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!

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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.

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And intense it was…

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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 🙂

Thinking Out Loud!

Hi all,

Hope you are well this fine Thursday!

Today I am linking up for the third and final time this week (loving link up week!). This is the first time I have linked up with Amanda over @runningwithspoons, but I love her blog and the concept of

‘Thinking out loud’ – a time where we can just relax and write what comes naturally in our minds at the time. No structure, just flow!

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Let’s see what randomness comes to mind…!

1. First of all, this is difficult! I am very much a structure and plan person, I even said to David last night I was worried I hadn’t planned out this post yet or thought of anything – as he correctly pointed out, that’s the idea! Is it a good thing to have all of our posts planned and prepped or sometimes are the ones that are more ‘go with the flow’ better? I think it’s a mix of both, or depends on what type of blogger you are. For example, if you blog about food, you want to make sure you always have a camera handy! Or if you blog about movies you want to know that the latest film is actually showing before you tell everyone you are going to see it! As long as we put heart into our posts and enjoy what we are doing then I think all is well, no matter what your style!

(Gosh that’s a bit of a ‘thinker’, maybe something a bit more light for my next one)

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2. Starbucks. I sit in here, write and without realising it, observe. Does everyone have the same drink all the time? What does our drink choice say about us? Me, I always have a tall Americano, black. A ‘tall’ size because I don’t want too much caffeine, an Americano because I love dark, strong, intense coffee and black because milk would take the taste away! It always surprises me when the temperatures are in the minus outside and people get freezing cold iced drinks, maybe they don’t feel the chill as much as I do. But when you come in from the cold, there is nothing better than a piping hot cup of coffee. Summer time you ask? The same, but iced!

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3. Before this, I went to the post office to send my cousin Charlies 7th birthday pressie (awww!) and my Mum’s birthday card. Check out the amazing stamp I got given – Paddington Bear! So cute I wanted to keep it – but I know my Mum will appreciate the cuteness! Also for the first time ever, the bear pops out from within the boundaries of the stamp! Times really are a’ changin’!

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4. Progress = toughness. I love my progress at CrossFit. I love getting stronger, my ability improving in so many things and feeling like a ‘beast’ every time I complete a WOD. The other side however (I refuse to call it a ‘downside’ because it’s anything but) is that the ‘toughness’ increases dramatically. You are always improving, lifting heavier, going faster- it will ALWAYS be a tough challenge, a never ending one between you and yourself. That, in itself, is what makes CrossFit pretty darn awesome.

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5. Speaking of awesome – I am super excited about the Super Bowl this Sunday. Even if we do have to stay up really late (it begins at 11.30pm) and we don’t get to see any of the commercials. The football is fab (well hopefully it will be a good game or a unique ‘snowbowl’), we have good friends coming over to watch it with us and just simply the fact that this one game, in this one particular sport, can unite so many people, families and friends from all over the world.  Also it will just bring it home that we get to see an NFL game next year, one of the London games! And not just any game with any team, we get to see our team play – the Atlanta Falcons! Woop Woop!

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6. The snow. Can’t believe what I am seeing and reading about snow in the states, especially in the deep south, what is going on in the world!? It’s really odd here in Scotland, there hasn’t really been any snow, except on the mountains, and that’s very strange. We normally have had a good few storms by now, had some lying snow for a few weeks etc. Everyone is just waiting for it! I think the waiting is worse than it actually being here – when is it going to spring upon us? Then again, we have had snow in May before…

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7. And for this week, I am going to end on number 7, because it is my favourite number. Don’t know why, always has been and I guess always will be! Lucky 7!

(Yes ending on something quite random…!)

See you tomorrow for some CrossFit recap action! Thanks Amanda, really enjoyed this! 🙂

What I ate Wednesday!

Hi all,

Happy hump day!

Hope you are all enjoying your Wednesday so far!

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Today I bring you the second of my weeks ‘link up’ – What I Ate Wednesday, with Jenn over @peasandcrayons.

I have decided to go with ‘my favourite eats from the past few days’, and oh boy have they been good! We haven’t been doing anything fancy, just honest, healthy ingredients and making them shine for exactly what they are.

I will begin with the most amazing meal I have ever made. Not exaggerating!

