All posts by Dan Thomas

Why is Gymnastic work so Hard? – By Coach Dan

So we have just passed the first half of our recent training cycle. Most of you that have been following along have most likely been finding the strength days to be a bit “boring” or “easy” I’m sure some of you weren’t expecting the complex skill days to be so damn hard!

You may have run into some of these skill days thinking you were going to bash out 20 handstand push ups easily, or maybe those dreaded rope climbs we’re finally going to click into place, only to find that things didn’t go as well as you planned. This is definitely frustrating for sure, but something we have to remember is that as simple as it may seem these are called “complex skills” for a reason. 🙂

A huge part of our struggle is mental. When we were kids we were fearless and didn’t have this concept of being “breakable” until we started to break ourselves through life. If you haven’t been around CrossFit Kids that hang around gyms you should take a closer sometime. You’ll usually see them blasting out random one handed handstand holds, flips and tricks, meanwhile we as adults struggle with simply attempting a tumble roll or kicking up to a handstand. Building up this confidence to break past the mental barrier is huge, and it’s different for each of us.

Here are a few things to think about on the road to achieving that skill that might be holding you back

It’s all about connecting the chain

Where we can sometimes get away with muscling through other barbell or dumbbell movements, it’s not always as easy to do when it comes to gymnastics. It comes down to the strength that you have through various points of the movement. So you might be able to hold yourself at the top of a pull up, but can you control it down slowly to the bottom? If you find a point where your control gives out – that’s your weak spot that you should aim to strengthen up.

Small steps are big steps

Some of us have never even attempted to even try getting ourselves inverted, or to even try to pull ourselves into the air any higher than a few inches. The simple act of getting one foot up in the air with control, or a small lift off the ground should be celebrated like any other Personal Best that you get in the gym! These are bigger moments than you think, even if it isn’t the full movement just yet.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Like most things, there are going to be good days and bad days but nothing becomes easier without putting in the work and effort to get better at it. If you’ve run into a skill over the past few weeks that has lit a fire in you to master it then keep at it! We’ve been providing you with loads of skill options to help strengthen your weak points on those skill days, so take a snap of the whiteboard before you go so you can put it to action.

Any questions, you know where to find us 🙂


Monday

A) Deadlift
Density Work
Pull 1 rep every 30 Seconds for 10 Minutes

B) 10 Minutes
5/5 Dynamic Push Ups
10 Ring Rows (Challenge self!)
10 Hammer Curls
10 Skull Crushers

Tuesday

Classic CrossFit

IWT
A) 3 Rounds of:
10 Squat Clean @ 50% 1RM
1 Min Burpee Box Jumps
60sec Row for MAX distance!

2:00 minute Rest

5 minute Break between A – B

Then:
B) 3 Rounds of:
10x Front Squat @ 50% 1RM +
1 Min DU
60sec AirDyne/SKi

2:00 minute Rest

MetCon

5 minutes of:
Burpees

Then, 5 minutes of:
7 KB Swings
7 KB Squats

Then, 5 minutes of:
Assault Bike For Cals

Then, 5 minutes of:
7 DB Power Cleans
7 Weighted Sit ups

Then, 5 minutes of:
Rowing for Cals

*Rest 2min. Between Stations

Wednesday

Gymnastics / Long

A) Skill of choice from below movements

B) 15 Minutes of:
1 Rope Climb
15 Air Squats
7 Strict HSPU
15 Toes to bar
1 Strict Muscle Up

Thursday

Classic CrossFit

A) Back Squat
5 Sets to build to a heavy single for the day

B) 12 Minute AMRAP
10 Front Squats 60/40kg
1 Minute Plank

MetCon

AMRAP 5min:
400m Run
50 Wall Balls
50 Double Unders
50 Push-Ups
50 KB Swings 24/16kg
50 KB Goblet Lunges 24/16kg
50 Box Jumps 24/20

Rest 2min. then AMRAP 10min. in REVERSE.
Rest 3min. then AMRAP 15min. ORIGINAL format

Friday

A) Strict Press
5 Sets to build to a heavy single for the day

B) 3 Rounds of:
10 Power Cleans 70/50kg
20 DB 22/16kg Step Ups 24/20″”
200m Run

Saturday

Team WOD
35 Minutes to get as far as possible!

