Blog

09 Dec 2018 - Congrats to our 2018 Golden Kettlebell Award Winners!

Best Pain Face Award: Panagis Melas & Giuliana Bonnet

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Best Banter Award: Ollie Hunter & Natalie Haverstock

Best WOD Wardrobe: Marco Ervalho & Danielle Marley

Most Supportive Athlete: Varun Lalwani & Julie Hartley

Most Improved Athlete: It’s a Tie! Giorgio Annecchini & Mark McDonald

Most Improved Athlete: It’s Another Tie! Aoife Woulfe & Danielle Marley

CF1864’s Rising Star Award: Thomas McDine

Massive congrats also go to our members that completed all 12 Crackers:

Aoife Woulfe, Bjorn Hanger, Catherine Geary, Courtney Wood, Daisy Peck, Eline Folkestadas, Felipe Palmeira, Giorgio Annecchini, Giuliana Bonnet, Katie Lorenz, Lewis Porter, Lisa Reeves, Marco Zanotto, Mark McDonald, Nelson Matias, Vivianne Maynard, Ollie Hunter, Rob Klecha, Sarah Forshaw, Sasha Krunic, Stuart Maddock, Johnny McDermott, Tom Solman and Victoria Mee

Amazing work team!

Now, enjoy your mandatory rest day!

04 Dec 2018 - Meet the Legends: Daisy Peck

Introducing our next Legend, Daisy Peck aka Daisy, Dais, or Miss Peck if you haven’t finished your homework on time! Daisy joined us in the summer of 2016, and we have yet to meet someone more willing to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. Whether it’s with a barbell in hand, 1000 m repeats on the rower, or hanging from the rig, the Kettlebell Queen of CrossFit 1864 doesn’t know the meaning of the word “quit”. And that’s one of the many reasons why we are proud to have her as one of our Legends! That, and her amazing Assault Bike Hairstyles ;)


What do you do for a living? I’m a Primary School Teacher! Which means I can switch on my ‘teacher voice’ and ‘teacher stare’ pretty much on cue. It also means I’m a massive kid - being a bit silly and having fun with learning is what I love about it.

How long have you been doing CrossFit, and what is your favourite thing about it? I’ve been doing CrossFit for just over two years now. It’s difficult to pick one thing that I love... I’ve made my closest friends through CrossFit and it’s a family. In regards to the training, I love the variance and how there’s always something to improve on.

What is your biggest achievement since starting CrossFit? My biggest achievement since starting CrossFit has probably been an improvement in my mindset. I can talk about how proud I was to get my first handstand push ups or pulls ups, but I think the achievement rests in me having the confidence to keep going, even when it got tough or frustrating. I’ve become more confident and outgoing in my everyday life as well. Is that a bit cringey? It might be, but it’s true!

What are you present training goals? My present training goals are to come back from injury! I’ve had a niggly knee and funny ankle which has meant that I’ve had plenty of time to work on my weaknesses. I do miss a lot of movements though and want to get fighting fit and ready to tackle the Open which is my favourite time of year.

What's the biggest pearl of wisdom you could offer to other CrossFitters, or those thinking about starting? My biggest pearl of wisdom for anyone just starting out, or those who are thinking of starting is probably to have faith in the process. You won’t see massive changes overnight, but you are improving by small amounts all the time. Invest the time and trust the programming and you will see results. Oh, and say hello to everyone! People are really friendly and want to get to know you! More friends means more motivation to come and train.

What part of a kids movie really scarred me? I’ve got to go with Disney on this one - either Dumbo and the scene with his mother in the cell which still makes me an emotional wreck... or Bambi. As an adult, I still find it hard to watch any movies with too much tension or sadness!

If your five-year-old self suddenly found themselves inhabiting your current body, what would your five-year-old self do first? If my 5 year old self found herself in my adult body - she’d probably wonder what on Earth I was doing as a teacher and why wasn’t I a vet... on that same level, she’d probably go out and buy another dog or something (whoops #sorrynotsorry)

What is your favourite sports movie? Is it bad that I genuinely could not think of a sports movie and had to look them up? I grew up watching Chariots of Fire which will always be a classic in my eyes. I’m old school!



