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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

19 Mar 2019 - The Top 3 Steps to Building a Strong Community at Your Box

I fell in love with CrossFit many moons ago.

Although the coaches I worked with in my beginnings were great and incredibly knowledgable, it wasn’t their cues, progressions or even their mid-WOD cheers that made CrossFit what it was (and is) to me.

Instead, it was the people that I worked out with that made me so passionate about the sport that I am now lucky enough to call my career. It was this community of athletes that busted their humps alongside me every day that made CrossFit great. I look back with fond memories of the box socials, competitions, high fives and Facebook bants (because Instagram wasn’t a ‘thing’ back then) of my CrossFit beginnings and think,

“Yes. That is what CrossFit is all about. The Buzzword to rule all Buzzwords… Community, with a Capital C”.

The Beginnings of CrossFit 1864

When we opened CrossFit 1864 in September 2014, I knew that our box would be exactly like the box I remembered from 2012. It was going to be just like the O.G. CrossFits, but with slightly nicer equipment. It was going to be small and a little bit gritty. It would be filled with people with no egos and no drama, just a solid work ethic and drive to do their best whilst enjoying their training. Most importantly, it was going to be all about the Community.

Imagine my horror when, mid-way through 2014, our small box was up and running, and it didn’t feel like that old community at all! Of course there were high fives after class and everyone was friendly, but it just wasn’t the same. To get some advice, I met up with a friend and fellow box owner. I begged him to tell me the secret to building a strong community. Do you know what he told me? There’s nothing you can do to create a community. It just happens.

He was only halfway right.

These are the Top 3 Steps to Building a Strong Community at your Box.


Step 1: Ask Questions

I’m not talking about asking your class how their day was at your whiteboard huddle. Any schmuck can do that.

I mean ask the real questions, like you’re on a second date kind of questions (because you are trying to start a relationship, right?!). Ask your members what they do for work, what they like about it, what they have coming up this week, what are their fears, hopes, dreams, aspirations, if they prefer crunchy or smooth peanut butter.


Step 2: Listen

You’d be amazed how much you can learn about a person simply by listening, and I mean really listening. You’ve asked them what they have coming up this week and they come back to you with a lackadaisical, “ I have this race thing I’m doing on Saturday. It’s no big deal or anything”.

Now, if you weren’t really listening, you might say, “That’s cool,” and start flicking through your playlists to find your favourite warm up tunes. But, if you’re really listening, you might hear a twinge of nervous excitement in their voice.

Now, repeat Step 1.
Ask them what the race is and why they’re doing it.

Come back to Step 2. They tell you that they’re doing a 10k in the park and this is the first time they’ve ever run more than 1 mile. Coincidentally, you happen to know that a couple of your other members are doing the same 10k (because you listened to them too, obvs) and now you can link up a team of people to support each other, and you know you have something to celebrate with this crew when Monday comes around!

Step 3: Take care of your space and encourage others to do the same

Our members used to make fun of me for the way I cleaned our box. Our kettlebells are arranged in colour order, wall balls are stacked neatly with their laces facing out, rings hanging perfectly aligned on the rig, ab mats in tessellated piles in the corner… the box is a thing of organisational beauty. When classes put their kit away, they were instructed to put things away “As Coach M would want it”.

And no one, I mean NO ONE, hollywood claps chalk at CrossFit 1864.

Eventually, this attention to detail created a culture at the gym where every member took care of the space and looked after their kit as if it was their own.

So, what do these three things have to do with creating a strong community?


Everything, Because they are all part of showing respect.

As mentioned before, my good friend and fellow box owner was half right. You can’t force members to cheer each other on in workouts. You can’t drag them along to box socials and expect them to have fun. Let’s be honest here, everyone at your gym is coming from different walks of life and I’m pretty confident that not everyone will be absolute best buds outside of the gym.

But, that is not what a strong community is.

Contrary to popular CrossFit belief, a strong community is not built through box socials, private member groups on Facebook, internal throwdowns, or charity events.

Instead, a strong community is forged through a foundation of mutual respect: Respect that you as a box owner or coach show to your members when you ask them questions and express a genuine interest in their lives. Respect and consideration by actively listening to what they say and responding in turn. And finally, showing respect to your gym, the physical foundations of your community, by keeping it clean, organised and in good condition.


“Attitude reflects leadership”

When you as a box owner, the leader of your community, take the steps to show this level of respect to your members and your gym, it spreads like wildfire. Not only do your members respect you for everything you do for the box and for them, they also show respect to your other members, and their fellow athletes. They start getting to know each other, asking questions, listening, empathising, encouraging, hanging out outside of the box, and eventually, even brushing chalk off of their barbells!

