Tag Archives: barbell

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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Sock gainz! 

Now recently you may have noticed the explosion of socks onto the crossfit arena! They have become a vital item in the crossfit wardrobe for both men and women.

The crazier the better, with colours being splashed all over socks as well as pictures such as these Dollar or Gorrilla ones below which are available from my sponsors Ares at the bargain price of £8.99.

   
 
And something for the girls…

  
I was hesitant to join in the sock game but I actually love them and love how they can finish off an outfit, I don’t wear them fully pulled up but just enough to see the pattern or colour.

Available at :Ares socks free delivery too

Another brand that is rocking the sock work is Stance socks who stock a massive range. 

   
 
They look awesome and are perfect length for working out, these are stocked by the London based shop Whatever it takes and available online

Whatever it takes
Check out the socks, every time I’ve worn my Ares ones I’ve hit a pb…. Just saying 🙂 


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 

 


A new crossfit brand… Ares

I began crossfit a year ago and started getting into my social media more this year. 

I was approached by a small, up and coming company called Ares who asked if they could sponsor me. I was so excited, I love crossfit and I love clothes so being sponsored was something completely unexpected and felt really rewarding. 

They sent me a great package of clothes and I couldn’t wait to wear it in the gym. Now, I may be biased but I also own a lot of gym clothes and have to say that the fit and design of the clothes is great. The material is really soft and the prints are also great. 

Ever since my sponsorship began I’ve received so much gear from Johnny at Ares. They have been so wonderful and generous so I really want to promote their brand and tell you how great it is! 

I recently met Johnny, the owner and he’s a really supportive guy, who loves crossfit and loves his brand. 

Ares Website
They do both men’s and women’s gear and the products range from bags, wrist wraps through to vest tops and baseball tops. They’re all at a really great price and the company have free delivery at the moment. You can also use my code Lewis10 for 10% off! So grab yourself a bargain! 

 My gear from Ares 
I’ve included some pictures of things from their website to give you a taster but head over to their website for more products. 

Their sock game is also on point! 

   
 
   
   


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! 

  


Training in London

This weekend I am spending time in the big city which means time away from my double daily training sessions and a little bit of a rest. 

I had today, Sunday as an active rest day and didn’t step foot in a gym. Instead we pounded the pavements and walked around the city checking out all of the sights. 

  
We also stopped off in St James park where we cought glimpses of the London- Surrey 100mile bike ride. It was a beautiful day and was nice to soak up some vitamin D.

Yesterday I needed to workout so I visited a gym located under the railway by Waterloo station. Soho gyms are a London chain of gyms with 8 gyms across the city. The gym was spacious with lots of equipment tucked away in various areas and rooms under the arches. It was quite quiet and as it was a commercial gym I decided I would have a strength focus for my session. 

My 1 rep max back squat is 135kg but as I haven’t squatted heavy since my injury I decided to squat at 80kg. I did a rep scheme of 10reps, right down to 1 rep so a total of 55reps. 

I can’t recommend back squats enough, especially for the girls! It’s a brilliant exercise for your legs and bum, in fact I believe it is the best exercise out there for your behind. In addition a good squat is crucial for many other movements, especially in crossfit, such as the clean and the snatch.

I then moved on to strict shoulder press at 40kg where I did 5×5 reps. I enjoy shoulder press and I think it builds a good basic strength in the shoulders that can be adapted to jerks and overhead movements. 

Soho gym
The squats definitely did their job because I can feel it in my quads and the top of my legs/bum today which is good. Overall the gym was great, I like the quirkiness of it being underneath the train line and the trainers were welcoming. 

If you want to visit its £13.00 for a day pass or £55 for the month. 

I wanted to check out Crossfit but unfortunately did have time, will make sure I do next time. I did however, have time to eat at nice restaurants and visit M&M world! 

   
 

Isn’t London beautiful…

  


Training, training & more training! 

As you might know I am a school teacher which means hallelujah 6 weeks off for summer! Definitely one of the perks 🙂 

I’m expecting to have quite a busy autumn season with competitions. I’m using this year to try to get as much competition experience as possible! Later in the year I’ll be competing in the Super team cup, Strength in depth, fort Ashton throwdown and hopefully Battle of the Beasts!

As I’m not working I’ve been upping my training and training twice a day which I absolutely love. If I could do that full time it would be awesome! It’s hard, I’m only a few days in and my body is sore but I seem to be recovering okay.

Today began with a rowing workout 10 x 250m to be precise. Usually the first thing I do when I wake up is to look at the workout of the day but today I didn’t and blissfully unaware I drove to the box, eating the two hard boiled eggs of managed to cook in the rush to get ready! 

Cue 30 minutes later when I’m sweating and cursing the coach, trying to keep my times below 50 seconds! I went to a very dark place! I’m not a fan of rowing at the best of times and today it made me throw up after! The combination of working hard and my late breakfast was not good but still I picked myself up and did a nice strength workout after! Then returned 3 hours later for a really good team workout that once again pushed us.

I’m loving all this training and trying out different workouts such as team and swimming etc. Hoping to see some big improvements in fitness and load over the next few weeks.

   
 
 82kg every minute on the minute