Clean | Deadlift | WOD 2.1.15

Work up to a heavy load on the complex:
Fitness: Power Clean + FSQ
Performance: Clean Pull + High Hang Clean 

The Clean Pull reinforces finishing hip and knee extension in a vertical manner. It should exactly mimic your clean, minus the third pull, aka racking the bar. In the first version the lifter reaches triple extension (ankle, knee, hip) and shrugs at the top. In the second version the lifter hits all the same points of performance and adds in a sharp redirection under the bar without actually racking it.

With no redirection.
With rapid redirection, aka "Panda Pull." 

Post loads to comments.


Fitness and Performance: 1 x 5 Linear Progression
Back off a bit from where you ended last cycle with the goal of surpassing it by the end of this cycle. Reread Coach Noah's article on Monday, "Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Planning Your Lifts Before and During a Cycle" to get a more specific sense of where you should start.

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 6 Minutes:
12 Split Jumps
6 Toes to Bar or 8 V-Ups 

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Whether performing a deadlift, snatch, or clean, the following points of performance always apply when setting up to pull a barbell off the floor:
- Your back should be set in absolute extension
- Your feet should be in the "power stance" with the weight balanced towards the mid-foot
- The bar should be touching your shins
- Your lats should be engaged and you should feel like you're pulling up on the bar without actually lifting it.
- The bar should be held towards the base of your fingers so that no skin gets pinched when you start to pull

  • Happy birthday, Morris L.!

Updates to RSVP to CFSBK  

  • You no longer have to leave this blog to RSVP. Simply 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. Zen Planner will load on the page and you can follow the same steps as before.
  • We’ve removed the one-hour limit on time to cancel your RSVP.
  • If you’ve RSVP-ed for a different class than the one for which you show up (though ideally this doesn’t happen), please ask the Front Desk to uncheck you from the original class, so you don’t get charged for two classes.
  • Effective Monday, Active Recovery drop-ins will now be $20 (the same price as Yoga and Pilates). We are offering a 10-class Active Recovery punch card for $150 ($15/class), which has a six-month expiration. Yoga and Pilates punch cards will remain at 5 classes for $85. 

Nike releases its first "CrossFit" shoe, the Nike Metcon 1 Nike
Failing, Bailing, and Training Culture at CrossFit Affiliates Inside the Affiliate
A Four Year Degree Versus a Two Day Seminar The Russells


Front Squat | WOD 1.31.15

Fitness: 3 x 3 Linear Progression
Start a bit off where you left off last cycle. Aim to add 5-10 lbs each week.
Performance: 90% x 1, 70% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

Partner WOD
In teams of two with one partner working at a time, complete AMRAP in 12 Minutes of:
12 Dumbbell Thrusters
24 AbMat Sit Ups 

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Coach JB at the bottom of her front squat

CFSBK Events Update 

  • Do you have the Community Potluck on Saturday, February 21 at 7pm on your calendar? Head over to the event page to RSVP and tell us what delicious dish you'll be bringing!
  • Our Meditation Workshops the past two weekends were great events! Here's a pic of last Sunday's participants. A takeaway tip in case you weren't able to attend: one misconception about meditation is that it requires one to stop thinking. On the contrary, meditation acknowledges that it is the nature of the mind to think and instead allows thoughts to be present with the goal of developing greater awareness of thinking patterns and then recalibrating as necessary.

Are Vitamin Drinks a Bad Idea? The New York Times 


Rest Day

Mobility super friends Eric and Manu at Active Recovery

Update From CFSBK Endurance Program Coach Mike O.

First off, I want to thank every single athlete who participated in any workout that we held for the entire season of 2014. I am grateful for the chance to work with a tremendous group of people who have become my friends and family at CrossFit South Brooklyn, and I am also grateful for all of those who I was able to meet and workout with this past year. 

