CrossFit Bristol:   Call now on 078 1234 6025

No shortcuts. No gimmicks. Just tough, old school training and great results.

Try CrossFit Bristol

CrossFit can equally be described as state of the art, cutting edge of athletic performance training. Or alternatively, as old school training stressing  high intensity, functional  training using ‘primitive’ training tools.  We typically use  ‘retro kit’  such as kettlebells,  ropes, matts, vaulting horse, gymnastic rings, olympic lifting techniques, sprints and medicine balls.  We emphasise skills and coaching over a broad range of physical tasks such as learning how to use your body, running,  jumping, throwing or moving heavy objects or your own body.

We use specific training tools known to develop real human ‘horse power’ and shy away from machines, isolation exercises and and low intensity training..

We dont do pec decks, machines or mirrors and no, we wont sell you a protien shakes, skin tight Muscle T shirts or supplements. Instead we will talk about  good nutrition, efficient biomechanics, functional movement, skill, speed, and power.

If you want to get fit, get healthy or get prepare for a challenge – come and see us.  If you want to develop your beach muscles or look in a mirror as you ‘do your arms’ – we are probably not the place for you.

CrossFit Bristol offers group coaching, hard work and hard earned results. 

Our offer to you

In short, our job is to get the absolute most out of you.  We offer quality, performance based training.  We believe strongly that health and fitness is about improved performance over a wide range of domains. A byproduct of this approach to training is weight loss, increased health and mobility, greater functional strength, speed and power. And of course – you’ll look great too.  In short we offer a crucible to test and develop yourself.

If you are serious, come and try us, if not join a gym.

CrossFit has a refreshingly simple message. Eat right, train really hard and we will make you fitter and stronger than you have ever thought possible.  And guess what – you’ll even look and feel great too.

CrossFit offers better training, better fun, better sessions and better results. What’s more every session is different – you’ll  NEVER know what you’ll be doing in a session. No boring work outs – no pec decks or curls we are talking old school here and great fun too.

CrossFit is quite simply the best conditioning and training system available today.

If you want to look good, feel good or perform a physical task like no one else – there is nothing on par with CrossFit.

What is it ?

CrossFit has a unique approach to Fitness training. In fact, its so good that its used by Professional Fighters, The U.S Marine Corps, Navy S.E.A.L s, Athletes, Law Enforcement Agencies and Elite Military Units across the world. Just about anyone placing human beings in an environment where  life its self depends on human physical performance wants CrossFit or an imitation of it.  CrossFit works  for people of all abilities and allows ordinary people to develop seemingly impossible physical abilities.

CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource

Where did it come from ?

Crossfit was founded by Greg Glassman who ‘tells it how it is’. Glassman challenged the existing fitness orthodoxy by asking ackward questions about training and subsequently  offending a range of ‘experts’ in the process.  The Fitness establishment tried to ignore or undermine Glassman and CrossFit as a minority activity. Eventually they branded CrossFit dangerous, and even a cult – at one stage, none of which proved to be true. To compound the issue, Glassman and his theories were proved to work consistently  who then shared them freely with anyone that was interested.

The CrossFit method proved so successful, it expanded from a specialist interest for a minority to the proven tool used by elite athletes, fighters and the armed forces. CrossFit’s appeal has not been missed by the military. Particularly the special forces community who embraced it with open arms. CrossFit has taken off so dramatically here that there are even separate sections for military based CrossFit Affiliates.

The U.S marines were so impressed by the CrossFit method that they adopted a CrossFit based fitness selection process. More recently, the Navy S.E.A.L s adopted CrossFit to prepare recruits for their world famous B.U.D.s course and I believe its being used across the board by military and Law Enforcement staff. Coupled with its use by big name fighters such as B.J Penn .

How does Crossfit work?

Crossfit is delivers a complete programme of exercise and nutrition. It uses large multi joint exercises delivered with intensity in a range of highly varied sessions (called W.O.D. s). Training is short, intense, highly varied. These WOD’s are  scaleable for different fitness levels or abilities. In recognition of their sheer intensity some work outs are even named – just like hurricanes……

The evidence for doing Crossfit is now so compelling the real question is simply this. Why aren’t you doing it ?

