CrossFit – Jump up!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and are looking forward to the weekend!

I had such a stressful day yesterday – trying to go self hosted! Anyone who has done this will know what I mean (unless you are a tech whizz and found the process a doddle!). I think I have done everything I should but it still appears to be connected to wordpress.com rather than .org. I have gone with bluehost. Some folk have said that it takes a while to transfer over, up to 72 hours. I hope that is the case for me and everything will be fine soon. It’s only stressful because it is so scary!

(So please check if I ‘disappear’ off your follow list, I am still there, it just may not transfer over!)

I just keep telling myself that it is a move forward for my blog and that it will all work out. When I think back to all the things I have done in my life it’s often the scariest things that turn out to be the best things overall.

do something(source)

But anyway, it is Friday, time for the weekend (soon) and time to smile! And to talk about one of my favourite topics – my CrossFit recap!

Thursday Morning (1st May)

We began with a block run and then some mobility work – hamstrings and calves – tight, sore and much needed!

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Then we moved on to something new for our box that Coach wanted to trial – the vertical jump!

Basically, see how high you can jump, going from two feet, jumping upwards and touching with at least one hand the shutter above. For once in CrossFit (and this NEVER happens) being tall would be an asset! I managed 103 inches from the ground. Not bad but could do better. I think next time I won’t make the mistake of looking up – that only got me disorientated!

Vertical-Jump(source)

(Something like this, although I probably didnt look as elegant and in control! Oh and I’m sure David will be pleased I put an NFL pic in there!)

After this came 3 sets of 5 weighted pull ups. I know you guys know where I am with this. Can’t do a strict pull up (YET), my arms just can’t pull me up. We tried an option of putting a barbell in a rack and with me holding on to the bar and my legs rested up on a box (i.e. simply having the ‘top half’ of me to pull up to the bar) – not there yet either. But what I can do is rest my feet on the box and use this method for negatives – start with my chin above the bar and slowly release down. Now here is where I saw some progress. I finally felt in my arms what it would feel to do a pull up and down and the more I did the slower I released down. Good signs.

The final WOD was a short one but a good one.

4 rounds

In 1 minute perform

6 yard pro shuttle

Then in the remaining time max box jumps

(30 second rest in between rounds)

boxjumps(source)

So the box jumps… still psyching myself out with those. So my solution, work my way up. There is no point in standing around staring at a box when I could be doing something – so I will use weight plates to build the height up. I went with 12 inches and went at max effort. Next time I will try 15 inches.

In round 1 I did 7 box jumps in the remaining time, round 2- 7, round 3- 8 and round 4- 9. Keeping to my usual weird result of improving and getting more reps as I went!

And there we have it folks, a nice recap read and CrossFit capers! Hope you all have a fab weekend and do something fun! Keep smiling!

CrossFit – Aint Nobody got time for that!

Hi all,

Yay it’s finally Friday! Ok so this week has gone a bit faster than normal with having Monday off but still always pleased for the weekend to arrive – especially seen as David and I are off on a ‘seeing a bit more of what is on our doorstep’ day on Saturday – see my Thinking Out Loud post yesterday for more info!

But for now, it’s time for my 2 in 1 CrossFit recap!

Thursday Morning (24th)

We began with a double block run, always a favourite…not! And then came in to do some more squat style stretches and movements.

After that came some squat clean tekkers, first using the Burgener warm up and then applying that to the squat clean movement. Here is a video for those who are new to these moves and would like to actually know what a squat clean is!

Then we had 15 minutes to work up to our max squat clean. I am still working on technique with this one, I tell you the concept of going down and under a barbell while it is travelling up is a strange experience and quite a feat to master. I know the principal steps and understand them, it’s just the speed I need to work on and I am getting there – definite improvements. I managed 17.5kg in the end. Yes I have done 21kg before but the technique just wasn’t there. At least I know that every rep done at this weight was done with speed and precision – and I definitely prefer that, weight will come.

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The main WOD

In front of a 12 minute clock

1 minute box jumps

1 minute sumo deadlift high pull

2 minute box jump

2 minute sumo deadlift high pull

3 minute box jump

3 minute sumo deadlift high pull

I went with a weight of 15kg on my ball and a 19 inch box.

Well if you read my post yesterday you will know that I froze when it came to the box jumps. I just couldn’t do it – my mind just wouldn’t let me. Blame fatigue, my crash a few weeks earlier, the fact that my side still hurts but whatever the reason, my mind just wasn’t there. I used the first minute of box jumps to try and with no luck, moved on to step ups – would rather go to the max with them rather than stand around trying to find the courage to jump.

