The “Lambert Arse-head alignment” concept

29 Jun

A simple wod inspired by Stevens morning class

8 handstand push ups

12 toes to bar

16 (24kg) Kettlebell swings.

There were some special twists that carried on to the ring inversions after the wod: you have to get your bottom over your head, or, as visitting crossfitter Lambert said ” you mean your head and arse in alignment”.

That sounds like a catch  phrase to me: so we focused on developing a proper handstand push up. One that loads the shoulders and builds capacity, not a handstand thats a collapse against the wall, with a squirming motion.

If you can, get your feet on a box, then get “your head and arse aligned”. To make matters worse  we agreed that your legs should be straight, loading your hamstrings, thus avoiding 10 minutes of silly mobility exercises . The same standard carried over to the Toes to Bar. keep your legs long… lets get some quality into the movement: after all, thats where the magic is!

What could be simpler.

Anyway. It was a nasty WOD.

Preceded by 5, 5, 5+ push press.

WOD 30th June Team Deadlifts

29 Jun

Today was all about teamwork.

First I got you warmed up with a small circuit of swings push ups pull ups and box jumps.

After you were sufficiently warm I stuck you in teams for workout of deadlifts, push press and squats.

I had chosen another high rep range workout and wanted us to prepare for the weight together. It had to be heavy but still with good technique.

Once you had that sorted it was then to check out the push press. the guideline was 60Kg but for the most guys used 40Kg and girls used 30Kg.

The key was that in your teams one person tackles the wod while the team mate helps change over the weights and is a general cheerleader and motivator.

Here is how the WOD went

21 Deadlifts , 50 Squats, 21 Push press

15 Deadlifts, 50 Squats, 15 Push press

9 Deadlifts, 50 Squats, 9 Push press

With most getting the WOD done in 15 minutes we had enough time for a stretch and a few Whoops at the end of the class.

Well Done Crew.

WOD June 28: “NARFRAN”

28 Jun

Weird title huh?

You can thank Simon. But more on that later.

Today was a day full of Thrusters. See: Lots.

After some front squat practice that focused on the upward drive from the bottom of the squat we moved on the light thruster practice.

Two main problems:

Problem 1) Under fatigue, athletes turn a thruster into a front squat, followed by a press or a push press, instead of using the upward drive from the squat to drive the weight up.

Problem 2) Catching the weight from the press without lowering into a squat.

So the goal is to be more efficient in our movement to properly transfer energy into the bar which also helps reduce the overall cycle time of the motion. Nothing to it.

Enter the WOD:



Thrusters 35KG

Pull ups

Why the weird name? Because as Simon correctly noted, it’s the rep scheme for Fran, backwards, then forwards.

The idea was less to finish, and more to survive while working on the thruster as a skill. There was a 15 minute cap more for the sake of saving athletes from themselves then anything else.

Very nicely done to everyone and I will see you Sunday.

Arbitrary Awards:


“The Smoker Strikes Again”: To Simon. For beating my time by 4 minutes. Rx’d. Beastmode my ass. We’re getting him piss tested.

“Copyright infringement”  To Brie: Although the actual origins of Sunday’s “That’s my Snatch weight” joke remain to be confirmed (Steven claims it as well. As do I.) She did make the joke first on Sunday. Credit where Credit is due.

“Best display of Community” To Khoa and Joe, who showed up early and cheered and encouraged the previous class on during their WOD. Profoundly wanting others to perform at their best and encouraging it is something I love about Crossfit.

“The Good Samaritan” To Katarina, who selflessly let me use her water bottle when I have a WOD induced memory blank about where I had put mine.

“Best Sweat Angel” To Richard. Look at it smile!


WOD 26th June Nothing but a box Thang!

28 Jun

Our title for today comes from the awesome music and atmosphere created over the night.

As I am off to see Snoop Dogg in a few weeks I had downloaded his old album to familiarize myself again.

And much to my surprise the whole crew had a love for the album and even busted a few moves while resting between sets.

Totally Ghetto Fabulous!

