Rest Day

Regionals for the 2015 CrossFit Games begin in exactly one month! If you want to geek out about it, get more details here.

  • Happy birthday, Yoshi S.!

Wondering Where to Go This Weekend?

We're hosting the Starting Strength Seminar this weekend, but because of the new space, we don't have to close down the gym as we have in years past (!!!). Here are all the details you'll need today throughout the weekend to make sure you're in the right place.

We will have an alternate check-in method over at 608, so check in there! 

Friday Evening (4/17):

All morning classes will run as normal. 

597: Starting Strength Seminar 5-9pm
608: Open Gym 5:30-8pm | Strength Cycle

Saturday (4/18):

597: Starting Strength Seminar 8am-8pm
608: Normal Group Classes 8-2pm | Comp Class 2-4:30pm
Annex: 10am Yoga | 11am and noon Active Recovery are CANCELED 

Sunday (4/19):

597: Starting Strength Seminar 8am-7pm
608: Normal Group Classes 8-2pm | Open Gym 6-8pm | Teaser | Gymnastics with Ken
Annex: 9am Kids Club | Strength Cycle | 11am Active Recovery is CANCELED

Friendly Friday Reminders

  • FISH. For those of you who love local, wild-caught fish delivered straight to your favorite place on earth (aka CFSBK): Our former fish supplier left the CSA business, so we've found a potential new partner: Big City Fish Share. We posted deets about it on Wednesday, but if you're INTERESTED, or have questions, please email Michele at mignyc [at] TODAY.
  • OLYMPIC LIFTING. For those of you who want to crush your Olympic lifts at 7am (or noon, or in the evening): Coach Frankie Murray is introducing a new 7am cycle, which starts on April 27th. Details here!
  • ACTIVE RECOVERY IS CANCELED. For those of you who enjoy getting supple and loose-limbed on the weekends: AR is CANCELED this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday due to the Starting Strength Seminar, but check out Yoga for Athletes at 10am on Saturday instead!
  • CHILDREN. For those of you with kids who might enjoy some CrossFit action: We're launching CrossFit Kids and CrossFit Preschool NEXT WEEK, and registration spots are filling up fast. Details here

Centuries of Italian History Are Unearthed in Quest to Fix Toilet The New York Times (not The Onion)
Daniyar Ismayilov Snatching 156kg 


Clean and Jerk | 4.16.15

Fitness: EMOM 10 Minutes Clean and Jerk
Use 90% of last weeks triple. 

Performance: Clean Pull + Hang Clean + 2 Jerks
Work up to a heavy load on the complex.

Post loads to comments.

5 Rounds For Time: 
12 Box Jump-Overs 20"
12 Ring Rows

3 Rounds For Time:
50 Double Unders
20 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

Post time and Rx to comments.

Ken H. making it look easy

  • Active Recovery is CANCELED this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday due to the Starting Strength Seminar. All other classes will run as normal, more details coming tomorrow!

All the Planches: How Gymnastics Can Make You a Better CrossFitter, and Getting to Know Ken H.

By Kate Reece

If you’ve taken one gymnastics or rings class with Ken H., chances are you've taken two. He's that good, and his class participants often become loyal devotees of the rings. Ken is a gifted athlete, and was a nationally competitive gymnast in Newton, MA and at the University of Michigan. After graduating, he coached for eight years in Northern Virginia. His students have gone on to be NCAA champions and members of Cirque du Soliel.

Ken found CFSBK in August of 2010, the year David opened 597 Degraw (Mare, Noor, and Radika were in his Foundations class), as part of his search for an activity to replace gymnastics. That search had already led him to rock climbing and yoga, and if you can't find him at CFSBK, he's probably down the block at Brooklyn Boulders. He now regularly teaches weekend gymnastics strength classes, and he's enabled many of us to become far more comfortable hovering in space, whether swinging on the rings or balancing on our hands. Planches, back levers, and skinning cats are just a few of the moves Ken has helped many of us add to our bucket of ninja tricks. 

