fitness focus

15 May 2015 – WOD

Just to be clear, I was not wearing my wrist straps to back squat... there was a strict press immediately after this, I swear!


A) EMOM x 10
Even: 3 Back squat
Odd: Vertical pull

B) Beginner
Back squat: 3 x 10 @ 20-30kg, Tempo 2020
60 seconds rest between rounds

B) Intermediate & Advanced
Back squat: 3-5 x 10 @ 45% 1RM, Tempo 2020

C) 10 minutes to get as far as possible up the following ladder:

"Skill Focus"
2, 4, 6... Front rack lunge (60/40 kg)
10 Shoulder taps

"Fitness Focus"
2, 4, 6... Goblet lunge (16/12 kg)
20 second Handstand hold

Not sure what Skill Focus and Fitness Focus are? Check out this blog.

27 Apr 2015 – WOD

A great yoga session on Sunday with Alex!


A) 8 rounds of:
Deadlift for 10 seconds
Rest 50 seconds
*Go as heavy as form allows

– Rest 2 minutes –

B) 8 rounds of:
Vertical push (down), 30 seconds
Rest 30 seconds

B) For Time:

Skills Focus
30-20-10 reps
Toes to bar
Box jump (24/20 in)
Kettlebell snatch (24/16 kg)

Fitness Focus
30-20-10 reps
Hollow tucks
Box jump (24/20 in)
Kettlebell swing

What's the difference between Skills Focus and Fitness Focus? Read more here. 

16 Apr 2015 – Looking back on the Open...

Kunal smashes through 15.5!

The 2015 CrossFit Open: Five weeks. Five workouts. Five golden opportunities to show yourself what you're capable of, how hard you can push yourself, and how much you've improved since you first started CrossFit.

While the rest of the CrossFit world prepares themselves for Regionals, the next stage of the CrossFit Games, we wanted to look back on CrossFit 1864's first Open experience through the eyes of two of our members, Whizz (aka Graeme) and Kunal. Read on as they recount their experience for each workout and what they learned...

Steve (aka Mitts, aka Mr Awesome) puts some serious weight overhead on 15.1a

CrossFit Open 15.1
A triplet of toes to bar, deadlifts and snatches or GTOH, followed immediately by your heaviest clean and jerk.

Whizz says: "I started CrossFit just before the 2014 CrossFit Open, so I was able to see first hand how hard people were willing to push themselves - Truly motivational! Give me a little more time and maybe I’ll be able to do that, I thought to myself... A year on and it is I who has become that person, pushing their limits and doing what I never thought I could. For Open 15.1, I learned safety first. When attempting heavy lifts, make sure your shirt is either on or off, not stuck over your face mid-rep!"

Kunal says: "For me this was the feel-good workout. I hit a decent number of reps and got a PB on my clean & jerk after a month's break from the gym (Getting married!). This workout made me believe that I was ready to nail the open. How naïve we are sometimes!!!!"

CrossFit Open 15.2
A ladder of overhead squats and chest to bar or chin over the bar pull-ups.

Whizz says: "Pain multiplier = ×5 if you ripped your hands during 15.1 - look after those mitts my friends!"

Kunal says: "This was the humbling one and made me realise the importance of doing the movements perfectly and practising my weaknesses. I came to the box thinking I will do ring rows, unable to do even a single pull up. Unfortunately, rings rows weren't an option, but this has pushed me towards my next goal... to get my first pull-up done!"

Alex works his way through the muscle ups of 15.3.

CrossFit Open 15.3
Muscle ups, wall balls and double unders or wall balls and single skips

Kunal says: "This was the best workout for me and I actually really enjoyed it. It gave me a good gauge of how much my fitness has improved over the past couple of months."

Whizz says: "There were a lot of complaints in the CrossFit world due to the skill level required in the Rx version of this one, but seeing as so many people took on the challenge and succeeded in getting their first muscle ups (including Whizz!) or string of double unders I think they should really be thankful! You never know what you can do until you try." 

