Rest Day

KHarpz at Fight Gone Bad 2013

Last July, Katie Harper moved to Brooklyn from her hometown of Columbia, Maryland to become a student in Long Island University’s physical therapy program. Katie has been an athlete since she can remember, starting with lacrosse as a wee second-grader, eventually dabbling in field hockey and track, and currently holding down the game of racquetball (any challenger on the court is welcome, she says). Though her present journey toward becoming a physical therapist doesn’t leave time for many things other than studying and grasping peoples' calcanei, she found her way to CFSBK shortly after her move, committing to her training and the community almost immediately. If you’ve ever shared a bar with her, you know her pixie shape belies her absurd strength, and that her squat is pretty enough to make anyone drool.

Unfortunately, Katie got injured at the end of 2013 and hasn’t been in group classes during her recovery. Given what she’s studying in school, we were curious to hear how she’s handled her injury and if she had any advice for fellow CrossFitters whose training might have been derailed by a system malfunction. Her thoughts are below.

Notes on an Injury from a Physical Therapy Student who CrossFits

By Katie Harper 

It was approximately mid-December when I first decided to hop on the pain-train. I was nearing my one-year CrossFit anniversary and I was just another young, invincible athlete with PR fever. I was working out more than five times a week, sometimes twice a day. Needless to say, delayed onset muscle soreness was my middle name. Sprinkle in some recovery days here and there and I was good to go for the month. Little did I know, I was one push press away from a partial rotator cuff tear and a long road to recovery. 

As a first year student of Physical Therapy, I should have known better. Sure, I was learning all about pain and inflammation, muscle recovery, and range of motion; but it took until I was lying in an MRI bed to really be impacted by the information. Suddenly, I was in a position where my educational career was on the line, and if I needed surgery to restore my shoulder, I would be set back an entire year in the program. The feeling was terrifying, and I can imagine I am not the only one in this world who has had to put their life on-hold as a result of an injury. I suddenly felt a sense of empathy for those who were in situations less fortunate than I.

It was in this very moment that I realized how important a healthy, functioning body really is and how badly I wanted to do everything in my part to get better. So what did I do? I sought out therapy, took some time off at the gym, and found some alternative forms of fitness. As hard as it was to separate myself from the community that I’ve grown to love, I knew it was the best decision to ensure an optimal recovery. Thankfully, I am happy to say there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

Of course, I didn’t arrive at all of these conclusions on my own. In fact, I owe a lot to CFSBK for helping me. From the moment I walked through these doors I noticed there was a different vibe about the gym. Of course, I was continuously impressed with the coaching expertise and instruction. But what I noticed the most was the gym's ability to breed mature athletes, who are committed to lifelong fitness. That is the one principle that I now hold above all other goals. It is not the fact that I can say I did Fran in three minutes once in 1999, or that I squatted 4-hundo one stormy night at open gym; it is that I am physically capable of doing CrossFit or any form of fitness for as long as I want and when I want.

So if there is anything you want to take away from this at all, just hear my advice. If there is something that doesn’t feel quite right, get to the root cause of the pain and address it as soon as possible. Whether it be a soft tissue injury, joint mobility problem, or something else, seek the help you need before it starts to affect your function. If you feel it can be managed inside the walls of CFSBK, awesome. Have a look at that blue and white spotted book hovering over the foam rollers. Kelly Starrett, the Supple-god, will guide you through all the tricks of the trade when it comes to self-maintenance and mobility. Inka and Fidler are pretty fabulous as well!

For those of you who are going through something similar to me, I understand how frustrating it can be. Gains in the gym will be lost from time to time. Trust me, I try to remind myself every day that my biceps won’t deflate like balloons over night. Just think of it as an opportunity to wipe your slate clean and fill it up with new and exciting efficient motor patterns. Doesn’t that sound fun?! So if you’re feeling like you need to reach out to someone, just know that you are not alone. In fact, there are a lot of us out there, perhaps you’ll see us lurking by mob-mat, longing for DROMs and barbell drills. Guilty as charged. 


Pilates at 7:30pm with Kristin H.

Join KH tonight in CFSBK's weekly Pilates class. We'll go over neutral pelvis, engaging the transversus abdominis (say WHAT?), stabilizing the rib cage, and finding good shoulder girdle positioning. Learn more here!
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Coach Jeremy! In case you missed our interview with him last week, check it out and learn even more reasons to appreciate this man.

