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Lockdown Newsletter – Week 11

Happy Monday, we hope you all had beautiful weekends.  Welcome to issue number 11 of the lockdown special!

Last week brought us lots of sunshine (and maybe a couple of hangovers and some dodgy tan lines for some of you!), Charlies Ready Steady Cook BBQ special, THAT Crowd funding WOD (payback is a beautiful thing!!) and Lockdown PBS for Kate & Maria…huge congrats to you both and anyone else who’s had a PB in the last 10 weeks!

This week, a few lockdown restrictions are starting to ease which for lots of you is really exciting but we know some of you might be struggling with the change and uncertainty so please, please do reach out to one of us if you’re finding things difficult.

In this edition of the newsletter, we’ve got a great article on carbs and training, a learning in lockdown update and a delish recipe from Ellie and as always, if you’d like to contribute to the Newsletter…whether it be an article, something you’ve found useful or just want to let us know what you’ve been up to please do get in touch!


mha ambas

A MASSIVE thank you to our Mental Health Awareness ambassadors for last week. Viki, Kate, Leanne, Vera and Nick – thank you so very much for your knowledge, insight, openness and support of all Valesco members during last week. We have no doubt you reached and helped a great many and we are truly grateful.
We know that mental and physical health are intrinsically linked and looking after our minds is as important as looking after or bodies but with the taboo that still exists around mental health we know it can be difficult to talk about and know HOW to look after our heads. Our ambassadors gave our members so much useful insight and information in an open, friendly environment.  And who knew…talking about mental health isn’t only interesting, it is also empowering and galvanising.

For those who missed the seminars, or for any of you reading this who are curious, the links for the sessions run last week are as follows:

Viki: Password: 6L#RY2!b

Kate: Password: 7O$F?#9m

Leanne: Password: 8u#*316*

And the gorgeous playlist to accompany it:

Vera: Password: 9s$!$2%8

Nick:  We’re afraid the seminar with Nick wasn’t recorded but you you can check him out on YouTube here:    and if any of you want to reach out he will be only to happy to talk to you – E:   W:


lesley wod

Over 100 of you took part in last week’s Hero WOD is memory of Leila’s mum, Lesley. We wanted to share this amazing photo and Leila has a message for you all…

”Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everybody that took on the hero WOD today. My mum was truly my hero so very fitting. Thank you for the love, kind words and continued support. So much love to my Valesco family xxx”

Nutrition with Viki- Cracking Carbohydrates Part 2- The Functional Effect of Carbohydrate


The food you eat before, during and after a high intensity workout can not only affect your performance but your comfort as well. It is important to remember that we are all individual and what works for one person may not work for another.

Getting the right energy at the right time is important to provide the energy resource you need without overtaxing your digestive system. As humans our go to source of energy is glucose (as discussed last week), so focusing on quality carbs which our bodies can convert for immediate energy is key. On top of this, we want to be able to convert any reserves into glycogen to store in our muscles for future use. Post workout, we need to replenish our glycogen stores in order to aid recovery so that we are ready for our next workout.

Knowing what to eat and planning ahead should be based on intensity, duration and type of workout. Some activities burn energy rapidly while others require a slow, steady fuel supply.

We’ve been discussing pre-workout fuel a lot in the Nutrition Lockdown catch-ups (Thursday, 5.30 come and join in) and it’s got me thinking. What is the best pre-workout fuel for CrossFit? Looking at the most recent scientific studies I could find, most recommendations for carbohydrate intake are based on the needs of endurance athletes, and in particular, male endurance athletes (Kendrick et al. 2017). For strength-and physique-based athletes, sports nutrition research and recommendations have focused on protein ingestion, with far less attention given to carbohydrate. Throw CrossFit into the mix and you are switching between endurance and resistance exercise protocols which use two different energy pathways and may necessitate different carbohydrate needs. It makes knowing what to eat, or whether to eat at all, very confusing! Our debate on Thursday certainly showed polarized views and is clearly lacking evidence.

