CFH Training Plan 28/09/2015 – 04/10/2015

Posted 27th September 2015 by Josh Schouten

Week 11 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats


“Our obstacle is that we live in an attention-deficit culture.  We are bombarded with more and more information on television, radio, mobile phones, video games, the Internet.  The constant supply of stimulus has the potential to turn us into addicts, always hungering for something new and prefabricated to keep us entertained.  This lead to the most common error in learning: to take on too much at once.

Everyone races to learn more and more, but nothing is done deeply.  Things look pretty but they are superficial, without a sound mechanic or principle foundation.  Nothing is learned at a high level”  

This is and extract form a book I’ve just finished reading called “The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin,”  and I think it applies to a lot of what we see in the gym.  Many of us are always in a rush to get the work done but fail to stop and take note of how movement feels and where improvements can be made. Every single repetition is a chance to learn, experiment, test and improve.  Making small changes to the setup of a movement and the position of the body can potential make a movement easier or harder?  Experimenting with different positions and taking note of what feels easier or harder is always a good idea.  Taking video selfies is a great way to get a better perspective of how you are moving, many of us feel that our form is good, but when you watch it back you might be surprised with the true picture.

Going through the motions isn’t helpful for most things, and it’s especially harmful when working toward improving control over your own body.

All movement requires strength, mobility and motor control. Many of us focus on the strength and flexibility elements of exercise, but fail to understand the importance of motor control and the ability to coordinate and control the mind and muscle connection.  What muscles are you training?  Where should you feel the exercise?  Why can you not activate certain muscles?  Some members make certain movements look easy, and yet when you try them its far from easy, why is that?…   Are you missing strength, mobility or motor control?  How can you improve this?

When many of us first start following a well structured training program we quickly start to see improvements.  The first 6-12months our strength improves and our technique gets a lot better.  Then we seem to hit a wall and the progress starts to slow down.  It becomes a lot hard to make small gains and this is where a higher level of focus needs to be put into action.  Simply performing the movement without taking the time to learn about the movement is going to limit your potential.  If you want to continue to make gains you need start paying more attention to every single repetitions and start experimenting with movement.  A good example of thinking about a movement was posted here:  My Deadlift Mantra.



Article of the week: GMB:  Body Control Fundamentals – What They Are and 3 Tactics To Improve – Motor Control is a technical term concerning exactly how our bodies move to perform a particular task or motor skill. It involves the interaction of the sensations within the body and outside of it, and our initiation and continuation of a movement based on the feedback we get from these sensations. There’s a world of research and science exploring the details and specifics of what’s happening when we learn and perform physical activities.

Awaken Adult Gymnastics: How to Have a Perfect Handstand – A perfect handstand is one of the most technically challenging skills to master. More than a single leg squat, or a muscle up or even a manna, which demand more strength and flexibility, the handstand is all about precision. And precision doesn’t happen overnight.

Awaken Adult Gymnastics: How Gymnastics Takes you Deeper in Body and Mind – The more you do in gymnastics, the more you become aware of the brain power it requires. This mind to muscle communication is happening in the Central Nervous System, the communication highway of the body, and when both mind and body are getting a workout this way, it’s doubly exhausting.

Four Hour Work Week: 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win The Day – What does your morning routine look like?  The little things in life matter.

Precision Nutrition: Nutrition for injury recovery – For most athletes and fitness professionals, the idea that nutrition can play a powerful role in injury recovery makes perfect sense. Yet when injury strikes, very few know exactly how to use nutrition to improve healing.

Strength Sensei: My Take on Carbohydrate Intake – Updated – You need to deserve your carbs. How many grams of carbs you can afford will be determined by levels of muscle mass, volume and intensity of training, percentage of body fat and insulin sensitivity

CrossFit Hackney Levels Spreadsheet

CrossFit Hackney Russian Squat Programme


CFH Training Plan 21/09/2015 – 27/09/2015

Posted 20th September 2015 by Josh Schouten

Week 10 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats


Making a good salad is never as easy as you think it’s going to be.  You’d think that a mixture of lettuce, veggies and dressing would be simple enough to master, but alas, the DIY version isn’t quite like the polished restaurant version.