Yang making light work of the push press in 15.4.

CrossFit Open 15.4
Handstand push ups or push press and cleans, again with increasing reps.

Whizz says: "This was an interesting one, where your arms just decided to stop working!"

Kunal says: "This taught me the pain of the "No-Rep". 25 no reps on a push press. I will never forget the guilt-stricken look on Emma's face every time she had to no rep me. Although frustrating, I learned the importance of making every rep count, staying calm and never giving up."

Chambers maintains her trademark mid-WOD zen face during the first heat of 15.5.

CrossFit Open 15.5
27-21-15-9 Row for calories and thrusters

Kunal says: "It killed me! Took me a while to walk back to the DLR station..."

And Whizz agrees: "No one should've planned to walk anywhere straight after hurt!"

Sanju relaxes post-15.5. He couldn't move from that spot for aaaaaages!

What do you think overall?

Whizz says: "It's a sweaty, painful, 5 week long challenge that sounds a bit stupid to those outside the box. But it's what we do week in, week out, so you get through it, and help those around you get through it as well. I'd bet everyone has come out the other side having learned, improved, or enjoyed it more than they first thought they might. It's a great opportunity to lay down some benchmarks to retest at a later date whilst seeing how you stack up against those around you (and around the world). And it's pretty good fun!"

Kunal says: "It's been one of the most rewarding and fun experiences of my CrossFit journey to date. Each workout was something special and there is something in every workout which I would proudly take away. But will I do it ever again??..... Of course. (PS: When is the next one Maria??)"

A rare occasion when Whizz was caught during a WOD with his shirt ON. (NB fifteen seconds later, the shirt came off.)

What were your experiences of the Open? Let us know in comments! 


A) Gymnastics Skill Development: Muscle ups

B) "Nasty Girls"

Skills Focus
3 rounds for time of:
50 Air Squats
7 Muscle Ups
10 Hang Power Cleans (60/40 kg)

Fitness Focus
3 rounds for time of:
50 Air Squats
14 Push ups
10 Hang Power Cleans (pick load)

A legendary CrossFit benchmark, check out this video of the Original Nasty Girls... Old School.

Nicole Carroll, Eva T, and Annie Sakamoto. "Nasty Girls" 3 rounds for time of: 50 Squats 7 Muscle-ups 10 Hang power cleans (135/95lbs)

30 Mar 2015 – CrossFit Games Open 15.5

This is the face Coach Maria makes when she's dying on the rower... Look out for this same expression tomorrow!

15.1 was midline and grip strength, 15.1a saw how heavy you could go, 15.2 was all about those pull ups, 15.3 tested your engine with wall balls and double unders, 15.4 flipped you upside down, and now, at long last, it's time to take on 15.5. And what is 15.5 all about?? That Grit. Not just your physical capacity, but your mental strength – your ability to push yourself harder. How long can you hang on to that bar? And when you absolutely have to put it down, how quickly can you pick it right back up? 

We know you've got it, now let's go smash it CF1864!

"CrossFit Games Open 15.5"

Skills Focus (Rx)

27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
Row (calories)
Thrusters (43/29 kg)

Fitness Focus (Scaled)

27-21-15-9 reps for time of:
Row (calories)
Thrusters (30/20 kg)

16 Mar 2015 – CrossFit Games Open 15.3


"CrossFit Games Open 15.3"

Skills Focus (Rx)
Complete as many rounds as possible in 14 mins of:
7 Muscle ups
50 Wall balls (9/6 kg)
100 Double unders

* Tie break: Record the time you finish each round. This will act as your tie-break on the leaderboard.

Fitness Focus (Scaled)
Complete as many rounds as possible in 14 mins of:
50 Wall balls (9/6 kg)
200 Jump rope (Singles)

* There is no tie break for the scaled division.

