WOD 31st March Chin ups in the morning.

Thursday morning and I was feeling much better and ready to train again.

Stepping into the gym strength on the board was deadlifts and chin ups.

Chin ups are not my favourite at the moment as though the weight gain may only be a few kilos they are making all the difference to my chin up/pull up strength.

I was lucky to bump into Chris just finishing up his morning, he was able to hear me complain about the chin ups and gave me some wicked advise as an alternative to using a band for support.

Taken from the Performance Menu website Chris had read about the use of boxes.

You stack up some boxes to support your feet. Allow for full extension in the hang with feet resting on the box. Using minimal push through your feet pull yourself up to the bar and lower nice and slowly to get a negative effect.

Stack the boxes under the bar.
Stack the boxes under the bar.
Try not to push though the feet!
Try not to push though the feet!

As this becomes easier your progression would be to lower the height of the boxes allowing for more body weight resistance.

I inter-mixed my chin ups with deadlifts.

2×5 reps and 1×5+ for each discipline.


The met con for today was AMRAP 10 minutes:

2 Squat Cleans (40kg)

4 Handstand push ups

8 Burpees

Wow that’s the first time I have done burpees for a bit and they felt terrible!!!

I think they are off the menu till I have the baby.

Not only did they make me feel slightly queasy but I keep hurting my chest as I hit the floor!

I got 6 rounds in!


The Pelvic Floor is a sling of muscles, which pass from the pubic bones to the coccyx. A little bit like a hammock.

It supports abdominal organs and the growing baby. It is also involved with continence of urine and faeces. It has the ability to stretch to allow birth to happen.

The muscles are made up of both different muscle fibre types.

Slow Twitch – These fibres are slow to fatigue. They have the ability to contract over a long period though not a very strong contraction.

Fast Twitch – These fibres have the ability to produce immediate strong contractions.

To put it simply when we are busting for the toilet it’s our slow twitch pelvic floor that works. When we laugh, cough or exercise it’s our fast twitch pelvic floor muscles that are working.

All that said it’s easy to see why it is so important to maintain a healthy pelvic floor.

You probably don’t realise but every time you squat you are using your pelvic floor as it tightens and stretches through the range of movement. A squat is a very natural way of using the pelvic floor, and in my opinion my preferred method of working it.

A great way to work it alongside Kegals is to hover above the toilet sit with good squat form and slowly allow yourself to wee. Try stopping mid flow and then starting up again.

Kegals will isolate the muscle, which I don’t feel is the best or exclusive way it should be train.

I believe importance should be placed on the whole body approach thus addressing your posture and core strength.

“Ok but Sal I am pregnant I can’t do core exercises like I use to” 

Imagine you have a clock face on your tummy and hips.

12 is your belly button while 6 is your pubic bone. 3 and 9 are either side of your hips.

Work on bringing 12 and 6 together and releasing. Next 3 and 9, draw together and release.

Mix in slow and fast pase and bingo your working on your core.

Try this for a few minutes each day alongside some toilet squats.

Remember past 37 weeks your squats don’t want to be super deep. This can bring on signs of early labour.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.


BLOG Why shouldn’t you…………….?

Why shouldn’t you……..? Though there is not much that as a pregnant lady you can’t do. There are two exercise types that I have increasingly heard women pursuing which though not dangerous to the baby, will have a lasting effect on the Mother.

I was in a gym a week or so ago and was quite horrified to see a very pregnant women on a swiss ball performing sit ups!

I didn’t feel it was my place to tell her what to do but since I knew the girl who runs the gym I asked her if maybe she should be advising her not to do the sit ups.

Jane the manager informed me that on many occasion she has tried to warn her against the sit ups but has repeatedly been told to mind her own business and worse still was told by her personal training husband to do the sit ups!

I could hardly believe it.

But why I hear you ask……

You may remember I have blogged about the baby weight pressing on the inferior vena cava and may be lulled into thinking that sit ups on a swiss ball means this is no more a problem and sure this may not be a problem but as the baby grows this isn’t the only thing to be mindful of.

