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!


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

24 Nov 2018 - WOD



3 rounds, 1 minute per movement, for max reps:
Wall ball (9/6 kg)
Kettlebell swing (20/12 kg)
Shoulder to overhead (30/20 kg)
Row, for calories

Competition Class

A) Nasal Breathing Warm-Up

Walk at a slow pace for 5 minutes (nasal breathing), every minute perform a exhale breath hold until you feel a moderate / strong desire to breath. You should be able to resume nasal breathing after the hold (if not you held for too long)

Immediately into 5 minutes of run/row/bike, nasal breathing only

B) Conditioning: Hypoxic Training

3 rounds:
5 Burpees (as fast as possible)
3 Breaths
Max distance heavy farmer’s carry (with exhale breath hold)
* Rest 1-2 minutes between rounds

- Rest 3-5 minutes -

3 rounds:
5 Burpees (as fast as you can with nasal breathing)
3 Breaths
Max distance heavy farmer’s carry (with exhale breath hold)
* Rest 1-2 minutes between rounds

C) Australian Championships Q.2

20 minutes for both parts A and B

Part A:

30-20-10 reps for time;
Dumbbell deadlifts @ (32 kg (kettlebells) / 22.5 kg)
Burpee box jump overs

Part B:
Remaining time, perform:
3 rep max overhead squat, from the floor

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!


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

21 Nov 2018 - WOD


A) Gymnastics: Pull-ups
5 sets of: 1 Strict pull-ups + 2 Chest to bar + 3 Pull-up
* Each time you complete the complex, add 1 rep to each movement for your next set
* Rest 2-3 minutes between sets

B) Conditioning
Strict handstand push-up
Front squat (87.5/55 kg)
Burpee over the bar

*Time cap: 25 minutes

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!


A) Conditioning
32 x 20 seconds on : 10 seconds off, alternate between:
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.



A) Conditioning

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

* Time cap: 20 minutes

18 Nov 2018 – WOD



In teams of 2, alternate complete movements, for 20 minutes:
20 Calorie row
10 Devils press
20 Box jump overs (24/20 in)


A) Hang power clean: Build to a heavy double

B) Clean & Jerk: 5 x 2 @ the weight from A


A) Bench Press: Build to a heavy 3

B) Sumo Deadlift: Build to a heavy 3

C) Complete 3 rounds for quality:
10 Dumbbell seated Arnold press
10 Dumbbell rear deltoid fly
10 Barbell single leg Romanian deadlift

17 Nov 2018 – WOD



A) Conditioning

For time:
20 Back squats (100/70 kg)
2 mile run
20 Back squats (100/70 kg)

* This is a BtWB Endurance test, courtesy of CrossFit Linchpin
* Time cap: 30 minutes

Competition Class

A) Nasal Breathing Warm-Up

Walk at a slow pace for 10 minutes (nasal breathing), every minute perform an exhale breath hold until you feel a moderate / strong desire to breath. You should be able to resume nasal breathing after the hold (if not you held for too long)

Immediately into 5 minutes of run/row/bike, nasal breathing only

Want to know why we’re practicing nasal breathing? Check out Coach Phil’s blog.

B) Gymnastics: Mounting (Raising) ring muscle-ups

Every minute for 8 minutes, alternate between:
10 second false grip hang
3 Cast swings

Followed by. . .
Snap pulls: 3-5 x 6-10 reps, for quality
Snap Pulls + mall backswing: Practice for quality
Pop swings: Practice for quality

Mounting (Raising) ring muscle-ups: Have some practice!

C) Conditioning

Australian Championships: Qualifier 1

12 minute AMRAP:
30 Double unders
3, 5, 9, 12.... Power Clean (50 kg/35 kg)

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!


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
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

15 Nov 2018 – The Importance of Nasal Breathing, Part 1

The mouth is for eating, the nose is for breathing
— Proverb

Breathing is a 24-7, unconscious act. It provides necessary oxygen to your body, without which the cells of your body would begin to die in a matter of minutes, when compared to water or food (also essential to life), which you can last days to weeks without.

The quality of how we breathe has the potential to impact your health and performance in all manner of ways, whether you are a casual CrossFitter, someone hoping to run their first 10km, or someone who is seeking to gain a competitive edge over their competition.

With something that is so innate, it’s surprising that we can make such a mess of it!