THE NINTH CHRISTMAS CRACKER

“CrossFit Open 18.1”

20 minute AMRAP:
8 Toes to bar
10 Dumbbell hang clean & jerk (22.5/15 kg)
14/12 Calorie row

02 Dec 2018 - Last Day to vote for the Golden Kettlebell Awards!

Today is the VERY LAST DAY to vote for this year’s Golden Kettlebell Award winners! We will be closing the ballot at 10 am on Sunday 02 December, so make sure you get your selections in by then! Cast your vote here.


THE SEVENTH CHRISTMAS CRACKER

"Moore"
20 minute AMRAP:
1 Rope climb
400m Run
Max rep handstand push-ups

* As soon as you come off the wall on the handstand push ups, begin your next round
* Score is handstand push-ups completed

01 Dec 2018 - The Whizzards of WOD G-Force Throwdown

The Christmas Cracker we were least looking forward to… it’s time to say Bon Voyage to our beloved Coach Whizz!

Thank you Whizz for everything you have done for all of us these past years! You have been an amazing coach, an epic athlete, and even more, a great friend and we will miss your chill funk playlists, putting your black t-shirts in lost & found, your weird variations of twisting bear, but most of all, we will miss you!

The Whizzards of WOD G-Force Throwdown will kick off at 9 am (we had to start a little earlier than planned to get all of our heats in!) with heats running every 10 minutes. Don’t forget to sign up for your heat for this workout via the Google Sheet.

Be sure to come in early and stay late to cheer your fellow athletes on!

This one’s a doozy….


THE SIXTH CHRISTMAS CRACKER

"Death Race"
5 Rounds for time:
15/10 Calorie assault bike (or row)
10 Burpees

30 Nov 2018 - Join us for our Festive Shindig!

On Saturday 8 December from 6 pm, we’ll be partying the night away at Filthy Fanny's in The Crown and Shuttle! Join us for some drinks and nibbles to celebrate the holidays, the completion of the Christmas Crackers and everything we've achieved this past year. We'll also be presenting our Golden Kettlebell Awards! We are asking for a £12 contribution to go towards food. Please let us know you're coming (and make your contribution) by registering via Team-up here. Family and friends are welcome, but please make sure they sign up via Team-up as well, so we can make sure there's enough food to go around.

There will be no classes on Sunday 9 December, so you can take some time away from the gym to recover from the Christmas Crackers, and maybe also the Christmas Party...


THE FIFTH CHRISTMAS CRACKER

"Randy"

For time:
75 Snatches (35/25 kg)

29 Nov 2018 - The Importance of Nasal Breathing, Pt. 3

The brain has an area dedicated solely for monitoring of the respiratory responses. This area has many connections to stress sensors in the body as well as modulators of behaviour. The feedback loops that control our response to the environmental stimuli are vast. In essence, breathing patterns control much of the physiological responses in the body.

In our prior blog posts (Part 1 and Part 2) we discussed how we should be breathing, the Bohr Effect and carbon dioxide tolerance.

A quick re-cap:

How you breathe can impact health and performance.

The nose is for breathing, the mouth is for eating.

A certain level of carbon dioxide is required in the blood to facilitate oxygen transfer (Bohr Effect).

Those who breathe through the mouth (the majority of us) "over breathe" and expel too much carbon dioxide.

As a result receptors in our brain have a lower tolerance to carbon dioxide (not good!).

To truly develop our aerobic system’s efficiency, we need to increase our tolerance to carbon dioxide and use breathing mechanics appropriately for our specific level of intensity.

We also suggested you try the following test (all you need is yourself and a stop watch!):

Find a comfortable sitting position

Take 3 normal* breaths in and out through the nose

After the 4th inhale (through the nose), start the timer and begin to exhale** (again through the nose) as slowly as you can.

When you stop exhaling or need to take a breath in, stop the timer

*Normal = Do not take large, deep breathes. Just whatever is normal and natural.