Next, I want to provide a quick update for 2015. I do not have a program planned until the weather improves. I believe it can be tough on someone's health to be active and try to learn/train outdoors when it is always below freezing. This part of the year is what I often call a runner’s off- or pre-season. I will update people as the weather starts to swing and will NOT hesitate to get things cranking ASAP! Follow along on the blog for updates, or email me if you’d like to me added to my CFSBK Endurance Program email chain. (michael.olzinski [at]

I would also like to provide a little insight for those athletes who do have endurance, swimming, cycling, running, and/or triathlon goals for the coming year. The only thing that will NOT lead to progress is constantly doing the same thing over and over. Avoid the monotonous "mediocre" training sessions—the sorta hard run that’s not hard enough to change you, but not easy enough to be recovery. My best recommendation? Get involved in something different! We are all lucky to be a part of a great community with so many great resources. these are some of the great things that people are up to and that I highly recommend: 

  • Focus on your strength and the quality of your physical movements. Doing Strength Cycle with Coach Jeremy is a GREAT idea and can set you up for a more successful, stronger, and injury-free 2015.
  • The Olympic Lifting Program with Coach Frank is a great option, along with pushing yourself to compete. Olympic lifting is incredibly effective at enhancing your physical synchronization.
  • Gymnastics! Everything that is wrong with most runners is exactly what's RIGHT in most gymnasts. Take some time to get good and utilize our coaches, especially Ken H. and his program!
  • ROW. I know and have seen tons of athletes training for C.R.A.S.H.-B.'s, which is one of the smartest things you can do. Even even if you are not in that program with Coach Nick, then try to get better at rowing. It will make a difference.

I also utilize the guys upstairs, the TriBy3 and ACME coaches (at 597 Degraw Street #2F). Specifically for anyone with Triathlon goals, they have a BEAUTIFUL facility and run several coached computrainer bike sessions every week, not to mention group workouts and runs. Visit their website to learn more.

You can also check out CrossFit Endurance. Brian McKenzie just created a bunch of programs for running and triathlon that incorporate your CrossFit schedule, and his teachings are always incorporated into CFSBK’s Endurance Program.

Lastly, if anyone has very specific goals or questions, please let me know and I can certainly try to advise as best as I can. I work as a full-time assistant coach with purplepatch fitness so if anyone does have questions or wants a very specific training program for a race or year, I can definitely steer you in the right direction to incorporate with CrossFit training.  

Also, if anyone is looking for races to tackle, here are my first four races for 2015:

  • NYC Half-Marathon:  March 15th
  • New Orleans Half-Ironman: April 19th
  • St. George Half-Ironman: May 2nd
  • Raleigh Half-Ironman: May 31st

If you have any questions, email me at michael.olzinski [at] Happy running!

Be More Human Reebok
Incredible Single-Armed Clean and Jerk
Dog Balancing Common Household Items On His Head
How Many Days Are In A Week? Internet Steakheads Go To Deadspin


Snatch | WOD 1.29.15

Work up to a heavy load on the complex:
Fitness: Power Snatch + Overhead Squat
Performance: High Hang Snatch + Hang (knee) Snatch 

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 5 Minutes:
10 Goblet Squats 72/53
10 Push Ups 

Rest 1 Minute 

AMRAP 5 Minutes:
5 Strict Handstand Push Ups
10 Box Jumps 24/10"

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

In case you missed Coach David's ITA article yesterday about the inner workings of CFSBK, we wanted to share this photo of what the "Front Desk" used to look like. #tbt

News and Notes 

Big Sugar Leaves a Bitter Aftertaste Reason
Special Olympian/Badass Timmy Hedley Squats 275lbs
A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time The Atlantic


Back Squat | WOD 1.28.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start a bit below last cycle.
Performance: 90% x 1, 70% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 7 Minutes:
Pull Ups or Ring Rows
(*We swapped for KB Swings yesterday in anticipation of BLIZZARD sized classes)

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Coach Jeremy in Back Squat Beast Mode

News and Notes

  • Ever wonder who does what at CFSBK to keep the wheels turning? Head over to Coach David's blog, Inside the Affiliate, where he wrote an article about all the different roles at CFSBK. It's called "How To Become a Grown-Up CrossFit Gym."
  • If you're following Performance programming on any of your lifts this cycle, head over to our Current Programming Cycle tab to see what percentages you can expect each week. 
  • Happy birthday, Andrea D.!

