Don’t just be a WODer

04 Oct

As I started to write this, I went through a few introductions but in the end I decided I should just cut to the chase:

You should be attending the Olympic lifting and gymnastics classes. 

Think about it.

We have a packed programme whereby we want to give you the world. Make you strong, make you powerful and condition you for anything. EN-E-FING! So the programming is structured as such: some strength, some skill work and some conditioning.

But sometimes that 20 minutes just isn’t enough. Because just as you start to get in to your groove we may have to move you on to the next part of the schedule.

Luckily we have speciality classes that give you the time you need to work on the things that you probably need to work on most.

Olympic lifting


The snatch, and clean & jerk are complicated lifts. As I say to every new beginner I take through personal training: to begin with I just need you to understand what we’re doing and why. If your body isn’t responding or reacting quickly enough right now don’t sweat it – you need to drill, practice, drill and practice some more before these technical movements start to make sense for you.

If you analyse your own lift – where are the faults? Early arm bend? Not fully extending? Not loading the hamstrings? You need to spend some serious time on this stuff to really grasp it and give your body a chance to learn what it feels like to be in the right positions.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll get this in the WOD classes, maybe you’ll take a rest day when these lifts come up. So you should be attending the Olympic lifting class to improve your lifts. Which in turn will make the WOD classes easier, which will make you a better athlete/crossfitter – and I know you want that.

Our Wednesday night class is run by Aggie. Not only is she a gymnastics coach, she also competes in Olympic weightlifting, has had a number of weighlifting coaches help her and is soon to be training with Sutton and Epson Weightlifting Club and she CAN help you improve your snatch, clean and jerk.

(I write this after doing Grace with Carolyn’s Friday 1pm class – my jerk feels so much easier after just a few corrections during training sessions with Aggie).

Adult gymnastics

The handstand is a journey (very philosophical eh), there will always be improvements you can make, you’ll never be out of options in where to take it. Following a recent Ido Portal workshop, he spoke about some movements being ‘doors’ that open up a whole world of further movements and progressions – you betcha that the handstand is a door and not just within gymnastics but anything that commands overhead strength and control.


The carry-over into main class is immense given how much midline work you are doing within a gymnastics class. So better toes-to-bar, knees-to-elbow, all your big lifts and of course handstand push ups. Gymnastics is also unique in that the warm ups and cool downs become your weekly flexibility work. Few of us have this nailed, so to have a class that builds this important stuff into the weekly programme is invaluable.

Expect to work on handstands, rolls, cartwheels, bridges, round-offs and back handsprings.

We have London’s finest in both Amelia and Aggie delivering adults gymnastics on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings. Amelia comes from an elite cheerleading background and both she and Aggie have the skills and progressions to help improve on basic control of your bodyweight.

This combined with better midline stablisation, flexibility and enhanced gymnastics skills will again improve your WOD performances.

Strength class

Coming soon… the chance to spend more time working on pure strength and with a big focus on strict pull ups to boot. Watch this space.

We are going to be pushing for you all to be making the most of the speciality classes. Simply because we really love you – except when you put those bumper plates back on the wrong piles. And then we dislike you immensely and punish you with the ‘Shake Weight’.

Don’t just be a WODer, it’s time to start honing some of those skills. Book on to the classes here.

The classes are held on weeknights at 6.30pm here in Vauxhall – if this time sucks for you then let me know. You can email me here. If I get enough of you letting me know I can try and do something about it.

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