Steven’s Sunday Summary, 28 April: The return…

28 Apr

Sorry that I haven’t done one of these for a few weeks. It’s been a particularly busy time…

Interesting posts on this week (and perhaps further back, too)

Andrew encouraged people to peek into his JOHARI window. Beware: what is seen, cannot be unseen…!

We posted up some new dates for the phenomenally popular Wonderbar! series of workshops. If you have have any female friends, colleagues or even passing acquaintances that are interested in strength training and learning the basic list, send ’em our way!

The amazing Grace Brown ran (geddit?) a terrific session on running sprinting the 400m.

We are changing the kettlebell swings standards for a little while, embracing the Russian swing. Sally explains.

I wrote nerdy article on how to get your MBO bookings automatically added to your Google calendar.


Things worth reading from around the web this week

(I have embraced Feedly as my Google Reader replacement of choice. Balance is restored to my world.)

Posted this article because a) it makes a series of good points, and b) I agree 100% with the title of the article: I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie (EliteFTS)

Nick Horton (aka the Iron Samurai) presents an interesting (if somewhat ranty) opinion on “strong is the new skinny”

Splendid article from Nikki Shlosser on strength and your ability to meet challenges.

We often get caught in the debate about “how strong is strong?”, and “how does my performance compare to strong people”. Dan John (of course!) presents some interesting thinking. How do you score?

Ever wondered why we place such a stress on Olympic Weightlifting within CrossFit and at CrossFit London in particular? Wonder no more…

You presumably saw the Ted talk on “Debunking the Paleo diet” that went viral a few weeks back? Do go and watch it (all the way through) and then read Robb Wolf’s response.

Mike Boyle on injury: if it hurts to do it, then don’t do it.


Other CrossFit London news

In case you weren’t already aware, we now have native MBO apps available for both iOS and Android. We’re getting good feedback from them, so what are you waiting for?!

Also, your CrossFit London training options around London are about to expand…


Inspiring CrossFit London client of the week

I am so behind on this…

This week: Alex Best

Alex has been a client with us for a long time (2010?) as was one of the early visitors to our original gym. He’s taken a bit of time off for work, but is now back into the swing of things again. Alex is a pretty competitive runner, and like many runners has had almost zero hamstring flexibility. He could barely manage a decent half squat, or deadlift from the ground when we first met.

This Saturday I watched him air squat below parallel (just!) and sumo deadlift from the deck with excellent form for the first time (that I have seen). I was blown away by the perseverance and effort that that this has taken. To top it all, he’s such a quiet and humble guy, he just shrugged it off and went on smashing the WOD.


Picture of the week

I done took a picture.

 Adrienne back squat

Adrienne back squatting with chains in this week’s particularly badass strength session

(My) Tunes of the week

Aluna George, “Attracting Flies”


Hey Champ, “Comet (featuring BeuKes)”


Cold War Kids, “Miracle Mile”

Basic Barbell: Olympic Weightlifting & Strength

28 Apr

Olympic weightlifting

Today’s theme: the second pull, with specific focus on the clean

What thrills me about these sessions is the look on people’s faces when they suddenly hit a new PR without even realising it (happened at least three times yesterday). Just goes to show that improvements in technique go a long way in the olympic lifts.



Including the the third olympic lift…


Drill 1

Muscle clean, focus on elbow/rack speed


Drill 2

Power clean from high hang


Drill 3

Clean from high hang


Drill 4

Second pull finish through the heels


Drill 5

Weight transfer through the second pull


Clean practise working up to a challenging weight whilst maintaining good form.


Strength training

We continued with the Westside Barbell inspired, ‘max effort’ approach yesterday. Each week, we choose a new squat/deadlift and press variation and work up to a 1, 2 or 3 rep max. Over the course of the weeks we will strengthen all aspects of the core lifts (squat, deadlift & press) and continue to set PRs each week. Of the three elements of the WSB method (max effort, repetition, dynamic effort) with cover the first two in strength sessions. Normal CrossFit classes neatly cover off the third method.

The goals for each session are:

1. Set a new PR for every lift

2. Make every lift attempt i.e. no misses


Upper body: seated barbell press

Accessories: double dumbbell overhead press (pause-rest sets), and weighted pull-ups


Lower body: back squat with chains/bands

Accessories: barbell hip thrusts, hanging leg raises

WOD Saturday 27 April: Level 2 and Level 3

28 Apr


Level 2: Dumbbell squats, presses, thrusters (natch), Romanian deadlifts, one legged RDLs, dumbbell bear walks…

Level 3: As above, with added DB snatch, including the hitherto unknown ‘Kat Snatch’ i.e. one armed, one-legged DB snatch…


Skill 1: Snatch

Technique work, followed by 10mins to get to a heavy single


Skill 2: Sumo deadlift



3 rounds for time

7 sumo deadlifts (8 for level 3)

400m dash

The Johari Window

27 Apr

If you like  Jung, more than you like freud, and, you would welcome the feedback of your friends and colleagues  about your personality, but could restrict them to these adjectives……..

