All posts by Phil Morton

Workout of the day for Mon 12th February – Testing Week Day 1


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

This is where all your hard work during the IWT days should pay off. You have put in the work now it’s time to reap the rewards.

A) CrossFit Open 15.5

27-21-15-9
Row for calories
Thrusters 42.5/30kg

Think about an appropriate pace for this workout. Setting off on the first 27 calories at your maximum pace is going to end badly.

Think back to your most recent IWT workout, what was the pace you were holding on the rower during the last 1-2 rounds? Use this pace from the very beginning of this workout, it may feel ‘slow’ or ‘easy’ in the beginning but chances are this is your max, sustainable pace.

Working at the highest level you can maintain will result in a faster time than if you go max effort at the beginning and die off.

Upcoming Events & Weekend Workouts

The CrossFit Open, Feb 22nd to Mar 26th

Yes, it’s nearly CrossFit Open time!

Unsure of what the Open is? Then check this out…

…and then read THIS BLOG POST.

The Open is for everyone and anyone and it’s some of the most fun you can have doing CrossFit!

We will be joining CrossFitter’s worldwide to complete 5 workouts over 5 weeks that we will perform during Friday’s classes at the gym. Each Friday we will have a theme to make the day even more enjoyable. The schedule for the 5 weeks is as follows:

Workout 18.1 – Feb 22-26
Workout date: Friday 23rd Feb (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Pretty in Pink

Workout 18.2 – March 1-5
Workout date: Friday 2nd March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Smoothie Bar

Workout 18.3 – March 8-12
Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Total Blackout

Workout 18.4 – March 15-19
Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Be your own Superhero

Workout 18.5 – March 22-26
Workout date: Friday 21st March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: End of Open Party

Read more about the themes for each week here.

T0 register for the CrossFit Open just head over the CrossFit Games website.



Yoga for Athletes, Saturday 12.30-1.30pm

We’re in week 4/8, so halfway through the current cycle, and therefore you get a well-deserved snooze this Saturday – in other words, it’s time for a progressive muscle relaxation after a short restorative practice. To find out more about this type of guided relaxation, please click here.

It’s bound to be chilly this weekend, and as you will be still for a good part of the class, please layer up appropriately – wooly socks, a big scarf, a hat…perhaps a blanket even. Bring whatever you need to stay nice and warm throughout, and treat yourself to a hot bevvie afterwards


Workout of the Day – Friday

A) Every 2 minutes, until failure:
9 Thrusters 40/30kg
15 Double unders
9 Chest to bar pull-ups
15 Double unders

Workout of the Day – Saturday

A) “Tailpipe”

3 Rounds each for time, of:
P1: 250m Row
P2: Double kettlebell front rack hold 24/16kg

B) With a partner I go you go for max team reps of each:
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Dumbbell strict press
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Dumbbell push press
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Burpee
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Push-up
– Rest 2 minutes –
4x 30sec work/30sec rest: Kettlebell swing

Workout of the Day – Sunday, Weightlifting Club

Deload Week

A) Clean + high hang clean: 6 x 1+1 @ 75-80%
B) Strict press: 3 x 3 @ 75-80%
C) Push press: 3 x 2 @ 80%
D) RDL’s: 4 x 6@ by feel

Workout of the day for Thurs 7th Feb


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Barbell Cycling – Power Snatch

21-18-15-12-9-6-3, reps

B) Midline and Stability Work

3 – 5 Rounds
20/20 Side plank with kettlebell
20/20 Star plank
60 Second weighted plank
5-10 Strict toes to bar/rings

Workout of the Day – MetCon Class

15-12-9-12-15 reps for time:
Dumbbell floor press
6 Sandbag cleans between sets

Workout of the day for Weds 7th Feb – Strongman & Weightlifting Club


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

Strong Man day

A) Build to a heavy single length yoke carry

B) 10 Rounds For time:
5 Deadlifts (heavy, but unbroken)
100m Sandbag carry

Workout of the Day – Weightlifting Club

De-load week

A) Snatch pull + snatch: 6 x 1+1 @ 75%

B) Overhead squat: 3 x 2 @ 90% of snatch

C) Front squat: 3 x 2 @ 75-80%

D) Bent over row: 3 x 6 @ by feel

Workout of the day for Tues 6th Feb – Interval Weight Training


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Interval Weight Training (IWT)

*This is your last IWT before the CrossFit Open begins, give it your all!