Ken is a constant but quieter presence at CFSBK, and we had a sneaky feeling that he had a lot of fascinating stuff to share about his time competing and coaching. We love when we're right. Read on, and learn more about our resident gymnastics coach!  

CFSBK: Tell us about your athletic background, and time as a nationally competitive gymnast.

KH: One of the earliest pictures of me is on skis, at age 5, I think. So, I started young. We would spend winter vacation up in Vermont skiing. During the summers, the family rented houses on lakes in New Hampshire, and Maine. We swam, canoed, and hiked. Pretty awesome life. Eventually I spent my summers at gymnastics camp training all day. 

At some point, I followed my stepbrother into hockey, and when I was about 10, my mom enrolled me at a small after-school gymnastics program, and from there I ended up at a real gymnastics gym, eventually training three to four days a week starting in junior high. My first coach was Steve Nuno. He ended up coaching girls, and taking Shannon Miller to the Olympics. My other coaches weren’t quite as successful. Neither was I.

I competed a few times at the Junior Olympic Nationals, but didn’t fare well. I’m not a very good competitor, actually. I got hurt my senior year in high school. It was a defining moment for me. I could have quit and walked away but I decided to get back on the horse. Because of the injury, I was not heavily recruited, so I opted to go to the best academic school I could get into, which was Michigan. I didn’t know what I was getting into—the legacy and tradition of Michigan Athletics. My team didn’t live up to our past or the future of Michigan Gymnastics. I call it the Dark Ages of Michigan Gymnastics. But I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything—except maybe a better education. Being on teams really helped me get through school, both high school and college. Without it, I would have been lost.

When I look back on it, I really like practicing and learning new tricks. I prefer to train than compete. 

CFSBK: Can you tell us more about your injury in high school?

KH: I was training a double flip dismount off the high bar. I had been doing it in practice without any problems. I was dying to put it at the end of a routine but I had not practiced it that way yet. I was training at a private gymnastics club and competing for my high school. I got to the end of my routine at a high school meet, and did the dismount anyway. I was tired and didn’t fully commit. I went up, rotated most of the way around but not enough, and landed on the back of my shoulders/neck with my feet over my head. I was okay, I didn’t feel hurt or injured, but I ended up at the hospital and was told that I fractured C6, one of the lower vertebrae in my neck. I was in a neck brace for a few months.

Eventually, I went to a Sports Med Orthopedist who reviewed my x-rays and said it looked like any wrestler's neck with worn-down bones from rolling around on the neck. So, I’m not actually convinced I was really injured. But it did put a scare in me. There is also some context to being scared. Around the same time, a teammate of mine landed on his head while training. He has been a quadriplegic ever since. So with that in my mind, I lost a bit of naiveté, and my sense of immortality. It took a while to get over all of this and certainly affected my abilities in the future. 

CFSBK: Say more about not considering yourself a good competitor—what about competing didn't appeal to you?

KH: I always got nervous when I competed. I practiced and trained hard. I could hit routines and tricks in the gym but when it came time to performing in front of judges, I choked most of the time. I would mess up here and there. Miss landings. Looking back, maybe it was because of my high school accident? But I also remember having a hard time at meets before that. I just got nervous. I was never relaxed or confident. I got through my routines but it was hit or miss. I really admired the Russian gymnasts at the time. They were so well-trained. Hit everything all the time no matter what. I really wanted to be like that. In some ways I’m a perfectionist who always falls short. 

CFSBK: How did being on the gymnastics team help you get through college—what do you mean by that?

KH: As most of us can attest, being a teenager sucks. High school sucks, other teenagers suck. I was not the best student, and didn’t really belong to any group, but I had a few friends I hung out with. Doing gymnastics gave me a reason to study, a reason not to drink, not to get into drugs, and kept me busy on weekends. It gave me a sense of purpose. I knew that if I continued doing gymnastics, I could probably get a scholarship at a university. My coaches had been gymnasts at UMass. I went up there with them a few times and thought it was so cool. I wanted to be a collegiate gymnast.

