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CROSSFIT LONDON : the house plant sanctuary

We do many things at Crossfit London in Bethnal Green E2. We make fantastic humans, and basically, bring the awesomeness out of awesome people. We do this through our authentic Crossfit , Olympic weightlifting and Power Lifting classes.  Our diabolical Metcon sessions (imagine a circuit class from hell) and our fabulous range of adult gymnastic classes round off the edges.

We also do this by offering a sanctuary and safe place for unwanted and abandoned houseplants. People in London can move frequently and it’s often the humble pot plant that can be on the receiving end.

We have made space in our fantastic cafe and reception space to take in and look after unwanted pot and house plants.

We know things get tough, but please don’t take it out on your cactus, cheese plant, or whatever that green clump of stuff is called!  If you find yourself at the end of your tether, bring in your plant for us to love and nurture. We wont judge you.

If you’re feeling under pressure, and you cannot give your plant the love it needs, bring it to us. We will water it, talk to it,  love it and add  delicate spoonfuls of  peat, potting compost or other plant yummy stuff.  You can come and visit your plant whenever you like.

At the other end of the spectrum, if you have always wanted a plant but were terrified by the responsibility, but still want that “human to nature” connection, do come to our Plant Cafe and sit near one of our therapy plants. They will lower your blood pressure when you stroke their little leaves and tickle their fronds. If you talk to them, they wont betray or judge you.

It’s basically a win win

 

Wine Fundamentals with Coach Luke

Wine tasting event hosted by CrossFit London, Saturday 16 March 2019 at 6pm

BOOK HERE

CFLDN directors, at minimum, hold a CF-L1 cert, solid skills with a hand-drill and the grit and ability to unblock a loo. We also like them to have some extra tricks up their sleeves:

About Luke Webster
A former wine merchant and current Senior Judge at the International Wine Challenge, Luke is our resident drinks expert and a specialist in wine education. His experience covers everything from lectures on wine chemistry at the University of Cambridge’s science festival, to social tastings for hen-nights (those bills don’t pay themselves, after all).

The fundamentals of wine
Join us in the newly refurbished HQ Arch at CFLDN CrossFit London to learn about the art and science of appreciating wine. Its history and how it’s made, the roles of sight, touch, taste and smell, and the amazing variety of things that can be made from fermented grapes. This fundamentals session will cover an introduction to systematic tasting through a wide variety of wine styles, providing an insight into the impact of grape, climate, production methods and aging.

Tickets are £25 bookable at Eventbee to cover a tasting of 8 wines and light refreshments.

Saturday 16 March 2019 at 6pm
BOOK HERE

The Art and Science of Programming, Part 1

Part 1 of 3:

Programming plays an important role in your health and fitness. A program that’s built on sound principles of strength and conditioning can help guide you a lifetime of fitness. Neglecting these principles can lead to plateau, injury and a decrease in performance. Whatever is programmed should always be explained with the “why” behind it. There’s always a purpose to training, and the answer is always more than just intensity. Thus the purpose of these articles is to explain this “why”, so that you can get a better of idea of how to structure your WODs.

At CFLDN, our programming is guided by three ideas:

  1. Scientific principles of strength and conditioning.
  2. The GPP methods that Crossfit is founded on.
  3. The philosophy and vision of CFLDN.

The scientific principles of strength and conditioning:
It’s said that “methods are plenty but principles are few.” This can easily be seen in the fitness market where we’re flooded with different methods to get to the same goal. Some methods are highly effective and are backed by research, while others are new and shiny but not necessarily effective. At CFLDN, we choose methods that have proven to be effective, and are backed by established principles of strength and conditioning.

The GPP principles that Crossfit is founded on.
In Crossfit, the goal is General Physical Preparedness, or GPP. GPP aims to prepare you to tackle a wide range of physical tasks, and be fit across a series of modalities. Founder of Crossfit, Greg Glassman reflects this in his definition of Increased Work Capacity Across Broad Time and Modal Domains. This is a fancy way of saying, get more, different stuff done.

The philosophy and vision of CFLDN.
At CFLDN, we want to make you fit for life. We want to teach you not just how to sweat, but how to move, and to draw the lessons you learn in the gym to make you a better person outside of the gym. And, taken from our mission statement: CFLDN is held up by our powerful pillar of individuals that unite over a common goal for higher order health.

We believe that this approach works, and makes you better, fitter human…. Want to run 5km? Easy. Can you help me move this couch? Absolutely. Can you keep up with your kids? Sure, can they keep up with me? Can you keep your cool in traffic? Well I just did that WOD so this is easy. We believe that this style of training is the most effective for all round fitness, and it creates a greater way of life.

