21st July – Foundations/Beginners: Mechanics -> Consistency -> Intensity

22 Jul

Today marked the second of our Foundation classes and the new Beginner structure at Crossfit London. These are both excellent ways to learn the skills and lifts involved in Crossfit and will prepare you well for joining main classes. The Foundations are perfect for people looking to improve on their technique further and work on honing their skills before jumping headfirst in to the main classes and also for people who want a week with less volume or are coming back from a period off/an injury.

The new Beginners format is much improved and allows more time spent on the individual skills and covering every aspect of them before putting them to the test in a shortish WOD!

Today was all about MCI or Mechanics, Consistency and Intensity. This is the route we should all take when learning new skills and it can be applied throughout life. First, you want to focus solely on the Mechanics (aka the technique) to ensure you have correct form on the skill/lift. This enables you to perform the movement more efficiently, using less energy and greatly reducing your chance of injury. Once the correct Mechanics have been drilled and practiced, it is time to try and make every repetition of the movement Consistent. In a set of 10 reps, it’s no good if the first rep is perfect, and the last 9 are all sloppy with bad technique. This will still lead to expending more energy than necessary, performing slower and increasing your chance of injury.

After we have applied the correct Mechanics Consistenly, it is time to increase the Intensity. Ultimately, this is where we all want to be, as Intensity is what brings us the greatest results and will improve us most healthwise, strengthwise and as an overall athlete. It’s no good trying to introduce the Intensity too early, so today I really drilled it in to dial back on the weight and ensure your form is maintained, and then over time they can begin to gradually increase the Intensity once we see Consistency.


Today we began with a recap of the air squat, testing our form and depth before introducing some mobility drills to try and improve our positions. These included holding the bottom whilst forcing our knees out, coming back up in to a hamstring stretch, using deep lunges to open our hips and then a couple of Yoga poses including Downward Dog to open our shoulders up followed by Divebomber push ups. After this sequence we retested to see if this had improved our position in the bottom of the squat.

We then progressed on to the Skill portion of today:

Power Cleans

We began breaking down the components using PVC working on initiating from the right position and using that powerful shrug with the triple extension to power the bar up in to the rack position. It was good to see everyone’s technique improving over the session with Magnus really powering the bar up high and Mel bringing in some good aggression when thinking to try and “jump” the bar up. Following on from this, we got the bars out and worked on our set up and keeping the bar in close to our bodies before performing some clean pulls. We then added on some weight to the bars and went in to some working sets:

3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

WOD – The Chief

5 Rounds of:
1 Min Rest

3 Power Cleans
6 Push Ups
9 Squats

WODs with scheduled rest in them are always tough, as you get just enough time to recover a bit to allow you to push harder in the next round, and then it hits you again and you quickly burn out. Great effort by all involved, well done to John for pushing hard!


Today we had a full Beginners class with some enthusiastic new faces. The session started off with an introduction to the Air Squat, the fundamental Crossfit movement. We covered the main aspects and then progressed on to some Pole Squats and Box Squats to help improve our bottom position and ensure we’re hitting the correct depth.

After this it was on to the Deadlift. It was drilled in to the Beginners that the set up position for the Deadlift should be uncomfortable, and if you are feeling comfortable at the set up, you know you aren’t doing it correctly. Back should be flat, hamstrings loaded and neutral head and spine were all thoroughly covered. We also discussed ways to set up to maximise your potential for the lift, including spreading the floor with your feet, taking a deep breath to tense your abdominals and then exhaling whilst remaining tight and lastly shrugging your shoulders back and down to engage the lats.

The Kettlebell swing was the second movement covered, beginning with wall drills to ensure the athletes weren’t squatting and were using their posterior chain to powerfully propel the kettlebell upwards. We then covered how to initiate the swing and finally the different types, Russian and American.


Kettebell Swing

A nice simple ladder to finish off, keeping at a weight the athletes were comfortable with and felt they could maintain form on. Well done to all who came!

5 thoughts on “21st July – Foundations/Beginners: Mechanics -> Consistency -> Intensity

  1. loving the downward dog/divebomber pushups (assuming this is basically the transition to upward dog over and over)

    crossfit yoga…. only a matter of time till there is more horsebic than xfit in a given class…. 😉

  2. Thanks Alex & Simon for the new Foundations classes this week – great help for technique which is badly needed in my case…

  3. Congrats on this new class guys, would love to get involved with the classes once get my level 1 !

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