CFE: 28-May-2011 2x800m

29 May

The last few weeks have seen a gradual increasing the intensity of the CFE class with participants finding their sweet spot over 200m, 400m and 800m intervals.

Some “Supple Leopard“ KStar ( lacrosse ball mobility drills prepped the class for action.  Participants then skipped, hopped, and push each other (literally) through some POSE style running drills.  Todays drill included ball of foot perception, falling like a tree, and skipping to improve cadence.

The enthusiasm for the 2x800m intervals @ 80-90% max effort was well contained by the eager class…  Very focused bunch!  An impressive performance had a number of participants gasping for oxygen and completing the distance inside their personal estimates.

A sneaky addition to the end of the class included push-ups, partnered GHD and a 50m-shuttle run.


Endurance athletes often neglect the posterior chain, specifically the glutes and hamstrings, as these are muscles they can’t see in the mirror.  Many weekend warriors spend a significant amount of their week sitting at a desk, on public transport, in a car, or on a couch.  Sitting weakens and shortens these muscles and doesn’t help performance.

The glutes and hamstring are the most important muscle group for runner’s and strengthening them should be a key aspect of any training programme.  Increasing the strength of these large powerful muscles has the potential to increase an athlete’s speed.  SO MAKE THE GHD A REGULAR PART OF YOUR TRAINING!

Saturday Suck It Up

28 May

Saturday 28th May 2011

Another super Saturday.  Dead lifts and weighted chins were programmed today. With a few warm up sets we worked towards a five rep’ max.  Some excellent PB’s today well done Joy.  Now listen up guys when lifting heavy lets be intelligent, no lifting with our egos.  Some loss of form can be expected I’ve seen lots of videos from the main site competitions with some really ugly rounded backs.  If I ever see something getting close to this I will stop you for your own safety. But I cannot see everyone all of the time so I need to be able to trust you.

Once done we moved on to weighted pull ups.  looking for  two sets of 5 to 8 pull ups.  If you were still working towards getting your first strict pull up then it was the lightest band possible and lots of negative resistance.  Some good face pulling here. I was very happy.


A real gut buster of:

50-40-30-20-10 reps’ of:

Box jumps and shoulder to overhead.  The weight just needed to move form the rack position to an arms locked out over head.  Barbells, dumbells or kettle bells, press, push press or push jerk the choice was yours.

This was a real killer with a 25 minute cut off. Those who finished with some spare time were treated to fifty walking lunges. Big respect to Ed for the dry retching.






Sally Sub

26 May

Thursday 26th May 2011

It was my honour and pleasure to sub for the lovely Sally I think she is off another holiday! Maybe.

We warmed up with a pyramid of strict pull ups and air squats 2-4-6-8-6-4-2.  Really being strict about our form and not rushing the movements.


To day it was front squats 2×5 and 1x max.  Saw some PR’s today which is always great. It was mentioned that front squats are not liked because of that tipping forward feel.  When front squatting heavy this can often be the case.  Making sure we have our weight in our heels and really pushing our bums back and down will help and of course keep those elbows lifted!


A 15 minute AMRAP of 8 pull ups and a 20 second L sit or hanging basket hold.  The choice was either off the bar or in the rings.  This WOD soon frys your shoulders if you hang off the bar.  A nasty little number which soon exposes just how strong your static holds are.


If you wanted to go home all you had to do was complete 50 box jumps.

Well done all hope to see you Saturday.

Foz’s Olympic lifting Clinic

26 May

I only got to see 30 minutes of this, but everyone seemed to absolutely enthralled as they began to build on the  Crossfit London  olympic weightlifting skills.

This is going to be a fantastic learning curve for those who can get a place. We may be able to add another sesssion within a few weeks, if everybody is nice to him!

From  a personal perspective, I think Foz is probably one of London’s elite olympic weightlifting instructors and its a unique opportunity to be able to learn from him.

WOD 24 May: Good Morning Helen

25 May

Tuesday morning workout:

Mobility warm up and dummy 400m run for metcon

Warm up with barbell: strict press x 5, push press x 5, push jerk x 5

Strength: push press 5-5-5+

Metcon: Helen. Three rounds of 400m run, 21 kettlebell swings, 12 pull ups

Finisher (7am): 3 x maximum push ups in one go

The metcon heroes: Ruairi for donning a weighted vest for it, Gareth for tackling the 32kg kettlebell and Lauren for having a crack at that 16kg even only on the one round. Go TEAM! For the Sally view on the session, check out her blog.


WOD 23rd May Push ups on a Monday

24 May

2 weeks away on the beaches of Koh Samui meant I was full of beans for my Monday night classes.

I have to confess I was still pretty tired from the journey home so I did cheat a bit.

I used the morning program, which I had tried out and found kind of nice. I didn’t think it would hurt to repeat it for you lot.

I kept the warm up simple working on a few overhead squats with a pvc.

We held the bottom of the squat for 3 seconds and did 3 reps. We did 5 sets getting progressively narrower each time. This meant your shoulders got a bit of mobility and worked shoulder rotation with a few dislocates.

You breezed through the strength of Front Squats, 3 sets -2×5 & 1×5+

Well Done to Mindy our visitor from the states. Some fine squats coming from your direction.

