Tag Archives: CrossFit gym in Essex

Scott Jenkins talks CrossFit Games Part 2

In the second part of my catchup with Scott Jenkins ahead of his trip out to Carson we talk about his training regime, diet and tips for getting ahead as a masters athlete. (read part 1)

Scott, you mentioned last time that you now work full time at your affiliate, CrossFit Blackwater in Essex.  How does your day look now?

I’ll walk you through my day yesterday…

I had two breakfasts.

Two breakfasts? Is that normal?
No.  I have my longest training session on a Monday and I also had a class to coach before I trained, so I like to get a lot of food in me early!

The first time I did a 3 hour session I felt spent before the end of it and ended up sandbagging the last met con because I was physically tired and unused to the long sessions.  When I was still working in London and doing long hours I only had time for 1 hour sessions so my body was accustomed to 1 hour sessions.

So yesterday I did a 44 minute warmup: preconditioning, stretching, mobilising, empty bar drills.

44 minutes?  That’s nearly as long as most people’s training sessions?
Well I can afford the time at the moment – and I do faff around with the music so it’s not all pure warmup.

Afterwards, a 10 minute snatch EMOM.  I’m working on consistency with my olympic lifts – yesterday I only dropped one so it was a good day.

Then snatch grip deadlifts, back squats, some metabolic conditioning including running, muscle ups and toes to bar and finishing with an EMOM of muscle ups and toes to bar.

What do you do after training?
Scott after hitting hero WOD Glen at CrossFit Blackwater

I should stretch – sometimes I don’t.  I get easily distracted by conversation.  I’m always 100% focussed on my training but today I got chatting with somebody outside the box.  Business comes before stretching sometimes!

I go home in the afternoon for a bit of downtime and a nap before I return to coach 2-3 hours of classes in the evening.

This time of year is brilliant because Springwatch is on TV – my favourite programme.  I get to see how the blue tits are doing.  Sadly no sticklebacks this year – Spineless Si was my favourite Springwatch character ever!

I don’t think many people would have you down as a nature lover?
I can name every British bird.  Not in order – you’d have to show me a picture.  Hopefully there’ll be 5 rounds for time at the Games – 20 pistols OR name these 5 British birds!  That would be brilliant… Or a muscle up then recognise the bird call.

Tell me about your diet?

I’ve been told that my diet is pretty good.  I do make the mistake sometimes of telling my members at CrossFit Blackwater that I eat pretty much what I want – which is the truth.  But mostly what I want is a lot of MEAT!

I do have the occasional french bread sandwich with cheese, tomato and onion.  I don’t have it every day but if there is a french loaf in the house I can’t resist.

O3So you eat pretty clean – what about supplements?
Omega 3 at the moment.  I’ve started to take it consistently over the last 3 months and have really noticed a difference.  I have trouble with my knees – they get sore very easily but I’m able to squat twice a week now.  I still get discomfort but it’s manageable.

BCAA’s.  I didn’t believe in them but I was doing these really long training sessions and struggling to recover.  Since I’ve been taking them I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my recovery.  I’ve been taking them since the Open and I’ve definitely moved forwards.

You mentioned last time that you are following Ben Bergeron’s CompTrain programming.  Why are you using somebody else’s programming when you do the programming yourself for CrossFit Blackwater athletes?

I programme the stuff I like too much for myself.  Whenever I’m in a bad mood or feel like I need a treat I programme muscle ups or handstand pushups or toes to bar or bar cycling.  I love a bit of bar cycling…

I like to wake up and have something to follow that makes me address all areas.  I’d been looking at Ben’s programming for quite a while before I got on board and it’s one of the only programming systems that I fully trust.  Ben has been around in CrossFit for a long time – he’s done wonders with Katrin Davidsdottir.  Since she moved over to him last year she seems to have a new fire.  A lot of Ben’s philosophy is about mental mindset.  That is an enormous part of CrossFit.