Adding to the Intensity Paradigm…
At CFLDN, we have our own spin on Crossfits original ideas set in the mid 2000’s. While we believe in Glassman’s mantra of Constantly Varied Functional Movement performed at High Intensity, we acknowledge the pitfalls that constantly working at high intensity can bring. We emphasise the need for planning, periodisation and prioritisation within the programming to ensure sustainable improvement.

Likewise, training should vary in terms of intensity – gone are the days of going as hard and as fast as possible, all the time. Training, like life, should incur cycles of intensity, from low, medium and high. Want to run be a bull in a china shop every day? Have fun with that. Want to unleash the bull sometimes when you’re really ready for it? That’s a game worth playing.

High, Low and Reload Days:
Though high intensity training has its merits, we need to create space for intensity to flourish. This being so, an effective program should include re-load days and weeks to let the body recover, grow stronger, and be ready for the next workout. Many fitness programs neglect this fundamental biological principle in an effort to GO HARD ALL OF THE TIME, but we know from years of experience and research, that reload days and weeks are critical for lifelong health.
Reload days will look like gymnastics EMOM’s or longer aerobic workouts. These days aim to achieve a few things… refine motor patterns, promote blood flow through staying in the aerobic zone (avoiding lactic threshold), nourish the nervous system, enhance recovery from training and life stressors. You should feel GOOD after these sessions. You should leave energised, sleep well, and be ready to hit the next day.

Why we move the way we do…

Crossfit is not defined by a repertoire of movements, rather, it uses a variety of exercises to get better at a wider range of activities.
This being said, we do follow the key functional patterns of:

  • Squatting
  • Bending
  • Lunging
  • Gait
  • Rotating
  • Pushing
  • Pulling

A typical week will involve an a mixture of these primal patterns, as we look to achieve balance in the body.
We use these exercises as this how how you move your body in the real world. Eg. If you need to pick something up, you’re not going to perform a bicep curl, you’re much likely to perform something that resembles a deadlift (bending).

Focussing on functional movements has been proven to help build lean muscle mass and promote fat loss. This is due to the metabolic stress, muscle tension and damage that takes place when you do these movements. Everyone knows the feeling after lifting a heavy deadlift…. There is substantially more work being done that doing bicep curls.

Variation is critical to keeping the body and mind growing, it truly is the “spice of life!” Crossfit makes use of this idea and ensures that every day you’re facing a new physical challenge. Not only does this keep things interesting and engaging, it ensure that you’re given access to a wide range of movements that leads to a well balanced body and General Physical Preparedness.

Variation is not gospel! We still acknowledge the need to have planning, periodisation and prioritisation within the programming (we’re not drawing workouts out of a hat). So every workout has a purpose or a “why” that’s supported by the overall goal at that time.

 

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Art and Science of Programming!

Steve Hennessy-Maia is a Senior Coach at CFLDN. You can find him working the floor at Crossfit London, and helping clients with their fitness and nutrition through his company, Barefoot Health.

CrossFit Hacks

10 Life-Hacks for the CrossFit Addict


If you’re reading this blog, odds are you’re already neck-deep in the CrossFit Kool-Aid, so I won’t waste your time explaining the whole ‘CrossFit’ thing to you. But that means you’re all too aware that life can be a struggle for the CrossFitter about town. Tearing your hands. Having to explain what CrossFit is every time you mention it (which is frequently). Getting out of bed after Annie. Walking up stairs after Cindy. Having to turn down an invitation to thirsty Thursday  because it’s Fran tomorrow and you need to beat your PR.

Life is tough.

Here are 10 life-hacks to make your day, inside and outside of the gym, a little bit easier. These aren’t wishy-washy ‘eat clean’, ‘trust the process’, ‘take a rest day’, ‘work on your weaknesses’ type hacks. We all know them, and we know we ignore them. These are real-life, genuinely applicable hacks to make your CrossFit lives easier.


#1 Accessory Successory

More accessories means better CrossFit. You perform better with knee sleeves, wrist wraps and headbands on. You just do. You’re sure of it because of that one winter when your knee hurt a bit and now you need knee sleeves for every WOD. Unfortunately, CrossFit makes you sweat. Sweat breeds bacteria. Bacteria smells like ass. Ergo, your accessories smell like ass.

