Rest Day

Glimpses of CrossFit intersecting work at CLINIC, Todd C.'s company

  • Missed your chance to compete in the Iron Maidens Raw Open on February 28th? Five spots just opened up! Please contact Margie [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com as soon as possible to reserve your spot.

How to Bring CrossFit to Work, Literally 

By Kate Reece 

For CrossFitters with 9-5 office jobs, the list of reasons why sitting all day is bad for you is just as long as the list of ways to creatively incorporate movement in an otherwise inactive day. Business Insider interviewed coach Chris Fox about a four-minute workout you can do in the office, involving squats and push-ups. You can bring a lacrosse ball to tack-and-stretch your muscles against a wall. You can build or buy a standing desk. Or you can Google “workouts you can do at your desk” and a glut of articles with catchy titles will flood your browser.  

Todd Cavallo was in college when he got his first job in NYU’s computer lab. As a college student, he was mostly into Star Trek and Cheetos, and golf was the extent of his forays into athletic activity. After graduating, he worked in IT—meaning he’s been sitting in front of a computer for work more-or-less since 1998. He says he took the mostly sedentary lifestyle of programmers and the IT world as a given, until he found CrossFit in 2011. Todd now co-owns a tech company, and over the last year, he’s found ways to shake up the familiar scenery of sitting, all day, every day, with shitty posture in front of a screen. He’s extended that change of scenery to his employees, by literally bringing CrossFit into his company’s offices in both Manhattan and Manila.

When Todd wasn’t traveling to the Philippines or some other far-flung locale, we chatted with him about that process. When we read his well-received post on the CrossFit Message Boards last year, we decided his story was cool enough that we needed to share it with everyone at CFSBK. Enjoy, and feel free to ask any follow up questions in the comments, as Todd has agreed to follow along and answer them.

CFSBK: Tell us about your company. How did you get started? What do you do?

TC: We are CLINIC, a technology services company with specialties in Infrastructure Management and Web Development. We started out as an IT services company about eight years ago, and I have been managing the development arm of the company for the past five years. 

CFSBK: When did you get into CrossFit? What compelled you about it?

TC: I have been doing CrossFit for almost three years now. I had been lifting and running on my own and a friend told me I had to check it out. I started doing some of the workouts on my own before first training at CFMNL (CrossFit Manila Philippines) while working out of our Manila offices. Shortly thereafter, I signed up for Foundations at CFSBK when I was back in the States. It's the same story you've heard a million times: I thought I was in shape until my first real WODs left me in a sweaty sobbing heap on the floor, and after I could stand up again I wanted more.

CFSBK: What does your training look like now?

TC: Over the last year or so I have been focused primarily on weightlifting and my training centers around the lifts with squats and auxiliary work. I do try to get some conditioning in occasionally, usually when David makes me, but it's hard for me to stay at a competitive weight if I "move around" too much. This isn't the best example for my team but some of them are also getting into weightlifting so its another thing besides "the WOD" that we can geek out about in the office, which I feel is great for team building.

CFSBK: How did you decide to bring CrossFit into CLINIC?

TC: We were looking for a way to combat the sedentary lifestyle that accompanies most tech work, and because I was into CrossFit, I thought, Hey, let’s bring that into the office. We want to support a lifestyle that we believe is healthy. My business partner, Karl, had brought an old shitty bench press setup into our office after moving apartments, and I noticed the guys starting to use it. I said, "Let's do this right," and a few large (and heavy) orders from Rogue later, we basically had a fully outfitted CrossFit box in the corner of our office. On my next trip to our Manila office, I found some local equipment manufacturers to outfit the office there with most of the same equipment. Things started off with me doing some Foundations-style classes for the teams and putting together some basic strength and conditioning workouts that could be done within the confines of the office environment and with the shared equipment. 

CFSBK: Describe the logistics of what you offer your employees in terms of membership reimbursements and what's available in your offices.

TC: We eventually decided that the employees were better off getting some regular coaching, so we now offer full reimbursement for any box memberships in New York as long as the employee goes at least three times a week. I obviously find CrossFit valuable because of everything that goes along with it—it’s not only a better workout than if you went to some random exercise class or globo-gym, but if you go to a good box, it’s safer and the overall lifestyle is healthier. Yes, it’s more expensive but the results that you get from it are well worth that expense.

