christmas cracker

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

Best Pain Face Award: Panagis Melas & Giuliana Bonnet


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!

08 Dec 2018 - "Hope" for the Holidays

The final Christmas Cracker is finally here! Congrats to everyone who has taken part in our Challenge and to everyone who has completed all of the Crackers so far!

As mentioned, we will be running "Hope" in heats, just like we have done with previous Throwdowns, Open workouts, Whizz's last WOD, etc. 

You can sign up for your heat here:

Hope for the Holidays Heat Sheet

The heats will be running every 20 minutes, starting at 8 am (I know some of you needed to come in early to get the workout in!) and finishing at 11.40 am. Please make sure you arrive early to warm up and you are able to stick around to judge the heat after yours (and cheer on the other athletes taking on this gassy workout!).

Remember to sign up for our Festive Shindig at Filthy Fanny's in the Crown & Shuttle Pub! 
After "Hope" is done and dusted, we'll be headed to Shoreditch to party the night away, celebrate another awesome year of gainz, present our Golden Kettlebell Awards and the prizes to our athletes that completed all 12 Crackers. 

And most importantly, don't forget to bring in your toy for our toy drive! All you need to do is bring your toy in to the box and we'll take care of the rest!

Can't wait to see you all tomorrow!


3 rounds, 1 minute per movement for max reps:
Power snatch (35/25 kg)
Box jump (24/20 in)
Thruster (35/25 kg)
Chest-to-bar pull-up
- 1 minute rest -

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!


“CrossFit Open 14.5 / 16.5”
Thruster (42.5/30 kg)
Bar facing burpee

11 Dec 2017 – Congrats to our 2017 Golden Kettlebell Winners


Thanks to everyone who came to our Christmas Party and congrats to this year's Golden Kettlebell Award winners...

Best Pain Face

Panagis Melas

Panagis Melas

Andreea Caua

Andreea Caua

Best Banter

Gareth Maddock

Gareth Maddock

Shamima Blake

Shamima Blake

Most Improved Athlete

Victoria Mee

Victoria Mee

David Caetano

David Caetano

Most Supportive Athlete

Sarah Maddock

Sarah Maddock

Daisy Peck

Daisy Peck

David Caetano

David Caetano

The Rising Star Award

Aoife Woulfe

Aoife Woulfe

Congrats also to everyone who completed all 12 of our Christmas Crackers: Andreea Caua, Aoife Woulfe, Catherine Geary, Daisy Peck, Ellie Parkins, Giuliana Bonnet, Louie Gay, Mark McDonald, Mateus Rodrigues, Matt Craig, Mazen Eldesouky, Olivia Hambly, Sarah Maddock, Talisa Legon, and Victoria Mee.

After two solid rest days, who's ready to get back to work??


A) Conditioning: Strength / Endurance

"Kettlebell Hell"
4 rounds for increasing load:
10 Double kettlebell (KB) clean
10m Double KB front rack carry
10 Double KB shoulder to overhead
10m Double KB front rack carry
10 Double KB front rack lunges
10m Double KB front rack carry
10 Double KB squats

* Rest 3 minutes between rounds
* Complete each round unbroken and add load each round
* Each time you put the kettlebells down perform 10 burpees
* If you cannot complete the round unbroken, return to previous weight

10 Dec 2015 – Holiday Schedule Reminder & The 11th Christmas Cracker: Bulger


During the holiday season, we will have a reduced class schedule:

Thursday 24 – Monday 28 December: No classes
Tuesday 29 December: No morning classes (evening classes as normal)
Wednesday 30 December: No 6.15am Class (all other classes as normal)
Thursday 31 December – Friday 1 January: No classes, Happy New Year!
From 2 January: Normal Schedule resumes

Also, please remember that there will be NO classes on Friday 11 December (rest up for the Big Ol' Christmas Cracker!) and NO lunch class on Friday 18 December (6.15 and 7.15 am classes will run as normal). 


The 11th Christmas Cracker: Bulger

10 rounds of:
Run 150 meters
7 Chest to bar pull-ups
7 Front squats (60/40 kg)
7 Handstand push-ups

*Time cap: 30 minutes