Tag Archives: Deadlift

Tuesday 14th November – Workout of the day

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Deadlifts: 3 x 5, across
*Add 2-5kg from your last deadlift session

B) 10 Rounds of:
10 Slam balls (catch on the bounce or no rep! )
10 Deficit push ups
5/5 Split squats 16/10kg

Workout of the Day – Structural Strength

Continuing with our Supersets. Today see’s you go for max reps in a given time period. Choose loads that allow you to move for the full work periods.

A) 10 x 40 seconds on : 20 seconds off, alternate between
Ring dips (or bench dips)
Chin-ups (or box assisted)

5 minutes rest

B) 10 x 40 seconds on : 20 seconds off, alternate between
Dumbbell bench press
T-bar rows

5 minutes rest

C) 10 x 40 seconds on : 20 seconds off, alternate between
20 Dumbbell walking lunges, immediately into
20 Dumbbell death march

5 minutes rest

D) 60 Strict knees to elbows
*Break as needed

Workout of the Day – MetCon

5 rounds for time:
12 Wall ball 9/6kg
5 Chest to bar pull-ups
50 Double unders

Monday 13th November – Workout of the Day

It’s nearly time to re-test our lifts. Hopefully you have been following the prescription and are starting to feel the benefits. By this stage the barbell work will be feeling heavy, but keep on grinding for a litttttllle longer. Nearly there gang!

Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) Back squat: 3 x 5, accross
*Aim to increase load 2-5kg from your last squat session.

Nearly time to re-test those lifts!

B) Seated dumbbell press: 3 x 3-4
*Aim for same weight as the 2 last week

C) 6 Rounds of:
15 Russian kettlebell swings 32/24kg
30 Double unders
*Hit this hard! This should be short and sharp

Next Level Chillin’, Events & Weekend Workouts

Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Next level chillin’

High intensity training regimes such as CrossFit are very taxing on the central nervous system, even more so if you do not allow your body (and therefore ultimately your mind) to recover sufficiently in between workouts. Remember how you felt after, or even part-way through the 12 days of CrossFit after grinding through some savage benchmarks back-to- back with zero rest days? Body =wrecked, brain = frazzled.

If you want to get max. gains out of the current programming cycle, you need to make adequate provisions for rest. Not that you don't know this already!

In Saturday’s Yoga Class, I'll be taking you through a restorative practice and we'll move through the postures a little more slowly than usual, before I introduce you to progressive muscle relaxation. Think of it as a guided body scan, whereby you'll be consciously contracting and releasing specific muscles or muscle groups. Not only is it super relaxing – and you may well drift in and out of sleep – it's also a nice way to improve your proprioception, i.e. the awareness of body positioning in space. You'll also practice sharpening your focus by drawing your attention to a specific body part for a brief moment in time, and linking that to your breath – sound familiar?

Proper breathing is an often under-estimated tool you can use to aid your performance in the gym. As with everything else, it's something that you improve through regular practice – all it takes is a little conscious effort and in due course you’ll learn a few techniques that may save you from breathing out of your arse by the end of a savage workout.

Mindful breath control is a fundamental part of the practice of yoga, and this week
we'll be drawing on this specifically to aid your recovery and general relaxation.

It's starting to get a bit chilly now, so please bring adequate clothing and layers to
make sure you stay nice and warm throughout. Take a pair of warm socks, perhaps
even a thin blanket and/or an eye mask, if you have one.

Remember, you can bring along your homies – perhaps you've got a friend who's not into CrossFit (who are they?!) but would settle on something a little more chill on a Saturday afternoon.

Non-members of Thames are welcome to drop-in at a cost of £10. See ya there!

Upcoming Events

November Challenge

After the months and months of our Monthly Challenges we have tested strength, power, speed, endurance…but for a true test of all round fitness we have missed the BEST test.

Get your pre-wod ready…

Bring your knee sleeves, belts and best lifters….

It’s time to take on…THE FISH GAME!

