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WE ARE 6 YEARS OLD…..where does time go?

Hey Team and welcome to August’s newsletter!!

I know we pretty much say this every month but there is so much good stuff in this month’s newsletter it’s almost written itself…almost, lol.

Biggest news of next month is that WE ARE 6 YEARS OLD. Now I think we might have mentioned it once or twice but we are having a P-A-R-T- why…. because we want to! It’s been ages since we have been able to get together as a gym and we would LOVE to have as many of you there as humanly possible. We do appreciate that some of you might be new and not know many people but we promise this will be the BEST way to get to know a few new training buddies and soooo many people will be in the same boat….and of course you will know the coaches and you know they are never short of a chat or too. So PLEASE get yourself signed up and come get to know your fellow Valesco crew.

We want to take this opportunity to bid a fond farewell to Henry.  Henry is one of the OG members, starting with us when we were just a few months old.  He became a coach through the first internship we ran and has been an asset to the coaching team ever since.  He has been a big part of the gym for a long time and we will miss seeing him around the place on a regular basis.  He tells me he will be back for the odd class and we hope very much this is the case.

Thank you for everything over the past 6 years, Henry! Please come back and see us again soon!

This month’s newsletter included a whole section on bicep curls from Coach Leila….shocking we know, lots of members shout outs, some key dates for the diary, programming and deload week information and 2, yes 2 podcasts!! Don’t say we don’t treat you!

Have an incredible September, enjoy deload week and get ready for some big gainz in the next 6 weeks!!

Member Shout Outs

Mikhaila TM-1

Every month we go out to our coaches and ask for their member shout outs for the month and here is what we got this month – plus a few of our own.


Massive good luck and our bestest wishes to Sarah McDonald and her partner Scott getting married this Sunday 29th August. Wonderful news and we can’t wait to hear all about it. Have the best day filled with love, happiness and wonderfulness. Much love from all of Team Valesco.


A massive shout from all of us to Dee and Mikhaila for completing a gruelling Tough mudder last weekend and absolutely owning the course. We hope you had a great time doing it and the scuffs and bruises heal soon. What an achievement!!


From Coach Stew – Steph Ewers this month for making massive progress on her Snatch in Friday’s Barbell class and then her Strict Pull ups on Saturday monthing. Well done Steph, nailing that technical work, super chuffed. He also wanted to shout out new member Iwona for generally doing great and her improvement with Snatch after only one barbell class. He said ‘She just kept picking the bar up again and again’. What a great start to your Valesco Journey Iwona.


From Coach Meg – ‘This month I’m going to give my shout out to Yi. She is still fairly new but progressing so well. She’s fairly quiet but always comes in and gets the work done and follows instruction really well and then works really well to keep those standards.’ Well done Yi, that’s impressive feedback.


From Coach Ella – ‘Can I shout out to Alys Phillips? She is a pleasure to have in class and really pushed herself with the weights on Monday’s Front Squat session.’


From Coach Amy – ‘Massive shout out to Faye Cozens for facing her fears in this week’s programming and choosing to run in this week’s metcon mayhem session. Faye has made a promise to herself to face her fear of running and choose it as an option where ever possible in class #bemorefaye



Hey Team! We are back… and we have reinforcements and two brand new episodes for your listening pleasure!

Our first episode this month for you we are joined by Emma Clapp, Natasha Feher and Steve Jones; three pieces of the Valesco puzzle, three of our SiD team and three all-round awesome people that we are proud to have representing our community! We wanted to share some honest perspectives from real people on what it’s like to make the transition from casual ‘class athlete’ to ‘competitive athlete’, what challenges some of our members (and coaches!) face and to have a chat about some of the upcoming events over the coming weeks. Super fun.

What does Emma watch on TV? What’s Tash’s biggest training challenge? How does Steve plan his training week? What is everyone looking forward to this year? Who is SiD and why are the Comp-Team talking so much about him? These are just some of the groundbreaking topics we address in today’s conversation.


Listen here


In our second episode this month James and Ellie are joined by returning guests and fellow members of our coaching team, Ella and Stew! This episode was born through the filter of fun and offers little to learn but hopefully still plenty to enjoy! We are sharing the things that push our buttons enough to consider banishing them deep into the vault of Room 101! Who is Ella’s sexy biblical crush? What did Stew think of Dinner? Why is that spaceship full of random people and who wasn’t James allowed to talk about? Stay tuned and listen here

This was so much fun and we hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed recording! As always, thoughts and feedback are always welcome.


deload week pic

We are now half way in the latest 12 week block of programming and it’s been so good to see you all to be working hard over the coming weeks to see the progress that can be made with commitment to training and a solid programming structure. Below is the structure we will be following in the 12 week period. Please make sure you are logging your progress, ideally in WODify, so you can maximise that training hour you have each day and can see how far you have come when we look back at the end of the cycle. As always any questions please just speak to Amy, Ellie or Leila or the coach on duty.