What do you think your mental game is like?
At the moment it’s good.  I’m prone to a tantrum but I’m getting better at focussing it into my training now.  Injuries and niggles are the things that can really wind me up and put me off my game.

What advice would you give to people training away in their boxes, working hard and comparing themselves to elite athletes?

Train for quality.

Especially as a master – there is only so much wear and tear our bodies can endure.  Everything needs to be for a reason.

When you leave the box ask yourself “Did my training today make me better?”  If not you’re doing something wrong.  If you are going into the gym and beasting yourself at the same things over and over again you may improve your engine a little but you won’t be getting better as a CrossFit athlete.

Work on your strength base – don’t constantly max and test lifts.

Practice skills outside of timed WODs – EMOM work is great for gymnastic skills.

Don’t do three half hearted met-cons – do one, but do it right.  Get intensity into your training over volume.

Technique above all else.  Everybody is different but success and progress at all levels depends on establishing a solid base of strength and technique.

Scott at the CrossFit Games 2015Thanks Scott for taking the time out of your day to chat with me.  I know I can speak for all the guys at CrossFit Blackwater when I wish you the very best of luck out in Carson.  We’ve all seen how hard you train and are looking forward to seeing you attacking the Games workouts in 2 weeks time!

(Read part 1 of the interview if you missed it)

Scott Jenkins talks CrossFit Games 2016

Scott gamesCrossFit Blackwater athlete and head coach, Scott Jenkins has qualified for the CrossFit Games 2016 for the second year running in the Masters 45-49 category.

Ahead of his trip to Carson I caught up with him to ask him a few questions about his preparation for this year’s competition.

Scott, we haven’t seen you at any of the UK or European competitions this year – what have your goals been this year?
I have taken a step away from other competitions and have focussed all my efforts on making the return trip to Carson.

My goals this year were:
1)  Get back to the Games
2)  Win an event
3)  Get on the podium
4)  Win!

Of course I want to win it!  It’s going to be tough – Bill Grundler is still the guy to beat in my mind.

So what’s the plan at the Games this year?
Last year I was thrilled to qualify for the Games.  I had been trying for 7 years to get there and I felt that I’d achieved my goal just by going.  The first couple of events out in Carson weren’t great for me and I ended up in 18th after two events with a fight on my hands just to make it into the final.

 

Scott 2015 gamesThis year I mean it to be different.  I feel like I’ve earnt my place and I want to go out there and scare a few people!  If the programming goes my way I don’t see why I can’t be a podium contender.  If there are a lot of one rep maxes and a pistol marathon – maybe not.

How do you think you stack up against the big names in your category – Bill Grundler for example?
I think the odds are slightly in his favour.  My engine is better this year so I think I can challenge him on the met con type workouts. My problem is the strength wods – I lose a lot of ground on those workouts whereas Bill does consistently well across all the board – he nearly always finishes in the top 5 across all events.

I’ve been working hard over the last 3 months – my training plan includes 3 days a week of heavy olympic lifting.  I am working really hard on my weaknesses – I am getting better – maybe not at the pace to get top 5 at the games in those events but if I can squeeze into the top 10 it won’t have such a profound effect on my overall rankings.

So is there anything you’ll do differently this year with the benefit of last year’s Games experience to draw on?
I made a lot of rookie mistakes at the Games last year.  I took my top off too much!  Got sweat all over my equipment and made some movements even harder than they were already.

You have no idea how much you sweat out there – especially in the tennis stadium.  It’s like being in a sauna – the air burns your lungs.

How do you prepare for that – you’re based at your CrossFit gym in Witham, Essex with the variable British weather and then suddenly you have to transplant yourself into California and make your body perform optimally?
Fortunately we have a glass roof in the box at CrossFit Blackwater.  When it’s sunny I train directly underneath it.  I put the rower outside when it’s sunny.  It’s not the same as California but I do everything I can!

