Tagged as: Barbell Clean



Programming is about sequencing exercises so they meet an objective, but also to manipulate fatigue and reduce the risk of injury.  The following outlines some of our short term and medium goals and some of the  programming structure we will use to deliver  you the fitness you want. This is less about whats actually in a class, more as  to how it arrives there.

Objectives for June

1)We want to put pacing runs on your agenda   By the end of June, you need to know what your 400m pace and time is, and commit to  run it consistently. A 400m in a WOD is no longer a staggered recovery run, it’s a paced piece of in-control work. As the months roll by we will be developing our pacing and aerobic capacity, so be prepared to record times, use heart rate monitors, and focus on those runs. Long term, we have decided that we would like most clients to run 1600 meters in 6 minutes (means 400m in 90 seconds, 800m in 180 seconds, 200m in 45 seconds, 100m  in 23 seconds.)

2) Underpinning leg strength is crucial. In June your task will be to discover and consolidate a  5 rep deadlift, back and front squat. We don’t want people lifting emotionally and screaming reps up, as much fun as it is. For June we want calm, effective consistent work. Once you know and own this figure, we will be adding a lot of variance. June is consistent, solid, good quality work. Anthony is in the wings preparing to add fantastic variation to our strength work from the end of June. Don’t let him down. When our coaches try and tailor strength components for you, they will need  to know  how many times you can lift a bar effectively 5 times. For some, this will be the same as a 5 rep max, for others as the time allowed may only be 10 or 15 minutes, its the best 5 you can do in the time allocated

We will ask you to do work on your pistol (1-legged squat) and you’ll be learning the balance and technique of the Bulgarian squat.

3) Underpinning arm strength  in  Crossfit training is crucial. Once you have your pull up and dips, weighted versions, combined with shooting for max unweighted reps, will prepare you for most WODs and most moves. They are foundational for handstand push-ups and the muscle up. We have tricks, and   controlled negatives for those still developing arm strength.

4) Skills. Like it or not, CrossFit demands you learn  certain  skills. You must know  how to kip (both pull ups and T2B), you must double-under and pistol. Our experience (as the first ever CrossFit affiliate in the UK) shows us that short, regular, quick practice is the key to achieving these skills. Obviously we have our skill classes to consolidate practice and mastery. I think we are about to develop a 1.9/1.10 as part of our beginner process to deal with kipping, double-under, pistol and muscle up progressions. This is under discussion

 5) As its election month, I can only say, go back to your box and prepare for dumbbells!!!

6) The programme for the next few months is structured around achieving good performances in 4 benchmark workouts. Spaced, about 3 to 4 weeks apart. The 4 are:

Fran, Elizabeth, 30 muscle ups for time,  Fight Gone Bad.

In the weeks running up to these workouts we will experiment and develop the  specific components. As an overview, if you take a move, say thrusters you need to  do them a) lighter for volume b) your Fran weight, for volume,  c) Dumbell versions, d) a Tabata test,  e) heavier thrusters.

Crucially you need a strategy. Are you using one now e.g.  do you break thrusters (whatever) into sets of 7, 5 and 3 with rest. Tim tells me one of the fire breathers can do 36 in a row!


After much consultation, with more to follow,  we hear that those who want to follow a structured programme want 1 clear day’s rest between working shoulders, and no more than 2 consecutive days in a row working squats. Indeed, those with poor shoulder have begged for a no shoulder day!

We will produced a matrix that consists of 4 rotating days

All elements (blue)
No shoulder (pink)
No squats (green)
Off programme (yellow)


For those wanting a “programme” The 3 day on / 1 day off  the programme mirrors the original, and still current, CrossFit prescription.

