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CrossFit Blackfriars London Blog
CrossFit Blackfriars London Blog
CrossFit Blackfriars

So what is CrossFit Endurance and how does this link to running?

Coach and Founder of CrossFit Endurance, Brian McKenzie, explains the pledge of CrossFit Endurance: Be UnScared. If you are not getting the results you want or if you don't perform, feel or look the way you want, allow us to provide the solution through our programming and community. CrossFit Endurance has been created by experienced athletes and coaches. We will provide only the best in proven methods. Long slow duration results in athletes being less powerful, less lean and more prone to injury, low energy and abbreviated sport longevity. We will make you faster. We will make you leaner. We will increase your power We follow the CrossFit model while adding precise training protocols for endurance. We will make you lift heavy. We will make your lungs burn. But we will make you happy!

Eat clean (lots of veggies, little fruit and starch, lean meats, essential fats, nuts, no grain, no dairy, no bread, no sugar, no GMO, no refined or processed foods), train like a freak and make every meter and every rep mean something. We don't have time to waste time; we do have time to accelerate ability. We welcome you to explore our website, experience our programming, ask questions and attend one of our detailed seminars around the world. We encourage you to stop thinking and start doing. We have revolutionized endurance training.

So why does this help with Running? How can Box Jumps, Pull Ups, Burpees, Push Ups, Olympic Lifting, Muscle Ups, Gymnastics, Sit Ups and Kettlebells help with your endurance? The argument for many years now has been that long slow running makes long slow runners. A conditioned athlete will be a stronger athlete and a stronger athlete will hold their form during fatigue. My belief is that conditioning programs such as CrossFit Endurance (if done correctly) will help prevent injury and in turn create better results from your training in the long term.

How? I have come across lots of runners over the years who run themselves into the ground. The mindset is more running, more results. Unfortunately the neglect they give their overall conditioning often leads to poor biomechanics or weak areas of the body (some areas more dominant than others), which, in turn, leads to injury. When I was training at Loughborough University under the watchful eye of George Gandy, during the winter months there was an emphasis on circuit training and performing powerful lifts in the gym. Although often quite funny to see a group of lean runners tackle the squat rack, the principles were spot on and very much in line with the idea of CrossFit. To see an example of the George Gandy method for conditioning click here.

Seb Coe the multiple Olympic medallist in 800m and 1500m came through the Loughborough University system and was one of the first middle distance athletes to put a focus on strength and conditioning rather than mileage. Coe was an explosive athlete and without high mileage and an all round approach to his running and conditioning ran some of the quickest times in history. But it is not just middle distance runners that benefit. I remember seeing Paula Radcliffe in the gym on several occasions in the build up to smashing the Womens World Record in the Marathon. In conclusion I believe a mixed approach to training is much better for an endurance athlete than just miles and miles of slow running. Make sure you keep the training varied, keeping the body guessing. Make sure there is intensity in the training in the form of circuits, fartlek running, interval training and recovery runs. Oh and check out CrossFit Endurance, it is here to stay and could well help you move onto the next level.

Run Well, Rich

CrossFit Blackfriars

Scaling a WOD

Hey coach, how do I scale this WOD?

Let's talk about scaling and how to use it to reach your goals.

As you can see from the blog I did a few weeks ago scaling can be used to make the same WOD very different depending on what your individual goal is.

I won't go over those details again but what I want to talk about is weight choices and what to do in a WOD where there is skill that you are still trying to master.

Choosing the weight to lift is very much down to your goal. I discussed how to adjust the weight to focus on strength or conditioning in the previous blog but here I want to discuss the first goal for the majority of us - looking DAMN GOOD!

Let's be honest, for the majority of us our first goal is to get a very lean physique and to look DAMN GOOD. So now that we've admitted the 'beautiful' truth the next question is how do I get there ASAP!?!

Thankfully it's now universally accepted that the best way to improve your physique is through explosive training and lifting heavy weights which would explain why CrossFit is so popular, because that's exactly what we do!

This doesn't mean that lifting heavy weights should be confined to strength training, in fact you can scale your WODs to meet this goal too.

Let me explain.