Remember a couple of weeks back when I shared with you the recipes I was looking forward to making? Well on Saturday we made Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig – 16 hours of slow cooked goodness resulted in the most tender, juicy, flavoursome pork I have ever had. I could have eaten the whole pot!

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We also removed the skin after cooking and grilled it to make amazing crackling – it turned out beautifully!

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This 2kg shoulder joint of pork could be used in anything and everything – we used it in…

Kalua Pig Lettuce Tacos

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Kalua Pig with Braised Cabbage (cabbage cooked in the pork juices with bacon) – and David had his with a chopped boiled egg on top (will definitely be doing that next time)

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Kalua Pig with Chopped Neeps (sweede)

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Kalua Pig stirred into Homemade soup – no picture yet as it is for my lunch today!

So thats 4 meals for 2 people, all from one joint of meat – winner on the economy front. But in all honesty, the biggest winner of all time in the taste front!

Some other highlights of the past few days…

Sunday Breakfast – Smoked Kipper with Sweet Potato Hash

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Ah, the wonder of a Sunday morning! Fresh crisp newspapers (and the supplements!), strong coffee, a good debate with your husband over the news stories and amazing tasty food – what more could you want!

Monday Breakfast – Pickled herring, Zucchini Patties, hard boiled eggs and sauerkraut, oh and coffee!

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Monday Dinner – Rotisserie Chicken (free range), Roasted Root Veg, Spinach, Brussels and a wee dollop of tomato chutney.

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Tuesday Dinner – Crispy Cabbage, Mushroom and Tomato Frittata (crispness courtesy of grated parmesan) with Spinach.

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And now some of my favourite snacks…

Choco Almond Milk

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We discovered this in Whole Foods on Saturday and couldn’t wait to try it. Normally chocolate almond milk is filled with all kinds of nasties but this brand was all full of goodness. And tasted it too!

Tahini with a Russet Apple

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I grew up on Tahini (my parents were stationed in Cyprus for 4 years) but never liked it! However, now that my taste buds have grown up, I can’t get enough of it! Mix with a teeny tiny bit of honey and it is the perfect dipper for a tart, rich Russet apple.

Gin and Tonic with pot of joy! (Prunes, kiwi and some pork crackling)

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Nothing better than chilling out in an evening with a tasty drink and some of your favourite nibbles. Watch out, that crackling is too addictive!

Hope you enjoyed viewing some of my favourite eats from the past few days! I hope yours were just as delish!

CrossFit – Bring on the day!

Hi all,

Hope you are well this fine Tuesday.

Do you have days when you know things are just going to be good? Whether you have something planned for later on, or it starts off with a bang?

I have one of those feelings for today – it began with a workout and then a bowl of banana GF oats, with a little greek yogurt and almond butter. When something this warming and full of love hits your tummy, it can only bring smiles. Then I went to get my nails done, a real big treat for me and not something I do very often. It was lots of fun and I love the colour. And now I get to write! All winners in my book!

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Got a good lunch planned, bits to do in the afternoon and then some fun with David this evening. All in all, good times! Bring on the rest of the day!

Time for a recap of yesterdays CrossFit…

wods and all

It began with a block run in the rain. Not good, especially when the hood on your jacket gets blown off every time you run! Note to self, bring hat!

We came back in to another big warm up – 3 rounds of…

10 air squats

10 jumping jacks

10 mountain climbers

10 tuck jumps

Definitely warm by the end of it!

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Then we went on to something new – Pendlay Rows. Similar to a deadlift in terms of stance but when you go down to reach the bar, you don’t pull your back up, instead lifting the bar to your chest and back, like rowing up and down. In the bent down position, your back must be flat the entire time. They were tricky, mostly due to my restrictive mobility in my upper back and shoulders, which meant that I could lift heavy, but not take that weight to my chest. We had to do 5 rounds of 5 reps and I lifted 12.5kg. Something again I know will improve when my mobility does.

The next section was 5 rounds of 5 reps strict press. I was glad to revisit strict presses as I haven’t done them since early October. My 1RM in October was 18.5kg and I managed a 5 RM of 17.5kg. Good progress. But in increasing my weight during this, I managed to do 2 reps with 20kg – so major improvement in my 1RM then! Would be interesting to see what that 1RM would be now…

After this came some hollow rock tekkers and then 8 rounds on 10 second rocks with 10 seconds rest in between. It was not fun!

