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An Introduction to gymnastics at CrossFit London

Saturday 30 March 1400-1530, only £5!

BOOK NOW!

CFLDN CrossFit London offer gymnastics classes covering strength, , hand balancing, tumbling and flexibility.

Gymnastics Strength — Laying the foundations from which all gymnastic and all physical pursuits are built. Developing all round body strength, stamina and coordination to aid in learning basic to advanced skills.
If you have ever wanted to try any or all of these this is your chance!

Hand Balancing — Focusing on turning your world upside down and building the body awareness and control to perfect the handstand and beyond.

Tumbling — From forward rolls to double backflips, tumbling focusses on introducing and developing acrobatic skills and movement patterns.


CFLDN will be hosting an introductory workshop to get a feel of what Gymnastics at CFLDN is all about

A 90 minute workshop from myself, @victoriaflintstoneskillen and @matthiascamilleri all for £5!

Saturday 30 March, 2pm to 3.30pm.

Places are limited so get booked in via eventbee (ID: 108974921)
https://www.eventbee.com/event?eid=108974921

BOOK NOW!

 

Download a PDF poster here:

INTRODUCTION TO GYMNASTICS AT CFLDN

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.

Supplementation Pt.1

What should we be looking for in supplementation?
The fitness market is a bit of a mess, if you’re unsure of where to go and what do to then you’ll often find that a simple task like choosing a protein powder often becomes as complex as possible.

 

I’m going to cover the top three supplements that I have recommended over the years. Now if you’re genuinely serious about your health and fitness, you may want to undertake blood work with an appropriate lab to ensure that you are actually deficient in the things you are taking. Otherwise you’ll be creating extremely expensive urine.

Before we move onto the top five supplements and what they do, we should always start with your diet. Supplements are exactly as they say, supplementation to a healthy diet. For myself, supplements are a convenient way to get micronutrients into my diet when I don’t have time to shop around for the plethora of foods that I would love to include in my everyday eating regime.
Protein Powder

The average population are deficient in protein. I wrote an article a while back on the many roles that protein has outside of simply just muscle repair but as this is being published on a fitness blog let’s concentrate there for now.
Types of protein powder:
  • Whey
  • Casein
  • Soy
  • Rice
  • Pea
  • Egg
  • Hemp

These are generally going to be your top found proteins and all have different absorption rates and different amino acid profiles. Whey is our most popular one due to the quick absorption rate of the protein. However, many people may wish to take a different alternative especially if they are vegetarian or vegan or dependent on their heritage. A lot of non-caucasian people will find that they have slight intolerances to lactose and therefore whey protein simply makes them bloated or gassy. A feeling that no one wants.

BCAAs
In the past I drank Branched Chain Amino Acids like they were going out of fashion. The anti catabolic effect of BCAAs appealed to my desire to not lose muscle mass (because the fitness market told me so). However, the fact of the matter is that if you’re eating a complete diet, chances are you are obtaining all your amino acids anyway.
So who should take BCAAs?

BCAAs can often give that spur of energy for those that train in the early morning without eating beforehand. The anti catabolic effect here can be desirable as the person is waking from a fast. They taste delicious and can often be a good addition to those who train fasted!

ZMA and Vitamin D

I’m going to put this one in here from the perspective of men. The below is taken from Examine.com one of my go to sources for supplement information.
  • Extra fat and worse metabolic health → lower testosterone
  • Lower testosterone → less energy to exercise, feeling crappy leads to stress eating
  • Less exercise and worse eating → lower testosterone, and so on and so on…
So clearly you can see from this that testosterone is pretty key. ZMA is one of the only supplements out there that is proven to help boost testosterone levels but again to be 100% sure you should ensure that you are actually deficient before taking any supplement. 
Vitamin D
In sunny old England (except for this Summer) we don’t receive as much Vitamin D as the rest of the world. As a result, the average person is deficient in Vitamin D. There’s a reason people are generally happier in sunnier countries and why rates of depression increase as you get closer to the arctic circle. Vitamin D has a huge effect on both mood and testosterone levels.
The supplement world can go much further than this. It’s worth noting that at the moment of writing this, I currently take 1 scoop of protein powder to boost my overall intake. This is simply taken post workout. I also take a greens powder which I will write more about in the coming blogs. The point being that the vast majority of my nutrition comes from a well managed diet. This saves me a fortune on supplements and makes my food much more enjoyable!
Mike Lee