Lets talk conditioning – EMOTM

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Its been a while since my last blog post!

Sorry about that. I thought I would publish a new post today on my favourite types of conditioning just now. I have been doing lots of different forms of conditioning, ranging from 60min – 90min rows, half marathon rows, gearing rows, and interval work the main interval work I have been using for myself and my athletes is 30secs on 30secs off x6 row with 4mins rest x3. With the sled I have been using 20m distances out and back ranging from 40kg for beginners to 60-80kg for more advanced stronger and fitter athletes. This sled workout I have been referring to as dirty 30’s as its roughly 30secs work and 30secs rest usually done for 10mins but I have done it with 60kg for 20mins once or twice and its quite sickening.

The Every Minute on The Minute workout can be used in many different ways, with the dirty 30’s workout on the sled it is just the best and worst conditioning workout as it has the ability to light up your energy systems and also your power endurance of your legs, its also great as your pushing so there is an element of upper body work there albeit not much but it is a whole body movement.

Another version we are seeing more of as of late is using the emotm format ontop of completing a number of reps from another movement, today I attempted a workout of that version which was a workout I saw from one of the Gym Jones coaches – Chris Feather from all the way over in Sydney at 98 Riley St Gym. He is a certified beast like Rob MacDonald. His workout was 300 burpees emotm 5 Deadlift at BW which for me was 90kg. You can play these workouts one of two ways, go balls to the wall and try to get as many burpees done as you can in the minute before you have to do your 5 deadlifts or pace it and try and leave yourself 30secs rest each time, so ultimately you will be doing an hour of 30secs work 30secs rest. In this case I picked the 2nd choice. The best strategy to take with this long interval workout is to pace yourself and focus on good movement and bracing and breathing, in that rest period try your best to get good deep breaths in to recover, mindset is a big player here as 50reps in I was really struggling and needed to focus on small bite sized chunks of the workouts and getting used to the heavy breathing.

Now with such a long workout unfortunately it did prove too much for me as my left hamstring gave out at about the 60min mark, fatigue and exhaustion hit. So if I was to use this workout to the general population it would be for 20mins and maybe at 40% of their max, but the key point here is that you can create really good conditioning workouts if you add a whole body lift at low reps with a body weight movement or even a erg or Airdyne or sled, as long as your stick to the parameter’s of 30secs work 30secs rest I don’t see why you couldn’t do it to 60-90mins and its would be great really hit you hard feel it in the lungs and feel like a hard 60min run or bike or swim.

Just be ready to push yourself and test your mental strength, how long can you really go? I didn’t think I would get past 20mins but I got to 60mins, a little strain on the hamstring but nothing I cant heal with some focused recovery and nutrition and rehydration and maybe not squatting tomorrow.

As a coach I have much to learn, knowledge still needs to be developed and I will continually strive to learn and understand more through my mentor and coach Andy McKenzie and other coaches, one person I have also learnt a lot from has been Rob MacDonald and Mark Twight, pushed myself further than I thought possible. I will be looking to learn more about performance and strength gainz from Ashley Jones later in July also and will probably head back to Salt Lake city for the Gym Jones Level 2.

I think its good to form thought and processes from the training that I experience myself though as that will give me an understanding on how to train others as I do think that there is a balance between strength and conditioning training being both an art and an expertise and only you know the right mix for each person and what the best fit is, I think that’s the beaty of Individualisation. Each persons mix is slightly different depending on where they are on the strength spectrum, there level of fitness, injuries they carry and how long they have been training.

So next time your in the gym try a EMOTM workout try this 50 strict burpees emotm  do 10 goblet squats.

Good day Sir.



CrossFit Open – 16.2

Another weekend of Open Weekend workouts this time with 16.2 either as prescribed or scaled or programmed to a format that the member could be included in. In total we had about 14 of us doing it. Prescribed for some scaled for some or made into a 20min  amrap with 25kg cleans from ground or above knee to ensure good technique.


Most of us surprise surprise found 25 toes to bar a lot and then adding in the cut off of 4mins meant it got spicy!

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Friday night saw some of the girls take it on, Corinne in a scaled capacity as a 20min amrap with 25kg and knee raises, Jaimie entered a score into the scaled division and Emma completed the scaled workout as set out with time to spare at 19.46.


We also had Ben and Ruaridh put in a good performance this weekend also, who took on the scaled version with time caps.


