I’ve read quite a few fellow bloggers’ “Year in Review” posts, and I’ve really enjoyed them. Some reflect on their favourite races and running accomplishments, some highlight their favourite blog posts of the year, giving an interesting round up of experiences. Most include the good and the bad. I’m going to call mine my “2015 Storybook” – a summary of my highlights, and the not-so-good bits. I feel as though it’s an opportunity to look back, reflect and learn.

2015 Goals

I started off with best intentions, setting myself a big ol’ list of things I wanted to work on in 2015. I chose things from each area of my life, whether that was work, blogging, social or family, and many people told me I’d taken on a lot… they were right. Fast forward to now and I haven’t kept up with my goals. Yes, things went wrong along the way, which didn’t help, but I now realise that I didn’t plan well enough – I was trying to focus on too many different areas at once, rather than tackling one thing at a time, then moving on to the next.

My Storybook

Family and Friends

My family grew quite considerably in 2015. There were two big weddings in my life this year – the first was my dad’s, giving me a step-mum and four step-sisters, and the second was my own, giving me a husband and a mother- and father-in-law.

After my parents’ divorce in 2012 it seemed a challenge to keep my time balanced between mother and father. I didn’t want either to think that I was spending more time with the other. And I don’t see my friends as much as I like. I know the answer is making time, and not just hoping for it, so I’m actively looking for ways to see my family and friends more in 2016.

Keeping up with everyone all of the time is just not possible, but I hope they can see how much of my life goes into making something of myself, not just for me – but to make them proud.

Relationship

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I married the love of my life in October. Yes, wedding planning was stressful at times, but we made an effort to keep calm and not let the planning take over.

Now I can honestly say that things just couldn’t be better. Perhaps we’re still in the honeymoon period, quite literally, but I don’t think that’s it – I genuinely think marriage has made our relationship stronger and we are more in love than ever (sorry for the soppiness!).

Work and Blog

 

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I’ve put these together as I see them both as the “professional” elements of my life. Work is going really well – the team I work in is great to be a part of, and I feel I get a good balance of being given direction, while still working somewhat independently.

The blog has been, like many things, up and down. I’ve been fairly consistent in posting, but had two to three months in the year where I dropped off the radar a little. Sometimes I question whether I still enjoy it or not, other times I wonder why I ever thought that. What it has brought me, though, is some fantastic opportunities.

This year I’ve been proud to write for various different publications, including big websites and print and digital magazines. I took part in a photoshoot for an active wear company, and was shortlisted for top fitness blogger lists and awards. I was also featured and interviewed as a top fitness blogger for a national magazine.

Education

As you may already know, I’ve gone “back to school” this year, picking up degree study with the Open University. I’m working towards a BSC Hons in Sport, Fitness and Coaching, with my current module on Sports Psychology, and it’s so interesting! I’m also part way through my Personal Training qualification with HFE, which I’m loving, and I hope to complete this early in 2016.

Studying on top of a full time job, keeping up a house, blog, relationship and social life is not easy. But I think education will always factor in my life – I love to learn and take in new information. If I never had to work again, I would probably be a full time student!

Fitness

This has been where most of my ups and downs have come from. I seem to have a continual love-hate relationship with fitness. Working out can make me feel both on top of the world (when I achieve a new skill, or get a personal best) and at rock bottom (when I get injured, or struggle with something I should be able to do). I’ll split my fitness storybook into four main sections – what makes up my fitness DNA.

Running

 

 

 

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I had races booked up throughout the year, from 10k to Half Marathon and everything in-between. With a fun start of the year of the London Winter Run and a last-minute appearance at the Brighton Half Marathon, I started to rack up the medals on my new medal rails. I then tackled Reading Half – achieving an almost PB – took on yet another obstacle race, the Warrior Adrenaline Race (something I may have to make more time for!), the Colour Run, and ran the very novel Wings for Life race (chased by David Coulthard in a catcher car!). I ran my fastest 10k for years, again narrowly missing out on a PB time, and then my mid-point race became my last race of the year with an injury sustained half-way round. My second stress fracture.

