Squat | WOD 1.30.15

Back Squat/Front Squat

Back Squat 80% x 8-12 x 2, Front Squat 80% x 8-12 x 2
Leave 2 reps in the tank. Be mindful of maintaining good positions and not devolving into bad form for the sake of an extra rep or two.

Back Squat 2 x 5, Front Squat 2 x 5

Load is 90% of what you used on Wednesday. 

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 14 of 16.  

In teams of two, with one partner working at a time, complete the following for time:
200 Double-Unders
150 Burpees
100 Russian Kettlebell Swings 53/35
50 Front Squats 115/80
Lots of work to get through today, but you get to split it with a partner! Share the work as desired and be flexible with your plan. It's better to bite off small chunks of reps and stay fresh than to commit to larger sets that drain you physically and mentally. Subs: 1/2 attempts for Double-Unders. Knees or Squat Thrusts for Burpees. The load on the Kettlebell Swings and Front Squats should be light-medium for you. 

Post times and Rx to comments.


Michael F. discusses proper Deadlift positioning with Coach Whit
  • Today's 10am Yoga for Athletes class is cancelled, as is Sunday's 11am Active Recovery class. You can still get your AR fix today at 11am! 
  • KMo has another foster kitten who's ready for adoption! Phoebe and her siblings will be at an adoption event tomorrow from 12 to 4:30pm at the Unleashed in Park Slope (81 7th Avenue). Come by and meet them if you are looking for your new forever friend(s). 

Tell everyone you know! The Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship

You probably know that The Iron Maidens Raw Open, our women-only powerlifting meet slated for March 5th, is one of our most anticipated events of the year. 60 women, from CFSBK and beyond, will test their strength at back squat, bench press and dead lift.

This year, the stakes are even higher. Through competitors’ fundraising efforts, Iron Maidens will create the inaugural annual Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship.  Iron Maidens is thrilled to partner with Grace Outreach, a Bronx-based nonprofit that works with women to further their educational goals and gain financial independence. Our own Danae M. recently appeared in New York Times video profiling Samantha Delgado, a Grace Outreach student who recently graduated from the College Prep program and is headed to LaGuardia Community College. The Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship will assist women like Samantha in paying for their college tuition.

And now we're asking the whole CFSBK community to join us in our effort to raise enough funds to help 10 women continue pursuing a college education. Rather than selecting recipients based on common criteria such as grades or academic achievement, this scholarship rewards persistence—the grit and determination to keep going during hard times. We believe this recognizes and addresses the reality students face, and also captures the essence of the Iron Maidens Competition.

Our goal is to raise $20,000 to pay for 70% of college tuition for 10 students in the College Prep program at Grace Outreach, and we need your help to reach that goal! 

There are two ways to get involved:

1.     If you’re a participating lifter make sure you sign up on Crowdrise today and start asking all your friends to donate!

2.     If you’re not lifting in the competition show your love by donating to our favorite lifter's campaign!.

We hope that the whole community will spread the word by telling everyone you know about the Iron Maidens competition and scholarship by sending out an email to your network, a tweet, a Facebook post, or even an Instagram using this donation  link:

To learn more about Grace Outreach and the Stay Strong Scholarship, check out the Iron Maidens website here!

Join Us For CFSBK's Community Potluck on February 6th at 7pm

We're excited to get everyone in house to break bacon and socialize together outside of normal classes. This event will simultaneously kick off the new year, support the Look Feel Perform Better Challenge, and bring folks from all times and corners of the gym together.

This event is open to everyone and all are encouraged to come. See the event page for more details, and post in the comments there to let us know what you're planning to bring. We can't wait to see you there!
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Rest Day
The Front Squat with Mark Rippetoe YouTube
Money in the Bank Jacobin 


Rest Day

Alex B. and Grace R. making those Dislocates look good. Today is Grace's last day at the gym! We'll miss you, Grace

  • WEEKEND SCHEDULE UPDATES: Saturday's 10am Yoga for Athletes class is cancelled, as is Sunday's 11am Active Recovery class. You can still get your AR fix on Saturday at 11am!  
  • KMo has another foster kitten who's ready for adoption! Phoebe and her siblings will be at an adoption event tomorrow from 12 to 4:30pm at the Unleashed in Park Slope (81 7th Avenue). Come by and meet them if you are looking for your new forever friend(s).  

