A feeling or results… which do you want?

OK, so this post might upset a few people but I really think it needs to be said and I’m going to be the one to say it.

Let’s talk about chasing that feeling… the burn, the agonising soreness. Has anyone ever said to you, or maybe you’ve said it yourself, “that must have been a great workout, I hurt so much!”

Any workout can be curated to make you feel burnt out, sore and sweaty but not every workout will actually be curated to make you better.

Here’s a hard truth people. You don’t need to destroy yourself in the gym. You don’t need to feel dead inside and out every workout. You don’t need to torture and punish yourself to get results. Brutal/long/crazy doesn’t mean better. Only better means better.

Walking away from your session tired, beaten up, sore and sweaty doesn’t automatically mean your workout was better or more effective. It does mean you are tired, beaten up sore and sweaty… but maybe thats it.

You might be working your butt off and not getting results. If this sounds like you then its time to rework the problem and sort out a new plan.

Because here’s the thing. It doesn’t take a great coach to program a class or workout that will burn you out. It sometimes feels like some coaches on the gym floor are constantly trying to outdo each other with how “hard” they can make a class or a workout. But, it’s easy to make a class hard and have participants leave feeling like they left their soul behind… but what did it actually achieve? I’d bet that if I asked for someone to put together a class that will make everyone exhausted and sore, most of you reading this could do that.

So here is the second thing. It does take a great coach to produce meaningful outcomes with their classes and programmes. A great coach knows what is required to get those real, visible, tangible results.

Let’s not get it twisted though. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard work and that it isn’t going to completely suck at times. It is and it will.

Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. You will have to find a way of turning off that limiter in your brain – that little switch that holds you back and convinces you are done, when actually you are just 40% done.

Real results take real work but you have to be smart about it. You need to understand what you are actually trying to achieve and figure out what you actually need to do to get where you want to go. Figure out the goal.

So right now you might be like “but Liza, I’m not training to achieve something specific. I don’t want to run a marathon/half marathon/obstacle race/triathlon/whatever.

Maybe you just want to be able to run around the garden and keep up with the kids and be able to pick up the youngest without worrying about your back.. OK, so actually in fitness terms what you want is to improve you cardiovascular fitness, your overall strength and have a strong posterior chain. Guess what, thats a fitness goal. Now you know what you need figure out how to get there but remember…

Stop chasing a feeling and start chasing results!

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  • Why CrossFit?

    I’ve had more than a few people ask me why I do CrossFit. I’m not sure if they mean in general, or because I’m a coach with my own fitness brand that isn’t CrossFit. But anyway, I thought I would give the question my full attention and explain why CrossFit. 

    I grew with the Portsmouth Joggers running club as my mum and dad were very active members and as such many a weekend was spent at this race or that event. There was invariably a kids race at many of these and I would participate in every one that I could. I also spent my summers at Squash Camp, did Rhythmic Gymnastics, played tennis and was a very sporty kid. It faded during my late teens and twenties as I discovered gigs, clubs, music festivals and it’s safe to say that although I was healthy during this time I wasn’t “into” fitness, unless it was dancing from 10pm to 6am! I had various gym memberships but it wasn’t an important factor in my life.

    I met Carl, my husband in 2008 just after I turned 30 and quickly moved in with him in Havant. One of the first things we did was join a gym together. It was just a local globo gym but we made it a regular thing and ventured to some classes together and enjoyed it. It often solved the question… “what do you want to do?”

    I started running again in 2012 after our first trip to the Gambia as I wanted to do some fundraising for a local project out there. I was competing in a 10k/10mile or half marathon race at least once a month and starting to enjoy it but I wasn’t really improving. I then got the dreaded ITB injury and that was me out until 2014. 

    In 2014 I was reading an article in Runners World about a guy who was stuck at a marathon time and just couldn’t improve. He was asked to do CrossFit for 6 months to see if it could help. In that 6 months he did CrossFit and ran less than half the amount of miles he would normally run while marathon training and bam! new marathon PB was achieved. 