Bristol Classes

CrossFit Bristol runs classes in the Bristol Area


34 Responses

  1. To give the impression that bodybuilders exclusively utilise isolation exercises only is simply not true. The squat, deadlift, bench press, rowing, chin-ups and other compound type movements compromise many a bodybuilders workout routine. These movements give them a very practical and impressive strength basis. To give the impression that bodybuilders are generally slow, stiff and weak is also not true. By the very nature of their explosive type workouts and extreme ranges of motion often combined with cardiovascular training, a bodybuilder is far from the feeble cripple portrayed above. I totally agree that a ‘Crosfitter’ will generally have greater endurance, flexibility and a more practical strength, but as is stated bodybuilding is about aesthetics and is therefore a completely different discipline. It appears as though the author of the above has an issue with bodybuilders, why not tennis players or footballers?

    • hi Matt.

      No, I don’t have an issue with bodybuilders at all. The training approach developed by bodybuilders is highly effective for those wanting to gain muscle through the process of hypertrophy, specifically sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. This is great for bodybuilders, not so good for athletes or those with an interest in combat sports.

      A bodybuilding approach became a staple of most gyms through the 70s 80s and 90s and even to this day in most gyms across the UK.

      Its part of the default program that gyms prescribe to everyone – along with a bit of cardio. It’s inappropriate for most people unless they have a specific bodybuilding goal. As a professional Krav Maga instructor, strength and conditioning coach and crossfit trainer I work with a lot of bodybuilders. From experience, crossfitters are often almost as strong, fitter faster and better adapted to real-life tasks.

      I certainly would not describe bodybuilders as ‘feeble cripples but the training methodologies tend to discourage agility, quickness and power. In fact for any competitive athlete a bodybuilding regime is a complete and absolute disadvantage. This is the reason why bodybuilding regimes are not used at a competitive level for combat or professional athletes. Crossfit however is.

      Like wise marathon running, tennis or football specific training would be inappropriate as a conditioning regieme for most people – gyms dont default to this. In fact many gyms default to a poor bodybuilding regieme – not even a good one.

      So to clarify, it is not my intention to criticise bodybuilders per se, more the application of a highly specific bodybuilding type training methodology to the general public as is used in most gyms in the UK. The average punter would get more from a highly varied programme – but that requires planning – input and skill. Most gyms wont do that.

      On a last thought Mat – if you body build and stopped for 3 months doing exclusively CrossFit for that time , I would bet you could sustain at least 90% of your dead lift – whilst becoming faster, more powerful (strength x speed) and have more stamina and agility.

      Theres a thought 😉

    • sorry I just read your comment at the bottom, why not tennis players or footballers?

      These are also highly specific training regimes and not necessarily appropriate for the general population. However programs based around tennis or football tend not to be the norm as prescribed in a gym to the general public. The average gym will prescribe a combination of isolation movements based on machines with a little cardio.

      It’s poor and frankly lazy training on the part of the gyms .

      • In fairness to gyms, bodybuilding style exercises do create fast results. Which is basically what people want when they join a gym. Further more, it is easier to mimic bodybuilder style exercises, while putting in very little effort- which CrossFit seems to require.

        Most people that join a gym do so for better aesthetics.

        Also, true hardcore bodybuilding is only for extreme aesthetics, while CF is for an entirely different reason. The comparison is unfairly weighted (can you tell my origins are from a hardcore bodybuilding gym, yet? haha)

        I love bodybuilding and I love the ethos behind CrossFit. But the comparison is not right. It’s like saying about a boat for driving on the road, and a car for sailing the ocean.

        Other than that comparison issue…..I hope to be joining CFB shortly.

  2. Hi ‘crossfitbristol’

    Thanks for your measured and intelligent response. Many people seem to enjoy ‘bodybuilder bashing’ and I initially assumed you may have been one of them. I completely agree that most gymnasiums give incorrect and often dangerous advice to customers, and have often overheard personal trainers giving suspect advice such as ‘You can turn fat into muscle’ or ‘Biceps account for 90% of upper body strength’.

