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Training for Week 1 of the Cycle!

Here we are team! Testing is over and now it’s time to start putting in the hard work for all the gains. Just a heads up regarding the blog posts, we’re going to be shifting around the format a bit to make sure you can get a focussed view of the week ahead around the current cycle.

Sundays – Classic Crossfit classes for the week & Topic of the week
Tuesdays – Some bonus Content 🙂 and Olympic Lifting Programming
Fridays – Events and Announcements

Although they’re not mentioned you should assume both MetCon and Yoga will be on as scheduled unless it’s been specifically announced as cancelled through the blog, Pike13, or social media channels.

Week 3, 21st – 27th May

Monday

A) Deadlift
5 @ 55%
5 @ 65%
5+ @ 75%
AMRAP @ 55%

Superset with: 10 Hamstring Curls

B) 7 Rounds of:
2 min Window:
12/10 Cal Row
5 Burpee over the rower
AMRAP HSPU
*60 sec rest*

Tuesday

A) Overhead Squat
5@55%
5@65%
5+@75%
AMRAP @55%
*2 min rest*
Superset with: 5 Weighted Pull Ups

B) 5 Rounds:
15 Thrusters 40/30kg
15 T2B

Wednesday

A) Build to a heavy single Yoke Carry

B) Descending Reps
10-1
Bent over BB Row
DB Floor Press
20-11
Calorie Row/ Airdyne

Thursday

A) Shoulder Press
5@55%
5@65%
5+@75%
AMRAP @ 55%
Superset with: Strict Ring Dips – 3 x 12 (Weighted if possible)

B) 4 Sprint Sets:
400m Run
20 Hang Power Cleans 60/40kg
*90 sec. rest between sets*

Friday

A) Back Squat
5@55%
5@65%
5+@75%
AMRAP @ 55%

B) L-Sits
3 x Max Effort
*60 sec. rest*

C) 6 Rounds:
20m Front Rack Walking Lunge 24/16kg
2 Rope Climbs
10 Pull ups (Strict if wanted)

Saturday

A)Couplets
21-15-9
Burpee
Pull Up

*rest 10 Minutes*

21-15-9
Calorie Row
Shoulder to overhead 60/40kg

B) Core Finisher
5 sets of:
30 Seconds Hollow Rocks
30 Seconds Rest

All about yokes!


The use of yokes as a training tool is often associated with Strongmen like Eddie Hall and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, it’s not too often the everyday fitness enthusiast gets to play “Strongman”, however we see these as invaluable training tools.

If you are unfamiliar with a yoke it is a large metal frame with a adjustable crossbar. Each of the four corners of the frame can be loaded with weight, often with several times your own bodyweight.

The most common way to use a yoke is to pick it up and carry it, however it can pushed and pulled and held too (depending on the make you have).

The great thing about using yokes is it allows you to move weights that would be impossible if loaded onto a barbell for a squat or deadlift. For example….

…Yes, that is a little excessive for us mere mortals, sure is impressive though!

Benefits of yoke carries (and pushes and pulls)

There are many full body weighted movements (squats, presses, deadlifts to name a few), however none of these compare to the head to toe muscle recruitment found when carrying a yoke. This is simply through the fact that you’re putting your body under a much heavier load than it is used to. Everything from your upper back, posterior chain, trunk/core, hips and legs will benefit from yoke training.

For lifters with minimal strongman and/or athletic movement background, strongman training like the use of yokes may help to increase neural drive, increase motor neuron recruitment, and develop a well-rounded strength and power athlete.

…basically it will make you more balanced, stronger and generally more awesome.

How to carry a yoke

Brace (stay ‘tight’): Now that you have that tension, it’s your main job to keep it. Do not underestimate the importance of this, both for safety and effectiveness.

Play around with yoke height: Having the cross bar set a little higher can be useful for that little extra ground clearance. However with the weight sitting little higher you may find the yoke swings more. Find what works for you.

Stance: This should be around shoulder to hip width

Take small, fast steps: This will help you with the previous two points. Large, slow (or stop, start) steps not only make hip/midline stabilisation harder but also introduced more momentum to the yoke causing it to pendulum back and forth.

Create a platform: Find a hand position on the yoke that allows you to create a shelf for the crossbar to sit on.

