Wicklow Strength & Fitness is an independent, family-run business in the very heart of beautiful Wicklow Town.
You’ll find us down on the quays, next to Sammy the seal, right on the river.
We really are a family business, not just because husband and wife Chad and Clara Biddle run everything, but because the whole thing, trainers and clients, is like a family. We know everyone’s first name, their goals, concerns and strengths.
We love being like this and we’re very anti-corporate even down to the way our own business is a way of life for us, giving us a sense of satisfaction which makes it feel like a hobby. We want our clients to feel that coming in to Wicklow Strength & Fitness is as much about social interaction, mental wellbeing and community as it is about fitness.
These are the coaches and staff that will get you looking and feeling fantastic and have great fun doing it.
Head Coach, Chad Biddle's passion lies with helping people. His knowledge of health and fitness is only surpassed by his hairiness and ability to irritate coaches!
Coach Clara. Away with the fairies half of the time but somehow still manages to run a very successful business, also works part-time and raises 3 crazy little boys... well 4 including Chad. The key driving force behind the functional operation of WSF, a real multi-tasker extraordinaire, with a very very cheeky giggle. She just gets, stuff, done.
Coach Holly Hotpants is a team player and completely dedicated to helping people, especially those with injuries and difficulties with training. This CrossFit and Oly coach is famous for two more things; her incredibly sunny disposition and as the name suggests - Hotpants!
Coach Liam is as enthusiastic as they come. He's really in his element PR'ing and breaking it down with some questionable celebration styles. Don't be fooled by his bleached hair, those baby blues and good looks, he's the brains behind the business and looks after the books!
Coach Paul is a super gentleman, drinks coffee by the bucket load, and you will always find some cheesy 80's in his classes. Pistol Paul also has the squat of the box, ass to grass, every time!
Coach Mel is magic, she weaves a spell that entices all of her clients back to her classes time and again with her clearly explained and demonstrated knowledge and her attention to detail, she calmly listens and empathises with everyone's needs delivering quality coaching. And breathe...
Coach Oisín is our youngest staff member. Though his HIIT classes are tough, his friendly and energetic attitude makes them a little less rough. A great athlete in his own right.
Team member Teresa is the friendliest ginger you will ever meet. Don't be misled by her charm though. Her HIIT class will leave you out of breath and questioning yourself - did that just happen?!? That said her endless jokes and encouragement make it a lot easier and she laughs a lot. Really, a lot.
Team member Alan is always a friendly face, and oh so obliging to any request! Find him milling around, just being awesome.
More on Chad:
Chad Biddle is the personality, brains and the muscle behind Wicklow Strength & Fitness. He’s a CrossFit professional, former college footballer, baseballer, state champion wrestler and MMA fighter, personal trainer, your coach and all-round nice guy (don’t let the MMA thing throw you).
Chad is CrossFit personified and is constantly honing his expertise and adding to his knowledge to stay top of the field. He is driven by the knowledge that his clients (that’s you) can make the changes they want to make and improve their health and lives several fold.
Here’s a taste of Chad’s sporting credentials:
OPEX Fitness - currently studying OPEX fitness, an extensive and elite education at the pinnacle of strength training and fitness
NCSF- Personal Trainer Certification (National Council on Strength and Fitness)
CrossFit Level 1
CrossFit Coaches Prep Course
CrossFit Powerlifting Certification Westside Barbell
Jon North Attitude Nation Level 1 Seminar (Olympic Lifting)
Will Flemming Olympic Lifting Dimitri Klokov Workshop 2014
OPT Exercise Physiology Assessment Module
And here’s what he has done:
Indiana High School Wrestling Championships:
Finished 4th in 2004
Finished 5th in 2005
State Champion in 2006
Received his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt in 2010
Two years training MMA with an 8-3 record
Nowhere is this sense of community stronger than at, what I think, is one of the best CrossFit gyms in Europe. This is family. Jules
I've been a CrossFitter since 2011… and have visited over 15 CrossFit gyms in Europe, 22 in the USA and 1 in Asia. CrossFit Wicklow is one of the best gyms around and… my permanent CrossFit home.
The coaches are constantly learning… CrossFit methodology, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and nutrition. (They) give lots of individual attention and instruction, are patient, knowledgeable, articulate and make you feel well cared for as an individual, consistently striking the right balance of encouraging and challenging you, all the while injecting a sense of fun.
There really isn't another community like this one, I've made friends all over the world that I'd never have made if it wasn't for CrossFit. This community is about supporting each other, we cheer each other on, we want each other to do well, to become stronger and to astonish ourselves.