** This is a timed continuous exhale, as soon as you pause or need to breathe in, you stop the timer

What we would like to see is 40+ seconds, if you are getting over 1 minute, then that is a strong score! Anything under 20 seconds is, well, not so good…

This test gives us some insight into how your body and your brain react as carbon dioxide begins to build up in the blood. Receptors in the brain are what monitor levels of carbon dioxide and they trigger your respiratory muscles to breathe.

Research has shown that those who over-breathe actually expel too much carbon dioxide (as discussed in Parts 1 and 2), which has been linked to a number of health issues including heat diseases, sleep apnea, hyperthyroidism, stress & anxiety disorders and asthma and, of course it leads to a decrease in performance, training and competition.

So, how do we improve our breathing?


In Part 1, we gave our first tip: breathe through your nose during normal everyday activities, unless you are talking or about to put food in your mouth, keep it closed.


If you want to take it a step further you can spend 5-10 minutes, a few times a day working on your breathing (all nasal breathing of course!).


A simple method is to take the time from your timed exhale from the Carbon Dioxide Tolerance test and divide it by six, this will form the rate (in seconds) of your inhale and exhale. For example if you scored 30 seconds on the carbon dioxide test you would divide this by 6, which is 5 seconds, you could then practice the following:


5 second inhale + 5 second exhale.


Once comfortable with this, you can add in a hold after the inhale:


5 second inhale + 5 second hold + 5 second exhale.


Again, once comfortable, you can add in a hold after the inhale AND the exhale:


5 second inhale + 5 second hold + 5 second exhale + 5 second hold.


As you progress, you can begin to increase the times of your breathing and your holds.


This is just scratching the surface of developing your breathing for performance. In order to understand how we can train our breathing and develop our energy systems, we need to use an analogy…


Think of the different stages of breathing during exercise as 'gears' (like on a bike or a car), as we require more from our engine and we put our foot on the gas pedal, we need to move up through the gears.


Whilst we all have these gears, they are not all the same. Imagine a banged up old car, in first gear this can maybe hit 15-20 mph before you have to change up to gear 2. Now imagine a Porsche, this can probably hit 50-60+ mph in first gear.


If we want to perform at our best we have to be able to optimise our output at each 'gear', with gear 1 being completely aerobic (nasal in, nasal out) and gear 5 (our top gear) as fully anaerobic (mouth in, mouth out). Of course, there are gears in-between and it's not as clear cut as we have made it sound…but it's a pretty nice analogy!


When we learn about and develop our gears, we can control the energy systems we use in a workout. We can push hard when we need to and tap into our anaerobic systems at the appropriate times, we can hold back at other times and rely on aerobic systems, and we can use our breathing to actually recover and bring our heart rate down whilst still working.


This is where the 'go so hard' mentality starts to break down. It will develop us to a certain point, but there is a ceiling we will hit when progress at certain levels of intensity stalls. Whilst we can control intensity by controlling how hard we push, if we are not breathing correctly for the intensity we are at, we are leaving a lot of potential progress behind.


What these gears are, how we breathe to access each gear and optimally use our energy systems, and the methods we use to develop these could run on for many more blog posts. So if you want to get into details and explore this yourself, you just have to wait until Cycle 6+7 of our training program, beginning in January!


THE FOURTH CHRISTMAS CRACKER

“CrossFit Open 14.5 / 16.5”
21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Thruster (42.5/30 kg)
Bar facing burpee

25 Nov 2018 - Christmas Crackers start on Monday! Let's talk about Logistics...

Just one day to go until we announce the very first of our Christmas Crackers!

A quick reminder of some logistics…

  • First of all, if you are on our Kickstarter membership, please make sure you sign in to classes for the next two weeks using your Christmas Crackers membership.

  • For these two weeks, we have extended our class cap to 12 people. This means that, depending on the class, some workouts will need to be run in heats, so the warm-ups might be shorter than normal. If you want extra time to get ready before taking on your benchmark, please arrive to class early so you can get in some extra warm up time.

  • Going for our “I Cracked the Christmas Crackers” prize? Make sure you log every WOD in Beyond the Whiteboard! If you didn’t log it, it didn’t happen!