“Bend: the bar: Not literally, but create tension by trying to wrap the bar around your back and keep it there securely.

Focus on a spot: Keep your eyes ahead (not down to the floor or skywards) and focus on your target.

You don’t have to be a Strongman to use a yoke, but if you want to get strong it’s one of the best tools to have in your toolbox!

Take it for a ride in today’s workout!

Workout of the day for Tues 20th March – Bench press and Sprint sets!


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) 5 Rounds of:
6-8 Bench press
60 seconds rest
6-8 Bent over barbell row
60 seconds rest

B) 12 Sprint sets:
8 Shoulder to Overhead 50/35kg
6 Chest to bar pull-up
4 Burpees over the bar
30 seconds rest

Workout of the Day – MetCon

A) 4 Rounds:
20/15 Calorie airdyne
10/7 Strict HSPU

– 5 minute rest –

B) 4 Rounds:
20/15 Calorie airdyne
8 Muscle-ups

– 5 minute rest –

C) For time: 50/40 Calorie airdyne

Eating for performance vs eating for fat loss & Workout for Mon 12th March

Often when I ask a client about their goals they usually revolve around performing better and losing weight.

Pretty much the same for the majority of us, right?

So what’s the issue here then? Surely these seem like logical goals?

They are, and there’s nothing wrong with them.

In performance sports it often pays off to be a little bit lighter: CrossFit and gymnastic efforts; weightlifting/powerlifting classes etc.

The issue lies in the approach required to achieve these goals.

You see, in order to lose weight we need to be in some form of a caloric deficit (taking in less energy than we burn). Whereas to increase performance we need to be in a caloric balance at least (if not a small surplus).

So then how do we achieve these goals simultaneously?

It can be tricky to do, and partly comes down to how long you have been training for.

Oftentimes it is best to focus on one or the other, and this is where nutritional periodisation comes in.

Prioritise weight loss in the ‘off-season’, where performance gains aren’t necessary. Then, when the target weight is achieved, a recovery/reverse diet can ensue.

This allows the weight loss to be maintained while picking the metabolism back up and improving strength/performance.

First let’s take a look at eating for fat/weight loss.

Nutrition for fat loss

If you’re a beginner (0-1.5/2 years training), then you’re much more likely to be able to put on muscle while in a caloric deficit, as long as you eat adequate protein to spare and build muscle tissue.

However, if you’re beyond the 2 year training mark, you’ll find it hard to build muscle while in a deficit. Again though, you can spare muscle tissue being lost as long as you eat enough protein (1-1.2g per lb of BW is the most agreed amount).

However, if this is your first time tracking your intake and paying attention to your nutrition, you may find that by regulating your intake you get a slight performance increase whilst being in the deficit.

No matter your level of training, you want to ensure that your deficit is as small as possible while still allowing fat loss.

This prevents loss of muscle tissue, increases dietary adherence, and lowers the risk of a rebound when you’re done losing weight. This also ensures that you can still eat a decent amount of carbohydrates to fuel your efforts in the gym.

For performance athletes focused on losing weight, the best macronutrient to lower is fat as long as you don’t go below the minimum amounts (around 10-15% of total calorie intake).

This allows plenty of carbohydrates in the diet to fuel the performance efforts, and also provides a large enough deficit (as fat is so calorific at 9kcals per gram).

As you lose weight, your body will begin to adapt to your intake. This is known as metabolic adaptation.

This means if your rate of weight loss slows, you’ll need to make adjustments to keep losing fat.

I would recommend a weight loss target of 1-1.5lbs per week, so that you’re still getting plenty of food for performance and muscle mass retention.

It is often quoted that 3,500kcals = 1 pound of weight. Although it isn’t as black and white as this, this is a good starting point.

So for a weight loss of 1lb per week you can aim for a 500kcal daily deficit.

No matter your weight loss goal, I would recommend a deficit for around 2-3 months before coming back to maintenance and having a break.

This not only will allow you to progress further, it also limits metabolic adaptation and keeps you sane!

So when you’ve reached your target, then the time comes to restore your metabolism, keep the weight off, and start fuelling your performance gains.

Nutrition for Performance

As mentioned earlier, performance increases requires caloric maintenance or even a slight surplus.

The body requires a certain amount of food in order to perform at it’s best, so you better fuel appropriately if you want optimal performance.