3 Rounds for time of:
40 Cal Row
40 Jerks 50/35kg

3 Rounds for time of:
40 Front Squats 50/35kg
40 TTB

3 Rounds for time of:
40 SDHP’s 50/35kg
40 Handstand Push-ups

Upcoming Events and Announcements!

Easter Weekend Hours!

Just a reminder that we will be operating classes as a Saturday Schedule on this Friday April 19th, and Monday April 22nd. This means that there will only be two Classic CrossFit classes at 10am, and 11am.

Open Gym will still operate as scheduled between 8am and 10am.

The only difference is that Yoga will only be on Saturday April 20th. 


Beyond the Workout – Friday April 26th

Welcome back the return of the Beyond the Workout seminars!

This is an opportunity to work with us coaches in a bit of a workshop setting. During this session we’ll take the time to focus on some of the more complex movements that we may not get the most time to dig into during a class time, followed by an informational chat on a topic of choice towards improving your performance in and outside of the gym.

The last time we ran this session we ran through Pistols, Rope Climbs, and Handstands / Handstand Push Ups.

If you have any questions or would like to give us an idea of a movement you would like to dig into a bit more, shoot Coach Milo an email at Milo@CrossFitThames.com.


Class Schedule Reminders

Yoga For Athletes

Christine is embarking on a new journey to further develop her yoga knowledge and skills for the wider athletic population, and so Yoga will be cancelled for the following dates across 2019:

May 4th
Jun 1st
Sep 21st


What events would you like to see? Email james@crossfitthames.com with any ideas you have!

OLY Programming for the Week!


Wednesday

A) High hang clean
3 x 2

B) Clean
2 x 2 2 x 1

C) Front squats
2 x 2 2 x 1

D) Split jerks
2 x 2 (2 sec hold in receiving pos) 2 x 1

Sunday

A) Hang snatch + Snatch balance
3 x 1+1

B) Snatch
2 x 2 1 x 1

C)Back squats
3 x 2

D)Split jerk
2 x 2 2 x 1

E) Hamstring bridges
3 x 8-12

Eating Beyond Breakfast – By Sinead

In my last blog I talked about the reasons why you might want to eat breakfast, and also the kinds of breakfast to choose. So what about eating beyond brekkie?

We know from when we were speaking about breakfast that you want a combo of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to help maintain sustained energy. Awesome. But let’s think about something else … your gut brain.

‘Gut instinct’, ‘I feel it in my gut’, ‘gut-wrenching’. We have known instinctively for centuries what science is now proving – there is a close connection between our gut and our brain. The Journal of Neuroscience – one of the top journals publishing research on the brain and nervous system – has called this new understanding a ‘paradigm shift’ of enormous magnitude that upsets hundreds of years of neuroscience.

In short, our guts house a whole ecosystem of microbes and it transpires we depend on these not only for digestion but also for weight control, fighting disease, inflammation and stress and anxiety.

So, what do we mean by ‘a broken gut’? And how does a broken gut lead to a broken brain? The details and breadth are still being uncovered, but in broad terms what research appears to be showing us is:

