CrossFit – The Open 14.4!

Hi all!

Hope you had a super happy Thursday (see yesterdays post) and are in the midst of a brilliant Friday!

Lots of Friday fun so far with this morning being the CrossFit Open WOD 14.4!


I say fun, it is a toughie! Known as a ‘chipper’ in the land of CrossFit, it is a selection of disciplines that you work your way down. The ‘wonderful’ Dave Castro selected the following for 14.4:

14 minute AMRAP

60 calorie row

50 toes to bar

40 wall balls

30 cleans

20 ring muscle ups


Many of these disciplines we predicted would come up (well them all really, except no one actually wanted to see ring muscle ups, they are so difficult to master and require so much strength!). In fact I kept on saying to David all week – wall balls and toes to bar!

(An excellent video showing how to do toes to bar by kick ass CrossFitter Jason Khalipa)

We arrived and got the equipment sorted out. It was going to require strict timing and a lot of team work as we only have 1 rowing machine at our box so everything needed to be staggered.

I went first, with not being registered and not needing to be judged, therefore giving the others a little more time to practice specific moves.

wall balls(How I feel when I do wall balls…! Source)

The row was fine. I did 60 calories, not in my best time (so rusty with my rowing, it was ‘my thing’ when I was a gym bunny), however I also know that before I started CrossFit, my rowing technique was so wrong therefore I wanted to focus on rowing correctly – rather than using my arms to power every row.

I finished the row and moved on to the bar. I cannot do toes to bar yet so went with knee ups (getting my knees to my chest as best I could). 50 was tough and both my arms and legs were straining (especially my legs after the row) but I got through it and on to wall balls.

Pretty pleased with my wall balls, a much better performance than when I did them on Monday and my 14 minutes were up 2 seconds after my 40th wall ball. Pretty pleased to have done 150 reps, even if they were scaled.

muscle ups(Muscle Ups from the first athletes to do the WOD after the announcement –source)

The others did fab! David managed to get as far as 11 toes to bar and his strength with them has come on leaps and bounds. I don’t even think he thought he would get as far as 11. A few got on to cleans, I think the max was 5 cleans. But no one got on to the muscle ups. I think maybe 2 or 3 people from our box may get as far as that if they are lucky.

IMG_20140321_082508(A very strong member of our box getting as far as cleans)

These moves on their own are fine, but combined are really tough! I know my arms after the bar and wall balls could never have done one clean, never mind 30 of them! I truly am in awe of those who get as far as the muscle ups and then have the strength to do them. I don’t think anyone could say that the 2014 Open was easy!

Hope you all have a good weekend and best of luck to those doing 14.4 over the next few days!

CrossFit – Helen and Elizabeth

Hi all,

Hope you are well this happy hump day!

Before I begin today’s post, I have a few updates for you!

First of all, the February 1000 burpee challenge – well I counted up all my tally’s on Friday and it turned out that I did a total of 1235 burpees within the month! Almost a quarter more than required! I am really pleased with the result and it did exactly what I hoped it would do, stop me from HATING burpees! It turns out it is true, if you do something over and over you start to dislike it less and enjoy it more. Now don’t get me wrong, I still don’t love burpees however it’s more of a mild dislike rather than hate!

judges cert

Second of all and more importantly, I passed my CrossFit Judges course! I am over the moon and really excited to be an official judge for the CrossFit Open. I will still do the Open WOD on a Friday but will judge after. Doing the course has really helped me understand more of the technicalities of CrossFit and I know through doing this I will be a better CrossFitter for it. So nervous for Friday about the WOD, but excited about judging! At least I can do the WOD scaled with not being registered – phew!

And the last update… our pancake stack from yesterday – paleo pumpkin pancakes with honey almond butter and bacon… need I say more!

20140304 - Pancakes

Now time to recap Monday and Tuesday mornings CrossFit!


Monday Morning (3rd)

We began with a double block run to get us all warmed up and then moved on to some calf/ hamstring mobility. I didn’t realise I had any tender tissue in there until I got the rumble roller on there – ouch!

Toe to Bar tekkers then followed – with us working on our kipping swing and then trying to get our knees up to our chest (for me) or toes to bar for the others. I really feel like I am making progress each time I go on the bar and I understand all the technical elements behind it – just don’t have the strength to actually do it! But I am getting there and progress is always the main thing.