As your baby grows, so does you belly.

To accommodate your baby your body has to do a lot of stretching. This includes your abdominals.

By around week 18 you may notice a faintish dark line running from top to bottom through your belly.

This is called your Linea Nigra, this is a very visible sign that your recti abdominals are coming apart to make space for the baby. It is not always present but is a common sign.

Imagine performing sit ups while this abdominal separation has occurred. It can quite often produce a hernia effect and is actually encouraging the abs to stay separated.

For any Mum who is hoping to get her waist back this is not advisable. I have spoken to ladies who have never regained their waists because either they have performed sit ups  after a certain point in pregnancy or have rushed back into sit ups before their tummy has had a chance to recover it’s natural position.

My second shock horror was to hear of pregnant women jogging/running.

You may say that is very hypercritical of me but first let me explain.

I am reaching 4 months pregnant. My baby is around 11cm from head to bottom. At this point my baby will start to grow more rapidly then my first months. The size change is considerable.

It is at this point that by treadmill days will become more of a jog/walk/sprint.

The reason for this is simple.

I want to keep my Pelvic Floor muscles in good condition.

There is a saying……….IF ITS WEAK THEN IT LEAKS!

Many women will suffer from weak pelvic floor, unable to control the urge to wee even finding that a cough or sneeze can make you leak.

This is not good ladies.

Thinking about the above and imagine the impact on the muscles as you are running/jogging with all the weight of the baby and uterus and amniotic fluid smacking into the pelvic floor.

Your uterus grow to the size of a water melon! That is a lot of weight  for your pelvic floor to bare.

Alright so it supports the weight through pregnancy but it doesn’t mean you need to add impact to the game.

This is why my turn on the treadmill is now a mixture of fast walking up hills, short interval sprints (which will become less frequent as my baby grows) and light jogs for a few minutes.

Please I am asking all training ladies out there to heed any advise given to you. There are really good reasons behind the advise. If you don’t understand why you are being told something then please ask why.

Right I am off for a long walk. When I am back I will give you some advise on how to work your pelvic floor.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.


WOD 28th March Monday Mornings!

With all the excitement in my house over the last few weeks I have been sticking to Steve’s programming from the morning classes for the evening sessions.

But not one to dish out without trying myself I gave it a bash.

I have not been 100% since Saturday with a bit of a cold and sniffle. This wouldn’t normally bother me but since I can’t take anything to help me get over it I am left sniffing and coughing drinking peppermint tea to help.

I think that is why I felt particularly weak today. Well at least I hope that is why!!!

Steve used a push press – push up ladder for a warm up. The push ups were on a barbell for the main class but as I thought on the spot about my stability and protective of joints I kept them on the floor. The ladder went as follows,

Strength was the clean and press from Friday and this is where I felt weak. On Friday I lifted 27.5kg no problem but today 25kg was hard! And I mean I found it really challenging, grunting noises and all.

I don’t have an explanation for this only that it must be the cold I am suffering from.

I did 3×5 as trying to rep out for the last set was going to be impossible without someone helping the weight up.

Skill work up next, L holds on the rings. I started at 5 seconds and built up to 10 seconds and then 15 seconds.

This always burns my quads and I think it always will!

When I reached the tabata Front squats I was regreting the L holds. Quads still burning.

I used 20kg and managed 10 in the first round and 7/8 in the following 7.

For those not familiar with Tabata it is intervals of 8 rounds. You have 20 seconds of effort and 10 seconds of rest each round.

I hope a restful day Tuesday will get me back to form for Wednesday.

More peppermint tea I think.

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach

WOD 26th March I still got it!

Squats I love them.

My favourite Squats ……………Over head.

So what did I do today…..

Overhead Squats and Front Squats.

Not many out there could put their hand on their heart and profess love for the above squats but for me I love nothing more then throwing a weight above my head and seeing how deep I can get!

