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03 June 2019 - Coming Soon: Member Appreciation Week

We can't wait for our next Member Appreciation Week!

Starting 17 June, we'll be giving something back to you every day, from a Beyond the Workout session to an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. Yes, we'll even let you vote for a Coaches' Workout again (#wellneverforgetkalsu).

Keep your eyes on the 'gram and our blog for more information on all the exciting events we have planned!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning

5 rounds for time:
9 Power cleans
12 Handstand Push-ups
9 Front squats
12 Pull-ups

* Barbell at 75-85% of 5RM power clean from previous training cycle
* Rx+ C2B Pull-ups & No singles on the power cleans
* Time cap: 25 minutes

15 May 2019 - Throwback Thursday: Making Progress - Intensity vs. Technique

It’s Throwback Thursday, which means its time for one of our Throwback Thursday blog! This week, we’re re-visiting a blog we first published on 16 January 2015, covering the incredibly important topic of “Intensity vs. Technique”.

Intensity can be defined as "exactly equal to average power (force x distance / time)”. In other words, how much real work did you do and in what time period? The greater the average power, the greater the intensity.

Technique can be defined as “a skilful, correct, safe and efficient way of performing movements”.

Intensity and average power are the variables most commonly associated with optimising favourable results. Do more work in less time (without overdoing it), and you’ll get fitter, faster, Fact. In order to improve, we have to be prepared to push ourselves, often to 'uncomfortable' levels.

There is a fine line between intensity and technique.

If we are focused on absolutely perfect technique every time we train, then our intensity will be much lower. On the flip side, if we go super hard all the time, it's likely that our form will suffer and we are at risk of injury. The key is finding the middle ground where you can go hard, but stay safe.

So where is this fine line between intensity and technique?

Let's use CrossFit's favourite example.... let's take a look at three imaginary athletes who are all going to do "Grace" (30 clean and jerks at 60 kg, for time) and they all finish exactly on 3 minutes.

Athlete A hits it first. He puts on heavy metal to work out to and gets himself all pumped up by running around the gym screaming and grunting, slapping his chest and face and throwing chalk everywhere. 3, 2, 1, GO!

The clock starts and he proceeds to yank the bar off the ground with a rounded back, he reverse curls it with little to no technique. He then strict presses overhead while heavily arching his lower back. Every rep is performed in the same way. He finishes his workout in exactly 3 minutes and drops to the ground in the fetal position, a sweaty, heaving, panting mess. He doesn’t move for the next 30 minutes.

It's Athletes B's turn, so he changes the music to his 'Chillin' on a Sunday' playlist. The clock starts and he calmly walks up to the bar, he spends what feels like an age getting into a perfect set-up and proceeds to clean and jerk with perfect form. He drops the bar to the ground and takes a couple of steps back and assesses his next approach. As the workout continues, he takes time to talk to the coach about his day. He too finishes at 3 minutes, he has not broken a sweat and he walks away feeling refreshed.

Finally, it's Athlete C's turn. He changes the music over to his favourite workout tunes and hits some dynamic mobility drills while he’s waiting to begin his workout. When the clock starts, his clean & jerk technique isn’t perfect – he has an early arm bend, and could probably open his hips up a little more – but it’s pretty good. His coach yells a few lifting cues, the athlete corrects his technique and strings together 10 good reps before dropping the bar. He gives himself 15 seconds before forcing himself to pick the bar back up and finishes the workout in 3 minutes, flat. When he’s done, he is sweating and breathing hard. He composes himself, takes a gentle jog and brings his heart rate down to normal levels in a few minutes.

All of the above athletes finished at exactly the same time and all the athletes lifted 60 kg so we can say that the athletes all performed "Grace" with the same absolute intensity. What we see in our descriptions is a big difference between the athlete’s relative intensity: the ability for each to push themselves physically and mentally.

For Athlete B, his movement was perfect, but his intensity was very low. Do you think his performance will improve his overall fitness in the future? He may have looked technically perfect, but because he lacked the intensity, his fitness is less unlikely to improve in the future.

On the flip side we have Athlete A aka 'Mr Intense'. He went so hard that he had no form, he was at risk of hurting himself and probably those around him. Although the intensity was super high, his lack of technique will likely result in little improvement next time he does this workout as he did nothing to work on his efficiency.

Athlete C is right on the money as he balances CrossFit's requirement of high intensity and good technique. He had a few technique errors, but nothing serious and he was able to correct them when cued by the coach. He was also able to push himself hard. If he performs like this on every WOD do you think he will improve faster than the other two athletes?....Yes!

Here are some tips that we have found helpful in our training...

Strength days

Aim to lift more than last time. For example, if I am doing front squats for sets of 5 reps, I check back in Beyond the Whiteboard of what my 5 rep max is. If the last time I did front squats for 5 reps my heaviest set was 100kg, then I always go into the session with the goal of my last 1-2 sets being above this weight. Even if it's just by 2.5kg, it’s still an improvement and every kilo counts!

Embrace the suck. I know that as I approach a new rep max, I may lean forward a little more than I would like and I will be in a battle to keep my knees tracking my toes perfectly. Provided it's only very minor deviations in form, the last couple of reps of each set should have you wondering whether your are going to make it! If you're unsure, speak to your coach if you have any questions or would like feedback on your form before you add weight, that's why we're here!

