WOD 6.5.14

20 minutes Not for Rounds:
1-3 Strict Muscle Ups
3-6 Strict Handstand Push Ups (deficit if you can)
6-10 Pistols

Rest as needed between movements. 

20 Minutes Not for Rounds:
1 Wall Walk with a :10 hold
5 Ring Dips or Push Ups
10e Goblet Deficit Lunges

Rest as needed between movements. 

Elijah Muhammad crushing it at the South East Regionals last weekend 

Join Keith F. at the Out Fit Challenge 

Keith F. is running in the Out Fit Challenge on Saturday, June 21st, in Tuxedo, NY. This is a LGBT 5K mud-run with post-race free beer, and Keith is looking for more teammates! If you want to join, you can sign up for his team by viewing his team page here. It's about $60.00, with processing fees and insurance included. He's got a team of seven now, and would love to add more CFSBKers! Feel free to email Keith for more info at keithrfr [at] 

Upcoming Programming Cycle

Our next cycle starts on Monday! In case you missed it last time, 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!  

Health Experts See Benefits in Push to Cut Pollution New York Times
Are You Addicted to Dining Out? GQ
Some Surprising Things VSauce
Sleeping: Neck, Shoulders, and Pillows mobility|WOD


WOD 6.4.14

A: Turkish Get-Up 101

B: TGU/Swing Partner Couplet

With a partner, alternate the following work for 15 Minutes:
3 Turkish get-ups, right arm
30 Kettlebell Swings
3 Turkish get-ups, left arm

Go heavy on this. One person should always be working.

C: Chin-Up/Weighted Plank Couplet

With a partner, alternate the following work for 15 Minutes:
:45 Weighted Forearm Plank
6 Strict chest to bar Chin-Ups with a :02 hold at the top

Focus on a mature finish position on your chin-ups.

Foraging in Prospect Park with "Wildman" Steve Brill

Let your natural hunter-gatherer come forth and take your Paleo diet to the next level as we join naturalist Steve Brill for one of his foraging tours right in our backyard in search of seasonal edible and medicinal wild plants and mushrooms. The tour will be on Sunday, June 22, meeting at Grand Army Plaza at 11:45am. $20 suggested donation for the four-hour tour. RSVP to Mare by Friday, June 20 at mare [at] if you'd like to join.

Have you ever wanted to learn to do a standing back flip? 

Now is your chance. Join guest gymnastics coach Ken H. THIS SATURDAY as he takes you through various progressions leading up to doing standing back flips.

Buy-in: Power clean your body weight
Time: Saturday, June 7th, 2-3:30pm
Cost: $20 

The class is capped at 8 participants, so don’t think twice! Register Here! 

Ken Haller's Bio
Ken was a nationally competitive gymnast in Newton, MA and at the University of Michigan. After graduating, Ken coached for eight years at Capital Gymnastics in Northern Virginia where he coached regional and national champions. His students have gone on to be NCAA champions and members of Cirque du Soliel. In searching for an activity to replace gymnastics, Ken filled the void with rock climbing and yoga for the past ten years and recently found CrossFit to round out his training.

Meat and Fish CSA Pickup Today

Pickup is 6-8:30pm! Be there or be square. (Note that the vegetable CSA will be next Wednesday, June 11.)

The American Dream Is Alive—and It's Really, Really Tiny The Atlantic
Running Streak of 16,438 Days Will Set American Record Los Angeles Times
Do Things You Can Sustain James Clear
A Tattoo That Completes a New Breast New York Times 


Rest Day

Our valiant and mud-stained Spartans after their race on Saturday

2014 Articles and Media in Review

We're almost half-way through 2014, and the CFSBK blog has been full of great articlesabout good training habits, nutrition, thoughts on why and how we do things the way we do, and interviews with beloved members of our community. In addition to living over on the CFSBK Articles & Media page, all the cool shit we've posted so far this year is below, listed in the order each article was posted (starting with the most recent). All for your Tuesday reading pleasure!