As well mike who ran it too 20mins with 42.5kg power cleans


We then had Gregor and Jamie put in all out effort.

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And finally last but not least Ana and Alan worked hard for 20mins with again two scaled variations, alan hang power cleans from above the knee at 40kg and slam balls because he couldn’t skip and Ana 25kg cleans and skipping and toes to bar for 20mins


Great work last weekend guys and I am looking forward to the next 3 workouts and bringing us together even more!




Colin Gordon Deadlift Workshop

The weekends Deadlift workshop with Colin Gordon was a huge success.


We discussed Flexion and extension in great detail in relation to the Jefferson Curl exercise.

But more importantly we got to grips with the deadlift, how to warm up specifically for it and how to set up, breath and use our body to its maximum potential so we can deadlift all the weights like Eddie Hall.


Every time I have a workshop with Colin I learn a little bit more about movement, training and coaching in general, it was a fantastic 3 hours or so that just flew by.


We looked at in great detail how increasing our movement capacity across exercises like the single leg kb deadlift, hip aeroplanes and lateral lunges can have a huge benefit in not only increasing hip stability and mobility but helping reduce our chances of injury when lifting.


It was a good opportunity to just turn the music off forget about everything else going on at that moment and truelly commit yourself to listening and focusing on getting better at deadlifting. And that’s what we did there was a good amount of focus in the room and we all developed and learnt more about how to deadlift more efficiently.


Once we had gone through a specific deadlift warmup we then broke out into groups to go over breathing, setup, lat engagement and the stages of the deadlift.


We had two of my newer members in the workshop, Craig and Beth who I had gone over the deadlift a couple of times before in the last 2months I had been training them. This workshop was perfect for them as it gave the opportunity to focus on nothing else except this complex movement and they progressed with their technique really well.



We looked at how the lat engagement was really the key to a good pull, and that without the lats we really wouldn’t be able to pull the weight that we are able to pull, so if you pin those shoulder back in your set up it will help your body act as one, get you using your hamstrings etc and the weight will just float up.


Beth had only deadlifted 30kg or so past few months and she came to me unable to do an full airsquat because of lack of leg strength, past week or so she just started to have the strength to do full airsquats, and has the shoulder strength to complete our segmented flows, she also cut her 5k run time down by 3mins and at the deadlift workshop deadlifted 65kg with good technique.


I finished the workshop by just working up to a heavy single that was 220kg a 20kg PB.

So it was a great workshop, and we hopefully will have another workshop with Colin in a couple of months time on the squat fingers crossed.



Manage Stress – Hit the Reset Button

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Have you ever reached Friday and felt burnt out?

Chances are that will be highly likely, you could be a small business owner, gym owner, coach, PT, busy in the financial services, or any other professions, being a stay at home mum, or having a young family or old, managing everything in your day to day life is hard and sometimes gets on-top of you.

Knowing how to get the most out of your body energy wise, recovery wise is important and will help you manage your stress level…s.

Being able to Manage your stress and anxiety levels is really useful and knowing how to hit the reset button helps you not becoming burnt out.

Lack of sleep can make you feel sick. Just taking some time out to have a quick nap makes a huge difference.

Pay attention to your resting heart rate and your normal breathing can give you great clues to how your feeling.

Some simple tips to start would be make sure your diet is well rounded and nutritious.

Look at how much sleep you get.

How much water are drinking?

How much alcohol are you drinking? Do you smoke? How much fast food do you eat?

What you do makes a difference,

Breathing – take some time be it 2mins to 20mins and focus on deep relaxed breathing.

Go for a run, get your heart rate elevated, crack a sweat and breath heavily.

Lift heavy weights (with good technique)

Do a CrossFit WOD

Manage your time better, spend less time on social media and be more social, with loved ones and friends.

Working out with friends can be really fun.

But remember at the end of all that and what is said and done, that you create a mental strength through pushing through troubles and adversity, it is good to struggle and it builds character.

Have the belief that you can achieve your goals, stay positive, remember you can influence the event in your life.

The Mind Is Primary.

Colin Gordon – Performance Sports Therapy



This Saturday the 5th March we will be hosting our fourth workshop with Colin Gordon from Performance Sports Therapy




He will be covering the following areas:

Deadlift technique, hinging, setup, pull


mobility issues associated with the hinge

Prehab and rehab exercises and deadlift specific warmups

It starts at 1pm and could go on till 3-4pm depending on discussion.