From there, running ceased. I’ve now run a total of twice since – though one of these times was at a really fun adidas event ending in a rooftop photoshoot! I don’t know if I’ll pick up running to the same extent again. I’m considering sticking to obstacle races because, despite them theoretically being more risky when it comes to injury, I think they’re perhaps better for me with the broken up sections of running interspersed with stuff to climb over/crawl through/jump off. I’m undecided.

 

CrossFit

 

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Ahhh, my one true fitness love. CrossFit has been a constant for me over the last couple of years, and is still the place where I feel the strongest sense of community. I took part in the CrossFit Games Open for the second time, finishing 808th in my category in the UK. I also did my first Weightlifting Competition – something which definitely gave me an ego-check. I started looking more scientifically at CrossFit, and have been working hard to try and position myself as a point of trust in the UK community, helped by my articles for PT Magazine, Breaking Muscle, MyProtein and more. I hope this continues into 2016 as I have big plans for my blog in this area.

Unfortunately my injury mid-way through the year put a bit of a halt to my fitness goals for this year. I was getting really close to achieving my first full strict pull up, but when I stopped training for five weeks, and then only went back once a week for a further six or seven, this regressed considerably. I have also been pretty down on myself for not achieving skills that, in my opinion, I should have nailed by now. I started having Personal Training at the end of October, for precisely this reason, and I had a little whinge to my coach the other day about my lack of skills. He’s given me some advice which I aim to put into practice from now, and I WILL be nailing those skills this year.

Yoga

 

Having finally found a class that was both convenient and enjoyable towards the end of 2014, I was sure that yoga was going to be a regular in my life. But, unfortunately, the class was cancelled in early 2015 through lack of attendance. The instructor, Paul, is brilliant, and still teaches loads of other classes around the area in which I live, but unfortunately they aren’t as easy to fit into my schedule and so I’m not sure how consistently I’ll keep going.

I have, however, found Yoga Gym – the yoga training book written by Nicola Jane Hobbs, complete with home training programme – which I will be tackling to try and make yoga a more consistent part of my training.

New Fitness Concepts

I always say how much I love to try new classes and ways of working out, and this little section is devoted to that. I have tried an eclectic mix of classes and fitness venues/concepts, including:

And that’s to name a few! I will continue to try as many new and interesting ways to work out as I can – you never know what you might enjoy doing, or when what you currently enjoy might not be so much fun anymore.

Body Image

I thought I’d end on this topic, as it’s probably where most of my insecurities come from. This year I feel as though I have truly said goodbye to diets. I opened up massively in June about my body hang-ups and my troubled history of dieting and a minor eating disorder. Honestly, I received the most overwhelming response to this post – and I can’t thank you enough for every kind word I got. I’ve yo-yo dieted for years, and tried everything from intermittent fasting and detoxes, to meticulously counting calories. And quite honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy as when I HAVEN’T been on a diet.

Finally now I’m starting to accept my body for the way it is: cumbersome (because I’m quite tall!), slightly squidgy, but strong and capable of almost anything I throw at it. What I’ve learned the most is that we all have “fat days”, it’s just learning not to beat yourself up about them that is the important part. As soon as we can learn to love our bodies for the things they allow us to do, the better. And I have an exciting project I’d like to get off the ground in 2016 in that respect too… watch this space.

Looking Forward to 2016

I haven’t settled on my goals for 2016, but I think I’m going to learn from this past year and take them as they come. Things change – goals change. And that’s ok.

First up? Pull ups… it’s time to really devote some effort and focus and get shit done!

Happy New Year!

Have you written a year in review post? Or decided on your goals for 2016? What have your biggest achievements been? Please feel free to post them in the comments below so I can have a read!

I‘m a big fan of yoga. It supports my activities in CrossFit, weightlifting and running, helps me wind down and focus, and has helped me work on flexibility in areas I hadn’t even realised were tight. But I never really thought of yoga as having the potential to make me stronger. Until now.