In college, I would have been lost again. If I wasn’t doing gymnastics, I probably would have taken a year off, as I would have had no reason to go to college. Gymnastics gave me that reason. At a big school like University of Michigan, it is real easy to get lost. It’s very important to figure out how to make such a big place smaller. The gymnastics team gave me that. My world was going to class in the mornings, get to the gym by 3pm, train until 6 or 7. Do homework. Rinse and Repeat.

Competition season was from January to April. Every weekend we had a meet. We drove ourselves. That was a riot. We had vans. We drove in snowstorms all over the Midwest. When the season was over, we were all told to take a break. After about a week of not going to the gym, we all were bored and ended up back in the gym training. 

CFSBK: What was coaching gymnastics like?

KH: After college, with nothing pressing to do and needing to make some money, I ended up coaching kids in Northern Virginia. It was lots of fun. But hard. And long. The kids were great. They did really well. I had some pretty bad coaching when I was young, so I learned how not to coach and really worked at being better than the coaches I had. The best part was when I stopped coaching and lived in San Francisco for a few years. Once a year or so, there would be a college meet in the area and I would go, and watch the kids I used to coach. It was really cool, they were pretty good. 

CFSBK: What brought you to New York? 

KH: School, in August 2001. I came up to NYC to attend NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program. Basically, I studied interactive media. Learned how to code a bit, learned some video editing. I was exposed to a lot of technology long before it became mainstream.

CFSBK: How did you find CrossFit? And CFSBK?

KH: When Brooklyn Boulders opened up, I was looking for a place to augment my climbing. Bouldering is very hard on the body. Your fingers, shoulders, and arms get trashed. There is only so much climbing on plastic I can do. I needed a place to keep fit and get stronger. Fortunately, CFSBK opened up soon after right next door. I didn’t have to go far to find what I needed. I found that and more at CFSBK. I had tried CrossFit while I lived in San Francisco, but I didn’t really like the guy running the program. So, I was not very motivated. But CFSBK is a special place with great coaches and a wonderful community. I’ve learned so much here.

CFSBK: Can gymnastics training make someone better at CrossFit?

KH: That’s an interesting question. It certainly can help. Learning and doing basic gymnastics skills can help you throughout your life as well. Learning how to roll, being comfortable upside down, being strong enough to push and pull your own weight around will get you out of any situation you might find yourself in. But specifically for CrossFit—many bodyweight gymnastics skills are considered advanced CrossFit movements. So, if you want to be competitive or be able to do the WODs to their fullest, you really need to work on bodyweight movements regularly. Strength-to-weight ratio is the key to bodyweight movements. These are skills with dynamic movements, and lots of need for body awareness. They take time to learn. You have to practice them all the time. Start small, and make incremental advances. 

CFSBK: Tell us a bit about the classes you teach here.

KH: The rings class. It would be fun to have a few other gymnastics equipment around to use and play on, but if you’re going to have one, rings are the best for general all-purpose use. With limited space, they are great to have around. The concept for the class came to me when I remembered that in college, we would do little strength routines on the low rings. A partner would spot and the other would go through various movements, and strength holds going from below the ring to above, pressing to handstand, holding crosses, levers, and planches. It was a great way to get strong. But for the gym, we have to start real basic. Learning how to get upside down, getting the strength to hold an L seat. Learning when a back lever is level. 

The class is broken up into four main parts. After a movement based warm-up, we get into developing skill and strength on the low rings, front and back levers, muscle-ups and supports. Sometimes we even get inverted, doing shoulder stands. Then we move to the high rings, where we work a very basic routine. Over time the routine can get more advanced. We then do a strength workout and usually end with a bit of mobility and flexibility. The part that holds most adults back is not the getting strong part—it's being mobile and flexible enough to do harder movements. 

CFSBK: What are you up to when you're not somewhere on Degraw Street?

