Open Workout 12.4

Open Workout 12.4

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 12 minutes of:
150 Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9
90 Double Unders 
30 Muscle Ups

If you can't do muscle ups, perform pull ups (chest to bar if you have 'em) instead.

Post rounds, reps, and loads to comments.
Compare to 3.23.13 

Erin M. reppin the swole patrol at a waterfall in Kauai

News and Notes 

  • CFSBK's new Olympic Lifting Program begins today! Get psyched!
  • Richard G. posted a few weeks ago inviting CFSBKers to participate in Brooklyn Community Housing and Services' gala fundraiser. He reports that the event went very well and several people wanted to become supple leopards and bidded on the Active Recovery classes. Richard says thank you to CFSBK for its commitment to local organizations and for everyone’s support! 
  • Happy belated birthdays to Avi S. and CFSBK Cruise Director Mare L.!

Do You Need Help with Anything Re: Web/Online Software/Social Media?

CFSBKer Andy M. can help! He runs a boutique web strategy, design, and development company called Kindred Development. If you know anyone, small or large, looking for help with anything web, online software, social media, apps, etc., please keep Kindred Development in mind. If your company is looking for a new vendor or just wants to change things up, consider them as an option. Visit their website or email andy [at] for more information. 

2014 Subway Series!

Another year has gone by, and it's time once again for an NYC affiliate throwdown: the 2014 Subway Series! All NYC affiliates are invited to participate—the affiliate with the best overall score at the end of four events wins the Subway Series Trophy and bragging rights for a whole year! All teams MUST register for each individual event in advance via EventBrite in order to participate. Each event will be capped at 50 total teams, so we strongly advise you to register early!

A number of CFSBKers are interested in forming teams for each event, so organize with each other by posting your interest in the comments section on each or all of the event pages below!!

Sunday, August 3rd, 9am: CrossFit Long Island City 
Sunday, August 10th, 9am: CrossFit Queens
Sunday, August 17th, 9am: CrossFit Virtuosity
Sunday, August 24th, 9am: CrossFit South Brooklyn

Throwback Thursday

Five years ago yesterday, this blog posted a link to a video of Coach Jeremy finishing the third WOD of the Northeast Regional Qualifier. In the beginning, he bites off his callus... NBD. This year's Northeast Regionals begin on May 30, and a herd of CFSBKers are attending—and Coach David also happens to be the Competition Director! Keep us posted on your adventures!

Ask Greg: Jumping in the Snatch Catalyst Athletics
Grinding Through Mobility with Dr. Kelly Starrett The Box Magazine
Our Brain, The Trickster NPR


Open Workout 14.3

Open Workout 14.3 

8 minute AMRAP:
10 deadlifts, 135 / 95 lb. 
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
15 deadlifts, 185 / 135 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
20 deadlifts, 225 / 155 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
25 deadlifts, 275 / 185 lb.
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch
30 deadlifts, 315 / 205 lb.

15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch 
35 deadlifts, 365 / 225 lb. 
15 box jumps, 24 / 20 inch

Post loads to comments.
Compare to 3.15.14

Traffic control at the 9:45am heat of "Murph" on Monday

Tips on How to be Prepared and Get the Most Out of Group Classes 

By Chris Fox

One of the tenets of CrossFit as a training modality is training efficiency. You don’t need to spend countless hours doing a bunch of different things to improve; you can perform varied, functional movements at high intensity and be done with it in a relatively short time each day. Group class at CrossFit South Brooklyn lasts for one hour. If we’re lucky, we get to see you five classes each week, so five hours out of 168... How can you be proactive in making the most out of that time? Below are five tips that will have you well prepared for class and will assist your coaches in giving you the highest training value possible. 

1. Come to class on time, which really means get here early. I understand that sometimes the train is late and your dog ate your lifters, but you should be planning to arrive at 597 Degraw Street at least 10 minutes before class so you can change, get your gear ready, and get in the exercise mindset. If you’re consistently late you’re not only a distraction to the coach and the class, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

2. DIY a light warm up and your own mobility work. This is a good idea for anyone really, but especially for those of us who need some extra mobility work or simply need a bit longer to shake the rust off. We’re proactive about doing the drills that we believe will best warm up our general population for what’s on tap for the day but you are, in fact, a unique flower. Overhead movements suck for you? Get here early enough to spend five minutes mobilizing with a Gemeni up and down your thoracic spine. Deep squatting sucks? Allow yourself enough time to do a banded ankle distraction and some ground based hip mobilizations. There are a bunch of things you could be doing throughout the day to move better. Better yet, do this stuff on your own time outside of the gym. Try to make a new habit of doing one mobilization each day, and if you need to get to class early to do it, then make that happen. We really don’t want to spend the time we have coaching a CrossFit group class watching people roll around on lacrosse balls. That’s what Active Recovery is for. We want to coach you on movement. I think you want that, too. 

