Skip to content


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


The biggest part of the month, without doubt was our debut appearance (and we are quick to say certainly not our last) in Bristol Pride Parade. There is a full write up below from Coach Amy, and my goodness didn’t she embrace her moment of being pulled along as a Greek Goddess by 4 of Valesco finest humans. It was an absolutely incredible day and almost a month on we are absolutely buzzing about it still. Was so amazing to see our community come together and really show Bristol what Valesco is all about. You may have noticed the Chariot has made its way onto the Mezz at V2 and we are certainly taking suggestions for next years theme…Little Mermaid can be made fitness related right?


This month’s newsletter also contains a great piece from Coach Ella about her first Solo experience. It’s a great read and a good opportunity for us to say a public massive well done to Ella for taking on that dance floor on her own and really owning it, we are all super proud of you.


Whilst we are on the subject of competition have you seen that VFC Presents is back and we will be hosting our first ever RX Competition and our first competition at V2. Entries are now open and you can find out more information at sign your team up on the website competition corner and in the right up below . The link is here to go and check it out.


If you are new to us, firstly welcome and secondly make sure you check out the ‘what are we up to in classes’ programming article included in this months newsletter. It will let you know what we are up to in the second half of this 12 week programming block and help you structure your training accordingly.


Finally July marks the last month Sarya will be with us full time. We’ll definitely miss seeing her so regularly in classes but fear not, she’s not leaving! You’ll still see her at weekends and periodically in the gym both coaching & training. Thank you for all your energy, hard work and banging playlists so far.


Think that’s it for this month, keep working hard, finding that comfort zone and then well and truly moving yourself out of it.


Lots of love and positive vibes,

Amy, Ellie and Leila xx


Gem Ironman

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 – V1 member Fergus Skinner. ‘He’s come so so far – his lifting has improved so much and he’s crushing every workout’


Shout out from Coach Leila V2 – Nicki Powell – ‘being super consistent. Smashing her training and always having a smile on her face’.


Shout out from Coach Amy to Gem Rowland at V1 ‘I am sure as a lot of you may know Gemma completed her first (and I have a funny feeling maybe not last) IRONMAN this month in Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain and we are all super proud of her. Just to put out there what a ridiculous challenge this is one day, in fact 13 hours and 15 minutes, Gem completed – a 3.8km swim (taking 8 minutes off her best time on the actually day), a 180km cycle and a 42km (yes a whole f*ing marathon) run!! What an absolute legend and inspiration. If that doesn’t deserve a VFC newsletter shout out I actually have no idea what does! Congratulations on becoming an IRONMAN Gem’


Shout out from Coach Will – V1 member Emma Kuwertz‘she’s come on so much in the time wishes been with us and pushes herself with her lifting and in workouts. Her Olympic lifting has come on loads too’…and we have to say we are a massive fan of Jonah her gorgeous Big Black Lab. He is such a babe.


Finally a Massive Congratulations from us all to V1 member Aadam Ishaq and his lovely wife who got married in the month of July. We hope you both had a wonderful day and wish you a forever of happiness together.


On Saturday 9th July a 45 strong contingent of VFC members and friends joined the Bristol Pride Parade 2023 and what a day it was….certainly something to go down in Valesco history.
The theme we went with this year was the Original Greek Olympic games accompanied by a Chariot built by Amy’s super talented Dad, Dave and decorated by a party including Anna Bevan, Corina Hawkins, Tomer Rimon and of course Amy and Ellie. We took the chariot to the streets of Bristol supported by  a number of members dressed in Toga’s and my goodness we made an impact and even made the ITV news that evening. The link is here if you would like to see our 2 seconds of fame.
Everyone supporting the float dressed in bright colours or the VFC Pride Tees which looked absolutely stunning and we hope to keep seeing them in the gym long after Pride month is over. We know ours will be making regular appearances both inside and outside of the gym.
We were overwhelmed with the support of this year’s event and wanted to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to this year’s pride committee for all their hard work and time given up to make the event the success that it was.
Please take a bow – Anna Bevan, Corina Hawkins, Greg Dziedziki, Tomer Rimon, Emily Glover and Izzy Cowen without you this whole thing would have not been possible. Thank you doesn’t seeing enough.
The Chariot is now safely stored in the office at V2 and we are taking suggestions for next years theme – get your thinking caps on as a team, we have got 11 months.


Sweaty Gym Fun 2022

The current block of training is now kicking into its second phase and whilst lots remain the same there are a few subtle changes.


Monday: Squat snatch! 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! Don’t worry if you still new to us and or snatching we can start with the Power variation and remember every class we coach the drills so no one is thrown in the deep end. Be brave and jump in with both feet.


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 lot of fun! Speed Training involves the increase in muscle power through 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…this second phase we move to Barbell bent over Row, taking Push to Pull. 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!


Somerset Squad

July has been a great month for the VFC Team!

At the start of the month we had Team Turftle competing at the Turf Games down in London. They all killed it and it looked like a super fun day!
This is also a great comp for anyone who’s looking to do more team events and isn’t looking for anything too high skilled.

The following weekend was a busy one – Ella, James, Harry-Joe and their teammate Ellie competed in Birmingham at Strength in Depth as ‘The Somerset Squad’. They took 7th place overall and even had an event win! Amazing work.
Mitch Salisbury also competed in the individual RX male category and killed it.

On the same weekend we had Glen Stokes competing up in Scotland at ‘WOD on the Loch’ and he brought home a third place. What a hero!

