Latest Blog For TOWIC


What is there to say about Lena? She has been here with us for a LOOOOOOONGGGG time and is a part of the furniture.
She has made incredible progress in strength and her fitness levels are completely different to when she first joined.
Not only that, she's so supportive of us on social media and is always singing our praises.

We're so happy to have her here and we hope she'll continue training with us for the long term.

I caught up with Lena to discuss her time with us and chat to her about CrossFit here at CrossFit Woodford.

1) What do you love about Crossfit, and how does it help you in your day to day life?

I love everything about Crossfit - the variety of workouts that push me to do workouts I would never do by myself, the sense of community and how we all cheer for one another and the coaches always having our best interests at heart.

Crossfit has helped me to be physically stronger over time and this is very useful in my day to day life - practical things like carrying my own luggage and lugging around my laptop/gym kit/books to and from work. Also, we have bought a house recently and decorating and carrying white goods are much easier when you are physically fit!

I have also grown mentally stronger doing Crossfit, achieving lifts that I didn't think possible. I apply this mindset to other areas of my life and do things I didn't think I could do!

2) What's your favourite workout?

I love a deadlift and also back squats. Noel created a special Dirty 30 workout for me with these 2 movements. What a lovely birthday present!

3) What 3 things would you say are TOWIC's biggest plus points?

The sense of community - the people make the box what it is. It is great to come to class and know you will have fun chatting to everyone alongside training, which makes it a fun shared experience rather than going to a gym and having to just focus on a workout rather than having a fun social side to it as well. Recently we have also got Rachel as a community manager, so we are able to connect and support each other online as well as in person, which is great because there are some people I rarely see at training because we go at different times, but I can still see their progress and encourage them online!

Programming - the workouts are always varied and target a range of muscle groups. We also work in cycles which helps us focus on specific lifts for 4 weeks. Even if I don't do a specific movement for a while, my overall fitness will have improved, meaning I have probably improved on that movement too.

Taking on feedback - the coaches are great at listening to the members. There is a suggestion book where we can write comments and I can see at least one of my suggestions has been implemented quite quickly. The coaches are always looking to improve the box for us and it is much appreciated. Things like SugarWOD, the Facebook community and switching/adding classes all show that the box is community minded.

4) How has being a part of our community had a positive effect on you?

Being part of the community means that training is fun and so I have been more motivated to attend regularly. I love that I have become stronger and people have noticed a change in how I look. It is great to be able to make more friends locally and even find some fellow vegans to share recipes and restaurants!

5) What's your favourite treat meal?

Vegan mac n cheese, veggie pizza with vegan cheese or maybe loaded fries. (Can you tell I'm vegan?!) And soft serve ice cream too!

6) What would you say to anyone new trying out TOWIC for the first time?

The first time I went the workout felt intense and I felt light headed afterwards! But for some reason, I came back. And back again - and again...
No matter how tough it feels, come back because you will keep getting better and do things you didn't know your body could do. You overcome mental barriers and feel pride that you may not in other types of exercise (it took me 2 and a half years to do box jumps because of fear but when I eventually got there, I felt so proud! Next stop: handstands!)

I highly recommend joining TOWIC/new name: Crossfit Woodford as a great place to make friends, get fitter and do things you never thought your mind or body could do!
By Rachel Berg

Mums! Can we have a moment to talk about post-baby bodies?

Here at TOWIC, we are a family-run business. Our members are from all walks of life and backgrounds and one thing lots of us have in common is the fact we’ve given birth to little people (or in some cases… massive 10+lb whoppers!)

Women’s bodies are awe-inspiring. The fact that anyone ever falls pregnant is a statistical miracle, let’s face it. Women grow, nurture, deliver and feed babies. It’s incredible. And yet, as soon as that baby is out… the pressure is on. Every media source is screaming at you to get yourself “back in shape”. Shape? What, shape? A triangle? Rhombus? Do me a favour!

The last thing any new mum should be worrying about is getting back into her jeans as quickly as possible. But pretty much all of us can’t help but feel we have to make this a priority. At times like this, it’s always worth asking yourself who is actually profiting from your feelings of self-doubt? Spending money on quick-fix diets funds a huge industry which monetises women’s insecurities.