Using this as a structure you find that, as far as our  basic strength prescription goes:

Blue day  (all elements) will always have an Olympic lift. Alternating between the snatch and clean and jerk.
Pink days  ( No shoulder)will alternate between back squat  + deadlift, and front squat + Bulgarian split
Green days: (No Squat)   Overhead pressing (press, push press, push jerk)
Yellow: Off-programme, anything goes ( or catch up if there is space)

To further explore this ideas,

Blue day  (all elements) will  also seek to develop your kip ability
Pink day (no shoulder)  your pistol and double-unders
Green day ( no squats) your handstand ability ( everything from lying on the floor in a dish shape mobilising wrists, modest wall walks to kicking up, handstand push ups and handstand  walking drills)
Yellow day: Off programme, rest day for those committing to the 3 day programme, “wild card” for everyone else, a great WOD, some  unusual strength, fascinating skills and using those bits of kit unique to the gym space  you are in

To further explore this:

Blue day  (all elements) will  also strengthen your pull-ups: think, as a  starting point, weighted pull ups, 3,3,3,3,3. Green days ( no squats)  will include weighted dips 3,3, 3, 3, 3 ( these will soon vary and include max effort unweighted attempts  You know you need to slice through 50 pulls ups/dips to get a great workout. This regime gets you there.

To make it clear, each day, including Off Programme day, has a fantastic session with some skill, some strength and a great WOD. You can come as and when you like. This simply gives us a programming structure for those who want it . If you simply come 1, 2 or  3 times a week  , there will be a great session waiting for you.

More information soon. We will be  keeping a close eye on your performance and encouraging you to record and monitor your results.

Another special day [CrossFit London i-Course, Aug 2010]

There is something unique about a Crossfit London i-Course and that is the opportunity to witness so much improvement in so many people in such a short space of time.

For many people this is the first step away from silly gyms and their machines into a world where skill merges with strength and flexibility and agility and endurance, over all the  energy systems (not just the long slow jogs).

In the morning session, 17 fabulous attendees stormed their way through the olympic lifts and our world famous squat correction workshop.

In the thick of the snatch progressions

Whilst covering all of the fundamental moves (but using the full barbell clean, rather than a medicine ball clean) they learned how to engage their hips, how to commit to one direction then switch in a real display of agility, and that real moves involve real world mastery of balance, not wobbling on gym balls.

The afternoon was a great mix of gymnastics body weight drills covering the handstand push up, pull ups (strict and kipping) dips, muscle ups and push ups and some  frankly, nasty core exercises.

The event also welcomed new presenters Phil and Efe, of whom,  I’m sure, we will see much more in the future And  Kate Pankhurst with her “paint the wall with your elbows” drill for the front squat. Thanks to Rita and Peter who turned out to help poke and prod and cue and encourage.

Efe and Phil coaching the muscle up

A special well done to John for his first ever muscle up!

John cracks out his first muscle up and gets a halo

And  a big “you’re awesome” to  Jim who as a 60 year old was the second oldest person to attend an i-Course, ever!

A great group, thanks for being there!

Class of August 2010

Loads more photos from the day on the CrossFit London Flickr pages, here.

WOD 15 Aug 10: Sunday Service cont.

By Colin Menniss: So this is my last Sunday class because the Steve should now be back from his hols’. I have really enjoyed taking you all and no doubt I will see you again especially if you come

Our warm up today was lifting complex of Hang Cleans, Front and Back Squats and Presses.

Once warmed up we had an excellent Skills and Drills session coached by Pistol Phil. Yep pistols, we have all heard of them and they rarely come up in the WODS and when they do we all ignore them, or is that just me? We learnt some excellent progressions and I for one have come away with renewed enthusiasm for the one legged squat, a big thank you to Phil.

Today’s WOD was a Cindy Ladder. In the first minute you do 1 pull-up, 1 press-up, 1 squat, then 2 of each in the next minute etc. This was a 15 minute WOD, so if you failed at any point before the finish you just dropped a rep and kept going until the end. Another fantastic “effort curve” example and into the tenth minute there was some frantic rushing from the pull up bands to hit the floor. A big well done to Warren who got into the thirteenth minute.

Before I sign off, another welcome shout to some new beginners, Simon, Sam, Alex and Corey. Look forward to seeing you all again soon. Gary you were impressive today keep it up.