Strength training: Relative Intensity

Training with me  can  have many objectives, one of which  is to  help you find your strength head - shorthand for developing your strength knowledge. In this article we visit the basic language of weightlifting and how it relates to the concept of relative intensity.

When it comes to using weight; in simple terms, people think this: lift the heaviest weight you can, that’s your 1 rep max; then based on that you can lift 90% of it 3 times (3reps), 85% of it 5 times, 75% 10 times. If you do 3 rounds of 3 reps, that’s 3 sets.

So weight lifting is a mix of percentages, sets and reps, all based on a one rep max. Simples!

This is a great place to start, but to develop your strength head,  you need to develop your knowledge and insights into the strength game.

Some time ago, Zatsiorsky pointed out there are two types of  one rep maxes you can have: a competition 1 rep max, and a training 1 rep max.

A) A competition max is  where you get hyped up and get a PB  and scream a lot.

B) A training 1 rep max


However, often people skip the full definition of a 1 rep training max.

A maximum training weight  is the heaviest  weight you can lift  without substantial  emotional stress.

Damn. No screaming.

For athletes, the difference between the two is great. The example Zatsiorsky cites is that for athletes who lift  200 kg during a competition, a 180kg is typically above their maximum training weight. As a possible indicator, if your heart rate increases before your lift, that’s a sign of emotional engagement. Weightlifting is meant to stress your body, not your mind.

That’s the job of your partner and employer.

In short, if you screamed it up - it's too heavy to use as a basis for regular training.

So, if you are calculating reps and sets using a 1 rep max, please, please use the right one; otherwise you’ll break. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon... If you want to properly test your 1 rep max, book a PT session with me.

If you have been lifting regularly for a while, you have probably begun to review strength literature and you are probably aware that lifting 80% of your 1 rep max provokes strength gain.

So, when lifting sets of 5, you'd probably like to put 80% of your 1 rep max on the bar. Everyone does that, but think about what it is you'd are actually be doing.

Let's forget weightlifting for a moment, and talk about bricks. Imagine you are a labourer on a building site. Lets say we run a test to see how many bricks you can move in a day. For argument's sake, let's  say you can move 1000.

Normally in training we wouldn’t want to move the 1000, we would do 800 ( 80%) but many people want to set 5 reps of that. So there you are, lifting 5 x 800 =4000.

If you tried to do that in a day, you’d probably die.

Back to the weight room. So you can lift 100kg calmly as your 1 rep max. You’ve been told if you lift 80% and over of this figure, you are strength training. So, to keep the maths easy, if you lift 80kg, you are strength training. But do you lift that 80% five times?

As you see from my poor labourer example, the first 800 was probably easy, but the next 800, isn’t easy, the 3rd 800 is getting you to breaking point.

In short, 80% lifted multiple times, isn’t perceived by the body as 80%. It sees it as much, much heavier because of the volume. The bricklayer, is of course a silly example - but try and get the message rather than be sidetracked in the endurance aspect of the example.

In simple terms, because you are lifting in sets of multiple reps, a load of 67% of your 1 rep max lifted 5 times has a relative intensity of 79%. It feels like 79%, your body thinks it's 79%. It is 79%

Putting 76% of you 1 rep max on your bar for 5, has the effect of being 88%.

70% feels like  =82%,

73% feels like  =  85%.

80% on the bar for 5, is like lifting 91%.

Relative intensity is the simple observation that volume, load and rest effects how your body feels and adapts to weight.

Coach Robb Rogers gives a fuller description here:

Remember your muscles are dumb, they don’t know or care about percentages. They just know what feels heavy.

According to Mike Tuchscherer; "The body responds to things like the force of the muscle's contraction, how long the contraction lasts, and how many contractions there were. A percentage isn't necessarily a precise way to describe this, as different lifters will perform differently.”

In take-home terms, if today you  followed one of my programmes, and during the strength session, you only got to 68% of your (proper) 1 rep Training max for 5; you actually hit the 80% in relative intensity. That's the 80% you need to nudge your strength along.

Often, I wont obsess about percentages; but those who do know their lifts, I hope will be grateful for this insight. For the rest of you, simply work to a set of 5 that you can comfortably lift, bearing in mind these RPE (rates of perceived exertion) as guidance.

On a scale from 1 to 10:

9: Heavy Effort. Could have done one more rep.
8: Could have done two or three more reps, but glad you didn't have to.
7: Bar speed is “snappy” if maximal force is applied
6: Bar speed is “snappy” with moderate effort

After a while, I suspect a “five” you can do will be at an RPE between 7 and 8.

Once you bedded this concept of relative intensity into your head, you can look forward to many years of safe, effective lifting.

More "Strength Head" insights coming soon.

Grateful thanks to Coach Chet Morjaria @Strength Education and to Coach Anthony Waller @ CrossFit London for the numerous corrections  and observations they supplied


Just put in the slightest of effort

By design I don't jump into your face and lecture about  diet, or sleep, or hydration, or mental hygiene.

These are things you have to be ready and prepared  to fix, otherwise any advice you get, no matter how good, is simply nagging.

And just so you know, nagging never works.

So what mental state do you have to be in to clean up your diet, get more sleep,  drink some water or get some mental relaxation time?

Do you have to be super motivated and live in a cave to clean up your act?

To make amazing improvements in your strength, fitness and Wod performance, you  simply have to put the slightest effort in to your eating, water, sleeping and mental relaxation.

You can buy crap for lunch, or  some good things from the supermarket. The chances are those shops are side by side. In Cannon street , its easier to get food from  (is it) Sainsbury's rather than queue up in many of the  fast lunch shops.

It take minutes to stock up your fridge with food, and seconds to decide to eat from that , rather than buy a take away: and if you buy  a take away, it doesn't take much to  order the healthier option.

Believe me you know what the healthier option is.

Most fitness apps  will help you monitor diet, record water consumption, guide you on sleep, give you easy meditation hints.

All you have to do, to unlock your real potential, is to make the slightest effort.

Think on!


How varied should Crossfit training be?

In 2002, Greg Glassman summarized world class fitness in 100 words. I call it, the great un-read 100 words because very few people read it and understood the clear instructions to develop a world class training regime:

to make my analysis clear im now suggesting that the crossfit 100 words becomes


The Crossfit 100 words and 5 ands


Like many crossfitters I rapidly jumped to the conclusion that crossfit was all about variety.   After all, that’s what the website does. It varies. All the time.


I started the change in my thinking after attending my level 2 course (the old one) years ago. The basic message was that Crossfit isn’t what’s on the main site, but it’s a great way to start.


Surely I thought, you deadlift 11111, on one day, then fran the next, then a 5k run rest day, then onto infinite variation. I clearly remembered this paragraph “Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy”


But I worried me, then I found among all the “ constantly varied “ statements Gregs description of a regular class at the original crossfit facility.


The class recommendation (October 2002) page 9

"One of our favourite workout patterns is to warm up, and then perform three to five sets of 3 to 5 reps of a fundamental lift at a moderately comfortable pace, followed by a 10 minute circuit of gymnastics elements at a blistering pave, and finally finish with 2 to 10 minutes of high intensity metabolic conditioning. There is nothing sacred here"

So, I thought, they are regularly doing gymnastics and training major lifts, then doing wods. That’s interesting and also backed up my empirical experience. Those who did regular muscle up work, got muscle ups, bigger squatters, squatted. Those who squatted regularly and did the Wods, were amazing.

Then I went and re read the 100 words.  I didn't re read them, as I'd never paid proper attention to them in the 1st place.

I actually read the 100 words properly for the 1st time. Like those ancient Egyptologists, it now made sense.

To help you, I've added some numbers, some "And"s and some personal observations.

Here are the 100 words and 5 Ands

1) Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

(ok! TICK)


2) Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch.

(Er, ok, and tick)


3) Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.

( wow, er similar to 2,  regular practice and training too. OK)


4) Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.



5) Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.

(oh I get it!!! Once you have done your regular training, do workouts that combine what you know! That makes sense)


6) Regularly learn and play new sports.

( if I had time, but yes, I get it)

Many think that Crossfit is about total variety in every aspect of training. It is never the less clear that “creativity” occurs in the workouts, not in the regular practice and training ( which obviously needs appropriate "variation, but  simply enough not to become routine)


well, there goes some of my respect for Michael Mosley

Ive always quite liked Micheal Mosley and his  reviews of fitness in programmes like the BBC's   The Truth about Getting Fit.

This evening he chose  a silly  journalist stunt  over a competent review. For reasons that are beyond me ,he revealed that the 10,000 steps a day protocol ( like the   Eat  5 a day fruit campaign)  began life as an advertising campaign and indeed was a fitness puff that falsely promised longevity and good health. As the  narrative  stopped there it left viewers with the impression that it was just a scam, and indeed 10 minutes of brisk walking was much better.

Here is my current review of the 10,000 steps programme, with a supporting reference

"10000 steps a day. Yep, that's 10 thousand steps every day . Go and buy a cheap pedometer, put it on your hip, and record how many steps you take each day. This is your baseline of daily activity. Any gym work or running around is training and is extra . This is the minimum amount of movement you do to keep ticking over.

Frequently I see people work quite hard in the gym for an hour, but are totally sedentary for the rest of the time. The gym session barely compensates for their lack of day today movement.

I also see many sports people, who apart from the weekly football match, are to all intents and purposes, sedentary.  So,  put that pedometer on and review your daily count.

Lifestyle Index


Low Active

Somewhat Active

Highly Active



5000 - 7500

7500 - 10,000


But don't worry! slowly build up your activity level if you find yourself in the sedentary box! Get active at work

for some science, look at

"Effects of a 10,000 steps per day goal in overweight adults" by Schneider et al (Am J Health Promot. 2006 Nov-Dec;21(2):85-9.)"

Some points need to be made

1) the 10,000 steps is a fantastic way to assess basic activity. Ive helped people who could  only manage 3000 steps in a day and the effect was remarkable.

2) 10,000 steps a day is the very least you should be doing.

However,  if you present 10,000 step Versus almost anything else, anything else is probably better: Brisk walking is better, a  fast 400m  run or a Crossfit Workout is better, indeed a  life and death brawl at your local pub really gets the blood pumping. The issue is this: you have to really be sedentary to do less than 10,000 steps a day, so its  a great baseline and target and you should always do more.

3) the message should  have been "do both".

So, its 10,000 steps each day, plus a workout


Make sure that 2018 is your functional fitness year.

Functional fitness is what you need to be functional. Often fitness today can be about holding a positive posture at a desk for 10 plus hours, equally it can be about  walking  or exercising off the stress. For many it about looking great naked.

Whatever your needs or dreams, build some fitness into your life.

You'll be happier

If you need some help, and you work in the City of London or Bethnal Green drop me a line and ill see if I can help

The Stemlerfit apps

Well, we have been very quiet, researching our new educational products.

All we can say for now is to "watch this space and sign up for the news letter"

Stemlerfit has  a reputation for delivering top quality  adult education  in the health and fitness arena's

Ladies who lift

While I have loads of women clients, it's obvious that there are those who would rather be trained by other women. 

That's why Crossfit London promotes the "WonderBar!" product led by the fantastic Kate Pankhurst.

Kate is helped by among others, lifter Sally Moss, who also runs an excellent weightlifting course for women: "Ladies Who Lift". 

I think she has a course starting in the next week and there may be a place left. Dont waiver, check out Sally's site now

Bring a band to your muscle up training

At Crossfit London our personal trainers are always thinking of new ways to help you do exciting "stuff", like

 learning the muscle up

Being negative about muscle ups

Work the negatives of the kneeling muscle up drill

Voodoo bands and your Achilles

We may have found the cure for your achilles pain

Shoulder mobility

Are your shoulders tight?

What causes obesity?

What is the real cause of obesity?  Of course, on one level, its eating too much and not exercising enough.

On one level.

 But what if you really start think about what causes that? 

What makes you eat too much and not move? 

You could say that its a bad food industry and too many gadgets, and you would sort of be right, but then why isn't everyone overweight? Why are some people "fatter".  Why can some people change and some cannot?

Join us here to find the answers

Jerks and snatch balances

Began playing with the Juggernaut system

so 4 sets of 10 at 55kg back squat the 15  reps for set 5

snatch balance 3 at 20,30,40 50, 55

mini wod

8 reps 50kg clean and Jerk
sprint 100m,  5 rope climbs, 100m sprint, 1 clean and jerk

Split Jerks, failed bar muscle ups and some thoughts

SDW was

3 rounds 7 x 40kg split snatch, 7 chest to bar pull ups ( failed bar muscle ups) 400m run x 3. Timing screwed up, but Ok.

My thinking at the moment keeps on going back to the 7 deadly sins. Can they hold part of the secret to overweight?

Playing with Rock Taping

Kate and I are having great fun playing with Rock Tape. We have had some great success with my ongoing achilles issue, but we had our 1st sort of failure this morning when playing with "power taping" ( tracing along a myo-fascial chain in an  attempt to improve a clients deadlift. )

We found it didn't really work, BUT, we remembered that a lot of the  success  of some taping systems relies on providing feedback or proprioception . Here we felt, on reflection, that the client simply didn't understand what the feedback ment. 

Still our evaluation is still looking positive.

Struggling with the squat plus todays SDW

Some people really struggle with the squat. Many blame their tight hamstrings  as they watch their lumbar curve collapse and think a trip to the local yoga cult is needed. 

It isn't. For 2 reasons. Yoga  develops clients through Asanas, or postures that you practise. At Stemlerfit we use the same ancient methodology, its just that the squat is our Asana. 

Practise that, it works great.

Todays other observation is that balance is possibly the major  barrier to a  decent  squat, In fact some people feel a very real fear of falling back wards. 

If this is the case, get a crash mat, let them squat and fall over. Then get them to practice the squat carefully as deep as they can, with the security that there is a fluffy soft mat to make it better if it goes wrong.

Todays workout

1) Daily aerobic activity ( I cycled)

2) Strength Deadlift 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 ( im at 120 kg with this)

3) 5 minutes of double under practice

BTW the guys at Crossfit London and our neighbours at Jetyres "rang up" our little corner of Bethnal Green at part of the olympics "ring your bell at 8.12 am" event.


see you at Seni....if you are tough enough!

Mouth guards

Well, it looks as if some members of the endurance community are already eying up a new product to enhance your performance:  Forget your Skins Inov 8s or vibrams, you could be needing a new  specially fitted mouth guard to enhance your workout……

According to the website,  Agility Guard the research in favour of such a proposition is  growing: some studies have suggested a relationship between the vertical position of the jaw and isometric strength of the upper body  (e.g Abdallah et al. “Affecting upper extremity strength by changing maxillomandibular vertical dimension in deep bite subjects”, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (2004); 22: 268-275.

Chafka et al. concluded that there is a “vertical position”,  unique to each persons jaw, which maximizes isometric strength  (“The Effect of Stepwise Increases in Vertical Dimension of Occlusion on Isometric Strength of Cervical Flexors and Deltoid Muscles in Nonsymptomatic Females”, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (2002), 20:264-273.)

Forgione et al.  suggested that there was  a  relationship does exist between bite and isometric strength, “Strength and bite, Part 2: testing isometric strength using a MORA to set a functional criterion” , The Journal of Cranio-Mandibular Practice (1992); 10(1):13-20. who knew, perhaps biting should be part of your new regime


( btw  According to “Shock Doctor” ( who?), “When fitted and worn correctly, the Shock Doctor Ultra Mouthguard positions the lower jaw down and forward, and the tongue up into the roof of the mouth (M.O.R.A. position). A Mandibular Orthopedic Repositioning Appliance (M.O.R.A.) may increase strength and athletic performance in a wide range of sports.”

Wang, Ueno, et al. found that maximum voluntary contraction during shoulder abduction( raising your arm) was significantly stronger with a mora “Influence on isometric muscle contraction during shoulder abduction by changing occlusal situation”, Bull. Tokyo Med Dent Univ, 1996, 43 (1): 1- 12.

Abduljabbar et al. found that some populations  responded to a ” bite raising appliance”  by increased isometric strength, “Effect of increased maxillo-mandibular relationship on isometric strength in TMD patients with loss of vertical dimension of occlusion”, The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (1997) Jan; 15(1) 57-67.

al-Abassi et al. found that, in deep bite individuals,  cervical muscle isometric strength is affected by bite position and vertical dimension of occlusion, “The effect of vertical dimension and mandibular position on isometric strength of the cervical flexors”, The Journal of Cranio-Mandibular Practice, (1999) Apr; 17(2):85-92.


But before everyone rushes out and gets a  ( presumably not cheap) mouthguard, its as well to be aware of the research sponsored by those wanting to promote this as a product and service

Arents et al , superficially  indicates a significantly better performance of a neuromuscular mouthguard over a custom-fitted mouthguard with respect to vertical jump, peak power output, average peak power, and average mean power. ( “Effects of a neuromuscular dentistry-designed mouthguard on muscular endurance and anaerobic power”, Comparative Exercise Physiology (2010)).

apparently the effects of jaw position  to structural stability is  examined in these two report

Bracco P, Deregibus A and Piscetta R (2004). Effects of different jaw relations on postural stability in human subjects. Neuroscience Letters 356: 228–230.

8 Sakaguchi K, Mehta N, Abdallah E, Forgione A, Hirayama H, Kawasaki T, et al. (2007). Examination of the relationship between mandibular position and body posture. The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice 25: 237–249.

but interestingly , back to Arents et al

“neuromuscular dentistry techniques have become more advanced. Based on the current study, it appears that a mouthguard designed using neuromuscular dentistry techniques has the potential to impact athletic performance in areas related to maximal power and repeatable power outputs. This may hold significance for the athlete who is required to wear a mouthguard while still looking for a competitive advantage and improvement” (page 5)


“Whether jaw positioning positively affects gross motor functioning has yet to be conclusively determined and remains to be a topic of controversy”

it is interesting that the report specifically debates the issue in the context of elite athletes who “have” to wear mouth guards anyway

“the speculative concerns put forth by athletes of possible discomfort, reduced ability to breathe and decreased performance6. The latter concern seems to be a major consideration for high-level athletes who are typically  looking to gain any advantage”

I do wonder, whether within the year,  if anybody who is anybody, will not only have to have skins and Inov 8, s but  will also need a mouthguard…….. when doing a thruster!

Im not sure if this is the same thing, but at least its in London, its a pure Mouth guard, well I never!

The biggest Loser

I was fascinated to read Barry Sears online review of the dietary strategies used by the biggest loser and some of the real secrets of their success.

1) Screening: the luxury of a tv programme is that you dont have to take all comers: poor knees, bad heart, bit of diabetes, theres probably no chance that you will be on the biggest loser

2) Choosing the motivated. One of the make or break skills (is that the right word?)  is motivation. Apparently the 1st show in 2005 had 225,000 applications. You should be able to find  10 or so " specially motivated" people.

3) You get Paid.........

4) an isolated environment away from white bread and sweets...

5) you get a camera put on you ( the effect can be magical)

6) you  basically get a Zone diet:  "According to the speaker, the real secret is that they are fed a Zonelike Diet with 45 percent of the calories coming carbohydrates (primarily non-starchy vegetables and fruits) with a very limited amount of whole grains, 30 percent of the calories from low-fat protein, and 25 percent from good fats, such as olive oil or nuts. The typical calorie intake for the females is 1,200 to 1,600 and for the males about 1,800-2,400. The typical 300-pound contestant will consume about 1,750 calories per day. Finally, you spread the balanced calories over three meals and two snacks during the day."

Kettlebell update

Top news today is a new report out by Jason Lake  in 

Mechanical Demands of Kettlebell Swing Exercise

Lake, Jason P; Lauder, Mike A

 They compared a kettlebell swing to a back squat and jump squat . In the onlineabstract they said "These findings indicate a large mechanical demand during swing exercise, that could make swing exercise a useful addition to strength and conditioning programs that aim to develop the ability to rapidly apply force" 

About time we had some proper science.

Tonights Crossfit London class

I treated my Monday class at Crossfit London to this cute combo.

The icing on the paleo cake tonight was a 10 minute amrap that went like this: do 1 power clean, then one push jerk, then 2 power cleans and 2 push jerks, then 3, 4, 5….. get as high as you can.

it was actually quite nasty.

Especially as it was preceded by

1) a vicious push up routine, followed by a  wheelbarrow gym lap

2) some nasty step ups

3) the most pull ups you can do with someone “hauling your ass”


the Andrew Stemler supplement recommendations

I've finally published my considered supplement  recommendations

1) High dose vitamin C ( 2-7 mg a day: build up slowly otherwise you will  give yourself a nasty dose of the runs)
2) Omega 3 
3) Pysillium husks
4) Acidophilus
5) Saccharomyces.

This is my executive summary, but I'll be adding all the science to the supplement page

Your Biggest enemy: the seat!

Of course there could be others, But im going to suggest that the seat is the biggest enemy you are likely to have. 

Sitting down is the worst thing you can do: it screws everything up. Your bottom is an active muscle that loves to be used, and olympic lift and run. It doesn't really like being sat on.

Not sure about this. We imagine you are your bottom. Now get someone to sit on you for, 1 minutes, 2 perhaps. and see how annoyed and cramped you feel.

Imagine your bum after a day at work?

If that was not bad enough: once you have switched your bottom off, you begin to hinge from your back, a really bad habit that you can transfer into lifting: you stop using your hips and haul load with your back: very painful!

