Back Squat | WOD 1.28.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start a bit below last cycle.
Performance: 90% x 1, 70% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 7 Minutes:
Pull Ups or Ring Rows
(*We swapped for KB Swings yesterday in anticipation of BLIZZARD sized classes)

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Coach Jeremy in Back Squat Beast Mode

News and Notes

  • Ever wonder who does what at CFSBK to keep the wheels turning? Head over to Coach David's blog, Inside the Affiliate, where he wrote an article about all the different roles at CFSBK. It's called "How To Become a Grown-Up CrossFit Gym."
  • If you're following Performance programming on any of your lifts this cycle, head over to our Current Programming Cycle tab to see what percentages you can expect each week. 
  • Happy birthday, Andrea D.!

All the Deadlift PRs

At the end of our last cycle, we saw a landslide of impressive personal records, especially as people went for a 1 Rep Max on their deadlifts. Congrats, everyone (listed in order of class taken)!

  • Dolce 245#
  • BK 325#
  • Shawn 285#
  • Elliott 345#
  • Jonathan 310#
  • Alan 285#
  • John 335#
  • Carl 285#
  • Melody 185#
  • Freddie 190#
  • Vella 185#
  • Brad 345#
  • Kayleigh 295#
  • Mary 220#
  • Christina 220#
  • Mario 165#
  • Katy 205#
  • Dan K. 315#
  • Michael A. 420#
  • Bethany 225#
  • Matt K. 555#
  • Michael C 415#
  • KH 220#
  • Jason M. 455#
  • Brendan 425#
  • Morgan 405#
  • Janet 155#
  • Nikki 145#
  • Dave B. 235#
  • Sarah 185#
  • Kate L. 185#
  • Callie 200#
  • Kate R. 235# 
  • K HarpZ 295#

Distant Exoplanet Hosts Giant Ring System BBC
Our Weirdest Automatic Body Functions Explained Explore
Double, Double Toil and Trouble: Dissecting Double Unders CrossFit Journal

If you didn't write your name and numbers on the board, or want to share PRs from other lifts this cycle, list them in the comments. Also, tell us: what did you think of this last cycle?


Rest Day

Maise the Wonder Mutt wishes you a happy Snow Day! Be careful out there, CFSBK.

  • STORM NEWS: Today's 6 a.m., 7 a.m., and 8 a.m. classes are all canceled because of the blizzard. We'll be running a normal schedule of classes from 10 a.m. onwards. Stay tuned on here and social media (Facebook and Twitter), and don't forget to RSVP.

More Thoughts On Being an Athlete Who Doesn’t Eat Meat

By Whitney Hubbard

I believe that food and nutrition are highly individualized experiences. Yes, there are things we know that work well overall and there are general guidelines that will be effective for a broad range of people. But food is often also a part of the cultural, social, and—yes, for some of us—emotional aspects of our lives. As CrossFitters, we can consider food as fuel. We are asking a lot of our bodies and minds on a daily basis, and it’s crucial to supply that great system with nutrients that support recovery, performance, and overall health. At the same time, I consider a lot more than that with my own eating habits. So, I’ll aim to share my own experience here without speaking for anyone else but myself. 

I became an ovo-lacto-pescetarian (::cue Paleo eye roll::) just over seven years ago. That means I eat eggs, dairy, and fish, but not any other meat. Truth be told, I never thought I’d be any kind of vegetarian for any length of time. I grew up eating lots of meat. My Dad is a self-proclaimed grillmaster, and as a family we regularly enjoyed ribs, steak, pork, chicken, duck, more ribs, burgers, turkey, and... ribs. I remember thinking, “Why on earth would anyone ever want to be a vegetarian?”

Cue some hippie handing me a flyer on the quad at my university, which I happened to reach my hand out for and happened to look at. Long story short, I had never even considered where my food was coming from—how it was farmed, grown, raised, harvested, or killed. After a brief look into the realities of the industrial food complex and “factory farming,” I decided that now was a good time to just try taking meat out of my diet. I was on my own in college anyway and didn’t like cooking red meat, so it seemed simple.

The initial shift meant that I was simply thinking more about what I was putting into my body. I would come home from a long morning of yoga and dance classes and make a three-egg omelet with a few veggies and a smoothie with yogurt and fruit. I cooked a lot more vegetables with every meal and got creative. I was also in college, so I ate my fair share of late night pizza, but overall I started to feel energized. I used to get multiple sinus infections and other fun versions of respiratory illness every winter. I made my nutrition change in first semester of my senior year, and that season I clearly remember making it through without getting sick.

