Rest Day

Josh S. and Karl C. sending out good vibes while running on Degraw St.

News and Notes

  • There's a new post over on Inside the Affiliate about coaching during group classes. Check it out if you're curious re: the "job description" for all our wonderful coaches!
  • Beginning of the work week got your muscles all scrunched up again? Come loosen and love on your soft tissue at Active Recovery with Coach Fox tonight at 6:30pm.
  • Pilates with KH is back on at 7:30pm tonight. Come get mad abs and check out KH's mad Costa Rican tan, yo!

The Organic Affiliate Growth Model 

The original version of this article appeared on Coach David’s blog, Inside the Affiliate

I don't really consider myself a "business person" despite the fact that I've owned and operated a relatively successful small business for almost seven years. As with so many others, I got into this profession because I love coaching movement and facilitating the positive impacts it has on peoples’ lives. I knew from very early on as a coach that I wanted to have my own gym, that I wanted it to be something special, and that having fun would be more important than making money. That being said, I didn't really have the money to start a "proper" business from Day One so I had to do it the old-fashioned way and grow it organically. Below are the two concepts that have essentially encompassed CFSBK’s entire business plan from the early days in the park up through today. 

Plant a Seed and Let it Grow Organically
Back in 2007, when I wanted to start CFSBK, it didn’t seem like the smartest approach to find partners, take out a huge loan, and rent some ludicrously overpriced real estate in Brooklyn in order to start a gym based around a niche training concept that no one had heard of. My entire "financial plan" was to simply work to my best abilities within the resources I had and to never spend a single dollar I didn't already have available. My rule was that if I didn't have the funds to obtain something I needed, I would have to work harder with what I did have until I was able to afford it. So in late 2007 I found a playground near my apartment that had some pull-up bars. I purchased a set of gymnastics rings, one kettlebell, a few cheap jump ropes, and made some sand bags out of truck tire tubes and hose clamps (which we still have and use). My entire initial business investment was somewhere around $150 worth of equipment plus the then $500 CrossFit affiliation fee. 

While all this was happening, I continued to work six days a week at a commercial gym in Manhattan to support myself and saved every dollar I made from CrossFit so that I could plug it back into the business. Over time I had enough of a following that I could afford rented space a few times a week and offer a whopping three classes per week. I slowly grew the gym and transitioned myself away from coaching at the commercial facility until my business could sustain first myself, then a gradually growing number of employees. I've maintained that same exact business model and strategy up through today where we have over 600 members and about 20 employees. I take great pride in the fact that my staff and I have "earned" every single component related to our business, which makes every new piece of equipment or aspect of expansion that much more special, not just for me, but for everyone who’s been around long enough to see our growth. 

Of course, there are countless alternative approaches to starting an affiliate that could easily bear as much fruit. My point is that many of the financial obstacles which scare off potential gym owners can be completely circumvented as long as you understand the financial rules you're willing to play by, are prepared to take the long road of trading instant gratification for earned experience, and always focus growth on elevating your member experience, not your bottom line.

Leverage your Coaching and Atmosphere
There was recently a thread on the CrossFit message board that posed the question of whether it's possible for an affiliate to start in a park or garage and remain competitive enough to stay afloat, given the ever-growing number of affiliates opening their doors with massive spaces fully equipped to run huge classes and offer a variety of specialized programs. Suddenly the vision of your members throwing sand-filled basketballs at trees for wall balls seems less romantic and more deflating. I was very fortunate to have heard of CrossFit early on and been the only affiliate in Brooklyn for the first year or so I was around.  But while the game has changed a bit, nothing will ever trump quality coaching and a commitment to our members. While a fleet of rowing machines, daycare options, and an expansive class schedule certainly are desirable and can be things we should aspire toward, we believe that what really stays with people are the interactions they have with the coaches and people around them. 

