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All Posts By

Andrew Stemler

Some Olympic weightlifting science

Over the next year I want to try and consolidate all of the present research on the Olympic lifts on the CFLDN blog, so all those Olympic Lifters at Crossfit London in  Bethnal Green E2  can benefit. As reports surface (or I find old ones) I’ll post the title here along with a review of the conclusion.

Whilst reading any articles I write on the olympic lifts, do try and sink into a deep overhead squat.

Just for the novelty.

A fair warning though. I’ll be sharing the ideas of others. Some may be  accurate, others not so. The hope is that it will begin to inform your thinking and get you to critically reflect on your performance. It is , in reality, all about you.

I’ll reference, but I’ll probably not go the full Harvard route ( I’m getting lazy as I age)

So, let’s start with: The Snatch Technique of World Class Weightlifters at the 1985 World Championships. Baumann, et al.

This study used 3D  film ( ah, the time before mobile phones)  and measured ground reaction forces in the 1985 world championships in Sweden. The most interesting discovery was that knee joint movements are fairly small (1/3rd of the hip joint moments ) and do not correlate well with the total load. Better lifts actively control their knee movements.

The report identifies the point at which the lifter drops under the bar to be the most important and technically most difficult . It’s interesting to note that the trajectory of the bar  comes in towards the lifter. Many coaches emphasise bringing the hips to the bar.

It was noted that the movement ends with a jump backwards under the barbell. This has been noted by Garhammer(1985) and Vorobyev(1978) who thought it was  a fault. It was also noted that the pull brought the bar to approx 60% of the lifters stature.

Catalyst athletics offers these pointers about a possible back jump:

“My rules for whether or not a backward jump is acceptable are pretty simple:

  • The body, feet and barbell must all travel backward equally.
  • The body and bar must remain in close proximity during the backward movement.
  • The lifter must receive the lift in a solid, balanced position without a need for compensation or adjustment
  • It must be something the lifter has arrived at naturally, i.e. it’s not an intentional technical style”

Interesting!!

So check out some Garhammer thoughts  in Weightlifting and Training(chapter 5) in Biomechanics of Sport

This is quite a comprehensive (review) chapter and  he identifies  these  three characteristics in better lifters

1 ) faster movements

2)  body extension during the pull

3)  lower peak bar height relative to body size

But enough of talking about pulls and snatches  and what goes where. Below is an extract from Tommy Kono’s book showing successful and unsuccessful pull heights and the trajectory of the bar during the snatch. Notice the S pull!

We will talk S pulls in other articles!

 

 

A final word from Garhammer in .Barbell Trajectory, velocity and power changes and four world records

This study took place at the 1999 junior world weightlifting championships). The aim was to support the concept of using sub-maximal training lifts to increase power output. The paper concludes that 75% -85% of 1 RM is best to produce maximal power output.

New cafe opportunity in Bethnal Green E2

Crossfit London has created a  world-class venue in Bethnal Green E2: most of the difficult building decisions have now been made, which has given us some time to consider the finer details that will really make us one of the best training facilities in London.

Not only do we have world-class training facilities, but we have dedicated an entire arch towards changing room, shop and cafe facilities. With a large membership base, we are looking for the right company/person to join us in this unique space as we relaunch Crossfit London.

What are we looking for?

Simply put,  we have the facilities for a hot food kitchen and ideally are looking for a company that can provide a small but great brunch menu. The local area is lacking in healthy options and we will maximise our member’s training by providing nutritious options throughout the day. The party involved must be able to provide coffee and shakes as standard.

Who are we?

We are the first Crossfit Gym outside of the United States, the first in London, and the 9th oldest box in the entire world. There is a history here and we would like to become the first in London to have a dedicated cafe space as well. This gym is here to lead the way and we plan to do that with not only our team of coaches and our beautiful facilities but our approach to nutrition as well.

Who may apply?

If you are a passionate entrepreneur in the food business, who is looking for a new outlet, we want to hear from you. Ideally, we would like a company that is already established but as a small thriving business, we understand that sometimes you take a chance on the little guy. Most importantly we are looking for a synergistic relationship, this won’t be a relationship based off you pay us rent, this is a journey that we are all in together.

We are not looking to make Crossfit London something you simply stumble upon,  but a destination you plan your day around.

