May workouts

May workoutsWelcome to a new month of workouts. The focus for May workouts is to get strength back in my legs and regain confidence in breathing through workouts. This is something that I felt has fallen off over the last few weeks. Goal wise, well I hope to hit conditioning every morning and up the intensity up in the evening. I also have a goal of getting my nutrition back on track to fuel May workouts. Let’s see how I get on and as always give the workouts a go and let me know how you get on in the comments…

(All of my other workouts can be found here)

Wednesday 31/05/17


20 minutes run (roughly 4k) – Not a crazy pace but kept moving and focused on breathing.


The last training day of May and what a day it was.

A) 5 x 2 Paused front squat

B) 6 x 3 Snatch pull

C) Cry a little bit first….

4 rounds: Every 4 minutes – 25 calorie Airdyne – max effort

Rest 6 minutes

4 rounds: Every 3:30 minutes – 27 calorie row – max effort

Rest 6 minutes

4 rounds: Every 3 minutes – 50m sled sprint – max effort

The front squats are really beneficial for me at the minute with the carry over to cleans. Positioning will be key on these for improvement over time.

Pulls felt light and this was expected with snatching going will at the minute.

As for the workout. Wellllll, I didn’t finish the 4th round of the Airdyne, I cramped so badly and burnt out I couldn’t pedal – Rounds took between 22-25 seconds. The rows were all around 1 minute and sled 20-30 seconds. This is honestly one of the worst workouts I have done in some time, I thought the world was ending on that Airdyne!!!

Tuesday 30/05/17


Run 800m – rest 1 minute x 5

A good rough 3:1 work:rest ratio workout this morning. I have been meaning to get into slightly longer intervals of late so it was good to run these. Times weren’t out of this world but they were consistent. I read this Health Bloggers Community article around improving running last week so am trying to utilise some of the tips in my own training.


A) Low Hang Clean- 3 x 3 @ 80%, 3 x 2 @85%, 4 x 1 @90%

B) 5 x 3 push press

C) 20 minute amrap: 25 foot right arm overhead dumbbell lunge (22.5kg), 10 burpees, 25 foot left arm overhead dumbbell lunge (22.5kg), 35 double unders

Low hang work is a huge weakness of mine so any work on this is worthwhile. I kept numbers down as my clean catch is still not fully stable.

Again, push press is a weakaness. Even with T-Rex arms I struggle with shifting decent weight so I just built to 100kg and left it there.

As for the workout, well this was a sweat fest. It was fun and not as bad as expected but it was still a tough one. I’d recommend anyone to give this a go but to scale the weight if needed. Unilateral work is something I don’t think we do enough of in Crossfit.

Monday 29/05/17

Bank Holiday Monday and a quick session before some house chores……. aka a nap!

A) 5 x 2 back squat

B) EMOM – 6 strict ring dip + 8-10 toes to bar x 9 rounds

C) 3 legless rope climbs – rest 1 minute x 5

I am made up to hit all of my squats at 80% of my all time 1 rep max. This has been a goal for a while, hit percentages of my old numbers and today I got that.

For the second piece, toes to bar have always been a weakness. The better athletes will hit 12-15 reps on this but I was happy with a 50/50 split between 8 & 10 reps. Dips are no problem for old T-Rex arms here.

Finally, more rope climbs. It’s funny how short arms can be a blessing one minute but a curse the next. Rounds took anywhere between 40 seconds and 1 minute. To put this into context, it took other’s 20 seconds 😐 T-Rex on a rope, not good.

Sunday 28/05/17

Today we climbed Snowdon! You can see more of the climb in this post here: A day out to Mt. Snowdon

Saturday 27/05/17

A) EMOM x 10 – 2 strict muscle ups + 20 double unders

B) Snatch – 3 x 3 @ 80%, 3 x 2 @85%, 4 x 1 @90%

C) For time: 20-15-10-15-20 calorie ski + 14 alternating dumbbell snatch after each round

Today was fun, the EMOM is one we have done before and a great way to test gymnastics under fatigue.

The snatching portion of today couldn’t have gone better. I actually kept going after feeling good and tied my all time PB!!! I didn’t think I’d be close to these numbers yet and nearly hit a new PB of 112.5kg as well so good all around.

