Category Archives: Metcon

Role models…

I’m writing this post because I recently posted a couple of photos on to my Instagram page hannah_j_lewis and was happily surprised at the response I got. I didn’t post it to get comments or anything but more to try and inspire other women.

  
The above is the photo! On the left I was 60kg and 20% body fat, I made sure I ran everyday and spent a lot of the time poorly. I skipped meals on a regular basis with the sole aim to be ‘skinny.’ That was my goal, I wanted to be under 60kg and punished myself for even eating a square of chocolate, not a healthy mind set at all.

Jump to the photo on the right, I’m now 10kg heavier at 70kg, I’m much healthier, I have more energy, better skin and nails and my body fat is even lower at 14%! 

What I’ve come to realise on my journey through weightlifting and crossfit is that skinny is not actually healthy. I used to look up to singers such as Cheryl Cole and think they look great but actually they’re a bag of bones, if that’s what you aspire to be then that’s fine but I want young women and girls to look up to be something healthy, strong and beautiful. 

I had lots of responses to my post, many girls thanking me for public ally saying it’s ok to put on weight/ muscle and to be heavier. I also had messages from girls who had eating disorders who also thanked me and that was really nice to see. 

The other day a girl I used to teach walked past me in my crossfit class. The next day her mum handed me a pencil drawn picture of me lifting weights with the words ‘when I grow up I want to lift weights and be strong like you Miss Lewis.’ This meant the world to me, if I can inspire any female no matter how old or irregardless of ability then I’ve done my job! 

I’m not saying it’s been easy, I still have mini freak outs that I’m heavier now but then i remind myself of what I can do, how functional I am and how healthy and I feel enpowered. I’m also lucky to be surrounded by a wonderful boyfriend, friends and family. 

If you’re reading this and struggle with your weight or body issues then please remember it’s more important to make yourself happy and to be healthy. Look up to those female sport stars not the catwalk models! 

After all if we were in the hunger games… Who would survive?! 

  

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Muscle ups; progressions and transitions

I did my first muscle up in Thailand last year, I spent 20 minutes everyday on the rings for a month before I got my first one! It was such an awesome feeling, afeing of accomplishment. 

However, since that day I hadn’t done anymore. Muscle ups rarely come up in workouts, they are somewhat of a party trick that only really come up in competitions or Hero wods. 

Since last summer I had gotten a lot stronger but had also gained muscle mass so knew I wouldn’t just fly up on the rings. With this in my mind I spent my summer doing various progressions that would lead to more efficient muscle ups. 

  
If you want to muscle up you need to be able to do a pull up! Sorry to say but I believe you need to have that basic, raw strength to be able to pull your body weight up. In order to help you get your first pull ups, use a band to put your feet in and start practising them before every session.   

Dips are another exercise that you need to be competent with, I am not good at these but I keep practising. I practise these using a band and put one knee in the band and complete 5 x 5 at least twice a week. 

Ring rows are another brilliant exercise that can be used to practise pulling your body up to the rings, remember to keep your body and core right. 

A great exercise I have done this summer is a muscle up transition using a box. I placed the rings at just above hip height and stand on a box approximately 30cms high. On my toes I then go through the transition of a muscle up, dip, go beneath the rings, pull up to rings, head through and push up to extend arms. These were really tough when I started and made even harder by wearing a 14lbs weighted vest. 

 So then I came to have a go at a muscle up, a year later than my first one and to my surprise I did it and it was much easier than I thought. The time and effort I had put in to working both transitions and progressions had paid off. 

Both my transitions and my muscle up videos are on Instagram, check it out hannah_j_lewis 

 


Pb City

Apoligies for being quiet on here recently, I have been poorly. I took a few days rest as think I have been over training a little and not fuelling my body enough.

This morning was my first session and I decided to give olympic lifting a go as it wouldn’t get me out of breath and plus it’s my favourite. 

We worked on technique and one of the coaches told me to just go light and work form due to the fact I’d been poorly, I nodded and agreed. However, once I pick up that barbell I just want to go heavy I can’t help it! 

We started with snatch, a movement I really don’t like because I find it so technical. I started to feel pretty good, we worked on a slow first phase up to the knees and then a fast final phase. I needed to focus on staying on my heels and taking my time, I tried to do this and to push my knees out and started to feel better. I slowly built up to near my 1 rep max of 62.5kg, I got up to 60kg and failed. I explained to the coach I hadn’t gotten a PB in a while in my snatch, so he said to put 63.5kg on the bar and just pick it up.

I took this on board and instead of fussing around I just went for it and I finished it! Was super happy and my confidence was given a massive boost so I decided to take the plunge and put a further 4kg on and got up to 67.5kg. First attempt and I did it and it felt so easy because I concentrated on keeping the bar close and staying on my heels.