Anyhow this was just a small part of the night. We had loads of hard work to get on with.

Today was skill day.

I had chosen box squats.

This is something I have found really helpful in understanding and strengthening my squat.

This could be thought of as quite an advanced move but in fact some clubs will have you solely training the box squat before touching the free standing squat as it has such good carry over to the strength of the squatting muscles.

Let me explain a little how it works.

Firstly you want to approach the bar in such a way that we make the upper back and shoulders lock tight. A narrow grip with elbows directed to the floor is a good rule.

Taking the bar off the rack and stepping back to the box. Your stance will be just a fraction wider and any toeing out will be made less pronounced.

Ensuring that your mid-section is tight by bracing you are then going to move your hips back and down reaching them as far back as possible. You may even feel unbalanced the first time you do this.

Your decent to the box will be slow and controlled to allow for focus.

When your bottom reaches the box you will sit but not lose tension in your body.

From this position you are going to explode from the box extending the hips in an aggressive manner. The bar may bounce on your shoulders/back at the top.

This exercise is designed to build explosive energy and drive in the hips. The weight shouldn’t be unmanageable.

It will build and develop the strength in your squat muscles.

We worked at 50% of our 1 RM and did 10 sets of 2.

Well Done to everyone. This was a new technique which can sometimes be hard to grasp at first. Good Job all round!

Phew after all that we still had the WOD to do.

I had chosen Nancy for today.

Nancy is 5 rounds of

Running 400m
Running 400m

400m Run/Row

15 Overhead Squats (42Kg-35Kg)

Tom loves Overhead Squats
Tom loves Overhead Squats

Considering the heat outside and the humidity everyone did a top job. Well Done Crew.

To see how I got on with Nancy check out

Women’s Virtuosity: Game girls

27 Jun

To open we had drills for press, push press and push jerk. Then chomped on a club sandwich of push jerk and pull up maxes. Delish!

The main event was a Crossfit Games WOD from earlier this year:

AMRAP 10 mins
9 deadlifts
12 push ups
15 box jumps

Although the folks in the park opposite popping tennis balls at each other have no hope of ever competing at Wimbledon, Crossfit is much more inclusive. This year 26,000 ordinary (and extraordinary) Crossfitters from across the world entered the first round of the Games. Many more (including Crossfit London) did the prescribed workouts just for fun!

So in true Crossfit Games style, the girls paired up into athletes and coaches and got on with it. Coaches not only kept score and encouraged, but called out to keep lumbar curves locked, feet landing correctly, full range in push ups etc. By seeing and correcting, the coach also learns. So when they swapped places, everyone becomes more savvy and sharper on form.

A wonderful effort on a very hot evening from
Nia: Actually speeds up in a WODs last 10 seconds, so winner of the true grit rosette
Adrea: bravest for overcoming fear of two-footed jumps
Caroline: princess of the push-jerk
Socorro: every push-up a beautiful plank

Great job, see you next week xxx

Crossfit London 5K Experiment:

26 Jun

Experiment review. 

On the 12 of August we took the decision to suspend this experiment. We discovered that the injury rate ( among those who reported) was too high. Some nasty shin splints and plantar fasciitis. Many reasons were suggested, but as one of Crossfit london’s sport injury massage team,  i felt the reasons was to do with poor running mechanics among the participants.). Even though the experiment was terminated, its an interesting “bit” of evidence

Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” (Maurice Greene, five-time world champion 100-metre sprinter)

Crossfit (CF) London is looking for all levels of runners from beginners to marathon, lions to gazelles and even some crazy Crossfitters to participate in an 8week “improve your 5K” experiment.  CF London will offer a full 8 week online programme that you can either follow at home or come and join us at the Crossfit Endurance classes (CFE).

The plan is as follows:

  1. Run/Walk a 5K before Monday 4th July
  2. Follow the 8 week running programme (check the crossfitlondon website for video’s and coaching tips)
  3. Let us know what other physical activities you do during the 8 weeks
  4. Re-test your 5K

As part of the experiment we would also like to know what other physical activities you participate in during the 8 weeks.  Do you play a sport, do you use a gym, do you Crossfit, or will you do additional running during the 8 weeks?  An online blog will be available for you to record your training session during the 8-week programme.

