Huge PRs across the board on Amanda on Wednesday.  Piotr went from 13:40 to 6:16 and Dave went from 22:35 to 7:58!

Huge PRs across the board on Amanda on Wednesday.
Piotr went from 13:40 to 6:16 and Dave went from 22:35 to 7:58!

Gymnastics Warm Up
8 minutes, alternating:
Kettlebell Snatches
Hollow Holds


5×1 Mid-Hang Clean & Jerk @ 80% – rest 60-90 sec. (Do not go above 80%)


Open Workout 11.5

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 Power Cleans 65Kg/45Kg
10 Toes to Bar
15 Wall Balls 20lbs/14lbs

Battle of London Recap – James

So there I was standing in my lane ready for workout 1 of the weekend. In the lane next to me was Lacee Kovacs, winner of the 2013 CrossFit European Regionals, 25th Place finisher in the 2013 CrossFit Games. You would imagine I was nervous, scared even. I wasn’t, I was pretty damn excited! This was awesome!

We had all jogged out with our judges onto the competition floor, to cheers and applause from hundreds of spectators. The venue London’s Copper Box was amazing! The stands were packed, athletes were ready, and the music was thumping. It was game time!

Workout 1
100 Double Unders

3 Rounds of:
10 Handstand Push-Ups
4 Sled Drags

100 Double Unders

3,2,1,GO! We were off skipping our way through 100 double unders. This was a buy in before tackling the main chunk of the workout, three rounds of ten handstand push ups and 4 sled drags with a 90kg on the sled. Once we completed that we would have to finish up the workout with another 100 double unders.
Around 70 double unders in, Lacee drops his rope and moves onto his Handstand Push Ups. I think this rocked me a little, damn this guy was fast. A few others had finished up too and I was one of the last to finish my double unders. I scrambled past the sled to the wooden wall to start my handstand push-ups. I had some catching up to do. 1,2,3,4, No Rep! I lost balance and came off the wall. Lacee was starting into his second round of push ups at this stage. I was back on the wall and finished the rest of my set. I moved hastily onto my sled drag, grabbing the straps and slinging them around my shoulders. It moved easily enough, but I was rushing and making it a lot of work. I was still in my head playing catch up and not doing a good job of staying calm, something I am usually very good at.

I finished out the rest of the rounds in much the same pattern, very fragmented sets of handstand push ups and rushed sled pulls. I picked up the rope to finish my one hundred Double Unders and made a goal of hitting the 100 unbroken, I managed 70 and tripped but managed to get back in quickly and finish the 30 unbroken after that. Time! 8:36.

I signed my score card still catching my breath and walked off in the direction of the staging area. I wasn’t happy, it was a terrible finish. I knew four to six minutes would be a good score in this workout so I was a little disappointed to come away with this result. 120th place after the first event, not the start to the weekend I had hoped for, I tried to remain positive. Reminding myself that if this workout had come up a year ago I would have struggled to finish it within the time-cap. Yes it didn’t go exactly to plan, but I had improved on my handstand push up. Lessons learned I need to continue to practice more handstand push ups and learn to be a little more relaxed if I’m playing catch up.

Workout 2A
In 6 minutes find a 1RM in the following complex:
1 Clean
1 Hang Clean
1 Front Squat
1 Shoulder to Overhead

Our plan was to make three attempts, target weight 122.5Kg.

It was good to have Colm in the warm up room. A calm voice telling me what and when to lift. It can be tough psychologically if you are used to training with friends and then go into a competition environment where you are essentially by yourself and surrounded by your opponents. It is something I have gotten used to over the years, but it is almost always better to have a coach. I found Colm’s coaching to be really helpful and kept me in a more positive mindset. It felt like it was just another training day!

I opened at 112.5kg, cleans and squat went well but on my shoulder to overhead I almost lost the weight forward. I barely secured it, almost stepping off the platform in the process. Getting it under control I lowered it to the platform. Attempt 1 in the bag. Next attempt would be 117.5Kg. I was a little rattled from almost losing the previous lift but shrugged it off. Clean felt good, hang clean and front squat also good and finished with a much more solid Jerk. Two attempts down I focused up for my final attempt of the complex 122.5Kg. Beside me Lacee Kovacs puts the finishing touches on a 135Kg Complex. This would tie him with the current best lift of the day by Steven Fawcett. Two incredible athletes.

I needed to get this. The clean felt good, I lowered and went for the hang clean. I was pulled forward and struggled a little standing it up. The front squat felt tough and my quads fried. I dipped and drove the bar overhead, it wasn’t to be, the barbell came crashing down before I could lock it out.

My Jerk has always been the weakest part of my weightlifting repertoire. This is something I am going to have to work on. I really enjoy competition for this reason. It highlights the areas that you need to work on. In training it is very easy to focus on the things you like or are good at, shying away from training your weaknesses.

In competition you don’t have the luxury of choice… If something comes up in an event and you are not good at it, you will know all about it. You are only as strong as your weakest link. It’s harsh but it’s honest.