    Its correct to state that ‘for any competitive athlete a bodybuilding regime is a complete and absolute disadvantage’, however I would suggest that a bodybuilding background would put a novice Crossfitter at a distinct advantage when compared to your average couch potato joe.

    I agree that forms of highly specialised training such as bodybuilding, marathon running, competitive swimming, etc, do exactly what they state on the tin. That is to specialise the body for a specific activity that is not necessarily conducive to real-life practical tasks. This is why as a previously competitive natural bodybuilder I am now possibly looking to take a new direction and adopt a more general approach to training (such a crossfit).

    As for the deadlifting max, lets not forget that bodybuilding isn’t powerlifting 😉

  3. Quote

    ‘You can turn fat into muscle’ or ‘Biceps account for 90% of upper body strength’.

    Priceless – but highly unsurprisingly.

    Good luck with your training and maybe, just may be you’ll get tempted to the dark side one day LOL 😉

    P.S Why deadlift rather than bench press etc – its easily tested and most cf gyms wont have a bench.

  4. I love visiting your site, I have book marked it

  5. Long time reader / first time poster. Really enjoying reading the blog, keep up the excellent work. Will most definitely start posting more oftenin the near future.

  6. Hey zz6a4p, very interesting post, it really got me thinking. Thank you. kd5mj

  7. I go running for endurance and lift weights for strength clean back to basic.

    Crossfit is very much like circletraining, which was abandoned in the 90’s since it is neither increasing endurance nor strength.

    I think crossfit is a good fitness model for average joe without any greater demans on endurance or strength, just a general fitness level.

    • Hi Thanks for the comment.

      Do you mean circuit training – not heard of circle training sorry. Crossfit is markedly different to circuit training – both in the conditioning methods used and format. I guess its simmilar in that it is done in a class format but the simmilarity really does stop there. In terms of overall physical performance CrossFit has been demonstrated again and again to out perform conventional training regiemes. Indeed it has been so successful its been adopted by the military, professional fighters and has been besieged by a ranhge of immitators forom gym jones to cave man training. The imperical evidence for crossfit is flawless.

      Visit the crossfit journal and have a look at the pro athletes and people contributing.

      The training approach you advocate was common in the 1970s and 1980s. The problem is that the 2 activities are counter productive to one another. There is a lot of research available on the interference caused to strength gains caused by combining it with endurance training in that manner. A simple google search will reveal this look up ‘endurance and strength gain’ or simmilar. Current research faviours a crossfit approach – look upp HIIT or Tabatta. The evidence is there and clear – it screams loudly – this stuff works.

      If you follow CrossFit work outs for a month (properly with good form) – you will lift more and run faster (depending on the length of your runs).

      You will probably need to look at periodising these if you chose to continue your regieme. Without knowing your training plan or objectives its hard to comment further. You might also consider kettlebells or gynmnastic training – and training outside of your normal parameters – ie run shorter faster etc.

      Good Luck either way and thanks for the contribution.

  8. Hi Paul,
    Really enjoyed reading this thread. Was introduced to Crossfit early last year and loved it so much that I got myself certified as a level 1 coach back in October. I find the training regime works great for my kickboxing and krav students and has definetly increased their speed and power output and their fitness has rocketed. As someone who has worked out in global gyms for 20 years I am very happy to now have crossed to the dark side.

    • Glad to hear it Charles – krav maga and crossfit make an unholy training regime…;-)

  9. Huge thanks for weds session Paul. My partner and I loved it and will be back. Thanks for all your time.

    Would highly reccomend coming and trying CrossFit to anyone else out there. What a lovely bunch – all mad but lovely nin the less

  10. Crikey that was tough.

    Quick thanks for Tuesdays freebie. Crossfit is great, really enjoyed the format and high intensity training. The group is lovely – highly reccomended.

    Can you drop me an email about what next – certainly up for it after that.

    • Hi Marcus.

      Glad you enjoyed the training – you did really well – as you can see – its not for thse wanting to take it easy but if you want to make a real commitment to your fitness – well thats what we do…..

  11. Hi Paul, Do you know of anyone looking to start a CF box in Gloucester. I would love to take up this training method but bristol is just to far to travel each time.