  • A broken gut occurs when the mix of microbes in our gut gets out of balance. This appears to be driven typically by a combination of poor diet, lifestyle and medical reasons
  • We evolved over millions of years with our friendly bacteria … so it is unsurprising that they seem to function best on the whole foods that we have eaten for the majority of this time … as opposed to a bunch of chemicals thrown together in a food processing plant … i.e. the processed foods we have only really started eating in the last half-century.
  • If we consistently give them the wrong food they make us pay, not because they have a grudge against us but because they’ll die back and be replaced by other – much less friendly – bacteria that seem to thrive on refined carbs, i.e. processed sugars.
  • Hey, presto… our gut is broken and we feel like total crap!
  • The bad bacteria produce chemical by-products that are toxic to us
  • Without enough friendly microbes, the food we eat isn’t broken down properly
  • The gut lining becomes inflamed and porous. So-called ‘leaky gut’.
  • The nasty bacterial by-products and undigested proteins from food pass into our bloodstream, where they don’t belong
  • From there, these unwanted chemicals can pass across the blood-brain barrier and mess up our brain’s delicate neurochemistry.
  • Furthermore, 90% of our body’s serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’) is made by the good bacteria … so when we lose these, we also lose a major source of our happy hormone.

Combined result: brain function is impaired, and conditions including anxiety/stress result.

And in a somewhat vicious cycle – stress and anxiety itself seem to play back to the gut and further disrupt the microbes. So if you are leasing a stressful life, have recently had a course of antibiotics, and have been consuming high levels of processed food, you are at risk from some degree of ‘broken gut’.

So, what can you do? We are still working it out, but research suggests …

  • Eat unprocessed food where possible; if you are buying on the go choose cafes where sandwiches, pasta, and salads are made fresh, rather than the packaged supermarket variety.
  • Look at food labels – generally, the longer the list of ingredients, the greater the likelihood it is a chemical shit storm! Particularly where you don’t recognize half the ingredient names!
  • Eat bacteria – NOT food that is not meant to be mouldy!! But fermented foods that contain good bacteria. And eat them with fats. Because the challenge is how you get the good bacteria to the gut without destruction? When eaten within high fat it provides some protection from the gastric acid and bile salts. So – full-fat Greek yoghurt, soft aged cheeses, miso with your sushi, etc.

This doesn’t take all the fun out of eating and drinking. Go to nice restaurants, eat what you enjoy, have ice cream and drink wine. Just, for the sake of your health, training and your career, don’t live off sugar-rich nutrient-poor foods every day!!


Monday

IWT Day
12 Min AMRAP:
(Power Clean ladder)
20 @50%
15 @65%
10 @75%
Max reps at 90%

Rest 5min.

200 cal Ski/AD in teams of 2

(Only allowed to row if out of both the above 🙂 )

Tuesday

Classic CrossFit

A) Skill
Handstands and Handstand Push Ups

B) 2 Rounds of:
10 Deficit Kipping HSPU
400m Run
10 Strict HSPU
200m Run
10 Kipping HSPU
100m

MetCon

Kelly !
5 Rounds for time of:
400m Run
30 Box Jumps, 24” / 20”
30 Wall Balls 9/6kg

Wednesday

A) Back Squat
6×3 @82.5% of most recent 3 Rep Max
– 90 Seconds Rest

B) 2-4 Sets of:
10 Hamstring curls
10 Shrimp Squats Per leg

B) 3 Rounds of , 1 Minute AMRAP Per station for total reps
DB Push Press
KB Front Squat
Push Ups
Calories Of Choice
Rest

Thursday

Classic CrossFit

A) Strict Press
6×3 @82.5% of most recent 3 Rep Max
– 90 Seconds Rest

B) 3 Sets of
8/8 Kneeling Arnold Press

C) 10 Minutes
10 Strict Pull Ups
10 Push Ups

MetCon

12min. to get as far as possible…
5 DB Thrusters
5 Bent over DB Rows
10 DB Thrusters
10 Bent over DB Rows
15… 15… 20… 20… and so on…

For Time: (12min. CAP)
35-25-15
Cal Row
Push-Ups
Alt. DB Snatch 22/16kg

For Time: (8min. CAP)
150 Russian Twist with 5kg plate
*Every time you break or rest, run 200m!

