Bench Press | Deadlift | WOD 8.17.15

Bench Press

Performance: Medium Intensity: 75-80% x 5 x 4

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add two to five pounds to last week's exposure. 


Fitness and Performance: Work up to one heavy set of 8 using perfect form.
Heavier than last week's set of 10. Dead start, no touch-and-go. 

Exposure 2/8
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For Time, 21-15-9:
Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9
Kettlebell Swings 53/35
Box Jumps 24/20"

Post time and Rx to comments.

GD and Coach Ro, shoe twins! With Leslie crushing wall balls in the distance

The State of CrossFit Footwear, 2015 

By Noah Abbott

A few days ago, someone mentioned to me that they had recently read my article about CrossFit shoes, and I realized that it had been almost five years since I had spent far too much time expounding about the relative merits of Sneaker A vs. Weightlifting Shoe B. A lot has changed in the CrossFit world since 2011, and shoes are no exception. That said, we are still fighting the same battles—trying to find a pair of shoes that allows us to tackle the broad range of CrossFit activities while being unobtrusive and hopefully even a little stylish in the bargain. 

Instead of a dissecting what to look for in a shoe (which I covered in the old article) I am going to talk a bit about some trends that have emerged in the last five years. That said, here are the things you still want in a shoe overall:

  1. Lightweight.
  2. Low profile, non-compressible sole.  
  3. Sweet colors.

The Re-emergence of the Heel and the Beefification of the Shoe
For a time, “zero-drop” shoes (which have the exact same height in the heel and forefoot) were the coveted ideal. Since the human foot is naturally relatively flat, it was thought that a perfect flat shoe would mimic natural movement the best and be the healthiest for people. In the early days, CrossFit shoes and barefoot/minimalist running shoes were somewhat synonymous terms.

Turns out that the demands of a heavy snatch and an easy 5k in the park are quite different! In recent years, training shoes have begun to incorporate a slight heel-to-toe drop again, influenced a bit by the ¾” heel in weightlifting shoes. Shoes are still lightweight, and the soles are still relatively low and definitely not squishy, but most companies seem to realize that a small heel helps lifts without taking away too much from proprioception (“ground-feel”).

Along with realizing that glorified ballet slippers aren’t necessarily the best footwear for high-intensity exercise, the big companies also realized that some stuff we encounter in the gym really ruins shoes. Rope climbs, burpees, and other movements can eat through lightweight mesh, so the past few years have seen DARPA-level technology incorporated into shoes to make them more impervious to daily use. Toe bumpers, rope guards, KEVLAR, and other protective elements have made shoes more durable and broadly useful, and that’s a good thing. 

The War at the Top
In the early days of CrossFit, there was a certain joy in “hacking” a cross-country flat or trail shoe to serve as your daily training shoe. Today, most of the bandwidth is occupied by two big manufacturers, Reebok and Nike, with sparks flying between the two of late. 

Reebok introduced the CrossFit Nano in 2011, soon after my first article (coincidence or conspiracy, you decide!). The Nano has seen five iterations (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, etc...zzzzz) with a few offshoots (Sprint, Pump, etc.). The Nano is a pretty good all-around fitness shoe, and Reebok has done a pretty good job of incorporating feedback into each new release. The Nano 5.0 was released for the 2015 CrossFit Games, and is an obvious nod to the 2.0, which is widely considered “the best Nano.” The 5.0 is the first shoe that incorporates Kevlar, which to me seems a bit like overkill, but it’s cool cause I get to run around and do this at peoples’ feet. 

Nike has recently joined the fray with the Nike Metcon 1, and their entry into a pretty uncrowded field has been textbook Nike—they win. They’ve done a good job limiting their releases, choosing typically awesome colorways, and they answered Reebok’s busy, techy, highly branded Nano with a smooth, refined, and unobtrusive shoe. Reviews have been mostly good, with some complaints, and I’m excited to see what the Metcon 2 will bring. (Personally, the Metcons leave me a little cold; they look like tennis court shoes and I wanted Nike to get a little wilder with the colors. Really, I just want these.)

As far as dedicated weightlifting shoes go, I’m going to go full elitist and caution you not to waste your time with anything but the best: either the Nike Romaleos II or the Adidas Adipower Weightlift. Both of these run around $150-200 and represent the best shoes you can buy. You will end up replacing any other weightlifting shoe you buy with one of these, eventually. The Adidas are a little narrower, although of higher build quality IMHO. All of this will change after the next Olympics, of course.