When Alice Sims first walked into Momentum Training she was so keen to join the team that she offered “+/- 4 hours a week to assist you in whatever needs doing, I am an expert in wiping sweat from mats, toilet cleaning and salad making.” Who could have imagined that Alice would soon become such a valuable part of the coaching team?

Over the last couple of years Alice has made serious leaps and bounds in her coaching skills, personal training sessions, and her own level of strength and skill.  When Alice first started work at Momentum we were confident in her positive energy and enthusiasm, she was a healthy serving of greens. We were however a little concerned she may be missing the vital ingredients to become the whole salad – the successful coach.   But Alas, those brutal “Alice-cons,” those motivating screams during the tough WODS, the Yoga stretches, the killer P.T sessions, the mothers classes and the Alice day care center quickly created the right recipe.  Alice has certainly become a polished favourite at Momentum for so many of our members.

It takes a special type of person to be a successful coach and trainer, it’s not exactly the dream job that everyone imagines.  Alice has done the hard yards, the early starts, the long days, and the huge demand for constant positive energy, motivation and support to members and clients.  As owners of Momentum we have come to rely on Alice and placed a lot of trust in her from the early days.  She stood up to the pressure and has certainly made her mark at Momentum Training.

As most of you know Alice has decided to move back home to the Australia to try her luck on the sunny side of the globe.  She will be missed by so many of us at Momentum and we would like to take this moment to wish her all the best for the future.

If your in the gym this week please make the effort to say goodbye to Alice and share your words of appreciation for all the hard work and effort she has put in.

Thanks Alice xx

T-Nation: 5 Ways to Turn Food Into Muscle, Not Fat – Carb Restriction is Bad News – Insulin can make you fat or it can make you lean and muscular. It all depends on whether you’re insulin sensitive or insulin resistant. Without optimal insulin sensitivity, all that protein you eat never gets delivered to muscle. Instead, a lot of it goes to fat.

Carl Paoli’s top 5 tips to get you your first kipping muscle up:
Loose the false grip – The false grip is uncomfortable, limits shoulder flexibility/mobility and makes your kipping muscle-up look ugly. Use a pseudo-false grip, similar to a hook grip, but with your thumb outside your fingers.
Tight is light – Don’t kip the sh** out of it with your beat swings. You want to keep the rings as still as possible and tighten up your swing.
Eyes on your feet – As you kip your hips towards the rings in the pull up, you need to be able to see your feet. In other words, your shoulders should be high, and your feet should be lower to maximise the turn-over speed.
Pull your heels to the butt – Gravity should take care of your turnover if you use the gymnastics leavers correctly. Your job is to keep the legs straight as you rise in the pull-up and then bend your knees and pull your heels to you butt (tuck) to speed up the turnover and remain light in the movement.
Drop and pump-kick – Another big advantage of pulling your heels to your butt equals the right position to kip your dip.

* The Kipping muscle-up should come after the strict muscle-up and not before. Just like kipping pull-up must come after the strict pull-ups. Build the strength before adding the plyometric is a MUST.

T-Nation: The Best Chest Exercise – Most people think the bench press builds the best pecs. Well, most people are wrong. The dip is the best chest exercise.

Suppversity: Trying to Lose Fat & Get “Toned” W/Out Training or Diet? – So what? Well, melatonin is a hormone, not one with that builds muscle, but as the study at hand proves one with non-debatable

Mercola: 10 Things You Think Are Healthy, but Aren’t – If you have any of these “healthy” or at the very least innocuous-seeming items around your home, you may want to think twice…


CrossFit Hackney Levels Spreadsheet

CrossFit Hackney Russian Squat Programme


CFH Training Plan 14/09/2015 – 20/09/2015

Posted 13th September 2015 by Josh Schouten

Week 9 of 16 Olympic Lifting and Russian Squats


Some people like to flaunt their lack of sleep like a badge of honor.  It’s like their personal gold star of productivity, their statement that their time is much more valuable to waste on sleep. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” Keep going on this path if limited sleep and this may be sooner than you think.

