CrossFit – Recaps and new RM’s!

Hi all,

It’s Friday!! Woop Woop!

friday(source)

Before I go into todays post I have some bits of info to share.

First up – yesterday I made the Microwave Sweet Potato Chips (crisps) that featured in my sweet potato post from earlier in the week. I used a peeler for the tater, and tossed them in a bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary and like the recipe, placed them in a single layer at a time for 4 minutes in the microwave. After leaving them for 2 minutes to cool at the side they had crispened up perfectly and were ready to eat. And you know what, they were amazing! Better than the vegetable chips/crisps in the stores that you can buy. We will be making these again for sure! Note – they are best eaten straight away. This morning our chips were still tasty but not as crunchy.

20140508 - Sweet Potato Crisps(Davids amazing photography skills!)

And second of all – I hope to be transferring my domain over the weekend, which means some website down time. If you can’t access me over the weekend never fear, by Monday things should be up and running and back to normal…fingers and toes crossed!

And now on to today’s post – 2 in 1 CrossFit recap!

Thursday Morning (8th)

It was tipping it down with rain outside when we arrived at the box so luckily our warm up was not a block run! Instead we worked on some mobility, stretching and some yoga moves  – loving the yoga, really good to change things up a bit and try a new way of gaining more mobility.

After that we were straight on to working in pairs on the rack, first up 3 sets of 3RM push jerk followed by 5 sets of 1RM push jerk. We haven’t done these in a while so both my 1RM and 3RM were 20kg! Still working on some mobility issues in my shoulders but definitely seeing big improvements. I am able to get the bar mostly locked out overhead with minimal ‘pressing’ at the end. This was not the case a few months back when I was jerking and then having to press the bar overhead most of the way. I came out with a new 1RM of 25kg so I am very pleased with that!

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Then we moved on to spilt jerk for the same amount of reps. I worked with the pvc pipe just to refresh myself with the power needed for this move – I definitely tend to push jerk if I am given the choice. Still working on my balance with this but definitely getting the hang of it with again, big improvements. New 1RM of 25kg!

We then headed outside where, thank goodness, it had stopped raining! The workout was as follows

Every 30 seconds

Shuttle 25 metres and back x 2 (100m) for 4 minutes

Then shuttle for 20 metres and back x3 (120m) for 4 minutes

2 minute rest in between

shuttle run(source)

From doing athletic testing, coach noticed that a lot of us are lacking speed in our sprinting – something he wishes to work on over the summer months. Now I’m not hot at running, coming to it for the first time ever at the beginning of the year but I gave it my best shot and tried to keep a strong pace going at all times – it is a sprint after all! I look forward to working on this and hopefully seeing improvements over the next few months.

And then came the horrible part

10 minute EMOM

10 burpees

Yep it was hard, yep it sucked, yep I was sooo glad for it to be over.

But you know what, this WOD was sooo much fun!

Friday Morning (9th)

chuck(source)

Think SpongeBob should have tried CrossFit…

Back with a bang this morning at CrossFit – started with a block run and then moved inside for some more warm up fun and games followed by some mobility.

Today was front squat day – working up to a new 3RM.

My 3RM was 25kg and was looking forward to testing myself. I was able to have a rack all to myself which meant I could really focus on what I was doing with some stretches along the way. I kept focused, kept strong and worked up to a new 3RM of 32.5kg – yes! I was over-the-moon with this, I used to find it so difficult to find the strength for this move and now I am making major gains! Only downside – no one was watching when I did my reps! Don’t you hate it when you achieve something big and no one saw… got a high 5 from coach though when he found out, that made up for it!

squats(source)

Then came a lovely (evil), little AMRAP to finish off…

3 minute AMRAP x 5 rounds

15 toes to bar (high knees scaled)

10 wall balls

1 minute rest in between rounds

It was crazy, it was intense, I cursed every wall ball I threw and my hands now are super sore from gripping the bar but once again, it was awesome! Came out with a real big smile! 🙂

And now am as stiff as a brick!

