February 24, 2013
Back to Basics: Hayley Knowles
By Jane Holgate

“Just to be competing after my injuries and recovery is fantastic, and I believe a top-10 finish at Regionals is within my grasp.”

Having done CrossFit for two years, Hayley Knowles finished eighth at the 2011 Europe Regional. In 2012, she withdrew from the Open because she had to undergo knee surgery for patella tendonitis.

Knowles first heard about CrossFit from her then personal trainer, Chris Templeman, who now owns CrossFit Clitheroe. At the time, she worked at her father’s company and spent her spare time riding horses. When Templeman opened CrossFit Clitheroe, Knowles began to take CrossFit seriously and became a full-time coach.

In August 2012, Knowles opened her own affiliate, CrossFit Spectrum, near her hometown in Lancashire, England.

“Being a female affiliate owner is great, and I hope it shows other women that CrossFit offers many opportunities,” she says.

Since knee surgery, Knowles has worked on her recovery.

“It’s been a case of getting back to basics and being clever with my training by initially not putting pressure on my knees,” she says.

Knowles’ recovery faced a set back when she had to have another surgery on her shoulder to repair a glenoid labrum tear.

However, she recovered well and took eighth place at the London Throwdown in January. Competing alongside her were top athletes, Sam Briggs, Andrea Ager and Katrin Davidsdottir.

Knowles was pleased with her performance.

“The event was a timely test for me to see just how my body could cope with intense competition, including multiple workouts over two days,” she says. “My body was really tested, and although I still have plenty to work on, I was surprised at how well it held up, and I did better than I thought I would do.”

Knowles is hoping for a top finish at Regionals. To help her achieve that, she traveled to CrossFit Invictus in January to train with Santino Marini and CJ Martin. Marini is now responsible for her programming.

“I need to have someone to provide me with a structured programming plan and I have a lot of confidence in and respect for Santino … He knows me and how to push me to get the best results,” Knowles says.

Knowles is also spending time training with Sam Briggs and other UK athletes to keep up her intensity.

“A few of us try to get together for throwdowns or to share training tips, and the UK community is quite strong and supportive as a result,” she says.

Knowles has high hopes in 2013.

“Just to be competing after my injuries and recovery is fantastic, and I believe a top-10 finish at Regionals is within my grasp.”