Snatchin’ & Jerkin’

30 Sep

This morning’s 630AM class was heavy on skills and drills with a sneaky beastly WOD thrown in for good measure.

The snatch is the worlds fastest lift, hence Vivek's face is blurred

After a quick warmup with pvc dislocates & overhead squats we picked up the big bars and worked through all the Crossfit London snatch drills with some front squats as well.

Then worked up to heavy squat snatches which saw some cracking lifts. Adam nailed 50kg a few times with very nice form. Vivek snatched & caught 40kg beautifully in a full squat, then just couldn’t stand up with it. Next time!

Adam checks his list on the floor: 1. controlled deadlift - done. 2. aggression from pockets, jump shrug kittens - done. 3. pull around the bar into full squat - yep done. 4. Stand up - aha!

Quick run through of ring rows with the standard being fully locked out arms then rings all the way to chest – like a reverse push up.

Then we focused on split jerks drilling the movement. We paid particular attention to footwork – depth of split, toes in, squat width and landing over the same spot you took off from, and don’t forget to stand up at the end.

The WOD today was a challenging 5 rounds for time, with a 15 minute cutoff.

10 Front Squats

10 Ring rows

10 split jerks – alternating feet

Adam & Vivek powered through the WOD both showing very impressive form with alternating split jerks, getting much better as WOD went on. Adam’s front squats are textbook.

All in all a great session. Good job!

22 October: Foz’s Olympic lifting surgery

29 Sep

This is a fantastic opportunity to catch up with Foz and to get your olympic lifting tweaked to the next level.

This drill-based class gets you to move on from the concept of ” jump”, gives you some proper olympic lifting related flexibility drills and develops your ability and understanding of the “drop” phase.

This session will look primarily at the snatch. We hope to have these once a month. All drills are performed with a 20kg bar (15kg for women) , so if you are not up to that weight, this is not the session for you just yet

You will find this in the class schedule at normal class prices.

The sunday morning strength experiment

27 Sep

The CrossFit London strength prescription is for at least three heavy lifting sessions per week. We encourage our clients to deadlift once a week, and squat and press twice a week.

However, what if you miss the deadlift session? What if you want to practise your snatch and clean. Well, Sunday morning may be your life line. we are now opening the gym to our regular members for 2 hours for them to practise or develop skills. Of course, there will lots of bar sharing, sitting down and resting between  sets, but it may begin to fill a simmering demand. According to the  class description

“This two-hour session is for existing CFL clients to catch up on any strength training sessions that they missed during the week, or to supplement their existing training.

Movements permitted during this session will be limited to: squats, deadlifts, presses, weighted pull-ups, weighted dips, and olympic lifts.

There will be no WOD during this session”.”

You can turn up when you want, and leave when you want. We have a beginner session at 12.30, so you can train till 12.29 and hit the showers. This is also useful as often we get  host of cancellations for sunday morning classes at 2 to 3am on sunday morning. I can understand that if you are a  bit “under the weather ( cough, cough) you may not fancy a full scale wod: but you could fancy working some squats at your own pace and having a chat. Its also useful that you can be on our doorstep at 10.30, or meander in at 11.

Put it this way, its an experiment. We will give it a try and see what everyone thinks. We have created 16 spaces for this session, so there will be room for all.

This session is not open to “strangers or beginners”  There will be a coach on hand to supply 1st aid, but they will be leaving you to it, unless you need help,


Foundations: Cleans and pushups

27 Sep

The WOD was like one of those horror films where you run down a corridor that gets longer and longer…

1 squat clean
1 pushup
2 squat cleans
2 pushups
etc…until saved by the bell at 12 mins

Great effort, sweat, tears, but most importantly – consistent good form: Ruth and Brock led the pack at 10 rounds – but the others weren’t far behind.

All preceded by gentle jogging up to strict press 1 rep max – great results from newbies Rebecca and Warren. Pullups were pulled – well done Paul! And not forgetting the beautiful handstands by Ashleigh

What’s not to like?

Guys, do post your results on comments in case I had a memory fail


i-course 25th September 2011

27 Sep

Another fun-packed, skill-packed, learning-packed, handstand, snatch, clean pull up, ring dip packed day with a group of fabulous learners spending time with infamous Crossfit London Trainers: Andrew, Steven, Kate, Kat & Alex. Terrific support was provided by Naama and Cameron and we were even treated to a flying visit from Jacob from CrossFit Monteray.

There were some terrific performances all round, with everyone getting their fill of squats, barbells and swinging from bars.

Good job everyone!

Rowing in a Nutshell

25 Sep

By Sam Matten

How do you cram ten years of rowing experience into one hour? This was my first dilemma when asked to deliver an introduction to rowing at Crossfit London. But with a great bunch of athletes they were quickly easing their way through anything I could throw at them including some very strange rowing terminology.

This is how the session went:

Set Feet height – aim to get vertical shins – if your shins are past vertical raise your feet height, not getting vertical then drop them.

Set Drag factor (this is not a cross dressing competition judged by Simon Cowell!) a more accurate way of measuring the resistance of your rowing machine rather than level

We then began our warm up. This was a progression which is used by all rowers to get them moving through the stroke phases correctly and goes like this:
*Arms Only
*Body swing
*Quarter slide
*Half slide
*Three quarters slide
*Full slide – low rate (20 SPM)

The key to good rowing technique is simple: hands, body, (control the) slide. This will allow you to generate a good rhythm and put you in a good bio-mechanical position; it will also make you more efficient and when you are rowing you want to waste as little energy as possible.