The Crossfit Endurance (CFE) classes on Wednesday and Saturday will follow the 8-week programme as the main session focus.  Participants will also get the chance to improve their running technique with numerous POSE running drills:

Learn to improve your running technique:

  1. Use gravity (via a forward lean) for forward motion
  2. Land on the balls of your feet
  3. Never fully straighten the your legs
  4. Pull each foot of the ground towards your butt
  5. Maintain a least 180 steps per minute


The Crossfit movement is about being wholly promiscuous with our knowledge: Hence we want to giver you our suggested programme. Our training looks to support you as an athlete (if you want to run 5k, believe us, you are an athlete).



Week 1 (Monday 4th July)

Monday (or your starting day) A 5k time trial

Wednesday: 8 x 100m Time Trail w/ 2min rest between

Saturday: 6 x 200m Time Trial w/ 3min rest between



Week 2 (Monday 11th July)

Monday 6 x 100m Time Trail w/ 1 minute rest

Wednesday: 4 x 400m Time Trail w/ 3min rest between

Saturday: 2 x 800m Time Trial w/ 3min rest between



Week 1 and 2 Summary


Mcmillan Run Calculator


Week 3 (Monday 18th July)

Monday: 6 x 100m Time Trail w/ 1min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 200m Time Trial w/ 90sec rest between, 2 x 400m w/ 3min rest between

Saturday: 2 x 1K Tempo w/ 3min rest between


Your “Tempo” time fot the 1K session should be taken from the Mcmillan Run Calculator
1. Visit the link above
2. Select the 800m radio button and enter your average 800m time from week 2. Then click calculate
3. In the “Speed Workouts” section lookup the 1000m “Middle Distance Runners” estimated times
4. These times are your estimated 85-95% maximum efforts over 1000m. Your goal for this session is to run the 1000m between these times. I know you can run it faster than this, but DONT! You need to learn to pace yourself.


Week 4 (Monday 25th July)

Monday: 4 x 200m Time Trail w/ 2min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 200m Time Trail w/ 90sec rest between, 2 x 400m Time Trail w/ 3min rest between

Saturday: 2 x 1K Tempo w/ 3min rest between



Week 5 (Monday 1st August)

Monday: 2x 100m Time Trail w/ 1min rest between, 2 x 400m Time Trail w/ 3min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 200m Time Trail w/ 2min rest between, 1 x 800m Time Trail

Saturday: 4 x 500m Time Trial, rest the same time taken to run the previous 500m


Week 6 (Monday 8th August)

Monday: Tabata = 8 rounds of 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest, maximal effort.

Wednesday: 5 x 100m Time Trail w/ 60sec rest between, 5 x 200m Time Trail w/ 2min rest between

Saturday: 3 x 800m Tempo w/ 3min rest between


Week 7 (Monday 15th August)

Monday: 5 x 200m Time Trail w/ 2min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 400m Time Trail w/ 2:30 between each

Saturday: 2 x 1200m Time Trial with 3min rest between


Week 8 (Monday 22 August)

Monday: 6 x 200m Time Trail w/ 90sec rest between

Wednesday: 8 x 100m Tempo w/ 60sec between

Friday: Tabata = 8 rounds of 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest, 80-90% effort.

Saturday: 5K TT


If you have any question about the programme please post to the comments on this page and we will answer.

WOD June 26: Original jokes only.

26 Jun

Today’s work focused on two things: Overhead squats and the Snatch.

As we’re all adults, I will ask that we refrain from making the obvious jokes currently associated with the Snatch and undertake the serious business of coming up with new ones.

For example:

While the class is working their way up to a 1 rep max deadlift, make sure to make the comment, “That’s your usual Snatch weight right?” while looking as serious as possible.

Everyone will burst out laughing. (For some reason, this joke only really works with Crossfitters)

But I digress.

