In addition to improving my physical and mental health CFGS has enabled me to show my daughter what a positive body image truly is, that challenging yourself to do things that seem impossible is fulfilling.

The team at CFGS are proud to share the feedback and testimonials we receive from our community. We share our testimonials to inspire others.


There I was sitting on my sofa thinking ‘I am 69 years old and feel more like I am 100 years old; everything is stiff and achy which is making everyday living a real pain and I have no energy; I can’t go through the rest of my life like this’.

Enough was enough, but the thought of joining a gym at my age was daunting at best and terrifying in reality.

I did make the call to CrossFit Great Stour and after speaking with Niki I felt a lot more positive about booking the introduction sessions.

The thing was I didn’t realise that CrossFit was a style of training, therefore turned up at my first session terrified I was going to find it far too hard core and fail at the first post. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

After a quick chat with Lee, the PT that was going to take me through the induction, I felt more at ease. Lee explained that CrossFit can be adapted to suit all ages and levels of fitness – breaths a sigh of relief -and that we would be starting off slowly so that we could learn what best suits my level.

That was last July, and I have been working with Lee ever since, I find one to one training more effective for me. I can’t praise Lee enough for the support and encouragement he has given me, and with such patience. I love the training and look forward to my twice weekly session.

The progress I have made in the last 6 monthly is nothing short of remarkable, everyday living is so much easier now, nothing is stiff and achy anymore and I have lots of energy.

The other upside is that they have an in-house chiropractor and sports therapist who are amazing.

I started at 69 and felt like 100 – I am now 70 and feel like 60.

I can’t recommend CrossFit Great Stour enough, it’s a very friendly and supportive environment to train in and it’s great for all ages and levels of fitness.

Christie Alkin

CFGS has given me the confidence to try anything in life.

I’ve learned how immobile I was and how to address it so I can stay functional in later life.

I’ve stopped smoking, drinking and eating in a way that was harmful to my body – I’ve replaced these habits with healthier ones with guidance and support.

I feel proud to be a strong female and not to be chasing being thin or a quick fix to lose weight.

I’ve learned how your environment impacts on your mood, choices and behaviour – which is why I spend most of my spare time at CFGS.

Taylor Wise

I keep going back to CrossFit Great Stour because that sense of accomplishment when completing a WOD you were quite certain was going to kill you is the most addicting feeling in the world.

Going from not even being able to do a single push up to now say I’ve deadlifted 100kg is insane.

I’ve learnt I am capable of things I couldn’t even dream of and this gave me so much confidence that is so empowering in my every day life.

Luke Robinson

I love turning up knowing every aspect of my training session has been planned for me, taking out the guess work, and avoiding going through the same routines week in week out! It never gets boring!

Every session gives you the opportunity to get a new win or personal best and with so many different disciplines there is always something new to learn.

Beth Coles

I first joined CrossFit hoping to be “skinny” instead I have embraced getting stronger and learning new skills. Your body becomes a byproduct of what you can do, this changed my outlook on training altogether, it became a hobby rather than a chore. Also, it has helped me with my mental resilience during times of stress in my personal life. Healthy body, healthy mind!

Sally Windle

In addition to improving my physical and mental health CFGS has enabled me to show my daughter what a positive body image truly is, that challenging yourself to do things that seem impossible is fulfilling.

Craig Kedda

Four years ago, I was fat and depressed and knew I had to do something about it. I remember standing in the shower, looking down, unable to see my toes. This was the last straw. I’m 48 this year, and I’m fitter now than I was in my 30s. I’ve loved my Crossfit journey with Crossfit Great Stour. The coaches are fantastic, not to forget the friends for life I’ve made. CFGS has had such a positive impact on my life that my kids are now members.

Zoe Rhoda

I started CrossFit thinking I would be the oldest and slowest. I am def the slowest (and maybe one of the oldest) but I have done things I have never thought I would be able to do even though I’ve only been going for a year. The support is incredible and it makes you feel more confident and resilient in every day life.

Heather Thompson Cooke

Until I joined the box I’d never been near a barbel in my life! Wish I had joined earlier. 18 months in and I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. Never been this strong and feel much more confident in myself. I’ve realised the importance of sleep and fuelling myself.