Barney Stinson Quote Meme(source)

Good to do sumo’s again in a WOD though!

Friday Morning (25th)

Today’s WOD was insane. Our warm up consisted of 200m sprints and jumping jacks – we were super puffed out by the end! Then we moved on to some hamstring stretches which were fab actually, just what I needed to limber up.

deadlifts

The strength WOD was 15 minutes to gain a new 1RM deadlift. Again I wanted to focus on technique, as my back tends to round just as I am away to put the bar on the ground. I worked with high weights, slowly upping them and trying to make sure the technique followed through. I finished the 15 minutes equalling my PB of 60kg. Coach was not going to stand for this! He ordered me to put another 5kg on the bar and go for 65kg – and I did it! Yay – new dead lift PB.

bear deadlifts(A bear, my CrossFit animal! Grrr!)

We had to take 80% of this new deadlift PB (50kg for me) for the next part of the WOD…

For time

400m run

21 deadlifts

800m run

15 deadlifts

1200m run

9 deadlifts

Even thinking about it now makes me want to cry!

The deadlifts were heavy but for me they were the ‘relief’ of the WOD. The running was killer and every second was so tough, mentally and physically. But I kept running, didn’t stop, kept focused, stayed positive (or tried to) and even sang songs in my head to keep the running beat – crazy I know but it worked!

I finished in 24.40 and I am super happy about this!

Nobody-got-time-Meme(source)

Ok so it was the WOD from hell and I hated every minute of it. But will I be back for more on Monday? You bet I will!

Have a fab weekend folks!

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

Hope you are well this Thursday and everything is going fab this week!

Thinking-Out-Loud

Time for some ‘Thinking out Loud’ randomness – linking up with the lovely Amanda over @runningwithspoons.

  1. Box Jumps

box jumps

–          Today at CrossFit, we had box jumps on the WOD. This is the first time they have appeared since I fell a couple of weeks back and hurt my side (which I still can’t lie on).What did I do? I froze. I was really hoping this wouldn’t happen and that I would ping back up and down the box, showing it who’s boss but I just couldn’t do it and went with step ups instead! I hate when my mind gets the better of me! Hoping to do some practice with David though to get my confidence back up, I will not be defeated!

  1. Bacon Pancake Sandwiches

bpsammies(Eat me here)

–          Ok now on to something now which is making me smile… a lot! Michelle over at nomnompaleo.com has released a new recipe. Yep it is a monster treat but what a treat it is combining some of my favourite things – bacon, banana/coconutty pancakes and maple syrup = yummers!  Thinking a definite for Sunday brunch very soon!

  1. Camera Tech

camera

–          David, the camera wiz extraordinaire, is being a star and giving me lessons on how to use his camera. The basics for now but hopefully enough to take my food pics from ok to awesome! I really enjoy learning from David, he is such a good teacher and it is something I have wanted to develop on for a long time. Major bonus having a hobbyist photographer for a husband, he has all the kit!

  1. Revenge

revenge

–          Oh this TV show… I have never known anything to have more plot twists and turns than this one – you can have several in each episode! We watched season 1 a while ago and noticed that season 2 was now on our streaming service – we ploughed through them like nothing else! And now on to season 3 that we recorded off the television. I just don’t know where it is going to go, every time I have an idea, it is squished by the end of the episode with another plot turner. Hooked doesn’t even cover it!

  1. Cod Liver Oil

270071-cod-liver-oil(source)

–          I have stopped taking a multi vitamin, realising that what I eat gives me more than my recommended daily dose of most vitamins and minerals! I have however, started taking a high strength Cod Liver Oil tablet – and so has David. We did some research and realised that additional fish oils would be beneficial to our bodies – focussing on its benefits on joint and bone health – essential for what we do at CrossFit. It’s early days but I have heard wonderful things about its benefits so fingers crossed.

  1. Doing more on your doorstep

new lanark(source)

–          We are all guilty of this, we travel to far flung areas across the globe but how often do we actually spend exploring some of the wonders on our doorstep? David and I are adamant to see the most of our local treasures so this Saturday we are off to New Lanark (world heritage site), an 18th century restored Cotton Mill. Check this website out for more pics and info but it looks really interesting!