Rest 3min.between each section

Friday

A) Deadlift
10 Sets to build to a heavy single of the Day

B) 5 Sets for max Calories
30 Seconds all out on the Airdyne (Or ski if AD not available)
1 Length KB Lunge 24/16kg (Unbroken)
– Rest 1 Minute

Score is how many calories you get!

Saturday

Team WOD

35min. running clock…
2 Rounds:
50 Cal Bike/Ski/Row
50 Pull-Ups

immediately into:

2 Rounds:
50 Wall Balls 9/6kg
50 Alt. DB Snatch 22/16kg

immediately into:

2 Rounds:
50 Burpees
50 Single Arm DB OH Lunges 22/16kg

immediately into:

20 Rope Climbs 🙂

Upcoming Events and Updates!

Beyond the Workout – Friday April 26th

Welcome back the return of the Beyond the Workout seminars!

This is an opportunity to work with us coaches in a bit of a workshop setting. During this session we’ll take the time to focus on some of the more complex movements that we may not get the most time to dig into during a class time, followed by an informational chat on a topic of choice towards improving your performance in and outside of the gym.

The last time we ran this session we ran through Pistols, Rope Climbs, and Handstands / Handstand Push Ups.

If you have any questions, or would like to give us an idea of a movement you would like to dig into a bit more, shoot Coach Milo an email at Milo@CrossFitThames.com.


Class Schedule Reminders

Yoga For Athletes

Christine is embarking on a new journey to further develop her yoga knowledge and skills for the wider athletic population, and so Yoga will be cancelled for the following dates across 2019:

May 4th
Jun 1st
Sep 21st


What events would you like to see? Email james@crossfitthames.com with any ideas you have!

 

 

OLY Programming for the Week!


Wednesday

A) Snatch
3 x 2
B) Snatch Balance
3 x 2
C)Back squats
3 x 2
D)Split jerk
1 x 3
1 x 2
1 x 1
E) Single leg RDLs
3 x 6/6

Sunday

A) High hang clean
3 x 3
B) Clean
4 x 2
C) Pause Front squats
4 x 2
2 sec pause at the bottom
D) Split jerks
2 x 3
2 x 2
1 x 1

Balancing Imbalances – by Coach Dan

If you came in to class last Monday I’m sure once you got to round 3 of those Kettlebell lunges you thought “Why is this side so much harder than the other?!” The good news is you’re not alone, and the current training cycle will help hone in on some of those weaknesses to even things out a bit more.

Not one person is perfectly balanced when it comes to their body. Unless you’re ambidextrous, you’ve been dominating with one hand and/or leg for pretty much all of your life. If you take a second to think about it there are probably some specific positions you favor for hours of your life – sleeping on your side, leaning on one elbow in that office chair, putting a bit more weight on one leg than the other.

Although the heavy hitting, hard and fast workouts are the sexiest ones, unilateral strength work is where the money is! This will help correct the imbalances in your movement and help stabilise your positions so that you don’t tweak that hip or shoulder as often 😉 Coming from someone that has had recurring issues, taking it lighter to work on some asymmetric stability work has helped me go through a normal day without pain, and I’ve come back even stronger in my lifts since taking some time to slow down and re-group.

If you commit to these parts on your strength days, you will find a noticeable improvement in your ability to maintain your strength and endurance through those savage IWT days by week 6! 😛


Monday

A) Skill
Rope Climbs
&
Toes to bar

B) For Time , 2 Rounds of:
8 Rope Climbs
40 Toes to bar

Tuesday

Classic CrossFit

A) Back Squats
5×3 Building to a heavy 3 for the day
20 Russian Twists between sets

B) Build to heaviest complex possible of :
1 Lunge per leg
1 Squat
1 Reverse Lunge per leg
1 Step Up Per leg

Use KBs , DBs or Sandbags

C) Midline Work 3-5 Sets
Nordic Curls 5 Reps
30 Second Plank (Weighted)

MetCon

EMOM x 4min.
15/12 Cal Row
1min. Rest
EMOM x 4min.
15/12 Cal Bike

EMOM x 10min.
Odd: 14 Cossack KB Squats
Even: Max Push-Ups in 40sec.

