All Posts By

Nicolas Denby

Member of the Week: 01 April 2018

This week’s  Crossfit London Member of the Week goes to

Jamie Brunsdon

Jamie is at the heart of everything at both CFL  in E2 and SE11 in Vauxhall and as a result is Easter’s MOTW! Jamie spends an equal amount of time at both gyms and even decided to do The Open at SE11 despite CFL being her “home” gym. Not only did she decide to do it but she only went and won the whole thing! Jamie has only been doing CrossFit a little over a year but she has made huge gains in such a short period of time. To say that Jamie is “enthusiastic” would be an understatement. You could even say she’s hammered drunk on the CrossFit Kool Aid!
Well done Jamie!

Member of the Week: 25 March 2018

This week’s  Crossfit London Member of the Week goes to

Theo Dimopoulos

Theo is a rare breed at CFL in Bethnal Green E2, considered equally as part of the morning crew as much as he is the evening. Theo trains regularly and is always someone I’d look to have in one of my classes due to his bubbly personality. While I’d consider him a bit of a troublemaker, it’s not in a bad way. His cheeky humour adds to the fun and is not disruptive at all. Theo is easily coachable and always on hand to help others too which is invaluable with a packed class.
Συγχαρητήρια Theo!

Member of the Week: 18 March 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Kiwi & Fromage

If you ever think it sounds like there’s a jet plane about to take off in no 10 on a Saturday morning, it’s likely to be one of the dynamic duo of Seb and Sam on the Assault Bike. These guys are two of our fittest athletes with Sam winning top male in the 2017 Open and Seb an ever present in our competition classes. They’re two humble guys that just work hard and as a result are a coach’s dream. They also rarely ever go to a class without the other. Whatever you do, don’t ever go up against their team “Kiwi & Fromage” during a Saturday morning MetCon. Just ask Pete Thompson what the consequences are!
Well done dudes!

Member of the Week: 11 March 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Jarlath Phelan

Part of the weekday morning crew, Big J has come on leaps and bounds since he joined us in September 2014. The strength aspect of CrossFit has always been Jarlath’s forte due to being taller than the average Joe. Nonetheless, it hasn’t stopped him getting butterfly pull-ups, ring muscle-ups, and bar muscle-ups! I’ve seen many athletes just stick to what they’re good at but that’s what separates the regular folk from people like Jarlath.
Well done Jarlath!

Member of the Week: 04 March 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Andy Schaefer

Andy is my kind of guy when it comes to humour: dry and dark! Andy would admit himself that conditioning isn’t his favourite but that’s not stopping him from booking into my Monday morning MetCon classes at 6:30AM and attacking that weakness head on. His lifting has come on leaps and bounds this year and has become very proficient on the barbell and is now strong like a bull! You can also thank Andy for the brilliant idea of having a CFL benchmark WOD which you shall be seeing in the programming at the end of the month.
Well done Andy!

Member of the Week: 25 February 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Dani Cabral

Our very own Brazilian rock and roller, Dani spends half his time at CFL and the other half at our sister gym SE11 making him a true part of the CrossFit London family. With The Open upon us, it reminded me of Dani’s achievements in 2017 hitting every workout RX for the first time. After a year of consistent training under his belt, Dani is ready to push on and get higher up the leaderboard. After his performance in benchmark workout “Coffland”, Dani will be hoping for a WOD that has us all hanging off a pull-up bar for time. Whether you see him at CFL or SE11, just be sure to look out for his new look: bleach blonde hair!
Parabens Dani!

Member of the Week: 18 February 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Sean Woodlock

You might have noticed Sean at the gym for his beautiful long hair that even a L’Oreal model would be proud of. However, I’d like you to take note of him because of his concerted efforts to improve himself. Sean has been training with us for a couple of years now but he has really made some big changes in the last few months in an effort to be the best he can be for The CrossFit Open. Sean gave up alcohol and as a result has lost a ton of weight. He’s the leanest I’ve ever seen him which will help him immensely with his goal to get a muscle-up. Currently PTing with Coach Joe, he’s diligently going through all the drills and working hard on his own on top of all the CrossFit and Olympic Lifting classes he’s attending. Sean is testament that consistency and dedication gets you results.
Well done Sean and get that muscle-up!

Member of the Week: 11 February 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Jamie & Lee

CFL’s very own vegan power couple, these two have gone from strength to strength over the past year finding themselves at the top of the leaderboards on many occasions. I have the pleasure of coaching them on Wednesday evenings in my MetCon. Not only do they make other members feel welcome and provide top bantz, they always deliver five-star efforts. Jamie has spent considerable time developing her kipping toes to bar and pull-ups and it shows with her beautiful text book technique. Lee has excelled in his conditioning and I would put it to anyone at the gym to try to beat him in a conditioning focused WOD. There are no better proponents of plant based living than Jamie & Lee!
Well done guys!