The main WOD was another girl WOD  – Helen

3 rounds for time

1 block run

21 kettle bell swings

12 pull ups

For the kettle bell swings, I did 10kg – the highest weight I have used for a kettle bell in a WOD but wanted to give it a go. And for the pull ups I used a green band.

It certainly was a toughie, but the girls aren’t easy! The block runs were tiring but I ran the whole time which I was pleased about. Really happy that I went with a 10kg bell as I managed to get those swings done! The pull ups are always tough, especially after the swings, but I just tried to muster up all the strength I had to get up! I completed it in 14 minutes 38 seconds.

The real star during this WOD was David who managed to do the WOD RX! That’s a 24kg kettle bell! Holy guacamole! So proud – he just needed bringing round a bit afterwards!


Tuesday Morning (4th)

The warm up was another double block run (please don’t let the doubles become the norm coach!).

After the run we worked on some hip mobilisation – I needed this so much! And my squats afterwards were awesome!

We then did some practice on power jerks with the pvc pipe – breaking down the movement into sections in order to help us understand it better, especially with the thrust.

We then grabbed a barbell and some weights and worked on 5 sets of 3 RM power (push) jerks, really focusing on the thrust and lift. I stuck with 20kg and worked on trying to get that bar up and locked out within the second dip. I am still having to push press the bar for that last couple of centimetres due to my shoulder mobility issues but getting better every time and totally working on those shoulder issues!


Another girl WOD? Why not! This time, Elizabeth…


Squat Cleans

Ring Dips

Wowzer! This one got us all!

I went with 20kg on my bar and nailed it! I finally got my clean accurate (with the exception of keeping my elbows up on a few reps!) and my squat was brilliant! I don’t think I have ever gone down so far in this move. The weight was perfect though – after all my 1RM was 21kg!!!

But what was even more fab was the dips, which we all did in between 2 kettle bells. Last time I did these it was awful and I had to use 2 ab mats underneath my bum in order to be able to do it. This time I managed 21 reps strict and then the other 15 + 9 with 1 ab mat. Sooo over the moon! This really was something I couldn’t even do one rep of last time and I managed to do 21 of them strict – I really am gaining strength! And it makes me so happy!

CrossFit – Happy Valentines!

Hi all,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope you all have a fun day/ evening planned with someone you love – whether that be your partner, friends or family – today really is a day to celebrate love!

I also have to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to my wonderful Dad – I hope he has a nice day and weekend to follow.

And now time for my 2 in 1 CrossFit post!

wods and all

Thursday Morning

We began with a warm up of a block run and some stretches. Gosh the block run was tough, just shows you how tough something simple like that can be when you have 6 days out of CrossFit. Or it could have been because it was freezing cold!

Then we went on to something new ‘Westside’ style belt squats. This is a way of practicing weighted squats that was devised by Westside CrossFit in the states. The YouTube video link below shows exactly how it is done. We didn’t have the equipment – but improvised, standing in between two boxes and being chained from the belt to a kettle bell – going up in weight.

Do I think it helped my squats? Maybe but it seemed to pull me on my toes (something that has never been a problem before) so I  wouldn’t be desperate to try it again.

The main WOD was in two parts – one the 11.6 Open WOD and the other the 11.4 Open WOD. Yep we were doing both!


7 minute AMRAP

3 thruster

3 chest to bar

6 thruster

6 chest to bar

9 thruster

9 chest to bar

12 thruster

12 chest to bar…. and so on

3 minute rest… then

10 minute AMRAP

60 bar facing burpees

30 Overhead Squats

10 bar muscle ups

Geez what a workout! I went with 15kg for the thrusters and used a green band for the chest to bars. It was tiring but I got 39 reps in total. The 3 minute rest flew by and then it was on to the burpees. 60! And bar facing (so jumping over the bar, two feet together otherwise no rep). But I managed the 60 burpees and 3 overhead squats (7.5kg) in the 10 minutes which I was pretty pleased about. And it was 60 burpees towards my challenge so always good!

Friday morning (today’s WOD!)


We began with a block run and the 3 rounds of 10 jumping split jerks, 10 jumping jacks, 10 mountain climbers and then holding a squat until everyone was finished each round.

After that came some toes to bar tekkers followed by a 5 minute AMRAP of toes to bar. I put so much effort into my tekkers though that by the time it came to the AMRAP I was so tired and my arms just weren’t playing ball! Not there yet with toes to bar but focused on my taps and trying to get my knees up as high as possible. I can see improvements, just need to build more strength and have more practice!

