Clean, Hang Clean, Power Clean and Snatch???

November 19, 2015 Leave a comment

I found this article useful when trying to work out the difference between the variation of movements. I’m fairly new to Crossfit so was confused about the vocabulary surrounding this…

Difference between Clean, Hang Clean, Power Clean, Snatch…

Do take a look as it explains things quite well and they also supply a link to a more comprehensive document if you like a read.


Categories: Crossfit Tags: ,

Core-based gym routine

October 28, 2014 Leave a comment

As I mentioned at the end of my last blog post, I have a routine which I am currently using to work on my core. I’m having to use this more than I’d like as I have got tendinitis in my wrist which means I am unable to use either of the two previously mentioned work outs.

So, my core set consists of a number of variants on the crunch and plank exercises, I do the following but change the order, sometimes to split the crunches and planks.

  • crunch
  • plank (60 seconds)
  • reverse crunch
  • side plank (30 seconds each side)
  • bicycles
  • oblique crunch
  • Russian side twist

I do 20 reps of each in a set apart from the planks where I hold it for 60 seconds on 30 for each side on the side plank. The first set I find is very manageable but the second set is noticeably harder with the third set often being to failure if I can’t hit the target reps.

If I find I am losing form and really struggling then I’ll end the exercise there as it’s too easy to get an injury when you’re tired and pushing the last few reps – I’d much rather be able to come back the next day and workout rather than gain an extra couple of reps and then been injured for a week!

Before commencing the core exercises I warm up on the treadmill after a bit of stretching, I follow-up the workout with some stretches as I get my heart rate back down.

One thing I do really like after a gym session is a MaxiNutrition Protein Milk from Maxishop, I find it’s an easy way to get valuable protein in quickly to aid my muscles. Click on the banner below to find more from their Recover & Rebuild range.

I will see if I can get either some links to videos of these exercises or some photos demonstrating how they are done and will include them in a future post.

If you’ve got a favourite session for working on your core then please feel free to add a comment telling us about it.

New gym routine

October 23, 2014 Leave a comment

I recently went back to my gym having been absent for too long with no good reason other than a lack of motivation. I spoke with one of the gym team there and we discussed my aims and he then came up with a new routine based on a minimum of two sessions a week.

Workout No. 1 – Pyramid sets starting with 10 reps

  • Bench press
  • Pull ups
  • Dumbbell shoulder press

Workout No.2 – Reps to failure

  • Bench press
  • Pull ups

From my experience of the above two workouts, it’s important to consider the order of exercises as it is very easy to fatigue your muscles with dumbbell presses and then fail to hit the target reps on the bench press. Also, may be worth having someone on hand to spot you on the bench presses through the higher rep sets.

With these two workouts I have left the gym feeling like I’ve pushed myself and although they both wok the same muscle groups I am enjoying them greatly. I have a core-based routine to use so as to give my muscles a chance to recover so all-in-all I’m pretty happy right now!

Categories: Training

Swimovate Poolmate Pro

December 31, 2013 Leave a comment

I have a strong passion for gadgets and love the ability to collect training data for analysis. I have recently had the opportunity to try out the Poolmate Pro swimming watch from Swimovate.

The Poolmate Pro is easy to setup and you’ll be going within a couple of minutes, all you need to configure the watch for first use is your weight, length of the pool and which hand you’ll be wearing the watch on. So, with this information set and the choice of measuring specified (imperial or metric) it’s time to give it a bash.

In the water the watch feels unobtrusive and after a while it is easy to forget you are wearing it. After a set of ten lengths I stopped to see how the watch was getting on only to find I had it in a paused state – oops!

After that false start, I set the watch to go and off I went. I swam 60 lengths which the watch faithfully recorded, I had to remember had to stop the recording and complete the set as I had only skimmed the user manual.

I’m used to using my Garmin 310 for recording training data but with pool swimming all I would get is overall session time unless I manually set each set.

Having a watch that measures the laps accurately and automatically is a blessing as my mind easily wanders and I forget how many laps I have swum!

In terms of data recorded, reviewing the log in the comfort of the bar at the leisure centre it seemed to give pretty much what I was after. Swim time, number of laps and average stroke count were immediately beneficial, there is also a measure of efficiency although I haven’t checked this out.

On getting home, I downloaded the application to my Mac from the Swimovate website. I followed the instructions in terms of installation then connecting up the USB cradle but it wasn’t being picked up. I unplugged the cradle then reattached it – this then started some process but unfortunately caused the computer to reboot.