I’ve always been active. I grew up dancing, averaging about 15-20 hours/week in my teens and probably 25-30 hours/week in college. But lifting weights is a whole different story, or at least it feels that way. I’ve become very aware of what I need to recover and perform relatively well, and I know when I’m missing it. Here’s how I approach my nutrition these days.

Prioritize Protein
As a pescetarian and an athlete, the biggest challenge in regards to nutrition is often getting enough protein. If we consider that someone training like we do at CFSBK should eat 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of bodyweight each day, then it will take any kind of vegetarian a good amount forethought, planning, tracking, and variety to get there consistently. Here’s what a good day of looks like for me:

½ cup (dry) oatmeal
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 tbsp peanut butter 

Protein: 34g Carb: 33g Fat: 16g

3 scrambled eggs with bell peppers and onions
2 cups sautéed greens
1.5 cup roasted mixed veggies (brussel sprout, squash, cauliflower)
1 oz of cheese 

Protein: 35g Carb: 38g Fat: 31g

1 cup 2% plain Greek Yogurt
1 cup frozen cherries 

Protein: 24g Carb: 31g Fat: 5g

6 oz Arctic Char (grilled or baked)
1.5 cup roasted mixed veggies
2 cups Kale and Ricotta Salad
1 glass white wine 

Protein: 48g Carb: 36g Fat: 19g

Protein: 141g Carb: 138g Fat: 71g 

So, with my bodyweight hovering around 135 pounds, this is relatively on target for me. I’ve hit my grams of protein for the day. I aim to do this consistently through a variety of sources. It often ends up as 3 eggs at one meal, a big serving of fish at another, a scoop of protein powder sometime during the day, and either Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

Carbs are pretty good here, too, although this is definitely where I vary. There are days that I feel I need more, and I add them in: black beans and tomatoes with my eggs, more starchy veggies in the mix (sweet or white potatoes), a tortilla or wrap here and there… and YES even the occasional pumpkin muffin! One thing I’ve noticed over time with tracking is that I tend to steer towards more fat than I may need. Fat with every meal generally helps me feel fuller for longer, but is certainly something of which to be conscious. I’m not actively trying to lose any weight, but if I were, this is where I would look first.

Take Care of the Good Stuff
I know when I don’t plan my grocery list, prepare my own food, or even just plan where I might eat a meal out, I can very quickly become one of those “grilled cheese vegetarian types.” So, if I can get a bunch of veggies on my plate at two out of three meals, I know I’m on track. If I can substitute fruit, nuts, and seeds for a scone in the middle of the afternoon, I’m doing well. Bottom line: get those greens and eat real food. Then when you get off track for a meal here or a day there, you know you've still got a good foundation of healthy eating under you.

Variety Is Key
Veggies are not boring. Routine is boring. I’m all for having go-to recipes and meals (hello, Kettlebell Kitchen!!) to fall back on and utilize, especially when you don’t have a lot of time. But that being said, even I get sick of some of my vegetable sides when I eat the same thing over and over. Hate Kale? Try sautéing Swiss chard with garlic and shallots. Annoyed with steamed broccoli? Roast cauliflower and brussel sprouts with smoked paprika instead. No time to cook? Add crunchy bell peppers, cucumbers, and some hearts of palm to mixed greens as an easy side salad. Making a big pot of soup or chili for the week? Throw some spinach in there… you’ll barely even notice it.

Here’s the deepest, honest, scary-to-say-out-loud truth: there are many days that I wonder if I would feel, recover, and perform better if I were eating meat. It’s entirely possible. I’m not a doctor, and I have no formal education in nutrition. I think I’ve developed a relatively healthy way of eating that supports my physical lifestyle and my ethical choices. And, there are some days when I’ve just worked out for 90 minutes, I’m starving, and I think, “Life would be so much easier if I just ate meat!” I might spend less money (fish is expensive!), have more simple meal choices, and not constantly be worried about getting enough protein. I’m the kind of person who never says never. So, it’s possible that one day I’ll go back to eating meat. But my diet decisions involve more than just food as fuel, and if I trade a bit of my athletic potential for making a small difference in the world, well… that’s the choice I’m making today. 

