Thursday
Apr172014

Rope Climb 101 | WOD 4.17.14

Rope Climb 101 
Come play on the ropes. Perform no more than 10 ascents, fewer if you've never been up the rope. WEAR LONG SOCKS TODAY!!!
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AMRAP 15 minutes

Performance:
5 Handstand Push Ups (one AbMAt is okay)
10 Pull Ups
15 Pistols (alternating legs)

Fitness:
10 Box Jumps
10 DB Push-Up to Renegade Row
10 V-Ups

Post notes and Rx to comments.
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Carolyn (from Village Fishmonger) slicing some fish and Michele K.

Fish Class Wrap Up

Last Sunday, CFSBK and our new CSA partner Village Fishmonger sponsored a fish cooking class. VFM’s very own fish cutter Carolyn Koch, along with the gym’s CSA manager Michele K., led six participants through a variety of techniques and recipes, including scallop ceviche verde, broiled monkfish with Dijon mustard and thyme, bacon-wrapped monkfish, and Jacques Pepin’s monkfish à l'Américaine. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a lovely spring supper with wine and a whole lotta fish!

Here’s what CFSBK’s Katie M. had to say about the class:

"I've used the same two basic recipes for all fish for all my adult life (poach or bake!) and this class was a great afternoon expanding my toolkit of easy options. I left not only able to make more delicious recipes, but also left realizing that solely eating seafood from Trader Joe's was perhaps not the ideal situation, either ethically or taste-wise. I'll be joining the fish CSA for the chance to get those scallops (to make that amazing ceviche) alone! It was great to get to know other CFSBK-ers, learn from Michele and Carolyn from the seafood CSA, and eat some amazing food. If another cooking class option ever comes along, I highly recommend it."

Many thanks to David for agreeing to sponsor the materials for the class, and to Carolyn for dedicating her Sunday afternoon to SBK. Asta took some great photos and you can see more on Michele's blog. If you are interested in an opportunity to learn more about cooking fish, please email mignyc [at] gmail.com.
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  • Happy birthday, Prem M. and Yoshi S.!
  • Belated but wholehearted CONGRATULATIONS to Aileen H. who ran her way to the top of CFSBK's lady leaderboard with her 5K time last Saturday of 24:01. Aileen has been part of Michael O.'s Endurance Program, where they're all crushing their goals! 
  • Remember that CFSBK’s Clothing and Book Swap is THIS SATURDAY from 2-4pm! Bring at least five items (make sure clothing is clean and preferably on hangers) and arrive at the 2pm start. Any leftovers will be donated to the CHiPS shelter and Dress for SuccessLet us know what you are bringing! 
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Wednesday
Apr162014

Snatch | Back Squat

Fitness: Snatch Segment Deadlift + Snatch + OHS
If you have a hard time organizing the pull off the floor, perform snatch from the mid-hang.

Performance: Snatch 1-1-1, then 90% x 1 x 2
Work up to a heavy snatch in 3 attempts, then perform 2 singles at 90% of today's best snatch.

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Back Squat

Fitness 3x5 LP

Performance 70%x8x4

Post loads to comments.
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Babysitting services during Strength Cycle

Things We Want to Know

  1. Are you running the Brooklyn Half Marathon? Head over HERE to tell us if you're running on May 17. Plans are in the works for a post-race celebration, so we'll make sure to update you here and on the event page re: final festivities. Let us know about your races, CFSBK! We want to be your biggest fans!
  2. We're hosting another movie night soon. What do you want to watch? Come at us with suggestions in the comments! 
  3. Say hi and welcome back to Captain Osorio, who returns to us today. Yahoo! 