Of course, TOWIC is a business too. We can’t pretend otherwise. However, we take a different approach. We are all about empowering women. Making them stronger, braver and more confident....whatever your size and regardless of what the scales say. We couldn’t care less what your workout gear looks like or if all you can fit into is one of your partner’s old t-shirts. Our workouts are all scaleable to make them accessible for all levels of fitness, including pre and postnatally.
The simple fact of the matter is most women’s bodies are never totally the same after having children. But that’s okay... It’s more than okay and it’s something to be celebrated. Your incredible body brought a miracle into the world. Being a new parent is about finding your way and learning what your new normal is. Everything changes and your body is no exception.

Here at TOWIC, we get it. We know how difficult it is to make time for yourself. The idea of putting yourself first seems like an impossible task. Finding something to wear to the gym, getting a can all seem so overwhelming. But once you’re here it’s so worth it. To be surrounded by like-minded people who are all there to forget about life’s stresses for an hour and work on their mental and physical well being.

Women’s strength is something to be celebrated. So this is a thank you to all of the TOWIC mums who somehow carve time out of their days to come and spend an hour putting themselves first. We love seeing your strength and your confidence grow and we are so proud of your achievements!


Affectionately known as Que (you can start calling him that now if you want!), Orville is a quiet guy, with a big heart and a lot of time for everybody. You may not know him as he mainly trains at 7:30 pm, but you may have noticed his steady ascent up the leaderboard on workouts.

He's improved so much since he's been here, getting stronger every day, and also building overall fitness in a big way. He's been working with me on his nutrition. He's aiming to build muscle as he has quite a small frame, and I have to say, his dedication and willingness to learn, try new things and listen to my advice makes him a pleasure to work with.

He's a man of few words, but we still want to celebrate him! Well done Orville :)

1) What do you love about Crossfit, and how does it help you in your day to day life?

1. Everything! The coaches are very knowledgeable and dedicated to what they do. They always motivate you and make you feel like you can achieve your goals. The team spirit at CrossFit Woodford is top-class. From the day I started, I felt like a member of the family and everyone is so welcoming and always encouraging you to be the best version of yourself!

2) What's your favourite workout?

Anything with Toes to Bar in it!

3) What 3 things would you say are TOWIC's biggest plus points?

Great coaches always willing to help and take time to educate and motivate.
Great people - it's amazing to feel part of a family at a gym!
It's a great box to workout in. It's small which means you are able to feel more like a part of something,
and it's like having a personal trainer in a small group!

4) How has being a part of our community had a positive effect on you?

I’m naturally quite a quiet person and being at CrossFit Woodford has made me feel at home and more relaxed when meeting new people.

(I love this answer! Do you get that at a "normal" gym? Does everyone know your name? Even in bigger boxes, it's easy to get lost. One of the best things about our box is the personal feel, the relationships you can build, and positive effects it can have on your life. Thanks Orville!)

5) What's your favourite treat meal?

Greasy burger and chips!

6) What would you say to anyone new trying out TOWIC for the first time?

CrossFit is hard work but worth it. You will meet a great bunch of people who are there to motivate you and push you to reach your goals.

Keeping it simple. No need to meat it out, Orville has just said what I've always loved about our box. Work hard, meet new people and be a part of something.

I'm not immune to self-doubt.

I'm also an overthinker at times.
A people pleaser and a tad over-emotional.
I can get offended easily (but recently I've worked on this and I'm harder to rattle now!).
I take on too much.
I take on other people's pain.
My face can't hide what I'm feeling.

But some of these traits have great by-products!

I value loyalty and am loyal.
I care about others.
I'm able to offer good advice (I hope!).
I can connect to people, even those with a hard exterior.
I empathise.
I push myself to work be better.

We humans are so complex. And completely different from one person to the next. We all have different traits. We're all going through our own shit.

Sometimes life is amazing. Sometimes it sucks.

Our experiences can change us. Cause us to react, to question.

There are three things that help me find peace:

1. Being my authentic self

You will NEVER please everyone. Not everyone will like you. You can't control either of those things.

You can only stand by your values, do good in the world in whatever way you know how to, and be a good husband, father, wife, mother, sister, brother and friend.

2. Accepting my flaws and taking responsibility

I used to feel like I had to justify why something was changing. Decisions about my business would keep me up at night. I'd find ways to abdicate myself from responsibility.

It's SO MUCH easier to accept that you're not good at something and ask for help. So much simpler to admit to my wife, "Look, I fucked up, Sorry. How can we go about rectifying this?". You can't be good at everything, or right about everything.

