Upgrader diary: CrossFit - part 2

(Image credit: Unknown)

Things have really started to kick on in the past month with pretty much every aspect of my training.

I’ve been slowing things down with my lifting and practising individual movements within key lifts such as the snatch and clean, and the results have been great. Before I started my Upgrade training, my strict overhead press one rep max was 65kg, but I managed to crack out five sets of five reps with 65kg the other day, which is a massive increase. Likewise, I easily managed to complete four sets of four reps of cleans with 105kg, which I never would’ve been able to do before. While I can definitely feel that I’m getting stronger, I think the majority of this improvement can be attributed to spending so much time working on my technique, which also gives me a lot of confidence, knowing that I’m not going to struggle with any part of the lifts.

I’ve seen noticeable changes in my physique too. First of all I’ve had to go out and buy new T-shirts because my old ones are too tight on the chest and arms, which is definitely a good sign! I’m leaner round my torso too and have a four-pack pretty much all the time, despite my weight going up by 1.5kg. The fact that I’m still being fairly obsessive about my nutrition – in addition to the ridiculous amounts of rowing I’m doing – has definitely contributed to this. I’m still sticking to my 3,600 calories per day target, my daily macro splits of 130-140g fats, 340-360g carbs and 170-200g protein and my regime of Optimum Nutrition pre- and post-workout shakes and BCAAs.

I imagine this will be changing soon though, as I’m heading to Cardiff in the next couple of weeks to train with my coach Andy Edwards, and he’s keen for me to increase the volume in my next training block, so I imagine my calorie intake will have to increase to fuel the extra work I’ll be putting in. Considering how well everything’s gone so far, I can’t wait to get started with this next phase of my training.

Coach’s verdict

‘I’ve been monitoring Alistair’s progress, and he seems to be making steady gains in terms of his lifting numbers and his gymnastics,’ says Andy Edwards. ‘His body composition is changing too, which is great.

‘He’s doing a good job of managing his nutrition, and seems to be enjoying it, but most importantly he has enough energy to work out properly. Next week he’s going to start the second phase of his training, which includes two additional early-morning sessions doing duration work to help build up his cardio for competition.’

Alistair's workout

Warm up

3 rounds of 100 single skips and 10 Behind the neck snatch strict press (bar only)

Part 1 - lifting

1. Overhead Squat
Sets 3 Reps 3
Rest as required

2. Hang snatch
Sets 2 Reps 5
Rest as required

3. Snatch pulls
Sets 2 Reps 5
Rest as required

Part 2 - Conditioning

5 rounds of 150 rows, 10 pull-ups and as many reps as possible of wall balls

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