This Week at CFSBK in Review

So much is happening at the gym right now! Get your notebooks, calendars, iPhones, dayplanners, clay tablets, Palm Pilots, or other whatsits ready. 

1. Asha Banker is our January 2016 Athlete of the Month. Congrats again, Asha!

2. Iron Maidens! Have you started fundraising for the Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship yet? Don't delay! Sign up through Crowdrise here, and ask all of your CFSBK lifting buddies to donate. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new Iron Maidens feature starting on the blog next week.  

3. Scroll down the page a little. See that countdown thingy? It says there are just 27 days until the annoucement of CrossFit Open Workout 16.1! Have you registered yet? There will be Rx'd and scaled versions of each workout, so you can only help CFSBK’s team by signing up. Even if you do one rep for one of the WODs, it won’t bring the team down. We just want you to join us! Why should you register? We're glad you asked!  

4. In the return of the Behind the Desk series, we profiled Greg C. What is a "Daler," anyway, Greg? 

5. Coaches MeLo and K Harpz recapped their weekend competing at Wodapalooza 2016. It's a fun, inspriational read. Don't miss it! 

6. The Gowanus Canal Conservancy will be hosting their annual ANTIFREEZE fundraiser tomorrow night at 7pm at Littlefield (right across the street), and CFSBK is one of the Silent Auction donors! The event will gather a wide range of attendees who care deeply about the health and resiliency of the Gowanus waterfront and the surrounding local urban environment. There will be delicious local food, plenty of beer, Silent Auction, and (of course) an excellent DJ. Tickets can be found here

7. The third LFPB Q&A Info Session, "How Active Recovery Techniques Aid in Fitness and Body Composition," will take place next Thursday, February 4th at 6:30pm. 

8. The CFSBK Community Potluck is next Saturday, Febrary 6th at 7pm. Post in the comments of the event page to let us know what you're bringing. We can't wait to see you there! 
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Snatch | Box Jumps, Dumbbell Powers Snatches
Don't Distract Me The New York Times 
Mount Prospect Park Atlas Obscura 


Snatch | WOD 1.28.16

Power Snatch

Every Minute on the Minute for 15 Minutes:
1 Power Snatch

Start light and build over the 15 minutes to a max for the day. Press outs are no reps. Be sure to hit reps with good technique before adding weight. 

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 6 of 8. 

AMRAP 10 Minutes: 
20 Box Jumps 24/20"
20 Alternating Dumbbell Power Snatches

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Greg C. cranking out the Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls at Fight Gone Bad

  • Iron Maidens! Have you started fundraising for the Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship yet? Don't delay! Sign up through Crowdrise here, and ask all of your CFSBK lifting buddies to donate.
  • Do you store your lifting shoes in the closet at 597 or the loft at 608? If so, please make sure they're marked with your name. Unlabeled shoes will be removed on February 21st. Space is getting tight!

Behind the Desk: Greg C.

You all love the Underneath the Hoodie series and now we’re bringing back the Behind the Desk series, about our beloved and much appreciated Front Desk staff. These CrossFitters take care of the important duties of checking in our members, handling walk-ins, tidying up after classes, and so many other things that it would take forever to list them. They are the glue that holds this gym together.

Last time, it was Chainsaw Charlie. And now (drum roll, please), introducing...

Name (and any nicknames): Gregory James Cohan, Greg, Gregor, Georgie, G.C.O.

Where were you born and where did you grow up: Born and raised in Farmingdale, NY, home of the Farmingdale Dalers. Don't know what a Daler is? Ya better ask somebody.

How long have you been CrossFitting, and how did you arrive at CFSBK? I've been at CFSBK for about a year-and-a-half, but I've been CrossFitting for about 2-plus years. I was at a different gym in the neighborhood, where my close friend was coaching, but they cut the CrossFit programing, so I popped into CFSBK and haven't looked back!

What are you up to when you're not at 597 Degraw Street? I'm an actor working in film, TV, commercials, voiceover, and theater, and I write and direct some of my own projects. Check me out here! I also work for an amazing start-up company called Seed&Spark, a crowdfunding and distribution platform for truly independent films.

