Monday
May262014

"Murph"

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you've got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

The full version above is a bit too much for most folks. We'll explain how to scale for volume and movements at the gym. The average times for this workout range from 45 minutes to just over an hour. Blazing fast times as Rx'd are in the mid to low 30s.

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Compare to 5.27.2013

What is "Murph"?

This WOD was created in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, NY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. The workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor." It is referred to as "Murph" in honor of this focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing but to serve his country and the beautiful people in it.

This workout is dedicated to everyone who has sacrificed their lives in the US Armed Forces. Take a moment during the day to thank someone who has served and reflect on those we've lost. 

Final Memorial Day Musings

Samir C. wrote a couple posts on his blog that are relevant to the intent of today. The first is a post he wrote last year at the time of the Muslim festival Eid. He went to Ohio to visit his wife’s family, and her cousin, Omar, invited his vet-friend over for lunch. Samir says he was struck by how a vet of the Afghan war was mingling with his Muslim buddy from high school during their biggest festival of the year. Check it out here. The second is a post that he wrote a couple years ago that is useful to revisit around the time of “Murph.” Read it here.

Participation Reminder

Please be ready to go at the time you signed up for. That means you'll need to get there early and warm-up on your own. Here is a good mobility|wod if you're not sure what to do. The gym will provide beer and meat for all who attend. If you can bring a side it would be much appreciated. We've also got commemorative t-shirts in-house, which are first come first served!

The gym will be open starting at 7:15am. We'll start grilling around 11:00am and be done around 3pm... maybe. There are no evening classes today.

Sunday
May252014

Deadlift or Snatch | WOD 5.25.14

Fitness: 3RM
Set a 3 rep max in 3 attempts or less.

Performance: Power Snatch 80% x 2 x 5
Based off this week's heaviest single.

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Every 4 Minutes for 5 Rounds:
250m Row
12 Push Press 115/75

Score times for each round.

Joy M.'s perfect front rack position

Memorial Day Musings

CFSBKer and author Jen Percy recently published a book called Demon Camp: A Soldier’s ExorcismLast winter, before I (Kate R.) knew Jen was a member at the gym, I pre-ordered her book after reading a stunning excerpt of it in Harper’s magazine called “Voice in the Night.” Not only did I feel gut-punched by the beauty of her writing, but I knew what she was writing about was incredibly important. Demon Camp finally arrived at my apartment in January only a few days after it was published and I couldn’t put it down. I’ve already told a number of you to read it, and on the day before “Murph” and Memorial Day, it seems even more relevant.

Jen was introduced to CrossFit by a veteran and came to understand it as a scared space where military and civilian worlds tend to overlap. Below is our third and last installment of the Memorial Day Musings series, in which Jen shares a bit about her book and what compelled her to write it. 

I started writing this book thinking a great deal about American post-war amnesia, a kind of collective forgetting that takes place when atrocity is over. Here's a quote by an American psychiatrist named Abram​ Kardiner, author of  The Traumatic Neurosis of War: ​ 

"The subject of neurotic disturbances consequent upon war has, in the past 25 years, been submitted to a good deal of capriciousness in public interest and psychiatric whims. The public does not sustain its interest, which was very great after World War I, and neither does psychiatry. Hence these conditions are not subject to continuous study." 

The quote is from 1941 yet the sentiment is evergreen. My book is, in many ways, a product of my longing to feel implicated in our foreign wars (these are wars that have gone on my entire adult life), but I also wanted to think about why this kind of forgetting happens. I followed Sgt. Caleb Daniels, a machine gunner on his way to save Marcus Luttrell, Mike Murphy, and two other SEALs stranded in the mountains of the Hindu Kush on June 28, 2005 when, last minute, Daniels was kicked off the flight. Their rescue chopper was hit by an RPG and all of his friends burned alive.

At home, in Georgia, Daniels saw the charred bodies of his friends in his room at night. He was also stalked by something he called the Black Thing, and the Black ​T​hing wanted him to die. His dead friends wanted to save him. The apparitions created a kind of dialectic that's common to those who have survived traumatic experiences. Daniels' case was extreme. He spoke in signs and symbols, the language of dreams. The question that haunted him: should I live with terrible memories or annihilate them completely?  

To learn more about Jen, visit her website. Purchase Demon Camp at your local bookstore or online.