FInally, the workout was short and sweet, it took 7:10. Dumbbells are also all the rage at the minute so we’re seeing them more and more frequently. Good fun all around.

Friday 26/05/17

A) 7 x 4 strict deficit handstand press ups

B) For time: 400m Run, 15 burpees, 30 air squat *All in a 10/7 kg Dynamic Shield weighted vest*

may workouts

Tonight was short and sweet before a bank holiday weekend. Part A was more of a warm up for the main workout and focus was on technique.

Part B, well part B was a bad one. It took me 13:59 and I was happy with that! Weighted vests are all the rage in Crossfit at the minute with regional’s workouts including them. Our gym is luck to have Dynamic Shield owners Craig and Ellen as member’s so we got to test some new models – I don’t actually know if that is a good thing!?!?!

However, the workout was great and I’d encourage anyone to give it a go who has a vest.

Thursday 25/05/17

I hopped on the Airdyne today for a bit of a sweat-fest…

Every 2 minutes x 10 – 25 calorie Airdyne.

This was just as miserable as expected but worthwhile. Rounds took me just over a minute so give it a go and let me know what you think!

Wednesday 24/05/17


Every 2:30: Run 400m (steady pace) x 12

The goal this morning was to slow the pacing down, keep it consistent across all intervals (1:40) and reduce the rest.

Now, obviously I couldn’t hold my flat-out 400m pace over the intervals. So, the thinking was to increase the work to rest ratio over the 5k. This is done with a pace faster than my 5k pace but slower than my 400m pace.

Overall, this pace would have me coming out at 20 minutes over a 5k which is around 3 minutes faster than m old 5k time (good for me). Over time I hope to increase the speed of the intervals, reduce the time of rest and then hit a 5k to hopefully get a PB!!!


A) At one weight chosen by you:

  • 12 deadlift + 12 shoulder to overhead – Rest 45s
  • 10 deadlift + 10 shoulder to overhead – Rest 45s
  • 8 deadlift + 8 shoulder to overhead – Rest 30s
  • 6 deadlift + 6 shoulder to overhead – Rest 15s
  • 4 deadlift + 4 shoulder to overhead

B) For Time: 30 rope climbs

C) 5 rounds: 15 lying straight-arm plate lifts + 15 seated pike leg lifts

Part A was hit at 70kg, this was the right weight to go at as although the deadlift’s feel light, the shoulder to overhead get tough. I anticipated being able to do this at 80kg which I think I will do at some point, however, for now 70kg was enough – I’m sure there’s a freak out there who could probably do this at something stupid like 100kg.

So, let’s keep part B a short and sweet discussion point ha ha! Rope climbs aren’t my jam and this took me almost 14 minutes which is slow as anything. Another weakness to improve (a good time is between 7-8 minutes).

Finally, some accessory work, this has been a common feature of May workouts which I actually enjoy – I used to hate it. These are the exercises that build those little gains that people don’t see or appreciate.

Tuesday 23/05/17


Run 200m (hard) – rest 1 minute x 10

The idea here was shorter work intervals with faster pacing and longer rest periods. I wanted this to be more lactic and test a different energy system. The legs got heavy put it that way!


A) 6 x 2 Back Squat

B) 5 x 4 Power Clean (touch & go)

C) 6 rounds: 15 calorie Airdyne + Accumulate 30s handstand hold

Tonight was a good night where the strength work was concerned! I hit 150 on the back squat. Now, this is nowhere near my old number for 2 – Nor strong in Crossfit. However, at this point I was not expecting to hit that number. I tried 155 and missed but was pretty over the moon with 150 for a double. Leg strength is coming back.

The cleans I worked from 90 thought to 100. The focus was on smooth reps and I felt good on these tonight.

Finally, reality came back around and smacked me in the face on the workout. The bike felt good, holding mid 70 RPM was no bother across the calorie intervals. However, my handstands – especially under fatigue – are terrible. Shoulder mobility and a lack of practice is the reason. I need to spend more time upside down ha ha.