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Olympic Coaching Tips: The Snatch in Slow Motion Team USA
Increase in Arch Height from Running in Minimalist Shoes Dr. Nick’s Running Blog
Artist Rachel Sussman Photographs the Oldest Living Things in the World before They Vanish COLOSSAL
The Confidence Gap The Atlantic

Tuesday
Apr152014

Rest Day

On Being an Athlete Who Doesn't Eat Meat

Coach Whitney H. first walked through the doors of The Brooklyn Lyceum to join CFSBK in late 2009 and though she now tackles WODs like a boss, she certainly wasn't born doing kipping pull-ups. Around that time, yoga and dance were her main focus along with managing a lululemon store. She got certified to teach yoga in 2010, started teaching full-time in 2013, and introduced Yoga for Athletes here last August. A few months and hundreds of hours sweating under barbells later, she took her Level 1 Certification and soon began coaching CrossFit. Oh, and all that time, she was still dancing.

Expending as much athletic energy as she does requires adequate nutrition, so we sat down (at the virtual dinner table known as email) and chatted about her journey with giving the ax to meat (har har!) and kicking ass at getting protein—so she can then kick ass at CrossFit and all her other endeavors.

Kate: I remember one of the first times I benched with you, I was stunned by the height of the arch in your back, and you told me it was because of dancing (and some injuries). Tell us about dancing, and when you feel like you started considering yourself an athlete. 

Whitney: I started ballet when I was three years old, then jazz when I was maybe five or six. I did gymnastics as well for a while, but around middle school the time commitments got a bit intense, so my mom told me to choose—and dance was the winner. I added in tap when I was 12 or so, and that was also when I started competing. I think I averaged 18 hours of class or rehearsal a week from that age on through high school. While I didn't necessarily consider myself an athlete in those years (because I wasn't playing high school volleyball or field hockey or whatever), I certainly spent a lot of my waking hours in the practice of form, rhythm, and movement as well as creating power, speed, and flow within those movements, which I consider athletic. I competed both as an individual and in a troupe, and after I got over the pee-my-leotard feeling of the very first "Nationals," it was great! 

Kate: When did you first start practicing yoga?

Whitney: I started yoga in my junior year of college. I was in a BFA program in Dance at Illinois, and Yoga for Dancers was the 8am class that no one wanted to get out of bed an hour earlier for (before ballet at 9am). I figured if I didn't try it once in the four years I was there, I'd kick myself. Once I committed, I was hooked. Even though I was waking up earlier and maybe getting less sleep, I had more energy throughout my days. My body felt better. I felt more balanced. I continued every semester thereafter, and when I moved to New York and started working for lululemon, a big part of my job was to get to as many yoga studios and teachers as possible. It was incredible. 

Kate: So where does becoming a vegetarian fit into all that athleticism? 

Whitney: I stopped eating meat halfway through my senior year of college. Basically, someone handed me a flyer on the quad about factory farming with all these pictures of little baby chicks being thrown in a dumpster and sad cows and all that kind of stuff, as well as some info about the environmental impact. I literally had never considered these things before, and so it shined a light on my narrow-mindedness. I read more about the topic and became interested. I had always been the person who said, "Why on earth would you ever want to do that? Meat is so delicious. That's insane." So becoming a vegetarian ended up being mostly about perspective. Whereas before I couldn't fathom giving something up that I was so accustomed to, I sort of took it upon myself as a way to expand my point of view and just give it a go. 

At that point in college, I had started cooking for myself for the first time and didn't really like handling meat anyway, so figured cutting it out wouldn’t be too hard. I ended up eating a lot more vegetables in the process, and I started feeling really good! The new habit stuck. It's also important to note that I'm actually a pescetarian or, as I like to say, a veggaquarian. So, I still incorporate fish and seafood into my diet. 

Kate: Ah, yes. Strict vegetarians can get quite feisty about that distinction. Talk to me about starting CrossFit (really starting CrossFit), and when you began noticing that what you ate affected how you performed.  

Whitney: I started CrossFit in November 2009 with David over at the Brooklyn Lyceum. For the first year (or even two?), my attendance was quite off and on. I was a bit scared and nervous most of the time and so found a lot of reasons to get out of going. I was practicing yoga, taking spin classes at Soul Cycle (yup), and working a lot. But, the interest was always there and as I got more confident, I started getting hooked. I think CrossFit is the kind of activity that the more results you see, the more results you want—so the more time and effort you put in. It's like an awesomely vicious circle of fitness and fun.  