This game is found of the Concept 2 Rower and the the object of this game is to rack up as many points as possible by eating the tasty fish while avoiding the large, toothy beasts that will send your score plummeting!

On the rower monitor, you’re the fish facing the onslaught of fellow ocean-dwellers, both good and not-so-good. Alter your intensity to move your fish up and down the left-hand side of the screen. When an edible “good” fish comes your way, try and gobble it up to get points and avoid the large predators, as they’ll take points off your score.

Each game lasts four minutes, with a play again option at the end.

Whilst this is a game, there is a point to this fishy madness. The Fish Game teaches you how to modulate intensity and it records all your workout information (time, distance, pace per 500 metres, and so on).

Time to go fishin’

Flip Out Trampoline – Saturday 25th November @ 10:00am

It’s like a playground for adults!…

We have organised a 2 hour session at Flip Out Trampoline where there is a ton of fun to be had. Trampolines, climbing, 100M caving experience, 30ft Drop Slide (Slide O’ death), Laser maze and more.

The cost is £15 per person for 2 hours, email james@crossfitthames.com to register your interest. Let’s get bouncy!

We have a CrossFit Level 1 on this weekend, so the gym will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.

12 Days of CrossFit & Christmas Bake-Off

Our annual Christmas WODGANZA is nearly here!

We challenge you to complete 12 days of CrossFit Benchmark workouts, back to back. Day 1 begins on Monday 4th December through to Day 12 Friday 15th December.

The last day is our grand finale and to celebrate in style we are having our Christmas Party with a CrossFit Bake-Off.. Bake your best Christmas goodies and bring it along to our Christmas Party. As members sample the delights they cast their vote for the favourite dish before our Bake of Champion is crowned.

The winner will receive a place on a Cookery and Baking Class at Little Portland Street Cookery School to futher hone their skills

Workout of the Day for Friday 3rd November – CrossFit

A) Deadlift: 3 x 5, across
Superset with 3x max rep chin-up*
(Weighted of any kind, if you are carrying around your protein shake in your pocket for after this absolute gainz WOD then that is weighted.)

*If you working towards chin-ups you are doing the following for 3 rounds:
6-8 Supinated-grip barbell row
12-15 Dumbbell bicep curls

B) 50-40-30-20-10
Ring rows
Double unders

Workout of the Day for Saturday 4th November – CrossFit

A) In a Team of 3, complete for time

3 mile run
3Km Row
300 Calories airdyne
*Split work as needed with one athlete working at a time

Workout of the Day for Sunday 5th November – Weightlifting Club

Week 5

A) Clean doubles: 5 x 2 @ 82.5-87.5%

B) Clean pulls: 5 x 2 @ 105%

C) Split jerk doubles: 5 x 2 @ 80-85%

D) RDL’s: 3 x 5 @ by feel

Workout of the Day – Thursday 26th October

“If you think lifting weights is dangerous, try being weak. Being weak is dangerous.” – Bret Contreras

Workout of the Day – CrossFit

A) 3 Supersets of
Deadlifts: 3×5, across (add 2.5 to 5kg from your last deadlift session)
Max effort *weighted pull-up

*If you work towards pull-ups you are doing the following for 3 rounds:
Pendlay Row 15-12-10
Banded pulls 5/5

B) 5 Rounds of:
3/3 Suitcase deadlift
5 Strict **pull-up
20 Calorie Row/ Airdyne

**If you are working on Pull ups then do 2-3 slow and controlled negatives

Workout of the Day – MetCon Class

A) 2 minutes for max rep pull ups
3 minutes rest
3 minutes for max rep sit ups
3 minutes rest
3 minutes for max rep push ups
*Feeling like a beast? add a weight vest!