We’ve talked a lot on ITA about the importance of building community at affiliates and how to create a safe, positive training culture. Part of CFSBK’s business philosophy acknowledges that there is a psycho-social element of fitness, and doing CrossFit isn’t always just about getting fit, but about meeting people and doing things that make you the best version of yourself on all levels. These things are important for a tribe to build community and togetherness. Having an environment that encourages this creates a deeper connection to the program and a deeper relationship to one’s training. This kind of community engagement in turn encourages retention—the more people you know, the more people who will notice you’re not in class. Especially in New York, it’s easy to be alone in a crowd and though we have eight million-plus people, it’s often hard to meet each another. So if our members are clearly having fun and getting better, we’re doing our job and should stay the course. There isn't a pro shop in the world that trumps the feeling of someone at CFSBK being accepted for who they are, and being challenged to get better.

Kettlebell Swings: Overhead or Traditional Catalyst Athletics
America Is Running Out of Water VICE
The Universe with Tim and Eric


Press | WOD 6.23.14

Fitness3 x 5 Linear Progression 
Add 2.5 to 5 lbs to last week. If there’s still time on the clock then do an additional set. 

Performance75% x 6 x 5
Rest two minutes between sets.  

Post loads to comments.

5 Rounds for Time:
5 Power Snatch 115/75
5 Overhead Squat
10 Toes-to-Bar 

5 Rounds for Time:
10 Kettlebell Swings
10 Goblet lunges
20 Sit-ups

There is a 10-minute cap on both workouts. The snatch/OHS weight should be medium-light, meaning there should not be a significant struggle to move the load.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Dave E being a super friend at Active Recovery

News and Notes

  • Happy birthday, Erik B. and Isaac G.!
  • Yesterday was Dave and Sarah E's last day at CFSBK, as they are moving to New Jersey. We are sad to see them go but wish them the best of luck! Come back and visit!

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 and 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.

We're mixing things up a little this year, and making this a team competition. Each box will field one 4-person competition team, and any number of additional 3-person open teams. There will be TWO winners this year, a competition series winner, and an open series winner.

Event Schedule

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

Competition Team

Prior to the beginning of the series, each box will choose between 4 and 8 athletes to place on their competition roster. Each week, 4 of these athletes (2 men, 2 women) will compete in the competitive division. Athletes declared to be on the competition roster may not compete on open teams in weeks they are not competing on the competition team. The competition team workouts will be pretty challenging at the level of Regionals team workouts.

Open Teams

Each open team is comprised of 3 athletes, including at least one female athlete. Open teams may register for any combination of events (they do not have to participate in all events, and athletes may participate on different open teams for different events.)

There will be no scaling options available for either division. However, the open division workouts will be accessible to a relatively novice athlete, at the level of the Crossfit Open workouts. The cost to register an Open Team is $99 per team, per event ($33 per person, per event).


If you are interested in participating in the Subway Series either as a member of the Competition Team or an Open Team, please fill out all fields in the following form by Friday, July 4. Coaches will then review the list of interested athletes and their availability and assign everyone to either the Competition Team or an Open Team. Your team will then receive an email notifying you to register for the event.

2014 Subway Series Registration Form

We hope that many of you will represent CFSBK at this year’s Subway Series!  

Ruth Chang: How to make hard choices TED
Exercise and the ‘Good’ Bugs in Our Gut New York Times
Masters of Love The Atlantic


Deadlift or Power Clean and Push Jerk | WOD 6.22.14

Fitness: Deadlift: 4 x 2
Add 5-15 pounds.

Performance: Power Clean + Push Jerk at 70% x 2 x 5
Buy-in is 1.25xBW clean and jerk.


For Time:

1000m Row
50 Burpee Box Jumps
1100m Run 

Next time you're rowing and it hurts, just remember: you probably look this photogenic, too

  • Check out Active Recovery today at 11am.

Broccoli, Stems and All New York Times
Chronic Stress Can Hurt Your Memory CNN
Let The Commercials Explain World Cup Passion NPR


Snatch | Back Squat

Fitness: Halting Snatch Deadlift + Snatch
If you have a difficult time pulling from the floor, then perform the Snatch from the mid-hang after the deadlift. 