Step In Yoga Gym…

Nicola Jane Hobbs is a champion GB Olympic Weightlifter, Master’s in sport and exercise psychology (which I’m studying a module on right now!) and a yoga teacher. So who better to understand and link the benefits of yoga to strength and focus? Nicola identified how yoga helped her build strength in a body that was weakened by an eating disorder from her younger years, and find confidence to believe in herself. From this experience, she has written Yoga Gym – the book that aims to revolutionise the way yoga is used by combining the ancient science of yoga with modern fitness principles.

I met Nicola back in 2013, when I attended her Mind Muscle Yoga class at the BodyPower Expo and her skills as a teacher shone from the start. Since then I followed her social media channels, in awe of her flexibility, strength and control. It was there that I heard about Yoga Gym, and instantly wanted to know more and Nicola kindly arranged for me to receive a review copy before publication.

Can yoga make you stronger? @nicolajanehobbs's #YogaGym can! Find out more... Click To Tweet

Yoga Gym Revolution Nicola Jane Hobbs

Yoga Gym Revolution Nicola Jane Hobbs

So What Is Yoga Gym?

Yoga Gym is not just a book… it’s a training concept. Split into three parts, Nicola provides a thorough overview of the thought processes behind Yoga Gym, as well as the actual exercises and workouts/programme.

Part One – The Basics

Part one focuses on success stories from people she has worked with in her classes. She busts some common yoga myths, such as the misconception that yoga won’t challenge you enough, or that you have to already be flexible to start – things that might have stopped people from taking up yoga in the first place.

The Yoga Gym benefits, guidelines, diet and mindset are covered in easy-to-follow principles, which Nicola backs up with examples. I particularly liked the value of “Wise Use of Energy”, where you should match the tasks on your to-do list with your energy levels at particular times of the day – fantastic for a busy working professional/blogger!

Yoga Gym Revolution Nicola Jane Hobbs

Part Two – The Exercises

Moving on to the main chunk of the book, there are 150+ variations of yoga poses – perfect for all abilities. The poses are broken up into sub-sections, with key concepts and breathing exercises, yang poses (strengthening poses), flows, yogacises and yin poses (passive poses for relaxation). The section then finishes with hints of challenge poses, which can be explored in further detail on the Yoga Gym website.

I love how the pose pages are laid out, with a main photo of the middle-ground pose and cues for how to achieve it, plus regression (if you find the pose too challenging) and progression (to “take it up a notch”) photos and tips. I found this really inspiring to work hard to achieve the most out of each pose that I can.

Yoga Gym - Push Up

Yoga Gym - Rock The Boat

Yoga Gym - Bridge

Part Three – The Workouts

The final part of the book brings everything together into a series of workouts that form a 28 days plan, using periodisation to bring you strength and flexibility gains, while allowing down-time and recovery. The plan is based on 5 workouts per week, but can be extended over a longer duration, e.g. 10 weeks if you can only fit in a couple of workouts per week.

Yoga Gym Revolution Nicola Jane Hobbs

Nicola uses a combination of different modern training concepts, including intervals, supersets, Tabata, peripheral heart action (PHA) training (a new one to me!) and a traditional yoga concept of yin for relaxation.

I love how each workout has a purpose – whether it’s to challenge the lower body with intervals, or complete a full-body-blast with PHA training. The workouts are well-thought-out, and take the questioning out of putting together the exercises in sequences that will work… though of course there’s no reason why you can’t make up your own workouts too!

Where to Buy

Yoga Gym is out today (17th December)! You can buy your copy from Amazon for less than the price of a single yoga class in London! It would also make the perfect Christmas gift for the yogi in your life!

My Yoga Gym Challenge

I’m going to aim to take on Nicola’s 28 day plan, but spreading the workouts out over more weeks to try and fit it all in with my existing training. I’m really interested to see how far I can come along in each pose, and what strength and flexibility I gain from it. Keep up with my progress in the new year using the hashtag #ftcyogagym, or the official book hashtag #yogagym.