All the Deadlift PRs

At the end of our last cycle, we saw a landslide of impressive personal records, especially as people went for a 1 Rep Max on their deadlifts. Congrats, everyone (listed in order of class taken)!

  • Dolce 245#
  • BK 325#
  • Shawn 285#
  • Elliott 345#
  • Jonathan 310#
  • Alan 285#
  • John 335#
  • Carl 285#
  • Melody 185#
  • Freddie 190#
  • Vella 185#
  • Brad 345#
  • Kayleigh 295#
  • Mary 220#
  • Christina 220#
  • Mario 165#
  • Katy 205#
  • Dan K. 315#
  • Michael A. 420#
  • Bethany 225#
  • Matt K. 555#
  • Michael C 415#
  • KH 220#
  • Jason M. 455#
  • Brendan 425#
  • Morgan 405#
  • Janet 155#
  • Nikki 145#
  • Dave B. 235#
  • Sarah 185#
  • Kate L. 185#
  • Callie 200#
  • Kate R. 235# 
  • K HarpZ 295#

Distant Exoplanet Hosts Giant Ring System BBC
Our Weirdest Automatic Body Functions Explained Explore
Double, Double Toil and Trouble: Dissecting Double Unders CrossFit Journal

If you didn't write your name and numbers on the board, or want to share PRs from other lifts this cycle, list them in the comments. Also, tell us: what did you think of this last cycle?


Rest Day

Maise the Wonder Mutt wishes you a happy Snow Day! Be careful out there, CFSBK.

  • STORM NEWS: Today's 6 a.m., 7 a.m., and 8 a.m. classes are all canceled because of the blizzard. We'll be running a normal schedule of classes from 10 a.m. onwards. Stay tuned on here and social media (Facebook and Twitter), and don't forget to RSVP.

More Thoughts On Being an Athlete Who Doesn’t Eat Meat

By Whitney Hubbard

I believe that food and nutrition are highly individualized experiences. Yes, there are things we know that work well overall and there are general guidelines that will be effective for a broad range of people. But food is often also a part of the cultural, social, and—yes, for some of us—emotional aspects of our lives. As CrossFitters, we can consider food as fuel. We are asking a lot of our bodies and minds on a daily basis, and it’s crucial to supply that great system with nutrients that support recovery, performance, and overall health. At the same time, I consider a lot more than that with my own eating habits. So, I’ll aim to share my own experience here without speaking for anyone else but myself. 

I became an ovo-lacto-pescetarian (::cue Paleo eye roll::) just over seven years ago. That means I eat eggs, dairy, and fish, but not any other meat. Truth be told, I never thought I’d be any kind of vegetarian for any length of time. I grew up eating lots of meat. My Dad is a self-proclaimed grillmaster, and as a family we regularly enjoyed ribs, steak, pork, chicken, duck, more ribs, burgers, turkey, and... ribs. I remember thinking, “Why on earth would anyone ever want to be a vegetarian?”

Cue some hippie handing me a flyer on the quad at my university, which I happened to reach my hand out for and happened to look at. Long story short, I had never even considered where my food was coming from—how it was farmed, grown, raised, harvested, or killed. After a brief look into the realities of the industrial food complex and “factory farming,” I decided that now was a good time to just try taking meat out of my diet. I was on my own in college anyway and didn’t like cooking red meat, so it seemed simple.

The initial shift meant that I was simply thinking more about what I was putting into my body. I would come home from a long morning of yoga and dance classes and make a three-egg omelet with a few veggies and a smoothie with yogurt and fruit. I cooked a lot more vegetables with every meal and got creative. I was also in college, so I ate my fair share of late night pizza, but overall I started to feel energized. I used to get multiple sinus infections and other fun versions of respiratory illness every winter. I made my nutrition change in first semester of my senior year, and that season I clearly remember making it through without getting sick.

I’ve always been active. I grew up dancing, averaging about 15-20 hours/week in my teens and probably 25-30 hours/week in college. But lifting weights is a whole different story, or at least it feels that way. I’ve become very aware of what I need to recover and perform relatively well, and I know when I’m missing it. Here’s how I approach my nutrition these days.