    • Hi.

      Sorry – not heard anything through the grapevine – with the way Crossfit has been going recently I guess it wont be long though ;-(

    • Have a look for a guy called Dan Crisp on Facebook, he has a place known as The Cave but I’m not sure if it’s public access

  12. Hey guys, I just read this blog and thought I’d weigh in.

    The body building vs crossfit debate is not one that is new to me or the other coaches at our gym in Glasgow and remains a point of contention particularly with our new members.

    We are repeatedly asked by people coming to view our facility ‘will this make me huge?’ but the answer to this depends very much on the person’s definition of ‘huge’.

    Look at some of the big names in CrossFit: Jason Khalipa, Dave Lipson, Rob Orlando or Josh Everett; these athletes are by most people’s definition, on the upper end of the muscular scale. Are they as big as Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler? No. Are they more capable across the full spectrum of physical fitness? Absolutely.

    Crossfit promotes a capacity to competently approach tasks across a broad range of modal domains while body builders specialise in one or two aspects of what can be defined as ‘fitness’ and in this respect should be considered ‘fringe athletes’ much like footballers and marathon runners.

    This is not to decry body building as a competitive sport, in fact there are undoubtedly certain aspects such as volume training that can produce results within the context of a dedicated CrossFit training program. I’ve seen Ronnie Coleman do the splits and any man entering into Mr Olympia can obviously lift a weight, but the point of Crossfit is to produce a physiological and mechanical system that is aimed at functional rather than aesthetic performance. Bicep curls are not functional, upright rows are not functional.

    Similarly, are the big guys in CrossFit better than the smaller guys like Chris Spealler? Absolutely not. Fitness is a measure of your capacity to do, not looking like you can do.

    As you said Matt, these are two entirely separate disciplines but I can personally testify that, without straps, most amateur Crossfitters will out-perform bodybuilders of similar experience in a single rep max deadlift. Though more commonly associated with power lifting, the deadlift is an essential part of any strength and conditioning program alongside the squat and the presses and heavier weights mean more hypertrophy and therefore contribute to progression.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a strength bias in your training if this is your ultimate aim but what you need to remember is that it is generally to the detriment of another dimension of the fitness concept.

    There is much that can be learned by stepping out of your comfort zone and I applaud both your willingness to try something different and to present your standpoint rationally without the usual indignation of the ‘isolation is best’ mob.

    You’ll be in good hands with Paul, whatever your goal.

    • Flattery will of course get you everywhere Gavin.

  13. What you are doing is absolutely bang on. It is all about fitness for function, common sense stuff. Your not premier trained are you?

    • Hi Tony.

      Premier trained ?

      I believe that is the lage Fitness company – erm no. I am REPS registered personal Trainer, Crossfit Affiliate and professional Martial Artist.

      Thanks for the reply 🙂

  14. Hello

    I am female and looking to maybe attend a free session to see how it suits me. I have done some lower weight squats etc before (circa 15kg), what are you initial expecations in terms or weights for women to lift? Despite my best efforts I have never mastered a press up!!


    • Hi Ali.
      As a trainer -thats a challenge I would love to help with – drop me an email at and we will book you in to start.

      Crossfit Bristol

  15. I have been reading CrossFit Bristol – Elite Fitness Training in Bristol, England for a while, but I finally got around to posting. Thanks for all of the information, you have created a great resource here.

    • Hi Jocelyn
      I always admired the whole grassroots crossfit ethos and am delighted to try and share information.

  16. I am a 20 year old girl and have gotten very unfit over the past 2 years after injuring my ankle and stopping exercise.
    I’d love to start crossfit training but feel I’d probably be way too unfit.
    Do you take beginners or?

    • Hell yes – come and give us a go.

  17. Hi,

    I want to come and join, how do I get myself booked up?



  18. I’m not sure why but this website is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end? I’ll check back later and see if the
    problem still exists.

    • Thanks – I had a look – no obvious issues. Maybe its your server.

  19. Hi try

  20. Hi guys

    Lookalike I might be working in Bristol next weekend, are you ok for drop ins?
    Saturday afternoon/evening



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