Tagged as: crossfit London programme

Mobility: Achilles Help

As our programming progresses, we will seek to support your fitness performance by enabling and empowering you to do mobility at home.  To be effective, mobility and therapy drills need to be constantly and relentlessly applied, not slipped in before a class.

Some of this mobility will be preventative, but much will be reactive.  It’s very difficult to perform shoulder drills if your shoulders are fine, likewise, most lack the will to do ” bad back therapy” if their backs are fine ( it’s actually a bit of a nightmare getting people to do them when they are in agony and the results are immediate and pain relieving!)

Week, by week, the mobility team: Me, Kate, Carolyn, Sui, Felix, and Jenny will be compiling videos, supported by blog posts, to help you deal with “issues”  and to advance your flexibility and your mobility. In class, our trainers will hound you for the best form you can manage. Today’s issue is Achilles Pain

Everybody can fall foul of Achilles pain. Some will call it Achilles Tendonitis, others Tendonosis.  Im thick and i  prefer more obvious terms like, ” my  F***ing Achilles hurts”.

I endorse my use of the word  “hurts:

It cuts to the chase.

You”ll get this condition by a mix of too much volume in both running and lifting. Excessive double under’s and box jumps won’t help. Experimenting with flat shoes, if you have spent the last 30 years with a heel lift, will also bring this on. In fact, there is an interesting study that warns against Crossfitting and wearing flat shoes

Being an evil person, in general, won’t help.

Speaking personally as  an asshole who trains through pain,  training through the pain will really really make it worse and hurt. But no one could have stopped me, so I won’t stop you. I do though suggest you review your training and bring in as many mobility drills as you can find. Here are my 3 favorites

Eccentric drops: one of the No1 drills to fix. Sort of an extreme stretch, but without having to go to yoga class to do it

The voodoo band: do this occasionally, don’t go too tight in the early stages

Rock Tape. Modern research is showing that there is a sneaky bit of magic occurring under the skin in the subcutaneous fat. Gently pulling the skin allows magic pixie and fairy fluids to circulate and do magical things. It needs 2 strips:
This one

Then this one

I should point out that all pain has a stress element. The more you can build good karma into your life, the better. Pain is sometimes the body’s way of slowing you down?

Problems with your kipping pull ups and Double unders?

kipping and double unders

There are 2 skills you need to excel in a CrossFit class.

They are the kipping pull-up and double under’s.

To be honest, to learn them takes a while.

However,  that learning needs to be based on several drills that you need to know. Once you have these drills, it’s sort of easy!

Knowing the drills helps your self-practice,  and you’ll get more value out of the  Crossfit London warm-ups, where we drip feed skills practice in every mesocycle.

However, drip feeding individual drills can be helped if you can see all the skills in a single session. It also helps the coaches who don’t have to teach from scratch in an action packed class.

On Sunday we have a special “1.9” session at 9 Malcolm Place  E2 where you’ll be taken through the basic kipping drills and double under procedures.  It will boost your performance and is as good as a PT session ( just shared with 7 other people)

THE SMALL PRINT: you must bring your own  skipping rope

As an aside, if you have an i pad you can get our special double under  App for free.

This class is on the booking system for this Sunday at 10.30 am. Click here to book your space or visit the MBO  booking system.

If you cannot make this session,  why not approach your favorite trainer and organise a PT session?

Subject to take up, this may become a regular class!!

In the meantime: LEARN THE DRILLS, GET THE SKILLS

Programming

ProgCrop

Programming is about sequencing exercises so they meet an objective, but also to manipulate fatigue and reduce the risk of injury.  The following outlines some of our short term and medium goals and some of the  programming structure we will use to deliver  you the fitness you want. This is less about whats actually in a class, more as  to how it arrives there.

Objectives for June

1)We want to put pacing runs on your agenda   By the end of June, you need to know what your 400m pace and time is, and commit to  run it consistently. A 400m in a WOD is no longer a staggered recovery run, it’s a paced piece of in-control work. As the months roll by we will be developing our pacing and aerobic capacity, so be prepared to record times, use heart rate monitors, and focus on those runs. Long term, we have decided that we would like most clients to run 1600 meters in 6 minutes (means 400m in 90 seconds, 800m in 180 seconds, 200m in 45 seconds, 100m  in 23 seconds.)