Met-cons

Keep rest periods short. The more resting you do in a workout the lower the intensity will be. One tip is to decide that each time you rest, it's only going to be for X seconds (10-15 seconds is more than enough). Keep an eye on the clock and time yourself. No matter how you feel, you will get back to work once those seconds have passed time and you will surprise yourself at how much more you can do.

Go in with a strategy. Decide how you are going to break up the work...make it a challenge!

Have a mantra. It's easy to convince ourselves to take a rest, but it's much harder to convince ourselves to keep working! When the going gets tough and I want to stop I just focus on the next rep, and nothing else. I actually say "another rep". Once I do that rep, I say again "just one more rep". Before you know it, you've done 5-10 more reps before you actually rest.


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Strength: Power Clean
Establish a 5 rep max (touch and go)

B) Conditioning

"Big Bang"
50 Cleans (102.5/70 kg)

* Modify to 90% of your 5RM
* Time cap: 10 minutes

02 May 2019 - Improving your Mental Strength, Part 1: What is Mental Strength and Mindset?

What is Mental Strength?

Every one knows that when you get to top level athletics, the difference between winning and losing is a matter of only fractions of a second, one single rep, .5 more kilos lifted. Would you like to know what the top athletes are doing to gain that extra kilo, that additional rep, and that fraction of a second?

It's not the reps they're putting in at the gym. It's the work that's going on between their ears.

The difference between winning and losing is often decided by an athlete’s mental strength. This goes beyond their ability to push themselves harder on competition day; it is how they react to bad training days, their willingness to take risks, the way they take constructive criticism and feedback, and their ability to mentally and emotionally bounce back from failure.

Think the importance of mental strength is limited to the top athletes? Think again! This is just as true for elite CrossFit Games Athletes as it is for you and me. However, our mental strength might not be evidenced in beating our opponent by a fraction of a second, but in the way we keep trying when the barbell defeats us, when we keep laughing even though we're getting frustrated by a progression, or when we drag our asses to the gym when work gets stressful or when our friends are at the pub.

If your Mental Strength is akin to your 1 RM back squat, then (in this little analogy), your Mindset is the accessory work – the lunges, split squats, midline work and pause back squats – you do throughout the week to PB your 1RM back squat. Your mental strength is developed and improved upon (or weakened!) by the quality of your mindset.

What is Mindset?

A mindset is a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one's behaviour, outlook or mental attitude.

An individual’s mindset can often be broken down into two separate categories: Fixed and Growth (if you’ve been training with us a little while, you will know ALL about Fixed and Growth Mindset!)

In a Fixed Mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone, without effort, creates success, and if you are bad at something, there is no changing that fact. Those with a fixed mindset have a desire to look and feel talented; therefore, they will only try if they know they will do well, and they will have a tendency to avoid challenges that may result in failure. These people give up easily or see effort as pointless (unless they feel they can win or succeed). They often feel threatened by the success of others and see feedback as a personal attack.

Conversely, in a Growth Mindset, people believe that their basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Those with a growth mindset have a desire to learn and as such, embrace a challenge and persist with that challenge, despite setbacks. Failures and mistakes are seen as an opportunity to learn and grow and they seek out feedback from others in order to improve.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
— Wayne Gretzky

Do you have a Fixed or a Growth Mindset?

Read each of these 4 statements:

1: You have a certain amount of talent and you can't do much to change it
2: You can learn new things, but you can't really change how talented you are
3: No matter how much talent you have, you can always change it quite a bit
4: You can always substantially change how talented you are

Which do you agree with the most? Which do you think applies to you the least? Do your answers change if you focus these statements on your professional life and career? Your training, health and fitness? Your personal relationships?

If you agreed with statements 1 and 2, your mindset is most likely Fixed. If you agreed with statements 3 and 4, your mindset is most likely Growth.

Coming Up Next… How can you Improve your Mindset and Mental Strength?

In our next blog, we will be discussing how you can flip your mindset and improve your mental strength.

But first, some homework!

In all areas of our lives we have certain areas within our control: Our relationships, our career or the job we choose (yes, you have a choice!), what we eat and drink, etc.

We want you to decide… what does success look like in these areas for you?

With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves.

For more information on the Fixed vs. Growth Mindset, read “Mindset” by Carol Dweck or check out this video:


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Speaking of Mental Strength and Mindset…

A) Gymnastics & Weightlifting Conditioning

Death by…*
Pull-up

- Rest 5 minutes -

Death by…
Hang power snatch @ 0.5x bodyweight

* With a continuously running clock perform:
- 1 rep in the first minute…
- 2 reps in the second minute…
- 3 reps in the third minute…
- Continue until you can cannot complete the reps in the minute

28 April 2019 - Announcing: Memorial Day Murph 2019

On Monday 27 May, we will take on "Murph" in honour of LT Murphy and all servicemen and women. This year, our efforts will go towards supporting the charity, Blind Veterans UK.

Memorial Day Murph is free to all members and non-members, all we ask is that you make a contribution to Blind Veterans UK by bringing your donation to the box on the day, or making a donation via the charity's website.

What is "Murph"?

Murph, a hero WOD, is one of the most well-known CrossFit workouts:

For time:
With a 20 lb. weight vest, complete:
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 air squats
1 mile run
*Partition the reps as necessary

Why is the workout called "Murph"?

