Getting back in the game

If you’re a regular reader, then you probably already know what this post is about. Yup! It was my first day back at CrossFit! While it was a rocky start as I struggled to wake up and had to take my coffee to go. It needed up being a great first session back.

I didn’t go too heavy or too fast. It felt just right.

With an empty barbell

  • 5 high hang power-cleans
  • 5 hang power-cleans
  • 5 power-cleans

For 10 minutes start off light and gradually get to a mid to heavy weight.

  • 3 power-cleans

Then for the workout… For time (15 minutes) three rounds of…

  • 10 ground to overhead (GTOH)
  • 200 metre run

In the remaining time use any cardio equipment (run, row, bike).

For the GTOH, I kept it light (empty 20kg barbell) and went with snatches. I was able to go unbroken for the first two rounds, and on the last round I did two lots of fives. The runs were pretty consistent, and I paced myself really well. I can’t remember my time for the first part but it was definitely under ten minutes.

For the final part, I chose a rowing machine as it’s my favourite cardio machine. I stayed under 1,000 cal/hr which I don’t normally do. However, I haven’t been working for over three months and my body wouldn’t have managed a steady pace at anything over 1,000 cal/hr.

Before we went into this lockdown, my cal/hr was very close to the 2,000 mark, which I was really impressed by. Hopefully, I can get back to that level of fitness in a month or so.

Picture of me deadlifting a 65kg barbell. Going into a power-clean.

CrossFit Open 2021 – I will not be competing this year

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I’m usually very excited to compete at the CrossFit open, and it’s always fun to get involved with the community. I love seeing where I rank each year compared to the previous, and I love cheering people on or being cheered on by others.

The CrossFit open is heaps of fun, and on a normal year, I would 100% recommend it. However, this year is no normal year, and the past year has been far from normal, too. For most of the past 12 months, I have spent my time indoors and not working out. I tried to do workouts at home, but I’ve concluded that it isn’t for me.

I would much rather work out in a CrossFit gym, and because of this, my fitness has been lacking. Also, this isn’t the only reason. Another reason is that the competition will be done at home. There is a choice of home workouts and gym workouts, but we will still be in lockdown during the event.

Personally, a home CrossFit competition isn’t for me, I tried it last year, and it didn’t work. I haven’t got the motivation or discipline to compete at home. If I could compete at the gym, then it would most definitely be a different story.

What are your thoughts on this years open?

I would love to know what you think and if you’re in the same boat. Will you be able to compete at the gym, or will you be stuck at home? As always, let me know in the comments below.

Fitness for Mental Health a CrossFit event to help raise money for mental health

The information below was taken from my Just Giving page. If you would like to donate then please head over to this link where your donation will be hugely appreciated. Also, if you would like to buy some “Fitness for Mental Health” merch, head over to here. 90% of all profits will be doanted to Mind Charity.

We will be performing a Crossfit workout named Becky on the 12th of October. Anyone can participate and all donations will be greatly appreciated. If you do perform the workout, a video of your performance will also be greatly appreciated too, in order to help spread and raise awareness for mental health. You can use the hashtag #FitnessForMentalHealth on all your favourite social networks to help spread awareness.

I’m doing this because my wife and I have both suffered from severe mental health. I’ve had major anxieties due to work, to a point where I would throw up constantly if I took a day off work. My wife has had severe depression because of struggles within her life. We also know so many people who either suffer or have had suffered from mental health in one way or another.

I want to give something back to everyone who suffers through life and doesn’t want to wake up in the morning for work or to see friends. This is why I’m fundraising and all donations received will be going to Mind Charity because they do some amazing work for those that suffer from mental health.

The workout is as follows…

For Time

  • 800 meter Run
  • 30 Squat Snatches (95/65 lb)
  • 400 meter Run
  • 30 Hang Cleans (95/65 lb)
  • 200 meter Run
  • 30 Back Squats (95/65 lb)
  • 400 meter Run
  • 30 Push-Ups
  • 800 meter Run
  • 30 Pull-Ups

A little background behind the Crossfit workout called Becky…

“Becky” Rebecca Sefscik, a coach at Crossfit The Tracks (Erlanger, KY) and US military veteran, created this workout herself in 2012. Becky Sefscik took her own life on August 31, 2015, after a battle with PTSD.

