Heavy Met-Con 19/08/2015

Posted 18th August 2015 by Josh Schouten

Last week was a heavy one, so this week will be the engine one!!

Get in..
Get Warm..
Set-up FGB stations..
Smash through 3 rounds of FGB..
Crawl through 2 rounds of FGB..
Lye on the floor for 5-10minutes..
High fives, chest pumps..
Go home and eat the entire contents of your fridge!
Sleep…. (more…)

CFH Training Plan 17/08/2015 – 23/08/2015

Posted 16th August 2015 by Josh Schouten

Week 5 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats


How did you testing go in week 4 with you front and back squat testing?  From some the weights may have slightly increased from their estimations in week 1, and for many the “stupid tempo” (as some put it) had an impact of the end result.. No real surprise here, a pause in the bottom of the squat is designed to test your pure strength and eliminate the stretch shortening cycle (SSC) that many use to bounce out of the bottom of the squat.  We did this on purpose because bouncing increases the chance of injury, especially for those who have not done huge volumes of squats (I’m talking 2-3 years of solid lifting).

If your testing week has pushed you down a level on the spreadsheet you have choice to make.  You can listen to the spreadsheet and follow the programming, is doing more squats going to be bad thing over the next 4 weeks?  Lifing more weight and feelingmore badass is not always going to deliver the best result.  In the long run, its the weight we can move with good form/technique that is valuable.  Or you can decide to ignore the spreadsheet and stick to the level you have been following in week 1 (simple re-enter you PB’s into the testing week results).  Why would you do this?  Ask yourself one questions, “do you feel lucky punk?”….

Are you better at squatting heavy weights 85-95% of your 1RM, or are you better at doing more repetitions at 75-80%?  If you better at performing high repetitions at 75-80% then you should most likely start challenging yourself and lifting heavy weights more often.  If you struggle doing high repetitions with 75-80% on the bar you will get much better result from performing more repetitions at a lower weight.  What are you train for, what are you strengths and weaknesses, and what are you goals?

The recommendations above are typically for those who want to get stronger.  If your goal it to improve you body composition you are going to want to be performing more repetitions and doing more work.   Work = weight lifted x distance travelled x number of repetitions

If you have any questions please feel free to ask one of the coaches.


Article of the week: TabataTimes: You can Lift That Weight, But Should You – All of us (okay, many of us) want to get stronger, and in order to do so it’s definitely important to lift heavy (that’s how we increase strength); however, as counterintuitive as it may seem, in many cases we actually need to lift less (weight) in order to lift more.

When I say “lift less to lift more,” what I’m referring to is the training we do at our 60, 70, and 80 percentiles, because this is what makes up the bulk of our training and this is when and where we build our movement patterns.

Daily Bandha: Diaphragmatic (Belly) Breathing – In diaphragmatic breathing, you actively expand the abdomen during inhalation. The abdominal expansion occurs via the diaphragm contracting and pressing down on the abdominal contents. Chest expansion is kept at a minimum in this type of breathing. Exhalation is a relaxed process and occurs through the elastic recoil of the chest wall and lungs.

Catalyst Athletics: Real World Overhead Mobility for Weightlifting – The bottom line is this: do as much mobility work each day as you can stand, do it consistently for a long period of time, include exercises in your training that help create or maintain mobility and strengthen and stabilize the overhead position, and expect it to be a long, boring process.

JTS-Strength: Interview with CrossFit Superstar Mat Fraser – Interesting interview with Mat Fraser (CrossFit Games Athlete). The switch to CrossFit How he trains, what he eats! The snatch video is a must watch… BOOM

Strength Sensei: Bison Sweet Potato and Chilli – Quick, easy and healthy recipe for pre or post training.

CrossFit Hackney Levels Spreadsheet

CrossFit Hackney Russian Squat Programme


Heavy Met-Con 12/08/2015

Posted 10th August 2015 by Josh Schouten

This week will have a heavy focus for those of you who like to smash out the weights.   Fpr those who like the conditioning session stay tuned for next weeks Fight Gone Bad version of Heavy Met-con (more…)

CFH Training Plan 10/08/2015 – 16/08/2015

Posted 9th August 2015 by Josh Schouten

Week 4 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats


Movement is a skill. What is a skill? A skill is a learned movement, produced by the motor cortex of the brain. Anything you learn in life is a skill such as: writing, eating, tying your shoe, running, jumping, throwing or lifting weights in the gym. Anything “athletic” is a skill and must be learned. This may surprise you (sarcasm), but nobody “instantly” becomes a master of a skill. Not only this, but the more complex the skill, the longer it takes to master it! We are typically not talking a matter of weeks when it comes to a skill, but a matter of years. Simply performing countless number of repetitions will not always deliver the desired result, as a skill is only mastered with mindful actions.

