Rest Day

June Athlete of the Month: Micheline Gaulin

By Chris Fox 

It’s June, and the warmer weather chimes in with celebrating one of our chillest gals as Athlete of the Month. Micheline (Mich) has been doing CrossFit since 2009, first with a personal trainer and then in classes at CFSBK about a year later. It’s taken a while but she’s been on a tear as of late! Enjoy reading a bit about this 8am gal who recently completed her first full “Murph.” 

Fox: Hey Mich, congrats on being AOM! I of course I know a bit of this stuff about you but let’s hear it as if I didn’t. What led you to first start CrossFit?

MG: (Laughs) It’s pretty funny now. I was working out at NYSC in Park Slope and had been through a few knucklehead personal trainers. After the last one left and I had some sessions left I decided that I wanted to pick my own trainer so I didn’t get another dummy. I knew which trainer I wanted to work with but didn’t know his name. A day later I got a message from one of the trainers and I was furious. When he called again I very sternly let him know that I was not interested in training with him, thank you very much. Long story short is that I eventually realized that it was you, and that you were the trainer I wanted to work with. I felt silly for a minute but here we are now. Anyway, when you left NYSC to move on to CrossFit and asked me to go with you I was totally in. In fact I was flattered.

Fox: Yeah, you were pretty rude to me on the phone! (Laughs) Glad we figured it all out. Why did you want to work with “that trainer” and what appealed to you about CrossFit South Brooklyn? 

MG: When I saw you training clients at NYSC I could tell that they were really working out. It seemed like fun but was serious at the same time. I wanted to work hard and see results, not waste my time and money. When I first entered the Lyceum in the fall of 2009, I was sold. I thought it was so cool that there were no lights, it was a really sparse place to train with these huge gothic windows providing the only lighting. Only later did I learn that there were no lights because the landlord hadn’t paid the electric bill! About a year later when I left the restaurant I had been working at for a long time in order to open one of my own, I had to stop doing private training for financial reasons. That’s when I started classes. It was intimidating at first, for a while actually, but I believed you when you said you’d come to my apartment and drag me to class if I didn’t show up.

Fox: Yeah, I truthfully didn’t think you’d show up. I’m so glad you did and am so proud of how much you’ve grown both in the gym and outside of it. What was it like to start taking classes after working only with a trainer? 

MG: Like I said, it was intimidating. I didn’t know any of the verbiage, I didn’t know any of the people, I was insecure about my abilities (or lack thereof), and I really didn’t know how to monitor my training. It took me about a year but I made a decision to start taking my journaling seriously and do this right. I wanted to get better, not just pass the time. At the restaurant I’m the only CrossFitter and they all think I’m sort of nuts. When I developed a few friendships from the gym I became a bit competitive since I had people to compare my notes with. Susan P., Lauren S., Christina, and I would nerd out about numbers and a friendly competitiveness was born. The first event I attended was a gym potluck. Susan, Lauren, and I all agreed that we could only come if the others did. Well, the question of the day was “Are you coming to the potluck?” and once Susan said yes then Lauren and I had to also.

Fox: It’s been really great to see how the social side of CFSBK has developed for you. It really does become a reason to make it into the gym and to try just a bit harder. Fitting that as a restaurant lifer, your first gym event was a potluck. Tell us about your restaurant.   

MG: Left Bank is located in the West Village of Manhattan and we’re going on our fourth year now. The space itself seats 55, plus seven at the bar. The food is as natural and organic as we can procure, and all our meats are humanely-raised and locally sourced. Laurence, my business partner and Left Bank’s amazing chef, prepares simple food influenced by France, Italy, and Germany. We aim to be a place where anyone will feel comfortable—locals and visitors alike.

Fox: I can attest to how amazing the food is. You guys allow the ingredients to speak for themselves. I always describe Left Bank as a place where a first date, a marriage proposal, or simply a few drinks and food with friends after work can coexist perfectly. I’m so proud that you’re a successful restaurateur! Tell me about how you balance out such a demanding career with training. 

MG: CrossFit actually played a huge part in keeping me sane when we weren’t sure if the business would be a success. Opening a business is scary. It carries a lot of pressure. The constant fear of failure is there. It felt like if the business failed then people would see me as a failure. There’s also the fact that you don’t really have a schedule. It’s seven days a week, 18 hours a day, whatever is needed. I’d get home from the restaurant at 1am and be at the 7am class. (Thanks for the addition of an 8am class, by the way!) I just kept coming and wanting to make progress.

I come from a less-than-healthy family and it’s important to me to control my own health. When opening the restaurant and dealing also with some family issues, CrossFit became a constant in a world of insecure. Not that you’re ever in the clear, but now that we’re doing well and things are running smoother I can relax a bit. I take care of the money stuff, billing and receiving, and work the door, develop relationships. A huge part of the business is simply developing relationships and caring about people. I used to take care of the wine but gave that up. Nowadays I just want to enjoy good food and good wine with good people.

