Latest Blog For TOWIC

Well.. It's another close one! After much deliberation with my coaches, we have chosen our Member Of The Month. It was a close run affair, but we believe we have chosen the right person this time around.

Bethany Thorndyke

Why Bethany?

Since Bethany has been here, she has displayed such grit and determination. She started her CrossFit journey after her brother recommended us and hasn't looked back.

During our weight-lifting month, she made massive gains and was always willing to try and lift heavier. Never afraid of the challenge. During gymnastics month, she also displayed a great attitude, throwing herself into every movement without fear. She has stuck to the
6 week Pull-Up Challenge we set her, building some awesome upper body strength. She is strict with her eating habits to ensure the best performance during her workouts. Every session, if she finishes before somebody else she will encourage the next person. She'll do it for the person finishing last too. She's active on social media, always giving us a shoutout and expanding our reach. We're always grateful for word of mouth!

I caught up with Bethany recently to ask her a few questions;

1) Why did you start CrossFit?

I started CrossFit as I was bored at the gym and felt I had plateaued and was not really achieving anything. I also didn't know how or what to do with weights at the gym and thought CrossFit might be able to help with that.

2) What are your goals over the next 6 months?

One goal is to do 10 strict pull ups in a row. Since I started the Pull-up program I can now do 3 in a row! My 2nd goal is Toes To Bar.

3) Three things CrossFit does for you?

CrossFit makes me feel more confident in myself as a person.
CrossFit has made me a happier person (I've found something I love and enjoy and
found a community that are really supportive).
CrossFit helps me stay on target and helps me know when I'm starting to slip.

4) Favourite Workout?

I love cleans but my favourite workouts are partner workouts where we have 200 or 100 of an exercise to do and we share the load and get it done. (Also love a wallball! Plus I am now able to use the red ball, which is great as its something that really shows how I've progressed)

But it's really thanks to you guys (coaches) for making it different, challenging, and pushing us when we wouldn't usually push ourselves!
Well done to Bethany for being our Member Of The Month!

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The Big Bang Theory. Modern Family. Friends. 8 Simple Rules. How I Met Your Mother. These are some of my favourites sitcoms.

Why do they appeal to us so much?

In my opinion, it’s because they have mastered the basics. In that 20-25 minutes, they make us laugh with simple jokes, observation of everyday life, they hit an
emotional note and tug at the heartstrings, and over a period of time, the story arc sucks us in and we become attached to the characters and their journey.

However, no matter how much the story twists and turns, the basic elements remain a strong underlying presence.

Look at Cristiano Ronaldo. He can do all the tricks and then some. But he still does the basic things that make him a great footballer. Passing and Shooting drills will make up most of his day to day training.

What does this have to do with CrossFit or Fitness I can hear you asking?

Mastering the Basics, and I mean really mastering them, transfers to every other skill imaginable.

Let’s take Press-ups for example.

At a basic level, it is a pushing/pressing movement. You are transferring your bodyweight through your arms, chest and shoulders, whilst keeping the rest of the body tight and switched on. This works the abs, as your core needs to stabilise the legs and torso.

Let’s say you come from a completely non-athletic background, and you can’t perform a solid push-up. As time goes on and you move through each progression, a few things happen:
  • You’ll learn how to do a Push-up properly. Quality is much more important than quantity here. If your form is completely right, you’ll add size and strength to your arms and chest.
  • You’ll transfer that strength to other movements; Handstands, Pull-ups, Strict and Push Press, Toes to Bar.
  • You’ll feel in control of your bodyweight and be more confident in demanding physical situations.

Can you see why this ‘basic’ movement is so important in CrossFit (in any fitness programme really)?

This also applies to other basic movements like Squats (Air, Front, Back), Sit-ups, Planks, Hollow Holds, Tumbles, Glute Bridges, Pull-ups, Split Squats and Lunges.

I realise that watching CrossFit online, gives people certain expectations as to what CrossFit is. But those athletes who are doing all that crazy stuff, have the basics mastered, and can probably perform the movements without much thought or effort.

90% of our gym, still need to master the basics. Many of you have come from a non-athletic background. Many of you work in an office. Many of you do CrossFit because you want to get stronger, lose weight, be healthy and have fun.


