BLOG Pilates Modelling Shoot

‘Modelling that sounds like fun’ was my reaction when Colin (Crossfit London) asked me if I would be interested in a couple of days work.

Colin’s girlfriend Jane had a friend looking for pregnant ladies to help her with the photos for her latest book.

Her name was Lynne Robinson of Body Control Pilates and from what I can see is quite a name in the pilates world.

Her new book is all about pregnancy and pilates. Types of exercises for each different stage of pregnancy and for post-natal.

I had never done anything like this before and never thought of myself as model material but my new found pregnant bloom meant I fitted the bill for this shoot and I thought ‘why not’ if anything it would be something to show the nipper when he/she is older.

My journey to find the location this morning was turning out to be quite a mission as the Central line was part suspended and typically it was the part that I needed that was suspended! Not wanting to deal with the stress of finding an alternative route in rush hour with all the other frustrated commuters I jumped into a cab and settled down with a sandwich glad I wasn’t in the mush of people standing at the bus stops!!

I arrived a little later then expected at a beautiful house in Kilburn.

Lynne greeted me at the door and introduced me to the team inside. As there were two Sally’s I was known as Sally Crossfit!

As I said I have never done anything like this before and had no idea what to expect.

Although the house was clearly a residential house the whole of the down stairs had been cleared out to leave a simple room with big bay windows and lots of light.

Photography lights had been set up and a crate filled with lens and bit and bobs for the camera were stashed to the side.

The house had an integrated music system which played while we worked. It was a beautiful house!!

I have to say if I felt nervous to start with I was put right at ease within minutes as everyone was very friendly.

After a cup of tea and an offering of a danish I went to meet Maria the make up artist.

In front of her was the biggest collection of Bobbi Brown Make up and brushes I had ever seem. I wouldn’t know where to start!

In make up
In make up

For the shoot, make up was to be natural. I have to admit being fussed over and made up is a very nice experience especially when your pregnant and haven’t got the energy to do it for yourself!

By the time I had my make up on and hair done another pregnant lady Lindsay arrived. Lindsay was I little further along then me.

Finally I was given a bright top to wear before going in front of the camera.

There was a prop of a bright green chair which I was to sit in for the shots. I was to show a move called a Floating arms.

Floating Arm
Floating Arm

Now came the fun part as I was talked and eased into position lengthening the neck, relaxing the shoulders, lifting a hand a fraction, then dropping it a fraction, relaxing my fingers all to get the best possible shot.

Maria was on side to powder noses and feet to make sure there was no shine in the shots!

This must be a snippet into the life of Kate Moss!

It was fun but you would never think that holding positions would be that much hard work!

Phew we did a few more positions before taking a break and letting Lindsay take the stage.

It was my turn to put my feet up.

After a break for lunch we took turns in doing a few moves each so as not to get too tired.

The day continued till 4.30 when I was allowed to go home.

I had had fun but boy was I tired with such an early start and all! I must have yarned a hundred times in the cab ride home.

Before I left I did get to see a mock sheet of how some of the pages will look and I think it will be such a nice thing to show the baby when it’s older.

They also want pictures of all the babies from the mothers they have used as a thanks you and insert them at the end of the book. What a nice idea!

Thanks Colin for putting me in touch with Lynne. I had a fab day and can look forward to another days work with Lynne next week.

I can’t wait to see the book.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach

WOD 18th July A Long Day Ahead

Today is the day of the modelling shoot. I will blog this in more detail.

I still had a morning class to teach though so the day ahead was looking quite long.

The program was again my favourite Overhead squats.

I had a problem this morning… wrists were delicate.

I have to say that I have always heard people complaining when Overhead squatting but other then a bit of awkwardness in the wrist that I suck up I have never experienced pain quite like I did today.

This pain was despite me warming up and preping well. My best educated guess must be that as I am getting closer to the birth and the levels of Relaxin increases this has an effect on the stability of my wrists in such a way to cause pain.

To be fair on my wrists they were OK up until 40Kg  just about! A full 10Kg under my usual Overhead weight.

Oh well not long left as I keep saying!

The met con for today was an Overhead squat and Power snatch ladder.

I was fully prepared to not Power snatch but after a couple of go’s I felt confident.

If at all I didn’t feel able to snatch then I would probably use a power clean or snatch with dumbells as a substitute.

The ladder went like this.

Overhead Squats

10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1

Power Snatch

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10

Admittedly I didn’t fly through this I took my time and kept the weight low.

I am almost 8 months pregnant now and really don’ feel the need to go mad. I just want to keep moving at some rate else I would be pretty bored!!!