Prioritize Protein
As a pescetarian and an athlete, the biggest challenge in regards to nutrition is often getting enough protein. If we consider that someone training like we do at CFSBK should eat 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of bodyweight each day, then it will take any kind of vegetarian a good amount forethought, planning, tracking, and variety to get there consistently. Here’s what a good day of looks like for me:

½ cup (dry) oatmeal
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 tbsp peanut butter 

Protein: 34g Carb: 33g Fat: 16g

3 scrambled eggs with bell peppers and onions
2 cups sautéed greens
1.5 cup roasted mixed veggies (brussel sprout, squash, cauliflower)
1 oz of cheese 

Protein: 35g Carb: 38g Fat: 31g

1 cup 2% plain Greek Yogurt
1 cup frozen cherries 

Protein: 24g Carb: 31g Fat: 5g

6 oz Arctic Char (grilled or baked)
1.5 cup roasted mixed veggies
2 cups Kale and Ricotta Salad
1 glass white wine 

Protein: 48g Carb: 36g Fat: 19g

Protein: 141g Carb: 138g Fat: 71g 

So, with my bodyweight hovering around 135 pounds, this is relatively on target for me. I’ve hit my grams of protein for the day. I aim to do this consistently through a variety of sources. It often ends up as 3 eggs at one meal, a big serving of fish at another, a scoop of protein powder sometime during the day, and either Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

Carbs are pretty good here, too, although this is definitely where I vary. There are days that I feel I need more, and I add them in: black beans and tomatoes with my eggs, more starchy veggies in the mix (sweet or white potatoes), a tortilla or wrap here and there… and YES even the occasional pumpkin muffin! One thing I’ve noticed over time with tracking is that I tend to steer towards more fat than I may need. Fat with every meal generally helps me feel fuller for longer, but is certainly something of which to be conscious. I’m not actively trying to lose any weight, but if I were, this is where I would look first.

Take Care of the Good Stuff
I know when I don’t plan my grocery list, prepare my own food, or even just plan where I might eat a meal out, I can very quickly become one of those “grilled cheese vegetarian types.” So, if I can get a bunch of veggies on my plate at two out of three meals, I know I’m on track. If I can substitute fruit, nuts, and seeds for a scone in the middle of the afternoon, I’m doing well. Bottom line: get those greens and eat real food. Then when you get off track for a meal here or a day there, you know you've still got a good foundation of healthy eating under you.

Variety Is Key
Veggies are not boring. Routine is boring. I’m all for having go-to recipes and meals (hello, Kettlebell Kitchen!!) to fall back on and utilize, especially when you don’t have a lot of time. But that being said, even I get sick of some of my vegetable sides when I eat the same thing over and over. Hate Kale? Try sautéing Swiss chard with garlic and shallots. Annoyed with steamed broccoli? Roast cauliflower and brussel sprouts with smoked paprika instead. No time to cook? Add crunchy bell peppers, cucumbers, and some hearts of palm to mixed greens as an easy side salad. Making a big pot of soup or chili for the week? Throw some spinach in there… you’ll barely even notice it.

Here’s the deepest, honest, scary-to-say-out-loud truth: there are many days that I wonder if I would feel, recover, and perform better if I were eating meat. It’s entirely possible. I’m not a doctor, and I have no formal education in nutrition. I think I’ve developed a relatively healthy way of eating that supports my physical lifestyle and my ethical choices. And, there are some days when I’ve just worked out for 90 minutes, I’m starving, and I think, “Life would be so much easier if I just ate meat!” I might spend less money (fish is expensive!), have more simple meal choices, and not constantly be worried about getting enough protein. I’m the kind of person who never says never. So, it’s possible that one day I’ll go back to eating meat. But my diet decisions involve more than just food as fuel, and if I trade a bit of my athletic potential for making a small difference in the world, well… that’s the choice I’m making today. 

In case you missed it: we interviewed Coach Whitney back in April of 2014 about this topic, too! Read along here.

LFPB Peeps: What lessons have you been learning the past few weeks? How's the Challenge going?


Bench Press | WOD 1.26.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start at about 90% of where you left last cycle.
Performance: 90% x 1, 70% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

For Time:
30 Calorie Row
50 Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9
30 Calorie Row 

Post time and Rx to comments.

