Friday
Jul112014

Rest Day

K-Dawg and Funk Master Fox, squattin' low

"Mad Abs, Yo!" How Pilates Complements CrossFit, and Getting to Know Kristin H.

By Kate Reece

Kristin H. (a.k.a. Cage) hopped on the CFSBK train in the middle of 2010 and in her words, she now “cannot imagine her daily life without it.” We can’t imagine CFSBK without our favorite theatre major either, especially now that she teaches a Pilates class every Tuesday night in the upstairs annex at 7:30pm. Kristin is a classically trained Pilates instructor and has been teaching for more than eight years, after beginning her practice in 1999. She received her certification in April of 2006 from Core Pilates NYC, where she still works as a senior trainer. She is also a longtime member of the small team at Rinaldi Pilates, a top-notch boutique studio in Manhattan. 

Through her class at CFSBK, she’s enabled many of us to become far more intimate with our pelvic floors and abdominal muscles. The Hundred, Open Leg Rocker, and Single Leg Circles are only a few examples of the pain she’s thrown our way—pain that has sculpted us into better, more svelte ninjas. But when it’s all said and done and our washboard abs help us stay tight as we descend deep into our squats or pick up heavy things, some of us might step back and muse: who is this Goddess of the Core? And maybe: I can do some of these Pill-at-eez exercises, but… what the heck is Pilates? And if I already do CrossFit, why should I care? 

Wonder no more. We’re coming to your rescue once again via a splendid interview with the Goddess herself, in which you’ll learn about her mute phase at CFSBK, where the phrase “Mad abs, yo!” came from, and how taking her class might help you kick some more CrossFit ass. For all of this and more, you're welcome.

CFSBK: Hi KH! Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, what's your favorite color, how'd you find CrossFit and CFSBK, etc. etc.?

KH: Well, I am a lifelong New Yorker (holla!): I was born and raised in Oyster Bay, Long Island, I went to college upstate at Syracuse University, and right after college I moved to NYC. I spent a year on the Upper East Side before moving to south Brooklyn, where I've now been for almost a decade. My favorite colors are deep purple (I spent a few years with a purple streak in my hair) and Syracuse Orange (yes, that's an official color). And finally, I had heard some intriguing mythical tales of Crossfit from a few friends who had tried it, but what really happened is that I used to walk by the gym on my way to Brooklyn Boulders with an ex-boyfriend, who was a pretty avid climber. I always saw these big scary people flipping tires and stuff, and my workout routine was pretty stale at that point and I was looking for something new, so I decided to give it a try. That was in June 2010, and I never looked back!

CFSBK: We're so glad you didn't! I heard a cool story once (okay, you told me) about how you spent your whole first year at CFSBK talking to no one. That's hard to imagine now. What helped you make the leap into opening your mouth and sharing your hilarious-ness with our community?

KH: Yeah, even though I am pretty social I am not always comfortable in new situations, especially when I don't know what I am doing or if I feel intimidated. For my first year at CFSBK, I was on a punch card membership, and I wasn't coming super consistently. When we used to do the "name game" at the start of class, no one ever knew my name because I was pretty quiet (imagine that). I think I started becoming friendly with people when I decided to up my Crossfit game and switch to a 5x week membership. At that time I was going through some personal changes, and changes with my work schedule, and I started regularly coming to the 7am class. That's when I first started making friends, talking to people, saying things like "See you in class tomorrow!" And from there it just snowballed. The Paleo challenge happened*, I went to some rest day dinners, joined the softball team, started doing Sunday night trivia…the more I got involved with the community the more I felt like, "Yes. These are my people."

*Editor's note: The Paleo challenge didn't just "happen"; she won it in 2012.

CFSBK: How did you start practicing Pilates? What even is Pilates? (Besides one of those words that if you say it over and over, it starts to look absurd.)

