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Hey Team and welcome to January’s and the first newsletter of 2024 for Valesco

We really hope you have kicked off January in style and it really is starting to feel like the warmer weather and longer brighter days might just be on their way.

January was the month that we had our first members social with bowling at Lane7. All those that attended seem to have a great time and whether taking part in dry Jan (welldone to all you dry Jan warriors who have completed it) or not, was great to get the whole community together outside of the gym and have a good old time.

Plenty more socials planned and in the dates for your diary section of this newsletter and no doubt we will be adding more along the way. If you have any ideas for socials, we would love to hear them so please don’t wait for the suggestion boxes, feel free to email or drop us an insta message, whatever works best for you.

January has been a super busy month and it’s been great to see busy classes and so many of you getting well and truly stuck in to a whole new block of programming, of which there are full details included below. Classes have been nice and busy. It is awesome to see so many of you getting so much out of what Valesco has to offer but please do remember to be considerate to your fellow gym users, only booking classes you know you will attend and cancelling as soon as you know that you no longer can.

And finally the baby of us turned 40 this month. A massive Happy 40th Birthday to Coach Leila. We hope you got spoilt rotten and had a fantastic day. Welcome to the club.

Let’s keep chasing those goals, getting stuck into each class and supporting each other.

Big Valesco love,
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 Ella – V2 member Cam Hall ‘Cam has been a regular at gymnastics since joining and it’s been amazing to see his confidence and ability grow since then, and ALWAYS comes in hot with a fact on a Tuesday.’


Shout out from Coach Maddie to V1 member Kate PhilipsAlways comes into class with a super positive attitude and ready to work hard! Making heaps of progress with both her gymnastics capacity and deadlift weights, great to have her in class‘ and Tomer Rimon V2 member ‘Tomer has been really consistent with classes since starting, always looks to improve and take on feedback. TTB are seeing big improvements this block and he ALWAYS brings the vibes.’


Shout out from Coach Dec V2 member Callum Burnstone. ‘Callum is super coachable, put a shift in every class.’ And also Rodrigo “for so many reasons, brings fantastic energy, seen him go out of his way to chat to people who looked nervous and he is generally lovely to have in class’.


Shout out from Coach Ellie to Ben Walton & Alex Wise at V2 ‘double trouble! Ben and Alex are great to have in class & you know, if this double act turn up you’re going to have some fun! Not only that, they work super hard in classes & focus on moving well and getting the basic right! Thanks for being VFC member’s guys, its great to have you with us’.


Shout out from Coach Will – V2 member Ricardo ‘OG Valesco legend, always shows a lot of respect for the coaches, takes cues well and an all round top guy.’


Shout out from Coach James and he has two this month (as per, lol) – V1 member Rosie O’Sullivan ‘She’s only been with us a coupe of weeks but I don’t think I’ve been in the gym and not seen her there! She has thrown herself into classes, meeting new people, clearly training hard and super coachable. Really nice to have her in classes!’


And Annabelle Curtis V1 member ‘She has great energy and fun to have around but if you want to call out someone who works hard, really doubles down on their weaknesses and trains with a plan, she is your girl. Gives a lot back to the community too, helping out at so many different fitness events throughout the year’


Shout out from Coach Simone to Zoe Williams from V2– ‘Over the past few months, Zoe’s hard work has shown big improvements. Always smiling, Zoe brings positive vibes and is keen on getting better at techniques. We are lucky to have Zoe on board and her dedication to improvement doesn’t go unnoticed. Great job Zoe.’


Dec and Dan VFC

Welcome to the team Dec & Dan!


We are super excited to have these guys on board! Dec joined us a couple of months ago, at the same time Dan was doing his internship, so no doubt lots of you will have seen 1 or both of them on the dance floor already! Different backgrounds, different experiences and different pets (1 is a Cat Dad and the other a Dog Dad) but both super passionate about coaching and being part of the community!

Have a read of their bio’s to find out a little more about them and feel free to reach out and have a chat with them both too (they both love a chat)!


Dec: Hello! I’m Dec. I’ve been coaching in one way or another for the last 15 years and love being able to help people access the benefits of exercise in whatever way suits them. I’m hugely passionate about the psychological benefits of exercise and after getting into CrossFit around 7 years ago I’m still amazed at how much I get from being in a class. As someone who struggled to meet like minded people I cannot believe how many lifelong friendships I’ve made through the gym.

For me, the challenge and self-mastery elements of exercise are what is special, far more than what someone looks or moves like. Being able to facilitate others in enjoying this in a safe and fun way is what makes being a coach one of the best jobs going (apart from gym dog maybe).

Outside of the gym, I am completing a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology and am hugely interested in the therapeutic elements of exercise… Feel free to pick my brains on this but don’t expect a short answer!

If I’m not coaching or at university, I’m probably in a class myself but on the rare occasion I’m not I’ll probably be found cuddling my cat, with friends or reading.