Common problem being shoulder flexibility and being able to hold a weight securely.

My best overhead squat of the day was 45kg and for Front squats 55kg.

These are still under what  have previously lifted. This is why when a doctor says take it easy it'[s hard to know what he means by that???? He may look at those numbers and think ‘whoa that’s too heavy’ but next to previous numbers I feel like I still have more in the tank. In the interest of my baby’s safety though and of my body under new strains I am going to stick with my new more moderate numbers.

WOD 25th March Everyone likes Cleaning in Spring!

Looking back at my check list for this week I have already ticked off getting married. Now to mess up my Friday routine.

Anyone who has been following my workouts has noticed a Friday pattern of strength mixed with a run. I am a big believer that routine should not be fixed and to keep my body constantly guessing.

I decided to pick a particularly mean Kettlebell test. The Houston test to be precise.

This included swings and goblet squats. For anyone confused by goblet squats, it is when the Kb is held in at the body, chest height while performing a squat. Rather nasty alongside swings.

Keeping the test till last I followed the morning strength session at Crossfit London. Its always nicer to do strength with others around you to cheer you on not to mention the safety aspect.

Strength this Friday was Presses, but in the interest of fun Steve thought what the heck why not Clean and Press!

Good Choice in my opinion. Me and the gang really enjoyed the clean practise alongside our presses. Even though the weight was not close to cleaning strength, it was nice to do a few reps with a manageable weight.

I am not sure Steve if you meant only to clean the bar once into the rack but the 7.30 lot went full tilt and cleaned for each rep.

Our sets and reps went as follows….

Warm up – Bar 5 , +weight 5, +weight 5

Working -2×5, 1xrep out.

Lovely Jublie.

So now for the Houston Test.

You start at minute 1 with 1 Swing and 1 Goblet Squat REST

Minute 2 – 2 swings and 2 Goblet Squats

You keep adding till you can’t go any further. It really starts to get fun as you heads towards minute 7 and 8.

I used a 12Kg Kb for this. I would normally use a 16Kg but although I don’t feel much different or look very pregnant I do feel breathless very easily!!!!

This has got to be one of my favourite WODs. The intensity of the met con was spot on. The intensity built up well and although could be quite intense it lasted for nomore then 50-55 seconds at the most.

Strength wise I always love a spot of cleaning!

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.


WOD 24th March First WOD as a Mrs’s

After a few days off from training I was back into the swing of things with Chris and an early morning strength session.

Chris led us through a routine of mobility exercises. I made sure though not to over stretch. Keeping any hold for no more then 8 seconds. I replaced lateral squats for normal squats with emphasise on pushing the knees out to get a little stretch.

We had squats today, lovely squats. Since there were only 3 of us and all girls we shared the rack and were given 4 minutes rest between sets. We did our usual 3 warm up sets with the bar and two with added weight.

Then 2×5 for strength and one set rep-in out.

Chris noticed while squatting that I was able to do very good oly squats, which is probably because of my passion for the oly lifts but when heavy he wanted me to work on the glutes coming into play more. This seemed to happen quite naturally as the weight got heavier.

Chris’s finisher was gymnastic influenced. It was frog stands to planches. Something I find very hard!!!

Check out the spotting
Check out the spotting
This is how it should be done! We aren't helping much
This is how it should be done! We aren't helping much

WOD and Wedding 19th-23rd

The title can seem mis-leading, I didn’t train the day of my wedding. I am not that crazy. But I did train with Colin and the gang on the Saturday before 19th March.

This is what we got up to:

Back to basics was the word of the day. We took it back to cleans and some of the technical points to avoid curling the bar.

At our gym the walls have indentations which are just big enough to fit a pvc bar. Colin did this great teaching point using these indentations.  It highlighted perfectly that in the clean its you the athlete that moves around the bar and not the bar moving toward you as in a curl. Wicked teaching point Colin.

Once we had polished our cleans, we begun to add weight in preparation for the WOD.