If you think this is the opportunity your  coffee/shake/food business  has been looking for, do contact  Mike to discuss  further
mike@crossfitlondonuk.com

I’m too old for tumbling and gymnastics

To be a competitive gymnast, 2 years old is too late to start.

Actually, you probably need to be born into a gymnastics family and weened at the side of a tumble pit to be world class.

That obvious, but sucks for us normal people who fancy having a  back tuck, a handstand or a back handspring.

Why should being 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60, be a reason not to get loads of fun from a tumbling session.

Ok, let’s be honest! If you start late, you probably are not going to the Olympics. But stuff the Olympics, wouldn’t it be so cool to do a standing back tuck, a  handspring or a handstand.

Well, we have been teaching adults how to back tuck, handstand, bridge and do lots of cool stuff since 2008. We have invested in the specific equipment to make it safe, and we have the drills and skills to help you achieve these skills.

But you cannot just rock up to our level 2 tumbling classes and expect to throw a back tuck: you need to forward and back roll, handstand and learn how to jump. Really, so much of gymnastics and tumbling is about jumping.
That’s what we teach in our level 1 tumbling class, and starting next Sunday we have scheduled an extra level 1 class at 1 pm at railway Arch 3  Gales Gardens E2 0EJ, for the whole of June.

The aim of our level 1 classes is to get you basic skills and get you to our level 2 classes ASAP. Some will do 1 lesson, others 4 or 5. The teacher will guide you.

Stop dreaming, start living: BOOK NOW

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Andrew's letter to the gymnastic kids


Once again, well-done gymnastic kids
We need you to bring enthusiasm, energy, brightness and a sense of fun to our sessions.
YOU BROUGHT IT!
In future years,  as you grow and mature, people, employers and friends will value the energy you bring. Never lose your love for life. Some may try and take it from you. Don’t ever let them!
So today, we let you play  “let see how can you travel down the tumble track”. Some walked, some bounced, some did a handspring, some landed on their bottoms.
All a great opportunity to think, and practice how to move from one place to another.
Then we asked you ” design your own warm up” and you as a group  suggested  a “run down the carpet, cartwheel, up the track, hop down the carpet ( 1 leg), then forward roll, up the track, hop R up the carpet, then backwards roll, then jump up the carpet and kick to handstand.
It’s a great start, and you put that together as a group.
Well done!
Let’s think about what a warm-up is! It’s about preparing you for the work to come. If you were going to run, you would walk, then jog, then run. So think about how we can improve this?
Here are some questions.
How can we prepare your wrists? Straight to cartwheel seems a bit harsh. How could you get from one side of the track without all your weight on your hands (hint. Bear crawl/ Spiders)
What moves do we need in gymnastics? Obviously the moves you have come to learn, but they all depend on key moves. What comes before most moves? ( Hint A big step/  A  lunge)
When we jump, is that it?   In gymnastics, it’s never a just a jump. You have to jump, then do something. Ever thought of jumping and using those basic shapes we use in the shape game?  Jump into a tuck, jump into a star, jump into a straddle,   jump into a straight shape.
Next week, we will look again at the warm-up you want to do.
I’m excited about what you will bring to that lesson.
 

Kids will bend over backwards to get gymnastic skills

Gymnastics and tumbling is such a super cool skill for your kids to have : it often starts with the back bridge  and that often builds into the back walk over and the back handstand spring.
We have great fun every Thursday in Bethnal Green E2, teaching kids to retain and improve their flexibility, while at the same time, getting them to bounce , jump and tumble: as you can see we get them to bend over backwards too.
If you’d like your child (7-12) to join our weekly  Tumbling classes at our Bethnal Green, E2 gym,  checkout our tumbling page here

Kids love handstands

Thursday 4.15 saw another fun packed hour as our gymnastic kids, bridged, stretched,  rolled, jumped, and practiced cool things like handstands.
Who doesn’t want a handstand?.
If you have active children and you can get them to  Bethnal Green E2 for 4.15 on Thursdays for an hour of  fun  why not email Matteo@crossfitlondonuk.com  to have a look at the class (whether for this term or the next)
You can see more information about our tumbling for kids course, here
However, if  tumbling and flying through the air, isn’t quite what your children (8-12)  are after,  you  should consider our  Crossfit Kids programme.  Fun, fitness and a load of stuff to learn. Check it out here

