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Kate Pankhurst

Who’s doing what at CFLDN – management arrangements from 1 August 2019

By Luke Webster

We’re one team at CFLDN but the folks below have particular roles and responsibilities on top of coaching.

Luke Brumer takes up the role of General Manager leading the management team and taking charge of
making the box a roaring success, something he takes literally by regularly pretending to be a lion. Luke’s
background is in business set-up and turn-around in South Africa’s bar and restaurant sector. As if being a
beast of an athlete (i) wasn’t enough, he’s also had some success as a model (though we try not to hold it
against him). His BBQ (or ‘braai’, for the culturally sensitive) skills are not too shabby either. Famously
friendly, it’s likely he’ll have already greeted you, and he should be your first port of call for help or giving
feedback on how we’re doing. He’s here to make sure being at CFLDN is the best part of your day.

Steve Hennessey is promoted to Head Coach. Steve brings immense experience as a trainer (ii) backed up
by a solid academic background in Chiropractic and Functional Nutrition. Steve leads the coaching team
and is responsible for our programme, teaching standards and athlete membership. As 9th oldest box in
the world, we’ve seen a lot of CrossFit programming at CFLDN, and this man’s output is world-class,
optimising efficacy and sustainability. We’re proud to have him. Steve also runs our nutrition courses and
is available for personal training. Steve is happy to handle any training or membership queries and can
arrange individual consultations with his team for those who want to appraise their progress or take it to
the next level.

Catarina Sa-Dantas is our Customer Service Manager and Luke’s deputy. Hailing from Portugal, Cat
studied Hospitality Management at University. You’re likely to have met her in person or by email if you’ve
contacted support. An administrative ninja, Cat keeps communication flowing, can always find an answer
and has even managed to tame the temperamental booking-system-we-do-not-name. Her duties include
keeping the box’s finances in order and coordinating meetings. In an example of nominative determinism,
she’s also very good with cats, and is often to be found in the company of our magnificent ginger tom (not
you, Harrison!), Box-cat Bob. Contact Cat if you need any help with practical matters, advice on who to
speak to and for bookings of all kinds.

Carolyn Logan, a veteran coach from our early days takes on further duties as a Senior Coach. In
additional to her successful CrossFit and MetCon classes, she presides over the festival of sweat, tears
and heroism that is Friday Night Lights and takes the lead organising social and community events.
Having achieved an early ambition of amassing the finest key-ring collection in all South Yorkshire,
Carolyn became a professional dancer before discovering CrossFit and retraining as a Sports Therapist. In
the latter capacity, she manages our treatment room, so contact her if you need fixing or if you’re
interested in hiring the space yourself.

Alex Miller is another Senior Coach our and Head of Strength. Legendary for his powerlifting classes, Alex
is our undisputed expert in all matters Strength and Conditioning and a popular PT, with encyclopaedic
knowledge and teaching skill we all aspire to. Alex’s background includes high level sport including Judo
and Rugby. Talk to him about any training matter, it’s likely he’ll have the answer.
Rhys Morgan joins as our Senior Gymnastics Coach. An experienced trainer but relative latecomer to the
sport, Rhys knows about the challenges faced by adult learners but is living proof of the standard
obtainable. Rhys focusses on the coaching our Gymnastics Strength classes and will be happy to help you
obtain a range of skills, be that to improve your CrossFit or just for the love of being able to do
extraordinary things.

Behind the scenes

Keeping a small business alive in London is a tough challenge without compromising community. Behind
the scenes, these guys offer their skills, experience and financial backing to keep the show on the road.

Andrew Stemler, is our Founder and the first CrossFit affiliate holder outside the USA, bringing CrossFit to
Europe in 2005. A CrossFit legend, he is a tireless lifelong learner in a bewildering array of disciplines.
Andrew’s extensive teaching experience has helped hundreds of clients transform their lives. He is
renowned for his inventiveness and client focus and can find drills and progressions to help anyone,
regardless of age, ability or challenges, move towards their goals. His eclectic background includes
property management and 3 years as an East End doorman. Andrew is our lead on Health and Safety and
is an accredited first aid trainer. He coaches across the full range of our classes and is a sought-after PT.