In 2005, a team of 4 Navy SEALs led by LT. Michael P. Murphy found themselves seriously outnumbered in a firefight with hundreds of enemy troops. Pinned down and under intense enemy fire, they were in desperate need of help, but due to the mountainous terrain, their communications could not be received. Understanding the situation, LT. Murphy moved to open ground to use his satellite phone, exposing himself to enemy fire. LT Murphy was mortally wounded making that call.

For his selfless leadership, courageous actions and extraordinary devotion to duty, LT. Michael P. Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the first service member to receive the medal for service in Afghanistan, and the first Navy recipient of the medal since Vietnam.

Originally named 'Body Armor', this workout was LT Murphy's favourite. The workout was renamed 'Murph' in his honour after his death.

Here's how we will be running Memorial Day Murph this year...

We will run the event in heats, very similarly to how we did the Open workouts (an email will be sent out a few days before the event for you to sign up for your heat). Each heat will begin with a brief warm-up and movement review. As with all of our special events, we encourage you to come early or stay late to cheer on your fellow athletes.

What about the weight vest??

We will have weight vests available if you choose to do Murph as Rx, HOWEVER, here are the rules...

  • If you have never done Murph before, you will be doing bodyweight only (no vest).

  • If you have done Murph before (without a vest) and your time was over 40 minutes, you will be doing bodyweight only.

  • The weight vests will be available on a first come, first serve basis. If you have your own weight vest at home, feel free to bring it in!

  • If you are wearing one of the box's weight vests, No Shirt is a No Go!

Sign up via Team up today!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Engine Work

A) Conditioning
6 x 3 minutes on : 3 minutes off, alternate between:

A1) 400m Run
Max rep dumbbell devil’s press

A2) 500/400m Row
Max rep wall balls (9/6 kg)


Specialist Sunday

A) Skill
Muscle snatch + Power snatch balance: 3 x 3+3 with empty barbell

B) Power snatch
5 x 3 @ 75%+
* Must be touch and go reps

C) Snatch push press + Overhead squat
4 x 5+1 @ 75%+ of overhead squat


Barbelle’s Lifting Class

A) Bench Press
4 x 5 with 2 second pause at bottom
* Increase 2.5kg from last time

B) 3 Rounds for quality
12 Barbell hip thrust
6 Medball hamstring curls

C) 12 min EMOM
Min 1: 10 x Straight arm pulldown
Min 2: 6-8 Kipping levers
Min 3: 6-8 Kipping high knees or knees to chest

20 April 2019 - On Friday 26 April, Disco Friday is back!

Disco Friday is back on the diary!

On Friday 26 April, get ready for some serious lifting, some serious choonz, and of course, some serious Cinnamon Social!

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Competition Class

A) Gymnastics Skill Work
EMOM x 7:
1-5 bar muscle-ups

B) Conditioning
15 minute AMRAP of:
"Karabel"
3 Snatch (60/40 kg)
15 Wall balls

- 2 minute transition -

7 minutes to establish a 1 rep max for:
1 Power snatch + 1 Overhead squat + 1 Snatch


Gymnastics Strength & Skill

A) Skill & Flexibility Work

10 minute AMRAP, for quality:
5 Tri-Pod (or 20 second full headstand)
30 seconds bridge hold
10 Sit-up to pancake

B) Strength

4-6 Sets of:
10 False grip ring chin-ups
Max ring support
10 Hanging tuck-ups

4-6 Sets of:
10 Feet elevated ring push-ups
15 Superman rocks
20 Hollow rocks


CrossFit

A) Conditioning

With a partner, complete a 20 minute AMRAP of:
"Karabel"
3 Snatch (60/40 kg)
15 Wall balls (9/6 kg)
* Alternate complete rounds

14 April 2019 - An Insight into CrossFit 1864's "Barbelles Lifting Class" with Coach Alice

Over the past few months, we have been amazed by the progress the ladies of CrossFit 1864 are making. From first pull-ups and toes to bar, to handstand walking and deadlift PBs, these girls are killin’ it!

To find out the secret behind their success, we asked Coach Alice to give us an insight into her programming and coaching of the Barbelles Lifting Class, CrossFit 1864’s women’s only session, held every Sunday at 11 am.

Tell us more, Coach Alice…

As a coach, my goal is to empower the people that I work with.

When I was asked to programme for CrossFit 1864’s Barbelles Lifting Class, I was honoured to say yes! I knew that playing such an active role in helping the women of CrossFit 1864 realise their full potential would be incredibly rewarding and I couldn’t wait to get started.

Looking back a couple of years ago, I couldn’t do a single gymnastics movement. Everything seemed so far away and I didn’t know where to start. I struggled with pull ups, consistently falling back to ring rows (my safety net), and laughed out loud when someone asked me to do toes to bar. Flash forward to today, and it makes perfect sense that my passion would lie in an area where I was once weak. I strongly believe that every woman should be able to perform the basic CrossFit gymnastic movements: pull ups, push ups and handstands, to name a few.

With the Barbelles programming, my aim is to share the knowledge I acquired from my training and from my coach, along with the insight I have gained over the years of my experience as a Personal Trainer.

In every Barbelles Lifting Class, there is a little bit of me.