To me, quantity is an important variable in the equation. If I don't eat enough—before class or something like Tough Titsday, or just in general—I get very light-headed, dizzy, and irritable. What we pleasantly call “Hangry.” But on the other hand, if I overdo it with heavy, starchy carbs or just too much at one meal, I get lethargic and unmotivated very quickly. Both of those can become a pattern over several days or weeks. Personally, I've found that eating several small meals throughout the day works for my lifestyle and my energy levels. This is obviously an individual preference, and everyone should experiment with what works for them. Coach Fox likes to make fun of me because he manages to always see me when I'm eating at the gym! 

And, of course, quality is crucial. In the LFPB Challenge at the beginning of 2013, I tried to go strict Paleo. I cut out all grains and legumes, restricted dairy, everything. Well... after three weeks of that, I felt bloated, unmotivated, and generally crappy. To make up for all my missing calories—I was SO HUNGRY—I basically stuffed myself with nuts and fruit a couple times a day. No bueno. So, for the last three weeks, after a brief and enlightening conversation with Fox, I added in quinoa, beans and lentils, and some dairy. I immediately had more energy and felt ready to move again.  

Kate: We just read that even Iceland Annie eats non-Paleo dairy for protein! And your answer points to the most common thing people tell you to watch out for as a vegetarian—getting enough protein. Has that been a problem for you at different points? How do you make sure to get enough and what are your favorite sources? 

Whitney: I definitely spend quite a bit of mental energy on the topic of How Whitney Will Get Enough Protein Today. Honestly, it can be challenging. Getting clear on the Zone classifications of macronutrients (carb, protein, fat) has been quite helpful, in terms of considering type and quantity. What's key for me is making sure that my kitchen is well-stocked in a variety of protein sources. Otherwise things go south quickly. Obviously, I have the "advantage" of still eating fish. Being a true vegetarian reduces the sources. 

The other consideration is variety and planning in advance so I don't get bored with the same stuff all the time. My go-to's include:

Eggs: I make little mini crustless quiches in a muffin tin that keep for a week (with spinach, scallions, and cheese), hard-boiled eggs, scrambled, etc.

Fish: I buy wild Alaskan canned salmon and smoked salmon (portable, lasts for a bit, and pairs with many things), a lot of Arctic Char (it's relatively inexpensive, good on environment/contaminants, and delicious), frozen shrimp, and sometimes frozen fish fillets (Whole Foods has good wild Pollack ones, although they still have a bit of breading on them), as well as anchovies/sardines for salads. I also make it a point to eat good fish when I go out to eat—though of course this can get expensive. Also: Fish CSA! 

Dairy: I almost always have Greek yogurt and cottage cheese at home. Add some fruit (berries with the yogurt, citrus with the cottage cheese) and nuts/seeds and you've got a complete snack or meal.

Protein powder: I've started using this a lot more in the past year. I do my best to get protein at each meal without it, but it certainly helps. Breakfast is often a bowl of plain oatmeal with chocolate protein powder, a spoonful of almond or peanut butter, and a sprinkling of unsweetened coconut. 

Lentils/Beans: I often make a big pot of vegetable soup/stew or chili so I have something hearty to go to throughout the week. Favorites are red lentil coconut curry stew with greens, rosemary white bean and mushroom soup, and black bean butternut squash chili. 

Kate: Beyond what you just shared, what does a typical day look like for you, eating-wise? 

Whitney: Here's one possible combo:

Breakfast: 1/2 cup (dry) plain oatmeal, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter, and a sprinkling of shredded coconut. Black coffee.

Snack: Cottage cheese, grapefruit, and a few pecans. Or carrots and celery with hummus and maybe an ounce of cheese or a hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Three mini egg cups (crustless quiches) and a whole mess of vegetables (favorites are roasted brussels sprouts, sauteed broccoli, sauteed kale, baked sweet potato, spinach salad, etc.), with maybe 1/4-1/2 an avocado. Or a mixed greens salad with canned wild salmon (I mix in a little bit of hummus and lemon), some veggies and avocado, chopped in, and a bit of fruit.