09 Mar 2015 – Open 15.2


Skills Focus (Rx'd Division)

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible, complete:

From 0:00-3:00
2 rounds of: 
10 overhead squats (43/29 kg)
10 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:
12 overhead squats (43/29 kg)
12 chest-to-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
14 overhead squats (43/29 kg)
14 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Etc., following this same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds within the 3 minutes

Fitness Focus (Scaled Division)

Every 3 minutes for as long as possible, complete:

From 0:00-3:00
2 rounds of:
6 overhead squats (30/20 kg)
6 chin-over-bar pull-ups

From 3:00-6:00
2 rounds of:
8 overhead squats (30/20 kg)
8 chin-over-bar pull-ups

From 6:00-9:00
2 rounds of:
10 overhead squats (30/20 kg)
10 chin-over-bar pull-ups

Etc., following this same pattern until you fail to complete both rounds within the 3 minutes


As per usual, we will start the class with a movement-specific warm up and skills session. The workout will be run in two heats and every athlete signed up for the Open will have a judge. The athletes in Heat 1 will judge the athletes in Heat 2 and the athletes in Heat 2 will judge the athletes in Heat 1.

All of our members are welcome to join Monday's class, regardless of if you are signed up for the Open or not, but athletes registered for the Open will have priority over kit and proximity to the rig. 

We will have a computer available for you to log your scores online for the workout (on the CrossFit games website). This will need to be done no later than 9.30 pm!

We encourage everyone to either come early or stay late to cheer on your fellow members working in the class before or after yours.

Let's smash it CF1864!

02 Mar 2015 – CrossFit Games Open 15.1


Skills Focus (Rx'd Division)

Complete as many rounds as possible in 9 mins of:

15 Toes-to-bars
10 Deadlifts (52/35 kg)
5 Snatches (52/35 kg)

Once the 9 minutes have finished, go immediately into:

In 6 minutes, establish a 1 RM Clean & Jerk

Fitness Focus (Scaled Division)

Complete as many rounds as possible in 9 mins of: 
15 Hanging Knee Raises
10 Deadlifts (40/25 kg)
5 Snatches* (40/25 kg)
* Snatches can be any form of ground-to-overhead

Once the 9 minutes have finished, go immediately into:

In 6 minutes, establish a 1 RM Clean & Jerk


As per usual, we will start the class with a movement-specific warm up and skills session. The workout will be run in two heats and every athlete signed up for the Open will have a judge. The athletes in Heat 1 will judge the athletes in Heat 2 and the athletes in Heat 2 will judge the athletes in Heat 1.

All of our members are welcome to join Monday's class, regardless of if you are signed up for the Open or not, but athletes registered for the Open will have priority over kit and proximity to the rig. 

We will have a computer available for you to log your scores online for the workout (on the CrossFit games website). This will need to be done no later than 9.30 pm!

We encourage everyone to either come early or stay late to cheer on your fellow members working in the class before or after yours!

10 Feb 2015 – Make it Count: Range of Motion and Movement Standards

This dreamboat might not 'No Rep' you, but I will...

Have you ever heard Phil or I tell you to go lower in your squat during a WOD? Or how about, “Open your hips” when you’re doing a burpee? “Hit the target” when you’re doing wall balls? Or “Stand tall” to finish a box jump? Why are we shouting this at you mid-WOD when it's the last thing you want to hear!? Because CrossFit is all about Full Range of Motion and Movement Standards.

What is Full Range of Motion?

Humans are complex, intricate and incredible pieces of work, with joints designed to flex and extend or rotate. Imagine if your knees were only made to bend to 90 degrees…. Want to sit down on the floor to play with your kids? Good luck with that! What if your elbows were limited in range as well, bending to 90 degrees max…. Fancy a bite to eat? Have fun getting that fork to your mouth!

Our bodies are made to function through a wide range of motion, so in CrossFit, we want you to work through that entire range. Just like if you were to only open a door halfway (or never at all!), over time, the hinges on that door would get rusty, if you don’t exercise your joints through their full range of motion, your body will “get rusty” and will be limited in its capabilities. Working in this limited range of motion makes us more likely to get injured, blunts our performance and results and also means we’re not getting the most out of the tools we have at our disposal!

