I started off as a PT back in 2011. It quickly came apparent to me that I enjoyed the puzzle of how to help people live longer, feel more confident and develop movement skills that would translate to everything else they did in life. I believe that there is still a big aspect for most people about wanting to look a certain way and CrossFit opened my eyes to a newer perspective of “Nice body, what can you do with it?”. I believe that when people develop better movement patterns, stronger foundations and an open mindset that they can not only achieve their goals but surpass them. Watching people surpass what they thought they were capable of and set themselves on a new path to greater health is the primary reason I coach.
Most things Gymnastic. However, the Snatch requires so many technical proficiencies, when you get it right, the feeling is unrivalled.
“I’m trying to free your mind Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” - I’m big on helping guide people but empowering them so that they don’t need me holding their hand the whole way. Education around fitness is huge for me and something I’m very passionate about.
I was the fat kid at school. I rarely enjoyed PE, not because I didn’t enjoy sport or because it was difficult, but because it was exclusive, intimidating and for fear of being ridiculed. CrossFit was the opposite of that; it was inclusive, accepting, adaptable and fun. Health and fitness should be open and available to everyone. That’s why I coach.
“If it’s not fun, don’t do it” - Personal philosophy.
I coach because I want to help office workers, city high flyers, and regular Joes get active after years of sedentary life in front of a computer. I was one of these people once until CrossFit completely changed my life for the better. I'd like to share my experience with as many people as possible. CrossFit is not only an incredibly effective training methodology but provides every member, from day one, with a supportive community that over time becomes a family.
I love most exercises that involve pushing but the handstand push-up is easily the coolest. Who doesn't want to fling themselves around upside down?!
``I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery``
People are pretty cool and being strong makes everyone happy. Being a coach let's me positively influence peoples lives. Helping them get stronger and move well gives them the freedom to step out of that paradigm of ``pressure to look good`` and focus more on the process of movement and in term getting stronger. From that confidence in themselves builds and inevitably they end up looking better as a result of being stronger.
This is too hard. Deadlifts are bae but probably something like a deadbug or farmers walk.
``Zug zug`` - orcs from Warcraft
Aside from the obvious reason of the satisfaction gained from helping people move better, I believe that health and fitness can lead to a greater degree of consciousness and create a better world. The physiological changes are one thing - we're all up for looking better naked, but the psychological changes that you get from constant struggle, sacrifice, reward and reflection are a lesson that can be applied to all areas of our life. It's a privilege to see these changes in people on a daily basis, and see the changes filter through to their lives and the lives around them.
The muscle up. It demands equal parts of strength, flexibility, stability and coordination.
``The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is today.`` - translation, do it now!
I’ve spent my life ‘moving’ from ballet to personal training into CrossFit, movement is pretty much engrained in me, I coach because it gives me a sense of accomplishment when not only do I see someone who’s worked hard to maybe get their first pull up but watching someone’s movement get better over time and or seeing that light bulb moment. It never gets old and still makes me love what I do.
Squat snatch - so complex yet so satisfying when you nail it
Life is too short to be boring 🙂
I discovered CrossFit in 2011 and, coming from an endurance background, was immediately hooked by the sheer variety of the challenges involved in CrossFit's all-encompassing definition of 'fitness'. Training in this way has made me fitter and stronger than I was 30 years ago and coaching gives me the opportunity to introduce others to the fun, enjoyment and health benefits of an active lifestyle.
Ring muscle up.
Full effort is full victory (Mahatma Ghandi)
Crossfit was, and still is a life changer for me. The friendships I have formed and the things I have been able to get my body to do over the last 6 years has been a product of the community that Crossfit creates. I feel like coaching is a way of giving back some of what Crossfit has given to me.
Squat clean- there’s something so satisfying about dropping under that heavy bar.
‘You must do the things you think you cannot do’ Elenor Roosevelt.
Seeing people achieve what they thought they were incapable of is the most satisfying thing about coaching.
Bogdan developed a love for a variety of sports from a very young age, always training always learning new things, in 2013 he found Crossfit at Crossfit London and loved it, all the technical movements, strength and demanding WODs sounded like the perfect package. In 2017 he qualified as an instructor and since then has enjoyed passing the knowledge to others, and takes pleasure in seeing everyday people progress.