Lets take jumping for example.  Multiple research studies on vertical jumping ability will tell you that the major factor in how high a person can jump is actually more related to their technique than their power.  To optimally develop any movement, many thousands of “high quality” repetitions are required. Most people aspiring to jump higher fall far short of the number of “high quality” repetitions needed to perfect that skill, and instead start looking for other exercises to “fix themselves”.  In reality, they simply need more dedicated and mindful practice to jumping itself.

The best way to improve a skill (not just jumping) is to practice that skill consistently and with a high level of focus.  If someone hasn’t practiced at least several thousand jumps in their athletic career, they still have significant room to improve somewhere in the way their body propels itself off the ground. In the vast majority of cases, attempting to skip steps, or ignoring the need for strength and mobility, will eventually lead to unnecessary injuries. And nothing kills progress faster than having your training continually interupted due to impatience and the subsequent injuries that go along with it. Used wisely, time is the most potent of training supplements. So do yourself a favor, check your ego at the door and follow the progressions as written.

Olympic lifting in a very complex sport and the both the snatch and the clean and jerk take years to master.  There are many different exercises and drills that can be used to help teach Olympic Lifting, and each of these have their purpose.  The warm-up series of exercises in the current phase are designed to help everyone become more mindful of the technique and positions needed to perform the Olympic lifts.  To be honest, the warm-up series are the most important part of the entire class and not something to be raced through with little focus or awareness.

By now you should have noticed that the CrossFit Hackney programming follows a certain structure for an extended period of time.  The current 16week phase is designed to help our members improve their Olympic lifting skills, continue to make strength gainz (Russian squat programme), and practice body weight movements (Thursdays gymnastics and Sundays movement classes). All of us have our strengths and our weaknesses, and the only way to improve on your weaknesses is to face them head on and start practicing them mindfully.

In the short term it might be a little frustrating and humbling, but in the long term it will get you right where you want to go.


Article of the week:  Athletic Lab: If Sleep is Credit, We Are All In Debt by Houston Deck – How many hours of sleep have you charged to your bodies credit card? Don’t get caught in sleep debt.

Strength Sensei: 21 Reasons Why You Need A Good Magnesium Supplement – Magnesium is a co-factor in over 350 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscular activity, heart function, temperature regulation, detoxification reactions, formation of healthy bones and improving insulin sensitivity.

Mercola: New Studies Confirm Soda-Diabetes Link – Soda and other sweetened beverages have no redeeming nutritional value, and ditching them from your diet can go a long way toward improving your health. One 20-ounce bottle of cola contains the equivalent of about 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which will cause your insulin to spike within 20 minutes of drinking it.

Eric Cressey: 5 Reasons You Have Tight Hamstrings – Why are your hamstring tight?  Anterior pelvic tilt, neural tension, tight hamstrings, previous hamstring strain, Acute Hamstrings Strain or Tendinosis?

Catalyst Athletics: Getting Under The Split Jerk Properly – There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are good at the jerk, and those who are not. For the latter group, there are so many things that can go wrong or be misunderstood that it can be very daunting to correct the movement. One of the big problems is moving into the split posiiton properly.

CrossFit Hackney Levels Spreadsheet

CrossFit HackneyRussian Squat Programme


September, October, November 2015 Foundations dates

Posted 3rd August 2015 by Josh Schouten

What is CrossFit Foundations?

CrossFit Foundations is a set of lessons designed to provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to participate in a CrossFit class at CrossFit Hackney (and any other CrossFit affiliate you might visit for that matter!).

The CrossFit Hackney Foundations programme is not part of your normal membership.  It has been designed to introduce members to the fundamental movements of CrossFit.  The aim is to take a small group of members through the fundamental movements.  The numbers in each class are kept to a minimum to allow for more individual assistance and hands on coaching.