–          http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/heritage/worldheritage/world-heritage-sites-in-scotland/new-lanark.htm

  1. Eat the Yolks!

eat the yolks(source)

–          My read at the moment is Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe – one half of the Balanced Bites podcast team. In it she dispels the food myths and lies that we have been fed for decades and tells the truth! So refreshing! And written in Liz’s fun and entertaining way, just like she is on the podcast. Sometimes her writing is like a friend writing you a letter, it’s that conversational.

So that is it this week for ‘Thinking out Loud ‘  – oh and in response to my water post yesterday, I am working in Starbucks, not with a coffee this time, but a sparkling water instead – and loving it!

CrossFit – Seeking Out The Positives!

Hi all,

Hooray for Friday!

I know I have only been back into the swing of things for 2 days after my hols but I am still so pleased it is the weekend! I feel like I have condensed a full week into yesterday and today!

Time for a recap of yesterdays and this morning’s CrossFit!

CROSSFIT

Thursday Morning (10th)

Arriving back at CrossFit after a week off is always daunting – especially a holiday that involves the ‘road trip stiffness’! However after a warm up of medicine ball squat cleans I was feeling great – and managed to hone in on my technique a bit too! Fantastic! Add in a bit of much needed hamstring mobility and I felt all limber and ready to rock again.

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We then moved on to 10 sets of 3 rep deadlifts at 85% of our 1RM. My 1RM is 61kg (after the 14.3 open) so I went with 50kg. I really enjoyed doing this as we were really able to focus on our lifting technique and even break it down and try and make the lift and return slower, giving us more control and also protecting our lower backs. Deadlifts, when done wrong can really do some serious damage to your lower back so to have time to focus on the technique, while still lifting relatively heavy was great.

Then the main WOD

10 Minute EMOM

10 box jumps – 20 inches

Then in the remaining time perform max effort push ups.

box jumps(source)

Sounds ok doesn’t it – and it would of been if it wasn’t for one major problem – my head wouldn’t let me jump. I did the 20 inch box jump last week in testing and was so pleased but today my body would not jump. I tried to get my head in the game but no luck. I went down to a smaller box at 19 inches to see if I could do that. Instead I jumped, pinged off the box and flew backwards into one of the lifting racks – oh my goodness it hurt so badly! I just wanted to burst into tears when Coach ran over to see if I was ok but instead I got up and was determined to continue. He tried to help me with my jumps but to no avail – so I went with step ups and got to the end.

defeat(source)

What a WOD! Yep I was on pain meds for the rest of the day but I am pretty certain I haven’t broken anything, just some internal bruising. Note to self, make sure nothing is behind you next time you do box jumps!!! And I will do the 20 inch next time, I am determined. Also I keep reminding myself to focus on how good the beginning of the morning session was #SeekOutThePositives.

Friday Morning (11th)

To be fair, I didn’t even think I was going to be at the WOD this morning. But I woke up and felt ok, just tender so decided to go along and see how I went – taking things easy.

The warm up of 2 block runs with a 5kg medicine ball was not fun! I knew I could run with it but the pounding thud of running really hurt my side so had to do more of a gentle jog.

Doing some hip flexor mobility afterwards was nice though – great stretches and good to do something that didn’t put pressure on my side.

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We then moved on to having 15 minutes to achieve our 3RM thruster. I practiced with the barbell and it was sore – the squat was ok but the lockout overhead was pulling at my side. So I made a choice – recovery was so much more important to me than achieving a new 3RM. I did a few more at 15kg then went up to a max of 21kg. I know next time I will be able to go heavier and that is enough for me. As frustrating as it is to know you can do more, health comes first.

I then took this principal into the main WOD.

2 RFT

40 wall balls

10 power clean and jerk.

I went with a 5kg ball and to be honest, most of the time I was not below parallel with my squats. I tried my best though without making my side worse. With the power clean and jerks I went with 15kg, low but it meant I could still do it without pain = the main thing.

It is always hard to scale a WOD very low when you have an injury. I want to do my best and I know that scaling it today will mean I recover faster and stronger. And I was there, doing it the best I could and that gives me reason enough to smile.

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On a major plus, one of the zombie crew brought in Starbucks coffee pods for the boxes machine for us all to have a nice strong espresso after the WOD – ah, nothing beats a nice strong brew after a WOD! All that was missing…bacon!

The song I sing every time I hear the word bacon… #SorryButNotSorry that this song is now in your head too!

Hula_Bacon_by_LionKingFanClub(source)

Have a good weekend!