Monday: Front squats and single leg strength

Tuesday: Push press

Wednesday: Metcon Mayhem (of course)

Thursday: Gymnastic skill (3×4 week blocks with a different focus in each – Toes To Bar (TTB), Handstand Press Ups (HSPU) and Pull ups)

Friday: Posterior chain strength with specific focus on the glutes

Saturday gymnastics: Strict Pull up strength work (with some kipping practice).  Want your first pull up? Come along.  Want to take your max reps from 3-10?  Come along.  Want to improve your endurance on your kipping pull ups? Come along.

Weightlifting classes: Snatch & Power snatch *** These classes are not just for those who can do Olympic weightlifting, they are for anyone of you who wants to learn how to, improve your current skill level or just have some fun throwing a barbell around without a metcon once a week. These classes are for EVERYONE in the same way the rest of our classes are.


Next week we are having a mid cycle deload….so what is a de-loading I hear you ask….and why do we need one? GOOD QUESTIONS!  We’re glad you asked….

A de-loading is where we take out some of the volume and intensity in your training programme.  You still get to move weight, just less.  You still get to sweat, just not for as long.  You still get your heart rate up, just not quite so high. And why?  Because it will actually help you get stronger, help prevent injuries and you will avoid burnout…and we think you’ll agree these are all good reasons. Do not be tempted to ignore your coaches and go heavy or hard anyway….it will not do you any favours.  Enjoy a week of training that is fun, puts less stress on your body but still gives your mind that decompression it / you needs!

Deload weeks are also good opportunities to take a small step back from training so hard in the gym and take time to enjoy a long walk, bike ride, go for a swim, still remaining active but taking a step back from the pressure a little bit both mentally and physically.

So enjoy taking things a bit easier, stretch, relax and get outside plenty and we promise you will come back stronger than you ever have before.  You all work really hard when you are here…and that is amazing.  And sometimes it’s good for the body, mind and soul to take it down a notch.

As a general rule of thumb you don’t need to do more than 4 high intensity sessions a week even though you may want to or feel that you ‘need’ to. If you really put the work in when you are here, you will get MORE benefit and BETTER results from doing 4 sessions, than doing 5 or 6 WITH or WITHOUT high intensity.
High intensity can come in lots of forms including the load (so heavy squats or deadlifts) & heart rate (the higher the heart rate the more ‘intense’ it is). A weightlifting class has intensity because you are moving (relative) heavy load – the lack of a sweaty metcon doesn’t mean there is no intensity. Speed is also a form of intensity – the faster you go the more intense it is!

If you want or need to come to the gym 5 or 6 times a week to support your mental health, do it in a way that supports your physical health. Plan your more intense sessions, spread them out over the week and on the other days think about booking a Mezz Open gym space and coming in to practice a skill or stretch, or book Open gym and grab an erg (rower, bike or ski erg) and do something for 30-40 minutes at LOW intensity.

**As always, if you have any questions, queries or concerns please talk to one of us – your coaches- we are always happy to help in any way we can. **

And, if you think this might be you, you want to understand more of the science behind over training, or you want to know what you can eat to better support your body have a read of this article –




YEP! Our competition, for those new to competing, is BACK! Albeit on the slightly later date of Sunday 3rd October!

DON’T THINK YOU AREN’T FIT ENOUGH BECAUSE OF LOCKDOWN! Everyone has been in the same situation for the past year+ so everyone is feeling the same about their levels of fitness.  So, why not use this comp as a chance to do something with friends, set some manageable short-term goals and have some fun!

This is a competition for teams made up 3 same-sex team members.! It is an entry-level competition for beginners looking to get competition experience, have fun and maybe win some prizes along the way. If you’re new to functional fitness or competing then this is the comp for you!

The comp comprises 4 WOD’s with all teams doing all 4, and all team members participating in each of the workouts. And there is something for everyone – workouts are designed to let beginners shine in their areas of strength and push their boundaries in others.  As a beginners comp, you can rest assured there won’t be any technical gymnastics and weighted elements can be scaled.  There really is no reason why anyone wanting to compete can’t get involved!

Keen? Round up and team and get involved! Or message us at and we will work to find you a team.



19/08/2021 & 19/09/2021 – Lovey Leanne is taking a couple of well earned breaks so there will be no Yoga this Sunday (19th August) or on Sunday 19th September

30/08/2021 – Next Monday is a Bank Holiday – YIIPPEEEEE!  We are still open and classes will be available at the usual BH times – 0800, 0900 & 1030.  The gym is open 0730 to 1200 and open gym is available throughout. Please book your spaces on WODify as soon as possible.

06/09/2021 – As a 1-off there will be no Open gym between 1330 & 1630.