I strive to help our members, because in every class I coach, I see myself in them. I have structured this class to not only empower participants to want more from their training sessions, but to also help them to be a more well-rounded athlete and assist with any weaknesses they may have.

The Barbelles Lifting Class isn’t just for beginners. It is for every female athlete who would like to work on their personal weaknesses. Every movement can be progressed and regressed and, during the sessions, I adjust rep schemes to cater to each individual’s needs. In addition, I also set homework that members can complete on their own. These sessions will complement your usual Classic CrossFit classes and get you well on your way to being the fittest and strongest version of yourself.

The Current Focus of the Barbelles Programming

At the moment, our Barbelles class is working on building muscle and increasing strength. Our current programming focus is back, chest and shoulders along with hamstrings and glute work. These are then broken down further into compound lifts that work across multiple joints and muscle groups, such as squats, deadlifts, bench press, bent over rows, pull ups, etc. We also supplement these movements with isolation exercises, such as lateral raises, dumbbell rows, hamstring curls, and glute bridges, which work to fix muscular imbalances and prevent injury.

Also in our sessions, we are honing in on the importance of strong ‘lats’, otherwise known as Latissimus Dorsi. The lats are the largest muscle in the upper body and have five connection points. They adduct, rotate, and extend. They stabilise our bodies during heavy compound lifts, are vital in shoulder and back health and play a huge part in nearly everything we do in the gym.

More specifically…

  • Strong lats help to minimise the strain on our shoulders during pull ups and chin ups, stabilise your spine during heavy squats, transfers force during the bench press and keeps you from rounding your back in deadlifts.

  • Lat strength helps with toes to bar! Our lats come into play during the back-swing of our kip. By actively pushing down on the bar, we are able to get behind the bar, shortening the distance in which our toes need to travel to touch the bar.

  • Strong lats also lead to higher Olympic Weightlifting numbers (think Clean and Snatch) as they are active during the entire movement.

It’s not just about lifting!

The women who attend Barbelles Lifting Class also gain a more in depth understanding of their bodies, how different muscle groups work, and how we can utilise these muscle groups to get the most benefit from the exercises we do, both in the Barbelles sessions and also in the regular CrossFit classes.

So, what are you waiting for? I’ll see you on Sunday at 11 am!

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Engine Work

Every 8 minutes, for 40 minutes (5 rounds, each for time):
Row 500 m
15 Burpee box jump-overs (24/20 in)
Run 400m (or 0.8km bike)
* You want to be getting 90 seconds to 2 minutes of rest between rounds.
* The intent is consistent pacing and each set having a similar time
* Modify accordingly to hit the above aims


Specialist Sunday

A) Skill
3 sets of 3 tall push jerk + 3 Push jerk (BTN in split) + 3 split jerks

B) Jerk
Every 2 minutes, for 12 minutes ( 6 sets):
2 Pause push jerk + 1 split jerk
* Start at 70% of 1RM jerk and build
* Pause is in the dip


C) Accessory
3-4 sets:
5 Push press (BTN) @ 70%+ of push press
5/5 Single leg deadlift


Barbelles Lifting Class

A) Deadlift
3 x 5 with 2 second pause below knee @ 55% of 1RM

B) Accessory
B1) Staggered Stance Romanian Deadlift: 3 x 10
B2) Russian Kettlebell Swings: 3 x 10

C) Handstand and Headstand Practice

11 April 2019 - Throwback Thursday: "The Myth Behind the Muscle, or What's the Beef with Bulky?"

It’s time once again for our Throwback Thursday blog. This time, we’re throwing it back just a couple years to 2017, when Coach Maria got angry, then she became rational, then she got all emotional.

Read on to learn “The Myth Behind the Muscle”, and to ask “What’s the Beef with Bulky?”, originally published on 15 April 2017.

This throwback is dedicated to Alice, Hilary, Daisy, Naama and Aoife, who motivate and inspire our athletes every day.

Coach Maria circa 1989 (left), circa 2011 (middle), circa 2017 (right). Coach Maria trains 1.5 - 2 hours a day, 5 days per week. She consumes at least 2600 calories per day (aka A LOT).

We are well in to our strength cycle now and our blogs and social media posts abound with jokes about "Making the Gainz". We’re asking you to lift heavy, we’re decreasing the volume of conditioning workouts, and we’re programming dumbbell bench press.

Ladies, I think it’s a pretty good time to address the elephant in the room…


What if you don’t want to get the gainz?? What if you don’t want to increase the circumference of your biceps? What if you just want to get a bit more toned?


WHAT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET BULKY?

This post is going to start off as a bit of a rant, but bear with me. It gets more motivational towards the end.

The first rant begins…

American gymnast and 2016 Olympic individual all-around, vault and floor gold medalist, Simone Biles (top); British Track and Field Athlete and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jessica Ennis (bottom left); 2015 CrossFit Games Athletes preparing for the Open Water swim event (right)

What is bulky?

Am I bulky? Is Simone Biles bulky? Is Jessica Ennis bulky? What about these CrossFit Games athletes?

What’s the difference between bulky and muscular? Muscular and lean? Lean and toned?

Why is it ok and acceptable for someone or something else to shape your opinion of what too bulky is for you, if you’re enjoying your training?

Followed quickly by the second rant…

Let’s say you consider any of the aforementioned women to be too bulky for your tastes - their body shape is not what you would desire for yourself. Fair enough, again, to each their own and who am I to shape your opinion of what too bulky is!