KH: Ha. I live on Degraw Street. No, really—figuratively and literally. Well, where I am they call it Lincoln. But seriously. When I’m not at CFSBK, I’m at Brooklyn Boulders or at home. I work in Union Square, at an ad agency. The more I sit in front of a computer, the more I have to move around when I’m not at work. I usually do yoga at least once a week, climb two to three times and CrossFit at least one. That doesn’t leave much time for other things. Though for the past year, I have been working on a web site to track and record indoor climbing data for climbers and gyms, Every once in a while, I get to MoMA or take advantage of things NYC has to offer. And BAM is down the street. 

Ken's rings strength class is in the middle of its latest cycle, and will wrap up on May 3. Stay tuned for the next one!

The Right Dose of Exercise For a Longer Life The New York Times 
Women Exercising in the 1940s 
What Cirque du Soliel-ers Would Look Like If They Were on the Floor 


Squat | 4.15.15

Fitness: Front Squat 3 x 5 Linear Progression 
Add 5-10 pounds to last week's exposure.

Performance: Back Squat 3 x 5, Volume Day
Add 5-10 pounds to last week's exposure.

Post loads to comments.

Every 4 Minutes for 5 Rounds, perform:
20/15 Calorie Row
10 Handstand Push-Ups 

Every 4 Minutes for 5 Rounds, perform:
20/15 Calorie Row
12 Push Presses 115/75

Each round should be a sprint and be complete by about the two-minute mark. The goal is unbroken handstand push-ups and push presses. Scale volume and/or load in accordance with this intention. 

Post times and Rx to comments.

One of the OUTWOD participants getting it overhead during Saturday's workout

  • Nishi R. PR'd her marathon this past weekend with a time of 3:43—which means that after years of milling around the four-hour mark, she cut 15 minutes off her time in the last year post-baby and starting CrossFit. Congrats, Nishi!!

Interested In a New Fish CSA? Read On!

Our former fish supplier left the CSA business, so we've found a potential new partner: Big City Fish Share.

Before we move forward, we need to determine how many fish lovers would be interested. Approximately 15 sign-ups would be required to get the program rolling. Please note this is a weekly, not monthly, CSA.


  • Super-local (NY waters) small boat fish, all sustainable species
  • Weekly drop-off on Saturday mornings
  • Minimum commitment is just four weeks
  • Shares available in one or two-pound increments
  • Around $17/lb (this is a great price for local, wild-caught fish)
  • Easy to pause your share for a week where you can't make the pick up 

If you're INTERESTED, or have questions, please email Michele at by this Friday (4/17).

Introducing: The 7am Cycle of CFSBK's Olympic Lifting Program with Coach Frankie Murray

Both the Noon and PM cycles of the Olympic Lifting Program are running, and started this week. If you were on the fence, you can still sign up. But we're also introducing the 7am Cycle, which starts on April 28th! Details below:

7am Cycle
What: A 6-week Olympic lifting cycle meeting three times a week with Coach Frank Murray and/or Heather Farmer 
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 7-8am from 4/28/15 - 6/5/15
Price: $225 per 3 weeks, first bill due at sign-up and second bill charged automantically ot the card on-file one month later 

Noon Cycle
What: An 8-week Olympic lifting cycle meeting twice a week with Coach Frank Murray and/or Heather Farmer in addition to two open gym or group classes per week.
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-1:30pm from 4/14/15 - 6/4/15 
Price: $300 per 4 weeks, first bill due at sign-up and second bill charged automatically to the card on-file 4 weeks later. 

PM Cycle
What: An 8-week Olympic lifting cycle meeting twice a week with Coach Frank Murray and/or Heather Farmer in addition to two open gym or group classes per week.
Mondays and Wednesdays 8-9:30pm from 4/14/15 - 6/4/15
Price: $300 per 4 weeks, first bill due at sign-up and second bill charged automatically to the card on-file 4 weeks later. 

All cycles will end with a mock Olympic meet on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 2:30pm.

What's the most interesting/funny/smart/moving thing you've read recently?


Rest Day

We're pretty sure Eleanor is excited about all the new offerings for kids at CFSBK!

  • Tuesday, 4/14: Pilates with KH is CANCELED tonight.

CrossFit Kids Is Kicking Off on Monday, April 20th!