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach

WOD 16th July Colin is back in business.

My Saturday morning training sessions just haven’t been the same without Colin’s firm hand to guide me to blood, sweat and hard work.

(Colin doesn’t actually draw blood it’s just an expression)

I had a PT client which meant I jumped in for only the met-con part of the class.

Now I am tired I really appreciate working out with others as it really steps up my game.

Colin had prepared 3 mini wods with 2 minute resting period between them.

They went like this.

8 minutes AMRAP of

8 Push ups and 8 Hanging Baskets

Hanging Basket
Hanging Basket

When it came to the hanging baskets I took a slow road and place a box under my feet so that when extended I had support and wasn’t simply hanging. This proved to be a much more manageable scale of the move and meant that I could keep up.

We got a 2 minute rest after this! Thanks Colin!

Second up was…..

8 Squats and 8 Ring rows

With the ring rows I made sure that the lever was not going to over stress my core. I did this by putting a bend in my knees. Originally the squats should have been jumping squats but for now they are off the menu.

Another 2 minute rest!


8 Step ups and 8 Burpees

I had 3 boxes set up for this. A 24 inch box to step up on too. A larger box to do a push up on and a 18 inch box to step up again.

Let me explain my burpees are a push up and a step up = 1 burpee.

I managed to score 7.5 rounds followed by 9 rounds and finally 8 rounds.

Not bad!


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach

WOD 15th July Back to work.

I have had a few days to myself since my last training session.

I have got to the point when fatigue is really going to slow me down. I think I have done well though to get this far.

Training from now on will probably become more sporadic but hey I only have a few weeks left.

2 days of recovery meant I was well up for it this morning.

Strength this morning was a push jerk.

Steve had a very different warm up to his usual today.

It went a bit like this.

On the minute every minutefor 5 minutes x 3

3x Clean & jerk (moderate weight)

2x Clean & Jerk (add more weight)

1x Clean & jerk (add more weight)

In total it was 15 minutes of work. I started at 30Kg and worked up to 50Kg.

To round up the strength section I finished with one set of Push jerks by themself.

Push Jerk with a bump
Push Jerk with a bump

Nice and heavy 5 reps. I stuck to 50Kg for this set.

The WOD today was an AMRAP of 15 minutes of

3 strict pull ups

6 presses

9 front squats.

I used 20Kg. This may seem light but trust me by 8 minutes in it certainly wasn’t too heavy.

For once the pull ups were the best bit as my wrists were still sore from tuesdays workout.

I managed 9 rounds in the 15 minutes. Not bad I thought.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach


BLOG Too Tired for words!

This week has been for me the most sleepy week so far.

You can’t put into words how shattered you can feel after having had sleep (all be it disturbed sleep from getting up to the toilet every few hours) and still feeling like you could sleep as if it were a sport!!

Adrian is now banned to a small strip of the bed so I can sprawl out, toss and turn without waking him too many times.

I now have to sleep with a pillow between my legs for comfort and it goes without saying I can’t sleep on my tummy any more!

Only a few more weeks to go!

WOD 12th July Thank God for Testing!

I am busy revising for a written Crossfit exam on Sunday and have found reading slow! I am not the fastest reader in the world by a long shot.

I think at present it doesn’t help that I am really tired and when I am sitting trying to focus on something like say reading the Crossfit Journal my eyes tend to droop!

Anyways I have been pushing through the urge to sleep and reading over and over again trying to commit to memory.

Finally at about 4pm today I got to the end of the journal for the second time in as many weeks and decided I needed a break.

What better way to break then by testing out the WOD for Thursday’s Crossfit London classes.

I had it planned for a while but looking over it again I decided I didn’t like the way it looked so after a bit of tweaking I headed to the gym.

I wanted a warm up that consisted of the moves used in the WOD – Hang Squat Cleans, Front Squats, Overhead Squats (strength component) and a classic Thruster for good measure.

Twice through should suffice in reps of 10.

I love warming up with Overhead Squats
I love warming up with Overhead Squats

10 of each in this order – x2

Hang Squat Cleans, Front Squats, Thrusters, Overhead Squats

I workout I had originally decided on was a 10 rounder of pull ups, toes 2 bar and Handstand Push ups.

My revised version was completely different…I am so fickle these days.

3 Front Squats , 5 Strict Pull ups, 9 Hang Squat Cleans

The only thing I hadn’t revised was the rounds of 10.

I set my bar up with 35Kg a respectable weight I thought and got started.