I love the fact that everyone is always cheering each other on, always a positive place to spend an hour or so. Looking forward to see what 2023 at the box has in store.

Jo Tolhurst

For much of my life for various reasons I’ve been self-reliant and independent to the point of being disconnected from people other than my boys. I was a mum and a teacher, and saw my own value in the use I was to others. I toyed with the gym a few times but each time, without direction, support or encouragement, it quickly gave way to longer hours working.
Yes, CrossFit Great Stour has impacted hugely on my fitness and physical strength. October 2018 Nik had to hold my feet down so I could do a sit up and I could only jump onto a couple of 20kg plates. By December 2019 I was jumping on the box and deadlifted 100kg.

Returning to CrossFit in October 2021 was with a welcome and warmth that is the essence of CrossFit Great Stour. The very 3 things missing from those gyms years ago, direction, support and encouragement quickly restored my fitness and strength. At nearly 62, I am stronger now and more body-confident than I have ever been. My deadlift is now over the 100kg, I can bench 60kg, I kind-of enjoy burpees and can somehow knock out 20 push ups.

But there’s also the huge impact of feeling connected. Connected to an amazing group of people whose collective positivity, acceptance and belief in each other makes amazing things happen. Finally I have my own value in being me.

Jo Brannan

I joined CrossFit Great Stour a year ago and absolutely love it – I just wish I’d found it sooner.

I love that you don’t know exactly what you’ll be doing, that every workout is different and that you’re coached through it – It keeps my attention and I never get bored which I always did at the gym. The coaches and members are all so encouraging it’s an awesome empowering place to be.

I’m stronger and more resilient both physically and mentally than I have ever have been and I absolutely love showing my 8 and 6 year old what is possible if you just keep working at it!!!

Matty G

For me, CrossFit Great Stour has been a life changing experience. That may seem a bit over the top but I can promise you it’s TRUE!

2021 was a very tough year for me as it was for many people but I found myself in a very poor state of mental health, physically I was ok but joining the box took me to a whole new place.

The training become a necessity and the people within the box become a new found passion. I’d like to say thank you to all involved because you have simply changed how I look at life in general and certain helped me through the biggest mental struggle I have ever had.

Dan C

I joined CFGS back in 2021. Was absolutely sh&*ing myself when I first walked in. I thought people were going to look at me and think “who is this short fat 40 something bloke walking in”………I couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I knew that I needed to do something, I couldn’t fit in my clothes, I was out of breath walking up stairs and I was extremely lazy, always finding excuses not to do stuff.

CFGS changed my life not just physically but mentally as well!
I’m now doing things I never thought possible and I’ve met a amazing bunch of people.

This is something I now do for fun, I love getting out of bed in the morning knowing I’m heading to CrossFit in the next few hours. It brings a smile to my face and has such a positive impact on my day.

Ash Bowles

My only regret is not trying it sooner. I’m fitter than ever, I’ve made great friends. It’s where I go to escape.

Poppy Ruddock

I’ve been a member for 2+ years & It has changed my life.

The box is full of supportive and determined people that all become one big family.
When I joined I was overweight, lazy & boring. Now, I am healthy, confident and the most social I have ever been.

The progression I have made is amazing!

With the help of CFGS & the correct nutrition from Nutrition By Niks it has enabled me to be accepted for fertility treatment.

The coaches are next to none, always there to encourage & support & what keeps me wanting to go even if I’m not feeling it on a particular day is the encouragement from other members.

The box is full of cheers & laughter, I’m very grateful to have found CFGS.

I have one regret which is, I wish I started sooner!

Rebecca Roberts

Stepping through the door a year ago was a big challenge, I have never been great with groups of people because of being self conscious and awkward socially, but walking into the box the first, fifth, twentieth or even the hundredth time, I have never felt anything other than supported, accepted and encouraged to grow in all ways, at my own pace. At 42 yo, I have never been in an environment where I have ever felt this before, which is a testimony not only to the owners and coaches but every single member who make it an amazing community to be a part of. I am also the strongest and healthiest both mentally and physically that I have ever been!!

