11 Ways Battle Cancer London Puts The FUN Into Functional Fitness

battle cancer london 2 girls piggyback

It might not look like it on my face, but I LOVED Battle Cancer London and had so much fun! From a dancing warm-up and heart-warming moments, to the burpees that very nearly killed me, it’s an awesome day from start to end. Read on to find out exactly why the competition puts the FUN in functional fitness.

You do the Macarena as a warm up

Yep, that’s right – all athletes get together on the competition floor before it all kicks off, and everyone does the Macarena and the YMCA together. The founders are even up there on stage doing it with you! You know I got well into this – if there was a prize for the best dancers then our team would’ve surely won.

girls doing sit ups at battle cancer london

It’s just like sports day!

Lots of CrossFitters do this competition, but really it’s all about functional fitness and it’s achievable for most people who train regularly. In fact, it’s more like a big school sports day, without the added popularity contest and peer pressure, of course. We did things like piggyback racing and wheelbarrow walks – just missing the egg and spoon race, which was a real shame as I was awesome at that!

The movements are achievable

Even in the RX category, all the movements were achievable, and if you had different abilities within your team then usually different weights or movement standards could be shared out. For example, there was handstand walking in the first workout – but that’s where the wheelbarrow walking came in as a fun, achievable alternative.

battle cancer unicorn team

It’s all for charity!

And of course, when people do things for charity, they like to have some fun. There were some awesome outfits on the day, with unicorn, wrestler and cheerleader teams, and ALL the matching outfits you could wish for. We went for all-black, but we had our ace Team Pineapple vests made by Your Custom Clothing.


If you were horsy as a kid then you KNOW how cool this is. Sure, it’s in a slightly smaller hall than the horse show, but it’s still cool competing in this legendary arena.

tired girl after battle cancer burpees

You can play to your strengths…

There’s something for you. Strongman, bodyweight, fast and gassy, plus slower and more methodical are all covered, so wherever you feel your strengths lie, there will be something for you. There were only a few parts of the workouts that each member of the team needed to do, so otherwise you could share out movements if someone found them hard.

… And work your weaknesses

Those burpees. Oh my days – I honestly nearly cried during those 8 minutes of burpees, I hate those things and not being particularly fit at the moment made them so, so much worse. Thankfully I felt like I had the entire arena cheering me on as I tried to get up during the last minute or so, and I had people coming up to me afterwards to say well done for getting through it!

battle cancer unicorn team

The DJ is absolutely mega!

The tunes were banging all day and during our ‘rest’ periods in the workouts you’d find our team raving away, as our lane was right in front of the DJ booth. Loved it.

Newbies compete right next to Regionals athletes

There’s no segregation on the competition floor, and the workouts are so wild that you really can’t tell who’s out in front. It’s fun to watch everyone from people brand new to functional fitness, to those who have been to CrossFit Regionals.

laura hoggins battle cancer ball carry

This photo of Laura really sums up the competition for me!

The organisers don’t take themselves too seriously

This competition is run for charity so everything the organisers do is for fun and comes from the bottom of their hearts. I think this is clear from the dance warm-up! It’s totally up to you whether you voice your concerns about no reps and judging, but remember everyone is there for the same reason – to support cancer charities – and is a volunteer, so take their lead and don’t take yourself too seriously either.

You can take this worldwide

Looking for an excuse to visit London? Alright, so it’s the same country so you may not need persuading too much – but how about a little trip to Berlin and Madrid, or even Los Angeles? Now you can take a trip out there with NO guilt – as Battle Cancer are holding events in those cities next year, as well as London and Manchester, and nobody can say you’re being extravagant because it’s all for charity!

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