get booked in! With complex skills consistency is key, so if getting better at the Oly lifts is a goal for you try and come along each week.

Gymnastic classes: Kipping and butterfly pull ups are still 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 through plenty of scaling options and accessory work.


We are super excited about the second half of this block with 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!


Bolt Pup

Hey Pup Fans,

With new coaches always come new pups and this month is no exception and its Bolts Turn to give us the run down on him. Take it away Bolt…..

Name: Bolt

Age: 3 Years Old

Breed: Chihuahua x Jack Russell

Also answers to: Baby Bolt, Chicken Balty

Favorite foods: Chicken, Cheese and Peanut Butter

Likes: Meeting new people and new dogs, and licking all of them right in the face, whether they like it or not. Also enjoys cuddles, chest rubs, and running up and down hills as fast as he can.

Dislikes: Walks in the rain, horses, and not being the centre of attention.


Leila Hench

This months Coaches Corner is written by Coach Leila and it’s all about injuries and how you can overcome and work round them.


Everyone, unfortunately, gets injured; however don’t let that halt your exercise regime. There is always something you can do, some weakness to work on and lots of movements you can sub in.


Injuries SUCK, no two ways about it!!


We can however take a lot away from our time being injured. The opportunity to change things up, think outside the box. It is also a great time to take things back to basics. To concentrate on perfect form, getting stronger in the process.


I know more than most how annoying injuries can be. Months of great training under your belt and feeling good about yourself and then boom, you get an injury.


I had 4 years of shoulder injuries and chronic pain. Not to mention the multiple other injuries and an operation that stopped my international rugby career in its tracks.


I am here to let you know. Please don’t stop training just because you have an injury. Yes it’s important that you rest the area that is injured and take the time to rehab it properly, however you can still train around whatever injury you may have picked up.


Upper body injuries (shoulders being the most common) – Concentrate on your legs. There are some fantastic cardio workouts out there that don’t require you to use your arms.  I added 1.5kg of muscle to each leg after my elbow operation. Concentrate on the leg gains.


Lower body injuries. Time to get an upper body pump on.  Seated movements like strict press and single arm dumbbell work are fantastic for building strength.


Don’t forget in classes, nearly all movements can be scaled to fit around injuries. Just be sure to tell a coach or email us in advance so we can help adapt training for you.


Don’t neglect the uninjured limb, arm or leg. There is a phenomenon called cross-education effect. Training the uninjured side can result in strength gains on the injured side. Check out the link below for more info.


You can use an injury to your advantage if you train smart. However the best option is to not get injured in the first place. Be sure to take enough rest and recovery days. These are so important to avoid injury, let your body recover and avoid burnout.


None of us are going to the CrossFit games anytime soon so remember that not all workouts need to be at 100% intensity. Listen to your body and how you feel. Moving is the most important goal, dial back on the intensity so every session doesn’t feel like a competition. Professional athletes don’t train like that so neither should you.


Train smart and stay healthy.


Any questions at all about training around injury please ask one of us.


Big love

Leila x


Screenshot 2023-11-02 at 09.34.21

Pumpkin Curry with Chickpea


With the nights drawing in and the temperate starting to drop, this month and potentially pumpkin left over or them on offer at the supermarket we have included this banging Pumpkin curry recipe.


Its great as a veggie dinner party dish which also stands alone as a vegan main course or a complex side dish, perfect served with spiced roast meat or fish. Only 20 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to cook, it’s a bit of an all-round winner.


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

Christmas at VFC – Friday 8th December (SOLD OUT but you can join the waitlist)

Members Social (Full details TBC but don’t worry it will be indoors) – Saturday 20th January (slight date change)


Strength In Depth Finals weekend – Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th February


Scale It Up Triple Threat – Sunday 28th April


Valesco Spring Social Dog Walk – Saturday 18th May


Scale it Up Four of a Kind – Sunday 23rd June


PRIDE WOD and March – Saturday 13th July


Valesco 9th Birthday – Saturday 14th September

Who Wore It Best


Check out this month ‘Who Wore It Best’ from Stacey and Emilie at V1, who look super snazzy and stylish head to top in black with matching tops to boot!


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!