Movement Standards

To ensure that our athletes achieve full range of motion, CrossFit has standards for each and every movement we do. For example, when you squat, your hip crease must be below the crease of your knees at the bottom. To finish the squat, your hips and knees must be fully extended. When you do a push up, your chest and thighs must touch the ground at the bottom and your elbows must be fully locked at the top. For your reps to count in your workout, your responsibility as an athlete is to ensure that you hit the standards for the movement you are performing. Likewise, it is your responsibility to add another rep to your set if you know you didn’t make the movement standards (or if you hear Phil and I tell you “No rep!”). 

What do you do if, no matter how hard you try, you can’t hit the standards required for a movement? You scale it! If you don’t yet have the strength, flexibility, or skill to hit a movement standard, you will get much more benefit from adjusting the movement to make sure that you can get through the full range of motion, than you would do from only doing half of the movement. Ask your coach for advice if you're not sure how to scale.

In summary... do all your reps, and do them to the movement standards that we show you before the WOD starts. Simples! 

So in today’s WOD (and every WOD you tackle from this point on), let’s make it count!


A) Gymnastic skill: Handstands & Handstand Push Ups (HSPU)

B) 15 minute AMRAP:

"Skills Focus"
8 Kettlebell swings (32/24 kg)
12 Wall balls (9/6 kg)

"Fitness Focus"
2 Wall climbs
8 Kettlebell swings
12 Wall balls

C) Optional
Run 200m Time Trial
Run 400m Time Trial
- These are on BtWB under the "Speed" category

23 Jan 2015 – WOD

The day Mitts ACTUALLY made it to an early morning class and earned himself the name, Mr. Awesome. :)


A) Barbell skill development: Power Snatch

B) 3 x 4 minutes on : 2 minutes off

"Skills Focus"
2, 4, 6... Power snatch (40/30 kg)
2, 4, 6... Toes to Bar

"Fitness Focus"
2, 4, 6... Power snatch (or scaled variation)
2, 4, 6... Sit-ups with med-ball (6/3 kg)

- In 4 minutes, get as far up the ladder as possible
- Re-start from the beginning of the ladder each interval
- The goal is to maintain a consistent score!

20 Jan 2015 – A She Cooks, She Cleans Special: What your coaches are eating this week...

It's the first week of the Whole Life Challenge! So instead of giving you just one recipe for this instalment of She Cooks, She Cleans, I'm providing you with a whopping SIX tasty meals that I found online as part of an ongoing series: What your coaches are eating this week... for Dinner

You all know the old adage, "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail", so every Sunday, Phil and I sit down and plan our meals for the week. Planning your meals is a crucial step towards healthy and balanced nutrition because you're more likely to eat something healthy if you already have your ingredients at the ready. Planning ahead also gives you the chance to search out and try new recipes. New recipes means you're less likely to get bored. Not being bored means you're more likely to stick to your nutrition plan... Sticking to your nutrition plan means.... Winning!

Before going on, you'll see a few trends with this:

  1. Phil and I eat, ALOT. We also eat a lot of sweet potatoes, so you'll see these often with our meals.
  2. We are doing the Whole Life Challenge at the Performance level, so some of the meals might be a bit more strict than you need for your level.
  3. We live on leftovers. To ensure we eat enough during the day, and enough of the right stuff, we typically just double the meat that we buy for each of these meals so we have enough left over from dinner to have for lunch as well. 