Today’s class focused on Overhead squat drills and then quite a bit of work on the Snatch. From set up to the high pull to proper landing. Over all, absolute hilarity.

The WOD:


Box jumps

35 KG Snatch

Pull ups

I know what you must be thinking: Box jumps AND Snatch in the same workout? Really Phil? The two things I never, EVER program, coming up in the same workout?

Yes. Because my Olympic lifts need work. Which probably means that your Olympic lifts need work (Unless you’re Foz).

So, like double unders, it’s time to fail, and fail better, until we go from being very bad, to marginally bad.

And as for box jumps? I hate box jumps. Box jumps are the only skill that can actively fuck with my head and make me second guess myself. Obviously this cannot go on and they must be conquered and destroyed.

Fortuantly for all the atheles from this weekend, they were all already good at box jumps, which is contributed to why I had my times beaten so drastically. 😛

Well done to everyone and see you Tuesday.

Arbitrary Awards:

“The Walking Wounded”: To Paul and Colm. Maybe, just maybe, this is your body’s way of saying, “Slow down.” Although props for showing up and trying to destroy the Cindy sub.

“Enthusiasm fail.” To the 11:30 class. You guys were good. You trained hard, your lifts developed well. However, the concept of “loud verbal confirmation” seems to have escaped you. Not to worry. I still like you.

I cannot stand the mocking…..

26 Jun

For too many months i have had to endure the mocking and snide comments of those who believe that the music choices of a 50 year old is suspect.

For the life of me  I cannot imagine what is wrong with  extracts from  Glee mixed with the occasional bit of obscure 1980’s feminist punk. But, obviously, “young people” have their views, which, apparently, i have to listen to.

So, im going to make 2  workout tracks with the best  music  that you, the undiscriminating and ungrateful music critics  of Crossfit London can choose.

So, if you can suggest your number one workout song, put it in comments below, and as long as I can buy it on itunes, its yours!

(For the record, we do pay for a performing rights music licence)

I cannot see whats wrong with “Agadoo” anyway. Very tuneful!

Edit: Steven here!

I have created a collaborative playlist on Spotify which includes all* of the tracks below which you are welcome to contribute to. Link: CrossFit London Client Requests

*With the obvious exception of Colm’s ‘musical’ choices…

Advice for Crossfit newbies, by Stephanie Bales

26 Jun

The following post is by awesome Crossfit Londoner Stephanie Bales. She offers some reflections and advice to newbie graduates of the Beginners Classes:

What next?

So you’ve graduated from Crossfit London’s beginners’ sessions and are ready to wade your way into an open WOD. Congrats! Here’s a couple words to the wise from a fellow relative newbie on what to expect and what to keep in mind those first few weeks.

First off, take a couple minutes to have a read over your coaching notes from the beginners’ sessions and take note of any points your coach asked you to work on. For me, it was the good old front squat, so I kept it in mind to keep an eagle eye out for front squat demos, and ask for some extra coaching tips if I felt unsure.

Second, what to expect on the day. Chances are your beginners’ sessions involved a ‘mini-WOD’, where you got a taste of what the workouts in the open classes look like. These change every day (it’s part of the fun), so you never know quite what you’ll get when you walk in. However, most open sessions break down like this:

warm up
strength and/or skill practice
afterparty (sometimes, if there’s any gas left in the tank!)

Third, some tips to keep in mind when you’re lying on the floor making an attractive sweat angel after your first real WOD:

1) Leave your ego at the door. If you are a type-A kind of person like me, a competitive sort, or  someone who’s used to being reasonably good at their sport, it’s easy to get frustrated fast. Because of the huge variety of movements and exercises you’ll encounter in Crossfit, something that turns up in a WOD will school you, regardless of how good you are. All you have to do is try your hardest to do the workout cleanly and with a decent, challenging weight, and if that means you fail to finish, no problem. Failing to finish is part of Crossfit! Next time, fail it better.

