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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.

CrossFit Blackwater: 4 Reasons Why Push-Ups Make You Awesome!

Personal training
At our CrossFit gym, the term “push-up” can instill an almighty fear in some people, mainly because they aren’t easy to master! Although often associated with warm-ups or as an accessory exercise, push-ups actually have a number of benefits as a functional strength exercise. So here are just a few reasons why you should maybe give push-ups another chance and see them as a great way to enhance your strength and fitness, rather than view them as something to dread…

Increased functional strength due to full body use.

In order to execute a good push-up, you have to use every major muscle group in the body. Your biceps, triceps, anterior deltoids and core muscles all need to be used, meaning it’s a great all-rounder and can benefit you in pretty much every discipline of CrossFit.

They count as cardio too.

When all of your muscle groups are being utilised, your heart has to work harder to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your muscle tissue. It’s up to you when it comes to intensity, but it can be a great cardio exercise as well.

They can improve your posture.

One of the reasons for a poor posture can be due to weak core muscles, which can mean your body is unable to support itself properly when vertical. When doing push-ups, your entire torso is being used to stabilise the body, which simultaneously strengthens those all-important core muscles. By squeezing some push-ups into your CrossFit workout routine, you can fine-tune your postural muscles and subsequently reduce risk of lower back pain.

They may help prevent shoulder injury.

Push-ups are great for strengthening and conditioning the shoulder joint for dynamic movements. This added shoulder training can help when it comes to a variety of exercises that we also cover in our CrossFit classes, including pull-ups and push presses. Push-ups can be particularly effective for those new to exercise.

Maybe it’s time to embrace the humble push-up and reap these great benefits that can be applied across the board. Here at the best gym for classes in Witham, we believe in helping our members to continuously improve their fitness so that they can become a better all-round athlete! Even if you’ve never lifted a weight in your life, we specialise in getting our members from the couch to one of our crossfit classes, where you are able to gradually improve your strength, fitness and confidence until you can achieve things you never would have thought possible! Unlike most CrossFit boxes, there are no tie-ins or contracts; in fact you can come along to one of our free taster CrossFit classes to try it out. Book onto one today or get in touch with us for more information and start your journey into becoming the best version of you.

5 Ways CrossFit Can Change Your Attitude and Even Your Life!

Many people who enter the world of CrossFit emerge feeling better about themselves than ever before. However, the changes you’ll see as a result of joining a gym like ours are not just physical (although they could be considered a bonus!). For many CrossFitters, the greatest transformation takes place in the mind. Here are just a few of the ways you can expect CrossFit to shift your way of thinking and even your outlook on life as a whole.

  1. You’ll walk taller

One of the first things you’ll notice is a marked increase in confidence as the weeks go by. No longer will you be trying to slip beneath the radar at the back of our crossfit classes– you’ll be getting stuck in to your CrossFit training and pushing yourself to reach your goals.

  1. You’ll embrace your body

A lot of people join our CrossFit gym with the aim of toning up and losing a bit of weight. However along the way you’ll find that the focus becomes less on how your body looks and more on what your body can do. Of course, wanting to get toned and lose weight are perfectly good reasons to start but it’s great to see how far you can push yourself; gaining strength and fitness throughout your journey.

  1. You can unleash your inner athlete!

This may sound like a slight exaggeration, however in just a few months you’ll feel more athletic in a whole variety of forms. This may show up in tests of strength and power or endurance and stamina. Some may not be the most coordinated, but excel when it comes to weightlifting. Everyone has their own “niche”, and even the most seemingly un-athletic person will start to shine in certain areas.

  1. You’ll think stronger

Another change, which often comes when you try CrossFit, is dealing with that persistent little voice of doubt. In the beginning, it may seem a little daunting but as our members continue to come along day after day, those faces of fear turn into faces that say, “I can do this!” Not only is this important in the gym, but also in our members’ everyday lives. When you are able to conquer your fears in one aspect of life, you’ll find you can also try and tackle more and more obstacles.

  1. You might even surprise yourself!

It’s very common for new members to quickly discuss their limitations, rather than what they’re great at. However, little by little, you’ll start to see that you actually had a very restricted view of your capabilities, and that you’re able to do far more than you first thought.

Here at CrossFit Blackwater, we believe that our CrossFit programs can alter the perception of yourself and the world around you. If you want to start a new journey by experiencing all of these things and more, why not sign up to one of our free taster classes? Our experienced CrossFit trainers can guide you through each step and movement, whilst answering any questions you may have. We believe that CrossFit truly is for everybody – regardless of their fitness, shape or size. Come along to our premier strength and condition gym in Essex to see what amazing things our sport can do for you.

