My weekend with a 3 times Crossfit Games Athlete – Coach Eoghan

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Anywhere Fit with Blair Morrison

Last weekend I had the pleasure of training with 3 times CrossFit Games Athlete Blair Morrison. Blair is known worldwide for the renowned Anywhere Fit experience. Essentially, he takes CrossFit outside the box and brings the simple elements of CrossFit outdoors, showing that fitness achieved via CrossFit has an application outside the box too.

Day 1

I travelled to Tipperary on Friday not really knowing what to expect for the weekend ahead. I was about to train with a 3 times games athlete so had to make the most of this.

I arrived at the lovely quiet Clonacody House after 6pm on Friday along with 20 other all looking forward to the weekend ahead. The equipment for our first workout? A large garden 2 big trees at the end with gymnastic rings attached, & a van equipped with a mobile pull up rig which haunted us for more than one workout over the course of the weekend.

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(Toes to bar on the pull up rig)

The first workout was simple using the area we had.

● 20 toes to bar on the pull up ring

● walking lunge to the middle of the garden,

● stop and do 10 burpees

● continue the walking lunge to the tree where we had rings hanging from the branches to perform 10 ring dips

● Turn around & repeat in reverse

● 20mins AMRAP

Other than the pull up rig, any one of us can do this at home or while travelling. Lesson 1 that I quickly learned – Use the elements at your disposal and enjoy yourself while working out.

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(Ring dips on rings hanging from branches)

After that workout (my legs were burning) we had a quick snack to get to know everyone and find out what was in store for the weekend ahead.

I could clearly see that Blair was a down to earth guy who simply wanted to workout with people with the same desire and had a passion to help people. He was always open to questions & keen to share his invaluable experience with the group. Not so surprisingly, one of his key messages was around taking sufficient rest each week & allowing your body to recover.

Day 2

We started off in the morning with some skills and strength work in the gym. Blair took us through his simple warm up which he does everyday focusing on loosening out his entire body & getting his blood flowing.

We then worked on some skills like handstand holds. Anyone that knows me well will know this is a massive weakness for me so I was really happy to get some advice from him on this area.

Two key points from Blair in this area were:

1.Using your hands & wrists to control your body – grip your hands into the ground to secure and control your body, adjust your wrists to maintain your balance

2.Be conscious that you are standing upside down. When you are actually standing your legs & core are automatically engaged. Just because you are inverted doesn’t mean this should change. Stand tall & engage your entire body in the handstand.

After working on that skill, we moved on to some strength and accessories. Deadlifts and floor press. 

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(Blair deadlifting over 190kg for 5 reps)

After the gym session, we stopped for some lunch, changed into some clothing for the beach (Yes the beach). We were very lucky with the weather so it actually felt we were in Spain. We travelled down to Ardmore Beach in County Waterford. The 40 minute drive was perfect time to enjoy the weather and recover for the next session. Everyone arrived on the beach to see the van with the pull up rig, kettlebells and barbells – what was in store for us now?? (We definitely got a few weird looks from other people on the beach while we warmed up)

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(Warm up on the beach. Pull up rig, kettlebells and barbells in shot)

Workout was in terms of 4:

200 pull ups (2 members working at any time)

400m partner carry

200 kettlebell swings (2 members working at any time)

400m partner carry

100 thrusters (1 member working – 50kg)

Then we had to work our way back to the start with the equipment

For the 1st 400m:

1 member carrying the 50kg barbell overhead

2 members Partner carry

1 member Bear crawl

200 kettlebell swings (2 members working at anytime)

For the 2nd 400m

1 member Bear crawl

1 member carrying the 50kg barbell overhead

2 members carrying KB overhead

Back to the pull up rig

200 pull ups (2 members working at anytime)

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(Team work – Kettlebell overhead, barbell overhead and bear crawl)

Did I even need to mention this…Of course we went for a swim afterwards to help with recovery but I’m not sure a 30 seconds dip counts as recovery 🙂

Day 2 ended with a nice meal in a local pub where the group took it easy on drinks & desserts ahead of the 3rd day.

Day 3

Waking up on the third day, I was really looking forward to what was in store for us. What did we do first thing? No, not eat breakfast but actually chop wood, yes wood! The guesthouse we were staying in had a few spare axes and were delighted to allow us to ‘warm up’ for the day ahead by creating some firewood for them.

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(Blair chopping wood in the early Irish sunshine)

After we chopped enough wood to fuel the county house for next winter, we sat down to an Irish breakfast to get set for the day ahead. Everyone then met up in a local forest at 10a;.greeted by some heavy dumbbells 🙂 We all walked to a castle in the middle of the forest and made the most of the surrounding.

Workout with a partner:

For as long as possible:

Odd Minute: 1 box jump (On a small wall)

Even Minute: 1 DB snatch

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Then this increased to 2 reps. 3 reps etc until one partner couldn’t finish the required reps within the minute. Blair & the girls got furthest in this workout hitting 24 & 23 minutes of work respectively.

(Everyone working out on the castle grounds)

After that morning refresher in the forest we went back to the gym to grab some food and get ready for the last workout of the weekend. We had to finish up with a hike up a mountain. We travelled to Knockaiferann mountain & it was the perfect finish to a great weekend. Great burn on the legs going up the mountain and then crossing over a few peaks before coming back down. I also got a chance to grab Blair to pick his brain on how to progress for competitions 🙂

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(Everyone at the top of Knockaiferann Mountain)

The weekend finished off with a BBQ with the mother of the gang all weekend who provided healthy snacks all weekend – Gail Long – Every weekend away needs someone like Gail!!!

So what did I learn from the weekend?

I came away really refreshed after training away from the box. At CrossFit Dublin we are very lucky to have one of the best facilities in the country with the best coaches available but don’t let this stop you experiencing what the outdoors have to offer. I think a lot of people have office jobs and families which take up a significant amount of their time; so going to our box allows us to keep fit and feel refreshed. Next time you have some free time at the weekend, grab some friends, climb a mountain, do some burpees in your garden and enjoy what the outdoors have to offer and the challenges it brings. Use your fitness in a creative way! No matter where you travel around the world, no place will be the same so working out in different places will challenge us all. I do believe everyone in CrossFit Dublin likes a challenge so what’s stopping us?!

Hike a mountain

Pick up a piece of wood and press it out overhead

Do some pull ups off a (solid) branch

Just try to workout outdoors

Enjoy yourself

Final shoutout has to go to the main man – Blair Morrison. This guy is an absolute gentleman and I learned so many simple things from him. For a guy who is competing in regionals in a few weeks with some of the best athletes in the planet, his approach to training and approach to helping other people is a credit to CrossFit and him. We are very lucky to have people like him in the community.

eoghan@crossfitdublin.ie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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