First album that you loved: Stone Temple Pilots, Core.

"Ask me about that time I..." saved my face from being impaled by doing a burpee.

Favorite restaurant or bar in Brooklyn: There are too many to name, but my go-to is Speedy Romeo in Clinton Hill. I love pizza.

Favorite and least favorite lift: I miss Meathead Mondays: Bench and Deadlift. Thrusters are my least favorite, then maybe Squats if Thrusters don't count as a "lift."

Any Front Desk PSAs you'd like to share? If you're a longtime member, talk to new people!  And if you're new, talk to people to find out how long they've been coming! CFSBK is truly a community where all boats rise with the tide. There's nothing better than a good high-five after a workout. Pro Tip: For the perfect high five every time, just look at the elbow. Look. At. The Elbow.

ANTIFREEZE: The Gowanus Canal Conservancy Fundraiser

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy will be hosting their annual ANTIFREEZE fundraiser at 7pm on January 30 (this Saturday!) at Littlefield (right across the street), and CFSBK is one of the Silent Auction donors! The event will gather a wide range of attendees who care deeply about the health and resiliency of the Gowanus waterfront and the surrounding local urban environment. There will be delicious local food, plenty of beer, Silent Auction, and (of course) an excellent DJ. Tickets can be found here.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Squat | Deadlifts, Ring Push-Ups
Rethinking the Calorie The Atlantic
6 Signs We're Not Alone in the Universe


Squat | WOD 1.27.16

Back Squat/Front Squat

Heavy: Back Squat 87.5% x 2 x 2, Front Squat 87.5% x 2 x 2

Based on 1RM.

Back Squat 2x5, Front Squat 2x5

Heavier than last week.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 13 of 16.

For Time:
20 Deadlifts 135/95
20 Ring Push-Ups
15 Deadlifts 225/155
15 Ring Push-Ups
10 Deadlifts 315/205
10 Ring Push-Ups

Have the necessary plates nearby to make efficient weight changes. Must use clips. Scale the ascending loads on the Deadlift so that it starts very light and finishes on the heavy side for you. For the Ring Push-Ups, scale volume as necessary or scale degree of difficulty by performing regular or modified Push-Ups.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Brandon R. takes a breath between Thrusters

  • Lots of good stuff in the Lost and Found right now. Let's see... wrist wraps, lifters, gloves, shoes, several cool t-shirts. Claim your stuff before we donate it to CHIPS in two weeks!

Register for the 2016 CrossFit Open!

Registration for the 2016 CrossFit Open went live last week, and there are just 29 days until the annoucement of Open Workout 16.1. Get crackin'! There will be Rx'd and scaled versions of each workout, so you can only help CFSBK’s team by signing up. Even if you do one rep for one of the WODs, it won’t bring the team down. We just want you to join us! Why should you register? We're glad you asked! 

Join Jacklyn K. For Yoga Tomorrow at 9am

Jaclyn has always had a love for fitness and overall health. She started practicing yoga as her source of recovery both physically and mentally. Her love for yoga drove her to get her first certification in 2007. Since, she has been teaching both Bikram and Vinyasa in the tri-state area. With her extensive study in many lineages of yoga, Jaclyn takes aspects from each creating a flow both challenging and accessible for everyone. 

For Jaclyn, CrossFit and yoga are a brilliant team. She uses her yoga practice not only for added mobility but for strength, focus, and breath work as well.  When Jaclyn works with athletes, she will gear her class around these principles while still keeping things light and fun in the same spirit that a CrossFit class has. Whether you're a seasoned practitioner or brand new to a yoga mat, Jaclyn will offer plenty of options so everyone feels challenged yet still comfortable in this Vinyasa flow class. 

When: Thursdays at 9am
Cost: Free as part of our Unlimited Membership option, or counts as one of your regular group classes
Scheduling Note: Jaclyn's Yoga class will be cancelled next Thursday, February 4th and all Thursdays in March

Gym Etiquette Tip of the Week: Put Your Stuff Away!

