06 September 2017 – Taking it to the Next Level

Your coaches have experienced the benefits of CrossFit well beyond the mere aesthetic of a toned body and the physiological improvements inherent in high intensity training. At CrossFit 1864, we aim to educate our members towards the benefits of CrossFit beyond the physiological: CrossFit and your experience here will also lead you towards a healthy mind and more positive approach to your personal life and surroundings.

In training there are a few essentials that are under our control: training, nutrition, sleep, recovery and mindset. If we can optimise these areas we will make continued improvements in the gym, as well as improve the quality of our lives in every way, from our careers to our relationships.

With the move to our new location, we are making some sweeping changes to our approach to further develop you as athletes within the box, and outside the walls of the gym.

Getting Individualised!

General group programming has a whole range of benefits including getting you fit and healthy, finding the motivation for that extra push, making new friends and building relationships.

However, as your coaches we must appreciate that you are all individuals and as such have particular areas you need to develop more than others. These areas may differ from those around you.

In order for you to get all the benefits of the group setting, but also receive some more tailored programming towards your needs, we will be introducing a hybrid program.

Several days a week, the daily programming will feature variations of the strength or conditioning workout based on the energy systems you need to develop. Whilst everyone will still be training together in a group, the actual variables of the workout will be modified to focus on you.

With that, for our next training cycle, we have to do some testing. On Saturday 16th September we are going to Mile End Track, we encourage EVERYONE to attend to make the most out of the next training cycle. The results from this phase of testing will determine which group you fall into for these hybrid days. We will meet at 9:45 am at reception for a 10:00 am start. 

We are extremely excited by the potential this new form of our programming will mean for your results and your progress.

Mindset Development

Mindset is more than just how you approach a workout. Mindset is an established set of attitudes held by someone.

These attitudes are how you approach everyday life. How you react to set-backs and success, how you fare in relationships. It is your outlook on the world and your life in it.

Our aim is to develop a mindset that frees you of restraint, unshackles you from negativity, and provides you with a platform for a long and happy life.

We do this through the medium of training, but the lessons we can learn are applicable across all aspects of your life away from the box.

We are going to be introducing an element to our classes of mindset training. Each week we will focus on a new aspect of developing a positive mindset, developing a growth mindset and learning how to kick ass both inside and outside the gym!

Recovery Protocols

Recovery is everything that happens after your training sessions that ensures your body recovers and adapts to the hard work and graft you just put in at the gym.

There are hundreds of ways we can improve our ability to recover and each week we are going to focus on a new method. This will be a chance for you to learn more about your bodies, but also to ensure you keep getting the results you train so hard for.

With these improvements to the program and services, our aim is to provide you with a more well-rounded approach to your health and fitness and one that covers all the areas within your control (outside of just training). Health and fitness is life!


A) Strength

5 sets of:
5 Back squat
– Rest 60 seconds –
10/10 Single-Arm dumbbell row
– Rest 2-3 minutes –

B) Conditioning

10 minute AMRAP: 
1 Deadlift (50/35 kg)
1 Hang power clean (50/35 kg)
1 Front squat (50/35 kg)
1 Push press (50/35 kg)

*5 Burpees every time the bar settles on the floor


27 July 2015 - Programming Update

As your coaches we are always looking for ways to improve your experience and ensure you get both variety and enjoyment from your training. An important part of that is changing up the programming from time to time.

Starting from this Monday we will be following the programming outline shown below. This will be on a two week rotating schedule with what you see below as 'Week 1'.

On 'Week 2' the Monday schedule (shown below) will be on Tuesday, the Tuesday schedule will be on Wednesday, and so on. After 'Week 2' we will switch back to the 'Week 1' schedule.

Olympic Lifting Skill : Practising the technical elements of the Snatch and Clean & Jerk
Conditioning : aka the WOD

Strength : General strength on the power lifts (i.e. squats, deadlifts, presses)

Skill : Any other skills (e.g. gymnastics)

Olympic Lifting Strength : Developing strength for the Snatch and Clean & Jerk

Skill Any other skills (e.g. gymnastics)

Strength General strength on the power lifts (i.e. squats, deadlifts, presses)

Skill Any other skills (e.g. gymnastics)

Let us know if you have any questions!