Bench Press | "Jackie"

Fitness3 x 5 Linear Progression 
Add 2.5 to 5 lbs to last week. 

Performance77.5% x 6  x 5
Rest two minutes between sets. 

Post loads to comments.



1000m Row
50 Thrusters 45#
30 Kipping Pull-Ups 

Compare to 11.27.2010.

In its best capacity, "Jackie" is an evenly-paced, unbroken suck fest. Try and go dark today.

Post time and Rx to comments. 

The Mayhem in the Meadowlands crew

Notes from Mayhem in the Meadowlands

The CFSBK crew reports that they had a great time at the MetLife Stadium. Coach Fox says he had a blast teaming up with Coach McDowell and Mike F. (their team name was Earth, Wind, and Fire). Dave F. came up with an acronym to describe the day, which was GTF:  Guns, Tan, Friends. Dave also says a big thank you to Willie for stepping up and filling in as their third teammate. He killed it in his first ever competition event. "King Willie is the man!" If you'd like to see more coverage of all the mayhem, check out the Instagram of CFSBK's resident documentarian Nancy H.

Current Programming Cycle

In case you missed it, there is a new link in the new left-hand column, called Current Programming Cycle. The page includes the dates of each component of the cycle, the template, the programming plan per movement (such as the percentages or whether fitness is doing a linear progression), and any competitions or athletic events happening during the cycle. Many of you requested that the information on that page be more readily available and here it is!  

  • Happy birthday, PR!
The Man Who Would Make Food Obsolete The Atlantic
When Air Becomes a Public Health Hazard CNN
The Final Individual Events of the CrossFit Games Regionals CrossFit


Deadlift or Snatch | WOD 5.4.14

Fitness: Deadlift 3 x 3 Linear Progression
Should be able to add 5-10 pounds to last week’s number. 

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

Post loads to comments.

Partner WOD: AMRAP 20 min
20 Kettlebell Swings
15 Toes to Bar or 30 Sit Ups
10 Burpees

Little Billy stares at all the strong people doing strong things

  • Come actively recover with Coach Fox at 11am and ask him all about how Mayhem in the Meadowlands went!
  • Happy birthday, John Mc-D!
  • Belated congrats to Megan D. who ran the Henry Hope 5K last Sunday! She didn't PR her time, but she still finished 1st in her division and 4th overall with a time of 21:20 (6:53 pace). Amazing!

Want to Be More Creative? Take a Walk New York Times
Interactive Body BBC
The World Beyond the World The Atlantic
22 Facts About Sleep That Will Surprise You Cleveland Clinic


Clean and Jerk | Front Squat

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

Performance: Clean and Jerk 1-1-1 then, 85% x 1 x 2
Work up to a heavy clean and jerk in 3 attempts, then perform 2 singles from the hang at 85% of today's best lift.


Front Squat

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression

Performance:  75% x 6 x 5

Post loads to comments.

Optional DIY Cash Out
50 Squats
550m Run
50 V-Ups or Hollow Rock

Did you know CFSBK has an experimental dance troupe? Just kidding. Soon.

Welcome CrossFit Prospect Heights to the affiliate community! They've got an open house happening today from 12-3:00pm! Details here.

  • Come get mobile and loose, CFSBKers! Today brings you so many opportunities to become supple, just like leopards:
    • Yoga with Coach Whitney at 10am
    • Active Recovery at 11am and 12pm with Coach DO
  • Good luck to everyone competing in Mayhem in the Meadowlands today at the MetLife stadium in New Jersey. Over half our coaches are competing, along with some CFSBK superstars. Let us know how it goes!
    • Coaches Jess, MeLo, Fox, McDowell, Noah, and Arturo
    • Laura M.Mike F., Dave F., Ryan J., and Ryan F

Implementing Yoga into your Crossfit Life The Box


Rest Day

On Strength Training and Strength Cycle: A Q&A with Coach Jeremy

By Kate Reece

Coach Jeremy has been with CFSBK since practically the beginning. In Margie’s Underneath the Hoodie write-up, we learned numerous fascinating facts about the oft-bearded introvert with three younger brothers, such as that he was run over by a lawnmower as a child, is ardent about guns, zombies, and atheism, and as a third grader, was obsessed with an encyclopedia of Greek mythology. Since everyone in group classes doesn’t always get to interact with him as much as his Strength Cycle members and his PlayStation console, we wanted to solicit his thoughts for the blog about strength training. In pounds? The man presses 235, benches 345, squats 435, and deadlifts 505—so he certainly knows something about being strong. Hopefully the answers to his questions reveal a bit more about what all the cool kids are up to over on the platform. 