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And now for the final WOD…

In a 5 minute window perform the ladder:

10 double unders – 1 burpee

15 double unders – 2 burpees

20 double unders – 3 burpees

25 double unders – 4 burpees

And so on in 5 increments for double unders and 1 burpee…

So I was hoping coach would sub double unders for skips. Nope! Instead tuck jumps! Ahhhh!

I had enough of those after the 30 I did earlier… but it must be done! We were recording reps in total (unders and burpees) so I got an exact 100! Really pleased with that actually, I pushed myself even though I was uber tired!

Buuuut… the major high five of the day goes to my David who got his first RX (as prescribed) in a WOD! He managed to do double unders in the WOD (one NY resolution ticked off) and therefore do the WOD as prescribed (another NY resolution!).

Very proud wife over here! Just makes me even more determined to get mine!

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Spill it Sunday… on Monday!

Hi all,

Happy Monday! Hope you had a fun weekend!

David and I had such a lovely 2 days, chilling out, making the most AMAZING food (more on that later on in the week) and doing the things we enjoy – Whole Foods, the cook up, catching up on TV, mobility and sleep to name but a few!

This week is going to be ‘link up week’ where I link up with three of my favourite bloggers about all manner of things!

Today begins with ‘Spill it Sunday…on Monday!’, linking up with the amazing Arman over @thebigmansworld.

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I begin with the ‘selfie’ (below), trying to remember what times were like when I needed to wear sunglasses! (me in London in the summer).

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The theme for this week – TV Shows!

Enjoy and please comment with some of your answers to the questions, would love to know your responses!

What was your favourite TV series growing up?

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–          I grew up with a lot of brilliant classic TV shows. I definitely was the generation of The Simpsons, Friends, Frasier, Roseanne and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I loved Rugrats, Blackadder, Allo Allo, Fraggle Rock, Button Moon, Live and Kicking (every Saturday morning), Noels House Party and Red Dwarf. I honestly could go on and on, 90’s TV was so good!

–          By the time I got to university, it was still Friends but we watched a lot of Sex and the City, ER and Will and Grace. I also was slightly obsessed about Monarch of the Glen!

–          How could I possibly pick a favourite from all those classics! All are incredible!

What is your current favourite TV series?

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–          I think I would have to go with Revenge, in terms of your ‘typical’ TV show, we are hooked. But I do love an episode of Location, Location, Location. For my UK friends (and anywhere else it is broadcast), a new series of Outnumbered starts on Wednesday on BBC one, I really can’t wait!

If you could guest star in any TV show what would it be?

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–          Friends. Could you imagine hanging out with the gang over a coffee in Central Perk! Amazing! Then again, dancing with Carlton from Fresh Prince… I can only dream! ‘It’s not unusual to have fun with anyone… do do do do do do…!’

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What genre of television do you enjoy the most?

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–          I really like comedy; anything that can make people laugh and smile is true genius. I know, for example, that no matter how bad my day has been, there are many episodes of Fresh Prince, Roseanne and Scrubs that will turn that frown upside down!

Which TV series do you think should not have been renewed after its first season?

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–          Reality TV can be good but it can also be awful. Embarrassing Bodies… I mean who wants to watch TV about people who have medical conditions that they are so embarrassed about having, but yet will reveal all on TV to the entire nation? It’s so staged!

Which TV series do you think deserved to be renewed yet was not?

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–          Firstly, Pan Am – it was brilliant and really fast paced. David and I were glued! So disappointed it was not renewed after its first season.

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–          Secondly – Dirty Sexy Money. Anyone else catch that show? It was so good! It ran for 2 seasons and ended on the biggest cliff-hanger I have ever witnessed. And I will never know what happens!!!! I feel enraged every time I think about it! (Note- I am one of those people who MUST have an ending to TV shows, films, books etc. I cannot stand when they ‘leave it up to your imagination’… give me closure!!!).

Big Smiles for the rest of the day! TV tonight… last nights recorded Mr Selfridge!

CrossFit – 3 Part WOD!

Hi all,

Woop woop it’s Friday!

