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Hey Team and welcome to May’s newsletter for everything VFC and my goodness what a month it has been and this month’s newsletter really does reflect that.


We had…..


Bring a Friend day where we had over 30 of your friend and family come and join us to see what we are all about and some of those have already signed up and you will see them in classes this week – how awesome is that?


The 24-hour WOD with over 20 crazy people completing all 24 hours and we think about 75 people come and drop in at different times. We raised over £6500 for TalkClub, a local Bristol based Charity who coach Ella is an ambassador for. Please check out the full write up below and the latest video edit captured by our awesome marketing team Bullet on our insta pages.


Several members and a few coaches run the Bristol 10km and Half Marathon (see Coaches Corner for a full write up) including all the info on the comps that took place this month


And we are getting ready to host our 3rd and final Scale It Up of the year on Sunday 11th June and there is still time to enter, even if you are even only a little bit tempted….it’s a whole lot of fun and prizes to be won (sorry, showing our age there).


Anyhow as we said it’s a bumper ready so we will let you crack on with it and looking forward to seeing you all smash other 14 week block of training after this weeks well deserved deload week.


Oohh and don’t forget to check out Coaches Corner with a super informative article from Ella regarding threshold training….not as painful as it might sound.


Lots of love and (now confident to say) summer vibes,

Amy, Ellie and Leila xx


Shelby and Simon Wedding May 23

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 members Dan Griffiths and Noelia Calero – ‘both for working super hard and being super coachable, leading to both of them really improving their TTB (Dan even did the in a workout the other day and they were stunning).

Shout out from Coach Ella V1 – Kat Clapton – ‘for always bring the vibes and bashing out some solid dance moves during the sweaty WOD’s. Kat is a delight to have in class and V2 are very lucky to have her!’

Shout out from Coach Amy to Laurence Villotti at V1 ‘affectionately know as Tang this guy is a complete legend. He smashed through the 24 hour WOD and kept smiling throughout, powered by a massive kilo of rice (not even joking) and salt and vinegar crisps. Tang is great to have in class, super likeable and friends to all the other 4.30pm crew and I love having him in my classes’.

Shout out from Coach James for two V1 member – Cat Edwards,She always works hard and a face I enjoying having in a class. She is super consistent but I specifically want to call out the progress she has made with her clean! She will know why. This block we’ve cracked it and it looks better than ever’.

Shout out from Coach Maddie – V2 Auske Ward super consistent in her sessions and making so much progress with her gymnastics’

Shout out from Coach Will – Matt Dominic and Thea HillBoth just absolutely crushing it, committing to the programming and smashing out their Olympic lifting and looking really speedy under that bar’

Shout out to Coach Leila to V2 member Lucy Leworthy Mutton-Philips ‘for winning the midnight half marathon up Pen y Fan. Not only was it a half marathon, it was up a mountain in the pitch dark! Legend….huge well done


Massive congratulations to V1 members Shelby and Simon Dempster who tied the knot this month in what looked like a stunning day. Looking forward to having you back in the gym soon.

Also massive congratulations to members Pete Budden and Mark Skinner who also both got married this month and we wish you all the happiness in the world within your new marriages (not to each other, just to be clear!)

Congratulations to new parents and V2 members Steve and Nat Dixon who welcomed baby Teddy (the first St Werburghs baby) into the world this month. Nat trained all the way through her pregnancy and we can’t wait to have you both back in the gym as soon as Baby Teddy allows.






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


Do you want to take part in Scale It Up Four of a Kind but don’t know anyone to pull a team together?

Have no fear we have other people in that exact same boat.

So please let us know if you are in the same situation and we can collate teams and introduce you to each other.

We already have a male and female team wanting extra members. So don’t be shy, so send us an email and say you want in and we can sort the rest.

Fortune Favours the Brave, Be the Brave!



Good news is that we have secured a place in the Bristol Pride Parade on Saturday 8th July. This will be our first year, of hopefully many more, and we are just a little bit excited to showcase our amazing community to the whole of Bristol.

First off, we would love for as many of you to be involved on the day as possible and we will be issuing more and more details as we get closer to the event and get some firm plans in place….which brings us onto our next point.