If you’re coming out of a weight loss diet, then bringing your calories up slowly is the key to avoiding weight rebound.

Start by adding in 200-250kcals per day each week and monitor your weight and how your body feels so that you don’t overdo it.

If you’re not trying to lose weight, and are focused solely on performance, then it’s worth tracking where you are now and how your body feels.

A lot of the time if we’ve chronically under eaten then our bodies will have simply adapted to this and gotten used to it.

If you feel tired all the time, sluggish in workouts, and have zero mojo, then you’re probably under eating.

This is common for a lot of performance athletes focusing on the highest quality foods and often avoiding a lot of carbohydrates.

My advice here would be to obviously eat more food, and especially carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates are the optimal fuel source for intense training and glycolytic activity. It is also the preferred fuel source of the brain so can help in adequate CNS recovery and function.

In Conclusion

If you’re a beginner trainee, you’ll often see some performance improvements while in a calorie deficit.

However, it is still best to try to lose fat when your performance needs are lowest (so far away from competitions/qualifiers).

You can then reach your target weight while being happy with muscle mass maintenance, and then slowly ramp things back up as your performance needs increase.

For those of us in performance sports, decreases in intake should be mostly from fats (though obviously personal preferences will affect dietary adherence), and increases should then come from dietary carbohydrates.

Stay tuned to how your body responds to your approach. Stay clued in to your energy, sleep, hunger, and performance and make decisions based on evidence, not what you hear may work.

If you’re reading the above and think your approach needs work, then get in touch.

If you are interested in finding out more about nutrition coaching with Jonny Landels, check out this info.


Workout of the Day – CrossFIt

A) Back Squat 1-1-1

B) In a 3 minute widow complete:
10 Thrusters 40/30kg
30 Double unders
10 Thrusters
30 Double unders

In the next 3 minute window complete:
12 Thrusters
30 Double unders
12 Thrusters
30 Double unders

In the next 3 minute window complete:
14 Thrusters
30 Double unders
14 Thrusters
30 Double unders

*Start a new round every 3 minutes, adding 2 reps to the thrusters each time.
*Repeat until you cannot complete the work in the 3 minute window.

Open 18.3, Yoga for Athletes & Weightlifting Club

The third Open workout is almost here! We look forward to seeing you at the gym on Friday to crush it!

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

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, or you can read our Open FAQ.


Yoga for Athletes

This week will see us complete our first 8 week cycle, which means it’s time for another restorative class. We’ll flow through a short sequence of yoga asana (yoga postures) to stretch out those sore muscles post 18.3, following which your teacher Christine will introduce you to the practice of yoga nidra, also known as yogic sleep.

It’s a powerful and deeply relaxing type of guided meditation. Yoga nidra can be described as the state of consciousness that lies between wakefulness and sleeping. The practice usually begins with a body scan and specific breathing in order to trigger the body’s relaxation response, which is key for optimum recovery. Yoga nidra also includes imagery and/or visualisation to tap into the feeling state of the mind. As you drop more and more deeply into a state of ‘lucid sleeping’, your brainwaves begin to change. For more information on brain activity and stages of relaxation during yoga nidra, please click here.

Temperatures are on the rise, but please do bring adequate layers, or a thin blanket even, to make sure you stay nice and warm.


Workout of the Day – Friday

CROSSFIT OPEN 18.3

The workout is released by CrossFit HQ sometime in the middle of the night, so we will just have to wait until we wake up to find out what it is. You will be able to find the workout on the CrossFit Games website.

Workout of the Day – Saturday

TBC based on what Open 18.3 involves.

Workout of the Day – Sunday, Weightlifting Club

A) Cleans: 4 x 2 @ 80%

B) Front squats: 4 x 2 @ 80-85%

C) Push press: 3 x 5 @ 75-80%

D) Pull ups (weighted if necessary): 3 x 5

Workout of the day for Weds 7th March – Peanut Butter Smoothies & Bench Press!

Coach Alice made some killer smoothies at last weeks 18.2 Open workout. If you want to make your own we have three recipes you can try out.

Just grab the ingredients and wack it in a blender!

