WOD Sunday February 27th: Come on. It’s not that bad.

27 Feb

WOD Sunday February 27th: Come on. It’s not that bad.
Sunday morning, as opposed to Saturday’s Filthy Fifty crowd, is not the day to schedule anything too strenous. Last time I programmed filthy fifty I barely made it out of that class alive. ¬†I’ve come to accept that Sunday is not the day anyone is going to be pushing their limits.

But obviously I have to be mean about it. ūüėÄ

We started the day off with a really light warm up, again with squat prep (seeing a pattern yet?) and some basic regrips and KB swings to prep for the WOD.

The skill portion of the day  involved refining proper bracing during the front squat. Something that everyone picked up rather quickly this time around. (Also, see a pattern?) Practice is paying off as everyone is gaining the ability to maintain tension and still breath normally. Well done.

The WOD:


Overhead Squats

Pull ups

KB Swings

A nice and easy triplet. Nothing to it. Except that it’s Sunday. Everyone then proceeds to groan and suffers through it like it was the worst thing they’d ever done. It’s really not that bad.

Unless, of course, you’re a little rough from the night before.

Not that anyone is or would be.

We finished off with some Turkish Get ups to see if and where people might have some issues, either with technique or generally with range of motion. We found a few things that needed to be fixed and with a little practice everyone should work out the kinks in the chain pretty quickly.

Well done on surviving without getting violently ill on the floor.

I appreciate it.

Arbitrary Awards:

“Human Punching Bag.” To Colm. Who walked in from his rugby game and looked like he had been beaten by a professional with a bat. Impressive.

“Reluctant Badass.” To Cian. Who visibly hated me every second of today’s class but finished the WOD very quickly with a very respectable about of weight. Well done sir.

“Glorious Return.” To Katarina. For her glorious return to Crossfit after some time off. Very good power output because in her own words, “After time off, you can’t be lazy.”

The Dreaded Filthy Fifty

26 Feb

You speak and we will listen. Ask and you will receive. I think someone famous said last one?  I was bullied via Facebook into providing this WOD.  Its an old Crossfit chipper WOD, maybe one of the first ones. It kind of makes sense to program nearly every core move known to Crossfit.

I have avoided programming it because of my misconceptions of handling 8 people. But I faced my fears and sat down and made a lesson plan. The only real difference was the order you did the 10 moves in.

Fifty reps of:

Box Jumps

Jumping Pull Ups

Knees to Elbows

Push Press

Back extensions GHD

Kettle Bell Swings

Burpees (Yeh!)

Walking Lunges

Double Unders

Scaling and alternatives always provided.

Anyone getting close to 25 minutes was doing really well Rosie I believe you had the fastest time of the day.  A big well done to Imelda for conquering the box jump.

WOD 26 Feb: Snatch & Pull Up night

26 Feb

A great day of watching peoples snatch form develop and their pull ups get better and better.



Friday night is olympic lifting night, followed by a nasty 10 minute WOD. Tonight it was 100 pull ups, or a practise to develop your pull up strength. Phil  opted for 20kg weighted ones, and katrina played with a pretty selction of band colours.

Good Job!

Safety lifting review

25 Feb

Crossfit London is so in favour of heavy lifting, it’s almost a cult trait!

Everyone lifts: be it a one rep max, 21 reps of a thruster in Fran or 70 reps of an overhead squat in a shocker work out like Nancy. It’s part of life, here. Bodyweight is great, and an equal part of our system: it’s just that most real crises seems to demand that you carry stuff.

Most non-Crossfit women revolt at the thought of lifting weights: they may bulk up! But, being a bit sexist (ask any mother) if their house was on fire, would they like to be able to lift up their unconscious children/partner /dog and carry (drag) them to safety? (The cat always makes it own way out!).

Well, that’s weight lifting, that is!

But we need to do it safely. Unlike most gyms who hide their injury records, we wash our dirty laundry in public. To be sure it gets really clean!

