Olympic Gold Medallist – Anna Tunnicliffe

Anna Tunnicliffe – 2 x Olympian, Olympic Gold Medallist and CrossFit athlete kindly speaks to Weights4Women…….

Welcome to Weights 4 Women Anna! Please introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you were introduced to weight training?

My name is Anna. I have been involved in sports my whole life, sailing being my primary sport for most of it. I ran track and cross country in high school, but then went to college to study and sail.  During college I decided right after graduation I was going to dive into Olympic Sailing and make a bid for the 2008 Olympics. I won my trials and went on to win the Gold in the Laser Radial. I then switched boats and campaigned for the 2012 Olympics. During 2011 I was introduced to CrossFit and instantly fell in love with the sport. I worked with my coach to get stronger and fitter while staying healthy for the 2012 Olympics. Immediately after the games I dived straight into training hard in CrossFit as my goal was to qualify for the 2013 CrossFit Games.

CrossFit Anna

You have competed across multiple different sports at the highest level, what do you consider your greatest achievement?

I would say my biggest achievement to date would be winning the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal. It is almost every athletes dream and to have it come true is an experience that can’t be described in words.

What does your training programme look like at the minute? Can you briefly talk us through it?

Right now, I hit up the gym at least twice a day. The first session involves strength training and or gymnastic skill training. The second and sometimes third sessions are the workouts ranging from 4-20 mins. We have just finished the CrossFit Opens which is the first qualifying series for the CrossFit Games. Our regional meet is in the middle of May so our focus has switched to that and the intensity is ramping up.

You have competed at the last 3 CrossFit Games (finishing an amazing 9th overall in 2013), what are your competition plans for the rest of 2016?

My goal is to compete at regionals and then hopefully qualify for the 2016 CF Games. After that I will do some other competitions in the “off” season for fun and to keep in check with training.

Full Snatch Anna

How did you find the transition from competing at the highest level in sailing, to competing in CrossFit?

My initial transition was easy because I was surprising myself all the time in CrossFit, so there were never expectations in the beginning and I was just having fun. The two sports are totally different both mentally and physically so I approach each as their own, but having competed at the Olympics twice definitely helps in high pressure situations.

Who inspires Anna Tunnicliffe?

My coach and fiancé Brad Tobias, and also my parents. They all give me so much support in everything that I do that I want to go out there and give everything I have for them.

If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

“Never Give Up” – it’s something I have tattooed on me because i believe in it so much. Sometimes, things get difficult or seem damn near impossible, but with persistence, you can and will achieve what it is you want to do.

Thank you for your time Anna, is there anything you would like to add?

Follow your dreams!

Sailing Anna
If any of the readers would like to find out more about you, where`s the best place for them to go?

They can follow me on IG and twitter at @atunnicliffe or Facebook at Anna Tunnicliffe.  I also have a website, www.annatunnicliffe.com

Thank you for your time, Anna! It is an absolute pleasure to have you feature on Weights 4 Women and we wish you the very best for the 2016 competition calendar

Functional Training or Dysfunctional Training?

weights 4 women

Functional Training? ……….

The fitness industry on the whole is FULL of “buzzwords”

They often sound fancy, attractive in the hope that it leads you to buy their product or invest your money for their time.

BUT do these words actually represent anything in relation to training and performance.

A popular one at the minute is …… FUNCTIONAL TRAINING

The idea around functional training is that exercises are chosen that promote certain functions of joints and muscles. This is often many joints working in sync to produce a certain movement pattern.

For example, a back squat requires the hip, knee and ankle joint to work together to produce the lower body movement. There is also stabilization of the upper body and associated joints and muscles, but on a whole, it is a lower body exercise.

However, what is a DYSFUNCTIONAL exercise?

Surely all movement involves certain joints and muscles working together to produce a specific outcome?

So by definition ALL movements that require joints and muscles to work together to produce ANY movement is therefore functional.

Lets look at an example……..

If the sport you play / perform in requires a large degree of shoulder movement, having strong stabilizers around the rotator cuff and scapulae will in turn improve the function of the shoulder joint. If we look at one exercise such as the “face pull” many would not class this as functional.

The face pull will improve the stabilizers around the shoulder, improve the upper and lower traps which in turn will help to keep the shoulders back and avoid internal rotation. This will improve the function of the shoulder, so in turn is classed as functional training.

At weights 4 women, we think there is no better example of functional training than seeing a young attractive female lifting BIG weights! Read here – http://www.weights4women.com/cheryl-kelsall-2/

The detox trap! Have you fallen for it?

weights 4 women detox

Is a detox a good idea?…..

Somewhere along the line, a lot of you reading this would have fell into the trap at some point. Being bombarded with the word detox, it`s an easy mistake to make.