Favourite movement: Snatch/Muscle up
Favourite Quote: “Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.”
I come from a background where teamwork and community are essential and I find them both in Crossfit. In Crossfit, we work together as a team with a common goal of improving our health and lives. I'm a part of the members' life as much as they are of mine. That's community.
Ice cream markers! Being able to control your own body is as sexy as it gets.
Someone much older and wiser once told me, ``If you are too smart to listen, you are too stupid to learn``. I've been trying to put that into practice ever since.
I think that if someone has the ability to share their knowledge and help people, then this is time well spent. Over the last 10 years of coaching this has been something I’ve come to believe quite strongly; those who can teach, should.
The one arm handstand (or more precisely the full position/svecha/rocket for any hand balancing enthusiasts), videos of this and other skills can be found on my Instagram - @craig.gadd.
'The world is changed by examples, not opinions.' - Paulo Coelho
Craig Gadd is a professional circus artist who trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts with a specialisation in hand balancing.
His focus and passion has always been to improve the body's performance in skill acquisition, strength, and mobility whilst maintaining structural balance.
For the last 5 years he has been teaching adults to do the same, ranging from hand balancing, general gymnastics, and a variety of circus disciplines; as well as basic mobility and function with people of different ages and abilities, in person and online.
Teaching and learning are the undoubted highlights of my life: I love communicating and seeing other people progress in any field, and the satisfaction of finding a new angle or perspective to help someone overcome a conceptual or movement obstacle is unparalleled. I came to sport and gymnastics in particular comparatively late, which gives me first-hand insight into the challenges, frustrations and outright fear faced by adult learners: it makes me happy to turn this to others’ benefit. If I also I find being responsible for others a far stronger motivation than anything else, so it makes me pay much more attention to every aspect of my own training! I’m a mathematician by training and often we look at seemingly abstract questions; the reality is we don’t always expect to be able to answer them, but do end up discovering new and useful intellectual machinery while attempting the journey and more often than not, uncovering surprising connections with other areas of theory: this field is not so different – coaching the variety of movement and strength we do at CFLDN, often with ambitious goals, leads to an appreciation of interrelatedness and new ways to achieve progress. Homines dum docent discunt – People learn while they teach.
Press to Handstand: I always found this spellbinding when watching gymnastics competitions. I never expected to get there: on a first attempt it feels absurdly infeasible, but with perseverance becomes (almost) effortless and elegant.
Along with Naim Rahman, Luke is one of the co-Chairmen of CFLDN. They were both long-term clients before joining our founder, Andrew Stemler, in business in 2016. Luke’s training includes a variety of gymnastics and sports acrobatics and as many CrossFit classes as time permits. He has a wide variety of professional experience in finance and investment and businesses large and small. A former wine merchant, he is still a Senior Judge at the International Wine Challenge and is a veteran wine educator – you might find him running the odd tasting in HQ on a Saturday night! The polyphenols are good for you, apparently.
“At first you might find it incredibly painful, but after a while, you become a bit of a devil for it.”
Having been a competitive swimmer as a teenager whilst simultaneously holding captainship of the high school volleyball team, a broad and inclusive perspective on fitness has always been part of Nik's life. This developed even further when he began extensive training in a variety of dance styles, as well as aerial acrobatics later on. Whilst starting a career in acting, Nik also began working as a PT. Once discovering the CrossFit methodology, it strongly resonated with his own view of fitness, and he enjoys nothing more than watching people grow beyond their comfort zone by achieving new milestones on their own infinite fitness journey.
Many. Anything 'handstandy', OH squats, love cleans.
'Hard work beats talent.'
CrossFit was a step-change for me. I left behind a long career in publishing design, to shout at sweaty people in a railway arch! I threw in my all to play my part in building CrossFit London over the years. I see the nervous people I welcomed to Foundations classes progress, toughen, blossom and become the athletes they could once only dream about. It’s a joy for me that never gets old.
Split jerk. There’s something heroic, and photogenic, about it.
As a relative of that famous suffragette, it has to be “Deeds, not Words!”