19/09/2021– Comp training has moved to the later time of 11am on Sunday 19th of September. Sunday sweat will still be at 10am for those of you who want to blow a few party cobwebs away.



ARE YOU ON OUR MEMBERS ONLY FACEBOOK GROUP? It’s an awesome little place 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.

Members FaceBook Group



And we need to know ASAP if you’re coming! With caterers, a bar, entertainment and camping we need to know numbers ASAP.


For anyone who missed the deets….Saturday 18th September is our 6th birthday celebration and we’re going to do it in style this year with a FESTIVAL!

Complete with an awesome DJ, a bar, a pizza truck (catering for gf, df, vegan and meat eaters and cheese lovers alike), a chill out tent to kick back & relax in, festival style entertainment AND the best accommodation you will find at any festival!
All tickets include as much pizza as you can eat, 2 drinks at the bar and all of the entertainment!  £20 pp – non camping

For those who want to have a few drinks or who just fancy camping in a fully furnished bell tent with your mates (because who the heck wouldn’t want to do something that fun?) you can book a space in a tent! £35 pp – with camping (so an extra £15 pp to camp)

You can have 4 or 6 in a tent (made up of singles, doubles or any combo) you can choose your tent buddies, or we will find them for you & the big comfy mattresses with duvets & pillows are provided courtesy of Kate Phillips & Tinkerbell tent hire!

And, as we’ve managed to secure a school site in Bristol for the event we have access to indoor toilets…so all the fun of a festival and none of the down sides You can also park on site if you’re driving or camping.

Comment on the post on FB or get your name on the list at the den ASAP. Partners and families of course so get their names down too!



We will be making a few changes to the gym set up over the next few weeks (which may mean we are closed one Sunday soon but this is TBC) in order to:

– Provide you all with more opportunities to get into the busier classes

– Create more space in your training station & allow easier access to pull up bars and WB stations

– Make access to the mezz much easier so you can wait in the chill out area before classes

– Making the separation between classes and open gym easier so Open gym and classes have set training areas in the gym

– Those wanting to ‘go back to the old-school’ who want to share bars / kit in the strength element can do so easily


EXBAND Leila still



These are 15 minutes fully coached pre recorded sessions that you can do anywhere at any time so what’s not to love? You even get to see some familiar Valesco faces!!


If you are looking to build endurance in your muscle, prevent injury or generally just look and feel better THIS IS FOR YOU and with only 15 minutes of your day? You’re getting a huge bag for your buck.


With a two-week FREE trial and only £7.99 per month after that it’s a bit of a steal. to get signed up.


coaches dogs

Hey Pup Fans,


We hope you all got to celebrate international dog day this week and it’s probably not a surprise to anyone that we love all the dogs at Valesco so here is a little montage of all the coaches pups, big and small, for this month’s pups corner.


Thank you to all the pups for being quite wonderful, bonkers, loving, uncontrollable you. We love you all for it.


Leila Hench

This month with Coach Leila on the importance of accessory exercises to your training program.


Most of you have probably seen me at some point in the corner doing bicep curls :)


Not only because everyone loves big guns and curls are super fun. I often add a lot of accessory exercises into my training regime to help my overall training programme.


Here are a few reasons to try and build accessory exercises into your training.


Reduce wear and tear on your body. You don’t always need to max out aerobically or with strength training.


Help to decrease imbalances and therefore increase strength and efficiency.


Accessory training can be really fun. focus on the smaller lifts and resistance training that can bring the fun and enjoyment back into training…..of course bicep curls are my fun movement :)


Try to incorporate some single arm/leg training. This can be done with dumbbells for most movements. Ironing out any imbalances will increase your overall strength gains.


Resistance training is also great for increasing stabilisation and overall strength. Check out our other training method at for a two week free trial. I promise you will see huge improvements. Particular in your shoulder health and also core strength.


If you want to start incorporating accessory exercises into your training but aren’t sure where to start, come and have a chat with me. I’m happy to help or show you to the bicep curl corner ;)

Pineapple, Beef and Ginger Stir-Fry

Pineapple and beef Stir-fry

Pineapple, Beef and Ginger Stir-fry


Ditch the unhealthy takeaway and crank up the flavour of healthy food with a Chinese steak Stir-fry that combines contrasting fruit, Ginger and soy notes. Its 100% one to please all the mouths at home!


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

Scale It Up Triple Threat – Sunday 3rd October

The Birthday Party of the Year – 18th September

Scale It Up Safety in Numbers – Date in November to be confirmed

Strength in Depth Final – 27th & 28th November

2021 Valesco Christmas Party – 11th December

Who Wore It Best

August WWIB 2021

Check out this month ‘Who Wore It Best’ from Coach Amy and Coach Meg – we certainly don’t think they have missed out on a modelling career but they seemed to be having a good time in their matching VFC summer vests! Flex and smile team….or just burst out laughing!


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!


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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!