We’re not another bootcamp. Our coaching philosophy is all about individualised, evidence-based training; a refreshing change from most gyms and fitness operations.
We’re not obsessed with before-and-after pictures – and we encourage our members not to be either. Instead, we focus on the stuff that really matters: long-term, sustainable, holistic changes to promote a healthier mind, body and lifestyle all round. (A better ‘after’ photo is a benefit, but it’s not the goal.)
We train hard but we train intelligently. We’re not cheerleaders or sergeant majors. Instead of shouting, we educate and encourage. That’s how we build relationships and trust. Here, you’re not just getting your heart going – you’re learning physical and emotional resilience, building confidence and genuinely having fun.
With every workout we strip things down to fundamental movements to “undo” the damage of modern life (yes, we’re looking at you, desks and cars). We’ll get you moving, sweating and thinking in completely new ways, and the principles we teach can be for the whole family: mum, dad, kids, grandparents – everyone.
Drawing on the tried-and-tested principles used to train elite athletes, we tailor the intensity and specific movements for every individual. We focus on technique and form over reps and speed (no 100+ burpee sessions here) and can safely adapt exercises for injuries and other limitations.
We also invest in continual professional development so you know you’re getting the most up-to-date advice and guidance from our team. That’s what makes this such a unique place to train. It’s a group of super dedicated, likeminded coaches, incredibly committed members – and plenty of endorphins and high fives.
We have drop-ins but most of our members commit and become part of the community – one that’s hard to leave. We pride ourselves on building fitness and friendships for life.
Caveman & Me
If I can make a cup of tea, and drink it whilst it’s still hot, I’m having a good day. If I get to sit down whilst drinking it, then it’s a really good day. So you can imagine fitting in exercise is an even bigger challenge.
Everyone’s lives are busy, no matter what your story is. But throw in 2 young kids, a full time job (with a 3 hour round commute including unpredictable public transport!), a husband & trying to have some sort of ‘a life’, then finding time to fit anything in for myself is tough.
Before kids, I’d make it to Caveman religiously 3 times a week - getting changed at the office on Tottenham Court Road & praying the train wasn’t late so I could make the mad dash from the station straight to Olney. Post kids, I go twice a week (with a run on Sundays). I managed to exercise throughout both my pregnancies until well into the third trimester each time. Obviously my ability changed pretty much immediately but Stu modified the exercises straight away for me - such as lifting slightly lighter weights, being very careful with anything involving the stomach area & (so it seemed) making me do a lot more squats! I was never made to feel like I couldn’t take part because I was pregnant, which was amazing as staying as fit as I could was very important to me. I returned exactly 12 weeks post c-section both times & again Stu kept an eye out & made sure I took things slowly, but before I knew it, I was gaining back my strength & losing the pounds - and feeling back to my old self.
I think it's easy when you’re a busy (working) mum to say you’re too tired for exercise, but I have to say I think an hour spent with the Caveman crew does the exact opposite, and actually fills me with energy. The thought beforehand might be of dread, but I have never, ever walked away from a session wishing I hadn’t taken part.
I think it does as much for my mental state as my physical one, and my couple of hours a week in the great outdoors, with a fab group of like-minded people, thinking about nothing but how heavy a weight is or how many more push ups I have to do, really is my salvation.
Why would I recommend The Olney Way to Run? After panicking slightly from signing up for my first ever half marathon I joined The Olney Way to Run thinking a structured plan would probably help.
What I actually achieved from completing the half was far more than being given a plan to follow. Yes I got a plan, but what I also got was a lot of support and knowledge to back it up. Yes, I successfully completed that half AND felt strong and confident whilst doing it. But what I hadn't bargained for was a whole lot of new friends, loads of laughs and new experiences too. Since that half I look forward to the sessions as they vary each week with a structure behind them. They push us further than we would on our own. It may be cheesy but doing these sessions with a great group of friends makes it more enjoyable
I joined in January 2017, at which point I considered myself a reasonable runner (well, 5k max!) My reasons for joining were purely to keep fit and I most definitely had NO desire to achieve any specific targets or enter races (heaven forbid!) When I joined, one of the goals set by Bethan (our coach) was to measure our progress by running two 5k Parkruns; one at the beginning of the 6 weeks and one at the end. Within this 6 weeks my time greatly improved; however, I vowed NEVER to run a Parkrun again as they were GROSS!
