Category

CrossFit London workouts

Why you need to get an assessment?

As you guys and girls may or may not know I’ll be running assessments for the people who want them. But this raises a very pertinent question:

Why should you want an assessment?

Which is perfectly valid. You should really question everything and know why you’re doing stuff. What will the assessment tell you that is worth knowing? The easy answer is it tells you your strengths and weaknesses. At least relative to yourself if not in absolute terms.

Alas, easy answers are, as per usual, not good enough.

Knowing your why your goal is your goal and Key Performance Indicators

To get to understanding the reason to get an assessment we need to start with or figure out your “why” (not really related to Simon Sinek but also if you haven’t read “Start with why” you really should).

Why are you at CFLDN? What are you trying to get from your membership?
This can be anything, it’s your prerogative. Anything from just wanting to enjoy the community to competing at the games is a legit goal but have wildly different applications in terms of assessment. If you already know why you’re here congratulations for being ahead of the curve. If not, take a couple of days to have a proper think about it.

A goal comes with Key Performance Indicators (KPI), those things that are crucial to achieving the desired outcome. Then we have Secondary Performance Indicators (2KPI), those things central to the KPI’s. Tertiary Performance Indicators (3KPI), at which point you understand the concept.

This is where we come to the need, or not, of an assessment once you have unearthed what your goal is. Is your goal at all performance related? I’d define pretty much anything that includes the term “improve” as performance:

  • Improving body composition (losing fat and retaining/building muscle)
  • Improving Fran times
  • Improving strength
  • Improving mobility
  • etc. it’s not an exhaustive list.

If your goals are ANYTHING like this then you need to get an assessment to find out where you are. When you know where you are you then can see what KPI, 2KPI, and 3 KPI’s  you’re weak in and therefore where your training and programming needs to be focussed.

What the assessment involves:

This is what the assessment process will test so you can see that once that’s done we have a VERY complete picture of where you are.

Energy Systems: The ways in which the body produces the energy to work.
Aerobic System: The recovery system for higher output work. Also used for lower output and longer duration work. Primarily fat and oxygen as fuel source.

Glycolytic System: The short-term energy that’s used to fuel near maximal intensity work for upto 3 minutes-ish. Sugar is it’s primary fuel source but it’s also worth noting when Hydrogren + ions are produced as a by-product it inhibits muscle activity. So too much time in this energy system range and without a sufficient aerobic capacity to clear the H+ results in a very quick and significant decrease in performance

Phosphor-Creatine System: The MAX energy system. When your body needs to produce the highest output possible it needs the the potential energy that comes from the PCr uncoupling to provide immediate fuel. The reformation of PCr needs energy produced by the aerobic system. This means that if you want to consistently produce maximal effort outputs you need both a highly developed PCr system AND and highly developed Aerobic System

Strength:
Strength Endurance: A muscle or group of muscles ability to repeatedly produce non-maximal force

Maximal Strength: A muscle or group of muscles ability to produce the most force

Power: The ability to produce high force rapidly
Movement:

Low Threshold Non-Fatigued: Unloaded, slow, low skill movements without fatigue

Low Threshold Fatigued: The same movements under a state of fatigue

High Threshold: Movement which is fast, heavy, complex or a combination of any 2 or all.

(Potentially) Mobility/Stability/Flexibility:
Joint-by-Joint
Muscles
Static Posture

Tying it all together

This is the important part. Once the assessment is done we can create a visual representation of where your strengths and weakness are, we can compare that to your KPI stream and then build an individual program for you that’ll address the KPI’s and build where needs it. Which brings us back round to the programming 101 and how to write programming by adaptation.

If you want to come book in for your assessment all you need to do is email me ( alex@crossfitlondonuk.com )

Programming 201

In the previous instalment we went over how to create the starting point to build your own gym program. Today we’re going to look at how you can use the data you collect to inform decisions about how to adjust the program going forward.

If you can take 10 minutes go back and read through the Programming 101 article to understand this in context. If you’ve already read it, well done, I’ll quickly remind you what the key points are so your memory is refreshed

  • Get assessed – hire someone or do it yourself. Figure out where and what your problems are
  • Know what adaption it is that you want to make – Have A, that is 1, clear goal.
  • Volume and Intensity – Make sure the total number of repetitions you do fall in the right zones (to start with) and the weight on the bar is in the right area to achieve the adaption you want.
  • Pick exercises that appropriately fulfil your desired adaptation goals, sets, reps and intensity. – simply put, pick exercises which fit the above criteria.
  • Keep going until it stops working.