Over time, we have become mouth breathers, otherwise known as 'over-breathers' (yes, you can over-breathe!). Chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, poor fitness, bad diets and more have contributed to poor breathing habits, and these poor habits have been linked to everything from lethargy and poor sleep, to weight gain and heart disease.

Let's begin this blog series by looking at the functions of the nose, the benefits of nasal breathing and what you miss by breathing through your mouth.

The nose (as boring as it may seem) has a variety of functions related to regulatory systems within our body. The nose is a very important gateway to our brain. In fact, the nose is lined with structures called olfactory bulbs, which have a direct line of communication to a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for many functions in our bodies, particularly those that are autonomic, such as heartbeat, blood pressure, thirst, appetite and sleep cycles. The hypothalamus is also responsible for generating chemicals that influence memory and emotion. So our nose is much more than just something you use to smell!

The air we breathe should begin its journey by passing through the nose. The nose has evolved to be the first line of defense of the immune system, with a filter system of tiny hairs called cilia. The role of the cilia is to filter, humidify and warm or cool the air (depending on the temperature) before it enters the lungs. Some estimate that cilia protect our bodies against about 20 billion particles of foreign matter on any given day.

Once air passes through the nose it travels through the windpipe towards the lungs. Our windpipe is covered in mucus, another way the body prevents unwanted particles reaching our wind bags. As the air enters the lungs and into tiny air sacks called alveoli, the red blood cells exchange carbon dioxide with oxygen and carry this to the cells of the body, while carbon dioxide is expelled as we exhale.

With that, oxygen is also extracted during exhalation. As our nostrils are smaller than our big ol' mouths we exhale more slowly through the nose giving the lungs more time to extract oxygen from the air we’ve already taken in. With this slow exhalation there is also a back flow of air (and therefore oxygen) into the lungs, all meaning we have a more efficient process for taking in oxygen.

Another very important feature of breathing through our noses is nitric oxide. Our sinuses produce this gas, which, when carried into the body through the breath, has numerous functions such as combating harmful bacteria and viruses and regulating blood pressure through causing vasodilation (more on this in Part 2!).

Hopefully you are beginning to see the importance of breathing correctly just for day to day health (never mind performance!), but what other goodies do we miss out on when we breathe through our mouth?

When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange during respiration, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly – as in mouth breathing – oxygen absorption is decreased, which can result in dizziness or even fainting.

A certain level of carbon dioxide is required in the blood and tissues to facilitate oxygen transfer, this is known as the Bohr Effect. If we breathe through our mouths we expel too much carbon dioxide making oxygen dissociation from red blood cells difficult, so even though we may breath in lots of oxygen, it has a hard time reaching the cells where it is required (more on this in Part 2)

Air that we inhale through the nose passes through the nasal mucosa, which stimulates the reflex nerves that control breathing. Mouth breathing bypasses these reflexes and makes regular breathing difficult, which can lead to snoring, breath irregularities and sleep apnea.

Mouth breathing accelerates water loss, contributing to dehydration.

These are just some of the benefits of breathing correctly and in the next part of this blog series on nasal breathing we will look into what "over-breathing" actually is and how this can impact your performance.

Before then, start to implement a simple change by breathing through your nose during everyday activities. This takes regular and focused attention at first, but if you keep your mouth shut it will quickly become a habit!...and remember the mouth is for eating, the nose is for breathing!


A) Strength / Barbell Cycling
Every 2 minutes, for 20 minutes:
9 Deadlift + 6 Hang power clean + 3 Push jerk, unbroken

B) Midline
L-Sit: Accumulate 2 minutes in as few sets as possible
* Rest 60-90 seconds between sets

Chinese planks, weighted: 3 x 60 seconds
*Rest as needed

Around the worlds: 3 x max reps
* Goal is to get your toes as high as possible, keeping the legs locked straight

14 Nov 2018 – WOD


A) Gymnastics
A1) 4 rounds:
30 second handstand hold, into max rep handstand push-ups
- 1 minute rest -
30 second hollow hold into max rep toes to bar
- 1 minute rest -

A2) 4 rounds:
30 second top of the push-up hold, into max rep push-ups
- 1 minute rest -
30 seconds ring to chest hold (false grip), into max rep false grip ring rows
- 1 minute rest -

B) Conditioning
For time: 100 Burpees

* Time cap: 12 minutes