Crossfit Galway French Vanoli
Crossfit Galway via French Vanoli

So I have decided after many years of half assed attempts to go to the gym (and much money wasted on gym memberships!) that I needed a fresh start – to do something that would both motivate me and also get me fit in the process. I researched different gym classes, spinning, hot yoga, triathlon training, looked at the option of getting a personal trainer etc. but nothing was really grabbing my attention. Then I remembered that a friend of mine in Australia had mentioned how much she loved Crossfit. And the nugget was sown….

There are LOADS of articles on Crossfit and to be honest the more I read the more I was intimidated. The people who do Crossfit are beyond ripped and some make pulls ups look like they are just stretching!

Before I completely scared myself I decided to find somewhere in my local area that offered Crossfit and just go for it! So I popped French Vanoli an email and they came back very quickly and said to pop in and try a class and see what I thought, they reassured me in the email that I would be fine and all exercises could be scaled back….. however I was nervous.

Floralesque Fitness

When I walked into the reception area of the studio I nervously said that I was there for a trial class – instantly I was amazed at how warm and welcoming people were!! I went into ‘The Box’ (your Crossfit gym – yes they even have their own lingo), and one of the trainers Padraic came over and went through what Crossfit was and we spoke at length on nutrition (this is a weak point of mine) and then the class was starting….

Now I’ll be honest I thought that I would be watching the class not actually doing it – well was I wrong! It also turned out to be one of the worse nights to start… the 100 Burpee Challenge Night – to do as many as possible within a certain time! I wanted to walk out there and then.

However, since my boyfriend wasn’t collecting me for another hour… I stayed. The warm up consisted of short sprints, sideway sprints and running while doing some squats and jump ups… I was shattered about 4 minutes into the warm up and honestly didn’t think I would last much longer. The coach seen this and then came over and we did some of the basic moves – some squats and wall throws. I was impressed at how much attention that the coaches took in all the people doing the class – you can’t just go to a class and hide in the back!!


Then began the 100 Burpee ‘WOD Challenge. So each class there is a ‘WOD’ – Workout of the day – I think that really these are just new inventive ways to torture you however moving on… I knew that I could not do 100 Burpees (and let’s be honest so did everyone else!), however I decided to give it a go. And I have never before felt some motivation from people to keep going. When I HAD to stop I was urged to keep going-  but not in an aggressive way – just encouraging. And when the time ended (I had done perhaps 30!) people actually came over and said well done !?!

I was honestly shocked at how friendly both the coach and the other people in the class were. In previous gym classes that I had gone to you just went in, did the class and left. In this Crossfit class, some people came over after and asked how I was and then they stayed chatting as well.

So my first impressions following my trial class…

  • It was intimidating walking into the class – when you first go there will be people grunting while doing heavy weights, there will be people who are just doing pull up’s, there will be people who look like they should be on the front of a fitness magazine
  • Your coaches are there to help – let them!
  • The people will push you to keep going and that is a good thing
  • You will hurt in the days that follow – like REALLY hurt – I couldn’t sit down for 4 days after it without winching
  • It will feel like an accomplishment when you walk (or stumble) out of the class- you went and you did it!
  • New class…. New Workout clothes…. of course

Now don’t get me wrong – this was NOT an easy class. It is not a walk in the park and I can see why people are intimidated when they first go. And why some people do not go back. The class full on wiped me out. I was sore for days afterwards.  BUT I felt like I had achieved something – that this would get me fitter. Also – remember to bring water and a small towel! Trust me on this one.


  1. Hi Helen,
    I would recommend trying out the class and see how you go, it’s very different to any other class or HIT workout that I have tried – I think it’s to do with the support and atmosphere! 🙂
    Btw love the photography on your blog – you have an eye for it xx


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