The Mud, Sweat and Beers


Crossfit 24/04/14

Warm Up:
3 rounds:
10 push ups
10 pull ups
10 ball slams @ 9kg

3 x 8 Bench press @ 70% - 45kg

70% of my 1RM is actually closer to 42.5kg, but after I did the first set at that weight I figured I’d up it a little to 45kg as it felt doable, and it was….just.

12 minute AMRAP
8 ball slams @ 9kg
8 push press @ 40kg (scaled to 35kg)
8 box jumps @ 24”
8 v-ups

Completed 5 rounds, 8 ball slams and 5 push press.

Push press got difficult very quickly, but the most I broke them was into two sets of 4. Really tough mentally as for some reason I thought it was an 8 minute AMRAP going in to the WOD, and when Coach Ffred called halfway at 6 minutes my heart sank into my guts. I managed to keep a good pace throughout and got it done.

Crossfit - 23/04/14

Warm Up:
100m run
1 deadlift with pipe
2 hang power cleans with pipe
2 shoulder to overhead with pipe
100m run
1 deadlift @ 20kg
2 hang power cleans @ 20kg
2 shoulder to overhead @ 20kg


Build weight in the above complex up to working weight in strength section

12 minutes, on the minute, all the following as a complex:
1 deadlift
2 hang power clean
2 shoulder to overhead

I did the first set at 50kg, and then dropped to 45kg. The shoulder to overhead were push press for the first 6 rounds and then push jerk for the remaining. Had I remembered I could push jerk for the movement I would have stuck to 50kg.

10 wall balls @ 9kg
10 toes-to-bar
100m run
9 wall balls @ 9kg
9 toes-to-bar
100m run
8 wall balls….
8 …..

Completed in around 15 minutes, although I had to scale the toes-to-bar to knees-to-elbows for the middle rounds as I just couldn’t get my toes up there. Something I need to work on there, I’m ok up to around 5-10 reps on toes-to-bar, but any more and it goes out of the window.

Crossfit - 22/04/14

Warm Up:
3 rounds of:
Rowling (aim for 100m on the rower, for every metre over or under perform 1 burpee, 1 air squat).
OH mobility

1RM strict press - 42.5kg - PB!!

WOD:7 minute AMRAP:
20 double unders
10 overhead squat @ 40kg (Scaled to 30kg)
1 minute rest
5 minute AMRAP:
7 kettlebell swings @ 32kg (scaled to 24kg)
7 push ups

First part completed 4 rounds and 19 double unders.
Second part completed 5 rounds exactly.

Pleased with my new strict press 1RM. My previous 1RM was 40kg, and then went up really easily, and I honestly thought I’d be able to beat the PB by a good few kg, however the 42.5kg was as high as I could get it, 45kg just wasn’t budging. Still, another day, another PB.

The WOD was pretty hardcore, the overhead squats needed to be scaled for me to get any real work done on them, same for the kettlebells, I’m not brave enough to try these with 32kg yet. I ploughed through both as quickly as I could, but the push ups in the second part really really got to me quickly, especially after all the shoulder work we’d done previously.

Olympic Lifting - 20/04/14

Warm Up: 
Snatch technique with pipe

4x2 hang snatch - 35kg
4x2 snatch - 35kg

Very very pleased with myself with these. I didn’t fail any lifts, and 35kg is only 2.5kg off my 1RM snatch. Everything felt pretty comfortable and relatively easy. Here’s to hoping that 1RM has also increased.

AG#15 - Ruby ale competition entry

As this is a competition entry for a local CAMRA competition I won’t put the specifics of the recipe. The only stipulation is that it needs to be ruby in colour, and approximately 4% ABV. Being CAMRA of course it needs to be suited to being served on cask. The winning entry will be put into production by Tiny Rebel and sold as Gwent CAMRA’s 40th anniversary beer.

Recipe: AG#15 GC40
Brewer: Andi Morris
Asst Brewer:
Style: Special/Best/Premium Bitter
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 24.76 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.71 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.49 l
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 31.4 EBC
Estimated IBU: 41.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 67.50 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 77.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Maris Otter
Carafa Special III
Crystal Malt

Bramling Cross

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 3.99 kg
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 12.27 l of water at 73.5 C 66.7 C 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (5.04l, 13.30l) of 75.6 C water

Tried underletting for the first time - seemed successful
Mash in 66C
Mash out 65C
Trying upping the flow rate on the due to anecdotal evidence on the internet that you can “let it rip” after “vorlauf”.
12l collected after first batch sparge
11.5l collected after second batch sparge (lost 1 litre here, need to perhaps up the deadspace by 1 litre)
Hit 1.045 OG
Collected 18l wort (1 litre short)

Very pleased with the brew day in all. Turned the HLT on at 5:30am and was all pitched and cleaned up by midday, leaving the rest of the bank holiday for me and mine. Sparging that little bit faster didn’t seem to affect my efficiency. Again I lost 1 litre after the mash, so I think I’ll up my deadspace amount in Beersmith, and this will hopefully bring my brewhouse efficiency up a little, approaching 70%. I’d like this to be higher, but that’s something to work on over time.
Very happy with hitting the OG dead on, despite losing some volume, and the colour looks great. Fingers crossed for this one :)
The grist:

My first go at underletting. Seemed successful enough:

First runnings, nice colour:

Water treatments ready to go in the boil:

The obligatory hop shot:

Bittering hops in:

15 minute additions:

My first time using WLP yeast:

Chilling, and slowly stirring to keep the wort flowing over the chiller. Plenty of cold break:

Wort looks nice and aerated after dropping from a couple of feet. Pitching yeast straight in:

Hit 1.045 for the OG:

18l collected, 1 litre short:

Springing into action


Treating the tomatoes and chillies to a bit of spring sun. There’s also some lavender, and a strawberry plant there. The strawberry is an easter gift for a family member.