Fox: I recall you looking pretty bleary-eyed at some 7am classes. It must be nice to relax just a bit now. Tell us about where you’re from. How’d you wind up in NYC? What do you do besides work and CrossFit?

MG: I grew up in Toronto, one of four daughters. I’ve always been in the restaurant business and was doing pretty well in Toronto and actually bought a home there. I’d planned on staying but in 2002 I visited the guy I was dating who was in New York on a work visa. I no longer feel the same about the guy but am still in love with this city. I first rented then sold the house in Toronto and moved to 10th Street in Brooklyn that year. Outside of CrossFit and work I don’t do much. I like to travel but have nothing planned right now. I did do Paris solo for my 40th birthday, which was very memorable. Other great trips were Japan, Barcelona, and San Sebastian. My current favorite hobby is reading the paper in Prospect Park with Spanky. 

Fox: Spanks! The new addition has been fun to watch, too. Tell us about your little old man.

MG: He’s a senior dog and was adopted at The Humane Society of New York. I was looking to adopt and had seen a few dogs. I almost adopted a dog from Sean Casey but then they told me he hated men. A friend advised me to adopt a pet with no issues as it was my first. I visited HSNY and when they brought out Spanky, my first thought was that he was so ugly. He looked old, and tired. Of course as soon as they placed him in my lap all that changed. He’s the best and I’ve never been happier.

Fox: He really is a funny little dog. Plus, Team Spanky kicked ass at “Murph” this year! You finally own kipping pull-ups! What else are you working on goal-wise at the gym? What are your goals? 

MG: Oh my god—I’m so happy to have kipping pull-ups. Double-unders aren’t scary anymore either. I’m working on developing my capacity in the Olympic lifts, specifically the clean and jerk. Christina is at 105. I’m at 98 and I’d like to catch her. I love deadlifts since I feel so strong doing them. I hate burpees. Hate them.

Fox: Speaking of getting strong, you’ve trained for two powerlifting meets now—Tough Titsday and Iron Maidens. Can you tell us about those experiences? 

MG: They were super fun and everyone should do it. It’s crazy and scary and nerve-racking, but once you get to the gym and realize everyone is just as nervous as you it becomes a great experience. I really enjoyed training and competing and pushing my lifts into new places. Each meet has had PRs for me.

Fox: Last question. What do you think we should look for in a future AOM? 

MG: I guess I’d say someone who is a good rack-mate. Someone who is focused and pushes themselves regardless of the relative amount of weight, who cares about what they’re doing. And this is harder to put in to words, but someone who reinvents themselves through the gym. I know that I’ve gone through that process.

Give Us Feedback!

Your opinions and feedback are extremely important to us. We have an online feedback form where you can let us know about your experience at CFSBK. We want to know what you like, what you don't like, and what you'd like to see in the future. Information from these forms is discussed by staff so we can continue to evolve and best serve our community. Please let us know what you think!

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Press | WOD 6.8.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression 
Start light enough to add weight for 7 weeks.

Performance: 5/3/1
Use training max. Need a Wendler refresher? Check out these resources:

5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength T Nation
Better Than Before: A Review of 5/3/1 Jim Wendler 

Post loads to comments.

5 Rounds, or 20 minutes:
3 Deadlifts, as heavy as possible (work up in weight)
5 Strict Toes-to-Bar
270m Jog

Post time/rounds and loads to comments.

The legendary Jacinto B. busting through his push-ups at "Murph" 

Our New Programming Cycle Begins Today!

Training Cycle Dates: M 6/8 - Su 8/2
Crush Week: M 8/3 - S 8/9
Transition Week: Will be the first week of the following cycle, starting August 10, 2015

Cycle Goals:

  • Handstand/handstand push-up work
  • Snatch assistance work
  • Continue standardized warm-ups + gymnastics warm-ups

Monday: Press + WOD/Assistance

Fitness 3x5 Linear Progression
Start light and aim to add 2.5-5 lbs each week. If you make 5 lb jumps each week the bar will be 35# heavier in week 8!
Performance 5/3/1 (Use Training Max) 

Wednesday: Back Squat + WOD/Assistance

Fitness 3x5 Linear Progression. Back off a bit from last cycle
Performance 3x5 Linear Progression. Plan to hit your last Intensity Day number for a 3x5 by week 8 

Thursday: Snatch + WOD/Assistance (Overhead Squat/Snatch Balance in NFTs)

Fitness + Performance: Snatch, Hang Snatch, Power Snatch, or Hang Power Snatch

SaturdayFront Squat + WOD/Assistance

Fitness 3x3 Linear Progression.
Add 2-5 lbs each exposure. Back off a bit from last cycle. Plan to hit your 3RM for a 3x3 in week 8
Performance 3x3 Linear Progression
Plan to hit your 3RM for a 3x3 in week 8 

SundayClean and Jerk + WOD/Assistance

Fitness and Performance: Clean, Hang Clean, Power Clean, Hang Power Clean (+ Jerk)

Want to Learn More About CFSBK’s Programming? Check Out These Articles:

What were some of the biggest improvements you made during last cycle? What are your goals for the upcoming cycle? 


