From the Blog




ben pitt 1We are smashing the CrossFit Open so far this year!

Congratulations to all athletes who have been taking part, whether you’ve signed up officially, or not.

Highlights so far include member James Hudson hitting a PR for his squat clean during 19.2… twice!
Coach Ben Pitt placed 7thin the UK, masters division, for his 19.1 score. Expect big things from him this year!

Ursula Elliot went from having no toes to bar a few weeks ago, to achieving a full round of 25 during her RX 19.2 workout.

And athlete Leo Lundgren placed 136th IN THE WORLD for this 19.1 effort (that’s 11th in the UK).

These are just a few of the amazing successes we are celebrating this Open.  Keep it up, team!



CFSA is excited to announce Recovery Week.

It’s our gift to you: we’re putting on a week of special classes and treatments to provide you with some R&R after your efforts in the Open.  From Monday 25th– Friday 29thMarch (the week after the competition concludes) we will host a full line up of yoga and mobility classes, a nutrition seminar, as well as recovery treatments like dry needling and chiropractic adjustment, IV infusions and sports massage!

Expect an email from us in the coming weeks with full details and schedule so you can book in and take full advantage of Recovery Week. In the meantime, if you’d like more information, speak to coach Claudia.



computerWe would like to say thank you for adopting the new cancellation and no show policy and we have appreciated your feedback about the system so far.

To make it easy for you to sign in to your class or open gym session, we’ve placed a computer on the bar near the gym entrance.  It has Wodify installed on it, so you can simply click yourself in when you arrive.




In this blog series, we celebrate our members and their personal journeys in fitness.

This month, our attention turns to Christine Standen

Have you always been fit?

As with many people, I took health and fitness for granted when I was younger. In my 20’s I chopped and changed and tried various activities and classes at ‘globo’ gyms as well as some running. I never really enjoyed anything enough or saw any benefits to keep me motivated. Classes were so repetitive they ended up feeling like a chore. In my 30’s, I was pretty busy with small children but did at least discover yoga and continued to run occasionally. It was only when I passed 40 that I started to take it a bit more seriously – especially on noticing a decline in posture from hours of sitting at a desk, associated aches and pains, less muscle tone (things going south) etc… So I made a very conscious decision (a NY resolution!) that I would do something about it. At exactly the right time, I spotted a flyer for a new functional fitness gym in St Albans (pre CFSA) and tentatively went along and started to attend group training sessions. I realised then what proper exercise was all about and loved it – not just the circuit style workouts that included all of the, now familiar, functional movements but also the fun and camaraderie of working in a group and the anticipation of doing something different each time.

When did you discover CrossFit St Albans?

I joined CFSA in Oct 2015 and was initially quite daunted – who wouldn’t be when faced with Coach Tristan at 6am! ;-), also the barbells and rig were quite alien! It didn’t take long though to realise the natural progression from the KB/DB and even wall-ball movements I was used to – and I really enjoyed learning something new.

One of the best things about CrossFit is that everything’s totally scalable, making it accessible to all and easy to see constant improvements and to keep learning and improving technique. I was surprised (and proud) when I managed to do a rope climb the very first time I tried (must’ve been in the subconscious from childhood) but not everything came so easily – and double-under’s were definitely the most frustrating of all.

This is where the great coaching has been so key. I’ve picked up different tips and techniques from different coaches and there is often a light bulb moment when a technique is described in just the right way to resonate and make a different. I was especially grateful for the flexible approach after I tore a tendon in my shoulder in a skiing accident. After 12 weeks total rest, I returned to training but the NHS physio was horrified that I’d been bench-pressing and told me to stop! Instead, I stopped going to see him and followed a re-hab plan instead – and the coaches helped me to adapt/scale everything I needed to in classes. It was never an issue and over the course of a year, I got back to full mobility.

And now…?

I honestly only signed up for the open last year (on the day it started), because I knew I’d end up doing the WODs anyway and thought I may as well just record them. But, oh my goodness, I didn’t realise what an impact it would have!

First of all, every WOD I did resulted in me walking away from it knowing that I could have done it better. So that’s what I did. I assessed my approach, worked out new tactics and did every single one of them twice (and always better)– it was so addictive.

Christine CollageThis made me realise that I needed a new challenge to work towards and with some words of encouragement from coaches Claudia and Ben P, I recruited a team and signed up for Fitfest, followed closely by Athletika and then Battle Cancer as well as both of the CFSA throwdowns.

These have all provided a specific focus for training and even better, the opportunity to train and compete as part of a team. I would highly recommend for anyone to give it a go, whatever your level.

CFSA is so much more than just a gym, it’s a whole community. I joined along with a group of gym friends, and nearly all of us are still training at CFSA – along with a whole load of other friends we’ve made since. One of the things that always stands out for me about CFSA members is their attitude – so much positivity, support and encouragement.

In May, I will be turning 50 (ouch) but I can honestly say that I’ve never been fitter or in better shape in my whole life! I plan to continue to train, to improve my technique and maybe soon I’ll be able to string together multiple pull-ups rather than just 1 or 2! The 2019 Open is beginning and I hope to be able to improve on last year’s final ranking of 62ndpercentile (4,427/11,935) worldwide. At the moment there are only 4,176 women registered in my age group so fingers crossed.  Oh, and there is the small matter that I have just signed up for The Great North run in September so I’d better dust off my running shoes…



kidsOur children’s CrossFit programme runs for the next six weeks.

Mondays at 4:15pm is for teen athletes, on Fridays at 4:15pm, our class for kids aged 7-11 takes place, and the pre-schoolers’ class is on Sunday mornings at 9:10 am.

If you’d like more information, please email



Expect some exciting changes and additions to our programming from April.  We’re adding barbell cycling, Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics sessions and more classes specifically geared towards those competing in fitness events across the summer.  More details soon…