If box jumps, tire flips and deadlifts are your thing, then so are Turf Games. Held over the course of a single day (and an immediate sell out event), hundreds of athletes descend upon London to prove to themselves and their peers that they have what it takes to be crowned the best of the best in this gruelling endurance event.
We spoke with Fred Ray ahead of the 2021 games where he and 3 friends are set to represent Gym+Coffee in London!
Turf Games sounds intense, what's involved?
Yeah, they're pretty intense alright but they're also so much fun. There's a real sense of camaraderie amongst the competition and when the sun is shining it's an unbelievable way to spend the weekend. The games involve a series of core events - anything from burpees to farmer's walks and you're really sweating by the end of it! I love as well that it's open to top-level athletes as well as the wider fitness community who just want to push their limits a bit.
Turf Games has been ongoing for a few years now and is aimed at bringing competitive fitness alive. It is a test of strength, cardiovascular endurance and all round fitness, whilst not delving into any olympic lifting or skill work that you might otherwise see in a CrossFit competition.
I started competing right at the start when it was originally called ‘Active Man’. We had a group of about 15 guys that would meet up and train/compete and ultimately have a laugh. It has since evolved into the Turf Games, open to anyone and everyone!
What’s your favourite part of the Turf Games?
The feeling of competing alongside your mates, going into a dark place and knowing that you could not give any more. The camaraderie that I used to get from team sport is now fulfilled through the Turf Games.
What does your training routine look like?
We put ourselves through a pretty tough 12-week programme aimed at developing and improving our strength through all the movements they ask you to perform on the day of the Games. Becoming as rounded an athlete as I can, and developing a serious engine so that I have the confidence to be right up there with the best athletes on the day.
You're a Personal Trainer by day. How did the Covid crisis affect what you do?
I was hugely fortunate enough to have an epic gym set up at home. I live barely a 5 minute walk away from the studio I work at and so was able to lug a load of kit back home for the lockdown. I was able to maintain my business through Zoom calls and train clients virtually which was an incredible asset to have, despite having to adapt to sitting behind a screen and barely moving throughout a PT session (this became quite tedious 3-4 months in)! However, I will be forever grateful for technology in allowing me to carry on working during such a crazy time.
How do you unwind?
I am a big foodie so anything that involves food, count me in! I am not much of a gamer or Netflix watcher. A chilled walk and being outside in the country air sorts me out!
With Summer here, I am a sucker for a beach day/adventure day with a big BBQ at the end, good music, spikeball (epic game if you’ve never played it)!
I also love a long weekend city getaway. Hopefully this can happen again soon. This past year has taught me the importance of simple things in life and having a close supportive network around you. Good friends/family, good times, good memories.
Tune into Turf Games this weekend and if you're in London, get yourself a spectator ticket, head down and say hi to the Gym+Coffee Crew out there supporting Fred + pals!