But take a minute to rationalise…

Do you believe that these athletes picked up a dumbbell one day and their biceps grew exponentially, immediately? Do you think they did three sets of 60 kg back squats and the next day their ass and quads were so large that none of their jeans fit anymore? Do you think that the volume and intensity of strength training the average woman does every day in her CrossFit box or gym is enough to make her body look like this? If you answered yes to any of these questions, that's straight up ignorant and naive. Furthermore, by thinking that, you have completely undermined the effort these women have put in to get to where they are today.

These athletes train at least 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. Not to mention the time (and money!) they spend on recovery. They are meticulous with their nutrition and eat A LOT to support that training. They miss out on social engagements and make more sacrifices than you could imagine to develop their bodies into finely tuned, highly trained machines, all in order to achieve the goals they set out for themselves. And it takes a long time.

::Deep Breath::

Calming down, most women I have spoken to choose not to lift, or are tentative to increase the weight that they’re lifting, because they do not want to get bulky, i.e. gain too much muscle. Again, what “too much muscle” means is entirely subjective to you, but know that it doesn’t happen over night, and you have to put in some serious hours and make some difficult choices and commitments to get as muscular as these athletes.

As explained by Molly Galbraith of Girls Gone Strong:

Because most of the studies done on hypertrophy have been on men, post-menopausal women, or women with health conditions, it’s impossible to state with certainty how much lean mass a woman can expect to gain when she starts strength training. What I can tell you is that not a single expert guessed that it was greater than .5 – 1 lb. a month for the first 6-12 months, and that it slows considerably the longer you’ve been training. And this is in women who are making a conscious effort to gain lean mass, and eating to support these goals.

SO WHY SHOULD YOU LIFT?

Let’s start with the physical benefits…

Increase your lean mass

Often, when people say they want to tone their physique, what they’re actually saying is they want to gain lean mass, and for good reason! Increasing your lean mass (aka your muscle mass) not only helps to give the appearance of a toned physique, it also helps maintain a healthy body composition because muscle is a metabolically expensive tissue, i.e. it burns more calories than fat tissue.

Put yourself ahead of the game (Bone density and Sarcopenia)

Strength training will also put you ahead in the Age Game, helping you maintain your good health as you get older. Lifting weights and lifting heavy not only increases bone density, which will help to prevent the effects of osteoporosis; it also helps reduce the effects of sarcopenia – the loss of muscle mass, strength and mobility – as you age. You’ll be the kick-ass 80 year old Grandma forgoing the zimmer frame to go hiking with your grandkids!

Fat loss (oh wait, wasn’t that your goal to begin with??)

As mentioned above, an increase in lean mass means an accelerated metabolism, which in turn promotes fat loss (assuming you’re eating as you should do).

Now the mental benefits of lifting…

Because you should all know by now that training encompasses so much more than a 20 minute AMRAP to get you sweaty!

Set more rewarding goals

Weight training gives us the opportunity to set positive, performance-based goals instead of negative, aesthetics-based targets (“I want to gain speed by getting an 8 minute 2k row, gain strength by adding 10 kg to my back squat, improve my fitness by being able to complete Murph as Rx” as opposed to “I want to lose 5 kg, drop an inch around my waist, fit into those size 10 shorts”).

Whereas training for an arbitrary aesthetic goal can be demotivating, training for a physical, tangible goal is much more rewarding and more exciting to follow through.

Develop confidence in overcoming a challenge

You know that little internal monologue you have before you approach a heavy bar? “I got this, the last set felt easy, I’m feeling strong today”. That’s called confidence and the bar is your challenge. Think that that confidence leaves you as soon as you walk out of the gym? Think again. The confidence you develop in your training will transfer directly over to any challenges you face outside of the box. You’ll find an increased sense of confidence overcoming obstacles, regardless of if they are measured in kilos or as deadlines at work.

Learn to deal with failure and character building

I can’t sugarcoat everything. There will be days when your lifts won’t go as planned, or a goal you set for yourself might take longer to achieve than anticipated. Strength training is a great exercise in building character, in learning to deal with failure, in picking yourself up, in trying again when you fail, in sticking with it when you can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just like your improved confidence, these skills from your training will transfer over and help in the way you deal with problems in your everyday life.

Become a positive role model

Although I questioned if there was such a thing as too muscular (determined by one’s personal taste and preference), I’m certain there is such a thing as too skinny, which comes down to health and wellness. In a world dominated by unattainable notions of beauty, why not be the woman that shows younger girls not what they should look like, but what they can do?

Let’s refer back to those women I mentioned before when I was ranting about what ‘too bulky’ actually means.

I selected their photos because I know that we all look up to them. We are awe-struck when we see them on television, we well up with patriotic pride when they stand on the podium, and if we saw them in the street, you better believe we’d stop them for their photo. However, I bet you that we don’t do this because of the way these women look in their Instagram selfies or the way they rock a bikini. These women are empowering to other people (both women and men) not for how they look, but for how they perform. Their bodies have a purpose and they are doing everything in their power to fulfil that purpose. That is inspiring.

