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CrossFit Open 2017 Roundup

IMG_8429Yesterday marked the official end of the 2017 Open, with the final 17.5 scores being submitted. On Friday we hosted the final Friday Throwdown, including fancy dress theme, awards, and drinkin’. We had 72 members sign up this year; add to that all the drop-ins who stopped by plus all those who completed the workouts without signing up, this was the biggest Open at CrossFit London ever.

A big thank you and well done to everyone who attended over the last 5 weeks. It can be intimidating to workout with all eyes on you, but everyone did fabulously, even a few PBs and muscle-up firsts to boot.

 

Awards

It has become a yearly tradition at CrossFit London that we present awards to the top athletes and stand-out performers at the final Friday Throwdown. This year was no different. Well done to all our awards winners.

Top Female: Sophie Skinner
Blood & Guts: Gurdeep Sekhon
Most Judgemental: Ali Partridge
Best Newcomer: Mike Baynes
Most Improved: Jo Peck
Best Costume: Pete Thompson as Big Hero 6

but there are two more awards to give out.

Top Male: Sam Wood

The race was too close to call on Friday, but now that all the scores are in we can finally announce that Sam Wood is our Top Male athlete.

See the full leaderboard to find out where you came.

and

Spirit of the Open: Mani Randhawa

Always wearing a smile and always around to offer words (shouts) of support, Mani embodied that true give-it-a-go ethos and was just as concerned with everyone else’s performance as hers. That’s why she wins this year’s Spirit of the Open.

Both of your shiny trophies are in the Coach Comms locker in 9MP.

Winning Team

For the first time this year, all the CFL sign-ups were assigned a team to compete with. Team Glues, Team Quads and Team Abs. That team rivalry even spilled over into a few tense games of Flip Cup on Friday. Things came right down to the wire, with just 37 points between the first and second place teams.Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 13.45.13Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 13.02.24

But the overall win goes to Team Abs. You win this photo of Angelina Jolie clapping next to William Hague.

Congratulations!

Thank-yous

The Open takes a lot of organising and a lot of people to make it happen.

Without the help from all your coaches, in particular Tim, Carolyn, and Rachel the Friday nights wouldn’t be able to happen. They all gave up a lot of their time to help make the Friday Throwdowns go as smoothly as they did. Similarly, Kat, Rosie, Kate and Nic who ran all your catch-up sessions so that everyone could get a chance to complete the workouts.

Thank you to Chloë and Tom for all their filming and photo-ing, both of whom gave their time free of charge. (There’ll be a video coming soon from Tom, depending on how many days of footage there is to edit).

Many thanks to the judges too. It can be a real pain, and especially irksome when you’ve just finished a workout of death, but judging is an intrinsic part of The Open and a necessary evil. However, this year it has been incredibly easy to find judges whenever we needed, with everyone pitching in and lending a hand (especially our award-winning Most Judgemental judge, Ali, who was counting reps all the way to the end, beer in hand).

Thank you also to the board who funded the booze and drinks for Friday night and let us dick about in the gym after hours.

(Notes for next year: 12 pizzas is not enough. No-one wants red wine after a workout.)

Looking forward

Now that the Open is over, for those of you who enjoyed the rush of competition, keep an eye our for other competitions coming up this year, starting with the first round of the 2017 Box Battles. From there Coach Tim will be putting together some other in-house throwdowns.

For those of you looking to get back to your daily fitness grind, the Open will have given you the perfect insight into what you need to work on for next year. Whether that be your engine and you need to start going to MetCons, or your heavy snatches let you down and Olympic Lifting is where you’re headed next, there’s a class somewhere on the schedule to help you achieve that goal, so get at it.

I IMG_2598had an absolute blast this year and am supremely proud of everyone that took part. Here’s to doing it all again in 2018!

Five Nutrition Tricks from Elite Sport for the CrossFit Open

Here are 5 tips from the world of elite sport that improve performance and recovery to help you through the Open season and beyond.

1) Carb up, but not excessively

CrossFit workouts are several minutes or more of high power output, meaning they chew through your body’s carbohydrate stores.