The solution: don’t put on a special cold-wash cycle for these little things. Take off your knee sleeves, wrist-wraps and other fabric accoutrements in the shower, pour some shower gel on them and give ’em a stomp. They’ll be dry and smelling sweet by the next day ready to wear again.


#2 On your knees

Speaking of knee sleeves, they have another purpose other than smelling like death and protecting from imaginary injuries.

Got a lunging WOD coming up? While the rest of the class bumbles around getting a mat – which they will then repeatedly trip on throughout the workout – slip on a pair of thick, cheap sleeves and your knees will be nice and protected wherever you may lunge.

Rocktape currently has a sale on their KneeCaps (true as at 26th Aug 2018) and are selling them for £12.99 per pair (not per sleeve as is often the case).


#3 Fail to prepare (your nutrition), prepare to fail!

(Get ready! Shameless self-promotion coming up)

Most of us do CrossFit because we want to look good naked. Unfortunately the hard part isn’t the WOD, it’s the other 23 hours of the day. If you’re not fuelling properly, you’re not going to get the results you want.

If only there was some sort of shop, cafe or ‘refuelling bar’ right in the gym. Oh wait, there is!

You can get NOCCO, coffee and various protein-infused treats at SE11 and CFL, or in the Shake It bar at CFL you can pre-order your shakes before the workout and pick them up on your way out (after you’ve taken your knee-sleeves for a shower).

Even if you don’t buy something from the gym, eat something. Anything.


#4 Don’t hang your WOD from the end of your rope

Have you ever been mid-way through a WOD only for the fastener to come off your skipping rope and ruin what was bound to be a white-board-topping time? If not, odds are you’ve seen it happen to someone else and watched them scrabble around on the floor trying to find their little rope screw fastener thingy.

Are you planning on growing any taller? No? Then you don’t need your rope to be adjustable anymore. Superglue down the plastic nubbins at end of your rope and you’ll never have to worry about it coming apart again.


#5 Peeing clearly

We workout, we sweat, we lose fluids, we drink more. But even before you did CrossFit, odds are you weren’t drinking enough water. Now that you are, the likelihood is that your water deficit is even greater.

While you’re at work, have a 2 litre bottle of water sitting on your desk as a constant reminder to drink. That two litre bottle needs to be empty by the end of the day. When it is, fill it back up, pop it in the fridge, and it’ll be ready for tomorrow.

Or better yet, buy our exclusive CFLDN water bottle and be the envy of your friends and super-hydrated at the same time.


#6 Hipster Hair Hack

A few years ago this hack would have been aimed almost exclusively at the ladies, but with the rise of the man-bun, this is no longer the case.

If you have long hair, you’ve likely had your ponytail come loose during a WOD, or got it caught under a bar bringing it down onto your back, or even been stupid enough to trap yourself under a foam roller. Don’t be that guy (or gal).

Leave a few spare hairbands around your water bottle, so that you’re never caught short during your next hair-related emergency.

Man-bun don’t look so silly no more, do it?


#7 You call that a knife? This is a knife!

Thick, hard calluses tear.

Thin, soft ones don’t.

Torn hands = no CrossFit.

You do the maths.

‘Corn and callus knife’ available at Boots to shave down those thick bits o’ nasty skin.

Make sure to replace the blade frequently and don’t be too aggressive with it! It’s still a knife.


#8 Double deadlift hack

I heard once that more injuries in the gym come from loading and unloading bars with careless form, than they do from the actual lift. That may or may not be true, but the next time you load a bar consider what your spine looks like vs how it looks when you perform the deadlift.

Love them or hate them, at some point you’re going to have to pick up a heavy thing at the gym. Whenever deadlifts roll around, first thing you should do is pick a spot by the plate stack. Save yourself time shlepping plates back and forth by loading up right next to the stacks.

Next hack: loading and unloading. You only have two hands to lift the bar off the floor and slide new plates on at the same time, which gets tricky as things get heavier. Don’t bother buying a deadlift jack; save yourself some time and money and grab a 0.5kg plate. Roll your loaded bar onto that plate and it will raise the bar a few millimetres off the floor, and enough that a plate will slide on or off with ease.


#9 Get a grip

Are you using a hook grip yet? No? You’re an idiot.

You know those CrossFit fail videos where someone wrenches a bar off the floor, only for their hands to slip and then they fall on their ass? Odds are they weren’t using a hook grip. There’s not an elite-level CrossFitter or Olympic Lifter in the world who doesn’t use this grip. You should be using it too.

