Jack Morgan


My journey with CrossFit Battlebox and started in May 2017.


It was a visit to L.A. at the start of last year that opened my eyes to how much fitness, physical activity and health should be an integral part to my everyday life and routine. It seemed to be something that every person, no matter what age, ability, background or experience engaged with.


From someone that had never had an interest in fitness or attempted anything even close to the realm of CrossFit, I was pretty much as close to a beginner as you could get. A couple of friends had mentioned the CrossFit Games to me, I watched the documentaries and for what felt like an insanely bizarre move, I decided to book a class at CrossFit Battlebox. With a vast lack of knowledge, and the small amount I did have coming purely from what I had watched of the Games, it is fair to say I was rather nervous to attend.


Nine months on from my starting date I can’t cultivate enough praise and thanks to my coaches Sue and Paul for how much they have impacted my life, in and outside of the box. From the first workout I attended, the feeling of personal improvement has being continual. I have been taught the true value to my own physical capabilities and strength, repeatedly encouraged and for the first time in my life I am excited, inspired and authentically respect anyone that involves themselves with the sphere of fitness.


The Box isn’t a place where other people excelling beyond your current physical standards makes you feel deflated or embarrassed; it is inspiring and gratifying. Every single member is pushing themselves to the max, working and encouraging each other to hit their personal bests. CrossFit is a community and Battlebox is family within that.


Something that I didn’t anticipate when joining the gym was how improvement to my health would excel beyond my physical being. Anxiety and mental health has been an apparent aspect of my life for a few years now. CrossFit has become a lifestyle to me, as it already is to so many others around the world. When I walk into the Box, it is about me and the workout. For that next hour the barbell becomes my catalyst to fighting and striving to inner and physical excellence. Nothing else within me matters; for I am part of that class, workout and community for a much greater reason than to allow self-destructive thoughts.


Now, at the start of 2018 I am a Battlebox member to continue to prove that I, along with all the other members, will give everything I have, mentally and physically to show strength, fitness and capability. Ultimately succeeding beyond any set preconceived standards of self.






Des Gafney

des before pic

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..What a difference a Year makes…….

I started my CrossFit journey one cold and wet Saturday. It was January 3rd 2015, I was nervous, overweight, out of shape and hating the thought of what was about to come my way in terms of exercise!

I’d seen videos of people lifting huge weights, swinging from bars, doing standing jumps onto boxes and so on.

I was just over 19 stone, the wrong side of 40 and hadn’t done any regular exercise for almost 12 years. I’d hated what I’d become but couldn’t see any way out. I love food, all the stuff thats tasty but not good for you, I love a pint of Guinness, I love chocolate and crisps oh and cake too. So you can see I was lucky it was only 19 stone and not the 29 stone I weighed.

Anyway fast forward to today, 15th December 2015, with the fantastic help of the team at CrossFit Battlebox along with some amazing and inspirational training partners I’ve lost 4 stone.

To be fair my weight loss could of and probably should have been more but I’ve kept quite a bit of what I like in my day to day life. Not cutting everything out has worked to motivate me to get the best from every session I attend.

I’m a morning person so training twice a week at 6:30am Tuesday and Thursday has been the key to my success.

Andy, Paul, Sue and Chris have worked so hard in building a box that is safe, welcoming, friendly and above all professional.

You have to take this type of exercise seriously or you can damage your body.

The beauty of every session for me is you only compete with yourself, so there’s not that feeling of getting left behind or holding people up or not being as good as someone else. I think that’s the key reason I’ve only missed 2 classes in 12 months.

You see improvements however big or small every time you train. The buzz I get now being able to jump up on the box at its highest point was unimaginable at the start. Then I could just about step up on it!

I look forward to what the next 12 months can bring!

My thanks to all the guys at CrossFit Battlebox. My time there has been truly life changing.


                                                           Mark Harrington, Chigwell

Mark resizedI have been going to Apples for about 2 years now and considered my training to be good; I always sweated hard but my body shape was staying the same.  I was training 3 times a week for an hour a time but I ate what I wanted convincing myself that that ‘”I can eat what I want as I’m training hard and I will burn it off”

Since I was seeing no change I kind of got into a rut. Yes; I was going to the gym 3 times a week but I was really just turning up and going through the motions.