KH: I started practicing mat Pilates with a dance professor of mine back in 1999, and always really enjoyed it. I then got into Pilates as a career when I was trying to find a way out of the restaurant business. At the time (2005), I was bartending to pay the bills while pursuing a career in the theatre. Pilates, in a few sentences, is a system of exercises focused on strengthening the "core," which generally refers to the abdominal, back, and hip muscles. It can be done with just a mat or on machines, and it was invented and developed by Joseph Pilates, who was born in 1883 in Germany, immigrated to NYC in the 1920s, and died in 1967. He opened his first studio in midtown Manhattan, and invented and built all of the Pilates equipment, which basically look like S&M torture machines and have names like "The Reformer" and "The Chair." Joe's teachings have been passed on through the generations by some of his original students, which I think is so freaking rad and old school and legit. He was pretty much the bomb diggity. Google him.

CFSBK: We're on it. So how does practicing Pilates complement training at CFSBK? Besides looking hot in a bikini, why do I need a strong core?

KH: Well obviously, Kate, one's first priority should always be looking hot in a bikini/speedo. But I think Pilates is such an awesome complement to training at CFSBK because it not only feels great, but it can be directly applied to your lifting technique. One of the things that the Pilates method does really, really well, in addition to strengthening your core, is teach you HOW to brace your core against the movement of your limbs, which is not always as simple as it seems. This helps to keep you safe from injury and also helps you become stronger, because you'll learn how to move from your hips and shoulders and not let the work go into your back, for example. You will be focusing on engaging muscles that you might be more unfamiliar with. The goal is to learn how to move your limbs from a strong, stable, and supple core.

CFSBK: What can I expect if I come to one of your classes? Will I get a six-pack that night?

KH: Well, historically I've had some students who have been disappointed that they didn't leave class with an immediate six-pack. I don't want to call anyone out on this, but his name starts with an "L" and rhymes with "Bookah." However, if you come to class you can expect to spend a lot of time lying down (awesome!), and mostly focusing on stabilizing the pelvis and ribcage against the movement of the limbs. It's a LOT of abdominal work. Also, especially in my class here at CFSBK, I try to get people to "soften" their movements, and get in touch with deeper muscles that they may find harder to connect to. As CrossFitters, we spend so much time muscling through stuff with dynamic athleticism, that I think it's helpful to encourage your muscles to work in a different way—maybe with more ease, and a different approach to precision. You can expect to feel taller, stretched out, and you'll hopefully walk out of class with a newfound connection to your center. Sooooo Zen.

CFSBK: Tell us about this "Mad abs, yo," business. Where did that phrase come from? 

KH: That was all Chris Fox's doing. He just said it to me once and I freaking loved it. It became a thing. He also refers to me as "K-Dawg," which I am so down with. I sometimes call him "Funk Master Fox," and so should everyone. He also thinks I'm trouble but that's totally not true.

CFSBK: Right. No trouble at all. So if I'm already sold on Tuesday nights at 7:30pm, how can I get more of you? Where else do you teach?

KH: I am always available for one-on-one sessions or small group sessions, either here at the gym or at one of my studios in the city. If you visit my website (www.khpilates.com), there are links to the two studios that I work at, and you can visit their websites to see when I am teaching group classes. I mostly teach private sessions, but I do have a lunchtime mat class from 1-1:45 at Core Pilates NYC in Union Square on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. It's more of an intermediate-level class, so if you have some Pilates experience and time for a lunch break you should come on down! Mad abs, yo!

CFSBK: Okay, last question: where did the nickname Cage come from?

KH: At the last Tough Titsday meet, when I went up to lift, everyone was calling out "C'mon, KH!" Lauren Howe, who was one of our spotters, turned to someone and said, "Why is everyone calling her Cage?" When I heard that story, I immediately pictured myself squatting 350# while wearing a Hannibal Lector mask, screaming, and making super angry eyes. Decided to make it stick. David is responsible for my original nickname of KH, got K-Dawg from Fox, Cage from Lauren Howe, Wonder Twin from Stella, K-Hizzle from Laura… and that's not including all of the nicknames I've been given earlier in life (Juice, Hessyballs, K-Spano…). Sooo... yeah. I have a thing for nicknames. But I'll make you a deal: come to my class and you can call me whatever you want (I may instantly regret that)!

  • Happy birthday, Nigel S.
  • CFSBK's softball team, the Calaveras, have another game tonight at the Red Hook softball field. The game starts at 6:15! Head over there to enjoy the sunset and cheer them on!