Monday 22/05/17


EMOM x 21: 1 – 200m run, 2 – 15 burpee’s, 3 – 15 kettlebell swings (32kg)

This was fun! It’s the first time I’ve thought to do am EMOM like this at home and I really enjoyed it. Give it a go and scale the distance, number, weight of the movements to get 40 seconds of work in per round.


A) Snatch – 3 x 3 @ 75%, 3 x 2 @80%, 2 x 2 @85%, 2 x 1 @90%

B) 6 x 4 Strict chest to bar pull ups

C) 5 x 6 Ring kip swings

D) EMOM x 8: 4-6 seated dumbbell press (22.5kg) + 10-12 pull ups

E) 6 sets: 20-30 second ring support

Tonihgt seemed like a lot of volume but it was very short intense bursts of gymnastics.

Snatching went well and I topped out at 100kg for the snatch singles and the chest to bar are always a work in progress. Focus was on keeping hollow and a fast concentric pull.

The EMOM was tough! Try this for a humbling workout that gives you a serious arm pump – who doesn’t want that!? I hit 4 rounds at 6/12 and 4 at 5/10.

Finally, the ring supports were tougher than expected. Gymnasts make these look so easy – click here for a video. However, they are really demanding on your joints, shoulders and core.

Saturday 20/05/17

Bit of an odd one today. I dropped my car off for an MOT so ended up running to the gym from the garage, a nice 1.5 mile warm up!

After this I hit some heavy singles on snatch and clean & push jerk. I hit 95/110 which I wasn’t too happy with but all in all after a full week of training at this point I guess isn’t too bad.

Following this it was 6 x 2 back squat. I stuck with working up to heavier percentages and was made up to hit my actual 80% for 2 reps across 2 sets – 140kg!

Finally, the workout was a lung burner… 1.2 mile bike + 300m run – rest 1:30 x 6. It worked out at just over a “:1 work:rest ratio. This was good as it was pushing a bit more and shortening the rest even more in relation to the work period. A good aerobic workout for you to try which could be subbed for a stationary bike and run!

Friday 19/05/17


Every 3 minutes – Run 400m x 7

I am enjoying running at the minute – Wait, did I just say that!!! The focus is to work on technique and breathing, the pace will come eventually over time.

Intervals are a great way to build a base. I try to start at 1:1 work:rest ratio’s and drop the rest over time until I’m at a 4:1 work:rest ratio.


A) Clean – 3 x 3 @ 80%, 3 x 2 @ 85%, 4 x 1 @ 90%

B) EMOM x 7: 5 shoulder to overhead @ 75kg + 10 burpee’s

C) 4 rounds: 60 double under’s + 25 alternating dumbbell snatch + 20 alternating pistol

My cleans felt awful tonight, sometimes the percentage work feels way heavier than what it is but hey, that’s part of training. My focus is to just try to move well and if the weight isn’t going up then scale it back!

For the second piece, the weight was a fraction light. Rounds took 30-35 seconds and I think if this was a 10-12 minute EMOM the weight would have been right. However, maybe if this is repeated 80kg would be good. Honestly, this surprised me and was a good positive to take away.

Finally, the pistol workout ruined me. These used to be a strength of mine, however since my knee op this is the first time trying them. I still had to scale to sitting back onto plates for depth/control and my heart rate went thought the roof! To me, this is pure Crossfit and a fun workout to try, scale to air squats or box step ups if needed!

Thursday 18/05/17

So, I hit a Marcus Filly conditioning piece tonight which was really good…

Every 5mins x 6 Sets
AB 15 Cals
Run 200m
Row 15 Cals
Run 200m

It got tough in the last couple of rounds, try to hold one pace but go hard!

Wednesday 17/05/17


Run 200m – rest 1 minute x 10

Nothing special, just some morning interval work. Go hard on these!


All the fitness tonight…

A) 5 x 5 Thruster

B) 4 rounds: 2 peg board ascents + 15 m handstand walk

C) Alternating tabatta: Airdyne, Burpee, D-Ball Over Shoulder x 8 (12 minutes total work)

D) For time: 35 toes to bar + 35 GHD sit ups

If there was ever a night of weaknesses then it would be tonight.

The thruster I kept to 70kg as I am conscious about moving well in May workouts and letting the ego sit to one side. Part B was horrendous for me – I’m so bad at peg boards! However, the handstand walks felt good.

