My last seminar (at least the last one on this trip) was in Birmingham at Second City CrossFit. The drive from Wales to Birmingham was less than 2 hours and we stayed the night at Seb’s mothers house. The fact that we stayed only about 5 minutes from the seminar allowed us to sleep a little late and this is always welcomed when you are doing two seminars back to back the same weekend. Second City CrossFit is one of the biggest, most spacious boxes I have been in, even being larger than most in the US. I also loved the fact than they had a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy penned up in a little kennel in the front of the gym. I know right away that I am going to love a gym if there is a cool dog running around.
Where the seminar before this one had a mix of advanced lifters and complete beginners, this seminar had more intermediate lifters. Since this is the group I get the most satisfaction out of coaching i had a really good time here. I also felt really good about the fact that several of the attendees seemed to really understand the concepts and make big strides while we were going over snatch pull technique. All in all this seminar was a success!
We did a small seminar in Wales on Saturday at Willpower weightlifting club. We set this one up at the very last minute but I was really just as interested in meeting the owner, Justin Holly, and eating one of his meals as I was in doing the seminar. I had heard from Shankle that this man could cook and it turns out he was right! I got there Friday night and Justin cooked us a 7kg rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, and potatoes that were roasted to perfection. Justin threatened to also make peas but they never materialized. But even without peas the meal was among the best I had ever eaten. I simply don’t know how that rib roast could have possibly been better.
The lifting was a mix of really great lifters and total beginners. Jordan Sakkass, Welsh junior champion and commonwealth youth champion was probably the best with lifts of a 145 snatch from blocks and a 170ish clean and jerk at age 17. There were 4 other lifters from Willpower who were very nearly at the same level. There were also several other lifters who also trained at Justin’s club who were more beginners. In fact one of them did his very first snatch during the seminar, he had come mainly for the programming lecture so that he could apply some of the ideas to his powerlifting training. For a seminar that was set up basically in 36 hours I think it went pretty well. Especially that rib roast and the Yorkshire pudding…
CrossFit Pi in Exeter is the most spacious and well equipped gym I have seen in a long time. The owner Martin Uttley studied at Brunel University and was a high level rugby player before opening his gym. I am not sure what I like best about this facility, the coffee dispenser, or the platforms! But I do know that it is far nicer than most CrossFit facilities in the USA and both Martin and his staff seem to be great coaches and totally dedicated to making this facility the best that it can possibly be.
I flew into Bristol Friday April 14th and I have been doing seminars in the UK for the last two weeks. The first one was at AFS CrossFit inAndover which was a pretty big seminar with 31 people attending. AFS is a nice gym and quite a few good lifters were in attendance. Chris Murray was probably the best, he is moving to 77 from 69 and was weighing about 74 on the day of the seminar. Very quick lifter who was also very consistent with his movements the whole day. He was able to snatch 125kg and tried 133kg for an all time PR but missed. He still had a hell of a day. Quite a few people also attempted the Pendlay certification with several passing. Overall a great introduction to the UK!