Maximising the body muscle glycogen stores via ‘carb-loading’ has been used for years in other carb dependant sports, but consuming too much carbohydrate can lead to bloating and excess weight.

Athletes load carbs with their specific event in mind; don’t make the all too common mistake of using a template designed around a marathon for a WOD lasting ten or twenty minutes.

What to do: On the three non training (or recovery) days leading up to the WOD add in one more serving of starchy carbs per day.

 

2) Go easy on caffeine

Caffeine is an amazing tool for improving physical performance, but it has its downsides.

Caffeine exerts effects on many different tissues and organs. It improves muscular and nervous system performance, but it also jacks up heart rate and blood pressure. When you’re hammering through a WOD then your heart rate will be sky high and exacerbating this isn’t useful.

The second issue is that regular consumption of caffeine causes the body to adapt. This ‘caffeine tolerance’ means you don’t get the same benefits without increasing the dose, which in turn increases the adaptation further. As the intake creeps up you experience less benefits and more drawbacks like gastric ‘disturbance’, jitters, galloping heart, anxiety and dizziness.

What to do:

  • Minimise the dose: Older studies on caffeine used doses around 9mg per kilo of body weights, more recent ones show that lower doses are effective around 3 to 5 mg/kg. (1)

That works out at around

80kg person 240 to 400mg or about two to three cups of coffee, or one ‘Grande’ Starbucks

60kg person 180 to 300mg or about one to two cups of coffee, or one ‘Tall’ Starbucks

  • Use it in a best bang for buck manner: Athletes are encouraged to reserve caffeine for when it will be most useful, in other words before training and competition only.

 

3) Hydrate …

For the athlete hydration starts at least five hours out from competition. Being properly hydrated for performance means two things: getting the water into the body and then keeping it there, and electrolytes can help you with both of these.

It’s well understood that electrolytes – salts like sodium and potassium salts – help speed hydration during competition, what less people realise is that they can maximise hydration before the work starts, and keep you hydrated for longer by minimising loss through urine.

 

4) … But don’t over hydrate.

This seems counter intuitive, we all know hydration is vital for performance, but overhydration can be bad for health and mean carrying useless extra weight. In a WOD lasting typically between ten minutes to a half hour most don’t need a lot of extra hydration. Add to this that the environment at CFL is going to be cool with still air and the rate of fluid loss slow then the need is even less critical.

What to do:
Consume 500ml water in the two hours preceding the WOD in conjunction with one serving of a product like SaltStick chews (http://saltstick.com/product/saltstick-fastchews/).

If at any time you do need to stop and have a dry mouth using a trick of mouth washing with a sweet drink has been shown to improve performance in a number of different disciplines. (2, 3)

 

5) Post Match Breakfast

Whilst most of us diligently consume a post training recovery meal, and maybe even a recovery shake as well, few think about the bigger picture of the ‘post workout window’. Athletes are encouraged to beef up their breakfast the day after competition as this is another opportunity to fully reset muscle glycogen levels at a time when the body may be most receptive to it, meaning you can safeguard against stores slowly running down, and get back to normal training sooner.

What to do: Think of this meal in terms of ‘post workout’. Add more in the way of starchy carbs. A rule of thumb is 50% or more carbohydrate for longer tougher sessions, and less for lower workout sessions like technical days

 

Last but not least: Test the things out BEFORE the event

No list like this would be complete without the following words: no matter what sport you play or what tips and tricks you’re looking at, the day of competition (i.e an Open workout) is the wrong time to be testing new strategies out.

These techniques like the ones above should be tested in more routine sessions to gauge how you respond to them.

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Drew Price BSc MSc 

Registered Nutritionist / Author of The DODO Diet

drew@drewprice.co.uk 

 

 

REFERENCES & FURTHER READING

1) Goldstein, Erica R., et al. “International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 7.1 (2010): 5.

2) Jeukendrup, Asker E. “Oral carbohydrate rinse: placebo or beneficial?.” Current sports medicine reports 12.4 (2013): 222-227.

3) Sinclair, Jonathan, et al. “The effect of different durations of carbohydrate mouth rinse on cycling performance.” European Journal of Sport Science 14.3 (2014): 259-264.>>

Beck, Kathryn L., et al. “Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery.” Open access journal of sports medicine 6 (2015): 259.