Jamie Henderson

I have been at CFGS for over a year now and when I started I was very nervous. But there was no need to be, everyone (coaches and other members) are so supportive and helpful to everyone journeys and I am very grateful for you guys helping along mine. Like others have said I wish I joined earlier. It has never been a chore to come to the box and train. Bring fun and enjoyment to training.

James Hughes

I joined CFGS about a year ago. Before lockdown, I looked into it but honestly, I was stuck in the normal gym culture that you walk in ignore everyone, lift as heavy as you can doing the classic Monday bench, Tuesday back, Wednesday bench etc. I had tried to do my own training in CrossFit but didn’t have a clue.

2020 was the year that I could no longer hide and with becoming a dad and a few other personal things that took everything from me. I was done. Before now I wasn’t one to talk about mental health but I honestly felt I was selfish for being here I hated who I was and one night I walk down the beach and drank as much as I could with the mindset to walk in the sea and that be that. Luckily tho it didn’t work out that way.

I then someone I knew who was at CFGS and they said I needed to give it a go what have you go to lose?

So I did, and honestly, from the moment I walked into the box and Nicola Spean was so welcoming she took away all the thoughts I had had and was so genuine.

All the coaches are honestly amazing and you can see they do want the best for you and want to push your boundaries and make you feel comfortable being uncomfortable.

All I would say to people is what have you go to lose? Try it you might just like it.

Sean Teehan

“It was about a year ago today, I remember sitting in front of my Diabetic consultant hearing him tell me that my blood sugars were out of control, my cholesterol was through the roof and my blood pressure was shocking. It was likely that I would have devastating complications in the future if I did not change my lifestyle. I went though the normal type of trying to change my lifestyle, joined a local gym, where I spent most of the time in the hot tub then the gym and tried to eat healthy. Not really the lifestyle change I needed. When my wife came out of hospital after undergoing chemotherapy she wanted to try Crossfit out and see how it would go. At first I was dubious having seen it online thinking there was no way I would be able to do that. We went to a session at the weekend to see what it looks like and I was surprised at how friendly everyone was, asking if we were looking to join and taking their time out of their training to talk to us about what Crossfit was about and what to expect. After a few intro sessions I got stuck into training and found that I was loving it. How can going into a box (what they call the gym) and giving everything you have into an hours session be so addictive? All the coaches are amazing, they show you how to do all the movements and give you extra help if there are parts that you find you struggle with. As are the other members that also train there, you find people from all backgrounds but with one goal, to better themselves and support others around them. I would recommend everyone from any fitness background to go and give CrossFit Great Stour a try. This was the lifestyle change I needed. Now my blood sugars are in good control, my cholesterol is in a healthy range and my blood pressure is normal. Nikki and Chase should be extremely proud of the community they have built and the lives that they change / save in doing so!”

Suzy Lane

I only joined about 6 weeks ago as I needed that push to lose weight and get fitter. The gym doesn’t work for me, so I thought I would give this a go. So glad I did, It’s hard work but you get a real sense of achievement when you have finished a session. The coaches are great, friendly and give good advice. They really give me the push I need. The coaches will help you to get your goal. In this short time I’m already seeing the benefits, so is my husband. I’ve dropped a dress size and I’m feeling more toned and stronger already. All the members I have met are really friendly, they cheer you on and that gives you the encouragement you need to push harder. Then a high five when we have all finished. Even though it’s hard work, and the fact I get nervous thinking omg what are we going to be doing today. I keep going back for more. It’s addictive, I think it’s worth every penny.