In case you missed it: we interviewed Coach Whitney back in April of 2014 about this topic, too! Read along here.

LFPB Peeps: What lessons have you been learning the past few weeks? How's the Challenge going?


Bench Press | WOD 1.26.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start at about 90% of where you left last cycle.
Performance: 90% x 1, 70% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

For Time:
30 Calorie Row
50 Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9
30 Calorie Row 

Post time and Rx to comments.

Gym Etiquette: Lift Offs
Always ask your partner if they want a "lift off" when sharing a rack during bench pressing. After the first one to two warm-up sets, many people prefer having an assist out of the rack. A little help often makes finding and getting into a good start position over the sternum a bit easier. Figure out which of you wants to do the 3-2-1 count down, then use a switch grip and gently assist them out. A really aggressive lift off can be a little jarring, so aim for smooth movement.

News and Notes 

  • UPDATED STORM NEWS: Tuesday's 6 a.m., 7 a.m., and 8 a.m. classes are all canceled because of the blizzard. We'll be running a normal schedule of classes from 10 a.m. onwards unless things get crazy. Stay tuned on here and social media (Facebook and Twitter), and don't forget to RSVP.
  • Happy belated birthday, Justin T.!

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Planning Your Lifts Before and During a Cycle

By Noah Abbott 

Next week we will begin a new training cycle at CFSBK. As per usual, our Fitness track lifters will follow a Linear Progression (LP), since it’s the safest and quickest way to build strength. Many of us have run multiple LP’s, and feel confident picking their starting weights for the new cycle, but for those of us with less training time at CFSBK, or who have had weights pre-selected for them in the past, this task can seem daunting. 

Every cycle, the coaches encounter people who choose poorly. It’s obvious to us in the first or second week that the lifter in question was too ambitious with their opening weight, as the grind, struggle, and often fail right out of the gate. There are numerous reasons this might happen. If it’s because you’ve got a big ego and still think you’re as strong as when you won the 2nd Team All County Badminton Doubles State Championship, well, just don’t be such a dingus. If it’s because you are unsure of where to start, here’s two approaches you can try, using a lifter who finished their last squat cycle at 150x5x3

Count Backwards
One approach is to pick where you want to finish the cycle, and count backwards from there in small, sustainable jumps. So, our lifter wants to finish this cycle at 160, a 10# PR for sets of 5. Counting back in 5# jumps (and assuming a 6 week cycle), our lifter’s cycle would look like this:

Week 6: 165
Week 5: 160
Week 4: 155
Week 3: 150 (Last cycle’s final week and current PR)
Week 2: 145
Week 1: 140 

Generally, we begin our cycles after 2 weeks “off” (Crush and Backoff weeks) so starting right where you left off will mean everything is immediately heavy. Conversely, planning to PR by a very slim margin means you are basically lifting all the same weights you lifted last cycle over again, and not pushing into new territory or past your comfort zone. Try and balance your ambition with a sober sense of the reality of the situation. I generally like to see lifters hit last cycle’s final weight at around the midpoint of the current cycle. In 6-week cycles that would be Week 3 or 4—I’d bias towards Week 3 if you are sticking with a lift from the preceding cycle and everything went smoothly. I’d shoot for Week 4 if you’re planning a lift you haven’t seen in a while (bench press, etc.) or if things last cycle were a little jagged towards the end. 

Percentage Based
Another approach is to back off a set percentage from where you finished or failed. Generally, 90% is a good starting place when considering resetting a linear progression. 

Using our theoretical lifter as an example: 150*.9= 135. So our lifter would begin the cycle at roughly the same place as they would with the Count Backwards approach. 90% works well if it’s a lift you saw and trained in the last cycle, but if its been a while since your last exposure, I’d suggest knocking down to 85% or so.

Art, and Science
Despite all of these numbers, planning your lifts is both art and science. Both of these approaches are simply ways to get a rough estimate of where to begin, and numerous factors can inform the raw data. With time, you get a better idea of your starting points and can work by feel a bit more. Always begin conservatively, and if things feel ridiculously easy don’t be afraid to take slightly bigger jumps in the first few weeks before tapering things as the weight begins to stack. Be brave. Many a lifter gets to the edge of their discomfort tolerance and swears there is no way they can possibly progress forward. Trust that each week you will be a little bit stronger, and don’t be afraid to try and fail, especially in the last week or two of the cycle.