    After reading this, myself and another running friend of mine rocked up to CrossFit Fareham to see what all the fuss was about. At the time I only managed 2 months as I couldn’t afford to keep it up but I could already see that there was something in it so followed Crossfit main site and adapted my gym workouts to be a little more in line with the CrossFit methodology. 

    In 2017, after avidly watching the Crossfit Open, Regionals and Games together for 4 years, I managed to finally convince Carl to give it a go with me. I nervously called CrossFit Iron Duke to book our taster session and neither of us have looked back. Yes, we have had to re-evaluate our finances slightly and make a couple of sacrifices but that’s ok because this is a priority for us. People pay more to go to David Lloyd than we do to go to CrossFit and no blinks an eye about that! 

    The combination of Cardio, Olympic Lifting, Weights and Gymnastics means not even once have I been bored in a Crossfit class, not once in 2 years. We are coached more directly and held to a higher standard than you will find in any regular gym. We can never get away with a less than below parallel squat (unless you have a genuine mobility issue), full overhead lockout with the bar or chest and thighs to floor for both burpees and push ups.

    I am fitter, faster and stronger than I have ever been. I smashed over 4 minutes off my parkrun PB in 6 months without actual run training. My mobility and posture are much improved and besides all that, you have no idea how supportive, fun and amazing the CrossFit community is. It isn’t like a normal gym in any way shape or form and until you are part of it you just can’t understand it. Anyone that tells you it is a glorified and over priced circuits class either likely never stepped foot inside a CrossFit Gym.

    The other big plus for me is that it is where I go to grow, learn and be held accountable. I have blended the methodology behind CrossFit into my own training and the way I train my clients and trust me, it works. Having a coach help to develop me means I am more able to develop and help my clients.

    Lastly, I spend most of time programming workouts, writing training plans and planning classes for other people. The last thing I want to do is do that for myself. Don’t get this confused though… of course I can do it but I don’t want to. All this however, is touching on another future blog post so I will leave this for now! 

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 30/09/19

    * I am not including the classes I coach in this training log but for reference I coach 3 indoor cycle, 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT and 1 Tabata class a week between Tuesday and Friday.

    This week the focus on low heart rate training, in relation to running and cycling and also back to back sessions to improve endurance.

    Mon: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    Very simple but effective cardio conditioning circuit cycling through 2 mins on, 1 min off between the assault bike, rower and ski erg for just over 35 minutes.

    Mon: 1pm 5k Run

    First attempt at zone training. 5k run working to keep my heart rate in the aerobic zone and below 142. It was a very slow 5k!

    Tue: 1pm CrossFit Class

    A lot of time spent working on pull ups during the skill/strength portion of the class. I am definitely seeing some progress with regards to my broken/cracked rib and things involving me hanging off a bar are getting easier again 🙂 The WOD was a grim 15 min AMRAP of 5 x Jumping Chest to Bar Pull up, 10 x 45kg Deadlift, 16 12.5kg Alt DB Snatch and a 200m row. Usually I love DB Snatch but today it just sucked a little less than everything else sucked!

    Tue: 2:15pm 5k run

    Second attempt at zone training. Again working to keep my heart rate in the aerobic zone and below 142. Went slightly better than yesterday 🙂

    Wed: 12:15 Total Body Conditioning Class

    First order of the day, a 10 minute assault bike effort. This started to remind me of the horrors of last weeks 30 min max effort threshold heart rate test but luckily I had my girl Claire on the bike next to me and she, without saying a word, pushed me to get it done and get it done well. 1 minutes rest and then it was on to 2 10 min EMOM’s involving Rowing & 10kg Plate Cleans and Ski Erg & DB Down Ups.