Tips on How to be Prepared and Get the Most Out of Group Classes Chris Fox
Memorial Day Musings Dr. Mike Cutaia
The Master: An Interview with Bob Semmens and Coach McDowell Kate Reece
Notes on an Injury from a Physical Therapy Student who CrossFits Katie Harper
On Strength Training and Strength Cycle: A Q&A with Coach Jeremy Kate Reece
Starting Class with Introductions Inside the Affiliate
Running Training Tips from CFSBK's Endurance Program Coach Michael Olzinski
April Athlete of the Month: Matt Chmielecki
On Being an Athlete Who Doesn't Eat Meat with Coach Whitney Kate Reece
Why Join a CSA? Part 3 Margie Lempert
Why Join a CSA? Part 2 Margie Lempert
Behind the Lens: Asta Fivgas Kate Reece
Why Join a CSA? Part 1 Margie Lempert
Behind the Desk: Ava Page
March Athlete Of The Month: Laura McElherne
Underneath the Hoodie: Melissa L. Kate Reece
Transitioning from the Look, Feel, Perform Better Challenge Chris Fox
Behind the Lens: Bekka Palmer Kate Reece
Injury, Insight Noah Abbott
Low Bar Versus High Bar Back Squats David Osorio
There Is No Wagon: Thoughts on Binge Eating and Dieting Chris Fox
Underneath The Hoodie: Robert McDowell Myers Kate Reece
January Athlete of the Month: Peter Mattis

What other topics would you like to read about, written by the CFSBK staff?


Press 101

Press 101

Work up to a heavy single in 5 attempts. If you haven't pressed much before, use today to find your starting weight for a 3x5 Linear Progression. We'll be seeing presses in the next cycle.

The birthday girl on her final mile of "Murph" with Asha, who was already done with her heat, but joined Whit's last mile for support

  • Happy Birthday, Coach Whitney! 
  • Back Off Week starts today! 

Back Off Weeks 

By David Osorio

For most of us, it can be quite difficult to hit the WODs hard, week-in, week-out, ad infinitum. Your ability to successfully train at high intensity over a period of time is determined by genetics, recovery, nutrition, injuries, and training age.  At CrossFit South Brooklyn, we follow a 3/1/2/1 weekly microcycle which looks like this:

CFSBK Microcycle
Saturday: On
Sunday: On
Monday: On

Tuesday: Off 

Wednesday: On
Thursday: On

Friday: Off

By allowing at least two non-sequential days off, we can train at high intensity over the course of a week. Consistently training CrossFit more than three days in a row can lead to a decrease in performance due to accumulated inflammation and a lack of recovery. Many of you guys have been following our 3/1/2/1 schedule with great success.

But what about training over longer periods of time than a week?

The type of training we do as CrossFitters leads to degrees of adaptation much more closely related to competitive athletics than traditional "fitness" programs. That being said, it's important to note that most organized sports teams map out their yearly programming goals based around a competitive season.  Conversely, CrossFit is a GPP program which aims to achieve a consistently high level of work capacity over a life time. There are many individuals who use CrossFit to train for their sport or occupation (MIL/LEO etc.) and an ever-growing number of people who are competing in CrossFit as their primary sport. These individuals will generally modify variables of their programs to better prepare themselves for competition or deployment.

But what about boring old me?

The majority of us are training CrossFit without any regard to a specific competition or training goal other than health, longevity, and fitness. It's therefore necessary for the average CrossFitter to take it upon themselves to consider their training over longer periods of time than a week. Especially for the folks coming in five times a week, we program every 8th week at less intensity and use it as a period to scale back and give your bodies a chance to clean house and manage any systemic inflammation.

The workouts we post on Back Off weeks will generally be of lighter total volume with less emphasis on load or time, if at all. Additionally, we'll use it as an opportunity to prep for the upcoming cycle by workshopping the movements in longer formats. It is simultaneously the end of the previous cycle and the beginning of the new one.

CFSBK Mesocycle

Week 1: Training 
Week 2: Training 
Week 3: Training 
Week 4: Training 
Week 5: Training 
Week 6: Training 

Week 7: Testing ("Crush Week")

Week 8: Back Off/Prep Week

If you train with us less frequently, perhaps once or twice a week, and are not considerably active outside of CrossFit, you can still benefit from some cyclical recovery. How much recovery and fluctuation in intensity you need is highly specific and you should always be listening to your body and adapting accordingly. Folks who are living hard and fast outside the gym should be especially sensitive to how they're feeling.