Then my trainer-Paul Spelling told me we needed to change things as I was not seeing any real results.  He introduced me to Crossfit! He explained about the very different training we would be doing, lots of technique finishing with the ‘workout of the day’ or the WOD as it is known.  before we started we had to sort my diet out-this was vital to my success!  This is where Paul’s wife Sue came in.  She re-educated me about my diet and nutritional needs, cutting out all refined carbohydrates and replacing with lean meats, fish, poultry, seasonal fruits and vegetables.  To get the body I wanted diet was 80% and training was 20%…….something finally  clicked in my mind, I wanted to see change!  I ‘Googled’ and searched for Crossfit on Youtube and I knew I wanted to give this a go.  Now my training involves a good warm up, a strength training exercise and a all round cardio blast workout at the end which could be anything from bench press,  burpees or box jumps to name but a few.  Whatever it was it left me totally spent!  I never know what I’ts going to be, every training session and every class if different and always pushes me-that’s what I love.  My diet has radically changed thanks to Paul and Sue’s advice and I have gone down 2 sizes in my jeans in a 12 week period.  So many of my clients comment on my new body and how it’s changed so quickly.  I’m 47 now and aim to be at the CrossFit Games by the time I am 50.  Crossfit has changed me and I’m on the way to getting the body I’ve always wanted



                                                               Tina Cullender


tinaI have been training all my adult life moving from one fad to another and for the last 8 years I have been kickboxing but found that my body shape and weight had stayed the same and I was becoming quite bored of training as I didn’t feel that I was being challenged enough. That all changed when I met Susan Spelling at a spin class where I discussed the brick wall I had hit and she recommended that I tried a session with her. From the 1st session I was hooked whilst it wasn’t a full blown cross fit session it certainly had the foundations of it, I was introduced to a new world of kettlebells, dead lifts and chin up’s etc. I continued to train with Sue and she assisted me with a massive overhaul of what I thought was a good diet only to be completely re-educated and started to follow the Paleo diet with tips and recipes from Sue. Within a short amount of time I noticed changes, clothes becoming too big and definition to my body shape, I was getting complements regarding my weight loss and toning.

It was during a PT session that Sue mentioned they were opening Crossfit Battlebox and as we were training a similar format,  I decided to give it ago. Again I was totally hooked by the variation of the WOD’s and the personal challenge you set yourself and how you overcome your fears and achieve things that you thought you could never do.

Although I had been mainly training on a 1-2-1 basis the other great thing about Crossfit Battlebox is the team spirit, just when you think that your body can’t continue someone will shout your name with words of encouragement to battle on. I have been training with Sue and Paul regularly now for the last year and I can honestly say that I have never met any other trainers who are more committed in helping you achieve your training goals, overcoming your fears and having a great outlook on life. My diet has changed and I feel the best I ever have, I am training more than I ever did but without the usual side effects of being injured or feeling tired, I have more energy than I thought I would. The health benefits that I have seen are that I have dropped 2 dress sizes, lost lb’s, increased muscle and my body shape has changed-just see the difference in my picture the left hand one is November 2012, the middle one is February 2013 and the right hand picture is July 2013!, I have also reduced my cholesterol level and no longer need to see the GP. All I can say is that you would be mad not to train here, If you are looking for a challenging, varied workout and a great team spirit then get yourself to Crossfit Battlebox!


                                                       Kim Gramlick    –    Wanstead


There’s no getting away with it Crossfit is a challenge , well it is for me . After always being active running and  boxing I was devastated when I had a couple of strokes in 2011 .I was unlucky as it wasn’t the usual type but  a rare syndrome .
I had to learn to walk and function again ,a long haul but because of the kind of person I am I was determined not to be beaten. I suppose that’s what attracted me to Crossfit , but could I do it ?

Well yes is the answer , I could and I am. Everyone here is supportive and encouraging and the instructors are technicians , we do things properly down here at the CrossfitBattlebox
If there’s something I can’t medically do they find me an alternative and believe me there’s plenty. We all work as a team , it doesn’t matter what weight you lift or if your time is slower than others , everyone is there to help you achieve your own goals. So yes, Crossfit is a challenge, but a challenge everyone  (including me) can get involved in.

Things can only get better!!