For Time: (Time CAP: 10min.)
50 Goblet Squats 24/16kg
40 russian kb swings 24/16kg
30 Sandbag over shoulder
20 burpees
200 meter run

*2min. REST after each section*

Wednesday

A) Shoulder Press
5×3 Building to a heavy 3 for the day

B) 2-4 Sets of
10/10 Single arm DB Bench press
5/5 DB Push Ups

C) 10 Minute AMRAP:
Rig to window Walking lunge (KB Or Sandbag)
10 Ring rows (Weighted if needed)

Thursday

Classic CrossFit

A) Deadlift
5-4-3

Build to a moderately heavy 5, add weight pull 4 reps and add again for a set of 3.

B) 21-15-9
Pull Ups
KB Cleans 24/16kg
KB Front Squats 24/16kg

MetCon

12 Days Style WOD
1 (100m) Sprint
2 Wall Walks
3 DB Lunges (each leg)22/16kg
4 DB Thrusters 22/16kg
5 Burpees
6 Bent over DB Row 22/16kg
7 KB Swings 24/16kg
8 KB Goblet Squats 24/16kg
9 Weighted Sit ups
10 Wall Balls 9/6kg
11 Cal Bike/Ski
12 Cal Row

Friday

A) 4 Rounds of :
1min. of Push Press with 50% of your 1RM
1minute of Max Burpees over the bar
Rest 2min.

Rest 5 minutes between A – B

B) For Time:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
DB Snatch (alternating) 32/22kg
Run 200m

Saturday

Team WOD

For Time:
2 Rounds:
50 Cal Row/Bike/Ski
25 Snatches 60/40kg

2 Rounds:
400m Run (100m intervals)
25 Clean and Jerks 60/40kg

2 Rounds:
50 Cal Bike/Row/Ski (do something else from first bit)
25 Thrusters 60/40kg

*No rest between sections. Only 1 person works at a time. Teams of 2
Time cap 35 Mins

Upcoming Events and Announcements!

Beyond the Workout – Friday April 26th

Welcome back the return of the Beyond the Workout seminars!

This is an opportunity to work with us coaches in a bit of a workshop setting. During this session we’ll take the time to focus on some of the more complex movements that we may not get the most time to dig into during a class time, followed by an informational chat on a topic of choice towards improving your performance in and outside of the gym.

The last time we ran this session we ran through Pistols, Rope Climbs, and Handstands / Handstand Push Ups.

More details to come but for now, block your calendars for the evening of Friday April 26th.

If you have any questions, or would like to give us an idea of a movement you would like to dig into a bit more, shoot Coach Milo an email at Milo@CrossFitThames.com.


Class Schedule Reminders

No CrossFit Kids / Teens – March 22nd to 24th

Just a heads up that this weekend in March there will be no classes for Kids or Teens.

Yoga For Athletes

Christine is embarking on a new journey to further develop her yoga knowledge and skills for the wider athletic population, and so Yoga will be cancelled for the following dates across 2019:

May 4th
Jun 1st
Sep 21st


What events would you like to see? Email james@crossfitthames.com with any ideas you have!

 

OLY Programming for the Week!


Wednesday

A) Clean
4 x 1
B) Clean Pulls
4 x 3@105% of above
C) Front squats
4 x 2
D) Split jerks
2 x 3
2 x 2
1 x 1

Sunday

A) Snatch
3 x 2
B) OH squat
3 x 5
C)Back squats
3 x 3
D)Split jerk
1 x 3
1 x 2
1 x 1
E) Weighted pull ups
3 x 5

Gymnastics Focus – Head Coach Milo

Hey All!

Milo again coming at you to talk about the gymnastics over the coming weeks. A lot of you over the open and before have reached out to say that you are struggling with certain movements like Handstand push ups , Ring Muscle ups or Pull ups. How do we get them ? Be it strength or skill? Maybe it’s both ?