Dinner: Fish (probably baked Arctic char with a bit of butter and lemon) and lots of veggies. Or breakfast-for-dinner if I had fish at lunch!  

Kate: Sounds delicious! Where can we find some of your favorite recipes? 

Whitney: Well, it needs some serious updating, but I have some recipes on my blog, here. Anything with a picture of food is a recipe! 

Kate: Lastly, we're hearing great reviews about your coaching at CFSBK! How's is going? What's been your favorite moment so far? 

Whitney: Coaching has been incredible so far—rewarding and fun. I know I have plenty to learn and that wisdom comes with experience, but I feel I've started out on the right track under the tutelage of Coach David and Coach Fox. Leading barbell drills for the first time was an invigorating highlight: a mixture of not wanting to hit myself in the face with a bar while demonstrating, saying all of the correct cues at the correct time, and observing the athletes to see what's happening. Also, it was really enjoyable to watch people power through and kick ass on the Open WODs on Saturdays once I had already given them my best in the morning! Our community rocks.

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What's been your experience with vegetarianism or some variant of going meatless? 

Monday
Apr142014

Bench Press | WOD 4.14.14

Fitness: 3 x 5 (Linear Progression)

Performance: 70% x 8 x 4

Post loads to comments.
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AMRAP 8 Minutes

Fitness:
12 KB Swing 72/53
8 Burpees

Performance:
6 Hang Power Clean 155/105
3 Muscle Ups

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Coach MeLo making the joyous face we all should when we mobilize

Happy Monday Reminders

  • There's a new post over on Inside the Affiliate called "Don't Be a Cheerleader: 10 Pieces of Advice for CrossFit Coaches" and it's all about our very own beloved Coach Fox. Even if you're not a coach, we think you'll enjoy it!  
  • Attention Herondale CSA members! If you can take about 7-10 minutes to fill out this anonymous survey, you would be doing your good deed for the week! Please respond by Wednesday, April 23.
  • Margie is also looking for 2-3 people who would like to do a phone interview with her so she can dig into some areas a little bit deeper. It would take about 30 minutes and she'd like to complete them by April 28. Please email her at lempert [at] wisc.edu if you are interested.  

Why Join a CSA?

Are you curious to know why CFSBK supports the Community Supported Agriculture model? Our very own Margie Lempert, founder of the CSA program here and currently finishing a masters degree in agroecology at the University of Wisconsin, will approach that question from several angles in a short series of articles. The first outlined the differences between industrial agriculture and agroecology. In Part 2, she explored animal welfare in differing production systems. For our third installment, Margie explains how livestock agriculture impacts the environment, for good or for ill.

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Aside from personal health, the environmental impacts of agriculture are where the rubber meets the road for a lot of consumers in terms of deciding what to eat. This is a pretty legit reason since agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to environmental degradation. You know that hypoxic zone on the Gulf of Mexico the size of Connecticut?

This one?

Image from NOAA

All that bright green represents farm impact on the Gulf. The red points are cities.

According to their 2013 report, The Food and Agriculture Organization (run by the UN) attributes 14.5% of human induced greenhouse gas emissions to livestock agriculture alone. Of that percentage, 65% comes from beef and dairy (cows are huge methane emitters, a problem across all farming styles). 

So how exactly do farms destroy aquatic life thousands of miles away and change the climate? 

It all starts with ground cover. When natural ground cover is disturbed, major problems unfold and reverberate. I’m going to focus on grasslands because they cover 30-40% of the Earth’s surface, are incredibly fertile, important for carbon storage/recycling, and provide habitat for diverse wildlife. In the US, they also happen mostly to have been replaced by farmland.

Nerding Out on Grass

Exposed soil causes big problems. Without something to hold it in place, it is subject to the mercurial whims of nature. So, we get tragedies like this:

(That’s during the dustbowl. If you want to understand more about agriculture’s impact, watch the Ken Burns documentary.)

