Categorized as: Articles

So, how was Fran?

fran

If you are reading this after the 19th of June, well done. You completed Fran. Either it’s your 1st time, or you had a previous benchmark which hopefully you beat.

Either way, you have something far more valuable than a PB. You have information. Crucially you have information that will inform your future training. Let’s look at what you just did: 21/15/9 thrusters and pull ups.

Question 1) It was a test, did you take it seriously, or did you coast?

Question 2) What felt hard, what felt easy? There are 2, arguably  3 moves in this workout, the squat, the push press, Some would say the thruster is simply unique sick move, all of its own, others

There are 2, arguably  3 moves in this workout. Some would say the thruster is a unique sick move all of its own, others that it’s just a front squat and push press stuck together. Then there’s the pull-up? Which felt hard, which felt easy.

Which felt hard, which felt easy?

The reality is that your Fran time will get better by a bigger front squat and a stronger performance overhead or simply a better thruster.

You’ll notice that our program constantly targets the front squat, the back squat, the deadlift. We combine this regular stimulus with one-legged variation’s designed to make sure your legs and glutes are totally engaged. This will also transform your sad little ass into a booty! Basically having strong legs is one aspect of nailing Fran. Look at those regular days and get yourself booked in.

Overhead strength is a must, so make sure you hit ” no squat day” where we work your strict and dynamic arm strength.

As for your pull-ups, you’ll notice a constant drip of weighted pull ups and dips in the program. The stronger your arms, the better. Obviously, it’s unlikely (but not impossible) that you’ll get a world beating Fran time with strict pull ups, so the question is, do you need to learn how to kip? If so, watch out for the tap swing /kipping opportunities in the “all element day” warm up, check out the skill classes and see if there is a “1.9” scheduled soon. 

Take home message, learn how to kip. If there isn’t a skill class or a 1.9 you can get to, grab a trainer and book a PT session!

However, these elements are not in themselves guaranteed to work. They must be pulled together by an unstoppable metabolic engine, so work hard in the metabolic conditioning part of the Crossfit level 2 classes, and hit those Metcon classes.

Once again, a good metabolic engine isn’t quite enough! Eventually, you need to be able to cope with thrusters and pull ups in a metabolic context. Remember the Tabata thrusters and pull ups!!

Balance this by dealing with your mobility, food, and mental health issues!

Crossfit? What the fuss? Get super strong, super skilled and build an unstoppable metabolic engine and apply it to tasks.  Fix mobility problems, eat well, and be super, super happy!

 

 

Fancy Being a Lab rat? Got a spare Achilles?

Eleanor Trezis, an MSC  Student  at Queen Marys  is seeking participants for a research study . Would you be willing to take part?

The commitment is relatively low besides from a weekly 1 hour visit to Queen Mary’s Human Performance Lab (Mile End Road) .

It may be of particular interest to active/sporty people as the exercise regime is thought to improve tendon health, increase ankle flexibility  and enhance Achilles tendon injury prevention.

Benefits: this simple training regime helps prevent Achilles tendon injury, learn a little about your lower leg biomechanics + (hopefully) inform development of tendinopathy (chronic tendon pain) treatments of the future.

What you’d do: 3 x 15 repetitions of this simple heel drop exercise three times per week. Once a week you’d also visit Queen Mary Uni’s “Human Performance Lab” where sensors will be placed on your dominant leg in order to analyse your tendons and muscles as they work.

 

 Study start: within next two weeks depending on participant availability.

Lab address: Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS (nearest tube = Mile End on Central Line).

 Email/call if you’re willing to volunteer 🙂 e.l.trezise@se16.qmul.ac.uk / 07540 287 999

You too can get the splits… by starting where you are

Side splits or box splits are something everyone wants, but seem impossible to get. But not anymore.

When looking at a far off goal it’s easy to get disheartened. We keep telling ourselves, I don’t have it, why don’t I have it, this sucks etc. I should have the splits by now!

The first step is to ask yourself, what level am I at now? And accept it, be OK with it. If you start where you are you can progress smoothly, safely. Trying to jump in at a level that you think you SHOULD be leads to pain, poor technique, bad habits and worse case injury. Makes sense?

OK, back to the box splits. So you’ve worked out your level. Now it comes to choosing the right progression.

 

20170610_142715

The Butterfly

Sit down with your legs loose in front, then pull your feet in, soles touching, knees out and as low to the floor as possible. All of these progressions employ the ‘squeeze release’ method – come along to a flexibility class to find out exactly what this is.

Your partner stands behind and applies pressure on the knees using the squeeze-release timing. By standing as above your partner is able to use bodyweight to apply more intensity with less effort. Because in flexibility we like to be lazy.

 

20170610_142707

 

The Butterfly

We’ve got a little menagerie going on here. If your knees are touching the floor in the butterfly, it’s time to move onto the next progression. The them for this one is 90 degrees. Kneel on your hands and knees with a 90 degree angle at your knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. Then start to move your knees apart, keeping alignment. Alignment is key in flexibility for reduced injury, pain and to save years correcting bad habits. Sounds good?

Your partner applies pressure at the lower back or top of the thighs in the squeeze release method. Your goal will be squeezing your knees against the floor while they keep you pinned down.

 

20170610_142134

Butterfly – Blocks

Increase intensity further on blocks. Same pointers apply as above.

 

20170610_143240

Inverted Box Split

Final progression. Sit up close to the wall so you are literally sitting on the wall and your legs go up vertical, back on the floor. Then open your legs out in a scissor motion, knees locked. Stay loose and relaxed. Your partner applies pressure either to the calves or thighs – if you get pain in the knees then thighs are better. Go easy with this one and speak up if your partner is going too far as it’s a very intense stretch. Make sure you come out of the stretch slow as well or you will be walking like John Wayne (which may happen anyway – hey, he was kind of cool.)

20170610_143236

Pretty much anyone can get a box split if they WANT it bad enough – yes you too. It’s all about doing the right things consistently.

If any of the above sounds confusing, book into a flexibility class and I’ll be happy to help out.

Felix