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All Posts By

Andrew Stemler

The L sit. Part 4

Today its the last part of our racy 4 part guide to nailing the L sit. The ab exercise that spanks the bottom of all other ab exercises. Can you crunch? Can you do a twisty thing while squirming on the floor?  Who cares. My cat can do those moves and he died 3 years ago.
Almost everything is easy compared  to the L sit. Read what Greg Glassman, the Crossfit founder said about the l sit
So,  HOW TO DO IT
Building on parts 1, part 2 , part 3   push yourself up and stick both legs out. You can do it on a chair, or with  dumbbells when you are learning, but aspire to do it on the floor.
Voila
The L sit
 
and, from our early book on crossfit skills..
Lsit
 
Anyway:  learn more about life, how to get great abs, and how to learn and master a tonne of effective training methods at Crossfit London in our amazing Bethnal Green E2 gym. We have special gymnastic strength classes to help you learn cool stuff like this. See you there.
Thanks to www.ATHLETTIS.com for the sketch.

Drills for the back handspring

At Crossfit London in Bethnal Green E2, our gymnastic programmes teach both adults and kids how to back handspring.
As our clients are recreational gymnasts ( doing it for fun and excitement)  dancers and cheerleaders, we need to make sure our trainers have a comprehensive range of progressive drills and skills to help you master the full move. Some of the moves we use are featured in this useful video.
Many people learn through a mix of methods. The approach is often called VARK ( visual, audial, reading and kinesthetic) by publishing video’s  with the skill break down, it helps our learners learn. You will get most of the moves we teach  by hard work and patience, but we will make sure you have the drills and pathways to  achieve your goals.
Some of our clients achievements are on this facebook group.
We offer adult and kids gymnastic  classes and PT sessions in  our gym in Bethnal green, London E2. In the meantime, check out this great video and start the learning process
 

and on the 10th week she rested.

Crossfit at Crossfit London, in Bethnal Green E2, is amazing for many reasons. One of the  reasons  is that our spread of classes and programming  delivers the full Crossfit prescription as  clearly  stated in the  Crossfit 100 words.
“Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch.
Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.
Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports”
~Greg Glassman
In short if you are trying to “do” the full Crossfit prescription you: 1) regularly  practice and train the major lifts. 2) similarly, you (try and) master the basics of gymnastics.  3) Then you do some cardio, hard and fast, and then 4)  as if that’s not enough, you also use these elements to create workouts.
In fact most of our  Crossfitters do this almost everyday. In our level 2 classes we tend to have strength, skill and then a  WOD. Others do  our met-con classes back to back with our lifting or gymnastic sessions . Our level 3 and  team classes are really put through the mangle!
Thats a lot of work.
Now and then you need to rest. In fact every 10 weeks or so, you really need  either a week off, or make it a reduced week, where you cut the weight and intensity down.  For humanities sake if nothing else. Often we don’t need to prescribe this as holidays, busy work weeks, sometimes illness comes to the rescue and makes you rest.
However, if you have been smashing it for 10-12 straight weeks,  think about taking  a few extra days of rest!

Book in for youth Gymnastics

A good way to start the new term is to book your kids into our superb gymnastic sessions in Bethnal Green E2 where we teach 8-16 year olds to tumble. Level 2 youth gymnastic classes restart on Thursday  7th September at 4.15pm.  Our aim, here is to build on basic skills ( we assume your child can forward roll, kick to a handstand and  cartwheel) so we focus on teaching the drills and skills that will lead to the front and back tuck, the front and back handspring and the round off.
We aim at creating happy recreational gymnasts. Your child won’t be forced to join a competitive team, although we can easily refer on those who want that.
More info here

Excellent saturday workout

If you were worried about your physical work rate and mental resolve, today’s workout at CrossFit London would have developed your capacity beautifully.
This session looked to develop your double under skills and your brute back squat strength. We tweaked and nudged your squat form towards excellence. We looked at lower back stability, neutral neck, and low bar position today. Some amazing back and neck saving improvements.
You can always tell you are a  CrossFit London session.  Our teachers watch you like hawks and are always feeding back to you and the group. about improvements.
It’s our hall mark!
Todays WOD in our Bethnal Geen Gym was  quite a taxing and relentless one
50 air squats
50 double unders
then 3 rounds  of 14 deadlifts and 20 bar hops
followed by 50 air squats.
then another 3 rounds of
14 deadlifts and  20 bar hops.
then onto the finishing sprint of 50 squats and 50 double unders.
With a bit of rest, the right supplements and a great diet,  that should set you up for Tuesdays Benchmark Cindy test.
Today was “no shoulder day” as we are possibly the only affiliate to balance our training regime. Bearing in mind you only really improve when you recover, it’s essential that you give your shoulders ( and squat)  a regular rest day, especially if you want to workout every day.
Well, the spirit in the class was excellent: everyone started nailing some awesome back squats, and the way the class attacked the   WOD was an inspiration.
Thanks for being there!

Crossfit london homework. The L sit ( Part 3)

Well, it’s part 3 of our “how to L sit”  series. If this is the 1st you have heard of this, obviously refer back to
Part 1 and
Part 2
Today, it’s really the same as yesterday. Just stick the other leg out!
Obviously, this should be a super detailed description, but sometimes spoon feeding as a coaching method needs to stop and you simply need to hear ” Dude, push yourself up on straight arms and stick your leg out”.
So do that.
Life is like that. That’s why it sucks so much.
Anyway:  learn more about life, how to get great abs, and how to learn and master a tonne of effective training methods at Crossfit London in their amazing Bethnal Green E2 gym.
Thanks to    www.ATHLETTIS.com for the sketch.