"Murph" WOD and BBQ is TOMORROW 

Are you ready for tomorrow?! The gym will be open starting at 7:15am. We'll start grilling around 11:00am and be done around 3pm... maybe. There will be no evening classes. Please be ready to go at the time you signed up for. That means you'll need to get there early and warm-up on your own. Here is a good mobility|WOD to check out if you're not sure what to do. The gym will provide beer and meat for all who attend. If you can bring a side dish, it would be much appreciated!

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Do People Want to Know Where Their Food Comes From? The Atlantic
Why Don't We All Have Cancer? Vsauce

Saturday
May242014

Clean and Jerk | Front Squat

Fitness: Clean Halting Deadlift + Clean + Jerk
If you have a hard time organizing the pull off the floor, perform the clean from the mid-hang, after the clean halting deadlift. 

Performance: Clean and Jerk 1-1-1, then Power Clean + Hang Clean + Jerk 75% x (1+1+1) x 2
Work up to a heavy clean and jerk in three attempts, then perform two singles of the complex at 75% of today's best lift.

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Front Squat

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression

Performance:  85% x 4  x 4, then 87.5% x 4 x 4
Rest two minutes between sets. You're already pretty warmed up from the cleans, so get to work weight within 2-3 warm ups so you can get all your work sets in. 

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Do you love cleaning as much as Coach Fox?

News and Notes

  • Robyn O. posted a few weeks ago about her charity adventure Rickshaw Run in India. Her team finished in 41st place out of 60 rickshaws, and they blew past their fundraising goal of $3,500 for Made By Survivors and raised $6,108. The money will help build a new shelter for survivors of sex trafficking in Jalpaiguri. If you still want to help, head over here
  • Matthew E. posted recently about his fundraising efforts for the Vanguard Backpacking Program. They met their goal! With generous support from over 60 individuals, the program raised $5,104 and recently placed the order for backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents. Great work, Matthew and everyone who helped!
  • Jared K. wants to let you know about an awesome Kickstarter for Barbell Apparel, which ends tomorrow. They're going for a stretch goal of $750K, and they’re almost there! If your swol’ quads make buying jeans tough, check this project out
  • Hit all your mobility business today: Yoga with Whitney at 10am + Active Recovery at 11am with Coach DO + Active Recovery at 12pm again with Coach DO = so many opportunities for happy CrossFitters.

What Do I Need to Know for "Murph" on Monday?

“Murph” is a day where our community comes together to celebrate and honor our service men and women.  Whether it's by completing the workout, or cheering on a loved one, or just hanging out for the BBQ, all are welcome! 

For Time:
Run 1 Mile
100 Pull-Ups
200 Push-Ups
300 Squats
Run 1 Mile

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups and squats however you'd like. Start and end with the run. If you've got a 20lb vest or body armor, wear it. 

Wow, that sounds crazy! Will there be scaling options?
Yes, folks will be able to do 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 Murph to reduce the volume. Coaches will explain the scaling options before each heat. The scaling option for pull-ups are jumping pull-ups. Because of the number of people we expect, we will not be offering ring rows or banded pull-ups as a scaling option. The volume of jumping pull-ups will also be reduced.

You are expected to warm-up before your heat on your heat. A perfect warm-up would be some foam rolling or soft tissue work (here is a good mobility|wod) and some rowing or light jogging. If your ankles are tight, we suggest doing a calf smash on a kettlebell handle, too. Get loose and ready to go.

Ok, what time do we show up?
The gym will open at 7:15am and we will be starting the first heat exactly at 7:30am.  We'll be starting new heats of up to 25 people every 45 minutes and recommend that you arrive 15 minutes early for whichever heat you'd like so that you can warm up and do some movement prep. 

The BBQ itself will start around 11am and will last until around 3pm. The gym will provide meat and beer.  Members are encouraged to bring a salad, snacks, veggies or any additional sides/beverages to share. If you're going to bring a something, please post it on the event page.

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One Man's Case for Jorts, and Durability Esquire
Can the Nervous System Be Hacked? NYT Magazine

Friday
May232014

Rest Day

Maggie warming up her cleans

  • Happy Birthday, JB!

