Airports. I love them. And I sprinted this morning.

I haven’t been everywhere.  But it’s on my list – Susan Sontag

I really love airports. Flying for business or pleasure, I absolutely don’t care. I can’t get enough of the experience. I never tire of it. Sure, you can have all sorts of delays, cancellations, baggage losses and other upsets, but there’s something about the diversity, emotions, hope, and anticipation that floods through an airport. 

I am very fortunate that in my job there is a pretty decent amount of travel. Yeah, so occasionally, I might have to go to an actual nasty place but that is becoming less likely these days. More often than not, I find myself conducting what most people would simply term as “business trips”. I take very short trips, often just a night or two, to far flung places to have a meeting, shake some hands and come back. These are ideal. These are short pauses in normal routine where I get to envelope myself in the hustle, joy, tears, fears, panic, and peaceful excitement of the greatest cross-section of the world. 

As I look around, I see immediately the Red and Blue of a Great Britain sports team. Not immediately obvious who they are but clearly focused, in peak condition for whatever they are headed towards. There are some who just can’t keep their eyes off the incoming arrivals and outgoing planes, streaking away in all directions across the sky. There are those buried, oblivious to the world, in a phone/laptop/tablet. Some are trying new foods for the first time at the sushi bar. Many have shopping bags, carrying devices, clothes, wine, that they didn’t think they needed when they passed through check-in. 

The smiles are the most obvious expression. Kisses and embraces at almost every turn. So far, no arguments; well, not with each other, perhaps at the coffee bill!
Anyway, you get the picture, I’m flying again. Heathrow Terminal 2 once more. My gate has just flashed up as A18 so I should get this posted. 

Strength  

4 x 6 (per leg) weighted Box Step Ups @ 24″

4 x 32kg (2 × 16kg Kettlebells). Maintained a strong core. Supersetted with Handstand holds.

MetCon 

For Time:

  • 600m Sprint
  • Rest 4 mins
  • 400m Sprint
  • Rest 3 mins
  • 200m Sprint
  • Rest 2 mins
  • 20 x Burpees 

Time: 13:43

Definitely my wheelhouse, this one. Out front from the start, despite the 0530 eye opening today. I kept up the pressure throughout, each round relatively as fast as the previous. 20 Burpees then smashed out in 42 seconds. Considering 9 mins of it was “Rest”, this is pretty strong.

Nutrition 

Still 2100 KCal per day but now compensating for cals expended during exercise, using Vivoactive HR (with HRM strap) for increased accuracy.

Still sticking with 35% Carbs / 35% Protein / 35% Fats. Still mostly unprocessed and simple.

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2 Personal Records & Squatting over Hump Day, Let Down at the End.

 Concentration and Mental Toughness are the Margins of Victory

– Bill Russell

I thought I’d start with a bit of self-congratulation. It’s important to recognise one’s achievements, especially when they indicate ongoing success towards a larger goal. So, yesterday, at CF Watford, Overhead Squats came up for the Strength portion and “The Chief” was the MetCon. To summarise, cut to the chase, and not bore you (too much), I set new personal records in both.

On 10 Jun this year, I accomplished 3 x 5 Overhead Squats at 60 / 65 / 70kg. Last night, this was a strong jump with 60 / 70 / 75kg. The strength came not from the upper body, where I’ve always had an edge, but in the squatting – this is a direct result of the Squat Programme I am following and is a marker that I am improving accordingly. Superb!

In Jan this year, I achieved “The Chief” (details below) with a shade over 20 rounds. In August, this was raised to 21.9 rounds. Last night, I smashed 23 rounds! This achievement, I must attribute to Charlie and her insane obsession with “The Engine” in her programming. Thanks mate.

But back on to today and it began with the early morning Squat programme (because it works!)

AM Squats

  • 6 x 2 Front Squats @ 95kg
  • 6 x 3 Back Squats @ 105kg
  • 6 x 2 Front Squats @ 95kg

I’ve kept to the same weight as I finished the last cycle as I didn’t get all the lifts in that I had wanted during 2 of the weeks and because I really did struggle towards the end. Call this a ‘consolidation’ phase; I’ll review it at the end of this 3 week half-cycle and consider going up by 2.5kg.

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CrossFit Watford

Strength

4 x 12 Bulgarian Split Squats (per leg)

32 / 24 / 24 / 24kg

Higher volume than previous attempts; I get this relatively light after this morning’s squats. Could stop cramp setting in my left foot throughout!

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This guy in the front? A freakin’ animal! Sub-14mins for the MetCon.

MetCon

For Time:

  • 800m Run
  • 30 x Toes To Bar  – 1 x Rope Climb, every break.
  • 30 x Thrusters @ 35kg – 3 x Burpee Over Bar, every break.
  • 30 x Kettlebell Swings @ 24kg – 5 x Goblet Squats, every break.
  • 30 x Wall Balls @ 9kg – 5 x WB Sit Ups, every break.
  • 200m Pinch Grip Carry @ 10kg (per hand) – 10 x Plate GTOH, every break.

Entirely as a test of mental toughness, and I failed.

Each movement should be done approached as an unbroken attempt; however, I knew from the outset that as there were just two of us in the WOD, I would pace this and I watched myself break every movement once, apart from the final one where my grip went and I broke twice. Indeed, my grip was the key let down in all of this, most especially the Thrusters, of all things. It wasn’t that though. I just didn’t push myself hard enough at all and left feeling a little embarrassed at my effort. My part of the military prides itself on mental toughness and once again it came back to let me down – I have got to be able to push myself when it counts and not only do it when there are many others around to work with. We saw huge gains in “The Chief” yesterday when surrounded by others but a less impressive performance when lounging in the echo chamber of my own head today.

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My time at the bottom. Check out the sub-14min time. Beast!

Nutrition

  • Pre-Squats: Banana
  • Post-WOD: 25g Whey Protein + 200ml Semi-Skimmed Milk
  • Breakfast: 2 x Scrambled Eggs on plate of Spinach and Watercress
  • Lunch: Omelette with Leaves + packet noodles
  • Snack: 10g mixed Nuts
  • Dinner: Homemade Circassian Chicken & Rice
  • Post-WOD: 25g Whey Protein

 

The Chief

Max rounds in 3 minutes of:

  • 3 Power cleans @ 60kg
  • 6 Push-ups
  • 9 Squats

Rest 1 minute. Repeat for a total of 5 cycles.