Hope you all have a great weekend folks – do something that makes you happy!

 

CrossFit – Mental Strength!

Hi all!

Can you believe it is finally Friday! Yay!

Hope you all have something great planned for the weekend – I do, chilling out with my David! Aren’t some of the best weekends the ones where you have nothing planned at all? I think we all need some time to just rest and recover, something that is a lot easier said than done most of the time!

Biggest plan for the weekend, making Kalua Pig in the slow cooker… oh holy guacamole! #isitwrongtobesoexcitedaboutmeat

Anyhoo, time for a 2 in 1 recap of Tuesday and yesterdays CrossFit!

CROSSFIT

Tuesday Morning

We began with a block run and some mobility stretches. Oh yes and a 5 minute squat hold… I did it… it was not fun!

Then, after some practice with the pvc pipe, we moved on to having 15 minutes to achieve a new max squat clean.

I am not the biggest fan of cleans. I haven’t done them very often and find them very tricky – a combination of the movement itself and my shoulder mobility issues. But in doing this on Tuesday I realised that my biggest hold back when it comes to cleans is my mind. In order to do cleans you need to be aggressive, you need to throw power into your lift, you need physical and mental strength, you need to know you can do it. I lift with the mindset that I ‘should’ be able to do it, rather than ‘can’ do it. And there is my downfall.

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The main WOD included cleans and was as follows.

20 minute AMRAP

80% of 1RM clean

1 Deadlift

1 Clean

1 Front Squat

1 Jerk

My 1RM from the previous was 21kg so I rounded up and went for 17.5kg for the WOD. And I enjoyed it! I think it was because I knew I ‘could’ lift 17.5kg, it being a lot lighter than the 21kg I had just done and it meant both my mind and body were in check. In the 20 minutes I completed 22 rounds.

I really must learn from that. Feel confident, feel aggressive and know you CAN do it. Because if your mind isn’t on board, you never will.

Thursday Morning

Warm up for today… block run…yes. Fair enough. Block run backwards??!! What the?

I think it was the most unnatural thing I have ever done!

We then moved inside for some mobility and general exercises. More foam roller fun!

IMG_20140220_073331

The first part of the WOD was a weighted pull up. I can’t do a strict pull up yet but gave it my best shot. I then tried to do negative pull ups (where you jump up, grab the bar and slowly release yourself down), but my arms still can’t hold me up there. So instead I did some jumping pull ups – I have done these in a WOD before and they are still tough – I managed 36 in 2 minutes but probably could have done more if I hadn’t put all my energy into trying to do 1 strict pull up! I will get there with the bar, more arm strength will help and I’m definitely working on that!

We then moved on to floor press – like a bench press but you do it from lying on the floor. Total arm and core workout here! We had to start with 5 reps and then continue to up weight until we could only do 3 reps.

We practiced with the empty bar bell (which was heavy enough for me!) and then added some weights. We put 2.5 kg on either side of the bar and I gave it my best shot, but could only achieve 3 reps. How could I be at my 3 rep max already!?

Well as it turns out, the 15kg barbell we thought we had grabbed was actually a 20kg bar, so I had just done a 3 rep of 25kg! Score!

I went down to 22.5kg to try 5 reps, which I did and then upped to 23.5 to try 5 of them. But I couldn’t do it. My arms were just so tired, they managed 3 reps once and then struggled to do 3 in another 2 attempts. I was just pleased that I managed to lift 25kg when I still had the strength! So in a strange way thanks David for picking up the wrong bar!

The main WOD was as follows

3 rounds for time

In 3 minutes perform

1 block run

In remaining time max pull ups

Rest 20 seconds.

I wasn’t looking forward to the run but I was determined to get that run in 3 minutes. And I did every time. With time to spare for 3 pull ups in the first round and 2 pull ups in the second and third rounds! I was so pleased and so was coach. The last time we did a timed block run in a WOD I did it in 3.05 minutes. So this really is something!