Memorial Day Musings 

For the second installment of the notes we’re running from some CFSBKers related to Memorial Day and leading up to “Murph,” we’re featuring an essay by Dr. Mike Cutaia, a past Athlete of the Month and faithful member of the gym for two years, along with his wife, Judy. Dr. Mike (also known as "that old stubborn horse that David and Noah try to whip into shape") has done the majority of his work as a physician in the VA system. For the last nine years, he’s worked at the VA hospital in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn as Chief of the Pulmonary/Critical Care/Sleep Section in the Department of Medicine. He would like to begin his piece with a couple epigraphs:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower for the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
—Mahatma Ghandi 

Typically, our culture has a bad habit of commercializing and trivializing holidays to the point where we can easily forget the underlying reasons why they were established in the first place. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day come to mind. It’s a diversion to have to deal with all the nonsense in our culture surrounding these days. We can be lured so easily to forget the deeper message, the deeper meaning that is there. This meaning needs to be rediscovered and restored. Memorial Day is another important example.

Parades, flags, bands playing, hot dogs and barbecues, and a lot of hot air from politicians about patriotism and love of country is not enough. It has been said, “Old men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die.” One of my first experiences as a physician caring for veterans was to separate two veteran patients who were beating the crap out of one another with their crutches in a hospital ward over the politics of war. Welcome to this complex, confusing, and often complicated life. The task is to put the politics aside, and look just at the people. That’s where the gold can be found. Civil War general William Sherman reputedly said, “War is hell.”  And it is. In so many ways. Both when you go and when you come back to civilian life. 

That is why we need to remember the people who go to war no matter what the political issues may be. This is the deeper message and meaning of Memorial Day. It’s more about lives than flags. More about people. Those who are no longer with us and those who are alive and struggling to put their past in a healthy perspective. The latter group deserves our special attention. These are the people who are struggling to regain meaning and purpose after their wartime experience. It is important that we who have never served struggle to relate to that in some way. Can we sit in another man or women’s shoes for a brief moment and catch a small glimpse of the pain and agony of war? Often, one can’t truly comprehend what one has never been through oneself. So, some people say why even go through the pain of trying? 

Here is the reason. The men and women who went to war gave us their hearts, their blood, and often their lives. We should not forget that. If we do, we run the risk of becoming dangerously disconnected from the pain of many among us. No matter what we think about war itself.  No matter what we think about the motives for going. Some go willingly. Others have little or no choice. Just a way out of a bad set of circumstances at home. They all deserve our recognition. Especially when they face such huge problems on returning to civilian life like unemployment, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injury, chronic physical disability, substance abuse, and a high risk of suicide, which is three times higher than the general population. It is easy to forget that we are the community they are trying to rejoin. Our openness and receptiveness greatly influences their struggle in many ways. 

We must remember—because it is human to remember. Ultimately, life is short. We ourselves want to be remembered. It is human to want this simple thing. No one wants to be forgotten. I have five childhood friends who never returned from Vietnam whose names are on the wall in Washington. This is one of the big lessons my work with veterans has taught me. Not to forget. 

The links below are Dr. Mike's suggested further reading about veterans.

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The Problems Facing America’s Veterans care2
Female Veterans More Likely To Commit Suicide care2
Suicide Among Young Veterans Rising At Alarming Rate The Huffington Post
John Walsh: Preventing Veteran Suicide Is 'The Cost Of War' The Huffington Post
Special Memorial Day Programs Tell the Stories of U.S. Armed Forces War Veterans YAHOO 

Thursday
May222014

WOD 5.22.14

Partner WOD 

In teams of two with one partner working at a time, complete the following for time: 

Performance:
100 Squats
75 Burpees
50 Handstand Push Ups
25 Muscle Ups 

Fitness:
50 Pull Ups
50 Scaled HSPU
100 Burpees
100 Squats

CFSBK in the Brooklyn Lyceum around this time in 2009

Trackback Thursday

Veteran members will remember some of the interesting space collaborations CFSBK experienced while we rented space out of the Brooklyn Lyceum. In the photo above, we were gearing up to do "Lynne" while a local orchestra unpacked for their rehearsal. Working out of a multi-use space meant novel and often complicated experiences during classes. This one was rather exceptional. We contend it was the first time anyone's ever done a WOD to a live orchestral accompaniment. There are several current members in this picture and some great folks who have moved on to other things or homes. You'll also notice our one lonely rowing machine. 

The Sport of Kettlebell (Really! It's a thing!)