1) Snatch 1-1-1

2) Snatch 70% x 2 x 2

Back Squat 

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

Performance: 72.5% x 8 x 4
Rest less than two minutes between sets. Use 105% of the 1RM you used for last cycle.

Post loads to comments.

Optional Cash-Out
With a partner, complete 150 Wall Ball shots as quickly as possible.

If you did the performance version of Thursdays WOD you might consider cashing out spending some quality time with a foam roller instead.

David's view from the 2014 CrossFit North East Regional. This video was taken during the final men's heat of "The 50's" event. This was one of the most exciting and nerve racking events to watch this year!


  • Happy Birthday, David L.!
  • There is no Yoga for Athletes or Active Recovery today since both Coach Whitney and DO are away this weekend.

Come Forage in Prospect Park Tomorrow!

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

CrossFit Texoma converted an old roller rink into their current gym. Check out this amazing box!


Rest Day

 I'm just back from a great week-long trek through the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. This is me at 14,000 feet, near Mt Taulliraju in my favorite CrossFit South Brooklyn tank....All those miserable weighted lunges we've been doing helped me make it over that mountain pass the next day!

I'm so thankful for such an incredible gym & program, it's been totally the highlight of my spring to join and have the real fun of working out with a great group of coaches & friends

Warmly, Jynne

News and Notes

  • Did you lose something? Check out our Flickr Page for themost recent batch of items left in the lost and found. Slacks, tarps, buisness books.. there's no limits to what can be found in our L&F Bin!
  • Good luck to the Calaveras, CFSBK's softball team, who are playing tonight at 6:15pm. Head over to the Red Hook ball fields to cheer them on.
  • There is NO ACTIVE RECOVERY tomorrow since Coach DO will be out of town.
  • Happy Birthday Michele K.!

How to Be a Good Bar Partner

By Chris Fox 

We’re not speaking about how to help a friend get lucky by being a good wing man or woman here—we’re going to discuss seven ways you can be a solid bar mate when paired up with others during one of the lifting segments of a group class at CFSBK. 

1. Be ready to lift. This seems simple enough. After all, that’s what you’re going to do in a moment. Have your lifting gear—shoes, wraps, tape, belt, sleeves, special clean and jerk PR shirt, whatever—on you by the time your coach pairs you out to lift. 

2. Have your numbers planned. Obviously you need to know this so a coach can pair you on a rack, and this goes especially for the slow lifts where there shouldn’t really be any guessing. This is where good journaling comes into play. Knowing what you squatted last week, what you plan to hit this week, and what your warm up sets will look like will help you be efficient during the warm ups so you can rest between work sets. I’m always amazed when it’s 10 minutes into lifting time and a rack is still warming up. If you don’t know what you’re loading on the bar, then at best you’ll waste some of your lifting time. Even worse, you’ll waste your classmate’s time. This is by far the biggest time suck we notice during classes. Having a plan for your warm up sets will allow you to make practical decisions for your warm ups and also be flexible for the sake of keeping the flow moving. 

3. Be present, especially if you are spotting someone. I don’t think I need to explain why you should be present when spotting but I’ve seen people drift off while doing it. I once had to “ask” someone not to be on their phone when spotting the bench press. Related to this, understand how to spot a lift. We’re only talking about the bench press and the back squat here. What we expect might be different than what you learned in the high school weight room, so if you’re not sure how we spot these lifts at CFSBK, ask a coach. Even while not spotting, being present with your rack mates is a good idea. You’ll often lift with the same few people for a cycle on a lift. It’s nice to know a bit about them and enjoy the time. I don’t mean you need to force idle chitchat, but an extra pair of eyes can be helpful, as can words and cues of support. Additionally, being present ensures that you’re being mindful of things around you and your partner’s rack. Extraneous bumpers lying in the way of a potential bail can cause a bar to take an unpredictable path, as can someone walking into a heavy bar on someone’s back. Being aware of your surroundings can head off avoidable injuries. Be in control instead of wondering what’s going to happen. 

