BLOG 16th March No feeling up to much….

With a wedding in less then a week my concentration has been far away from training.

I think when other brides are worried about fitting into their dress, eating as little as possible while trying to deal with the stress of cakes, venues, guest lists and all that other stuff. As I arrange my big day I can at least tuck into to a wholesome lunch, else I don’t know where I would have got the energy from.

I haven’t been completely lazy, I have walked the length of Westfield and the West-end 10 times over. I have walked up escalators and stairs and stood up on busy tubes . Phew!

Although I am a Crossfit Mum and love my training I am not going to beat myself up for taking a few days out (esp days like I have had!)

I would love to think I would do all that running around and still find energy to train, but the fact of it is that I simple don’t!

Right now my body is too concerned with making a little person.

Equally I am not going to worry about my changing body shape….

My body has of course changed over the weeks and I have of-course gained weight. My trousers are getting tighter and I feel I am looking more curvy.

It’s not all down to baby weight or fat gain.

My body is retaining more water, my breast have grown, my uterus is swollen and my blood volume among other things has increased by up to 50%.

Pregnancy is the one time in our life that for even the hardest fitness fanatic to take a more relaxed approach toward fitness – the schedule, diet, intensity and so on.

So if your a 5 times a week trainer reading this thinking you could never relax your schedule for long enough to have a baby…well I was you a few months ago.

Its not something I would have thought I would find so easy but as you learn about your pregnancy, see feel your body change and see your baby in a scan, you may think differently.

Don’t think I have gone soft……far from it I wont stop training just ensuring I keep me and my baby safe and well. You can catch me tomorrow morning with Chris at his 8am class -Crossfit London

(For more detail on bodily changes check out the Pregnancy Facts page)

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.

BLOG 13th March A bit older and wiser??

Today its my birthday, I am 28 this year. It seems like only yesterday I was still doing homework and getting the bus to school. Where does the time go?

Normally to celebrate my birthday I would have arranged a big night out, found a good club and got a bunch of mates together. The whole night in picture form on Facebook  for the world to see.

Pregnancy has meant that celebrations have become a whole lot more sensible. And rather then the crazy nights of birthdays past I found myself in a restaurant on Friday with my oldest dearest girlfriends.

They are a great bunch of girls, Sian, Minh Ai, Pema  and Tasha.  Only last June Tasha had her first baby. She has been a great help answering all my questions and passing on her experience. Without my Mum it’s my girlfriends and sister who I can turn to for support.

It was Saturday on my way to see Tasha to pick up a stack of pregnancy books that I felt something which I hadn’t experienced before!!!

I had to run to catch my train.

That was the most breath taking task I have done since getting pregnant! Honestly I was gasping for air, once I had caught the train and found a seat it felt like it took forever for my breathing to return to normal. No joke.

I guess I expect to get breathless doing Crossfit but running for a train is normally no problem. What is going on with my capacity to breath and recover? I knew that as the baby grows it pushes against the insides restricting the lung capacity, but surely this is something that starts to manifest a bit later on when the baby is bigger???

I think a bit more investigation is needed………………….

Basically we need an increase in oxygen supply.

Many women experience this toward the end of the first trimester, it can often continue throughout until labour.

The problem is so many changes have occurred to the heart and blood vessels meaning that every organ is working that little bit harder, this in turn means an increase in the demand of oxygen to facilitate the work capacity.

(For more information on what is happening to the heart and blood vessels check out the Pregnancy Facts page)

It can rise up to 20%.

To cope with these changes the lungs need to adapt to the increased volume of oxygen and also expel unwanted carbon dioxide waste. When we exercise or ‘run for the train’ these levels obviously rise even further and although it is not understood exactly, it is thought that progesterone has a part to help in this process. In short it allows  your lungs to hyperventilate giving the feeling of breathlessness!

Toward the end of pregnancy we also have to contend with the growth of the baby which over the 9 months compresses all the organs inside Mum making breathing harder.