We want the same things for you. In August, we will focus on the Basics. We will test and retest the basic movements, and we’ll hopefully nail in the fundamental movements you need to master, in order to perform the best you can, become stronger humans, and be badass.

Looking forward to it gang.

after much deliberation, as it was close run, we've settled on one of our
youngest members.

*Dulan Wettasinghe*

Ladies and gentleman, this guy deserves major credit!

He's 18 years old. In his first conversations with me he described how
since he left school and was waiting to start university, he would sit on
his computer all day and generally laze about.

In his taster session with us, he threw up.

I thought "Well, he's not coming back."

How wrong I was!

That same day, he signed up to the Induction course, then 3 sessions a week
and soon moved to Unlimited. Since that day, he has regularly made the
effort to show up. Some days he finds it really tough. At the end of every
session, he comes and asks for advice. Am I doing this right? Should I take
this supplement? He's had a major learning curve.

Dulan wasn't drinking enough water day to day, and after a workout he
suffered from major cramp in his calves. I helped him kickstart his diet,
including drinking enough water and slowly but surely he has transformed
himself into a machine!

During the Strength Cycle, he set some amazing Personal Bests, and he's
stuck to his healthy eating habits without complaining once. He knows what
he needs to do and he does it.
*For your dedication, attitude and willingness to learn, Dulan Wettasinghe,
you are our Member of the Month!*--

Before After
Shaun Samonini
Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

A friend of mine said this to me once and that quote has stuck with me for a very long time. If you watch TOWIC’s video you will see that the person who said it was our very own Head Coach Shaun Samonini.
I love seeing you all achieve things you never thought possible. No matter what that may be, a single press-up, a great air squat, a new P.R deadlift, every achievement is unique to the individual. What may seem small to you could be huge to somebody else, and to be a part of that for me is what brings a smile to my face on a daily basis.
What do I expect from you when you come to the box?
Come ready to train.
Be ready to be pushed.
Don’t hold yourself back.
Be ready to learn.
Don’t come with the attitude ‘I can’t’.
This list could probably go on and on. Whilst all of these points are important, the one that stands out to me is number two.
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t push you (not physically, that’s assault). I have a very good idea of where you should be during a session. If I prescribe a weight or a variation for you, it’s because I know you are capable of it. I wouldn’t make you do something you can’t do just to belittle you! If a weight is prescribed on the board, I’ve already taken into consideration how much you can lift. If you drop down without asking, I’m going to be disappointed, and I’m going to ask you to have some more self belief and try to lift what I KNOW you can.
If you have been training for a long time and feel that you haven’t achieved anything, then you have to ask yourself why, what are you not doing that others are? Do you come ready to train? Do you come ready to be pushed? Are you holding yourself back? Are you swinging a 12kg kettlebell when you know you can swing a 20kg kettlebell?
When you walk through the door, do you say to yourself ‘I can’t’?
These two words grate on me. I dislike hearing them, as it sets a negative precedent. How do you know you can’t do something if you haven’t tried it? And even then, at this point in time, you are not able to, eventually you will be.

I can’t means I won’t and if you won’t, then how do you get stronger, fitter, faster? How do you achieve what yesterday seemed like the impossible? Are you willing to put in the effort to achieve what seems like the impossible? Have you started and then stopped because you didn’t see results straight away?
I implore you to get back on the horse and continue, because what seems impossible isn’t. There is only so much you can learn in an hour, but if you are willing to apply yourself outside of that hour, if you stay mobile, do your own research, ask us questions, you can achieve whatever you want.
Every day is a school day, and as someone who works in education I strive to push all of my students beyond what they feel they are capable of. When I see them achieve what they thought was impossible I am a very happy man, and the same is said working in the box.
I am always learning. Every day I learn from Shaun, or Jon, and if not them I find material to expand my knowledge. I then share that with you. I just want to help you be better, stronger and fitter.
Thank you for the privilege.

Donovan Simpson

The Only Way Is CrossFit is located ideally 1 minutes walk from Woodford Tube Station at 1-2 Bairny Wood Approach, Woodford, IG8 0HH.

In our facility we offer a broad training program that is suitable for any fitness level.

1-2 Bairny Wood Approach
Woodford, Essex
Tel: 0208 505 8281
Mobile: 0796 105 2371

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