how why self reflection

How was your year? Mine was a pretty busy one! From work projects to CrossFit competitions to travelling, things have been non-stop, and honestly I haven’t had much time to reflect on my progress and assess where I was headed.

It’s so important to self-reflect, so this year I’m going to dedicate some time to it, and ensure I’m working towards my goals rather than shooting off in random directions.

Read on to find out why reflection is so important and the best techniques to use to self-reflect on your own year.

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why compete in crossfit

Entering a CrossFit competition can seem like a pretty big deal – all those people, gymnastics, and weights! But it’s something I believe every CrossFitter should try out, at least once.

If you’re sitting on the fence about entering then read on. This should convince you to enter faster than a judge can yell NO REP!

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Photos by Liam PDB Walsh

active travel croatia

If you’re looking for a holiday destination that is temperate all year round, has equal parts relaxation, activity and partying, and is a short three-hour flight away from the UK, then the Croatia could be the place for you.

I recently did a trip along the Croatian coast, visiting Dubrovnik, Hvar and Split, and had an awesome time. The scenery is absolute spectacular and if you love being by the sea, then you’ll love Croatia – I’ve never travelled so much by boat!

Holidays are definitely for relaxing, and if you eat and exercise well for the rest of the year then 2 weeks isn’t going to ruin anything – but if you’re an active person or you have health and fitness goals you want to hit, you’ll want to keep moving and eat some healthy food while you’re away. It’ll also mean it’s not so much of a shock to the system when you get home and back to training!

I found the best active things to do and healthy food to eat in Croatia so you can enjoy your holiday whilst also having some active fun.

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breaking plateaus

The newbie gains come thick and fast when you first start CrossFit, but unfortunately they don’t last forever…

A year down the line things start to plateau and PBs are fewer and farther between. When I watch CrossFitters walking on their hands and repping out muscle-ups (heck, even repping out pull-ups) I still feel very new to the sport – despite having been doing it over two years now – although something that does remind me that I’m not so green anymore is my lack of newbie gains: that is, every time I go into the box I’m not hitting new PBs like you do in those golden first months of CrossFit. Even though we’re all supposed to be doing this sport for fun, it can get you down and you may not be that happy-go-lucky CrossFitter you were when you were PBing every week!

I’ve switched up my training strategy of late and last week I finally added 5kg onto my split jerk after being stuck on a plateau for a year. Hooray! That doesn’t mean the spell is broken and the hard work is over – I’m consistently working on a few different strategies to ensure I continue to progress in CrossFit. Read on to find out what I’ve been trying to finally smash through my plateau now my newbie gains are well and truly over.

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crossfit open workout 16.5

They say time is a healer, which is why women decide to have another child, or someone decides to run another marathon. “It wasn’t so bad, was it?”, they muse, as their brain busily hides away the worst bits for self-preservation reasons.

As I type this, it’s actually many, many moons from the final CrossFit Open workout, and whilst the memory has faded somewhat of the actual workout, I haven’t forgotten the fact that workout 16.5 was the worst workout I’ve ever done. I knew from the moment I heard what the workout was that we wouldn’t get along well in the slightest, but after fighting a virus through the rest of the Open, I wasn’t going to give up at the last hurdle.

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functional fitness

Functional training and mud runs are both big trends in the fitness world right now, but are they mutually exclusive? I recently took on the Major Series Mud Run with Blacks and whenever I wasn’t submerged in water or knee deep in mud, I was thinking how difficult obstacle courses and mud runs are to train for, not least because you don’t know what’s coming in them – it’s unlikely my washing machine could handle what it had to do after the Major Series on a weekly basis!

However, there’s something you can add into your mud run arsenal to make sure you’re prepared. Functional training can prepare your body for whatever life throws at you, whether that’s running for and jumping on a bus, or a mud run. Instead of just training one muscle group for growth and/or strength, like a bicep curl, functional training works the entire body with compound moves that improve strength, power, and mobility. This could include anything from your conventional squats and deadlifts to plyometrics like box jumps and even more technical moves like a pistol squat.

Read on to find out how my own functional training benefited me when I tackled the gruelling Major Series Mud Run.

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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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