Cost is £15


So if you want to improve your deadlift, or seek more advice on mobility problems with lower back and hips associated with deadlifting then come down to speak to him.

Below are photo’s from our previous workshops.


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2016 Open – Reebok CrossFit Games

The CrossFit Open for 2016 kicks off today…

there are 5 workouts released every Thursday night for 5 weeks:

16.1 – Feb 25-29

16.2 – March 3-7

16.3 – March 10-14

16.4 – March  17-21

16.5 – March 24-28th

We do not know what the workout will be till it is announced on the day.




We are hooking up with CrossFit Murrayfield each week to combine forces and be more awesome.

We will be doing the workouts together as a community on the Saturday. We will be setting people off in waves hopefully every 30mins in pairs, 1 person judging the other doing the workout and then swapping round. If you need a qualified judge so you can submit a score then one will be available.


The emphasis will be on inclusiveness, scaling of the workout and making sure it is something that you can do safely, have fun doing in the process. This is a chance to cheer each other on, laugh, enjoy all our hardwork and early mornings that we have put into getting stronger and fitter.

There will be an element of cheering on other members, before or after it is your turn to do the workout, don’t be scared, enjoy the moment and atmosphere and get stuck in.

So come down and try it out, this is a great chance to get to know other members you have not met and speak to other CrossFitter’s from another box.

We will be kicking off from around 9am and going on the half our till about 1pm.

We will be meeting for drinks after it all at the Bonnington Pub on the corner of Newhaven Road around 1pm it will not be paleo.



Combined Strength



This Last weekend I was in Reading on my monthly meet up with Andy Mckenzies Combined Strength Group. You can find out more about my coach and mentor here:



I have been apart of the Combined Strength Group since August last year. It has given  me huge support, advice and access to coaches that have more knowledge and experience than I have. Through Andy’s guidance I have been developing my business and training methods since then.



This weekend began with a chat about marketing and how each of us could improve in that respect, we then moved onto developing our coaching, I took a group of more experienced coaches through a session and was then assessed and given feedback on what I had done and what could be improved.


We also went through more movement, warmup practice and systems to use when training and the clean and jerk and snatch. We were also given 3 hours of Handstand practice from Andy Handstand coach Sammy Dinneen A Professional Handbalancer and Acrobat.


As I come up to the 3 year mark at running #BOBSGARAGE it is more important than ever for me right now to have a mentor and coach and someone to hold me accountable, push me forward and make sure that I am continuing to stay uncomfortable and learn and develop as a coach.


It was Andy that helped me progess my gym to that of Individualisation and to strive for higher standards in my training, coaching and life and I will continue to do that with the groups help.


If you would like to learn more about movement, the combined strength approach, or becoming part of the combined strength group then make contact with one of us and become part of an amazing group of coaches.

Member Story – JB




Hi, my name is JB. I am 47 years old. I joined Bob’s garage in April 2015. This is my CrossFit story in brief. In October 2012 I left the British Army after a 26 year career. I had always been a reasonably fit soldier but had to work really hard at fitness whilst serving. In 2008 I discovered CrossFit and never looked back so for the last five years of my service at age 39-42, I was fitter and stronger than I had been for years. 

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2013 – Carrying too many pounds !

It started going wrong about 6 months before I left the Army when I injured my lower back which ended up with an ambulance ride, morphine, a hospital stay, several weeks of pain killers, physio and an injection into my spine to nullify the pain in my nerves. I had been carrying injuries for years – a result of a long rugby career and 26 years of military service which is tough on the body. I think I just overdid it, not helped by not doing much stretching or mobilisation (always a failing of mine). Needless to say, I don’t want to experience such pain again…


After the physio, I meant to start CrossFit training again but then I left the Army and started a new job as a civilian where I was living to work – 16 hour days, high tempo, high learning curve, high stress, no life, no family time, just work. Initially I was up at 0500 hrs everyday and on my rowing machine but after 3 months I was exhausted and something had to give – the rowing and training went out of the window. So, for the next 15 months, I worked, had no life, did not train and was miserable and angry. I was unfit, unhealthy, gaining weight and becoming someone I did not recognise. So, I quit my job not knowing what was next, but knowing I had to move on for the sake of my family and for my own well-being. 