Because you guys are manifold there is no way I can guess what your program looks like so instead I’m going to talk about the next step in terms of principles.
Let’s make a few assumptions:

  • You followed the structure I laid out for creating a program
  • You kept track of the data in a spreadsheet
  • You kept going until you stopped seeing your numbers increasing at the same Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE)

Which puts you at the point where you’ve kind of stalled. You’re not seeing an increase in the weights you’re using whilst maintaining the same RPE. We’ll work from this point.

Step 1: Take a transition block.

You’ve probably heard about this importance of “deload” weeks. That is regularly planned blocks of time where you back off from higher intensity work in an effort to manage fatigue. If you’re fatigued, you aren’t recovered, and you won’t recover as well workout to workout.

A transition block is a similar method of managing fatigue but instead of being at an arbitrary time, an arbitrary length, and an arbitrary decrease in volume/intensity you’ll look at refining it just as much as you do the developmental blocks.
Let’s take a step back and address how we control the block lengths.

In Programming 101 Step 5 was to stick with it until you stopped progressing. In other words, keep going until you find out how many weeks it takes you to stop seeing results from a certain training stimulus.
For example if we use an arbitrary 6 week developmental block where you train using the same stimulus (program) for 6 weeks it will work for some people. But what happens if you stop seeing improvements after 3 weeks, you adapt really quickly? The last 3 weeks are wasted time where you could have transitioned and almost completed another development block. What about if you would of kept seeing progress if you’d stuck to the program for 9 weeks? If you stopped after 6 weeks you’re missing out upon 3 weeks of potential gains.

Neither scenario is great.

That’s why I’m asking you to track the data and have an actual time frame which is personal to you. For the sake of argument lets just say we hit it on the head with the 6 weeks.

You have a 6 week window to peak adaptation. So you can work about 6 weeks before you plateau.

We then take approximately 30% of the your window to peak adaption time as a transition block, 2 weeks in this case. If you took 9 weeks you would have a 3-week transition block etc. etc.

In terms of what happens on the transition block, the goal isn’t just to reduce fatigue. The key is to re-sensitise to the desired training stimulus. If you’re been working hard to create a strong signal to your body to grow muscle, then the stop in adaption means you are desensitised to that stimulus.

Whilst then we can manage fatigue through dropping the volume and intensity there is a call to change the stimulus as well. It doesn’t have to be a huge change, just something that allows the body to recover a little. For example, if you’ve been working purely on strength in the transition window you might look a little more at explosive power work or being more athletic overall, if you were looking purely at increasing size then your transition might be some kind of strength work?

Transition Protocol:
Length: 30% of window to peak adaptation length

For Strength goals reduce the average training intensity by 30%, the volume by 10%, and change training stimulus to a non-competitive yet different adaptation (power, hypertrophy, speed)

For Size goals reduce the average training intensity by 10%, the volume by 30%, and change training stimulus to a non-competitive yet different adaptation (power, strength, capacity).

Once you’ve completed the allotted time for the transition block you can go back into a development cycle (or peaking block).

NB – just because you’re changing the training stimulus slightly doesn’t mean that you can ignore the sports skill. If you’re a powerlifter or a weightlifter, then you still need the competition lifts (or close variation) in the transition block but you’ll just have them in a slightly different place.

Step 2: Making a new Development Block with changes

This means going through steps 1 through 5 again of Programming 101. The changes come however by making small changes based upon your training data. To understand what changes you should make comes down to understanding your weaknesses and where you’re failing.

In turn this comes down to the assessment step.

In “Programming 101” I mentioned how we take videos and observe lifts to find out where they fall apart and from this infer where what areas and exercises might be best. You should be running this exact procedure again.

Variables you might want to look at altering might include

  • Intensity ranges
  • Volume
    • Daily
    • Weekly
  • Exercise Selection (including variation)
  • Lift phase emphasis (eccentric focus, isometric focus, concentric focus)
  • Unilateral vs Bilateral

Etc. To get the most out of this you’ll need to spend a lot of time on it and on your spreadsheet (which is why you should really have a coach). With this type of data collection and analysis we must take something of a Bayesian approach. Bayesian inference, in a very basic way, says the more data we collect the higher the probability a correct inference can be made. Or, the more data we collect the clearer the picture becomes.