A Thank-You and a Warning Catalyst Athletics
12 Surprising Foods with More Sugar Than a Krispy Kreme Doughnut takepart


Open Workout 14.5

Open Workout 14.5

For time:

21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps of:
Thrusters, 95 / 65  
Bar-facing Burpees

Post Rx and time to comments.
Compare to 3.29.14

Reid N. enjoying some watermelon at "Murph" last weekend 

  • Check out Active Recovery with Coach Fox at 11am and enjoy the sunshine, CFSBK!

The Mysterious New York City Island You’ve Never Heard Of Slate
Landfill Harmonic: The world sends us garbage, We send back music Vimeo
To Age Well, Walk New York Times
Paul Gaffney’s “We Make the Path by Walking” New Yorker


WOD 5.31.14

AMRAP 30 minutes:
550m Run
10 Power Clean 185/125
20 Push Ups 

Post Rx and rounds to comments.

Front desk champ Jess M. and her spirit fingers at "Murph" on Monday

  • Happy Belated Birthday, Allan E.!


Channel your inner King Leonidas as you rough and tumble around Tuxedo Park today! (And don't be late for your 8am departure from the fortress of CFSBK!) Let us know how it goes, and kick some serious ass on behalf of CFSBK! Take no prisoners and leave no wo/man behind!

  • There is no Active Recovery today, as Coach David is working as the Competition Director for Northeast Regionals this weekend. Check out Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whitney at 10am instead!

What to Eat Before, During, and After Exercise Precision Nutrition
A Galaxy Far, Far Away...Will Hit Ours New York Times


Rest Day

CFSBK Endurance Program and Speed Series

Whether you love running, hate it with your whole being, or fall somewhere on the spectrum, building your endurance and speed are important components of fitness. Recently, you've probably been hearing many a wonder story from our runners at CFSBK as Coach Michael O.'s Endurance Program wrapped up its first cycle—people earning PRs at the Brooklyn Half and various 5Ks, etc. etc. You too could become one of those people, and have a shit ton of fun in the process. But don't waste any more time! The weather is becoming increasingly glorious, demanding your presence outside, and CFSBK's Endurance Program begins again THIS SUNDAY, June 1!

Sign up ASAP to become fast, like lightning, with the endurance of a sleek race horse! Learn more over here.

Below are some thoughts from Michael O., who is heading up both of these programs, about the first iteration of the Endurance Program. It will become clear quickly that he's a pretty awesome guy, and a fantastic coach. Don't hestitate to email him at michael.olzinski [at] with any additional questions!

Thoughts on Wrapping Up CFSBK’s First Endurance Program 

By Michael Olzinski 

Well, here we are, after a very trying and testing 12 weeks of endurance training! It’s hard to believe that over 13 weeks ago, David, Jess, and I were mulling over whether integrating an Endurance Program at CFSBK in the middle of a freezing February would work. I had a great feeling that with the Brooklyn Half on the horizon, we would definitely have a turnout—but I never imagined it would be as successful and meaningful as it turned out in the end. I seriously couldn't have come up with a more motivating and fun group of real athletes to work with, especially on those days when I couldn't have imagined being out there on my own.

Most people in the group had never truly participated in an endurance running program before and were wondering if it would assimilate with their current training—and some were wondering if they really even knew how to run. It’s also worth mentioning that we started about four to six weeks before the weather crept around 30 degrees on a regular basis. It’s no simple thing to learn an efficient and consistent running stride when most days you can’t even stand still without your legs freezing up! Even at 6am on Tuesdays when I would look at the temp, see 10 degrees, and mutter to Megan, "Man, I wonder if anyone is even going to show," I was greeted with anywhere from seven to 10 runners bundled up, faces covered, and ready to ROCK!  It was truly a group effort and everyone who came added something to the group and to the sessions each time.  

