Gymnastics: Handstand Phase 2: Kick-Ups, Alignment, & Wrist Strength

Posted 18th November 2016 by Josh Schouten

The handstand is often cited in gymnastics as one of the most, if not the most important, skill to master for beginners and for higher-level gymnastics.  The handstand is performed on 5/6 apparatus used in both male and female artistic gymnastics, with the only exception being the vault.

In the early stages of developing the handstand the focus is directed to developing the athletes ability to be able to assume and maintain a straight body line (shape), and the entry into the handstand (lunge/kick-up).  The athletes can be introduced to balance strategies and encourage to practice them, however at this stage balance is not a priority.

The first stage of learning the handstand is based on preparing the body and the mind to be able to recognise the correct body position (shape).  Volume and constant shaping are the most critical training parameters, ideally we need to be maintaining the shape for a minimum of :15-:30seconds in the early stages of learning, before advancing to more difficult skills (like press to handstand).

Phase 1: preparation and alignment has hopefully give you all a little more awareness of you shoulder mobility, weaknesses and strengths.  All of the material in this phase is IMPORTANT to your future success and not to be left on the sidelines.  As the handstand phase moves forward, each individual needs to continue to work on their limitations and re-test their overhead mobility with the test in phase 1. Between handstand sets, during your warm-up, between deadlift sets in a  normal Crossfit class, whenever you can find the time to do some stretching.. DO IT!!

Our next little phase is going to continue with kick-ups, exiting the handstand, body alignment, handstand stamina, wrist strength, and the most important aspect, the mobility.

4stagehandstand (more…)

Heavy Metcon 16/11/2106

Posted 15th November 2016 by Geoff Stewart


Do some Mobility then grab a KB please.

Single arm swing x5

Single arm clean x5

Single arm squats x5

Single arm press x5


Then with a partner

Working through the following in any order with max 5 reps each

100 Bench press @75@bw

100 Deadlifts @1.25bw

100 Power cleans @75@bw

100 kcals bike

100 kcals rower

100 Ring rows (horizontal)

100 KB walking lunges (heavy)

On min 0-3-6-9-12-15-18-21-24-27

Stop pick up your KB and work through 1 round of the complex then back to where you left your exercise.

Crossfit Program 14/11/2016 – 20/11/2016

Posted 13th November 2016 by Geoff Stewart


Week 3. This is our last adaption week before we dial it up again. Another good week under those ever tightened belts – again let’s keep this focus. Our adaption phase is about getting a good amount of volume into our muscles, tendons, ligaments, building and improving skills. It'[s about nailing those positions over and over, grinding those patterns, accustoming ourselves to movement before we increase our intensity (weight lifted) so we can maintain these hard worked for forms and positions when put under new stressors in the coming weeks.

Our focused clean day is about position and we will be using a 2 position clean drill to reinforce. We will also be looking at getting that weight overhead with a Power jerk and a Split jerk – you’ll need to put your brave pants on for these lifts. Don’t worry too much about chasing those numbers just yet, we want to you to be aware of where you are with your numbers but be fluid please folks.

This week’s focus.

Cleans days: Work those drills, this is where the magic is. There is still an amount of volume in these session so form over weight please.

Strength: The numbers have gone down again and we are back to solid TUT (time under tension lifts), track those numbers and look for some extra kgs.

Breathing workouts: So the aim of these workout days is to test your energy systems, work hard, build a sweat and enjoy.

WODs: Get the work done – simple and honest.

Accessory work: DO IT. It’s very, very important.


CF_Hackney block 1 clean n press



InBody Scanning for Body Composition

Posted 11th November 2016 by Josh Schouten


What can be measured can be improved

Recently, I was told by Andre Benoit that “strength is the mother of all qualities“. This certainly rings true in the world of body composition training. Train for strength and shape will follow. Some bodybuilding gurus still preach that if you train for shape, strength will follow; as this false gospel spreads, so do distended bellies. Strength is your base.

Strength gains come with lean muscle gain.  More lean mass allows a greater energy expenditure along with higher metabolic rate, all leading to fat loss.

We now have ourselves an Inbody 270 Body Composition analyser that is capable of measuring a number of great health markers and establishing an accurate means of measuring your training results.  Let’s be honest, the scales are useless when it comes to measuring your training results.  If we build some lean muscle mass and increase your bone density (lifting weights increase bone density which is very important for longevity) you will lose body fat while the weight on the scale might not move. This may dent our motivation although in reality your body composition can be changing dramatically and those pesky scales won’t budge.  This is where the InBody analyser can make all the difference.


Christmas Weapons!

Posted by Josh Schouten

Tis the Season to get Strong and Aerobic. Well we’ve had an amazing year in weapons, the programming has seen you lot improve hugely with gymnastics and seeing wods get heavier and you lot handling them like pros. So what does this last block of 2016 contain, huge aerobic capacity workouts and some big strength gains will be in here to. This will set up for moving into 2017’s Crossfit Open prep. Let’s build that engine!

Christmas Weapons 2016 PDF