I took on “GasWars” at Manor in Victoria, at the end of March. “GasWars” is an annual event hosted and programmed by the Manor Coaching Team. It is hosted in Manor Car Park (MCP), which is part of the group’s Victoria site. In terms of the space, there isn’t really anything else in London that compares, hard to explain, but think raw, rugged yet perfectly kitted out for a truly immersive workout to push you to your absolute max. Check out another of my visits to Manor here.

The format of GasWars changes each year, but the main premise is that the event will push your aerobic capacity to the max, all stations are cardio or erg focused so you can be pretty sure that your heart will be beating out your mouth from start to finish! The 2024 iteration involved 36 Teams – 3 people per team. The buzz at MCP was electric with so many people filling out the space. I was joined by 2 friends; Mike and Sophia, who were brave enough to take on the challenge! 

All proceeds from ticket sales went directly to charity. Each year the Manor Team select a different charity partner, this year the chosen charity and the story behind it played a huge part in forming my “why” or the reason I would devote my Saturday morning to such a torturous workout.

Why did I want to take part?

This year’s charity was the London Air Ambulance. If you are familiar with the London Health and Fitness scene, you have probably heard of Ben Gregory’s story. Ben is a former GB Decathlete and has played a huge role for both Manor and Fresh Fitness Food as a Coach and a Brand Ambassador respectively.

Back in August 2022, Ben was involved in a life-threatening accident, when a car appeared in front of him, driving on the wrong side of the road on his return cycle from work.

If it hadn’t been for the London Air Ambulance and their actions on the night of Ben’s accident it is thought that Ben would not be alive today nor would he have made a full recovery.

I would highly recommend reading this article to give you an idea of the hardship that Ben and his family faced and the heroic job that the London Air Ambulance Team did on the day of Ben’s Accident.

It felt only right that I got involved in a workout which was raising funds for a charity that had quite literally saved the life of Ben, who has been such a prominent figure for both Manor and FFF.

The Workout

A. 7km run loop MCP to Battersea park (All 3 teammates must complete together)
B. 14km cardio/erg kit (Shared between 3 teammates)
C. 7km run loop MCP to Battersea park (All 3 teammates must complete together)
D. 14km cardio/erg kit (Shared between 3 teammates)

Total distance: 42km

Ergs to choose from: Assault Runner, Ski Erg, C2 Bike, C2 Rower, Assault Bike

Round Up

I’m not going to beat around the bush, I’m 100% sure that this was the hardest workout I have done during my time in London (probably ever actually)!

The most enjoyable part of the workout was the first loop of Battersea Park. The sun was shining and everyone was grouped together taking it at a nice conversational pace. However, once we got back to MCP for the first round on the ergs, chaos ensued. From here on out the workout just felt harder and harder!

I never thought I would say this, but the two rounds of running (14km total) felt absolute bliss compared to the two rounds on the ergs. Looking back, the 14km of running was effectively a “time to rest” before fighting the ergs again! 

Here are some of my key learnings from this year:

– Working out with a team is infinitely better than a solo workout.
– Manor always blasts a great playlist.
– GasWars is a long workout, fuel appropriately!
– The Assault Bike is by far the hardest Erg, try to avoid it at all costs.
– Doing hard things for charity feels great.

GasWars 2024 raised over £5,500 for The London Air Ambulance.

3 hours 48 minutes after setting out on our first lap of Battersea Park, we had completed it. It’s safe to say that none of us had left anything on the table. We battled the final round of ergs with every last ounce of energy we were still carrying. Such a rewarding event to be a part of and for some reason, I would do it all again next year…

Lastly, keep an eye on Manor’s Instagram, they run a great spread of events across the year and will be sure to put you through your paces! 

Disclaimer Please note that results and experiences can differ greatly from person to person. This review reflects the author’s own experience with GasWars and is intended for informational purposes only. Before making any decisions based on this review, we encourage you to consider your personal goals, preferences, and needs. It’s important to explore and evaluate GasWars on your own to determine if it aligns with your individual fitness journey.

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