What follows began life as an email to our trainers!

1) Safe weights and scaling

Looking through the accident statistics, it would appear our most common training related injury is related to moderate-heavy weighted barbell movements.

I would like to reinforce the need for you as coaches to keep a close (and often cautious) eye of what people are loading on to their bars.

We seem to be using a number of different procedures for determining loading:

  • Set/prescribed weight e.g. Diane, 100kg
  • Percentage of body weight
  • Percentage of 1RM

By all means use these guidelines, but they need to be consolidated or amended by your view of the individual client’s performance on the day. I normally need 10 minutes to check form, watch clients pick the weight up several times, ask the famous questions, “that’s a great lift: can you do it 50 times?” before I start a WOD.

During weighted workouts you need to highly vigilant. People rarely go straight from perfect to crap form. It’s a series of 3 to 5 bad lifts first. Keep a very close eye on backs as they fatigue quickly.

With some exceptions, our clients are prepared to work themselves to death. Our job is to make sure they get right to the edge…not jump over it. Their ego’s and complacency could be their biggest danger.

You need to actively intervene in their weight selection. If someone wishes to use too much weight, or have no focus on form, they can leave. Better to reduce the weight and challenge them to finish the workout faster if they are concerned about ‘intensity’

2) High rep/complex weighted moves

The advantage of being part of Crossfit.com is that we have 10 years worth of tested workouts to draw on. Beware of self-designed workouts, or those with poor provenance that have multiple weighted moves. By poor provenance I mean a workout lifted from another Crossfit affiliate without adequate research. Every Crossfit.com workout has hundred of comments about performance levels, subs, observations that could be produced in court if necessary. Many affiliates set “tough” workouts. We cannot be sure if that WOD was properly tested.

I suspect high rep cleans and deadlifts in particular are things to watch for.

As a reference point, the most people are are allowed to lift on a building site is 25kg. If you know you military history, the most people can wave about in battle seems to be 40kg (pack, gun, armour… quite a recurring historical number).

So watch the multiple weighted moves and don’t risk going past 45 reps in a session without good reason or a supporting crossfit.com WOD as reference.

Final note on selection of weights in general: Do remember that crossfit.com quotes weights and times for the fittest men/women on earth; probably young, big and skilled. Make sure you amend accordingly for our clients, and don’t let people’s ego get in the way!

Many of you will be familiar with the “shooting test” that, on a superficial reading seems to justify poor form. Genuine Crossfit trainers are obsessed by good form, and good mechanics. Sure we want to pressure test the ability of our clients. This does not justify poor form!


Race for Life – I am doing it again!

25 Feb

On the 3rd of July 2011, I will be 7 months pregnant, probably slightly mad from baby brain but I will be making my way with my friend Emma across Blackheath. Not content with just a 5k we are going the whole hog…10k Race For Life.

Its going to be my challenge this year, you maybe thinking do I really need another challenge with impending motherhood but I just couldn’t let it go by without doing my bit.

We all know what the cause is for and we all know someone affected. This year I am racing for everyone who has the courage to look cancer in the face and fight.

Together we can beat it

Find me at



WOD 24th Febuary

25 Feb


Then so can you!!!

If you didn’t get the memo, yep I am having a baby so call me Mamma Bear from now on. But that doesn’t mean I’m going soft. I will be with you lot till the beginning of September and wont be away for long.

Anyways back to Thursday

I have had a long break from training and as I am feeling more with it as the days go by, when Sam was the only one to rock up to the 5.30 class I decided I couldn’t let him do it alone!

Knowing that I had to scale accordingly the parameters were slightly different to Sam, though after my long break and with baby on broad it still felt the way a good crossfit WOD should!

This is the original plan………

3 minute Double under practise followed by

10 minute military ketttlebell snatch test (Sam used 16kg while I stuck with 8kg)

Giving a short interlude of recovery while setting up over stations -pull ups and push ups, we then had the main WOD to smash.