The classic example is firing photons at a “target” through slotted paper. At first the results appear random. They show up on the target in no clear pattern. But as more and more photons are “fired” the outline of the slots appears progressively more defined. Basically you’re more data increases your resolution.

In real words what’s this means is the more data we collect, the more development cycle you run, the better picture you can build up of what works.

Take a look this snapshot of training data:

This is a macro view of a few squat variations (we didn’t start running good mornings until later in the year) and their relationship with the competition lift.  As you can see this is a VERY small sample size but we can probably that in this situation pause squats help and eccentric squats help. Potentially blocks of paused squats FOLLOWED BY eccentric squats help more.

Now lets say we have 20 or 30 cycles of training data we’d have a very clear picture of what works and what doesn’t. Knowing this you can then program being able to make strong inferences to what will work. This being said the human body is an open system so just because you do “A”  and it works really well in January doing it again in November doesn’t ensure the same.

Considerations

This way of programming takes time and for the first few blocks isn’t any clearer than traditional programming. The key is consistency to one goal over time, collecting the data and making sure you then look at it to see what’s working.  If you see that every time you add in heavy deadlifts your deadlifts goes down then you know that may be high intensity deadlifts aren’t the key for building your deadlift no matter what people say. Likewise, if every time you add in a paused bench press you hit new maximal numbers then maybe you every time you plan to hit a new record the block before should include paused bench press?

If you really want to make the most of the effort you put into the gym you should make the effort to stick with the programming and learn what works for you. We live in an age now where no one has the time to do this which leaves you two options

  1. Make the time
  2. Pay someone to do it for you

If you have the expertise and time then it’s very much worth learning for yourself. If you don’t you should hire a coach whom understands the training process but remember when you hire a coach they’re the expert, but you are the boss. If it’s not what you want or how you want there is always another coach out there.

Remembrance Sunday: 'Murph'

As is our tradition, the workout this Sunday 12 November will be the classic CrossFit WOD “Murph”.
There are two sessions to book into for ‘Murph” this Remembrance Sunday; 10.30 and 12:00. Both sessions are 90 mins in length, to give everyone a chance to complete the WOD:
‘MURPH’
For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run
Wear a weighted vest. Break up reps into any order.
NB all scaling/subs options are available: ring rows for pullups, rowing for running etc
In memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.
In addition, we would ask everyone who is available to attend a ceremony at the Memorial in Bethnal Green gardens (outside the library). The ceremony starts at 10.45. We will also be observing 2 minutes silence at 11:00 at the gym
 
Below is a think piece, ‘Service and Sacrifice’, by Andrew last year.
“On Sunday we once again reschedule our CrossFit morning classes to honour those people who gave their life so we might live in freedom.
Remembrance can be viewed as both positive and negative. What we try to focus and reflect on is service and sacrifice.
It is easy to romanticise warfare and violence: Hollywood  does that. But few people want to emphasise the day-to-day services and sacrifices that effective people do in effective relationships.  Too often what eludes us is good old-fashioned respect: for ourselves and others, consideration , empathy, duty and the ability to work hard. (I prefer working effectively, but I hope you see what I’m getting at).
This Sunday, as you remember the sacrifice our (often young) people made at the cost of their lives; commit to making day-to-day services and sacrifices yourself.
Service and sacrifice are not emotional, showy things. They are often done away from the glare of public adulation. Every time you vote, support your colleagues, cherish your partner, help your friends, and act with compassion toward a stranger: you genuinely honour their sacrifice.
Be your own, walking, daily memorial. Serve and sacrifice. ” By Andrew Stemler
 
Check out what we did in previous years
 
http://crossfitlondonuk.com/2014/09/04/remembrance-day-murph-lone-survivor/
 
http://crossfitlondonuk.com/tag/remembrance-day-murph/
 
http://crossfitlondonuk.com/2014/11/09/remembrance-day-2014-at-crossfit-london/
 

Programming at CrossFit London – October 2017

Starting next week, you’ll be seeing some changes in the CrossFit Level 2 programming. Don’t worry, there isn’t going to be a radical overhaul; we’re just simplifying and returning to the basics.  We are doing this because CFL offers a wide range of specialty classes. These speciality classes can be organized into three main categories: weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. We offer some hybrid classes, too, such as Competition Focus, Benchmarks, and Heavy MetCon, but in general, they all focus on one of these three domains. So where does this leave our CrossFit Level 2 class?