"Try it – it’s a little bit addictive" John McCall
I’ve been a regular gym user for most of my adult life (and) managed to maintain a reasonably good physical condition. I did, however, find it difficult and frustrating to get the results I really wanted. This was due to a combination of self-training and general lack of quality and professional instruction in many gyms from overcrowding and relatively poor management. I had been aware of CrossFit for a couple of years but I didn’t want to travel to Dublin to workout, so when Chad and Clara opened CrossFit Wicklow I didn’t hesitate in calling in and I immediately knew from the free introduction with Chad that I had to at least try the Jump Start program. I did, and as soon as I completed the program I had decided that CrossFit was what I needed to increase my chances of achieving results I struggled to achieve for many years.”
Each day the workout tests a different part of your functional strength or conditioning, or both. The knock-on effects for me are huge. I’m self-employed and I work in a high-pressured industry and CrossFit helps me to focus and show clarity in other areas of my life. Other benefits… are discovering a new community of like-minded people. For me, CrossFit is an integral part of my daily routine and I know I am (now) in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in and there is a lot more to come. That’s the exciting part It is not a quick fix. It is a genuine change in how to train effectively. A game changer and great fun too.
Gerry Cleary, Finished 2nd in Ireland, CrossFit Open 2015
I have always tried to keep fit by going to the gym, running, mountain biking, kickboxing, the list goes on but this all came to an abrupt end after picking up a serious back injury from a work related accident in June 2012. I was diagnosed with sciatica (a herniated disc that had compressed on one of my spinal nerve roots). My lower back and left leg as far down to the calf muscle had cramped up. I had limited flexibility and range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. Over the next 18 months and after numerous visits to my GP and physiotherapist the pain eased but my range of movement was still limited and I continued to feel tight and painful. Since I joined CrossFit Wicklow in December 2013 it’s safe to say I have never looked back. I was totally unsure if I was going to be capable of doing a lot of the workouts/exercises but Chad has encouraged and pushed me to achieve things I never thought possible. I am doing things I never imagined or thought I could do – I feel fitter and stronger than ever before.
Joining is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Tom Bradley
I started training in CrossFit because I realised that regular gyms were just not working for me. I was always relatively fit from swimming and running and had an average level of general strength but I found that irrespective of what I did in the gym I couldn’t get to see any real results. I decided to give CrossFit a go after a friend suggested it and after three months I was well and truly hooked. I had substantially increased my level of core strength, my flexibility had improved and I had really started to tone up. For me, the difference between CrossFit and a regular gym is really important: with each WOD based around movement types rather than muscle groups what I got was a general body work-out so I gradually toned up all over rather than have enormous biceps and scrawny shoulders! It also meant I didn’t have to spend hours on end each day working out. The way in which it is taught means you get in for one hour only, warm up, work out and go home. Each new WOD brings a new challenge and the coaches are key in making sure I’m performing right which is why the idea of CrossFit being a ‘school of fitness’ is genuinely important. They really do monitor you and tell you if you’re on track or messing up.
The community spirit is a refreshing alternative too to the anonymous ‘head-phones-in’ approach of regular gyms and the fact that everyone works out together – no matter what their level of fitness is – gives a great atmosphere in the place too.
I can see why people get hooked on CrossFit and plan on being hooked myself for some time to come. Maebhe Connolly
Since starting CrossFit Wicklow I have noticed a significant increase in fitness, strength, flexibility and general ability to move. An added bonus is that I have had a huge reduction in the back and neck pain that I have had for years. CrossFit Wicklow provides a comfortable and welcoming environment to workout in.
The trainers… are always encouraging, motivating and genuinely care. They provide excellent coaching and teach you how to do everything step-by-step. Every question I have asked is always given due consideration and a thorough explanation. Classes can feel like a personal training session as they individually coach people through the moves. They do a great job of tailoring the workouts to individual ability and have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to cardio, weight lifting, flexibility and the functional movements that are incorporated in the CrossFit workouts.
I am doing things I never dreamed I would be able to. From Kipping Swings, to Double Unders to Handstand Pushups. I look forward to going and the variations in the workouts are fantastic. In fact the surprise element of the workouts is often the most fun part. You never know what they might dream up as a WOD! For a normal working mum who runs a bit and swims a bit as life permits it has greatly improved my fitness, my quality of life, reduced aches and pains and every time I go I am energised for the day.
I couldn’t ask for a better coach. Lynn Sutton
Chad is an amazing CrossFit coach. He has such a positive attitude with great attention to detail on technique and form and because of this I have learned how to lift properly but I am also really challenging myself with heavier weights. Chad’s encouragement have helped me overcome my immense fear of box jumps, from where I would actually avoid classes if they were part of the WOD, to being able to easily do 20″ box jumps and actually enjoying them! From the very beginning Chad was welcoming and encouraging, he really helped me to feel welcome into the CrossFit community.
(Chad) has the patience of a saint and he has pushed me to achieve way beyond what I thought was ever possible.
Chad’s coaching and expertise has made a huge difference to my performance and development at CrossFit. Chad puts a lot of emphasis on technique. He is great at breaking down movements and Olympic lifts in a way that makes it easy to understand and execute.