Several recent studies examining carbohydrate restriction suggest although it may not impair strength adaption during a resistance training program, it is important to consume enough carbohydrate, especially during the days leading up to testing as this may enhance max strength and strength-endurance performance (Cholewa et al. 2019). Current literature also suggests a daily carbohydrate intake of between (3-7g/kg) for resistance training in order to prevent glycogen depletion and facilitate performance and adaption. Furthermore, while not affecting performance, a combination of carbohydrate and protein pre-training, has seen significantly greater levels of insulin and lower levels of our stress hormone cortisol (Baty et al. 2007).

So, what to eat…

If you’re stuck on ideas, it’s worth planning a smart pre-workout snack which contains both carbohydrate and protein. This will ensure you have enough energy to perform and protein to reduce muscle degradation.

Pre-workout snacks/meals are best consumed 1-3 hours before training. How much you need very much depends on your size but anything between 15-45g protein with around 30-45g of good quality, low fibre carbohydrate. The type of carbohydrate also matters. CrossFit, in general, is short but intense and because of this, it provides a place for lower-GI foods that provide the energy you need to power that barbell up and over your head. If you are someone who is prone to stomach discomfort, then stay clear of high fructose snacks as these are common offenders.

Snack Ideas:

Banana and cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
Toast/ with nut butter
Low fibre fruit: banana’s/grapes/oranges/berries + protein
Rice cakes with low fat cream cheese + boiled egg
Cereal e.g Lizi’s high protein granola + plant milk
Smoothie with banana, plant milk and half scoop protein powder (whey/plant)

So, to finish, if you have a fuel plan that works for you – great! However, if it’s something you have never really considered or if you are finding that you are lacking energy or shot half-way through a session, it might be worth considering the above. As the saying goes, ‘80% nutrition: 20% exercise”. The food we eat is no laughing matter and getting the right nosh pre-workout will not only give you the energy you need while training but affect your overall ability to recover too.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions or access to references. Questions can also be asked in person at the weekly Lockdown Nutrition Programme meeting.



YOU DID IT! All of you amazing people who donated money, time, energy, love, expertise and skills have helped us achieve our target of £5,000!
This means the world to us and all of our members. We’re literally a little bit lost for words…!

£5,000 will be such a huge help to us when we reopen ensuring we can stay open and welcome our big Valesco family back through the doors. And we cannot wait for that day.  We miss everyone terribly.  We love how everyone has embraced the Online Valesco in any way they can, making it as tight-knit, supportive and fun as our community has ever been but we sure as heck can’t wait to give everyone a great big hug SOON!

Now the small matter of (currently) 5,150 Burpees AND 12 Benchmark Girls workouts in 12 hours…. Dates and details for both will be set and shared very shortly. You will all, of course, be very welcome to join us and if anyone wants to make us do MORE burpees please feel free to add to our suffering (1 burpee for every £1 raised)….

Learning in lockdown - AN UPDATE


5 weeks ago we started Learning in Lockdown sessions for a few of the children of Valesco members via Zoom. The children involved have all been really enthusiastic and attentive and contributed really well to the sessions…..and it’s not easy to keep focussed in Zoom conditions! We are all enjoying the sessions though and I hope they are proving helpful. Over the last three weeks we have been exploring our understanding of ourselves as learners, how our emotions affect us and the importance of embracing challenge and overcoming difficulties. We have been relating this to the current situation which has presented challenges to us all and I thought I would share with you some of the children’s thoughts.

When it comes to learning at home they are certainly enjoying certain aspects including working with mummy, getting to choose which subjects to do, spending time with pets while learning and bike riding as part of the PE lesson! Not surprisingly they are missing their friends very much and at times finding it hard to focus at home which can lead to feeling cross and frustrated. Sometimes they say they are finding it difficult to remember everything they feel they should and want to engage with their teachers…who they also miss. They all say they are helping out more at home….I hope their parents would agree!