If you’re not using it yet, here’s how to start:

Every time you pick up an empty bar and the class starts doing drills, do it with a hook-grip (see picture). Then go back to your normal grip when you add weight. It will hurt, but it won’t hurt forever. Do this for a few weeks and eventually the hook-grip will feel like second nature and your regular grip will feel weird.

But it won’t happen until you do it. Start light. Stick with it.


#10 He ain’t heavy, I do CrossFit

I’m sorry to tell you, you’ve been doing partner-carries all wrong. Forget piggy-backing. Piggy-backs are for babies and pigs (presumably).

Check out this video which explains the Fireman’s carry.

(Recognise the gym? That’s what Malcolm Place looked like in 2011!)


 

New Price Structure: May 2018

For regular attendees at CrossFit London and CrossFit SE11, it has been common knowledge for some time that the prices across the business will be going up. The last increase was made in 2013 and since then we have seen enormous increases in rent and business rates, although we have done all we can to avoid passing those costs onto our valued members. However, the simple fact is that the gyms, at present, do not generate enough income to meet the required level of renewals, much less allow us to keep coaches’ earnings in line with inflation or repay any investors capital. As such, the prices need to go up.
We are conscious that you want to see your money well spent on improving the service that we offer. At SE11 this reinvestment has been more apparent with the brand new rig and new shop going up over the last year. At CFL, the build for our new premises is well underway and, in spite of a delay caused by the snow, we very much hope to be moving in in May.
Below is the outline for the new pricing structure. For some of you it will be a welcome change with the introduction of Unlimited packages. For others, it may mean that you aren’t able to attend as frequently as you currently are. We have aimed to stay as competitive as possible (and if you check the nearest alternative CF facilities, you will find we are still cheaper in general), but as I said above, prices need to go up or we can no longer run a viable business.
The focus of the new prices is on the monthly memberships; they will work out much cheaper than the class packs (previously ‘carnets’) and the monthly packages are where we would hope our members choose to invest their money. The 10 and 50 class packs are still available in the new pricing structure as we are aware there are a lot of members who are less flexible with their time and can’t commit to monthly packages.
When
Price change will come into effect from May 1st 2018. At this time all the new prices and discount restrictions will come into effect. The 50 session carnet at the old price is no longer available to purchase, but all the other carnets and memberships will be available at their current price throughout April.
There is also an Earlybird Unlimited discount for anyone who signs up for a 6 month Unlimited contract in April (details below).
Class packs
Single session: £20 (valid for 30 days)
10 session pack: £140 (£14 p/class for 10 weeks)
50 session pack: £600 (£12 p/class for 50 weeks)
Monthly memberships (month-by-month)
Monthly 3x sessions p/w (13x sessions): £150 (£11.54 p/class)
Monthly Unlimited: £185 (Earlybird offer: £175 sign up for a 6 month contract in April 2018)
Monthly Unlimited bolt-on PT session: £40 (£225 total)
Fundamentals
4 sessions: £120
8x Fundamentals PT session: £440 (£55 per session)
Discounts
All NHS/Student/Emergency Service/Armed Forces discounts will be set at 10% and only applicable to the 10/50 class packs (discounts previously set at 15% will be reduced to 10%). They will not apply to singles sessions, monthly packages, Fundamentals, Contracts or PT sessions.
Earlybird Discounted Contract
The Earlybird Unlimited memberships constitutes a contracts with CFLDN UK. The contracts last for 6 months, during which time your contract price is guaranteed to stay at £175.
The contracts are paid on the sale date of each month. If you wish to cancel out, you must notify us at least one month in advance by email before the date you would like to be the final payment (e.g. if your payment date is the 15th, you must notify us on or before the 14th).
You can buy into the contract in April and May by going to the online store > contracts. The initial purchase date will be the date your 5 other payments will come out. The unlimited classes will start on the same day as the purchase and last for 6 months. You cannot defer the contract start date beyond May.
If you choose to cancel out, you will be subject to any price rises that have occurred in the interim.
Terms and conditions apply.
(This offer has been extended to run through May)
Moving forward
We understand that price increases are never a welcome change, but as mentioned above, the prices need to go up, or we close down. We have endeavoured to be as fair and reasonable as possible with these increases, and wanted to make sure that every member was warned well in advance.
Please keep a close eye on the Facebook groups and blogs for updates on the new gym in Bethnal Green and the ongoing renovations at SE11 to see where your money is being spent.
If you have any problems, questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at support@crossfitlondonuk.com.
Kind regards and happy training,
Your CrossFit London & CrossFit SE11 Team