Just to cover all the points I discovered. A midwife did say to me that perhaps I was not getting enough iron! Guess a blood test will tell me that.

If anyone has any funny stories of breathlessness please let us know by leaving a comment.

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London coach.


WOD/BLOG 11th March Bags of energy!

I love Friday’s. Its the end of the week. It means a lie in tomorrow and is now becoming a tradition on mine in recent weeks to have a fry up healthy style.

But before we get to Saturday we have Friday’s training to contend with!!!

Its now becoming a pattern for me to take Friday as a chill-axed day where I focus on some strength either squats or presses and then lose myself on the treadmill in preparation for my 10k run in July. Today was no different.

It was only Pete in attendance at my 7.30 blitz at Crossfit London, I dont like my athletes having to train solo if they don’t want to so I joined in with the strength sets.

We were working on Presses. Pete is a newbie to Crossfit and asked why he had done so much heavy squatting and presses??? Always falling on similar days??? Well Pete I said..if we did them only once a month we wouldn’t see much of an improvement to our strength hence repeat visits to bombard the muscular system with messages to get stronger!!!

With his questions answered we proceeded with…

2×5 just the bar, these were just warm ups.

1×5 @ 25kg

1×5 @ 27.5kg This was my limit. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do more then 5 @ this weight.

1×5+ @ 25kg

It always feels good to lift a bit of weight. Especially over head. I wont be able to do sit ups very soon but least doing some good old fashioned overhead work will keep my mid-line stability on point and some kind of core strength.

I finished off with my usual 5km at Bodylines on Bethnal Green Rd.

I am increasing my up hill gradient time from 10mins to 10mins+. I find this a personal challenge so anything I can do over is awesome. Next wk I will go for 15mins up hill.

Hopefully soon I will be up for a spot of running in Victoria Park now the weather is at last turning! Whoop Whoop. Bring on the summer.

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.


WOD 9th March 3 days on!

This is the first time since coming back to exercise that I have the juice to do 3 days on! Whoop Whoop. It must mean that my energy levels are beginning to return.

Its a Wednesday morning and I am teaching at Crossfit London. It was only Ameilia this morning so not wanting to let her suffer alone I asked her if she was up for me joining in. ‘No problem’ was her answer.

So following Steve’s program for the morning we did a quick warm up on the bars. Practising the new standard of toes to bars and discussing how our wedding plans were going in between movements.

Steve had scheduled deadlifts for the strength portion of the session. I haven’t done these for a while so my plan as usual was to take it easy and keep the weight manageable.

My pb for a max deadlift was 120kg. I have only done this once but still very proud of myself. So for my warm up sets I started with just the bar for 1×5 @ 20kg then 1×5 @ 40kg and 1×5 @ 50kg. On to the working sets. 1 decided that after my training break and adjusting the weight to my pregnancy 60kg was decent enough. And sure enough it was plenty.  I did 2×5 and 1×5+.

As I wanted to practise my Thursday plan I twisted Ameilia’s arm into trying it out with me. ‘Yes’ she said  ‘Wicked’ I said.

Here’s the plan

3 rounds of

50 pull ups

21 deadlifts

I used 45kg and Ameilia used 50kg

We hated the pull ups and then when in most WODs there is some component that you are going to enjoy, there was no letting up as the deadlifts were equally as horrible.

When a WOD like this comes up I tell myself it’s good for the soul.

Sally Dixey a Crossfit London coach.



WOD 8th March Chris’s Crazy Class

So this morning I rocked up to Chris’s 8am class feeling some what tired. I just had to keep telling myself it was only an hour of hard work!

I had already pre-warned Chris of my arrival in case any subs were needed but to my delight I could do exactly what the rest of the motley crew were doing! Whoop.

Chris got us started on some all important mobility exercises. I made sure I stayed within my range of movement, all to aware that relaxin was making my joints super flexible. I didn’t want to go tearing anything!