Tips for a successful snatch

  • Keep the bar close to your body at all times
  • Stay on your heels throughout the lift 
  • Engage your lats and flat back when setting up for your lift
  • Strong shoulders

Then we moved onto squat cleans which I really enjoy, I’m still quite nervous as I had a bad injury in May this year but I’m building my confidence.

I started off at 60kg and built up to a pb at 92.5kg, this was a 2.5kg pb but I wanted more so put 95kg on the bar and did it first time. I also managed to catch it on film too! Really wanting to get that 100kg clean. 

Tips for squat clean

  • Again keep the bar close and start with your lats engaged 
  • Drive through your heels 
  • When the bar hits your hips, drop quickly to get underneath the bar
  • Once you’ve gotten underneath the bar keep your core engaged and your elbows high

Crossfit, haters gonna hate

The other day I had a conversation with my brother about crossfit and found myself becoming extremely defensive about the sport I have grown to love. Now my brother doesn’t and has never tried crossfit, he was however a junior world gymnastics champion so knows what it takes to be at the top of your sport. 

His arguement was that he was fitter than me because he can run further. My arguement was that although I hate running, I have other skills in my tool box, I can pull up, olympic lift, walk on my hands etc. Anyway the arguement escalated and ended up like most sibling exchanges do, in personal insults and a challenge. I will go for a run with him if he will do a crossfit session with me!

  
Anyway it got me thinking about when I first started crossfit and the amount of articles I read on the internet slating crossfit. I wonder how many of these people have actually tried a crossfit session before they started slagging it off?! 

Injuries- Any sport carries a risk of injury, it’s part and parcel of the activity you choose to do. I competed in trampolining for 15 years and ended up with 3 stress fractures but I’m not bitter. It provided me with so many opportunities and achievements. 

Of course anything that involves lifting weight or just being a gym will cause injury. I understand that people are concerned with the fact that crossfit coaches are not teaching the correct form, especially when it comes to Olympic lifting. Which is why it is important for people who want to begin crossfit to do their research on the box they are going to join, have a trial session, see what the coaching is like. I have to say whenever I have seen people, very rarely, get injured its when they’ve been doing their own workouts or practising by themselves in the gym. 

It’s just exercising- yes it is exercising but it is also a sport. A sport where top athletes train full time, watch what they eat, are sponsored and disciplined. It incorporates such a broad range of movements and I believe makes everyone from beginner to athlete a functional person. 

All crossfitters love to talk about crossfit- Yes this is very true! Why? Because it is a community, all of my best friends are from my crossfit box. We have social events, support one another and share common interests. But although I love crossfit I completely appreciate other sports and love to play and watch them also. 

It makes you bulky (women) – crossfit incorporates weightlifting, cardio and gymnastics and if done right it will make you lean. Will it build muscle ? Yeah! Will it make you look like a guy? No! You only have to look at the top female athletes and look at how amazing their bodies are! Not only are they full functional but they reflect a lot of hard work. 

  
You have to do paleo- Paleo is recommended and I really believe that Paleo is great. I do think however it should be adapted to the individual person, we are all human and need that odd sugar fix or the odd bottle of wine. 

Benefits I have found from crossfit 

  • Friendships
  • Community
  • A lean, functional body
  • Nutritional information
  • An outlet for my friendly competitiveness 
  • Knowledge on my body and how it moves 

I would recommend crossfit to anyone. Young, old, thin or fat I believe it really can improve health and wellbeing. 

And we do talk about other things apart from crossfit…. Promise! 

  


Nike metcons

So today I am in London and decided to visit a great crossfit shop called Whatever it Takes, based in Bow Lane in the centre of London.

This shop is great as instead of ordering things online you can get to try the real things on, nano 5s, Nike Romaleos, Adidas power lifters etc. They even have a squat rack to try the out! In addition they do some great clothing. Check out their great website

Whatever it Takes
I had my eye on the Nike metcons for a while, I love my pink Nanos but has heard good things about the new Nike shoe. I had also seen the pink ones on the Internet and fell in love!

So I went into the shop and couldn’t see the pink ones, decided to ask and they had one pink pair left… In my size! It was like it was meant to be.

I tried them on and they felt amazing, the shoes are a brilliant fit and feel like they provide really good support. In fact, they make the nanos feel quite clumpy, the colours are also great.

So I was sold, £100 later and they were mine and I walked all the way home in them, like an excited child! I can’t provide feedback on how they are to workout in but as a general fit they feel great. 

  
The next decision is to decide on what colour laces to use… Any help welcome 🙂