B) 8x400m Run
1:1 Work/Rest ratio

Workout of the Day – Structural Strength

A) Lower Body Accessory

3 Supersets
A1) Bulgarian split squat: 8 reps with a 4 second lower on each rep
A2) Single leg glute bridge: 15 per side
A3) Strict knees to elbows: 20 reps
*Rest 30 seconds between B1, B2 and B3, and 2 minutes between rounds

B) Upper Body Accessory

3 Supersets
B1) 50m Overhead carry, 5 strict press every 10m, per side
B2) Pendlay row: 10 reps
B3) Cuban press: 10 reps (light load)
*Rest 30 seconds between B1, B2 and B3, and 2 minutes between rounds

C) Finisher
400m Farmers carry, heavy
*This does not have to be unbroken

Double unders!

A vid from last year’s open workout 1, which featured double unders and snatch (you might remember doing this one on Tuesday).

How are your double unders? Do they suck? If so, come in for a free (yes, FREE) double under clinic at 9:30am TODAY (Saturday) with Joslyn, queen of the jump rope! If you don’t have double unders, she can help you get them, if you do have them, maybe you’ll get a triple under!!

Speaking of the open, have you registered yet? It’s the worlds largest test of fitness, and it’s a lot of fun. Even if you don’t think you are games material, it’s a great idea to register to see how you stack up and what you need to improve on. For more info, check out the site. We’ll hold the weekly workouts on Thursdays, so you’ll have two days to plan your strategy after the WOD is released.

You might recognize the workout below if you did the open last year.

Workout of the Day

A: As many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:

9 Deadlift 70/50kg
12 Push ups (hand release)
15 Box jumps 24/18″

B: Work on your gymnastics skills

New Year, New Habits, New-trition

Every year on December 31st, millions of people worldwide commit to a doomed journey to regain their health and fitness. You will have all overheard the conversations ‘My New Years resolution is to do this (insert diet name)!’ or ‘This year I’m going to go running every day and not eat anymore junk food‘. Within a couple of weeks, a month if they’re lucky everything is derailed and the the promise they made themselves is long forgotten, until December 31st rolls around again. Why these resolutions ultimately fail is that people are trying to change a lifetime of habits overnight. So for those of you who have entered the New Year with a lifestyle overhaul planned, how can you ensure success?

Habits & Behaviour
Physcologists define habits (or wants) as ‘routines of behaviour that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously. Habitual behavior often goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it, because a person does not need to engage in self-analysis when undertaking routine tasks.’

It is widely shown that those who try and implement single new behaviours (as opposed to multiple new behaviours like in trying a new diet) achieve far higher rates of success. In the beginning putting new behaviours into practice is a conscious decision that requires both a willingness to implement them and a determination to do so in a regular basis. In time maintaining these behaviours becomes easier and easier as they become unconscious habits that require no thinking or effort, its part of your psyche. When trying a new diet plan (apart from the fact the plans are usually crazy diets that are unhealthy and unsustainable!) they require you to change practically every habit you have had ingrained in you since your childhood that relates to nutrition and eating, all in one ‘easy’ sweep. The majority of the time this is to overwhelming to handle as it requires far too much conscious effort which causes lots of stress and thus failure. Its like getting out to the middle of a lake and realising you cant swim!

How long does it take to form a new habit?
A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology was by researchers from University College London, where they recruited 96 people who were interested in forming a new habit such as eating a piece of fruit with lunch or doing a 15 minute run each day. Participants were then asked daily how automatic their chosen behaviours felt. These questions included things like whether the behaviour was ‘hard not to do’ and could be done ‘without thinking’. When the researchers examined the different habits ‘many of the participants showed a curved relationship between practice and automaticity. On average a plateau in automaticity was reached after 66 days. In other words it had become as much of a habit as it was ever going to become. Although the average was 66 days, there was marked variation in how long habits took to form, anywhere from 18 days up to 254 days in the habits examined in this study. As you’d imagine, drinking a daily glass of water became automatic very quickly but doing 50 sit-ups before breakfast required more dedication.’

Whilst this particular study shows a big variance in length of time to form a habit, it is commonly accepted that around 1 month of consistant, daily practice can form a new habit.