Regardless of your training background, your goals, what you want your body to look like, or what other people think about you, know that you can be strong, you can be athletic and you can move well. Focus on these positives in your training, instead of focusing on how you should look, and in addition to being strong and healthy, you might also possess that one thing that makes you more attractive than anything else... Happiness :)


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning: Interval Weight Training

4 rounds, rest 2 minutes between rounds:
10 Snatch @ 70-75% (doable in 1 to 2 sets) immediately into:
1 minute: Max calorie assault bike or row

- Rest 5 minutes -

4 rounds, rest 2 minutes between rounds:
1 minute: Max push press @ 60% of 1RM
1 minute: Max burpees

07 April 2019 - Join us for Rock Climbing on Sunday!

rockclimbing1864.jpeg

Don’t forget!

On Sunday 7 April, we’re headed to Bermondsey for our next CF1864 Box Social! Join us from 2 pm for an afternoon of rock climbing at Building One+, Arch Climbing Wall, Bermondsey. Entry is £11 + shoe rental and friends and family are welcome!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Engine Work

A) Conditioning

“Row-meo & Juliet”

In teams of three, complete the following for time:
300 Wall ball
4000m Run
5000m Row

Teams get one rower and one ball, but may partition the work however they would like, and all should be working at all times.


Specialist Sunday

A) Skill
Muscle snatch + Power snatch balance: 3 x 3+3 with empty barbell

B) Power snatch
5 x 3 @ 70%+
* Must be touch an go reps

C) Snatch push press + Overhead squat
4 x 5+1 @ 70%+ of overhead squat


Barbelles Lifting Class

A) Paused Bench Press
4 x 5 with 2 second pause at bottom

B) Accessory
B1) Kettlebell Farmers Carry: 4 x 20m
B2) Kettlebell Overhead Carry: 4 x 20

C) 12 Minute EMOM
Minute 1: 5 Toes to Bar / Variation
Minute 2: 8-10 Push Ups
Minute 3: 3 Pull Ups / Variation
Minute 4: REST

04 April 2019 - Throwback Thursday: "A CrossFit Road Map for the Beginner Athlete"

It’s time for our second Throwback Thursday blog, another chance for you to re-read a blog from many moons ago, or maybe even read it for the very first time!

For this week’s Throwback, we present: “A CrossFit Road Map for the Beginner Athlete”, originally posted on 8 November 2014.

Yes, I know, technically, we should have posted this one first, but the Intermediate Road Map is my favourite blog!

CrossFit 1864 is growing! We have lots of new faces WODing with us these days, many of whom are completely new to the ‘Sport of Fitness’.

So, for all our new CrossFitters out there, Phil and I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of things that you will find and do over the next few months, based on our experiences as both coaches and athletes.

Think of it as a sort of road map for this first leg of your CrossFit journey…

September 2014 with Ben, our very first member! Suffice it to say, we didn’t have Coach David to take photos back then…

As a Beginner CrossFitter, you will…

  1. Try to compare yourself with other athletes. The ultimate rookie error, avoid this at all costs. When you walk in to the box, you walk in to do YOUR workout, with YOUR lifts, YOUR weights, scaled and adapted based on YOUR ability and background. No one else’s. Similarly, the gains and improvements you will make by focusing on your training will be.... take a guess?! YOURS and you will have earned them for yourself.

    Furthermore, don’t be intimidated by the more experienced CrossFitters. Instead, learn from them. Ask them questions and ask them for advice. It might be hard to imagine, but even that one beast CrossFitter who is sprinting across the floor on his hands and deadlifting your 1RM for 20+ reps was once a beginner and had the same questions and concerns as you. They might just have a few words of wisdom to share…

  2. You will be confused by a progression, movement or an instruction the coaches give in class. You will lose count during a WOD, and you will mess up the order of the movements, finding yourself heading out for a run when everyone else is starting their wall balls. This is inevitable – don’t stress! The more classes you attend, the more you will pick up the rhythm of each session, the faster the progressions will become second nature, and the more adept you will become at counting rounds, reps, sets, intervals and seconds of rest. You will even figure out the most efficient way to strip a barbell of its plates so you can clear your kit away in record time! As long as you put the effort in, your coaches will be happy. Just like point 1, ask questions if you're unsure! And if you can’t remember what number you’re on, do an extra rep… it will just make you a better athlete in the long run ;)

  3. You will learn an entirely new vocabulary. You will find yourself saying things like ‘mob’ (pronounced Mobe), tekkers, and Rx. You will become a passionate advocate for the Acronym (EMOM, AMRAP). You might even be able to tell someone that you’re working on your snatch without giggling (although I still struggle). These words will sneak themselves into your daily conversation. Just be prepared for your non-CrossFit friends to either not understand a word that you’re saying, or get a bit frustrated with you constantly banging on about CrossFit…

  4. You will start eating more. Just like an über fast, luxury sports car burns through fuel, your body, which is being put through some intense workouts, will need loads more fuel (aka food) than you had pre-CrossFit! And just like that luxury sports car, you need to give it the good stuff. Don’t know what we mean by this? Speak to a coach!

  5. You will ache. Some days, stairs will be a challenge. Other days, getting out of your t-shirt will seem impossible. This is what we call DOMs.

  6. You will struggle. CrossFit. Is. Not. Easy. I cannot emphasise this enough. There are loads of movements, both skill and strength-based, to learn and these movements are not normally picked up quickly. It took me 18 months to link together 10 double unders. 18 MONTHS. Not only is CrossFit a great strength and conditioning programme, it’s also a great test of character.