Will you be joining in the #YogaGym revolution? @nicolajanehobbs new book is out now! Click To Tweet

And in the meantime, I will be continuing to watch Nicola’s own progress on Instagram, where she posts the most amazing challenging poses and flows.

Yoga Gym - Thread The Needle

Yoga Gym - Triple Down Dog

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Yoga Gym for free. As always, my opinion is my own and not affected by items gifted to me. This post contains Amazon Affiliate links – if you make a purchase through clicking this link I will receive a small commission, but the price you pay is not affected. Affiliate links help contribute towards the cost of running this website. To find out more about my policy on this and other matters, see my Disclosure page.

This week saw the second week of my personal training course so I knew I’d have to try and get all my planned workouts in during the week if I was to get enough exercise in. I managed a couple of challenging CrossFit sessions and a yoga class – a good balance of high intensity and mobility work!

Week 49 – 30th November to 6th December 2015

Monday – Rest day.

Tuesday – CrossFit 6am. We started with a 15 calorie row for time, which I completed in 43 seconds. Next up was jerks off the rack for 2×3, 2×2, and then heavy singles. I got up to 55kg. The WOD was the Athlete Games competition WOD #1, which was:

0-1 – 5 burpee over bar, then 1 front squat.

1-2 – 5 burpee over bar, then 2 front squats

2-3 – 5 burpee over bar, then 3 front squats

Continuing the same pattern until you can’t complete the round in a minute.

The score was total reps x load (athlete chooses the load). I worked at 40kg and got 36 reps in total (minute 8) for a score of 1440. I had managed to finish the round of 8 in time to start the round of 9, but my back started to hurt so I dropped out.

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Wednesday – Yoga, 7pm. Another of Paul’s fantastic Ashtanga yoga classes. We always work on such lovely, deep stretches, and he throws in a few really challenging moves, which I love.

Thursday – Rest day.

Friday – CrossFit 6am. I made the stupid mistake of telling our coach about a hands on hips rule that my instructor on a bootcamp certificate course I went on had – every time someone put their hands on their hips everyone had to do five burpees. Joel took this and ran with it… making us all do burpees in addition to the WOD – the moral of this story? Don’t make casual conversation about forms of punishment with coach Joel!

We had a 7 minute EMOM of 5 strict pullups (with a band) and 5 toes to bar. Next up was 6×3 shoulder to overhead at 80-85% of 1Rm, supersetted with a 30 second handstand hold, every two minutes. I worked at 47.5kg. The WOD was a partner 10 minute AMRAP of:

12 calorie row

Max reps OH squat 43/30kg.

The score was the total number of overhead squats you completed in the time. I worked with Debs and we scaled to 20kg. Our score was 98 reps.

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Saturday – PT course. Day one of the second weekend of learning to be a personal trainer with HFE. The morning started with our Level 3 Nutrition exam. I’d been nervous about this because I didn’t feel as though I’d spent enough time revising, but I finished up with some time to spare so did a quick pullup and TRX workout before morning break. Then we recapped some of the previous weekend’s topics, and then went on to looking at resistance training training concepts, including different types of sets and training methods. After lunch was a practical session, which is great for getting you out of that post-lunch slump… but not too great at letting your food settle! For the last part of the day we looked at cardiovascular training. This included aerobic training, intervals, fartlek, and HIIT. We had the opportunity to get hot and sweaty practising what we had learnt.

Sunday – PT course. Day two and we started the day off putting our “client” (eachother!) through 10 minutes of one cardiovascular workout, followed by 10 minutes of another cardiovascular training concept. After morning break we moved on to core stability exercises. We looked at different progressions and regressions you can do for core exercises, from isolated all the way up to integrated movements. The afternoon was spent learning PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretching.

Have you done a Personal Trainer qualification? Or are you studying now, or thinking of starting? I’d love to hear your experiences of PT study!