But the real winner of the day, my hubby David, for the first time being able to do strings of unassisted kipping pull ups! Check him out in the photo below! So proud and I know I will get there one day too, with him as my inspiration and rock!

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Enjoy the weekend everybody!

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)

20140118 - Battle of London Day-7

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!

20140118 - Battle of London Day-8

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!

20140118 - Battle of London Day-10

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.

20140119 - Battle of London Day-2

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!).

20140119 - Battle of London Day-4

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.

20140119 - Battle of London Day 2 - The Gang

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 – I’m lovin’ it!

wods and all

Hi all,

Happy Friday! That’s another week gone and another week closer to Christmas! Yay!

Just trying to soak in as much of the excitement as I can at the moment, after all it’s all these events that go on throughout December that make the whole season so magical!

Have a fun filled festive weekend planned so really looking forward to that!

Now time though to recap on yesterdays Crossfit.

I really have noticed over the past few weeks how much I am loving Crossfit. I always ‘enjoyed’ it, but this past month or so I have been so excited about it. Maybe it’s the switch to morning sessions that get me so energised or maybe it’s because I am really seeing major progress and strength in me. I think it’s a combo of both. That, linked in with the great Crossfit community and the mental strength that Crossfit can give you to believe in yourself makes it so much fun. (More on the mental impact of Crossfit in the new year…!).

wod 121213

We began yesterday’s morning session with a general warm up of various bear crawls, burpees, squat jumps and the like. Being tall, bear crawls suck! But it did what it needed to do and got us stretched out and warmed up! Coach has just come back from a training course so he is all about the new warm ups and mobility = eek!

Afterwards it was some ankle mobility. Interesting as I have never done any mobility specifically on my ankles before but they are a major part of squatting and need to be strong when you are lifting weights. Luckily mine seem to be quite flexible and I don’t have too much of a problem with them but I know others were finding it quite painful!

Following on from this we had 15 minutes to try and break our 1RM front squat PR. I had done my 1RM for this a month ago (30kg) so was interested to see what I could achieve now. Coach was very impressed as my squat technique, knee position and elbow elevation had all improved significantly! I was so pleased! My elbows really were a problem but it just shows that the mobility exercises are working. I also managed to increase my 1RM to 31kg. 1kg may not sound like much to some, but it makes all the difference when it is resting on your front rack! I was just so happy to have honed in on my technique and to get a new PR was fab too.

The main WOD was tricky but so much fun! It was a different kind of set up and I really enjoyed going to different stations.

3 rounds of 1 minute stations

Back Squats

Pull Ups

Press Ups

Rest 1 minute

I went for 20kg on the back squats as my weight level is lower than the others but it was good to have a heavy weight that was relative to me. It meant I could practice my technique on squatting with the weight – I have a tendency to throw myself down too quickly in a squat, making it more difficult to come back up.

The pull ups were to be done kipping style and I went for a thick green band to help me. Both coach and I decided after the WOD that this was too ridged for me (basically I’m not heavy enough to keep the band down) so will go for a lighter band next time for some more movement. I therefore did my pull ups strict (with the band of course!).

The press ups were great actually. I can see how strong my core is getting by how much easier it is becoming to do constant pull ups. Always good!

A great WOD, lots of progress and evidence of strength  – I’m just lovin’ it! 🙂

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Crossfit – Energise!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are well and are looking forward to the weekend. For those celebrating yesterday, hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Also hope you are enjoying Black Friday- so very jealous that you have this big day! Hello, shopping, major sales, win win! Black Friday is coming over here in some shape or form, especially through Amazon. Although nothing like what America has, maybe one day! If I hope and pray…!

Anyway, just a wee post to recap Crossfit from yesterday. Not got much time to write as David and I have been preparing for my parents coming this weekend – so excited!

WOD 281113

Yesterday morning’s session was taken by one of my fellow Crossfitters at our box, Elizabeth. Coach is on holiday having a well deserved break but Elizabeth is definitely experienced and qualified enough to run a WOD.