3. I value my time

I'd love to be able to help everyone, with every problem and pain point in their lives. But I'm only one man. If my time and energy are needed, they come at a price. A financial cost for you, and a time and energy cost for me.

I'm no longer afraid of valuing my time accordingly and providing the best service I can, whilst still being human and wanting to spend time with my wife and son. After all, what's it all for if not for them?

Do you know who you are? Your authentic self?

I am who I am, and it's taken me a long time to figure out who that person is. The community we have built reflects leadership. I'm proud of the people we have in our gym, and I'm proud of myself for building this community.

Stick with us, there's so much more to come.

Shaun Samonini
TOWIC Head Coach
We have a guest post for you this week, from Lizi Jackson-Barrett, The Naked Goals Coach

You’ve probably noticed… Christmas is nearly here.

It’s often a time of over-indulgence that can be hard to turn down. Chocolates, mince pies and cream liqueurs; staying in pyjamas and not moving from the sofa; huge meals and three helpings of dessert… the temptation is there to say “yes” to everything.

But what if that’s not what you really want? What if you don’t want to undo the hard work you’ve put into making positive changes; and what if you don’t want to throw your good intentions out of the window? What if you’d like to reach January and not feel bad about the choices you’ve made over the last month?

I’ve got good news: festive self-sabotage isn’t inevitable. You can choose how to play it. As a mindset coach, I specialise in helping people take control of their own choices, and one of the most important things you can do for yourself is to spend some time writing down what your goals are. Imagine it’s January and you’re looking back – what would you like to say you’ve achieved? Perhaps you want to maintain your current fitness levels, or maybe you want to allow yourself to indulge in foods you wouldn’t usually let yourself eat? Or maybe your priority is to make time for some relaxation, or to get the kids out of the house over the holidays? There are no right or wrong answers – whether you exercise daily or have Christmas pudding for breakfast each morning – the only thing that matters is that you are happy and don’t end up feeling regretful of your choices.

And once you know your goals – how are you going to achieve them? I’m going to share with you three tried-and-tested tips for avoiding self-sabotage this Christmas:

1. Don’t think about a Christmas Tree

I mean it – don’t. No matter what you do, don’t picture a lush green tree draped in tinsel and fairy lights. Don’t imagine the pine scent, or the prickly feeling under your fingers. Don’t picture presents wrapped underneath it, or a shining star on top. Think about anything else. Just don’t think about a Christmas Tree.
It’s impossible isn’t it? The more you try not to think about something, the more you do. The same goes for food. When you feel the call of the fridge, telling yourself not to think about it just makes you want it more and in the end, you’re more likely to give in. And telling yourself you’re not allowed something is even worse. The more you try to tell yourself “no” the harder it is to resist.
Instead, tell yourself: “If I really want this in half an hour I can have it” – and mean it. If after thirty minutes you’re still craving it then allow yourself to eat it, free from guilt. But you will almost certainly find that by taking the pressure off, you’ll have forgotten all about it and half an hour will come and go without you even noticing.

2. Use “coulds” instead of “shoulds”

We often think of our goals in terms of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”.
“I should go to the gym”, “I shouldn’t eat carbs”, “I should record my calorie intake”. But a lot of us are wired to rebel against should. “Should” disempowers us – it comes from something external. That could be a diet programme, a friend, an opinion of how your body should look.
Replace your “shoulds” with “coulds” and your view of the situation changes instantly. "I could record my calories" or "I could choose not to eat carbs"... it's a very different way of thinking when you're used to shoulds. "Coulds" puts you back in control of your decisions, and instead of making you respond with an “I don’t want to” attitude, it forces you into a position of having to think things through and make an adult decision.
And think about the stresses of Christmas too. We can really make life difficult for ourselves with “shoulds”! “I should spend more on the kids’ presents; I should serve three desserts at Christmas dinner; I should visit my in-laws”. Using “coulds” instead changes everything!

3. Ask yourself “Is it worth it?”


Deciding when to succumb to temptation is all about weighing up the benefit against the cost.
Let’s say you’re baking Christmas cookies with the kids, for example. Is it worth eating one when they come out of the oven? Probably not. The point of the exercise was to spend quality time together, making memories, building their skills, helping them to be creative. The children will have enjoyed it regardless of whether you eat the end product. Is it really worth sabotaging your goals for a cookie? Probably not.
But how about if your grandma turns up to Christmas lunch with her homemade Christmas cake? And what if her cake is always utterly delicious? How about if eating a slice of that cake transports you back to childhood, filling you with warm and happy memories? That’s probably worth it.
Simply stopping to ask yourself this question before you eat will make all the difference to the choices you make… because it stops the mindless eating we can all be guilty of and makes it a conscious decision instead.