A Quick Overview of the Process 

The program was fairly simple and straightforward. Since most people were coming in with a pretty solid program already, adding 12 weeks of runs was acceptable. I split the 12 weeks into three four-week periods, each with their own focus—which was apparent in the workouts themselves and in the communication and drills that we would work on prior to the work. Here is a summary of those focuses (which will give those participating in the next cycle a sense of what to expect!): 

First Four Weeks: Intro + Basic Skills + Endurance 

We used a handful of Brian McKenzie’s drills, along with some very basic mobility drills to ensure healthy tissue and joints in prep for running. The focus here was on running form, core posture, and the most basic form concepts.  The training involved short HARD efforts, running FAST and for short distances. We used hills and flat sprints to try and recruit as much muscle as we could to the running stride. Running at high efforts will bring an individual very close to their most natural running stride, so we tried to capture this. 

We also incorporated EASY endurance runs. We had no need yet to slog through miles, but focused on learning what it really means to go EASY and establish some of the lower aerobic zones can serve as the foundation for great training going forward. 

Middle Four Weeks: Endurance Build + Extended Interval Training 

Everyone’s form was definitely beginning to improve, so we added in more detailed drills. Also, as runs got longer, we had a higher need not to run on concrete/asphalt, so we tried hitting trails more and more. The endurance runs started to get a little harder and reached higher intensity. We incorporated some Fartlek running, longer track runs, and more intense loops. This middle portion of the 12 weeks is a pretty tough phase as you hit on both ends of the program: harder endurance and harder intervals. 

In that vein, the intervals definitely picked up. Prior to Week Five, we only ran 400s and one rep of an 800M in the sprint medley, so nothing too crazy, but Week Five introduced hitting intervals over three to five minutes (i.e. the 1000m, 1200m and reps of 800s). This was a big energy system boost, and a tough piece of the program for sure. 

Final Four Weeks: Endurance + Racing Skills 

Our drills didn't change much, as I really wanted the skills they enforced to sink in and start becoming adaptable. We even spent a bit more time prepping and working on drills, as time allowed. In this phase, RECOVERY gets a HUGE focus, as we step back on the interval sessions and allow some lighter, more endurance and aerobic-based recovery sessions. This was tough, but as you start to feel faster, one of the most important things is to allow yourself to RUN SLOW and stay healthy. On the other end, the endurance sessions had a big increase as far as time spent in the higher zones, with 10K simulation, mile repeats, and even a 15K race. 

Lastly, getting ready to run 13.1 miles requires sharpening skills and paces needed to hit goals, so we spent a lot of time practicing the zones in which we wanted to race and coming up with a game plan. One of my and a few other athletes’ favorite sessions was the 14 x 400 reps at race pace. This is a GREAT way to simulate and practice how you might want to race a 13.1 mile race, with your last effort representing a true simulation of that last stretch to the finish line!

Concluding Thoughts

I am so happy and excited for the next round. I seriously hope to get deeper and deeper with those who I have come to know, and also add to our team with some new faces and new goals. Super stoked for EVERYTHING that you all have done with and for me. 

Let's keep it GOING!!! 

You can read his cycle-end reports about how each of them finished things up on his blog The Endurance Journey (where the original version of this article appeared)—and where you’ll also find his personal wrap-up about his own PR at the Brooklyn Half a couple weeks ago!

To sign up for CFSBK’s Endurance Program and/or new Speed Series, head over here

Spartan Race this Saturday

CFSBK Spartans! Your race is Saturday, and you need to meet Coach MeLo and Co. at 8am sharp at CFSBK to drive up to the race. Wear shoes and clothes you don't mind getting dirty, and make sure to have your participant waiver and ID, garbage bags, a towel, water and necessary snacks, and a change of clothing and kicks for the ride home.

Know that we're cheering for you! Some of us might still be sleeping when your heat unleashes its fury at 10:30am, but we'll cheer when we wake up.

  • There is no Active Recovery tomorrow, as Coach David is working as the Competition Director for Northeast Regionals this weekend.

Response to Erin Simmons, “Why I Don’t CrossFit” Raise Your Standard
Laurel Braitman Reads Pets' Minds Cool Hunting
How Stress Makes You Crave Food and Store Fat Breaking Muscle