Categorized as: Strongman

Strongman Conditioning

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CrossFit London has one of the longest running and best equipped Strongman classes in London. You’ll be hard pressed to find another facility that has atlas stones, sleds, prowlers, axle bars, logs, handles, kegs, T-bars and ropes all under one roof, and then add to that all the usual CrossFit equipment to boot.

The problem, however, is that we make you jump through a lot of hoops before you’re able to participate (8 Level 1s in total!). Eight hours is a lot of investment of your time and money to be able to attend our Strongman classes.

IMG_8244Strongman in simple and we’d like to keep it that way: awkward objects, over distance, quickly. So we’ve decided to simplify the process.

First, we’ve done away with the Level 1.8, and instead will be incorporating fundamentals teaching into the classes.

We’re also getting rid of the “Level 2” label, which means you don’t need to be a CrossFitter (or complete our Level 1 classes) to join in. Just like MetCon, anyone can drop in and you can bring your friends to try out a class.

Finally, the name and format. In the new “Strongman Conditioning” classes, expect all the same awkward, gassy workouts (those who have done the CrossFit and Strongman beginners, may be able to go a bit heavier) but you’ll all be doing the same workout. You won’t find Olympic Lifting, high-level gymnastics IMG_7662or things which take a lot of drills before you start; that means classes will run faster, with more hard work crammed in.

You can join in the classes with Carolyn on Tuesday at 18:30 or Saturday at 11:30 with Kat. Any questions, feel free to e-mail: support@crossfitlondonuk.com.

 

StrongFest 2017 Roundup

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StrongFest 2017 was just over a week ago, and hopefully you’ve all stopped aching by now. It was a fantastic day with phenomenal atmosphere, and that’s down to the attitude and efforts of the participants, so thank you to everyone who was involved. A personal highlight was seeing people get deadlift PBs on the axle bar, a feat I thought not just improbable, but impossible; shows what the pressure of competition can do.

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Helpers

I’d like to make a special mention to thank the volunteers who helped out on the day. Not just CFL coaches, but members who came to help out, and Krystal and Sylvia from Dawn and 1971 who offered a hand on the day too. I can plan and organise down to the finest detail, but without hands on deck these kind of events just couldn’t happen.

Final Scores

You only know how you did compared with the others in your group, and as a result a few people have asked for the individual scores and standings, so here they are.

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** Tiebreak WOD C total**

 

**Tiebreak WOD C total**

Moving Forward

StrongFest was designed to be a community event for the local Boxes, and a way for the East London Boxes to get to know each other a little better. I think we all came away from the day with a few extra Instagram friends, and a guaranteed familiar face if we want to go visit another gym. See you all again soon, hopefully, before next year’s event.

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Finding your Strength Head: Introducing relative intensity

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The CrossFit London programme has many objectives, one of which  is to  help you find your strength head – shorthand for developing your strength knowledge. In this article we visit the basic language of weightlifting and how it relates to the concept of relative intensity.

When it comes to using weight; in simple terms, people think this: lift the heaviest weight you can, that’s your 1 rep max; then based on that you can lift 90% of it 3 times (3reps), 85% of it 5 times, 75% 10 times. If you do 3 rounds of 3 reps, that’s 3 sets.

So weight lifting is a mix of percentages, sets and reps, all based on a one rep max. Simples!

This is a great place to start, but to develop your strength head,  you need to develop your knowledge and insights into the strength game.

Some time ago, Zatsiorsky pointed out there are two types of  one rep maxes you can have: a competition 1 rep max, and a training 1 rep max.

A) A competition max is  where you get hyped up and get a PB  and scream a lot.

B) A training 1 rep max

Marvellous.

However, often people skip the full definition of a 1 rep training max.

A maximum training weight  is the heaviest  weight you can lift  without substantial  emotional stress.

Damn. No screaming.