CrossFit Kids combines the camaraderie and physical fitness of an adult class scaled down to an age appropriate and fun version for kids.

During our launch, we will be offering two programs: CrossFit Preschool for children aged 3-5 and CrossFit Kids for children aged 6-8. Classes will include age-appropriate programming that includes calisthenics, basic tumbling, running, climbing, throwing, and other modalities to stimulate bone density and vestibular system development while improving fine and gross motor skills, coordination, and flexibility. On top of physical development, social and cognitive growth is encouraged through teamwork, problem solving, and building the confidence that helps them make healthy choices.

Most importantly, CrossFit Kids is all about having FUN! Developing a positive association between fitness, physical activity, and the joy of movement is the primary goal of our program. Think of it like the gym class you wish you had growing up! To learn more about CrossFit Kids, please click here: 

All of our CrossFit Kids coaches and assistants have completed the CrossFit Kids Trainer Course and passed a background check. 

CrossFit Preschool and Kids Class Structure:

  • Warm-up activity
  • DROMs and intros
  • Skill work and WOD
  • Game
  • Cool down

Sample WOD:

Collect the eggs!

AMEAP (As Many Eggs As Possible!) – 3:00 Min

  • Alternating partner relay
  • Kids will do 3 air squats before running across the gym and collecting one “egg” and running it back and tagging their partner
  • We’ll vary the movements (run, bear crawl, etc.) they use to collect the egg to keep the workout fun 

Sample CrossFit Kids game:

CrossFit Dodgeball

  • Kids will be split into two teams
  • Two red balls and two black balls will be placed in the center of the court
  • If you are hit with a red ball, step to the sideline and do 5 air squats before re-entering the game
  • If you are hit with a black ball, step to the sideline and do 5 burpees before re-entering the game

CrossFit Kids classes will run as 4-week sessions.

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



Preschool classes (3 - 5 years):
Wednesdays at 3:30pm
Sundays at 10am 

Kids classes (6 - 8 years):
Mondays at 4:30pm
Wednesdays at 4:30pm 


1x/week - $120
2x/week - $200 

1x/week - $102
2x/week - $170

20% discount for siblings (do not have to be registered for the same class).


PLEASE NOTE: You need to RSVP your kids for CrossFits Kids and/or CrossFit Preschool. 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. 

CFSBK Kids Club Is Also Still Running on Sundays at 9am!

CFSBK Kids Club is different than CrossFit Kids, and happens every Sunday at 9am. This isn't your ordinary kids' watch program! 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 and crafts, science experiments, games, and movement. You'll get peace of mind and they get an hour jam packed with FUN!  


You do not need to RSVP to Kids Club through our website, but you do need to sign up at the Front Desk.

Questions about either program? Email Janelle [at]

The Science of Awkwardness VSauce 
Online Reflections of Our Offline Lives On Being 


Press | WOD 4.13.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression 
Add 2.5-5­ pounds to last week's exposure. 

Performance: 3 x 12
Add about 5% to last week's exposure. 

Post loads to comments.

5 Rounds For Time:
5 Deadlifts 275/185
10 Burpees

Post time and Rx to comments.

Jason M. ziplining in Costa Rica!

News and Notes

  • SCHEDULE UPDATE: Pilates with KH is CANCELED on Tuesday, 4/14, and rescheduled for TODAY at 9am. 
  • Last fall, Samir C. penned an article for The Allrounder called "Confessions of a Mets and Yankees Fan." With baseball season upon us, we wanted to share it with you once more!
  • Per usual, dozens of new items have been collected in our Lost and Found! Check out shoes and gear here, and copious abandoned clothing here. DOES ANYTHING BELONG TO YOU?! If so, pick it up by 4/23 or we're giving it away.
  • SAVE THE DATE: Our annual Memorial Day "Murph" event is closer than you think! Details here, and registration info coming soon.