CrossFit – A girl and a boy!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and full of fun and happiness this Tuesday!

CROSSFIT

Time for a 2 in 1 CrossFit post – these past two mornings have been beasts! Three cheers for a couple of rest days coming up – or mobility days as they should be called!

Monday Morning (17th)

So the WOD was called  – ‘Where’s your head at?’ – In cloud cuckoo land at 6.30am on a Monday morning to be honest!

We began with a warm up of 5 rounds of 1 minute jumping jacks, 1 minute squat holds. Sound easy? Fun even? Nope, it was the secret killer! Our quads were burning afterwards!

Then we moved on to some handstand hold tekkers. For my level I was to work on handstand walk holds – doing a handstand walk and then holding in that position for 30 seconds x 5. I know it will just take more practice with these, building up my strength but mostly learning to trust myself! I have to realise that I won’t fall down if I move my hands closer to the wall! And I also need to work on being upside down – I hate it! My mind goes all wonky! Practice, practice, practice!

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Then came the main WOD, another girl WOD… womp womp womp…..

‘Kelly’

5 rounds for time

1 block run

30 box jumps

30 wall balls

And Coach wanted me to do box jumps at 16 inches, eeek! I did some practice with David and it took me a few tries to get over my fear of jumping. Holding his hands while jumping helped and then slowly I was able to do it on my own! Result!

The block runs wore us out. The box jumps ended up being my source of relief! (Go figure!). And the wall balls were tough as always. I joked to David that Coach was going to do Karen soon (150 wall balls for time) and I kept on saying it and saying it. So what ended up happening, we got Karen with extras!

I did it in 37 minutes 55 seconds and felt like shouting, crying and slowly dying in a corner afterwards. David was buzzing afterwards! Freak…! (Just joking hunny!).

Tuesday Morning (18th)

We arrived, it was chucking with rain, so what happened? Block run of joy!

When we came back in we moved on to a tabata of plank holds, skipping and squat holds. 4 rounds, 30 seconds of each. Certainly got us pumping!

We moved on to some tekkers of the WOD today – working on hang pull cleans and then jerks. We used the PVC pipes to stretch and then work on our technique. I like when we do this and it brings everything back before tackling the WOD.

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Today’s WOD, a hero WOD.

‘DT’

5 rounds for time

12 deadlifts

9 hang pull cleans

6 push jerks

The weight level for me during this WOD was 30kg, but seen as I have only ever cleaned 20kg, I tried 25kg. Deadlifting, not a problem, cleaning – no go. Then I went down to 20kg but it just wasn’t happening either, I couldn’t whip my elbows round the bar quick enough. So in order to be able to clean and then push jerk, I went with 15kg.

I managed the WOD in 12 minutes 34 seconds. I am disappointed about the weight I lifted, I know I could have done 20kg or at least 17.5kg but today it just wasn’t happening. And above all I wanted to stay safe, and it just wouldn’t have been safe for my back which would have taken the strain. But the main focus should be that I was there. I was there and I did the WOD to the best of my ability and I put my all into it – if I wasn’t able to take the weight then I was going to make sure that my reps were unbroken and I went at full speed. Cleans and mobility just need to be worked on and as long as I am putting in that work then that’s all that matters. I will succeed!

cleaning

CrossFit – Open 14.3!

Hi all!

Woop woop it’s Friday! And what a fantastic Friday it has been so far…

As you all know, Friday’s mean a new CrossFit Open workout was released! Due to my Mum being with us, that meant we did CrossFit Monday, Thursday, Friday this week – and therefore normally today would be a 2 in 1 post. But I want to focus on the open post so, suffice to say, yesterdays CrossFit was awesome as always and great fun but now on to the Open 14.3!

crossfit

We arrived at the box and as it was one of our groups birthdays, we had to do birthday burpees! 35, one for each of her years! Fun as always….

Then we had to do a double block run, which I didn’t mind too much as it was good to get the heart pumping (not that it wasn’t after burpees mind you) and also to chat through 14.3 with David and to get his thoughts on it. First thought – oh great, deadlifts, we did 150 of those yesterday! Think coach must be a psychic (last week the Thursday WOD was overhead squats, and what came up on 14.2…?!).