Kate Pankhurst is an early client of CFLDN and a long-time coach, now a Director. Kate works with Luke
and Cat in administering the business, in particular keeping us on the right side of regulation, but her
background as an artist means she takes the lead on much of the design work around the box and the
look and feel of our social media. Originally trained at the Central School of Art & Design, she more
recently studied at the Royal School of Needlework – check out her astounding work at
https://www.artofstitch.com

Like Andrew, Kate is also a talented and experienced massage therapist.

The Co-Chairmen are Naim Rahman and Luke Webster. Both long standing clients, they joined the board
in 2016 and helped invest in and deliver the move to the new premises. They ultimately control the
business and are always happy to hear your views, in the box or over a drink.

Naim is a lawyer when not at the gym and focusses on Olympic Lifting (don’t tell him, but pound for
pound, he’s probably one of our best [iii]). His tireless efforts behind the scenes are responsible for much of
the progress of the project to develop the new box. A young family means that he’s generally to be found
training during the day, but he joins our socials whenever he can.

Originally a mathematician and wine merchant, Luke (iv) accidentally moved into finance and somehow now
holds a range of senior positions in both the private and public sector. He tries to make himself interesting
again by learning and coaching gymnastics, and when time permits, can be found in the kitchen or running
the bar at socials as our resident licensee. He has extremely dubious taste in neckwear.

 

i Luke B’s imposing physique actually stems from high-level competition in the demanding sport of tiddly winks. Such
was his early renown, he was presented with the coveted ‘Silver Wink’ by Prince Phillip in 2001. Interestingly, this is
not the Prince Consort’s only connection with CFLDN. In 2017 (our only Royal visit to date) he attended a
Fundamentals class, allegedly in consequence of drunken bet, but left discretely on finding that his off-colour
remarks failed to scandalise an audience already reeling from Andrew’s unique analogies.

ii Steve is also a pretty nifty athlete, renowned for the beauty of his form. But don’t be fooled by this wiry antipodean
grace: his childhood sport was Emu wrestling and he is not to be trifled with.

iii Naim is, in his own estimation at least, also our best dancer, although rarely demonstrates for fear of making the
rest of us look bad. What is less well-known is that his skills derive from membership of a banned, underground
Morris Dancing Side in Bridgend, Wales, infamous for their solvent abuse and unorthodox handkerchief technique.

iv Duplicate names can cause confusion, but the reader should note carefully that the use of differentiators such as
‘tall’ or ‘fit’ to indicate which one is being talked about may have unexpected and drastic consequences. The last
offender was found strangled with a bowtie… just saying.

An Introduction to gymnastics at CrossFit London

Saturday 30 March 1400-1530, only £5!

BOOK NOW!

CFLDN CrossFit London offer gymnastics classes covering strength, , hand balancing, tumbling and flexibility.

Gymnastics Strength — Laying the foundations from which all gymnastic and all physical pursuits are built. Developing all round body strength, stamina and coordination to aid in learning basic to advanced skills.
If you have ever wanted to try any or all of these this is your chance!

Hand Balancing — Focusing on turning your world upside down and building the body awareness and control to perfect the handstand and beyond.

Tumbling — From forward rolls to double backflips, tumbling focusses on introducing and developing acrobatic skills and movement patterns.


CFLDN will be hosting an introductory workshop to get a feel of what Gymnastics at CFLDN is all about

A 90 minute workshop from myself, @victoriaflintstoneskillen and @matthiascamilleri all for £5!

Saturday 30 March, 2pm to 3.30pm.

Places are limited so get booked in via eventbee (ID: 108974921)
https://www.eventbee.com/event?eid=108974921

BOOK NOW!