I wasn’t put off the running and Strength & Conditioning sessions though, so I became a regular member of a fantastic group of like-minded runners. I have made life-long friends, who are encouraging and supportive, especially when I turn up for a session and just don’t want to do it! The running sessions always include running drills which are designed to encourage good running form and can be as hard or easy as the individual wants to make them with no one judging you. These drills have made me become a stronger runner which was proven recently when I returned back to ‘said’ parkrun and ran a strong and comfortable 5k PB and actually enjoyed it! I’m even looking forward to going back and smashing my new PB! (I know!)
Oh, and I’ve also run a few races that I never even knew I wanted to do! I’ve run an over-seas 15k and a half marathon and have entered many more for this year. Being a part of this group has most definitely given me the running bug!
I was injured, frustrated and really struggling to get back to fitness, when I made the decision to join The Olney Way to Run and I haven’t looked back. With the fun but completely challenging run sessions combined with the rewarding strength and conditioning sessions, not only have I noticed a vast improvement in my running performance, especially technique, with the added bonus of seeing my body shape and strength change before my eyes.
Both Bethan and Stuart have pushed me way beyond my own self imposed limits, by believing in me and helping me to believe in myself. It’s just really great to be part of a team that not only look out for each other but are constantly there to support and motivate you every step of the way.
9 years ago I was feeling unfit and unhealthy – a ‘relatively’ young dad with a busy family and social life, noticed that I was needing bigger trousers than before and was quickly out of breath chasing a football with my boys. On discussing with a friend, he had heard about “this Caveman thing, or something” – a new type of training that we might be able to get in at the start of. We turned up one mid week evening and could barely manage the warm up, but 9 years later, not only am I still going Caveman training, I do PT and Lift sessions weekly, both my boys are actively training and working with Stu and the team and I’ve never felt fitter or more informed about my training.
Over the course of the years, I’ve watched Caveman develop from a small group of like-minded people buzzing off each other, turning up in the worst kind of weather knowing that if we didn’t, we would feel like we’ve missed out, to a proper, scheduled part of many people’s lives. As a group, we’ve invited our friends to come along and try it and very few don’t return. We leave a session saying “see you on Wednesday” knowing this is part of our weekly routine. There are days when you just don’t feel like going, but you always do because you know you will feel elated once it’s over, you know there will be lots of other people feeling the same but most importantly you know that with Stu’s cheery, upbeat direction and coaching and the banter and encouragement from your peers training with you, you will actually enjoy it once you’ve got there.
I’ve been through some tough emotional times and all I’ve wanted to do was train. Stu has been brilliant in recognising when I’m on form or when I’ve got something on my mind and he works with me to ensure the session is right for me and my mental state (not just my physical state) without even making reference to it. Similarly, I have suffered from a couple of shoulder injuries that Stu has always been mindful of and adapts both my personal training and group training exercises to ensure that not only do I not aggravate the shoulder, but to repair and protect it. I see that with all the guys that train that have injuries – he is mindful of each and every person, and there is always an alternative exercise, never an excuse not to train.
With both my sons having worked with Stu setting up sessions, doing the weekly tidying and shuffling of equipment from storage container to fitness room, Stu has provided a friendly, happy and safe environment for them to work in. My youngest son trains 4-5 times a week with Stuart and has been inspired by what Stu has achieved to the point that he has chosen PE as one of his A Levels and is looking to become more involved with Caveman as he gets older. As Stu became a friend, he spent a lot of time at my house and with my family and has undoubtedly inspired Harry with his health and fitness. He was also aware of Stuart doing is Bachelors and his Masters whilst continuing the Caveman training and growing the business, watching and learning from Stuarts work ethic. That kind of experience is invaluable but Stu does it and gives it freely. He is a great example of proving that if you work hard, you get the rewards, and every parent could do with that help with their children, I’m sure.