  • The Christmas Crackers are all about community, so feel free to come in early or stay late to cheer your fellow athletes on!

Don’t forget to…

Sign up for our Whizzards of WOD G-Force Throwdown on Saturday 1 December

Vote for your Golden Kettlebell Award Winners

Read our Top 12 Tips on Surviving the Christmas Crackers blog. Yep, it’s ancient, but the advice still rings true!

And finally, don’t forget to have fun! This is, without a doubt, the most wonderful time of the year, so enjoy it!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Engine Work

1000m Row
50 Thrusters (20/15 kg)
30 Burpees over the bar

- Rest 3 minutes -

30 Burpees over the bar
50 Thrusters (20/15 kg)
1000m Row

Specialist Sundays

A) Power snatch: Build to a heavy single

B) Snatch: 5 x 2 (with 3 second pause in recieving positon) @ the weight from AFor time:

Women’s Only

A) Bench Press: 4 x 3 @ 75%

B) Snatch Grip Romanian Deadlift: 3 x 8

C) Gymnastics
EMOM for 16 Minutes
Min 1: 10-20 second Handstand Hold
Min 2: 10 Kipping Swings
Min 3: Max Chin Over Bar Hold
Min 4: Rest

22 Nov 2018 - The Importance of Nasal Breathing, Pt. 2

So, how can you tell if you have a problem with carbon dioxide tolerance? Read on to learn more and find out how you can test yourself!

In Part 1 (which you can find here) we discussed why the nose is so important in breathing and what the benefits are to nasal breathing.

In order to understand the relationship between oxygen and carbon dioxide, we need to understand the Bohr Effect, which describes how the pH of the blood impacts the affinity of oxygen to haemoglobin.

Let’s do a quick biology recap of what happens when we inhale:

Step 1: Air enters the lungs

Step 2: Oxygen passes into the blood stream via the alveoli

Step 3: Oxygen binds to haemoglobin (red blood cells) and is transported around the body

Step 4: Oxygen is released from haemoglobin where it is required at the cells

Back to the Bohr Effect…

When the pH of the blood drops (it becomes more acidic), oxygen is more readily released by haemoglobin (so our cells can use it). Conversely, as the pH rises (becomes more alkaline), haemoglobin will hold onto oxygen (so our cells cannot use it). Carbon dioxide is one such gas that makes the blood more acidic. The key point to take away here is that the more carbon dioxide there is in the blood, the more readily oxygen is released from haemoglobin for our cells to use.

The rate and volume of breathing is determined by receptors in the brain that are sensitive to levels of carbon dioxide, oxygen and blood pH level. When carbon dioxide rises and blood pH falls, we are stimulated to increase our rate of respiration to expel the carbon dioxide. Crucially, some carbon dioxide is retained in the body and correct breathing patterns rely on this.

Those who over-breathe (mouth breathers) have a habit of breathing more air than is required and importantly, too much carbon dioxide is expelled. When this habit lasts for weeks, months or years, it results in the body having chronically lowered levels of carbon dioxide. Due to this, the receptors in our brains develop an increased sensitivity to lower levels of carbon dioxide.

With this lowered limit of Carbon dioxide tolerance we are more regularly stimulated to increases in breathing rates (even though it is not required), and this is where it's impact on performance comes into focus.

Carbon dioxide is a by-product of metabolism; as our activity levels increase, so does the production of carbon dioxide. if we have a lower sensitivity to this, it means that lower levels of intensity will cause us to breathe heavily, pant, or struggle to breathe and ultimately "gas out" much earlier than we should.

You may be thinking that breathing more heavily gets us more oxygen, but this is not quite the case. Blood oxygen saturation is the percentage of oxygen-saturated haemoglobin relative to total haemoglobin in the blood. In normal folks, it sits between 95-99%. This normally stays the same at rest or at exercise - it is very carefully regulated. What this means is that even under increasing levels of intensity our blood does not carry more oxygen.

However if we have decreased sensitivity to carbon Dioxide (because we mouth breathe), haemoglobin has a harder time releasing oxygen for us to use.

