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July 27, 2017 3 min read

Amongst our many sports mad, sports focussed, sports wary or sport-o-phobic Big Crocodile clothing wearers, there are a few who wow us even more than most. Uber strong, uber smiley Kelly Friel is one such person - we follow her in awe on social media and get a little bit starstruck when we spot her at the gym...

Big Crocodile founder, Pam, first met super sporty Kelly on the Crossfit Circuit.

Ultra strong Kelly is a Crossfit master, co-owner of Crossfit Southampton and one of the UK’s most successful Crossfit athletes, she has even competed as part of team Reebok. Kelly has competed at the Crossfit Games Regionals, come 1st in her category at South West Weightlifting, come first in the  Cyprus Throwdown and been an Athlete Games (Manchester) Finalist. With her similarly sporty husband, she took the top spot at Masters at War too.

Phew. Kelly finished 66th in the world this year in her (very competitive masters category) in the Crossfit Open this year (out of 26955 entrants), so totally smashed her targets. Inspirational stuff - and she’s really, really nice too. How she manages to find time for the odd Big Crocodile photo session we’ll never know, but she does, and she always looks F.I.T.

Kelly has big plans. When it comes to sports challenges, she’s no shrinking violet.

This year, we’ll be watching Kelly closely (and admiring her rocking the croc) at the following events:

5th August - Battle Cancer with Team Icon

12th/13th August - European Inferno in Cardiff with her partner Becky Standen

17th August - European masters weightlifting in Halmsted, Sweden

1/2nd Sept - Tribal clash in Cornwall (watch this space for more about this).

Next year, Kelly’s biggest challenge will be the Crossfit Masters open where she’s planning to make it in the top 20, and hopefully make the Games.

This is a tough, tough category with some incredible competitors so Kelly is working hard on her on weaknesses (yes- even she has a couple) and is trying hard to stay injury free too. Her workouts combine varied, functional movements, performed at high intensities with strength and conditioning programmes covering endurance, stamina, flexibility and more. Kelly has worked closely with Ben Allen of Elevate Performance for a number of years now and its Ben who provides her programming. They’ll include everything from burpees and thrusters to barbell and kettlebell work and it’s this all round, HIT focussed regime which makes Kelly Friel a sporting force to be reckoned with.

This has not always been the case for Kelly though. When we quizzed her about her sporting history, she surprised us.

“I wish I had found Crossfit at an earlier age”, she says. “When I started Crossfit in November 2012, I couldn’t even do a pull up.” It’s hard to believe that at this year’s British Masters Weightlifting competition (only the second weightlifting competition she’s ever taken part in), Kelly achieved a new British Totals record of 173kg, achieving a 71kg snatch and a 102kg clean and jerk - a new record. (If that means nothing to you - just take our word for it, it’s really, really, good.)

Though Kelly is a big fan of squatting, even tip-top athletes have movements that they don’t love - and for Kelly it’s the muscle-ups.

However, with her usual positivity, she’s determined to turn them into a strength and learn to love them. Kelly also reveals that she gets a lot of support from her husband Simon, who also has an impressive sport CV. “I think Simon would probably beat me in an arm wrestle right now,” she says. “He’s got bigger biceps than me at the moment!”

If you were to meet Kelly Friel in the supermarket, she’d most likely have a trolley full of spinach and almonds. Busy balancing a job, family and her training schedule - this lady is a ball of energy with a penchant for protein-rich food.

We’re uber proud that Kelly is a big fan of Big Crocodile clothing, and likes to rock the croc.

Regularly seen at the gym sporting our Big Crocodile leggings, Kelly’s favourites are our Big Crocodile Vests “Love the design, they’re nice and comfy and the print is just awesome!” she says.

Right back atcha Kelly. We salute you, Big Crocodile style.

Kelly Friel is just one of the awesome athletes which Big Crocodile is proud to support. Find out more about them all here.

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