Hope this is helpful in your planning, let me know which meals you tried or what you had for dinner this week! * Click on each meal for a link to the recipe


PaleOMG's Sausage and Butternut Squash Hash
Sautéed spinach

Monday's can be tough and what better way to make them more manageable than Brinner? That's breakfast for dinner, obvs. This is one of our favourite meals.... It's easy to make, easy to double and versatile (don't want sausage, try it with ham. Don't want squash? Easily add in sweet potatoes instead. Out of sage? Season with rosemary and thyme). When choosing your sausage, be sure to check that it is free of any nasties, such as breadcrumbs and rusk. Most store-bought sausages, burgers, meatballs have rusk in them, which is not WLC-friendly!

Kitchen hacks

We often only need to use half an onion for our recipes, so, when I have extra time, I chop an entire onion, use whatever I need for the recipe, wrap the rest tightly in cling film and pop it in the freezer. Whenever I need onion again later in the week, I have it chopped and ready, so all I need to do is pull it from the freezer and throw it in my pan!


Zenbelly's Chicken and Gammon with apples
Sweet potato mash
Steamed broccoli

This is just the right mixture of sweet and savoury, and it's a 'pop in the oven and leave it' recipe, double bonus. Also, it calls for chicken thighs which means it's budget! To make this WLC-friendly, I substitute chicken stock and a splash of balsamic vinegar for the wine, and gammon for the bacon.

Nitrates and nitrites

As you can see, this recipe originally calls for bacon, but I am using gammon instead. On the Performance level, you are not allowed nitrates and nitrites, found in most cured and deli meats, such as packaged ham, chorizo, and bacon. You can find nitrate-free bacon at stores such as Whole Foods, but it's not quite as tasty and nitrate-free gammon is relatively easy to find and more wallet-friendly.


Williams Sonoma's Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette Salmon
Steamed asparagus
Avocado and tomato salad

Williams Sonoma's online recipe catalogue was one of my favourite things to browse pre-CrossFit days. But just because I gave up the stodgy pasta, bread and cheese, doesn't mean I had to give up on Williams Sonoma! I have found quite a few recipes that are already clean and some that just need a few tweaks here and there. This is one, which, if you make extra veg, doubles as a great salad for lunch. 

Where do you get your fish?


Primal Palates Steak with Chimichurri
PaleOMG's Sweet Potato Fries (I'd leave out the dill with the chimichurri)
Steamed green beans

Mmmmm steak. We happen to have been lucky enough to receive a meat hamper for a Christmas present (thanks Rick and Deenah!) and find some additional steak on sale, so we get to treat ourselves with a Friday night steak dinner (we're so rock 'n roll).

Kitchen Hack

Check out this video for tips on how to make steak that doesn't have a bull's eye (yeah the guy is a bit annoying, but the info is good!)


Nom Nom Paleo's Weeknight Roast Chicken with roast broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
Roast sweet potatoes

Ahh the weekend! With that little extra time, I can make some proper comfort food roast dinners. As always, I make this with the aim of making enough to have loads of leftovers (which is a challenge, given that I live with a man that has a black hole for a stomach). 


PaleOMG's Blackberry Glazed Pork Chops
Sweet potato mash
Mixed greens salad

I don't know why fruit and pork chops go so well together, but I can't seem to find a pork recipe I love that doesn't involve fruit of some sort. 

Coming up next time..... What your coaches are eating this week... for Breakfast.



A) Beginner

A1) Front squat: 5 x 5 *Add load as technique allows
A2) Vertical Pull

A) Intermediate & Advanced
A1) Front squat with 2 second pause: 2-4 reps @ 80-90% totalling 16-20 reps
A2) Vertical Pull

B) All Athletes
Fancy trying one of the Athlete Games Workouts that Maria smashed this past weekend?

4 rounds for time of:

10 Front squats (70/47.5 kg)
15 Toes-to-bar
Run 200m

10 Weighted squats, as technique allows (Front/Back/Goblet)
15 Sit-ups
Run 200m

*Time cap: 12 minutes

WLC Lounge WOD:
10 Air squats
15 Sit-ups
20 Burpees

13 Jan 15 - The Whole Life Challenge Starts this Weekend!

First of all, congrats to all our members and friends who have signed up for The Whole Life Challenge! We know this is a big commitment, but we can promise you that it is well worth it. Not only will you see significant improvements in your fitness and health over the next 8 weeks, you will also learn loads about yourself, nutrition and also get to know your fellow athletes better! Winning all 'round!

