Time to get ballsy with Olympic Lifts

30 Nov

After 5/6 weeks of high volume, heavy, long team WOD’s it was time to give my guys a break. So tonight we used the WHOLE NIGHT to dial in our clean and jerk!

We did this by working clean drills right from the set up position all the way to pulling under the bar. As for the Jerk? Turn that heel out buddy!

The main lesson I think everyone took away from Tuesday night’s Clean & Jerk night was to commit to the lift from the start, staying tight and fast until the lift is complete and most of all, USE YOUR LEGS! The squat and the split are your friends and there to help you!

PB”s from Paul, Carolyn and Alex as far as I know! any more? post weight and comments!

But i can’t let my METCON warriors go away without losing the breathe a little!… TABATA DOUBLE UNDERS BABY!


He’s behind You! Shall we go to the Panto?

30 Nov

In case you didn’t already know, Our Rosie is  taking part in a Pantomime this coming January and February!  I know how desperately you all want to watch Rosie making a fool of herself, so we thought you’d want the first opportunity to book out the front line!  Rosie will be “giving it large” in the chorus line female chorus.  Half of the shows are for local kids only, so there are only 4 shows in London for the general public:

  • Thursday 26 January 2012 at 7pm
  • Friday 27 January 2012 at 7pm
  • Saturday 28 January 2012 at 2:30pm and 7pm.

Tickets will be sold directly (<oh no they won’t>) by the Sadlers Wells Peacock Theatre box office on 0844 412 4300.

The box office is open from Monday to Saturday, 10am – 8pm (Sunday hours vary) and accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Switch/Maestro. Tickets cost between £12-17 (half price for children), depending on location, and subject to a £2.50 handling fee per transaction.

Im not sure about people time tables, but perhaps we could all  go on one night and turn it into a Crossfit London night out!

WOD 30th November (am & pm) & Athleat.co.uk 100 Rep Challenge

30 Nov

Bit of high school disco dancing to warm up with this morning. Nice moves, folks!

For a quick diversion, and to further underline the old CrossFit matra (“Your workout is our warm up”) we had a quick punt at Athleat.co.uk’s 100 Rep Challenge.

Simply put, do all the work as fast as possible whilst maintaining good form.

10 Strict pull-ups (no kipping)

30 Push-ups (chest to desk)

60 Squats (to parallel or below)

The challenge tossed out over Twitter last night was whether anyone could break 90 seconds for this. The best time listed on their website last night was 1:37. Neil cracked out a 1:35 this morning. Have at it! (for the record: my money is on Naim!)

Strength work was the deadlift 3-3-3+

Today’s (proper) WOD was a curious combination of strength and skill:

AMRAP 10 mins

3 Handstand push-ups (use 2x20kg bumper plates to create a deficit if you have have full HSPUs)

6 Squat snatches (42.5kg/30kg)

9 Box jumps (green/blue)


Probably worth mentioning again that Athleat.co.uk do a terrific range of organic and free range meats, delivered straight to your door. I have used them for a few months now and have been continually impressed with the quality and taste of the produce. They have provided us with a discount code (crossfitlondonuk) that knocks a full 10% of the price, too!



Green Crossfit

29 Nov

I like a bit of weightloss TV, me. My favourite is The Biggest Loser (USA, Australia, Guatemala) I find it inspiring. Mostly.

The one I saw last Sunday had a theme: Green Week. The message to the contestants was to eat organic and local, reduce their carbon footprint and recycle. They achieved this by hustling the weightloss victims away from the electricity-driven gym machines (boo!) and do their jogging outside. Elliptical trainers were spurned in favour of swiss-ball wobbling. Most baffling was the recycling challenge: In teams they competed to shift the most fizzy drink cans from A to B. Each winner won – wait for it – an SUV!

While enjoying what the bossy Biggest Loser coaches interpret as Green fitness, something very obvious struck me. Crossfit really is Green! We have no running or cycling machines guzzling electricity while the trainee goes nowhere: we run in parks, we ride real bikes on real roads. Our barbells and kettlebells are powered by human grit. We don’t have enormous, expensive lat pull-down machines: we have a bit of scaffolding and rubber bands. Admittedly, we have Concept 2 rowers – using  2 AA batteries to run the monitor. Even if they fall out, the rower still works fine. Oh, and who would need a fizzy drinks machine when we have a perfectly good tap sticking out of the wall?