Dan: Hi team!

Having grown up in Cornwall and northern France, I spent a lot of my time outdoors. I really found exercise after moving to Bristol as a way to spend more time outside again.

For years I rode mountain bikes, road bikes, climbed and ran to stay active, even giving canicross a go (unsuccessfully but that is another story). During Covid lockdowns a mixture of injury and isolation meant I needed to find another outlet, I found Valesco & Functional Fitness.

Thinking I’d try it, but working out with other people in a class probably wasn’t for me… Little did I know the community I would find inside these doors would have such an impact. Since then the journey I have been on physically and mentally has undoubtedly changed me and my outlook on life.

I am now coaching part-time, having passed my CF-L1, to help others experience both the community and exercise benefits of training that I have found in Functional Fitness and beyond.

Archie (the dog) and I are always around so feel free to say hi and ask for any help or advice.


St Werbs Birthday



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… 

Its 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 or Open Gym slot 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. Late cancellation fees have now been increased to £10 and the Cut of time for all classes and Open Gym sessions BEFORE 8AM is now 7pm the night before.

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. So please help us help you all by only booking the classes (and Open Gym slots) that you know you WILL be attending


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.

Please only use our side of the car park at V2 between 7am and 5.30pm as the unit opposite needs the spaces, now they have been fined for parking on the pavement and double yellows on the road of the trading estate.


SID The Girls

This weekend our competition team are hitting the dancefloor to compete in the annual Strength in Depth competition which promised to be bigger and better than ever before with it now being open to 100 teams.

Our Dream team consists of The Girls – Ellie Buck, Leila Johns, Emma Claap, Tasha Feher and Gemma Rowland and The Boys – James Iles, Kyle Bennet, Harry-Joe Gallimore, Jonny Crease, Simone Bellofatto, Glen Stokes and Lorenzo De Pasquale.

We would love to see as many of you down there as possible of the two days and there are not only our incredible athletes but some great shopping too. Watching our team and the others is super inspiring and we are so lucky to have such a high level comp so close to our homes.

If you are coming along here are Saturdays timing. Sundays will be realised depending on where we place on Saturday.


9:45am – The All Seeing Eye – Main Arena, Lane 11

Synchro DB snatches and Rope Climbs


11:00am – Beyond the Ice Wall – Outdoor, Lane 9

Running with a Burden


13:00pm – Gobi Desert Death (1st team of 6)- Tennis Courts, Lane 6

Worm Squats and Gymnastics


13:20pm – Wet Tee Shirt Competition (2nd team of 6) – Pool, Lane 5 (you need to get spectator tickets using this link…/sid-origins-2024-swim-event-tickets…)



16:00pm – Strength in Depth A (3 female athletes) – Main Arena, Lane 6


16:00pm – Strength in Depth B (3 male athletes) – Main Arena, Lane 6

1RM Snatch


16:20pm – Gobi Desert Death (2nd team of 6) – Tennis Courts, Lane 6

Worm Squats and Gymnastics



We don’t really believe in the ‘new year, new me’ thing…you’re all enough just as you are! But, we understand January can be a great time to set yourself some goals and get after them, so we hope you have kicked it off strong! January is a great time to start a new block of programming and make use of feeling newly motivated to achieve some really cool stuff in 2024, so that’s what we did.


For those of you new to us, here’s a little overview of how we programme. We use a 14 week template that consists of 2 x 6 weeks blocks that’s that a followed by a deload week. The primary movements are set for the 14 weeks but sometimes vary by degree from the first 6 weeks to the 2nd, ie Strict press for 6 weeks then moving to Push press for the next 6 weeks.


Our specialist classes are programmed in the same way. And why do we do it like this? To give you the best opportunity to build strength, learn some new skills and see progress in your training whilst keeping it interesting, challenging and fun. We love to hear your thoughts too so always feel able to get in touch to chat about our programming.


Class programming starting now!


Monday: Overhead strength – Strict Press  (6 weeks) then Push Press (6 weeks).


Tuesday: Back Squat – starting with pause then moving to regular.


Wednesday: Metcon mayhem…Interval training to build capacity & increase your stamina.


Thursday: Toes To Bar – suitable for beginners all the way up to experienced athletes. Whether building strong gymnastic foundations or increasing your overall TTB capacity is your focus, Thursdays are unmissable.


Friday – Deadlift (hover then regular).


Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays in this first block of the year are all about building some solid foundations and giving us a great base for the rest of the year.


Specialist classes:

Weightlifting – Clean & Jerk


Gymnastics – HSPU & walking – suitable for everyone so whether you’ve never been upside down as an adult or you want to walk around on your hands, this class is for you!


Row & ErgWOD – focusing on power output!


Aaaaand…. Once a week (on differing days) there will continue to be an Open workout throughout February. If you plan to do the Open try to complete these either RX or Scaled as written rather than scaling in other ways.  If you aren’t doing the Open, you can approach the Open workouts in the same way you would any other class workout – scale as needed to make it challenging but manageable and enjoyable.