We are constantly bombarded with a wide range of information from magazines, tv, friends and certain celebrities we look up to. It can be difficult to extract the good information away from the rubbish. Certain business agendas, sponsorship’s and endorsements can mean that some of the people we look up to, use them!
Well….actually they don’t use them, they are paid to tell you they use them!

I am going to try and dispel 1 of these myths below……….

1) I have to detox my body, especially my liver!

I hear this one practically every day. I can fully understand where this one comes from, however you do not need to starve yourself for a week, drink litres of special juice and buy a detox support package.

The idea of doing a detox is quite simple, to detox any toxins built up within the body, including certain organs. Due to the air we breathe, food we eat, liquids we drink it makes sense we will take in certain amount of toxic chemicals…..and we do.

However, the body has a VERY efficient system in place.

The skin, liver, kidneys and spleen are incredibly efficient at removing any foreign bodies / toxic chemicals from the body.

If these detox packages actually lived up to what they state, we would all be dead! All them toxins we `apparently` store would have killed us……

But our body is detoxing 24 hours a day…. EVERY day.

By starving your body, you are actually harming the detoxing of your body. By eliminating food and therefore amino acids, the body can work as efficiently. It needs the amino acids cysteine, glutamine, glycine to support the natural detox process.

By eating high quality food and regularly taking in adequate amounts of water we are detoxing our bodies the best way we can!

Protein supplements – which one should you buy?

weights4women weights 4 women protein shakes supplements

Carrying on from last week’s post in regards to the supplement industry, I am going to cover the use of protein supplements to increase overall protein consumption throughout the day. For those competing in sport, protein requirement can be hard to hit. For example, a competitive athlete as a rough guide should be aiming for at least 1.7g of protein per kg of bodyweight. This is on the lower scale and can rise to 2.3g+ per kg of bodyweight. Weights 4 Women has looked at a few of the popular supplements and summarized them……..

Below is a list of supplements you will find on the shelves of many stores.

1) Whey concentrate is the most basic form of protein that is found in many protein supplements on the market. People who are looking for an inexpensive protein supplement will find be able to source pure whey concentrate at a good price.

2) Whey Isolates are one of the quickest absorbing proteins on the supplement market, aside from specially manufactured proteins. Pure isolate proteins tend to be expensive compared to concentrate supplements. Often good value supplements can be found with a mix of isolates and concentrates.

3) Hydrolysate protein is the most expensive supplement you will find on the shelves of supplement stores and is the highest quality of protein available. The price can be double that of other supplements so maybe not the best option for those on a restricted budget. Hydrolysates provide highly absorbable protein peptides that can have a great anabolic effect, signalling cell hypertrophy.

4) Soy protein is not that popular compared to other protein sources due to its biological value being relatively low. However it is a good source of protein for those looking for a vegetarian source of protein.

5) Casein based products generally are referred to as slow release proteins. Casein has a major advantage over other sources of proteins that it has the ability to provide your body with a slow and steady release of amino acids over a few hours. This would generally not be ideal for post workout, but for other times of the day – Casein is a fantastic choice!

Depending on your budget and requirements be sure to compare different supplements on the market. One additional point I would like to make, be careful of the sugar content in some supplements. Many poor quality supplements can contain up to 40g of sugar per serving – this may be far from ideal depending on your specific goals.

Find out why Raspberry Ketones are taking your money, but offering you NO real benefit – http://www.weights4women.com/raspberry-ketones-great-for-your-pet-rat/

Raspberry Ketones – Great for your pet rat

The supplement industry is booming!

In an industry that is relatively unsupervised, hundreds of new products are released every year. Yet many fail to make the grade.

The industry on a whole is fueled by manipulating peoples emotions, often target at those looking to lose weight / body fat.

A popular supplement with women at the minute trying to lose some extra lbs, are raspberry ketones.

So what are they?

Raspberry ketones are natural compounds responsible for the typical smell of red raspberries. The natural quantity of ketones is extremely small, 1-5mg per kg of raspberries……

therefore, raspberry ketones are synthetically produced for the mass market.

And what do they do?

Raspberry ketone supplements claim to assist in fat loss by

• Increased lipolysis (the breakdown of fat in the body)
• Increased use of stored body fat as a primary fuel source (fat oxidation)

So the important question you want to ask, do they work?

Yes…… if you are a rat and take way above the recommended dose.

During research carried out on rats, they were given move than 100times the dose that any raspberry supplement contains.

Now to seal the deal! – There have been NO research undertaken with human participants. NONE what so ever!

So to conclude my Weights 4 Women readers – Save your money, unless you are a rat and you are willing to take over 100 times the recommended dose!