3. Learn and understand how to warm up your lifts. New members get a brief lecture about this in Foundations, but it takes some time to really internalize how to warm yourself up for a lift. Here’s a general guide:  

  • Three to five warm up sets is plenty for the slow lifts (squats, presses, deadlifts, etc.).
  • Make equal or smaller jumps in weight as you get close to your work weight.
  • As load goes up, volume decreases. Don’t get fatigued in the warm up sets!
  • Here’s an example that warms a lifter up to squat 295x5x3:
    • 45x5, 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 275x1, then 295x5x3
  • Here’s another that warms a lifter up to squat 125x5x3:
    • 45x5, 65x5, 85x5, 105x3, 115x1, then 125x5x3 

As you can see, even though these lifters are on very different strength levels they can warm up their lifts in about the same amount of time. This should take four to five minutes for a rack of three lifters to get to work weights. As the weight gets heavier and they get closer to work weight the reps go down. You don’t want to do a set of five at 275 (which represents 94% of work weight) and then try and do a work set. Warm ups should simply warm you up, not fatigue you. 

4. Pay attention, and please don’t talk when the coach is instructing the group. I know first hand that it can be annoying when we’re trying to get a class partnered up to prep for a WOD and there’s the white noise of chatter going on. It can be hard to hear sometimes, what with the amazing music (and the really amazing music) and the lifting of heavy weight on the platforms, but please don’t contribute to that noise when the coach is instructing the group. There’s plenty of time for catching up during down time, after the WOD, or out for food and drinks afterwards. 

5. “I don’t always lift, but when I do it’s more than I should.” It can be very tempting to want to overreach when the person next to you is CRUSHING a set of five deadlifts 100 pounds heavier than your 1RM. With the fast lifts, not every week is a great week. Competitive Olympic lifters go weeks and months without setting personal records. Be patient, and do your own thing. The competitive aspect of CrossFit can be a great driver of intensity, which can in turn drive adaptation. The other side of that coin is that it can also drive you to do too much for yourself on any given day. You should really be competing with your own previous self anyway. Stay in tune with your abilities and be mindful of the long road. We won’t hesitate to have you pull plates off the bar if we think you’re trying to work too far beyond your capacity, but we’d rather you learn to make a smarter decision before it comes up. The alternative is injury.

“Stay humble, my friends.”

2 Drills to Injury Proof Your Ankles Breaking Muscle
Fire on the Mountain The Atlantic
Crossfit Gym Now Offers Nude Workouts! Instinct


Rest Day

192 people did "Murph" at CFSBK, which means collectively we did almost 20,000 pull-ups!

Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered, brought food, and shared their thoughts on the blog for our 2014 Memorial Day "Murph" event. We believe it was one of the most successful "Murph" events to date! We were honored that so many people chose to spend their holiday with us honoring Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy and those that we've lost. Special thanks also goes out to our CSA partner Herondale Farms for providing the meat and some grilling skillz. We also want to acknowledge our awesome Front Desk Staff for doing an amazing job holding the event together. Finally, check out the sweet photos of the event taken by Asta F and Dan R on our Flickr page.

Remember, if you'd like to make a greater impact from your "Murph" performance, we recommend donating a dollar (or more) for every minute it took you to complete the workout to the Lone Survivor Program.

News and Notes

  • There is no Active Recovery this upcoming Saturday as Coach DO will be in Canton working the North East Regionals as the competition director.
  • Please note that there is no floater WOD programmed for Tuesday, since Crush Week began yesterday. If you come today, your only options are "Murph" or tomorrow's WOD. Plan accordingly!
  • PILATES IS CANCELED THIS EVENING, as KH (a.k.a. Cage) is away for the long weekend. 
  • There's a new post over on Coach DO's blog Inside the Affiliate called "Don't Sell Out: Selling Supplements at CrossFit Affiliates," about why we choose to sell what we do at CFSBK. Check it out, share it with your friends who geek out on CrossFit!

Olympic Lifting Cycles Want YOU

The PM Olympic Lifting Cycle with Coach Frankie Murray just opened up one more slot, and the AM cycle still has a few slots left. 

Spend the next eight weeks focusing on proper technique, mobility, and your individual weak points with an outstanding Olympic lifting coach, who has medaled at five separate National Championships. Learn more here.

