Our Blog

CrossFit Legends: It’s never too late to get off the couch

18893445Recently the news has been full of stories of older people improving their health by taking up sports, dance and other physical activities formerly associated exclusively with the young. CrossFit London is proud to be doing it’s bit too with the “Legends” kick-off class for men and women in their 50’s and older.

Read more about CrossFit Legends here

Book your space here.

It is well known that exercise has enormous health benefits, and I encourage you to read this CrossFit Journal article by Lon Kilgore on the subject.

To quote:

“It is never too late to get up off the couch and start training to improve strength, endurance and mobility. Although each of these elements of fitness is exquisitely developed by CrossFit training, any system of exercise can be used as long as it is progressive and improves fitness in some aspect.

When an older adult starts training, the results can be spectacular. Strength levels can increase by 23 percent in as little as 12 weeks, even in those up to 92 years of age. Endurance levels can increase by 16 percent in as little as four months. Mobility can improve, too, with a significant 62 percent reduction in falls seen after a year of training. And when we bundle those outcomes together, we find that not only are physical function and quality of life improved, but creating fitness in older adults also cuts the risk of disease and death significantly.

Simply put, the concept that older trainees cannot adapt to training has no merit. Similarly awed are recommendations that older trainees aspire to only the lowest levels of physical activity— the bare minimums. If higher fitness is related to lower disease and death rates, then we should use methods that create those levels of fitness.”

So make 2018 the year you started at CrossFit London and began changing everything for the better.

Any further questions, email kate@crossfitlondonuk.com

We can’t wait to meet you! Sign up now by clicking here.


(Grateful thanks to Mike Warkentin of CrossFit 204 for permission to use original images from CrossFit204.com)

CrossFit Kids: Spring Term 2018

Whilst you enjoy a well deserved family Christmas, you probably ought to start thinking about what your kids will be doing in the Spring Term (2018).

It’s a fantastic idea to check out CrossFit London  in Bethnal Green E2.

We currently offer a gymnastic (tumbling) class for kids , and a CrossFit Class for kids. With the spring term 2018 due to start in early January, get your child (8-12) booked into one of our motivating sessions. They can either learn to tumble  (front tuck, back tuck, handsprings, handstands, etc.) in our gymnastic class, or focus on learning lots of weightlifting techniques combined with  rope climbing, hanging or stuff, jumping over, on and in stuff, and generally getting fit in  a fun supportive way in our CrossFit kids class. We can get your child those essential pull ups and box jumps that you know you want them to be have.

You can of course book into both. Parents and guardians are welcome to stay and watch. CrossFit kids is Mondays 16:15-17:15. kids gymnastics is Thursdays 16:15 to 17:15.

Keep an eye open for our holiday camp.

Strongman Conditioning


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.


You too can get the splits… by starting where you are

Side splits or box splits are something everyone wants, but seem impossible to get. But not anymore.

When looking at a far off goal it’s easy to get disheartened. We keep telling ourselves, I don’t have it, why don’t I have it, this sucks etc. I should have the splits by now!

The first step is to ask yourself, what level am I at now? And accept it, be OK with it. If you start where you are you can progress smoothly, safely. Trying to jump in at a level that you think you SHOULD be leads to pain, poor technique, bad habits and worse case injury. Makes sense?

OK, back to the box splits. So you’ve worked out your level. Now it comes to choosing the right progression.



The Butterfly

Sit down with your legs loose in front, then pull your feet in, soles touching, knees out and as low to the floor as possible. All of these progressions employ the ‘squeeze release’ method – come along to a flexibility class to find out exactly what this is.

Your partner stands behind and applies pressure on the knees using the squeeze-release timing. By standing as above your partner is able to use bodyweight to apply more intensity with less effort. Because in flexibility we like to be lazy.




The Butterfly

We’ve got a little menagerie going on here. If your knees are touching the floor in the butterfly, it’s time to move onto the next progression. The them for this one is 90 degrees. Kneel on your hands and knees with a 90 degree angle at your knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. Then start to move your knees apart, keeping alignment. Alignment is key in flexibility for reduced injury, pain and to save years correcting bad habits. Sounds good?