The programmed WOD was as follows

Kb Snatches 10-8-6-4-2

Push ups      20-18-16-14-12

and 20 double unders between each round.

The snatches were to be preformed on both arms before moving on to the push ups.

The standard for the push ups was hands off.

With the double unders if they were hard then you could do 10, if they were really hard then you could do 40 singles.

Some impressive times from you all especially the girls who pushed through the push ups.

To see how I got along with this WOD check out

WOD May 24: The Daily Grind

24 May

To grind or not to grind?

Phrased slightly differently: If an athlete is incapable of completing a movement as Rx’d, is it better to scale it down so they can complete a workout with a higher overall power output or is it better to struggle through each rep and complete the workout with an emphasis on strength?

There are different schools of thought, each with their merits, and each with an equally rabid defense of their methodology. Personally, I’m a fan of the “grind it out till I’m good at it.” philosophy.

As such, today focused on some skill, some strength and a whole lot of grind.
The skill portion involved some shoulder prep followed by Turkish Get ups, Double unders, and Knee to Elbows to get ready for the strength portion of the day.

Push Press 2×5 1×5+ alternating with Weighted Pull ups 3×3.

The press, pull up combo is simple, yet effective. The push press is a more dynamic movement then the strict press and is nicely offset with heavier pull ups. Since the weight is adjusted on an individual basis, there’s no need to worry about scaling. The grind came up primarily during the WOD.

WOD: Modified Hero WOD
Originally 6x
50 squats
25 ring dips

Main site record of 14:13.

Scaled to:
15 min AMRAP
50 squats
25 ring dips

When I first looked at this mainsite hero WOD, I figured, how bad could it be? I’m good at squats, I’m pretty decent at ring dips. I can probably bench this out no problem. It might take me three times as long, but that’s fine.

12 minutes later and 2 rounds in, I was reduced to grinding out rings dips one at a time with plenty of rest in between. After 20 minutes and 3 rounds done, I could barely press myself out of the rings and called it.

When I did this WOD in class, the question of scaling was athlete specific. While I will assign scaling in some cases, I tend to prefer grinding out reps instead of blazing through a workout to get a higher number of rounds. I know that if an athlete scales and finishes a workout in an abnormally fast time or high number of rounds, they’ve probably underestimated the weight.

Regardless of scaling, everyone did well on the squat portion and maintained proper form during the ring dips.

Well done and see you all Sunday.

Arbitrary Awards:
“Most Color Coordinated” To Stephanie: For having a jump rope that matches her vibrams. Epic.

“Class Clown.” To Simon: who asks silly questions when I’m not paying attention because he knows I’ll answer them reflexively. Next time I’m going to make you stand in the corner.

“Mechanically advantaged” To Naim: Damn your levers. Your power output sets the bar ridiculously high for the rest of us. (Not that I expect anything less mind you.)

“Balls of Steel.” To Adnan: See below:

So many jokes..
So many jokes..

Women’s Virtuosity: Push, pull, swing

23 May

The women’s class marches on.

After some Samson stretches, we did bottom-to-bottom squats. Hanging around at the bottom – great for emptying your legs of blood!

We use the  power clean to get the bar up, as our 2×5, 1×5+ strict presses are done without racks. Good functional, minimum equipment-use work!
For a bit of a ‘rest’ between sets of presses, it’s max pull-ups.

WOD: AMRAP 15 mins
6 pull-ups
8 push-presses
10 kettlebell swings

Well done Sarah for getting over the ‘thing’ about dumping the bar from a height! Safe always better than sorry! As it was us two this week, I joined in on the WOD and got to suffer too.

See you next week, ladies. It’s a Bank Holiday, but we have business as usual

The North Face Zipper Act

23 May

Our friends over at the Carnaby Street North Face store have invited all Crossfit London UK members to visit there store and their competition.  In the simplest of terms you submit an original picture or video of completing the often emotive act of zipping up and heading out into the great out doors.  This brings back memories for me when I step off the sleeper train at Aviemore, Scotland and zip up the jacket to keep out the cold mountain air before disappearing into the Cairngorms for a few days walking, climbing and wild camping.  There are some great prizes on offer and if you want to know more take a look here. The Zipper Act

With Crossfit being all about functional fitness and trying new sports, do you have any memories to share?



i-Course May 22, 2011

22 May

Today we had it all: great weather, a hugely talented group of i-Course delegates and a great bunch of CrossFit London trainers.

After kicking off with the usual getting-to-know-you shenanigans, it was on to the famous CrossFit London Squat Workshop. After discussing our unusual definition of ‘fun’ we went on to have great ‘fun’ wall, box and pole squatting.

New CrossFit London coaches Alex and Efe took the group through the rest of the squats and presses, before Sally and Steven coached the Olympic lifts.

The afternoon was a full dose of floor and bar-based core work, before we moved on to handstands, pull-ups and ring work.

We finished the day with a record number of delegates getting their first muscle-ups. Special mention to be made of Jasmine for being – as far as I know – the first lady to get her muscle-up in the new gym!

It was another great day in the new gym. Thanks to everyone who made the trip to train with us today!

Loads of pictures from the day can be found on the CrossFit London Flickr site, here.

We hope to see you all again soon!

Steven, Sally, Colin, Alex and Efe.


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