the joy of strength training


September 2009

» by

Hi folks!
Now that people are back from their summer holidays and scarily talking about ‘the run up to Christmas’, there is a lot to get excited about over the next few months.

New functional fitness portal in the works

The FK.UK forum we know and love is going large and next year will be launched as a portal for all things functional fitness in the UK. There will be news, events, workshops, knowledge, workouts and more.

This is a voluntary project which we believe is sorely needed to bring the community together. Yours truly has been appointed online editor for the site and I’m very excited about it. Keep an eye on this space for more news and snippets as work progresses.


The August bank holiday saw two strongman events happen in Cornwall. On Saturday there was the IAWA Celtic Strongman and on Sunday, Cornwall’s Strongest Man. I had friends and acquaintances competing in both events and was very impressed with the performances they all put in.
Watch my video of my friend Andy competing in Cornwall’s Strongest Man 2009

What’s new in the Gubernatrix shop?

Andrew Stemler’s Elite Fitness Manual has been selling well, followed by Chip Conrad’s Strength Rituals DVD. Since these are two of the best sources of practical, functional strength information and inspiration anywhere, this can only be good for the global community. Well done you lot for choosing them, keep up the good work!
Read more about these great folks I partner with

We love kettlebellsI’ve been a bit disappointed by my kettlebell sales. Although I’ve had some fantastic offers on in the last month and quite a few enquiries about them, the actual sales have been very slow. I am putting this down to the time of year (summer holidays) and the effects of the recession.

I understand that a kettlebell can be seen as a nice-to-have in hard times but here’s the thing: a single 16kg kettlebell from my shop costs less than one month’s membership at LA Fitness or the joining fee (never mind the monthly cost) of British Military Fitness. Perhaps 50-odd quid for a lump of metal still seems like a lot, but a kettlebell really is so much more than a painted steel clutchbag. So if you really want a kettlebell, don’t deprive yourself!

Okay, enough ranting, time for some genuine news. I will soon be selling Dan John’s DVDs in the shop. The grand pooh-bah himself, the guru of the goblet squat and other fine tools for building awesome strength and power. I’m hopping up and down like a kid on the night before Christmas waiting for these babies to arrive. Watch this space!

New Crossfit London gym opens

Andrew Stemler, Crossfit London head trainer, lover of kittens and their role in strength training and creator of the i-Course, will soon be opening a new full time facility in Bethnal Green. Great news for functional fitness aficionados in London!

The formal opening date is 1st November but classes (£8 a time) will hopefully start in October.
Keep an eye on the Crossfit London website for more

Crossfit Reading workshops a-plenty

Andy Craig at Crossfit Reading has been busy putting together his autumn event schedule. Currently confirmed events are:

  • Olympic lifting – 25th October, Theale, near Reading
  • Kettlebells – 8th November, Theale, near Reading

At £30 a pop for each workshop, these are a bargin. More details here.

Why are the Irish having all the fun?

Because Dublin’s Informed Performance is hosting two of the most popular strength gurus in the western world this autumn.

  • 8 November Jim Wendler from Elite FTS and author of the 5-3-1 strength programme which all the cool kids are doing this year
  • 26-27 December – Dan John, everyone’s favourite man-crush apparently (I just have a normal crush!). Needs little introduction on this website. A whole weekend of workshop from the Yoda of strength. Excited I am.

World of Gubes

My next event is the World Drug Free Powerlifting Championships in mid November, which is conveniently taking place in the UK this year (glamorous Milton Keynes, to be precise). I qualified for this via the BDFPA Nationals in April but I’ve had a lot of time off so it has been great to get back into the gym with a new goal in sight.

New videos from Gubernatrix

I’ve been having lots of fun with new combos and general playing around. It’s good to remind myself that life isn’t just about squat, bench and deadlift.
Monkey bars, climbing and more
GPP workout: Mornington Crescent

From the archives

Stuff you might have missed
Are you self conscious?
Strength standards for women

Bye for now,




RSS feed for comments on this post | TrackBack URI