If you found this advice helpful, read on!

My eBook “Avoid Festive Self-Sabotage” gives you fifty pages of advice, techniques, and strategies just like these. It will help you to explore the justifications you give yourself for overeating; get crystal clear on what goals you’re aiming for; know how to get the right support from the right people; learn how to interrupt your self-sabotage cycle, and lots more! It’s written in a friendly and non-judgmental way with one sole aim – to get you to 2019 feeling happy, confident, gorgeous and in control.
And when you enter the discount code TOWIC at the checkout, you’ll get 20% off! Get yours here to get started today on making this Christmas one that leaves you feeling amazing!

You can find Lizi on Facebook, or reach her via her website

Food images courtesy of Meliz Cooks and used with permission

We love having Chris as a part of our community. Since he's been here he;
  • Has Integrated himself into our community quickly
  • Tidies up other people's equipment at the beginning and end of class
  • Has come on leaps and bounds since he started
  • Has a strong accent
  • Is a quiet joker

I caught up with Chris earlier.

1) What do you love about Crossfit, and how does it help you in your day to day life?

I love the constant challenge and learning new skills and movements. I always look forward to training after work - it's always fun and we have a laugh. Day to day this has a big impact on my life. Whether I've had a good or bad day CrossFit is a great stress relief and I feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing the WOD.

2) What's your favourite workout?

I always enjoy doing clean and jerks, in any combination. I think I've progressed quite quickly in this movement and it feels great to approach the weight, get under it and then move it overhead. I also enjoy WODs on a Thursday which tends to be more cardio-based - I always perform well on them.

3) What 3 things would you say are TOWIC's biggest plus points?

1. It's great to train with other people who are supportive and good fun. That's what sets TOWIC apart from any other gym or sports club I've been a part of - there's a sense of community inside and outside the box.
2. Everyone gets individual coaching and help throughout the workouts.
3. Everyone is excited to workout and put the effort in - this shows particularly during Saturday's partner WODs.

4) How has being a part of our community had a positive effect on you?

I moved to London two and a half years ago and while I've got several friends from uni and a brother here, meeting new people at TOWIC has had a really positive impact on me.

5) What's your favourite treat meal?

Steak, chips and egg.

6) What would you say to anyone new trying out TOWIC for the first time?

A few pieces of advice:

-Throw yourself in head first, don't say you can't. Failing a lift or movement is never frowned upon and everyone is there to help you progress
- Buy some good quality socks because you'll work through them quickly
- Don't workout near me because I sweat a huge amount.

Thanks Chris!
If you come to TOWIC to get hot, sweaty, burn some calories and don’t want to think much more about it that’s awesome. We will make sure you enjoy and get benefits from working out.

If you come to see progress over time, to learn new skills and to improve your numbers then you need to follow a training program. You need to change the stimulus of your workouts on a regular basis. To identify your weaknesses and do accessory work to improve them.

At TOWIC we offer both options.

For those of you who just want to come and get a hard workout in on a regular basis then Bootcamp is the class for you. We vary the stimulus and movements to keep it interesting (and tough). If you come regularly (at least 3 times a week), then after only a few weeks you will see improvements in both your strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Our WOD classes are different. You will still get hot, sweaty and burn plenty of cals, but you will also be following a detailed training program that focuses on developing your strength (solid base of squats, deadlifts and presses), power (explosive lifts of clean, jerks and snatch), conditioning (heavy barbell cycling) and stamina in short micro-cycles throughout the year. These are also tailored around the 2 key competition dates in our year. The CrossFit Open which runs for 5 weeks and starts in late Feb, and our in-house TOWIC competition in the autumn (Sat October 20th this year).

We deliberately plan gradual progressions through different movement patterns in order to constantly challenge you and to show incremental improvements over time. This is our service to you. No quick fixes, but a solid long-term plan to move you forwards. To help you become a stronger, faster more mobile human with grit and discipline.

If you are with us to train, your mindset is an important factor in your development. You have to play the long game and accept that after the initial 6 months of PBs coming from all over the place that this will begin to slow down. You will find movements that are your nemesis that appear impossible to master. But if you stick with it, the benefits will come. More PBs will come. You WILL master those movements. The gains may be more subtle but they will still come.

