Tag Archives: Scott Jenkins

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.