Learn New Stuff Its Cool

In 2010 I was a regular gym user, football (don’t call it soccer) player and all round fitness enthusiast and always felt like my athleticism was above average, that was until a friend of mine introduced me to CrossFit.





My first ever workout was ‘Murph’ which most of you know already is a pretty long and nasty wod involving, push ups, squats, pull ups and running, all of which I could do, it just took me a while!! This is the type of workout that got me hooked on CrossFit, with all the basic movements, however it was the skills and more complicated movements that made me fall in Love with CrossFit.





There is so many fitness programs out there and the fact that you are constantly learning new skills under the watchful eye of a coach is what I believe makes CrossFit so successful, as you will learn one movement and then you can either develop that skill to the next level or move on to a different domain. This in itself keeps you motivated and wanting to come back. I feel like if people stick with the basic movements and stay in their comfort zone this is when people become bored (there is only so many burpees you can do).





I remember seeing handstand push ups (HSPU) on youtube for the first time and decided to go and give it a try. I tried and failed to the amusement of people watching across the gym, I swear I couldn’t even do a headstand against the wall, something I could do easily as a kid. After that I knew this was something that I wanted to be able to do, mainly because I wanted to include them in a workout, but more importantly because I wanted to show off and do things in the gym, regular gym users couldn’t do 😉





I spent the next few weeks practicing the HSPU and double unders in a studio by myself, learning different drills and techniques online. I would literally spend 2 mins trying to do a headstand against the wall and then 2 mins trying to double unders and repeated this for hours at a time. At this moment in time I can do triple unders and walk 25m on my hands something that I never believed I would be able to do.





This has been the same theme through almost all the skills I have learned and don’t get me wrong it takes a hell of a lot of time and patience but just like fitness if you are consistent (my absolute favourite word) with practicing you will get there in the end and under the right coaches you are likely to get there faster as they have the drills, experience and technical advice to help.





I often stand in front of the class and say ‘’who’s been doing CrossFit for 6 months and can’t double under?’’





I don’t do this to embarrass anybody but I believe this is the first skill anybody should master if they are serious about their CrossFit journey. Double unders is a skill that requires you to jump 10cm off the ground and flick your wrists- not that difficult right? This isn’t a skill that requires a certain strength to weight ratio like a pull up, all you are doing is creating a motor pattern to develop the coordination between your brain, arms and legs. This is something that can be practiced everyday as it isn’t particularly taxing on the muscles (just make sure your soleus are warm).





There are tips to make someone more efficient at double unders such as keeping your hands close and slightly in front and piking your feet out slightly as you jump, however, in my experience as a coach I find this has a negative effect on athletes if they haven’t developed the coordination yet. Having your own rope setup to your height is crucial as the rope height needs to be specific to you. Ropes are on sale at reception so buy one and ask a coach to measure it up for you.

This is my challenge to you- learn double unders. I know he won’t mind me saying this, but when I first started at Sands I gave Matt Rice some serious stick about not being able to double unders, something that he took as a challenge. I swear he was practicing before and after every session and for about 3 months he would be able to do 5 or 10 more every week, and now he is hitting 100 unbroken regularly.




The reason Rich Froning won the CrossFit games 4 years in a row is because he did the most CrossFit, the simple reason that you can’t double under and someone else in the box can be because they have spent more time practicing.





I will be developing some short training plans to add onto the CrossFit Sands programming to help athletes who want to improve in certain areas that may involve doing more accessory work such as Pull ups, Handstand push ups, toes 2 bar and muscle ups, if this is something you are interested in please let me know. Alternatively, we have 4 great coaches at the box who are happy to spend 30 minutes with you on a level up session where you will get personal attention to work on any particular skills including Olympic weight lifting, please speak to a coach or ask at reception.




Peace Out

Coach Joff