Member of the Week: 04 February 2018

This week’s Member of the Week goes to

Kieron Lyons

Kieron has been one to go under the radar. No more! Relatively quiet and gentle in nature, we have begun to see Kieron release his inner beast! A regular in Anthony’s Heavy Metal Club, Kieron has been making some serious gainz in the past few months. He first caught my eye on Monday when he made quick work of the SWOD in Heavy Metal Club. While others struggled and chipped away, Kieron had already finished without a bead of sweat in sight! This morning I witnessed him touch and go 110 KG deadlifts as if the barbell was a toothpick. He made short work of the run and push-ups too! Suffice to say, the Kieron’s an animal and is only getting better.
Well done Kieron!

Skills for The Open

With The Open a little under three weeks away, I have been receiving many questions on how best to approach it. Upping your training will increase your fitness levels and is an easy way to squeeze out an extra 10% performance, but what is the best way to improve your Open result in such a short space of time?
The biggest difference between CrossFit and other training methodologies is the need for skill acquisition. Being able to perform a snatch while under fatigue is incredibly difficult, which is why CrossFit is equally rewarding and frustrating. If you look at the past few years of The Open, there are certain movements that consistently appear:

  • Handstand Push-Ups
  • Double-Unders
  • Muscle-Ups
  • Snatch
  • Chest to bar Pull-Ups
  • Toes To Bar

The difference between having one of these movements and not can be tens of thousands of places. Remember, one rep RX is worth more than a million Scaled, so just being able to go RX will place you much higher in the standings. Focusing on any of the above movements if you don’t have them will be a much better use of your time and energy than just focusing on your metabolic conditioning. I have listed these movements in no particular order.
The bane of many CrossFitters, double-unders are a skill that can be incredibly frustrating. Requiring inhuman coordination and nimbleness of the wrists, there is no easy way of developing them. However, developing this skill in a three week timeframe is achievable; it will just require lots of practice.  The best advice I can give is practice EVERYDAY until The Open. Attempting double-unders in class WODs rather than falling back to singles will also help immensely. I have seen some people attend the gym for several years, always scale to singles, and unsurprisingly still only do singles. You might have to “sacrifice” some WODs and just dedicate a bit of time to developing that coordination!
Handstand Push-Ups
The handstand push-up requires strength, balance, and the fearlessness to fling yourself up and down while inverted. For athletes looking to improve their HSPUs there are two aspects of the movement that need to be developed: strength and coordination/balance. The strength component is conceptually easy to fix but takes time and dedication. It’s a matter of spending the time training and developing the strength. This can be done in our CrossFit and CrossFit Gymnastics classes but also during Open Gym or even at home! For the coordination and balance aspect of the movement, you also need to practice. You need time upside down and getting your central nervous system used to finding that balance. The kipping handstand push-up is especially challenging, as your centre of gravity changes when you bring your knees down to your chest. If you have the strength to do a strict handstand push-up, spending a bit of time these next weeks developing your kipping technique will help immensely and propel you up that leaderboard.
The Snatch
The Open last year demanded that athletes perform squat snatches at the relatively heavy weight of 60 kgs for men and 43 kgs for women. Not only technically demanding and heavy, this movement requires a high degree of flexibility of the shoulders, hips and ankles to reach the required depth comfortably. There is no quick fix for any aspect of this lift as strength, technical ability, and flexibility all take time to develop. While the technical aspect can take years to finesse and to perfect, our coaches at CFL can usually get someone to lift with relative competence in a few sessions depending on athleticism and background. However, there are no easy fixes for a lack of strength and flexibility, so we would encourage you to continue developing these as a longer term goal.
Chest to bar pull-ups
The Open rarely sees a regular pull-up, only the more demanding chest to bar version. Our programming has and will continue to focus on the chest to bar version on the run up to The Open, so you will get practice if you attend regularly. Again there is no quick fix here (this is a running theme!) but you can improve your kip efficiency, which will help reduce the demands of the movement. We have also been focusing on the butterfly and chest to bar butterfly pull-up in our CrossFit Gymnastics classes, which is less demanding metabolically and strength wise but more demanding technically. Practising and perfecting this movement regularly before “gameday” will mean you’ll shoot up that leaderboard.
The Muscle-Up
There are many people in the gym who have the strength and the ability to get a muscle-up but haven’t realised it or even tried it yet. As of this week, you will have had the opportunity to be coached through progressions in both the bar and ring versions. This will continue twice a week in our CrossFit Gymnastics classes through The Open. Even getting one rep in a WOD will mean tens of thousands of places on the leaderboard and is worth developing if you have strict pull-ups and ring dips. It also looks awesome and is a badge of honour for many CrossFitters. Personal Training is also a fantastic way to accelerate the process of achieving this movement, especially if you feel you’ve been “close” for a long time.
At CrossFit London we offer an array of classes, options and personal training. Our coaches are on hand to help you achieve your Open goals. With The Open only three weeks away, we can’t perform miracles, but we can help you make the improvements needed to be the most efficient and top performing athlete you can be.