When the Mac came back up everything seemed to be working fine, I was able to open the application and I could see that the log had been loaded from the watch (docked in the cradle).

I will add a few images to this post later when I get round to taking some of the watch, cradle and application.

In conclusion, I like the Poolmate Pro and apart from the crash my Mac experienced I have no complaints about the actual hardware. My only wish is that at some point Swimovate issue an update for the watch to allow individual lap recording, this will be useful in determining lap time consistency.

Norwich Triathlon Training Ride

May 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Making the most of the good weather, and being back home after a week in sunny Glasgow, I met up with a good friend to ride the Norwich triathlon olympic bike route.

I’ve known Gary for something like 15 years but have not really seen him for some time so it was good to bump into him at the Tri-anglia Waveney 1 traithlon at the beginning of the month. He’s a strong cyclist having done a couple of E’tapes taking in a good few of the most famous mountains France has to offer. As Gary is doing the Olympic tri this year, we thought it would be good to ride the bike route to get a good feel for it.

We joined the route at Saxlingham Nethergate and then proceeded round the course, the first 5 to 10 kilometers were on fairly quiet rides which allowed us to have a good chat. From joining the main road back Woodton into Brooke it was pretty much single file due to the traffic. The road is quite fast although there are a few inclines to consider pacing correctly on race day. Again, the road between Brooke and Poringland was pretty quick and it was nice to turn off toward Arminghall and away from all the cars.

The road to Arminghall is okay but as there are fields either side it could get windy when the road opens up. We then decided to ride to Whitlingham Lane for completeness rather than turn back toward Caister. When we got to the lake we had a quick look at where the ramp comes out of the water and the short run into transition.

The last leg of the course was okay although it takes in Skeet’s Hill, which for us was toward the end of our ride, but on race day will be fairly near the beginning – this is a good little workout for the legs!

Finished off the morning with a nice coffee and chat with Gary and Clare about family, work, cycling and triathlon.

What a great start to the weekend!

As shown in the graphs below, my heart got a good workout. I’m fairly pleased with my cadence and average speed of just under 19 miles an hour (30 km/h) given that I’ve not really cycled further than about 10 miles in one go!





Heart Rate

Heart Rate



2012 Season Races

April 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Having signed up for another race yesterday I thought it a good idea to make a note of my calendar for the 2012 season, I’ll hopefully follow up this post with another outlining my targets for each event.

Norwich Triathlon Olympic distance, Norwich, on July 1st.
More details.

National Club Relay Championships, Nottingham, on 25th and 26th August.
More details.

Waveney 2 Triathlon super sprint, Bungay, September 9th.
More details.

Fritton Viking half Ironman, Fritton, on September 23rd.
More details.

Additionally, I’ll hope to take part in the Broadsman which is the clubs unoffical half Ironman race, I’m not sure when this will be although it is toward the end of the year.

I also hope to try the local 10 mile time trial which runs on a weekday evening from Ketteringham and maybe try my hand at a race at the Lotus test track (time and resources pending!).

I’ll flesh this out with further details soon and also with my targets…

My Training Levels

March 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Ideally, I would measure my heart rate in swimming, cycling and running – but I haven’t done this yet. Instead, I have calculated my HRmax from the formula 220 – age.

This equates to 220 – 35 (well, I’ll be 35 in May so probably closer to the mark!) which gives me 175 bpm.

Maximal heart rate % of HRmax Actual Figure
T1 65 114
T2 70 123
T3 75 131
T4 80 140
T5 85 149
T6 90 158
T7 95 166
T8 100 175
My heart rate zones as of April 2012
Tempo-level % of HRmax Type Description
T1 65 Very gentle Regeneration and long to very long sessions.
T2 70 Gentle Improves fat metabolism. Training between hard days.
T3 75 Relaxed Base, long sessions. Able to talk easily. Main zone for cardiovascular training.
T4 80 Quick For longer fartlek runs and tempo cycling.
T5 85 Fast Anaerobic threshold zone. Limit loads in first two months of preparation period.
T6 90 Hard Approaching race pace for 70.3 distance. Improving basic speed in training.
T7 95 Very hard Improvement in anaerobic zone, intervals only in short-term. Training for sprint and Olympic distance.
T8 100 Maximal Competition tempo for solo race – 3.1 mile run, 12.4 mile cycle or 550 yard run.
Guide to heart rate zones

I am able to set up training zone alarms on my Garmin Forerunner so that I am alerted each time my heart rate moves into a new zone, I am yet to do this but it will prove a useful tool to concentrate my effort.