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


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


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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7 Ways Weekend Walking is Wonderful for Wellbeing

walking for health

This blog is mainly about forms of high-intensity exercise – lots of jumping around, flinging heavy weights and moving as fast as possible – but lately I’ve gotten into something a little lower in impact: walking. Whether it’s come from being cooped up inside a car, office or gym all week, or whether it’s because I’ve turned the big 3-0 and my interests are becoming tamer, at the weekend I’m really enjoying getting out into the countryside for a leg stretch.

But is walking really all that weak, or is it actually really good for you? The more I thought about the parts that make up a good walk, the more I realised how many benefits it has. Read on to find out the 7 ways walking is wonderful for wellbeing. View Post


Marginal Gains | How I’m Working To Get Better At CrossFit In 2016

better at crossfit

Since starting CrossFit in July, I’ve made a lot of progress and have really fallen in love with the sport. I’ve learned how to snatch and climb a rope, my clean has improved no end (too bad I still can’t clean my flat) and my mental attitude to both fitness and my own body has improved too. Now I’ve reached a point where I want to get better – to compete, maybe – but simply doing what I’ve been doing isn’t bringing me any more progress.

In a nutshell, I need to get leaner, faster, and better to be CrossFitting at the level I want to be at. It’s easy enough to say that, but how exactly am I going to go about it? By breaking my needs into different areas I can establish marginal areas I can work on, and get valuable gains that I wouldn’t have managed otherwise, had I simply attacked the bigger picture.

It goes without saying that consistency is key, which I’m going to strive for in 2016, but I’ll also be making plans to hit the following marginal goals..
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Dude, How’s My Movement? | FSTFitness’s Exclusive Movement Screen

movement screen

The ego is a little devil when it comes to weightlifting. “More weight!“, it says, and I usually comply, somehow getting through the lift using willpower alone.

Eventually, you reach a point where sheer grit is no longer enough, despite the ego screaming at you for more. There’s something that’s stopping you from getting heavier – be it technique, mobility, or flexibility. That’s definitely something that’s happened to me, though I was unsure what the problem was and how to fix it. But how do you get back to basics without bursting your over-inflated ego?

This question was in the forefront of my mind when I was contacted by Danny Holland of FSTFitness regarding his new movement screening he’d like me to try out. Could this be the answer to my lifting troubles?

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Les Mills ONE Live Manchester | Or… What Not To Do On A Hangover

one live manchester

Hey, you know what’s not a great thing to do the night before going to do an entire day full of Les Mills classes? Buy two bottles of wine between three of you, then drink the majority of it yourself. Ouch.

Yeah, I spoiled something I had really been looking forward to by giving myself a rotten wineover. I had an absolute ball at the last ONE Live I went to in London, so when I heard that Manchester was confirmed I got myself Pump-ed and prepared for a day full of Les Mills classes.

I had a bit of a revelation on Saturday, though, when I realised why I loved ONE Live so much, and maybe my wineover fit with the revelation more than I previously thought it would..

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