Putting the webbing together

There are many ways of moving with weights. Back Packs, simply carrying them, weighted vests and in this case military webbing.I've been assembling a few sets so we can load everyone up in a class and make them pull up, burpee then run etc.

Sounds marvellous

RED Magazine and Crossfit London

Yes, I am a media whore! Check out page 207 of the latest issue of RED magazine (January 2012) where readers are guided on how to squeeze exercise into their busy, glamorous lives:

Ahem.. corrections below article:

I’m not sure what amused me most:
Fit in 10 mins a day (not including the Zone dieting, plus hundreds of practice hours at Oly and power lift, pullups, knees to elbow attempts and all the other exhausting stuff!)
Jumping off boxes (if only I could have skipped the jumping on boxes bit)
Size 8 (Well, some of my stretchy, forgiving items of clothing are)
My body is mostly lean muscle (ROFLMAO!!!)

Oh, and we are actually at

Still, all publicity is good publicity ;)


your kidneys and intestines make sugar..... who knew

This is a fascinating read, right at the frontier of our knowledge, in the "wild west of Obesity"

Control of Blood Glucose in the Absence of Hepatic Glucose Production During Prolonged Fasting in Mice

Induction of Renal and Intestinal Gluconeogenesis by Glucagon (DIABETES December 2011 vol. 60 no. 12 3121-3131)

(Mutel et al)

As kirsty and Brie begin a fasting experiment, i was reminded that everyone, including me, consideres the liver to be the major source of endogenous glucose production. But,  now apparently  the kidneys and intestine can also produce glucose in blood, particularly during fasting and under protein feeding. Well, I’ll be a lab rats uncle!

Anyway, after tagging some enzymes, this study  shows that the absence of hepatic glucose release had no major effect on the control of fasting plasma glucose concentration. Instead,  and this is sneaky, gluconeogenesis occurred in the kidneys and intestine, driven by glucagon, glucocorticoids, and acidosis.  Although this was mainly in  wild-type mice. We dont know if calm or happy mice would do the same


But this study does sort of provide a “ definitive quantitative estimate of the capacity of extra-hepatic gluconeogenesis to sustain fasting endogenous glucose production under the control of glucagon, regardless of the contribution of the liver. Thus, the current dogma relating to the respective role of the liver and of extra-hepatic gluconeogenic organs in glucose homeostasis requires re-examination

In short if Brie and kirsty  claim to be  wondering around, sugar deprived, they are not. Their little intestines are pumping out Mars bars and sweets as Im writing

Olympic weightlifting: finding your pockets

Correct positioning before your final explosion in the Olympic lifts is crucial. Mike Burgner gave us the concept of pockets, that the bar must be around mid thigh,before you launch into your final hip drive  and shrug. The idea behind “pockets” was an easy to relate to queue. Imagine the bottom of your pockets ( or put your hands in your pockets and press down). That’s where the bar should.

A great group coaching point, but on a refined level it may not work for everyone. ( pocket sizes, arm lengths, thigh lengths vary… they do really!) Some are happy to experiment, others need drills to guide their learning.

Here is a box jump drill that could help. (click here if the you tube box does not show)

If you want to learn the olympic lifts, or get your form improved, drop Andrews Stemler an email on

Crossfit London is so Green ( by kate Pankhurst)

I like a bit of weightloss TV, me. My favourite is The Biggest Loser (USA, Australia, Guatemala) I find it inspiring. Mostly.

The one I saw last Sunday had a theme: Green Week. The message to the contestants was to eat organic and local, reduce their carbon footprint and recycle. They achieved this by hustling the weightloss victims away from the electricity-driven gym machines (boo!) and do their running outside. Elliptical trainers were spurned in favour of swiss-ball wobbling. Most baffling was the recycling challenge: In teams they competed to shift the most fizzy drink cans from A to B. Each winner won – wait for it – an SUV!

While enjoying what the bossy Biggest Loser coaches interpret as Green fitness, something very obvious struck me. Crossfit really is Green! We have no running or cycling machines guzzling electricity while the trainee goes nowhere: we run, we ride real bikes. Our barbells and kettlebells are powered by human grit. We don’t have enormous, expensive lat pull-down machines, we have a bit of scaffolding and rubber bands. Admittedly, we have Concept 2 rowers – using  2 AA batteries to run the monitor. Even if they fall out, the rower still works fine. Oh, and a fizzy drinks machine won’t be installed anytime soon – we have a perfectly good tap sticking out of the wall.

Alongside the regular Crossfitters’ commitment to good nutrition, many as a matter of course will go for organic and local produce. Some grow their own. They run, cycle, use public transport to get to Crossfit London. If so, their gym carbon footprint becomes the size of baby’s bootie.

I should mention the movement called Green Gyms which has the laudable goal of tending the environment while getting the volunteers fit. I wouldn’t mind giving it a try it next year. I could put all my thrusters and deadlift strength into practical applications for shifting wood and building drystone walls.

Crossfit London has the most effective, most rewarding and most fun fitness protocols available anywhere. It is also very green and sustainable. Green issues are something everyone cares about, even if not consciously or consistently. But it’s satisfying to know while you’re lying on the floor gasping for air: Fran may be a right cow, but at least she cares for the planet.

The main crossfit London site is at, but you can email andrew direct at

front squats and toes to bar: wod 28th Nov

Another cold one this morning, so we got moving quickly (in both senses of the phrase) with some shuttle runs, shuffles and bounding jumps. We also dipped our toes in the deep waters of resisted sprinting and acceleration. More to come on this topic I believe.

Strength work was back squat 3-3-3+. We are only two weeks away from ‘testing week’, where we will be putting this 5-3-1 programme to the test and seeing if we have moved our 1RMs on.

The WOD was simple but pretty brutal:

3 rounds for time

20 Front squats (60kg/40kg)

10 Toes-to-bar

At least noone left the gym cold, this morning…!


0630 scores

  • Steven (RX) 7:04
  • Veronika (30kg) 9:05
  • Harriet (35kg) 9:23
  • Brian (RX) 9:52

Crossfit London: the capitals running resource

Crossfit London (UK) once again consolidated its position as one of the formost London groups effectively supporting the capital’s runners: in a marketplace where runners are bombarded by the simplistic nonsense of  charlatans, the increasingly popular Crossfit London running clinics assemble the experts you need to hear.

You get to listen to nationally ranked and dedicated amateur runners, who take the hot seat to talk about their training methods, likes and dislikes, and answer questions from the audience. But unlike other ‘religious’ running groups, we make it clear that what works for one won’t always work for others, so no one tries to force their apparent success onto your regime. It means you join us in the evaluation process. A big thank you to David Evans for being this months “hot seat” occupant.

Second to this, we field a team of massage therapists, all graduates from the London School of Sports Massage, many of whom have trained with such industry names as Mel Cash and Leon Chaitow. They normally focus on introducing you to trigger point therapy: an often overlooked but well documented form of self treatment systemised by Travell and Simon’s in Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. Not that we recommend you buy the expensive book. We often refer runners to “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” by Clair Davies, a useful summary of the work for normal people.

Therapist Kate Pankhurst, lead the audience through some knee pain trigger points, and drew key muscles and essential points on a small team of amateur models ( well done Harriet, Tom and maxim), then everyone got a chance to poke and prod. Andrew Stemler added to the “therapy” with a discussion of flexibility, the use of PNF stretching, and how to do it, and shared  ”how to help your achilles tendinopothy” with heel drops. These section were ably supported by physioherapist Terry,  who expanded on some of the science and theories behind the treatment.

One of the many extras with our massage and training team is that both Kate Pankhurst and  Andrew Stemler not only have real world , hands on experience, but their knowledge is enhanced by practical dissection skills: unlike many self promoted personal trainers, they have actually dissected  cadavers and have a real grasp of the way the body really works (not  a vague knowledge based on 19th century anatomical charts!)

We also examined the current running craze , POSE , Crossfit London is fairly unique in having its own, (very open minded) POSE running coach. After all, no one needs a fanatical insistence that a particular way of running is best for you. It’s more useful to be given the drills, then try stuff out for yourself. Our team uses POSE as an interesting way of reflecting on your own running style. Some end up running POSE, others don’t.

We then evaluated a “take anywhere” high intensity workout. Death by 10m. Simply find two points 10m apart, and, its one shuttle in the 1st minutes, 2 in the second (eeeaasy peeezey), gets a bit harder at minute 15!  (but we started off at shuttle 12…………. to give the group the full experience). We the introduced a Romanian Deadlift/good morning variation that really work the glutes and hamstrings.

Very useful for runners.

Then It was over to Crossfit trainer Katarina for  the up-to-date position on hydration and insights into Circadian rhythms

We also announced the  date for the next major running event, where we are teaming up with Inov 8 to look at, among other issues, barefoot running and minimalist shoes, the neural connection in back pain, IT band syndrome and “other stuff” The date for your diaries is
Saturday 3 March 2012. For REPS fitness instructors, that session will have 3 CPD points

Gum Shields. M.O.R.A, and jaw stuff

Well, it looks as if some members of the endurance community are already eying up a new product to enhance your performance:  Forget your Skins Inov 8s or vibrams, you could be needing a new  specially fitted mouth guard to enhance your workout......

According to the website,  Agility Guard the research in favour of such a proposition is  growing: some studies have suggested a relationship between the vertical position of the jaw and isometric strength of the upper body  (e.g Abdallah et al. "Affecting upper extremity strength by changing maxillomandibular vertical dimension in deep bite subjects", The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (2004); 22: 268-275.

Chafka et al. concluded that there is a "vertical position",  unique to each persons jaw, which maximizes isometric strength  ("The Effect of Stepwise Increases in Vertical Dimension of Occlusion on Isometric Strength of Cervical Flexors and Deltoid Muscles in Nonsymptomatic Females", The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (2002), 20:264-273.)

Forgione et al.  suggested that there was  a  relationship does exist between bite and isometric strength, "Strength and bite, Part 2: testing isometric strength using a MORA to set a functional criterion" , The Journal of Cranio-Mandibular Practice (1992); 10(1):13-20. who knew, perhaps biting should be part of your new regime


( btw  According to "Shock Doctor" ( who?), "When fitted and worn correctly, the Shock Doctor Ultra Mouthguard positions the lower jaw down and forward, and the tongue up into the roof of the mouth (M.O.R.A. position). A Mandibular Orthopedic Repositioning Appliance (M.O.R.A.) may increase strength and athletic performance in a wide range of sports."

Wang, Ueno, et al. found that maximum voluntary contraction during shoulder abduction( raising your arm) was significantly stronger with a mora "Influence on isometric muscle contraction during shoulder abduction by changing occlusal situation", Bull. Tokyo Med Dent Univ, 1996, 43 (1): 1- 12.

Abduljabbar et al. found that some populations  responded to a " bite raising appliance"  by increased isometric strength, "Effect of increased maxillo-mandibular relationship on isometric strength in TMD patients with loss of vertical dimension of occlusion", The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice (1997) Jan; 15(1) 57-67.

al-Abassi et al. found that, in deep bite individuals,  cervical muscle isometric strength is affected by bite position and vertical dimension of occlusion, "The effect of vertical dimension and mandibular position on isometric strength of the cervical flexors", The Journal of Cranio-Mandibular Practice, (1999) Apr; 17(2):85-92.


But before everyone rushes out and gets a  ( presumably not cheap) mouthguard, its as well to be aware of the research sponsored by those wanting to promote this as a product and service

Arents et al , superficially  indicates a significantly better performance of a neuromuscular mouthguard over a custom-fitted mouthguard with respect to vertical jump, peak power output, average peak power, and average mean power. ( "Effects of a neuromuscular dentistry-designed mouthguard on muscular endurance and anaerobic power", Comparative Exercise Physiology (2010)).

apparently the effects of jaw position  to structural stability is  examined in these two report

Bracco P, Deregibus A and Piscetta R (2004). Effects of different jaw relations on postural stability in human subjects. Neuroscience Letters 356: 228–230.

8 Sakaguchi K, Mehta N, Abdallah E, Forgione A, Hirayama H, Kawasaki T, et al. (2007). Examination of the relationship between mandibular position and body posture. The Journal of Craniomandibular Practice 25: 237–249.

but interestingly , back to Arents et al

"neuromuscular dentistry techniques have become more advanced. Based on the current study, it appears that a mouthguard designed using neuromuscular dentistry techniques has the potential to impact athletic performance in areas related to maximal power and repeatable power outputs. This may hold significance for the athlete who is required to wear a mouthguard while still looking for a competitive advantage and improvement" (page 5)


"Whether jaw positioning positively affects gross motor functioning has yet to be conclusively determined and remains to be a topic of controversy"

it is interesting that the report specifically debates the issue in the context of elite athletes who "have" to wear mouth guards anyway

"the speculative concerns put forth by athletes of possible discomfort, reduced ability to breathe and decreased performance6. The latter concern seems to be a major consideration for high-level athletes who are typically  looking to gain any advantage"

I do wonder, whether within the year,  if anybody who is anybody, will not only have to have skins and Inov 8, s but  will also need a mouthguard........ when doing a thruster!

Im not sure if this is the same thing, but at least its in London, its a pure Mouth guard, well I never!

In the meantime, Ive emailed Joy to ask her if she will chat to her bosses and get some more info about this . If anyone has any personal insight, so post up below

Poppy Day

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,

Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.
And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.

curing no pull ups

just added this post to the pull up page and the crossfit london site

Once you have a few pull ups, its 'easy' to keep adding to them. The real hard one is  getting that 1st pull up. I've struggled for 3 months to post a genuine article about getting your 1st pull up. This  is my 1st public draft.

I hope it helps.
If you have no pull ups, here are some essential things you must do.
1) get a pull up bar at home. Id say this wont guarantee success, but not having one at home will guarantee failure. Do not rely on getting to the gym, or to us for that matter. Also its  a private matter  between you and the bar: basically you have bar “issues” and sometimes its best to deal with “issue” in private2) understand that a pull up is not  a rubbishy exercise like all those silly piltates wiggles and squirms that you do. Pulls ups are a predictive happiness test. If you have no pulls ups ( and this is especially true of ladies) No one of quality will want to marry you. If you refuse to get that 1st pull up, stop reading this and go and get some cats. That’s all you will be good for.3) look at your weight. Pull ups will be harder to get if you are over weight. That does not mean you wait until you are the “right weight” .Get going now. It will be harder, but as i often say. "you ate it, now hump it"  Actually, to take  a side step, if you are overweight dont set yourself the task of loosing a few pounds before you do anything, start living your life now- if you are overweight, and are miserable because you are lonely and boyfriendless/girlfriendless/loverless, put your details up on the raunchiest BBW site that your morality can stand, and hold on to your hat!  Big Girls and boys are always in demand, You can only loose weight if you are  happy: beating off would be lovers with a stick. Is a very practical and measurable marker of happiness. Sitting at home feeling fat and ugly, makes you fat and ugly.  Sorry, that not really  about pull ups is it.

So, you cannot pull up. but you have your bar up. hopefully you can reach it by standing on the floor, or on a  low stool

objective 1, can you hang from the bar with your palms facing away from you ( for those in the know, this is the chin up grip thats a bit easier to begin with)
objective 2 can you hang  a bit longer
objective 3 can you hang a bit longer than objective 2. ( can you see where this is going)
To save a lot of time, can you get to hang on your bar for 10 seconds? when you can , go woohoo ( loudly so as to annoy your neighbours)

and start on working out how to do your 1st negative.

Your 1st what?
Well in highly technical terms, right, theres the pulling up bit right, and then there’s the lowering bit. Innit. At the moment you are not strong enough to do the pulling up bit, like, but if you were  kind of already up there, maybe you could, er  lower yourself down a bit.  Alright.Does sort of rather beg the question of “how do i get up there” Well here is the Andrew Stemler “Getting it up guide” ( apparently this is a good title that always sells)
  1. Jumping. Grab the pull up bar  but  instead of trying to pull yourself up, jump up so that your chin is above the bar .This can be easier said than done
  1. By standing on something.  Just stand on something that is high enough for you to start out in that already-pulled-up position.  a bench, a chair, whatever. Anything you can use as a mini-ladder would be perfect. Perhaps even a mini ladder
  1. Stand on something  "version 2"  Grab the bar and make your loser boy or girlfriend  (perhaps the one you got from the BBW site) grab your ass and push you up

Now, once you’re in that top position, you’re ready to do the negative part of the pull up. So, lower yourself down as slow and controlled as you possibly can. Focus on keeping really tight. I dont mean refuse to lend people money or get drunk, i mean “have  lot of tension in your body. Squeeze ( your own) bottom together.  Brace your abs, squeeze your legs together.

your 1st lower ( we will call it negatives from now on) will either be agonisingly slow and hurt like hell, or you will fall straright through as you discover you have no strength: at all.
Once you have lowered yourself . Pop off the bar and reflect. Negatives are  very taxing. You need rest between each one and you should never do more than 6 to 8 in a session.So here is you beginner CHIN UPS FOR HAPPINESS  programmeDay  1) neg, neg, neg, neg,neg ( 120 secs rest between each negative)

Rest a day ( drink, eat cake, take all sorts of drugs. Smoking is especially good for you these days as it gets you out in the fresh air

Day 2 neg, neg, neg, neg, neg (90 secs rest between each negative) ( so its not just day 1 repeated, its the same but with less rest!)

Rest a day ( put your own joke in!)

Day 3 neg, neg, neg, neg , neg (120 secs between each negative)

rest a day
Day 4 The next workout needs you to get that looser boyfriend/girlfriend again. basically they are going to try and help you pull yourself up and down. ( they get behind you, grab you... somewhere.... experiment) then they assist you to do....3 sets of  as many reps  as you can  with 120 seconds between,  so they grab you, and haul you up and down as many times as you can. Could be 1 you could do 2. 0r 6. Rest 120 seconds, Do it again 2 more times. Its my way of getting your body to see what the actual task is. No a lat pull down machine is not a good substitution. BTW. the set is over when they cannot push you anymore, not when you feel like it. You will want to stop early as it feels as it you are not doing the work: in fact its mainly you.

But, what if you cannot get anyone to help you?

Well thats beyond this article:  but ideas could be to go next door and bug your neighbour, call up your x-wife.  Perhaps the guy selling the big issue fancies a couple of quid extra. Get creative, and find someone. Join a religious group and offer to host a scripture reading and slip your set in before you start as "movement prayer"

Rest 2 days 

Day 5) neg, neg, neg,neg, neg ( 90 secs rest)

2 days rest.

Day 6) now its the big test. Get someone to help you do 1/2 easy  supported reps. Rest for  2minutes.  Then  do your 1 pull up ( woohoo!) or hang there trying for 7 seconds. Then with 120 seconds rest neg, neg, neg.

If you  get that  pull up come and talk to us about getting more,  if not return to the beginning and start again. If you are very weak it could take many passes through to get your 1st pull up. But this regime works.

The Crossfit London UK 5K Challenge

This is  one of those interesting experiments that went very wrong.  Early on we discovered people either not following the regime ( sneaking off to do long slow distance) or getting injured ( shin splints, plantar fasciitis)

while we are still evaluating the results we suspect that this experiment lacked initial qualification. ( ie new runners should be doing something else)

The great thing about Endurance training at Crossfit london is that we are a broad church of experience   and are happy to share and exchange success or failure

The experiment we suggested, and then terminated, is below

Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle… when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” (Maurice Greene, five-time world champion 100-metre sprinter)

Crossfit (CF) London is looking for all levels of runners from beginners to marathon, lions to gazelles and even some crazy Crossfitters to participate in an 8week “improve your 5K” experiment.  CF London will offer a full 8 week online programme that you can either follow at home or come and join us at the Crossfit Endurance classes (CFE).

The plan is as follows:

  1. Run/Walk a 5K before Monday 4th July
  2. Follow the 8 week running programme (check the crossfitlondon website for video’s and coaching tips)
  3. Let us know what other physical activities you do during the 8 weeks
  4. Re-test your 5K

As part of the experiment we would also like to know what other physical activities you participate in during the 8 weeks.  Do you play a sport, do you use a gym, do you Crossfit, or will you do additional running during the 8 weeks?  An online blog will be available for you to record your training session during the 8-week programme.

The Crossfit Endurance (CFE) classes on Wednesday and Saturday will follow the 8-week programme as the main session focus.  Participants will also get the chance to improve their running technique with numerous POSE running drills:

Learn to improve your running technique:

  1. Use gravity (via a forward lean) for forward motion
  2. 2. Land on the balls of your feet
  3. 3. Never fully straighten the your legs
  4. 4. Pull each foot of the ground towards your butt
  5. 5. Maintain a least 180 steps per minute


The Crossfit movement is about being wholly promiscuous with our knowledge: Hence we want to giver you our suggested programme. Our training looks to support you as an athlete (if you want to run 5k, believe us, you are an athlete).