I don’t know if it is my clumsiness or what but by round 2 I remembered this was still down in my book as 10 rounds!

Ouch I had surpassed my self on horrible workouts.

Front Squats and Hang Squat Cleans were taking it out of me and I wouldn’t have said I was a wimp.

By round 4 I knew that silly me should have seen this coming and reduced the rounds when I changed the WOD.

So I did…….reduce the round that is.

Coming out of a Squat Clean
Coming out of a Squat Clean

I got the 5 rounds done in 12 minutes of pure hell!!

Maybe it’s just me but we shall see how the crew at Crossfit London get along with this.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach


WOD 11 July Just A Quickie

After all the excitement of the baby shower I was still pretty shattered this morning.

I should have hammered out a few split jerks but I feel my body is too tired for them so instead I do a quickie 15 minute AMRAP to keep the blood flowing.

Here is how it went.

AMRAP 15 Minutes of

15 Goblet squats 16Kg

Goblet Squat With 16Kg kettlebell
Goblet Squat With 16Kg kettlebell

12 Step ups

9 Ring Push ups

I gotta say I don’t like ring push ups! I know they are good for my stability but i found them soooooooo hard before I was pregnant and now they are even harder.

Ring Push Ups
Ring Push Ups

Because you have your grip on a set of ring it makes the push ups that much harder as you need to stabilise your shoulders and tighten your tummy ( which in my case is hard anyway).

I could not have done a full push up on the rings as it would have been far to much a pull on my mid section.

Trust me it was tough enough.

I got 6.5 rounds completed at my own slow little pace.

My speed has defiantly taken a dive recently but who cares….some people pregnant or not don’t push themselves!


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach



BLOG Baby Shower

Why do we have baby showers? Where did they come from?

Checking out a few website on the subject I found a pretty detailed site which details ‘baby rituals’ as far back as ancient Egyptian times.

The site I went to was Random History, here is a condensed version in my words.

It seem that child birth throughout history was very much revered and women hidden away until after the birth. It seems that even as recently as Victorian times women were thought of as ‘unclean’ and that the pain of child birth was in fact due to the fact that the baby is conceived from sin.

That sounds awful! So why would they celebrate it?

A baby shower or ritual has been around in some shape or form since ancient Egypt. And was more about social ranking and position for the women then a party as we know it. The main differences apart from the lack of silly games is that the ritual takes place after birth. It is a ritual where the baby is welcomed into society and into the home and where the women can be re-introduced back into society. Childbirth was such a dirty thing for them that they needed to cleanse themselves after.


Egyptians would visit temples and ritually dispose of the after-birth. This would happen after 40 days and for them would symbolise the end of the ‘pollution of childbirth’.

It was also where the naming of the child would take place.

The ancient Greeks were similar in their thinking. Their ritual was to welcome into society the baby and for the women meant recognition from a very male world, where childless marriages would usually end in divorce.

Middle ages were a bit more superstitious. Not only was labour pain due to the sin the baby was conceived in but was punishment for that sin to the women. They would often have a priest present as birth usually meant death for the women. And mid-wives were given permission to cut open a dead mother in order to enable the baby to be baptised. In those days unbaptised babies went straight to hell!

If the mother and baby lived it would be baptised the very next day.

Women in this time were still view as unclean and would not be allowed back into society for 40 days.

Gifts were given to the baby, a common gift would be a pair of silver spoons.

Us women really get a raw deal so far!!!

It’s not until Renaissance times that things got a little better………not much though.

It was encouraged to celebrate the women in this period and is the first time that gifts were given to the mother.

Often the gifts would be decorated trays carrying food for the mother.

They would serve as decorations to hang on the walls after there use.

In Victorian times it took a little step back as women were rarely seen in public. It was such a taboo subject that they would stay house bound till the birth.

After birth her friends would hold a tea party to celebrate the new arrival.

Gifts would be hand made and games would be quite childish and superstitious.

The silver spoon tradition was still around but was for the grandmother to give the spoon to the baby.

As a side note silver spoons were given as they would protect the baby’s health.

Silver has for a long time been known to disrupt bacteria and in a time when antibiotics where not available silver was the next best thing.

Boy am I glad I wasn’t around for all that!

Now up to the modern time the idea of a baby shower is far more how we know it today.

It was something that became more popular during the 50’s and 60’s.

It had become a way to help new parents with some of the expense a new baby brings.

It is still a ritual of welcoming but instead of welcoming the baby it is a re-introduction of the women in her new role as a mother.