Now that you've signed up, what's next?

The Baseline

First thing's first, we need to set up a baseline, something that you will be able to look back on in 8 weeks and chart your progress...

On Thursday 15 January, all of our class WODs will serve as our Whole Life Challenge baseline WOD, which we will re-do at the end of the Challenge (these classes are still open to all members, regardless of if you have signed up for the Challenge or not). This workout is part of your “Body and Fitness Inventory,” and it is an important event because it establishes your starting point. On Thursday, we will also be taking a few numbers: weight and waist and hips measurements. We also encourage you to take a picture of yourself as a 'Before' shot and in 8 weeks, you can take an 'After', which you can upload to your Whole Life Challenge profile. 

If for any reason, you can't make it to any of the classes on Thursday, please let me know and we will plan another session to establish your baseline.

Do your homework

Be sure to review these as it's crucial that you follow them during the Challenge!

Choose your Level

As we mentioned in our recent blog (which you can read here), the Challenge offers 3 different levels: Kickstart, Lifestyle and Performance. When you begin the Challenge, you'll need to pick which level you are playing at and stick it throughout the 8 weeks. We strongly encourage everyone to go for the 'Lifestyle' level as you will see the greatest improvements with this level and also will be more likely to stick with it after the Challenge has finished. 

If you are unsure which level to choose, please let us know and we'll be happy to help!

Get excited about all the extra things we'll have for you during the Challenge!

Living Room WODs
During the Challenge, you will need to exercise for at least 10 minutes a day. We know that you won't be able to come to the box every day of the week so, similar to our holiday WODs, we will be posting a 10 minute Living Room WOD every day, that you will be able to do at home. 

Mobility Homework
In addition to the mobility homework we send out every week, we will also be posting additional mobility exercise ideas to Facebook and emailing them to you guys so you have plenty of options for your 10 minutes of daily mobility!

Whole Life Challenge-Friendly Recipes
Just because you're eating clean, doesn't mean your meals are going to consist solely of grilled chicken and broccoli! Quite the contrary, there are loads of blogs, cookbooks and recipes out there to experiment with and we will be posting recipes and ideas to help you prepare your meals regularly. 

Special Events!
Throughout the Challenge we will be hosting special events, starting with our Regularly Learn and Play New Sports Day on 25 January. We will also be hosting a friendly throwdown with our good friends at CrossFit Hackney, a special, Whole Life Challenge brunch at Ozone Coffee on Leonard Street (near Old Street) and loads more!

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch and if you have any friends or family that would like to join (even if they're not CF1864 members!) send them this link to get involved:

We're so excited to get this rolling, and hope you guys are too! 

The 2015 CrossFit Open is getting closer! Keep your eyes on our blog for more details on what the Open is and how you can get involved


Skills Focus
CrossFit Open 11.5
20 minute AMRAP:
5 Power cleans (65/45 kg)
10 Toes to bar
15 Wall balls (9/6 kg)

Fitness Focus
20 min AMRAP:
5 Hang muscle clean
10 Hollow rocks
15 Wall balls

Cool things for 2015!

Can you believe that January is just one month away?! 2014 has brought us loads of great things: new barbells, bumper plates, kettlebells and a wall timer, BroSesh Sundays, an awesome community, a new appreciation for dressing in layers for the early morning classes, and... oh yeah, the opening of CrossFit 1864! 2015 promises to be just as amazing, if not more so, and we are happy to announce a few exciting developments and events coming up in the New Year...

Be warned, this is a LOOOOONG blog post, but please read it to the very end!

Programming Update for 2015

In the New Year we will be improving our programming to better accomodate the needs of our growing community. Beginning in January, we will have two similar strands of programming:  "Fitness Focus" and "Skill Focus".