As always, if you have any questions, ask a coach sooner rather than later. Now go out there and get to clangin’ and bangin’.

Candide Thovex Ski Video
To Fall Out of Love, Do This The New Yorker
The 10 Worst Couples You’ll See At The Gym GQ


Deadlift | WOD 1.25.15

Deadlift: 1-1-1-1-1
Up to 5 attempts at a new 1RM deadlift. Rest as needed between attempts. If you're feeling good and maintaining position then go for it. If not, get something heavy in and call it quits.

Post loads to comments.

18 Minutes Not For Rounds:
5 Strict Toes to Bar or Supine Floor Levers
10 Front Rack Reverse Lunges, as heavy as possible
15 Calorie Row or 130m Jog 

Post loads and movements to comments.

Some of our volunteers for David's ITA video and photo shoot class yesterday, making wall balls look good

News and Notes

  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP FOR CLASS: Go to the CFSBK Online Store, log in, click “Calendar” from the left-hand column, select the class you plan on attending, press the blue “Reserve” button on the right-hand side of the screen, and voila! It's that easy. Learn more on the RSVP to CFSBK page (located in the left-hand column under General Information).
  • Don't miss the last Meditation Workshop today at 3:30pm. Learn more here and don't miss your chance to get super Zen. Please RSVP on the event page!

Lululemon Brooklyn is Hiring!

Lululemon Brooklyn is looking for fun, like-minded locals to join their team! Whether you are looking for a career change or something to complement your routine, they have part-time and full-time positions available. Please fill out your application on-line here.

There are several positions available, so fill out the application, come by the store, and introduce yourself. They hope to hear from you soon! If you have any questions, email Brendy, the store manager, at biglesias [at]

13 CrossFit Gym Etiquette Rules You Need To Know BoxLife 


Pause Front Squat | WOD 1.24.2015

Pause Front Squat: 1-1-1-1-1
Work up to a heavy single. Pause for 3 seconds at your absolute ROCK BOTTOM position before aggressively driving your legs to stand back up. The ideal bottom position is your hamstrings resting on your calves while maintaining an extended spine.

Post loads to comments.

Not For Time:
50 Double Unders
25 Push Ups
40 Double Unders
20 Push Ups
30 Double Unders
15 Push Ups
20 Double Unders
10 Push Ups
10 Double Unders
5 Push Ups 

Post about your experience to comments. And your time too, if you struggle with the concept of Back-Off Week. 

Congrats to Allie B. on getting her first pull-ups on Thursday! Here she is crushing her front squats.

News and Notes

  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP FOR CLASS: Go to the CFSBK Online Store, log in, click “Calendar” from the left-hand column, select the class you plan on attending, press the blue “Reserve” button on the right-hand side of the screen, and voila! It's that easy. Learn more on the RSVP to CFSBK page (located in the left-hand column under General Information).
  • Don't miss the last Meditation Workshop tomorrow at 3:30pm. Learn more here and don't miss your chance to get super Zen. Please RSVP on the event page!

Travel Gym Recommendations

Last year, we added a tab to fix the often weekly request for recommendations re: other gyms while people are traveling. The tab is Travel Gym Recommendations (it’s in the left-hand column under Member Resources). This forum has almost 100 posts and has become a great place to keep everyone’s notes about their experiences at other affiliates, both good and bad. Most recently, we heard about...

Friendship, for a Healthy Heart The Atlantic 


Rest Day

Behind the Desk, and Introducing a CFSBK Woman of Many Talents: Janelle Barth

We are so excited to announce Janelle Barth's new roles at CFSBK. Janelle was our Athlete of the Month last July, and she came on-board to work behind the desk in August, and took on a number of other roles in October. She is now our Front Desk Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Kids’ Club and CrossFit Kids. Janelle has plenty of experience in each of these roles, and her leadership and organizational skills have already helped make CFSBK an even better version of itself. You will also still see her behind the desk, so check out her interview below! 

Two weeks ago, it was Camillionaire, and now, introducing...

Name: Janelle 

Where were you born and where did you grow up: Born: Brooklyn, NY; Grew up: Wheatley Heights, NY 

How long have you been CrossFitting, and how did you arrive at CFSBK? Three years. I was introduced to CrossFit by a personal trainer at 24 Hour Fitness and tested out of Foundations with Fox in December 2011. Took my first class on January 2, 2012 and the rest is history. 