 

Download a PDF poster here:

INTRODUCTION TO GYMNASTICS AT CFLDN

Don’t dismiss the split

By Andrew Stemler
To be  the best Olympic weightlifter you can be, you need to understand one crucial thing.
What the rules  of Olympic lifting actually  are.

Not the rules made up by the coach or some internet commentator, but what the rules really are. Many  organisations and coaches, in  the search for  that new world champion,  simply want to impose a particular type of lifting style on anyone who walks in through the door. If you don’t have the natural attributes of their ideal lifter,  they ignore you.

In this imposition of a style, many coaches seek to exclude, rather than welcome people. No where is this clearer than in the snatch, often totally wrongly , defined as the squat snatch.
Rather than  encouraging pointless online debate  about the snatch performance, read the  actual rules that govern the performance of the snatch  according to  the IWF
“The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. No part of the body other than the feet may touch the platform during the execution of the lift. The weight, which has been lifted, must be maintained in the final motionless position, arms and legs extended, the feet on the same line, until the Referees give the signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The lifter may recover in his or her own time, either from a split or a squat position, and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell. The Referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body.”
You’ll notice that in receiving the bar,  the words are “splitting or bending the legs”.
The fantastically lovely deep squat snatch, is a thing of beauty, It’s where strength, mobility, flexibility, agility, and let’s face it, awesomeness  blend.  It is, however a specific method used by  strong, mobile, flexible, agile and awesome people . As many people will tell you, if you don’t have mobility and flexibility, as far as the squat snatch goes, you are screwed. Even if you are awesome.
What  the rules mean is you can also  power and  split snatch. The split and power snatch are available to all (well, OK, 95% of people).
So my advice is this.
Focus on the actual message of the Olympic lifts first. Get judged on how much you can lift over your head, not on the method you use. Splitting and power snatches are safe and can be used by awesome strong people who maybe are a teeny weeny bit challenged in the mobility, flexibility and agility department.
Vorobyev states in ” A text book on weightlifting”,  “depending  on the makeup of  anatomico-physiological  and psychological features the  lifter adopts… split or squat and other technical elements”
This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a go, and practice the squat snatch. Maybe it will encourage you to actually do some mobility and flexibility, Maybe you’ll actually try and nail your  over heads squat,  but why not, in the meantime,  make sure you have a great power and split snatch too.

Olympic lifting with grunts

Little did Aryna Sabalenka realise that her controversial grunting in the 2018 Australian Tennis Open could assist Olympic weightlifters in Bethnal Green E1. A short yell or kiai has always been part of martial arts, and exertion is sometimes accompanied with a bit of a grunt. But, is it a technique or tactic you should use to improve your snatch and clean and jerk?

Damian Farrow (2018) in  ‘All the Racquet: What science tells us about the pros and cons of grunting in tennis’, put the advantages of a grunt in simple terms.

Ball velocity increases with a grunt.

In fact if you check out  “The effects of grunting on serve and forehand velocities in collegiate tennis players”. You’ll see two impressive figures.

If you grunt, you get: a 3.8% increase in groundstroke-hitting velocity and a 4.9% enhancement in velocity.

According to that report “The velocity, force, and peak muscle activity during tennis serves and forehand strokes are significantly enhanced when athletes are allowed to grunt.”

And, significantly,

“Grunt history, gender, perceived advantages, and disadvantages of grunting, years of experience, highest level of competition, and order of testing did not significantly alter any of these results”

I must confess that the exact science behind this phenomenon slightly eludes me, but  allegedly, increased force on impact lies within the concept of kinetic energy. KE is the energy of motion which is transferred on impact. KE is calculated as one half of the product of mass and velocity squared.

Grunting, so brainy people say, tightens the body core which increases the mass behind the tennis strike, thereby increasing the force on impact resulting in the increased velocity of the tennis ball.

The carry over to Olympic weightlifting at CrossFit London is obvious. If you lift quietly, the chances are you are missing out on some free energy that could move the bar to where you want it.

