Well, Crossfit last night was the aim…!

Hi all,

As you can see from my title, our aim last night was to head off to Crossfit as usual. Unfortunately, David had a major project that ended up taking longer than expected to complete and he couldn’t leave work at the usual time. So Crossfit was a no go. He really had hoped to make it but at the last minute he had to concede to the fact that it wasn’t going to be. I was all ready to rock for Crossfit and was ready for a workout so decided to head to the gym instead.

(Oh I don’t drive by the way, hence the reason I couldn’t go to Crossfit alone!).

It was so strange heading off to the gym in the evening, haven’t done it before. It was also absolutely freezing last night so I piled on a major amount of layers before heading out!

As expected, it was packed with people – the ‘after work’ crowd. It’s normally so quiet when I go mid-morning, I really am spoilt! Also the men in the weights section mid-morning tend to be a bit more accommodating of having women there, it tends to be about ¾ men to ¼ women (I wish more girls would see the wonder of the weights!). However this evening there wasn’t another women in sight at the weights, I got some funny looks for being in there (don’t care!).

So anyway, about my workout. I wanted to do something Crossfit inspired and tried to get my thinking cap on while power walking to the gym. Power walk= warm up = literal warm up, it really was bitterly cold! And this is what I ended up doing.

Crossfit Inspired Gym Workout

10 minutes on the rowing machine/ 2000m (whichever comes first) – at highest setting.

5-5-5-5 Front Squats

5-5-5-5 Strict Press

Then…

10 push ups

20 ab mat sit ups

Repeat 3 times.

Foam roller stretches and warm down.

The workout went well. I did 2011m on the rower in 10 minutes 42 seconds with a 2.39 average.

The front squats and strict presses were done with a 12.5kg bar bell as I wasn’t too sure of my usual weights (I left my Crossfit note book at home).

The push ups and ab mat sit ups were a killer! But I persevered – I don’t think I realised how much I benefit normally from coach motivating us during WOD’s!

All in all, not bad for an emergency workout but would I swap it for Crossfit – heck no! Bring on Crossfit Thursday AM!

After that I threw on my layers of clothing and power walked home! Luckily David was only 10 minutes behind me so it wasn’t long before we were chilling out to a tasty dinner. The only picture for the post but I hope you enjoy it! Dinner was delicious, only 4 ingredients and just perfect – beets, steamed broccoli, smoked mackerel and sunflower seeds. Yum!

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My Gym Workouts!

Hi all,

Happy hump day! Hope the day is going well, getting pretty dark and murky here, and quite cold too which is just making me want to snuggle under a blanket on the sofa all day and watch Nurse Jackie on Love Film. I have however resisted the urge!

Today I thought I would give you a little insight into what I do at the gym! I know I post about my Crossfit sessions and often my home workouts but have yet to detail what I do the other 3 days of the week! So I took my phone into the gym with me today to snap away at some of the things I do as part of my gym routine – sorry for the bad pics by the way, the lighting in the gym does not equate to excellent photo opportunities!

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I head off to my local gym Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings (I found if I go mid morning then it’s quite quiet, always a bonus!). I tend to work out for 40 – 50 minutes each session – that includes warming down/ stretching and if I stay longer it would only be to stretch out more. Here is my general gym journey!

First up – Rowing Machine!

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I always like to start my session at the gym with some cardio. I have tried the elliptical trainer (which used to be my go-to cardio), the bike and the treadmill but find the rower really gets my heart going and gives me that all over work out I am looking for from a cardio machine. I also like the fact that it is helping me to build up upper body strength! Today I did 15 minutes on the rower (normally I do 20 but I was running a bit behind today) and I always record my time, distance and average per 500m – I do like keeping track of my progress!

After my cardio I head to the weight machines to do some strength work outs. I will eventually move on to free weights to practice some of my Crossfit lifting but until I have perfected this and really truly know I am getting every technique accurate, I will wait. Then again, I might not, it is good to change things up a bit I suppose and if the day before I have been doing heavy lifting at Crossfit, I may want a break!