Sunday's class warm up ready for front squats and "Del"
Sunday’s class warm up ready for front squats and “Del”

CrossFit Blackwater: the Eco-Friendly Way to Get Fit!

CrossFit is different to visiting your regular gym – we believe in a straightforward, minimalist approach to fitness, which focuses on what needs to be done and how to get there. Unlike a lot of your run-of-the-mill gyms in Witham, we don’t believe getting fit should be turned into a pamper session! We’re here so that you can see results and gain your strength and fitness. We also happen to offer a much greener and environmentally friendly way of getting fit (in comparison to a regular gym near here) and here’s why!

Firstly, here at CrossFit Blackwater, you won’t find rows upon rows of electricity-hogging exercise machines. This drastically reduces energy consumption, while freeing up space. The majority of our equipment includes bars and free weights, barbells, kettle bells, boxes and more. Here at Witham’s premier CrossFit gym, there are no buttons to press or dials to turn – we believe that the most important piece of equipment is YOU.

While striving for our fitness goals, we believe it is important to have a sustainable and healthy lifestyle outside of the CrossFit gym too! To see the results you strive for, it is extremely important to eat “real”, healthy foods – whether that is locally-produced or homemade where possible. Eating less sugar and fewer processed foods is something all of us could benefit from!

CrossFit is a fantastic way to begin your journey into a fitter, stronger you, but it can also kick start a healthier and greener approach to your everyday life. Whether that means ditching your car for a bike ride or walk to work, or opting for locally grown vegetables over foods with thousands of air miles attached!

Here at CrossFit Blackwater, we help our members get into the best shape of their lives, while using minimal equipment and energy in the process. If you want to start leading a healthier lifestyle, why not get in touch with one of our CrossFit trainers today and book yourself onto a free taster class? You’ll enjoy it, get a whole lot fitter and even do your bit for the environment by switching from your regular gym. So what are you waiting for? Call or email us today! We look forward to hearing from you!

7 Ways CrossFit Classes Can Make You Happy!

Strong-girls-crossfitblackwater-barAre you fed up of feeling lethargic and lacking in motivation? Do you want to change your body, health and mindset for the better? CrossFit classes provide the perfect opportunity to begin your journey to a better and happier you. Here are 7 of the ways we believe CrossFit can make you happier in your day-to-day life.

  1. You can measure your progress. Unlike running on a treadmill at your regular gym in Essex and feeling like you’re not really getting anywhere (literally!), at our CrossFit gym you can keep track of your PBs, WOD times, or decreases in body fat percentage. There is a fantastic sense of satisfaction knowing you are improving and on your way to achieving your goals.
  1. It translates to everyday life. CrossFit is based on functional movements that we use day to day. Whether it’s picking up your kids or carrying heavy shopping, you’ll notice how everything becomes easier once you start training.
  1. You become a member of a great team. There are no age, weight or fitness requirements at our Witham gym. Our CrossFit trainers are available to anyone who walks through the door with a willingness to work hard and give each workout your all!
  1. The camaraderie. Here at our CrossFit gym in Witham, you’ll be surrounded by people who encourage and inspire you everyday. Unlike regular fitness classes where people tend to keep themselves to themselves, we like to know everyone by name so you’re working out amongst friends. You can’t help but leave our gym with a smile on your face!
  1. It will get you in the best shape of your life. There is no other fitness programme out there that will get you to your goals like CrossFit will!
  1. It’s fun! Sure, it can be challenging at times and test your physical capabilities, but CrossFit keeps you on your toes and is always entertaining!
  1. You are doing something great for yourself. Many of us are so busy with work and family commitments that sometimes we forget we need time for ourselves. Self-care is extremely important and CrossFit can be that one hour of “you” time, to de-stress and get those endorphins flowing. What’s more, you’ll have a great sense of achievement when you leave each session, knowing that you’ve worked your socks off and done something great for you!

So what are you waiting for? Why not sign up for one of our free taster classes to see how great CrossFit is for yourself? Our experienced coaches can guide you through the moves and how to adapt them to suit you; we always ensure that we never make anyone do something they aren’t ready for. Step through the doors of Witham’s premier strength and conditioning gym and you’ll be wishing you joined earlier!

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.

CrossFit – Try Something New Next Year!

Now that 2016 is approaching, people are thinking up a new year’s resolution that they are adamant to accomplish; most of them revolve around losing the few extra pounds gained over the course of the Christmas period!