Jon Haig

My role as a Paramedic at times can be very physically demanding, training CrossFit has enabled me to learn how to move safely through compound movements, reducing the risks of injuries incurred from expediently extricating patients. Besides occupational hazards I love the constant challenge where you not only rival other members at the gym, you rival your former self, pushing beyond your previous capabilities. The benefits of training at a CrossFit gym as opposed to a ‘regular’ gym are multi-faceted. To begin with, the staff are passionate about and have extensive training into CrossFit movements, the core exercises focusing around both gymnastic and weight-lifting movements. With proper training from these staff in classes limited to 12 people per workout you will have a keenly trained eye guiding you on how to move appropriately. Alongside this the staff focus on prevention of injuries, you will be educated and encouraged to perform a variety of mobility exercises you’re likely to have never been shown, increasing flexibility and RoM in your ankles and hips, thereby improving your holistic strength in application to real-world cognitive compound movements, for instance lifting a heavy weight from the ground. It is recognised that for the individual trying to lose those pesky pounds, 70% of the issues comes not from exercise, but good nutritional habits. This, unlike other gyms, is provided at CFGS, the staff are passionate about healthy eating and champion the paleolithic diet, giving great tips and tricks behind how to transition into a healthier diet. Alongside this there is a heavy emphasis on both the mitigation and prevention of injuries, as such CFGS has the privilege of an onsite private Osteopath, yoga instructor and Sports massage therapist, where the ever important ‘personal touch’ can be offered. The classes themselves are not for the faint hearted, upon joining I was jokingly told ‘the easier it looks, the harder it is’, I have found this to be upsettingly accurate. Each time you train a different workout will be ominously placed on the board, It is then your responsibility to train as hard as you can, lifting as much as you can to a set time-limit, competing against both yourself and fellow CFGS members. It hurts, but it’s great. Finally all of this passion and expertise are extended by all the friendly CFGS members who will keep you coming back for more.

Luke Johnson

I train at CrossFit Great Great Stour because of the amazing support and coaching from the coaches and other members. They really cover for people of all abilities and the top level athletes have really pushed me to improve much more in the last 12 months than I ever did in my previous years of training.

My favourite crossfit movement is the over head squat as I believe it is a great demonstration of both mobility and strength.

Moving to Crossfit Great Stour has been the best decision for my training. I came in 12 months ago after not being able to squat for 4 months due to injury. The focus on mobility and building a foundation of strength before progressing, as well as the healthy competition from other members, has elevated all areas of my training higher than they have been before.

Elise Schack

I joined CrossFit Great Stour a year and a half ago, before that i had been introduced to crossFit 6 months prior but that didnt even scratch the surface! I moved to England from Australia leaving my friends and family behind so I was looking to find a hobby or somthing to keep me busy and meet new people. Little did I know this would become such a big part of my life. I heard about CF and decided to give it a go, but having no other sporting backround and lack of confidence I had no idea where to start and absolutely no idea of my capabilities. The support and encouragement to do well from the coaches and community at CFGS is the best thing about this place and it has gotten me to where I am today! Whether you’re training to be a competitive athlete like me, improve your overall fitness or just trying to achieve that summer body you will find whatever it is you need to get you from ‘I cant’ to ‘I can’! I’m not going to lie it has been a bumpy ride for me and theres still a long road and a lot of uncertainty. But to say no is already being defeated so I will continue to push myself and use the excellent help and knowledge from the coaches here to drive me towards my goals. I know its easier said than done but anything is possible if you try, what have you got to lose? It is different for everyone but what stands out when I look back on my first 2 years doing CF is the confidence i have gained, friends i have made and the ability to feel comfortable in my own skin! The sky is your limit. To me that means everything and I can honestly say I have found more than what I was looking for when I first joined CFGS. Its not just a keep fit method for me anymore, its a lifestyle choice that I will follow for the rest of my life. You can get anything you want out of CrossFit, to anyone thinking of joining us or trying it out I’d say give it a go you might just surprise yourself.