For the next 6 weeks each week we have a dedicated gymnastic day. Perfect for A) slowing things down a little after the Open and smashing ourselves after Xmas for all the necessary treats that come with it 😛 and B) for pushing ourselves to do things we normally wouldn’t do. Aka slowing it down to really Drill certain movements so you can finally get that muscle up , or starting doing that much needed extra strength work to get you that first pull up!

For each week there will be a different focus. This week for example is muscle ups and next week its Rope climbs and Toes to bars. The format will be skill work for 15-20 minutes and then a short WOD to either use said new skill or to build that habit of the drill thats going to get you there. Some of you will not be excited for the 15-20 minutes of “skill” work. This by no means has to be “easy”. These days are 100% what you make them. If you put in a lot you will get out a lot. I implore you to make sure you come on these days and push yourself to new heights. Especially if you look at something and think “oh please not that!”.

If you haven’t got Muscle ups yet then we will be working towards it for you and if you haven’t got your pull ups yet then we have some extra work for you too to get you them! So come along anyways! We may not be able to get you the movement straight away but we want to give you the tools to start building towards it and getting to where you want to be!

See you all on Gymnastics day on Friday! 🙂


Monday

A) Back Squats
5×5 @ 80% of recent 5 Rep Max
10/10 Russian Twists between sets

B) 5 Rounds of:
5 Front Rack KB Squats
1 Front Rack Length Carry
5 Front Rack KB Squats
5/5 Front Rack KB Lunges
Rest 90 Seconds – 2 Minutes between sets

C) 5×5 Nordic Curls With a partner
I go you go

Tuesday

Classic CrossFit

A) Strict Press
5×5 @ 80% of your most recent 5 RM

B) 3-5 Sets of
5/5 Single Arm Kneeling Press
10 Deficit Push Ups

C) 10 Minute AMRAP
1 Minute Max Calories (Pick your own poison 🙂
6 Power Cleans 70/50kg

MetCon

Every 10min. X 4 Rounds:
400m Row
400m Run
30 Bent over rows
30 Push-Ups
30 Weighted Sit-Ups
30 Russian Twists with 5kg plate

Wednesday

A) Deadlift
5×5 @80% of 5 Rep
-6/6 DB Rows Between Sets

B) 5 Sets of
15 Slam Balls
Handstand Push Ups (Challenging for you 5/5/3/3/1)
10 Bent Over Rows

Thursday

Classic CrossFit

IWT Day

A) 3 Rounds of:
10 Squat Cleans @ 50%
1 Minute Burpees
1 Minute Row for Max Distance
-Rest 2 Minutes

-Rest for 5 Minutes-

B) 3 Rounds of:
10 Front Squats @50%
1 Minute Double Unders
1 Minute Max Cals AD/Ski
-Rest 2 Minutes

MetCon

21min. EMOM:
Min. 1)
15/12 Cal Bike/Ski/Row Or 200m Run
Min. 2) 15 DB Power Cleans 22/16kg
Min. 3) 15 Wall Balls 9/6kg

Rest 5min.

10min. EMOM: (all in the same min.)
6 Alt. DB Snatch (3ea. side)
6 DB Lunges (3ea. side. Using that 1 DB in the front rack)
5 Weighted Sit ups

Friday

A) Skill
Muscle Ups

B) 4 Rounds of
5/3 Muscle Ups
into max rep chest to bar pull ups
– Rest as needed

Saturday

In Teams of 2:
Climbing Ladder for 12 Minutes….

5 Snatches, 10 Toes-To-Bar
10 Snatches, 20 Toes-To-Bar
15 Snatches, 30 Toes-To-Bar
20 Snatches, 40 Toes-To-Bar
and so on… 50/35kg

5min. Rest

Repeat the Same Workout with Power Cleans and HSPU’s 60/40kg