As for the tabatta piece, this is a brilliant way to get some good conditioning in over short time periods. It got really tough, 7’s on the Airdyne and burpee’s and 5.4 on the D-Ball. This is the format of workout I’d recommend to do at home but with different movements if you don’t have the equipment. Maybe squats, burpee’s and sit ups.

Lastly, my abs nearly fell off!!! It took 3:08 and my toes to bar vanished after 25 reps. If you give this a go, just dig in on the GHD’s!

Tuesday 16/05/17


Every 3 minutes – 10 burpee’s + 10 air squats x 7

The weather was awful this morning so I hit this in the kitchen of all places! May workouts have been more outdoors with the weather improving. It was good to still get some work indoors again though – I actually quite enjoy them


A) 4 x 3 back squat

B) Low Hang Snatch – 3 x 3 @ 70%, 3 x 2 @ 75%, 4 x 1 @ 80%

C) 10 sets of strict negative muscle ups

D) 5 rounds: 20 hollow rock + 15 straight-arm plate lifts + 15 reverse hyper-extension

I hit 140kg on part A which I was amazed with, this is a big jump for my leg strength at the minute. This still hasn’t come back after my operation. I’m a little surprised about that but it will do over time.

The snatches felt light tonight, I powered all sets which arguably isn’t good for me at the minute. The percentage work with Olympic lifts is good at the minute. A great way to build strength and technique.

Finally, the muscle ups were easier than previous weeks and the 5 rounder was a nice finisher. No workout tonight and lower intensity. Focus was on the strength work and putting max effort into that.

Monday 15/05/17


Every 3:30 minutes – 200m run + 15 burpees x 7

This wasn’t overly aerobic, however, it was good to go out hard on each round and see how much rest I could get. The idea was to go flat-out for each round


A) 6 x 4 strict chest to bar

B) EMOM x 10 – 6 strict handstand press ups + 12 pull ups

C) Clean – 3 x 3 @ 80%, 3 x 2 @ 85%, 4 x 1 @ 90%

D) 40 seconds on/off: Min 1 – Airdyne, Min 2 – Burpee’s, Min 3 – Double Under’s

A gymnastic start to tonight. Gymnastic workouts on the minute are fun and a great way to build capacity. I used a lot of these in my recovery workouts post-op. They have also been a big feature of May workouts as well.

The clean work wasn’t great tonight, weights felt a bit heavy but the percentages are slowly creeping up. Give timed percentage work a go to really improve your Olympic lifting. It’s tough but works very well.

Finally, I just wanted to sweat after feeling a bit under the weather today. The workout was good and is challenging if you set a number for each movement prior to starting. I’d recommend giving this a go for anyone looking to build an engine.

Saturday 13/05/17

Today was a bit of a mish-mash of two days as I missed last night – Heloooo cherry picking

A) Snatch – 3 x 3 @ 75%, 3 x 2 @ 80%, 4 x 1 @ 85%

C) In 4 minutes: Row 500m + amrap – 18 wall balls, 15 GHD sit-ups, 12 bar over burpee, 9 shoulder to overhead

Snatching felt good and the percentage trend continued. It may seem boring but this type of lifting work really does work for building strength and technique. i say it over and over but it’s programmed for a reason!

The final part of today was hard. I pulled at a 1:40 500m pace and still didn’t get through 1 round of the amrap. Although that isn’t quick on the rower I did expect to get through at least 1 round. It was a good workout but just tough! Give it a try.

Friday 12/05/17


A good morning workout this morning…

20 minute amrap: 400m run + 15 swings + 15 burpee’s

This was it today, later Han and I headed out for food and a few drinks in Manchester at Pho. It’s a great Thai place with easy, quick food.

Thursday 11/05/17


Alternating minutes: Even – 18 burpees, Odd – 20 lunges x 12


Tabatta: Air squats and burpees

I wanted a burpee fest this morning with some lower body focus. The 12 minute workout was a good number to be working on with constant breathing and the tabatta was back to back. One straight into the other.

This type of workout is a perfect home workout to hit.