Bare soil blows off with wind, but it also runs off in big rainstorms. With the soil goes phosphorus, a nutrient that promotes algal blooms in water, suffocating aquatic life. In an inefficient nutrient cycling system (i.e. monocultures of corn or bare ground), we lose nitrogen up into the atmosphere as nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas more potent than CO2), and down into the ground water as nitrate. Nitrate is a very important fertilizer for corn in particular, but also toxic in excess for aquatic and human life (blue baby syndrome). 

So, all that vulnerable soil and nutrients make their way to the Mississippi River and down into the Gulf of Mexico.

A good stand of grass with deep, spidery roots holds soil in place, keeping phosphorus from running off during erosion. It’s super efficient at cycling nutrients, which keeps nitrogen in place rather than leaking up into the air or down into the groundwater. 

If left alone, or managed correctly, grasses continuously slough off their roots, adding carbon to soil sort of like a stream trickling into a lake. The deeper the roots grow, the deeper the carbon is stored, which is better for long-term sequestration. (As long as it remains in place. If it gets dug up, or tilled, all that accumulation is lost.) This process improves soil quality and nutrient availability for grass growth. Organic matter feeds soil microbes, which are as important and mysterious as our own gut microbes. There is substantial interest in the natural resource management community to improve and restore grasslands with the hope that they can help to mitigate the excess carbon we’ve unleashed into the atmosphere by altering natural landscapes and using fossil fuel. This is a pretty complicated thing to measure, and highly variable geographically so we still have a ways to go in terms of understanding the real opportunities. 

Bonus bit of geekery: bare soil promotes a rise in ground temperature. It’s called the albedo effect, and it’s the same principle behind why you would choose a white rather than black shirt on a hot, sunny. The darker the land cover, the more heat it absorbs. Grass’s lighter color reflects better than soil, and the varying angles of leaves diffuse light. 

And Now Back to Farms…

Here’s what a typical CAFO looks like:

Not a lot of grass. Kind of like wearing the soles of your shoes down, there are just too many animals standing in the same place for too long. In a CAFO, there is also all that concentrated manure to contend with. Manure contains a lot of nitrogen, which is why it’s used as fertilizer. But it can’t just pile up because nutrient levels will become toxic on site, and there will be downstream damage when the bare soil runs off, taking nitrogen-filled poop and phosphorus with it.  We already know of the health hazards posed to animals standing in their own feces, which then threatens people too. So, CAFOs must remove manure and re-purpose it elsewhere as fertilizer or for energy production. 

Pasture-based farming can be as much a pro-environmental strategy as anything else. By managing the animal-grass relationship (also called biomimicry), the farmer is able to encourage thick ground cover with deep roots. If you remember in Part 1, I mentioned that pasture-based farmers never allow animals to eat grass down to the nubs because there must be enough leaf left for photosynthesis. This encourages roots to grow longer and leaves to grow taller. 

Aside from erosion protection, pastures prevent or mitigate flooding since the ground acts as a sponge. Of course, we get tight nutrient cycling, carbon storage and organic matter build up as well. If managed intentionally, diversely seeded pastures also provide more opportunities for wildlife habitat than bare ground or monocultures, especially birds, insects and other small critters. 

Here, manure is an effective fertilizer rather than toxic because animals are rotated before too much accumulation in one spot occurs, and the hoof action spreads and works it into the ground. Also, animal pastures are typically a mix of grass and legumes (for example clover); the legumes are able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, which reduces or eliminates the need for a synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

At Herondale Farm: Jerry with his herd.

Improving grazing methods is an elegant strategy for improving grasslands. Allan Savory’s TED talk further elucidates the possibilities.

I want to be very clear: just like anything, grazing can be done well and it can be done poorly. This is where the farmer’s ability to observe and understand his or her animals, the climate, and the land makes all the difference. People in the Midwest, and certainly in the more challenging arid conditions of the West, talk about grazing for environmental stewardship. But, for various reasons, I don’t think we talk about it as much in the Northeast. You the consumer can make that conversation more salient by asking farmers about their practices, or better yet visiting farms to see for yourself. 