The weight machines that I train on are as follows;

  • Back Extension – great for strengthening up my lower back and keeping it tight. I lift a weight of 45kg currently on this for 2 x 20 reps.

back ex

  • Leg Press – fab for tightening up the quads. I really think that my ability to squat low and for a longer period of time is due to my work on this. I push 25kg on this for 2 x 15 reps.

leg press

  • Arm Curl – a more recent addition to my work out, trying to help strengthen up those arms in addition to what I do at Crossfit. I can only currently lift 9kg on this for 2 x 15 reps but this is an increase from what I originally could do!

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  • Triceps Extension – again, another one to help me build up my arm strength. I lift 23kg on this for 2 x 15 reps but have been able to lift 27kg for one set if I push myself/ depending on how tired I am!

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  • Hip Abduction – a good one for toning up those thighs – again another one I credit with being able to squat well. I push 32kg for 2 x 15 reps.

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  • Hip Adduction – very similar to the one above, just done the other way and focusing on the muscles inside the legs rather than the outside. Another squat winner – pushing 32kg for 2 x 15 reps.

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And they are my weight machines. Our gym has many more, some I have tried, others I haven’t but I find that for now, these ones are perfect. If I find I need work in another area, then I know I have more options.

Occasionally, I will head on over to the mat and do some crunches, squats or planks but more often than not I move on to below.

To finish, I grab a foam roller and do some work with that/ some of the stretches I have been taught at Crossfit. These are never much fun but I always feel better for doing them.

foam roller

And to complete it off – I do my general stretches. I’m sure we all have our own individual preferences for what we like, what needs to be stretched out and how we wind down. I always finish with a deep breath in…reach to the sky with my arms… and blow out, releasing my arms in a swing. Then I have a big smile on my face, and me and my endorphins, with a spring in our step, head on home.

Crossfit – And my first injury!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are all well and having a good ‘hump day’ – not a phrase we tend to use here in the UK but I love it! So will therefore start spreading it around…!

Gosh it seems like such a long time since I have written a Crossfit post. I had my week in London and then last week I was unwell with the flu, so avoided Crossfit – that would not be a good combination!

But feeling a lot better this week – tested myself out with a few home workouts first, then a gentle gym session and then my usual gym session. Once I could do that I knew I was ok to go back to Crossfit. (I must admit here I have been terrible in the past for going back to training before I was ready after an illness, but through educating myself more I have realised that your body can only cope with so much stress. Exercise is a stress on the body and so is illness, it can only deal with one at a time.)

I was a bit nervous, ok, a lot nervous about going back to Crossfit after a 2 week absence. My strength is getting there but I know it is going to take a lot of time and I was worried that through having this break, plus being ill, it was going to put me back.

It was difficult to push through the nerves but I did it, I knew I had to go back and face the music! So David and I fuelled up and headed to our box.

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We did our usual warm up, David and the others ran and I spent some time on the skipping rope. I just tried to get my heart rate going, rather than practicing double unders, as I knew I just needed to warm up. We then went inside and did some stretches, they were beasts but I knew they were working on areas that needed some movement – focussing on our hips which will help us with our squats. I certainly noticed a difference after doing them; hope we do some more of those in later sessions.

I then paired up with David to do the following –

8 rounds of 4

–          Back squats 80% of your max one rep weight

–          Followed by 6 box jumps after each set.

As both David and I don’t have a max one rep weight yet we had a few rounds of trialling out some weights. Our coach was keen to see us push ourselves a bit harder, not to the max but just to encourage us to be a bit braver! It was good to have a few rounds of trialling and by the end I was very pleased to see how far I had come. I was able to back squat 20kg for 4 reps! Progress!