After about 10 minutes of this we set up racks, most having to share but with Chris and his wanting to keep an eagle eye on me I got one all to myself, thanks Chris.

We were working on shoulder press strength 2×5 then one final set rep-ing out.

Of course we did progressive warm up sets and gave ourself 3mins rest in between our working sets.

That gave us the perfect opportunity while resting to bang out a few chin ups for good measure.

The met con for today was awesome!

5 rounds of:

15 Front Squats and either 400m run or row.

I love front squats in the morning!
I love front squats in the morning!

I choose a row. And kept my squat weight reasonable but not heavy.

I smashed it in 15mins 23sec, not bad for someone pregnant.

Thanks loads Chris, you gave me loads of attention and encouragement.

Sally Dixey a Crossfit London Coach

BLOG What has happened to my Diet!!!!!

Hands up how many of us have followed a reasonable diet? Either a specific diet like palio or zone.

Myself I don’t get along with diets but have always had what you would probably describe as a healthy diet. I eat a little of everything I like. Pasta, potatoes, grain all in moderation, even chocolate. I would though class it as more protein heavy. I just love meats and could never see myself as a veggie.

Thing is since falling pregnant I have had to ditch any control I previously had over my eating habits and follow my tummy.

I have found myself devouring thickly cut bread made into cheese and ham sandwiches with crisps on the side and maybe a biscuit or square of dark chocolate.

Brunch on Saturday consisted of crispy bacon, 1 toast, baked beans, egg and to finish off with after that had settled, an almond croissant, yum yum.

After spending time worrying and trying to fight the urges to eat anything I fancied I finally made peace.

Something so special is happening inside me that how can I deny myself.

It is only for another 6 months so what the heck!

I have spoken to Phil Rolling at Crossfit London about diet needs as he is the expert  in all things food. Watch out for the Dietary needs article coming soon.


WOD 7th March Back Squats and Bunny Hops

Following a weekend spent on the sofa I was well up for a dose of hardwork.

I had intended to join Colin’s Saturday class but after a shocking nights sleep I just couldn’t prize myself away from the sofa! At first I felt guilty for my lardiness but to be fair I am doing a hell of a lot inside my tummy. Rest days are so important these days. With muscles taking longer to recover I am not following a 3 on 1 off routine. It’s more like 2 on 1 off, I am find that far more manageable!!!

So what did I get up to I hear you say. Sticking with maintaining a good squatting routine across the coming wks it was back squats again.

Warm up with the bar 2×5

1×5 with some weight

1×3 more weight

1×2 more weight

Now for the working sets 2×5 working on strength (10-20%) and 1×5+ working on endurance.

Next up a lovely met con testing my fitness and cardio levels to the max. 3 fast paced movements with 4 rounds to get my teeth in to.

50 sit ups to start with

4 rounds of

12 pull ups, 24 barbell hops, 12 SDHP

50 sit ups to finish

I got there in 13 minutes Whoop.

The safeness of barbell hops in this WOD is dependant on a few things…

I am very comfortable jumping, I love a good jump.

The height is significantly lower then box jumps (I have stopped box jumping)

I at present have no bump to show and so far have had no effect on my centre of gravity.

I would consider a sub if any of the above were an issue. What would I sub as? Something that would keep my heart rate high is the key.

WOD 4th March Squats, presses and running!

I was up nice and early today teaching the 7.30 lot at Crossfit London. A mix of strength and endurance, using a few techniques from Westside Barbells.

As the class was only 4 that I would join in with the squats and presses. The aim was to complete 3 sets

2 strength (10-20%) lighter then usual 5 rep

1 endurance – Rep-ing out

Its been a while since I have done anything vaguely heavy and knowing my safe zone was probably 60-70% of previous weight lifted I loaded the bar with 45kg for my working sets. 2×5.  We also did warm up sets 2×5-bar, 1×5-more weight, 1×3-bit more weigh, 1×2-even more weight.