We then moved on to having 3 attempts for our fastest 200m sprint. As you know I am still such a novice when it comes to running and still have so much to learn in terms of my own technique, but I had to give it a go and I put my all into it. Round 1 – 1.06, round 2 – 1.00, round 3 – 0.57! I cannot believe it! I was pleased with my first round but to shave 6 seconds off in round 2 and the 9 seconds in round 3 was insane! I was, and still am, over the moon!

The final WOD was another Open WOD – 11.3.

5 minute AMRAP

Squat clean


Coach wanted us to go heavy. My max was 20kg but Coach was keen for me to try 22.5kg, which I did but I couldn’t clean it. Maybe if my arms hadn’t been sore after the toes to bar tekkers… I don’t know… but it just wasn’t playing ball. I went down to 20kg and even that was very tough! I was having some problems cleaning it for the first few minutes but Coach came over and had a talk with me (basically told me to get my act in gear as if I didn’t I would hurt myself!) and it was all I needed to push my strength and aggression into my lift. I couldn’t clean and squat at the same time (more practice) but cleaned, then squatted then jerked (push jerk). I managed 9 in the 5 minutes and I was pleased with that, especially considering I spent the first few minutes not utilising all my strength. Silly sausage! But when your 1 RM for a spilt jerk/ push jerk is 20kg, managing to do 9 of them, plus a squat clean is pretty darn good!

Hope you all have a good weekend!

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!


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!


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!).


In 2 parts…


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…


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!)


In 2 parts…


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


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 


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!

Crossfit – Time to Clean!

wods and all

Hi all,

Hope you are well and enjoying the first few days of the most amazing month of the year! It’s crazy how fast December has come around this year, the weeks and months have just flown by – but then again, as I always say, time does always fly when you are having fun and life in Glasgow certainly is that. And I think December goes especially fast, mostly due to all the excitement during the month but also due to advent calendars – a countdown makes anything go faster! Not that I’m complaining though!

Time to recap yesterday morning’s Crossfit session.

WOD 021213

As coach is still on his holidays, the session was taken by Matt, another coach at our box who normally does private work but steps in when it’s holiday time! I like Matt, he is another good coach that the box is lucky to have. He has a passion for his work and for getting the best out of us all. It was a fun workout!

We began with a block run/ row for me which was great to warm up the bones!

After that we moved on to some glute/ hip mobility which was great. Even though I didn’t sit down much during the weekend I still felt all stiff so although not the nicest feeling in the world, it certainly did the trick and got those glutes and hips fired up!

We then moved on to 3 position cleans – high hang squat clean, hang squat clean, full squat clean – EMOM (every minute on the minute) for 8 minutes, working up in weight.

Cleans are still rather tricky for me, the technique is pretty complex, especially when it comes to the ‘pull, shrug and drop down underneath’. It’s also tricky when I can’t lift much weight; this actually makes it more difficult to do – more weight often making a better clean! So I knew that for this exercise, my aim was to try and grasp a bit more of the technique and then try as best I could to up my weight. It is so true though, the heavier the weight got, the better my technique did. I managed to increase my weight from last time to 12.5kg so pleased about that.

Next came some tekkers to prepare for the main WOD – toe to bar. Although I can’t do them fully yet, every time I try, I improve on the bar so that’s always fantastic. I have grasped taps now which I am very chuffed about so it’s just a matter of practice. Coach Matt was great at showing us some alternative ways to get there too which also helped me with my technique.

The main WOD was a partner WOD, always fun and I was paired up with David.

17 minute AMRAP

9 wall balls

6 toe to bar’s – or high knee raises scaled

3 thrusters

Rounds alternate with partner (one does the entire set while other person rests)

It was really good fun! First of all my wall balls have improved so much! Totally put that down to having more upper body strength and now most of the throws were complete and hut the target, fab! The high knee raises went really well and only a few times did I have to start again with my taps to get the swing going again. It was also good having that short rest as I could watch others on the bar and pick up some tips. The thrusters were thrusters (!) but I took note from what I said last time about my thrusters and upped it to 10kg, a 25% increase in last time! However, I think it was actually too light so will go up to 12.5kg when I do them next.

I was tired but super pumped after this workout! Great to work with coach Matt and also fun to do a partner WOD with David, to cheer each other on and also for each other to have the opportunity to see how well we both are doing! Oh and we did 12 rounds plus one thruster in total, pretty darn good!