And the best part thing of all is that we’re here to support you all the way. We’ve got your back (and quads, glutes, triceps...)your update here...
Congratulations to Rachel! Since she's been here, she has embedded herself into our little community. Her husband, Paul, is also here and they are a couple making changes for each other and to set good examples to their kids.

I love some of Rachel's answers here. Especially how CrossFit has helped with her mental health, confidence, body shape, self-esteem and much more!

1) What do you love about Crossfit, and how does it help you in your day to day life?

Crossfit has definitely had a positive impact on my day to day life. It’s given me more confidence in myself... when I joined six months ago everything was so daunting, every lift seemed really complicated and I always thought I’d have to walk out halfway through a workout and never be able to show my face again! I can’t pretend the workouts have got any easier but I’m happy to tackle each one head-on. I’ve learned that you’re never too old to learn something new and I think that gives me confidence outside of the box, too.

Crossfit definitely helps my mental health (or as I sometimes say, it helps to keep my head on straight). I like the fact that once you’re in the middle of some brutal workout or another there’s no room in your mind to stress about anything else. It’s kind of mindful, in a way. You just focus on the next rep and nothing else matters for the time being. Depression and anxiety have followed me around for quite a few years now and Crossfit is a massive help in keeping the darker times at bay. That’s the main reason why training is a priority for me and I never miss a work out if I can help it.

2) What's your favourite workout?

I’d say the workouts where you build to a heavy load on a particular lift. I love that feeling when you keep adding and then adding a bit more. Before you know it you’ve surprised yourself and got a new PB! I also love the partner WODs. That’s another area where my confidence has grown. When I started I felt nervous about them and worried about being crap and letting my partner down. People at the box have taught me that no- one is brilliant at everything (well, apart from Rose and James that is!) I’m rubbish at sit-ups and will be slow on those, for example, but I can often make up for lost time if we’re running. We’ve all got different strengths and that’s what makes a good team.

3) What 3 things would you say are TOWIC's biggest plus points?

1) Definitely the culture of the community. Different people bring different energies to the workouts and as I said, everyone has their own strengths. I’ve found the members to be so encouraging and supportive. I’m always glad when Fiona is my bar-buddy or partner for a WOD as she is really motivating and also does my maths for me! Beth is brilliant at offering tips and Greg K always notices when you’ve made progress and is really encouraging. I also love the banter in the box, especially when Trish is training!

2) The coaches. They are all quite different personalities and all know how to bring the best out of you... even if I may not like it/them at the time! So much work goes on behind the scenes with the programming and it’s amazing how the different (and sometimes random-seeming) exercises all come together to make you stronger without you even realising it at the time.

3) Location location location! I live about a five-minute walk away from the box (and often look longingly at my house as I run past it on the 1km route!) I’m very lucky to have Crossfit almost on my doorstep. My husband Paul is at the box too and he’d never make his 6 am classes if we were further away!

4 )How has being a part of our community had a positive effect on you?

I’ve met some really great people at TOWIC. I love how you meet people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels and Crossfit gives you something in common with them. The dedication of the members and coaches is inspiring and definitely motivates me to train harder.

5) What's your favourite treat meal?

That would depend on my mood... I don’t think I could pick one favourite but I love Thai and also Turkish food. My main downfall is chocolate though. I can’t have too much of it in my house as I can’t resist it and don’t know when to stop!

6) What would you say to anyone new trying out TOWIC for the first time?

As a newbie six months ago I did find the workouts a bit intimidating. I got over this (on the most part) by telling myself that I turn up to have a good workout. It doesn’t matter whether I’m first or last to finish a workout or if I keep up with everyone else. Let them do their thing, you do yours and stay in your own lane (so to speak) As I said, there are people of all ages and abilities. You don’t need to beat anyone else or compare....just push yourself and the gainz will come! Everyone gets their butt kicked by Crossfit, whether they’re new to it or have been doing it since its inception! It’s not designed to be easy.

7) What would you say to other full-time mums tempted to try CrossFit?

Do it! I wish I’d done it sooner. It’s a brilliant way to get an hour for yourself here and there doing something to benefit your overall health and well-being... Plus, lifting weights changes your body shape like nothing else can. Not only that, it’s so good to have a pastime or hobby that’s not related to chasing children around. I know how hard it is to find time for yourself but it can be done. TOWIC have classes to fit any schedule and the thing is, time will pass anyway so why not invest it in making yourself fitter and stronger?