On June 21st, front desk maven Ruth P. is heading up to Saratoga Springs to take a Kettlebell Performance Certification course. It's a day-long clinic, all about the sport of Kettlebell lifiting. (Did you know there's a sport of Kettlebell lifting? Check out some videos: PromoLong CycleSnatch). The course will teach (and teach how to teach) lifting techniques including the proper Russian swing (a bit different from the CrossFit version), long cycle (clean and jerk), and Kettlebell snatch. The clinic is being taught by the owners of the Ice Chamber, a gym famous in the Kettlebell world for their women's team: ICKBG, who win lots of competitions (also the gym Ruth spent lots of time at in high school, and where her parents trained for over 10 years).

If you're interested, Ruth would love for you to join her! Contact her directly for more info or with any questions at ruthpardee [at] gmail.com.

Olympic Lifting AM Cycle Wants YOU

The PM Olympic Lifting Cycle with Coach Frankie Murray is sold out, but no fear! The AM cycle still has a few slots left and we need YOU to fill them. (You know who you are!) Spend the next eight weeks focusing on proper technique, mobility, and your individual weak points with an outstanding Olympic lifting coach, who has medaled at five separate National Championships. Learn more here.

AM Cycle
5/29/14 - 7/17/14
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm
Register Here! 

Are you signed up for the Olympic Lifting Program? Tell us what you're most looking forward to improving.

Wednesday
May212014

Snatch | Back Squat

Fitness: Snatch Halting Deadlift + Snatch
If you have a hard time organizing the pull off the floor, perform snatch from the mid-hang.

Performance: 1-1-1, then 2 x 1 at 80% 
After working up to a heavy single in 3 attempts, perform 2 reps at 80%.

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Back Squat

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 5 pounds to last week.

Performance: 85% x 4  x 4, then 87.5% x 4 x 4
Rest about two minutes between sets. Use the lifting time wisely and get to work weight within 2-4 warm ups so you can get all your work sets in. 

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Eli getting his pull-ups in at Open Gym

Fresh Vegetables All Summer Long? Sign up Now!

Remember last summer, when those boxes of beautiful local produce showed up at the gym every Wednesday, and you thought to yourself, "Good heavens, I wish I could have a box of beautiful local produce delivered every week! Next year, I will sign up!" This is your lucky day. 

For the third year in a row, CFSBK is partnering with Sol Flower Farm to provide weekly deliveries of gorgeous, hand-picked vegetables from June through November. The season is about to start, so the time to sign up is now. 

The share cost is $670 through PayPal for the entire season or $650 if you pay by check. 

A vegetable share will feed a family of 2-4, so if you would like to split a share with someone, please post as such to the comments below or email Michele, who will help you find a buddy, at mignyc [at] gmail.com. Sol Flower also offers a separate flower share. 

All the specifics, including how to sign up, delivery info, and a detailed FAQ, are here. The season starts soon, so don't delay!

Memorial Day Musings

Over the next week leading up to "Murph," we'll be running a few notes from some CFSBKers related to Memorial Day. Below is our first installment from Keith W.

Having come from a military family and being surrounded by many friends in the armed forces, Memorial Day has always been a day that is filled with fun and enjoyment, tempered with a bit of remembrance. There are others that have put themselves in harm's way for the rights and freedoms we have here. From flying bomber escorts to Germany in WW2, moving ammo in the jungles of Vietnam, liberating Kuwait, to fighting insurgency and terrorism in Afghanistan, people have paid the price dearly.

"Murph" is a workout dedicated to Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, but this year I am also putting my efforts towards another outstanding person and his cause. I lost a very dear friend a few weeks ago to PTSD. His name was Kryn Miner and he was a father of four great kids and had a wonderful wife. When Kryn rotated out of duty after serving for over 22 years (including 11 deployments in seven years to Afghanistan and Iraq), he was a bit lost with what to do next and through my encouragement tried CrossFit. He became a Level 1 certified coach, Spartan certified coach, and recently received his CrossFit Endurance coach certification. Kryn coached in Burlington Vermont at CrossFit Burlington

Kryn was troubled and haunted by a lifetime of war. He saught help after an attempted suicide in September of last year with the Lone Survivor Foundation. This is a foundation started by Marcus Luttrell, who served with Michael Murphy, and the foundation's aim is to help those suffering from PTSD. Kryn established the Forgotten Fallen Foundation to help raise money through CrossFitting to send returning and retired soldiers in need of help to the Lone Survivor Program. I hope you will join me in pledging a dollar a minute of your "Murph" time to the Lone Survivor Foundation in Kryn's Name. 