Art by Jen Murray

From kettlebells (like this poor guy) to barbells to bumps to bands to all of our cool mobility toys, everything has its place on Captain Osorio's ship, the S.S. South Brooklyn. We love that you take advantage of all this equipment. Please return it to its proper home so that someone else can use it next! 
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Rest Day
Take Out Your Rage On The Rowing Machine Deadspin
The Life, Death, and Rebirth of "New York's Coffee Cup" Anthora Hopes&Fears


Rest Day

  • Due to the plowing on Degraw Street, our bike rack is currently buried under a mountain of snow. We can't offer bike storage inside the gym because it has the potential to create a fire hazard, so please make alternate plans until the snow melts and/or we're able to dig it out. Sorry for the inconvenience! 

January Athlete of the Month: Asha Banker

By Chris Fox

You may know her as the gal who spends time on the mat before and after class, stretching and prepping or cooling down. Or as the gal getting after it when the WOD gets tough, throwing down hard while still encouraging her classmates. Or maybe just as the gal with the perennial smile on her face. Asha has been training regularly at CFSBK for a few years now but has really progressed in leaps and bounds lately. Let’s spend some time learning a bit more about her.

Fox: Hey Asha, congrats on being our next featured AOM! When and how did you first start CrossFit?

Asha: Thanks! I’m surprised and excited! In 2011, a co-worker first told me about CrossFit. Although he was really into it, I was hesitant, having heard stories of injuries and such. In July 2012, my mom broke her ankle in a bicycle accident in the Boston suburbs, where I grew up. I went home to help take care of her and it turned out that her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Rockett, (who also happens to be part of the CrossFit Games Medical Team) did CrossFit! I was sold and signed up for Foundations at CFSBK before even returning to Brooklyn. I realized later how fortunate I was that CFSBK happened to be the box closest to me. I did Foundations and have been hooked since! Because I like to stick to our programming, when I travel, I try to change things up, getting in running, yoga and AR. I did go to CrossFit Original Addicts in Paris last March so I could do 15.5, and over Christmas, tried out classes a couple classes at boxes near my parents. I may convince them to start training!

Fox: What a great story. We’re fortunate that you found us, too! What was your first impression of CFSBK, and what made you stay?

Asha: I’d always played sports growing up. In high school, it was field hockey, swimming, and lacrosse, and in college, I ran Div III cross country and track. Through patience and learning how to train smart, I became the fastest runner on the XC team my senior year, and was also co-captain. Since college, I have remained active. I have run one NYC marathon, done a bunch of half marathons in New York and Mumbai, and played in a large field hockey squad when I lived in London. I also did Muay Thai in Manhattan for a couple years, which I loved, but stopped when I moved to India in 2007. After coming to Brooklyn in 2011, I kept up running, as well as yoga, but was searching again for intensity and camaraderie. CrossFit filled those gaps and I immediately started to make friends in the gym. I remember early on, meeting Joy Mele and Julie Barnard (OGJB) when I was a 6am-er, and watching Jess Bailey kick butt at the Subway Series at Virtuosity. So many other cool people were supportive and inspiring, which soon extended to pursuits outside the gym. While CrossFit remains a big financial commitment, I justify it as group-level personal training. Having a committed and fun group is key -- every marathon-distance run I’ve done has also been with training partners. I’ve never not wanted to come to the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I’m nervous sometimes, but it’s a fun kind of nervous and I know that others are feeling the same way. CFSBK always has a great vibe and it’s obvious that David has great hiring practices. I’ve learned from every coach and have been particularly impressed with how coaches prioritize proper movement, are incredibly thoughtful about managing injuries, and that we push everyone to keep the gym organized and clean.

Fox: Those are all such great compliments to the SBK staff and community alike! I’m glad we’re filling those roles for members. You were sort of coming in and flying under the radar for a while, but at some point you really kicked it up a notch. Was there something that changed? 

Asha: I did 3x/week until the summer of 2014 when I took Coach Frank’s Next Level Olympic Weightlifting Cycle and added on the 2x/week CF option. The combination upped me to 4x/week, which was a good transition. After Frank’s class, I felt ready to become a 5-time-a-weeker. In 2014, I also started putting in additional time for skill work. Getting my first strict chin-ups that summer became a gateway to work on more bodyweight movements.

Fox: That’s great! I love to see people get their “firsts” in the gym. Can you tell us a bit about your life outside of the gym? Family and hobbies? 

