Tag Archives: CrossFit

Scott Jenkins – Eating for Performance

Eating for Performance

I get asked a lot what I eat, how much and how often. To answer this properly I decided to blog a day of my eating to give you an idea of how clean, how many calories and what I need to keep me going during my training for The CrossFit Games.

Breakfast

I need to eat as soon as I wake up – before I can speak to be honest. Nothing comes out of my mouth until something goes in. Today I started with oats, chopped banana and walnuts. This is my usual breakfast on weekdays. On weekends it’s more likely to be eggs and bacon on toast.

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Most mornings I coach before doing my training so I hit up an extra bit of protein (and fat I am told) with a couple of eggs. If I coach at 10am and then train until 1pm it’s a long time to go without food so I try and get two breakfasts.

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Post training

Kindly donated to my daily food today was a box of chilli meat (I didn’t ask what animal) and some broad beans and peas. I have this about half an hour after training, once my stomach has settled from the gruelling met con – eat too soon and bad things can happen!

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This is my all day box. Chicken, broccoli, rice with pesto sauce. I have a munch on this sporadically throughout the day and evening, just a couple of forkfuls at a time. I hope forkfuls is a word…

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Dinner time

About 6pm, before doing my evenings coaching, it’s time for the cooked dinner. This varies depending on what I am given. Todays dinner looks much prettier than usual.  I told Jen I was taking pictures so for the first time ever it’s all laid out neatly on my plate :).

Supplementation

O3

Not to forget my BCAAs and Omega 3s. I’ve really noticed the effect on my recovery and knee soreness since supplementing with these. They allow me to go really hard every single session and be ready to smash another workout the next day.

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I’m a big believer in not bulling anyone. Nothing beats a nice cold Kestrel super to relax and chill with after a night of coaching.

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.

Mental Health Awareness Week: The Benefits of CrossFit

We all know there are multiple physical benefits that come with regular exercise: it improves your cardiac health, mobility and longevity. However, it’s also been proven to have significant benefits as a treatment for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, which is pretty amazing as far as we’re concerned! No matter what age you are or what your best fitness level is, everybody can use exercise as a powerful tool to feel better about themselves.

Regular exercise is a great way to improve or maintain your current state of mental health as it helps to boost your mood and energy levels, reduce stress and tension, as well as improve emotions and sleep patterns. CrossFit in particular promotes all sorts of changes in the brain, including neural growth and new activity patterns, which gives off feeling of calmness and wellbeing. It also releases endorphins; chemicals that energise you and make you feel great.

Maintaining a regular exercise schedule is also an effective way to provide a routine and a sense of control over your free time. Group exercise has been shown to be particularly beneficial, as it introduces a strong social element to getting fit and feeling great. Here at CrossFit Blackwater, we believe our sense of community is what makes being a member of our gym in Witham so amazing. Making friends with people who will cheer you on along the way is a great confidence booster and means you’ve always got someone to talk to. Fitness builds communities and gives a shared sense of achievement; here at CrossFit Blackwater it’s no different!

We love seeing our members challenge themselves through learning new skills, techniques and movements, which help to create a real sense of achievement and motivation towards reaching overall goals. If you’d like to try CrossFit for yourself, why not book yourself onto one of our free taster classes and witness it first hand? It’s great to see new members come through our doors each week and see them make the changes they need to their lifestyle, so that they can feel great about themselves once more. For more information just give us a call or drop us an email. We hope to see you soon!

You Don’t Have to Be Fit to Start CrossFit!

Many people who have never given CrossFit a go before tend to think of it is an “elite” club for people who are already extremely fit and strong, however here at CrossFit Blackwater that couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, we specialise in taking people who have never worked out in their life to becoming stronger, fitter and healthier individuals!

CrossFit is designed for everyone – from beginners who have little to no fitness whatsoever, to those who are already active and are looking to challenge themselves or try something new. One of the reasons why CrossFit is loved by so many people is because it can cater to everyone’s needs. Its programming is unique in the way it can be scaled and the classes can be completed by anyone willing to give it a good go! Here at our Witham gym, our coaches are committed to helping all of our members nail the basics and perfect their movement and technique before moving onto anything more challenging.

What to expect at your first CrossFit class?

In our free taster classes we offer an introduction into a range of key movements and run through these to ensure you have the right technique before moving onto normal sessions. You’ll also take part in a short workout (WOD) to get your heart rate pumping.

CrossFit is extremely “scalable”, which means it’s completely up to you how hard you want to push yourself, which is usually dependent on your current fitness level. With a little hard work and commitment you will undoubtedly notice rapid improvements week by week and feel great about yourself inside and out.

What makes CrossFit different to other sports?