A1) 3 Rounds, with a 2 minute between rounds:
8-12 Dumbbell thruster
2 minutes ALL OUT max distance row

– 5 Minute Rest –

A2) 3 Rounds, with a 2 minute between rounds:
12 Dumbbell push press
1 minute for max burpees over the rower
1 minute row for max distance

B) Skill Work Under fatigue

Workout of the Day – Metcon Class

For time:
8 Rope climb
20 Push ups
30 Goblet squat 24/16kg
600m Kettlebell carry (switch hands at 300m) 24/16kg
30 Goblet squat 24/16kg
20 Push Ups
8 Rope climb

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.

This is touted so often these days it’s become almost Gospel. An unwritten rule of nutrition essentially. Hell I think I’ve probably told many people and clients this same line.

But is there any evidence to back up this claim?

What if it actually came down to personal preference as to whether you ate breakfast or not?

First off let’s look at the arguments for consuming breakfast.

It keeps you full until lunch and thereby reduces over-eating

It is often claimed that by eating breakfast we are more likely to have energy through our morning’s and stay full until lunch.

By missing breakfast we leave ourselves open to snacking on high calorie foods and temptations.

If this happens then we would end up eating more junk food, and consequently more calories.

So in this instance consuming breakfast would be the better option for health and weight management.

Well yes, this can be the case, depending on what we eat for breakfast and how we deal with hunger/temptation before lunch.

If we consume a small, and nutrient lacking breakfast (small bowl of cereal for instance), then actually we may still be hungry only an hour into our day. Before you know it, your hand is in the biscuit tin to go with your mid-morning brew.

If we were to consume a slightly bigger, more balanced breakfast (containing some protein as well), then we would be more likely to be full until lunch and avoid temptation.

In a lot of observational studies, it is shown that those who consume breakfast are associated with better health.

However, this is generally because the breakfast-eaters are generally more ‘health-seeking’ individuals who also exercise regularly and have lots of other healthy habits.

It’s also true that most work places don’t exactly have the healthiest options available for people who need breakfast on the go. Think high calorie breakfast bars, crisps, and other such delights you’d find in a standard office vending machine.

But what if skipping breakfast was part of a plan, and by knowing this plan we then stayed strong until lunch, and didn’t consume calories in that time. Would it still be a negative thing to skip breakfast?

Skipping meals causes the body to go into starvation mode

This is another argument from the pro-breakfast crowd.

Well it can be said with certainty that this is not the case.

For one, there was a study done by Stewart & Fleming in 1973 in which they took a 27-year-old male through a 382-day supervised fast, in which he only had water and vitamins. And the result?

The man lost 125.2kg overall, an average of 0.33kg a day.

I can hear you screaming at the screen now, “But he must have wrecked his metabolism and put it all back on!”

Nope, 5 years later and he weighed 89kg, which was only a few kg above where he finished the fast.

Also, when studies use doubly labelled water to assess total 24-h energy expenditure they find no difference between nibbling and gorging.

Bellisle et al (1997) also concluded that:

There is no evidence that weight loss on hypo energetic regimens is altered by meal frequency”.

Essentially meaning as long as you’re in a calorie deficit (consuming less calories than you burn) you will lose weight even if you skip a meal.

But I thought eating breakfast boosted your metabolism?

This is another myth from the unwritten rules of nutrition.