Fitness Focus programming is designed for all members with less than 6 months experience training at CrossFit 1864, as well as intermediate athletes who find the Fitness Focus workouts to be better in line with their needs and goals. 

Skill Focus workouts are designed for those who have developed a solid foundation of the functional movements over time and are now interested in pushing the boundaries of their performance and capacity within CrossFit.

Let's put this into some context... 

“Beth" is completely new to CrossFit and, aside from a few 10k runs and spinning classes, is pretty new to training in general. We would most likely recommend Beth start her training with our Fitness Focus programming. Similarly, veteran member "Jacob”, who is just coming back from a short term injury he received in a pick-up football game and who is also more interested in keeping up with his kids than training like CrossFit Games Champion Rich Froning, chooses to do the Fitness Focus programming as it relates better to his goals.

On the other hand, Beth's good friends, "Jack" and "Jill" (creative, eh?!) have been CrossFitting for just over a year. They both usually follow the Skills Focus programming as it provides more exposure to specific advanced movements during workouts (handstand push-ups, full snatches etc), and is appropriate for athletes like them who are close to Rx-ing or can Rx most workouts. However, sometimes Jack feels a little tired, so on these days, he will do the Fitness Focus workout. Likewise, Jill hasn't quite mastered her bar muscle ups yet, so if she sees a WOD with high rep bar muscle ups in the Skills Focus track, she will stick to Fitness Focus. Jack, Jill and Beth will all still get to do their WODs together regardless of whether they are doing Fitness or Skills Focus, they just might be doing slightly different movements. 

Make sense?

Of course, you won't fit neatly into either category in every way and we will not force you into one workout over another, but as your coaches we will help guide your decision. Having defined levels will allow you to decide which workout you want to do on any given day. Somedays you may feel up for the challenge of having overhead squats or muscle-ups in a workout, while other days you may just want to come in, feel like you smashed a workout and go home, without worrying about the nuances of the muscle up transition whilst trying to catch your breath from the 125 kg deadlifts and over the bar burpees.

With that being said, we won't always provide both a "Fitness Focus" and a "Skills Focus" option. Depending on the workout, often some simple scaling can be applied and work easily for all levels (for example, we lessen weights or suggest ring rows instead of pull ups, etc). Other times, it might be more appropriate to designate the levels, especially if we want to simplify the scaling options and include a very complex gymnastics or barbell movement. For example:

3 Rounds for Time of:

"Skills Focus"
Run 400m
5 Muscle-Ups
10 Deadlifts 125/90 kg

"Fitness Focus"
Run 400m
15 Burpees
10 Deadlifts

The burpees aren’t meant to develop the skill components that go into a muscle-up, but many people will not be able to perform a muscle-up (or have any desire to!) and won't get much out of doing an over-scaled version of one. Instead, by programming burpees for our Fitness Focus athletes, we preserve the metabolic stimulus that the workout demands, ensuring all our athletes get the results they want.

Speaking of results...

The Whole Life Challenge

Speaking to our members, we have noticed that many, if not ALL of you, have the same question.... how do I improve my nutrition / lose weight / gain muscle / look and feel better? To help you out with this question, CrossFit 1864 is excited to announce that we will be taking on The Whole Life Challenge (WLC) from 17 January!

What is it?

No one can explain it better than The Whole Life Challenge themselves.... from their website:

"While everyone wants to look and feel better, it can be a challenge to know how or where to start. The Whole Life Challenge focuses you on the key areas of your life that produce real, life-long changes. Taking on this challenge together with your friends and family in a fun and motivating daily game, you’ll create new healthy habits that last long after the Whole Life Challenge comes to an end."

"The Whole Life Challenge works by identifying the areas that almost everyone wants to change, and then making a daily game out of creating new habits in each of those areas. The game is designed around the five key areas that every person can identify with."