Asha: My family is Indian. My mom grew up in Mumbai and my father in Sri Lanka; they moved to the US right after they got married. I was born in Chicago, but we moved to the Boston area when I was two and a half. The year after we moved was the Blizzard of ‘78 - I remember seeing snow higher than me! Fun fact: CFSBK photog extraordinaire Thomas Hinton was in my fifth grade class. I also have an older sister who lives in Manhattan. Our parents always encouraged us to be active. We started skiing when I was three and my sister was six. My parents and sister were good role models for being active and healthy. I love cooking (and eating) good food and am fortunate to have friend groups in New York from different chapters in my life. I’m in a book club, and last summer, I took an improv class just for fun. And I am doing a ski trip to Italy in March, right around the Open. 

Fox: Tell us about your work life. What do you do?

Asha: I studied economics in college and was always interested in social and economic development. I have been working in education since 2009, but my path there was not typical. After college, I worked in finance in New York and then London. It was tempting to stay but I wanted to channel my analytical and people skills to help build organizations. So after business school, I worked first as a product manager in open source software, and in 2005, volunteered in Gujarat in India, working with a women artisan non-profit. Being able to apply my different expertise towards truly tangible work was exhilarating. I moved to India for three years, transitioning to the education sector while there. I then came to Brooklyn to develop the K-12 school turnaround practice for Wireless Generation/Amplify. After subsequently working for Newark Public Schools, I started an organization last year, Verdant Learning. Having seen top-down approaches to school improvement fail, I wanted to support schools hungry for grassroots change. Verdant helps middle schools (as CFSBK parents know, they are in particularly high need in New York), make parent engagement a core driver of school improvement. We help schools link parent engagement to learning outcomes, make communication easier and more meaningful, and build capacity within their community. Quick plug to our highly talented CFSBK peeps: I am looking for a visual designer to help with my website and some marketing docs, and am always looking to brainstorm with interested educators and philanthropic investor folks.

Fox: Sounds like you’re doing worthwhile work. Can you tell us one odd thing about you?

Asha: Hah! Ask me in person about all the cities and apartments I’ve lived in. Until finding my apartment in Brooklyn five years ago, I had moved a lot! 

Fox: Alright, last question. What should we look for in a future AOM?

Asha: Humility, perseverance, and someone who is quietly progressing while genuinely cheering for the success of others. Also, they should have a sense of humor. We’re in this for the long haul!
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Push Press | Push Press, Row
When Is It Enough? YouTube
This Is No Game The New Yorker 


Push Press | WOD 1.25.16

Push Press

Push Press

Work up to a heavy single for the day. Practice cycling the barbell from overhead directly to the front rack/dip and drive in your early sets. Work hard to stay braced, especially on the heavy singles. 

Post loads to comments.

5 Rounds for Reps: 
1 Minute Max Push Press at 70% of your heavy single
Rest 1 Minute
1 Minute Max Calories Rowed
Rest 1 Minute

Aim for consistent reps/cals on all rounds.

Post Rx, reps, and cals to comments. 

Miami sounds real nice right about now, doesn't it?

Wodapalooza 2016: A Recap

Last weekend we kept you updated on CFSBK's exploits at Wodapalooza 2016 in Miami. Among stiff competition, team Steel Magnolias (Coach Melissa, Coach Katie, and Tina D.) finshed tied for 10th place out of 21 teams in the Intermediate Women divsion. We couldn't be more proud of them! Today we're thrilled to bring you K Harpz and MeLo's impressions of the event. Read on, reader!

Wodapalooza 2016—what a weekend! Despite the torrential downpour on Day 1 (RIP Nike Metcons), the event was well organized and flooded with CrossFit Games athletes. The positive environment was infectious to say the least. It was an important experience for me in many ways, and I couldn’t have asked for better teammates. 

The workouts were really challenging in the sense that they added an extra element to certain movements. Handstand Push-Ups out on the open water, for example, are as hard as they sound. Talk about unfamiliar territory! I’ll admit: at the time, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. But in situations like that, the most important thing to do is to remember the basics and stay focused. Believe it or not, we placed 2nd in the event!