More information about the Lone Survivor Program can be found here, and more about Kryn and and the forgotten fallen here.

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Perception is Everything. Or is it? The Simplification of Fatigue The Science of Sport
What Farm-to-Table Got Wrong New York Times
Learning Technique Through Imitation Catalyst Athletics
Man's Insecurities Versatile Enough To Be Projected Onto Any Situation The Onion

Tuesday
May202014

Rest Day

Jake L. qualified for the American Open with his 343# Clean and Jerk on Sunday

Post-Meet Thoughts

Jake trained for a year in order to put together a total that would qualify him for a national event. He even lost 18 pounds over the last few weeks to make the 94kg weight class, and employed some interesting sweating/spitting exercises to drop a few fractions of a kilo on Sunday. He’s been a beloved presence kicking ass over on the platform, and he says the meet was an amazing experience. “Working so hard and so long for something and finally achieving success is really a phenomenal feeling,” he reports. He says he could write a short novella about this meet—and he kind of does below, check it out in the comments! Great work, Jake!!

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CFSBK Endurance Program

Recently, you've probably been hearing many a wonder story from our runners at CFSBK as Coach Michael O.'s Endurance Program wraps up its first cycle—people earning PRs at the Brooklyn Half and various 5Ks, etc. etc. In case you've been wanting to hear more, the wait is over and all the info is now live on the blog. We've included the overview of the second iteration of CFSBK's Endurance Program below, along with info about a new program we're introducing called Speed Series. For the full monty of deets plus Michael O.'s bio, head over to the event page. Both programs begin JUNE 1, so sign up ASAP! 

Objective:  
This will be a 12-week program that meets biweekly that is based on integrating a level of endurance running training for CrossFit athletes. We will incorporate a mixture of different styles of coaching running, including technique, power skills, pace training, and interval training. This is not your basic group run. We incorporate blended drills from CrossFit Endurance along with some actual specific track and field training sessions. Each athlete will have a chance to work hard and learn, so all levels are encouraged to attend.

Where and When?:  
Tuesdays at 6am and Thursdays at 7pm will be located in Prospect Park. 

Sundays at 9am will be at the Red Hook track. 

Athletes can select any two of the three classes offered for this membership.

Target Event:  

The program will target the Timberman Sprint or 70.3 Triathlon on August 16th and 17th or the Battle of Brooklyn 10-mile Run or Team Relay on August 18th.

Schedule and Pricing:
$225 full-access to the 12-week program (including twice weekly coached group sessions, benchmarking, training data, and full plan support and guidance). 

Due to the progressive nature of the program, athletes will not be permitted to join after June 15th, 2014

Endurance Running Program-Full Membership ($225.00)
2 classes per week
Register Here!

CFSBK Speed Series! 

Objective:
This will be an 8-week program that meets weekly, focused on the basic skills and power needed to develop your running stride. We will focus solely on short distance track running, high-powered intervals, and the primary anaerobic and glycolytic energy systems. This will be a great program for increasing general power output and cardiovascular efficiency for running and CrossFit goals.

Where and When Will We Train?:  
Sundays at 10am at the Red Hook track.

Target Event:
This program will target NYRR Tuesday Night Speed Series at Icahn Stadium

Schedule and Pricing:
$125 full-access to the 8-week program (including weekly coached group sessions, benchmarking, training data, and full plan support and guidance).

Due to the progressive nature of the program, athletes will not be permitted to join after June 15th, 2014

Speed Series Running Program-Membership ($125.00)
1 class per week 
Register Here! 

Please email Michael at michael.olzinski [at] gmail.com with any additional questions.

News and Notes 

  • ICYMI, Breaking Muscle published an article by Coach David yesterday called "How to Prevent CrossFit Injuries: A Guide for Coaches and Athletes." Check it out and should you feel so inclined, share it with your CrossFit friends!
  • Stella Z.'s choir, the Oratorio Society of New York, is performing Bach's St. Matthew Passion tonight (5/20), 8 PM, at Carnegie Hall. You can get tickets here or show up in person at the Carnegie box office (57th Street and 7th Avenue).

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Start of Days: Cortisol and Stress Catalyst Athletics
Remembering, as an Extreme Sport New York Times
Slightly More Than 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism The Atlantic
Red Wine Health Benefits 'Overhyped' BBC