So how can we apply this to improve our nutrition? The first step to take is to form a list of any areas which you want to improve upon or new habits you wish to form, for example:
– Eat 2-3 servings of vegetables at each meal
– Have breakfast everyday
– Give up the daily evening night-cap!

Now pick one of these behaviours that you intend to focus on for the next month, however this alone will not guarantee success. You many have chosen the new habit you wish to create but do you have any idea how you are going to get there? Next up write out three things you need to do to ensure you are consistently making the behaviour happen. Here is an example, if I  chose ‘have breakfast everyday‘, here are three things I may need to do to get me there:
– Plan my weeks worth of breakfasts at the weekend
– Shop for all needed ingredients every Sunday
– Spend 1 hour on Sunday cooking my breakfasts for the week (breakfast fritata anyone?)

Tips on creating new habits

Commit to 30 days: Sounds like a paleo challenge right? Well that is because thats how long it takes to create new habits! Three to four weeks is all the time you need to make a habit automatic.
Make it daily: Consistency is of the upmost importance if you want to turn a new behaviour into a habit. Dont choose something you will only do once every week, it has to be done every day!
Form a trigger: A trigger is a ritual you use right before executing your habit, this does not mean some kind of rain dance or prancing around your living room half dressed with the neighbours watching. If you wanted to give up coffee you could try drinking a large glass of water with a slice of lemon, or go for a 5min walk, each time you felt the need for a caffeine kick.
Remind yourself: At the end of each week remind yourself of what your trying to achieve. Place reminders to execute your habit each day or you might miss a few days. Everytime you miss out on executing your behaviour you’re failing on creating a new habit.
Swish: This technique is used by many physiologists. Visualize yourself performing the bad habit, then visualize yourself pushing aside the bad habit and performing your new behaviour. Finally, end that sequence with an image of yourself in a highly positive state.

Finally, don’t let a missed event or set-back completely derail what you’re working towards. If you can make the 30 days with a 100% record that’s brilliant. If you slip up a couple of times its not the end of the world, just get back on track at the next opportunity. Of course implementing new habits does not have to be nutrition based, if you have one area of your life you want to change for the better then do it. Make a habit and get to it!…If you made one new habit each month for the next year you would end up changing your life, your health and your fitness in 12 different ways! Just remember to take them one at a time…Each new habit is a stepping stone, don’t try and clear the lake in one go!

Workout of the day
In 20mins establish 3RM in Deadlift

Day 10…’Diane’

Day 10 brings us (as voted for by you!) Diane!….We are now 10 days into our 12 Days and chances are you hamstrings will be tighter than piano strings and your thoracic area will be so stiff even breathing hurts! Diane requires some flexibility in those areas so do what you can during the day to loosen them out, even 5mins of joint rotations will help!

Yesterday saw over 40 of you experience ‘Lynne’! The last class of the day was one of the busiest sessions we have ever had in the gym but the atmosphere was fantastic! Thanks guys & gals!…Here are some pics from yesterday.




Workout of the Day


Deadlift 100/70kg

What is Motivation ??

Just what is motivation? For your work, is it the carrot and stick financial reward system. During Crossfit workouts, do you want to go faster and better to beat the guy next to you or is it to make the regional finals that year?

Nowadays motivation seems a little disjointed. Why are we doing what we do? What is it for? In work and life, are we really happy with what we have achieved when we put our head to the pillow? These might seem like heavy questions and they might seem like airy fairy questions and you might be perfectly happy with your current situation. But one thing I have noticed during my time coaching myself and others is that we can get better at everything. We can get better at WOD times, we can get better at our work, we can get better at our relationships, we can get better at knowledge…… we can get better at everything.

In this TED talk by Dan Pink, he talks about what is driving companies and people to really get the best of out of someone and some organisation. But if you look at the below 3 points, you can really put it into context if you think about it when you walk into the gym each day:

Autonomy – The urge to direct our own lives

Mastery – The desire to get better and better at something that matters

Purpose – The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

Have a look at the video and really think about applying each point to everything you do.