Over the last couple of years, Stuart has built an excellent team around him – not just those that work at Body Force, but the professionals that he works with to gain his knowledge, and that is so evident. You see it in the detailed preparations, the warm ups, the different exercises and the constant awareness of each individuals techniques. What really brings it home is when you watch the likes of the England Rugby team training, or even the likes of Leeds United training or doing rehab work, they are doing exactly what we do at Caveman – so we really are benefitting from a guy who believes in what he’s doing and is doing it the way the elite athletes are doing it.
Personally, having been on this journey right from the beginning, I take great pride in Stuart and Caveman and am proud to say I have been there alongside Stuart, every step of the way. Of late he is enthusing about the next chapter of the Caveman journey – the passion and enthusiasm never subsides, and I hope to still be training in another 9 years time and be fitter and stronger than I was when I started 9 years ago. I’ve met lots of new friends through Caveman, I’ve got to train and spend valuable time with my children at Caveman, and I’m 100% certain I’ve increased my knowledge of the human body, nutrition, training techniques and prolonged my natural lifespan by being part of the Caveman journey.
It’s dark; it’s raining; too busy; can’t be bothered. Excuses excuses…That was us. Dinner and a quiet night in was preferable to anything that brought us out in a hot sweat.
Julie joined first back in 2013, quite a few months before me. She tried to encourage me to go to Caveman. I didn’t want to. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to cope. Eventually I plucked up the courage to go and since (pretty much) we have never looked back. I don’t think we have ever been fitter and the friendly positive attitude has improved my self-confidence no end.
We try and get to two or three Caveman sessions a week. Having a range of start times means that we can both go and still look after our children. The sessions are always structured to provide a proper warm up and then vary through short but intensive reps which keep the sessions fresh. You can’t feel up for putting in maximum effort every time, my experience is that life isn’t like that but on the tricky days the people around you keep you going. Hopefully we provide that encouragement to others when they feel similar.
Neither of us thought lifting weights was our bag either. It was something we’ve never done before but now try and get to two sessions of Lift a week. Teaching technique is a priority for Stuart and his team and the class size means that you will always get assistance and guidance. The session has evolved over the years since I first started and compliments Caveman brilliantly. For us, it is not a fad, it is a lifestyle.
Caveman has been an incredible life changing experience for myself and my family. I work full time, do a ridiculous amount of travel with work and am a mum to an active 8 year old, and after a stressful long day at work I like nothing better than to get out into the fresh air, rain or shine and train with like minded people. The type of excercise we do at Caveman is varied, effective and challenging and you can literally feel the strains of the day slip away. It’s therapeutic mentally as well as physically.I love the fact that it’s not conventional and it’s different and importantly you are all in it together , no one judges - it’s like training with one big friendly team of support.
For me caveman has been life changing. Physically I am fitter, my shape has changed and I feel strong. Mentally it’s a way of dealing with whatever life throws at you! I also love the fact that my daughter can see that I am training hard to be fitter and stronger - that's such an important message for children.
I highly recommend caveman to anyone what ever their age, it’s a way of life!
Three squashed discs at the base of my spine used to cause me two to three weeks of walking like an 80 year old. I was told to “get stronger” later prompted me to give Caveman a go. I’ve been Caveman for over 3 years now and haven't had an episode since.
The Caveman sessions are great because if you want to join in the banter, you can; but if you want to come along and concentrate on your session, you can do that too. There’s no pressure to get involved and I’ve not seen any looking down noses at people because they can’t or won’t do something. I’d go so far as to call it a Caveman family! Everyone is there to work themselves hard, and to help motivate others to do the same - I love it!
Our founder, Stuart, is the brains and driving force behind Caveman Conditioning®. He established the business in 2010 while at the same time completing a degree in sports science and masters in sports performance – specialising in strength and conditioning.
Not someone who likes to make life easy for himself – clearly – but the combination of academic knowledge and hands-on coaching experience proved to be invaluable. Stuart gained both the practical and theoretical tools to work with people from all walks of life, from professional sports teams and Olympic athletes to famous rock bands and weekend warriors.
Stuart’s absolutely passionate about spreading the positive culture that Caveman Conditioning® is built on. He’s focused on continual evolution, making sure the highest levels of service are met, while leading the way for physical group training, and helping as many people as possible.