Recipe 1 – Chocolate & Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie

Ingredients for 1-2 smoothies:
1 large banana (sliced and frozen is great!)
3 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
170g Greek Yogurt (flavored or unflavored)
¾ cup skim milk (or your favorite kind of milk or milk substitute)
1 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or agave
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 scoop chocolate protein powder

Recipe 2 – Peach & Peanut Butter

Ingredients for 2-3 smoothies:
4 ripe bananas (small, frozen, chopped)
1 cup peaches (chopped, frozen)
2–3 ice cubes (chopped)
¼ cup + 2 tbsp peanut butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 dash cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg

Recipe 3 – Ultimate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Ingredients for 1 smoothies:
½ cup almond milk or other milk alternative (unsweetened)
1 scoop of protein powder (chocolate or vanilla flavored)
2 tbsp of peanut butter
1 handful of fresh baby spinach
1 medium sized ripened banana
¼ cup water
½ cup ice cubes


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) In 15 minutes complete 50 reps of bench press
*You choose the load

B) 8 Rounds of:
200m Run
8 Dumbbell hang power cleans (Unbroken!)
8 Toes to bar
30 seconds rest

Workout of the Day -Weightlifting Club

A) Snatch + Hang snatch: 8 x 1+1 @ 75-80%

B) Snatch deadlift: 4 x 2 @ 110-120% of snatch

C) Back squat: 5 x 2 @ 80-85%

D) Dumbbell strict press: 3 x 6 @ RPE of 8

Workout of the day for Tues 6th March – Gymnastics Skill Work & Conditioning


Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Every minute for 8 minutes:
2-5 x Muscle-ups + 2 Ring dips, based on ability

B) 12 AMRAP @ 100% effort
15 Thrusters 42.2/30kg
15 Calorie row
12 Thrusters 42.2/30kg
12 Calorie row
9 Thrusters 42.2/30kg
9 Calorie row

Workout of the Day – MetCon Class

A) For time:
100 Air squats
100 Pull ups
200 Push ups
300 Sit ups
100 Air squats

CrossFit Open 18.2, Weekend Workouts & Upcoming Events

CrossFit Open Workout 18.2 & Coach Alice’s Smoothie Bar

After last weeks griptastic lung buster, what will Dave Castro have for us this week?!

Bench press and pistols, it just has to be?!

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

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

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, or you can read our Open FAQ.

There is still time to register for the CrossFit Open just head over the CrossFit Games website.

Yoga for Athletes, Saturday 12:30 to 13:30

We’re fast approaching the end of our first 8 week cycle. This Saturday will mark the second to last week of the current programme, which means it’s time for another midline sesh.

Expect all sorts of plank variations plus a pranayama and more postures to get those deep core muscles such as the transverse abdominis to work. Yay!

Click here to learn more about the role of the diaphragm in regards to your core strength.


Workout of the Day – Friday

CROSSFIT OPEN 18.2

The workout is released by CrossFit HQ sometime in the middle of the night, so we will just have to wait until we wake up to find out what it is. You will be able to find the workout on the CrossFit Games website.

Workout of the Day – Saturday

TBC based on what Open 18.2 involves.

Workout of the Day – Sunday, Weightlifting Club

A) Snatch + Overhead squat: 8 x 1+1 @ 75-80%

B) Back squat: 5 x 1 @ 80%

C) Reverse grip bent over row: 3 x 8 @ by feel

D) Plank holds front + sides: 3 x 20 secs per side w/20 sec rest in between

Upcoming Events & Weekends Workouts – CrossFit Open 18.1

Hot damn! CrossFit Open 18.1 is nearly here!

During all classes tomorrow we will be taking on the first Open workout of the year.

Incase you forgot the plan for the next 5 weeks….

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, or you can read our Open FAQ.

There is still time to register for the CrossFit Open just head over the CrossFit Games website.


Workout of the Day – Friday

CROSSFIT OPEN 18.1

The workout is released by CrossFit HQ sometime in the middle of the night, so we will just have to wait until we wake up to find out what it is. You will be able to find the workout on the CrossFit Games website.

Remember the theme this week is ‘Pretty in Pink’, so done some pink attire and come and smash the workout.

Workout of the Day – Saturday

TBC upon the announcement of Open 18.1

Workout of the Day – Sunday, Weightlifting Club

A) Cleans – Build to a heavy single for the day.

B) Strict press- Build to a heavy single

C) RDL’s – 4 x 6@ by feel