The economics and available space in the Manila office actually allows us to bring in a coach from the local affiliate twice a week to lead a coached class right in the office gym. There's usually one or two strength movements followed by a varied conditioning piece. They all sweat together and lay on the floor after the WOD, and then talk about it for the next few days until the next session. So they’re really into it. They also have strength work they do on their own for the rest of the week.

In the New York office, at first, I programmed some WODs that we did as a group. Now most people go to various boxes in the city, but Kenny and I sometimes still lift together in the office, and some of the other guys do too—squatting, benching, deadlifting. It’s worth mentioning that everyone has a convertible standing desk in the offices, too.

CFSBK: What kinds of benefits have you seen from implementing this program and bringing all that gear into your offices?

TC: We’re a small company, so I’m not really looking at how this impacts our bottom line. Given our size, we don’t have the capabilities to process the data on the effect of the initiative on sick days or general health, but the fact that so many of the team members are taking advantage of the program and really getting into the training is all the feedback I need to know that we made the right call. The team building is the most obvious benefit, but the employee wellness factor was what really drove the process from the beginning. 

A great example is CFSBKer Roosevelt, one of my employees who works in our New York office. He started going to CFSBK, and he took it further and went Paleo and did last year’s LFPB Challenge. Since he began CrossFit, he’s lost 73 pounds. He still makes and brings his own lunches, usually steamed vegetables and grilled chicken.

We’re willing to go the extra mile and pay $100 to $200/month in reimbursements, instead of $15/month for a membership at a place like Planet Fitness, because we reap the benefits of better health and wellness in our employees. But—we also have a ping-pong table in both offices, just because it’s fun, and we go out drinking, too. Those things are also important. 

CFSBK: What advice would you offer to someone who wants to do the same thing with their company or in their workplace?

TC: Just do it. If you are in a position where you can afford to invest in employee wellness, do it a bit at a time until the program can grow into itself. Listen to your employees, and find out what would help them achieve their fitness goals. We now offer reimbursements for martial arts classes and globo-gym memberships as well for employees that haven't fully embraced the CrossFit lifestyle. We do have some "fully committed" CrossFitters too—one of our office managers in Manila is gung ho about joining the local box there so he can start competing, and he has plans to get his Level 1 Certification as soon as there's another one in the area.

My Dad, the Pornographer The New York Times 
Want to Limit Overeating? Get More Sleep Psychology Today  
Inspiration from Luke Ericson Ross Training 


Bench Press | 2.9.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start at about 90% of where you left last cycle.
Performance: 95% x 1, 75% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 3 Minutes:
Clean and Jerks 135/95 

Rest 3 Minutes

AMRAP 3 Minutes:
7 Toes to Bar
7 Push Ups 

Rest 3 Minutes

AMRAP 3 Minutes:
Calories Rowed 

Barbell should be light-ish. Toes to bar and push ups should be mostly unbroken. Row HARD.

Post load and Rx to comments. 

Our two CFSBK teams at CrossFit Solace's February Fling yesterday. Huge congrats to Alex B. and Coach MeLo on taking third place!!

News and Notes 

  • Coach David has a new post over on his blog Inside the Affiliate about programming Not For Time work at CFSBK. Check it out to learn more about our programming: "Turn Off the Clock: Why You Should Program Not For Time Work at CrossFit Gyms."
  • Have you signed up yet for the 2015 CrossFit Open? We're now 17 days away from Open Workout 15.1! There will be Rx'd and scaled versions of each workout, so you can only help CFSBK’s team by signing up. Sign up here, and after you complete your registration, make sure to join CFSBK’s team (you can see everyone who has already signed up here). 
  • Happy birthday, Rob P.

Join Us For a FREE CrossFit Kids Teaser Class Monday, February 16th!

You've been asking us about CrossFit Kids! While we're putting together the program, we want to give you a sneak peek of what to expect when we launch.