With its three levels of participation – Performance, Lifestyle, and Kick-start – any one can find a way to make the The Whole Life Challenge work for them and see massive improvements in their health and fitness.

What happens during the Challenge?

The WLC is a points-based challenge. Every day you follow the WLC rules, you earn points....

  • Eat by the WLC guidelines you choose at the level that is right for you. Earn up to 5 points daily for nutrition.
  • Exercise for at least 10 minutes each day. We recommend 3-5 “workouts” each week. On days you're not at the box, you can earn your points by simply being active. Play with your kids, catch up with your friends in the park for a game of touch rugby, go for a walk by the river with a loved one, ride your bike, hike, dance around your flat like a crazy person (this is what Coach Maria plans to do...) whatever gets you moving! You earn 2 points for exercise.
  • Mobilise for at least 10 minutes each day. You earn 2 points for mobility work. Handy that we send out mobility homework for you, right?!
  • Drink water. You will need to drink one third of your body weight in oz. of water each day (20 ml per kg). You earn 1 point for water.
  • Supplement with a dietary supplement that would make a difference for your body if you took it every day. You earn one point for your supplement.
  • Participate in the WLC weekly lifestyle practice – things like sleep, introspective thought, & supporting others. You earn 1 point each day you complete the weekly lifestyle task.
  • Reflect at the end of each day and check in with how it went and how you’re doing. Just like you can look back at your training progress on Beyond the Whiteboard, your daily reflection helps you see how the challenge is really going. You earn 1 point daily for your reflection.

We will begin the challenge with a baseline workout to establish where you are and we also recommend that you take a 'Before' snapshot of yourself and take any measurements that you would like to keep track of, such as body weight, body fat percentage, girth measurements, etc.  At the end of the Challenge, we will repeat the baseline workout and encourage you to re-take your measurements and take an 'After' photo to see how far you've come in 8 weeks!

How do I do it?

With the help of everyone else, obvs! When you sign up for The Whole Life Challenge, you will join Team CrossFit 1864 and benefit from all the support our awesome community has to offer. 

When is it? and how do I sign-up?

  • The Challenge starts 17 January 2015 and runs for 56 days (8 weeks). Perfect after the holiday indulgences!
  • Sign up as part of Team CrossFit 1864 by registering using this link.
  • If you register before 31 December, you are eligible for the discounted price of $39 (approx £23)
  • Anybody can do this. So get your friends, family members and work colleagues to sign-up, they too can be part of Team CrossFit 1864!

We will be sending out more information about how the Challenge will run, when we will do a baseline workout, take measurements and update you with all the wicked stuff we will put on during the challenge, but in the meantime, you can check out the Whole Life Challenge website and get all the information there. Don't forget, when you sign up, be sure to register as part of Team CrossFit 1864 HERE.

Regularly Learn and Play New Sports Day

The fitness we develop at the box helps us to take on challenges that we might have never thought possible. Applying our strength and skill to new sports forms part of CrossFit's 'functional fitness’ model, as well as helping you to lead a happy and rewarding life.

Explosive strength, agility, balance, coordination, power... sound like your last CrossFit session? Close, but not quite! We'll be using all of these skills for our first 'Regularly Learn and Play New Sports' Day in January when we learn Parkour with our good friends, Parkour Generations! Led by the lovely Shirley Darlington, this is a great opportunity to not only test your fitness, but also to spend a fun day out learning something new with a great group of people. Specific details to follow soon, but mark your calendars now for Sunday 18 January! 

Questions and Feedback

Have feedback, questions or concerns about these changes? Or simply want to comment on our amazing sense of humour and quality photography skills? E-mail Maria ( We want to know what you think!

'Helen' is Coach Maria's all-time favourite benchmark WOD!


A) Gymnastics skills: Pull-ups & Kipping

B) "Helen"

3 rounds for time:
Run 400m
21 Kettlebell swings 24/16 kg
12 Pull-ups (Scale: Ring rows)

Who knew we could cram SO MUCH STUFF into one blog post?!