I think of CrossFit as a hobby with the advantage of increased strength, fitness and improved body shape as a side effect, rather than something to endure in order justify eating cake or to lose weight (which is always how I’d approached exercise in the past). It’s definitely a big part of my life now.

I read somewhere that if you do the same you will stay the same. The ‘constantly varied’ part of Crossfit will bring out strengths that you didn’t know you had.

Spencer is just that stand-up guy. He's polite, eager to learn and nice to everyone.

He always has time for people. As a fellow Sports Massage Therapist, I love how he'll point out to other members areas they could work on when it comes to muscle function, and in a completely non-arrogant way. He's just happy to help!

Do check him out if you need a great sports massage, or need to work on an injury!

He also brings people in to try CrossFit at TOWIC and that helps us to grow our community.

Congratulations Spencer!

1) What do you love about Crossfit, and how does it help you in your day to day life?

What is there not to love about The Only Way Is CrossFit?!! Since joining 18 months ago, I have grown to love this place even more and never get tired of training. I know it's cliche, but like everyone else I love the fact that before or after a hard days work, all I have to do is turn up and give 100% because all the real hard work has been done by you guys, with your meticulous planning of each class and the enthusiasm and motivation you provide.

My job is sedentary, so being able to train 4/5 times is vital to me, as it's the only form of exercise I get on a daily basis. Since increasing my membership to Unlimited, I've felt leaner, fitter and stronger than before and have noticed significant changes to my body shape, which has increased my self-confidence considerably. However, I still think it'll be a little while and a lot of blood sweat and tears before I get a body like Don & Noel and have the confidence to train topless like them!!

2) What's your favourite workout?

Hard question as I genuinely enjoy all aspects of training. I would probably say my favourites are any of the benchmark WODs, as they are all extremely challenging and give a great indication of how my fitness has personally progressed.

I'm also very keen on the strength cycle programmes and come on... who doesn't love a partner WOD or Bootcamp!

3) What 3 things would you say are TOWIC's biggest plus points?

Cliche again, but the biggest plus point for me about TOWIC is the variety of the programming, which at times takes me out of my comfort zone, frustrates the hell out of me but still pushes me to the limit.

The quality of coaching that you guys provide is another plus point, different styles of coaching, carried out in a non-egotistical manner with the sole purpose of ensuring that we train hard, make gains, whilst having fun at the same time.

Lastly, I love how you guys constantly strive to make improvements to the box. Prior to joining here, I had been a member of the big name gyms where classes were mundane and the gym floor was soulless. At TOWIC, you're more than just a number and in terms of the training and guidance you provide to every member, this level of service, in my opinion, is invaluable.

4) How has being a part of our community had a positive effect on you?

Community is what TOWIC stands for. Everyone has their own reasons to train, but for me, this is a place where I can work out as often as I like, in a fun friendly environment with like-minded people from all different backgrounds, cultures and levels of fitness.

There is no pretentiousness at TOWIC, no matching Lycra and no posing in mirrors taking selfies! I love how everyone embraces the community spirit by pushing one another in workouts without making anyone feel inadequate.

Competition amongst members is sparse, as, in my opinion, it seems that everyone is on their own journey, striving to become fitter and stronger themselves but still being there to support others at the same time.

5) What's your favourite treat meal?

This is an easy one for me. Basically, any meal that includes bread! During the week I tend to stick to a balanced healthy diet, which means I can relax a little at the weekends.

I adore thin crust pizzas loaded with veg, chillies and pepperoni as well as hot spicy curries with a nice slab of Peshwari naan to mop up the sauce (so common!!)

6) What would you say to anyone new trying out TOWIC for the first time?

Be patient and make sure you give it at least three months before you decide whether The Only Way Is CrossFit is for you. I was quite sceptical when I first joined as there were sessions that I really enjoyed and some were I didn't as I struggled to comprehend the technique patterns and had issues with mobility.

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses but this is an environment where you can be guided and helped without feeling intimidated. Every workout is scalable and specifically designed to increase strength, mobility and fitness levels and from then on, it's how much you want to commit to your journey.

It's an old saying, "but you only get out what you put in", and if you're willing to give 100% effort in every class, train consistently and maintain a balanced healthy diet, you will undoubtedly achieve results.