Competitive CrossFit is awesome because it pushes you outside of your comfort zone, and you get a sense of how you perform under pressure. At an event like Wodapalooza, we knew weren’t going to be the most jacked and tan athletes in the arena. But we knew our strengths, and with a little strategy, we were able to clinch a spot in the top 10 of our division! Hurray Steel Magnolias!


I started doing CrossFit 6 years ago, in January 2010, by attending a beginner class at Crossfit NYC. The workout in that beginner class was half “Cindy,” a 10-minute AMRAP of 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups and 15 Squats. I performed the Pull-Ups using the thickest band available and the Push-Ups from my knees. The depth on my Squats was questionable. I quite clearly remember thinking that that was the hardest workout I’d ever done. My arms were too smoked to pick up a coffee cup. I couldn’t wait to do it again. 

Fast forward 6 years, and incredibly, last weekend, I was able to throw down with my teammates at a national event and compete amongst the best of the best at Wodapalooza. The weekend highlighted two things I cherish about CrossFit: the continual, measureable progress observed over time; and the supportive, friendly community. The inclusiveness, support, and general good nature of CrossFitters was evident throughout the event, from the elite-level athletes in attendance to the spectators, organizers, and vendors. Arrogance and ego were rare.

The 3-day competition included successes, surprises, and challenges. Here’s a recap of my experience and some of the lessons I learned.

Friday, Day 1:  The Storm
The conditions on Day 1 were less than ideal. I expected abundant sunshine and sunscreen. Instead, it was a rainy, muddy mess. However, we didn’t let that kill our competitive spirit. We rallied as a team and started with a workout called "The Little Chipper": each teammate was to complete 9 Bar-Facing Burpees, 12 Power Snatches (65lbs), 15 Thrusters (65lbs), and 18 calories on the Assult Bike in a relay race to the finish. It was a quick burner, with nowhere to hide and no reason to slow down. Worst part? The bike. If you’ve never spent time on that thing, make it a point to do an 8-round tabata the next time you’re in the gym as a warm-up. (And mention to David that we need a few more bikes.) We finished 10th in the first event.

The second workout was "The Big Chipper," which included Pistols, GHD Sit-Ups, Overhead Squats (95lbs) and D-Ball Holds and Carries (50lbs). I’ve always struggled with Overhead Squats, and this workout was no exception. While I’ve certainly made progress and have become more comfortable with them, they’re still a goat. I will make them a regular part of my training and will master them by the end of the year. Don’t let me slip on this, friends! Fortunately, Tina is incredible at Overhead Squats and banged out 27 unbroken reps (WHAT!?!?) to earn us a 5th place finish in the event, a strong start to the three-day competition. 

Saturday, Day 2: The Sunshine
Conditions on Day 2 were everything we could have hoped for, and it was another successful day for the Steel Magnolias. The first workout was the Snatch Medley: 3 Rep Max Snatch, 3000m Row, 5 RM Snatch, 400 Double-Unders, 7 RM Snatch, and 70 Bar Muscle-Ups. While we didn’t move as much weight as the other teams on the Snatch, our teamwork was on point, and we were all able to contribute at each stage of the workout. Personally, I’ve been inconsistent with Bar Muscle-Ups and was nervous about whether I’d be able to contribute to my team. I’ve always been more of a team player rather than an individual competitor, and I hated the thought of letting my team down. With the energy of the crowd and the encouragement of my teammates, I was miraculously able to perform numerous Bar Muscle-Ups, contributing to our 49 reps total.  Definitely a high point of the weekend! 

The second event of Day 2 was the SWIM: 3 rounds of 40 Deadlifts (135lbs), 50m Swim, 40 Handstand Push-Ups, 50m Swim with two people working at a time. And OMG, we finished 2nd in that event! Who knew 3 girls from Brooklyn could swim so well? Yes, I automatically defaulted to the sidestroke, and no, we did not practice in the Gowanus. 

Sunday, Day 3: A Struggle with Synchronicity
Event 1 on Day 3 involved D-Ball Tosses (80lbs), synchronized Toes-to-Bars, and synchronized Pull-Ups. We didn't have an opportunity to practice synchronization prior to the event, and it showed. We definitely lost time trying to get our rhythm together. On the positive side, our communication as a team was solid, and we managed to place 10th. We happen to have an 80lb D-Ball at the gym. Toss it over your shoulder a few times. It's a great way to let out some aggression!

