My First CrossFit Open | Workout 16.4

16 point 4

Last week’s aches and pains turned into full-blown flu this week, and not only did I had to have a day off work, I had a full week off CrossFit! This week’s Open workout was my first time back in the box, and boy, did I feel it. There was no way at this late stage I was going to skip a workout, though.

I’ll be posting  series of mini blog posts over the 5 weeks of the Open (just one week left now!), of which this is the fourth. Whilst these will be too late to offer any advice to anyone completing the workouts, which are released late Thursday night with scores submitted by Monday, I’ll still be able to reflect on the workout and figure out what I can learn for next time.

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The Engine That Could | An Interview With Elite CrossFit Athlete Sam Briggs

sam briggs interview

Whether you’re into CrossFit or not, I find it pretty unlikely you haven’t heard of the incredible British athlete Samantha Briggs, also known as The Engine – or Biceps Like Briggs if you’re into social media. Sam has won the CrossFit games, being crowned as the Fittest on Earth in 2013; she’s won the Open qualifiers twice; and she recently set an indoor rowing world record of 500m in 1:33.4. Just this week she had the highest worldwide score for Open workout 16.3, with a massive 158 reps.

Even before I began CrossFit I was a fan of Sam’s – her ridiculous endurance engine and work ethic easily transfers to other sports, inspiring athletes beyond the box. I was super excited to catch up with Sam on her active rest day just before 16.3 was announced; we covered everything from how often Sam trains and how she measures progress, to who she rates for this year’s Games and how she sees CrossFit progressing in the UK.

Read on to find out what life as an elite CrossFitter is really like and what Sam’s top three tips for CrossFit progression.

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My First CrossFit Open | Workout 16.3

16.3

Aaand we’re halfway through! Five weeks seemed like a long time but it’s absolutely flying by. I want to do these workouts every week! This week though I wasn’t feeling too great on Saturday, so didn’t get to complete the workout with the full squad as usual. I did do it with one of my boxmates though (who smashed his way through it) and had some supportive spectators so I can’t complain too much.

I’ll be posting  series of mini blog posts over the 5 weeks of the Open, of which this is the third. Whilst these will be too late to offer any advice to anyone completing the workouts (workouts are released late Thursday night and scores need to be submitted by Monday) I’ll still be able to reflect on the workout and figure out what I can learn for next time.

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My First CrossFit Open | Workout 16.2

16 point 2

This weekend, along with the rest of the CrossFit community, I completed the second workout of the Open – 16.2. Whilst it’s unlikely I’ll be reaching the CrossFit Games (at least.. this year) I’m still loving being a part of this supportive community. I mean, how many other sports do you see where opponents are so supportive of each other?

I’ll be posting  series of mini blog posts over the 5 weeks of the Open. Whilst these will be too late to offer any advice to anyone completing the workouts (workouts are released late Thursday night and scores need to be submitted by Monday – your best bet is to follow elite CFers on Instagram to see what they have to say about strategy) I’ll still be able to reflect on the workout. What did I learn from 16.2, and how did I get on? View Post

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My First CrossFit Open | Workout 16.1

first crossfit open 16.1

The past few years I’ve enviously watched others on Instagram as elite and casual CrossFitters alike completed the qualifying workouts for the CrossFit Games. This weekend I finally completed my own very first CrossFit Open workout! You might be wondering why I bothered – after all, I won’t be going to the CrossFit Games any time soon. The Open is a fantastic opportunity to test yourself, to find weaknesses to work on, and join together with the rest of the CrossFit community – from others in your box to internationally.

I’ll be posting  series of mini blog posts over the 5 weeks of the Open. Whilst these will be too late to offer any advice to anyone completing the workouts (workouts are released late Thursday night and scores need to be submitted by Monday – your best bet is to follow elite CFers on Instagram to see what they have to say about strategy) I’ll still be able to reflect on the workout. What did I learn from 16.1, and how did I get on? View Post

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Mind Games | Why I Think Olympic Lifts Are Hard To Learn

learning olympic lifting

Without a doubt my favourite part of CrossFit is the Olympic lifting. It’s something about the explosiveness, the power of getting something that heavy over your head, and above all it’s the refined technique that I love the most; the fact that you really need to put in the graft and learn these lifts. There’s no luck involved.

There’s a myth that CrossFitters have bad Oly form but that’s just not true – my coaches are obsessed with not only our technique but their own technique too, and give very insightful pointers. It might be easy to do your first couple of Olympic lifts, but once you start reaching heavier weights you realise that good form is everything – there’s no cutting corners with these kind of dynamic lifts.

Taking a step away from the fact-based how-tos on the blog of late, I’m having a little ramble on why I think learning to Olympic lift is so hard, and in turn, why learning in general can be so hard too. This is just my opinion on why I think I find Olympic lifting challenging so I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions on this, and whether it’s something you experience too. View Post

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CrossFit Hands | Caring For Calluses + Healing Rips

crossfit hand callus care

If you’ve lifted weights or had to use your hands to any extent you’ll know them well: calluses. The small patches of hard skin that build up on your hands. As annoying as they are, without them our poor hands would get torn up and even more sore than they do now – building hard skin is the body’s protection response to the repeated pressure of gripping weights and hanging from bars.

Unfortunately, if the hard skin builds up too much it can hurt or worse, rip off. Rips happen fairly occasionally but when they do it tends to be in the middle of a gruelling WOD when you could really do without the pain of inconvenience of torn hands! They’re agony and the worst rips can stop you training for weeks.

Thankfully, you can look after your calluses to keep them flat and you prevent tears, and there are things you can do to look after your hands once they’ve ripped – but try to stick to the following to prevent tears as they are really no fun at all.

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