Wednesday 10/05/17


Every 3:30 x 7: 400m run + 15 burpee’s

The goal was one pace on the runs and straight down into the burpee’s. Nothing complex, just pushing myself to move better where running is concerned.


A) Build to a heavy single paused front squat

B) 8 minutes to establish a 2RM clean – into – 6 minutes to establish a 1RM clean

C) 3RM deficit handstand press up

D) max kipping handstand press ups

Tonight was short and sweet. Part A I hit 120kg’s which was a bit of a surprise to be honest. Positioning felt good as well – incremental gains, little things adding up.

I had goals for part B before starting – 110kg for the 2RM and 120kg for the 1RM. I managed to hit both, however technique wasn’t great. May workouts focus is technique so the ego will be getting put to one side going forward.

C & D was a “meh” piece. I had 3 x 20kg plates + 1 x 10kg plate either side for the 3RM. Then for the final piece I hit 35 which isn’t great for me. Just didn’t quite get it right tonight. However, work is work and it’s in the bag!

Tuesday 09/05/17


1 minute on/off: Burpees – x 10

Just a mover, pick a number and stick to it throughout. Focus was on exhaling upon contact with the floor, inhale on the way up, exhale at the top, inhale on the way down.


A) heavy hang snatch double

B) 5 x 1 @ 90% of A

C) 4 rounds: In 4 minutes – 400m run, 10 power clean @ 65kg, 15 heavy wall ball, max burpee’s – Rest 2 minutes

Part A was a little disappointing at the time but in hindsight wasn’t bad. I hit 95kg but really wanted 100kg. Unfortunately, the confidence just isn’t there to drop under a heavy bar yet with my knee. Catching in power feels solid and well positioned though.

B was simple and quick at 90kg – I went a little heavier.

Finally, part C was horrible but exactly what I need! The score was the number of burpee’s each round and I hit 23, 23, 17, 18… Safe to say I fell off a cliff on this one. It got me badly this one, pure Crossfit and it hurt. However, it was fun and a good one if you just want to push.

Monday 08/05/17


Every 2 minutes: 350 – 400m run x 10

Again, not sure of the exact distance but judging by timings that is how far I guess it is.


A) Back squat – 4 x 5

B) 7 Peg Board ascents for time

C) Power Clean – 3 x 4 @ 70%, 3 x 3 @ 75%, 3 x 2 @ 80%

D) EMOM x 6 – 6 strict handstands + 12 pull ups

A gymnastic and weightlifting night tonight with a short burst workout. The back squats were again based on feel and my hamstrings were on fire from the power snatch as it was!

Peg Boards are a huge weakness of mine so I love getting to practice them. I just know I’ll be sroe for days afterwards. Good fun and luck to have on in the gym.

The power cleans were purely form focused. Trying to move well and consistently with a good catch – May workouts focus is moving well remember!

Finally, the EMOM was a fun workout. The numbers were just about right but I felt like I could go for a bit longer. Pull ups are not something that we do frequently so it’s good to get some in.

Sunday 07/05/17

Rest day

Saturday 06/05/17

I’m enjoying the variety in May workouts. yesterday was long and tough, today short and fast.

A) 5 rounds: 2 negative muscle ups + amrap wall facing handstand press ups – rest as needed between rounds.

B) Tabata power snatch @ 35kg

C) EMOM for 1 round: 1 – 25 calorie row, 2 – 25 push jerk @ 65kg, 3 – 25 calorie row

Part A was a good gymnastic focus and the negative muscle ups are starting to feel better. Practice, practice, practice.

For B, this got very shoulder and back dominant. I tried to hold a constant pace and got 70 reps which I was fairly pleased with overall.

For part C, don’t let this length of the workout deceive you. It was from a Jason Khalipa EMOM that he programmed for NC Fit. We dropped the weight by 5kg and it was still bad! It’s an all out effort, row’s took 45-52 seconds and the push jerk 45. I wanted them unbroken but after the snatch tabata I dropped at 21!

Such a fun workout to finish the week of training.

Friday 05/05/17

This evening was a in and out session but a brutal one at that!