I then started working as a solo consultant and slowly began to get a life back. This included the occasional jog and the occasional row but no more. Then in October 2014, I started running and over several weeks built up to a weekend run of 15kms, some rowing, some upper body work…and then I plateaued and knew it was time to change gear. I knew by about January 2015 I needed to get back to CrossFit so over a few weeks I started researching which box I liked the look of. When I found #bobsgarage on line I liked the messaging and the simplicity of the site. It just seemed right so I emailed Bob to say hello. His response was welcoming and enthusiastic so I decided to take the plunge and start CrossFit again. I am glad I did.

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As soon as I walked into Bobs place, I felt at home. I loved the simplicity of it. Kettle bells, olympic weights, rings, an impressive frame set up, boxes, sandbags, a sled – I love the sled, ask Bob 🙂 – and a few other bits and pieces. Plain, simple, no frills – I knew immediately I was in the right place. And so it began…


Bob asked me my history, took note of all the injuries I was carrying, my weak points and my goals and started tailoring my workouts accordingly. The inclusion and focus of mobility, yoga moves and stretching came as a surprise – painful, necessary and over time welcome. I am much more flexible than I used to be even though I have a long way to go on that front. Over the last few months, through hard work and decent coaching, I have regained strength, got fitter, lost some fat, put on muscle, feel healthier and fitter. The workouts are hard, some a really hard, but that’s what I always loved about CrossFit. 

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I love the sheer effort required to finish a workout and the sense of satisfaction I feel when I complete something that is really tough. I like Bob’s coaching style – he gets to know people, he works with you not against you and he is cognisant of what each individual needs. I also enjoy the company of like-minded people who do CrossFit – there is no bullshit, no people standing around posing or pretending they are working out. Instead, they are people of varying degrees of fitness working hard, sharing banter, pain, successes and encouraging each other. There is a camaraderie and a spirit alive in Bob’s Garage and it’s good.



I am not as fit as I was back in 2012 before I injured my back but I am on the road to get there. It has been a hard journey to get to this point but I know where I am going and I know 2016 in going to be a big year for progress for me. I have some goals – improve my mobility and flexibility, try to get some old injuries sorted out so I bear less pain daily, start completing some CrossFit hero workouts, run a marathon, cycle across Scotland and do a muscle up…all achievable. All driven by CrossFit and a coach who knows his stuff.


People always ask me why I do CrossFit and I hope I have answered that question. More importantly, some people I talk to are worried about trying CrossFit because, ‘I am not fit enough,’ or ‘It looks really hard.’ All I can say is Bob is a trainer who will motivate you, push you and work you hard but he’ll know where to start and he’ll know how to improve your fitness beyond your expectations. Try it, it really does change your life.


Member Story – Nikki Conner



6th October 2013 is the first time Nikki Conner emailed me. That was the day I was introduced to her life. She had a lot on her plate and still does – mother, wife and career woman. She juggles many balls and is able to manage it all seamlessly well. She is a dedicated woman and trains 4 times a week in the mornings before work at 6am.

Together we have faced many challenges including hip problems, posture issues and generally easing her into tough physical training. When she first came to me, she could not do a pressup or a chinup and now can do both of these – a true test of strength. Nikki also smashes out 100 strict burpees when she is away from the gym on holiday!

A telling achievement of how far she has come was when I signed her up for the Spartan sprint in the pentands this year with her friend Elaine who now also trains at #bobsgarage. I convinced her that it would only be a short 5k run lasting around 30mins and would be nothing major but low and behold it was a huge mental and physical challenge taking around 3hrs in some of the toughest terrain and weather the pentlands has to offer. She took it in her stride. Here is her story:

For years and years I have gone to the gym and done various different classes and had PT sessions.  All of which I enjoyed but never really stuck to for any length of time and got bored of very quickly. I needed to find something that suited my lifestyle which being a full time working mum was a challenge!  I had seen a few friends on Facebook had started CrossFit so had asked them what it was all about and they all seemed to enjoy it, so I thought why not try something different!


They recommended #BOBSGARAGE to me and said that they had heard good things about it so I contacted Bob for a trial session.  I had no idea what to expect and was quite nervous as the garage looked totally different to any other gym.   The trial session was great as it gave a taster of what CrossFit  was all about and see if it was something that I wanted to continue to do.   Well that trial session was 2 years ago and I can honestly say that it is the best fitness regime I have ever done! Let alone stuck to for as long as I have.


