In this week’s article we catch up with Bristol’s Fittest Headmaster and 605 legend, Gareth Jones who recently competed in The Castle Games up in Sunderland. 

Gareth discusses why he entered the competition itself, why he enjoys online qualifiers and how his training and excellent coaching at 605 has prepared him to take the event on head on. 


Why did you decide to enter this competition?

I decided to enter this particular comp as I liked that it had a Veterans age group (45+), in addition to a Masters and an Open group. It’s not very often I get to workout alongside people who are my own age, and it’s always nice to see how you fair against people who are more likely to be at a similar standard to me.
I subscribe to some event calendars online and it was advertised there. I like competitions that have online qualifiers because it gives me something to really focus on and, like most people, I think I push myself harder when there is more of a competitive element. For the Castle Games you have to submit a video of each workout, you can’t just get a verified score from one of the coaches. This was good for me too; Ash & James both filmed and coached me through the four workouts and I think I pushed myself a bit harder knowing it would all end up on YouTube!!

How did you find the qualifiers?

I’m really pleased to have qualified. I have seen some of the scores that the other finalists achieved and they are amazing, they are machines. They may be in their late forties but age doesn’t seem to be slowing them down! Just being alongside some of these athletes is a pleasure itself, I’m just hoping not to come last in all four of the workouts at the finals!  The finals take place outdoors so that will be something of a novelty for me. I reckon there will be a good atmosphere among the competitors, I don’t imagine that there will be too much ‘ego’ on display. I think that many of us vets/masters are just happy to be there doing something we enjoy and are glad to be able to be around other old boys who love CrossFit too.

How do you feel about making the finals and what do you think will be like taking part?

There were four workouts and there was a league table online and I could see as the weeks progressed that I would have a reasonable chance of making the finals. I wasn’t happy with all of my scores but I didn’t really have time to redo each of the workouts. I wasn’t going to beat myself if I ended up not qualifying, I was happy enough just getting them done alongside trying to get in 2 or 3 main classes a week.

What wouldn’t you like to see in the competition?  

Pistols, bar muscle ups and HSPUs for definite! Anything else I can put up with.

What would you like to see in the competition?

I would love deadlifts, power cleans and wall balls ideally. They are dropping hints that there may be a swimming workout which also fine with me, as long as it’s a relatively short distance and doesn’t involve getting in and out of wet pyjamas like we all did at school galas!

How has training at 605 helped you prepare for the competition?

There’s no way I would be able to even think about entering something like the Castle Games if it wasn’t for the coaching and programming at 605.  There is such a good mix of classes in a week at 605 so I always feel that I get a chance to work the different skills that I need to get better at. I also really enjoy the Saturday morning classes, as it’s really good for helping me to push my conditioning. The quality of the coaching I get at 605 is another hugely important factor in helping my preparations. All of the coaches are really helpful and will give me pointers, be it in main classes or open gym. I think the coaches are a great team and are the main reason why so many of us enjoy being members of 605.

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