What’s different to last year in Scott world?
Now I don’t have two jobs.  Last year I did an eight hour day in an office in London, commuted 3 hours a day and then coached 2-3 hours most evenings.  So I have more time for training and recovery.

I’m on a special masters programme – Ben Bergeron’s CompTrain.  I train 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week.

I feel fitter.  I’m a little bit stronger – it’s hard to get stronger when you’re really old!  Now it’s more about fighting against losing strength.  But I can and have got fitter.

Tell me about injury – how do you balance the need to train enough and keeping the volume to a level that doesn’t cause injury?
I trained so safely last year because I was so nervous about getting injured.  This year I’m training sensibly but I’m pushing the intensity as much as I can.

I have a strain in my supraspinatus at the moment so I’m working around that.  I have to be careful with muscle ups and snatching.

Do you think the Masters are sidelined by CrossFit?  You’re scheduled before the main individuals events, there are no offsite workouts – do you think you are treated as a lesser category?
Not at all!  There’s not as much interest in the Masters – we don’t draw the big crowds.  CrossFit HQ provide us with the same warmup facilities, same soft tissue therapists – we are in the same stadiums…  I think we are very well looked after!

Spectators want to see athletes doing superhuman things.  Although the stuff we do as masters is amazing for our age, it doesn’t make as good viewing as the individuals with their superhuman feats!  That’s why the big sponsorship and attention is on the individuals competition.

The way the Games is programmed is perfect.  It means I get to do my bit and then sit back, relax and watch the individuals and enjoy the rest of my trip.

Masters 45-49 1015

What’s the vibe with the other guys out in Carson – super competitive or friendly?
It’s pretty friendly and there’s lots of banter.  But inside we are all competitive beasts!  It doesn’t matter how friendly we are – we all want to beat each other like nothing on earth.  Most of the guys have competitive experience from other sports so there’s a lot going on under the surface.

Who have you got rooting for you at the Games this year?
All the guys at CrossFit Blackwater, my CrossFit gym in Essex, are really supportive – I know last year they were all catching up on the action when they woke up in the morning. The time difference means that a lot of the events happen late at night real time in the UK.  One of the guys said that he woke up his neighbours yelling at the live feed when I came really close to winning the third event SQT last year!!

Read part two of Scott’s interview.

Top 5 CrossFit Myths Debunked!

There are some common misconceptions about CrossFit, which can unfortunately make some people reluctant to give it a go. Here at CrossFit gym in Essex, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to feel great about themselves whilst improving their strength and fitness, without being put off by stories that are often untrue. So here are the top five CrossFit myths – debunked!

MYTH #1 If you’re a woman, you’ll start to look bulky

This is a common misconception about any form of weight training, and it’s simply not true. Whether you want to lose weight, tone up or look strong and muscly, CrossFit can help you look any way you want to! You are in control of how much weight you lift and how you coordinate this with diet and your efforts outside of the gym. Our experienced coaches are always on hand to speak about the best course of action for you to take to achieve your goals.

MYTH #2 CrossFit is only for youngsters

Again, this is simply not the case! Here at CrossFit Blackwater, we welcome people of all ages, and understand that each individual has different abilities and goals. We don’t believe age should ever hold anyone back from giving CrossFit a go!

MYTH #3 CrossFit is an exclusive club

We love welcoming all of our new members through our doors, whatever fitness ability, age, shape or size. By having an interest in improving your strength and fitness, you already have something in common with all of our members here at Crossfit Blackwater.

MYTH #4 You’ll work out until you pass out!

The bottom line is – how far you push your body is entirely up to you. Nobody will ever force you to do something you aren’t comfortable with.

MYTH #5 The coaches aren’t concerned with your safety

This is definitely not the case here at CrossFit Blackwater! In fact, your safety is our CrossFit coaches’ number one priority and why we dedicate our time to guiding you through all of the moves. We will take you through each CrossFit workout routine step by step and show you how to adapt them to each individual, thus preventing any injury along the way.