A more chilled out, relaxing time for David and I this weekend after the amazing madness that was Battle of London last week. Hope you have some good plans too!

Time to recap yesterdays CrossFit – it was so much fun!

wods and all

We began with a block run and some mobility stretches. Most of the block run was spent talking about how sore we still were from Tuesday’s session! (And to be fair, it was nothing compared to how I am feeling today after the WOD below!).

Thursday’s WOD was in 3 parts…

Part 1

15 minutes to find heaviest weighted pull up

We started by using our own body weight and worked from there. Only 1 out of the 4 of us could do a strict pull up (and it was tricky for her) so she stayed focussed on that. David and one of the others went with using a box to jump up with their chest to the bar, and then slowly lowered themselves down (in the count of 5) and repeated. It looked tricky.

I was keen to do pull ups again to see my progress. I couldn’t do strict, many can’t as it requires amazing upper body strength, and also didn’t have the strength to do the option David was doing. I did however, with the aid of my wonderful coach, managed to step up on his knee so my chin was over the bar, lower myself slowly down (on the count of 5) with my foot still being on his knee, but the pressure off my legs and on my arms instead. I would know if I was using my arms as coach would tell me, feeling the pressure on his knee if I used my leg (hope this all makes sense, sorry if it doesn’t!).

I was so pleased! It was definitely a major scaled version of a pull up but considering I could barely hold myself on the bar the last time I tried pull ups (without a band) I have come so far! I could feel the strength in my arms and knowing this will only improve and get better is an awesome feeling.

Part 2

1km Row

Yay, finally rowing in a WOD, I was so happy to see it! A CrossFit discipline where being tall actually is an asset!

We did some tekkers on this as coach was keen for us to use the perfect technique, very different to what I was used to. It totally made sense though and meant we were using our legs rather than our arms for power, as it should be.

We took it in turns (as we only have 1 machine) and I managed it in a time of 4 minutes 46 seconds. I am happy with that time but know I could have done a lot better had we not just done the above previous! I did manage to keep a good rhythm though and keep my breathing steady which is key. I did learn something after all in my years of cardio!

Part 3

Work up to a heavy 5 rep close grip bench press then work up to a heavy 3 rep

Something new!

Coach began with some tekkers, it was new to us all. We then went off in pairs and took it in turns to work on our 5 rep, then eventually the 3 rep.

We used a 20kg bar and took it from there. My first time using a 20kg bar for anything!

I did 5 reps with the bar and it felt heavy, but something within me told me to push on and keep going, rather than doing the all too common option of going down a weight. The 5 reps were fine and I repeated them twice to get used to the strength needed to lift.

On my next try I went with 22kg and aimed for 5 reps but only managed to make 3. It was tough!

I then attempted 3 reps of 23kg and attempted it twice but only managed to get 2 reps. It’s amazing how just 1kg can make all of the difference. Maybe if it hadn’t been at the end of the WOD and my arms hadn’t been so tired I would have made it but definitely something to aim for next time.

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Overall I just loved the workout today, new disciplines, major progress and just a different way of spacing out the WOD into 3 equal segments. I hope we do more of these, even if I can barely move today!

Currently…!

Hi all,

Hope you are well and enjoying your day so far.

I thought I would do something new today that I have seen quite a few other bloggers do and looks like good fun, a ‘Currently’ post!

Going to try and make it a monthly occurrence, think it will be good to see what has changed over the previous 4 weeks and what new things are to come!

Currently I’m reading…

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I would love to say I am in the midst of an amazing novel or great story but I cannot tell a lie. Instead I will admit that currently I am mostly reading blogs and cook books! The two cook books I am glued to at the moment are Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam and Ultimate Home Cooking by Gordon Ramsay. Both are insane for amazing recipes and inspiration.

Currently I’m listening to…

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Podcasts! I have such a backlog from over the festive period that I am still trying to catch up on. My two favourites that I am always up to date on though are Balanced Bites with Diane Sanfillippo and Liz Wolfe and The Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast with Jason Seib and Sarah Fragoso. Please check them out!

Currently I’m watching…

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Since David and I got a digital recording box we have had so much more flexibility with watching TV. Just finished the latest season of Sherlock (OMG!) and now watching Mr Selfridge (new season), The Taste, Location Location Location (property show), Revenge season 2 and Californication season 5.