4. Keep it in bounds. While we expect people to be engaged and help their partners, remember that you are not a coach and shouldn't take over all the cueing adjustments/programming in your platform. It's a fine line to find for some people but when in doubt ask a coach and always defer to the advice given by staff. We've heard people with great intentions give bad cueing or suggestions to rack mates. Know thyself. 

5. Be ready for your set. When you’re not ready, you push the person behind you further back on the clock. In busier classes when there are three or even four people in a rack, someone should just about always be lifting. Don’t miss your turn or make your rack run out of time. 

6. Be clean, at least relatively. If the air around you suggests you may not have seen a bar of soap since the X-Files went off the air, it can be unpleasant and distracting to those around you. We work out together in pretty close quarters and get sweaty and sure, we all stink a bit every now and then (like me a few Thursdays ago, sorry!) but do your best to make that the exception, not the rule. Please note that some exercise apparel, especially that tech/wicking stuff, does not wash well—and all exercise gear has a shelf life.

7. Help load and unload the bar. Another pretty self-explanatory one. Share the workload on setup and breakdown—even going as far as to help another rack put stuff away if you’re done. You can’t really do too much here, but you can certainly do too little.

These are just a few things that can help your experience and that of your peers be more effective and enjoyable. Your fitness doesn’t happen in a vacuum at CrossFit South Brooklyn and the stronger we all get, the stronger we all get.

QOD: What’s one quality or habit that you think is important in a bar partner? 

David Attenborough: Origin of Life

I wen undercover to find out why people do CrossFit
NFPL East Vs West Match


WOD 6.19.14

4 Rounds of in 4 minutes complete:
30 Russian Kettlebell Swings 53/35
270m Run
AMRAP Push Ups

4 Rounds of AMRAP 4 Minutes:
15 Thrusters 95/65
5 Muscle Ups 

Rest 4 minutes between rounds.

Post Rx and Push-ups or rounds completed in each of the 4 work intervals.

Global Flexion and Extension

By David Osorio

In the top picture Lauren B. demonstrates a mature hollow position while kipping on the rings. Her body is in global flexion, which means that her thoracic spine and hips are in slight flexion (closed forward) with the back remaining relatively neutral. This position is needed in kipping to effectively transfer forces generated in the swing throughout your entire body. Hollow Rocks and holds are excellent ways to drill these positions into your body and develop the isometric strength needed to transfer the position into more dynamic settings. The moral of the story? Virtuosity in Hollow rocks and holds!

In the bottom picture Lauren is globally extended, which again means that her hips and thoracic spine are in extension with no other extremes in joint positions. Her toes are pointed and together, her knees are extended with the thighs squeezed tight and her head remains relatively neutral. It's common to see athletes break position by flexing their knees, letting their legs drift apart, and over extending in the lower back or at the neck. These faults lead to loss of power transfer and more localized compression moments in your joints. Focus on controlling your body position during these dynamic movements and note how much more effortless and efficient they become.

  • There is no Yoga for Athletes tonight, or on Saturday (6/21), since Coach Whitney is getting her surf on in Costa Rica.

  • _________________
    The Cinderella at the Ball Double-Under Technique
    Coming Out Twice ASAP Science


    Clean and Jerk | Front Squat 

    Fitness: Halting Clean Deadlift + Clean + Jerk
    Focus on having your weight over your mid foot at the mid hang position. If you have a hard time organizing the pull off the floor, perform the clean from the mid hang, after the clean halting deadlift. 

    1) Clean and Jerk 

    2) High Hang Clean + Knee Hang Clean + Jerk 
    70% x (1+1+1) x 2


    Front Squat

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

    Performance: 72.5% x 8 x 4
    Rest less than two minutes between sets. Use 105% of the 1RM you used for last cycle.

    Post loads to comments.

    The proper posture to text on your phone

    Come Forage in Prospect Park THIS SUNDAY!

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

    Three Reasons People Love CrossFit TIME
    Planet Fitness Banned Exercises
    The Brain Knows When There Are Carbs In Your Mouth Pacific Standard
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