Tagged as: power clean

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.


Heroes & Girls: Holleyman

wodIt’s always a special treat to see the guys turn up for the Crossfit Heroes & Girls (benchmarks) class, read the board, and watch the expressions! Everyone looked at the main wod and said “That’s OK… oh hang on….!”

murphSo with a warmup consisting of an 8-min Murph (AMRAP of Cindy topped and tailed by a 300m run) Ben charged ahead again with a cracking 7 rounds. Props to Rosie, kipping away now at those pullups like a boss!

After that it was 10 mins to get a heavy power clean sorted before getting on with “Holleyman” Almost everyone missed the 30 rounds bit on first reading! What a mammoth effort. The 30 min time cap meant most were at least aiming to get a round a minute in the bag. But the cleans were heavy going: miss one and the plan begins to unravel. Still, a sterling effort from everyone. Particular mention goes to Sang who always gets stuck in cheerfully and does brilliantly.

manuelWell done Antoine, who always declares “That was awful!”But happily comes back for more. (BTW sorry I messed up your score: I think your bar was 75kg, and the sub for HSPU was 2X25kg DB Push press)

Great job as always Thomas and Tomas. And welcome back Manuel to the fold

Each week presents a new, unexpected challenge. Really hard. Really Crossfit.




Andrews Wednesday 19th June lesson outline and advance reading

The advance reading and viewing for Wednesdays lunchtime  lesson is below

The warm up activity is some sort of icebreaking game. Dunno what yet…( gosh, thats   professional)

Followed by a   “peer observed” deadlift  coaching session.

You’ll be spotting if your partner has

a) Heels down,

b) Shins upright

c) Big chest, lumbar curve or flat back

d) Shoulders over the bar

e) Shoulders higher than the bottom

f) Head neutral.

As part of this, you will feedback to your partner. I suggest that you  say something good, then pick out an element that needs improving, then suggest a drill or practice that will deal with that issue.  In other words, be kind and helpful.

So, tell me  which of these approaches is “kind and helpful”

“That was crap do it again” or  “well done, you did that well. You kept your chest big all the way through. However, you  came on to the balls of your foot!  The next rep you do,  I want you to keep your heels down. Imagine there is a £50 note under your heel. Its yours if you keep your heel down”

If you’re not sure, find out on Wednesday.

The Power clean:

Today we are going to focus on the drive from pockets or the “1 inch dip”, driving through our heels ( I sense a dirty dancing drill), getting the “bar to boggie”, and swizzing those elbows through. ( I accept “swizzing” isn”t a word).

The Pistol.

I sound like a vicar, But the  pistol session will be  taken from……..






Dont worry. This will be  a highly differentiated session so you will be able to choose what you want to practice to get your pistol skill better. Equally, if you find the drills you can do, I’ll want to push you on a bit to challenge, but not crush you.

See you there. Its  a 12 start. Make sure you book in!

The post Image above is from the  Crossfit London Body weight seminar in 2005, at York Hall.

Crossfit London UK. Londons 1st ever Crossfit affiliate