A bit of a superstar in the community, Bethan’s inspired and motivated hundreds of people to share her love of running – enjoying all the good vibes and camaraderie that come with it.
She’s a genuine, caring coach who passionately believes the true value of running isn’t in how fast or far you can run. For Bethan, “the mental health benefits, improvement in people’s self esteem, and friendships that develop through running are priceless.”
Bethan’s coordinated the development and delivery of five incredibly successful Couch-2-5K programmes (over 500 people), which have taken mostly novice runners from their couches – literally – to a 5K challenge, and beyond. Most importantly, she’s helped to shift their mindset about running.
In addition to her many years of running experience, Bethan’s also an England Athletics’ qualified Coach in Running Fitness and she continues to work with England Athletics to enhance her running knowledge. Those who know Bethan will be thrilled to hear she’s a key part of The Olney Way to Run – excited to start the next chapter of her running journey!
Max came to Cave as a participant and was so inspired – he decided to set up his own location. He just ‘got’ the Cave philosophy. It answered his own frustrations about doing personal training in the gym where the focus was on fitness trends and fads instead of ‘real training’ principles.
Cave St Albans started in 2018 and it’s been going strong ever since. Max loves coaching and prides himself on helping people discover and develop their own potential. He treats each and every client as an individual, working with them to surpass any expectations they may have previously had of themselves.
He also loves the social element of his Cave, going out for regular coffees and the odd curry with the team. They’ve earned it, after all!
A natural people-person, Neil’s genuine, down-to-earth and a real team player. Drawing on his years of experience as a professional rugby player, he makes a powerful and inspiring team leader.
Neil’s mantra is to get ‘ordinary’ people to train in an ‘extraordinary’ way.
He’s an expert in empowering and educating clients of all abilities – making it simple and easy to learn new and more advanced training methods.
Neil first joined the Cave as a participant and “fell back in love with exercise”, realising how much he’d missed the buzz and group togetherness of his rugby days. We realised our goals and future plans aligned, so he became the first person to launch Caveman Conditioning Milton Keynes and Woburn in 2014.
Neil’s made an enormous impact since joining in 2014, and has a proven track record of successfully running his own business – Caveman Conditioning Milton Keynes. How he finds time to do it all with five kids (yes, FIVE), we’ll never know but he’s an expert at balancing kids, exercise and business.
Charlotte’s our main instructor for BARRE, with an impressive background of professional dance and dance teaching. She knows how to tailor movement for different abilities, and is highly experienced in helping people improve their general fitness and health.
Since joining the Cave crew in 2017, Charlotte’s spearheaded the development and successful launch of our 'FiiT' group training programme. Using the most up-to-date training methods – combined with her infectious energy and passion – she’s made it one of the most comprehensive training programmes out there.
Nothing makes Charlotte happier than helping people reach their full potential. Just moving better and feeling fitter is an accomplishment, but Charlotte’s also a firm believer in pushing people to meet their goals and get results, with plenty of fun along the way.
Charlotte’s also studying sports massage and will be qualified in a year. She works closely with physiotherapists currently to help rehabilitate injuries – and she’ll do more of this when she’s qualified, specialising in movement quality.
Our Rugby League player-turned-coach, Matt, has a special interest in strength and conditioning. After earning his coaching education in Rugby League, working with top coaches such as Phil Pask (Northants Sport) and David Sutton (Northants County Cricket), he coached U14s through to adult – including players going on to semi-pro ranks – and participated in multiple regional and national Grand Finals.
Today, Matt’s in his third year of competitive powerlifting and he’s recently started competing in triathlons. He met our Caveman Founder, Stuart, at a Phil Pask coach education session in 2014 and joined the Cave crew soon after. Initially just following the Saturday sessions for further education, he soon became an active part of the community and has been working alongside Stuart on Lift and Caveman for three years.
Matt loves applying top-level amateur coaching education to everyday people – “it’s less pressure to win each week” he jokes. But in all seriousness, he finds nothing more rewarding than working with people and making a real difference in their lives. When Matt’s not busy training or coaching, he’s juggling a busy career in high-end automotive engineering.