CrossFit Kids is not just a scaled down version of adult classes! It combines gymnastics, body-weight movements, and weightlifting elements that encourage bone density and vestibular system development. Children have a great opportunity to maximize their physical skills when exposed to this stimulus during years of peak physical development. Classes are designed to be engaging, fast-paced, and most importantly FUN! Kids will learn proper mechanics and gain a lifelong love of health and fitness.

Spaces are limited. Sign up now to guarantee your spot. 3-2-1-GO! 

Preschool (3 - 5): Monday, Feb 16th at 8am

Kids (6 - 8): Monday, Feb 16th at 10am

Not Competing In Iron Maidens, But Interested In Helping Out? 

We are looking for a few strong women to volunteer during the day! Please email margie [at] crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com TODAY if you're interested in one of the following jobs, and indicate which shift(s) work for you (all shifts subject to slight change). You won't want to miss being part of this epic day.

4-6 women who have experience lifting and spotting, and are relatively strong. You MUST be comfortable responding quickly to calls for spot and working with a team to keep the lifters safe. Shifts are roughly 9:30am to 1pm and  2:30pm to 5ish.  

1-2 women who can weigh-in competitors and take opening attempts weights. Shifts are 8:30-10am and from 12-1pm. 

2-4 scorers who are comfortable using USAPL software to enter competitors scores during the meet. Will train scorers on software. Shifts are 9am-2pm and 1pm to 5pm.  

1 or 2 volunteers to fill in where needed, and help sponsors get set up. 
Shifts throughout the day 

Astounding Workout Art Barstarzzz
Secrets of the Animals That Dive Deep Into the Ocean BBC
Amazing Time-Lapse Film of National Treasure BBC


Clean | Deadlift | WOD 2.8.15

Work up to a heavy load on the complex:
Fitness: Hang (knee) Power Clean + Front Squat
Performance: Clean Pull + High Hang Clean + Hang (knee) Clean

The Clean Pull reinforces finishing hip and knee extension in a vertical manner. It should exactly mimic your clean, minus the third pull, aka racking the bar. In the first version the lifter reaches triple extension (ankle, knee, hip) and shrugs at the top. In the second version the lifter hits all the same points of performance and adds in a sharp redirection under the bar without actually racking it.

With no redirection.
With rapid redirection, aka "Panda Pull." 

Post loads to comments.


Fitness and Performance: 1 x 5 Linear Progression
Dead starts, no touch and go. Use a hook grip if you can. 

Post loads to comments.

Tabata Mash-Up:
Kettlebell Swings
Box Jumps 

Post reps and Rx to comments.

Rachel H., our resident handstand queen, getting her stretch on

News and Notes

  • Good luck to Alex B. and coaches ArturoK HarpZ (more on Katie as our newest coach coming soon), and MeLo who are competing in CrossFit Solace's February Fling today from 10am-3:30pm. Check out the WODs here!
  • Want to work out TODAY at 9am and bring your kid/s? Now you can! Sign them up at the Front Desk for CFSBK Kids Club, and learn more here.
  • Happy birthday, Front Desk Superstar Charlie N.!

A Glamorous Time-Lapse of Los Angeles, From Sunrise to Sunset The Atlantic
Top 5 Assistance Exercises For the Clean Catalyst Athletics


Front Squat | WOD 2.7.15

Fitness: 3 x 3 Linear Progression
Start a bit off where you left off last cycle. Aim to add 5-10 lbs each week.
Performance: 92.5% x 1, 72.5% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

For Time:
1000m Row
50 Thrusters
30 Burpees 

Post time and Rx to comments.

Mel L. warming up her squat at Open Gym last night


Have you signed up yet for the 2015 CrossFit Open? We're now 19 days away from Open Workout 15.1! Register today! There will be Rx'd and scaled versions of each workout, so you can only help CFSBK’s team by signing up. Even if you do one rep for one of the WODs, it won’t bring the team down. We just want you to join us! Sign up here, and after you complete your registration, make sure to join CFSBK’s team (you can see everyone who has already signed up here). 

News and Notes

  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP TO CLASS: Click on the Class Schedule and RSVP tab in the left-hand column (under General Information) and select the class for which you'd like to RSVP. 
  • Want to work out TOMORROW at 9am and bring your kid/s? Now you can! Sign them up at the Front Desk for CFSBK Kids Club, and learn more here.
  • Happy birthday, Pilates Maven KH (aka Cage)!!!