For athletes, the difference between the two is great. The example Zatsiorsky cites is that for athletes who lift  200 kg during a competition, a 180kg is typically above their maximum training weight. As a possible indicator, if your heart rate increases before your lift, that’s a sign of emotional engagement. Weightlifting is meant to stress your body, not your mind.

That’s the job of your partner and employer.

In short, if you screamed it up – it’s too heavy to use as a basis for regular training.

So, if you are calculating reps and sets using a 1 rep max, please, please use the right one; otherwise you’ll break. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon… If you want to properly test your 1 rep max, book a PT session with one of the training team.

If you have been lifting regularly for a while, you have probably begun to review strength literature and you are probably aware that lifting 80% of your 1 rep max provokes strength gain.

So, when lifting sets of 5, you’d probably like to put 80% of your 1 rep max on the bar. Everyone does that, but think about what it is you’d are actually be doing.

Let’s forget weightlifting for a moment, and talk about bricks. Imagine you are a labourer on a building site. Lets say we run a test to see how many bricks you can move in a day. For argument’s sake, let’s  say you can move 1000.

Normally in training we wouldn’t want to move the 1000, we would do 800 ( 80%) but many people want to set 5 reps of that. So there you are, lifting 5 x 800 =4000.

If you tried to do that in a day, you’d probably die.

Back to the weight room. So you can lift 100kg calmly as your 1 rep max. You’ve been told if you lift 80% and over of this figure, you are strength training. So, to keep the maths easy, if you lift 80kg, you are strength training. But do you lift that 80% five times?

As you see from my poor labourer example, the first 800 was probably easy, but the next 800, isn’t easy, the 3rd 800 is getting you to breaking point.

In short, 80% lifted multiple times, isn’t perceived by the body as 80%. It sees it as much, much heavier because of the volume. The bricklayer, is of course a silly example – but try and get the message rather than be sidetracked in the endurance aspect of the example.

In simple terms, because you are lifting in sets of multiple reps, a load of 67% of your 1 rep max lifted 5 times has a relative intensity of 79%. It feels like 79%, your body thinks it’s 79%. It is 79%

Putting 76% of you 1 rep max on your bar for 5, has the effect of being 88%.

70% feels like  =82%,

73% feels like  =  85%.

80% on the bar for 5, is like lifting 91%.

Relative intensity is the simple observation that volume, load and rest effects how your body feels and adapts to weight.

Coach Robb Rogers gives a fuller description here:

http://coachrobbrogers.com/relative-intensity-concept-part-two

Remember your muscles are dumb, they don’t know or care about percentages. They just know what feels heavy.

According to Mike Tuchscherer; “The body responds to things like the force of the muscle’s contraction, how long the contraction lasts, and how many contractions there were. A percentage isn’t necessarily a precise way to describe this, as different lifters will perform differently.”

In take-home terms, if today you went to CrossFit London or CrossFit SE11, and during the strength session, you only got to 68% of your (proper) 1 rep Training max for 5; you actually hit the 80% in relative intensity. That’s the 80% you need to nudge your strength along.

For now, in our general programme, we are not obsessing about percentages; but those who do know their lifts, I hope will be grateful for this insight. For the rest of you, simply work to a set of 5 that you can comfortably lift, bearing in mind these RPE (rates of perceived exertion) as guidance.

On a scale from 1 to 10:

9: Heavy Effort. Could have done one more rep.
8: Could have done two or three more reps, but glad you didn’t have to.
7: Bar speed is “snappy” if maximal force is applied
6: Bar speed is “snappy” with moderate effort

After a while, I suspect a “five” you can do in class will be at an RPE between 7 and 8.

Once you bedded this concept of relative intensity into your head, you can look forward to many years of safe, effective lifting.

More “Strength Head” insights coming soon.

Grateful thanks to Coach Chet Morjaria @  Strength Education and to Coach Anthony Waller @ CrossFit London for the numerous corrections  and observations they supplied

Blackwork by Coach Kate Pankhurst, Certificate course piece @ Royal School of Needlework