On the 3rd day of crossfit, my trainers gave to me…..

Workout of the Day

‘CrossFit Games 2011 Open Workout #2′

As many rounds as possible in 15 mins of:

9 Deadlift 70/40 kg
12 Push ups (hand release at bottom)
15 24/20’ Box jumps

Magic Mitochiondria

Mitochondria are responsible for everything from keeping your heart beating, getting you out of bed in the morning and to helping you set a new 1 rep max back squat. So how do they do this and how can you improve their function?

Power Plants

Mitochondria are found in every cell in your body and are often called the bodies ‘Power Plants’ as they are responsible for generating the cell’s supply of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which is used to aid cellular metabolism, cellular proliferation, apoptosis (programmed cell death), hormone production and of corse power muscular contraction. The process by which they create ATP is long and complex, but it uses oxygen to release energy from food molecules and this is known as cellular or aerobic respiration.

This process of ATP production does have a side effect in that it produces free radicals as a byproduct. Without going into too much detail free radicals are molecules that have a single unpaired electron in their outer shell, in order to stabilse itself the free radical steels electrons from other nearby molecules causing damage in the process (free radicals are thought to be a key player in the ageing process), genetic material in the mitochondria is a common casualty and these causes a variety of mitochondrial diseases. In a individual who is generally in good health the mitochondria deal with the free radicals, however if you have too few mitochondria (or the free radical load is too great) or they do not work efficiently then damage can ensue.

So we can see how important mitochondria are, so the question is….

‘How can I get more and make the ones I have work better?’

Exercise: It has been shown in numerous occasions that those who exercise have more mitochondria in the cells. This makes a lot of sense as those who are active need more energy than their sedentary friends. In particular exercise in the form of lifting heavy weights and periods of short/intense activity (like spinting….or Crossfit?!) produce higher concentrations of these organelles.

This is thought to play a pivotal role in weight gain and obesity. Those people who gain weight are less likely to exercise and as a result their need for mitochondria decrease as they use less energy…as they produce less energy they are even less likely to move around and they cycle perpetuates.

A study (Kelly et al, 2002) demonstrated ‘a 35% decrease in skeletal muscle mitochondrial area in obese vs. lean subjects‘, the obese subjects also showed substantial mitochondrial degradation.

Nutrition: Some studies have demonstrated that mitochondria run more efficiently on fatty acids rather than carbohydrates as creating ATP molecules from fatty acids produces fewer free radicals. So how help in this process? Maybe have a diet reduced in carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats….a paleo type diet maybe?!

Supplements: There is growing area of research into which supplements can boost mitochondrial function, just type ‘supplements’ and ‘mitochondria’ into google and see! Some of the supplements suggested to imrpove function include:
Cartinine which has been shown in some cases to increase the efficiency to which fat is transported into the mitochondria, thus aiding in ATP production and fat burning.
Various antioxidants (e.g. lipoic acid) are thought to aid mitochondria by reducing damage from free radicals.
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to decreased mitochondrial function.
Others include reservotal, vitamin C, ubiquinol and the list goes on….

As always a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition is where we should start, exercise smart and eat healthy and you too will have magic mitochondria!!


What I have been reading this week:

More on supplementation for mitochondria 

What I have been eating this week:

Paleo cobb salad (I added some chicken to get my meat fix)

Workout of the day
4 rounds for time of:
5 BW deadlift
100m sprint
5 BW deadlift
100m sprint
30 secs rest



If a squat is the bread, the deadlift is the butter of any strength routine. If you only did these two lifts for the rest of your life, you’d be powerful, strong, flexible, harder to kill, and more useful in general.

In today’s workout, warm up properly and lift heavy! You should not have much left after 8 mins of 90% + of your 1 rep maximum.

Workout of the Day:
Deadlift – On the minute, each minute for 8 minutes do one deadlift at 90% or more of 1 rep max

As many rounds as possible in 5 mins of:
5 Pull ups
5 Ring dips