Mileage Tracker

Weekly Miles: 0 miles

Running Total: 198.3 miles

2015 Fitness Goals Progress

Goal Target/Date Progress
Running Twice per week 15 out of 49 weeks
Inversions Unsupported hand/handstand (end Q1) Need to work on confidence away from a wall.
Pullups 5 strict (end Q2) Regressed since injury and infrequent training.
Squat Depth Below parallel (end Q4) Air squat 3/4 depth
Clean & Jerk Body weight (end Q4) Clean and jerk 60kg, clean 67.5kg. BW ~72.5kg.
Snatch 2/3 body weight 40/47.5kg

Christmas. My favourite time of year! Cosy evenings, beautiful lights and decorations, time spent with family, and the giving of gifts – all bringing a sense of comfort and happiness. If you need a little helping hand in your decision of what to buy your loved ones, this gift guide may just be the thing you need… well, if your loved one is into CrossFit, running or yoga, that is!

I put this list together with the hope of helping you find a little something for your fitness friends/family, and also to showcase a few of my favourite items, or those I’m coveting myself. Products marked with an asterisk (*) are tried and tested. Everything else is based on personal opinions of style and/or usefulness!

Struggling with Christmas shopping? Check out this gift guide for CrossFitters, Runners and Yogis! Click To Tweet

I’ve included a range of products, from stocking fillers and more affordable gifts, right the way up to luxury/high-end items, to help you choose something appropriate for your budget. But enough chat… let’s get shopping!

Christmas Gift Guide – What to Buy CrossFitters, Runners and Yogis

Luxury gifts

Luxury Christmas Gifts For The Runner, Yogi and CrossFitter

For the yogi… Liforme Yoga Mat. £100. This is on my “to-buy” list… as soon as I can justify the £100 to get it! The markings on the mat help you to achieve perfect alignment in each of the postures, meaning you can focus more on getting the most out of your practice and less on whether your hands and feet are level in downward dog.

For the CrossFitter… Reebok CrossFit Fleece. £110. This may seem a lot for a fleece, but the design of this baby has taken WODs into consideration meaning you can train in it without compromising performance. Reebok also spent a long time working out the shape of CrossFit athletes in order to get the best fit possible. No more shoulder or lat constriction!

For the runner… adidas Ultra Boost Trainers.* £130. These are just a fantastic running shoe. adidas’s Boost technology has been around for a few years now and their shoe design seems to be going from strength to strength. The Ultra Boost shoes are their greatest shoe yet, with bouncy cushioning, stretchweb outsole and a knitted upper for the perfect fit.

High-end gifts

High-end Christmas Gifts For The Runner, Yogi and CrossFitter

For the yogi… Lululemon Bring It Om Tote. £68. Firstly, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the name! This bag has room for all your yoga bits – strap, blocks, water, cover-up and yes, even your mat. Though the bag is super-sleek in black, I would love if they had a choice of colours, but there’s no denying how functional it is. A great gift for yoga class regulars.

For the CrossFitter… inov-8 Fastlift Shoes.* £69.99. I am in love with my fastlifts. Having tried Reebok lifters I thought my luck was out getting a comfortable lifting shoe (sorry Reebok, I just wasn’t a fan), but inov-8 certainly lived up to their usual standard of delivering the most comfortable fit, complete with an extremely sturdy heel and sole. These shoes have been an absolute godsend for my lifting, and the new AW15 colourway is just lush.

For the runner… Pace Run Leggings.* £75. Give your loved ones cosy legs for their winter runs. These leggings are not only beautiful to look at, but also toasty with a thermal fabric. Sweaty Betty can be known for their great fitting clothing and these leggings are no exception. Plus, they make the wearer’s bum look uber-peachy… surely a benefit to the buyer too?!

Mid-range gifts

Mid-range Gifts For The Runner, Yogi and CrossFitter

For the yogi… Yogasphere Yoga at the Shard.* £40. Not a material gift, but one your yoga-loving loved one will remember forever. Imagine doing yoga at the dizzying heights of over 1,000 feet! This is an experience not to be missed, and… yogasphere plant 10 trees for every class booked so you can feel nice and smug for saving the planet at the same time.