AM Cycle
5/29/14 - 7/17/14
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am to 12:00pm
Register Here! 

PM Cycle
5/28/14 - 7/21/14
Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30pm to 10:00pm
Register Here! 

Beat The Heat

Memorial Day not only marks the time of year we get to do "Murph" and drink beers, it's also the (almost!) beginning of summer. This change of environmental conditions comes with some new responsibilities that we all need to be aware of. The two biggest risks when working out in high or humid temperatures are dehydration and heat stroke. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it requires for normal functioning and heat stroke occurs when your body temperature rises faster than you can regulate. Both of these conditions are very serious and can lead to sickness and even death in extreme cases. That being said, you can do a few simple things to make sure you're safe while working out:

1. Hydrate! Drink cold water before, during, and after you exercise. We have two water pitchers in the fridge that everyone can use. We encourage everyone to bring their own reusable water container, but we also have cups available if you forget yours or don't own one. Try to drink water at regular intervals. You want to be taking in more water than you're losing so don't wait until you're thirsty to start chugging.

2. Listen to your body. If you're feeling lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, begin to cramp, or display anything resembling fever symptoms, it's time to stop, cool down and hydrate. Sometimes during hard workouts we try to "push through the pain," but remember that putting yourself at risk in order to shave off an extra :15 seconds is both dangerous and contrary to why you're here in the first place. (To get fit!)

We also have ice in the freezer available in both cubes and cups that you can grab to eat, rub on your body, etcetera. 

If you didn't tell us already, how'd "Murph" go yesterday?

Fitness Crazed New York Times
No Bullsh*t: The Voices in Your Head Elitefts
A Young Woman Falls in Love with Everything NPR



For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as needed. Start and finish with a mile run. If you've got a twenty pound vest or body armor, wear it.

The full version above is a bit too much for most folks. We'll explain how to scale for volume and movements at the gym. The average times for this workout range from 45 minutes to just over an hour. Blazing fast times as Rx'd are in the mid to low 30s.

Post time to comments.
Compare to 5.27.2013

What is "Murph"?

This WOD was created in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, NY, who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005. The workout was one of Mike's favorites and he'd named it "Body Armor." It is referred to as "Murph" in honor of this focused warrior and great American who wanted nothing but to serve his country and the beautiful people in it.

This workout is dedicated to everyone who has sacrificed their lives in the US Armed Forces. Take a moment during the day to thank someone who has served and reflect on those we've lost. 

Final Memorial Day Musings

Samir C. wrote a couple posts on his blog that are relevant to the intent of today. The first is a post he wrote last year at the time of the Muslim festival Eid. He went to Ohio to visit his wife’s family, and her cousin, Omar, invited his vet-friend over for lunch. Samir says he was struck by how a vet of the Afghan war was mingling with his Muslim buddy from high school during their biggest festival of the year. Check it out here. The second is a post that he wrote a couple years ago that is useful to revisit around the time of “Murph.” Read it here.

Participation Reminder

Please be ready to go at the time you signed up for. That means you'll need to get there early and warm-up on your own. Here is a good mobility|wod if you're not sure what to do. The gym will provide beer and meat for all who attend. If you can bring a side it would be much appreciated. We've also got commemorative t-shirts in-house, which are first come first served!

The gym will be open starting at 7:15am. We'll start grilling around 11:00am and be done around 3pm... maybe. There are no evening classes today.


Deadlift or Snatch | WOD 5.25.14

Fitness: 3RM
Set a 3 rep max in 3 attempts or less.

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

Post loads to comments.

Every 4 Minutes for 5 Rounds:
250m Row
12 Push Press 115/75

Score times for each round.

Joy M.'s perfect front rack position

Memorial Day Musings

CFSBKer and author Jen Percy recently published a book called Demon Camp: A Soldier’s ExorcismLast winter, before I (Kate R.) knew Jen was a member at the gym, I pre-ordered her book after reading a stunning excerpt of it in Harper’s magazine called “Voice in the Night.” Not only did I feel gut-punched by the beauty of her writing, but I knew what she was writing about was incredibly important. Demon Camp finally arrived at my apartment in January only a few days after it was published and I couldn’t put it down. I’ve already told a number of you to read it, and on the day before “Murph” and Memorial Day, it seems even more relevant.

Jen was introduced to CrossFit by a veteran and came to understand it as a scared space where military and civilian worlds tend to overlap. Below is our third and last installment of the Memorial Day Musings series, in which Jen shares a bit about her book and what compelled her to write it. 