(Blatant) Editorial Comment 

The commodity livestock system is destructive. As a member of a CSA, you have the opportunity to directly contribute to improving (or at least not degrading) the environment. I’ve heard Jerry talk of his connection to the land as much as to the animals or business of farming. He seeks to learn more, such as through workshops with Holistic Management International, an empowering and environmentally focused organization dedicated to helping farmers improve their craft. 

“The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land... In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.” 

-Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac

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Hidden Miracles of the Natural World TED
Nest of Giants VICE
How Food Marketers Made Butter the Enemy Mother Jones

Sunday
Apr132014

Deadlift or Snatch | WOD 4.13.14

Fitness: Deadlift 3x3
3 x 3 reps where you finished your previous heavy 5

Performance: Power Snatch 5x2 at 70% of Wednesdays 1RM
Buy-in is 100% BW Men, 75% BW Women 

3 Rounds For Time
75 Double Unders
400m Run
25 Wall Ball

Aileen H. DROMing it out (plus Michael's neon-clad left foot)

  • Loosen it up in Active Recovery at 11am today!
  • Our new cycle starts TODAY! Who's excited? 

Monday:  Bench Press | WOD
Tuesday
Wednesday:  Snatch | Back Squat
Thursday:  WOD (gymnastics-based)
Friday
Saturday: Clean and Jerk | Front Squat
Sunday: Deadlift (Fitness) or Power Snatch (Performance) | WOD

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Saturday
Apr122014

Clean and Jerk | Front Squat

Fitness: Clean Segment Deadlift + Clean + Jerk 
Spend 15 minutes working up to a moderate load on the complex. If you have a hard time organizing the pull off the floor then perform the clean from the mid-hang.

Performance: Work up to a 1RM Clean and Jerk
Try and set a new PR but take no more than 5 attempts over 90%. Misses count as attempts.
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Front Squat

80% x 3 x 3

Take 80% of your recent 1RM. If you only have a 3RM, use this calculator to figure out an appropriate number.

Post loads to comments.
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Come back, DO! Come back, Jen S! We miss your ninja skillz!

  • Do your spring cleaning now so that in one week, you can join CFSBK’s Clothing and Book Swap! Bring at least five items (make sure clothing is clean and preferably on hangers) and arrive at the 2pm start. Any leftovers will be donated to the CHiPS shelter and Dress for SuccessLet us know what you are bringing! 
  • Hit all your mobility business today: Yoga with Whitney at 10am + Active Recovery at 11am with Coach Fox + Active Recovery at 12pm again with Coach Fox = so many opportunities for happy CrossFit campers.
  • Enjoy the sunshine today, CFSBK!

Rings Strength Class: April - May

Rings Strength Class starts TODAY at 2pm and there are only TWO spots left! Jump on it, you lucky ducks! 

REGISTER HERE!

Join guest gymnastics coach Ken H. as he takes you through four weeks of gymnastics strength training. This 1.5 hour-long class will incorporate different facets of body weight strength training and movement. Specifically, each class will be composed of three to four distinct areas: warm-up and active mobility, rings skill work (muscle ups, levers etc), body weight strength conditioning, balance (on hands and feet) and flexibility. Students will be asked to have a goal or intention to focus on for the next six weeks. Students can then focus on that goal outside of class.

Saturdays from 2:00pm - 3:30pm

4/12, 4/19, 5/3, 5/10

*Please note that this class skips Saturday 4/26. 

Price: $80 for 4 Weeks 

Ken Haller's Bio
Ken was a nationally competitive gymnast in Newton, MA and at the University of Michigan. After graduating, Ken coached for eight years at Capital Gymnastics in Northern Virginia where he coached regional and national champions. His students have gone on to be NCAA champions and members of Cirque du Soliel. In searching for an activity to replace gymnastics, Ken filled the void with rock climbing and yoga for the past ten years and recently found CrossFit to round out his training.