Surprising Quality and Choice at the “Bottom”
While Nike and Reebok dominate most of the CrossFit shoe atmosphere these days, there are other manufacturers who make training shoes that rival or surpass the offerings of the “big two.” My personal favorites are offerings from Inov-8 and New Balance. 

Inov-8 was in many ways the “first CrossFit shoe,” originally designed for trail running, but well suited to the rigors and demands of functional fitness training. Since the early days, the company has continued to make high quality trail runners, but has also taken steps to better incorporate the needs of the functional fitness industry. Often criticized for being aggressively narrow, Inov-8 bifurcated their line, creating two different fit profiles for their shoes. Their “Standard” fit now offers a wider toe box and more natural ground feel, in contrast with their “Precision” fit, which is the original, somewhat narrow shoe they have been producing for a while. Inov-8 also has released some CrossFit specific shoes like the F-Lite 235 that are as high quality as they come.

New Balance’s Minimus line also offers top quality shoes for someone who wants to exist outside the Nike/Reebok spectrum. Their training shoe, currently on its fourth iteration, the 20v4, is light, firm, and high quality, with the best soles (Vibram) in the industry.   

Both Inov-8 and New Balance seem to come out with more products than Nike and Reebok, and do less work hyping them and limiting their releases. This leads to generally larger supply than demand pools, which in turn means you can often find their shoes at significant discounts if you look around a little bit.  

The Death of the Toe Shoe
I’d be remiss if I finished this article without mentioning one of the larger footwear trends in the last few years, which is the gradual but almost absolute disappearance of the Vibram FiveFingers line of toe-shoes from most CrossFit gyms and athletes’ feet. As the value of some stability, heel-lift, and protection in a shoe has become more and more apparent, the ultra-minimal, ultra-weird looking FiveFingers have receded from gym staple to the choice of that weird IT guy who wears them in the office. Good riddance says I.

Oliver Sacks: Sabbath The New York Times 
Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table The New York Times 


Squat | 8.16.15

Back Squat: 3 x 10
Start at about 75% of your best 3x5 from last cycle, or 60-70% of a 1RM. 

Medium Intensity
Back Squat: 75-80% x 5 x 2
Front Squat 75-80% x 5 x 2
Go a bit by feel and use the lower or higher percentage range depending on how you feel. 

Exposure 1/8
Post loads to comments.

Partner WOD
In teams of 2 with one partner working at a time:
14 Rounds For Total Time:
400/300m Row
10 Push-Ups
Each partner performs seven rounds. Go hard on the ergs sprints.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Asha hanging out on the rings during AntiGravity. Check out AntiGravity today at 2pm for a muscle-up skills workshop. | Photo by Thomas. H., who just uploaded a bunch of bangin photos to our Flickr!

  • CrossFit Virtuosity is having a fundraiser for Steve's Club NYC at the Chipotle on Court Street tomorrow between 12pm and 6pm. Bring in this flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Steve's Club NYC.
  • Check out Kids Club at 9am or Active Recovery at 11am!

Good Luck to Our Subway Series Competitors!

The third Subway Series event is happening over at CrossFit Long Island City today. Here are the CFSBKers that will be representing for us:

Coach Whit
Coach Jess
Allie B.
Pierre D.
Alex N.
Brad D.

There's still time to sign up for the fourth and final event, happening on your home turf, Sunday, August 23rd! Get the details here.

We Are All Sensitive People: A Marvin Gaye Story The Paris Review 


Power Jerk | WOD 8.15.15

Power Jerk


Take 5 total sets and work up to a heavy power jerk for the day.

Post loads to comments.

For Time: 

800m Run 


5 Rounds:
10 Power Jerks 155/105
30 Double-Unders 


800m Run

Post time and Rx to comments.

Trevor S. (aka T-Sauce/Treasure) getting low

  • Coach Frankie and Heather Farmer are competing in the national 2015 Olympic Lifting Championships this weekend. Heather lifts on Saturday and Frankie lifts on Sunday. Good luck!!
  • Want to try something other than group class today? Check out Yoga for Athletes at 10am, Active Recovery at 11am and 12pm, or Open Gym from 2-4pm!

Weight Watchers and the End of Dieting Racked
The Empathy Exams 


Rest Day

Coach MeLo and Alex B. visited CrossFit Phase II Fitness in South Yarmouth, Mass. yesterday after a long drive to the Cape! 

Want to Work For Row New York?

Row New York has received a grant to hire a new Development Manager. The person will report to their wonderful Chief Development Officer. It's a great opportunity for someone with some fundraising experience (it's not entry level) who wants to support some phenomenal kids in NYC and work with a great staff. No rowing experience required! Check out the official job description here.