For the CrossFitter… RX Smartgear Jump Rope.* Approx. £35. These jump ropes are brilliant – the cable rotates freely and the handles are comfortable to hold. You can also get varying weight cables for a faster or more controlled rotation. They are custom made and from America, but if you order now you should expect delivery with time to spare before Christmas. You can even pre-pay the taxes to save more time!

For the runner… Redbear Sports Christmas Jumper Running Top.* £28. I don’t think this running top even needs a justification… it’s a technical running top, that looks like a Christmas jumper. Oh, and did I mention it’s technical? What more can you want?! You may have seen a very similar item on my Christmas wish list last year – clearly this idea will never get old to me! Make sure you size up though – they come up small and you won’t want your loved one thinking they’ve just eaten too many mince pies.

Affordable giftsAffordable Gifts For The Runner, Yogi and CrossFitter

 

For the yogi… Yoga Gym: The Revolutionary 28 Day Bodyweight Plan for Strength, Flexibility and Fat Loss.* £12. A must have for yoga lovers who want to take their yoga to the next level, or equally for newbie yogis who want to learn how to supplement their yoga practice with postures and techniques that will make them stronger and more flexible. I was lucky to receive an advance copy and I’m loving it already. Released on 17th December… just in time for Christmas.

For the CrossFitter… Be Better Athletic Wrist Wraps.* £11.99. When strength work gets heavy, the front rack position or snatch grip can get painful on the old wrists. These wrist wraps are little gems, helping to hold your wrist in a safer position and limited the stress on this complicated joint. Ideal for any CrossFitter looking to move onto heavier lifts.

For the runner… Led Lenser Neo Headlight.* £20. When the evenings get dark at this time of year, visibility is essential. You want your loved one to see and be seen, right? This headlight is superb… no doubt about it. The rectangular shape of the light casts a widescreen beam, meaning you can see the full width of the pavement ahead. It’s also light and comfortable, so your loved one is less likely to care that they look like a miner.

Stocking Fillers

Stocking Fillers For The Runner, Yogi and CrossFitter

For the yogi… Yummi Yoga Cookie Cutters. £6.50. How adorable are these?! Available in a range of shapes, your yoga lover can enjoy making cookies (healthy or not!) in their favourite yoga postures. A great novelty gift for that Christmas stocking or Secret Santa.

For the yogi… Activbod Mind Over Matter Balm.* £7. Perfect for helping focus and calm, this little balm is great for a pre-workout sharpener, or to pop on before laying down in savasana. Oh and it smells AMAZING.

For the CrossFitter… Goat Tape. £9.99. WTF is goat tape? Well I can’t explain the name, but I can explain the purpose! CrossFit can get a little tough on the old hands – this tape can be used to protect problem areas on the hand where the bar or rig might cause tears, or even to hold grips in place. Still confused about the name? Me too.

For the CrossFitter… Deep Heat Muscle Massage Roll-on Lotion. £5. This stuff helps loosen tight spots which, let’s face it – us CrossFitters have a-plenty. A handy little roll on makes it easier than ever to apply deep heat right where you need it for that muscle soothing action.

For the runner… NATHAN StrobeLight. £9. You may have seen my post on the range of Nathan Sports goodies to help #fireupyourrun. This baby is perfect for a Christmas Stocking filler that will help keep your loved one safe this winter.

For the runner… Feetures Elite Cushion No Show Socks. £10. I can’t be the only one who used to routinely get socks in my Christmas stocking? Keep a shoe in (get it?!) with tradition by popping these comfy little socks in your favourite runner’s stocking this Christmas. They’ll thank you with cosy feet!

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Why not share this list with your friends or family if there’s something on here that you want… there’s nothing like a subtle hint in the form of a Tweet or Facebook comment!

Christmas Gift Guide for CrossFitters, Runners and Yogis

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links – if a purchase is made through an affiliate link then I will receive a small commission – this does not affect the price you pay, nor does it have an influence on my decision to post the specific product(s). To find out more about affiliate links and my policy, please see my Disclosure page.