2) Take the little victories. These will be specific to you and your training. There is no one progression ramp for everybody. Last week I finally managed to do some proper box jumps using a technique I’d like to call “the angry frog”. That’s a huge win for me and a lot more important to take away than “Oh my god, I still can’t front squat as much as so-and-so!”. Some bits of your training will get stuck and stay in first gear for ages; others will progress quickly (unless you are a Secret Olympia). Set goals for your training that are small and measurable. Then buy yourself a freakin’ cupcake when you achieve them.

3) Be honest about your limitations and dial your coach into what they are. There is a difference between being completely unable to lift something and being a bit lazy about what you lift, or a bit freaked out about what you may not be able to lift. I am still learning to trust that our coaches will not let me drop stuff on my head, but it’s also on me to recognize what is a stretch for me and what is Mission Impossible.

4) Don’t mind the jargon. Paleo, thermal loading, nu-skin, Vibrams, it’s all flying around. The Crossfit community is basically a huge bunch of nerds in disguise and as a result, there’s a lot of tech talk flying around. If you’re interested, fantastic. Someone will be happy to talk your ear off about shoes with toes. If not, no worries. You don’t have to sign up to the diet, the special shoes, the lifestyle, all at once.

5) No need to be intimidated. I have a vivid memory of the first open WOD I attended. It involved the clean and jerk. I could not clean and jerk to save my life, and was horribly embarrassed. I felt marooned in a sea of verbal cues, grunts, and crashing bars. But I also remember people saying hi, introducing themselves, and offering bits of help and guidance along the way. We’re a friendly bunch, and we’re generally more worried about what we’re doing than what you’re doing.

6) Ask, but also take responsibility. If you are not sure what on earth you are supposed to be doing, ask before you attempt it! On the flipside, take responsibility for knowing what you can lift. Carry a little notepad around, and make notes of weights used in each WOD, until you get the numbers down. I also write down time, state of mind, and any particular sticking points, because you may not come back to a movement for some time. I think of this as my travel insurance, because if I ever show up at another Crossfit affiliate where they just let you loose on stuff, I’d want to know if I should be rushing for the red plates.

7) Last but not least, ladies: Crossfit changes your body, but it doesn’t change you into a bodybuilder. You’ll be surprised by how fast bits of your body start to look and feel different; muscles you’ve never thought about may start to pop out and say hello. I still have occasional shoulder-shock when I look in the mirror. It doesn’t mean you’re going to wake up looking like the Michelin Man. And if you want an awesome introduction to training with other fantastic Crossfit ladies, Monday night’s women’s-only class is a great place to start.

CFE: Wheels of a Race Car

26 Jun

The wheels of a race car need to run straight and true for maximum performance and to prevent damage to the car.   This statement holds true for runners and their wheels.  Often we see runners who over-pronate (landing on the outside of the foot and having the ankle roll in) and/or land with the foot laterally rotated.  Over time this can place a lot of additional stress on the body joints.

As running is a repetitive transition (POSE to POSE) the high number of foot strikes can soon cause a repetitive strain injury to the body.  These niggling injuries can become a showstopper if proper maintenance is not a regular part of the training program.

For example, knee pain can be a sign of a lack of mobility in the ankle and/or the hip joints.  Both of these joints are classed as mobility joints as they have (should have) a large range of motion (ROM).  The knee on the other hand, or should I say leg,  is classed as a stability joint and it is used to stabilise the body when movements occur above and/or below the knee (i.e at hip and ankle) .  If we have a loss of mobility at either the hip or ankle the body can start to experience symptoms, usually pain, at the knee joint.  Why is this?   The human body is a remarkable thing and it has the ability to compensate and find the missing ROM at neighboring joints, in this case the knee.  A stability joint should never become a mobility joint!

So what do we do about it?  Runners need to stay mobile and spend time doing self myofascial release (SMR) and mobility drills for the ankles and hip joint.  For example:



Warm-up with POSE running drills

5 Rounds:

Run 100m

Walk 100m

Run 200m

Walk 100m


Try to maintain form and a consistent speed over each running interval

Page 1 of 612345...Last »

Pin It on Pinterest