Week 1 (Monday 4th July)

Monday (or your starting day, a 5k Time trial)

Wednesday: 8 x 100m w/ 2min rest between

Saturday: 6 x 200m Time Trial w/ 3min rest between


Week 2 (Monday 11th July)

Monday 6 x 100m. 1 minute rest

Wednesday: 4 x 400m w/ 3min rest between

Saturday: 2 x 800m Time Trial w/ 3min rest between


Week 3 (Monday 18th July)

Monday: 6 x 100m w/ 1min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 200m w/ 90sec rest between, 2 x 400m w/ 3min rest between

Saturday: 2 x 1K Tempo w/ 3min rest between


Week 4 (Monday 25th July)

Monday: 4 x 200m w/ 2min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 200m w/ 90sec rest between, 2 x 400m w/ 3min rest between

Saturday: 2 x 1K Tempo w/ 3min rest between


Week 5 (Monday 1st August)

Monday: 2x 100m w/ 1min rest between, 2 x 400m w/ 3min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 200m w/ 2min rest between, 1 x 800m

Saturday: 4 x 500m Time Trial, rest the same time taken to taken to run the previous 500m


Week 6 (Monday 8th August)

Monday: Tabata = 8 rounds of 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest, maximal effort.

Wednesday: 5 x 100m w/ 60sec rest between, 5 x 200m w/ 2min rest between

Saturday: 3 x 800m Tempo w/ 3min rest between


Week 7 (Monday 15th August)

Monday: 5 x 200m w/ 2min rest between

Wednesday: 4 x 400m w/ 2:30 between each

Saturday: 2 x 1200m Time Trial with 3min rest between


Week 8 (Monday 22 August)

Monday: 6 x 200m w/ 90sec rest between

Wednesday: 8 x 100m w/ 60sec between

Friday: Tabata = 8 rounds of 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest, 80-90% effort.

Saturday: 5K TT


If you have any question about the programme please post to the comments on this page and we will answer.

ill since sunday...

I had to add sunday as a rest day, went down with a bad sore throat on Monday, Tuesday managed a bit of work, Today feeling better, but still under the weather. Fighting the urge to train.

will do a strength WOD tomorrow to see how things feel.

ill take it easy tomorrow and not try to push any barriers... final exams on saturday.

50 and still taking exams!

After this, Ill probably record my training manually and give the occasional online update. This sint being secret, its just this site is a bit of   pain to put date on a daily basis

30 clean and jerks

60kg. Full squat clean. Split jerks.
20 minutes

tried press, 2 x 50kg

a bit of strength mand weighted nicole

front squat 3 x 65kg

weighted Nichol, 5k weighted vest.
max pull ups, 450 approx run
20, 15, 12, 13, 10

max pull ups and some core work

Im still considering a weird Biorhythm experiment: you can see some of the overview here.

But today, being cautious, I opted for  3 round max pull up, with 20 GHD sit ups/ back extensions x 3 took about 14 minutes, and,  what with my physical capacity down 93% ( that's bad) I thought I would not beat myself up.

Pull ups were 28, 16, 15. Should be back to 35 /40 kipping pull ups by the end of June

I must admit the  re-emergence of an old sub patella knee pain on my left knee, after my last set of squats on Monday is making me consider cycling back on my squats to make sure they recover.

I did 72.5kg  for 5 with snatches in between, so I'm going to cycle back to 65 on the next round and ill put the snatch between my deadlift warm ups

5k run

ran to the box.

5k. Didn't record the time, not super fast, very hot, happy to have finished.

tired strength day

finished off last cycle, on friday, with 15 muscle-ups in between revision.  experimented with full turnout at the bottom

2 days "off" which I spent in an anatomy exam and lectures and massage practicals.


built up front squat to one set of 72.5kgs x 5, reduced weight to 60kg, but only managed 4 reps, Then remembered I had forgotten breakfast, so just focused on completing strength work. While warming up the front squay, i jumped up in snatch from 20kg to 52.5kg

So hit both targets

Press, only managed 4 reps at 47.5kg (couldn't face the push press)

Deadlift, completed the required 117.5kg x 5.

A few hours later, one set tabata squat 18, 19, 19, 16, 18. 15, 17, 14.

in short, diet in tatters, no real rest... hope this will all be over on the 26th of June.

Was inspired to start comparing bad days with my biorhythms. we shall see how that goes. Today Im apparently down 63%

early morning, revision some burpees

Broken night. Feeling really tired, but too tired to snooze.

Done a fair bit of revising and some handstand push up practice.

decided to have a focus, so 25 burpees as fast as poss, with total recovery rest...didn't bother timing it, but about 3-5 minutes


So thats what its like to keep up a 100 burpee in 5 minute pace.

That's hard!

strength day

the basic plan is this: increase my front squat, press and deadlift.

All sort of going up using a greyskull/pavel combined theory, although, I'm still within previous strength gains. It will be interesting to see if I can get improvements.  The most Ive ever front squatted with awful form was 82.50, pressed was 52.50. deadlift, 140. Obviously it would be good to get these back. But in theory,  some say that 5 reps represents 80% of what you can lift. we shall see. ill give this system time to bed in and test when the protocol demands. What happens is that each 1st day ( ie every 4th) i increase the weights, aiming for 5, then reducing by 20% for max effort. What in theory happens is that Im unable to do 5, but, 4, then 3, then 2, but, my back up set should never drop below 5 reps ( because when i can do only 1, im at my 1 rep max, thus 20% off that should = 80%

So in basic terms, warmed up to 1 set of 5 x 70kg front squat, followed by 10 reps at 54kg ( good form only.! the instruction is, if you do not think its going to be perfect, don't do it)

The same step up to the press, 5 x 45kg, followed by 45kg push press at that weight. 15 reps

Deadlift,  worked up to 115 x 5, then 10 reps at 92.5kg.

The interesting change I made today was to add snatches in between the warm up front squats ( i normally do about  2 reps each step up, so, bar, 30, 40, 50, 60.

This time I slipped single reps of  snatches, going from bar, to 30, 40, 45, 50. The advantage was that I got on with some oly practice, without making a big song and dance about it, and because the weight lagged behind the front squat, it felt easier.

But, i did notice on my cindy my endurance is slipping a bit, so i waited 4 hours then did

50 air squats, 10 ring dips x 4 as fast as possible. 7.25. Not sure I was that happy with the depth of my squats


Only 14 rounds. But good honest, full range of motion reps

( its 5 pull ups, 10 press ups, 15 squats).

Limitation was press ups, again. Ill have to go back to my old martial arts days and build them in more regularly..yawn.

squat clean thrusters.

15, 12, 9

50 kg squat clean thrusters/weighted pull ups ( went from 5kg, 10kg, 20kg each round)


strength day 2

Front  squat 2 x5 x  67.5, 11 x 52.5

Press 2 x 42.5, 15 x 42.5 push press

Deadlift 2 x 5 x 112.5, 12 at 92.5

a bad idea

without warm up, max pull ups, dips , push ups, on the hour every hour... or until your ac joint gives out

10) 11,11,20
11) 14, 14, 14
12) 10, 9,6
1) 11, 11, 17
2) 9, 13. 14
3) 8,7,7...tired and bored, aching AC joint

Did Foz's lifting clinic in the evening.

FGB prep/Fran support

so, do 1 round Fight Gone Bad, with 1 minutes rest between each minute of work ( ie wall ball, 1 minute, rest a minute, push press 1 minute, rest a minute, etc)

Then 3 x max set of dumbbell thrusters.  1x 5, 1 x 5, 1 x 1 ( 25kg x2)

then  2nd round Fight gone bad , 30 seconds rest between each minute

 3 x 2 weighted pull ups

Then 3rd round Fight gone bad, straight through as RXD.

i managed to main 20 on each station, except the $&*(^@! row, which collapsed from 20, 17, 10. needs some more work.

A very useful insight into pacing and capacity.

holiday/strength day 31 may.

Decided to grow up and have a bank holiday weekend off ( except we massaged two days solid...nothings perfect!)

So today, I made the decision that for the next 10 groups of 3, I would start with a sort of a strength day, playing with some of the scheduling of Pavel and Greyskull

Front squat worked up to 1 x 5 ^5kg, then stripped 20% off to 50 kg and did max, good reps . 15.

Deadlift, worked up to 1 x 110, then 90kg x 14

the press which Im doing as  1 x 5 max press then, max push presses at the same weight, 18reps.

Then a bit of wall ball practice, 17 reps at 10kg.

cycled in, cycled back out again.

Its my intention to have a  gymnastic home wod later tonight.

Knackered Friday

 lack of sleep and missed breakfast ( how the F**k??)

took me about 20 minutes to do the official Crossfit warm up.

Threw in the towel.

 But come lunch time I had recovered enough to do 15 minutes of

1 power clean, 2 front squats, 1 push jerk, 10 hand release push ups.( 50kg) didnt record rounds as i joined in a class.

Then I had to assess the 6.30 class so joined in the  "Tabata Something Else" workout . Really enjoyed it all. So from "zero to hero". Who knew!

50 year old, back squats, deadlifts and dips

 reviewed my increased back squat and felt that maybe  I wasn't going low enough, so have cycled back to 80kg for 3 sets of 5. Ill increase by 2.5kg for  each block of 3 days.

Todays workout 100kg daedlift, ring dips, 21, 15, 9


Weight loss

Had an interesting weight loss issue.  I have a great client who struggles with his weight, but when he eats strict, he eats strict, so it was  a surprise to see his weight loss stall. So we went through the basics... he had cut down on fibre ( veg/ salad), so we added that back in.

No change.

Damn. So we looked at medications ( he was in hospital recently). no, nothing there.

Then we looked at supplements. he had read the Tim Ferris, 4 hour body book and was following the "drug" regime. The moment he stopped taking this cocktail of "muck" he started to loose weight again.

He now takes a multi-vitiman and omega 3 only. Treat supplements with extreme caution.


Had another "starting strength" victim.

There are a lot!

 I have to say that my clinical experience is this. The pursuit of pure strength gain, by focusing just on strength training, without an underpinning, general fitness regime like Crossfit, normally exposes you to injury and stalled results.

Make sure your training is broad general and inclusive, if at all possible. Above all, at the top end, a lack  strength can be  a hinder to elite performance. But the belief that strength is the be all and end all, is misguided. Your 5kg time is as important as your deadlift.

The problem is that most "strength" advocates, don't bother reading the basic literature and go leaping around the internet looking at un-referenced garbage.

Am I saying you don't need strength, ofcourse not. You do! but you need to follow an intelligent programe, not copy power-lifting regimes ( unless you have decided to dedicate your life to power lifting)

remembering what a rest day means...

Well, Tuesday was rest day, so why I slipped in a 5k run is beyond me: still took 28 minutes, so  my time is creeping down: my basic pace is poor ( 5.44) so I need to up it, rather than jog most of it, and run the last bit.
Annoyingly my Runkeeper  i-phone app wouldn't post my results to the website. 

So today is a (well deserved) rest day.

Very sore left  adductors (brought on by cycling to my early PT's).

Didn't really enjoy my psyllium experiment. It didn't really effect my bottom but made me feel colonicaly uneasy. I was hoping to out-poo horses with copious amounts of dug like visits. 

Didn't really happen.

I'll  do what I always do with supplements: cut the dose down, start skipping days then hide the container at the back of the kitchen shelf by the dusty tub of protein powder. It amazing! Stacked against the inconvenience of a pill a day, death-inducing bowel cancer just doesn't seem as awful.

I hate Olympic lifting shoes

Went to the gym for a "drop almost every snatch" session. Behind, in front: drop, drop, drop, until I took off my expensive lifting shoes and went back to my inov8's, then got my form back ( the snatches were doubles at 50kg) finished off we 4 sets of ok doubles.

still, very tired from lack of sleep and early morning rise ( and massage course all weekend).

tried back squat, worked up to 3 x 92.5kg.

Olympic lifting shoes seem to make my knees slide forward too much

left  it for 4 hours then, 5 from headstand to handstand practice ( some support and help from Kate). 5 x 2 sets of front lever attempts followed by max press ups, x 2 with 60 seconds rest.

45, 10

a movent in the loo: supplements and death by pull up

I always thought my regular once a day (big) loo visit was normal and healthy: apparantly not. It should be 2 to 3 poo's a day ! ( OMG!)

One of the "things" to improve your regularity is a substance called "psyllium". So its my 1st day, today, to try this out.  I must admit that Im not going to give a "poo by poo" account of my bowl movements, but, I'll give the occasional "overview" .

I opted for Solgar Psyllium Husks Fibre in 500mg capsules ( it was in the local health food shop) approx £12.95 for  200 capsules.

Its 2 a day, with a big glass of water. We shall see.

As you get older I think we need to focus on bowl health, as bowl cancer is a major killer.

This seems to be a sensible extra  precaution to take:

The afternoons WOD was "Death by Strict Pull Up" i added the Chest to bar criteria to the 1st 5 sets, then just went strict chin over the bar after that. Got to round 10 and managed 6 reps of round 11.


All day in a course. Chose this  just to get on with it

100 Burpees  9.23 .

1 minute 42 second faster than 1st of May.

This was a bit more tactical with the reps  being done in sets of 10's.

deadlift and bike

got my bike into working order and hope to add cycling to my daily activities ( startford to Bethnal green and back... about 7 miles)

so cycled in

 2 x 5 deadlift 115...ok, slowly increasing

4 x 1 70kg split jerks. Good.  Got this back, need 80kg within the month.

Cycled back ( by cycle I mean "Pottle"),

Began wondering about who was the fittest man in london

Wednesday: forgot the wrist support

worked up to 2 sets of  5 back  squat 90kg

then 21, 15, 9 40kg overhead squats/burpees
9.35, but I should have strapped my wrist up 1st  and lost 3 minutes in the 1st round of overhead squats dropping the bar out of wrist pain every few reps or so. For the second round I  wrapped crap loads of gaffer tape around my wrist. That made the over heads  a straight run through on the 15 & 9, but, typically, I struggled on the burpees!!

Needless to say, but,  the wrist strapping made my wrist hurt when doing the push up phase of the burpee.

Some people are never satisfied.

Fifty, feeling old and grumpy, probably getting fitter!

tuesday fun

test of thrusters. Worked up to 60kg (PB). jumped to a 65kg attempt, but failed. Still encouraging. ( Bet if  Id gone  to 62.5kg it would have gone up)

Wod:   100 jumping 20kg bar squats. 6.50. ( Legs on fire)

Test : Max push ups 40 ( increase of 5!)

saturday and sunday

Saturday  14 May

2 rounds crossfit warm up
Dumbbell thruster practise ( 2 x 25kg( 1,2,2,2,3,3,3
Followed by 40kg kettlebell swings x 10 , 10 push ups x 6
played with the crucifix drill

Sunday 15 May

Back squat,  squat warm up,  then 87.5kg 4 sets of 5 reps

followed by 'at home gymnastics" practise

5 KMU to forward roll
3 free standing, but kate assisted headstand to handstand
6 chest to bar pull ups
3 lever attempts

Then burpee practise. Max burpee's in one minute + 90 secs rest x 3. 
20, 18, 18

By the way, i did post yesterday, but it didn't save

Sore days for old boys, but i got my snatch back

My shoulders and arms were still suffering from DOMs induced before my rest day, so basically snatched. Got my 60kg back.

high pulled to 70kg , 2,2,2,2.

did some headstands to handstands, K2E, T2B, SMU2Dips. Arms refused the pull ups. I cannot touch my lats without jumping.

finished with 100 squat thrust stand ups ( well, 94 in 4 minutes)

A fifty year old Deadlift workout

An interesting morning

5  110kg  deadlifts ( my current 5 rep max)
10 wall ball ( 10kg, 10ft target)
15 double unders,

started off as an amrap of 20 minutes, ended as 4 rounds in 16 minutes with no heart to continue. The, for me, heavy deadlift, really slowed this up.

 Still, the next time I hump 100 around it should be easier.

The Pm WOD was my skill session, or 10 x K2E, C2B, T2B,  SMU2Dip, HD2HS, 5 x( attempted!!) dip rolls(?) 5 x WC

a fifty year old pull up disaster, reduced jerks and a new direction

Shocked that 100 pull ups took me  10 minutes. Couldn't get it together to get intense.  1st set was only 20 ( used to be 42!!). oh well

Sulked off to impress myself with my Push Jerks: reached a miserable 65kg. Still, the most  Ive ever Jerked was 75kg, so this will be an interesting strength skill to monitor.

had a break then designed and did,  this  "at home" practise session.

10 K2E
10 T2B
10 Headstand to handstand  ( free standing  HSPU) ( having to kip at the moment, and mostly falling out of the handstand)
10 Chest to Bar pull ups
10 kneeling muscle ups to dip
5  rolling in the rings from the dip... not sure what this is called
5 Wall climbers.

Would have added levers but shoulder a bit sore.

Done at a skill level pace,  this felt fun and enlivening,

Burpees and back squats

100 burpees 11.06

2 x 5 Back squat @ 85kg

Slow Grace

I've never done Grace as Rx'd.

Its 60kg squat clean and Jerk x 30. I've always subbed the weight.

This time I did 2 clean and Jerks with 1 minutes rest. Took about 25 minutes, but, I've finally got the weight under my belt... just a question of shaving off, er 20 minutes....

Here  come.

Shuttles and dips

a variation on Nichole:

40x 10m shuttle runs, with max ring dips  amrap 20 minutes

dips were 19, 15, 12, 9, 6 plus 30 shuttles.

Fran and rowing

Had a terrible night afflicted by horrible abdominal DOMS. Gosh it hurt.

WOD 1 dumbbell Fran 2 x 20kg. (last time 9.46) today 8.30!. Moving in the right direction.

WOD 2 Endurance WOD. 20 minutes steady state; opted for rowing.. slow bad rowing, of 4347m in 20 minutes. An average pace of 2.18. Still this is the furthest I've rowed in my life ( No wonder Im not very good at it)

Strength and running

Im still staying away from my shoulder, to be sure: so a basic strength routine of

3 x 80kg Back Squat

1 x 110kg Deadlift.

5 hours later I helped at the Crossfit London UK running club and did  "Dead by 10m" ( got to level 15)

Now, I've always rushed at strength before. Not this time. Im looking for modest, long term ' sustainable growth.  To put this  in context. the most I  have ever deadlifted was 140kg and the most Ive back squatted was 95(ish) kg.

My plan is to plod towards  higher levels, by making my 3rd day WOD a strength WOD: but ill need to see how that feels, as strength workouts normally make me feel wiped out.

If the deadlift appears in a WOD, ill drop it from the next strength session.

ideally my strength day will be a:

clean/snatch (Clean/snatch Pulls)
bench press
press/push press

There are no pull ups as Im quite good at those.

Sport Science and enhanced performance and faster times

It is almost taken for granted that the enhanced performances we see in todays athletes is mainly due to advances within the sports science arena, be it physiology, psychology or nutrition.

The frequently quoted example is the 4 minute mile which  at one time seemed an impossible barrier to break: today it is , apparently, the "run of the mill" qualifying time for several sports teams.

There are many who would take the credit ( physiology, psychology,  nutrition, better coaching, the addition of strength to workouts, periodisation). Isn't the (mundane) reality that, the more people who take part in an activity, the more likely better performances  are to occur.

I remember back in 2005 when the 4 minute Fran seemed an impossible  target: today, is it 2 minutes.

I do not believe that there has been phenomenal change in nutrition, or  training methodology since then. The biggest change seems to be the sheer numbers of  participants

Was it Grey who said

"Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre".

who knows what great potential is "out there"

Michael and maturity

At the age of fifty I may finally be growing up! I had planned to do nicole this morning ( max push ups/run) but my shoulder was sore last night. When I woke up it felt ok, but I maturely subbed Michael  to make sure it had more time to  recover.

Micheal. Run 800m, 50 GHD sit ups, 50 GHD back extensions x 3

34 minutes

Overhead squats

Overhead squat day, in a neat little workout

20 Overhead squats (40kg) plus tennis court run ( about 300-350.. not measured the course yet)

x 5


Left shoulder quite sore in my "old injury/bicep tendon" area, so iced it an cut any lever/handstand push up practise. Revised for the rest of the day ( and slept).

 Just did a few massage clients

Rest fay Push ups

Its my rest day, so i eased off, but did some front lever practise. 3 assisted headstand to handstand push ups, followed by 10 minutes on the minute max handstand push ups, rest for  remainder  of the minute.

21, 12, 10, 10, 8, 8. 10, 7, 7, 6. Still a bit fatigued from yesterdays 80 done in cindy. Still its only 99  with quite a bit of rest.... but, if I keep on doing them, ill crack it. I need to get my 200 back

The advantage of this protocola is that, if you believe Poliquin, the rest periods are short enough to create an endurance stimulus ( that said the rep scheme and the time under tensions isn't!.

followed by  a Tabata set of squats

16, 19, 19, 17, 18, 17, 16, 16. 

I speculate that within a month, Ill be back to 20 a set

7 minute cindy, 2,2,2, and lack of sleep

I had planned for a 5k this morning. Woke up at 7, struggled to get out of bed. Got to my feet at 7.30. ran once around the startford centre ( possibly 800m) and gave up. I had nothing in the tank.

 Spent the day serving up british breakfasts to groups of emotional women, lounging about and reading. Got soem energy from somewhere for some lever practise,  and squat cleans, 50, 60, 65, 70, 70,  ( all 2 reps pers et) followed by 80 x 2 high pulls ( 4 sets) and then some back squats 50, 60 65, 70, 75 x2's ( but got cut short by classes.

joined in the last WOD of a 7 minute Cindy and managed 8 rounds. Have no idea where the energy came from.