Her box’s website posted that the workout “was tough, just like Becky…She was one of our favourite trainers, best friends and she’s missed every day. She was not only an amazing coach, but she was one of the strongest people we all knew, mentally and physically.”

In 2015, starting with a CrossFit The Tracks fundraising event on September 7, over 100 gyms and thousands of CrossFitters worldwide did this WOD in a celebration of Becky’s life and supporting 22 Until Valhalla for veterans and families affected by suicide and PTSD.

Crossfit Open 2019

In 4 to 5 days, we will be finding out what our first workout called 19.1 will be. This will be my third year going into the open, and I’m not nervous. The open workouts are just a way for me to see how I stack against my previous self and those within my box. It is nothing more than a benchmark, and I’m sure it’s the same for a lot of people. It’s always exciting to see athletes compete on top form and they always seem to make it look so easy. I used to think that I could do it like them, but I’ve learnt I’ll never be as good as they are.

This is because I simply don’t have the time. If I had the time and money, then sure I would definitely train like them. My goal would go from training for health to training at a competitive level. However, this isn’t the case and I’m here to enjoy myself, my training and the competitions I enter.

The atmosphere in each box during this time can be incredible. It can be the most supportive experience anyone will ever witness. Crowds spectating and encouraging their fellow athletes to push through each workout. To truly reach the pinnacle of their fitness during a workout. It’s simply amazing, wonderful and exhilirating all in one.

Are you entering the open? If so, what are your reasons, and what are you most looking forward to? Sound off in the comments below. Also, if you enjoyed reading this post, please consider following me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Roller Coaster of a workout

This morning’s Crossfit workout was a roller-coaster.

21 – 15 – 9 cals/reps (5 minute time cap)

  • Assault bike
  • Shuttle run

Then…

  • Row
  • Plate lunges (20kg)

Finally…

  • Ski ERG
  • Dumbbell snatch (22.5kg)

Because there was such a large number of us in the morning, we had to pair up and one started while the other rested. My partner went first because he wanted to get it out of the way, I was happy to go second so I could watch.

Playing the long game

I studied how he paced the workout, and he didn’t go all out like I normally would. When it came to my turn, I kept a decent pace and finished the bike and row before the 5-minute time cap. I was really happy with this result because I thought I would never finish any of them on time. It then came to the ski ERG and snatch, now I love a good snatch especially with dumbbells. I thought I would be pretty comfortable, but I didn’t factor in how bad I would be at the ski. It literally took so much energy out of me, to a point where I was shaking. I got the 21 calories down and out, and started the snatch. These were lifted pretty comfortably and I thought I might be okay.

Anxiety building

Then I got back to the ski and oh my god, the struggle was real. My partner helped me push forward and I did everything I could. “Almost there, get back to the snatch” I could hear him shouting. I pushed and pushed, then managed to get out one last snatch before the time ran out. It was tough and a huge mental battle as I could feel the anxiety building up right to the end. After completing the workout, I felt proud of my achievement, the workout was RX’d, and I actually managed to get some good finishing times.

Roarfit (Newton Abbot Crossfit) Review

How I started at Roarfit (Newton Abbot Crossfit)

I’ve been going to Roarfit for over 3 years, and I believe a blog review is long overdue. I started going before it was called Roarfit, it started as Newton Abbot Crossfit. When I first started, I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t even know what Crossfit was until I started. It all began because I took my cat to the vets and I saw a bunch of girls and guys flipping tyres. I turned to my wife and said “I want to give this a go”, and so I did.

Matt, the owner and first coach of Roarfit (Newton Abbot Crossfit) was very welcoming; he offered an introductory class which tested our strength and endurance. It was mainly running with some easy weight lifting added in. I believe it started with an 800m run, some kettlebell swings and another 800m run. My mind was like “this is easy. I can do this”. Running full pelt at the start, I overtook everyone, and then halfway around, I was knackered. It ended up being a jog back. I was too knackered to lift properly and just about survived the last 800m run. The session ended with Matt asking if I would return, and my answer was a simple “of course”.

Roarfit is a home from home.

Since then, I have been a returning customer ever since. There have been many people coming and going, but the atmosphere within the gym (or box) has remained the same. Everyone is always so welcoming and warming, and we never let anyone suffer alone. Roarfit is a home from home, and all the people there are amazing friends and always so supportive. If every gym were like this, then the world would be a much better, safer place.

Give Roarfit a visit.