  7. You will fail. Sorry to rain on your parade, but eventually failure will happen. I read somewhere that in Olympic lifting (and CrossFit), you will have more bad days than good...

  8. Then you will succeed. ...But when the good days arrive, they’re f*cking awesome.

  9. You will make new friends and meet interesting people that quite possibly would have never crossed your path pre-CrossFit. Many of you have experienced this already, but CrossFit is not just about getting your sweat on and lifting heavy weights. It’s about the community. It’s about the people you interact with that, even though you might not expect it, will have an impact on your life. They will encourage you and push you when you don’t think you can go on in a workout, then they will share a beer with you to celebrate afterwards. Get involved in your community, introduce yourself to people before class and don't let yourself miss out on this important element of CrossFit!

  10. You will start to approach problems in your life differently. This sounds a bit far-fetched, but I cannot emphasise enough how true it is. And the best explanation I have found of this change is from an article by CrossFit Kindred Owner and Life Coach Cindy Lau…

“…Fast forward to a conversation I had last year with my own life coach. I was already well on my way to my dream career: I was launching CrossFit Kindred as well as my life coaching practice. But I was afraid of taking the final plunge and quitting my successful, secure career as a software engineer at Google. “What happens if I fail?” I asked my coach. “Won’t it mean that my dream just wasn’t meant to be? I’d have to go crawling back to software engineering, and I don’t know if I could face that.”

My wise coach asked me: “So…you do CrossFit. What would failing look like in CrossFit?”
I responded: “Dropping the barbell during a lift.”
My coach: “And what happens if you drop the bar?”
Me: “Well, I just pick it up again.”

And therein lay another key lesson for me. Obviously, if I encounter failure during a CrossFit workout, I’m not going to conclude, “Oh, well. I failed. I guess I just wasn’t meant to be a CrossFitter!” I’d regroup, learn what I did wrong, and come back stronger on the next attempt, or on the next day. Similarly, I realized that, if I really wanted to make my dream career a success, I couldn’t let myself give up at the first sign of failure, or let that failure determine my beliefs about myself and my capabilities. I decided to go all in, and commit myself fully to my dream.”

I hope this list is helpful for all of our new CrossFitters. Now go enjoy the journey!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Conditioning
2 x 12 minutes on : 2 minutes off, alternate between i) and ii):
* Nasal breathing only, gears 1 to 2

i) AMRAP
500m Row
50ft Single arm overhead walking lunge, left arm (22.5/15 kg)
50ft Single arm overhead walking lunge, right arm (22.5/15 kg)

ii) AMRAP
400m Run
15 Toes to bar (or 20 Abmat sit-ups)

B) Positional awareness
3-5 rounds for quality:
30 second left side plank
30 second right side plank
100m kettlebell front rack carry, heavy
* Nasal breathing only
* Aim for full breaths

28 Mar 2019 - Throwback Thursday: "A CrossFit Road Map for the Intermediate Athlete"

Wouldn't dream of WODing shirtless when you first started, now couldn't imagine a torture greater than doing a 20 min AMRAP choking under the oppression of a cotton tee? Check out #9...

As promised, for the coming weeks, every Thursday blog will be dedicated to the CrossFit 1864 archives, re-visiting blogs we wrote in our earlier years.

For our first throwback, we present “A CrossFit Road Map for the Intermediate Athlete", originally posted on 27 November 2014…

Congratulations! You’ve just passed your 6 month milestone at CrossFit 1864! But if you think that as soon as you hit the 6 month to 1 year+ mark, things all click, you can do anything with a barbell you want and every day you set foot in the box, you have a positive mindset, realistic goals and, post-WOD, you know exactly what to do to help your body recover fully… Oh boy, have you misunderstood.

This blog is dedicated to our more seasoned CrossFitters, those who are beyond the CrossFit honeymoon phase, know their way around the box, and have the progressions and warm ups down pat. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about you guys!

Here is the road map to the second leg of your journey. The part where you’ve finally turned off of the rolling, curvy country roads, left behind the stops and starts of the city traffic and are now cruising down the motorway, easy, breezy, but wondering when you’ll hit the next speed camera, traffic jam or road construction (are you also wondering how much longer I can carry this road trip analogy? Answer: AS LONG AS I WANT.)

What happens when you have guzzled the proverbial CrossFit KoolAid and now the pitcher sits in front of you, completely empty…

A CROSSFIT ROAD MAP FOR THE INTERMEDIATE ATHLETE

1) You will become a Mobility and Mashing expert (at least in your eyes). You will own more foam rollers and resistance bands than your physiotherapist and have more lacrosse balls rolling around your living room than the English Lacrosse Team has in all of their clubs.

2) Whenever you plan a holiday, you will automatically check for the closest box. Sometimes booking your drop-in session will come before booking your hotel room…

3) You will have partitioned out a space on your kitchen counter where your protein mix, greens powder, fish oil, pre-WOD and other various supplements sit alongside no less than three shakers. You’ve read the blogs, you’ve tried the free samples, you’re convinced that the money is well-spent. Just don’t lose sight of your nutrition basics, because supplements are just that… Supplementary, not replacements!