If the WOD has a recommended (rx'd) weight which is heavier than you have lifted before people often find it hard to figure out what weight to use but this shouldn't be the case. The answer is simple , lift 90-95% of your 1 rep max. As long as you have good technique (if you don't you will obviously lift less) this will result in you doing a lot less reps but getting a hell of a lot stronger and therefore one step closer to your goal.

This will mean that you have to take big breaks in between lifts because you are lifting very heavy weights so you're not going to get the best score of the day, in fact, you probably won't get the WOD finished inside the time cap - but who cares? The point is you're one step closer to your goal and you just did more reps with 90-95% of your 1 rep max than you thought was possible - enjoy the confidence this will give you, it's well deserved.

Over time this scale will eventually allow you to do WODs as rx'd. At that point I would recommend doing the workouts at the rx'd weight (because it was put at that weight with a specific goal/focus in mind) unless your coach tells to you to scale them differently due to a current goal/focus (or injury).

So now that I know how to chose a weight what do I do if a skill I currently can't do comes up?

Be it double unders, handstands, muscle ups or pistols etc there's always some skill we are chasing so lets look at how we can get there ASAP.

For this I'm going to use double unders as an example as it tends to be the first skill most of us try to master in CrossFit. Again the answer is simple.

Every time double unders comes up in a WOD you simply get to that point and then spend the rest of the WOD practising double unders. To use an example, if the WOD is a 7 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 10 thrusters and 30 double unders you would do your 10 thrusters in the first round and then spend the rest of the time practising double unders, if you get the 30 done you move on but if you don't you've just spent a lot of well needed time practising that skill.

The above is how I do it in my own training because its the fastest way to master a skill. Is it frustrating to spend what seems like forever missing rep after rep? yes, of course, but if you keep reminding yourself of why you are doing this (i.e. to master a skill) then you'll be happy to keep working.

I do, however, find when I'm coaching that a lot of athletes don't have the patience for this therefore another method I use is when it comes to the skill I get the athlete to spend the next 2-3 minutes practising that skill before moving on. Whilst using this method won't get you the skill as fast it will allow you to move on with the WOD which can help avoid you getting too frustrated (or even bored!)if things aren't going to plan.

The take aways. For choosing weights if you haven't lifted the rx'd weight before - use 90-95% of your 1 rep max, take plenty of rest and get stronger. To help develop a skill either spend the rest of a WOD practising it (or use the next 2-3 minutes of the WOD), be patient and before you know it, it'll be like second nature to you.

As always, and most importantly, remember to enjoy your fitness!

Stay Classy CrossFitters!
Fergus and the Team
CrossFit Blackfriars

CrossFit Blackfriars

Write it down...

Have you seen the post on the Games site called I Only Got 306 Fewer Reps Than Talayna? It's a really nice reminder that, in the grand scheme of things, no one judges us as harshly as we judge ourselves. 

CrossFit is about finding your personal limits and pushing to be a little bit better each day. But you can't have a PR/PB without knowing your old score - the one your younger self delivered.

If you don't record your workout scores, times, weights, the only comparison point you have are the people around you. But they don't have your bone structure, your body composition, your emotional baggage, etc. and all of those things can influence what you can do in a given day. And you don't have their genetics or experience on a semi- professional jump rope squad. 

You will be better at some things than you are at others, but the only person you need to be worried about beating is the you that did this workout a few weeks ago. And if you haven't done it yet, give it all you've got - don't go easy on future-you. Do your best. Write it down. Smash it later. Repeat.

Then high five everyone, including the EASY button, whenever you hit a personal best.

CrossFit Blackfriars

You should be obsessed with squats.

When I clicked on Freakonomics Podcast titled, “What is the ‘Best’ Exercise?” I thought it was going to be about Crossfit... until I heard them factoring in price. I finished listening even though the episode was probably aimed at people who, if not for hearing the podcast, would just let their muscles atrophy.

They did talk about one thing that caught my attention – and that’s the 'single best movement' for health and longevity: the squat. From Gretchen Reynolds (of the NYT Well Blog):

“The squat will use the biggest muscles in your body, those in your upper legs, your back, your core…the muscles you need to do things like get up off of a chair… as you age, one of the best indicators of whether you will be independent well into your twilight years is if you can get up out of a chair.”

