You cannot hide your goats forever

Thursday night club

Everyone has Goats. I don’t mean the kind you find at petting zoos or animal rescue centres keeping donkeys company, but athletic goats. In CrossFit these are things we find difficult, skills we try and try to get but they still elude us – actually they are anything that we firstly want and secondly are finding it extremely hard to achieve.

As a novice bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzennegger had a big goat. It was his extremely skinny lower legs or calf muscles. He purposefully cut all his tracksuit bottoms off at the knees to make sure everyone else in the gym would continuously mock his biggest weakness. Then he used all of that to fire him up to train those calves again and again until they were pumped up and ready for the stage.

So, what’s my point in telling you about a bodybuilder from the ’70s? Never hide from your goats, the more you spend time with them the better they will get. I have refused to practice certain movements in the past just because I was ashamed people would be watching me fail. There’s a big saying in CrossFit to ‘Leave your ego at the door’.  Come straight in and attack that goat – I now practice my current pesky goat 2-3 times a week and some of you probably know that I have trouble with bar muscle ups as I have been practising right in front of you – something I would not have done a few years back and because of that the goat has survived to this day.

Most of us have a herd of the buggers to sort out, my advice is get the noisiest ones out first then the rest will come a lot easier.



Back Squats –  5-5-5-5-5 ascending weight


8 minute amrap:

5 Handstand Push ups / 10 Push ups
10 Wall Balls
15 Toes to bar

rest 2 mins

EMOM 10: 12 Burpees

Conditioning & Strength

Christine in the bottom of a snatch

Good luck to coach Christine at the BWL Southern Masters today.


4 rounds for time:

21 Box Jumps 24/20″
18 Wall Balls
15 KB Swings 24/16k
12 Burpees


Front Squats – 8-8-8-8-8 – ascending weight


100 Push ups for time

Why CrossFit Is Better Than Your Gym

Are you bored at your gym in Witham? Are you tired of the same old routine? Are you still not getting the results you’re looking for?

If you have answered yes to at least 2 of those questions, then perhaps it’s time you considered CrossFit; a vigorous workout that combines weight training with cardio and gymnastics. This kind of intense exercise enables you to up your game in every area and become physically fitter!

Sure, you can mosey into a gym, carry out a couple of sets and ease your way in to a light workout, but this isn’t going to deliver results.

At CrossFit Blackwater, we have always placed an emphasis on the quality of your workout. A short, sharp exercise, which is also fast-paced, can take less than 40 minutes from your day and prove just as beneficial as a gentle jog on the treadmill for 2 hours. Our CrossFit programs are designed to ensure that you are constantly being pushed. So, if you’re someone who struggles to find the time to work out in a Witham gym, our intense programmes guarantee that you get the most out of each movement without having to spend hours doing it.

Who actually exercises together in a group, whilst working out at a gym in Essex? Most gym goers will plug their earphones in and glare at anyone who dares set foot in their personal space. At CrossFit Blackwater, we like to train a little differently. With one-on-one support from our CrossFit trainers, you will soon realise that we are very community focused.

We like to make a point of knowing everyone by name, we also make sure that we are aware of every individuals goals so that we can help you reach your targets as soon as possible.

If someone in our box is celebrating an occasion, perhaps a birthday, we like to know about it! Our workouts can even be personalised to celebrate your special day. Turning 50? We’ll make that our magic number during our workouts that day and everyone can revel in 50 reps and push their limits with 50 push-ups!

It’s important to understand that anyone can turn their hand to CrossFit when they put their mind to it, you could well be surprised by what CrossFit Blackwater has to offer you! Contact a member of our team today.


Strict Press – 6-6-6-6-6 – ascending weight

Supersetted with

Strict Pull ups – 5 max sets. Scale to ring/bar rows


15-10-5 reps:

Shoulder to overhead 85/45k
Muscle ups


15-10-5 reps:

Shoulder to overhead 50/30k
Push ups
Pull ups
Push ups
Pull ups


Band pulls and band presses (light high reps)


Deadlifts & Simon’s birthday metcon

Simon & Faye going overhead at the Halloween party

If any of you have birthdays coming up don’t forget to let me know so I can design you a special birthday workout with all your favourite exercises… or maybe some of your biggest goats.

Simon was 48 on Monday so we will be hitting a conditioning workout to celebrate with him today. A burpee buy in for every year he has been on the planet then a tough 3 rounds. Happy birthday old boy.


Deadlifts – 5-5-5-5-5 linear progression.


Handstand practice.