Crossfit London home work: the L sit (part 2)

Well, it’s part 2 of mastering the L sit and having fantastic abs.
I assume you have read and are attempting part 1. if not, read it here
Today’s instruction is really easy, building on part one, push yourself up into the air from your office chair, now, stick one leg forward and hold for as long as you can.
Weakness and inflexibility can mean the leg flops down, so long term, you need to do this more!
If it’s really really hard,  think of the improvements that are waiting for you!
This and loads more skills in our gymnastic classes at Crossfit London. Available at our Bethnal Green gym In E2. Click here for more info
Thanks   www.ATHLETTIS.com for the sketch
 

The L-sit (part 1)

Unless you live full time at a CrossFit facility, the chances are you need to do lots of extra home and office practice and learning. Over the next few blog posts, we want you to think about, learn and practice the L sit.
Greg Glassman discusses the L sit here
To start off you need a “knee tucked in” version:. Get a stable chair, and with straight arms try and lift your bottom off the seat  ( and feet off the floor: Obvs!!). In the early stages it’s a bit of a balance cheat, but still worth doing.
Notice how your bottom is behind your arms. You need to distribute your weight to get the balance. At this stage, your shoulders are stooped and your back rounded, but your abs are tight. Aim for a balanced attempt then shoot for  10 -45 seconds.
Next progression tomorrow  ( but I’m more worried about  getting home to watch Game of Thrones so I may do the next post on Tuesday. You won’t die)
This is the type of cool thing you can learn at our fantastic gymnastic strength classes at our Bethnal Green Gym in E2
Thanks to Tatsuo Ishima of www.ATHLETTIS.com for the sketch
 

Back Squat Regime August to October.

Those of you who keep your ears to the ground will know that  I’ve  been taking various soundings from some trainers, therapists, physio’s, and clients about our forth coming back squat regime.
Everyone recognises the value of the back squat, even though it isn’t one of the CrossFit fundamental moves.
I originally thought of  a squat phase  in terms of  promoting our Olympic weightlifting work, having debated the issue with an Olympic weightlifting coach who suggested a  snatch/back squat relationship (snatch =60% of 1 rep max) but it is obviously part of the puzzle as far as the front squat, wall ball, thrusters, cleans etc goes.
Obviously, we all know correlation does not prove causation.
What we do know is that strength , if combined with Crossfit WOD capacity, is a winning formula
The issue, as far as I see,  is about the sets and reps over the next few weeks. I have spoken to some of our long standing members, especially those who lift regularly and who counsel staying in the 5 -2 range or 70%-95%. I’ve also spoken to some trainers about their experience of using %  in class which has been, in level 2,  overwhelmingly negative. Never the less some love percentages and everyone should learn about them
So in outline,  we will be doing  this:
On the No shoulder sessions, normally meaning twice a week, for the next 2 months (or so) we will set the back squat as a regular feature. Obviously with an amazing Wod to follow.
The coaches will have:
A)  the opportunity of designing hip activating warm ups and rest fillers, using whatever their views are: They may use stretching,  hip thrusts, 1 leg work, kettlebell swings: as they feel appropriate.
I’ve seen science and therapy reports justifying every approach. Even visualizing helps!
B)  the gift of setting sets between  8 and 3  sets. It will be their choice. I’d personally go 5 to 3 sets of 5’s   5 sets of 3, and 6 sets of 2, but the coaches can expand or contract the session as they feel appropriate.
c) The opportunity to educate the members on % and use % if they feel it’s useful for the clients in front of them.  In general, it’s useful making the %/ rep connection,
To make it clear, whatever you use ( a 5 or an 80% 0r 85%) you’ll be encouraged to sneak on a bit extra, or a “thin mint” if you, can on that day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJZPzQESq_0

 Equally, you’ll be allowed to drift down if that day isn’t working for you and you feel you’ll explode if you add any more
d)  the freedom to  add pauses if  the coach feels the clients in front of them  would benefit from  this
so.
Starting next week, it will look like this
week 1
Back squat 3’s ( I would start at 5’s but we have had quite a lot of that  recently)
Week 2
Back squat 2’s.  On the second day, after the 2’s you’ll strip weight down  to 70% and do one set of the 20 rep protocol
week 3
Back squat 5’s
repeat
We may repeat this 3 times then retest the total.
As an aside, Deadlifts will appear in the WoD, Ideally once a week.
(NB: Dedicated regimes, where people “buy in and buy out” normally have a de-load week. I’d suggest most clients randomly take weeks off anyway,  but we will be advising a self-administered week off or  “lite” week every 10 weeks or )

How to handstand walk

In case you wanted to crack the handstand walk, or at least understand all the training methods that lead to its mastery, we are running a 1 hour handstand walking class on Sunday 20th August 2pm  to 3pm at 9  Malcolm Place, Bethnal Green E2 0EU
Book it here
Everyone who can kick up to a handstand and come down safely is welcome. It needs to be more than leaning against the wall I’m afraid.  Members, non-members and members of other Crossfit boxes  are welcome
This is charged at your normal class rate, so it’s probably £15 if you buy a single session pass, but less if you have a monthly membership.
If this is a bit too much of a step for you, and you want  to work your gymnastic skills up in the future,  please check out our  adult gymnastic  classes here
The class will be taken by Sadiq. Ideal for all  CrossFit competitors, and for those who love learning cool skills