(I think “chair” is code for “toilet.”)

Four years ago in NYC, my first Crossfit experience involved Tabata Squats… and then spending the next 4 days pulling myself up a pole to get off the subway seats.  The soreness from squats can make us look like we work at the Ministry of Silly Walks, but strength training now will only help us as we age. So let's all squat heavy and temporarily look ridiculous.


Greg Glassman on Squats


Why are Squats so Important?


Why Front Squats Matter

Why Can’t I Squat Below Parallel?

CrossFit Blackfriars

Getting into CrossFit in Central London with CrossFit Blackfriars

Getting into CrossFit in Central London, UK is now a little easier with our gym located in the heart of the city.  Just a short walk from the city over Blackfriars bridge you will find us (CrossFit Blackfriars) off of Weber Street.  We are 7 minutes walk to London Waterloo, 5 Minutes to Southwark Station and 7 minutes to Borough/London Bridge.

CrossFit is the fastest growing fitness practise in the world and founder Greg Glassman describes it in 100 words:


Eat meat and vegtables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.  Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.  Practice and train all major lifts:  Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J and snatch.  Similarly master the basics of gymnastics:  Pull ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups,presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.  Bike, run, swim, row, ect, hard and fast.  Five to Six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow.  Routine is the enemy.  Keep workouts short and intense.  Regularly learn and play new sports.


For more information please visit 

We look forward to meeting all of you London CrossFit enthusiasts at CrossFit Blackfriars soon!

CrossFit Blackfriars

New to CrossFit? Try our Access Course!

CrossFit is for everyone! 

Whether you're training to get better at your sport, for general fitness or to look good CrossFit has become the way to do it for millions of people around the world and this fantastic community is growing fast!

At CrossFit Blackfriars we have developed a comprehensive Access Course to introduce a number of the exercises and techniques that we use on a daily basis in a relaxed and fun environment.

Like our daily classes, numbers are capped on the Access Course to ensure that everyone gets plenty of individual coaching so that you feel confident and well prepared to join in the classes after the course.

The course consists of three sessions which are held over three weekends.

Each session is approximately three hours long and has a structured programme that includes short and scaled conditioning sessions (or metcons as they are often referred to in CrossFit). The programme starts with the basic movements used in CrossFit and progresses towards the more technical movements of kettlebells, basic gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting elements.

On our Access Course we tailor everything to your individual needs so that you progress at your own pace. As your skills increase we will continue to scale appropriately and increase the level of intensity to match.

Whether you are new to CrossFit or just want to brush up on your skills, this course will give you a solid base of understanding the correct mechanics so that you can perform the movements safely and efficiently.

The course (approx. 9 hours) costs £150.  However we are offering a special introductory offer of £50 so get booking fast!

For availability and dates, please get in touch.

We are offering competitive prices that allow for flexibility and saving depending on your needs. 

Peak Costs
Peak membership allows access to all classes. 
Sessions Per week                    
 Membership Type
1 month  contract
3 months contract

Off-Peak Costs
Off-peak membership allows access to classes at 6am, 12.30pm, 4.30pm & 8.30pm Monday to Friday, classes from 1pm on Saturday and all Sunday classes.  
Sessions Per week                    
Membership Type 
1 month contract
3 months contract

This is how to get started:
1. Go to our MindBody page and create yourself a profile HERE 
2. Choose a membership option to start with - you can always change it later!
3. Send us an email to the address to let us know you are ready to get started and we will help you set up your chosen membership.
4. You are ready to book your first class - either via your online profile or by using the MindBody Connect App which you can download for free to your smartphone.

If you have any questions, please email us:

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Personal training & drop ins

To orgainse personal training at CrossFit Blackfriars - please email to book a session.

We also offer a drop in rate to visiting CrossFitters of £20 per session. Please email us at if you would like to visit.

* 2 classes a week equates to 9 classes which can be used at any point during each month.
** 3 classes a week equates to 13 classes which can be used at any point during each month.
*** Unlimited equates to one class per day.


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CrossFit Blackfriars


50 Belvedere Buildings, Webber Street, London, UK, SE1 0DQ

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