I enjoy the variety, the individualisation that Bob puts a huge amount of time and effort into as well as rehabbing any issues that come up.  One key thing I learnt about myself is that mentally I need to be pushed.


If I didn’t have Bob’s encouragement telling me I could do it then I would admit defeat.  The best feeling is realising that you can actually achieve something that at the start you think there is no way you can do. There is a great sense of community spirit in the classes and with having smaller classes means that Bob can ensure that your form is spot on, which is something that CrossFit seems to get a false reputation for!


So going back to my first point about finding something that fitted into my lifestyle, I go to Bobs at 6am most weekday mornings and many people think that I am mad, but it suits me knowing that I have worked hard and sets me up for the rest of the day.


It is amazing to think that it can fun being totally pushed out of your comfort zone.


Member Story – Chris MacBeth

Member Story Chris MacBeth

Chris First session

Ive been a member now for two years. When I joined I was broken and really unfit, despite going to another gym about 3 times a week. My time at #BG has been excellent. Ive been rehabbed, I improved my movement, Ive been taught some complex movements, and in general my overall health is far better than it was before. As a result, I now lead a much healthier lifestyle. After Years of sitting around not doing much and working a desk job I had a lot of mobility issues. My movement was very poor. After a few weeks of working on mobility, with Bobs guidance, you soon start to see the benefits of better movement in day to day life and that then transferred over into my weightlifting.

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Before I started at #BG I found that I was stuck in a rut at my old gym. I wasnt seeing the results I desired. I was finding it difficult to push myself hard enough. I wasnt following any specific programme and was training alone which meant I had no enthusiasm/desire to train. The gym I attended was the other side of town and took a lot of time to get from there to home after a days work. So I looked into local gyms near my home and I came across a few of these CrossFit gyms.

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The first thing I did was look at reviews of what this Crossfit was, and by god did it look like hard work! So after some research I decided to get in touch with one of the gyms. After a chat with Bob I actually decided against trying it, but after about 6 weeks of this Crossfit niggling at the back of my mind and my usual old boring gym routine I chose to take the plunge. I arranged my induction course. I did my induction course with a couple of other guys who were all in the same boat as me. When it came to it I was shocked, thinking to myself that the warm up alone was more intense than my actual gym sessions.

our first BBQ

I signed up a couple of weeks after my induction. I was reluctant to at first because of how tough it was but I decided to bite the bullet. Ive never looked back since. The main reason I stuck with it was the training with others as a group, all encouraging each other. Getting to learn Olympic lifting as well as being taught how to do squats, deadlifts and presses properly.

Coaches together

At first its challenging but after a few months you develop and you start to enjoy it more and more. Although thats not to say it stops becoming challenging. Youre training is constantly being changed and new things added to keep you on your toes. After a while you learn to take it in your stride and you realise that no matter what challenge youre thrown its achievable!

Colins squat seminar


Ive had a lot of success in my time at #BG so much I dont know where to start! I am stronger, fitter and more mobile than ever before! The special thing about #BG is that you get an individual programme scaled to your ability but that also pushes you to your limits so that you can achieve your goals. One of my biggest successes was passing my CrossFit Level-1 Trainers course and becoming a qualified coach. Which with Bobs help has resulted in my taking some of the classes at the gym and helping out.

Thankfully Ive not suffered any major failures really. Everybody has those days you go in and are not in the mood, usually after a tough day at work, but after being there for a few minutes and mixing with the other members you soon pick up and are raring to go.

Personally I stuck with it for a few reasons. The group training and the friends you make being a big one. Also Bob drops knowledge bombs after knowledge bombs, hes always learning and passing on information to keep your training interesting and fun.

#BG is a very unique place like none other. The individualised programmes mean that you are going to get results no matter what the circumstances. The community of members is a close one and everyone always friendly and welcoming to anyone new. The most unique thing is probably Bob, hes a one of a kind coach who has the ability to deal with a wide verity of different personalities but also the knowledge to be able to deal with almost every situation possible.

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If you are looking to improve your overall fitness, I suggest you come and give it a try. The atmosphere is always good, people encourage you all the time and will help you if you need it, youll make new friends and most importantly its fun.