Event 2, Day 3: two short chippers, the first was legless rope climbs, Squat Cleans (155lbs), and Dumbbell Squat Snatches (60lbs); the second was 100 Clean and Jerks for time (65lbs). None of us had spent a lot of time practicing legless climbs. Turns out they're pretty hard, especially when you have to do 7 of them. Harper stepped up and took on that challenge for us, and she did an incredible job. You better believe that you'll see all of us practicing that skill more often. We placed 15th and 13th respectively on those last two events.   

We ended up 10th overall out of 21 Intermediate Women teams, a finish that I’m definitely happy with. I look forward to bringing more CSFBK teams down next year to represent. 

The Bottom Line:
Competing gives you perspective. Training in the same environment with the same people can make you complacent. It's easy to lose track of the bigger picture. Getting out of your comfort zone can make you realize that what you thought was impossible is indeed attainable. For example, several women in our division were Touch-and-Go Power Snatching 135-145lbs. I need to get on that. Competitions can be stressful, nerve-wracking and, at times, disappointing. But they are also quite memorable, incredibly gratifying, and can be excellent learning opportunities. My team was incredible, and CSFBK’s support over the weekend was humbling. Thank you to our CFSBK family for supporting us from afar and to Alex and Marcos for being our entourage.

If anyone is interested in competing, seeing where you’re at, and having fun in the process, The Open is a great way to get your feet wet. Sign up. Challenge yourself. Surprise yourself. Talk to me if you’re at all hesitant. 

The Return of the Monthly Egg CSA!

If you love the incredibly delicious farm-fresh eggs we occasionally get from Herondale Farm, our meat and egg CSA provider, this is your lucky day.

Herondale is bringing back their very popular monthly egg share program. It works just like our other CSAs. You sign up for a monthly delivery and get 1 to 4 dozen (your choice!) eggs every month. And they've lowered the price to $5.50 a dozen!

Pickup will be the first Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8:30pm at the gym. If you want eggs in February, please return this form by Thursday, January 28th.

Questions? E-mail Michele at mignyc [at] gmail [dot] com.
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Clean | Deadlifts, Hang Power Cleans, Burpees, Kettlebell Swings, Toes-to-Bars
Anatomy of a Protein Shake Breaking Muscle
Fixing the Dip in the Push Press YouTube
The Selling of Ancient Egypt The Awl


Clean | WOD 1.24.16

Clean Deadlift/Pull + Hang Clean

Every 90 seconds for 7 Rounds
Clean Deadlift + Hang Clean

Clean Pull + Hang Clean

Hang for today is anywhere above the knee.

Post Rx and loads to comments.
Exposure 6 of 8

7 Rounds For Time: 
7 Deadlifts 115/75
7 Hang Power Cleans 115/75
7 Burpees
7 Kettlebell Swings 53/35
7 Toes-to-Bars 

Post time and Rx to comments. 

Allie B., KLove, and Kristin C. are ready to do the blizzard in style

  • 2:00pm Anti-Gravity class is cancelled.
  • 9:00am and 10:00am CF Preschool classes are cancelled.
  • All group classes, Active Recovery, and the Free Intro class are ON today. We'll let you know if anything changes. 

Prepping for Iron Maidens: Advice on Modifying Group Classes

By Margie Lempert
Originally Posted on 2.2.15

We're about six weeks out from Iron Maidens, which means there is still time to do some specific training. Below are suggestions for how to modify what you do in group class in order to prep for the meet. Our coaches are on-board, but always be sure to talk to whoever is coaching class about your plans so they can adjust logistics accordingly. And, of course, ask any coaches or me for specific advice on choosing loads/exercises. 

If this is your first meet and you’ve never maxed out a linear progression, then you should stick to the Fitness track in group class with some potential additions/substitutions. If this is your second, third, or more meet, or you’ve done quite a few linear progressions, then you can play with some other training regimens, as well as accessory work to address particular weaknesses. Most important is to get the work in every week. Consistency = gains.