In my five years of experience as a box owner, I am confident that this is how a strong and unwavering community is built; not through High Fives, but with a solid dose of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

I could not be more proud of the members and the community at CrossFit 1864, which, even though I’m nearly 5,000 miles away, I feel the power of every day.

Big love, you guys.

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Strength
Thruster: Build to a 1 rep max

B) Conditioning
"DG"
10 minute AMRAP:
8 Toes-to-bar
8 Dumbbell thrusters (15/10 kg)
12 Dumbbell walking lunges (15/10 kg)

13 Mar 2019 - Beyond the Workout is Wednesday!

Our second Beyond the Workout is this Wednesday at 7.30 pm!

During this session, which is open and free to all members, you will get to spend quality time with our coaches and interns, developing two skills of your choice in a small group alongside your fellow athletes. Beyond the Workout will be broken into two parts, Session A and Session B, each lasting 25 minutes, giving you the opportunity to work on each of your chosen skills in detail.

Here's how it will work...

First thing's first, make sure you sign up for the session on Team-up!

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to select your skill! We will be offering four different skill groups:

  • Handstands and Handstand Walking

  • Rope Climbs

  • Kipping and Butterfly Pull-ups

  • Pistols

All you need to do is choose the two skills that you would like to work on in Session A and Session B via this Google Sheet (make sure you choose a different skill for each session and please respect the 6 person group limit).

Questions? E-mail Coach Maria and she will do her best to help out!


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Strength
Every 2 minutes, for 12 minutes (6 sets):
1 Sumo deadlift
* Start at 80% of 1RM and build

B) Conditioning
3 rounds for time of:
12 Front squats (60/40 kg)
12 Burpee pull-ups

06 Mar 2019 - Meet the Legends: David Caetano

Because coaches can be legends too!

David, or “The Diva” as Coach Maria calls him, joined us when he was only 12 years old.

Ok, maybe he wasn’t actually 12, but check that baby face in the second photo!

We remember well one of David’s first workouts… it was the Spring of 2016 and David and the rest of the class went out for their first 400 m run. They came back in in about 90 seconds, did some work, then headed back out the door for their second run. When they hadn’t returned in nearly four minutes, Coach Maria got worried and headed out to look for them. An exemplar of the CrossFit Community spirit, the class had put their workout on pause and were tending to poor David as he lost his lunch on the side of the road…

In just over three years, David has developed his own trademark moves (his post-WOD ‘Hit by a Sniper’ Collapse is a thing of beauty), trademark clothing (no one can rock booty shorts quite like him) and even a trademark Instagram filter (was he even alive when VCRs were around??) - we couldn’t imagine the box without him!

Read on to learn more about this Legend…


What do you do for a living?
Well, I'm a coach and the gym manager of the best box in London...

How long have you been doing CrossFit, and what is your favourite thing about it?
I have been doing CrossFit for three years and some change. My favourite thing is the constant opportunity to get better.

What is your biggest achievement since starting CrossFit?

There has been two: when I PB’ed my max set of ring muscle ups, two years after after my taster session where I couldn't do a ring dip, and when I got my 100kg Clean & Jerk. There were some tears shed later that day.

What are your present training goals?
Keep getting better! I would love to get back to competing but focusing on getting my strength numbers up at the moment (GET BIG SZN BOOOY!)

What's the biggest pearl of wisdom you could offer to other CrossFitters, or those thinking about starting?
Enjoy every single class and HAVE FUN! Most people focus on their big goals (which is great!), but they sometimes forget to enjoy the daily grind. AND focus on technique....

What nickname did you have growing up, and why?
My family called me (and still does) Didita. I don't know why?

If you could do one job for the rest of your life (and money was no issue) what would you do and why?Refurbish old houses/buildings

What is your secret talent?
I can talk like Donald Duck and I can distinguish types of rices based on smell when boiling. Don't ask questions…


WORKOUT OF THE DAY

A) Strength
Every 3 minutes, for 15 minutes (5 sets):
3 Sumo deadlift
* Start at 75% of 1RM and build

B) Accessory
3-4 rounds:
20 Dumbbell walking lunges (at shoulder)
10-15 Dumbbell bench press @ tempo 31X1
10-15 Ring rows @ tempo 31X1
30 Partner wall ball sit-up (15 each)

C) Finisher (if time allows):
6 x 20 seconds on, 10 seconds of:
Bicep curls
* Dumbbells or barbell, choose your weapon