Power Snatch | "Isabel"

Power Snatch: 1-1-1-1-1
Work up to a heavy single. 

Post loads to comments.


For Time:
30 Power Snatches 135/95

Post time and Rx to comments.
Compare to 1.18.2015 and 11.30.2013

Rickke M.'s back art on display at "Murph" 

  • Happy birthday, Roosevelt M.!

Give Us Feedback!

Your opinions and feedback are extremely important to us. We have an online feedback form where you can let us know about your experience at CFSBK. We want to know what you like, what you don't like, and what you'd like to see in the future. Information from these forms is discussed by staff so we can continue to evolve and best serve our community. Please let us know what you think!

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Crush Week WOD 6.6.15

5 Rounds For Time:
25 Calorie Row
16 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
9 Strict Deficit Handstand Push-Ups 

5 Rounds For Time:
400m Run
15 Deadlifts 155/105
10 True Push-Ups

Post time and Rx to comments.

Coach K Harpz considers whether she might pass out while Austin casually sips a Capri Sun, post-coaches' heat at "Murph" on Memorial Day | Photo by Thomas H.

  • Happy birthday to one of our favorite TFBA mommas, Ellie M.!

Give Us Feedback!

Your opinions and feedback are extremely important to us. We have an online feedback form where you can let us know about your experience at CFSBK. We want to know what you like, what you don't like, and what you'd like to see in the future. Information from these forms is discussed by staff so we can continue to evolve and best serve our community. Please let us know what you think!

Bend, Stretch, and Mobilize This Morning, and Get Your Open Gym On This Afternoon

  • Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whitney is at 10am.
  • Active Recovery is at 11am and noon today with Coach David.
  • Can't make one of our morning classes today? We're now offering open gym hours on Saturdays from 2-4pm. Meet in 597 today! 

Olympic Weightlifting Cycle Mock Meet Tomorrow at 2:30pm

Tomorrow at 2:30pm you're invited to see Coach Frank's Olympic Lifting Program athletes test themselves in a mock Oly meet. If you've been to Coach Jeremy's CrossFit Totals at the end of each cycle, this event is essentially its weightlifting equivalent. Each lifter will have three attempts at the snatch and clean and jerk.

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Rest Day

Chloe freestyling on the rings | Photo by Coach K Harpz

  • The CrossFit Kids Trainer course is this weekend at CFSBK! All regular classes and open gym will run as planned in 597 and the Annex, as the course will be taking place in 608.

Give Us Feedback!

Your opinions and feedback are extremely important to us. We have an online feedback form where you can let us know about your experience at CFSBK. We want to know what you like, what you don't like, and what you'd like to see in the future. Information from these forms is discussed by staff so we can contineu to evolve and best serve our community. Please let us know what you think!

Have You Met Our Friends Over at The Modern Chemist Yet?

 This funky/fun/friendly pharmacy is celebrating its first year on 4th Avenue (on the corner of Sackett). There will be a free massage therapist, balloons, raffles, skin consultations, free samples, live music, face painting, and more! Come celebrate with them TOMORROW from 10am-4pm, 191 4th Ave & Sackett. 

All The Good Reps, and Only the Good Reps

By Chris Fox 
Originally posted on 1.12.2015 

We’ve almost all been there before. You’re tired, it’s your 50th pull-up, handstand push-up, power snatch, or whatever. You sort of, kind of, maybe executed full range-of-motion—but then again, maybe you didn’t. Then, you maybe even tried to squeeze in another (no) rep! Coaches see this, your fellow athletes see this, and you see this.

With a judge in front of you—whether it’s a regular group class, during the Open, or at a local throwdown—you’ll have a harder time getting away with garbage reps. I’d suggest that you shouldn’t let yourself off the hook in your daily training either. Your continued progress over the long haul is the ultimate goal. You want your movements to be truly quantifiable. If you count reps where sometimes your chin gets over the bar and sometimes it doesn’t, then you’re left comparing apples to durian fruit.