The main WOD then followed

20 minute AMRAP

5 push presses

10 hand raise push ups

15 pull ups

To begin with I went for a weight of 12.5kg but only managed half the WOD with this weight, and took it down to 7.5kg. A bit disappointed with this but it was for the best, I was struggling with the weight and it was my coach’s advice to drop the weight down, so I obviously wasn’t lifting properly either.

The push ups were push ups, never much fun and it didn’t help that for the first 2 rounds I did 20 rather than 10 of them! Felt so stupid when I realised what I had done!

The pull ups, for me, were gym ring rows, from an elevated position. I did want to do them from the ground but my arms were just not giving me the strength I needed to do it. It was however, during one of my rows, that I received my first Crossfit injury! I leant back to start my row, at the same time another Crossfitter was lowering her bar from the push press and –thump- hut me straight on the head! It was sore, yes but I felt ok to continue. No one was to blame; we were both just in our WOD mental zones. A lesson learnt though; take a look around you before you move on to your next piece of equipment!

So apart from a bump to the head and having to lower my weight on the bar, I was quite pleased with my performance. I managed 7 rounds, plus 1 push up and it was a tough WOD. I was also just so pleased to have put in a good performance with this being my first WOD after being ill.

I also lost that nervous feeling, thank goodness! The good vibes at the box really does put you at ease. Back to the box on Thursday!

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday!

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Hi all,

Time for another What I Ate Wednesday!

Again thanks to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting the link and helping us share the mid week food love!

My day began with getting bits and bobs sorted in the house and getting David fed and off to work. Breakfast is still of the not so great kind – grains… enough said. But I am thinking I should use WIAW as an excuse to, on a Wednesday at least, try out some new breakfast ideas. Might be easier to transition to a grain free breakfast if I trial out some once a week… watch this space!

After breakfast I got ready and headed out to the gym. Was feeling pretty tired today but this feeling often just spurs me on and gravitates me to the gym, knowing after a session I will feel so much better and energised. And it did! I did a 20 min no break row, followed by a selection of weight machines as strength and then some mat based work – selection of crunches followed by some work on the mat roller – it’s amazing how much ‘gunk’ and tension you can release from your muscles and surrounding area with one of these. It hurts to use but the feeling you have in the area you have worked on afterwards makes it all worth it.

Back home for a post work out snack – my favourite apple and smoked almonds. These almonds taste incredible, as I mentioned last week. Have only found them in a small shop back at my hometown though so might have to ask my mum to take me some down when she visits next as I have now run out! Bummer – but an excuse to buy and try out something new, always good!

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After working on some emails etc it was soon time for lunch. Why does time always fly when you are head down in a computer!?

Lunch consisted of tasty lettuce wraps – chunks of turkey, seasoned and mixed with grated carrot, cottage cheese, salsa and some cucumber, spooned into iceberg lettuce leaves and rolled and tucked round into a neat wee parcel. Very nice and a firm favourite in our house- we love the crunch!

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I spent the afternoon working on some writing and doing the ironing (has to be done and a good excuse for me to take a break away from the laptop).  I love having a few little bits and bobs for my mid afternoon snack and today I went for some cherries, a babybell and my ‘everyday without fail’ prunes. Yummy and a perfect combo to tide me over until dinnertime.

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We were trying something new for dinner tonight and were quite excited about it – veal curry with red onion and mushrooms, served with cauliflower ‘rice’. Oh my goodness was it amazing! I cooked the onions, mushrooms and veal in a little bit of coconut oil (to be honest the smells coming from this, I could have just eaten that on its own!). Then I added some mix spice paste (a blend of Indian spices and some rendered down tomatoes), coconut milk and let it simmer until the sauce thickened. While this was cooking I blitzed the cauliflower in a processor and sautéed it in a pan to make the ‘rice’. The curry was delicious and so flavourful but the real star was the cauliflower rice and how it took on the same characteristics as normal rice – absorbed the sauce and kept a grain like texture. Most importantly however was the fact that the cauliflower tasted fantastic! I honestly can say that I will be making this from now on instead of rice, cous cous or even quinoa. It holds its own just like either of them, you can mix any flavour, vegetable, meat or sauce with it but tastes better, is more nutritious and more easily digested! Winner!

