From left to right, top to bottom: Jay, Lee, Sai and Bamboo
A couple of weeks ago I went to the second seminar run by the Bar-barians, this time held at the Train Manchester Crossfit box, and rather than being joined by Rik and Mark from New York, one of the youngest Bar-barians Bamboo (real name Deividas) came over from Lithuania to help out Jay, Lee and Sai.
After the worlds longest car ride (6 hours from London to Manchester!) with the very pleasant company of Adam and Sai, we arrived at the hostel, dropped off our stuff then headed over to the box to meet the others who, funnily enough, had arrived hours ago. From there it was straight to Nando’s – restaurant of choice for the carnivorous bar athlete. Things started as they meant to go on with the discovery that Nando’s had ropes hanging from the ceiling which were strong enough to support the large 18 year old bar-baric specimen commonly known as Bamboo:
After meeting Nat and Zoe back at the hostel we discovered that Jay had been kind enough to let us have the the three-bed en-suite room. Result. Not only was it massive, but the bathroom was pretty plush too. We discovered that we’d all brought various bit of food (and, thanks to Zoe, a bottle of wine) so proceeded to hide them in a cupboard where the boys wouldn’t find them.
From there is was downstairs to the pub (yes – a hostel above a pub!) for a few drinks. It didn’t take long to propose a few bouts of arm wrestling, the most epic of which was Sai vs. Bamboo, won by the former on one arm and the latter on the other. Close.
Anyhow, on to the seminars themselves. The first day was basics – pull-ups, push-ups, dips and abs (L-sits and variations). In the morning we were split into groups and, after being talked through the techniques, were given a set of reps to do in friendly competition with our other group members. The guys talked us through different types of sets – pyramids, ladders and so on – which was a nice reminder given how easy it is to get stuck in your ways when training, plus being surrounded by so many people is much more motivating than being on your lonesome in a park or gym! I went through to the final of the L-sits again, but my arm hurt too much to do the final – didn’t want to push my luck on the first day!
In the afternoon it was onto team games. We were divided into groups of five and there were a number of challenges to do, the aim being to score as many points for your team as possible. Probably the worst of these was the dead-hang pull-up game: all members hang off the bar, one person does pull-ups (as many as they feel they can) then hangs and the next person goes. This continues until someone lets go, at which point the whole teams turn finishes, the score being the total number of reps. Luckily someone else dropped before I had to go again, because the second time round is an absolute killer!
In the evening it was back to the hostel for showers and a change of clothes. For some reason the hostel only had two showers, one of which was in our room, so we had to endure the truly awful experience of towel-wrapped ripped guys traipsing through to wash. Just horrible. Luckily we were all very well behaved and didn’t heckle them. Much. Then it was time for more Nando’s (a different branch though – this time in the Trafford Centre) and afterwards us girls chilled in the room, drank wine and chatted whilst the guys went downstairs and enjoyed the live “music” in the pub. Whilst I’d like to be able to report some outrageous gossip, there wasn’t any. Well, at least none that I a) previously didn’t know about and b) can report on a public blog.
Day two was all about the advanced moves – muscle-ups, levers, handstands and human flags. By this time I was pretty screwed – my injured shoulder wasn’t in a good place at all, and I was quite knackered from a not-very-good nights sleep the previous night, so it was a hard day! But of course lots of fun – again lots of team games, and a chance to meet some folk who hadn’t come on the Saturday. These included the team Bar-zerkaz from Birmingham – a group of young but very strong guys who I’ve been friends with on Facebook for a while. Also down for both days were a couple of people I’d met on the Bar-barian forums – Charlie and Sosna, both of whom it was great to finally meet. The bar family really is big and happy :)
By the end of the day it’s safe to say I was utterly broken – something I had anticipated happening. Zoe tried her best to work her magic on my arm, which had pretty much seized up by that point, but it didn’t make a dent in damage that had been inflicted so consistently for so many weeks! The car journey back was lovely and soothing in the way that only evening journeys in a warm car with the radio playing can be. I had a good nights sleep that night, already pondering how to fill the inevitable rest time I knew I was going to have to take.
The hostel guys and girls
Thanks to Martin at Boxrox for the photos once again!