What I had done was take a main site WOD Severin and mash it up!

10 pull ups

20 push ups

Block Run (450m)

During the WOD I needed to ensure that the intensity was bare-able, and as it was my first session back I sub-ed the block runs for alley runs until Sam had completed his block. This meant I could keep a nice steady pace instead of charging round to keep up with Sam.

Well Done Sam we smashed it giving the next class a mark to aim for.

I am in the process of making up a linked website recording workouts and experience throughout the next few months…it will probably change a lot but here is the first rough draft of the site Sallydixey.com

Any ideas for colours and layout would be most appreciated as thats not my strong point!



WOD 24 Feb: Pistol Perfect

24 Feb

I was going to go for ‘Pistols at Dawn’ as a title but soon discovered that’s been used before. Great minds and all that. Bish bash bosh post today guys:

Mobility: waist twisters, lateral squats, kneeling side lunges, dislocations and then some superman holds to feel out the back in preparation for….

Strength: deadlifts 5-5-5-5-5

Skill: pistols and progressions – good work Ruairi on managing one with a kettlebell… overhead!

Finisher: two to three minutes of max jumping barbell squats – a movement I first saw in a video from a CrossFit Oly Lifting cert. Check it out to get a picture of what they went through. Go TEAM!

WOD: Fight Gone Bad: The Movie

24 Feb

Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. If so, a movie must be worth a lot more. So, here is my televisual masterpiece on Fight Gone bad at Crossfit London UK. My very first attempt at editing and adding music…but well done the real stars of it all. The lovely “you lot”!

Sorry that the battery ran out for the later classes…


What is Fight Gone Bad?

Three rounds of:

  • Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
  • Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
  • Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps)
  • Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
  • Row (Calories)

“In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of ‚Äúrotate‚ÄĚ, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.”¬†Greg Glassman

And a mention is dispatches for:

Stefan for the biggest face drop combined with “Oh my god! It’s Fight Gone bad!”

Ali for the best “All Amercian Girl”. Motivational award for including every key phrase known to Crosfitters, including “awesome”, “good job”, and ” you got it”. Marvellous.

A big “I’m sorry!” to David and Alex for making this their introductory workout! Also a big hello to Owen.

Good Job.

As for me, I have a sore throat from calling “change” every minute for round after round all evening!


Jumpaphobia: the fear of jumping on boxes

23 Feb

It was well before Yuri missed a box jump during Fight Gone Bad and slashed the front of his shins open that Kate decided that box jump were a step (jump) too far. A view generally endorsed by most of the Crossfit London women:

Jumping has all sorts of problems for all sorts of women. The slightest “pelvic floor weakness” means that jumping up and down exposes women to the potential for ¬†“accidents” Make ¬†this worse by being a bit over weight and ¬†the thought of box jumping can go from ¬†concern to dread, via fear and tears.

Now add to that the chance of a leg scarring injury you can get a group of Crossfit women rebelling faster than they can say “Girls! Loo! Now“.

So our approach. Now you have to bear in mind that Steven is a psychologist by training, and that I have ¬†had ¬†years worth of “screwing around with peoples minds” experience. We decided to do, er, ¬†nothing. If our clients dont want to jump on boxes they don’t have to. ¬†We just always have a sub. We had a pile of mats one inch thick. So, don’t fancy a box jump? How about ¬†a 1″cushion jump, too easy? Try ¬†a 2″, then 12″, then the yellow box, etc etc, yada yada.

We don’t insist you do stuff. We dont insist you buy a year up front, we don’t insist you come at all! But there is something about the patience of Crossfit London coaches and the atmosphere created by our fantastic clients that inspires people to have a go.

So Kate “I’m not jumping on that box, you can eat poo and die before I do” Pankhurst, can now jump on boxes.

Good Job. What fear are you going to overcome?



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