The WOD I hear you ask was

6 Cleans,

10 Push ups

Amrap 15 mins

I smashed 12 rounds out using 35Kg for my clean. This was a WOD I enjoyed. With oly lifts being my forte it was only the push ups that are out of my comfort zone.

Colin finished with an after party of lunges. For the gang they did their lunges walking up and down the alley while I did mine static. The reason for this was to ensure I kept my hips safe and square.


SO what did I do after that…………

Getting married has meant a lot of planning and running around and cleaning and all sorts. So I took the liberty of taking a few days off. But far from doing nothing I spent time running over London with relatives showing them the sights, window shopping oooh and on Monday I became Mrs Buliga. We have a lovely day, even the sun found time to come out!

My biggest worry was my bump would be too big for the dress but as it goes it was a perfect fit. Watch this space for the photos.

WOD 18th March 3km and a few Back Squats

With only 3 full days till my wedding my mind kept straying to dresses and cakes!

In my usual early morning class the boys were out-numbered so between sets while ‘resting’ us girls had a catch up on plans for our respective ‘big days’ boring Chris and Martin with the details. They at least both learnt that a white suit on a groom is a big ‘no no’.

So as per I joined in with the back squats.

We did 3 warm up sets. Bar, +weight, +weight.

It was then 2 sets of 5 and one set on 5+.

I placed one of our big wall ball balls as I squatted. This gave me a guide and a bit more security. I would not normally use this but today my squats weren’t feeling particularly stable, even if this was just a mind set, it helped me get through each set with confidence. And allowed me to ensure technique was spot on.

Next up was my usual treadmill jog. I am getting a bit of da ja vu!  Maybe I will have to change around my routine for next wk.

Anyways, a preoccupied mind meant I only got 3km on the clock before having to rush off to make hair appointments and pick up the last finishing touches for Monday.

So what do I have on my list to do for next week?????

Run some awesome classes at Crossfit London

Write some blogs

Get an article up about pregnancy and AB’s

Oh and………….Get Married.

Wish me luck gang!

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.

WOD 17th March Chris’s Disco Fever Class

I love going to Chris’s class because as someone who enjoyed a good club night pre-pregnancy, with Chris’s choice of music it’s always club night. Whoop!

That’s no to say we don’t work hard.

We started the session with some mobility exercises.

-Stiff leg bends

-Bear squats

-Hip circles

-Leg swings

I was mindful on the leg swings to not lose control and maintain lumbar curve.

We did a bit of glute activation.

-Bridges (shortly this wont be possible for me as the baby grows and presses on my inferior vena cava  cutting off blood supply)

-Bird Dogs (if I begin to suffer from Carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists this might not be possible)

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is where pressure is exerted on the nerve running through the wrist to the hand it can cause discomfort, swelling and water retention.

The main workout today was strength.

Today was deadlifting!

We did a warm up set with the bar and then built up with 2 more warm up sets to a 5 rep weight. I am not going to call any of the weights I use ‘rep max’ as they are not any more. I have altered and scaled everything in accordance with the guidelines.

After our warm ups we smashed out 3 sets of 5 and one set rep-ing out.

Job done.

Chris then had us move on to Chin ups.

I have to admit that I have found these getting extremely hard. Although you can bearly tell I am pregnant I have already gained 4kg!

I must add not all baby weight but also to do with the changes in water level and blood volume along with some extra cushion.

Pre-pregnancy I could do a few chin ups and strict pull ups but now with my ‘weighted jacket’ on I am struggling to do one!

This meant that Chris had to spot me through all 3 sets of 5, helping me reach the bar each time. But hey when the baby is born in theory I should be flying off the floor!

Chris had a finisher up his sleeve……

6 Turkish Get ups (3 each side)

Weighted sit ups ( I can still do sit ups for at least the next few weeks)

This is done with a partner, you switch and complete a round each!

Me and Phedra beat Chris and Pete. Girls Rule of course!

Thanks Chris again for your time and special attention.

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.