Woman Becomes Obese After Fecal Transplantation From Overweight Donor Medical News Today
Bernese Mountain Dog Struggles on Ice CBS News


Rest Day

JMD in slo-mo at Open Gym 

Introducing a CFSBK Poet: Jynne Dilling Martin

Last year, CFSBKer and poet Jynne Dilling Martin spent six weeks, funded by the National Science Foundation, living in Antarctica. As her NPR interview reports, “She spent the summer (winter, to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) shadowing scientists as they went about their work, and writing about the people who call the icy continent home.” Out of that project emerged many of the poems in her new collection, We Mammals In Hospitable Times, one of which is included below.

Jynne will be giving a reading at Book Court on Wednesday, February 25, at 7pm, and she would love for any and all CFSBKers to join her. She also kept a blog while she was in Antarctica, which you can find here.

From Jynne, as an introduction for the poem below: “One of my favorite things poetry can do, like no other art form, is knit together disparate images, from all different times, places, sources. In this particular poem, I used quotes from an actual love letter that was found last year in a Korean tomb alongside details of the scientific work I witnessed in Antarctica. Most people imagine Antarctica being all white, but in fact, it’s spectacularly colorful—the ice refracts the sunlight into a constant dazzling rainbow mirage—and colored light also glows out of many of the scientific machines, like the ones measuring neutrinos that have fallen all the way to Earth from other galaxies. It stuns me to think we can actually see and touch light, or love letters, from such different places and times.”


A giant ice cube at South Pole Station captures
extragalactic neutrinos. Please take me to where you are,

pleaded the pregnant Korean widow to her lost love
in a sixteenth-century letter an archaeologist 

found folded in a tomb. Telescopes see only light;
faces from our dreams, unspoken desires, dead stars 

go undetected. Come to me secretly and show yourself
she whispered. Hans Spemann plucked a fine hair 

from his newborn daughter to tie an embryo egg in half.
The microscope zooms in on a freshly formed eyeball 

gazing expectantly back. The archaeologist feels ill,
presses twice-boiled tea leaves to his forehead, 

unfolds and refolds the letter again. The fastest thing
in the universe is light; the slowest is forgiving 

then forgetting. The seal gnaws a hole in the sea ice,
sunlight flashes on a million emerald cod flitting below. 

Captured neutrinos flare pale blue; embryos float
in drops of glistening saline fluid and await their fate. 

Quartz cuvettes filled with seawater and lavender dye
slide into a spectrometer, colors the human eye 

cannot see fan out inside a box. Please, come in a dream,
there is no limit to what I want to know. I wait here. 

From We Mammals in Hospitable Times by Jynne Dilling Martin. Copyright 2015 by Jynne Dilling Martin. Excerpted by permission of Carnegie Mellon University Press.

News and Notes

  • The Snowshoe trip to the Catskills was rescheduled for this Saturday, and there are now two spaces left. Email Mare [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com if you're interested! 
  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP TO CLASS: Click on the Class Schedule and RSVP tab in the left-hand column (under General Information) and select the class for which you'd like to RSVP. 
  • Want to work out on Sunday at 9am and bring your kid/s? Now you can! Sign them up at the Front Desk for CFSBK Kids Club, and learn more here.

Mapping 61 Ancient Tattoos on a 5,300-Year-Old Mummy The Atlantic
Why Are You Here? Catalyst Athletics
It’s Official: Singles Who Do CrossFit Have More Sex New York Observer


Snatch | WOD 2.5.15

Work up to a medium heavy load on the complex:
Fitness: Power Snatch + 2 Overhead Squats
Performance: High Hang Snatch + Hang (knee) Snatch + Overhead Squat

Post loads to comments.

15 Minutes, Not For Rounds:
5 Strict Toes To Bar or Floor Levers
5 Strict Dumbbell Press, as heavy as possible
5e Barbell Reverse Lunges, as heavy as possible (5 left then 5 right)

Post Rx to comments.