I started writing this book thinking a great deal about American post-war amnesia, a kind of collective forgetting that takes place when atrocity is over. Here's a quote by an American psychiatrist named Abram​ Kardiner, author of  The Traumatic Neurosis of War: ​ 

"The subject of neurotic disturbances consequent upon war has, in the past 25 years, been submitted to a good deal of capriciousness in public interest and psychiatric whims. The public does not sustain its interest, which was very great after World War I, and neither does psychiatry. Hence these conditions are not subject to continuous study." 

The quote is from 1941 yet the sentiment is evergreen. My book is, in many ways, a product of my longing to feel implicated in our foreign wars (these are wars that have gone on my entire adult life), but I also wanted to think about why this kind of forgetting happens. I followed Sgt. Caleb Daniels, a machine gunner on his way to save Marcus Luttrell, Mike Murphy, and two other SEALs stranded in the mountains of the Hindu Kush on June 28, 2005 when, last minute, Daniels was kicked off the flight. Their rescue chopper was hit by an RPG and all of his friends burned alive.

At home, in Georgia, Daniels saw the charred bodies of his friends in his room at night. He was also stalked by something he called the Black Thing, and the Black ​T​hing wanted him to die. His dead friends wanted to save him. The apparitions created a kind of dialectic that's common to those who have survived traumatic experiences. Daniels' case was extreme. He spoke in signs and symbols, the language of dreams. The question that haunted him: should I live with terrible memories or annihilate them completely?  

To learn more about Jen, visit her website. Purchase Demon Camp at your local bookstore or online.

"Murph" WOD and BBQ is TOMORROW 

Are you ready for tomorrow?! The gym will be open starting at 7:15am. We'll start grilling around 11:00am and be done around 3pm... maybe. There will be no evening classes. Please be ready to go at the time you signed up for. That means you'll need to get there early and warm-up on your own. Here is a good mobility|WOD to check out if you're not sure what to do. The gym will provide beer and meat for all who attend. If you can bring a side dish, it would be much appreciated!

Do People Want to Know Where Their Food Comes From? The Atlantic
Why Don't We All Have Cancer? Vsauce


Clean and Jerk | Front Squat

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

Performance: Clean and Jerk 1-1-1, then Power Clean + Hang Clean + Jerk 75% x (1+1+1) x 2
Work up to a heavy clean and jerk in three attempts, then perform two singles of the complex at 75% of today's best lift.


Front Squat

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression

Performance:  85% x 4  x 4, then 87.5% x 4 x 4
Rest two minutes between sets. You're already pretty warmed up from the cleans, so get to work weight within 2-3 warm ups so you can get all your work sets in. 

Post loads to comments.

Do you love cleaning as much as Coach Fox?

News and Notes

  • Robyn O. posted a few weeks ago about her charity adventure Rickshaw Run in India. Her team finished in 41st place out of 60 rickshaws, and they blew past their fundraising goal of $3,500 for Made By Survivors and raised $6,108. The money will help build a new shelter for survivors of sex trafficking in Jalpaiguri. If you still want to help, head over here
  • Matthew E. posted recently about his fundraising efforts for the Vanguard Backpacking Program. They met their goal! With generous support from over 60 individuals, the program raised $5,104 and recently placed the order for backpacks, sleeping bags, and tents. Great work, Matthew and everyone who helped!
  • Jared K. wants to let you know about an awesome Kickstarter for Barbell Apparel, which ends tomorrow. They're going for a stretch goal of $750K, and they’re almost there! If your swol’ quads make buying jeans tough, check this project out
  • Hit all your mobility business today: Yoga with Whitney at 10am + Active Recovery at 11am with Coach DO + Active Recovery at 12pm again with Coach DO = so many opportunities for happy CrossFitters.

What Do I Need to Know for "Murph" on Monday?

“Murph” is a day where our community comes together to celebrate and honor our service men and women.  Whether it's by completing the workout, or cheering on a loved one, or just hanging out for the BBQ, all are welcome! 

For Time:
Run 1 Mile
100 Pull-Ups
200 Push-Ups
300 Squats
Run 1 Mile

Partition the pull-ups, push-ups and squats however you'd like. Start and end with the run. If you've got a 20lb vest or body armor, wear it. 

Wow, that sounds crazy! Will there be scaling options?
Yes, folks will be able to do 1/4, 1/2, or 3/4 Murph to reduce the volume. Coaches will explain the scaling options before each heat. The scaling option for pull-ups are jumping pull-ups. Because of the number of people we expect, we will not be offering ring rows or banded pull-ups as a scaling option. The volume of jumping pull-ups will also be reduced.