As always, we welcome your feedback!


Ed dog
Hey Pup fans,
We know it’s been a long time coming but it’s time for us to formally introduce the equally handsome and loveable Ed.

Name: Ed, Eddie, Eddaawg

Age: 9
Breed: Labradoodle
Ed (otherwise known as Maddie’s shadow) LOVES coming to Valesco.. he’s always first out of bed and out the door in the morning, ready to play fetch as soon as we arrive at the gym. Half Labrador he is driven by two things food and cuddles. His favourite snacks include cheese, prawn crackers and tortilla chips.. all the things dogs should be eating for a balanced diet.
As most of you know by now he’s a very chill dog, loves a walk but only in dry conditions (will avoid puddles at all costs) and will only run for three things;
1. A tennis ball
2. To chase a cat
3. ⁠To chase a fox (although he doesn’t know what to do if he catches up to them)
I have tried to take him on the 200m run mid WOD many times and he will stand and wait at the front of the shutters for me to come back.
Likes: All snacks, Tennis balls, cuddles, chasing cats and foxes (squirrels are too fast), Prawn crackers.. anything food related
Fun fact: He’s known around Keynsham as the dog with a matching dryrobe to both of his owners.. I know it’s embarrassing.



Progress is not linear & that’s okay!


Motivation, discipline and consistency are hot topics at this time of year, with many of us trying to stick to our goals in the gym. 

We often hear that consistency is key. While there is no denying that, just knowing that consistency is important doesn’t make it easier. There can be lots of things that get in the way of consistent training, life, work, injury etc. I thought I would talk about one of the things that I have found gets in the way for me and that is accepting that progress is not linear. 


So what do I mean “progress is not linear”? Well, we often want to see regular incremental improvement or progress towards our goals. The reality is often far from this, with a multitude of things impacting what we might see as progress. 

Our bodies are extremely complex systems that respond in a variety of ways to the stimulus they are exposed to. External factors also have a huge influence on our progress. Things like stress, sleep & nutrition all play a pivotal role in our fitness and skill progression.

What I really want to get across is this, setbacks, plateaus and leaps in performance are all part of the journey. Accepting and even expecting these is one of the great ways we get mentally stronger. Next time you find yourself frustrated at the rate of progress or feeling like you take one step forwards and two back; remind yourself that progress is not linear and looks different for everyone. Trust that consistency will eventually lead to the breakthroughs you want.

Learning Double Unders (DUs) is a great example of progress in reality. Most people start with single unders. Then the leap to the first DU. From here we often expect to just increase the reps week on week. In reality our sets will go up, down, back to zero and back up again. We’ll have a tantrum (or many if you’re like me) but eventually, with consistency we’ll get DUs in bigger with more confidence.


Most people who know me know that I am not a patient person, especially with my training. A few tips I use to help me stay consistent that I hope might be helpful:

  1. Routine – I bloody love a routine, it is not for everyone but for me it really helps to train at pretty much the same times and days. It helps me fit my training around work and social life.
  1. Process Goals – I use process goals as my main focus and trust that the outcomes come with these. Currently mine are: running twice, getting upside down at least once & training 5 days a week.
  2. Talk it through – When I get frustrated (it still happens a lot but I am working on it) I talk to someone. A friend, a coach (sorry Ellie) or a training partner. Just sharing that I am frustrated almost always leads to the other person sharing how they are too and it helps it feel a little more normal
  3. Perspective – So if you are reading this and train at Valesco it is likely you take your training seriously and care about it. I do too. But, sometimes I can let it take up too large a portion of my life. Sometimes I need a little perspective that getting that next skill while making me look cool does not define me. 


If you ever find yourself pursuing a particular goal and worried about your progress, talk to one of the coaches. All of us have stories to share of the things that have and still do challenge us.


Finally, if you want to test yourself, see how far you’ve progressed and maybe come up with some exciting fitness goals, why not test yourself in the Open!


Screenshot 2024-02-02 at 13.47.06

Paneer Korma

Cook this recipe inspired by saag paneer in just 30 minutes. It’s a flavourful veggie curry that’s heady with fresh ginger and cardamom. Serve with rice or naan breads.

Great for a mid-week quick dinner or a dinner party sharer!


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

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

Scale It Up Triple Threat – Sunday 28th April

Valesco Spring Social Dog Walk – Saturday 11th May

Scale it Up Four of a Kind – Sunday 30rd June

PRIDE WOD and March – Saturday 13th July

Valesco 9th Birthday – Saturday 14th September

Scale it Up Safety in Numbers – Sunday 13th October

Who Wore It Best

6am crew

OMG check out the 6am Squad and their band new stash!! We absolutely loved seeing this lot in their new tees and vest ones morning this month. Nothing better to starting a workout in new year with new gear.

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!