CFH Training Plan 03/08/2015 – 09/08/2015

Posted 2nd August 2015 by Josh Schouten

Week 3 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats


A number of members took up the offer to have their “hair mineral and toxic analysis” test done at the London BioLab.  It was interesting to see that the majority had low levels of magnesium, including myself (and I’ve been supplementing with magnesium for years).  In past courses/lectures I’ve attended, I’ve always hear that athletes (active people) need more magnesium than their sedentary counterparts, and maybe it should be no surprise that the active members at Momentum Training are running low. 

Magnesium is an essential element in the human biological systems and most athletes are likely deficient. Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in cells after potassium, but the two ounces or so found in the typical human body is present not as metal but as magnesium ions.  Roughly one quarter of this magnesium is found in muscle tissue and three-fifths in bone; but less than 1% of it is found in blood serum, which is often used as the common indicator of magnesium status.  If you are going to use a blood test to determine your magnesium levels you need to be doing a red blood cell magnesium test. I’ve posted most of this information on the Momentum Blog before, essential nutrients for everyone.

Some studies suggest that 85% of the population is now deficient, which is very surprising because we all know that the majority of people leed a less active life than most of us. Further studies have suggested that even small shortfalls in magnesium intake can inhibit athletic performance. Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body, being required for more than 325 enzymatic reactions, including those involved in the synthesis of fat (burning fat a fuel source), protein and nucleic acids, neurological activity, muscular contraction (makes you stronger) and relaxation, cardiac activity and bone metabolism.  Magnesium is important to athletes because it regulates heart rhythm, allows muscles to contract and relax properly, reduces blood pressure, and is necessary to produce ATP (the main source of energy in our cells) which must be bound to a magnesium ion in order to be biologically active.   Magnesium has a calming effect on the body that is beneficial for sleep and lowering stress (cortisol levels).

Be aware that magnesium supplements based on amino acid chelates, such as Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium malate are much better tolerated by the digestive system and much more absorbable by the body than the other (cheap) forms of magnesium such as Magnesium oxide or Magnesium carbonate. Magnesium is best taken post-workout and/or before bed. Sedentary individuals need 600 mg a day and larger athletes in heavy training mode could do up to 2-3g per day.

Magnesium is well supplied in unrefined whole grain cereals, such as wholemeal bread, and also in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, peas, beans and lentils (see table below). Fruit, meat and fish supply poor levels, as do refined foods.

The Magnesium Content Of Common Foods (per 100g)
Pumpkin seeds (roasted)
Brazil nuts
Sesame seeds
Peanuts (roasted, salted)
Rice (whole grain brown)
Wholemeal bread
Cooked beans
Potato (baked)
White bread
Yoghurt (plain, low fat)
Rice (white)
Source; USDA Nutrient Database


If you would like to get your levels tested or would like to take magnesium supplementation, please come and talk with the coaches at Momentum.


Article of the Week: Strength Sensei: New research just published this week in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, suggests that the recommendations for protein intake may be incorrect. – A protein intake higher than what is currently recommended has been widely endorsed by many experts. There is evidence that consuming a moderate amount of high-quality protein (25–35 grams) during each meal stimulates muscle protein synthesis, promotes muscle health, and plays a critical role in preserving lean body mass as we age. In addition, consuming moderate amounts of high-quality protein at each meal promotes weight loss in overweight and obese individuals.

Greenwood Weightlifting: Knuckles Pointing at the Floor – Speed under the bar is an important component in weightlifting performance. Vital to achieving this is your position at the top of the pull. One simple cue I use to ensure that a lifter finishes their pull and starts the descent under the bar correctly is to instruct them to keep their knuckles pointed at the floor throughout the pull

Catalyst Athletics: Fixing a Slow Turnover in the Snatch or Clean – The snatch requires perfectly controlled aggression—maximal effort channeled into a precise movement with perfect timing. Some lifters are naturally endowed with the kind of talent that allows them to very quickly develop impeccable and consistent technique; others struggle for years to refine their technique; still others finish their lifting careers unsatisfied. Hopefully this article will help prevent you from meeting such a fate.

GMB: How to Do a Strict Muscle-Up on Gymnastic Rings – Most of the problems people have with this skill involve improper form and lack of strength in the right places. In this tutorial, I’ll show you everything you need to know, from the correct grip to the important details of proper technique, and even the best way to structure your workout.

LiftRunBang: Why All Carbs Are Not Equal – Generally carbs that have a number of 55 or below are considered carbs that have less impact on raising blood sugar and insulin.  And as we know, part of getting leaner and building muscle is controlling and timing insulin release.

CrossFit Hackney Levels Spreadsheet

CrossFit HackneyRussian Squat Programme