 

The main focus of the CrossFit Level 2 class at CFL is general physical preparedness (GPP). The class is intended to be the basis of your training, giving you the opportunity to then specialise based on interest, training needs, or sport specific training. Therefore, our intention in each and every class is for you to learn a cool skill, build your strength, and have a hard, yet fun, WOD.

 

CrossFit separates itself from other high intensity training methodologies in that it requires skill acquisition. If you are just starting CrossFit at CFL, we will automatically direct you to our CrossFit Level 2 class, which will help you to acquire the necessary skills and strength as you develop your metabolic conditioning. After several months, you may find that you need to go on a strength programme or improve your Olympic Lifting to increase your performance in the main class. In these cases we would direct you to our specialty Powerlifting, Olympic Lifting, or Heavy Metal classes, which follow periodised strength programmes. Alternately, you may find that your gymnastic strength or skills lag behind your weightlifting ability, in which case, we’d direct you to our large array of gymnastic classes. What separates us from other gyms is that you have the freedom to tailor your training to your specific interests and needs.

 

CrossFit Pyramid

 

Therefore, we have come up with the WEEKLY blueprint below for our CrossFit Level 2 classes:

 

Strength/Skills:
2x Gymnastics skills/strength/complex
2x Olympic lifting strength/complex/technique
2x Barbell Strength
Other day will be taken up by longer WOD

 

WODs:
1x Benchmark (rotated on schedule)
1x Longer WOD
A good variation of AMRAPs, EMOMs, for time, for reps/intervals, for quality etc.
1x Partner WOD
Variation in time domains, rep schemes and weights
Not have more than 2-3x repeat movements unless for a specific reason

 

Rest Days:
Rest days are crucial in allowing you to recover, make gains, and avoid injury. As a gym, we encourage you to take rest days as you need. As we are based in London, with many busy clients working off their own schedules, we run a rolling programme with no rest days. This means that it’s up to you to plan out your training. We have endeavoured to randomise the programme such that, for example, if your schedule requires that you can only train every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you’ll be getting a diverse array of movements and WODs. Every Monday, therefore, will not be a squat day or a “long WOD day.” As ever, all our coaches are at hand to help you structure your training and rest based on your goals.

 

RX/Scaled: What does this mean?
RX is a term used by doctors in the US to prescribe medicine. In CrossFit, it means the athlete performs all modalities using the prescribed weight and reps. In practice, the RX weights or reps are what we expect our top athletes to be able to perform. Depending on your sporting background, it could take a year, two, or longer to reach this level. We will also provide a “scaled” guideline. These weights are a benchmark for athletes who have the basic skills, technique, and strength to complete WODs efficiently and safely. Depending on each athlete, it could take somewhere between 0-6 months to reach the scaled weights/reps/movements. You may find yourself stuck between Scaled and RX in some WODs and this is perfectly fine. The more you train and discover your athletic capabilities, the sooner you will find where you lie. Our coaches are on hand in every class to help guide you in this process.

 

It goes without saying that the above follows a common sense policy. You may find that not all the above criteria are met, and that could be due to many different variables and factors. For example, in the run-up to The Open we might have Open-specific training, and then other months we may have little challenges to keep everyone on their toes. So be on the lookout for these developments! Keep in mind, if you attend our CrossFit Level 2 class consistently, you will increase your work capacity across broad time and modal domains.

 

Coach Nick

Crossfit Beginner Fun

Another batch of noble beginners,  decided to kick their training up to another level by starting their level 1 classes, where, uniquely in a group format, Crossfit London teaches you all those “difficult moves” that leisure centres avoid, using a step by step method mixed with lots of kindness .
Often, difficult to master ground based moves, are limited not by flexibility but by balance. In our classes we get our clients to start working on the balance problems with safe, effective, supportive drills , that work. In 1.1  we look at the air squat, the front squat and overhead squat, along with a bit of hanging work such as basket hangs  and  toes to bar . Along the way we start to  discuss some of  our abbreviations like  WOD ( Work Out of the Day) and AMRAP ( As Many Rounds as Possible)  and start introducing you to moving around the gym  ( actually called a Box) safely.
Here is a useful drill  that fixes your squat

 
Most sessions end with a mini WOD, but its not  set to be challenging, merely a light rehearsal of newly learned principles. In our sessions we focus on teaching skill, so whilst a flexibility drill may feature we don’t waste 15 minutes of your time on aerobic warm ups and endless stretching . We use the skill progression to warm you up for the  full range of motion skill you are about to do. Jogging around is a great warm up if you intend to run. Squat drills are the best warm up for squatting. Long term , for those serious about flexibility, we have some fantastic flexibility classes that really push your range of motion along.
So get some serious skills and join our beginner  classes now

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!