These “masters on the universe, these financial gurus, or big business employees, don’t appreciate that sleep is not just a valuable commodity; it’s literally the currency our body runs on.  Studies have show time and time again that to be our most productive, a good night sleep is essential.  It’s not a luxury – it’s a necessity.

Good sleeping habits are the structural foundation of our energy levels.  If the structure is weak, then eating well, exercising regularly, managing stress, and following all the best strategies on offer will never replace a great night sleep.  Did you know that cheating sleep make you more prone to diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and anxiety? Oh yeah, and lack of sleep makes you dull and fat.  Yes, studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7hr per night store more body fat than those who do.

By getting adequate sleep (8+hrs), you will perform better and feel better, and your energy levels will soar.

Looking for better ways to get a good night sleep?


TedTalk: One more reason to get a good night’s sleep – We spend 1/3 of out lives sleeping.  When you sleep it clears your mind and when you don’t sleep you leave you mind foggy.  Every cell in your body need resources to produce energy and also needs resources to take away the waste products.  The lymphatic system clears away the waster through the body, but there is no lymphatic system in our heads?  How does the most active organ (our brain) clear away the waste?

Ergo Log: Little Sleep, Fat Midriff – If you sleep less than 5 hours a night your body builds up more fat reserves than if you sleep 6 hours or longer each night. If you are under 40, at least – the effect of too little sleep is less the older you get.

Vitamin D Council: Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of respiratory infections – With an average death toll of about 200,000 people a year from influenza alone, I wonder who will be the first to test our theory that pharmacological doses of vitamin D (2,000 IU/kg/day or 50,000 to 200,000 IU/day depending on body weight for seven days) reduces the signs and symptoms of RTI?

Real Farmacy: 15 Health Conditions Helped By Drinking Lemon Water in The Morning -A glass of warm lemon  water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is very beneficial in several ways. Lemon juice is loaded with antioxidants, protein, vitamins B and C, flavonoids, phosphorus, potassium, carbohydrates and volatile oils.  Lemon juice possesses antibacterial, antiviral and immune-building properties. It helps boost immune system and  fight infection due to high levels of bioflavonoids, pectin, limonene, citric acid, magnesium, calcium and vitamins. A glass of warm lemon water on an empty stomach flushes the system, aids digestion, fights hunger cravings, promotes weight loss and creates an alkaline-forming environment to balance the body’s pH.

Mercola: Coffee and Tea for Health – Increasing research suggests coffee may be quite good for your heart health. 

CrossFit Hackney Levels Spreadsheet

CrossFit Hackney Russian Squat Programme


Calais People to People

Posted 11th September 2015 by Josh Schouten

Dear Momentum Team,

apologies for the long post but please do read it.

CS_LOGO_roundel_blackSome of you are aware that the refugee crisis has been on my agenda for some time with engagement in Berlin where hundreds of refugees are arriving on a daily basis. I don’t need to tell you about the humanitarian crisis less then 30 miles from the British shore – you’ve seen the images of Syrian, Eritreans, Afghans, Sudanese (…the list continues) who escaped war torn countries, crossed deserts and mountains, survived Mediterranean & pan European crossings and finally made it to the English Channel. Having been a refugee myself (although not even comparable to what is happening in those countries) the current crisis has kept me up many nights thinking about what is going on – particularly shocking is the lack of empathy & humanitarian support. The U.N. has described the situation in Calais (and as a whole) a “Civil Emergency” and called for a “comprehensive package and…. a sustainable response.” Sadly, despite this being the biggest refugee crisis the world has seen, this is not forthcoming. What’s shocking and a sad reality is the recent press coverage which is often filled with a barrage of inappropriate and racist language completely ignoring fact, figures and any humanity. But that’s an issue for itself and something that will take much more time to tackle.