Jon Bairam

“I can’t remember how I first discovered CrossFit, but I do remember thinking wow that looks amazing. I followed the CrossFit Games (the worldwide event to find the fittest on earth) and was amazed by what these men and women could do. After about 6 months of hearing how CrossFit is for everyone and not just elite athletes and that it helps makes your everyday life better I thought I’d give it a try. At that time the closest ‘box’ to me was about 30 mins away. I went and was checked out by the coach and put through some simple paces. It nearly killed me, the coach pushed me way beyond what I could do, to say it put me off was and understatement (I could barely walk for 3 days). I’m a 40 years old, pretty successful guy, I lead a company and am part of an international business. I travel extensively and make presentation and strategy decisions on a daily basis. I’m the guy that seems to take it all in his stride or that never seems nervous about anything. Well the thought of going back to CrossFit scared me to the point that I didn’t dare try for nearly a year. My motivation was, and remains, the desire to be able to do things with my young kids and to be a role model for them, this kicked in when I heard about CrossFit Great Stour. After exchanging a few emails with Nicola (co-owner) I went for my first introduction. This was totally different to my previous experience. I walked in and was immediately made to feel welcome, everyone saying hi and wishing me luck. The session was lead by Nicola and she explained carefully what we would do and how we would do it. She introduced several of the Olympic Lifts (types of movement using a barbell) and had us practicing using plastic pipes. No weights until the technique is sound is pretty much the law at CFGS. After a few intro sessions which covered the main elements of CrossFit, and the techniques required to be safe and effective I was to take part in the usual CrossFit class. This is an hour session for up to 12 people, usually consisting of some Olympic lifting, gymnastics movements and some metabolic conditioning. This also contains the WOD (workout of the day) this is the part that CrossFit is known for, the part where you measure your time, distance or reps or how much weight you lift etc. This is part where people can really push themselves or challenge what they think they cannot do. It changes daily so one day you might suck but the next you’ll feel like a champion. What surprised (and delighted) me was that the adaptation and acceptance of everyone being different is so well ingrained and established at CrossFit Great Stour that at no time do I feel I cant do what is right for me (we call it scaling the workout) or that I should be doing something someone else is doing. I mentioned I’m 40, but I should also say that I’m not light, 6ft 1” and about 125kg (at the moment), so things are not easy. The other Co-Owner, Chase is one of the fittest people you are every likely to meet, he can move weights and himself in ways and for periods of time that mystify me. Not only is he humble, full of knowledge and more than willing share it, both he and Nicola, find genuine pleasure is seeing us succeed. The other day I was practicing handstands (yes at 40yrs old I can now do a handstand against a wall and hold it there) and when I heard Chases words of encouragement and genuine pleasure in what I was doing, was a boost to say the least. The work you put in is the work you put it. I am not a ‘light’ guy and bodyweight movements are a struggle, I can’t do pull-ups or muscle-ups or handstand push-ups, I can’t climb a rope, when I first started I could barely even squat below parallel. I’m working on my weaknesses and with the help of the excellent coaching staff, Chase and Nicola and of course the community at the box who I now consider friends, I’ll get there eventually. Aside from the physical benefits of CrossFit itself I love the fact that I’m part of this community, sometimes we laugh, sometimes we get serious, we always work hard and together, in different ways we get through it, we get stronger, we get better as individuals and as a community. If you are reading this you are intrigued or interested in CrossFit, if you are reading this I cannot recommend highly enough CrossFit Great Stour and Chase and Nicola!

Nick Price

I cannot Recommend CrossFit Great Stour enough! The spirit and comradeship are second to none. Its like having a personal trainer every session. The coaches are supportive and will push you to be the best you can be but if that is not enough your fellow CrossFitters will fill in the blanks, you will be pushed, cheered and encouraged until the last rep or the last second of your workout. You will meet great people and make friends along the way. You get the real feeling that you are a part of a team. Whilst crossfit can seem daunting to many, especially if you have not used weights before or taken part in such a rigorous workout but don’t be put off, everyone started somewhere. It is fully adjustable to work with your strength and to work around limits and injuries. It does not matter whether you have an empty bar or its loaded with 10kg Plates to the max you wont feel any less a part of the group. Knowing your booked in for a session and knowing the people your booked in with will make it enjoyable is what will keep you going. Its easy to let yourself down, not so easy to let down friends and coaches. I have personally taken a break from Crossfit recently and having messages from the coaches asking where I am, whats going on and Why I haven’t been at the Box really makes you feel a part of something, no commercial gym would check in on you make sure your ok and encourage you to get back at it. If you want to get fit, loose weight, get stronger, leaner, make friends, have fun CrossFit Great Stour offers all of this and much much more..



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