Now that we’ve busted a few common myths about CrossFit, why not come along and try CrossFit out for yourself? Not only will you start to feel great about yourself but you may also start to see results quicker than you think. Get in touch today to book your spot on our free taster class and start becoming the most awesome version of you!

SNATCH:

Muscle snatch 5×5

Power snatch 5×3

Snatch 5×1

Front squat 4×5
or, if you squatted Tuesday and Wednesday
BTN push press 4×5

Accessory:
3 rounds untimed:
12 ring rows
12 strict t2b/leg raises

5 Reasons To Try CrossFit

CrossFit classes offer a whole range of health and fitness benefits which come with time, training and dedication. However, there are many other reasons for joining our Witham gym in particular. Here are just some of the reasons why you’ll feel great about yourself here at our CrossFit gym in Essex.

Post New Years Day WOD photo!
Post New Year’s Day WOD photo!
  1. A sense of community

When you go to your local, regular gym for a workout, you’ll most likely go through the motions, moving from machine to machine. At CrossFit, there’s much more of a community feel. This means no buttons and dials and no isolation! Instead, exercises in our Witham gym are done in group workouts under the supervision of your coach or personal trainer. This encourages everyone to really push through boundaries and make the progress they’ve always wanted to whilst making some great friends along the way!

  1. There’s never a dull day!

Going to your regular gym in Essex and doing the same routine each time may seem okay for a while, but it can soon get repetitive and tedious, which can quickly lead to a lack of motivation. One thing we can guarantee is that CrossFit is never boring! You do a totally different WOD each time, and there aren’t the endless rows of machines to routinely hop on and off. Each workout is engaged and requires focus and attention. This means you’re always going to be giving it your all.

  1. A confidence booster

CrossFit can be a very empowering experience for anyone looking to get into shape. While you’re physically altering your body through building muscle and increasing overall fitness, you’ll also feel stronger, healthier and capable of anything – both mentally and physically. This can translate to daily challenges in your everyday life, meaning “I’m not sure” can soon transform into “I can do this!”

  1. It’s affordable

There is no need to worry about costs here at CrossFit Blackwater. Unlike most gyms, there are no obligations or contracts. We operate a month to month gym membership which means that if you want to take a break or start going more or less frequently, all you need to do is let us know. What’s more, our workouts don’t rely on expensive equipment, so you can do your WODs in your own home too.

  1. Becoming a better version of you!

Last, but by no means least, you will feel great about yourself. While you build strength and fitness, which can help in every aspect of your life, psychologically you will also be constantly learning and improving. There may be struggles and hurdles along the way, but you will certainly gain perseverance and self-assurance, meaning you can be the best version of yourself in your everyday life.

If all of these things appeal to you, then why not try CrossFit and experience it for yourself? We love welcoming new members to our CrossFit gym in Essex, so don’t hesitate to sign on to one of our free taster classes and gain all of these benefits and more. You won’t regret it!

 

Our CrossFit Gym Explains Why Burpees Beat Beer!

Many of you will already be aware of the new guidelines on alcohol intake, it has now been suggested by the government that a male should drink no more than seven pints of beer a week (fourteen units of alcohol) – the same as the maximum limit for women.

Whilst many of us already know that excessive drinking is potentially detrimental to your health, at CrossFit Blackwater we wanted to talk about the topic further for those who might need a bit of persuading when it comes to choosing exercise over that extra beer!

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional pint, or the odd glass of Merlot but why binge over the weekend when you can find a local gym and join in with our CrossFit workout programs?

Our loyal members will confirm that working out definitely has its benefits, especially at our CrossFit gym in Essex! Our experienced coaches run classes that are catered to the individual, in a fun and friendly training environment.

So why choose our box over booze?