Open WOD 14.3

bear deadlifts(source)

MEN 
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
61kg deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
84kg deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
102kg deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
125kg deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
143kg deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch
166kg deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 24-inch

WOMEN 

Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
43kg deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
61kg deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
70 deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
84kg deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
93kg deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
102kg deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch

 
We all worked together as a group to set up bars with each of the various weights required on them, in order to practice our lifts and abilities – i.e. how far we thought we could lift to.  I just presumed I would be practicing something else, my 1RM is 45kg! But no.

Coach asked me to go to the first bar station and lift 5 reps of 43kg. I managed it, it was tough but I did them unbroken. Then he asked me to go to 61kg – was he insane!? So I tried to lift the bar – first attempt, nope. He told me to try again, so I just kept my technique in mind and went for it. I lifted it! Fantastic, a new 1RM for me!

deadliftsBEAST MODE REQUIRED!!

(source)

We all took turns in going as far as we could and then stripped the bars. You needed to change and up the weights yourself during the WOD.

I went in the first wave. I was nervous but determined to get as far as I could. Step ups were also allowed as part of the movement standards and then it suddenly dawned on me, I was doing my first workout AS PRESCRIBED (RX)!!!!! Never done that before! That gave me a boost!

And away I went. I did the first 10 deadlifts at 43kg unbroken! Awesome! Then I did my step ups. After they were completed I upped my weights to the next level 61kg. So I knew I had done 1, and I knew I could do at least 1 more. So… I went and did 12 of them!!!!! 12!!!!

I was beaming afterwards! Before today I had a 1RM of 45kg and I had just completed 12 reps of 61kg – jeez I wonder what my 1RM would be now!? Coach thinks it might be in the eighties! Hope I get the chance to try it soon!

IMG_20140314_083159

So I beamed through the rest of our time at the box while judging 2 others (still loving being a judge!) and am still beaming now (although very stiff and achy, but so worth it!).

It’s the power of the open, it really does make you find the strength to do things that you only hoped that ‘one day’ you would do! #theopenmademedoit

Have a fantastic weekend everyone! And good luck to those taking on 14.3!

CrossFit – Evil Wheels!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and had a fun about fabulous weekend!

I really enjoyed mine – a chilled out and relaxing Valentines night, then a rather manic but fun Saturday which included going to one of my favourite places, Whole Foods! And then on Sunday David’s Dad popped in for a coffee while up in Scotland on business and that was really nice, catching up and chatting about all kinds of bits and pieces. I really do think that the 3 of us have exactly the same personalities when it comes to our business attitude and work ethic! Work hard and work strong!

And now we are here, Monday again, and it all began with an early morning CrossFit session!

Recap time!

CROSSFIT

Warm up was a block run and then about 15 minutes of mobility. A lot of cracking, stretching and groaning but all very much needed!

We then moved on to some tekkers of a new move – Evil Wheels. Sounds nasty doesn’t it?

Well it isn’t easy that’s for sure! I don’t think I could do it justice explaining it, so take a look at the video below for a good example.

Definitely a major workout for your abs! Also it works out your shoulders, arms and lower back – we all felt it in these areas in some varying form. I managed to get the technique (yay! Coach even used me as an example! A first but let’s not hope last!) – The aim being not to move your hips at all and keep a straight line. More difficult than it looks and no one could go all the way down and back up again, you need some amazing core strength for that!

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The WOD for today was simple. But why oh why does simple in CrossFit always mean the most tough, challenging and tiring!

EMOM for as long as possible

8 wall balls

7 kettle bell swings

6 box jumps

(And you need to complete all in that minute to get on to the next round)

I did 5kg wall balls, 10kg kettle bells and 20 inch step ups. Woah! I just managed the first round but for round 2 Coach suggested I went down to 6 wall balls, 5 kettle bell swings and 4 box jumps. It was still tough. The wall balls really got me, I think I found it tough as my arms and shoulders were still sore from the evil wheels so I couldn’t ‘ping’ up and down with the ball like I should have been. But I did use a 10kg kettle bell which I have never used in a WOD before, only an 8kg, so I was pleased about that. Others needed to scale down to a few reps later but 5 were the most rounds achieved – I got 4 scaled down.

Hmm, as I sit here in Starbucks and write, my abs are feeling more and more tense. Fingers crossed they don’t get worse! One thing is for sure they were certainly ‘worked out’ today… those evil wheels!

CrossFit – Roy

Hi all,

Hope you are well and over the moon that it’s Friday! And it’s the end of January too – where did this week and month go?

Bring on February  –  a new month with new exciting adventures as always!

Time for a recap of yesterdays CrossFit…

wods and all

We began with a block run and even though it was freezing cold, it wasn’t raining which makes so much of a difference!