I asked them what they think are the most important things that you are learning about yourself in lockdown and they are discovering that they are learning how to entertain themselves more, and developing listening and concentrating skills and how much they miss school and learning and playing sport together and in teams.
And finally… I also asked

If you had 3 wishes to put in a box for how you’d like things to be after lockdown what would they be?

So in their own words:
-that coronavirus never makes anyone poorly ever again; more time at home and less rushing about; like to stay more chilled; seeing my family and friends; seeing my granny and grandpa; going out on my bike every day so I can stay really fast going up that big hill; seeing my grandparents more as I miss them; less cars on the road with less pollution; spending more time outside; global warming to be reduced; less traffic and cleaner air; not taking  education for granted; find a cure for the corona virus; help the NHS and hospitals more; playing with my friends again.

Much like most adults too I think…the need for the wider family and friends and the desire that we learn from this situation and take the best things forward with us! Thank you for reading!



To recap what we now know: it did not begin
in a laboratory in Wuhan, nor with a pangolin or bat
but it already lay dormant within us, like a seed
in need of conditions to grow;

its symptoms are many and various
and may include some or all of the following:
tear drops, sudden laughter, a feeling of warmth,
and a peculiar uplifting of the heart;

it leaves its traces everywhere: from boxes
left on doorsteps to conversations over fences;
it can be transmitted over vast distances,
through a phone call, or from a smile across a street,

or a certain softness of tone spoken beside
a hospital bed; it affects young and old equally;
there is no trace or gender immune from it;
it has the power to topple bad governments;

if one person were to pass it on to just three others
and they, in turn, were to pass it on to three more,
in no time at all, the world would be full of it,
and where might we ask ourselves, would we be then.

Brian Bilston


Charlie's Corner - Being kind to yourself, and the power of acceptance (RE-FEATURE)
The power of gratitude and thinking of someone else.
So not just during these wierd and scary times but for a long time now I have been very grateful to have the health and there for the life I have.
 I once had an extremely dark period in my life and I honestly thought there was no way out. I did find a way out as I let people around me help me through the dark tunnel and I came out the other side.
At that time I learned that being grateful for everything no matter how big or small is an essential part of being happy, it’s not always easy but try making a list.
Write Down one thing or more everyday for a week that you’re grateful for, it doesn’t matter how big or small, silly or serious as it’s your list.
Once achieved after a week, keep it and look at it daily or when your are having a bad day. It really works for me. Hope it does you.
Lastly reaching out to check on others or doing something to help someone else is also for me an essential part of being happy in myself. Try this for seven days too. Even if its just texting someone asking how they are or if they need anything. Just try it and reep the rewards or self esteem and worth. Always works for me too.
Try it….. It was life changing for me.
Lots of love and life to you all. Coach C x



Ellie adapted this recipe to include strawberries rather than mango and it was a taste sensation! Give it a whirl and let us know how you get on!


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

Save the date- Isolation Style

We’ve got lots more up our sleeves to keep you guys connected and beat the boredom. Some of the things we have coming up are:
-Book Club – Tuesdays @ 5.30pm
-Paint your pet COMPETITION coming soon!
-Lockdown bake-off – Weekly challenges from around the world for the Nutrition programme members
-NEAT UP challenge – W/C 04/05/2020
-The ‘school science’ project challenge
-Specialist classes – Weightlifting technique @ 5.30pm on Wednesdays, Banded Bro sesh @ 12pm on Fridays, HSPU 4 week workshop at 8am Tuesday starting 12/05/2020
-Bi- weekly Quiz with Johno – next one 13/05/2020
-Weekly ‘Ready Steady cook’ with Charlie @ 6.30pm on Thursdays

Who Wore It Best



This week we have a great Zoom WOD submission from 9.30 twinners Di & Sarah – smiley faces styling out the grey and white vests….keep em coming!


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Valesco goes ONLINE!

Now, more than ever, is the time to move! So we are taking Valesco online to enable our current community and anyone wanting to join us to do just that. In a fun and inclusive environment, we bring you the very best of our training methodologies and community...ONLINE!