The first part of the second event was over and we had two minutes to rest and ready ourselves for the next piece.

Workout 2B
For time: Complete 30 Ground to Overhead @ 80Kg

I’d a clear game plan going into this and I was happy with how it played out.

My plan was to hit it as thirty single reps, dropping after each one. I knew a lot of competitors would try and touch-and-go, linking some reps together. I knew that this would be very fatiguing and my slow and steady pace would pay off in the long run, less time under tension and more paced. It certainly did as I could hear from the announcer that I was holding steady with Lacee for most of the event. Only thing I didn’t account for was how bouncy the platform would be, the barbell jumped around and caused me to spend a bit of time setting up between each rep. Rep 30 was waved good by the judge and I dropped it with pleasure. I finished only four reps behind Lacee and was happy with my effort. My time was 4:39 and was my best finish so far, 55th Place.

Recovery after each even looked very similar, 1 kilometre row and a bunch of stretching. The rowing acts as cool down period, recovery, warm down, whatever you would like to call it. In CrossFit we mostly go from high intensity, high heart rate to doing zilch. Rowing at a light and easy pace allows the heart rate to gradually slow and body to return to some semblance of homeostasis. Important if you’ve to get up in a hour or so and do it all again. Carbohydrate drinks and protein and a small amount of food follows, you are mostly running on drinks and bars, stuff that is easy to digest and doesn’t sit in your stomach. Small amounts of food as often as possible.

Workout 3
3 Rounds
21 KB Swings (32kg)
12 C2B Pull-Ups
2 Laps of the arena.

I had one goal going into this workout, keep the kettlebell swings unbroken. Again I found myself slipping behind the pace and rushing to catch up. Swings went well all unbroken, pull ups in two sets of six and a steady run. I think I was too conservative on the runs as I was conscious of making sure I wasn’t too gassed coming in to do my next set of swings. I finished in 7:29 good enough for 69th Place.

After the last event of the day all athletes were gathered and there was an announcement that all barbell lifts were being removed from the competition, no reasons were given. As we understood there had been some damage to the floor and I could understand the organisers reasons for trying to limit that damage.
There were a lot of disappointed people, me included. I was hoping to climb back up some places with the Snatch ladder event, that chance was now gone.

Day 1 was over and it was time to get in some proper food and rest up for tomorrow. I was very lucky to have such a great group of people around me (Eimear, Nadia, Colm, Dominic and Devon). It made it very easy to switch off from competition mode and relax. Good food and lots of laughs were had! I was ready for Day 2.

Workout 4A
4 Minute AMRAP
4 KB Cleans each arm (32Kg)
8 Box Jumps (30inch)

Sunday morning started with some Kettlebell cleans (replacing the barbell thrusters) and box jumps. This was a pretty nasty combination and really fried the legs, your grip was also taxed from holding onto the kettlebell. I scored 4 rounds and three cleans.

There was a two minute rest and then we moved onto the next part of the workout

Workout 4B
4 Minute AMRAP of:
Ring Muscle Ups

I was happy with how this played out. I started out with two sets of five muscle ups, then dropped to three and two. I managed two more sets of two and a single rep before the time ran out. Twenty muscle ups in total. I was very happy considering my thirty muscle ups for time is 4:53 fresh.

My finishes in the two parts were 81st and 89th respectively. Enought to drag me into 87th Place overall. I’d made the cut for top 90. Now it was onto the burpee ladder. Yay Burpees!!

Workout 5
Bar Hop Burpee Ladder
Each minute perform 3, 6, 9, 12 etc.

With all barbell movements removed from the competition the snatch ladder event had been replaced with a ladder of increasing bar hop burpees. Not something you look forward to in the slightest and on the opposite end of the spectrum compared to a snatch. It was time to suffer.

On the first minute you performed three bar hop burpees, there was a ten second transition, where you moved onto the next station…6 bar hop burpees. Each minute the burpee number increased, your rest got shorter and you need to push harder.

This was a brutal event to do but was surprisingly good to watch as a spectator, the whole crowd were cheering wildly. Willing you to keep going. I topped out at 20 reps of 24. Two stations shy of finishing. I knew it was my last event, it was all I had left, I was happy.

I stayed on the floor to watch the later competitors to see how they tackled it. It was truly awesome to see some of the best in Europe go head to head. Pushing themselves to absolute failure. Passing the the 27 burpee station and maxing out on the final station. Jonas Muller won the event totalling 167 burpees in the ten minutes. Amazing effort.

The rest of the day was spent cheering on Devon (who took 4th place in the Masters division), Maria Blumenthal (3rd Masters Division), Martina Galgey (6th Masters Division) and Hilary Riordan who finished 24th overall. Great to see the Irish contingent getting stronger every year.

I’d like to thank my super awesome support crew. Those who were hoarse from all their cheering, thank you Eimear and Nadia. Thanks to Colm, as well as Devon and Dominic for their words of encouragement and support over the weekend. With the Battle of London down my focus now turns to the Opens. I’ve some weaknesses to strengthen