Rainhill Trials week 1 recap.


In July I will be competing at the Rainhill Trials in Manchester; one of the biggest CrossFit competitions in the UK.

‘This no qualifier event is designed to open competition to any and all regardless of your experience. The successful 480 athletes from the ballot, 240 male and 240 female, will give a series of results to allow them to be ranked with similar level athletes for competition on the day in one of four subsidiary competitions; Rocket (highest level - 1), Kennedy (level 2), Rastrick (level 3) and Wood (level 4)’


I’ve just had two weeks off from training, so now I’m back that means 16 weeks of work to prepare for this competition. I have no idea where I’ll rank when the seeding workouts are sent as at the moment my fitness, Olympic lifting and gymnastic movements are not great, but my raw strength is decent. I’d imagine I will be in one of the bottom categories but I honestly have no idea.

Although I’ve never competed or done any CrossFit I am familiar with the majority of the movements. (With the exception of the kipping gymnastic skills).

Bearing that in mind, here’s how I’m splitting up my training for at least the first training block.

  • Conditioning - Pure monostructural work (mainly rowing, running and the assault bike) 8 sessions/week.

  • Functional capacity - Low skill, high rep movements (burpees, double unders, box jumps) 6 sessions/week.

  • Gymnastic strength - strict strength, pull-ups, toes to bar, handstand press-ups etc. 4 sessions/week.

  • Gymnastic skills - kipping movements, pull-ups, toes to bar, handstand pull-ups, muscle ups (hopefully!). 4 sessions/week.

  • Strength - pure strength movements, the ‘slow’ lifts, squat, overhead press, deadlifts, rows, accessories. 4 sessions/week.

  • Olympic lifting - Snatch, Clean & Jerk. 5 sessions/week.

  • Metcons - ‘Crossfit’ style metcons. 2 sessions/week.


Because of my background (Judo and Powerlifting) my program is biased towards improving my fitness.

1) Conditioning 2) Gymnastics 3) Strength


The first week was great, I think I totalled around 35 hours of work in the gym, a LOT of technique work and mobility. I intend to keep a track of how things go.


W/C - 25/03/19

Hardest workout:

Assault bike 28mins max cals: this was a constant battle to not quit, the pace I set for myself was right at the threshold of what I could maintain. I just managed to beat my target cals by 0.94...

Most fun workout:

Torn between two:

1) Row: 5x1000m, 2’rest. Descending splits. I moved the rower outside, it was so nice to train in the sun, I finished this workout on a real high.

2) 5x10m unbroken handstand walk. Who doesn’t love walking on their hands!? The gym was busy, with Rachael and our clients cheering me on, this one was fun.

Biggest mistake :

Not re-warming up between sessions. I had done a conditioning session mid-afternoon and when going to start a gymnastics skill session didn’t warm up my shoulders again, luckily I wasn’t injured but I definitely couldn’t get into the correct positions, lesson learned.

Biggest win:

Finishing the 28’ bike without letting up on the pace I set. I know I’ve already mentioned this, but I’m really pleased!

What I’ve learned:

Food... so much food is needed. On average ~5500calories just to get through the sessions this week. I need to prepare more food ahead of time and make sure I’m eating before sessions instead of midway through.

Bring on week 2

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