I had such a fun week this week! Three cracking CrossFit sessions, a calisthenics masterclass (yes me, really!) and a weekend of Body Power and gardening… you probably couldn’t get more of a contrast. But this is one of the things I love about fitness – how varied it is and can be if you do the things you enjoy and just play.
For some people, exercise is a means to an end… something they have to do to look a certain way, or reach a certain goal. And that’s fine. It just isn’t my key motivator. For me, exercise is more an opportunity to challenge myself, have fun, learn new skills, or just get better at ones I’ve already learnt. The masterclass with Stephen just solidified that for me, and I’ve now found something I can work on in addition to my CrossFit goals that will make me stronger and more focused while complimenting my existing training. Superb.
Week 20: 11th to 17th May 2015
Monday – CrossFit 6am. We started with some kipping practise – kipping is one of those things that divides CrossFit enthusiasts and CrossFit critics, but is a key technique to get right if you want to work on efficiency in the pull up or toes to bar for example. I can do one or two kipping pull ups, but just can’t seem to consistently string them together. Our strength element today was ring dips. I worked with a red band and managed to do 23 over the EMOM. The WOD was an 8 min AMRAP of:
8 overhead squat (30kg)
8 sit ups
8 pull ups/supine rows
I used 20kg for the overhead squats and started the first couple of rounds with half reps on the pull ups but they weren’t working for me so I switched to full reps of supine rows and finished on 5 rounds and 1 rep.
Tuesday – CrossFit 6am. We started with deadlifts, warming up to 50% 1RM and then did a 7 minute EMOM with max reps in 20 seconds, 40 seconds rest. I did 75 reps at 55kg. The WOD was a chipper (one of my favourite styles of WOD) of:
25 KB swings (16kg)
25 deadlifts (50kg)
25 front squat (35kg)
25 push ups
25 thrusters (15kg)
We had to reduce the weight on the bar between each couplet. There was an 18 minute timecap and I came in at 11:28.
Wednesday – Calisthenics masterclass 6pm. I was lucky to be given the opportunity to have a one to one session with the UK number 1 calisthenics athlete and superstar, Mr Stephen Hughes Landers. Stephen is a member of international workout team Barstarzz and travels the world to compete, train and share his skills in all things bodyweight exercise.
He was in London this week preparing for his upcoming REPs accredited course for personal trainers to learn how to teach calisthenics (more info to come on that in a future post!) and for him to take time out to work with little old clumsy me was a real privilege. Find out what we got up to in a blog post soon!
All I’ll tell you for now is that it involves learning how to do a pull up without a pull up bar, and the most tricep/delt burning complex known to man. Here’s Stephen giving me a demo of the human flag… wow.
I met my brother in Soho for dinner after the session (my Laurie Nouchka leggings got loads of compliments!). We went to Burger and Lobster, which was immensely tasty – I thoroughly recommend their grilled lobster!
Thursday – Rest day. After a late night home last night (eek, 1am by the time I crawled between the sheets!) I decided to take a rest day. I had a sports massage to do in the evening and then got an early night ready for a morning in London for work on Friday.
Friday – CrossFit 6am. We started with an 8 minute EMOM of pullups. I used a green band as still don’t have strict ones and managed over 30 reps in total. We then held the top position of the pullup for as long as we could. Next up was front squats at 70-75% of our 1RM. I worked at 55kg for the first three sets and then moved up to 60kg to try and challenge myself a bit more. The WOD was a 6 minute AMRAP of:
6 power cleans (40kg)
4 shoulder to overhead (40kg)
As soon as I picked up the bar I knew it was a heavy RX but I was committed by this point. Sticking with it I worked my ass off to try and maintain technique and finished the short-sharp 6 minutes with 4 rounds and 9 reps.
Saturday – BodyPower expo. An early start, I got the train to Birmingham to arrive at just before 10am. I was lucky to get a press pass so had access before the main doors opened at 10:30, which gave me time to get my bearings and have a little recon before it got too busy. I went along to a cookery demo by Kevin from FitMenCook (one of my favourite Instagram accounts!), where he cooked up avocado pizza and avocado fries. I then went all fangirl on him by asking for a selfie afterwards *cringe*.
I also went to a talk on eating disorders and competing with UKBBF competitor Louise Rogers, and a talk banishing nutrition myths by the legendary Alan Aragon. More on these in my summary post coming soon!
I also tried a brilliant new pea protein by NuZest, some delicious tasters of Battle Oats, had some weightlifting pointers from Commonwealth athlete and British record holder Giles Greenwood, and picked up a brilliantly clever water infuser by Aquatiser.
Sunday – Run and play, 9am. My running has dropped and I’m not fully sure I can explain why… I’ve either been too busy or, when I have had time, I’ve just not really fancied it. So today I made a conscious effort to make time for a run. But, because I’ve not fully been in the mood for running, I opted for a short 2 mile loop and broke it up by switching my usual route to one that would take me by a park so I could have a play and practise of some of the strength work and calisthenics progressions that Stephen ran through with me on Wednesday. I did 3 rounds of Stephen’s female-crowd-pleasing “legs, bums and tums” exercises, then got playing with practising the human flag, which I posted on my Instagram page, if you’re interested!
After this I started the short run back home, but actually felt like I wanted to keep running! The sun was out, my legs (despite feeling tired and achy for the first 1-1.5 miles) actually felt quite fresh, and secretly I always want a run to be at least 3-4 miles long. But I knew we had a full day of gardening ahead of us (we’re re-landscaping!) so got home to have some breakfast and get on with the day. A few hours of digging and lifting heavy buckets of soil, and then another couple of hours of cutting the grass and tidying up and I was ready for a chilled out evening.
Weekly Miles: 2 miles
Running Total: 166.5 miles
2015 Fitness Goals Progress
|Running||Twice per week||12 out of 20 weeks – time to get this back on track!|
|Inversions||Unsupported hand/handstand (end Q1)||Can hold unsupported… just need to work on confidence|
|Pullups||5 strict (end Q2)||Allllllmost one strict (nose height!)|
|Squat Depth||Below parallel (end Q4)||Air squat 3/4 depth|
|Clean & Jerk||Body weight (end Q4)||60/72.5kg… slowly getting there!|
|Snatch||2/3 body weight||40/47.5kg|