When most of North London’s residents are tucked up in bed at 6:30am on a Thursday morning, at CFS HQ the rattle of keys can be heard as the gates are unlocked and the first student arrives for their first strength and conditioning class since arriving back from holiday. Leisurely mornings in the Emerald Isle enjoying a nice cup of tea and a bacon sandwich while looking out over the Atlantic seem a distant memory as I willing step into the room that I know in about 1 hour I will we crawling out of.
Guru D’s teaching and also participating in the S&C class today and he begins with a light warm up of 3 quick rounds of 10 squats, 10 jumping jacks, 10 seals, 10 cross over’s, 10 pogo’s, and 10 lunges. Then as he starts to place the kettle bells out and pulls the dips and chin-up bar into the middle of the room I know the real work is about to begin, the urge to turn and leg it back to Alexandra Palace where I know there’s a nice warm king size bed with a little Welsh honey in waiting for me is quickly suppressed as the blinders come down and the focus that I’ve learned to harness during the last 2.5 years of CFS training kicks into gear.
Guru D directs me to the 20kg kettle bell and we begin - 10 double hand swings, 10 right hand swings, 10 left hand swings, then 10 interchanging swings (all without putting the kettle bell down). x3 sets of these.
Next Guru “very kindly” gives me an additional 20kg kettle bell and demonstrates how to do a double clean, he makes these look pretty easy and goes on to do x3 sets of these (bearing in mind he was using 30kg bells (so 60kg in total). My plan is to try and mirror Guru’s technique and amount of reps as closely as possible and I feel rather positive seeing as I have 20kg less to clean then he does, this positivity is short lived as I just about manage to do 6 reps. I complete my 3 sets but only manage 6 reps in each, I’m content with this as the hardest thing to swallow when training is not finishing the allotted sets, I always try and do the full 3 sets even if I can’t manage the full amount of reps. It’s better to do even a little then just give up. I’ve found that a big part of the battle is training your mind just as much as your body, telling yourself you can finish the sets you’ve been given to do and actually coming out of the other side of them strengthens your mind as well as your body.
Then we moved on to x3 sets of single bell (20 kg for me 30kg for Guru D) clean and squats, after which I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the end of the gym and noticed that my lips had turned a strange shade of blue as the exercise sucked most of the oxygen out of my body, a chilled 60 second rest and it was back to work.
10 vertical pull-ups + 1 dip, 9 vertical pull-ups + 2 dips, 8 vertical pull-ups + 3 dips, and so-on until you finish with 1 vertical pull-up + 10 dips.
We finished off by using the Bulgarian bag (which isn’t something I’ve done much work on before) and I did x3 sets of 10 around the worlds (right and left) + 10 push-ups. I find when I do a new exercise for the first time that trying to focus on getting the allotted amount of reps done can be difficult as your concentration is weighed more towards trying to get the technique right and this saps just a much mental energy as it does physical. Anyway, I did ok for my first time and finished my 3 sets, though I did have to stop a few times to try and correct my technique as it kept slipping due to fatigue. Guru knocked out 5 sets in about 3.5 minutes.
So that was the welcome back strength and conditioning session courtesy of CFS. Not most people’s idea of a fun start to a Thursday morning, and if someone had asked me a few years back what I thought about training at 6:30am I would have struggled to see how someone could possibly get enjoyment out of it. But when you’re a part of a team like CFS your surrounded by other people who’s drive and ambition spurs you on and allows you to achieve your own personal goals. The things you can take away from training with people like Guru David, Corey, Steve, and Andrew M don’t just relate to martial arts and lifting weights. You’ll find that the drive, focus, and desire to achieve crosses over into all aspects of your life, it can help you progress in your work place, or it can make you a better person when it comes to your family life. SO SIGN UP TODAY!!!