Tag Archives: andrew stemler

What did you get up to at the Weekend?


I was at CrossFit London attending the Coach Chris Sommer, Gymnastic Bodies Seminar.

In my pursuit of better teaching and movement I was hoping to learn some really cool things and refine some of my teaching ability.

What I walked away with were some tidy skill progressions and moves with a side helping of motivation and focus.

The weekend was broken into two days the first of which was based around the importance of mobility.

As a group this area was sorely missing. We were meant to be mobilising for the first 15-20 minutes of the session but 1 hour in to it and we were still writhing around on the floor pulling pain faces. A clear take home from this is the need to implement a clear and progressive routine that would allow good practise of gymnastic foundation movements.

I have always known this is the area of fitness that I am lacking. I am in a pattern of rushing through the stretching bit in favour of the bigger faster movements. Don’t we all.

So why am I going to listen to Coach Sommer? Allow me to degress a little.

As a child I really wanted to do gymnastics. I loved the cool moves, but I hated the teacher. In hindsight she was probably just a kid herself and was only coaching the way she had been coached, which was pretty much shout and bully the girls until they break. Well I broke after a term. I did not like getting shouted at and for that I stopped.

Now in adulthood my gymnastic dream pretty much faded. Whoever heard of adult beginner gymnastics?

Well funny thing is in 2010 my boss Andrew Stemler scheduled CrossFit London’s first Beginner gymnastic classes.

A chance to re-live my dream, only to be put on hold again by the news of my pregnancy. In keeping with pre-natal fitness guidelines I stayed away from aquiring new skills during my pregnancy and just scaled back CrossFit to an appropriate level. Leaving gymnastics on the back-burner.

Now after a long post natal period of recovery, I have been slowly looking at gymnastic skills and weaving them into my usual CrossFit training. And of course because I am impatient and the movements look cooler then the mobility I have been missing steps in progressions and skipping beats in mobility, all in all which showed me up in front of Coach Sommer.

So back to full circle. Why am I going to listen to Coach Sommer and mobilise my butt?

Because unlike my childhood attempts at gymnastics I am in charge of my training so it is only me to answer to, not a young coach out for blood.

It has never felt very realistic before as gymnastics has always seemed like a youth window that I missed. Working with Coach Sommer and seeing some of his advanced students, gave me re-newed energy for success. They can demonstrate amazingly cool moves on the rings or pararell bars and can tell you they were not child gymnasts but started maybe 2,3,4,5 years ago.

Great motivation for an adult beginner to hear.

And so it begins.

I have just finished writing out my training program for the next 12 weeks.

I can not wait to see what I can achieve by paying a little more attention to the finer things.

Here are some of the photos of the weekend.

Mobility through the Pelvis
Mobility through the Pelvis
Handstand drills
Handstand drills
Looking at upper back strength
Looking at upper back strength
Shoulder Prep
Shoulder Prep

Thanks Coach Sommer.


Sally Dixey is a CrossFit London personal trainer and pre/postnatal fitness coach based in East London.

Contact Sally directly on sally@crossfitlondonuk.com


26th July – Pushy Mother Alert

Pushy Mothers! You know the type I am talking about.

The Mum’s you see dragging there kids from football practise to ballat to claranet lessons. Lessons after lesson, practise practise practise!

The type of mother who is re-living her life through her offspring!

All through my pregnancy I never thought I would resemble anything like a pushy mother………………

I wouldn’t say I am quite at that level yet but some of you out there may laugh at my latest folly.

It all started one day while training.

Andrew Stemler my boss rocked up to the gym and as usual me and Chris fall into conversation about this and that.

In typical proud mother stylee I decided to show Andrew, Snoops latest achievement, which was standing with no support for a few moments.

Awesome said Andrew but can he hang from a bar?

I don’t know was my response, there is only one way to find out!

Ok so this may sound rather dangerous but if I can explain before people reach for child line!

We lowered a bar on one of the racks so it was about mid thigh height for you and me.

I stood with Snoop by the bar while Andrew held on to the bar showing Snoop what to do.

Babies are great mimic’s and naturally want to copy you as they want to fit in with the community they are a part of.

I then held him under the bar and in an instant his little arms shot up to find the bar and take grip!

He then beamed at Andrew with his bestest smile looking for approval.

I had my hands supporting him before you freak out!!

We did 3 short holds on the bar and were even surprised to see Snoop trying to pull himself up.

Andrews last suggestion was to find his hands on the floor like a handstand but with me holding him.

This will then take us nicely into a forward roll then he is ready.

All a while Snoop was laughing and smiling at us. I don’t feel I was making him do something he didn’t want to do, so I think that all the time he is enjoying his mini gym classes I will continue to show him (with Andrews help).

Who knows I may have a future Olympian on my hands or a Crossfit Champion

(I don’t advise that anyone copy what I have been up to with Snoop unless under supervision)


Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer with Crossfit London @ Bethnal Green