Currently I’m wearing…

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Got some amazing new workout tights in the Reebok sale that I just adore. Love the yellow stripe. Otherwise basically living in jumpers, zippy hoodies, leggings and boots – and I love it!

Currently I’m eating…

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New things! Well new recipes at least. I love being in the kitchen and trying new recipes, altering older ones and just trying out new combos. However a real favourite at the moment has to be sweet potato hash, with an egg on top and avocado. Nom nom nom!

Currently I’m drinking…

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My two favourite drinks at the moment (not together of course) are Choco Chili tea by Yogi Teas and on the other end of the scale, a good Gin and Tonic! I only discovered how good Gin and Tonics were this summer, I previously thought I didn’t like Gin but it just shows how your tastes change as you age. I look forward to venturing into some other Gin cocktails soon, we tried the Gin version of a Bloody Mary at New Year and it was so nice!

Currently I’m snacking on…

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My favourites are dates and cold roasted root veggies. Just make up a batch on our Saturday cook up and that equals tasty, nutritious and filling snacks/ sides for the rest of the week. Sorted!

Also found these in London and they are sooo good! No nasties in them, just pork and sea salt – and that is so rare to find. Good healthy fats, just need to ration them as they are so moorish!

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Currently I’m planning…

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Another trip to London! David and I love coffee and the annual London Coffee Festival is taking place in Brick Lane in April. We knew we just had to go! will probably do another road trip down, stay in London over the weekend and hopefully see a few exhibitions and meet up with my brother too when we are there. Exciting!

Current changes…

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As you all know (or anyone who as at least glanced at my blog will know) I love CrossFit. I get so much from it that I decided to quit the gym! I think I must be the only one who quits a gym in January rather than joining one! I decided that I would rather up my sessions at CrossFit instead and am so much happier. I am not a cardio bunny anymore and I actually think the exercises I was doing at the gym were affecting my CrossFit goals (i.e. not being able to build strength – lifting = building muscle, cardio =  leaning out). And besides, if I want to do some cardio I can always wrap up, head to my local park and do some sprints – much more fun!

Currently I’m looking forward to…

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Going to Whole Foods this weekend! Can’t wait to see what goodies David and I can stock up on. And when I say goodies, I mostly mean MEAT!

Also really looking forward to the Superbowl next week, as I’m sure a lot of you are. Not massively popular in the UK so I’m very grateful that they show it on TV (with the time changes it’s on quite late at night, approx 11.30pm!). Hopefully the ‘snow bowl’ will be a good game, it certainly will accompany good food, drinks and company in our house!

 

CrossFit – Ogar Strong!

Hi all,

Before I bring you my CrossFit recap from yesterday, I just wanted to share an important cause with you all.

On the 12th of January, CrossFit star Kevin Ogar was completing a WOD and suffered a traumatic injury to his spinal cord, the result of a freak accident during a routine move. The accident has left him with no movement below the waist and has a long road ahead of him, paved with operations and intense rehabilitation. The CrossFit community all over the world have rallied together to try and raise as much funds as they can for his care. During the Battle of London, attendees raised over £4000 to add to the fund. David bought one of the t-shirts from RazorStorm UK, with 100% of the cost going to the fund. We are proud to be ‘Ogar Strong’!

IMG_20140121_140525 (David proud to wear his t-shirt)

If you want more information on Kevin Ogar or wish to donate to the fund, please click on the link below.

http://kevinogar.com/

wods and all

It was great to be back to the box yesterday after a weekend of watching CrossFit, I was so inspired, pumped up and ready to go!

We began with a warm up of a block run and some mobility stretches – great to get stretched out after those long car journeys, I was so stiff!

Then we had 10 minutes to work up to a max weight split jerk, after which we would do the same with a push jerk.

As there was only 3 of us in the class it meant we could have our own rack to work from. It was great to focus solely on your own personal technique and coach was able to spend quite a bit of time with us individually, helping us improve.  My max weight for both was 20kg, same as when we did them the other week. I could have gone heavier; however I am finding I am limited in the upper back and shoulder mobility side of things, something that can improve with more intense stretching in these areas. Due to this I am struggling to ‘lock out’ when overhead, making it 90% of the way and having to push press the rest. I know I can perfect the technique, I just need to keep doing my mobility every day, and it will come! As frustrating as it is at the moment, I know if I put in the work I will succeed!