  • able
  • accepting
  • adaptable
  • bold
  • brave
  • calm
  • caring
  • cheerful
  • clever
  • complex
  • confident
  • dependable
  • dignified
  • energetic
  • extroverted
  • friendly
  • giving
  • happy
  • helpful
  • idealistic
  • independent
  • ingenious
  • intelligent
  • introverted
  • kind
  • knowledgeable
  • logical
  • loving
  • mature
  • modest
  • nervous
  • observant
  • organized
  • patient
  • powerful
  • proud
  • quiet
  • reflective
  • relaxed
  • religious
  • responsive
  • searching
  • self-assertive
  • self-conscious
  • sensible
  • sentimental
  • shy
  • silly
  • smart
  • spontaneous
  • sympathetic
  • tense
  • trustworthy
  • warm
  • wise

( not, the rude accurate adjectives you deserve), and you like a bit of personality analysis, the Johari Window may be for you!

The window breaks your personality down into several areas

Johari window
Johari window


Some “stuff” is known to you, others unknown.  According to wikipedia, the window places  the adjective in various areas

“Open or Arena: Adjectives that are selected by both the participant and his or her peers are placed into the Open or Arena quadrant. This quadrant represents traits of the subjects that both they and their peers are aware of.

Hidden or Façade: Adjectives selected only by subjects, but not by any of their peers, are placed into the Hidden or Façade quadrant, representing information about them their peers are unaware of. It is then up to the subject to disclose this information or not.

Blind Spot: Adjectives that are not selected by subjects but only by their peers are placed into the Blind Spot quadrant. These represent information that the subject is not aware of, but others are, and they can decide whether and how to inform the individual about these “blind spots“.

Unknown: Adjectives that were not selected by either subjects or their peers remain in the Unknown quadrant, representing the participant’s behaviors or motives that were not recognized by anyone participating. This may be because they do not apply or because there is collective ignorance of the existence of these traits. One facet of interest in this area is our human potential. Our potential is unknown to us, and others”

Why not try this for yourself  here

Equally, if you know Andrew Stemler, you can continue the process of kicking him when he’s down here. Im scoring high on “silly”.


Fight Gone Bad Friday!!!

26 Apr

Need I say anymore! Great classes so far today, if you don’t know the format, here it is!


3 rounds for total reps:

1 minute on each of the following under a continuously running clock.

Row (cal)

Push Press (35/20kg)

Box Jumps (20″)

Sumo Deadlift High Pull (35/20kg)

Wall Ball Shots (10kg @10′, 7kg @ 9′) (actual FGB is 9kg @ 9′, 6kg @ 8′)


Here’s the scores so far today, bloody good work!

photo (14)

Wednesday (PM) Level 4

25 Apr

20 Minutes dedicated to mobiltiy.

Shoulder Mobility warm up

Foam rollers, tennis balls, table makers circuit with some double unders thrown in to break it up.

Skill- Clean

Warm up first with a tech bar working each position.

Build weight up to 75-80%

3×3 Squat cleans

Hollow and superman prep.





Superman rock

Push ups

V ups



Tim’s Tuesday L2

24 Apr

From Tim Lawrence:

Tuesday 23/4 L2


We started with 10 minutes working on double unders, this week’s Skill of the Week.  Our focus was on jumping with a straight body, and no piking or donkey kicks, and on keeping the wrists in close to the body.


Then on to 5×10 back squat @c65%/70%.  Lots of focus on keeping the knees out.  Some great ‘squat faces’ in the later sets – good work all round!




For time:


24 ring dips

24 pull ups

18 push ups

18 pull ups

12 ring dips

12 pull ups

6 push ups

6 pull ups


Scores and squat weights were:


Moe                      65kg                       14:11 (Rx)

Anne                     32kg                       14:26

Sandrine              47.5kg                   16:12

Debbie                 30.5kg                   16:21


A great effort from all and special mention to Sandrine and Debbie who kept working beyond the cut-off time to complete the WOD.

Tuesday 23/4 (pm)

24 Apr

Tuesday night’s winner’s enclosure!

What fabulous weather it was yesterday and i would have been a shame not to make the most out of every second of it by going for a quick loop around the tennis courts whilst passing around medicine balls as if they were on fire! We got some funny looks!

We dedicated a solid 5 mins to the SKILL OF THE WEEK, Chris, Paul, Melissa and Nick got the triple under down!

The level 2 guys hit up some muscle up practice prior to the WOD, where the level 3 peoples got to hang out in the bottom of the dip for a while!

The level 3’s were lucky enough to scream through 5×10 back squat (rest 60-90 secs) with an exclusive rule of no failures! They got Sweaty! We saw a variety of back squats here, some people favoring the low bar and others the high bar, but what was great to see, was people that prefer the high bar but took the time to work on their low bar, for reps of ten…Kudos!


For Time:

24 ring dips

24 pull ups

18 push ups

18 pull ups

12 ring dips

12 pull ups

6 push ups

6 pull ups

“What’s this winner’s enclosure?” I hear you ask! The lucky people that finished the workout in sub 7 minutes were treated to a little bonus…1 mile run for time!!! here’s there scores!


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