Tag Archives: weightlifting

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 

 


Thank you Mr security guard! 

Random title I know but today whilst in a little tesco express, the security guard called me over as I left. He didn’t want to talk about what I had just bought instead he asked me what exercises I did for my shoulders! I was shocked but also quite flattered, this guy was about 6ft 2 and yet he was asking me how to improve his shoulders. I explained what I did, to which he said thank you and that was that.

The whole thing made me giggle but also made me feel good that someone would look at my figure, not in a pervy way but in a way of admiration for the dedication it takes. Since lifting I love my body but one thing I do still struggle with is my arms and shoulders. Due to my gymnastic days I have always had broad shoulders and I have very defined arms, I am confident in my skin and I am my proud of my arms. I guess what I have the issue with is other people’s opinions on my arms. My other half and family are wonderful and always say be proud, you’ve worked for it, show off. And they’re right, I’ve worked for every muscle on my body, it represents hard work and dedication so I should be proud. 

I am getting better but do feel self conscious sometimes when I wear a top or dress that shows my arms, it’s fine in the gym but when I walk down the street people stare and I’ve even had people say things. Last week a guy said ‘geez you look like a f***in bloke’ I didn’t respond because I was so shocked. In fact I wish I had come up with some witty comeback, it left me angry. People get slated for commenting on ‘overweight’ or ‘underweight’ people, so why do others think it’s okay to comment on someone who is in shape. 

I’m beginning to embrace my body and every muscle it has and hope that young girls choose female sports stars as role models, such as Rhonda Rousey. 

   
 


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

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! 

   
 
   
   


Calluses… My lovely girly hands

We’ve all been there and had those horrible rips from the bars and boy do they hurt! I used to get these from my gymnastics days and remember my coach just ripping them off, it’s part and parcel of the sport. 

  
Even though I have been doing crossfit for over a year my hands still suffer. I’m not a fan of gloves, I like to be able to feel the bar and keep strapping to a minimum. However, due to increased volume and the fact id like to keep my hands a bit feminine I am going to invest in some hand guards.

  
Im going to buy these,  available from kit box, not just because they come in pink (other colours available) but because they’re very similar to gymnastic hand guards. They’re basic but do the job of protecting the hand.

Hand guards
To protect my sore hands whenever I get a rip i was introduced to Paw Paw, a moisturising cream made from papaya that soothes, relieves and moisturises. 

I love this stuff and have two tubes of it in my kit bag, after its placed on a rip or blister it soothes immediately and helps to heal really quickly. It’s now stocked nationally in boots and tesco too for around £3.99! Bargain

Teamed with some trusty sudocream and some girly pink nail varnish I find im able to save my hands… Just!