To truly develop our aerobic system’s efficiency, we need to increase our tolerance to carbon dioxide and use breathing mechanics appropriate for the level of intensity. Unfortunately, just going HAM on any given workout is not going to fit the bill in these cases!

Whilst we will discuss breathing mechanics during exercise more in our next blog post, it is worth noting that breathing through the mouth is appropriate at certain times, but to be able to control our use of our energy systems, we need to learn to control our breathing.

So, how can you tell if you have a problem with carbon dioxide tolerance? You can perform the following test below, all you need is yourself and a stop watch…

Find a comfortable sitting position

Take 3 normal breaths in and out through the nose

After the 4th inhale (through the nose), start the timer and begin to exhale (again through the nose) as slowly as you can.

When you stop exhaling or need to take a breath in, stop the timer

Post your times to the comments section, and in the next blog post I will reveal what your score tells you about your carbon dioxide tolerance!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Gymnastics Tests

A1) L-Sit (or L-Tuck) hold: For max time

A2) Forearm plank hold: For max time

B) Conditioning
3 rounds for time:
25 Toes to bar (or Ab-mat sit-ups)
50 ft Double kettlebell overhead carry
50 ft Double kettlebell overhead walking lunge

20 Nov 2018 - Order your Limited Edition "'Hope' for the Holidays" T-Shirt!

Shout out to One Hand Lift for our t-shirt design!

Our "Hope" for the Holidays Limited Edition T-shirts are ready for pre-order!

It just doesn't get more awesomely festive than this kit!

The Christmas Crackers are just around the corner and, on Saturday 8 December, our 12th and final Christmas Cracker will be the CrossFit benchmark WOD, "Hope", as part of CrossFit 1864's "‘Hope’ for the Holidays”.

Our Christmas Crackers this year and "‘Hope’ for the Holidays" will be in support of Bart’s Charity, who supports our local NHS trust. Throughout November and December, we will be collecting toys to donate to Bart’s Charity. In exchange for donating a toy, you will be able to purchase a special "‘Hope’ for the Holidays" t-shirt for only £10!

To pre-order your t-shirt, click on the following link and fill in your details:

”’Hope’ for the Holidays T-Shirt Order Sheet

To get the shirts in time for "Hope", we need to have all orders in by Friday 23 November.

Can't bring in your toy donation that soon? No worries! Just select 'Bringing it in later' on the pre-order sheet, and you can donate your toy at any time during the Christmas Crackers.

We are so excited for this year's Christmas Crackers and even more excited to be able to give back to our community. Thank you all for taking part in our toy drive!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY


A) Conditioning
32 x 20 seconds on : 10 seconds off, alternate between:
Deadlift
Hang power clean
Push jerk
Row for calories
* Rx is 70/45 kg

19 Nov 2018 – Meet the Legends: Matt Craig

Introducing our next Legend, Matt Craig! Matt joined us back in September 2015. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Matt brings his competitive drive to every class, pushing himself and his fellow athletes to move outside of their comfort zone. Since joining us three years ago, Matt has made epic strides not just in his training (his DT time has improved by over 10 minutes, and in this year’s Open, he hit a 5 minute PB on Diane!); he has also made huge strides in his mental game, which is just as important as any barbell lift or gymnastic PB!

Not to mention, he’s one of the best at naming teams for throwdowns!

Let’s learn more about Mr. Craig…


What do you do for a living?
I'm a Brexit business analyst (don't hate me) for an insurance company. And I also wake up early and trade forex and equities when European markets open, and sometimes Wall Street equities when US markets open, if no one is peeping over my shoulder in the office.

How long have you been doing CrossFit, and what is your favourite thing about it?
Since 2012, actually more like 2010 cos I used to follow CrossFit.com and try and do the workouts in a normal gym... then Central London and now 1864 for 3 legendary years.

What is your biggest achievement since starting CrossFit?
Before CrossFit, I was a group fitness instructor for 15yrs. At Central London, I was training with their comp class for a good year and improving a lot. My old group fitness buddies offered me an entry in The Spartan Mud Race. I went with no specific training, just CrossFit. They all took about two hours to finish, I finished in 1:05 and won the race!