    Wed: 1pm Crossfit Class

    No run today as I really wanted to do this class. A 10k partner row. The rules being you can split the meters however you want but both partners must row 5k each and the time cap is 40 minutes. I bagged the awesome Olly as my partner at the beginning of the TBC class… and then started to question my sanity as that boy is seriously fast and I realised I would be getting very little rest! We always make a good team though and despite it being a workout that really, really hurt, we managed to have a lot of fun and smash the time cap!

    Thu: 12:00pm 5k Run

    Third run of the week and the first mile was great, I didn’t need to walk to keep my heart rate were I wanted it and I thought I was starting to get the hang of it. Then the second mile was, shall we say, a little less smooth and the third mile was complete crap. Every time I pushed into a run my heart rate instantly pinged into the threshold zone and it was possibly the slowest mile I’ve run for the longest time. Still, I preserved and got it done.

    Thu: 1pm CrossFit Class

    Skill/ Strength focus was on Toes To Bar and Handstand Push Ups. Two movements I suck at and two movements severely hampered by, yes, you guessed it, my bloody cracked/broken rib! However, more proof that it is definitely healing.. I landed my first toes to bar 🙂 No, I couldn’t get another one but small victories right. I now know that I can do it! The WOD was two 6 minute AMRAP’s, separated by 2 minutes rest, of 1; Toes to Bar (so in my case knees to chest!) & Burpee Box Jump Overs and 2; DB Push Press and Double Unders. I do love a bit of skipping but I’m now using my super heavy RX Gear Zeus rope and man does it burn.

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    I had planned for today to be a rest day but originally my lovely friend Amy was signed in on her own and she is not one for doing solo classes so I thought I’d do the decent thing and come keep her company. What a mistake! Welcome to Burpee Frikkin Friday! Yep, you can tell The Open is coming up… shame I’n not entering this year though. We 30 minutes of rowing, over row burpees, DB Row Clusters (Head Coach Toby’s latest tortute creation!) Over DB Burpees, Ski Erg and Plate Jumps. It was gross but awesome and more than enough for what should be a rest day.

    Sat: Tough Mudder 5k Urban

    Saturday is usually my rest day but we (being my husband and I) were off to play on Clapham Common at at Tough Mudder event with no mud and no water. Different and a brilliant little event and the last UK event of 2019. Totally different to anything else Tough Mudder offer and it showed as pretty much everyone on course was new to Tough Mudder and obstacle racing in general. This meant we were able to hang out at obstacles and help a huge amount of people. It was all over by 4pm and that was it, TM done for another year. Now, it’s a waiting game to see if we are chosen as ambassadors for a 4th year in 2020.

    Sun: 9:30am Forza Fitness Squad Strong Girl Sunday Funday

    5 of us this week playing around in my studio this week and it was all about boxing and core work. Lots of combination work and laughs, just as a Sunday Funday should be… especially when one of the squad creates a very confusing combination that foxes everyone!

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22
  • IM Training Log w/c 23.09.19

    *I am not going to include the classes that I coach in my training log but for reference per week between Tuesday and Friday I coach 3 indoor cycle , 2 Insanity, 2 Boxercise, 1 LBT and 1 Tabata class .

    Mon: Rest Day

    As a rule Saturday is my one rest day but given that I did 8 days on the bounce due to the weekend being the last Tough Mudder Classic weekend of the year Monday was my well earned rest day. I had PT clients and other than that I took Cracker Dog for a long 2 hour-ish walk and that, as they say, was that.

    Tues: 1pm CrossFit class

    Now, I want to make one thing clear. As soon as I booked my IM, after my husband and my parents, the next person I contacted was my coach. I asked if we could have a chat the next day and we sat down and discussed how I could adapt my time and the workouts at CrossFit Iron Duke to make it viable to continue to train there. So yes, get used to it, my training is going to still involve a lot of CrossFit.

    This class involved a deceiving brutal partner workout containing Wall Balls, Push Ups, Double Unders and Pull Ups. My triceps were shot after two days at Tough Mudder pulling people up Everest and the like so my poor partner, Ben, had to deal with me being shockingly slow on the push ups – sorry again Ben!