But it made me think about my underlying tiredness that I think i chased down to a very light bedroom blind. Our bedroom overlooks a busy urban square, so i suspect my  body gets no real dark time sleep.

 We are off to buy a blackout blind! and my advise to all  "older folks" is to get some proper sleep: make your bedroom, comfy, remove the TV, and make it so no light touches you at all ( including digital!)

1912. My WOD of Shame: a fifty year old "fesses up"

one of my favourite wods from old

30 Muscle ups for time. Used to take 8 minutes  when i was feeling slow. 

It took me 19 minutes  and 12 seconds,

In fairness the 1st 5 killed me as I went for full turn-out at the bottom, after that it was all down hill,

Still, there are apparently people who cannot do a  muscle-ups

Fifty year olds need their sleep!

The older I get the more problematic my sleep gets. I spenyt every 20 minutes from 2.30 watching the clock, then fe]ll into the deepest sweetest sleep, ever, at 5.58am and then was rudely awakened by the 6pm alarm.

This is earlier than normal, and I couldn't face any food: a mouthful of porridge and an egg.

Did my morning client then on to my own WOD: this cycle brings in the crossfit wam up as standard, so  3 rounds  Samson stretch, overhead squat (10kg bar) GHD sit ups/back raises ( 10/10) pull ups (10)... ( dips left out as in the wod).

Todays WOd 100kg Deadlift, ring dips 21,15, 9. 

Lack of food and sleep ment I  struggled through at 8.35.

Oh well! At least I did the work.

So proper sleep and eat properly

Bank Holiday wod 25th April "fifty year old getting fitter"

Snatch in sets of 2 reps
20kg, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45,  50, 50, 50, 50

Snatch high pulls in  2's

60, 60, 60, 60, 60kg

back Squat  in sets of 5

70kg, 72.5kg, 72.5kg

A few hours rest , then the  " regain my push ups" campaign. 4 sets of max push ups with 60 second rest between sets. Tricep push ups only,  you  can hold in the plank, no "yogaing" or sticking your bum up to take the strain  off my arms

34, 10, 9, 10

Easter day wod for fifty year olds (24 April)

3 rounds for time of

30 x 40kg Sumo deadlift high pull, 30 x 40kg push press, tennis court run ( suspect about 300m) .

24.45. Struggled through it all.

I need to get this multiple "strength endurance" stamina back.

So I want to get good at 30's and 40's of weights Im expected to do 20's of.

fifty year old WOD: 23 April 2011

Very, very tired. Staggered through my rest day in a daze. Not sure if this is long term, "not had a holiday in 2 years" fatigue, stress about the recent (on-going) gym move, or this new regime. Not surprised that Im especially tired after a strength based wod.

Any way, decided on a 15 minute amrap of

30 double unders
30 24inch box jumps
30 wall ball ( 10 kilo/10ft target).

at minute 10 I changed it to 3 rounds which I managed in 16.41.

Waited 3 hours then did this Poliquin inspired workout. Max push ups with 60 second rest between each "go"

20, 15, 12, 10.

Crossfit London UK : making Fifty year olds fit

fity year old olympic weightlifting

Easing back into Olympic lifting , while keeping a very close watch on my knee ( and my ability to injure it)

Squat snatches
2 x 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50

Squat clean warm up then
10 x 2 x 60kg

Back Squat.
3 x 5 x 70kg (aim to increase 2.5kg each session)

Should have done a few sets of heavy snatch high pulls. Add next time.

The plan is

on each 3rd day to  do this ( or a very similar) routine. This means I can get a rest the following day. 

My target is to get 30 x 60kg squat cleans and 30 x 60kg squat snatches. if I get a massively increased one rep max, good, if not, but I get to bang out my 30 reps , I'll be happy.  I dont think God meant me to be massively strong, just "OK" on the strength endurance side.

I need to watch my knee like a hawk, and will drop this to every second  cycle if i get problems: at the moment it will look like

 WOD , WOD , OLY , rest, WOD , WOD, OLY rest etc.

Am very excited.

fifty Year old "cindy"

This was one of the 1st workouts I  did with Greg Glassman back in 2005 ( when I was a 45 year old baby: I think I got 16 on my 1st go, then got up to 24 rounds before I started exploring "alternative" fitness methods).

Well, those clever periodised strength routines, starting strength , black box, Max effort stuff (blah blah), simply injured me,  turned me into an exhausted zombie, and cut my Cindy to 13!!

For the uninitiated cindy is 

5 pull ups, 10 press ups, 15 squats: as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes.

Strangely my big limiting factor turned out to be the push-ups. Literally whizzed through the squats and pull ups, staggered through the push ups.

So, its Push-ups in my warm ups.

So here is the message: dont following specialist sports regimes, unless you want to specialise in that sport....

Fity Year old Fran

Well, as Im bench marking, I might as well "do" Fran

2 x 20kg Dumbells ( 40kg Thrusters), pull ups

21, 15. 9

9minutes 46 seconds.

I thought this was going to be a lot worse! Not Good, but I know I can improve on this.

I had some energy to attend the Crossfit London UK Running Club (Bethnal Green E2) and ran 7 x 200m after various POSE drills

Rest day and flexibility for fifty year olds

The basic Crossfit prescription for fitness is a 3 day on, one day off pattern. 

For my day off and to make sure im staying active and supple.  Im experimenting with the soon to be launched "do it at  home " "Crossfit London  UK Yoga Programme".

The programme will include the six fundamental aspects of  a well balanced Yoga routine : forward bends, backward bends, side stretches and spinal twists.

As you get older, your one enemy is inactivity. Activity keeps everything ticking over. If you stay put you "stick".

 I was , however, disappointed to note that I had lost my beautiful back bridge, but, I get the sensation that I can get that back:  And this time, maybe a back walk over too.

It was the 1st day at the new Crossfit London Gym at 9 Malcolm Place E2. A great new venue

Wod: 17th April 2011. Run 5k

5k with a  (mini) hangover.

5.33k in 31.29.   Good news is that means there is lots of room for improvement. Discovered that I have no pacing control, and the fact that I used a GPS system this time probably means Ive never run a 5k before because my measurements were (way)  off.

Used my inov 8's and tried to maintain POSE , Got some useful information from my new Run keeper. Ill put some links up later.

Thank God for the new Crossfit London UK running club. I need the extra work and practise.

Great to be training and recording. 

To get better, you have to know where your weaknesses are.

The fifty year old gets back on it!

Well, its about tine I "fessed-up"and stated that my training over the last  16 months has been muddled, confused and contaminated. 

Growing Crossfit London UK from a one man show to the thriving community  it is now, was not without great personal  sacrifice. Working stupid hours, and trying to juggle two full time courses  while continually testing different strength and  gymnastics  protocols, got in the way of proper Crossfit training.

I'd hoped to enter this years Masters Crossfit Games, and simply wasn't up to it. So its back on the regime and my eyes are focused on next year

Over the next few months, ill explain how I have finally come to properly understand the Crossfit system and I'll explain the pitfalls of "contaminated thinking, and  warn you about those "easy to avoid" wrong turns.

Im not going to make any judgements. If i suck at something, I suck, and I'll put it right. Im adopting the three on one day off protocol.

But the essential facts are these. My name is Andrew Stemler. I'm fifty. I love Crossfit (and Kate!). Greg Glassman is my Hero.

I hope this public record can inspire other normal "older people" to get out of "normal" gyms, and get training properly.

My initial plan is to select a variety of basic Crossfit workout that cover the fundamental moves

So here we go....

Friday 15th  April Back to it. 

Personal state: short of sleep looking to find any excuse not to train. Planned, 21, 15, 9 100kg deadlift, ring dips. In fairness I had  a really sore back so, settled on 90kg.

Time 6.30. I could have done the 100kg I need to man up!

Saturday 16th April .

Helen :  block run (470m), 21 x 25kg Kettlebell swings (overhead) 12 pull ups. x 3

Time 12.20.

Next Wednesday’s evening WOD will be this week’s Games WOD,  to give you a chance to try it.

Have a read of the WOD information below, and visit the Games site for an overview of the movement standard

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:

  • Squat clean (75kg for men/ 50kg for women)
  • Jerk (75kg for men/ 50kg for women)

In this movement, the barbell goes from ground to overhead with the athlete passing through a full squat position while the barbell is racked on the shoulders. This can be a full-squat-clean-thruster, a power-clean-front-squat-split-jerk, or anything in between as long as the three key positions are reached. The barbell begins on the ground. Touch and go is permitted. No bouncing. The athlete must pass through a full squat with hips below knees. The barbell must come to full lockout overhead with the hips, knees and arms fully extended, and the bar directly over the heels.

Nasty Night

As always it doesn’t look that bad on paper.

10 pull ups,
10 dips
10 squat snatches

x 5.

I  hate to rip Phil Rolling off, but, arbitrary awards go to:

“Two times man” Colm, who did this WOD in the morning, and came back for a second dose in the evening,

“Top Girl” title  goes to Amelia who managed an “awful lots of unassisted kipping pull ups”

and finally, the “you should have learned by now” award goes to Phillip for the  ”that will never take 20 minutes” comment…

Good stuff.

My You tube channel

Im about to start posting proper tutorials and learning hints on my you tube channel, but thought there ought to be  a proper link

so, here it is.

There are only a few random clips, but it will get better in time. Whilst Crossfit London Uk delivers a fitness that is broad general and inclusive, the reality is that  "mature folk" ( 50 plus)  sometimes  like dedicated sessions.  Ill be trying to create some age based   and some weight loss  sessions.

I think we are quite unique in offering fitness classes, weight loss and  healthy living ideas in Bethnal Green E2. ideal for local residents and  city based workers


A combined Work Out of the Day write up for Wednesday and Friday.

We had great fun on Wednesday as the  february weather began to clear, allowing us to bring back the long missed “Block Runs”: 470m worth of “urban navigation”. We decided to wheel out Nancy to celebrate this special event

5 rounds of  block runs, and 15 40kg overhead squats. Marvellous.

Using specialist equipment, we did some Kirlian photography in the gym – revealing auras and energies surrounding the athletes. It is evil energy!

Before this we ran a strength/skill circuit looking at  weighted  pull ups, dips and  handstand push ups

Sophia and Cindy check kate for any loose change

On Friday we had our normal dose of snatches and high pulls as part of our olympic weightlifting programme, but sandwiched it in between  “DIH” pull ups and squats.

The  ”Stemler DIH” is a “decent into hell” which relies on Zatsiorsky’s repetitive method to develop strength; Not sure what that means? Get to a class to find out. But to give you an idea……………

Whats a  "DIH"? Ask David

Sometimes, Even Crossfit London classes lack "zing"

Lesson plans are not King

Post image for Lesson plans are not King

by Andrew on February 3

Inspite of what they say, planning  does not always work, neither does a focused ‘goal orientated” session objective mean success

On paper Wednesday nights workout plan was perfect. Introduction of the bar roll out,  followed by 3 x 85% of 1rep max  squat clean with max strict pull ups, at a leisurely pace:’ followed by a handstand push up ladder. Whats not to like?

During the cleans the focus was  on quality, dealing with whatever problems came up: for some its failing to catch the bar on the shoulders, hence we videoed the Nisha Roll.

For others it was speed, others  it was using the ankles and knees to drop into the squat rather than being bum led.

It was a great opportunity to look at peoples strict pull up performance and to remind ourselves that kipping pull ups are “powerful” but, if you have to walk into someone else’s gym, you need to beat them on their own terms. So you need some stricts in your bin. Great to see Amelia and Cindy “pulling for the girls”. And well done Tom and Jas: shows that some of your previous  training will be of use.

The real problems began in the handstand pull up ladder. we went through the progressions, and  set this as the work out.

1 handstand press up, minute 1, 2 in minute 2, etc, with the following guidance

Try as many of the hardest progression that you can, then drop down through the substitutions to finish the required amount of work: in my fevered brain, this meant at minute 5 , for example,  some had  tried 3 full handstand push ups. have done an L handstand push up, and maybe are  starting  the first on their knees substitution.  This was part of a very logical, “lets bring handstand push ups back, big time.” The problem is , too many had to start off from their knees which mean the ladder became ineffective: sure, we had an impromptu Handstand practice session, but no real WOD, except for Troopers Niam and Liam who bashed out loads of full handstand push ups.

So the session lacked “pace” ( except for Liam and Niam) Sorry!!

Well, nothings perfect!

So it all begins with some  Crossfit London  Burpee philosophy

Whats in a Burpee? Surely a  Burpee,  by any other name would  still be as sweet ( Thanks to Juliet for the inspiration for this line…shame about the dying thing)

Because it has a (heels down)  squat,

We actually came up with some interesting ideas for this position: Angry Gorilla or Happy Alsatian. But what ever the name, and whatever coaching points used,  top marks  go to Carolyn, Sophia, Kirsty and  Kate for some beautiful lumber curves and proud chests, and , to be truthful, A few “cough cough’s” go to some of the boys, who need to be  watching less mobility videos and focusing more on enforcing  proper squat form. We had a few people deciding to book a place on the forthcoming mobility workshop.

Then its a simple jump back into the perfect plank.

then a perfect push up, ( everything to then floor) a jump back to  a squat position and a hip extending drive into the air, with a shoulder mobilizing clap above the head.

A burpee is one thing!   Its the opportunity to express perfect movement, co-ordination and mobility, time and time again.

On to “Team Grace”, 60 Clean and Jerks (30 each) some great efforts:  The superman award goes to Tom Henry who was recently promoted to the Crossfit London Coaching team: more of him later!.

Sophia, Kate, Carolyn and Kirsty all Cleaned and Jerked beautifully. A mention in dispatches has to be made of Cian and Matt, while Efe and Alex threw the bar around as if it was a rag doll (a 60kg Rag doll of course).

After that is was  muscle up drills with box push ups, the  muscle up push ups, arm chair muscle ups and  Frenchies: then some muscle ups by Simon, Efe, Alex, Tom  and Raurie.


Crossfit London UK Mobility Programme Movement Education Workshop: The Squat Pattern

Saturday 26th March, 1430-1630

In this workshop, we shall examine the fundamental mechanics of squatting. Along the way, we’ll learn about how the brain co-ordinates movement (“Why do move the way I do?”), how we learn to move and, how we can change how we move. We shall also investigate the basic functional anatomy of the hip joints, lower back, knees and ankles, all in relation to the Squat pattern.

To support the learning in the workshop, ‘homework’ will be given for you to take away – short movement exercises to remind you of what we learned in the workshop which can be done sitting at a desk for example.

The emphasis is on learning, rather than exercise. You can’t practice what you don’t know how to do, so the aim is to examine our existing habits and learn new options for movement which can provide lasting change. For example, by learning how to move in our hip joints, we can change not only how we perform squat-pattern exercises in the gym, but also how we sit and carry ourselves throughout the day!

This workshop is based on the practical application of the Feldenkrais Method and the principles of motor learning. One definition of this method is that it: “… consists of a systemic understanding of the human body’s design for motion and a perception-oriented pedagogy for changing how people move.” – L. Goldfarb, Ph.D

The approach is to improve functional ability – in this case our ability to squat, rather than attempt to alter the structures of the body (muscles, bones and other tissues) – upgrading the ‘software’ rather than the ‘hardware’. Our bodies move through the action of our muscles, which are controlled by the central nervous system (CNS), specifically the motor areas of the brain. Instead of working with the muscles or other physical structures, improved movement is learned by addressing the brain’s control of movement directly.

Jon Nicholson is a qualified Feldenkrais teacher and Personal Trainer, with an extensive background in martial arts training including recent competition success in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts.

He comes to CrossFit London having had a really great day on the i-Course!

get your ticket! click here

Olympic Weightlifting and Muscle Ups at Crossfit London UK

Another  fun night at Crossfit London UK, where we focused on the split jerk,

Helen focuses on her Jerk

and muscle up drills, resulting in Cians first muscle up, caught on video. (Sorry for the Tourette’s-style commentary)


Everyone seemed to enjoy the Tabata pull ups that rounded off the session.

Get your ticket for the 23rd January 2011 i-course

The Crossfit London  i-Course is a one-day workshop that covers the basic CrossFit moves and much more.

To book your place on the i-Course click on the ‘Getting Started’ button.

In one action-packed day you will be taught:

  • How to squat
  • How to perform the nine fundamental CrossFit moves: squat, front squat, overhead squat, press, push-press, push-jerk, Sumo deadlift high-pull and deadlift.
  • The olympic lifts:  snatch and clean & jerk
  • How to swing and snatch a kettlebell
  • How to practice handstands and the handstand push-up with all the assistance exercises currently recommended
  • Amazing core stability: the dish hold, hollow rock and the L-sit
  • We will also play with the pull-up: strict  &  kipping. We use bands if you need pull-up assistance (we were all there once!)
  • Then it’s a mixture of  floor and rings to look at push-ups, front supports, ring dips and muscle-ups

To book your spot on this fantastic course click the Getting Started button now!

The cost is £100 which includes a copy of the world famous “Crossfit London Elite Fitness Guide”


Why is this called the i-Course?

Because the “i” could stand for “introduction”, “introspection”, “information” or “intermediate”. Beginners or intermediate trainees can come to this course and get massive benefits. Others may be interested in checking out Crossfit, or just getting a few extra moves to add to their own training. Everyone is welcome.

How was it developed?

The course grew out of a series of masterclasses run by Crossfit London during 2005. The content was refined with support from Miles Key (Crossfit Hove) and Chet Morjaria (FCUK) over three years before appearing in a consolidated form in late 2008

I have no arm strength. Won’t this be  waste of time as I can’t push-up, let alone pull up?

This day is about progressions and scaling. Once you understand the principles of working across gravity, rather than against it, you will be able to adapt all the Crossfit exercises and then learn the next progression to help you improve your strength. We make the coaching process very explicit so you can continue to teach yourself.

So I do this course and I’m sorted?

This is six hours of skill teaching, not training. We hope to get you to a level where you can train on your own. At the end of the six hours some will have picked it all up, others will struggle and want to reattend. These are skills which need practice. It’s not about sitting in a machine and  working one joint; you need to learn to coordinate and balance yourself. If you pay attention to the progressions and the drills, you will have a lot of  “sign posts” in your training.

I’m a fitness instructor/personal trainer. Will this session be any good for me?

As we find a lot of personal trainers to be weak and uncoordinated, this is an ideal session to come to. However, the aim of this session is not to certify individuals to teach Crossfit, Olympic weightlifting or gymnastics. If you genuinely aspire to teach, this course will give you a massive advantage over others embarking on their first certification. Crossfit certification seminars are frequently available in the USA.

During the session you will be able to talk to those who have done their certifications, and those in the process of preparing to go.

If you are  a member of REPS at level 2 or above, the morning part of the i-course  awards you 4 CPD points

REPS 4 CPD Points

REPS 4 CPD Points

I’m not serious about Crossfit, I just want to add a few extra skills to my training

That’s fine. Loyalty to Crossfit is not demanded. We are  just delighted to share our skill set.

Do we get a book and a t shirt?

You will be emailed a copy of the “CrossFit London Elite Fitness Manual” after the course. T-shirts to buy on the day.

What about discounts?

We offer a 15% discount on all of our training fees to members of the Armed Forces and Emergency Service, as well as students in full-time education. Please contact Steven for more details.

Timing of the course

The course runs from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm with an hour for lunch at approx 12.30

What do others think?

“Thank you very much Andrew. I found the course to be very good indeed.  In fact I am going to abandon my usual weight training and CV routine and give crossfit a go”. Brian

“Thanks to Andrew for running an excellent, information packed course”. Brian. (Strength and power)

“Today was unbelievable! thank you so much!” Sam

“Hi Andrew —we all (Gaz, Maggie, Martin and Debbs) had a brilliant time on Sunday. It was better than I even expected so let us know when you have other courses available because we will definitely attend.Your helpers were also great especially Steve, Wendy and Miles.The day was fun, tiring and very informative. Thanks again – we are totally addicted now”

‘Thank you. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, although I’m still aching in places. You’re in excellent shape for a 48-year-old.
All the best’ Rob

I was at the iCourse yesterday. I’m led to believe I need to be your friend to see the hideous photos that were taken of me yesterday…! (and of course, I want to be your friend anyway as you seem like such a nice chap (Scott, June 2009)

Thanks for the course today! it was SO good… It clarified so many things for me especially the lifts! I really appreciated your enthusiasm and passion for health and fitness, it’s great meeting like minded people. Thanks again, Tom (June 2009)

Thank you for a brilliant day today. I don’t think I will be able to walk tomorrow, let alone pick up any of my children… but thoroughly enjoyed the beasting. (Michelle, June 2009)

You can read an online review of the i-Course (2nd Nov 2008) by internet journalist Sally Moss.

The fat girls new clothes

I love this Crossfit London weight loss story.

Its a real inspiration

click here for a brilliant read

Crossfit LONDON Mobility Mash Up Programme

One of the many reasons why I fell in love with Crossfit back in 2005 was it’s down to earth attitude towards flexibility and that whole murky area that, at times, seems to be dominated by Pilates, therapists and a plethora of quasi-religious fringe medical regimes.

Greg Glassman  mentioned, in one or two paragraphs in an early Crossfit Journal, that you probably needed to do a bit of flexibility, and to go and get the interesting book by Bob Anderson about stretching called (in a flash of inspiration, no doubt)  ”Stretching”.