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!

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
 
 

Programming reflections

Developing our programming at CrossFit London is about merging the best of consistency with the benefits of variation; all topped off with obvious short and long term objectives.
It’s also about creating establish structures that deliver training gains.
Currently, we have a 3-day structure
Day 1) is titled All Elements and features the full squat version of the clean or the snatch. In the workout any elements can appear. As a regular skill we include some kipping practice
Day 2) is No Shoulder day where we alternate between the front squat and the Bulgarian split, and the back squat cycling with the deadlift plus the 1 legged Romanian deadlift.  The workout is limited to moves that do not include the shoulder. A shoulder rest day our skill focuses on the double under and the pistol.
Day 3) is No Squat day, currently upper-body orientated. We work through weighted pull ups/dips and cycle through the press, push press push jerk. The workout will not include a squat element- it needs a rest. Our regular skill is handstand based. It can be a 45 degree wall walk hold as your first step in getting upside down, to your first handstand push up, to handstand walking.
If you are following this programme, Day 4 is a rest day. However, as a gym with a big community, Day 4 is entitled Off Programme day.  We still schedule a great WOD, skill and strength for those who want to work 5 days straight through,  or it’s the only day they can make.
We are currently testing July’s  draft programme (about 2 weeks ahead of where you are) and are deep in designing the August/September programme. Interestingly, the 2 targets nudging our thought processes are Cindy and Isabelle. This has thrown up 2 issues
Issue 1 . Push-up homework
To achieve 20 rounds of Cindy, you need 200 push ups. It’s that simple and stark. We will prepare you by having push ups scattered throughout our preparatory workouts, but the reality is that you probably need more push-ups that we can ethically put in our sessions.
By ethically, I mean we cannot drag you, our beloved members, across London- often in rush hour- to charge you to do push-ups that you can do at home. Our dips, presses etc support this work. We set them, as in our mind you go to the gym to play with stuff you cannot reasonably have at home.
I have a plea. Over the next few week, please do push-ups at home. I’m hoping this week do 75 push-ups a day, the week after 100, 150, then 200. I need you to own 200.
This can be done as a hardcore task: three sets of 66! But it’s better to think about creating an easy habit. Five before you get in the bath, five in the  Starbucks queue, 10 while waiting for the bus, five before you brush your teeth. Why not post a clip of you  pushing up 9n public on the facebook group. Its now a thing.

When you come to do Cindy, I need you to know, know you can do 200 push ups.
Issue 2 Power snatch/power clean on day 3 WOD
The next issue is the power snatch versus squat snatch. I want to create 2  distinct pathways for these moves.  I want us to consistently pursue the squat snatch as a  thing of beauty, but develop the power/split snatching as the go- to workout move.
Day 1 will alternate (as it has done) between the squat snatch and squat clean. The focus will be on enough reps to develop the best form possible within the  20-30ish minutes allocated. For most, this is enough time to make substantial improvements (self-training and our Olympic lifting classes accommodate those who need more). Sometimes this will be delivered instructionally, other times as reflective individual feedback while you practice.  Often I suspect you’ll be sharing a bar and feeding back to fellow members as you watch them move. Peer coaching, under coaching supervision, can be very very useful as is using your phone’s camera to analyse and check form and spot weird habits in your classmates.
However, in the weeks  leading up to our Isabel test,  on day 3 in the workout, I  will often include a power snatch or a  power clean.
Yesterday we tested Isabel (30 snatches for time) as a day 3 WOD, therefore two days after the squat snatch element on day 1. It worked.  The next experiment will be to have squat cleans on day 1 followed by power clean in the WOD on day 3.  So over the next few months, note the pattern
Day 1  Squat Snatch dedicated session / Day 3 Power snatch in the workout
followed by
Day 1 Squat clean dedicated session / Day 3 power clean in the workout.
Obviously, we will vary the stimulus; different weights, different time domains, dumbbell versions.
Enjoy!