Square foot gardening! Mostly winter veg here as the bed is north east facing, and doesn’t get a huge amount of sun. Leeks, parsnips, beetroot, spinach, tuscan kale, and spring onions all sown straight into the soil. Also some radish in the sprout square as these will grow a lot more quickly than the sprout will so I might as well make use of the space.


Early onions and garlic doing ok (I think!!)


Basil and coriander for the kitchen windowsill. Butternut squash, courgette, and pumpkin for the square foot garden, and nasturtium and marigold as companion plants for the veg bed to attract the right kind of insects and to add a little bit of colour.


Purple sprouting broccoli, brussel sprout and cabbage, destined for the raised bed.

I can’t wait to see how these all turn out!!!

Crossfit - 17/04/14

Warm Up: 
3 rounds:
5 x kettlebell swings @ 16kg
5 x V-Ups
5 x lateral kettlebell jumps

3km run - 15:38

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 ladder
Kettlebell swings @ 32kg (scaled to 24kg)
lateral kettlebell jumps

Completed in 10:40

I wasn’t happy when I saw there was no strength session today, and that it had been replaced by a 3km run, but I realised that I did heavy squats on Tuesday, heavy deadlifts on Wednesday, and so today should probably go easy on the weights. I haven’t run this far in one go since starting Crossfit, and I was quite pleased with my time. It wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t struggling with it, and felt I could have easily continued onto 5km, or longer, which is good considering I haven’t run 5km in over two years.

I enjoyed this WOD. I felt 32kg would be too heavy, so scaled to 24kg, but I kept this consistent with very little rest and got finished in a decent time. Time enough to have 10 minutes mobility at the end before having to leave for work.

I have a brew day planned tomorrow so I’m not sure I’ll make the morning session, but I’ll give it a go to get it out of the way for the day.

Crossfit - 16/04/14

Warm Up:
50 double unders
250m row
2 rounds of:
6 russian kettlebell swings @ 16kg
6 ground to overhead with plate @ 10kg & 15kg
6 push ups
6 good mornings with plastic pipe

3RM sumo deadlift - 110kg - PB!

12 minute AMRAP
10 ground to overhead with 20kg plate
10 overhead lunges with 20kg plate (10 each leg)
10 hand release push ups

Completed 3 rounds, 10 ground to overhead and 4 overhead lunges

Quite pleased with my PB here, but I know I’m not far off lifting heavier. I lifted 120kg for 1 rep, twice, but I just couldn’t budge it for the second rep each time. Perhaps I should have done 3 at 115kg instead. Still a PB is a PB.

This WOD was deceivingly tough!! The overhead lunges were the real killer and they slowed me down massively. The other two movements weren’t too bad in comparison.

Crossfit - 15/04/14

Warm Up:
400m run
50 double unders
Dynamic stretching

Back squat
10 @ 50% - 45kg
7 @ 65% - 60kg
5 @ 75% - 67.5kg
2 @ 85% - 77.5kg
5 x 1 @ 90% - 82.5kg

Power snatch @ 40kg (scaled to 30kg)
Box jump @ 24”
Completed in 7:38
Run 400m
50 pull ups
7 minute time cap
Completed 40 pull ups

Squats felt great! Even the 90% didn’t feel like too much trouble. I really think my 1RM must be higher than 90kg now, which it’s been at for over a year.

Ploughed through the first WOD. There was a 10 minute time cap, but nobody came close to using it all. If I had done this at Rx weight I would probably have either not finished in time or hurt myself in the process, so scaling was the option I chose. I do think that 40kg power snatch in a WOD is achievable now though, I just need to give it a go. All box jumps were slow, and with step downs off the box, but I kept plugging away at them.

The run in the second WOD was the hardest part, there was only about 2 minutes rest after the first workout before we were out running, so my legs were like jelly and I couldn’t hammer this as much as I wanted. The pull ups however were great! I did sets of 5 for the first 4 sets, then the others were mostly sets of 4 and 3. This is a huge improvement for where I was just weeks ago with kipping pull ups and I’m very pleased, even if I was 10 short of completing.

Crossfit - 11/04/14

Work up to 3RM thruster - 50kg PB!
Also managed a new 1RM in the process - 60kg PB!

Fran (6 minute time cap):
Thrusters @ 42.5kg (scaled to 30kg)
Pull ups

(Completed 6 pull ups into second set)

Rest whilst partner does their Fran, then:

Helen (12 minute time cap):
3 rounds:
400m run
21 kettlebell swings @21kg (scaled to 16kg)
12 pull ups

(Completed 3 reps of final set of kettlebell swings)

Amazing but horrible workout. Really really pleased with the two PBs in the thrusters, and after this the 30kg thruster in Fran felt ridiculously light, however it’s a burning workout, with no time to rest, so they got tiring very quickly. Doing this almost immediately into Helen was nothing short of sadism. I didn’t finish either workout, nor did I Rx them, but I have definitely improved at both since the last time I tried.