The research does not support this claim. In one study comparing 3 meals a day to 6 meals a day, Cameron et al. (2010) concluded that:

“increasing meal frequency does not promote greater weight loss”.

So, skipping meals doesn’t lead to starvation mode, and eating more meals doesn’t boost your metabolism, so what really are the benefits to consuming breakfast?

Well, as I alluded to above, eating breakfast can stop you from over-eating in the day if your response to missing breakfast is to binge on snacks.

It can also be a great way to get in extra nutrients for your body, and improve your health.

However, skipping breakfast on purpose, and then eating lunch and dinner as normal, can be a very easy way to lower your calorie intake without having to think about it.

This is therefore a great strategy for those who are looking to drop weight without following a complicated plan or without feeling too deprived.

By skipping breakfast and still eating your normal sized meals for the rest of the day, you’re dropping calories without feeling deprived.

You will also be eating larger, more socially acceptable meals when you are eating. Rather than eating small amounts for each meal (which may be necessary to create a caloric deficit for weight loss).

This last point is what I hammer home often. In order to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit, and skipping breakfast can achieve this.

Skipping breakfast may also be a great tool if you’re very busy and don’t have time to prepare anything suitable/healthy.

You’re better off eating nothing than eating crisps and chocolate in the car on your way to work.

Another positive for not consuming breakfast would also be if you weren’t hungry. Eating when not hungry is a fast way to over-consume and therefore put on weight. If you wake up and you’re not hungry, don’t eat!

The Conclusion

The decision to eat breakfast or not is completely up to you and your goals.

You can do either and still be extremely healthy and lead a fulfilling life.

If you like eating breakfast, and this stops you from snacking on high calorie foods and over-eating, then go for it.

However if you’re too busy, always consume food on the go that’s less than ideal, or want an easy way to lower calories, then skip it.

This fits in perfectly with the research by Dhurandar et al. (2014) who concluded:

“A recommendation to eat (or skip) breakfast had no discernible effect on weight loss in free living adults who were attempting to lose weight”.
.
So remember; next time someone tries to convince you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you’ll know for sure that it’s not.

For more information on Nutrition Coaching with Jonny, check out this page.


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Strength / Strength Endurance – Back Squat

A1) Build to a heavy single for the day

A2) 2 x 20 reps @ 50% of above

B) 3 x 3 Minute AMRAP : 2 minute rest
15 Toes to bar
Max rep lunges

The CrossFit Open & Weekend Workouts

The CrossFit Open is upon us! Yipppiiieee!

If you are not sure what the CrossFit Open is, take 1 minute and 40 seconds and watch the video above!

…It’s ok, we can wait….

The CrossFit Open is for EVERYONE and with both RX’d and Scaled versions of the workouts even the newest of CrossFitter’s can get involved.

Here are just some reasons EVERYONE should do the CrossFit Open!

Reason #1 – CrossFit is for everyone!

If you are doing CrossFit then you know that absolutely anyone can do it. The Open workouts are programmed so that anyone can take them on regardless of their ability, and anyone will find them challenging, whether you’re fresh from Fundamentals or a seasoned Thames athlete.

CrossFit HQ also release scaled versions of the Open workouts to better suit the needs of the fresh faced CrossFitters out there.

So you can’t use the ‘I’m not ready‘ excuse, in all reality none of us are ever ready for the minds of Dave Castro and his workouts!

Reason #2 – It’s fun!

The Open always brings out the best of people, whether its during the workouts or when you are on the sidelines showing your support.

It doesn’t get much better than going head to head with your friends and blasting through a workout being cheered on by those around you. The energy at the gym often inspires people to get some big PB’s, get their first muscle-ups or finally manage some double unders, so what have you got to lose?

Reason #3 – You might meet some new cool people!

If you are tempted to skip the CrossFit Open workouts and stay at home, you aren’t likely to find any new cool friends. Nope, the cool kids are hanging out at the gym on a Friday night.