I think what Greg  really wanted to do was to emphasize the gross movement patterns that make Crossfit what it is, and get away from the attitude of  the  poor yoga fanatic who, when he discovered he could not squat, declared  ”more downward dog for me”. My answer, which is going to sort of give away part of  the theme of  the Crossfit London Mobility Mash-Up Programme , was this.  ”No, it’s less downward dog, more squatting for you!”

The Crossfit key to movement  is movement  practice: always has been, always will be.

Put it this way: I’m a creative chap and I’ve got me bits of paper from Chek, Intelligent Training Systems, My PEA (gosh, thats going back a bit) I’ve writhed on the floor and wobbled on a swiss ball with the best of them. I’ve even had my legs cranked up over my head as an amateur Thai fighter. I’m currently  having great fun studying with Mel Cash at the London School of Sports Massage, and I’m still (slowly) plodding through a Sports Science Degree with all the urgency of a lazy sloth, while still managing to keep my lunch down in the dissection labs during cadaver studies. In fact, a lot of what I will be talking about also comes from examining cadavers under the guidance of some quite brilliant anatomists.

In short I could, and probably will, come up with loads of clever moves and stretches, and my sick imagination can think of lots of places in which  to stick a golf ball. I’ve got a pile of physiotherapy/general therapy  books and thus access to the hundreds of little “tests” that not even the physiotherapists who designed them bother with.

But, here’s “The Thing”:  The only thing any of these people/books/courses have to say that made any sense was this: A lot of whats called dysfunction, isn’t dysfunction at all. It’s your body responding and adapting to your major training regime. Unfortunately, your major training regime is hunching over your desk for 8 hours at a go, then sinking into a gorgeous armchair for the evening. With a beer.”

It is any surprise then, that when you come to a Crossfit London session for 2 to 6 times  a week that you cannot adopt a totally alien position properly.

On the whole you have 40 hours of wrong postural training versus  2 to 6 hours of Crossfit training (call that being nagged by a Crossfit trainer). And that’s assuming that your Crossfit training directly attacks your “dysfunction”: lets say it’s shoulder flexibility…. you could do as little as one hour shoulder mobilising  training a week, hopelessly   swamped under 40 hours plus of  stooped posture.

This is part of   the real problem. The second part of the problem is this: do you really want to cure the problem? Well if you do, use your sense. There are very few quick fixes and you know it. Most of my clients are very well educated and would not fall for this sort of advertising. Would you?

“Become  a law graduate in less than 5 minutes a day! Yes, for a mere £XXXX I guarantee to turn you into a leading lawyer. Just follow my 5 minutes a day programme and you too will be rendering opinions and wearing a wig….

Utter nonsense! But, lets use some  ”algebra”, and substitute the terms

“Become flexible in less than 10 minutes a day! Yes for a mere £xxxx… follow my mobility programme”. you get the picture

So the 1st principle Im going to give you on the “Andrew Stemler Mobility Mash Up Programme” is this. You are what you do. If you beat your partner up for 23 hours a day, but are ok for an hour, you are still a wife/husband beater. I’m Sorry about that. Deal with it.

If you want to be mobile and flexible, you need to act and be, mobile and flexible. Mobility is for life, not just christmas: or is that puppies


Watch out for the next post!!

lets get running

Dear Running Dudes and Dudettes,

Thanks for coming along to yesterdays meet!

THE RECAP: there are 3 main ideas to remember:

1) Gravity is your friend
2) Movement is balance being destroyed (think broomstick )
3) Posture is the key!

The Figure 4... heel lifts straight up towards your bum, hip and knee flexes, foot stays relaxed.. lift and drop

And to give you guys a sense of what it should feel like we covered three drills. Your legs should be nice and soft at the knees for all of these ( not the dreaded straight leg!)

1) Ball of foot hops. Nice straight back, head up, arms relaxed and close to the body. Hop on the ball of the foot allowing it to roll to your heel ( relaxed and happy feet) . THEN LEAN! Destroy balance then recover.

lean, don't push to move forward

2) Single leg pulls. PULL,  dont drive ,off the ground, knee should rise only a little, imagine your legs forming a nice figure 4. Alternate legs

single leg pulls

3) Wall drill and then run: Set up with your posture, figure 4 leg pull etc against a wall. Lean at the ankles and NOT at the waist. Once you’ve got a nice rythem going run away from the wall for 20-30 metres.

Finally remember that you need at least a 180 / min cadence to take advantage of ground reaction. You can grab a metronome from amazon 

or use one of the metronome apps on the iphone or oher smart phones.

THE HOMEWORK: 3x 10 ball of foot hops, 3x10 each leg pulls , 3x wall drill

and the poor weather is no excuse.. do them in  your hallway if need be

CROSSFIT LONDON UK i-course 29th August 2010

There is something unique about a Crossfit London UK 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

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

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!

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

The i-course is a recommended 1st stop if you cannot access a  Crossfit gym on a regular basis. I if you are thinking of attending  a Crossfit certification its an ideal preparatory step.

The next icourse is on the 31st october 2010. get you place asap. Click here

Im so sorry...

I spend so much time working on the Crossfit London UK site, that i often overlook this blog.

Will start to put that right, but, in the meantime, catch up with the workouts at

Crossfit London UK

But, on a personal level, I'm developing my POSE running skills, having obtained my Pose running certification a few weeks ago with Lee Saxby in West Hampstead.

In my capacity as a personal trainer, I hope to get up to Hampstead/ West Hamstead once a week as from the middle of July 2010, but throughout the rest of the week you can book me in Bethnal Green.

Andrew Stemler teaching at the crossfit London


A fantastic day at the Crossfit London UK and the  FK UK deadlift masterclass

photos on facebook

The Crossfit London UK gym is situated in Bethnal Green E2, 45 seconds from the central line, at the heart of the capital.

We have  a great series of seminars coming soon including Indian Club bells, kettlebells, olympic lifting  and the world famous i-course

click on to the new Crossfit London UK site


Another fantastic wod at Crossfit London UK, today it was the fantastic Crossfit Total.

Find out more at crossfit London UK

Kettlebells and Indian Clubs

Crossfit London UK  is  a full time Gym dedicated to Physical Culture.

we are based 45 seconds from Bethnal Gren Tube station, which means ware about 5 minutes from Liverpool street station.

We deal with Crossfit, Olympic weightlifting,  Indian clubs, kettlebells and basic Adult Gymnastics.

get to the new Crossfit London UK site  click here


Do you fancy learning all the Crossfit London UK skills, but cannot get anywhere near the central Crossfit London Uk box in Bethnal Green on  a regular basis? Do you need to follow Crossfit in the capital?

The crossfit london i-course is for you. 

A fantastic day of skill learning with some of the UK's leading Crossfit trainers for £100.

Click here to find out the dates for 2010 and find out how you can get the famous Crossfit London Elite Fitness manual for free.

women only session

The session thats too tough for Girls or Men

Fight Gone bad practise, kettlebell  snatch skills, and Tabata squats: joy

Come and join us on the next W.O.D. Click on the Getting Started Button


Fight Gone Bad

Sorry, Im miles behind!

Thursdays Wod was a taste of future thursdays. In the future , Thursday evenings will be devoted to the practise of the Olympic lifts, for both intermediates and beginners.

I will be joined in the 6.30pm class by the phenomenal Foz Rahman and with our eyes, our knowledge, and our video camera, we will get you as good as you can be without being a boring specialist.

But todays Wod was

1,1,1,1,1,1,1 weighted pull ups

followed by Clean practise

followed by this horrible

20 simple Burpees
20 Kettlebell swings.

As many rounds as possible in 5/8 or 10 minutes:

Friday was Fight Gone Bad. well done to Julian for getting a 25% increase in his score and for williams 250, and Trevors 259 score

Julian get a 22% increase in his FGB Score

Julian get a 22% increase in his FGB Score

off to ireland, back on 9 `September

Hi, we are off to the gymnastic certification, then we are visiting Dublin to attned the Poliquin seminar.

look forward to a new era  when we get back.
Simon is taking the Primrose Hill class, contact him on,

FIGHT GONE BAD 9 August 2009

Well done to todays fight Gone bad team who Suffered through 3 rounds of Fight Gone bad in the blazing Sunshine.

well done Kadafi, Kieran, Mike, Andrew and Paulina, and kate for the photo.


im sick of being asked how the calorie content of sperm

According to the Re/Search Guide to Bodily Fluids Paul Spinrad 1994, the average man produces about 3.5 ml of semen per go

150 mg. protien
11 mg. carbohydrates
6 mg. fat.
3 mg. cholesterol
7% US RDA potassium
3% US RDA copper
3% US RDA zinc
300 million spermatoza

Paul Spinrad. (1994, reissued 1999) The RE/Search Guide to Bodily Fluids. ISBN 0-940642-28-X (1994), ISBN 1-890451-04-5 (1999)

BEETROOT JUICE. Well I never!!!

Well, just in case you had run out of supplements to buy, you can nip off and drink loads of beetroot everyday and high intensity workouts will be like water off a ducks back.

Check out the new study entitled, excitingly

Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans

Follow this link to a summary of the  study, published in the Journal of Applied  Physiology

Stuff to buy

we have received the next batch of Iron woody bands ( in a pull up pack) and a whole range of crossfit London t-shirts.

pop to the shop to get yours.

more organic

Soil Association response to the Food Standards Agency's Organic Review

29 July 2009

Responding to today's review on organic food commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Peter Melchett, Policy Director at the Soil Association commented:
"We are disappointed in the conclusions the researchers have reached. The review rejected almost all of the existing studies of comparisons between organic and non-organic nutritional differences. This was because these studies did not meet particular criteria fixed by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which carried out the review.

"Although the researchers say that the differences between organic and non-organic food are not 'important', due to the relatively few studies, they report in their analysis that there are higher levels of beneficial nutrients in organic compared to non-organic foods. For example, the mean positive difference between the following nutrients, when comparing organic to non-organic food, was found in the FSA study to be:

- Protein 12.7%
- Beta-carotene 53.6%
- Flavonoids 38.4%
- Copper 8.3%
- Magnesium 7.1%
- Phosphorous 6%
- Potassium 2.5%
- Sodium 8.7%
- Sulphur 10.5%
- Zinc 11.3%
- Phenolic compounds 13.2%

The researchers also found higher levels of beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids in organic meat and dairy products (between 2.1% - 27.8% higher) compared to non-organic meat and dairy.
The Soil Association is also disappointed that the FSA failed to include the results of a major European Union-funded study involving 31 research and university institutes and the publication, so far, of more than 100 scientific papers, at a cost of 18million Euros, which ended in April this year [1].

The European Union research programme concluded that:

  • 'Levels of a range of nutritionally desirable compounds (e.g. antioxidants, vitamins, glycosinolates) were shown to be higher in organic crops'
  • 'Levels of nutritionally undesirable compounds (e.g. mycotoxins, glycoalkaloids, Cadmium and Nickel) were shown to be lower in organic crops'.

In addition, levels of fatty acids, such as CLA and omega 3 were between 10 - 60% higher in organic milk and dairy products, and levels of Vitamin C were up to 90% higher in leafy vegetables and fruits.

There are limited studies available on the health benefits of organic versus non-organic food. Without large-scale, longitudinal research it is difficult to come to far-reaching clear conclusions on this, which was acknowledged by the authors of the FSA review.

Also, there is not sufficient research on the long-term effects of pesticides on human health.
In 2006 the European Commission said that "long-term exposure to pesticides can lead to serious disturbances to the immune system, sexual disorders, cancers, sterility, birth defects, damage to the nervous system and genetic damage."

Organic farming and food systems are holistic, and are produced to work with nature rather than to rely on oil-based inputs such as fertilisers. Consumers who purchase organic products are not just buying food which has not been covered in pesticides (the average apple may be sprayed up to 16 times with as many as 30 different pesticides) they are supporting a system that has the highest welfare standards for animals, bans routine use of antibiotics and increases wildlife on farms. [2]


Well its rather difficult to know what to make of todays announcement that there is no nutritional difference between organic and non organic food.

Click here for a BBC review of the issue

Id never been and Organic fan, but recently Ive been getting more sympathetic to the cause: certainly this study sounds limited, as much of the organic argument is about reducing the effect of pesticides

Crossfit London July newsletter 2009



We have set the next series of i-courses

13 September
8th November
13 December

venue, East London Gymnastcs Centre, 9.30 to 4.30

 And tickets are now available at the shop


The next  Olympic weightlifting, level 2 Masterclass  with Commonwealth gold medallist Giles Greenwood is on Sunday 4th October at 1pm.

Aegis Training Ltd
16 Hewett Street


There is a fight gone bad party at my house, 66 Ham Park Road E15 4HE on Sunday the 9th of august, where we are hoping for some 300 plus scores, Ive put an advance ticket price of £6 on this event, the money will be used for  (zone) beer and food. I’m limiting this to 20 people so we can get  20 done  in just over an hour


As from the end of September, most of our training wiil be at

Aegis Training Ltd
16 Hewett Street

This means we can have regular daily classes for groups of 4

Until then, regular personal training is available at the Andaz Hotel, 4o Liverpool street EC2M. ( session will still be available at the Andaz aftr this date).

Drop me an email at


.We sell elite  2 rings for £54 plus £8.65 special delivery


Kate is  getting our t shirt act together, and they will soon be available on line. Some of you have asked for Hoodies too. We are not going to hold stock, but, if you would like a black Hoodie with our unsubtle logo  for £20 plus postage  , email your order to Kate at

We will put an order in at the end of july.


Im still looking to buy a crossfit London base, If a freehold warehouse /studio.old church hall/ or possibly shop  comes up for sale, do let me know by emailing
(500 to 1500 square foot)

level 2 weightlifting with Giles Greenwood

Crossfit London presents


The Crossfit London Olympic Weightlifting Masterclass  Level 2,

led by Commonwealth gold medalist  Giles Greenwood,

 assisted by Andrew Stemler and Foz Rahman.

( all "Mens Fitness" pin up boys)



Aegis Training Ltd
16 Hewett Street


(about 5 minutes from Liverpool street station or

Old Street)


Do you want to boost your Olympic weightlifting training through the roof: fancy some accessible, doable, high performance lifting tips but don't have access to regular tuition or an international level trainer, This is the masterclass for you.


This 3 hour masterclass assumes that you have a basic snatch and clean and jerk. This would normal mean you have attended an i-course, or a similar introductory session.


Put it this way, the session will probably warm up with some snatch balances: if you don't know what they are, this will probably be too advanced, but,  if you do, or  you've had, say, three hours of tuition, with a few hours of practice, you are probably ready if you have lingering doubts ask by, emailing


The session is predominantly skill focused, so you will train with loads that suit you.

Women  always welcome.


1pm to 4pm Sunday 4th October 2009

16 Hewett Street




A great idea from Zone convert Kate is to buy your own mini beer fridge ( about £20 from Wilkinsons), put it under your desk at work,  and stock it with those perishable Zone friendly bits you need: Jar of Olives, a leg of Chicken, milk, yogurt,  etc).

Have access to quality food.

elbow tendon

here is an interesting email I got this morning..
Hi Andrew
I attended your i-course in january and i was hoping you could give me some advice, as i would love to come and have a training session with you, but unfortunately i have wrecked my elbow! 
Having done a bout of Starting Strength to improve my basic lifts from about february to may-ish, i went back to crossfit. I quickly realised my pullup strength had completly gone and decided to follow the recon ron marine schedule (pyramid system starting small but 5 sets everyday, if you are not familiar) after searching the crossfit message boards.
In the second week i decided it would be incredibly clever to add in a planche push up progression i had seen on the web, but stupidly i had my hands pointing the wrong way.... this was inevitably too much for the tendons in my right elbow.
I realise you are not a doctor and are not in the position of giving out free medical advice on the internet but i know you have mentioned on your stemlerfit page about having had elbow problems from pull up over enthusiasm in the past. I was wondering if you had any advice beyond ice, self massage and rest etc ive rested it for about 5 weeks now bar the odd single or couple to test it out ( and 2 weeks swimming in turkey which helped alot!) and have been massaging and iceing. Still cannot do heavy pushing or pulling completely pain free though.
Some people on the crossfit board mention the ART technique and i have been looking for practitioners in London, but wondered if you could recommend anyone, or something similar or otherwise, that you have found useful?
any help much appreciated and my apologies for the long email.
all the best

 My response thus Far is...

Hi "F"

here is a contact point for ART

it hurt like hell (not my original words), but worked for me

"Active Release Techniques (ART) with Andrew Hunter DC
The ART system can help with the soft-tissue component of back, neck and
other joint pains.  It is useful for the athlete both to improve performance
& deal with the overuse problems (such as shoulder injuries) which can build
up over time.  For further details see
Andrew Hunter, a chiropractor, is an experienced ART provider with clinics
in Canary Wharf (E14), the City (EC3) & Blackheath  (SE3).  Contact 020 8297



I-course update


East London Gymnastics Club
Frobisher Road
, London E6

9.30 to 4.30

Learn to Olympic weightlift, kettlebell and master the "on your hands" elements of Crossfit, all in one day.
Only £85






We offer a 15% discount to members of the police, first responders and our armed forces.

Drop Andrew Stemler an email if you wish to get a ticket with this discount

as many.......

ok.its as many push ups as you can in 60 seconds.

chest and chin and hips to the floor each rep.

you can post your results below

the 60 second challenge is back

simply carry out the 60 second challenge and post your results.


 keeping a great lumber lordosis, do as many air squats as you can in  in 60 seconds. Post the results below.

todays WOD is at

Andrews Study days over the next few months

hi ,

I have an action packed summer seeing Chek, Poliquin,  Burgner, Tucker and completing my biomechanical coaching course.

 I will be unavailable on the following dates

19 July to 27 July

28th August to 7th September

14 September to 18th September.

Please note these are study times, not holidays



well done to the brave women of wanstead who came face to face with squat and handstand issues last night at the Wanstead women class, well done. No tears!!

see you all next week


Because Andrew is in Bath on the weekend of 6/7th June, there will be no Friday night class in Straford on Friday 5th June.

All other classes as normal. Simon will lead the Saturday class at primrose hill, and Andrew will be back for Wanstead women on Monday

The Saturday Primrose Hill Class ( 30th May)

Saturdays Primrose Hill class, saw Mike, Kristian and Arnie ( above) and the fantastic Will(below) smashing  through Cindy.

Led , motivated and corrected By Andrew Stemler who also took part.

see you there next week

love stuff

 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Gymnastics certification in Ireland (august 09)

Hi everyone,


I’m want to make you aware about a great offer we were able to take advantage of.


Jeff Tucker has given us 2 extra places on the UK Cert for August this year.

We have decided to raffle these places off at £5 a go.  Money raised will go towards buying more equipment (sure there’s never enough!)


I know that some of you are already registered on the cert, but could I ask you to forward this information onto any one  that might like to attend.

I know the registration fees are very off-putting for a lot of people, especially in this financial climate.  We hope that you might like to take your chances and gain a place on the cert for just a fiver – and you can enter as many times as you like J


Entry details are available on our online shop here,


Cheers guys, all the best and good luck!



Helen & Jonny Smyth

Crossfit Northern Ireland


tel: 02838 342963

m: 07769 803 286 (Jonny)

m: 07834 537 038 (Helen)


i-Course Sunday 10th May 2009

wow, what a great bunch we had today at  the May i-course: This course actually has skilled experienced teachers  teaching with all the progressions you need to develop your skills in just one day.

The session is organised by Andrew Stemler  with Chet from Funckey and Miles From Crossfit West Sussex.

thanks to Chrissie, Jason and Kate who offered all day close support.

Missed were Colin, whose police duty kept him occupied and Joel whose birthday celebrations kept him away.



Whether you have been playing around with rings, have pretty much nailed the muscle up and are hungry for more skills – or you've never even seen a set of rings close up before in your life – this 3 hour masterclass is for you

Led by Alex Jerrome and Andrew Stemler, this session takes both beginners and advanced trainees through basic and advanced gymnastic ring training moves.

Whilst everyone gets shown "the moves" you will be divided into groups according to your needs so all the skills you practise will be ones you can master.

Get your tickets now

Sunday 14 June 2009
1.00 to 4.00pm

Tickets £40.

Visit the shop for your ticket. Click here



saturdays 800, oh and some food stuff

Four rounds, each for time:
800 meter run

Practice Clean and Jerk

Nutrition Rant courtesy of Freddie C at crossfit oneworld:

I find it crazy that people will go out and buy non-fat food items over their regular full fat original versions. These same people will order a non-fat latte, but would be appalled if I told them to throw 18 packs of sugar in it (a pack of sugar is one gram. A cube of sugar is 4 grams). There are 18 grams of sugar in a grande non-fat latte from Starbucks. There are 16 grams of sugar in the same drink made with whole milk and the difference between the two drinks is 90 calories. Maybe not the best comparison to use as an example, but the numbers prove that the "non-fat" mindset is really not so much better for you as you have been lead to believe. For years, we have succumbed to the non-fat marketing of food and beverage companies. It is embedded into our minds as a society that non-fat is better for you. Truth of the matter, if they put a low-fat or non-fat label on it, you may want to consider if you should be eating it in the first place... Seriously, low-fat or non-fat ice cream? (Fuck off...I'm eating the good stuff if I'm gonna go for it!) I can't use myself as "the standard' because everyone's body absolutely responds differently to what is put into it. I will say, I never ever (unless there is no other choice) eat or purchase anything for myself with a label that says low-fat or non-fat. Consumption of fat is important if you are training hard, and I like to think that for the most part, I train pretty hard. Consider the amount of work you do, and consider what you put into your body to fuel it. Take note: not all fats are good for you either, but that is another post...) Read the label. Look before you leap.

