Richard Botto

I joined CrossFit Nottingham in summer 2017 after years of largely aimless training. I’d recently moved from quite a physically active job to a sedentary office job and was seeing a lot of the progress I had made fading away. I had been aware of CrossFit for quite a while and was interested in its philosophy of a focus on overall fitness rather than any single aspect of it. Despite this interest, I was put off from having a go at it as I was, and still am, quite clumsy, un-coordinated and was always pretty terrible at sports. I had an idea that to do CrossFit, you would have to be the opposite of this but, after having a conversation with someone who was already a member, I decided to give a taster session a go as they spoke really highly of CFN and I thought what’s the worst that can happen?

When I did the taster, the first thing that stood out was how welcoming everyone, both the staff and members, were and how people of different levels of fitness were all doing the WOD by scaling it to fit their ability. The workout I completed was a massive challenge, but I could immediately see the benefits of it and signed up shortly after. Once I joined up, I spent much of my time unlearning bad habits I had picked up through my previous training. This wouldn’t have been possible without the patience and support shown by the coaches to me and other members, regardless of ability.

The biggest benefit of the strong coaching and programming is that it allows me to just “trust the process” and see improvements by simply turning up and taking part. The focus in classes is always on the quality of movements and exercises before anything else. This focus on building movement patterns before building weight has benefitted me both in and out the gym. In the gym, it has helped me do movements and lift weights that I never thought possible before joining, out of the gym, it has helped me improve my overall coordination to become way less clumsy and has probably saved me a fair amount on spilled drinks and broken glasses.

One of the biggest benefits of doing CrossFit, which I hadn’t anticipated when joining, is the effect it has had not just on my physical strength and health but also my mental strength and health. The more classes I did, the more I found myself wanting to push myself. I found that pushing myself during a challenging workout had more to do with mental toughness than physical ability. As I realised I could push myself to do more or move faster when my lungs were on fire and muscles were aching, it made me realise I could do that outside of the gym as well and when faced with a difficult situations at work or in life I’ve thought “well if I can make it through a 30 minute WOD with 100+ burpees in it, I can definitely make it through this”.

3 years in, I’m still continuing to learn and improve and my only regret is that I didn’t join sooner!

Monique Graham

It feels great to back at CFN after previously leaving to start Powerlifting. All of the coaches and members are super friendly and make you feel so welcome. I initially used CrossFit as an outlet to keep my mind busy while my mum was battling cancer. Now I cannot imagine my life without CrossFit!

There is always a lot of stigma around CrossFit boxes being intimidating but CFN is far from that. Whether it is your first or twelfth session there will always be someone new you will meet and have a chat with. As well as daily WODs CFN offers Gymnastic, Barbell, CrossHIIT, Functional Hypertrophy Training and Erg classes which allow you to work on specialised skills. 

Get in contact and sign up for a taster session, you will not regret it!

Michael Spencer

I joined CFN 5 years ago when I was introduced to CrossFit by a friend. I foolishly thought I was reasonably fit, after all I ran regularly and could do 50 push ups! How mistaken was I.

Two things struck me during my early sessions: I was in awe at how fit other members were and I was appalled at how unfit I really was. To be fair, I’d never before tried running after sets of thrusters and my idea of 50 push ups was probably equivalent to 5 proper CrossFit push ups.

I train at 9.30 weekdays. It’s a relaxed vibe (we often giggle like naughty school kids when we invent double entendres from innocent comments by the coaches) but we also train pretty hard.

Principal Nutrition has also been a revelation, giving me the knowledge to make the right food and nutrition choices to fit in with my lifestyle.

I’m 51 and I’ve had a few non CrossFitters tell me I shouldn’t do CrossFit at my age, it’s dangerous, you’ll injure yourself etc. Personally, I regard inactivity and a poor diet far more dangerous than the risk of injury through exercise (more than likely caused due to ambition outweighing technique in any event!). All the movements can be scaled both in terms of range of motion and weight. Not only can they be adapted to match my capability now but also so I can CrossFit for many years to come.