4) Similarly, you will have cleared a space in your bathroom cabinet next to your cotton buds and toothpaste, where Sudocrem, Climb-on, arnica cream, a callous shaver, icy hot and Epsom salt now take pride of place. In the experienced CrossFitter’s world, there is nothing more satisfying than an Epsom salt bath and sorting out your hands after a wall ball and toes-to-bar-laden WOD.

5) Your PBs will lessen in both degree and frequency. Gone are the days when you would hit a 10 kg PB on your back squat a week after you just hit a 5 kg PB. These days, PBs will start to be won and lost with change plates and over months instead of weeks. What does this mean? The ‘Novice Effect’ has worn off. That doesn’t mean that your progress has stalled! Speak to your coach about how you can vary your lifts with different methods. Most importantly, remember, a PB is a PB, whether it’s 10 kg or 1.0 kg. Often you’ll find that when the PB takes a bit longer to achieve, it will feel that much more amazing.

6) You will share a cue that once worked for you with another athlete during a session. This cue might just help them get a PB, they will be ecstatic and you will be elated that by sharing your experience, you helped someone hit their goal. This feeling is what we get to experience every day as coaches. Isn’t it flipping amazing?!

7) You’ll forget where you started. Struggling to hit that sub-4 minute Fran? Keep failing your bodyweight snatch? Frustrated?! Well, let’s take a trip down memory lane to when a sub-8 minute Fran was a mere glimmer in your eye and you were lucky to get a 40 kg thruster over your head 5 times, let alone 45. Or when your attempts at snatch looked more like getting assaulted by a barbell than putting it overhead in one smooth lift. I’ve never been a massive fan of trending (#YOLO, #fitfam #WhatMakesMeHappy, #etc etc, I’m too old for that shit…), but I do like #ThrowBackThursday because, when things get frustrating and progress seems to be stagnating, I can remind myself how far I’ve come. And this isn’t just about your numbers! It’s about your knowledge, your community and your overall health. Remind yourself often where you began and how far you’ve come.

8) You will get frustrated when a new joiner can’t seem to understand the order of the WOD. Re-visit #7. You were there once, so be patient and help where you can, just like an experienced CrossFitter helped you.

9) You will find yourself more willing to WOD shirtless than you ever would've dreamed of 6 months ago.

10) You will find yourself in a clique. The ultimate mistake of the intermediate CrossFitter, avoid this like the plague. I know that finding your perfect training buddy is like finding a four leaf clover and trying to train with someone you barely know sounds like an absolute nightmare. I also know that many people can only train in the morning or the evening, so you will inevitably end up working with the same group of people on most days; but when possible, try attending a different class. Try mixing up the group of people you lift with. Don’t wait for a face you don’t recognise to introduce themselves to you; instead, embrace the American origins of CrossFit, run up and high five them first! You never know when the clique you spend every day with will move to other cities or need to change their class time because of work, or when you end up working with someone new and actually find that they encourage you just as well, if not better, than your other training buddies. Be open to new experiences and new people. Because you Just. Never. Know.

So, what do you do when that first pitcher of CrossFit KoolAid is gone??

Well, you make a new batch and chug that down too, savouring every gulp and reminding yourself how good that first pitcher was, how great you’ve got it and why you drank the whole thing to begin with.


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) CondItioning

For time:
800m Run

-- then --

8 rounds of:
10 Handstand Push-ups
10 Toes-to-bar

-- then --

800m Run

* Time cap: 35 minutes

23 Mar 2019 - The Final WOD of the 2019 CrossFit Open...

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

CrossFit Games Open 19.5 - Rx'd

For time:
33-27-21-15-9
Thrusters (95/65 lbs)
Chest-to-bar Pull-ups

* Time cap: 20 minutes

CrossFit Games Open 19.5 - Scaled

For time:
33-27-21-15-9
Thrusters (65/45 lbs)
Jumping Pull-ups

* Time cap: 20 minutes

Did you know that your coaches are such Smoooooth(ie) Operators??

For the final Post-WOD Feels of 2019, let us make you a celebratory smoothie once you finish Open 19.5!

Definitely don’t have one before…

Also, after all of our heats have finished, we’ll be announcing which team won the Best Post-WOD Feels, the top athletes and Spirit of Open 19.5 winners, and also our overall winner for the 2019 CrossFit Games!

21 Mar 2019 - The Leaderboard after 19.4...

Congrats to our top athletes, Tom McDine, Victoria Mee, Felipe Palmeira, and Sarah Maddock, our Spirit of Open 19.4 winner, Eline Folkestadas, and the Top Team for 19.4, Team Los Locos! With one week to go, will anyone take the top overall spot from Team Drama Cleans??

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Gymnastics Tests

Handstand push-ups (or Push-ups): Max unbroken set
Toes to bar (or Hanging knee raise): Max unbroken set

B) Metabolic Assessment

Choose rower or assault bike

* Every minute, increases your pace by 2RPM (bike) or 2 seconds (rower).
* For the first minute begin at an easy/moderate pace
- Bike: 44/40 RPM
- Rower: 1500m PB pace +6-10 seconds

* Continue to increase your work rate every minute until you can no longer hold the assigned rate of work for the entire minute
* Keep track of the following metrics
- When you shift to G2 breathing
- When you shift to G3 breathing
- When you shift to G4 breathing
- When you shift to G5 breathing
- When you finish