Try grunting  when you snatch.

by Andrew Stemler

Wine Fundamentals with Coach Luke

Wine tasting event hosted by CrossFit London, Saturday 16 March 2019 at 6pm

BOOK HERE

CFLDN directors, at minimum, hold a CF-L1 cert, solid skills with a hand-drill and the grit and ability to unblock a loo. We also like them to have some extra tricks up their sleeves:

About Luke Webster
A former wine merchant and current Senior Judge at the International Wine Challenge, Luke is our resident drinks expert and a specialist in wine education. His experience covers everything from lectures on wine chemistry at the University of Cambridge’s science festival, to social tastings for hen-nights (those bills don’t pay themselves, after all).

The fundamentals of wine
Join us in the newly refurbished HQ Arch at CFLDN CrossFit London to learn about the art and science of appreciating wine. Its history and how it’s made, the roles of sight, touch, taste and smell, and the amazing variety of things that can be made from fermented grapes. This fundamentals session will cover an introduction to systematic tasting through a wide variety of wine styles, providing an insight into the impact of grape, climate, production methods and aging.

Tickets are £25 bookable at Eventbee to cover a tasting of 8 wines and light refreshments.

Saturday 16 March 2019 at 6pm
BOOK HERE

Clearance sale! CrossFit kit

As you all know, we are moving around the corner in June, which means we have some amazing bargains for you: stable mats, riot shields (?) an original beaverfit cage ( designed to the specifications of a bridge). Ever fancied your own changing room block?  Why not accessorise your garden, or gym, this  a fabulous 2 x loo, 2 x shower room self-contained unit.
This stuff will be available to be moved at the end of June ( but subject to contract)
Want to know about the amazing pricing, drop support@crossfitlondonuk.com an email and we can talk business

Stable mats 4 ft x 6ft (18mm). Ideal gym floor.
108 of them. plus  30 with holes in
New, these are about £27, happy to negotiate for bulk, happy to reasonable.
 
 
Toilet and shower unit. 2 showers and 2 toilets in this moveable trailer. Can be used indoors or outdoors.
New this was £15,000. Happy to consider any offers. Comes with its own jack legs. Some repair needed that we can do or you can. Come and chat, and view ( In Bethnal Green E2). You know you want to. Removal, reasonable re-plumbing and  re-connecting to the mains will cost about £1800.
 
Support@crossfitlondonuk.com
 

Want a riot of your own? Get these ex-Police issue transparent riot shields at bargain basement prices!
No idea how much these cost…. but every home needs one!
 

Our original beaverfit cage: sturdy uprights, plus multi grip pull up bar on top , safety pins. Was £950 when new.  Open to any reasonable offer. Its very, very sturdy. Designed and built by bridge builders. Available in Bethnal Green E2. Lady not included.
Want it? Buy it! Email support@crossfitlondonuk.com
All offered subject to contract as we are not 100% sure of the actual moving date, but its going to be a few days either side of the 30th June 2018.

Athleat meat! Get 10% off all your orders


 
 

We have teamed up with the most prestigious grassfed meat company in the UK to offer you the best produce money can buy with our exclusive *crossfitlondon* code that will give you 10% off any order you place. Use code “crossfitlondon” at checkout.

  • Highest quality grass fed beef, free range poultry and more
  • Delivery direct to your door or to our Members at * 9/10 Malcolm Place, E2 | 3 Gales Gardens, E2*
  • An exclusive deal especially for members of *Crossfit London*

 
Get ordering your MEAT here!
 