What are your present training goals?
To turn 35 so I can start competing in masters events, haha! I do have specific goals for most lifts, movements, WODs, etc... but my main goal is to stay injury-free, keep training sustainable, and build volume over time.

What's the biggest pearl of wisdom you could offer to other CrossFitters, or those thinking about starting?
Not to be put off by weights or movements or things you think you can't do... its all scalable, and over time you will develop all areas.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?

A stuffed giraffe in a mansion Alice in Wonderland party.

What nickname did you have growing up, and why?

I was a lifeguard at the local swimming pool, and all the little Maori kids used to call me Chicken Legs :-D

If you could do one job the rest of your life (and money was no issue) what would you do and why?

The job I do now - trading. I can do it anywhere in the world with internet. I love the analysis, the grind, the emotional control required, the discipline, the competitiveness - it really is my dream job.

Finally, what is your favourite sports movie? I can tell you my LEAST favourite sports movie! Invictus. It's a beautiful story about how Nelson Mandela used the 1995 rugby world cup to unite the post-Apartheid nation of South Africa... except they left out one key fact of the story - the New Zealand team were poisoned before the final.

Controversial?…


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning

"Schiltz"
4 rounds for time of:
400m Run
4 Muscle-ups
40 Double unders

* Time cap: 20 minutes

16 Nov 2018 - Announcing our Holiday Festivities: The 2018 Golden Kettlebell Awards

Bigger than the Oscars, more hotly contested than X Factor and LOADS more fun than the General Elections…

It's almost time to vote for your 2018 Golden Kettlebell Award Winners!

To celebrate the end of our Christmas Crackers and the culmination of yet another awesome year, we will be presenting a select group of athletes with our Golden Kettlebell Award, voted for by YOU!

The categories are as follows:

Best Pain Face

Best Banter

Best WOD Wardrobe

Most Improved Athlete

Most Supportive Athlete

CrossFit 1864’s Rising Star

Your coaches are in the process of shortlisting a group of nominees for each category, all you need to do is select the athlete that you think has earned the award this year.

We will be sending out the ballot on Monday 19 November and voting will close on Saturday 1 December. Awards will be presented at our Christmas party on 8 December.

Keep an eye on your inbox and in Slack for the ballot!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Strength / Barbell Cycling

Every 4 minutes for 16 minutes (4 sets):
10 Power snatch, touch and go

B) Conditioning

”CrossFit Open 16.3”

7 minute AMRAP:
10 Power snatches 35/25kg
3 Bar muscle-ups
***
Scaled:
10 Power snatches 20/15kg
5 Chest-to-bar Pull-up (jumping)

Swim WOD

A) Warm Up

5 minutes of front crawl, breastroke, back stroke

B) Skill

3+6 Backstroke drill: 8 x 25m
* On this drill you do 3 strokes, then hold the position with one arm behind you
* The other arm is by your side, and you are on this side so your shoulder is out of the water under your chin. Hold this for 6 kicks


C) Main Set 1

Choose a distance: 800m/600m/400m, and complete for time

D) Main Set 2

Choose a set/distance scheme from below

- 4 x 200 aiming to beat your 800m split
- 4 x 150 aiming to beat your 600m split
- 4 x 100 aiming to beat your 400m split
* Rest 20 seconds rest between each set

13 Nov 2018 – Save the Date: Whizz's Bon Voyage WOD

The Whizz Kid (because that’s where Coach M got his nickname from!) across the years…

Join us for a special “Bon Voyage, Coach Whizz” WOD on Saturday 1 December!

Our beloved shirtless wonder, Coach Whizz, is headed off for a year of travelling the globe, and what better way to show him how much we’ll miss him than a spicy benchmark workout?!

Keep an eye on the blog and your email for more details on the day, including timings and post-WOD plans.


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Strength: Gymnastics
Every 90 seconds, for 15 minutes, alternate between:
5 Strict pull-ups (weighted)
5 Strict ring dips (weighted)

B) Conditioning
For time:
400m Run
21 Front squats (82.5/55 kg)
400m Run
15 Front squats
400m Run
9 Front squats

* Time cap: 15 minutes