CrossFit Kids: Spring Term 2018

Whilst you enjoy a well deserved family Christmas, you probably ought to start thinking about what your kids will be doing in the Spring Term (2018).
It’s a fantastic idea to check out CrossFit London  in Bethnal Green E2.
We currently offer a gymnastic (tumbling) class for kids , and a CrossFit Class for kids. With the spring term 2018 due to start in early January, get your child (8-12) booked into one of our motivating sessions. They can either learn to tumble  (front tuck, back tuck, handsprings, handstands, etc.) in our gymnastic class, or focus on learning lots of weightlifting techniques combined with  rope climbing, hanging or stuff, jumping over, on and in stuff, and generally getting fit in  a fun supportive way in our CrossFit kids class. We can get your child those essential pull ups and box jumps that you know you want them to be have.
You can of course book into both. Parents and guardians are welcome to stay and watch. CrossFit kids is Mondays 16:15-17:15. kids gymnastics is Thursdays 16:15 to 17:15.
Keep an eye open for our holiday camp.

Crossfit Beginner Fun

Another batch of noble beginners,  decided to kick their training up to another level by starting their level 1 classes, where, uniquely in a group format, Crossfit London teaches you all those “difficult moves” that leisure centres avoid, using a step by step method mixed with lots of kindness .
Often, difficult to master ground based moves, are limited not by flexibility but by balance. In our classes we get our clients to start working on the balance problems with safe, effective, supportive drills , that work. In 1.1  we look at the air squat, the front squat and overhead squat, along with a bit of hanging work such as basket hangs  and  toes to bar . Along the way we start to  discuss some of  our abbreviations like  WOD ( Work Out of the Day) and AMRAP ( As Many Rounds as Possible)  and start introducing you to moving around the gym  ( actually called a Box) safely.
Here is a useful drill  that fixes your squat

 
Most sessions end with a mini WOD, but its not  set to be challenging, merely a light rehearsal of newly learned principles. In our sessions we focus on teaching skill, so whilst a flexibility drill may feature we don’t waste 15 minutes of your time on aerobic warm ups and endless stretching . We use the skill progression to warm you up for the  full range of motion skill you are about to do. Jogging around is a great warm up if you intend to run. Squat drills are the best warm up for squatting. Long term , for those serious about flexibility, we have some fantastic flexibility classes that really push your range of motion along.
So get some serious skills and join our beginner  classes now

The L sit. Part 4

Today its the last part of our racy 4 part guide to nailing the L sit. The ab exercise that spanks the bottom of all other ab exercises. Can you crunch? Can you do a twisty thing while squirming on the floor?  Who cares. My cat can do those moves and he died 3 years ago.
Almost everything is easy compared  to the L sit. Read what Greg Glassman, the Crossfit founder said about the l sit
So,  HOW TO DO IT
Building on parts 1, part 2 , part 3   push yourself up and stick both legs out. You can do it on a chair, or with  dumbbells when you are learning, but aspire to do it on the floor.
Voila
The L sit
 
and, from our early book on crossfit skills..
Lsit
 
Anyway:  learn more about life, how to get great abs, and how to learn and master a tonne of effective training methods at Crossfit London in our amazing Bethnal Green E2 gym. We have special gymnastic strength classes to help you learn cool stuff like this. See you there.
Thanks to www.ATHLETTIS.com for the sketch.

Drills for the back handspring

At Crossfit London in Bethnal Green E2, our gymnastic programmes teach both adults and kids how to back handspring.
As our clients are recreational gymnasts ( doing it for fun and excitement)  dancers and cheerleaders, we need to make sure our trainers have a comprehensive range of progressive drills and skills to help you master the full move. Some of the moves we use are featured in this useful video.
Many people learn through a mix of methods. The approach is often called VARK ( visual, audial, reading and kinesthetic) by publishing video’s  with the skill break down, it helps our learners learn. You will get most of the moves we teach  by hard work and patience, but we will make sure you have the drills and pathways to  achieve your goals.
Some of our clients achievements are on this facebook group.
We offer adult and kids gymnastic  classes and PT sessions in  our gym in Bethnal green, London E2. In the meantime, check out this great video and start the learning process