Selecting and Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness ACSM

The 2017 CrossFit Open at CrossFit London

CrossFit games 2017If you’ve no idea what the Open is, have a read here to find out what it’s all about.

But for those in the know, here’s all the details you need to know about this year’s Open at CFL

When:

The first workout is officially announced during the night of Thursday 23rd February, and runs for 5 consecutive weeks.

What Classes:

We will be running Open WOD classes every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the duration. These classes are clearly marked on the schedule as “Open WOD.” Any other “Level 2” class will not be running an Open workout.

Friday:

  • 7:00 – Kat
  • 8:00 – Kat
  • 12:00 – Joe
  • 17:00 onwards – Friday night Throwdown

Saturday

  • 12:30 – Rosie

Sunday

  • 12:30 – Carolyn

Monday

  • 12:00 – Kate

You can also perform the workouts in Self Training, however, you will need to abide by the Self Training rules and conditions, and you must have a suitable Judge (CFL coach or someone who has completed the Online Judges Course). Your judge does not need to be signed up for Self Training, only the person doing the WOD.

Friday Night Throwdownscreen-shot-2016-02-10-at-16-09-19

As ever, Friday nights will host the main event Throwdown and the biggest event of the year for CrossFit London. It will take place every Friday evening for the 5 weeks of the Open in 10 Malcolm Place and the back room of 9MP (for wall balls and ring MUs).

There will be two classes that you can book into, but do not worry if you show up late or early to either, they are just to give your coach an idea of the running order. Heats will be organised in advance of the class; if you need to arrive or leave at a specific time let the coach in charge know and they will put you in a suitable heat.

The final week will host the traditional fancy-dress workout and social. More details on this to follow.

During the Open the Free Taster at 17:30 will move to 9MP and 18:30 Heavy Metal Club will move to Wednesday evenings at 18:30).

For anyone wanting to do a normal class on Fridays, the 6:30 Metcon, 7:30 Oly Lifting and 18:30 Level 2 will run as normal.

Do I have to pay CrossFit HQ to participate?

Yes and no. If you want to have your score registered and be in with a chance to progress to Regionals or, more importantly, be in with a chance of winning one of the CFL awards, then you will have to pay the $20 sign-up fee. If you want to join in without paying the $20, you can still book into the scheduled class and participate as normal.

Is it different from the regular L2 classes?

Yes. There will be a group briefing, a specific warm-up and then the workout, however your workout will be judged with someone counting your reps and checking your standards. All athletes and judges will be explained the movement standards and workout rules, as well as suggested tactics. Your judge’s decision is final on any and all no-reps.

Judging

If you come to an Open class expect to judge at least one other athlete’s workout. This is a integral part of the Open and part of the fun of competing. If you’re particularly worried about the judging process, CrossFit HQ offers an online training course for $10. This certification is only necessary if you want to judge someone in Self Training outside of a class, but it’ll be useful for the Open or for any other CrossFit competition, as well as giving you a better insight into movement standards in general. 

I’m not strong enough/got the right skills/not been doing CrossFit long enough!

There are both RX and Scaled categories, so it caters for all athletes. And in that atmosphere you’d be surprised how much more you can push yourself; the Open has been witness to many first muscle-ups and double-unders. In true CrossFit style, the person who finishes last gets the biggest cheer. And even if you’re coming in last, you’re still ahead of everyone who didn’t bother.

Preparation

You may have already noticed that the Level 2 programming has a weekly past Open WOD. This will give you the opportunity to test some of the previous years’ workouts, and give you a flavour of what to expect this year. Have a look at past WODs here.

Rachel is running her weekly Skills class on Thursdays at 18:30 in the back room, taking you through all the skills you’ll encounter in the Open.

We can pretty much guarantee that rowing will feature in the Open, so look out for details on a special Rowing Seminar in February. It’ll cover rowing technique, strategies, and how best to tackle the potential types of workout that might come up.

For now, sign yourself up, but if you still need a little inspiration, have a look at this video of the 2014 Open.

Bring-a-friend Fridays

The first rule of CrossFit: never stop talking about CrossFit.

