WOD 31 May: A Fran by any other name…

31 May

Phew! Long day today…in the gym from 0630 until 2000!

We finished off the hanging power snatch cycle today with three shots at a new PB.

Snatch 3-3-3-1-1-1

And it seems that all this talk of kittens, squirrels and jumping like a salmon must be working. Kate, Sophia, John, Vincent, Ben, Warren, and Jahn all hit new records on this lift today. I did too (woo!) Great job, guys!

Vincent's snatch is improving quickly
Vincent's snatch is improving quickly

And so to the WOD. As part preparation for this month’s benchmark, we dished out a Fran-a-like for the CrossFit London faithful. By a quirk of scheduling this was also Yahn and Ben’s first introduction to thrusters…innocence = lost.


Five rounds for time

  • 9 Thrusters
  • 9 Pull-ups

Notable mentions to Warren (with 50kg on the bar, completed in just over 5mins), Kieran (who had time for a sit down and rest, and still got a seven minute time), and visiting crossfitter Connor who (may have completed SIX rounds with 50kg on the bar and still finished in just over six minutes).

This is what we do to out-of-towners! Connor rests after Fran-a-like
This is what we do to out-of-towners! Connor rests after Fran-a-like

We also welcomed visiting crossfitters Connor and Drew (from Colorado) to the gym tonight. Drew did a great job in his first CrossFit session ever, while Connor didn’t complain (much) when I insisted that he add more weight to his thrusters! They join the famous ranks of our visiting crossfitters.

More photos from today’s sessions are on the CrossFit London Flickr page.

WOD 30 May: The hits just keep on coming

30 May

Thought I’d revisit a WOD from the past today.

Perhaps that shows a lack of imagination…

No matter. It seemed to do the trick.


Three rounds

  • 5x box jumps
  • 5x left armed kettlebell swings
  • 5x right armed kettlebell swings
  • 5x left armed kettlebell snatches
  • 5x right armed kettlebell snatches
  • 10x squats

You keep me hangin’ on

Team workout for two people: as many partner assisted pull-ups as possible in 10 minutes

  • Max partner one assisted pull-ups
  • Team push-ups equal to the number of pull-ups by partner one
  • Max partner two assisted pull-ups
  • Team push-ups equal to the number of pull-ups by partner two
Anna and Sharona work as a team
Anna and Sharona work as a team


A team workout for two people: max deadlifted weight by the pair in 10 minutes

  • 7x partner one deadlifts, followed by 7 partner one burpees
  • 7x partner two deadlifts, followed by 7 partner two burpees
Yuri and Marcus deadlift, while Efe prepares to burpee
Yuri and Marcus deadlift, while Efe prepares to burpee


We also welcomed another new group of beginners to CrossFit London today. Veterans Celine and Gerard graduated to the main classes, whilst Tran and Sabrina kicked off their journey with squats. Lots of squats!

Aaron, Tran, Celine and Sabrina get stuck into mini-Cindy
Aaron, Tran, Celine and Sabrina get stuck into mini-Cindy

And we welcomed Aaron back to the Blackboard Gym after an extended absence. Great to have you back again, Aaron!

WOD 29 May: Fight Gone Bad [Benchmark Day]

29 May

Today’s was the year’s third FGB (already!) as a CrossFit London benchmark WOD, and the guys turned up today with fire in their bellies ready to crush it.

Fight Gone Bad

One minute of activity per station, before moving to the next. One round is complete when the athlete has visited each of the five stations (five minutes). The workout lasts three rounds with a one minute rest in between rounds.

  • Wall ball (9kg) to a 10′ target
  • Sumo deadlift high pull (35kg)
  • Push-press (35kg)
  • Box jump (20″ box)
  • Row (for calories)
Alex box jumps
Alex box jumps

Some terrific, gutsy efforts from FGB first-timers Ed, Alex, Morgan and Yahn. Really impressed by the way these guys pushed through the pain. And some impressive scores to aim for when we revisit this workout in July.

I wanted to really highlight some outstanding performances from three people from today.

First of all Warren (who some believe is superhuman). With little fuss or bother he smashed through the workout with a massive score of 387, bettering his previous best by 20-ish. Outstanding effort!

Brett has done this workout a couple of times before, but never with the prescribed weight. Today he managed to get within 10 points of his previous best whilst simultaneously moving up to the full RX’d weight. A really gutsy performance that shows how quickly he is progressing.

Finally, Yuri. I have to admit that watching Yuri flying through this workout brought a little tear to my eye. He threw himself full-force at each of the stations, never giving up, rarely resting, and kept going until the very last second. The result? He smashed his previous best (from two months ago) by 41 points, scored over 200 for the first time (228). Well done Yuri! Truly inspirational.

Yuri gets stuck in to the row
Yuri gets stuck in to the row

It’s days like this that remind me why I CrossFit, and why Andrew and I set up the gym.

WOD 27 May: New Coach in town!!!!

28 May

So just in case some of you missed the joke, I made a boo while training and trapped my finger in the rack (evil rack). It made a beautiful bruise on my finger and swelled to the size of a melon (maybe a slight exaggeration!)

Anyway the finger became the assistant coach for the night.

Dividing the class into whether or not I should burst the swelling or leave it as a badge of honour!? After much thought I decided to leave it alone. I must add the photo doesn’t do the colour of my finger justice……

Anyway I guess I should get down to the WOD……

Strength 5×5 Back Squats

Good form from Alec.
Good form from Alec.

5 rounds for time of

Trevor is a good swinger!
Trevor is a good swinger!

400m Run and 30 KB Swings 16/24kg

My camera busted before I could get to the 6.30 class -boo hoo.