We started with a block run/ row for me and then moved on to some mobility for the glutes. Bring on the burn! Good to get stretched out though (did some more mobility this morning, that was a major killer, I had to use all my willpower to stay in the stretch without having a coach to force me!).

Then it was on to front squats – 80% of our 1RM 8 rounds of 4 reps. I was really pleased as last time I tackled this same task one month ago I did 20kg. My last round yesterday was 25kg – brilliant! An increase of a quarter, bring on the strength!

The main WOD was as follows

5 rounds for time

5 squat cleans

10 press ups

It was a really energising WOD actually. I was super pumped afterwards!

I was only able to lift 10kg for my squat cleans, however, a) I have never done squat cleans in a WOD before and b) I have never been able to properly do squat cleans! So to tackle it on this scale and achieve it was fantastic – happy Jen! And then the press ups, well, were just press ups!

Good WOD! Progress made, strength gained!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Crossfit – Positive Mental Attitude!

wods and all

Hi all,

Yay it’s Friday! Hope you all have a good weekend planned. David and I are off to do a bit of shopping – something we rarely get the chance to do so looking forward to that! Maybe a bit of early Christmas shopping – yes I know I can hear you all gasp – but it’s best to spread it all out and be organised early!

Here is a recap of last night’s Crossfit – it was a killer!

wod 16

Once again, David and I were late. Once again, the traffic was the issue. It was raining pretty bad in Glasgow yesterday and rain always equals more cars on the road. So you know what that means… burpees. Urgh! Although I don’t think David minded too much, the guys that were doing the block run looked pretty wet, cold and miserable when they returned.

So as if this wasn’t bad enough, the first part of the WOD involved more burpees! Oh boy, I was not impressed. A 21-15-9 of burpees and jumping jacks… so, including the warm up, 65 burpees in total, in the space of only being there 15 minutes! I was definitely tired and grumpy!

We then moved on to, thank goodness, some thoracic mobility with the foam roller. Although this is never fun on the pain scale, you at least know you are doing some good and the stretching will release some of the knots and tightness.

All was not good for long though as after this came wall walks! 5 sets of 4, EMOM. I tried my best with them but as with before I can get to the point where my legs are straight up on the wall, I just can’t move my arms back any further. Coach knows this though and knows I am doing the best I can so was just happy for me to work on my technique and practice. Pretty chuffed for David though, his wall walks are looking sweet!

After this came something that finally made me smile! 7 sets of 5 front squats at 75% 1RM. I have never done front squats since on- ramp training so it was good to revisit them and see what I could do! I was quite pleased that I managed 17.5kg on the bar overall. It was tough to do the 5 reps, could I have gone slightly higher if we had more time, maybe. I think next time I would build up to 20kg and see how I go with that.

And then came the main WOD of the day – Isabel (30 power snatches) plus, when done, as many toe to bar swings that can be done. 9 minutes on the clock.

As you may recall, I did struggle with power snatches the last time I did them. Such a tricky move to master. So rather than focussing on weight, I stuck with the 7.5kg bar and the training wheels in order to attack this. I just want to try to come to terms with the movements within the power snatches. I did ok – definitely better than last time but still struggling with the ‘shrug’ within the move, it just goes so fast. But practice will make perfect and in time the weight will come.

The only problem with a low weight? You go through the power snatches quicker than you would like to which meant moving on to toe to bar swings! I tried hard but just couldn’t do them, not enough strength in my arms to hold on while throwing my legs upwards. I did however make some progress. I was able to hold on to the bar for much longer, I was at least able to swing and raise my legs and I understood how the movement works and how it will come in time.

So, yes, a toughie of a workout. I was exhausted by the end of it and my arms and shoulders are still tired today. However, as I have realised, writing all this down and evaluating the session makes me see things in a more positive light and really does highlight the positives rather than the negatives. Hard work, determination and a positive attitude will only turn those current weaknesses into strengths!