Thousands of gym memberships are purchased at the start of each year with the ambition to become a fitness fanatic and get that perfect beach body for the summer, but how long do these memberships last? A month? Maybe three?

Some people stick to it; others just sigh and say that fitness is not for them. Lack of motivation is one of the key reasons why people stop working out, not because fitness doesn’t agree – it’s a lifestyle, not a food allergy!

Gym Motivation – Level Zero

At your average gym in witham, as a beginner, getting motivated for a workout can be just as challenging as the workout itself (unless you’re a die-hard-fitness fan of course!)

If you are new to the world of fitness, going to the gym can also be a daunting experience. It’s quite overwhelming entering a room full of machines that you have no idea how to use but are too embarrassed to ask. Yet when you’ve finally figured out what’s what, you find that you’re not making any progress. Just because you don’t know how to do something , it shouldn’t be completely avoided!

CrossFit Motivation – Level Hero

This is where CrossFit comes in; you can’t help but get motivated! No knowledge of fitness is required to join – literally anyone can come along! It’s a group workout, so you help to motivate each other with professional and qualified CrossFit trainers giving you one-on-one support throughout. If you’re unsure how to do something, our coaches are on hand to assist you.

There is no need to go every day; two or three sessions a week will be more than enough to start seeing visible results. At our CrossFit gym, exercises can be tailored to meet each individual’s level of fitness, which pushes you further than you would do alone.

More importantly, CrossFit is fun – the most effective motivation factor of them all. People who don’t work out tend to use the reason that they find the gym boring. We ensure that with our CrossFit sessions this simply cannot be the case; everyone who has attended CrossFit Blackwater will agree!

So when it comes to making your New Year’s resolution, consider CrossFit as a great way to get in shape for 2016! If you’re still undecided, come along to one of our free introductory sessions!

Strength

Bench Press – 3-3-3-3-3 – Going heavy today. 5 sets linear progression. Use 2-3 sets to warm up.

Strength 2

50 Strict Chest to bar pull ups for time – Scale to chin over or ring rows

Conditioning

21-15-9

Box Jump overs 24″
Ring Dips

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

Our Witham Gym talks CrossFit

What is CrossFit like for beginners?

The technical definition of CrossFit is “constantly varied, functional movements at high intensity.”

It is a technique used by elite athletes and the military so why should you, as a beginner, consider coming to our gym in Witham, Essex?

CrossFit is designed to prepare you for everything and anything – this could be swinging your child around or carrying heavy shopping from a collection point to the boot of your car – all pretty much day to day stuff!

Whilst your high level athletes do use CrossFit to condition their bodies you cannot forget what CrossFit is all about… a technique that is entirely scalable so it suits everyone from a new mother to an Olympic athlete. They can even work out next to each other doing the same exercise because we can scale the weight and repetitions to suit them whilst the programs themselves stay the same.

We know CrossFit has a reputation for being difficult and intense and something well out of the reach of a novice but that is simply not true. Our Essex gym benefits from two instructors who understand how CrossFit works and have been part of the CrossFit family for years, competing in the world championships whilst gaining an understanding for the body so they know what you should and should not be doing. We can promise you that when you join our gym in Witham you will meet some of the friendliest, most genuine people you have even had the pleasure of meeting that work together as a team, building the feeling of camaraderie that most of us have lost since we left school.

We strive to give adults a new way to socialize, get fit and learn in a positive environment where you bond with others and actually have fun!

Our instructors will show you how to safely carry out each and every exercise and how to prepare your body for any challenges you wish to set yourself.

But wait a second… before you glug down that CrossFit Kool-aid, there are a few things to consider.

What are you hoping to achieve?

Determine what your goals are; have you just moved to the Witham/Maldon area and you are hoping to make friends? Do you want to get fitter? Lose weight?

Do your research.

Before you go to a CrossFit gym you really must ask what the credentials of the instructors are… look for somewhere that has years experience, not months.

Try it out!

Go along for a taster session and see what you think. We can promise you that when you visit us you will get bitten by the bug!

So if you live or work in Maldon, Braintree or Witham and are looking for a new challenge, please get in touch to find out how CrossFit will change your life for the better!

Strength

Bench Press 10-10-10-10-10-10

Supersetted with

Dumbel Rows 15-15-15-15-15-15

Do one arm after each set of bench, left, right, left etc…..

Conditioning EMOM 10

10 Burpee box jumps

rest 2 minutes

Conditioning 2

3 rounds for time:

20 Wall balls
20 Pull Ups