Reason #4 – It’s a chance to test yourself and your fitness!

The CrossFit Open workouts give everyone an extra push into the realms on intensity, and we often find we all have another level or two when it comes to pushing ourselves in a workout. Not only do you get to test yourself, but you can see how you stack up to CrossFitters around the world and who knows,you might surprise yourself.

Reason #5 – …because it’s THE CROSSFIT OPEN!

If you do CrossFit, then joining in the CrossFit Open is a rite of passage, this is the ultimate way to experience what the wonderful world of CrossFit is all about.

The Open at Reebok CrossFit Thames

We like to shake things up a little and this year we doing these a little differently.

For us, the Open is about getting together with you best training bud’s, crushing a workout and having a good time (whether you register for the Open or not!).

Each week we will have a theme which you can choose to get involved in and we will be holding a post-wod party after the morning, afternoon and evening classes.

So whether you train with your girl squad at 6am or enjoy a late evening bro-sesh everyone can get involved and enjoy the Open.

This year the Open kicks off on February 22nd with the following schedule:

Workout 18.1 – Feb 22-26

Workout date: Friday 23rd Feb (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Pretty in Pink

“Pink is not a colour, it’s a culture”…said somebody famous at some point in time.

Even better than that the colour pink plays a huge role in psychology. Pink is a sign of hope, it calms and reassures our emotional energies, alleviating feelings of anger, aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect. So if we see a sea of pink at the gym it can make us all feel a little more jolly.

Studies have also confirmed that exposure to large amounts of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves and create physical weakness in people…so if you want to beat your buddy in the Open workout distract them with all the pink you have!

Workout 18.2 – March 1-5

Workout date: Friday 2nd March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Smoothie Bar

Anyone who is evenly vaguely health conscious loves a Smoothie bar. So if you need a pre-wod energy boost or a post-wod protein refuel we have your back.

Smoothies are all the rage right now and there are loads of benefits to smashing a fruit and veg filled glass of good stuff.

Firstly they are a easy way to boost your fruit and vegetable intake and are great for getting a variety of produce into your diet. They are high in fiber and a smoothie can deliver an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals (if you includes the fruit skins and pith). Add some yogurt or milk and you can get a great calcium kick too!

Workout 18.3 – March 8-12

Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Total Blackout

Workout in the DARK!

Well that’s what we thought, but Coach Hannah’s idea had NOTHING to do with potentially causing a mass casualty incident with by trying to do thrusters and pull-ups in the pitch black.

It’s simple, the theme is black, do with it what you will.

Whilst we may not be working out in the dark…we may have some disco lights?!

Workout 18.4 – March 15-19

Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: Be your own Superhero

We all have our heroes, whether it’s Thor, Superwomen, your favourite CrossFit Games athlete or the teacher from school who inspired you into the career you have right now. This week we want you to honor your Super-hero!

Workout 18.5 – March 22-26

Workout date: Friday 21st March (all classes)
Theme of the workout: End of Open Party

The last workout of the Open Season means it’s just a straight up party. Wack on the disco tunes (Taylor Swift, obvs), hit the final Open workout (full throttle, don’t hold back!) and then sit back with a beer or two and celebrate the end of Dave Castro’s 5 workouts from hell.

It’s going to be great 5 weeks, so head over to the CrossFit Games website to register for the 2018 CrossFit Open!


Yoga for Athletes, Saturday 12.30 – 1.30pm


We’re in week 3 of our current 8 week cycle, which means it’s time to get to work on that midline strength. When we talk about core strength, we don’t typically mention the diaphragm, the primary muscle of respiration – yet it is located right at the centre of the abdomen.

The diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle and tendon and separates the chest (or thorax) from the belly. In very simple terms – the diaphragm contracts during inhalation, which causes air to be drawn into the lungs, and relaxes during the outbreath which forces the air back out again.