CrossFit Legends: It's never too late to get off the couch

18893445Recently the news has been full of stories of older people improving their health by taking up sports, dance and other physical activities formerly associated exclusively with the young. CrossFit London is proud to be doing it’s bit too with the “Legends” kick-off class for men and women in their 50’s and older.
Read more about CrossFit Legends here
Book your space here.
It is well known that exercise has enormous health benefits, and I encourage you to read this CrossFit Journal article by Lon Kilgore on the subject.
To quote:
“It is never too late to get up off the couch and start training to improve strength, endurance and mobility. Although each of these elements of fitness is exquisitely developed by CrossFit training, any system of exercise can be used as long as it is progressive and improves fitness in some aspect.
When an older adult starts training, the results can be spectacular. Strength levels can increase by 23 percent in as little as 12 weeks, even in those up to 92 years of age. Endurance levels can increase by 16 percent in as little as four months. Mobility can improve, too, with a significant 62 percent reduction in falls seen after a year of training. And when we bundle those outcomes together, we find that not only are physical function and quality of life improved, but creating fitness in older adults also cuts the risk of disease and death significantly.
Simply put, the concept that older trainees cannot adapt to training has no merit. Similarly awed are recommendations that older trainees aspire to only the lowest levels of physical activity— the bare minimums. If higher fitness is related to lower disease and death rates, then we should use methods that create those levels of fitness.”
So make 2018 the year you started at CrossFit London and began changing everything for the better.
Any further questions, email kate@crossfitlondonuk.com
We can’t wait to meet you! Sign up now by clicking here.
 
(Grateful thanks to Mike Warkentin of CrossFit 204 for permission to use original images from CrossFit204.com)

Member of the Week: 8 December 2017

This week’s Member of the Week goes to


Sean Woodlock

A regular in every type of class offered at CrossFit London, Sean has been on the scene for 18 months. And because he works his socks off at everything from Metcon to gymnastic strength to Powerlifting – he’s is a force to be reckoned with! He’s also a really nice guy to have around the gym.
Sean is directional in his attitude to social media; he’s agin’ it. Which shows he’s not only skilled and tough, he keeps it real. As such, don’t forget to congratulate him with an actual fist-bump, genuine applause and a proper smile.
Well done Sean, you’re an inspiration.
 

Remembrance Sunday: 'Murph'

As is our tradition, the workout this Sunday 12 November will be the classic CrossFit WOD “Murph”.
There are two sessions to book into for ‘Murph” this Remembrance Sunday; 10.30 and 12:00. Both sessions are 90 mins in length, to give everyone a chance to complete the WOD:
‘MURPH’
For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run
Wear a weighted vest. Break up reps into any order.
NB all scaling/subs options are available: ring rows for pullups, rowing for running etc
In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.
In addition, we would ask everyone who is available to attend a ceremony at the Memorial in Bethnal Green gardens (outside the library). The ceremony starts at 10.45. We will also be observing 2 minutes silence at 11:00 at the gym
 
Below is a think piece, ‘Service and Sacrifice’, by Andrew last year.
“On Sunday we once again reschedule our CrossFit morning classes to honour those people who gave their life so we might live in freedom.
Remembrance can be viewed as both positive and negative. What we try to focus and reflect on is service and sacrifice.
It is easy to romanticise warfare and violence: Hollywood  does that. But few people want to emphasise the day-to-day services and sacrifices that effective people do in effective relationships.  Too often what eludes us is good old-fashioned respect: for ourselves and others, consideration , empathy, duty and the ability to work hard. (I prefer working effectively, but I hope you see what I’m getting at).
This Sunday, as you remember the sacrifice our (often young) people made at the cost of their lives; commit to making day-to-day services and sacrifices yourself.
Service and sacrifice are not emotional, showy things. They are often done away from the glare of public adulation. Every time you vote, support your colleagues, cherish your partner, help your friends, and act with compassion toward a stranger: you genuinely honour their sacrifice.
Be your own, walking, daily memorial. Serve and sacrifice. ” By Andrew Stemler
 
Check out what we did in previous years
 
https://crossfitlondonuk.com/2014/09/04/remembrance-day-murph-lone-survivor/
 
https://crossfitlondonuk.com/tag/remembrance-day-murph/
 
https://crossfitlondonuk.com/2014/11/09/remembrance-day-2014-at-crossfit-london/