Fundamentals of Olympic Lifting with Mike Burgener, CrossFit Journal Preview - video [wmv] [mov]

post comments and times at

Olympic weight lifting stuff


Enlarge image

Fundamentals of Olympic Lifting with Mike Burgener, CrossFit Journal Preview - video [wmv] [mov]

Dont forget to check out the Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club at

THE Elite Ring 2 Washing Line

 In case your house mates are worried that you are taking over the garage/garden/house with training stuff, show them this picture. That will reassure them that every bit of kit can have a proper domestic usage.

The Elite Ring 2 Washing Line.

Rippetoe Quote: Muscle up WOD

Mark Rippetoe Quote of the Day.

On the possibility of a failure to deadlift resulting in stroke:

Deadlifts that are too heavy to pull generally don't take very long; the bar just kinda lays there.

So if trying to move immovable objects was dangerous from the standpoint of stroke, the history of the human race would be littered with stupid people's corpses


30 Muscle-ups

CFWU (kip swings for pull-ups)

30 Muscle-Ups for time

If you cannot do Muscle-ups substitute 120 pull-ups and 120 dips

Post time to comments

Practice Split Jerk

HSPU + L Pull ups

HSPU + L-Pullups

CFWU (substituting kip swing for pull-ups)

For time:
15 Handstand push-ups
1 L Pull-up
13 Handstand push-ups
3 L Pull-ups
11 Handstand push-ups
5 L Pull-ups
9 Handstand push-ups
7 L Pull-ups
7 Handstand push-ups
9 L Pull-ups
5 Handstand push-ups
11 L Pull-ups
3 Handstand push-ups
13 L Pull-ups
1 Handstand push-up
15 L Pull-ups

Post time to comments

Practice Clean & Jerk

Clean Faults, Mike Burgener ...[wmv][mov]

leave your comments on the site


The only time LSD (long slow distance) is necessary is if your going to compete in a sport that requires it. It is far inferior to CrossFit-type metcon for producing an increase in VO2 max, it interferes with power and strength production, it can be quite catabolic and immune-suppressive in high doses, it destroys muscle mass, and the people that do it usually wear silly clothes. Read the stuff on the CrossFit website regarding this, and you will learn many good, important things.

forget the 300. Its the 400 you need to worry about

400m Sprints


Four rounds for time of:
Run 400m
Rest 2 minutes

Post total time to comments at

Practice L Pull-ups

L-hold (L-sit)...[wmv] L-Pull-up...[wmv] L-sit-demo...[wmv]


Todays Crossfit London Work


As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

2 Muscle-Ups
4 Handstand Push-Ups
8 2 pood Kettlebell Swings

Post Number of Rounds to comments.
Compare to 21/03/09

Practice Handstands for 15 minutes

Nate (Eva T.)...[wmv][mov]

post  your time/rounds at


If you are sick of having your feet propped up with this years trendy fashion trainer, go barefoot, or the next best thing



Check out the site in the USA (Get the sizes right from the tables supplied )

then you can order from the link below, as the USA site does not send out of the country

Todays CRossfit LOndon WOd Can be found at


CFWU (kip swings instead of pull-ups)

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Run 400 meters
Max rep pull-ups

Skills Practice
Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Friday Fight Gone Bad!!!

This Friday (24/04/09) at 7pm there will be a Fight Gone Bad workout in Stratford, East London. You may or may not be aware but there is a group workout that takes place every Friday evening. If you are interested please do feel free to come and participate. Email so we have an idea of numbers and you can get directions.


If you fancy a crack at Fight Gone Bad, its this Fridays Crossfit London WOD.

If you are feeling social, come up to Stratford and  join in.

7.10pm Start.

Get to the rear of

66 Ham Park Road
 Stratford London, E15 4HE

all for a fiver.

Reserve your space by emailing,

it'll be £5.;



Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
24 inch Box Jump, 30 reps
115 pound Push Press, 20 reps
30 Pull-ups

Post rounds completed to comments.


Enlarge image

Oakland SWAT Sergeant Daniel Sakai, age 35, was killed on March 21, 2009 in the line of duty along with fellow officers Sergeant Ervin Romans, Sergeant Mark Dunakin, and Officer John Hege. Daniel is survived by wife Jenni and daughter Jojiye.

for todays Crossfit London Wod click here


Hi everyone

 The 1st public session of the Wanstead Women class is Monday (20th April)  7.30pm to 8.30pm at the scout hut by Snaresbrook station. (Hollybush Hill, Wanstead, E11 1PX)
This will be a very modest beginning (im expecting 2-3 people), as Ive done nothing more than add a  page to my website. This is by way of design, as I wanted to get comfortable with the venue before I start running around leafleting the local area (and I need to sort out some storage and some pull up bars on the site)
on Monday I want to go through a basic squat work shop, look at the deadlift, and  start work on the kettlebell swing.
If you are coming along, can you let me know ( email me) so I can bring the right amount of equipment along.
The charge will be £5
Andrew Stemler
Crossfit London


I received the following email from John, in Scotland. ( the xxxxx are my addition )
"hello mr stemler...below is a copy of a post i made on 2 days ago. i'm sending it to you as i know you have an interest in kettlebells...i watched your youtube video on kettlebell size and shape. it was a xxxxxxxxx bell, like you showed on youtube, that i broke my arm with. more detail below, thanks)

using lower case and one typing finger so please excuse.

i had been progressing quite well with training at age 41.
3 years ago i got xxxxx book, pytp, and this led to 2 friends also getting a copy and us all benefiting from it.

i was shape again...after some years of being overweight and doing only yoga one point i lost 71 pounds in weight, which was overdoing things...but by last summer i was 40 years old, had lost most of fat round waIist and had settled in at 200 pounds, 46 inch chest, 15 inch arms...

then i made the error of trying out my new stength on a 24kg kettlebell i ordered.
i thought i could handle the heavy weight as years of yoga/chi kung would keep me balanced and sensible...

i worked up to doing 6 consecutive cleans and presses each arm, and 8 snatches each arm.

my form was perfect except the left arm the snatch would land harder at the top, but this seemed no problem and i was sure i would have a smooth snatch form on left, to match flawless righjt arm form, within a month or so.

10 days ago i went into my garden "highlands of scotland, inverness", did a smooth rep on left arm snatch...the 2nd rep a witness who took a photo of my first snatch, she told me the 2nd rep seemed to go out at an landede at the top and it broje my arm.

i tried ti insist to myself it was only a sprain, put off going to hospital until 18 hours later...lay in bed praying all night insteade that it wasn't broken.

x-ray showed severe fracture of left radius, ends of break nowhere near each other...i asked the doc how i could heal it naturally...i have never broken anything, never go to doctors, had not even had an aspirin in 20 alcohol in 6 years, no caffeine, no meat...real heath nut...

anyway, i was sent up to a ward where i still declined to take pain meds for another 24 hours.

had surgery to put a 4 inch steel plate on my radius to hold bone together with 6 screws, something my consultant insists will stay in permanently.

had to take 3 doses of intravenus antibiotics a week ago, plus oral morphine for pain.
that was a week ago.

left hos[ital next day and took 2 paracetyamol.
my usual RESTING HEART RATE IS around 65, but in hospital it stayed at 122 for 3 days, combination of caffeine, morphine, operation, stress etc

i haven't needed any of the codeine or paracetamol they gave me to come home with...and walked 4 miles yesterday, home from seeing the doctor to get dressing off..
4 inch scar isn't too bad...still a lot of swelling, and numbness in left hand etc

3 years ago i had passed on xxxxxxx book to friends,,,,and likewise in the past 9 months i influenced one friend to buy a kettlebell...a 16 kg bell...

i was talking to him on sunday night and we observed that none of the 8 books i bought on kettlebells, or the 6 dvds, warned that the 24 kg kettlebell snatch could break your arm.

i've googled it and i seem to be the first person in the world to do this.

in 23 years of training i have never before been injured.
fropm 1986 to 1989 i was a trainer in a gym, teaching weight training to many people, none i trained was ever injured...i only stopped weight training in 2001, to switch to an investigation of ashtange yoga that took 6 years.

my friend and I looked at our forearms And saw that the area of the radius my kettlebell hit was only an inch from the safe target zone the bell is supposed to land on, which is muscle padded.

has anyone here ever managed to recover full strength after a fracture like mine?

if i had ever heard of anyone breaking their arm doing a snatch i would never have bought a kettlebell.
none of the books or dvds i had warned that such a thing was possible.,

on youtube there are 130 pound women safely snatching the 24kg bell.

i must have done 100 safe reps...more,,,over the last weeks, then suddenly rep 2 of a set breaks my arm.

i'm still shocked about it and so are MY friends who thought i was managing the kettlebell perfectly well and was in no danger

as soon as i could do 6 presses with it on both arms, and 8 snatches both arms, i no longer regarded it as a heavy weight and then must have let my guard down fir a second.

the rkc recommend doing 200 snatches at a time, so i don't see how no one has ever mistimed a rep and landed the bell an inch out of place and hit the radius straight on...even a 16kg bell, the recommended starting weight could break the radius...which i now know is a fragile bone...not the robust thing i assumed it to be.,

i can see now that i was never injured by weight training , or by the 17 one-arm push-ups i worked up to one year...becaUSE THIS WAS NON-BALLISTIC TRAINING.

neither would a kettlebell have injured me if i'd just pressed it in a controlled way...but the dvds and books i bought showed fast ballistic swings and snatches...the books described recruiting the power of the hips and hamstrings to launch the bell and drive it to head height...from there i managed to punch through safely hundreds of times over 6 months...but then one bad rep 10 days ago has ruined my arm, permanently perhaps,

now that i've written this here, i think i will copy this and send it to all the people i bought books and dvds from and see if they wish to comment now,

thanks, and maybe writing this here will stop someone else getting hurt now,


AT Crossfit London, we frequently get gym managers and advanced trainers talking to us about  problems in their gyms: The proper form of kettlebelling is becoming a major talking point Here is a recent email we recived

At the gym i currently work at we are having a very heated debate about "locking your knees" when performing the KB swing. One  "qualified" instructor has taught clients to lock the knees but they literally snap them back (to the point where it almost looks like a shockwave is being sent through the body.) He maintains this is correct. Another un-qualified instructor claims this is wrong and the knees shouldnt lock during the lift.
Personally i can see the need for full-extension of the knees at the top of the lift but i think that "snapping" them is going to cause injury in the long run.
We have found a tonne of conflicting info on the web and are trying to get the opinions of other qualified instructors, teachers or poeple who use them a lot. I would very much appreciate it to hear what you think seeing as this is a move featured quite often in your workouts


Here is Crossfits official expert, Jeff Martone, with his opinion on "knee snap"

"I agree; full-extension, not snapping them back.  Unfortunately, there's a lot of bad info on the web.

Let's take a second and break the movement down.  Functional movement is functional movement regardless of the application.  When the kettlebell is on the bottom position of the swing; your hips are back, shins near vertical, torso folded at the hip, chest open etc.  This is similar to the starting position of a dead lift or power clean.  It is not much different than an basketball player getting ready to jump for a rebound or athlete getting ready to perform a standing vertical jump.  When an athlete jumps or an O'ly lifter pulls or a KB lifter swings, (cleans or snatches), there is a rapid extension of the hips and knees.  Extension, yes; purposefully snapping the knees back to a lockout - no.  You don't snap your knees back when you perform a standing vertical jump or O'ly lift nor is it wise to do so with the KB swing.  You're right; you're just asking for injury.  Power comes from the hips; it's hip extension that should be the main focus"


You can get your trainer to have his technique "sorted out" by sending him to the crossfit kettlebell certification in Bath (England) on the 6/7th of June: check out the listing on the main crossfit web site,


well, its Easter Day. Have a happy day.

We have  a week of local marketing ahead, getting ready for a week on monday when we have the first Wanstead Womens class.

Todays WOD is at


Enlarge image

"Jimi vs Josh: Task Priority FGB" by

CrossFit Again Faster, CrossFit Journal

Preview - video [wmv] [mov]


No one will take you seriously if you do not incorporate rings into your training. They are one of the better training tools around ( and have been for many years) 


We were delighted to discover that James Bond Star Daniel Craig has incorporated ring training into his training schedule and is close to mastering the Crucifix.

The rings were also used by the cast of  "300".

Rings are used By Crossfit trainers like Andrew Stemler to build fantastic upper body strength

 Buy them direct  from Crossfit London, for £54 (plus £5.50 p&p) normally sent out within 48 hours of you ordering

Click here

Comes free with  The Crossfit London Ring Training Guide

But, if you like buying stuff direct from America and waiting ages for it to arrive, click on the link below


The Elite Gymnastic Rings are portable and lightweight

i-Course Sunday 5 April 09

Another fantastic day. Many thanks to all the helpers and participants


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Rowing Stuff


Enlarge image

"The Concept 2 Rower with Bruce Kocher" by CrossFit Again Faster, CrossFit Journal

Preview - video [wmv] [mov]

i-course treats

We had another successful i-course yesterday, and it was nice to meet the guys from excel labs, a supplement supplier

I'm always debating the use of legal supplements, so their site may be of interest to you

At least you know the guys who run this  organisation have an interest in both Crossfit and "performance", rather than functionless mass.

Kate should have the  i-course photos up shortly.

In the meantime, go to the crossfit  London WOD and have yourself a time.

Now I have the time to focus on launching the Crossfit London Wanstead Womens class ( starting 20th April)

And your slow coach mate wants to tag along


You promised yourself a morning of flat out sprints and your best mate, girl/boyfriend,  starts whining that this morning, of all mornings, they want to come and train with you: but all they really want to do is jog.


In fairness, as they don't Crossfit, that's probably all they are capable of.

So Jog with them to the park,  reconciling yourself to the fact that  you may have to stop a few time to  allow them to catch their breath.

once in the park, find an obvious  250 m(ish) circuit ( perhaps round a duck pond) and jog around it  a few times.

Now your work starts

Start them  jogging or running, and jog along side them, then sprint off as fast as you can around the circuit, your aim being to catch them. When you do jog/walk alongside them to recover.

 Do that three times: on the third time, pray that your mate does not have a sprint in them, otherwise you may well collapse.


Kettlebell Certification In Bath Spa

Crossfit London and Crossfit Bath are delighted to be hosts to the Uk's very first Crossfit Kettlebell certification, to be held in Bath on the 6/7th June. Get your ticket now by visiting

Taught by the phenomenal "girl lifting" Jeff Martone ( a real yank, saying "good Job" "awesome" etc)

A really great advanced Olympic weightlifting seminar. Many thanks to Giles and Foz

March Newsletter 2009

Hi, I hope everyone is ok.

We have started a Crossfit London work out of the day, with suggested extra practice tasks, that you can find at


 The 1st "Ring-training level 2  Masterclass" will be  on  Sunday June 14th 1-4 at the East London Gymnastic Centre.

You can get your £40 ticket from the shop


I’m also delighted to announce that on the weekend of the 6/7 of June you too can attend an Crossfit official kettlebell certification in London. The Crossfit central kettlebell team ( real Americans, saying “good job” and “awesome”) will be in London for this weekend only to get you through the kettlebell skills you need to train yourself or teach others.

Keep an eye on the crossfit mainsite for the booking sheet to appear, but reserve that weekend now.


The Crossfit London  I-course is rapidly becoming famous: its well taught, fun and helps you achieve and learn to master great fitness skills, without being abusive or officious

The next I-courses are
April 5
May 10


9.30 to 4.30 at The East London Gymnastic Centre, E6

For £78 this is the best fitness course, probably in the country, that both normal people and trainers can attend.

These is an ideal way to start or to improve on the basic Crossfit moves

At the moment, the i-course is an attendance only course. We don’t authorize people to teach what they have learned. Within the month we will be introducing the  "I-course exam”

Basically its  a physical exam ( that you can video and send in) that proves you can perform every task covered in the i-course: basically you need to  perform a  snatch, clean and jerk, the 9 fundamental moves, pull up/dip, muscle up, L-sit, handstand push up and a few other bits that make up the  i-course skills.

Once you have this certificate, you will be able to attend our -course instructor training sessions and become an i-course instructor after an internship.


 we finally got around to publishing the 1st edition of the  i-course text book called "The elite fitness manual”. Its available as an e-book on the site.


we are encouraging everyone to get out there and start   your mini groups. There's a mini crossfit
Stratford that meets up on Friday at 7pm. On the 20th April, there will be a monday class in Wanstead at 7.30.

Within a few years we want
London splattered with garage and garden gyms. It credit crunch time, so liberate yourself from expensive gyms.

Keep an eye on for further details

Personal training.

if you want to work on a one to one basis, email you can train outside in
Stratford for £30, or in the opulent luxury of the Andaz hotel, Liverpool street  for £50


Andrew Stemler
Crossfit London
The Andaz Hotel Gym
40 Liverpool Street, London EC2m
07969 922831


keep an eye on this page for your Work out of the day.

 Im just sitting hear with Joel, planning publishing " a workout of the day"  on this blog.

Watch this space

i-Course Sunday 1 March 09

Another great course - thanks to all the participants and helpers

And sports science puffs along, miles behind

Well done to a group of clever brainy people who at last  managed to conclude that high intensity exercise is more effective than the classical low intensity  prescription that most lazy instructor dish out.

 check out

for your copy of "Extremely short duration high intensity training substantially improves insulin action in young edentary males". BMC Endocrine Disorders 2009 9:3  Babraj et al.

 and think, if only they had read the crossfit journal 7 years ago, they could have saved all the effort

i-Course Sunday 25 Jan 09

WOOF 16 Jan 09

Weighted dips, push press coaching and snatches. A great way to start the weekend

Mike's Fight-Gone-Bad

Rising Crossfit London star, Mike,   blasts through Fight Gone Bad, and initiates Peter and Ali, under the watchful eye of Andrew Stemler. It was bloody cold, hence the bars had to be warmed up with boiling water.

Workout on Friday 9 Jan 09

The trial run of the Pagoda Gym. The regular Friday night 7-8pm sessions start next week. Book your space by emailing Sessions are £5 for i-course graduates, £10 for beginners.

Tylers new Elite Strength Trainer

This should be a fantastic bit of kit, ss used by gymnasts to build  the strength for the crucifix. Get one now, but follow this link (it will make us some commission).

click here

Here is some of  Tyler's "blurb"

Have you ever wished you could train with your bodyweight on the rings, but adjust the resistance like a barbell? With the Elite Strength Trainer, you get 10 levels of resistance, from approximately 60% to 100% compared to normal rings. The Elite Strength Trainer reduces the leverage on your arms, which makes skills like the Cross and Maltese much easier. The EST can easily attach to a set of rings or to a bar. The straps are 5' long, so we recommend attaching them to your rings if you have high ceilings or wish to lower the ETS to the floor.


How much easier?

Easy isn’t the best word to describe training with the Elite Strength Trainer. Even a strong athlete will be very challenged, but moves that were a year away can be trained right away. And as you get stronger, you can get closer to the actual skill in 10 manageable steps. Your progress will be noticeably and accurately measured. As you get closer to “Level 10”, you know that your training is paying off. If Level 1 is too hard, there are progressions that can help you bridge the gap.

Fitness Tested, Champion Approved

The design of the Elite Strength Trainer has gone through a long process of refinement. Early prototypes were tested by Olympic gymnasts and US national team members. Their feedback has been incorporated into the final product. Every line and curve has been put in place to ensure optimum comfort and high performance. One unique feature is the ability to adjust the position of the handle to allow people with different arm lengths to train comfortably.


Training on the EST

Setting up the EST is simple. You can either attach the straps to a bar or to a set of rings. It takes only a few seconds to get them set up and then you’re ready to go. Every movement you can do on normal rings can be done on the EST, but now with adjustable resistance. During a workout, you can train moves in static or dynamic fashion, such as performing the Iron Cross hold or doing pulls in and out of the cross position. And of course, the favorite training method of elite level gymnasts is to create a routine. This is a sequence of movements that flow together without repeating any skill consecutively. Strength routines are the secret behind the amazing strength of top gymnasts.


Up goes the pagoda roof!!

Well on the way to a world class strength and conditioning facility.

Happy Christmas and some thought about Military Fitness

Its sort of funny.

One of the major  forces behind the growth of Crossfit, has not been gyms or equipment manufacturers hoping to make a quick buck out of another rubbishy  fitness craze. Its not even been sport people. Its been individual  military and  emergency responders discovering that the blend of body building and aerobics that was sold to them was "not fit for purpose".

Its sort of amusing that, just as  military fitness discovers and adopts Crossfit, the old fashioned, out of date, military fitness, that was shown to be substandard, is now being packed and sold to a gullible public as the new fitness craze.

You too can run around a park  in a skill-devoid work out, playing games, pretending to be combat fit, when in fact, all the real combat fit guys and girls are crossfitting.