CFSBK: Talk to us about how you got into strength training. What has your athletic journey looked like and when did you first find CrossFit? 

Jeremy: I was always active and athletic as a kid. I wrestled and ran track all through high school and ran for three years at NYU. After school I went in-and-out of being in shape, mostly just running and doing stupid lifting when I was in shape. In late 2005 I started looking at how powerlifters trained and since I figured they were fairly strong, I decided that January 1, I was going to start a basic program. After a year of that, I kind of went through the same process with CrossFit—researching and dabbling, and finally jumping fully into it in January 2007. I trained for most of that year on my own before finding CFSBK.  

CFSBK: You're kind of famous in our slice of the world for going to the 2008 Games. Tell us about that experience. What was CrossFit like back then?

Jeremy: The games were different then—much smaller, no stadium. It was at Dave Castro's family ranch in Aromas. There were no qualifiers of any kind. You just signed up and competed. I had thought about doing the first games in 2007 but the timing wasn't right. So when the opportunity came around again, I didn't really think about it, I just signed up. I was pretty much alone the whole weekend. I hung out with a few of the CrossFit NYC crew, but I didn't know them real well. So mostly I just hit my workouts, ate some food, and napped in-between. It was three workouts on Saturday: deadlift and burpees, chest-to-bar “Fran,” and that fucking hill run. Sunday was a heavy squat clean “Grace.” I did alright. I think I placed 33rd out of almost 200. It was a fun experience, I'm glad I competed.  

CFSBK: How did you decide to start Strength Cycle?

Jeremy: Strength Cycle was an idea that David and I had discussed for a while back at the Lyceum. We saw the need for a dedicated strength program, there was interest in it from members, and it fit in well with my previous experience. Unfortunately, the space and equipment just weren't right and it went on the backburner. Once we moved into Degraw, the opportunity was there and the program moved quickly from there.  

CFSBK: How has Strength Cycle evolved since its first iteration? 

Jeremy: It's grown considerably. The first cycle was four people. From there it grew to a group of eight; after a few cycles I saw the need for some of the veterans to move onto more advanced programing and the B cycle was born. It stayed there for a while until I somewhat begrudgingly added the morning cycle which I still have a kind of love/hate relationship with. I love teaching it—for whatever reason the conversations are always a shade funnier in the morning (or maybe it just seems that way) and I really have a great time with the people in it. I do however hate waking up for it. I'm not a morning person by any stretch and I don't miss waking up before 6am on the weeks where we are on hiatus. In terms of what we do in class—that hasn't changed all that much. The beginners progression is boringly repetitive, no getting around that. You hit the same lifts over and over again adding weight each time, which is simple but effective. The B cycle gives me a little more ability to play with programming so it's gone through some different iterations over the years.  

CFSBK: It seems like the people who have done Strength Cycle all become proselytizers on its behalf. But for those who haven't encountered one of the platform's devotees and are curious, what should they expect if they were to join? 

Jeremy: The best way to describe Strength Cycle is that it's a lot like the lifting portion of your typical group class. You're paired up with some people on a rack and you lift. There are some differences—you lift with the same people each day, you have more time per lift (since that's all were doing), you don't have to think about your numbers, and you work with the same coach every time. I think what people like about Strength Cycle is the fact that it's slowed down, simplified, and more predictable compared to group class.    

CFSBK: What if they're scared they'll miss group classes? I'm asking for a friend. 

Jeremy: Well, you'll get to see group class every day, from the comfort of the bench you're sitting on.   

CFSBK: What are some misconceptions about lifting heavy weights (or about Strength Cycle) that you'd like to dispel?

Jeremy: People are too afraid of losing their conditioning. Being stronger makes you better at CrossFit. If you look at high-level CrossFit athletes, the thing that jumps out most is how strong they are. You can't have high-level strength endurance without first being strong.   

