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CrossFit Blackfriars London Blog
CrossFit Blackfriars London Blog
CrossFit Blackfriars

Open gym in CrossFit - 'the Good, the Bad and the Ugly'

Open gyms are a fantastic resource and a chance to really hone your skills!

Open gym slots let athletes do their own thing so if an athlete is looking catch up on a WOD or to bring on certain skills this can only be a good thing right? 

Unfortunately not...

Sometimes it feels like athletes have been asking for more open gym slots since the beginning of time.

It's usually the same conversation, someone joins a CrossFit box, starts to see results, picks up some skills, then goes onto the internet for 5 minutes and decides that if they are going to continue to improve they must now start doing X,Y & Z or they will immediately start to regress and loose all of their gains - you know the ones that they got from going to classes...

As much as the above is 'tongue in cheek' you'd be surprised as to how often that conversation actually happens! 

So what's the 'Good, the bad and the Ugly' of open gym use?

The Good

Be it catching up on a WOD or doing some extra skill practice/strength/mobility work these athletes have a plan in mind and are here to work. 

A lot of the time their extra work has been decided upon with their coach and whilst they are social they don't let it get in the way of getting their work done (or get in someone else's way).

The Bad

These are usually athletes that know that what they should be doing but let themselves get caught up with ugly traits on a regular basis.

They also tend to play to their strengths so if they are good at gymnastics they'll usually be seen doing gymnastics instead of addressing a weakness. 

The Ugly 

These athletes will turn up to do stuff. There is usually little to no plan outside of 'I need to do more'. These athletes tend to be the type who value quantity of training over quality and are quite often the ones who regularly shorten their range of motion just to get through a rep or a WOD. They also like to talk about 'what they did at the other gym' or 'what they used to lift' and will spend more time talking/posturing and trying to coach (incorrectly) than actually training (hence the need for more sessions). 

Now that I'm determined to be 'The Good' how should I use open gym?

For me the simplest way to use open gym is to catch up on a class you missed during the week - trust that your coaches have a plan in mind that will improve you if you commit to it. 

If you've managed to get to all classes but also want to get to open gym this is a great chance to work on a skill/improve technique or mobility, so treat it that way and train like you should - i.e. always strive for perfect movement and FULL range of motion.

Another great way of using open gym is to meet with friends, pick a WOD and throw down! Whilst this may seem like it's completely random, it's a great way of exposing weaknesses (as different people will want different movements in a WOD) so you could be forced to do something you need to practice. Furthermore it's great to forget scores on the board every so often and just do a tough WOD with friends - enjoy your fitness!

The take away. Open gyms are a fantastic resource and a chance to really hone your skills if you use them correctly, so next time you go to an open gym have a plan, stick to it and enjoy your fitness!

Stay Classy CrossFitters 

Fergus and the Team
CrossFit Blackfriars London

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

CrossFit Blackfriars Launch Day - With Faces of Disco from Britains Got Talent

We are honoured that famous faces from the CrossFit community; Rich Froning, Jason Khalipa, Coach Glassman, Annie Thorisdottir, Sam Briggs, Mikko Salo, Dave Castro, Chris Spealler, Lucas Parker and Dan Bailey surprised us at CrossFit Blackfriars by making an appearance on our opening day! Only at the CrossFit games do you get all these guys in the same room... Looks like Rich and Dan have lost a bit of weight ;-) But they can dance!

CrossFit Blackfriars

Are you Rocking the Rock Tape CrossFitters?

You only had to visit the recent fantastic CrossFit event at Londons Copper Box; The Battle of London to see just how many people are rocking the Rock Tape!

The number of people wearing the product is forever increasing;  before I discussed that a number of Physiotherapists now swear by tape if a patient is suffering with traumatised tissue or muscle, but do people really know what benefit it is providing when their physio applies it and have they ever considered buying it themselves for the additional benefits. I know many of my university friends have the tape applied at the physio but do not understand the reason for its application apart from perhaps support. Essentially Rock Tape does act to support the muscle, relieving sore muscles and pain from injury without restricting movement. Regular strapping, supports and taping significantly decrease the range of motion possible but Rock Tape is designed to have the same stretch as human skin.

The guys at Rock Tape reiterate this but provided me with their considerable knowledge of other benefits of their product. The tape stretches up to 180% of its original length but happily recovers back to its original length. This provides it with the properties to provide numerous benefits.

By applying the tape with no stretch but on stretched tissue the skin wrinkles, this can reduce swelling by lifting skin and decompressing the tissue so fluid and waste can travel away and blood can travel to the area with more ease to provide oxygen. This significantly aids the recovery of tissue. As pressure is reduced on the tissue the layers of tissue slide with more ease increasing flexibility and range of movement. At the same time there is less pressure placed on the nerve endings so any pain generated by movement is reduced or eliminated. The tape can also increase an individual’s proprioception which further decreases pain.

In all the Rock Tape aids to speed up recovery, whether you have or haven’t got an injury.

Many Physio’s are trained in the application of Rock Tape or other forms of tape for injury prevention but Rock Tape not only train individuals for this purpose but also train up practitioners and individual athletes for the application of Power Taping. Visit Rock Tape’s website if you wish to find a professional or speak to you local physio. If you wish to attend a course again visit the Rock Tape website.The more the tape is stretched when applied the more support it provided to strained or torn tissue. With this the elastic recoil increases to the taped area so tissue recovery and stability are enhanced so can assist in power and coordination during activities. This is often referred to as PowerTaping.

However, the guys at Rock Tape provide you with the opportunity to apply the tape yourself without attending a course, with application guidelines for numerous injuries in each pack of tape and detailed videos on their website do not hesitate to try out the tape yourselves. It will save you a lot of money by reducing repeated trips to the physio to get it reapplied. Tape tends to last 7-10 days depending on where it is applied; you can swim, shower and run in it, no problem! The guys at Rock Tape applied some to my leg and it definitely lasted 7 days, and after that I was comfortable reapplying the tape myself. If I have a niggle now I quite happily apply the tape myself using the videos that you can find on their website. However, do remember that if that niggle is causing considerable discomfort a visit to a physio is recommended.

Rock Tape, as a company, also produces Rock Sauce. Rock sauce is the only pain reliever designed to work with Rock Tape. It is a heat based lotion which can be applied on top of rock tape to reduce pain or to warm up pre-workout.

Rock Tape produce numerous colours, such as blue and pink, and designs, including cow print and GB colours. They also produce custom made tape for particular customers such as for Loughborough University. If you are interested please visit the Rock Tape Website                @rocktapeuk                       Facebook: Rock Tape UK

CrossFit Blackfriars

CrossFit Blackfriars London

Welcome to CrossFit Blackfriars London and the first ever post in our blog!

We have just recently opened our CrossFit box in Central London on the 1st December and look forward to building a fantastic CrossFit community in the heart of London.

The blog will give us the opportunity to write about our training methods and programming, the ability to share pictures of our members training and competing in CrossFit and sharing other relevant information from the world of CrossFit and its unique community.

We cant wait to see you in our new space.

Healthy regards,

Richard, Balazs and Fergus

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


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