Get some skill in your workouts: get some rings, get an olymic bar, get on your hands and handstand: sure, run a bit and put  green paint on your face if you must, but rememeber the challenges life sends are rarely monostructural.


Making the Pagoda, Garden or garage Gyn

Crossfit London offers personal training and the infamous i-course so you can train yourself. We dont want  you  to waste your money on a crappy fitness centre; if you need to learn skills, come to us or other sporting groups. Gyms with machines have nothing to teach you: they are staffed by morons.

So have  a look at what space you have and make your own world class fitness facility.

Heres a snap shot of my back yard in Stratford E15 (london UK) thats going from cute town garden, to my personal gym.

Ive ripped up the flower borders, and I'll have the £100 pagoda up soon. Sort out the floor, concrete the uprights for the pull up bar, load my stuff in, then .. well watch out and see.more photos on facebook.

This is very much work in progress. Ill post lots of hints and tips soon

A real Christmas Present

I suspect it will be sometime before Crossfit London has  a permanent home. In the meantime, get a handle on your olympic weightlifting and Power Lifting moves.

 We are passionate supporters of the Bethnal Green Weightlifting club and we encourage everyone who has done our i-course to practise and develop at The Bethnal Green Club ( also known as BGWLC).

heres a link to their blog with joining details

Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club

( the URL is if the link fails)

 there are known champions  Giles Greenwood, Pat Attridge) to name but a few: A great facility too, thanks to Tower Hamlets Council

BEthnal Green weightLifting Club and Pagoda Fitness

I had a super ( albeit flue ridden) weekend: I lifted at my first club competition at the Bethnal Green Weightlifting club and  got a snatch of 50kg and Clean and Jerk of 70kg, my clean and jerk of 75kg was a "no lift" as I pressed out my arms ( sob: I was robbed, I could have been a contender......) . marvellous experience, fantastic club.

 I need to up my total to 147kgs to qualify for the Southern Masters ( 77kg, under  47-49 years of age).( in short , Im a weakling at the moment)

Also started work on the Friday night "Pagoda Gym" in my back garden in Stratford.

 Yep, there will be an open crossfit session, every friday night at the rear of 66 Ham Park Road, Stratford, London E15 4HE. Steve and I will be hooking up at 6.30pm for a half hour of guitar practise, then from 7 to 8pm, its workout time led by Andrew Stemler ( level 2 Crossfit instructor) ( thats me).

In the meantime Ill talk you through converting your garden into a world glass strength and fitness facility so you can train without getting screwed by a greedy commercial gym.

Andrew Stemler and Crossfit London UK will unlock the secrets of fitness so you can train at home: We will  also point you towards proper  olympic lifting, gymnnastic, and sporting  gyms and clubs that will  help you develop real fitness.


At last, what passes as the sports scientific community,  is beginning to realise how to do things properly. They have even worked out that a warm up, if done correctly can prevent injury because it  trains the body to move properly. Time after time, the warm up is used as a merely pulse raiser when it should be used to practice form and technique, like we do at Crossfit  London

follow this link to the BMJ's site and read

"Comprehensive warm-up programme to prevent injuries in young female footballers: cluster randomised controlled trial"

post any observations to comments

Stair Climbing

Do you live in  a block of flats or work in  a large office block: does it have loads of stairs.

well how many times can you run up and down them i n 10 minutes??

do biorhythms actually affect your performance, or is that just a load tree hugging hippy  pooh?

  check out your physical highs and lows and compare it to your performances

 please feedback and tell me if you notice any success.


heres a montage of davies visit to london and the i-course

i-Course Sunday 7 December 08

Another amazing day of lifts, gymnastics, headstands and lots of fun.
Thanks to everyone who participated and helped on the day.
Lots more pix to come on Andrew's facebook soon....

Lets see if this link works. Its to my facebook album with all the days photos

Click here

Miles Behind

As normal we are miles behind in updating this blog ( perhaps Ive spent too much time uploading photos to facebook.)

we will get better at it.

In the meantime keep on training. Im working on my handstand, and preparing for Sundays i-course

i-Course Sunday 2 November 08

Twenty-one participants had a fantastic day of lifts, frog-stands, pit-runs, kettlebelling, pull-ups both strict and assisted - as much fun as you can handle!
Thanks to all who took part, and an enormous thank you to the 10+ helpers.

This is a small selection of the pictures - there'll be lots more on Andrew's facebook soon.

7th December icourse has now sold out

Just to let you know that the 7th December i-course has now sold out.

So, get in early on the 2009 dates. These courses sell out quickly.

As tickets have now sold-out  for the December session, we can announce a special guest from Scotland, the awesome Davie Easton from Crossfit Central Scotland.

Workout on Sunday 26 Oct 08

And a very wet WOS it was too. Thanks to the hardy souls who battled the unrelenting drizzle.

Workout was:
5 x 40k thrusters, 7 x hang power cleans, 10 x sumo deadlift high-pulls. as as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes. Followed by girl deadlifts

RAF Mildenhall HAWC Kettlebell Masterclass 18 Oct o8

It was an honour to teach kettlebell skills to the Air personnel of RAF Mildenhall.
A big thank you to TSgt. Anthony "Mitch" Mitchell, Ms Kelly Livett and Anthony Cook for making the day happen and for looking after us so well. And thanks for the tour of the plane!

Crossfit Level 1 Certification at Crossfit Manchester

i-course 21 Sept 08

One amazing day-thanks to all the participants and helpers.

icourse i course


Well, in honour of Jack, and what he had to put up with in a recent training session

 for time 100, 40kg thrusters.

Farewell to Jack

A farewell workout of a Fight Gone Bad, followed by a little party. Here's a compilation of some of Jack's finest moments.....

Bon voyage, Jack, we won't forget you

Olympic Closing Ceremony

just watched the closing ceremony of the games and cringed at the British Contrbution:

"Yoof" rock music and interpretive dance, oh and a hedge

God it was awful.

Thank you China for a great games

Olympic Lifting - Writhlington (Bath)

A fun afternoon learning the Crossfit 9 fundamental lifts. Thanks to all the participants and good luck to the  founders of Crossfit Bath

On Your Hands - East London Gymnastic Centre

Crossfit London's amazing "hands on" gymnastic seminar.
Big thank you to all the participants and fantastic helpers who made a hot afternoon something special.

crossfit london 


"65 days in captivity,
Are you so blind that you cannot see?"

Someone call Bob Geldof! Organise a  huge concert in Hyde Park!

Anyhoo, the word is, the prisoner is doing really well and is due for parole soon.

Meantime, these foolish boys did a meeeeean WOD today, then had some tea.

Crossfit London in Bath, Somerset

Writhlington Olympic lifts


Crossfit London finally comes to the Bath area with their highly successful Olympic weightlifting seminar, where they teach absolute beginners (like you) how to snatch and clean in under 3 hours.

For the first time in the West Country, Crossfit London presents a seminar led by Andrew Stemler, one of the UK's few Level 2 Crossfit Instructors.

Saturday 9 August 2008
1.30 -  4.30pm
(registration from 1pm)

Writhlington Village Hall
Manor Road

Buy your £25 ticket here

If you need to ask any questions, drop Andrew an email

some people dont like working out

Dear Diary,

This was from an email making the rounds of a camden publishers office.
its a diary extract. Enjoy

For my birthday this year, my daughter (the dear) purchased a week of
personal training at the local health club for me.

Although I am still in great shape since being a high school
cheerleader 43 years ago, I decided it would be a good idea to go
ahead and give it a try.

I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer
named Brad, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics
instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear.

My daughter seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started! The club
encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.


Started my day at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was
well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Brad waiting
for  me. He is something of a Greek god - with blond hair, dancing eyes
and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Brad gave me a tour and showed me
the machines. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted
his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring!

Brad was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already
aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is
going to be a FANTASTIC week-!!


I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door.

Brad made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air
then  he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill,
but I made the full mile. Brad's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile.
I feel GREAT-!! It's a whole new life for me.


The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the
counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have
a  hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to
steer or stop.

Brad was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other
club members. His voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and
when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest
hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Brad put me on the stair
monster. Why the hell would anyone invent a machine to simulate an
activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Brad told me it would help
me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other shit too.


Brad was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his
thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a
half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes.

Brad took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I
ran and hid in the restroom. He sent some skinny bitch to find me.

Then, as punishment, he put me on the rowing machine -- which I sank.


I hate that Brad more than any human being has ever hated any other
human being in the history of the world.

Brad wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if
you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the damn barbells or
anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off
and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher.

Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the
choir director?


Brad left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly
voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing him made me
want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the
strength to even use the TV remote and ended up catching eleven
straight hours of the Weather Channel.

I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go
and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my
daughter (the little shit) will choose a gift for me that is fun --
like a root canal or a hysterectomy. I still say if God had wanted me to
bend over, he would have sprinkled the floor with diamonds!!!

welcome to joel

a great addition to the crossfit london team

WOS 13 July

The return of the WOD! Involved a lot of handstand push-ups and  L pull-ups.  Followed by more handstand practise, hollow rocks and snatching.

Thanks Andrew, Jack, Joel,  Jamie,  Peter and Kieran

WOS 6 July 08

Sorry this was late, no excuses - just thrash me!

This week's heavy lifting  session had some fun extras - box jumps, wall balls, skipping, sledge dragging, etc.
Well, it was fun to watch!


we are trying to design a questionnaire to help people decide if crossfit is for them.  Here are the suggested questions collected thus far.

if you have other ideas, post them under comments.

1) are you developing obsessive  compulsive tendencies
2) inspite of earlier treatment, do you feel the need to recommence self harming
3) do you like kittens
4)  do you think that most people who teach in gyms are untalented weaklings
5) do you have full blown Obsessive compulsive issues.
6) do you like dropping heavy weights in public and shouting "mother f**ker"
7) do you mind being unable to use your arms after a workout
8) are you sick of being a weakling

add your ideas

Caption competition

Jack, I was feeling guilty for not having more pix of you in the last montage. So I needed to make up for it...


WOS 29 June 08

Sumo deadlifts, good mornings, front squats and interesting uses for elastic bands

Thanks Andrew, Jack, Sean, Jamie, Rianon, Peter and Kieran


WOS 22 June 08

Deadlifts, front squats, push jerks - and box jumps to make it all the more fun.
Thanks  Guy, Kieran, Rianon and Andrew

Kate x

WOS 15 June 08

Thanks Andrew, Jamie, Guy, Steve, Kieran and Sam

Kettlebell Masterclass

Heavy lifting Sunday

Glorious sunshine, three strapping lads, lots of weights... and me. What's not to like?

Thanks and congrats Andrew, Jamie and Rianon - you're a pleasure to point a camera at.

Kate x

Crossfit Intro course 6

The final class in this series revisited all the skills (and fun) from the previous weeks

Details for the next beginners' courses can be found on the homepage: look out for "ON YOUR FEET" and "ON YOUR HANDS"

Next Masterclasses

All masterclasses are held at

East London
Gymnastics Club
Frobisher Road
, London E6

In our opinion this is the best introduction you can get to the Olympic lifts in this country. This three hour session will get you snatching and 95% of the way to performing a clean ( the remaining 5%  tends to come  after the seminar when the “penny drops”). The progressions are based on the work of Crossfit legends such as Mike Burgener and Greg Everett and are patiently, nicely and humorously delivered by  Andrew Stemler sometimes with help from other London Crossfitters. The session begins with a  squat work shop, and the progressions are taught with light weight UPVC tubes, so  everyone can learn

Wednesday 25 June 2008
6.15 - 9.15pm



This is an ideal introduction to the 9 fundamental CrossFit moves that you need to follow CrossFit and/or become a competent athlete or fit person.
This 3 hour session deals with the moves where you are standing on your feet:
The squat, the overhead squat, the front squat, the deadlift, the press, the push press, the push jerk, the medicine ball clean and the sumo deadlift high-pull.
The session also introduces you to the POSE method of running, and introduces the Zone diet

The session is delivered by Andrew Stemler of Crossfit London and Miles Key of Crossfit West Sussex at the East London Gymnastic Centre

Wednesday 2 July 2008
6.15 - 9.15pm


Learn the essentials of kettlebelling in three hours flat. Mistress the swing, the snatch, the clean, the Turkish get up, the presses and some other bits of fun
We provide  whole range of kettlebells for you to use with all the mirrors, hose pipe and teddy bears you will need to help you learn.

Wednesday 16 July 2008
6.15 - 9.15pm


This 3-hour  gymnastic session aims to introduce you to the “on your hands” skills of following Crossfit:
Pull-ups, dips, supports,  handstand, handstand push-ups, press-ups, various static holds like the L-sit, the frog stand,
Abdominal conditioning like you have never seen before.
There is also an introduction to basic pommel work

The session is delivered by Andrew Stemler of Crossfit London and Miles Key of Crossfit West Sussex at the East London Gymnastic Centre

Sunday  27 July 2008
1 - 4pm



Crossfit introductory course - week 5


Crossfit introductory course - week 4

Sorry this was delayed...

Balls, Sumo deadlift high pulls, handstands, planks and ring pull-ups


Had a great weekend in Bath, but decided to wear the neck scarf to spite Jacob (in-joke). Still, this photo could make a great advert for the forthcoming Crossfit London/Gymnastfit ab guide.

Workout on Sunday

Thanks to everyone: Jack, Guy, Jamie, Peter, Wendy, Kate (pb 82.5kg!) and Andrew for, as always, being the host with the most...


Workout on Sunday 4 May 08

A great time had by all.


Crossfit London with Crossfit Derby and Brian Hamil of BWLA

 super olympic lifting seminar  in Derby. Well done everyone

Crossfit introductory course - week 3

This week -  overhead squat practice, sprinting and pull-up fun in the gymnasium


Crossfit introductory course - week 2

The  Zone Diet, deadlifting, sprinting, dips, and inspired coaching. That's a lot packed into 90 minutes


more fun with TSG4 on sunday

we had a great kettlebell session with TSG4 in Catford over the weekend

Great fun on the beginners course

here ia a photo montage from wednesdays beginners course ( photos by Kate Pankhurst)



CrossfitDerby & the British Weight Lifting Association


A One day Olympic Lifting Seminar with:

Mr Brian Hamill

Staff Coach B.W.L.A

Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Sat 10th May 08 (9am)

15 places only


  I had an interesting session with Andrew Hunter who offers a really effective injury treatment.


Active Release Techniques (ART) with Andrew Hunter DC

The ART system can help with the soft-tissue component of back, neck and
other joint pains.  It is useful for the athlete both to improve performance
& deal with the overuse problems (such as shoulder injuries) which can build
up over time.  For further details see
Andrew Hunter, a chiropractor, is an experienced ART provider with clinics
in Canary Wharf (E14), the City (EC3) & Blackheath  (SE3).  Contact 020 8297

Sundays WOS

 Sundays Stratford Heavy lifting session went well.  Congratulations to Guy for hitting  a PB.

If you are an experienced lifter, this  is a session you should be coming to. To get an invitation, email

These sessions are not on every week, but are  arranged according to demand. The sessions last about 1.30 to  2 hours: great fun.

well done Jack, Guy Jamie and Kate on the camera

must write more

As always, my ability to update a blog falls short of acceptable standards, but, we've managed tp publish the kettlebell training guide, which is good: and we are chugging along nicely at the Andaz Hotel.

  For experienced crossfitters we have resurrected the WOS's but this is by invite only, and for that matter, not every sunday, so dont risk turning up on the off chance. But if you are an experinced crosfitter and have had coaching on all the major lifts, please drop me a line for  an invite.

In the meantime, if you want to learn crossfit, theres a beginners course starting at the  end of this month, 3 skill seminars to come to, and bookable personal training sessions, so no excuses.

 drop me a line at  (If the link doesnt work,  cut and paste it)

Olympic Flame

by the way, as one of the crowd watching the torch go by on Sunday, I must say how proud I was of the police, the security, the torch bearers and the protestors: whats wrong with a bit of protest. Where I was , in Stratford, The local authority made an effort to put on a show  and had people dangling off buildings and dancing on roofs.  They do keep on   bullshitting people and suggesting if  you become an athlete today, you can be in the games at 2012, but I suppose they are just trying to get people  involved.

keep on training



Well, all my clients struggled this week, possibly due to the season changing, so say hi to the lovely bunnies and to any other woodland folk you may meet ,get outside in the fresh air and  do some training

Off On a course


 Im away for a few days until Sunday:

have fun


The next few masterclasses and events

The next series of masterclasses are

Crossfit London Basics Course:
 Wednesdays 23, 30 April, 7, 21, 28, May, 4,11 June 2008 7-8pm.  £90

 Olympic Weightlifting Seminar 
Wednesday14th May 2008 6.15-9.15pm £35

 Ring Training Seminar  Wednesday 28th May 2008 2.30 -4.30pm £30

 Kettlebell Seminar 11th June 2008 6.15-9.15pm £29.95

Venue for all events: East London Gymnastic Centre: Beckton E6

get your ticket at the shop. CLICK HERE

Loads of new things

Over the Easter break, I'll be taking time out to arrange a whole series of new features such as a beginners  course, inexpensive PT options at the gymnastic centre in Beckton E6 and the summer timetable

I'll publish dates of the forthcoming masterclasses soon. We will resume the Sunday WOS classes in Stratford by the end of April when we will publish our summer timetable.

In the meantime, I was over the moon to see that Daniel Craig has taken up ring training.

Well done and good luck with the crucifix, mate.

You are reminded that if you are struggling with your muscle-up you can buy the Crossfit London Ring Training guide which gives you loads of hints and tips.

If you don't have a pair of rings, shame.

Get some now by visiting the Crossfit London shop.

In the meantime, if you have some rings, see how many dips you can do in one go, and post the results below.

Happy Easter!


kittens ( stolen from Crossfit NYC)

Christian D larson

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements  of the future. Give so much time to the improvements of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Christian D Larson

ThE Andaz Gym is now open

For those of you who like  a bit of luxury with your hardcore training, the Andaz Gym is now open for crossfit 121 sessions with Andrew Stemler

40 Liverpool Street
London EC2M

 for details  email

Flexy Cindy

Heres a nice variation on Cindy. The storm through is replaced by an agonising attention to detail and form, while pushing the moves to the furthest range of motion thats safe for you.

 As many rounds as you can in 20 minutes of

5 strict ring pull ups: once you have taken hold of the rings with a normal grip, rotate your arms so your   palms face outwards: hang to full extension: then pull. The rings turn as you pull. Your body should be in  a  slight dish shape.

10 Push ups on parallettes ( or bricks) full range of motion. Your hands under your shoulders  ( more a   "tricep" push up.)

15 Over head squats with a 10k bar, every rep perfect, but trying to bring your hand spacing closer in and your feet closer in.  Every rep should feel a  challenge, if not, bring your foot spacing in. Feel the  flexibility challenge. 

Kettlebell fun and Oly Stuff, and a workout

Well done to all those who attended the 20th February Kettlebell Seminar 2008. Well done, a nice standard

The Olympic Weightlifting masterclass has now sold out and we hope to announce new dates in the future.

I the meantime, work is progressing  at the Andaz Hotel where soon we will be able to get you through your Crossfit Basics.


Keep on checking this blog for  updates and bits of news, but for those who fancy it, you can try this  high speed work out.

This work out is aimed at crashing you into your aneraobic zone.

 5 Burpees ( with a push up, so some would  call them "Bastards")
 Sprint 20 meters ( touch the floor), sprint back
5 Pulls Ups

 Five rounds as fast as you can:  There should be  no attempt at management: storm into the next activity as fast as you can.

 This is  short, brutal  work out which you can amend. If need be,cut the  pull ups  down,  or sub jumping  pull ups or assist.  Reductions for the burpees( bastards) could be to take out the push up or  the jump.

kettlebell Seminar

The 2oth Febs Kettlebell Seminar  has now sold out.


 see you all there

Some people are such mugs

Andrew is so trusting. Ask him to pose for a photo, semi nude and... voila, Cupid has arrived!

Flap Flap!

Happy Valentine's Day

love Kate xxxx

Happy Valentines Day

Have  a lovely day.

Crossfit, BWLA, Endurance, Andaz

We had a great meet up with John from the Andaz Gym today, where we began the process of designing the structure of PT sessions and defining the range of extra activities that will be available, including a Crossfit based running club, a BWLA weightlifting club and kettlebell workouts on top of our fantastic Crossfit training sessions.

We should be able to announce the first Olympic Weightlifting Masterclass 'In the City' in the next few days.

We are assembling a super Andaz team that includes 'Foz', a former competitive Olympic-style weightlifter, and John McCullogh, our Scottish fell runner and endurance expert.

Even though the gym isn't finished, we are training from a couple of hotel rooms on the 1st floor, so if you need to get your basics sorted, drop me an email at

The Andaz is at 40 Liverpool Street EC2M

Brian, who lives in Wimbledon, will also be looking at taking a few local clients under his wing. If you are a local, drop him an email  on


Heres  details of an interesting offer  I received.
I've offered  my   sore knee up for  the needle.



I am writing to offer you and your colleagues a chance to receive a series of free
acupuncture treatments to fulfill my course requirements.

I have studied at the Richdales Institute based in Hammersmith Hospital and now hold a
diploma in Holistic massage from the International Therapy Examination Council and have
spent the past two years studying Traditional Chinese Medical Theory.