After such a crazy week last week the last thing I wanted to do was study so I took a break from the books and got my butt back into training. I went to a couple of CrossFit sessions, a yoga class, personal training and my strength and power programme – the only thing missing was a run… but let’s not talk about that right now, shall we?!

Week 48 – 23rd to 29th November

Monday  CrossFit 6am. We started with some snatch technique and worked up to 3×3. We then moved on to snatch doubles, adding weight. I got up to 35kg. The WOD was 6 rounds of 1 minute work, 1 minute rest:

5 power snatch (43/30kg)

Max down ups

The score was the total number of down ups over the 6 rounds. I managed 62 reps at the RX weight.

Tuesday – Rest day. After such a busy week last week, and then a jam-packed studying weekend, I needed the break so vegged out on the sofa with dinner!

Wednesday – CrossFit 6am. We did some pull up practice, supersetted with dips. I decided to work on strict pull ups, using a purple band, and used a thin red band for the dips, managing 5×5, every 90 seconds. The WOD was 10 minute AMRAP of:

30 DUs

10 alternate KB snatch (24/16kg)

I scaled to single unders (x 60), despite having a battle with myself knowing I should have taken the time to practice my nemesis, and used a 12kg bell. I shouldn’t really have scaled the skipping, but because I’d already scaled the bell I took the excuse to scale everything. Poor show! I managed 6 rounds and 48 reps.

Yoga 7:30pm. I went to my favourite yoga class with Laura. We both managed to do a side crow for the first time! After class we went for dessert… as you do! We each had a sundae and nattered the night away drinking diet cokes until getting kicked out of the pub at closing time!

Thursday – Gym 1:30pm. I was on a half day today for a Fitness Writers’ Association event with Action PR at Transition Zone, so I took the excuse to get a lunchtime workout in. I did power cleans, wide grip deadlifts, hip thrusters, dips, face pulls, split squats and single leg dragon flags – all from my PT programme by Joel.

I went home to shower and eat before heading into London for the event. Getting to the Transition Zone with time to help prepare the goody bags, I snapped some of the event as it happened – we had a nice group of journalists and bloggers, all there to try out Power Plate and have a run with Phoebe Thomas, who shared her winter running motivation tips. The event was then finished off with some healthy snacks from the Transition Zone menu, and a prize draw for four lucky people to win a Grid STK or STK X.

Friday – Rest day. A late night last night meant a tired Friday – I definitely needed the rest!

Saturday – PT with Joel, 1pm. We did an evil superset of 6×6 push press @ 75% of 1RM, followed by a 30 second handstand hold, repeated every 2 minutes. I worked at 45kg and my wrists and shoulders were killing! I then had a WOD of 4 rounds of:

1 minute burpee over box (24/20″)

1 minute barbell OH lunge (40/25kg)

1 minute TTB

1 minute calorie row

1 minute rest

The score was max reps and I managed 171 reps. I was pretty disappointed as I just got worse and worse on each round, but it was pretty killer looking back at it!

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In the evening we had some drinks at Darren’s friends’ house now that they have finished renovating it, complete with lots of nibbles!

Sunday – Rest day. I did some work around the house, then got ready to go out for dinner with my good friend and Maid of Honour, Vicky – it was the first time we’d seen each other since the wedding!

Is it just me and my friends who go out for dessert?! Do you keep a training diary? If you do please feel free to post a link below – I’d love to have a read!

Mileage Tracker

Weekly Miles: 0 miles

Running Total: 198.3 miles

2015 Fitness Goals Progress

Goal Target/Date Progress
Running Twice per week 15 out of 48 weeks
Inversions Unsupported hand/handstand (end Q1) Need to work on confidence away from a wall.
Pullups 5 strict (end Q2) Regressed since injury and infrequent training.
Squat Depth Below parallel (end Q4) Air squat 3/4 depth
Clean & Jerk Body weight (end Q4) Clean and jerk 60kg, clean 67.5kg. BW ~72.5kg.
Snatch 2/3 body weight 40/47.5kg

Are you hitting the slopes this winter? You might see it as just a fun way to enjoy the snowy sites, but it’s also a tough workout that will challenge your legs, arms and core muscles. Whether you’re a seasoned skier, or new to the sport, you could always benefit from a bit of preparatory work to get you skiing fit.