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Your Inner Fish (Episode 1) PBS
Moby's "Flower" (The "Bring Sally Up” song) YouTube

Friday
Apr112014

Rest Day

Jake L getting ready for his Oly meet in May

  • Happy birthday, Noah O!
  • As Matt K. noted in the comments on Thursday, some of you may have received a little bit of love from CFSBK in your email inbox. We've resurrected the long-dead SBK newsletter and will be sending it out at the start of every cycle. If you don't feel like getting another one, just hit unsubscribe at the bottom of the email and we'll never bug you again. And if you've got any big community news, announcements, births, weddings, whatever, email Mare [at] crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com and we'll include them in the next edition.

Below is a short article we ask all our new members to read when they graduate from our Foundations program. Coach DO posted it on Inside the Affiliate a few weeks ago to encourage coaches at other affiliates far and wide to share it with new members—it's that important! Whether you've been riding the SBK train for years or are just fluttering your wings fresh from the warm cocoon of Foundations, read through this article again in the spirit of Back Off Week. Remember to maintain your good habits and keep longevity in mind when you walk through CFSBK's doors (PSYCHE—THE OPEN GATE! BECAUSE SPRING IS HERE!).

Good Training Habits

While it’s our responsibility as coaches to teach you movement, program intelligently, and keep you safe, it’s your responsibility as athletes to develop good training habits. Here is an overview of three great habits that will significantly enrich your training experience.

1. Be Proactive With Your Movement Prep
Everyone needs to do a little personalized maintenance on their bodies. Even 10 minutes of DIY movement prep before class can go a long way in keeping you fit and pain free. After you've signed in and changed, take advantage of the time you've got and start moving.

Warm-up
Row an easy 300-500m on the erg. Get your heart rate up a little and try to get a light sweat going. We recommend holding 20 strokes per minute and rehearsing good form. 

Stretch/Foam Roll
Many of us know where our tightest areas are—they're the ones that make it difficult to squat below parallel or press a barbell overhead. Spend a few minutes mobilizing and doing some soft tissue work (foam roller/LAX ball, etc.) on your "problem areas.” If you don't know where to begin, ask a coach what you should be prioritizing and we'll help you out. We also regularly refer our members to out Active Recovery classes and MobilityWOD.com. This is great resource for folks who need simple, effective strategies to help them move better.

2. Log All of Your Workouts 
Training without logging is like driving without a road map. You don't know where you've been or where you're going. Taking notes on each training session helps you track your progress and helps us make informed decisions about how to assist you in choosing weights and scaling movements. Each day should list some quantitative and qualitative notes about your training session. Here is an example:

Warm-Up:
3 rounds NFT
5 Snatch PP (22lb bar)
5 OHS
5 Muscle Snatches
10 Push-ups on knees

Move up to yellow bar

AMRAP 15 minutes:
Row 350m
12 Overhead Squats, 45lbs

4 Rounds + 320m

Kept rows at about 2:23 splits, felt hard but doable. Don't shift forward during overhead squats.... Mid foot!

You can track your workouts in a journal or online. As coaches, we LOVE to read the details of your workout in the Comments section of CFSBK’s blog. It gives us a deeper perspective into your training and the programming in general.

3. Start Slow and Maintain Perspective
We take our training seriously at CrossFit South Brooklyn and with that comes with a good deal of responsibility. Our movement pool uses serious strength and conditioning exercises in order to develop broad, inclusive fitness. If we don't treat these movements and workouts with respect, training plateaus and injuries are sure to follow. The best way to ensure your success and training longevity with us is by starting slowly and developing a rock-solid technical base. In fact, the first few months you start CrossFit, intensity should not be a significant concern. The movements are potent enough that just consistently performing them will create a favorable adaptation. After you feel really comfortable with most of our exercises and have a working knowledge of your weights, only then should you start ramping up the intensity. 

Training with a lifelong perspective is incredibly important. Remember that you're here to build yourself up, not break yourself down. Scaling workouts properly, listening to your body and checking your ego at the door will allow you to work out successfully for years to come. Most importantly, have fun with this stuff and enjoy the process.

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How to Make Small Talk With Strangers Art of Manliness
What if the Moon was a Disco Ball? VSauce
The Culture of Shut Up The Atlantic
Abs/Back: What Does it All Mean? Catalyst Athletics