Want to Get Better at Olympic Lifting? Join the Next Level Weightlifting Club at CFSBK

The Next Level Weightlifting Club offers Olympic lifting with strength training and mobility all in one. Weightlifting classes will be held in two-hour windows and taught by Coach Frank Murray. While there will be a start to every class, you are allowed to show up at any time during the two-hour training session to lift. Those involved will receive the week's programming which they can either do during the training session or on their own times during open gyms. If you are unable to participate in class on a regular basis, you also have access to Coach Frank via email and can submit videos to be evaluated and critiqued. Think of him as your personal coach.

While there are universal weekly workouts, they can and likely will change from person to person depending on each individual's needs. All people are different and therefore require different things to be successful. At Next Level Weightlifting Club, we take that into account and make adjustments as needed to optimize progress. 

Typical Sessions Include:

  • Group Warm-up
  • Heavy Lift (Snatch/Clean/Jerk)
  • Light Lift (Snatch/Clean/Jerk)
  • Squats
  • Pulls/Presses
  • Mobility 


Monday 7:30-9:30pm
Wednesday 7:30-9:30pm
Friday 6:30-8:30am


Drop-In: $30
10 Class Punch Card: $250 ($25 / Class)

Recurring Monthly Memberships:
3x/Oly $200 (Weightlifting Club only)
2x/Oly $150 (Weightlifting Club only) 

Group Group Class Add Ons:

If you'd like to combine Olympic Lifting with our Group class offerings, you can include an add on to your membership which can be used on CrossFit, Open Gym, Yoga, Pilates or Gymnastics Class.

+2x Group Class Add-on $100
+3x Group Class Add-on $150


This program is ongoing so participants may sign up whenever they want.

Your credit card will be charged immediately at a prorated rated for the rest of the current month. This membership will then automatically renew on the first of every month moving forward until cancelled.

Any questions regarding this program can be sent to info [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.comand olympiclifter88 [at]

Turn Your Office Into a Gym Pop-Up City
Hamptons Bracing for Another 'Devastating' Rosé Shortage GrubStreet 


Snatch | WOD 8.13.15

Fitness: Snatch 1-1-1-1-1 at 70-85%
Hit five singles between 70 and 85%.

Performance: 2 Halted (knee) Snatch Deadlifts + 1 Paused (knee) Snatch
Work up to a heavy load on the complex. 

Pause for 3 seconds at the knee on the halted snatch deadlifts before returning to the floor, then pause for 3 seconds at the knee on the paused snatch. Do not return to the floor on the paused snatch, snatch directly from the knee. Also, if you haven't been doing so, add pressing snatch balances and snatch sots presses to your warm up drills.

Exposure 1/8
Post loads to comments.

With a continuously running clock:
0:00: 20 Dumbbell Thrusters
2:00: 30 Russian Kettlebell Swings
4:00: 40 AbMat Sit-Ups
6:00: 20 Dumbbell Thrusters
8:00: 30 Russian Kettlebell Swings
10:00: 40 AbMat Sit-Ups
12:00: 20 Dumbbell Thrusters
14:00: Russian Kettlebell Swings
16:00: 40 AbMat Sit-Ups 

Go as heavy as you think you can perform the reps unbroken. The thrusters and swings should be a struggle by the end of the sets.

Post reps and Rx to comments.

A heated discussion about which direction to run on Degraw Street, captured in Rickke M.'s rearview mirror

The Constance Chronicles Continue!

Did you miss it? This past month, CFSBK made some national media with our beloved 77-year-old CrossFitter, Constance Tillett. First, CFSBKer Robin C. made a video featuring her and David, which was picked up by CrossFit HQ and used as one of their rotating commercials on ESPN during the CrossFit Games.

From there, CBS This Morning saw the ad and came out to interview the two of them and do a feature on her story, which blew up the interwebs yesterday. The Constance spots and the CrossFit Games this past month were a great reminder on the spectrum of CrossFit's scalability, as well as the universal importance of exercise for normal human function. 

Join CrossFit Virtuosity to Help Out Steve's Club NYC This Sunday, August 16!

CrossFit Virtuosity is having a fundraiser for Steve's Club NYC this Saturday at the Chipotle on Court Street! Come in to the Chipotle at 140 Court Street in Brooklyn on Sunday, August 16th between 12pm and 6pm. Bring in this flyer, show it on your smartphone or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Steve's Club NYC. If you can't join them in person and would like to contribute, check out their causevox page.  

