Reebok at CrossFit Blackfriars

We have a love hate relationship with CrossFit at The Allrounder. We love the camaraderie, we love the competition, we even love the fact we walk out like we’ve just done the ice bucket challenge. But what we hate, and we mean really hate, is burpees. Sure, make us do pull-ups for half an hour, make us do plyometric press-ups as much as you want, we can take it. But burpees, come on.

We were invited by Reebok and the chaps at CrossFit Blackfriars to take part in a CrossFit class to test out the latest Nano 5.0 training shoe. Us, along with various other industry types would be put through a 45-minute CrossFit session designed to show us just how good the Nano 5.0 was. Yeah, we knew there would probably be burpees, but we really like testing out new shoes. It was one of life’s dilemmas.


CrossFit Blackfriars is just a short walk from Waterloo station. An impressively kitted out facility which is well worth taking a look at if you’re looking for a CrossFit space. Ruddy nice bunch of guys that run it as well. For more details head over to their website.

We were also joined by – and this was the really scary bit about the class – the newly created Team Reebok UK. Seven of the leading male and female CrossFit athletes in the country, made up of some of the leading trainers and competitive talent in the sport and led by Reebok CrossFit Games competitor Steve Fawcett. Our light morning workout was looking increasingly worse.

The session started with a 400 metre run followed by a series of functional warm-up exercises ranging from inchworms, lunges and (expertly modelled here) spidermans. So far so good. When we were suitably loosened we moved on to our first exercise, the Sally Squat. If you’ve done CrossFit before you’ll probably already know about this workout. Whilst listening to Moby’s “Bring Sally Up”, the class are made to squat at the mention of “bring Sally down” and up at, yep you get the idea. Sounds easy, but that’s a hell of a lot of squatting. Give it a go yourself.

The rest of the class was broken down into three sections where we worked in teams of two, one person doing one exercise and one doing the other, the whole class racing to finish first. The first was toe-to-bar and hangs, the second burpees (!) and planks, and the third weighted lunges holding a plate above the head and just holding it. Not a bad workout for a Monday morning.

CrossFit is no walk in the park. It’s designed to get you fit. Yes, it’s scalable, anyone can do it, but it’ll still push you to work as hard as you can. Which is kind of what you want went getting fit. It’s about community though, it’s about challenging each other and yourselves to work harder in a social environment. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go, it’s addictive. Even the burpees.

But what about the main reason we were there? The Nano 5.0. Well, we don’t like to review footwear without trying it for a few weeks, but first impressions are that they’re a damn nice piece of kit. Comfortable, nicely designed, it has Kevlar material in it so it’s a pretty tough shoe and the heel is focussed on high rebound and cushioning. We’ll keep you posted how it does over the next month.

For more information on Reebok and their latest CrossFit footwear and apparel, visit and follow @ReebokUK.

Picture credit: Reebok

Note: We received tests product at this event.