What are you up to when you're not at 597 Degraw Street: I started graduate school at Bank Street this month! Before working at SBK, I worked extensively with kids as a camp counselor and program director, a swim instructor and swim team coach, and as the Director of Operations at an enrichment center for children newborn to 5-years-old in Manhattan. I also like long walks on the beach, baking, knitting, and Legos.

First album that you loved: The Dirty Dancing soundtrack

"Ask me about that time I..." watched the sunset on top of Mauna Kea

Favorite restaurant or bar in Brooklyn: Walter's in Fort Greene 

Favorite and least favorite lift: Favorite: deadlift; least favorite: deadlift

Any Front Desk PSAs you'd like to share? Please clean up after yourself!

News and Notes

  • Jordan W. wrote a post about his journey with CrossFit at CFSBK on his blog, Caveat Lector. Check it out here!
  • Lost and Found: Does any of this belong to you? Pick it up by 2/5 if so, or we're giving it away.
  • Have you signed up yet for the CFSBK Snowshoe Trip in the Catskills on January 31? There are still a couple spaces left, but your deadline to sign up is TODAY! Learn more here.
  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP FOR CLASS. The early morning folks are crushing the evening folks at RSVPing. Step up your game! Go to the CFSBK Online Store, log in, click “Calendar” from the left-hand column, select the class you plan on attending, press the blue “Reserve” button on the right-hand side of the screen, and voila! It's that easy. Learn more on the RSVP to CFSBK page (located in the left-hand column under General Information). 

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think The Huffington Post
Watch Tommy Caldwell Climb Pitch 15 on the Dawn Wall Patagonia
Airpnp: How Much Would You Pay to Use a Stranger's Toilet? New York Post
Thread on Reddit’s swoleacceptance forum: “Goodbye, brothers. I am willingly trying to lose my gains.”


Pull-Up Practice | WOD 1.22.15

Strength: 7 x 3 Strict Pull Ups
Use assistance as necessary. Rest about 2 minutes between sets. 


Skill: 20 Minutes to Practice Sub Max Sets on the Kipping Pull Up, or Butterfly for Advanced Athletes
Kipping Practice - 3 Strict Pull Ups
Butterfly - 3 Strict Pull Ups + 10 UB Kipping Pull Ups 

Post what you worked on to comments.

Kettlebell Clean and Jerk to Windmill
Work up to a heavy to a heavy set of 5 reps for each arm. 

Post loads to comments.

Samir C. getting scapjacked before class! Have you tried out our Crossover Symmetry bands yet? Crossover Symmetry is most effective when used pre- and post-WOD, and it can make a huge difference in shoulder health and performance. With regular use, you will quickly notice the difference in how your shoulders feel and move. Whether your goals are to set PR’s overhead or relief from shoulder pain, incorporating Crossover Symmetry can help. Follow along with the black placard or ask a coach for help.

Upcoming Events at CFSBK

  • Have you signed up yet for the CFSBK Snowshoe Trip in the Catskills on January 31? There are still four spaces left, but your deadline to sign up is Friday! Learn more here.
  • There's another Meditation Workshop coming up this Sunday at 3:30pm. Learn more here and don't miss your chance to get super Zen. Please RSVP on the event page!

Catching up with CFSBK Classifieds

Have you checked out CFSBK Classifieds recently? (Located in the bottom left-hand column under Member Resources.) It's exactly what it sounds like: a specific forum for all CFSBKers to connect with each other on the level of services, housing, employment opportunities, items for sale or giveaway, lessons and classes, programs, etc. Also, please note that all posts will be deleted after one month(-ish), unless they are advertising long-term services, such as Camille's work as a freelance Illustrator/Graphic Designer or Amanda Mc.'s work building websites.

The Classifieds idea is a result of our desire to find a better way to localize all the resources within our community. Head over there to play around and post (responsibly) to your heart's content! If you have any questions, please email Kate at katharine [at] And here are some recent highlights!  

Is a Climate Disaster Inevitable? The New York Times
The Most Important Three Words in Strength and Conditioning Eric Cressey
Kettlebell Clean and Jerk Technique TechniqueWOD 

In order to run a self-defense class, we need about 5-7 more interested CFSBKers. If you're interested (and didn't already tell us), please let us know in the comments!