We need your help in the run up to the event and we would love to create a Bristol Pride committee and hear all of the wonderful and wacky ideas of how you think we can represent our diverse community and really make an impact on the streets of Bristol on the 8th July.

The first meeting will be held at Valesco St Philip’s on Thursday 1st June at 7.30pm and will last approximately one hour.

We are beyond proud of your diverse and inclusive environment and we would love everyone who feels able to be involved in this event.

Please could we ask you to email and register your interest in being involved in the committee to and we will send you the invite for the first meeting?



Stay hydrated…and clean up your sweat… 

Now that it’s getting warmer it is really important you stay hydrated which means bringing a water bottle with you…and using it ;) Dehydration can increase your risk of injury and reduce performance.

Warmer weather also means more sweat! We love to see you work hard & sweat but please ensure you clean up after yourself and wipe sweat off kit (using the green cloths and spray) and mop the floor where you have been training.


Bank Holidays

We have a few Bank Holidays coming up! As always, we will be open! Our hours are shorter – we open 0700-1400 – and WODify & WODboard have been updated to reflect this. Please only book sessions you intend to use, BH can be very busy so please allow everyone the chance to train and do not let class spaces go unused. Weekend hours around the BH remain unchanged.



The next block of training is here and we’re mixing it up this time around! We are super excited about the changes and the new things you can expect to see in classes starting on the 5th of June…


Monday: Power snatch! Yep.. an Olympic lift to kick off the week. Whether you’ve never snatched before or you’re a lifting fanatic, the Monday classes will be focused on improving technique so that if you want to lift heavy you can and if not you can still have fun throwing a barbell around! And, you can still expect to find a heavy barbell WOD to finish!


Tuesday: Back squats with accessory work! How do we help you get the most out of your hour with us? We build in fun and challenging accessory work around the bigger stuff.  The back squats will still be progressive and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to lift heavy if that’s your thing so everyone wins! Skills session and longer sweaty sessions will alternate between Tuesdays and Thursday as they have been.  Alternating between double unders and pistols the opportunity to keep working on them skills is continuing through this block too!


Wednesday: Metcon Mayhem is staying put! The new block will be focusing on speed! Working on speed has multiple benefits across many aspects of training…and it’s a ot of fun! Speed Training involves the increase in muscle power through both speed, technical guidance and increased range of motion. By improving the amount of force that muscles can produce and accept from the ground, athletes will be on the right path to running faster, jumping higher & lifting more weight. Expect to see lots of interval style training, sprints, short sharp bursts of movement and…lots of rest too! And for those who still love a long sweaty workout on a Wednesday, don’t worry, you will still sweat plenty and get a workout that leaves you feeling satisfyingly tired!


Thursday: Strict pull ups! Who’s still chasing their first? Who can do them but wants to increase volume? Who wants the benefits of a stronger back? Working on strict pull ups is fun, no doubt about it, but the benefits are many and the crossover to other movements is wide! So wanting a pull up or not, if general functional fitness is your thing, if being stronger is your thing… come along to Thursdays!


Friday: Push and pull…Floor press and posterior chain work (deadlift variations)! Fridays are already a great day of the week but why not make them even better by training with us?!  Swole patrol / Sexy & flexy / Glutes and guns …whichever way you put it you’re gonna build strength, have a ton of fun and become a functional fitter human. Oh, and partner WoD Fridays are staying too!


Weightlifting: Clean AND Jerk…for the full block! New to weightlifting or not, the weightlifting classes are for you…you can come with zero experience or years of it!  A full hour entirely dedicated to the pursuit of beautiful lifting! Feel empowered learning to throw heavy bars around, work on some fun accessories you won’t find in other classes and…no metcon (just sayin’).


Gymnastics: Toes to bar. Continuing the opportunity to dedicate specific time to working on these now that Thursday classes will be pull up focused. We love coaching gymnastics and we love all the added benefits of working on them.  Whatever your reasons for training with us & whatever level you are at there are many great reasons to learning gymnastics.


So there you have it, plenty of gains to be made and fun to be had! Lets of this, team!