Two Updates From Threes Brewing

In case you somehow missed the memo, we're totally crushing on our neighbors over at Threes Brewing—a brewery, bar, and event space—on 333 Douglass Street. They graciously hosted us after Fight Gone Bad 2014, Iron Maidens, and the OUTWOD. They recently wrote to tell you two cool things:  

  1. Their goal is to turn their backyard into an amazing green space and a symbol for responsible manufacturing. There's a significant investment required to fully realize the vision and they're enlisting friends and neighbors to help with a crowdsourced campaign on Kickstarter. Check it out here
  2. They also plan on unveiling the (unfinished) yard to the public on May 3rd with a Crawfish Boil from 1-7pm, and they'd love for you to join!

The Moral Bucket List The New York Times 
Hip Flexor "Tightness" The Movement Fix 

How did you enjoy the sunshine this weekend?


Snatch | 4.12.15

Fitness: Snatch 3-3-3-3-3
Work up to a medium-heavy triple. It's okay to bail and reset for each rep.

Performance: Power Snatch + Hang Snatch + Overhead Squat
Work up to a medium-heavy load on the complex. 

Post loads to comments.

20 Minutes, As Many Rounds As Possible:
800m Run
30 Kettlebell Swings

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

We had almost 80 people come out for the OUTWOD yesterday! Check out more photos in our Flickr account.

News and Notes

  • SCHEDULE UPDATE: Pilates with KH is CANCELED on Tuesday, 4/14, and rescheduled for TOMORROW, 4/13, at 9am. 
  • 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 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, McKensey S.!

Low Back Tweak Fast Fixes MobilityWOD
SI Area Pain: The Basics MobilityWOD 


Squat | WOD 4.11.15

Fitness: Back Squat 3 x 5 Linear Progression 
Aim to be able to add 5 pounds each exposure. If you maintain 5-pound jumps, the bar will be 35 pounds heavier by the end of the cycle!

Performance: Back Squat 5RM (Intensity Day) + Front Squat 5RM
Heavier than Wednesday but light enough to not be a true 5RM until at least a few weeks into the cycle. Then, drop weight and perform a heavy set of 5 front squats. Start at about 75% and plan to add 5-10 lbs each week. 

Post loads to comments.

5 Rounds or 20 Minutes:
20/15 Calorie Row
12 Dumbbell Bench Press, as heavy as possible 
8 Strict Chest to Bar Chin-Ups (add weight or use bands as necessary)

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Shawn showing us that rowing with good posture is ergonomic

News and Notes

  • SCHEDULE UPDATES: Yoga for Athletes is CANCELED today. Pilates with KH is CANCELED on Tuesday, 4/14, and rescheduled for Monday, 4/13, at 9am. 
  • OUTWOD UPDATE: There are 76 (!!!) people signed up for the OutWOD today at 2:30pm, from BRICK, CFNYC, CFSBK, CFHK, Garden City, Solace, Virtuosity, Greenpoint, and more. Even if you're not participating in the workout, come cheer everyone on and join us afterwards at Threes Brewing

Don't Miss Your Chance to Sign Up for the Next Cycle of CFSBK's Olympic Lifting Program with Coach Frankie Murray

WE NEED EIGHT PEOPLE IN EACH CYCLE TO RUN THEM, which means we need five more people in both cycles. Sign up today! 

What: An 8-week Olympic lifting cycle meeting twice a week with Coach Frank Murray and/or Heather Farmer in addition to two open gym or group classes per week.
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-1:30pm from 4/14/15 - 6/4/15 or Mondays and Wednesdays 8-9:30pm from 4/14/15 - 6/4/15. (see full details below)
Price: $300 per 4 weeks, first bill due at sign-up and second bill charged automatically to the card on-file 4 weeks later. 

Noon Cycle
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-1:30pm from 4/14/15 - 6/4/15 

PM Cycle
Mondays and Wednesdays 8-9:30pm from 4/14/15 - 6/4/15

Each cycle needs a minimum of eight participants and is capped at 10 athletes. Both cycles will end with a mock Olympic meet on Sunday, June 7, 2015 at 2:30pm.

What Part of "No, Totally" Don't You Understand? The New Yorker
Shelter Puts Dogs in a Photobooth to Get Them Adopted