For my Kettlebell Hell gang we did our back squats then into some new moves for most of them…

2x each arm

3 Snatches

2 Turkish get ups

1 Windmill

We spend a good 25mins practising our technique and the eased into this gentle (?) WOD.

Nice work from Newbie Sophie!!! Whoop Whoop

WOD 26 May: Elizabeth

27 May

A joyous 21, 15, 9…

  • 60kg Squat cleans
  • Ring dips

…awaited todays happy campers… followed by some more deadlift PB’s.

The fun just goes on and on….

Kirsty, Efe and Cindy hanging out with Elizabeth

Kate Cleans and Cindy Deadlifts on YouTube, below. It may take a few moments to appear.



Sally is running the 5km ‘Race for Life’ on July 31st, Clapham Common

26 May

Hey Gang!

As you can see from the header I am going to be running the Race for Life 5km – a serious feat for someone who doesn’t do running!

I am planning to run in memory of my wonderful mother who died last August from a rare form of  cancer.  She was an amazing lady who is up there looking down at our Thursday night beastings feeling very proud of her girl. She never quite understood why you would want to train in such a way but she did enjoy hearing about what new method of torture I was into.

So I am calling out to all you good good people and asking for some sponsorship. All proceeds go to Cancer Research UK. Any amount is welcome as all the pennies adds up.

Also if anyone fancies coming down on the day to cheer us all along  it would be lovely to see a few familiar faces. Of course a well deserved drink after!!!

Here is the link to the sponsorship page.

Thank you all in advance – it’s much appreciated.

WOD 25 May: Gymnastic Tuesday

25 May

As our fabulous gymanstic is coach had taken a tumble in a cheerleading class on monday, and was resting up in hospittal, our lovely adult gymnasts were tortured by nasty Andrew.Amid cries of ” bring back amelia” and “amelia we love you” the relentless tide of pain ebbed and and flowed. Back to back squatting was shunted into wall squat holds, dishes and toes to bar and wheelbarrows swirled into little waves of discomfort.

Wall squats are not fun

It was a relief to focus on the snap up and then practise handstands, rolls and cartwheels, I can tell you

Good Job everyone.

Amelia is back next week!! Sign up early.

But, in the meantime, Get well Amelia,  we need you back

WOD 24 May: Snatches, push-ups, and…wait a minute…HOW MANY knees-to-elbows?

24 May

The cool, temperate air of the Blackboard Gym was a welcome respite from the London heat today.

Hanging power snatches


The real focus today was on agression in the jump phase (second pull) of the snatch; trying to power the bar up as high as possible using the hips, glutes and shoulders.

Michelle snatches
Michelle snatches
Nadia snatches
Nadia snatches

Make it stop, already

  • 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2 Push-ups
  • 2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20 Knees-to-elbows

This may not have been so bad if it hadn’t followed so close on the heels of Saturday’s Barbara workout. Chests and abs were feeling the strain today.

And yes, that rep scheme does add up to 110.

Warren does knees-to-elbows
Warren does knees-to-elbows

But at least it was sunny out today…

WOD 22 & 23 May: ‘Barbara’ & ‘All good things must end’

23 May

Quick catch up on what we did in the gym over the weekend.

On Saturday, Anna took a packed class through the CrossFit benchmark workout, Barbara.


Five rounds for time. Enforced 3 minutes rest in between rounds.

  • 20 Pull-ups
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 40 Sit-ups
  • 50 Squats

Needless to say, most of the moaning about Thursday’s session went away just after round two… Excellent performances from Guy and Warren, and a special CrossFit London ‘high five’ for Yas in only her second full session since graduating from the beginners programme.

Sunday morning’s fun began with handstand practice. Starting against the wall and working kick-up drills, we progressed to handstand holds, negative handstand push-ups, and eventually to working the freestanding handstand (with spotting and crash mat support). Great work from Brett who was ‘up there’ for getting on for five seconds!

Rita's handstand push-up
Rita's handstand push-up

But all good things must end. And so we came to the workout:

All good things must end

  • 21 Handstand push-ups
  • 21 Ring dips
  • 21 Pull-ups
  • 30 Goblet squats
  • 15 Handstand push-ups
  • 15 Ring dips
  • 15 Pull-ups
  • 30 Goblet squats
  • 9 Handstand push-ups
  • 9 Ring dips
  • 9 Pull-ups
  • 30 Goblet squats


Brett gets some well-earned rest
Brett gets some well-earned rest

We also had a bumper group of beginners over the weekend. Congratulations to Sophie, Stephanie and Ed who all progressed to the full classes after today’s session. Welcome to Adi, Gerard and Celine!

WOD 20 May: It nearly made him cry!

20 May

Tonight we sorted the men from the boys. I knew from the start this was gonna hurt, and I wasn’t wrong!

Efe said, and I quote, it nearly “made him cry”. In fact I think a few of us thought that as wrists began to cave!

Wondering what all the fuss is over????? Try this for size……

Barbell Complex

7 sets (bar only rests between sets)

  • 1 Power Clean
  • 2 Hang Squat Cleans
  • 3 Front Squats
  • 4 Squat Thrusters
  • 5 Push Jerks
Amilia gives it some for the girls!
Amilia gives it some for the girls!

Girls 20-30kg Boys 40+kg It may look simple but it feels like it’s breaking you!

We followed this nicely with a spot of  sun bathing….only joking running was on the menu.

Efe smiling through gritted teeth!
Efe smiling through gritted teeth!
  • 800m – 2m rest
  • 400m – 1.30m rest
  • 200m – 1min rest
  • 100 x 4 – rest as necessary (we did 100m runs then walk back)

For Kettlebell Hell we swapped the runs for swings 80,40,20,10×4.

I don’t know what was worse???

Warren swings.
Warren swings.

All in all it was a fun sunny WOD enjoyed by all. Well done gang!

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