CFSBK: I'd imagine you've read almost everything every written about strength training. Give it to me in a no-bullshit elevator pitch. Why should people do this?

Jeremy: There is no training adaptation more important than strength. Without strength the other physical attributes are useless, or severely limited. Endurance without strength? Have fun doing boring shit for long periods of time. Mobility without strength? Hope you enjoy competitive stretching. Strength is about force production. Without it, power and speed are impossible, and how can you have fun in the absence of those qualities? 

CFSBK: There are some pretty awesome photos of you curling babies and eating enormous chicken drumsticks after lifting. I also heard that you hang out with kids at the Park Slope Food Coop when you're not at CFSBK. Tell me a bit about how you spend your days when you're not on the platform.

Jeremy: I'm no longer a member of the Coop. I'd rather just go to Whole Foods where they simply let me exchange money for goods and services without me having to sweep up a couple hours a month. I have three brothers with eight kids between them so I still have plenty of opportunities to hang out with kids. When I'm not at the gym, I'm fairly boring. I read a lot—books, Interwebs, comics. I put in quality time with the PlayStation and watch a fair amount of movies. Nothing that exciting.

If you have any questions for Coach Jeremy about Strength Cycle, shoot him an email at Jeremy [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com, or really, just ask him. 

  • Happy belated birthday, Jake L.!
  • CFSBK’s softball team, Las Calaveras, has their second game tonight at the Red Hook ball fields. Come cheer them on at 6:15pm! There will most likely be tacos to follow.

Pump Iron—Bob Couch YouTube
Carbohydrate Confessions: Stories (and Data) from a Low Carb Convert Precision Nutrition
Should You Wear a Lifting Belt? CrossFit Invictus


Muscle Up 101 | WOD 5.1.14


AMRAP 12 minutes

15 Kettlebell Swings
10 Ring Push Ups


AMRAP 12 minutes
1 Muscle Up
3 Thrusters 115/75
2 Muscle Ups
6 Thrusters
3 Muscle Ups
9 Thrusters
4 Muscle Ups
12 Thrusters
5 Muscle Ups
15 Thrusters
6 Muscle Ups
18 Thrusters
7 Muscle Ups
12 Thrusters

And so on...

Post Rx as well as total reps and rounds completed to comments.

Assistance Work:
Handstand Practice

Our coaches beasting it out for Murph last May #tbt

Current Programming Cycle

You may have noticed that there is a nifty new link in the nifty new left-hand column, called Current Programming Cycle. The page includes the dates of each component of the cycle, the template, the programming plan per movement (such as the percentages or whether fitness is doing a linear progression), and any competitions or athletic events happening during the cycle. Many of you requested that the information on that page be more readily available and here it is!  

  • Save the date for our annual Memorial Day "Murph" WOD and BBQ on Monday May 26th! More information coming soon.
  • Today is Dean S.'s last day training at CFSBK. He is leaving us for a job opportunity in Baltimore. Dean, you will be missed. Best of luck! 

The Knees-Out Cue Catalyst Athletics
How (and Why) to Flex Your Hips Outside
How Loving My 300-Pound Body Keeps Me Thin Huffington Post
Ice Age Melting: Rice May No Longer Be the Treatment of Choice for Injuries Guardian Liberty Voice


Snatch | Back Squat

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

Performance: Snatch 1-1-1, then 85% x 1 x 2 from the mid hang
Work up to a heavy snatch in 3 attempts, then perform 2 singles from the mid-hang at 85% of today's best snatch.


Back Squat

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression

Performance: 75% x 6 x 5
Rest about two minutes between sets.

Post loads to comments.

Gracie D. practicing handstands with Coach Ro. Welcome back, Gracie!

Veggie CSA - Sign Up Now!

Are you ready for a summer filled with gorgeous local vegetables? Time is running out to sign up for the annual vegetable CSA with Sol Flower Farm. The deliveries are weekly and begin in June! 

Sign-up directions, pricing, and FAQ can all be found here. They also offer a separate flower share. If you want to split a share with someone, post to the blog to find a buddy!

Questions? Email mignyc at gmail dot com. 

How Far Fitness Has Fallen Outside
Huayhuash: A Mountain Bike Adventure in Peru Bike Magazine