At CFSBK, we strive for virtuosity—the principle that you should aim to perform even the simplest movements exceedingly well. With effort and practice, your 300th squat in “Murph” can and in fact should be a mirror image of your first. Be honest about your reps and if you’re not 101% sure, then don’t count them. It sucks, yeah, but don’t be that person who moves really fast but really poorly. Don’t be the person who the next class coming in looks at and says “Uh uh... that’s not a rep.” Be the person with whom you’d be impressed, even if it slows you down a bit. Consider that you may need to scale WODs sometimes. The Rx isn’t for everybody, and even if you do some or most of our WODs Rx’d, there may be some that you should scale load and/or volume. Then, even when you really, really tried to do a good rep but didn’t, resist the urge to count your effort as execution. Only count the good ones.

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"Tommy Mac"

Tommy Mac

2 Rounds, For Time:
12 Burpees
12 Thrusters 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Power Snatches 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Push Jerks 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Hang Squat Cleans 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Overhead Squats 115/75

"Partner Tommy Mac"

In teams of two with one partner working at a time, complete the following:
3 Rounds, For Time:
12 Burpees
12 Thrusters 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Power Snatches 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Push Jerks 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Hang Squat Cleans 115/75
12 Burpees
12 Overhead Squats 115/75

Partners split the work.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Russ H and his family visited us from Canada for "Murph," and his son stayed by his side as his personal photographer and judge

CFSBK Sports Team Updates 

  • The Fighting Tacos have their first soccer playoff game TONIGHT at Pier 3 in Brooklyn Bridge Park at 7:50pm. Come cheer them on!
  • The Spiking Tacos had their third volleyball game last night at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and won all three games (through a forfeiture, but whatever), putting them at 6-3. 
  • The Boccino Tacos have their first bocce game on Friday... no, lol, just kidding. There isn't a CFSBK Bocce Ball team but we thought you might need a laugh after seeing the WOD.

Join Steph P.'s Spin Fundraiser on June 20th

While OG Steph Paddock has been taking some time away from CFSBK, she's been training hard for her upcoming Ironman 70.3 this August—and has been hard at work fundraising for Team Fox, raising money for The Michael J. Fox Foundation. On Saturday, June 20th she'll be hosting a spin fundraiser at Peloton Cycle in Chelsea. The 45-minute class includes shoe rental, water, and towels and will be followed by free wine and beer, snacks, and raffle prizes. Class starts at 12:45pm but guests should arrive by 12:15pm to get signed in.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go directly to funding Parkinson's research! You can purchase tickets here!

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For Time:
Run 1 Mile
Row 2000m
Run 1 Mile

Post time to comments.
Compare to 4.14.2012 

Want to learn more about our CrossFit Preschool and CrossFit Kids programs? Info about these programs now lives on our Programs and Membership Options page here. The mission of both programs is to emphasize good movement through games and activities. 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! If you want to sign your kids up, check out the latest sessions and options in our online store under "Kids."

  • Happy belated birthday, Ben A.!

Meat CSA Pickup Today! And How about Fish? 

The Herondale meat pickup is today, 6-8:30pm. Remember to bring bags to carry your share home. Any issues or questions, please text Michele at 347-645-4524, or email her at mignyc [at] gmail.com.

If you are still looking to sign up for the new fish CSA with Big City Fish Share, the deadline to get in before the first delivery is Wednesday. Sign up here; the first delivery is next Saturday, June 13.

Bone Marrow Donor Registry Drive at CFSBK on June 21

The cure for blood cancer is in your hands. Every four minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia or lymphoma. For many patients a marrow transplant is the only life-saving treatment, yet 70% don’t have a matching marrow donor in their family, like little Asaya. CrossFit South Brooklyn is hosting a donor registry drive in partnership with BE THE MATCH, which over the past 25 years has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world and offers support and education before, during and after transplant.

A representative from BE THE MATCH will be at CFSBK on Sunday, June 21 from 9:30am-2:30pm to explain what it means to join the registry, plus help you understand the health requirements and the commitment. After completing the necessary paperwork, all you then have to do to complete your registration is give four swabs of cheek cells, that’s it!  Your cheek cells with then be tissue-typed and become a part of the registry doctors around the world search to find matches for their patients for potential bone marrow donation. 

Additional Details About the Donation Process
There are no restrictions in terms of not eating/drinking prior to your cheek swab, but donors do need to be ages of 18-44 and in good general health.

If you are selected, donors will be asked to donate in one of two ways:

Peripheral blood cell (PBSC) donation involves removing a donor's blood through a needle in one arm. The blood is passed through a machine that separates out the cells used in transplants. The remaining blood is returned through the other arm.

Bone marrow donation is a surgical procedure in which liquid marrow is withdrawn from the back of the donor's pelvic bones using needles. Anesthesia is always used for this procedure, so donors feel no pain during marrow donation. Most donors feel some pain in their lower back for a few days afterwards.

Learn more here

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