Category Archives: Daliy Blog

WOD 11th APRIL Morning Shocker

Yikes this morning was certainly a wake up call!

Instead of my usual strength program I wanted today to focus on my upper body pulls and snatch drills.

I am desperate to reclaim my one strict pull up!

Before pregnancy I had at least one but after a mixture of kipping with bands and added weight from the pregnancy has meant that I have lost any strength I had.

I am not going to give up on it though and am determined to get it back.

My theory is that by pulling up with an ever increasing weighted jacket (the baby) that eventually I will either win back my pull up or at least when I have had the baby and the jacket of weight comes off all the months of weighted pull ups will have paid off!!

Now to practise something I can do!

Snatch Drills.

I followed the Bergener Warm up. Watch this video for a step by step guide to Bergener.

Bergener Warm up

The met con for today was a shocker.

Read it and weep!

AMRAP 5 minutess

Kb Swings 16Kg  & Box Jumps (Sub- Step ups)


AMRAP 5 minutes

Thruster  & SDHP (sumo-deadlift high pull) 20/25Kg


AMRAP 5 minutes

Push press & Burpees (Sub- Press up an a step up) 25Kg


Moving between the disciplines before getting in some kind of flow is a major head feck for the body.

The Thrusters and Sumo’s were by far the most horrible!!!






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 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.

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.


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.


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!

Race for Life – I am doing it again!

On the 3rd of July 2011, I will be 7 months pregnant, probably slightly mad from baby brain but I will be making my way with my friend Emma across Blackheath. Not content with just a 5k we are going the whole hog…10k for Race for Life.

Its going to be my challenge this year, you maybe thinking do I really need another challenge with impending motherhood but I just couldn’t let it go by without doing my bit.

We all know what the cause is for and we all know someone affected. This year I am racing for everyone who has the courage to look cancer in the face and fight.

Together we can beat it

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