2) Underpinning leg strength is crucial. In June your task will be to discover and consolidate a  5 rep deadlift, back and front squat. We don’t want people lifting emotionally and screaming reps up, as much fun as it is. For June we want calm, effective consistent work. Once you know and own this figure, we will be adding a lot of variance. June is consistent, solid, good quality work. Anthony is in the wings preparing to add fantastic variation to our strength work from the end of June. Don’t let him down. When our coaches try and tailor strength components for you, they will need  to know  how many times you can lift a bar effectively 5 times. For some, this will be the same as a 5 rep max, for others as the time allowed may only be 10 or 15 minutes, its the best 5 you can do in the time allocated

We will ask you to do work on your pistol (1-legged squat) and you’ll be learning the balance and technique of the Bulgarian squat.

3) Underpinning arm strength  in  Crossfit training is crucial. Once you have your pull up and dips, weighted versions, combined with shooting for max unweighted reps, will prepare you for most WODs and most moves. They are foundational for handstand push-ups and the muscle up. We have tricks, and   controlled negatives for those still developing arm strength.

4) Skills. Like it or not, CrossFit demands you learn  certain  skills. You must know  how to kip (both pull ups and T2B), you must double-under and pistol. Our experience (as the first ever CrossFit affiliate in the UK) shows us that short, regular, quick practice is the key to achieving these skills. Obviously we have our skill classes to consolidate practice and mastery. I think we are about to develop a 1.9/1.10 as part of our beginner process to deal with kipping, double-under, pistol and muscle up progressions. This is under discussion

 5) As its election month, I can only say, go back to your box and prepare for dumbbells!!!

6) The programme for the next few months is structured around achieving good performances in 4 benchmark workouts. Spaced, about 3 to 4 weeks apart. The 4 are:

Fran, Elizabeth, 30 muscle ups for time,  Fight Gone Bad.

In the weeks running up to these workouts we will experiment and develop the  specific components. As an overview, if you take a move, say thrusters you need to  do them a) lighter for volume b) your Fran weight, for volume,  c) Dumbell versions, d) a Tabata test,  e) heavier thrusters.

Crucially you need a strategy. Are you using one now e.g.  do you break thrusters (whatever) into sets of 7, 5 and 3 with rest. Tim tells me one of the fire breathers can do 36 in a row!

STRUCTURE.

After much consultation, with more to follow,  we hear that those who want to follow a structured programme want 1 clear day’s rest between working shoulders, and no more than 2 consecutive days in a row working squats. Indeed, those with poor shoulder have begged for a no shoulder day!

We will produced a matrix that consists of 4 rotating days

All elements (blue)
No shoulder (pink)
No squats (green)
Off programme (yellow)

ProgStrip

For those wanting a “programme” The 3 day on / 1 day off  the programme mirrors the original, and still current, CrossFit prescription.

Using this as a structure you find that, as far as our  basic strength prescription goes:

Blue day  (all elements) will always have an Olympic lift. Alternating between the snatch and clean and jerk.
Pink days  ( No shoulder)will alternate between back squat  + deadlift, and front squat + Bulgarian split
Green days: (No Squat)   Overhead pressing (press, push press, push jerk)
Yellow: Off-programme, anything goes ( or catch up if there is space)

To further explore this ideas,

Blue day  (all elements) will  also seek to develop your kip ability
Pink day (no shoulder)  your pistol and double-unders
Green day ( no squats) your handstand ability ( everything from lying on the floor in a dish shape mobilising wrists, modest wall walks to kicking up, handstand push ups and handstand  walking drills)
Yellow day: Off programme, rest day for those committing to the 3 day programme, “wild card” for everyone else, a great WOD, some  unusual strength, fascinating skills and using those bits of kit unique to the gym space  you are in

To further explore this:

Blue day  (all elements) will  also strengthen your pull-ups: think, as a  starting point, weighted pull ups, 3,3,3,3,3. Green days ( no squats)  will include weighted dips 3,3, 3, 3, 3 ( these will soon vary and include max effort unweighted attempts  You know you need to slice through 50 pulls ups/dips to get a great workout. This regime gets you there.

To make it clear, each day, including Off Programme day, has a fantastic session with some skill, some strength and a great WOD. You can come as and when you like. This simply gives us a programming structure for those who want it . If you simply come 1, 2 or  3 times a week  , there will be a great session waiting for you.

More information soon. We will be  keeping a close eye on your performance and encouraging you to record and monitor your results.
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