  1. Your general fitness and physique will improve – providing that you try and workout a few times a week, we can guarantee that you will start to see results. That ‘beer belly’ which once got in the way will soon flatten and you’ll start to feel more confident in yourself!
  2. As you get healthier, so will your bank account – a monthly membership at our gym costs roughly the same amount as a drinking session at the weekend. When most people have a couple of nights out a month, we don’t need to tell you what provides better value for money not to mention better for your health!
  3. The mind is happier – Numerous studies have proven that exercise has a drastic impact on a person’s mental health. However, many people will still decide to drink their sorrows away, which has got to be the worst sort of therapy as you will no doubt feel dreadful the next day.
  4. The aftermath – Our CrossFit classes my result in a tight hamstring here or there but we think a handstand pushup definitely beats a hangover!

So if you’re feeling down and despondent about that bit of extra weight or the beginnings of a beer belly, why not try CrossFit? We’re welcoming new members through our door each and every day and would love to meet a few more.

For more information and advice, get in touch today.

Tracking Your Progress At Our CrossFit Gym In Essex

There are a variety of reasons why CrossFit has proved to be such a successful strength and conditioning programme. From workout intensity to training with professional coaches and the group class setting, these are just a few of the reasons why we see such fantastic progress in our box every day.

In order for you to improve you have to be aware of how well you’re progressing, so it is important to keep track of your workouts one way or another. This may mean simply writing down workout plans in a notebook but keeping track of any personal bests is a sure fire way to see whether your fitness levels are rising.

Flipping back a few pages to see how much you’ve advanced is quite a confidence booster and we guarantee you’ll start seeing results quicker than you would at any other local gym or fitness club.

One item everyone takes everywhere with them these days is their mobile phone. If you feel a pen and paper might be too fiddly or may get lost during CrossFit training, there are also lots of great apps where you are able to build workouts, calendar logs, use timers and see comprehensive overviews of your fitness, with charts on your strengths and weaknesses. These apps are often more efficient and are a really simple way of tracking your progress and highlighting areas you could improve upon.

Our coach Scott has logged every single workout since he started training for CrossFit in 2008 on the CrossFit message board, his thread is titled, “A Bear’s Tale”. His posts now exceed 16,500!

Our CrossFit trainers are always on hand to help during training sessions, they’ll be able to tell you what you’re doing well and what could use a little improvement. They know your individual goals and are committed to helping you achieve them.

All of us have a competitive side that pushes us to lift that little bit more and train that little bit harder. Our CrossFit classes in Essex offer the perfect environment to do this under the supervision of professionals enabling you to become the best version of you!

If you’re not a member yet, what are you waiting for? Come and try Witham’s premier CrossFit gym for yourself!

Strength

Deadlifts – 5-5-5-5-5 linear progresssion

Conditioning

EMOM 8:

Odd: Run 200m
Even: 5 C2B Pull ups, 7 Push ups, 9 Box Jumps

rest 2 mins

EMOM 8:

Odd: Run 200m
Even: 5 C2B Pull ups, 7 Push ups, 9 Box Jumps

Finisher

Tabata Plank – If you are able do the whole 4 minutes

Have a CrossFit Christmas! Top Tips To Stay On Track…

Christmas is a time for family, friends, food and fun! While of course you want to enjoy yourself, it’s important not to lose sight of your goals or hinder the great progress you’ve already made at CrossFit Blackwater.

The festive period will inevitably impact on your normal eating and exercise plan, so here are some tips on how to enjoy the holidays and keep on top of your fitness regime.

Continue reading Have a CrossFit Christmas! Top Tips To Stay On Track…

Our CrossFit Trainers Talk: The Nutritional Needs Of A CrossFitter

Nutrition is not about following a diet, it’s about maintaining a lifestyle so that you can support your body and give it what it needs when regularly taking part in intense CrossFit programs.

Finding a happy medium is the key to helping you get the best results, so for us to tell you never to eat chocolate again would not only be an unrealistic goal to set but it would also be pretty mean!

Continue reading Our CrossFit Trainers Talk: The Nutritional Needs Of A CrossFitter