Thanks Spence, and congratulations once again!
I think you all probably know Trish. She's the one who comes at us coaches with her banter ready, and a cheeky grin to help her get away with it.

However, she also just throws herself into the workout.

She doesn't particularly like any of the exercises, but she knows that lifting weights empowers her, makes her feel strong, and helps to escape a hectic lifestyle. For an hour a day, she can switch off, be with her friends, and train hard.

She reaches out to new members and gets others involved. I think you'll agree, she's one of a kind. And for that reason, our Member of the Month. We had a little chat earlier today!

1) What do you love about Crossfit, and how does it help you in your day to day life?
I really love the community aspect of it. Everyone knows I love to be a bit social and can talk for Britain, but being new to the East London area, I joined to get to know more people, make friends and workout. I can definitely say that I’ve made what I hope will be some great friends for life so thank you for that!
However, whilst that’s a great thing, I think I should be totally honest in my reasons for loving it (deep deep deeeeep down) and showing up Mon-Friday.

I really loved Darren’s post when he won member of the month before he left for Singapore, and it inspired me to open up more about things within my life and not be afraid of judgement, because sometimes it can help others too, like Darren’s post helped me!

Like everyone, I have my own story and I’m not afraid to talk about it. I’ve been through some things in my life that have been and are still really really difficult to deal with, to the point where I have succumbed to depression in the past. The gym has always been a safe place for me to let it out, as I find it helps to reduce stress and have a healthy mind, body and soul, and most importantly, I’m in control of myself there.

The reason I choose The Only Way Is Crossfit in Woodford Green over a regular gym is because it challenges me mentally – every.single.time! It has helped me to build my strength physically and mentally. Yes, you will ALL hear me moan and swear during classes, but deep down I love it, and the banter sometimes lightens it for everyone and makes me get through it quicker! Since joining, I find that I am so much less stressed because for me my release is at CrossFit, hence I go a lot more now. It’s also made me a lot more thick-skinned than I probably used to be.

I suppose when you go through things in life, it’s easy to give up on yourself. I didn’t want that for myself and I feel the coaches and AMAZING members here encourage me to not give up on me! Moral of the story; We’re all fighting battles that others may not know about, don’t be afraid to talk about it & find your release! It also helps me be way more productive at work cause I feel way more energised after class!

2) What's your favourite workout?
Eurgh – this is me you’re asking! Like is this really a genuine question?!?! To be frank, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise as most will probably know. I do it for the mental challenge, but also because I love to eat! So I don’t think I can say I have a favourite workout. I think my favourite thing ABOUT the workouts is that I eventually get through it, and it feels so satisfying, no matter how long it takes!

I do love that you turn up for an hour, get forced to do the workout and then can leave. In a normal gym, who’s going to push you to work so hard? I do love the Bootcamp sessions though cause they are so varied and fun, although I wish I could say that about today's (Friday). After a few too many drinks the night before, I was contemplating alllll of my life decisions including why I turned up to that class, during it!! Yuck.

3) We don't force you to work out! So what 3 things would you say are TOWIC's biggest plus points?
I think the community, and the encouragement you get from the coaches and members in the workout. Some places can be super competitive, or an environment where people only care about what they are doing and nobody else. I’m the type of person that gives up quite easily when I get tired and I really love and appreciate everyone for always encouraging me and egging me on to finish! Also, I think the coaches are the biggest plus points too.

4) How has being a part of our community had a positive effect on you?
It’s really helped me to settle in East London a lot better than I thought I would. When I moved here after I got married, I felt quite alone because I didn’t really know anyone, so I’m really pleased that I have a place I can go to as a refuge, to see my friends, but also get stronger.

5) What's your favourite treat meal?
Erm hello? Really? I know you watch my Instagram stories, Shaun!! I. LOVE. FOOD. I’d probably say my favourite cheat meal would be anything that combines chips, and some form of cookie-related dessert! Two of my biggest weaknesses!

6) What would you say to anyone new trying out TOWIC for the first time?
I’d say, if I can do it then you definitely can! Haha! No really, I’d recommend everyone to try it. A lot of people have misconstrued opinions of CrossFit and I think it’s because they think it’s super competitive and scary. I’d say don’t be scared, give it a chance and you’ll 100% be pleasantly surprised.

Thanks Trish. I'm glad the community aspect is so prevalent in your answers!