Wall sits and oblique exercises may come to mind when you first think of skiing exercises, but have you ever though about the benefits yoga could pose? With isometric (static) movements that strengthen your legs and arms, twists and balances that challenge your core, yoga is a brilliant way to get yourself ready for the piste.

VIP Ski, operators of luxury chalets throughout France, Switzerland and Austria (which look amazing, by the way!), asked me to put together my top yoga moves for skiing to help you get ready for your winter break – check them out below, and watch my YouTube video for the full flow!

7 Best Yoga Moves for Skiers

VIP Ski Yoga Moves

Chair Pose

Strengthens legs, mobilises ankles, aids posture.

  • Standing tall, feet together, sweep your arms up and sink into a partial squat, keeping your knees together.
  • Gaze ahead or up between your hands and hold for 5 breaths.

Twisting Chair

Strengthens legs, mobilises spine, challenges balance.

  • From chair pose, twist round to the left, bringing your hands together to prayer.
  • Anchor your right elbow to the outside of your left knee and use it to pull yourself further into the twist.
  • Hold for 5 breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Flying Lunge

Strengthens legs and arms, mobilises hips and ankles, lengthens spine.

  • Take a big step forward and drop your back heel so your foot is at 45 degrees.
  • Sink forward into your front leg, keeping your knee tracking over your toes, not rolling inwards.
  • Sweep your arms forward and reach up, gazing ahead or between your hands.
  • Hold for 2-3 breaths, then sweep your arms back, keeping your palms facing and squeezing your shoulder blades together.

Warrior Three

Strengthens legs, challenges balance and core strength.

  • Keeping the weight on your front leg, pick your back leg up off the ground and tilt forwards from the pelvis so your body is parallel with the ground. 
  • Keep your arms out in front, palms facing, and look between your hands.
  • Look to a fixed point to help you balance.
  • Hold for 5 breaths.
  • Repeat Flying Lunge and Warrior Three on the other side.

Triangle Pose

Mobilises spine and hips, encourages balance.

  • Take a small step to the side with your left foot. Your left foot should face the front of the mat, and your heel should be in line with the middle of your right foot.
  • Twist from the waist and lower your left arm to your left shin. Stretch your right arm directly up and try to open up the chest so your upper body is facing forwards.
  • Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Tree Pose

Strengthens standing leg, opens up hips and challenges balance.

  • Standing at the end of your mat, shift your weight into your right leg. Lift your left leg and place the sole of your foot onto the inside of your right thigh or shin – but not on your knee!
  • Open up the hip – your left knee should be pointing out to the side – and try to keep the hips level.
  • Put your hands to prayer, or hold them out to the side for balance.
  • Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.

Pigeon Stretch

Stretches and mobilises the hip joint.

  • From downward dog, lift your left leg and sweep it forwards to place your shin behind your hands – try to lay your leg so that your shin is parallel to your hand position.
  • Shuffle your back leg further back to deepen the stretch in your hips and, if you want to, lay your upper body over your front leg.
  • Hold for 5 breaths, relaxing into the pose, and repeat on the other side.

Full Yoga for Skiing Sequence

To watch the full sequence, check out my YouTube video below – of course I finish in Savasana… one of the best things about yoga!

I hope you enjoyed my yoga sequence – let me know in the comments if you did, or if you plan to use it – I’d especially love to hear from you if you’ll be going skiing! Unfortunately I won’t be hitting the slopes any time soon, but I’d still do this sequence as I could always do with stronger legs and more mobile hips and ankles

Disclaimer – this is a sponsored post for VIP Ski. All content and editorial control are mine.