I would welcome the opportunity of discussing my proposal further. Please feel free to
contact me during office hours on 07754829859 to book an appointment.

Yours Sincerely,

James Carolan

Ring Training Seminar

We had a fantastic  ring training seminar with everyone acheiving a muscle up: well done Brain, Robin, Stan and Chris. A big Thanks to Alex, Crossfit Londons Gymnastic consultant.


The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a God or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.
-Henry Rollins

Back From The USA

I Struggled through my level 2 with a massive chest infection and a series of bliding headaches, and am now back to get you to focus on the basics

8 - 13th January

Happy new year every one.

I'll be in America doing my Crossfit Level 2, 8-13th of January, so dont be surprised if you email me and dont get the normal fast response.

 This also means there is no WOS on Sunday 13th Of January.


Well, the new year is almost upon us

so now, make some realistic goals: not stupid  ones: up  the weights you use ( a bit)  in the WOD's,  look at the food you eat and cut back on the crap, get involved with the Sunday work outs and learn some skills.Open a blog and get involved.

Rememeber success is 99% perspiration, 1% crossfit. ( some say inspiration)

Annual review

Just to keep some of you updated.

 the WOW, ( work out on  a wednesday) at  Mile End has run its course.The last session was November 28th

We will also arrange a monthly skill seminar  on the following subjects, olympic weight lifting, kettlebells & Ring Training, which will be at the Gymnastic Centre in Beckton.,

We will also put together a travelling  "Crossfit Introduction" Road Show where, once  a month we will seek to book a suitable hall in a different London borough and in two hours, unlock the keys of crossfit  to make some of the WOD's accessible, correct  some squat form,  introduce the Zone diet,  discuss running mechanics and the issue of short distance running, along with  some basic work out ideas and training progressions  for  "hard" exercises ( anything from handstand push ups /muscles ups/ one legged squats, depending on the facilities available in the particular  venue.)

We will also work with  various groups to  facilitate  the development of effective self & Family defence skills

Crossfit London   continues to focus on its personal training services. To get more details email

Ring Training 22 November 2007

But, here are the lads from the  Ring Training Seminar on the 22nd November

 Well done to the Guys who made it to the last ring training seminar on Thiursday 22nd November

Miles Behind

I have loads of fanstastic stuff to post up on the site, but Im swamped at the moment:  I just wanted to   let you know we are still alive and kicking.

 By the way, we  "WOW" all the way through Christmas and  New Year.

Professionals and Amateurs ...

Amateurs train until they get it right ...
    Professionals train until they cannot get it wrong!!!

(submitted by Crossfitter “uselessly bicep curling 50kg” Jack)

Will & Suffering

Will & Suffering

"When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he has developed in more ways than just physical.

Is it raining? it doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter either. Then and only then will willpower be no problem."

Emil Zatopek.

Scams from Iraq

just in case you get a similar approach, here is an interesting variation on an old scam


                                                  BUSINESS INITIATIVE & CONCEPT

I know that you will receive this propos al with utmost shock and disbelief, but not to worry, as the transaction progresses, you shall see things for yourself. My name is Private Graham White. I am an American soldier, serving in the military with the Third (3rd) infantry Division in Iraq. I and my superior after
going on a rampage on Saddam Hussein's palace in Baghdad discovered a large container where various denominations of currency worth millions are hidden.

You can enter the below website to confirm more of our discovery which was made known to the government, but this particular one is a topsecret:

Having discovered the container in question, I alerted my superior officer who smartly told me to cart away a substantial amount. The fund in question was moved to a secure place with the assistance of an officer/contractor in Europe(A private contractor of our European military colleague);the total is $21,000,000.00 (Twenty-One million US dollars)only. Basically since am still in active service in Iraq, I cannot keep this fund in my bank accounts. It is on this juncture that am mandated by my superior to look for a reliable and trustworthy person who could assist to receive the fund on my behalf for investment purposes. Hence, my contacting you.

There is no risk involved whatsoever. If you are interested, I will send you my identity and the full details of claim. All am finding is a good partner that
I can trust and that will assist to secure the fund. Can I trust you? To ensure confidentiality, when you receive this letter, kindly reply me via e-mail signifying your interest including your confidential telephone/fax numbers for quick communication and also your contact details for identifi cation. I shall give you the details of the custodian to the fund in due time and please note that this would be of benefit to both side,because we shall both share the fund by 50%/50% equall.

I await your timely response via my personal e-mail account:

Respectfully submitted.
Graham White.

Mucle ups in Chechnya ...

... put the fun back to foundamentalism!

(submitted by  Crossfitter  "ripped" Jack)

post scam

Can you circulate this around especially as Xmas is fast approaching - it has been confirmed by Royal Mail. The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number). DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 02072396655 or ICSTIS (the premium rate service

regulator) at

( sent in by Crossfitter Russell)


The Cause & Quitting

If you feel like quitting remember,

"Somewhere, a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night.

The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear.

He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him.

This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies.

He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home.

He knows only The Cause."

Still want to quit?

( supplied By Jack)

Rowing Motivation

 W will soon be holding a rowing "secrets" seminar where we will share with you leading, but  secret, concept 2  rowing Tips. Here is a psychological  secret.

Rowing is NOT endurance sport … it is a battle against pain where no-one is allowed to quit, if one quits the whole race is lost so at the 1750 m mark when every stroke counts, you have to dig deep! Spiritual tranquility might do it and meditation helps … but what always saves the day is pure hate! So when the last quarter call is heard, one has to dig deep. The going advice for the team for that last 250 m was:


“Think that girlfriend that cheated on you and then think about the motherfucker that fucked her in the nightclub toilet while you had to stay in on a Friday night because you had to train the next morning and if you are stupid enough to think that she did not cheat, that is all-right … think of Brad Pitt cause she has definitely cheated on you with him … unleash that hate!!!”

Supplied  by Crossfitter Jack

Elite Fitness is where you find it

Here are some  great muscle ups:

Crossfit Poetry


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Meaningful Fitness analysis

"No small part of the CrossFit revolution is to establish what we call "evidence based fitness" - where meaningful assertions about fitness programs are focused on safety, efficacy, and efficiency bolstered by measurable, observable, and repeatable human performance data. Where we're successful, work capacity will reign supreme and markers like V02 max, lactate threshold, and heart rate will rightfully be seen as performance correlates valued solely in proportion to their contribution to programming changes that advance performance."

- Greg Glassman


Well, for those of  you who want  your own pair of rings, now is the time to order a  set from the Crossfit London shopping cart as  we have just restocked

 click here

Find out  what instability is really about


According to Metro, "Most unhealthy people would rather risk their life than head for the gym, a charity claims. Only 38% would be motivated to do more exercise if their life depended on it, the British Heart Foundation said.

Most coach potatoes are refusing to hit the treadmill as only a third achieve the minimum recommended 30 minutes of "moderate intensity" exercise each day. The Charity's Mike Knapton said "this is a deadly serious issue. For many people exercise has become an ugly word something to avoid at all cost".

Seventeen percent of women said they exercised to keep their figure compared with one percent of men"

Wow : isnt it time for those old fashioned words "laziness" and "sloth" to be brought back into fashion

300 keeps rolling on...

Having read Andrew’s post on 300 and the training behind the film, I raised a few issues with him. He has very kindly (perhaps foolishly) permitted me to post them on the blog.


Although Andrew cites Twight’s acknowledgement of CrossFit in the redefining of his ideas I think it is only fair for the explanation of 300 as written by Mark Twight to be presented when discussing the preparation of the actors and stuntmen:


From interviews I read at the time of 300’s release I know that Gerard Butler did hire a bodybuilding trainer to supplement his work at Gym Jones. He was apparently terrified of appearing on screen looking scrawny.


Andrew Pleavin always appeared to be the the star trainee and in the film he actually looks one of the least impressive actors (ie he’s just bloody big) but he’s not meant to be portraying a professional soldier. One should also bear in mind that a lot of the cast were professional stuntmen who were in very good shape to begin with but nonetheless the transformation of an individual like Vincent Regan in 8 weeks is unquestionably impressive.


And what does Twight advocate, other than hardwork, mental and physical?




Which must be the central foundation of anyone’s training or you’re just mucking around.


I think I would be wound up if I read every suggestion that CGI and steroids were behind this.


If anyone is interested Twight has published two books which are both available through Amazon in the UK. Extreme Alpinism is the manual behind his theory of fast and light climbing but he would probably want to rewrite that now in consideration of how exposure to CrossFit changed his philosophy so dramatically. The second book is Kiss or Kill, a collection of essays and articles in similar vein to the pieces on his website. He has sworn to never write another book.


So now you know next time you see someone doing that bloody 300 workout down at Fitness First.


Cat Cholesterol

Well, this is my cat Muffin.

He has a few bad points but on the whole he's ok. But my wife, she adores him: so he gets all the tests to make sure he's ok ( his brother died of  Bowel Cancer a few years ago, so shes a bit jumpy).  Any way the latest  blood test results came back and guess what: He' s got  high Cholesterol.

 How I asked? The vet blamed " soft food" ie the   stuff in bags  and tins: so I looked at the contents and guess what: 60% bits of meat and fish, but the remaining 40% tapeoca: ie  carb.

The good old food industry even wants to carb you cat up. It seems as  if  excessive carbs are as lethal to cats as they are to humans.

Proper Running

All real runners run on the balls of their feet.  If you run on your heels you are in all probability walking, or moving very slowly, or attempting to avoid using your calf muscles in case exercise makes them look  a bit bigger ( gasp). The heels are used  as the bodies breaking system.

The foot should strike the surface with the ball of the foot,  but with the  toes pointing forward not downwards.

The heel doesn't touch the ground. However, this does depend on the size of the heel on your trainers.Many people run in too clumpy trainers and so “think” they run heel down. But you don’t. Be told.

The foot on landing on the surface should be "light" not heavy, it then "grips & scrapes" the surface.

The knee is slightly bent on contact with the surface and the foot lands just below the hips. Your legs work in a cycling motion from the hip joint.

This brings the heel of the foot up behind the body.  The thigh moves up and forward, the leg is extended and the foot drops again, landing on the ball of the foot. The hips and waist should be steady and “lifted” without a lot of side to side movement. The back should be upright with the chest lifted but relaxed, The shoulders should be relaxed. The arms should be bent at approximately 90 degrees and the pumping action must be from the shoulder, not by waving your forearms around with an elbow initiated wave. The hands should be held with the palm facing inwards or a fist if you prefer. The head should be up with your eyes looking ahead not gazing at the floor longing for a rest or a beer.

Spartan 300

With the  300 DVD about to be launched, I thought you should be treated to the party line as to who should  have the credit for the fine physiques the actors had. ( apart for the hard work the actors did)

"300" Training

Did the cast of 300 train with CrossFit?

The short answer is yes and no, mostly yes. .

We’ve had a few folks contact CrossFit London who have somehow discovered a connection between CrossFit and the training of the 300 cast by Mark Twight of Gym Jones in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Like everyone exposed to it, Mark Twight has put his own special spin on CrossFit, but the main ideas and the essence of his current training method remain CrossFit.
Mark Twight is an extremely accomplished endurance alpinist, and author of several books on training for mountaineering events. He was an advocate of long, slow endurance training and high carb, low fat diets until he discovered CrossFit, attended a few CrossFit seminars, and become (temporarily) a CrossFit affiliate. CrossFit turned his world upside down, and he became an advocate of short duration, higher intensity workouts, and low carb, higher fat diets.

Here’s what Twight has said about CrossFit in issue 19 of the CrossFit Journal, “What Is CrossFit?"

“You can talk all you want about being in good shape until you do a few CrossFit workouts. And then you will realize — like I did — that what you have been doing is likely training strong points, rarely working on weak points, and training efficiency to such a degree that the workouts you do are less effective than they might be if you mixed energy modes, duration, and types of work. You probably know something about climbing-specific training because of books like Ex Alp, Clyde’s book, Dale’s book, and maybe Will’s. But none of this will prepare you for what is to come if you make even the slightest effort to follow CrossFit. Coach invited me to CrossFit HQ for an instructor seminar. I was the weakest guy in attendance, by at least 50% during every workout we did over the three days. Those days changed my life. I could “what if?” my old training program and all the years I missed when I thought I was fit but I was nowhere near my potential but the key is to move on when you know that something better is out there, without second-guessing. I don’t believe I will find anything better than CrossFit for developing power, endurance, lactate tolerance, stamina (local area endurance), balanced muscle groups, efficient neurological pathways (in the context of movement), etc. The bottom line: I started toying with the CF protocol last April without truly understanding it. I improved in some diverse areas of fitness but had not seen the light or my own potential yet. I went to CFHQ 1 December. Since then I have lost 12lbs, leaned out, and I am approximately 25% stronger across the board without significant negative effect on endurance despite the short duration of our workouts (nothing longer than 25 minutes, with the norm being half that or less).”

Here’s what Twight has said about CrossFit on his own website:

“In December of 2003 I attended an Instructor Certification course at CrossFit headquarters to learn more about what I had been dabbling with during the previous six months. I went there fit, secretly confident but I was destroyed by each and every fitness challenge presented. Humbled, ego thought we should have a “soloing on loose rock” contest but pragmatism held sway and I poured ego from my cup, which meant it could be filled with the knowledge and experience that hid in every nook and cranny of that small gym in Santa Cruz.”

However the final look was down to body building techniques: Crossfit  built the athletic figure, but Body Building  fine tuned the abs.


running faults

Some of the most obvious faults  in runners and joggers are:

1. Bouncing up and down way too much
2. Over striding ( and understriding)
3. Not engaging the  hamstrings
4.  Heavy foot landing
5.  landing on the heel, not the ball of the foot
6. No arm action
7. Twisting from side to side while running
8. The head and upper body are bent forward
9. Jogging slower than you could walk!

check out your form



The problem with strength and resistance training is, to my mind, that what is non controversial, is often presented as controversial, and what is new, is often very old.

There are many routines available  that are good and original. The problem is that a lot of what is original is not good, and a lot of what is good is certainly not original.

I thought we ought to have on record  on this site  the basic non debateable facts about weights and resistance.

Whats is generally accepted?

Muscular strength = maximum force or tension that can be generated by a muscle or muscle group often known as the 1 rep max,

Muscular endurance= the ability of a muscle or muscle group to contract repeatedly ( or maintain and isometric  contraction) without fatigue

Research has  established the relationship between number of reps possible  as a % of the most that muscle/group could lift

16-20 reps 60%

14-15 reps 65%

12-13 reps70%

10-11 reps 75%

8-9 Reps 80%

6-7 reps 85%

4-5 reps  90%

2-3 reps 95%


It is generally accepted that if you train in the 1-5 rep range the adaptations is increased strength by enhanced neural drive. The body learns how to use the muscle cells it has more effectively

6-8 range increased strength plus  some hypertrophy

9- 12 range: the body builders prefered range Hypertrophy and strength and endurance gains

13- 20 increased endurance, small strength gains, little hypertrophy

muscle growth

We are always hearing about body building V Functional training.( Strength etc).

Put simply  body building promotes "sacroplasmic Hypertrophy" whereas  Strength training induces "Myofibrillar Hypertrophy" Basically body builders are big because their training regime  encourages the muscle to store fluid. Most of the  authoritative work was done by a Russian  Called  Zatsiorsky)

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (common in bodybuilding) involves the growth of the sarcoplasm (fluid like substance) and non-contractile proteins that do not directly contribute to muscular force production.(Zatsiorsky 1995).The volume of sarcoplasmic fluid inside the cell and between the cells is increased with high volume training. This type of training contributes little to maximal strength while it does increase strength endurance due to mitochondria hypertrophy. Growth of connective tissue is also present with sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

Myofibrillar hypertrophy occurs due to increases in the number of myosin/actin filaments (sarcomeres) inside the cell. This leads to increased strength and size of the contractile unit of muscle. Ultimately this means greater force production. This is often referred to as functional muscle, while sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is referred to as non-functional muscle.


Very dramatic Spartan quotes …


In Greek:


ξεν', γγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις τι τδε

κείμεθα, τος κείνων ήμασι πειθόμενοι.


In Ancient Greek:





Freely translated:


                Stranger, go tell Lakedemonians (Spartans) that here

                we lay obedient to common (our country’s/their) law

DO what is says on the Tin

The famous Crossfit 100  words are reproduced below

"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports"

Ive just noticed that there is one bit that can all too esily be left out, thats the "regularly learn and play new sports" bit.

You cannot "just" do the crossfit work outs then collapse in an obesity inducing heap: get up an apply your new strength and fitness, and for god sake, get outside once in a while.

 much love, keep training



Muscle ups

If you are ever stuck for a description of Crossfit, it has to be   summed up by the muscle up. Its a deceptively simple, pull up/transition/dip,

Its the hardest highest horriblest pull up you can imagine. The slowest agonising transition you can fantasize about and the lowest dirtiest dip ever.

Its also one of the most effective useful upper body exercises you can do. Getting up and over things is one of the essential   real life skill's be it climbing through window's getting over walls and climbing  out of harms way.

But this is crossfit: training for and with a  real purpose, running,   rowing, lifting, pulling, surviving when   you want to give up: building will in the face of adversity, not hiding in the artificial comfort of a 3 sets of 10 with a   walk about and a stare in the mirror, but exercise done as if your life depends on it.

I that interests you,   join the mailing list, buy some rings, get training, come to the wow,  sign up for a skill seminar if not, hey, there are loads of sites out there : one will entertain you

Which Zone

I always start these thoughts by writing a long rambling critique of what’s wrong. You don’t get to see it, because about half way through I come to my senses and realise that what’s so great about CrossFit is that it has all the answers, so I don’t really need to dwell on boring problems, merely offer the solution.

The solution for all your diet based problems is the Zone, especially one that has been athletically tapered and includes a higher level of fat (good fat of course), than the normal Zone suggests.

 So, what’s so good about the Zone? Apart from the fact that Top CrossFit performers use it?

It demands   measurement, restriction, combination and thought and planning, which is what’s wrong with most NHS backed diet schemes which emphasise “healthy Eating” without demonising bad food! “All foods are good”.


 The hallmarks of a good diet are measurement, restriction, combination, thought and planning. Don’t believe me? Ok, don’t think about diet, think about your working life and your life as a parent

Imagine you are a bank cashier “just cashier sensibly” don’t  count your money, just guesstimate, perhaps a palm full of cash  to each customer.

 Nonsense isn’t it!

 Now as a parent, you are told not to demonise the muck that the food companies want to  shovel into your kids.

 Ok, think none diet. As a parent,  don’t demonise running out into the road,  or eating dog Poo or    striking matches in your bed: presumably we shouldn’t demonise unsafe sex  or sharing drug needles either?

Get the idea. Yes it’s a very bad one.

So if you want to know the secrets behind the successful weigh losers, its, that they   measure, they restrict ( also a good idea for marriage, restrict who you sleep with!), they  combine types of food ( normally a  sensible protein/carb/fat balance)   they also plan  and  spend time thinking about the issues that effect them  and the food they eat.

 Above all they get on with it: this is perhaps the biggest secret.

 Guys, Look at the Zone page, get the free diet sheets and  get on with it



 I wanted to talk about the basic components of fitness; the one that most gyms ignore.

"cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills." ( Greg Glassman).

 I was going to write about balance and point out how essential balance is to the snatch, and ofcourse, how  much superior this dynamic "in action" balance is, when compared to gym ball balances.

However, the more I wrote, the more I began to realise that  having removed isolation from my training, I was bringing it back in my writing . We do not advocate the snatch to improve balance, we do it as a time effective method to  train all the components of fitness

Like all the exercises crossfit uses,  the snatch scores multiple hits on our "ten Standard". In fact,  the snatch, when done for "reps" it hits every  standard.

I suppose thats why, sometimes, its difficult to explain to  those unfamiliar with crossfit, what its about. I still get asked in some of the  gyms I train in, by (always) the same instructors, "yes, but, what muscle does that work". Im still lost for an answer.We just smile at each other. Well,at least  it gives this article a happy ending

Have  a good week training: thanks for your support

Andrew Stemler
Crossfit London

Mile ends is great

with a bit more net working with the local loo providers, Mile end will be a fantatsic base from which  to run classes. We had a great first class, with more people promising to turn up next week.

 Fingers Crossed.

 Im struggling to put together an interesting news letter, but The July one will be out soon.

Spelling and Photos

I was given a   better short term strategy this afternoon.

Go through the site and knock out all the bad spelling and out of focus photos.

Thanks Kate.

Forth Coming attractions

Hi ,

 I thought I would give you a  quick overview of the function of this blog.

 the idea is that it allows us to ponder in advance, without cluttering up the message boards.

For example we  are thinking of opening up a concept 2/ real rowing page and a climbing page. I suppose this is where we would 1st mention it and encourage feedback and further ideas.

We are working on the first Ebook to be available though the site, and we hope to become a london kettlebells stockists, meaning bell profits would go to maintaining the site, venue hire etc etc.

Thats enough strategic stuff for one day



where is my blog page?

This  blog has been lurking in hyperspace for sometime.ONly just recovered it today

 i just wanted a running record of crossfit London developments on the main site.

its getting quite important as we begin to talk about branding and logos etc etc.

well, we will see how it all  comes along

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