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Strongman Conditioning

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CrossFit London has one of the longest running and best equipped Strongman classes in London. You’ll be hard pressed to find another facility that has atlas stones, sleds, prowlers, axle bars, logs, handles, kegs, T-bars and ropes all under one roof, and then add to that all the usual CrossFit equipment to boot.
The problem, however, is that we make you jump through a lot of hoops before you’re able to participate (8 Level 1s in total!). Eight hours is a lot of investment of your time and money to be able to attend our Strongman classes.
IMG_8244Strongman in simple and we’d like to keep it that way: awkward objects, over distance, quickly. So we’ve decided to simplify the process.
First, we’ve done away with the Level 1.8, and instead will be incorporating fundamentals teaching into the classes.
We’re also getting rid of the “Level 2” label, which means you don’t need to be a CrossFitter (or complete our Level 1 classes) to join in. Just like MetCon, anyone can drop in and you can bring your friends to try out a class.
Finally, the name and format. In the new “Strongman Conditioning” classes, expect all the same awkward, gassy workouts (those who have done the CrossFit and Strongman beginners, may be able to go a bit heavier) but you’ll all be doing the same workout. You won’t find Olympic Lifting, high-level gymnastics IMG_7662or things which take a lot of drills before you start; that means classes will run faster, with more hard work crammed in.
You can join in the classes with Carolyn on Tuesday at 18:30 or Saturday at 11:30 with Kat. Any questions, feel free to e-mail: support@crossfitlondonuk.com.
 

KNOW You Should Stretch But Just Don't?

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We’ve all bad it. You get to the end of a workout, or a long day and your muscles are tight. You know you should stretch – but life gets in the way. You don’t feel like it.

What do you do?

The answer is accountability.

Having someone, like our Bethnal green Crossfit box to hold you accountable makes sure you get done what you need to.

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This can be a coach or a class you go to, or a friend or partner. One advantage of a class is group energy – doing something in an environment where others are doing the same makes it easier.

Whoever it is, tell them what you have to do, send them a message, tell them in person.

It doesn’t matter if they respond or not. I send messages to my accountability partner and just knowing I’ve told them makes me do it as I don’t want to admit I haven’t.

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So next time you say you ‘have to stretch,’ tell someone else and give them a date to follow up with you by. See how much YOU can get done.

Get your stretching you know you need done, come along to a flexibility class or if you’re serious about FAST results book a ‘Less Pains, More Gains’ get-flexible 1-1 on:
07504 142211
felix@superflexcoaching.com
Felix
Our classes are at the fantastic Crossfit London Bethnal green E2

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.

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.

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 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 )

What's level 3 about?

One of the weird classes we run is  Off peak level 3. It requires no special skills to join as its an “output” class.
As an output class it focuses on your ability to  develop barbell and skill cycle whilst introducing the ability to do 2 wods.
To achieve this you simply need more time.
Snatching and the Olympic lifts really respond well to leisurely deliberate practice. The off peak 2-hour level 3 classes allow this.  Work, rest reflect: get quality practice. Often we olympic lift  for 45 minutes. After this, we work on “those skills”.  Everything from muscle up to handstand push up. From your 1st one to 5 in a row
To compete and excel you need to be able to cycle these skills( or, do more than one) Level 3 gives you the time to rest and repeat. It’s crucial. Then it’s on to 2 Wods.
 
We need to start to develop your ability to “back to back” workouts, even if your second wod is just having a gentle row. It’s as much about building mental capacity as physical.
Any level 2 person can go. The coaching is under your control. You can get lots of coaching help, or be left on your own. You can even switch skills and Woods.
It’s really 2 hours of fun practice with you in charge, but with help, if you want it.
For some, it’s useful that it’s a 2-hour session for the price of a normal class.
Well, its every Monday, Wednesday,  Friday 9 am to 11 am with access to every bit of kit!

Clean up your back act. For free!

It’s been a hard back week at CrossFit London. Most of you use your backs well, moderate your loads and maintain a tight core when lifting, meaning deadlifting isn’t an issue.
If deadlifting is an issue, it’s normally traced down to a lack of what Stuart McGill calls ” back hygiene”.  Poor back hygiene means you use your back when lifting, all the time! You also abuse your back every day, by slumping and slouching ( or overextending). I t could also mean you are ok, but you cannot control yourself in a WOD. You’ll pile through in a workout no matter what your body is telling you ( it’s ok, I did this too, but,  it’s tough being an asshole isn’t it!)
I’m an expert in this area because, for years, this is what I did.  Zero back hygiene. My back took everything I  threw at it. Until it broke.
If you have back pain, there are 5 key mistakes you probably make. I made them all
1) Having a slumping place. That’s the place where you mold furniture to the worst position for your back, and you slump there for hours.
for the record, here is my slumping place
2) I went searching for physio’s,  therapists and experts to fix my back. The reality is that they all fixed it.  I just went right on home and screwed it up again
3) I failed to take responsibility: I blamed CrossFit for setting the deadlift, furniture manufacturers for making soft sofa’s, girlfriends for buying soft sofa’s, the door of our flat being wide enough to allow a soft sofa into my life. I also loaded stress, poor diet and worry into the mix, to get top quality pain, I certainly didn’t moderate my exercise: anger drove my deadlift up to levels that would guarantee to destroy it.
4) A refusal to do the “guaranteed to work” boring therapy exercises
5) A refusal to realise that I was a “backaholic”. That I loved slumping and  I liked that sickly sweet pain that comes with 8 hours of hanging in your back. I think I also liked the sympathy I got, but that’s awful to confess (in fact, I’m going to edit that confession out).
The good news is this: unless you have back plague, or a demon has possessed your spine,  you can fix your back. Back plague, demonic possession otherwise known as  Red Flags are here: if you have these symptoms, you do have a medical condition (or a demon)  and you need help fast.
But, unless you are in the tiny minority who has something really wrong with their back , your pain is down to you, and you can fix it if you want or can be bothered to.
If any of our members are remotely interested, we will  go through the skills and drills  you need to fix your back on Sunday 16th July at 10.30am in the back room at 9 Malcolm Place E2, for free. The class “back hygeine” is on the booking schedule. You should be able to book in and the system won’t charge you!
Don’t worry about me!  If no one shows, I’ll drink coffee! After all, I’ve decided to manage my back. I’m so over needing it to hurt
 
 

StrongFest 2017 Roundup

StrongFest 2017 was just over a week ago, and hopefully you’ve all stopped aching by now. It was a fantastic day with phenomenal atmosphere, and that’s down to the attitude and efforts of the participants, so thank you to everyone who was involved. A personal highlight was seeing people get deadlift PBs on the axle bar, a feat I thought not just improbable, but impossible; shows what the pressure of competition can do.
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Helpers
I’d like to make a special mention to thank the volunteers who helped out on the day. Not just CFL coaches, but members who came to help out, and Krystal and Sylvia from Dawn and 1971 who offered a hand on the day too. I can plan and organise down to the finest detail, but without hands on deck these kind of events just couldn’t happen.
Final Scores
You only know how you did compared with the others in your group, and as a result a few people have asked for the individual scores and standings, so here they are.
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** Tiebreak WOD C total**
 
**Tiebreak WOD C total**
Moving Forward
StrongFest was designed to be a community event for the local Boxes, and a way for the East London Boxes to get to know each other a little better. I think we all came away from the day with a few extra Instagram friends, and a guaranteed familiar face if we want to go visit another gym. See you all again soon, hopefully, before next year’s event.

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