The New Devil's Dictionary The Verge
Ronda Rousey Open Workout Session 


Squat | WOD 8.12.15

Back Squat Low Intensity 65-70% x 7 x 2
Front Squat Low Intensity 65-70% x 7 x 2 

Front Squat 3 x 10
Use about 75% of your best 3x5 from last cycle, or 60-70% of a 1RM 

Post loads to comments.

5 Rounds For Time:
7 Power Cleans 155/105
3 Ring Muscle-Ups 

5 Rounds For Time:
5 Power Cleans 155/105
5 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
5 Ring Dips 

Post time and Rx to comments.

Check out Episode 3 of CrossFit's "Road to Conviction" series! While incarcerated, Fletcher Tholin discovered CrossFit. Watch his rehabilitation in this eight-part series. 

  • For CFSBK's Subway Series event on August 23, we still need judges and a score keeper! Judges are expected to monitor range-of-motion and reps for each workout. Coach David will do a session to review movement standards and protocol before the event. The score keeper needs to do data entry on the scoring system and should be comfortable with spreadsheets. Please email David [at] if you're interested.
  • Grace R. is riding in the 26th annual NYC Century Bike Tour on September 13 as part of a special fundraising team called Ride for Vision Zero. The goal of Vision Zero is to get the number of traffic deaths (many of whom are cyclists) down from upwards of 200 this past year to zero in 2016, as well as to make NYC a more bike-friendly city overall. If you want to donate to the cause (Grace is super close to her goal!), head over here.
  • Happy birthday, Alexandra C.!

Climbing the Shark's Fin The New York Times 


Rest Day

Coach Ro leads a group class through DROMs over in 608. Do you know why we spend so much time warming up before class? Coach David wrote an article about standardized warm-ups at CrossFit affiliates on his blog, Inside the Affiliate. Check it out! | Photo by Thomas H.

  • Happy birthday to Greg A. and CrossFit Kiddos Siena S. and Taran R.

Need a break from group class, or want to maximize your rest day? Here are a few other options you can explore tonight instead!

Active Recovery at 6:30pm

This class is designed to give your muscles and mind a rest. For an hour you'll be guided through a combination of soft tissue work, mobility techniques, and general restorative movement. This class is perfect as a rest day for the heavy hitters, or as a light day's work for beginners, and those of us somewhere in the middle. This class is also great for non-CrossFitters who could use a little soft tissue love. Want to learn more? We wrote a detailed article about this class on Coach David's blog, Inside The Affililiate, called "Running an Active Recovery Class."

Pilates with KH (a.k.a. Cage) at 7:30pm

Have you ever been told by a coach or PT that you have a weak core? Are you not sure what "keep your ribcage down" means? Do you suffer from a tweaky lower back after lifting heavy weights? Help is on the way! The Pilates Method can be great "accessory work" for a Crossfitter, not only because it improves flexibility and strengthens the abdominal and back muscles, but mainly because it can help you figure out HOW to use these muscles properly. Come join Kristin Hoesl (KH) in CFSBK's first ever weekly Pilates class. We'll go over neutral pelvis, engaging the transversus abdominis (say WHAT?), stabilizing the rib cage, and finding good shoulder girdle positioning. So if any of this sounds intriguing to you, come drop in on!

Schedule: Tuesday nights at 7:30pm upstairs in the CFSBK Annex
Price: Individual classes and 5-packs can be purchased here, or you can use your regular CrossFit group class membership to attend 

Learn more about KH in our interview with her, called "'Mad Abs, Yo!' How Pilates Complements CrossFit, and Getting to Know Kristin H."

Anti-Gravity at 7:30pm (or Sundays at 2pm)

Is your kip krap? Are you muscle-ups more like muscle downs? Are your pistols mere pop guns? Coaches Noah and Arturo have designed Anti-Gravity: an hour-long gymnastics strength, skill, and conditioning class.

The class will focus on the gymnastics skill and strength components that are most commonly demanded in CrossFit workouts, using a variety of skill exercises, progressions, weighted and strict practice, and other techniques to teach, develop, and perfect your bodyweight movements. Our goal is to improve not only skill, but gymnastic work capacity and muscular endurance. 

When: Tuesdays at 7:30PM and Sundays at 2PM 
Cost: This counts as a regular group class

Each class will consist of skill work, strength development, conditioning, and flexibility training. Every class will include dedicated strength work and a WOD, so its intention is to be a complete workout of the day on its own.

Email Noah [at] or Arturo [at] with any questions!

Can We Reverse the Aging Process By Putting Young Blood into Old People? The Guardian 
An Open Letter to CrossFit HQ T Nation
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