1) Olympic Lifting Skills

A) Snatch push press: 3 x 3

B) Overhead squat: 3 x 3

C) Snatch pull under: 3 x 3

2) Conditioning

15 minute AMRAP

5 Hang power snatch (60/40 kg)

10 toes to bar

15 wall balls (9/6 kg)

*Please pardon the formatting, our website doesn't like iPads!!

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?!

How we build gymnastics strength

When we train CrossFit, we aim to improve several areas in order to create well-rounded athletes. Many people (especially those new to CrossFit) are very taken by barbell strength – how much can I back squat or deadlift?! Rarely do they consider the importance of strength in gymnastics.

Over millions of years, our bodies have evolved to allow us to move as efficiently as possible through our environments; however, as modern technology has developed, we have begun to lose our understanding of how our bodies are designed to move. We use cars to get around, we sit behind desks all day, etc.

In its simplest sense, gymnastics is the ability to control our bodies through space: Walking, running, climbing, basic tumbling etc. Whilst in the athletic realm, gymnasts need to demonstrate levels of strength, balance, power and co-ordination that many of us cannot comprehend, for most of us, we just need to fall somewhere in the middle. We want to be able to stay fit and healthy well into older age. 

At CrossFit 1864, we value gymnastic strength on the same level as barbell strength. On our strength days we combine barbell strength work with gymnastic strength work.

This comes in 5 main categories:

  • Vertical Pull: Pulling in a vertical plane (up to down).
    Examples include chin-ups and legless rope climbs
  • Vertical Push: Pushing in a vertical plane.
    Examples include handstand push-ups and ring dips
  • Horizontal Pull: Pulling in a horizontal plane (front to back).
    Examples include ring rows
  • Horizontal Push: Pushing in a horizontal plane.
    Examples include push-ups
  • Midline: Training the stabilising musculature of the torso.
    Examples include hollow hold, planks, L-sits etc (static) or toes to bar, GHD sit-ups (dynamic)

When we train these, we focus on strict movement (no kipping). We place a higher value on strict gymnastics over kipping, especially for beginners and/or those lacking basic gymnastics strength. Besides the fact it is much easier to perform kipping movements if you can do the strict movement, it's also a safety issue. Developing strict strength before you go in to any kind of kipping will help prevent injury, long term or immediate. Let's use the pull-up for example... If your shoulders and surrounding musculature cannot support your bodyweight when it is moving in a slow, controlled fashion as it does when you are performing a strict pull-up, how is it meant to take the impact of nearly three times your bodyweight, produced by a fast, kipping movement?

Strict movement not only develops the large muscles that we are all aware of (lats, traps, etc), they also develop those smaller, stabilising muscles, such as the muscles that act as your rotator cuff, and your rhomboids. Developing the strength of these muscles gives your shoulders much needed stability for the dynamic kip.

Kipping movements still provide a great tool for teaching people how to move and control their bodies, when done properly. Kipping is not flailing around on the bar looking like a limp fish or like you are being tazered. Kipping, when performed correctly, is a great example of core to extremity movement.

Core to extremity movement

Everything we do, whenever we move, should be core to extremity. This sequence allos us to perform the most efficient, powerful and safest movements.

You can think of 'core' as your trunk / torso / spine and hips. When we move, we should start by engaging these muscles to create a strong and stable base. Our strongest muscles initiate the movement and produce the most power to get the object (ourselves, a barbell, etc) moving. Then our limbs (extremity) get involved to finish the task.

The below video, whilst obviously an exaggeration, is typically what people think of when they imagine kipping....

Wild, uncontrolled, unsafe, ugly ass movement. This is how you damage yourself.

The below is what kipping ACTUALLY is (2m 45sec in)....

Notice Carl's tight, straight body position. Everything is connected and he shows just how controlled kipping should be – a prime example of core to extremity movement. is another example of core to extremity movement...

So, core to extremity movement is important to learn and kipping – when done correctly – helps us understand this. For this reason, we also teach our members kipping movement (primarily on skills and met-con days when we can devote more time to practicing the progressions).

Train hard to live life easy!

Our ability to control our bodies is a vital skill and strength we all must develop. Not only will we be able to handle our bodies and external objects better in the gym, but our quality of lives outside the walls of the box will drastically improve.