A) EMOM x 8 – 3-5 Bar muscle ups

B) 5 rounds: 5 Overhead squat @ 70kg + 7 toes to bar, 7 24″ burpee box jump, 7 calorie Airdyne x 2 + 2 rope climbs

So, A was a bit of a warm up, I started at 3 and moved through to 5 reps as I went. Focus was on technique more than anything.

Now, part B, well that was interesting. This was a really bad workout, like the type that leaves a taste of metal in your mouth afterwards. It took 22:49 and that was more than enough for tonight!!! It’s a fun workout, the overhead squats and rope climbs are done once each round with the 2 rounds of 7’s in between.

It was bad as there’s no room to recover or rest. The movements are just long enough to mean you have to keep moving. A great one for you to try (scale accordingly).

Thursday 04/05/17

Just some simple rowing tonight: 1:30 on / 1:00 off @ 1:42 per 500m pace

Breathe, relax and move. That was the goal and this felt good, I have felt like I need mono-structural workouts of late and this was perfect. Pick a pace to commit to and give this a go. Total meters for me at the end was around 4500m.

Wednesday 03/05/17


I went to the local footy pitches this morning and hit some ‘continuous interval’ work as I like to call them.

20 minutes: Sprint 2 lengths of a football pitch + 1 length jog recovery

The aim is to not stop all throughout and focus on controlled breathing after the sprints. I wanted to try to spike my heart rate and remain calm in the recovery portion thereafter. This is to mimic the feeling in a workout when you may go too hard and gas yourself. I wanted to find a pace where I could keep moving but also regain my breathing.


A) 100 dumbbell bench press for time (22.5kg) *20 heavy double under’s every time you break*

I can’t move my arms, or chest, or upper body! I split the sets into 30, 20, 20, 15 15 but would likely do it in 20’s next time. It was a fun and different workout to be honest! Something we don;t normally do but enjoyable nonetheless.

My time was 8:43 (T-Rex arms) which I was secretly happy with. If you want to mix Crossfit up then give this a go. Main-site has been using dumbbells a lot since the open so we’re likely to see them more in 2017 and beyond.

B) 1 minute row + 1 minute Airdyne + 1 minute rest x 6

This was right up my street and I aimed for 23 calories a minute on the row and to hold low 70 RPM’s on the Airdyne. This was comfortable until round 4 when it got heavy on the breathing. This felt about right and left me breathing but not on my arse!


Tuesday 02/05/17


Every 4 minutes x 5: 350 – 400 meter run + 20 burpees

Rounds took between 2:30 – 2:40 which left a bit too much rest if I’m honest. If I was to do this again I would go every 3:30. It was fun but not as heavy on the lungs as I had hoped.

I like “Every X minute” workouts as they make you commit to completing work. There’s also the trade-off, go hard and get more rest or slower and be less gassed but have less rest!


A) EMOM x 6 – 5 power clean @ 90kg

This was fairly challenging to be honest. It took me by surprise as 90kg normally isn’t heavy at all. The goal is to maintain form throughout and not get sloppy. I think being conscious about how I move is going to be another goal for May workouts.


B) 10 rounds: 300m row + 25 meter sled pull + 25 meter sled push

Wellll. This was one of those ’emotional’ workouts where you go through the spectrum of “I want to stop”, “keep going”, “I hate this”, “that was fun”. It turned out to be a plodder. Once I worked out that loading the majority of the weight onto the front of the sled isn’t clever it was fun too.

This is a good grunt work style workout that requires little skill. Perfect for anyone looking to sweat and get some good, solid work in!

Monday 01/05/17

May starts (and ends) with a Bank Holiday!!! That means all the fun training in the sun – For this one at least.

A) EMOM x 12 – 20 double under’s + 2-3 strict muscle ups

B) 6 x 3 eccentric handstand press ups

C) 4 rounds: 300m run + 30 wall balls

Part A was surprisingly difficult! My arms fell off half way though and holding onto 2 strict muscle ups was a challenge.

The handstand press ups are designed to build gymnastic strength from a basic level. Eccentric, isometric then concentric. There will be a lot of these features in May workouts. Give them a go and scale when you need to for a really good gymnastic progression.

The last workout was a surprise. It took 9:36 which I was happy with given running is still a huge weakness. Wall balls should all be unbroken and my focus was to push harder in the last 2 rounds on the run.

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