People talk of community with CrossFit, it sounds cliché but it’s absolutely true of CFN. Through CFN I’ve met some fantastic friends, so what can be better than meeting up with your mates, train, get fitter and have a coffee and chat afterwards?

The coaches and the programming they deliver is second to none. This was never truer than during the lockdown and the Home WODs they delivered every day. They not only kept you physically fit but I found them hugely beneficial for my mental wellbeing too.

5 years on, I’m still in awe at how fit other members are but I’m now also probably the fittest I’ve ever been, plus I’ve met a great bunch of new friends too.

Aneta Pstragowska

When I signed in to Crossfit six months ago my aim wasn’t any special it was to get fitter and to lose weight. I was too tired of looking at the person in the mirror and I was ready for a change but I would never ever in the million years expect what an amazing journey it will be. At first I felt so embarrassed right at the induction when the couches were explaining all the movements standards especially the one involving weight lifting which I never did in my live! Inside I was laughing what the hell I am doing here! But I was determined, patient, focused. In time every day Monday to Friday WOD become a routine, an addiction when your mind can relax from every day worries and focus only on this one particular moment. It is almost therapeutically, healing and give you that sense of every day achievement. The beginning of the road wasn’t easy I remember when my forearms hurt so much I couldn’t squeeze the tooth paste or those nights I couldn’t sleep because every single part of my body hurt so much…

But after the first few WODS I thought if I can do that I can do absolutely everything. It is not only about losing weight and physical strength. At the box you learn about yourself, every time pushing yourself harder to be a better person then you were yesterday but also to accept your limitations, you learn how to be patient with what your body is capable of. Every WOD is as much about physical and psychical strength.

I believe that by getting control over your body you are getting control over your live!

All you need to do is to come and have a go, everyday just make that one step towards who you want to be and wait for magic starting to happen. In our gym you are never on your own. The box is full of wonderful, inspiring and supportive people who will never let you quit.

Signing to CFN was a live changing experience it heals my body and soul.

Darren Morley

My background is in bodybuilding, where I spent most of my early 20s trying to look like a Muscle & Fitness cover model. I was then coerced into running a half marathon in 2016, and – inexplicably – I really enjoyed it. So after a few years of trying to balance being somewhat muscular with having decent cardio, CrossFit seemed like the next logical progression. 
After spending many years focusing purely on aesthetics, these days I am more interested in what my body can do rather than just what it looks like. Luckily, CrossFit services both of these requirements. The training methodology will help you to lose fat and build muscle, whilst learning cool new skills and satisfying that primal need to “empty the tank”. 
From Olympic weightlifting, to gymnastics, to calisthenics, to mobility, CrossFit covers the full spectrum of fitness, and you’ll amaze yourself by achieving things you never thought you were capable of.  
The staff at CrossFit Nottingham are helpful, friendly – and most importantly – supremely competent with a wide range of expertise, and the community of members is diverse and inclusive. I’ve felt welcome from the day I joined, and haven’t looked back. 
If you’re someone (like I was) who spends most of your time training alone at a commercial gym with your head down and your headphones in and are up for trying something new, I’d implore you to sign up for a CrossFit taster session. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! 

Jenny L

I joined CrossFit Nottingham because I was bored with my long-standing ‘bro’ gym routine of push, pull and leg days; my body had plateaued and my motivation to train was at a low ebb! 

I felt like I needed to take my training up a gear, to kick start a change in my physique but what ended up happening was a total shift in my training focus. After years of bodybuilding for aesthetics, I started instead working towards performance goals. The variety of the workouts meant that I was constantly learning new skills; whether weight lifting, gymnastics, functional fitness compound movements or just mentally pushing myself to that dark place you only seem to get to when working out with others!

I found the coaches all had different attributes and their own areas of expertise – their technical knowledge is so solid that I felt in such good hands pushing myself beyond what I would feel confident doing alone. I love the positive vibe of the classes and I felt so included in the community right from Day 1. There’s also such a mix of members you never feel too intimidated but you also see some really impressive athletes raising the bar of performance.

I’m a bodybuilding to CrossFit convert – no going back now!

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