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The last part of the WOD was as follows

6 rounds for time

100m sprint

10 chest to bar pull ups (or gym ring rows scaled)

Then in the remainder of 20 minutes try to complete 30 power snatches as heavy as possible.

The sprints were fine, no knee problems or soreness! Yay! The gym ring rows I made as tricky as possible so I felt like I was getting the same level of workout as the others doing the chest to bars. And coach made sure it was as difficult as possible too! I completed this part in 9 minutes 44 seconds.

When it came to the power snatches, I was really unsure what to go for weight wise. It isn’t a move I am used to and have only ever lifted 7.5kg before and for much less reps. So I went for that weight, in the thinking that I knew I should be able to do it. And I did, in and finished 15 minutes 42 seconds within the 20 minute cap. I could have lifted a lot heavier and wish I had stopped after 10 or so and added some more weight. Alas I didn’t… but I know for next time… and I will smash those snatches next time. Go heavy, or at least try! It’s time to up the stakes!

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!

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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.

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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

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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!

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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 – Going all Gymnastic!

wods and all

Hi all,

Happy Friday!

I am super duper excited because tonight David and I travel down to London (along with some other members of our Crossfit box) to attend (as spectators)  Battle of London – Europe’s biggest Crossfit competition!

A road trip, good company and a whole weekend of Crossfit! What more could you want!

Because of this I won’t be posting again until Tuesday, but will be back with a recap of the event and lots of pictures!

Oh and before I go on to my post on yesterdays Crossfit, I want to share, as promised, the result of yesterdays new recipe – Lamb Chops with Cauliflower and Raisins. Oh my goodness it was delish! The lamb was beautiful, simply seared in a pan with salt and pepper, removed and then the cauliflower side made in the pan with all the juices. It was the perfect accompaniment. Would recommend trying it out, I definitely will be making it again (see yesterdays post for details).

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Ok, Crossfit time!

We began with a warm up of 1 burpee, 1 press up, 1 jumping jack and then 1 handstand (or bear walk scaled) for 10 reps. It sounds like an easy one but going from one movement to another required a lot of chop and change and thought! Good fun though! We then followed on from this with some mobility. As you can see by the picture, it wasn’t very flattering but did the trick for stretching out those groin muscles!

groin(source)

We then moved on to front squats and working out way up to, hopefully, a new 1RM. I think I have found now where my weaknesses in my shoulders and upper thoracic are and therefore are doing lots of mobility to strengthen and stretch them (along with muscles in my upper arms to keep those elbows up during lifts!). I did manage a new 1 RM (32.5 kg) but know that with some more mobility work, the future is only bright!

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The main WOD of the day was very gymnastic based and definitely something different.

20 minute AMRAP

10 HSPU (Hand Stand Push Ups)

10 Pistols

10 Chest to Bar Pull Ups (or TRX gym ring rows scaled)

It was a toughie! I am a bit of a beginner when it comes to the gymnastic side of things (being tall always seems to be a bit of a hindrance!), but gave it my best shot! I did the hand stand push ups with the aid of a box. Still getting used to the whole ‘being upside down’ thing, it just seems so unnatural to me, I didn’t do handstands or anything like that as a kid so have no experience of it. As with everything though, more practice will get me more used to it.

It was the first time I had tried pistols, most of us did them scaled with the use of a variety of box sizes. I enjoyed them, my knee gave me a bit of pain doing them but I also know this move will strengthen them really well so I may incorporate it into more of my workouts.

As I can do assisted pull ups but not chest to bar, I was a bit frustrated to have to do gym ring rows. However I made sure I made them as tricky as possible, getting to a good angle doing them.

It was a good WOD, showing areas where I need more practice but definitely willing to put in the work to try and get better! And as my strength increases, this will help too! Oh, I managed 7 rounds plus 10 pistols 🙂

Hope you all have a fab weekend – LONDON BABY! (To quote Joey from Friends. Speaking of Friends I found out that today is the 10th anniversary of it ending! How old do I feel!!!).