Here are some suggestions:

For Everyone
In the week before the meet, you should work up to one heavy triple for each lift. This should be a tough triple, though not necessarily an all-out max. No need to get ugly about it. This will be your opening weight at the meet. You should hit all your triples by the Wednesday before the meet, but they do not have to be done in the same day. Make sure you pause the bench press. (After Wednesday, your aim should be sleep, active recovery/light training, and food.)

For Novices

Linear progression

  • Substitute front squat with low bar back squat so that you back squat 2x/week, increasing 5lbs/exposure if possible. Make sure you have at least 48 hours between squat sessions. 

Bench Press
Linear progression

  • Make sure you practice the pause command on your bench press. You can do this on your warm up sets throughout your training, as well as on your heavy triple day just before the meet. Get a friend/coach to cue you to press when the bar has made solid contact with your chest, or give yourself a one count.
  • Consider adding in daily pushups via frequent, submaximal sets. Example: if max pushups = 5, aim for 5 sets of 3 pushups spread throughout the day. Do this 5 to 6 days a week. These should never be sets to fatigue. Each week, try to add one pushup to all your sets OR add one set of pushups/day
  • Consider adding an overhead press exposure 1x/week during open gym. Follow a linear progression here as well. 
  • Special note: ladies, we can always do with more pressing. As long as your joints feel good, go for all of it. 

Linear progression

  • Replace Snatch OR Clean complex with DL so that you DL 1x/week. Warm-up to one workset set of 5; linear progression of 10lbs each exposure. All warm-ups should be sets of 5. Do not touch and go; take a breath and reset your back for each pull. If you have never hooked or switch gripped, start to practice this on your heaviest set. 

For Intermediate Lifters

Substitute front squat with low bar squat on both days. Make sure you have at least 48 hours between squat sessions. 

Option 1: Moderate volume, with heavy singles. Good choice for novice/intermediate who is looking for a little more experience with heavier weight.
Day 1: 3x5 linear progression
Day 2: Follow Performance track 

Option 2: Lower volume, with emphasis on finding and driving out of the bottom. Good choice for those who have trouble hitting depth or get stuck at the bottom. Also works postural strength (i.e. extended back, knees out, even pressure through the feet).
Day 1: Performance track
Day 2: 3x3 Pause Squat, increasing each week. Two count at the bottom. 

Option 3: Moderate volume, with heavy doubles/triples. Good choice for advanced intermediate who is able to put in a lot of work and manage recovery well.
Day 1: 2x5; 1x10 all at same weight (i.e. 155x5x2; 155x10) increasing each week
Day 2: Work up to heavy double or triple in no more than 5 total sets, including warm-ups. Try to beat yourself each week 

Bench Press
Option 1: Follow Fitness track; pause at least one, if not all sets. 

Option 2: Follow Performance track. Choose to hit a heavy single, double or triple. Pause your top set, but not your drop set of 10. 

  • If a coach approves, try to add a pulling exercise between each work set, i.e. chin/pullups x submax; or DB rows x 10-12 or Ring rows x 10-12. If there’s not space during class, get it done during open gym.
  • Consider adding an overhead press day at open gym. Work up to a top set of 5 - this should feel like you have one or two left in the tank. Then drop 6-9% and hit sets of 5 until it feels as difficult as your heavy set (should take 1-4 sets, rest 2-3 min between sets).

Replace snatch OR clean complex with deadlift.

Option 1: Linear progression of one set of 5 reps

Option 2: Linear progression of one set of 3 reps; drop 6-9% and hit another set of 3-5

  • Consider adding in a second day for accessory work or a deadlift variant to address weakness in your deadlift. This would be done at open gym.
  • Options:
    • Back: barbell rows from the floor, or heavy dumbbell rows; Pullups (weighted); ring rows (feet on a box). 3 sets of 10-12
    • Weak off the floor: deficit pulls from 1 or 2". 1 top set of 5, or 3x3; linear increase. (25# rogue plate is 1” and the dc blocks are 2”.)
    • Weak past the knee: rack pulls, 1 set of 5 or 3x3, linear increase. Set the pins so that the bar is just below your knee. See this video for a thorough explanation.

Please feel free to ask me for clarification or advice any time: Margie [at]

Happy Training!
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