Penny and Josh sure do look cute in this photo, but please note this is an old photo and violates our current Dogs and Kids Policies

Behind the Desk: Josh S.

You all love the Underneath the Hoodie series and now we’re bringing back the Behind the Desk series, about our beloved and much appreciated Front Desk staff. These CrossFitters take care of the important duties of checking in our members, handling walk-ins, tidying up after classes, and so many other things that it would take forever to list them. They are the glue that holds this gym together.

A couple weeks ago, it was Janelle. And now (drum roll, please), introducing...

Name: Josh Schneiderman

Where were you born and where did you grow up: Born and raised in Northeast Philly. 

How long have you been CrossFitting, and how did you arrive at CFSBK? A few months shy of two years. A few summers ago, I did a foundations cycle at an affiliate in the Philly 'burbs and then never returned for a bunch of reasons. I moved to Brooklyn in the fall of 2012 and quickly grew bored with my routine of running, pull-ups, and push-ups. I knew I wanted to get back into CrossFit, so I signed up for another foundations cycle at CFSBK. I didn't really shop around, because we seemed like the best (and we are).  

What are you up to when you're not at 597 Degraw Street: Teaching English at Hunter College. I'm also finishing a PhD in American literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. 

First album that you loved: Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. 

"Ask me about that time I..." Hitchhiked around the Virgin Islands. 

Favorite restaurant or bar in Brooklyn: It's a toss-up between Guero's (tacos) and Doris in Bed-Stuy. 

Favorite and least favorite lift: Favorite: clean. Least favorite: thruster. 

Any Front Desk PSAs you'd like to share? Brooklyn Boulders is at the end of the block on the right. 

News and Notes

  • The Snowshoe trip to the Catskills was rescheduled for this Saturday, and there are now two spaces left. Email Mare [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com if you're interested! 
  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP TO CLASS: Click on the Class Schedule and RSVP tab in the left-hand column (under General Information) and select the class for which you'd like to RSVP. 
  • Happy birthday, Charlotte K.!

Raining Fire The New York Times 
Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Get A Tattoo (but Having a Baby is Fine) The Ugly Volvo
What is Deja Vu?! It's Okay To Be Smart 


Back Squat | WOD 2.4.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start a bit below last cycle.
Performance: 92.5% x 1, 72.5% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

12-9-6-3, For Time:
Deadlifts 275/185
Burpees Over The Bar

Post time and Rx to comments.

All the cool kids are checking out CFSBK Kids Club

CFSBK Kids Club: Sundays at 9am 

Want to come to a class on Sundays but can't find a babysitter? Let CFSBK Kids Club help! This one hour drop-off program is designed for children ages 3 to 8, and will keep them engaged with hands-on activities. While you're working out, your child(ren) will have the opportunity to explore arts & crafts, science experiments, games, and movement activities. You'll get peace of mind and they get an hour jam packed with FUN!   

When: Sundays at 9am
Cost: 1st child - $10/child (take 20% off for the older child when siblings are registered together)
5 Pack - $40/child (1 child), $55/siblings (2 children) 
RSVP at the Front Desk

Please note that CFSBK Kids' Club is a separate program from CrossFit Kids. CrossFit Kids is under development and will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Questions? Email Janelle [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com

News and Notes

  • Meat CSA-ers and Egg Lovers: Don't forget to pick up your meat and/or buy eggs tonight, from 6-8:30pm. Eggs are $6/dozen, first come, first served! Please bring any green bags you have back to the gym, and remember to bring your own bag for your share. Questions? Hit up mignyc [at] gmail.com. 
  • Head over to the event page to tell us what you're bringing to the Community Potluck on Saturday, February 21 at 7pm! 
  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP TO CLASS: Click on the Class Schedule and RSVP tab in the left-hand column (under General Information) and select the class for which you'd like to RSVP. 
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAY-STAR (aka Stringer Kettlebell)!

The Turkish Get-up With Jeff Martone CrossFit 
Creating Long-Term, Sustainable Behaviour Change With a Positive Feedback Loop Whole9
Tired, Hungry, and Sad? Relax, You're Hibernating Daily Mail
Here’s A Shocking Truth If You Think You’ve Wasted Your Life Lifehack