The second rule of CrossFit: NEVER stop talking about CrossFit.

img_3821The biggest promotional tool we use at CrossFit London is word-of-mouth. We don’t do introductory discounts or early-bird deals and we don’t intend to. CrossFit is based on long-term lifestyle change, not quick fixes and easy options. But for some, the hardest part is that initial plunge into a Level 1 class.

Over time, we all become CrossFit-bores as we get more and more involved with the lifestyle (and clothes!). Are you the “CrossFit guy” or girl at work or “that one who won’t stop talking about squats and snatches? During your CrossFit rambling, odds are you’ve tried to convince someone else to try it and failed. Well, now we have a new way for you to get them to drink the kool-aid.

From 2017, the first Friday of each month will now host “Bring-a-friend Friday.” A class which you allowed to bring a friend to, and let them try out a CrossFit class for free with you.

All our current members need to do is book onto the class as you normally would. All your friend needs do is show up, sign a paper waiver and join in. No signing up, no need to book-in online, no need to pay. Just be willing to give it a try.

You can bring only one friend per class. If you have someone else you’d like to bring, you will have to wait until the following Friday or get another member to bring them.

If your friend likes it, great; they can sign up and start booking Level 1 classes. If they don’t like it, that’s fine too (but we all know they will).

The classes will run on the first Friday of every month at 17:30 in 10 Malcolm Place with Anthony.

CrossFit London’s New Location: Update (2)

cudworth

cudworthBack in October I posted a blog updating you all on the current progress with the move to the new gym. There has been a small (but very significant) step forward since then, which is detailed below. I hope it also gives you a small insight into the reason why this build is taking so long.

At around the time of the last blog post we had submitted to Network Rail our plans detailing the refurbishment of the new arches. Everything else we could have done up to that point was complete. Costings, drawings, equipment, labour, etc, etc, was all good to go from our end. All we had to do was wait for the “OK” from Network Rail. And wait we did. And wait. And two months later we’re still waiting for a response. This is why it’s been so long since the last update.

Well, last week we got a response, which means our proposal has finally made it to the top of the pile. They got back to us with a single point of contention, which, once overcome will mean we get signed off for works to begin.

So, assuming that we’re not waiting another two months for their next reply and for this final bone of contention to be resolved, it means that work on the new gym might start as early as the beginning of January.

As soon as we hear anything else, there’ll be another update. Fingers crossed.

 

Strongman Beginner's Class

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The original CrossFit London beginner’s course consists of seven separate Level 1 classes and cover everything you need to know for our Level 2 and other CrossFit classes. However, if you wish to attend the Strongman sessions you will need to complete an eighth (optional) beginners class which build on the first seven.

Jarlath

The session will cover:

  • Atlas stones
  • Logs
  • Axle bars
  • Tyre flips
  • Farmer’s handles
  • Yoke holds and carries

If you wish to participate in the Strongman classes, there will be a Strongman beginners at 20:30 on the first Wednesday of every month in 10 Malcolm Place. Keep an eye out on the schedule.

WOD 29 March 2017

Strength:

Clean.

5×3 (with reset).

WOD:

Partner workout.

Buy in: 200x double unders.

100x sit-ups.

100x burpees to plate.

100x KB swings.

100x wall balls.

Cash out: 200x double unders.

One person working at a time. Divide reps however.

 

Looking to start with CrossFit London UK in Bethnal Green?

Find out more about our beginners programme here and you can book our Level 1 classes online here, or here for those with prior CrossFit experience.

If you have any other questions then you should be able to find the answers on the website but if you’re still stuck you can email me here.v

WOD 28 March 2017

Skill:

Double-unders.

Strength:

Snatch (for WOD).

WOD:

AMRAP 15.

5x hang power snatch (L3: 50/35kg, L2: 42.5/30kg).

10x overhead squat.

20x box jumps (24″/20″).

 

Looking to start with CrossFit London UK in Bethnal Green?

Find out more about our beginners programme here and you can book our Level 1 classes online here, or here for those with prior CrossFit experience.

If you have any other questions then you should be able to find the answers on the website but if you’re still stuck you can email me here.v