And this past Saturday Emma H-B and Aime Marshall as well as Ellie Taylor and Steph Ewers competed at CrossFit TGS (The Goat Shed – yes there are some very cute goats down there as well as other animals!!) and did super well!

Coming up…

The first weekend of August sees a whole bunch of athletes heading to the Southwest Regionals, which are being held in Bristol at the SGS Filton College.

In the individual category on Saturday:
Gemma, Sarya, Glen, Dan, Lorenzo, Mitch & Jonny

In the same sex pairs category on Sunday:
Leila + Co, Emma C + Tash, Tor + Beccy, James Iles + Harry-Joe, Mooney + Jack F, Will + Simone, Rich + Alex S, Harry B. + Greg, & Harry F. + George

If you fancy heading up to watch, spectator tickets can be bought on the door and are a fiver! They also accept card payments.


That’s all for now folks! If you have any comps that we haven’t mentioned let us know and tag us in your socials for them!


Fours of Nature Logo

It’s time to see what happens when talent meets teamwork. “Fours of Nature” is Bristol’s newest RX-level Fitness Competition, bringing together mixed-sex teams of four for a one-day event this October. Teams will consist of two males and two females and there are no qualifiers for this live event.


“Fours of Nature” is a celebration of what teams can accomplish when they work in perfect harmony. Witness the symphony of strength and ability as 25 elite teams go head-to-head in challenges designed to push their limits and showcase the true essence of a force of nature.


Join us on October 7th in St Werburghs, Bristol, and experience the atmosphere created when the functional fitness community comes together. Feel the energy, witness the passion, and become part of the movement that always manages to transcend the boundaries of fitness.


Who will be able to put it all together and become the 2023 “Fours of Nature”? There’s only one way to find out…


Assemble your pack, and we’ll see you there.


Leo sleeping

Hey Pup, fans. Welcome back to pup corner where this month Leo is all about his sleep. Take it away Leo…..Leo…..Leo……wake up!


There are a few things in life I don’t get quite right. Barking too much and sniffing people in inappropriate places being two of them. However one thing I have absolutely nailed is SLEEP!


Please read on for 10 of my best facts about sleep.


1) Humans spend on average 25 years of their life asleep.

2) Some humans dream only in black and white (12%).

3) Humans are the only mammals that can delay sleep.

4) Sleep is different for men and women – Men are likely to feel less tired in the evening whilst women are prone to wake up earlier.

5) 15% of the population sleepwalk.

6) Humans sense of smell decreases when we’re asleep.

7) A new bed can increase the amount of sleep you get. On average a new bed increases sleep time by 42 minutes.

8) Sleep deprivation will kill you more quickly than food deprivation.

9) 41% of the British population sleep in the foetal position.

10) Sleep experts have discovered a direct link between people’s favourite sleeping positions and their personalities.


All this talk of sleep is making me tired.


Woof and sweet dreams,

Leo Dog xx


Ella Solo

This months Coaches Corner is written by Coach Ella and it’s all about solo competition. The dance floor is all yours Ella…..


Going Solo…


Having been a solo artist for the entirety of my music career, I’m pretty used to being out there on my own (gets out tiny violin) and for a weekend in June, I took to a very different looking stage once more; the Elite Division field at Battle For Middle Ground’s RAGNAROK competition. This was my first Individual CrossFit competition.


I entered into the Elite/RX qualifiers where the top 17 athletes qualified into the Elite division and the rest would make up the RX division. My intention was to do by best, see what happened and have fun with the qualifiers, but little did I know, I’d scrape (by the skin on my teeth may I add) into the Elite division…. Skip forward 2 months and there I am, up against the UK’s fittest Female and athletes headed to this years CrossFit games.


To me, CrossFit is my passion, something I invest time and energy into because I absolutely love it. I love to process of working hard at something and seeing improvement, I love the people it’s brought into my life and I love that it makes me feel strong.


This is what I needed to remember going into a competition where I felt out of my depth. I needed to remember my why, and for me that’s having FUN. I think it can be daunting and scary putting ourselves into situations we’ve never been in or are afraid of, but these are the most important things to throw ourselves into with a naive smile on our faces because actually, there’s a chance that it’ll be one of the best things you’ve ever done.

Competing against some of the best in the country, coming last in multiple events and coming out the other end smiling because I BLOODY DID IT is what I’m most proud of.


We’re so lucky we have our health and a passion that allows us to get better every day, so I would recommend to anyone questioning whether or not to compete, no matter what level, to get stuck in. There’s always going to be people faster, better and stronger than you, but that’s beside the point. Did you have fun? Yes. Did you work your arse off? Yes. Did you meet some legends along the way? Most probably.


Thanks for all the lovely messages of encouragement and support from people, it meant more than you all know!


Screenshot 2023-08-01 at 11.37.36

Smoky Tofu Tortilla’s


Smoked tofu adds protein to these vegetarian fajitas – pop on the table with corn or wheat wraps and watch them disappear. Super simple and super tasty, what’s not to love?


Until Next Time, Big Love Team Valesco xxx

Save The Date

Save The Date

Valesco Fitness Collective 8th Birthday – Saturday 16th September

Fours of Nature Team RX Comp – Saturday 7th October

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

Who Wore It Best

WWIB July 23

Check out this month ‘Who Wore It Best’ from two of our super smiley V2 members Maria and Eneko with their super stylish kicks embracing the dance floor at V2 this week. We wonder how long they will stay that white?


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!