Once we had finished the run we worked on some mobility – focussing on squats and gaining more flexibility in our ankles. For the first time ever in CrossFit, I was able to do something no one else could do – who knew my ankles were so flexible! I knew I could squat easily and found it quite comfortable actually (years of just generally sitting and doing bits and bobs, e.g. cleaning, in that position) but it is good to know that in terms of squats I shouldn’t have any mobility issues holding me back – great!

IMG_20140130_074115

We then moved on to 5 sets of a 5RM back squat. It was only a month ago that we had done 5RM back squats so I didn’t know if a new 5RM would be possible – I remember gaining the 27.5kg 5RM, it was uber tough! However I did it and got a new PB for my 5RM of 30kg! Really pleased as it was quite mentally tough, trying to prove to myself that I can do it. I can see progress in my technique too – I am managing to keep my weight on my heels and keep a steady ‘rise and fall’ pace in the squat, something I used to struggle with. Great!

Then it was time for the main WOD – ‘ROY’ – one of the ‘hero’ WODs, created and named after Marine Michael Roy who sadly died in combat in Afghanistan in 2009. The ‘hero’ WOD’s are always the most difficult, to be performed with the most intense effort in honour of the fallen.

roy(source)

And intense it was…

Roy

5 rounds for time (20 minute time cap)

15 deadlifts

20 box jumps (step ups scaled)

25 pull ups (or jumping pull ups scaled)

When prepping for the WOD, I tried to deadlift a 30kg bar, it was very heavy – and 5 x 15 deadlifts?! When coach asked me how it felt and I said very heavy, he told me to put another 5 kg on it!!! Oh geez! Now it was heavy!

The step ups were to be at 24 inches, no longer 20 inches and the jumping pull ups were new and we had to get our chin above the bar with every jump. Woah!

But you know what, I did it! I managed 4 rounds exact within the 20 minutes (no one in our group managed the 5 rounds), I lifted that 35kg bar, did those 24 inch step ups and went to town on the jump ups!

My mobility still hinders me slightly on the deadlifts, the lack of flexibility meaning that the weight can pull my chest and shoulders forward but I am working on combating that and improving.

My knee is obviously gaining strength in the fact that it is now able to do the 24 inch step ups (and 80 of them at that!), without lasting pain. And the ability to do the jump ups shows the development in my arm and shoulder strength, allowing me to keep that chin above the bar.

It was never going to be easy (and oh boy are my muscles paying for it today) but a challenge is never meant to be easy. I pushed the boundaries of what I thought I could do and did it – feeling pretty proud 🙂

CrossFit – Battle of London 2014!

Hi all!

I’m back and into the swing of things after the most amazing weekend in London watching ‘Battle of London’ 2014 CrossFit competition!

Oh my goodness it was amazing, inspiring, epic and so much fun! Here is my recap of the events and happenings!

BOL(source)

On Friday night (just after midnight) 8 of us left our CrossFit box in Glasgow and drove down to London. It takes about 6 and a half hours, so with breaks and swaps of drivers etc, we arrived at around 7.30 am. Coffee was definitely needed!

The competition began at 8.30am at the Copper Box stadium at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. An amazing venue which reminded me of a glorified CrossFit box so it really was perfect! It was also nice to be back at Olympic Park after attending the Olympics last year. Still looks awesome and great to see it being used for other events.

20140119 - Battle of London Day-3

The competition is over 2 days and is broken down into 7 WODS – the 7th being the final. All 150 males, 100 females, 30 male masters and 20 female masters compete in the first 4 WODS, then cuts are made until we get to the final. Each competitor has a judge who will watch them compete and make sure each rep counts!

Day 1

Let the battle commence!

WOD 1

For Time:

100 Double unders
——–
3 Round of:
10 Handstand Push Ups
4 x 10m Sled Pull
——–
100 Double Unders

12 minute time cap

20140118 - Battle of London DayDSC04206

It was a great WOD to start on. It was so good to watch the double unders and try and pick up some tips on technique! The handstand push ups were insane, some naturally were better at it than others and by the 3rd round I think most were struggling. Their arms and shoulders would have been really straining with the combination of the 3 moves. Major respect.

Our coach actually purchased one of the sleds used (eek, watch out for that in a future WOD!).