Gemma OTR

The Month of May saw some fantastic work by the VFC team. First we had the Bristol Half Marathon, which several people completed in brilliant times.

Shout out to V1 member Irene Gossi who has been beyond committed to her training for this and completed the race in a spectacular time – hard work pays off, clearly!

V2 member Yas White also did amazingly well. Yas also put in a lot of training hours and came close to the 2-hour mark for completing the half – what a hero.

Gemma ran her best half marathon yet and ran a PB time. This was the beginning of her 2023 miles in 2023. She’s running, cycling and swimming 2023 miles in 149 days (13.6 miles per day to put that into perspective!) – she’s raising money for OTR Bristol, a mental health movement – you can donate to support the cause here

Coach Sarya also ran it with a time just over 2 hours (her soul and legs are yet to be found…)


The following week we had lots of teams competing down at the Cheltenham Predator Series. Shout out to Johnny Crease, Simone Bellofatto and Ross Bradley, the Portokettlebellos, who took bronze in the male RX categories.

V1 members Barb also took part in her 2nd Power Lifting Competition this month and smashed all of her previous PB’s. Yass Barb, what an effort and all that Open Gym training as clearly paid off.

June is going to be an exciting comp filled month!

Coming up this first beautiful weekend of June we have 3 VFC teams heading down to Oxhouse in Weston-super-Mare for a same sex 4s competition.

The following weekend, on 10th of June we have 2 teams competing at The Superhuman Games in Greville Smyth Park in Bedminster. This is a functional fitness x strongman style event – always fun to participate in and also watch!

And of course, our wonderful Scale It Up is happening on Sunday 11th June. There’s still time to sign up with a team if you haven’t yet too! It’s a fantastic day with 4 workouts, doing adult PE with your mates and lots of great coffee and cake to keep you fuelled all day long. If you’re not competing, head down to watch and support, the vibes are always unreal!


That’s it from the comp team this month! Let us know if you’re doing any we’ve missed out and also how you get on! We love seeing everyone absolutely kill it and doing VFC proud!



On the weekend of the 13th and 14th May, we ran a small event, a 24-hour charity workout at the V2 site, which was open to all Valesco members. It consisted of one workout, on the hour, every hour for 24 hours!! What an epic effort it was.

The first workout started at 10am on Saturday and every hour on the hour we did a ‘Benchmark Girls Workouts’ (a group of CrossFit designed workouts famous for their challenging nature but ultimately a lot of fun)!

We would like to take this opportunity to shout out to everyone who donated, came and supported and last but not least to everyone who completed the 24-hour hours.

This epic challenge during Mental Health Awareness Week was to raise awareness and money for TalkClub, which supports men with mental health. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 49 and approximately three-quarters of all suicides are male. Unfortunately, too many of us at the gym have lost friends or family members to suicide.

Please take a bow – Hannah Stott (the main driver and organiser behind the event) and Katie Burns (second in command) you both did such an excellent job of pulling everyone together and raising not only a huge amount of money (over £6.5k) for TalkClub but raising awareness of Men’s Mental health and allowing a space for people to share experiences and bring Men’s mental health to the forefront of people’s minds. Thank you!

Please check out the new video edit on both insta pages if you haven’t seen it yet…it gives us all the feels all over again.


Leo May 2023

Woof Pup Fans!

As you may well be aware I LOVE the sunshine. You will often find me soaking up the rays wherever they may land in the gym.

Being warm is one of my favourite things, however I have the inability to know when it’s too much.

Here are my top tips for exercising in the heat…..not that I do a lot other than lie in it but stick with me.

1. Start Exercising Early

Schedule allowing. Try to exercise in the morning. Before it gets too hot. Or later in the evening. Try to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

2. Split Your Workouts

Exercise moderately. Listen to your body and take more breaks if you need to.

3. Don’t Protein-load pre-workout

Do not protein load before performing exercises as it generates more heat in the body. Make sure not to eat more than 20 grams of protein right before exercising!

4. Take a cold shower before your workout

Take a cold shower before your workout. A pre-exercise cool down helps you perform better in the heat as it lowers your heart rate and skin temperatures..

