Kitbox x SwimWOD
Words by SwimWOD director Emma Gage
SwimWod recently had the pleasure of putting on a SwimWod event for Kitbox during one of their athlete days in Manchester. It was a great day with some amazing athletes so I thought I would write a blog on how the day went.
I was at the pool setting everything up and spotted two people on the balcony having a look down at the pool at what was going on. They stood out a mile with their clothing and build and I knew instantly that they were people here for the event as they were quite clearly CrossFitters ready to go in full gear of course! I went up to reception and the receptionist was asking “who on earth” those guys were… clearly had been making an impression already ha! Turns out it was Jonny Landels and Joe Taylor with all the charm ;)
Everyone grouped together in the gym where I put them through a typical swimmers land warm up before heading over to the pool. Some of the (honestly not that tricky) shoulder mobility exercises I gave out proved quite challenging for people with co-ordination issues (leaving me wondering what I was going to witness when they got in the pool!) but we got there eventually…! ;) It’s always good to warm up on poolside or in the gym before getting in the pool so that your muscles are primed and ready to go when they hit the cold water. Especially your shoulders as they do a lot of work!
We got all the equipment from the gym that was going to be used later in the WOD and all walked out on poolside together, which Neil Shearer brilliantly managed to capture in a ‘300’ style photo and lots of head turning from the lunchtime Swimfit class on the other side of the pool!
The session in the pool started off with a warm up where I just had a look at the ability level of everyone. There was a broad range of skill level but I was pleasantly surprised and knew that I could help everyone with their efficiency and skill. So we spent around 20 minutes working on breathing techniques and stroke length and efficiency.
A couple of people weren’t yet comfortable doing front crawl so I gave them different drills to be working on for breaststroke and it all went really well. I had great feedback about how it was starting to feel smoother and the breathing techniques massively help people out too. I always love watching people’s strokes change from the warm up to the end of the skill section and seeing people’s faces when they finish a length and know they’ve improved.
We then got out and I briefed everyone on the WOD which was as follows.
In Partners. 15 minute AMRAP
While 1 person completes 1 length swim, 5 get outs and 1 length underwater (including a dive down half way)
The other person completes AMRAP of: 10 dumbbell step ups, 10 down ups, 10 plate GTOH.
Score = total rounds on the swim + total rounds on the AMRAP.
I got changed into my costume and partnered with Rhi Pearson and although we had only just met that day we worked really well together as a team and it was great to workout with such a strong athlete! Everyone did brilliantly, applying what they had learned in the skill section to their swimming in the WOD. Even though it was a bit of a gassy workout with the underwater breath holding bit! It was a great atmosphere of teamwork and people training together doing something a bit different.
Once the workout finished, in usual CrossFit style there were of course loads of high fives, and then the session wouldn’t have been complete without the standard group jumping in picture!
After the session everyone got changed and headed over to M Squared Fitness for the next session of the day on dry land with Em Saville! After some lunch of course… we all know how swimming makes you STARVING!
It was a brilliant day and great for SwimWod to work with some very talented athletes and also for them to learn more about what SwimWod is about. The company was created because a lot of the time athletes forget about swimming being a part of fitness and they don’t really do much of it. So often I will go to a competition such as Tribal Clash and hear CrossFitters saying they’re not very comfortable swimming and are scared of the water. But it is becoming more and more a part of CrossFit and Fitness as a sport. So I created SwimWod as a place where people can go to for personal training, online programmes and also for events and group sessions such as the Kitbox day. I have worked with amazing people from those who are very new to swimming to Iron man athletes, regional athletes and even 2013 CrossFit Games Champion - Sam Briggs.
Big thank you to Kitbox for asking SwimWod to be a part of the day, to the athletes for getting fully involved and also to Neil Shearer for taking all the brilliant photos from the day!