Though I am more used to lifting a lot more on my back squat maybe it was the break but it felt challenging!

Our final set was to rep out at which I did 14 Whoop. It felt nice to have some weight on broad again.

We did the same drill for a strict press

2 strength set

1 endurance – rep-ing out

Again our warm ups sets were the same as above.

I found back doing what I love…weights awesome. I kept within the guidelines for safe lifting and felt amazing afterwards.

I let the gang crack on with the rest of the WOD with you me…. a chin up ladder. I am still recovering from Angie on tuesday!!!

That probably what I have noticed the most that I take longer to recover. Anyways……

I do like to pace it out on the treadmill (I am not a fan of outdoor running in the cold weather) so I popped into Bodylines and on to the treadmill for 30mins. I have got right into gradient running and have managed to increase my speed and duration to almost 15mins at level 10. Another Whoop I think. I am not the worlds greatest runner but I do find it really relaxing, just what I need as for tomorrow I am heading into Colin’s class and I am sure that will be a tough one!!!


BLOG 2nd March Big Dreamer!

While pregnant you can expect your sleep to be broken. It is in all the books! Me personally I have been waking up almost hourly!

Almost driving me crackers, arriving to teach early morning classes with a collection a bags under my eyes.

At least now I can be quite open with why I am so tired. Before I am sure members thought I was out all hours having a whale of a time!!

This is apparently how our body prepares for the baby. Teaching us to sleep lightly for the frequent night feeds and any other reason our expected cherub might need us for! This is one side affect of the pregnancy I wish Adrian was getting a dose of too! I listen with jealousy as he snoozes away next to me.

On the up side though, and this is something they don’t tell you in the books. My dreams when I do sleep vary for the funny, crazy to the down right weird! Adrian looks forward to the next bizarre instalment. And last night was no different. I actually dreamt I was living in a video game!!!Full of monsters to kill and big boss men and levels and all sorts.

As far as crazy goes this was one of my personal bests!

Not all of the dreams have been friendly. And some of them,  upon reflection are clearly my sub-conscious sorting through all the worries and wonders I may have.

We have so many things to think about that it is no surprise we struggle to sleep and dream like a mad-man.

There are just not enough hours in the day to prepare for what is ahead.

If anyone can do better then me on the video game dream please leave your comments.  It would be nice to see I am not the only one out there!

WOD 1st March ‘Angie’ with Phil

Feeling a bit lacking in motivation I sent a text to my pal and fellow Crossfit London coach Phil Rolling. Letting him know I would be coming down for his 6.30 class so he could prepare any scaled exercises for me.

His plan was for Angie – Whoop its been a while since I have danced with Angie.

As soon as I arrived all you lovely people finishing the previous class gave me some nice words of congratulations before Phil pulling me up for chatting and being late. He has a rep for being a tyrant. A good one though.

I knew Phil would have researched any restrictions and asked how I felt about the planned WOD and we discussed the 100 sit ups?????   Though I can in fact do sit ups we decided to sub them as it made Phil feel a bit better about watching a pregnant lady bang out 100 sit ups for time. We decided on the GHD machine to perform knee lifts, bit like a roman chair. Only it had been so long since my last Angie I have forgotten the ‘claw effect’ and found my sub was probably way tougher then sit ups!!!!

So for those who aren’t familier with Angie here is how it goes…….

100 pull ups

100 push ups

100 sit ups or sub

100 squats

I did well for my pull ups and squats but after 100 pull ups your grip is laughable and I had cramp in my fingers! Moving from push ups to sub-ed knee lifts, my arms were jelly I could barely hold my body weight. Phil gave me a nudge towards the squats giving my arms a well needed rest.

I completed Angie in just over 30 minutes, I felt awesome, it’s such a good workout and so satisfying when you reach the end – Whoop Whoop

A big thanks to Phil for all his attention and care, don’t tell him I told you but he bark is worse then his bite!