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I wasn’t really very hungry after that but was looking for something a little sweet – the perfect choice of a couple of pieces of watermelon and galia melon did the trick and as always, was very much enjoyed.

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Hope you all had a delicious Wednesday too!

 

Fab Friday!

Hi Everyone!

Well this is my first official day of posting ‘properly’ and it feels great! Lots of planning, thinking and research has been done to get everything set up and sorted and now I am finally at the moment of writing a real ‘what is my day all about and what do I do’ post!

First of all I must set the scene. It is a lovely day in the city centre of Glasgow Scotland! I say lovely, because it is toasty warm (well for Scotland anyway), the sun is out and everyone is smiling! Fab Friday!

Glasgow Sky

I started my day with breakfast with my husband David before he went off to work. I must admit, I am a breakfast-a-holic! I love breakfast and crave it every time when I wake up in the morning! Currently I tend to have, during the week, a bowl of cereal, a mix of all bran and organic corn flakes. I say currently as I am trying to work my way off wheat at the moment and move on to a gluten free diet. To be honest, this is probably the only wheat based product that I tend to eat so it I don’t have gluten throughout the rest of the day, however, on the days I don’t have cereal for breakfast, I do feel so much better! So I know it will be worth making the jump. Just need to find a filling, sustaining, easy to make breakfast for the morning that I can quickly do for David and I. Something that will give David the brain energy for heading to work and me the energy for heading to the gym!

 

And that’s what I did next, headed to the gym! I have been really lucky to find a great gym quite close by to where we live since moving here 3 months ago. It has everything I would want or need and has fun and friendly staff who always say hello and are always on hand if you had a question or problem. Something that I am sure you guys know, if you are a gym bunny like me, you don’t always find everywhere at every gym!

So, my workout currently consists of
• 30 minutes on the rowing machine.
– Love this thing! I love to row and the fact that it covers so many bases – a cardio workout to get your heart rate going and a total strength/ weight workout from what you are pulling. I am doing the same amount of time at each gym session to try and decrease my average time per 500 metres and increase the distance I am able to row in 30 minutes. So far, doing well on the old PR’s, will keep you up to speed on this one.
• Weight machines/ free weights
– I then move on to weight training. Apparently women are afraid to work on weights, well according to one of the trainers at the gym, but I don’t understand why, they make you strong! Always good in my book! Must note down the machines I use to let you know.
• Mat based exercises
– I then move on to the mats where I normally mix it up a bit. At the moment I enjoy doing a round of 50 squats, 50 core crunches, 50 mountain climbers and 50 step planks as I call them, probably totally wrong! But I mix things up a bit on here, depending on how I am feeling.
• Warm down
– I love a good warm down. Mixture of stretches, working with the foam roller to release some tension and some Pilates based stretches and breathing techniques. Always feel good, pumped and totally energised after this! Is it strange that I always feel glowing after a workout rather than exhausted? I guess it must be those endorphins you here about! Whatever it is, I love the feeling I get from working out, nothing beats it!

Then I came home for lunch. Today’s lunch consisted of…
• Salsa egg scramble with carrots, sugar snap peas and some shredded brussel sprouts through it with spinach and cucumber at the side.
• A pot of greek yoghurt – Total greek yoghurt is one of my favourite foods… oh if I could live on this!!!
• And a wee pot of grapes.
One word – YUM!

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My plan for the rest of today consists of doing some bits and bobs around the apartment and then the weekly food shop, but that’s my next post!

Some questions to get you thinking though…

What do you guys have for breakfast? I would love to know if you have any ideas for me.

If you are female, do you do weights at the gym or just cardio?

J x