Your partner applies pressure at the lower back or top of the thighs in the squeeze release method. Your goal will be squeezing your knees against the floor while they keep you pinned down.



Butterfly – Blocks

Increase intensity further on blocks. Same pointers apply as above.



Inverted Box Split

Final progression. Sit up close to the wall so you are literally sitting on the wall and your legs go up vertical, back on the floor. Then open your legs out in a scissor motion, knees locked. Stay loose and relaxed. Your partner applies pressure either to the calves or thighs – if you get pain in the knees then thighs are better. Go easy with this one and speak up if your partner is going too far as it’s a very intense stretch. Make sure you come out of the stretch slow as well or you will be walking like John Wayne (which may happen anyway – hey, he was kind of cool.)


Pretty much anyone can get a box split if they WANT it bad enough – yes you too. It’s all about doing the right things consistently.

If any of the above sounds confusing, book into a flexibility class and I’ll be happy to help out.


Problems with your kipping pull ups and Double unders?

There are 2 skills you need to excel in a CrossFit class.

They are the kipping pull-up and double under’s.

To be honest, to learn them takes a while.

However,  that learning needs to be based on several drills that you need to know. Once you have these drills, it’s sort of easy!

Knowing the drills helps your self-practice,  and you’ll get more value out of the  Crossfit London warm-ups, where we drip feed skills practice in every mesocycle.

However, drip feeding individual drills can be helped if you can see all the skills in a single session. It also helps the coaches who don’t have to teach from scratch in an action packed class.

On Sunday we have a special “1.9” session at 9 Malcolm Place  E2 where you’ll be taken through the basic kipping drills and double under procedures.  It will boost your performance and is as good as a PT session ( just shared with 7 other people)

THE SMALL PRINT: you must bring your own  skipping rope

As an aside, if you have an i pad you can get our special double under  App for free.

This class is on the booking system for this Sunday at 10.30 am. Click here to book your space or visit the MBO  booking system.

If you cannot make this session,  why not approach your favorite trainer and organise a PT session?

Subject to take up, this may become a regular class!!


Sorting out wrist pain

Wrist pan is awful and frustrating. It makes  you sit out workouts  you  know  could thrash, but cannot,  because  the moment your wrist bends back (extends) you are in agony. It also hurts. Hence the use of the term, PAIN.

 Here are several avenues for you to explore with our trainers to sort this issue out.

1) You probably  need to do more mobility work in your upper back: get to see anyone in the mobility  team (Kate Pankhust, Sui Wong, Jenny Nim ) they all know that the  nerves that come out of  your spine can effect the way your wrist feels.  Knots in your upper back, thoracic immobility can really hang nerves up. Read this interesting article and get a session booked with them .Obviously they will look into your naughty rotator cuff,  further down your arm, your forearm and your wrist .

Obviously if you’ve been diagnosed with a contagious neck  and upper back eating illness and wrist plague,  take your doctors advice. However,  if you suspect that years of hunching over your computer has locked up  your upper back, get it mobile. Obviously shoulder, arm and wrist massage,  needling , flexibility , taping, retraining can all help.

 2) All our training team  can get you to strengthen up your firearms: Strengthen the flexion of your wrist, think wrist curls and squeezing tennis balls. Preferably your own.  Think , strong forearms, think Popeye forearms.  Our trainers will tell you how!

 3)  In class, reduce the amount of time you spend in  wrist flexion ( think  push up position).  Think about push ups and burpees  on dumbbells or paralletts, . We bought them , you should use them

 4)  Crucial ! Get a review session booked  with one of our amazing trainers and sort out your front squat, your push press and  your thrusters. The key to driving stuff off your shoulders, without wrist pain,  is a violent extension of the hips first and WHEN THE BAR IS MOVING , and only then ,  you  get your  full hand around it and you  press.

If you start your press  with your hands before your hip has kicked into the bar, you are simply driving the force into  your wrists, and slowing a powerful awesome movement down. Get your coaches to review. If you have wrist pain, this is probably what you do.

 If you chat to most of our trainers, I’m fairly sure they can do a quick 30 minute PT for £20,  £25


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!