5. Wear appropriate clothing

Choose loose and light coloured cotton clothes while you exercise during summer. It will keep you cool and comfortable. Tops off are welcome in the warmer months but remember if your sweaty please clean up after you (the mop is always behind the Den).

6. Hydrate Often

Stay hydrated to beat the heat during workouts. Replace lost salts by using drinks containing electrolytes. You can make your own by following this link:

7. Use Refreshing Menthol / Mint based foods!

Mint contains a naturally occurring compound called Menthol, which activates cold receptors in the mouth and airways creating a sensation of coolness. This sensation of coolness has recently been proven to provide an “ergogenic” (or performance-enhancing) aid to runners, cyclists and endurance athletes in hot temperatures.

Read More – “Can Mint make you go faster in the heat?”

Enjoy the sunshine, stay safe and stay cool.

See you soon for some inappropriate sniffing.

Love Leo xx


Ella Coaches Corner May 23

This months Coaches Corner is written by Coach Ella and it’s all about the Threshold Training. Take it away Ella…..

Hey Team, today we’re going to have a deep dive into Threshold training. I’m going to talk you through what it is and how it will be of benefit to your training, especially as we head into a new training block.


What is threshold training? Threshold training is a technique used within the world of fitness and sport, to improve performance. It involves training at or near the lactate threshold, which is the point at which the body’s production of lactate exceeds its ability to clear it, resulting in fatigue, or that feeling of heaviness and soreness in your muscles whilst training. 


During threshold training, you should perform exercise at an intensity just below or at your lactate threshold. This intensity level typically sits at about 80-90% of your maximum heart rate or a perceived exertion level of 8-9 on the RPE scale of 1 to 10. If you track your workouts with a fitness device like a watch, you can use it to monitor your heart rate during your workout, or have a look at the data afterwards. When looking at threshold training, the training duration can vary based on your personal fitness levels and goals, ranging from shorter intervals to longer continuous efforts.


So, what are the benefits of threshold training I hear you ask?


  1. Increased lactate threshold: Consistent threshold training can improve your body’s ability to clear lactate and delay the onset of lactate accumulation (muscle fatigue and soreness). This leads to improved endurance and the ability to sustain higher intensities for longer durations.


  1. Enhanced aerobic capacity: Threshold training primarily targets the aerobic energy system, improving its efficiency and capacity. This allows individuals to perform at higher intensities without relying heavily on anaerobic energy sources.


  1. Increased speed and race pace: Threshold training can help you increase your speed at lactate threshold, allowing you to maintain quicker paces before reaching exhaustion. This is particularly beneficial on those longer, dig deep style workouts we do in training. Think 35-40 minutes of work.


  1. Mental toughness and pacing strategies: Threshold training often involves pushing the body to its limits, which can enhance mental toughness and the ability to tolerate discomfort. It will also help you develop a better sense of your own pacing capabilities, allowing you to distribute your effort more effectively during things like fitness competitions or even in class when you know you’ve got a long workout ahead.


It’s important to note that threshold training should be implemented gradually and isn’t something to rush into. Threshold training will also take time to improve and if you want to learn more or have any questions, you can always ask one of us coaches!


Screenshot 2023-05-30 at 11.45.50

Apricot and Hazelnut Muesli

Packed with filling oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, this delicious cereal is ready in just 15 minutes. Make this gluten-free by using gluten-free oats or serve with non-dairy milk for a vegan breakfast.

Who doesn’t want a nice cold, energy boosting breakfast as the British weather finally heats up?


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

PRIDE first committee meeting – Thursday 1st June 7.30pm

Scale It Up Teams of 4 – Sunday 11th June

PRIDE WOD and Parade – Saturday 8th July

Valesco Fitness Collective 8th Birthday – Saturday 16th September

Christmas at VFC – Friday 8th December (please note the change to Friday this year)

Who Wore It Best

Amy and Harvey WWIB May 23

Check out this month ‘Who Wore It Best’ from Coach Amy and our 24 hour WOD WOD videographer Harvey – from the back we thought we had done too many WOD’s and were maybe seeing double.


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!