If you live in Newton Abbot, or you’re near the area, then I would recommend you give them a visit. They will be more than welcoming, and they’ll answer any questions you may have.

Want to see my Crossfit transformation? Click here.

Crossfit Spirit of the gym award

CrossFit – Winning Spirit of the gym at my box

Newton Abbot Crossfit is like a family to me, it’s not just another gym. It’s a place that feels like a home from home.

– Michael Brooks

Coming into my Crossfit box this morning for a workout and thinking nothing of it. That’s until my coach, Matt announced that someone had one the “Spirit of the gym” award who didn’t turn up for last night’s social. He announced my name, and I was actually shocked! Honestly, I couldn’t believe that all my Crossfit friends would vote for me. It’s truly an honour to win, and it made me incredibly happy to win.

I work very hard, going into Crossfit daily either 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. I don’t expect anything, just greeting my buddies and getting results from the workouts. To gain a little something, a little bit of recognition is amazing, and I want to thank everyone at the box who voted for me. I am honestly grateful and honoured. Newton Abbot Crossfit/Roarfit is like a family to me, it’s not just another gym. It’s a place that feels like a home from home.

Thank you, I will be wearing my new t-shirt with pride. If only I could wear it every day of the week.

How I manage to get to Crossfit every morning

Some days I wake up at 4:30, others at 5 on weekdays then on Saturday I get up at 7 in the morning. How do I do this you ask?

It started off when I read the book called “The Chimp Paradox“, and it would tell me ways to silence my chimp. The chimp is the voice in the back of your head, screaming when it doesn’t want you to do something. Your chimp wants rewards and none of the work. You need to understand your chimp and learn how to reward it with work.

When I get up in the morning, I will literally jump out of bed. This will shock my body and my chimp, and it won’t know what to do before it’s happened. Some days, I’ll want to stay in bed, but I know my reward is a satisfied body once I’ve worked out. Crossfit is something I enjoy and that is my reward for the morning. The social aspect, working out and everything in between is all something that makes me happy.

If you do something in the morning that’s a self-reward, then you are more likely to wake up. That reward could be a tea or coffee. It could be working out, reading a book or even writing. If you do this reward before heading out to work, then you’ll probably feel a lot more happier throughout your day to day life.

Ask yourself “What is my reward?” and wake up to that every day. You can even comment your reward down below as a way to hold yourself accountable.

3 years at CrossFit

“It’s a social experience like no other where no one judges and everyone encourages progression.”

A memory popped up on Facebook today and it’s reminded me why I joined Crossfit. I initially joined because I was unhappy with my weight. I got to 16st (~101kg) and I was feeling slightly unhappy with my weight gain. It’s not a huge amount of weight compared to other’s, but it was my heaviest weight. Also, posture was a biggie for me, I have Anterior Pelvic Tilt (or APT) and I walked with a bounce.

4 months in and I could already see a huge improvement, I was eating more healthy meals and the weight started shedding off. Since then, Crossfit has become a huge part of my life. I’ve entered many competitions, raised money for good causes and gained good friendships out of the experience. If anyone has ever wondered whether they should join a Crossfit box, then I 100% recommend it. It’s a social experience like no other where no one judges and everyone encourages progression.

Another positive side-effect is that it’s really helped with my anxieties. I feel more positive within myself and feeling stronger every day is amazing, what’s not to like about that?

Raising money for cancer

Local Crossfit competition at Newton Abbot Crossfit

I Competed at Battle Cancer

On Saturday the 20th of October, I competed at Battle Cancer alongside 3 of my CrossFit friends; Pete, Phil and Matt. The event had somewhere around 1,000 people attending to watch a range of CrossFit teams compete with one another.

They had teams of males, females and mixed which could either compete at RX or scaled levels. All money raised from ticket sales went to Macmillan Cancer Support. I created my own personal GoFundMe to help raise funds for the charity which has raised close to £200 so far.

The atmosphere and the crowd were incredible, and we loved every second. The workouts were tough, yet enjoyable. The worst for me was a 50kg med-ball carry. I thought I was going to cry during this, but I held it in and finished the workout.

I have now found some weaknesses that I can improve such as heavy med ball carries, and I will be focusing on this in the future.

Scott and Pete did an incredible job with Battle Cancer, and I can’t wait to see it grow even further. Hopefully, the next event I attend will be at Berlin (fingers crossed).

This guy is an absolute legend!