Conditioning (Happy 48th birthday Simon)

Buy in: 48 Burpees

3 rounds:

23 Push ups
11 Pull ups
15 KB Swings

Building a strength base

1997 South East Championships 1st

A good strength base helps a lot when it comes to CrossFit. It doesn’t matter how big your gas tank is because if you come across a weight that’s almost the same as your current 1, 3 or 5 rep max in a conditioning workout it’s going to take every bit of that gas tank to get through the first 10-15 reps. This is why we hit the linear progressions and strength accessory work. If you have a 80k push press and 50k is Rx in a workout you’re going to steamroll it. Same for the ladies, if you get your front squat up to 60k it’s going to make those thrusters at 30k in Fran a lot lot quicker and less breathy.

This is why I repeatedly coach good, slow form on the strength work. Those negatives on ring rows can be fast in a metcon but when they are programmed in a ‘Giant set’, or just at a harder body angle for strength, it’s best to do each rep slowly and squeeze all possible gains you can out of it. This is the same for everything, slow breaks down muscle fibres and builds them back stronger for next time. When you hear me say ‘slow down’  an ‘enjoy every rep’ it’s for that very reason. We are not just getting through the work we are making change and making you stronger. Ultimately, stronger means better at everything and a lot harder for anyone to kill you.

Giant Set

3 rounds, 2 mins rest between:

20 Hand Release Push ups
15 Dumbel Presses
10 Strict Pull ups / Ring Rows


20 minute amrap:

Run 200m
10 Deadlifts 60/40k
20 Burpee Bar Jumps
30 Abmat Sit ups


Max double unders / singles in 1 minute


Don’t listen to Monty


After watching many many hours of people hitting metcons, Emoms, amraps etc you get to see how Monty works for different people. In some people he is very loud and very in control, in others much more repressed… But he or she (your choice) is in all of us whether we listen to them or not.

So Monty is the name I gave the voice in my head that wants me to stop, eat something bad, not push so hard on a workout, have a walk on the run when nobody can see me… and what’s more, he’s always there badgering me to take the easy route. The more you listen to Monty the more you become him.

It’s not just the obvious stuff, Monty is clever, he doesn’t want you to know it’s him urging you to not push so hard. He tricks you with little hints like convincing you to take a walk away from your bar to get some chalk, or that extra gulp of water you don’t really need, all buying you time to get your breath back and get away from that uncomfortable place in the workout. I’ve even seen someone purposefully place their water at the other side of the gym so at any chance they can have a long restful walk away from the workout.

Try giving the voice in your head a name, or maybe just a character if that sounds too crazy. It helps me to know when my weaker side is trying to direct me down the easier less fruitful path.


Push Press – 3-3-3-3-3 ascending weight

Strength 2

Dumbel Rows – 15-15-15 each arm ascending weight



50 Pull ups
Run 400m
21 Thrusters 42.5/30k
Run 800m
21 Thrusters 42.5/30k
Run 400m
50 Pull ups


CrossFit Trainers Talk: Movement Patterns

5,000 years ago you would probably have been a much leaner, active and athletic version of yourself without even having stepped in to a gym to achieve it! This is because hunting for your food and building shelter involved learning to move your body effectively when lifting weight, something you aren’t likely to do in a gym. In fact, even non-gym goers just seem to throw themselves in to lifting heavy weights and carrying out exercises with very little knowledge of what they are doing.

The very first of our movements support everything else that we add on top of them so it is important to learn the basics. Despite what people say about CrossFit not being safe, what is worse is doing workouts that your body can’t cope with, therefore putting your bones and muscles under pressure that is likely to lead to damage.

Monday nights 7:30 class after ‘Angie’


Not only does CrossFit improve your fitness in the most intense and natural way possible, it prevents injury by building your muscles up to be able to cope. We believe you should focus on movement patterns when exercising to develop a functionally strong body so our CrossFit workout routine is scaleable to each individual’s ability. Only when you get stronger does the intensity and/or weight involved in the activity increase too.

Don’t be fooled by the speed in which you can get your workout done either, high intensity physical activity is the key but it should always be carried out properly and under the correct supervision so as not to cause injury.

We pack a big workout into a short timeframe by using interval training and weights known to challenge muscles and build fitness. An hour at a normal gym couldn’t get you the same results as our CrossFit sessions because at Blackwater you are encouraged by our CrossFit trainers who are the best in the business, who know your personal limits and who will continue to push them safely and effectively.

At its core, exercise is all about movement so going to the gym and working one muscle group is counterproductive and ineffective, as is rushing an exercise and doing movements incorrectly when lifting weight. Try CrossFit at our gym in Essex, we offer you the chance to see dramatic results in a short amount of time with one on one support from the professionals.



Bench Press – 5-5-5-5-5 – ascending weight – Supersetted with Strict Pull ups max reps

If you don’t have 5 strict pull ups do bar rows or ring rows. Make the standard hard.


For time:

80 Sit ups
60 Swings 24/16k
40 Box Jumps 24/20″
60 Swings
80 Sit ups


50 Band Pulls (focus rear delts)

Become the most awesome version of you.