Our community here at CrossFit Blackwater will soon become your friends and cheerleaders as you continue on your fitness journey! You will always be supported by our professional CrossFit coaches and members – something you don’t often find at regular gyms in Witham.

Why will you love it?

CrossFit gives an amazing sense of achievement, whether it’s your first pull-up, box jump or squat. Coupled with our CrossFit workout routines, a healthy lifestyle will result in a much improved physique as well as a fitter, faster and stronger you! Not to mention you’ll feel noticeably happier and more confident in yourself.

As well as all of this, we have a lot of fun as we do it! Why not try CrossFit out for yourself and book your place onto one of our free taster classes? Give it a go and, you never know, it could change your life for the better.

box jumps or step ups

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.

CrossFit Blackwater: Why CrossFit is Great for Runners!

CrossFit can benefit everybody. Regardless of your shape, size, age or fitness ability, it’s all about basic exercises involving body resistance, aerobics, weight lifting and other high-intensity movements. However it has proven to be particularly beneficial for those who have a fondness of running – and here’s why!

Running is a great way of keeping fit, however the repetitive movement, which uses mostly your legs, can cause the rest of your body to become unbalanced. Running as your only form of exercise can also lead to workout “plateaus”, meaning runners have to run harder and faster each time to maintain their level of fitness.

One of the great benefits of CrossFit is that it uses your whole body rather than isolated muscle groups, which strengthens important areas needed to make you a better runner. Our CrossFit workouts train both your fast-twitch muscles (used for sprinting) and slow-twitch muscles (used for long distance running). Further to this, working your whole body will help you to lose body fat, which can improve endurance and speed. It also ensures you remain in proper form, preventing any injuries during your runs.

If running is your main focus, you can use CrossFit as a supplement and do it as and when it fits in with your schedule – maybe two or three times a week. When you aren’t training you can increase your sessions as and when you please.

Here at CrossFit Blackwater in Witham, we love welcoming new members through our doors and adapting our CrossFit workout routines to suit a whole range of people. Once the basic movements are under your belt, our coaches will help you to focus on what’s most important to you, so that you can start reaching your goals straight away.

Whatever sports you enjoy, or even if you have never been a lover of exercise, at our gym in Essex you can start your journey into becoming fitter, stronger and feeling generally great about yourself and your body. If you’d like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with CrossFit coaches for more information or book yourself onto one of our free taster classes to jump straight in!

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”

Mind Over Matter: 3 Ways to Get the Most From Your CrossFit Training

Sweat AngelAs any fitness enthusiast will tell you – sport is just as much about your state of mind as it is about your physical fitness. It’s important to have a positive and determined outlook when it comes to CrossFit, so that you can reach your goals and not lose motivation along the way. Here are some strategies to keep in mind to make your workouts more effective for you, regardless of your shape, size and goals. When you learn how to push your body to its maximum potential, that’s when you’ll see the greatest results.

  1. The mind leads the body

If you’re a regular gym goer, it can be hard to push yourself beyond your perceived limits. For example, when running on a treadmill, it’s easy to quickly misinterpret your boredom as tiredness and stop as a result. The problem with pushing yourself only so far is that you will stop seeing results in your body. When your mind and body become accustomed to a particular workload, they will stop making considerable progress. CrossFit is a fantastic way of realising that your body can actually do far more! You’ll be amazed at what you are actually capable of.

  1. Don’t fear failure

When weightlifting, there will come a time when lifting a challenging load will prove a struggle and you may even fail completely (to begin with!) This may push you out of your comfort zone but that’s a good thing! It’s vital to step outside of what you’re comfortable with – so instead of lifting weights you know you can handle all the time, try that bigger dumbbell next time you take part in one of our CrossFit classes and strive to get better every time you walk into the gym. Failing is a way of overcoming fear and doubt – once the fear of heavier weights is eliminated, you can carry on with your pursuit in smashing personal records. Nobody will judge you for failing here at our gym in Essex – in fact we will encourage  you and cheer you on every step of the way to reaching your goals.

  1. Switch your weakness to strength

In your regular gym Essex, it is likely most people spend their time working on their favourite muscle groups or doing their preferred exercises. However by only working on specific parts of your body, eventually your body composition will stop changing and come to a halt. By exclusively training just a few body parts, you can make your physique unbalanced and more prone to injury, while your fitness will not be at its best. To be healthy, it’s important to be well-rounded – this is what CrossFit is all about. Everyone has a weakness, but to be successful in the gym, it’s essential to overcome these. When working on new movements, you exert muscles in new ways, which stimulates growth. By constantly challenging yourself you can see amazing results!

So why not come and try CrossFit and see for yourself why we’re Witham’s premier strength and conditioning gym? Book yourself onto one of our free taster classes here at CrossFit Blackwater and challenge yourself to becoming the very best, most awesome version of yourself!

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!

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