    Weds: 1pm PT Session

    I have been working with my coach, Kerry for almost two years now and I get a lot of surprise from people who wonder why a coach needs a coach. I find this really shocking but am saving this subject for a future blog.

    This week was another strength week, focussed on building lower body strength and power. We are both still very mindful that my cracked/broken rib(s) are healing so there are a few things we are staying away from but there was definite progress this week when throwing the 50kg D Ball on and off the jerk blocks so obviously things aren’t as bad as they were. Other activities included a lot of DB Romanian Deadlifts and DB Walking Lunges.

    Thurs: 11:15am Barbell Club

    Work has conspired against me for a lot of this year and that, teamed with “the rib” has meant that I haven’t been able to make Barbell Club so now that I am free for a while I am going to go. Again, this may seem like an odd choice for someone training for an IM but I have already explained that I refuse to just run, bike, swim and there is more than one way to skin a cat! Barbell Club focusses only on the two Olympic lifts, Snatch and Clean & Jerk and this week was all about maxing out your Snatch. Having been away for a while and losing a lot of confidence, I maxed out at a not so impressive 25kg.. But, I got to throw a barbell around and I got a thumbs up from Harry on two occasions (if you know him, you’ll know!) so I’ll take it.

    Thurs: 12:15pm Threshold Heart Rate Test

    To help build my endurance I am currently focussing on working out while keeping my heart rate low. I mainly use my indoor cycle classes for this work. The one thing I haven’t done for a long time is do a test to figure out actually what my threshold heart rate is. As I sold my turbo trainer a couple of years ago I decided that it would be a good idea to do this test on the most disgusting piece of equipment I love to hate, the assault bike! It is now Sunday and the memory of this 30 minute max effort test is still haunting me but I did it and now I just have to figure out how to change the heart rate zones on my Garmin to most effectively use the data.

    Fri: 12:15pm Total Body Conditioning Class

    I was actually feeling more than a little beaten up while coaching so in between my three classes in the morning I messaged Kerry to ask if the TBC class was featuring all the burpees again (last Friday had been burpee frikkin central with a different type of burpee in every section of the class). I really didn’t think I would be able to cope with more of the same and luckily, no burpees were programmed and no Liza’s were harmed for asking such a question ( still not sure how I got away with it!) However there were 10kg Plate Clusters, 200m Sprints, Assault Bike and Ski Erg efforts, Single Arm DB Clean and Jerk (now they take some concentration!) and Box Steps. We (being me and the two other girls in my section) managed to put a smile on everyone’s faces with our synchro box step skills so yay for making people happy while training our asses off!

    Sat: Rest Day

    Rest Day activities included a long dog walk and watching Matthew Bourne’s Romeo and Juliet Ballet because, you know, balance! I did find it amusing how surprised people were, that don’t know me well, that I was going to the ballet. Tough Mudder one week, Ballet the next and just for balance we’re back to Tough Mudder next Saturday for the final UK event, the Urban 5k in Clapham.

    Sun: 9:30 Forza Fitness Squad Strong Girl Sunday Funday

    This started with a couple of the girls in my squad after I was moaning about never being able to box. I coach 2 Boxercise Classes a week, boxing features heavily in the sessions with some of my clients. I love it but I never got to put the gloves on myself. These girls offered to come over and put the pads on for me and from that grew our Sunday Funday session. It’s one hour of boxing and whatever else anyone fancies which could be running, battleropes, rope climbs, you name it. It is very democratic; we all write the work outs and everyone that joins us has to add at least two songs to the playlist.

  • The Phases of Menopause
  • Recovery Training???
  • Power through your PMS
  • Can Herbal Adaptogens help Perimenopause? 
  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.03.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 28.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 21.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 14.02.22
  • IM Training Blog w/c 07.02.22