Alongside the regular Crossfitters’ commitment to good nutrition, many as a matter of course will go for organic and local produce. Some even grow their own. They run, cycle, use public transport to get to Crossfit London. If so, their gym carbon footprint becomes the size of baby’s bootie.

I should mention the movement called Green Gyms which has the laudable goal of tending the environment while getting the volunteers fit. I wouldn’t mind giving it a try it next year. I could put all my thrusters and deadlift strength into practical applications for shifting wood and building drystone walls.

Crossfit London has the most effective, most rewarding and most fun fitness protocols available anywhere. It is also very green and sustainable. Green issues are something everyone cares about, even if not consciously or consistently. But it’s satisfying to know while you’re lying on the floor gasping for air: Fran may be a right cow, but at least she cares for the planet.

WOD 29 November (AM)

29 Nov

Skill: snatch warm ups

Strength: back squat 5-5-5+ @ 65%, 75% and 85% (of 1RM/90% from previous cycle + 5kg)

Metcon: 21-15-9 hang power snatches (40/25) and bar facing burpees … followed by 25 box jumps (clock stops after the box jumps)

WOD 28 November (am & pm)

28 Nov

Another cold one this morning, so we got moving quickly (in both senses of the phrase) with some shuttle runs, shuffles and bounding jumps. We also dipped our toes in the deep waters of resisted sprinting and acceleration. More to come on this topic I believe.

Strength work was back squat 3-3-3+. We are only two weeks away from ‘testing week’, where we will be putting this 5-3-1 programme to the test and seeing if we have moved our 1RMs on.

The WOD was simple but pretty brutal:

3 rounds for time

20 Front squats (60kg/40kg)

10 Toes-to-bar

At least noone left the gym cold, this morning…!


0630 scores

  • Steven (RX) 7:04
  • Veronika (30kg) 9:05
  • Harriet (35kg) 9:23
  • Brian (RX) 9:52

Internally vs. Externally Attributed Lifestyle Changes.

27 Nov

This is part of a larger piece of work that I’m building on over here. The inspiration came from an essay on SebastianMarshall.com and is well worth the read.

If you’re the first among your friends to make a lifestyle change, a very large majority of them are going to hate you for it, unless the change can be externally attributed.

So you’ve done some reading and decided that you want to try the 30-Day Paleo Challenge?

If your friends don’t know Gluten from Guetta and you all go out to dinner, your food choice just labeled you “that diva” who eats funny.

Forget getting support, your friend eating the cookie in front of you is going to offer you one.

If you accept, you’re weak and “weren’t that serious anyway”

If you refuse, you just reinforced the label of “diva”


Because you made a choice, you just became the enemy. You’re a Villain of the vilest sort.

If, on the other hand, your doctor told you that you had to cut out wheat because you have a gluten allergy?

Your friends will not only support you, they will do everything to make your life easier.

Going out? One of them is going to double-check that the restaurant can accommodate you.

Dinner party? Someone will make a dish just for you.

You aren’t “that diva” you’ve become “that poor thing”.

Because the choice was taken out of your hands, you are now a Victim.

When a lifestyle change is a choice, people get defensive. They feel threaten. As far as they’re concerned, you’ve just said, “What you’re doing is wrong.”

They now have two choices: Either they justify why they continue the behavior, or they can discredit the person not maintaining the behavior.

When the lifestyle change is externally attributed, people don’t get defensive because they  think “They would still behave this way if they could!” No one feels threatened so there’s no reason to act defensively.

It’s ridiculous, but it’s true.

If you’re going to make some lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to health and nutrition, here are three steps to help make the transition easier.

1) Externally attribute your lifestyle change, regardless of the actual reason for it.

“I have a gluten allergy so I have to go paleo.”

“My doctor told me I needed to quit drinking.”

This makes the initial transition easier. You’ll have to face much less social pressure which makes it easier to ingrain the lifestyle change. Once you aren’t worried about regressing to old habits while under stress, you can try step 2.