Olivia’s an England Athletics’ Qualified Leader in Running Fitness with a BSc Psychology undergraduate from Loughborough University. She’s working towards a coaching qualification through the CPD programme and is currently a Wellbeing and Development Assistant at Northampton Saints Rugby.
A competitive triathlete (she was part of the Loughborough University Triathlon squad while at university), Olivia does most of her training outdoors. In the water, on the road, through the fields – “mostly trying to keep up with my Weimaraner,” she says.
The youngest of the Cave pros, she joined the community because it’s her perfect training environment: a supportive and inclusive group, plenty of outdoor action, and a great playlist – very important!
Celia’s a qualified psychotherapist who’s worked with adults, young people and children alike, uniquely combining drama and arts with psychotherapy.
After completing her Drama and Arts Education BA (Hons), Celia gained a wealth of experience through various placements teaching drama, and taking part in education projects and community arts. She went on to complete an MA in Dramatherapy (a specialist form of psychotherapy), expanding her knowledge and tools to be able to assist people on their journeys.
Working as part of an Improving Access to Psychological Team, Celia uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to treat adults with anxiety disorders and/or depression, and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
She’s completed CBT supervisor training for High Intensity Therapist and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners, is registered with the HCPC as an Arts Therapist, and fully accredited with the BABCP as a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
Anne-Marie’s an England Athletics’ Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF) with over a decade of running experience. She’s been instrumental in the success of many couch-2-5k programmes over the years, coaching hundreds of people – all with different levels of experience.
Many of these individuals have gone on to run marathons, triathlons and other extreme events – but for a lot of people, their goal is just running consistently. (A great goal to aim for.) Whatever’s spurring you into action, Anne-Marie can help you make it happen.
“As a run coach I focus on your targets, whatever they may be. I love supporting individuals giving you specific tips and tools to help you achieve your goals.”
Anne-Marie says she joined the Cave community because “I have never worked with a more inclusive, athlete centric, passionate group of people. It’s not all about hard work, I strongly believe in delivering sessions that are varied and of course they have to be fun!”
Phil’s one of the UK’s leading physiotherapists in sports medicine and rehabilitation. He’s a bit of a legend in the world of rugby – and beyond.
Nationally, Phil's recognised as a leading light within injury treatment and rehabilitation, and is experienced in a wide variety of sports and exercise medicine. He’s competed internationally in Judo, Triathlon [Ironman World Championship Hawaii] and England Rugby 7s.
Phil’s also been the England Team’s physiotherapist since 1997 and is currently preparing for Japan 2019. He’s covered the last five World Cup campaigns, including the 2003 World Cup win, and toured New Zealand , South Africa , Australia  and recently New Zealand in 2018 as Senior Physiotherapist for the British and Irish Lions.
Regionally, Phil’s been part of the Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club for 32 years – first as a rugby player (with over 150 first team appearances) then as Head of Performance from 1996 to 2002.
On top of all of that, Phil remains active in education. He’s a visiting lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire where he helps teach the MSc in Sports Performance with a specific focus on transferring “theory into practice”.
Sean has the winning combination of training knowledge and personal skills to deliver results for every individual – no matter what the client’s background.
He’s worked with everyone from experienced athletes (including Olympic, World and Commonwealth medallists), to youngsters still in pre-school.
An athlete himself, Sean competes at a national level within the sport of powerlifting, and with competitive experience in Olympic Weightlifting, strongman and sprinting.
Sean also holds a PhD in Biomechanics. He lectures in Strength & Conditioning at the University of Bedfordshire and is an active researcher, interested in all things strength/power.
Dr. Iain Fletcher is a Principle Lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire in the field of Biomechanics and Strength & Conditioning (S & C), where he leads the BSc & MSc in Strength & Conditioning.
Iain has a substantial research profile within S & C, with over 30 journal publications and book chapters. He is an accredited S & C coach with the UK Strength & Conditioning Association (UKSCA) and the British Olympic Association and is a tutor and assessor for the UKSCA.
He has over 25 years of experience as an S&C coach and sport science consultant working within a wide range of sports and organisations, including, the English Institute of Sport, Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme, Bedford Blues, Northampton Saints, Saracens, Peterborough United, Northampton CCC and the England Rugby team.