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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: 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!

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 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

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.

Strength

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

Supersetted with

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

Conditioning

15-10-5 reps:

Shoulder to overhead 85/45k
Muscle ups

Scaled

15-10-5 reps:

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

Finisher

Band pulls and band presses (light high reps)

 

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.

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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.

 

Strength

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.

Conditioning

For time:

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

Finisher

50 Band Pulls (focus rear delts)

5 Reasons Why You Should Join a CrossFit Gym in Essex

5 Reasons Why You Should Join a CrossFit Gym in Essex

There’s a common misunderstanding among most gym goers that CrossFit is ineffective, unsafe and should be left well alone; but that is where you are completely wrong. If you really knew what CrossFit was about you’d understand that it is incredibly rewarding and gives you the confidence to perform activities you never thought were possible. Here are a number of reasons why you should join our gym in Essex and start training today:

  1. Even though CrossFit is considered an intensive sport, intensity is relative to your own physical and psychological limitations. Many individuals are of the understanding that you need to be in good shape before you start training, but once again that is not the case and I’m afraid you have been ill informed. Studies have in fact proven that short, sharp exercises are actually better for you and should not be daunting.

 

  1. Unlike many fitness programs, you are able to see the results early on in your training regime and it’s this measurable data which drives you on to improve further. There is no hiding away from your weaknesses when training at our gym. Working in harmony with our trainers, you are able to quickly discover what they are, attack them head on and become a better all-round athlete as a result. In most cases, the more unfit you are to begin with, the more you’ll be amazed by the initial results and your progress. Here at CrossFit Blackwater, we suggest training two or three times a week, that’s all!

 

  1. Previously, I mentioned that many gym goers believe that CrossFit workouts are dangerous and the intensity at which people exercise is enough to leave you in a heap on the floor! Well, firstly I’ll point out that is where you are wrong! CrossFit allows you to train multiple metabolic systems (opposed to just one like in most sports) and you we are able to preserve your muscle mass, toughen your bones and support your joints. Coupled with a nutritional diet, you will feel better about yourself, perform to a higher standard and give yourself extra energy, even as you get older!

 

  1. One thing most people don’t realise is that it’s not all about fitness; CrossFit is also very community focused. Understandably, you may feel slightly intimidated at first, but you’ll quickly start to realise how supportive we all are here at CrossFit Blackwater. Each of our incredibly experienced CrossFit trainers make a point of knowing everyone by their name and their ultimate goal as it’s this relationship which makes training here fun and enjoyable. You’ll never have to work out alone again!

 

  1. Last but not least, our gym in Essex offers you something no other gym can offer: at CrossFit Blackwater you have the chance to learn from and train beside the very best in Europe, Scott Jenkins. I mean need I go on? The only way you are ever going to know how rewarding CrossFit is, is by signing up to Witham’s premier CrossFit gym and trying it for yourself!

 

 

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Jeff & Pete seeing who can wear the most CrossFit gear during Mondays Push Press

Strength

Deadlifts – 5-5-5-5-5 – Linear progression

Conditioning

5 minute amrap:

10 Deadlifts 80/50k
10 Bar Hop Burpees

rest 2 mins

5 minute amrap:

10 Wall Balls
10 Abmat Sit ups

Finisher

Tabata Core Holds