You are expected to warm-up before your heat on your heat. A perfect warm-up would be some foam rolling or soft tissue work (here is a good mobility|wod) and some rowing or light jogging. If your ankles are tight, we suggest doing a calf smash on a kettlebell handle, too. Get loose and ready to go.

Ok, what time do we show up?
The gym will open at 7:15am and we will be starting the first heat exactly at 7:30am.  We'll be starting new heats of up to 25 people every 45 minutes and recommend that you arrive 15 minutes early for whichever heat you'd like so that you can warm up and do some movement prep. 

The BBQ itself will start around 11am and will last until around 3pm. The gym will provide meat and beer.  Members are encouraged to bring a salad, snacks, veggies or any additional sides/beverages to share. If you're going to bring a something, please post it on the event page.

One Man's Case for Jorts, and Durability Esquire
Can the Nervous System Be Hacked? NYT Magazine


Rest Day

Maggie warming up her cleans

  • Happy Birthday, JB!

Memorial Day Musings 

For the second installment of the notes we’re running from some CFSBKers related to Memorial Day and leading up to “Murph,” we’re featuring an essay by Dr. Mike Cutaia, a past Athlete of the Month and faithful member of the gym for two years, along with his wife, Judy. Dr. Mike (also known as "that old stubborn horse that David and Noah try to whip into shape") has done the majority of his work as a physician in the VA system. For the last nine years, he’s worked at the VA hospital in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn as Chief of the Pulmonary/Critical Care/Sleep Section in the Department of Medicine. He would like to begin his piece with a couple epigraphs:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
—Dwight D. Eisenhower for the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953

“An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
—Mahatma Ghandi 

Typically, our culture has a bad habit of commercializing and trivializing holidays to the point where we can easily forget the underlying reasons why they were established in the first place. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day come to mind. It’s a diversion to have to deal with all the nonsense in our culture surrounding these days. We can be lured so easily to forget the deeper message, the deeper meaning that is there. This meaning needs to be rediscovered and restored. Memorial Day is another important example.

Parades, flags, bands playing, hot dogs and barbecues, and a lot of hot air from politicians about patriotism and love of country is not enough. It has been said, “Old men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die.” One of my first experiences as a physician caring for veterans was to separate two veteran patients who were beating the crap out of one another with their crutches in a hospital ward over the politics of war. Welcome to this complex, confusing, and often complicated life. The task is to put the politics aside, and look just at the people. That’s where the gold can be found. Civil War general William Sherman reputedly said, “War is hell.”  And it is. In so many ways. Both when you go and when you come back to civilian life. 

That is why we need to remember the people who go to war no matter what the political issues may be. This is the deeper message and meaning of Memorial Day. It’s more about lives than flags. More about people. Those who are no longer with us and those who are alive and struggling to put their past in a healthy perspective. The latter group deserves our special attention. These are the people who are struggling to regain meaning and purpose after their wartime experience. It is important that we who have never served struggle to relate to that in some way. Can we sit in another man or women’s shoes for a brief moment and catch a small glimpse of the pain and agony of war? Often, one can’t truly comprehend what one has never been through oneself. So, some people say why even go through the pain of trying? 

Here is the reason. The men and women who went to war gave us their hearts, their blood, and often their lives. We should not forget that. If we do, we run the risk of becoming dangerously disconnected from the pain of many among us. No matter what we think about war itself.  No matter what we think about the motives for going. Some go willingly. Others have little or no choice. Just a way out of a bad set of circumstances at home. They all deserve our recognition. Especially when they face such huge problems on returning to civilian life like unemployment, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injury, chronic physical disability, substance abuse, and a high risk of suicide, which is three times higher than the general population. It is easy to forget that we are the community they are trying to rejoin. Our openness and receptiveness greatly influences their struggle in many ways. 

We must remember—because it is human to remember. Ultimately, life is short. We ourselves want to be remembered. It is human to want this simple thing. No one wants to be forgotten. I have five childhood friends who never returned from Vietnam whose names are on the wall in Washington. This is one of the big lessons my work with veterans has taught me. Not to forget. 

The links below are Dr. Mike's suggested further reading about veterans.

The Problems Facing America’s Veterans care2
Female Veterans More Likely To Commit Suicide care2
Suicide Among Young Veterans Rising At Alarming Rate The Huffington Post
John Walsh: Preventing Veteran Suicide Is 'The Cost Of War' The Huffington Post
Special Memorial Day Programs Tell the Stories of U.S. Armed Forces War Veterans YAHOO