WOD 2

In 2 parts…

2A

In 6 minutes find a 1RM of the following complex:
1 Clean (squat)
1 Hang Clean (squat)
1 Front Squat
1 Shoulder to Overhead

Rest 2 minutes, then…

2B

For time complete 30 Ground to Overhead @80/55kg (70/47.5kg masters)

6minute time cap

(Ground to Overhead – using clean and press, push press, jerk or snatch)

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Wow. Most knew what their 1RM would be and went straight for it. There was some major weight being lifted here. In fact, the weights were that heavy, the floor was actually broken in 64 places where the barbells were dropped. This had an impact on the rest of the weekends WODS… (and events taking place at the Copper Box this week…oh dear!).

The men went first and we had a break between them finishing and the females beginning. So we broke for lunch which was fab as we were all starving! London’s biggest shopping centre, Westfield, was a 5 minute walk away so the choices for lunch were pretty good. We grabbed some freshly made sushi from a Japanese cafe. It was so yummy I just had to take a picture and post it for you all!

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Watching the women compete in this WOD was amazing. Their technique somehow seemed a bit more honed in compared to the men (just an interpretation) and I was so inspired, it made me want to go and lift there and then!

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WOD 3 – ‘Fat Fran’

3 Round for time:
2 Laps of the Arena
21 American Kettle Bell Swings
12 Chest to Bar Pull ups

This was a fun one to watch as it really felt like a race! That’s the thing about CrossFit, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and you could really tell the ones that were runners and ones that were more into lifting and the ones that excelled on the gymnastic side of things (chest to bars). No one can be perfect at everything with it being such a multi disciplined sport.

Everyone was given a major cheer, whether you were first or last – great thing about CrossFit, the only sport I know where the person who finishes last gets the biggest cheer.

Day one finished about 5.30pm so we all headed back to the shopping centre to grab some food for dinner. We went to a restaurant called Gourmet Burger Kitchen, sounded pretty good and didn’t disappoint! 100% beef in their burgers (no rusk or nasties), an option to have it ‘bunless’ with salad and crunchy slaw instead and an avocado and bacon burger on the menu, what more could a bunch of paleo loving folk want! (It was quite cool as many of the competitors were also dining there (also going ‘bunless’!), I felt quite star struck!). After some good food and banter, we headed to our hotel and fell straight to sleep; it had been a long day!

Day 2

I was pretty pumped for the second day of battle! And after a breakfast of masses of eggs, fruit and almond butter we were fuelled up and ready to rock!

20140118 - Battle of London Day-2(David and coach!)

WOD 4

In 2 parts…

4A

4 minute AMRAP of:
4 Single Arm KB squat Clean each arm @32/24kg
8 Box jumps

4B

4minute AMRAP of:
Ring Muscle Ups

4A seems ok? Nope it was tough! It’s always the ones that look ok that are the most difficult, or so I have found anyway! Squatting with the kettle bell, for some, was just really tricky. With a bar at least you have an even balance of weight, with a kettle bell , the ‘one-sided-ness’ can really alter ability.

I picked up some tips on box jump techniques. Still doing step ups at the moment but a few things to try out for when I do eventually venture into the jump!

The ring muscle ups looked really tough, many only got a couple.

The first cut was then made and it was straight into WOD 5.

WOD 5 – Death By Bar Jumping Burpees

10 stations with increasing reps.
The athlete will start at platform 1 of 10.

At each platform the athlete will have 60seconds to perform the prescribed number of reps

Station 1: 3 reps
Station 2: 6 reps
Station 3: 9 reps
Station 4: 12 reps …
Station 9: 27 reps
Station 10: Max reps

At the end of the 60 seconds the athlete will have 10 seconds to transition to the next station.

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First I have to mention that this was not the original WOD. Remember I said the floor was damaged? Well it was that bad that they couldn’t use barbells and weights again for fear of more damage! Not good! (The planned WOD had been a power clean ladder, shame as it would have been amazing to watch!).

Watching this WOD felt cruel! I hate burpees and I know I am not the only one! Most got to around 18 or 21 reps and then began to struggle. Very few got to the 27 rep station and only a handful were able to attempt the AMRAP at station 10. When they did the crowd went nuts! Again major respect to all that attempted this!

After another cut it was on to the next WOD.

WOD 6 – Met Con Mayhem!

For total reps
3 rounds of the following:
1 minute Assault Bike
1 minute Pistols
1 minute Down Ups
1 minute Goblet squat @32/24kg
1 minute Toes to Bar
1 minute Rest 

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And mayhem it was! I don’t think I need to go into how incredible this would be to watch or how tough it was. It did look like good fun though! I think I would be buzzing after that one!