2) Internally attribute your lifestyle change and ignore everyone who gives you grief.

“Sorry, I don’t eat bread. It makes me feel weird.”

“Sorry, I don’t drink. It messes up my sleep.”

No matter how apologetically you might do it, if you internally attribute your habit change, you’re going to get grief. If you hang out with cool people and everyone is happy for you or at least no one cares? Good for you. The amount of grief will be minimal. Enjoy your new habit and all the changes it brings. If the group of people you spend time with aren’t as cool and they start to bother you, enter step 3.

3) Draw the line in the sand and potentially Get New Friends. (More on this in a later post.)

“I don’t eat bread.”

“I don’t drink.”

You’ve made your lifestyle change, you’ve reaped the benefits, and you’re happy. The rest of the people in your life don’t need to be happy for you, but they can’t make you feel bad about yourself for choice either.

Draw the line in the sand. Tell them when enough is enough. Give them plenty of warning. They might not know that their behavior or comments are actually bothering you.


The moment that a friend knows that what they do or say is a problem and they do it anyway?

Cut them loose and find a new friend.

There are plenty of people who can hang out with you without making you feel like shit for your choices.

The real running experts

26 Nov

Crossfit London (UK) once again consolidated its position as one of the formost London groups effectively supporting the capital’s runners: in a marketplace where runners are bombarded by the simplistic nonsense of  charlatans, the increasingly popular Crossfit London running clinics assemble the experts you need to hear.

You get to listen to nationally ranked and dedicated amateur runners, who take the hot seat to talk about their training methods, likes and dislikes, and answer questions from the audience. But unlike other ‘religious’ running groups, we make it clear that what works for one won’t always work for others, so no one tries to force their apparent success onto your regime. It means you join us in the evaluation process. A big thank you to David Evans for being this months “hot seat” occupant.

Second to this, we field a team of massage therapists, all graduates from the London School of Sports Massage, many of whom have trained with such industry names as Mel Cash and Leon Chaitow. They normally focus on introducing you to trigger point therapy: an often overlooked but well documented form of self treatment systemised by Travell and Simon’s in Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. Not that we recommend you buy the expensive book. We often refer runners to “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” by Clair Davies, a useful summary of the work for normal people.

Therapist Kate Pankhurst, lead the audience through some knee pain trigger points, and drew key muscles and essential points on a small team of amateur models ( well done Harriet, Tom and maxim), then everyone got a chance to poke and prod. Andrew Stemler added to the “therapy” with a discussion of flexibility, the use of PNF stretching, and how to do it, and shared  “how to help your achilles tendinopothy” with heel drops. These section were ably supported by physioherapist Terry,  who expanded on some of the science and theories behind the treatment.

One of the many extras with our massage and training team is that both Kate Pankhurst and  Andrew Stemler not only have real world , hands on experience, but their knowledge is enhanced by practical dissection skills: unlike many self promoted personal trainers, they have actually dissected  cadavers and have a real grasp of the way the body really works (not  a vague knowledge based on 19th century anatomical charts!)

We also examined the current running craze , POSE , Crossfit London is fairly unique in having its own, (very open minded) POSE running coach. After all, no one needs a fanatical insistence that a particular way of running is best for you. It’s more useful to be given the drills, then try stuff out for yourself. Our team uses POSE as an interesting way of reflecting on your own running style. Some end up running POSE, others don’t.

We then evaluated a “take anywhere” high intensity workout. Death by 10m. Simply find two points 10m apart, and, its one shuttle in the 1st minutes, 2 in the second (eeeaasy peeezey), gets a bit harder at minute 15!  (but we started off at shuttle 12…………. to give the group the full experience). We the introduced a Romanian Deadlift/good morning variation that really work the glutes and hamstrings.

Very useful for runners.

Then It was over to Crossfit trainer Katarina for  the up-to-date position on hydration and insights into Circadian rhythms

We also announced the  date for the next major running event, where we are teaming up with Inov 8 to look at, among other issues, barefoot running and minimalist shoes, the neural connection in back pain, IT band syndrome and “other stuff” The date for your diaries is
Saturday 3 March 2012. For REPS fitness instructors, that session will have 3 CPD points

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