Now, what does the diaphragm have to do with core strength? For starters, it attaches to a number of stabilisers, such as the ribs, sternum and (lumbar) spine. In terms of surrounding muscles, imagine your abdomen like a pressurised container – with the pelvic floor being the bottom, the deep abdominals and back muscles forming the sides, and the diaphragm acting as the lid on top. If any of these components don’t work optimally, the container will start to lose pressure and weaken the base – your core.

The diaphragm also connects to the thoracic and lumbar erectors, the QL (the ‘back muscle’) as well as the psoas (main hip flexor) – all of these are involved in moving the spine, and giving it stability. Conversely, this means that impaired function of any of these muscles will lead to a knock-on effect. Our pranayama (control of breath) practice in this week’s class will be bhastrika, which strengthens the diaphragm through the forceful in- and exhalation through the nose. This will generate a little bit of heat in the body to prepare you for the main sequence, which as the theme suggests will feature
a bunch of postures working those abs.

For further information about yoga at CrossFit Thames please click here..


Workout of the Day for Friday – CrossFit

A) Bench Press
Build to a 10 rep max for the day

B) Tabata Fun
8 x 20 seconds on : 10 seconds off for each station, 1 minute rest between each one
Floor press KB/DB
Double unders
Seated Z press
Double unders

Workout of the Day for Saturday – CrossFit

In a pair complete:

10-1 Burpee pull-ups (Each, “I go, you go”), then

2km Row, then,
*partner holds kettlebells in front rack position 16/12kg

10-1 Kettlebell swing ladder 24/16kg
+ 5 Burpees for each rung of the ladder 🙂

Workout of the Day for Sunday – Weightlifting Club

A) Snatch
2 x 1 @ 80%
2 x 1 @ 82.5%
2 x 1 @ 85%

B) Overhead squat
3 x 2 @ 90% of snatch

C) Front squat
3 x 2 @ 80-85%

D) Bent over row
3 x 6 @ by feel

Workout of the Day for Thurs 1st Feb – All the AMRAP’s!


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) 9 Minute AMRAP:
250m Row
20 KB Hang power snatch 24/16kg (10 per side)
10 Box jumps 32/24″

– Rest 3 Minutes –

B) 9 Minute AMRAP:
200m Run
10 Chest to bar pull ups
10 KB swings 24/16kg

– Rest 3 Minutes –

C) 9 Minute AMRAP:
250m/200m Row/Run
10 Wall ball sit ups
10 Jumping split squats

Workout of the Day – MetCon

15-12-9:
Dumbbell thrusters 22/16kg
Burpee

-Rest 5 minutes

12-9-6:
Dumbbell thrusters 22/16kg
Burpee

-Rest 5 minutes

9-6-3:
Dumbbell thrusters 22/16kg
Burpee

Workout of the day for Weds 31st Jan – Gymnastics Skills


Workout of the Day – CrossFit


Part of today’s gymnastics skill work is handstand walking.

Many of us struggle to walk in a straight line (especially after a long week) nevermind walking on our hands, so what options do we have if we are still working on our handstand walking skills?…

Check out these progressions and try them in today’s session!…


A) Gymnastic Skills

A1) Every minute for 12 minutes, alternate between:
Minute 1: 4 Muscle-ups + 2 Strict ring dips
Minute 2: 20 Hollow rocks

A2) Every minute for 12 minutes, alternate between:
Minute 1: 3-5 Bar muscle-ups
Minute 2: 10 Toes to bar

A3) Every minute for 12 minutes, alternate between:
Minute 1: 1 Length handstand walk
Minute 2: 2 Lengths heavy farmers carry

Workout of the Day – Weightlifting Club

A) Clean doubles: 6 x 1+1 @ 80-85%
B) Strict press: 3 x 3 @ 80-85%
C) Push press: 3 x 2 @ 80-85%
D) RDL’s: 4 x 6 @ by feel