WOD 7 – Final

Bar Muscle Ups
40 Calorie Row

KB Swings
80 Wall Balls

3 x 10m Handstand Walks 

(Sorry I don’t have the details for how many muscle ups and KB swings there were as the info was only released last minute during the competition and the website hasn’t been updated! And I was too in the ‘CrossFit zone’ to write it down – doh!).

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I do have a feeling that this WOD had to be altered too, because of the floor; however we will never know as the details of this WOD were only released just before it took place. We were all guessing what would be in it!

It was however, an epic final and a real ‘all rounder’ in terms of disciplines. The box was alive with cheers! Those handstand walks I think were the real test for most, I can imagine your arms would just want to give up by this point but they persevered. A real indication of how much CrossFit is mental strength as well as physical strength.

The competition finished around 6.30pm and we got straight on the road to head home, arriving back in Glasgow at 1.30am. David and I talked for ages; we just had such a good time!

What an amazing experience it was, will definitely be back next year! I was just in awe of all the athletes competing, they were incredible. I love the fact that I was able to support my sport and it really did just make me love CrossFit even more. There was such a buzz surrounding the arena, a camaraderie of sorts, and you really felt that sense of ‘community’ that CrossFit brings. I also loved the fact that I was able to spend more time getting to know more of the people from my box, a weekend of us all enjoying and talking about what we love doing. You guys really are my day to day CrossFit inspiration.

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Now, let’s just hope that coach hasn’t taken too many ideas from the above… death by bar jumping burpees….nooooo!

For official pictures, information and videos please click on the links below. Especially recommend checking out some of the videos on YouTube, they are brilliant!

http://battleoflondon.com/

http://instagram.com/battleoflondon

https://www.facebook.com/thebattleoflondon

http://www.youtube.com/user/battleoflondon?feature=watch

Crossfit – On a very cold morning…!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are well and everyone is happy that it is Friday again! Woop Woop!

This Friday has come around even sooner with being away for most of the week on holiday, don’t holiday weeks just fly by so fast!

Anyway, back to Crossfit this morning for the 6.30am session, recap time!

First of all everyone at Crossfit this morning deserves a medal for actually getting out of bed and turning up – we have a major cold snap here at the moment and it was -3 degrees Celsius (26 degrees Fahrenheit)  when we got in the car, so very cold! As you can imagine we were very keen to warm up straight away, feeling like a bunch of sleepy ice poles!

The warm up was great actually, really enjoyed it. We did 5 rounds of 10 russian kettle bell swings, 10 swing to cleans and 10 air squats (without the bell). It gave a good stretch to both our legs and arms and got the blood pumping round which really was the main thing!

WOD 221113

Then we moved on to some hip mobility exercises. After a week away from Crossfit I really noticed the burn – even though I did yoga on Sunday and some foam rolling yesterday! Good to get those muscles really warmed up and stretched though, the cold air was trying to tense them up again! The more mobility I do the more I notice a difference in my performance during many aspects of Crossfit and I know David feels the same too. Really glad that our coach places such an emphasis on it, shows that he really places our bodies and their protection as a priority.

After that came 10 rounds of 5 hang squat snatches. We didn’t do them EMOM as on the board but instead did them in pairs. I am still getting to grips with this technique, I’m glad coach says it’s one of the hardest ones to grasp! I ended up doing a power snatch and then going down into an overhead squat from that, simply to break down the move a bit and try to hone on my technique. The last time I did overhead squats I had to do it with a PVC pipe and slide very light weights on to it, I couldn’t get the technique right with a barbell due to the weight. This time, 7.5kg barbell all the way! My technique still needs work but I am getting there which is the main thing. Progress!

Even more impressive was the fact that I managed to use the barbell following through into the WOD.

15-12-9

Overhead squats

Box Jumps (step ups for me)

It was tough and I felt the weight completely in the squats. Making sure I kept my weight in my heels though really helped and took me through each round. I only had to rest a couple of times during the 15 and 12 set of overhead squats when my arms just needed a break. The step ups were very welcome though, my arms enjoyed their minimal use during it!

I finished in a time of 6 minutes and 43 seconds. Very pleased with that. Also gave me a chance to watch David complete his box jumps, gosh he is getting good at those – jumping the full 30 inches! I just don’t know how he does it, but I love watching him do it!

Happy weekend everyone!