In these new modern baby showers the mother would have a kind of throne to sit on, which is usually decorated and allows her to open the gifts in front of her friends.

Games would be played that are quite child like and return the expectant mother back to innocents.

Who would have thought that baby showers went that far back.

It was a conversation with a taxi driver that prompted my research as he said “Never had that in my day”.

Well there you have it, they did and for many years before that too.

This brings me right up to date with my very modern baby shower.

My sister and my best mates Sian and Minh Ai did an awesome job on Sunday.

In my Dad’s garden on Plum Lane I arrived at 2pm, the dress code was glam.

The food was a BBQ where we had fruit punch and bubbly and streamers and bubbles to blow bubbles like when you were a kid.

I felt like a princess with all my closest friends, my Nan and my favourite Aunties all around me.

Caption Game
Caption Game

They had a chair for me with balloons attached and lots of presents to open.

They even came up with a good game to play.

Taking lots of photos from my childhood they stuck them to a big sheet of card and wrote down captions that would fit the photo.

I also have to make mention of the banner that Minh Ai made and the wonderful cake shaped like a push chair my sister made.

You all made that day very special for me and is something I will never forget!

So next time someone asks you where do baby showers come from? You know the answer.

And rather then being a materialistic thing of no significance it actually plays an important part in the transformation from women to mother.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach.


BLOG Birth Centre Tour

Today I have just come back from Barkantine Birth Centre where Adrian and I were able to look around and ask questions.

We arrived at 10am with 4 other couples. The waiting room was comfortable with a television and some toys for children to play with.

There was all the usual medical information posters you would normally see in such a centre on all of the walls expect one.

On this wall were photos.

Photos of all the babies born at the centre and there happy parents. There were so many cute chubby faces up there.

I suddenly felt butterflies in my tummy, our chubby little faced baby would soon be here!

Finally the tour started. It was explained that after 36 weeks we would have a mid-wife appointment at the centre.

This would be to make sure that we were still a low risk pregnancy.

If there is any risk then the Birth Centre can not take you in.

We were taken into one of the rooms. All of the 5 rooms have a similar lay out.

They were more like posh hotel suites!

There was a double bed with a side table set with a stereo you could use, even an ipod connection. A wide screen tv, comfy sofa and dimmer lights.

In one corner was the birthing pool, there were two connections for gas and air, by the bed and by the pool.

Double beds and balconies!
Double beds and balconies!
Swiss balls and Pools
Swiss balls and Pools

Of-course an en-suite bath and shower room and the best bit a balcony!!

Could you ask for more?

Apparently yes as one of the other couples asked if  there was wi-fi?

Not yet was the answer.

Adrian and I were suitably impressed.

If that wasn’t enough we were taken into the communal kitchen where you found cereals, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, the works.

Feeling peckish? Then help your self to the fridge where meals would be supplied and warmed for you.

At the end of the tour we were asked if we would like to have our baby at the centre.

The answer was naturally YES Please!

Having the tour and getting to know the layout and the way the centre works has made me feel a lot more relaxed.

It is important to have a good feeling about a place, just like you would if you were buying a house or looking at schools. It has to have a good feel about it.

Barkantine defiantly ticked the boxes for us.

BLOG Ropey Posture Time

Now is the time when posture becomes a big issue.

For some of us it may even come sooner as it depends on how big our bump gets and the size of our boobs!

Pregnancy has a very obvious influence on posture as the growing bump shifts our spine into a more lordotic position. (Lordotic = curve in the lower/lumbar spine region)

The second main influence is breast size. As they grow they can cause the shoulders to round and slump forward giving the back a very rounded appearance. This is called Kyphoise (= Rounding of the shoulders and upper back/thorascic spine region)

Bad Posture -Check out the lower back and shoulders!
Bad Posture -Check out the lower back and shoulders!

Even the head juts forward !

There is not much we can do about this but be aware of it and try to correct it where possible by standing tall and proud.

Good posture habits will help with any pregnancy related back issues you may get during the pregnancy.

Try to imagine you are stacking yourself.

Pelvis – neutral (its like a bowl of water that you are trying to keep the water level.

Torso stacked on the hips following natural curves of the spine. resist the temptation to stick your tummy out even more as this will only exaggerate the problem.

Shoulders – Pull up back. Be proud of your pregnancy and push out your chest!

Finally, Hold your head high!

Best Posture I can do!
Best Posture I can do!

Sometimes you are going to slouch when we know we shouldn’t, we have gained a lot of weight and our bodies have changed so much.  All we can do is the best we can and be aware of how we hold ourselves.

Hope this helps.


Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach