The 30 Day Double Under Challenge

07 Jul

Do you struggle with double unders?

Are you frustrated by double unders?



Are you sad when you see them posted in the WOD?



Well have no fear, Coach Colin is here!

photo (12)

Just 5 minutes every day for thirty days and we guarantee you will be a double under monster! If you are not happy with the results we guarantee your money back! OK there is no fee it is totally free.  The price we all like.

Why do we even do double unders anyway?

“Jumping or skipping rope is a good tool for developing cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, coordination, agility, accuracy, and balance. This is six of the ten adaptive components.” Coach Glassman

I too struggle with them; about ten in a row is my max, if I am lucky. They are my goat, my monkey on my back and other animals too. However I am going to change that with your help.

So how does it work?  We are going to be like a support group.  Our intention is to improve our double unders. It does not matter if you cannot do one or you have a few in your bag.  The drills we will be practicing will help improve all aspects of our double unders.  All I ask is that you spend five minutes every day practicing your current drill then review yourself and decide if you can move on to the next drill.  I will be emailing coaching points and looking for feedback along with video links and tutorials.  Let us make sure this is a two way street and share any drills, cues or just interesting stuff and also keep this fun. Why not look to practice in an unusual or interesting place (constantly varied) and take a picture and share it. Maybe we can have a prize for best picture?

Below is a list of coaching cues and drills. Have a read, some maybe new to you some might be familiar.  You may need to start right at the beginning and you may be further along with your skill progression.  But know this, the list and experience is organic. Let us speak out about what works and what does not. Remember we are all different and I have compiled this list from many sources but not ALL sources. We can use the comments page below; we can email the group or post in the Facebook event.  By the end of 30 days we should all see some progress and also collect a great bunch of drills and cues to share.  


  1. Proper Rope. Generally a fast spinning light weight rope, but some people prefer a heavy rope.  The industry sells a thousand “Holy Grail” ropes. I have a Buddy Lee one, it works. The rope should be the correct length. Stand on the centre of the rope and the handles should reach your armpits. Some like it a tad shorter. “Tad” is imperial for the metric “a bit”.
  2. Practice singles. Relaxed efficient jump timing. With a hollow or dished body shape, hands in front of torso slight bend in the elbow and rotating at the wrist. I want you to listen to the rhythm.  Get to know it. Especially note the sound of the rope hitting the floor just before passing under your feet.
  3. Now lose the rope and practice single jumps as if with the rope then power jump once and return to singles. You are looking to create height but not massive amounts just enough to allow the rope to spin under twice. Think about the landing do not travel. Think about body shape do not heel kick/bring your knees up/pike when power jumping. Maintain hollow body position.
  4. Practice with the rope try and do 4 singles 1 DU get comfortable with this so you can easily transition and maintain shape especially as you start to get a little tired.
  5. Next 2 singles 1 DU.
  6. Lose the rope practice single jumps followed by 2 power jumps. Say 2 for 2 or 1 for 2 but building up to stringing multiple power jumps together and maintaining good rhythm and shape.
  7. Now let’s try this with the rope. Take your time build up to getting comfortable with multiple DU’s. Listen for that timing of when to jump. Just as the rope hits the floor you should be power jumping and accelerating/whipping that rope through for the DU.

Pit Falls.

Single skips are too fast. If you skip really fast when it comes to DU’s you will have to spin that rope faster than the speed of sound to make a DU.  Think slower controlled singles means better controlled DU’s.

Losing the dish shape. Donkey kicks, pikes and knee tucks are a waste of energy and mess up your timing.

Timing.  Jumping too soon. I did this for ages jumped and accelerated the rope from behind me; it needs to be done from in front of you. Listen for the rope hitting the floor power jump and spin that rope.

You can work your way through these drills and spend as long as you need too before moving on.  But also do not be afraid to just have a go every now and then and see what happens.

Have a look at this video. It is about the most complete tutorial I have ever seen. It is a little dry but covers all the points.

Once you have watched that, watch this and make yourself smile.

If you are interested in signing up drop me an email at;

Go Team Double Unders!


WOD 7 July 2013

07 Jul

photo (24)

Level 2

Clean 3-3-3-3-3

Handstand – technique

Five rounds for time:
10 burpee broad jump
15 kettlebell step-ups (goblet position)
20 kettlebell swings

Level 3

1 Power snatch + 3 overhead squat x 5

Ring dip – 2RM

Five rounds for time:
10 burpee broad jump
15 kettlebell step-ups (goblet position)
20 kettlebell swings

WOD 6 July 2013

06 Jul


Level 2

Front Squat 5-5-5

Box Jumps

Discussed standards and technique then tried to scare the sh!t out of ourselves

4 rounds for time:

6 Front Lever Tucks

8 Hand Stand Press Ups

10 L-Sit Pull Ups

12 Burpees

All movements have scaled options.

30 Day Double Under Challenge

Its not too late to sign up just drop me an email at

Look out for my post on this tomorrow

Links & News

New to Crossfit? See how we have changed check this crazy stuff out.

WOD 5 July 2013

05 Jul

photo (34)Level 2

Power snatch 2-2-2-2-2

Ring dips 5-5-5-5-5

5 rounds for time:
6 cleans (45/35kg)
200m farmers walk (2×16/12kg)
12 ring push ups
(15 min cut off)

Level 3

1 power snatch + 1 snatch balance + 2 overhead squats x 5

Ring dip – 3 x max (with weighted vest)

5 rounds for time:
6 cleans (60/45kg)
200m farmers walk (2×20/16kg)
12 ring push ups
(15 min cut off)

WOD 4 July 2013

04 Jul

photo (21)Level 2

Clean & jerk 1RM

Broad jumps – 5 x best attempt

“Chelsea” – Every minute on the minute for 30 minutes:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 air squats

Level 3

Clean pulls 3-3-3

Clean & jerk 2-2-2-2

Front squat 2-2-2-2-2

“Chelsea” – Every minute on the minute for 30 minutes:
5 pull ups
10 push ups
15 air squats

Sprint intervals

Yesterday we had you doing sprints. 10 rounds of 100 metres to be precise. So why sprints? I’ve taken the below from a post did for my own blog some time ago:

Sprints will provide a much bigger hormonal kick than slower runs. In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine,  Tanner et al. (2011) found that sprints raise testosterone and cortisol to a ratio that helps keep muscle mass when compared to slower, longer-duration running. Whilst raised cortisol isn’t good for keeping muscle, testosterone is. When you have a good ratio between the two (in favour of testosterone) the result is an anabolic rather than a catabolic effect.

In addition sprints boost growth hormone production and promote a better immune system. Tests by Sakharov et al. (2011) showed that sprinting provided a greater increase of gene activation than running at a lower intensity. Put simply, sprints turn switches on in your cells to increase muscle and burn more fat.

They also improve insulin sensitivity (thereby making you more efficient at burning and absorbing glucose i.e. making you a more efficient machine). A study published in Metabolism journal tested sprint intervals on sedentary overweight men and found not only improved insulin sensitivity but also a greater potential to burn more fat and lowered blood pressure.

Finally sprints increase the fat-burning (oxidative) potential of your muscles. In studies by Burgomaster et al. (2008) and Macpherson et al. (2011) both concluded that sprints were shown to induce similar body composition and performance adaptions to longer endurance running but the clear benefit being that you can burn the same amount of fat in a fraction of the time.

Here is an quick outline on how to include sprint intervals in your training:

  1. Warm up appropriately. Dynamic stretches including air squats, legs swings and high knee jumps are a good way to go.
  2. Build up the speed gradually. Sprinting should be physically stressful and it is important to build up to your fastest speed over a few sessions. You don’t want to be taken out with a muscle strain after your first attempt.
  3. Focus on a forward lean as you run. Use gravity to propel your forwards. Think about gently falling forwards as opposed to pushing off the ground to move you.
  4. Pay attention to where your foot lands on the ground. Heel striking means a lot of impact that can leave not just your calves pounding but also your lower back. Aim to land on the ball of the foot to shock-absorb.
  5. The arms should be kept relatively close to the body to make you more streamlined. If you’re running fast, which you should be for a sprint then the arms will naturally become more rigid than at a slower speed. Their primary function is to balance you.
  6. Begin with a short distance of approximately 50 metres and do five sprints resting a couple of minutes in between. You can build up the distance  and/or the sets from there. If you are tagging them on the end of a workout then keep the volume down, if the sprints are your workout then you can throw in some more sets. Aim for once a week or fortnight.

WOD 3 July 2013

03 Jul


Level 2

Push press 5-5-3-3-1-1

Double under – practise and technique

Level 3

Snatch break downs: from the knees, from the high hang x 5

Back squat: 5-5-3-3-1-1

10 x 100m sprints, recording fastest and slowest time.

30 Day Challenge

So you may have caught wind of the 30 day improve your weakness challenge going down at SE11, each of the coaches is doing 5 minutes of work on their individual weakness every day for 30 days. If you share the weakness with the trainer you can email them, and join them on their quest to improve. The trainer will email you a programme to follow and together miracles will happen! OK , maybe not but hopefully we should all see some gains!!

So folks, I (coach Rachel) am going to be doing the humble air squat! Some of you may have witnessed my air squat, and for those that haven’t, lucky you! If. like myself, you find any one of these sentences being hurled at you several times over in a WOD: ‘HEELS’ ‘LOWER’, ‘KNEES OUT’ or ‘WAS THAT A SQUAT’?? then chances are you should sign up to my group and hopefully by the end we will all look like this:


WOD 2 July 2013

02 Jul

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Level 2

Overhead squat 5-5-3-3-1-1

Pistols – technique

5 rounds for total rounds and reps:
8 push press (40kg/25kg)
10 deadlifts
12 lateral jumps over the bar
2 mins work followed by 1 min rest

Level 3

Power clean & push jerk 2-2-2-2-2-2

Back squat 3-3-3-3-3

5 cycles for total rounds and reps:
8 push press (50kg/35kg)
10 deadlifts
12 lateral jumps over the bar
2 mins to complete as many rounds as possible followed by 1 min rest

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

We held our Mobility Masterclass over the weekend with the exceptional Miss Carolyn Logan and Mr Philip Rolling. I stopped off towards the end and chatted with a few of the attendees. Everyone seemed to get a lot of use out of the day as always. The challenge now is implementation and putting it all into practice but that’s a post for another day.

Mobility is certainly the golden child right now. The supple leopards out there know who is the go-to man for all this stuff, and Kelly Starrett’s incredible insight and huge charisma have created a cascade within the CrossFit community. And with good reason. I’ll bet my lovely new lacrosse balls that there isn’t a single CrossFit Games competitor who doesn’t follow a mobility regime. Undoubtedly using the drills he promotes.

And with that, stretching has become the dirty word and is to be avoided. As I read on a Facebook group only a few days ago when somebody asked about mobility, “stretching is DEAD”. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. After recently spending a weekend working with gymnastics coach Christpher Sommer, it was a stark reminder just how much stretching is needed by a gymnast or wannabe gymnast.

I recently read a training tip from Greg Everett who had this to say on the matter:

“Static stretching is not bad. People have gotten scared of it because they’ve heard it makes you slower and weaker. This is nonsense and a misinterpretation of the literature. Ever see how much static stretching a gymnast does? Are you going to tell me they’re not explosive or strong? Should you do intense static stretching immediately before training or competition? Not usually. Does it help at the proper time with increasing flexibility? Absolutely and unquestionably.”

Bottom line, don’t let the current trend towards mobility take you away from stretching too. These are all tools for the toolbox. How you use them will all depend on where you are right now, and where you want to be.

WOD 1 July 2013

01 Jul

photo (22)Level 2

Push jerk 2-2-2-2-2-2

Pull ups 3 x ME (strict)

1 mile run for time

Level 3

Within the Level 2 class you have the option of doing:

Mid-hang squat snatch 3-3-3-3-3

Pull ups 3 x ME (strict)

1 mile run for time

Links & News

Sunday involved a great session with a good bunch and a few of the trainers showing up to get their hands dirty too. After we hit Vauxhall’s Tea House Theatre. Well worth a visit for a decent breakfast or a cheeky piece of cake.

On Friday night we said our farewells to Justin Leroy (picture above). The strong silent CrossFit London UK intern with a big beard and even bigger smile! Safe trip back to the US and all the best for your move to Boston.

WOD 30 June 2013

30 Jun

photo (8)Level 2

Squat snatch 3-3-3-3-3

Toes to bar – 3 x max effort

12 minute as many rounds as possible of:
3 Push press (35/25kg)
5 Sumo deadlift high pull
10 Box jumps

Level 3

Within the Level 2 class you have the option of doing:

Hang squat snatch 2-2-2-2-2-2

Back squat 2RM

12 minute as many rounds as possible of:
3 Push press (50/35kg)
5 Sumo deadlift high pull
10 Box jumps

WOD 29 June 2013

29 Jun
Keep Working At It
Keep Working At It

Level 2

Deadlift 5-5-5

Push ups – technique

A look at standards and scaling options. But not too much effort because:

“Barbara” five rounds for time of:
20 pull ups
30 push ups
40 sit ups
50 squats
Take 3 minutes rest at then end of each round.

Links & News

Occasionally I write a blog about my personal experiences with Crossfit: click here.

And you may not realise but CrossFit London is sponsoring this guy on his journey around the world raising money for charities: click here.

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