Gym Etiquette: Lift Offs
Always ask your partner if they want a "lift off" when sharing a rack during bench pressing. After the first one to two warm-up sets, many people prefer having an assist out of the rack. A little help often makes finding and getting into a good start position over the sternum a bit easier. Figure out which of you wants to do the 3-2-1 count down, then use a switch grip and gently assist them out. A really aggressive lift off can be a little jarring, so aim for smooth movement.

News and Notes 

  • UPDATED STORM NEWS: Tuesday's 6 a.m., 7 a.m., and 8 a.m. classes are all canceled because of the blizzard. We'll be running a normal schedule of classes from 10 a.m. onwards unless things get crazy. Stay tuned on here and social media (Facebook and Twitter), and don't forget to RSVP.
  • Happy belated birthday, Justin T.!

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Planning Your Lifts Before and During a Cycle

By Noah Abbott 

Next week we will begin a new training cycle at CFSBK. As per usual, our Fitness track lifters will follow a Linear Progression (LP), since it’s the safest and quickest way to build strength. Many of us have run multiple LP’s, and feel confident picking their starting weights for the new cycle, but for those of us with less training time at CFSBK, or who have had weights pre-selected for them in the past, this task can seem daunting. 

Every cycle, the coaches encounter people who choose poorly. It’s obvious to us in the first or second week that the lifter in question was too ambitious with their opening weight, as the grind, struggle, and often fail right out of the gate. There are numerous reasons this might happen. If it’s because you’ve got a big ego and still think you’re as strong as when you won the 2nd Team All County Badminton Doubles State Championship, well, just don’t be such a dingus. If it’s because you are unsure of where to start, here’s two approaches you can try, using a lifter who finished their last squat cycle at 150x5x3

Count Backwards
One approach is to pick where you want to finish the cycle, and count backwards from there in small, sustainable jumps. So, our lifter wants to finish this cycle at 160, a 10# PR for sets of 5. Counting back in 5# jumps (and assuming a 6 week cycle), our lifter’s cycle would look like this:

Week 6: 165
Week 5: 160
Week 4: 155
Week 3: 150 (Last cycle’s final week and current PR)
Week 2: 145
Week 1: 140 

Generally, we begin our cycles after 2 weeks “off” (Crush and Backoff weeks) so starting right where you left off will mean everything is immediately heavy. Conversely, planning to PR by a very slim margin means you are basically lifting all the same weights you lifted last cycle over again, and not pushing into new territory or past your comfort zone. Try and balance your ambition with a sober sense of the reality of the situation. I generally like to see lifters hit last cycle’s final weight at around the midpoint of the current cycle. In 6-week cycles that would be Week 3 or 4—I’d bias towards Week 3 if you are sticking with a lift from the preceding cycle and everything went smoothly. I’d shoot for Week 4 if you’re planning a lift you haven’t seen in a while (bench press, etc.) or if things last cycle were a little jagged towards the end. 

Percentage Based
Another approach is to back off a set percentage from where you finished or failed. Generally, 90% is a good starting place when considering resetting a linear progression. 

Using our theoretical lifter as an example: 150*.9= 135. So our lifter would begin the cycle at roughly the same place as they would with the Count Backwards approach. 90% works well if it’s a lift you saw and trained in the last cycle, but if its been a while since your last exposure, I’d suggest knocking down to 85% or so.

Art, and Science
Despite all of these numbers, planning your lifts is both art and science. Both of these approaches are simply ways to get a rough estimate of where to begin, and numerous factors can inform the raw data. With time, you get a better idea of your starting points and can work by feel a bit more. Always begin conservatively, and if things feel ridiculously easy don’t be afraid to take slightly bigger jumps in the first few weeks before tapering things as the weight begins to stack. Be brave. Many a lifter gets to the edge of their discomfort tolerance and swears there is no way they can possibly progress forward. Trust that each week you will be a little bit stronger, and don’t be afraid to try and fail, especially in the last week or two of the cycle.

As always, if you have any questions, ask a coach sooner rather than later. Now go out there and get to clangin’ and bangin’.

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