To ensure everyone was going through the phases correctly they had a go at the 100m challenge (take as few strokes as you can to cover the distance), a big hand to Cameron for his impressively low 4 strokes but everyone else were not far behind.

Everyone then had a quick walk around to alleviate numb bum syndrome and then it was back onto the machine for more rowing / torture.

As the WOD would involve rate (strokes per minute) changes we practised changing up and then down effectively. When changing up you need to ensure you push harder with the legs to improve your speed and keep the handle moving rather than rushing the slide, to change down you need to find control on the slide and try and maintain your speed.

The WOD was a 10 minutes piece. This is relatively short for a seasoned rower but for anyone else unaccustomed to the rowing machine it is a bit of a culture shock.

In rowing workouts rate (SPM) is used to set the intensity of the work. Low rates 18-20SPM would be low intensity, long duration sessions and higher rates (30SPM+) shorter, more intense workouts. Today, as the focus was on technique, the rate prescribed was low (20-26SPM). But the focus is always on quality of technique taking one stroke at a time, getting as much out of each stroke as possible.

The 10 minutes was broken down follows
4 minutes at rate 20
3 minutes at rate 22
2 minutes at rate 24
1 minute at rate 26

When the WOD was over I think everyone was pleased to get off the machines! If you are going to spend a decent amount of time on a rowing machine I would recommend a seat cushion! Well done Mel, Andrew, Jeff, Tom, Ed and Cameron; great work today, keep practising and your Fight Gone Bad score will improve massively.

If you missed the session and want to improve your rowing technique why not come along next time or check out the concept 2 website for everything you could ever want to know about indoor rowing.

Hopefully see you at the next rowing class

And Ruth nearly died

21 Sep

Im not one for  too much praise, but  recently arrived Ruth from, er, Norway/Sweden/Denmark…( one of those Scandinavian know, where the vikings came from) inspirationally pushed herself to the edge in tackling tonights

row 25 calories/ 25 SDHP, amrap 15 minutes Wod.

It was also great to be joined by recent beginner graduates Shane and Tom who also pitched in with gusto. Clap Clap.

We had an action packed night  with kipping handstand push ups and kipping pull up practise, followed by my new strength experiment. Rather than set 7 sets of 2 front squats, i subbed the first 3 to 4 sets with snatches, leading to 4 x 2 front squats, cleaned. interesting, but it gets us more olympic lifting practise, while keeping the focus on strength.

the workout was based on a simple proposition. to get a fight gone bad score of 300, you need 20 points per station. If i can make 25 calories, or 25 reps the norm, maybe a 20 rep target wont feel so bad.

BTW, high on the agenda is the creation of multiple wall ball targets.

But well done. I think Martin and Ben got top scores getting “about” 5 rounds.

40 Double Unders!? 5 rounds!?…

21 Sep

Tuesday night started quiet but later turned out to be the benchmark for the night!

Cam displayed real determination to finish the WOD in sub 15 minutes RXD despite being the only person in the class! You could argue that this was helped by me screaming in he’s face to “get on it!” for the entirety of the last 2 rounds! But none the less he did bloody well and proved himself to be the man to beat!

5 rounds for time:

40 double unders

30 box jumps

20 kettlebell swings @ 1.5 pood

Everyone was unpleasantly surprised at the double under regression; you must attempt half amount of reps i.e. 20 DU’s (which unfortunately produced a few whip marks!) This regression was chosen to build the athletes skill required to achieve a double under yet still achieve an increased cardio-respiratory response as appose to 3:1 single skip regression!

However this was not our focus!

ADDUCT!!! Our main focus was to lengthen and use our adductors, cueing: “belly tight!” and “knees out!!” to descend into a front squat during our Dynamic Effort strength period instead of sitting back and down whilst raising the elbows as high as possible therefore losing the integrity of our midline due to lack of abdominal involvement. This proved hard to get used to at first for many of the athletes but by the end of the 10 minutes they felt they had a more solid position during the squat.


All round a very STRONG night at Crossfit London!

See you all on Saturday morning and remember to donate to Fight Gone Bad

Its only monday

19 Sep

but still a nice opportunity for a nasty wod.

We started with a double-under/ handstand practise session, then skirted on to  squat clean/weighted pull ups, 2,2,2,2,2,2,2.

Then we had 6 rounds of 35/25kg push press/ burpee: as many as you can in a minute. ie 60 seconds push press, then 60 seconds of burpee x6.

It was awful. But well done every body. Lovely to see Martin back .


Foundations 19 Sept: Jackie jigsaw

19 Sep

There’s nothing quite like the look on a grown man’s face after he does the first handstand since he was ten years old. A mixture of elation, relief (at not falling on his head) and ruddy-cheeked happiness. A look that says “Crossfit London is a big playground for grown-ups. Cool!”

The boys and girls were in groups to haul each other up and hold handstands. As this is the box’s skill du jour, expect to be doing lots more of these.

The rowing warm-up does as much to help familarise the info screen as it does to get to work the technique. The guys took turns to do

300m slow – for technique
2 mins steady – for consistency
10/15 cals all-out (which will come in handy for a Fight Gone Bad some day)

For those who really want to ramp up their rowing skills, this Saturday afternoon’s Rowing masterclass will do just that. This will be an occasional additional class, so keep your eyes peeled.

The WOD was Jackie – but rearranged into manageable chunks to turn down the heat a little:
12 mins, 4 rounds
45 secs work, 15 secs rest and rotate through:
Dumbell thrusters

Great job Cindy, Veronika, Graham, Stephen and Paul – pictured doing a nice weighted walking lunge


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