CrossFit Hale (and CrossFit Thames) were founded by Jason Williams (Jay) and his lovely wife Tina.
As a kid, he was inspired by pictures of Arnold in the fitness mags to ride his bike to the gym every morning before school at 4am to pump iron. Years of training like this didn’t leave him looking like the Terminator, but it did get him in decent shape for basketball, which became his first love through college.
He attended UC Berkeley and studied economics, sociology, and psychology, while still pumping iron and playing ball every day. With so many hours of experience and a knack for teaching, he started coaching and personal training on the side. After a devastating knee injury and resulting surgery ended his hoop dreams, he got a job at a bank sitting behind a computer for 12 hours per day.
Ignoring diet and hitting up the company happy hours left him fat, weak, and tired at a young age. When he was finally ready to step on the scale and face the truth, he weighed in at 315 lbs and couldn’t do a push up, pull up, and worked up a sweat climbing the stairs to his apartment.
He tried everything to lose weight, from joining every gym, to “lose weight fast” contests, to personal trainers, to boot camps…He would start with great motivation, then get bored, or lose the edge, and fall back into bad habits.
He finally found CrossFit in its early days, and walking into an empty gym with some bars, rings, kettlebells, and weights, he knew he was home. Within 3 months, he lost 40 lbs, and figured out how to do pull ups on the same week he ran his first ever 10k. He kept at it and lost over 100 pounds, changing his life and learning how to make exercise fun in the process. He got certified in CrossFit back in 2008 so he could show other people how he did it.
When a job transfer moved him to London, he joined a local bodybuilding gym (there were no CrossFit gyms in the city at the time), and tried to continue his CrossFit training. After getting several warnings from the gym owner to stop dropping weights and monopolizing the treadmills, he got together with a group of friends in 2009 and founded one of the first CrossFit gyms in London (CrossFit Thames).
In a small empty room (600 sq ft), it grew from 2 athletes to 85 athletes and quickly developed a reputation as a gym focused on coaching, community, and results. Now, with hundreds of athletes locally, and thousands of athletes worldwide, it has a reputation for being one of the best gyms in all of Europe. It’s trained CrossFit games competitors like Annie Thorisdottir, as well as professional athletes and actors, and has been featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and was even involved in 3 separate Guinness world records!
Jay moved back home to California in 2013, and founded CrossFit Hale with his wife Tina when he saw an opportunity to provide the same unique coaching, community, and results-based training back home.
Their approach is focused on giving you tools to live a better life through fitness.
It’s not just about leaving you in a pile of sweat every day, it’s gets into everything you need to reach your goals: exercise and proper movement, nutrition, mobility (stretching, flexibility), recovery (sleep and supplements), and the psychology behind how to get results.