_________________ 
Hilary Knight Gets Puck Naked ESPN Magazine 
What To Do Once You’ve Finished All the Beer The Loop 
Sweating Out Their Differences: OK Rep. Markwayne Mullin Whips Fellow House Members Into Shape New York Times

Thursday
Jul102014

WOD 7.10.14

Skin the Cat 101 

5 Rounds Not For Time:
8 Strict Handstand Push Ups or Dumbbell Presses
8 Goblet Step Ups (each leg)
8 Log Roll to V-Ups

Post loads to comments.

  • Check out Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whitney at 7:30pm tonight, but please note that Saturday's 10am session is canceled, since Whit is competing in Hail to the Queen IV.

CFSBK Loses One of its Own: Erik Kolb

We are devastated to announce the death of one of our members, Erik Kolb, age 34. He and five other climbers tragically died on an expedition to Mount Rainier at the end of May. Erik had been a regular at CFSBK since mid-2012 and many of you will remember sharing a rack or bar with him, especially during the morning and weekend classes. Along with being a CrossFitter, Erik was a finance manager for American Express, an avid hiker, world traveler, and Park Slope resident. In his family's statement, they wrote, “Erik was a smart, gentle and generous man whose warmth and kindness touched the lives of all who knew him. We will miss him sorely every day, and he’ll always be in our hearts.” 

He is survived by his wife Lisa and a number of family members. Please keep them in your thoughts during this difficult time.

_________________ 
This Always Ad Asks What It Means To Do Something "Like A Girl" CoCreate
Your Genes Affect Your Betting Behavior UC Berkeley
The Sister of Second Chances New York Times

Wednesday
Jul092014

Clean and Jerk | Front Squat

Fitness: Hang Clean + Jerk
Focus on having your weight over your mid foot at the mid hang position.  

PerformanceHang (knee) Clean and Jerk (1+1) 1-1-1, then High Hang Clean and Jerk
Work up to a heavy single on today's complex of a clean from the hang plus a jerk. Then back off to 80% for three singles from the high hang. 
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Front Squat

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

Performance: 82.5% x 4 x 4, then 80% x 4 x 4
Rest less than two minutes between sets. 

Post loads to comments.
e5/6

Wanna learn to paddleboard? We thought so! Learn more below!

  • Happy birthday, Luanna S., Front Desk frontman Mirko B., and Endurance Wonder Coach Michael O.
  • Come get your fish, veggies, eggs, and flowers! The CSA deliveries are today from 6-8:30pm sharp.

Get on the Water This Summer with CFSBK

What: Stand-up paddleboard lesson and tour
Where: on the Hudson River, launching from Croton Point Park in Westchester County  
When: 2-4pm, Saturday, Aug 16
$99 per person, cost drops to $89 per person with 6+ participants
Sign-up: email Mare at mare@crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com by Saturday, July 26 

This two-hour lesson and guided tour is geared toward first-timers and beginners. Instructors will talk about on-the-water safety, decision-making, essential safety gear, selecting the appropriate size and type of board, paddle selection, and basic accessories. The skills covered during this lesson include standing up on a board for the first time, lifting and carrying a paddleboard, launching and landing, paddleboard stance, the forward stroke, basic turning strokes, and stopping. No experience is necessary for this lesson but the conditions of the day (wind, waves, etc.), will determine the difficulty level.

For more information, check out our event page!

Become a Dog Whisperer: Training Your Dogs at CFSBK

Cesar Millan hasn’t got anything on Anthony Newman of Calm Energy Dog Training. Newman was New York magazine’s pick for Best Dog Trainer of 2013, and he’s visiting CFSBK to train your beloved pooch!

When: Saturday, August 2, 2014, at 2:15pm
What: a 90-minute workshop will meet at CFSBK and include obedience exercises in real-world situations, techniques for calm city walking (including a packwalk down to the local dog park), and followed by a Q&A
Where: your favorite gym
Cost: Specially-discounted cost for SBK: $55 per person/dog, which will drop to $45 if at least 10 people sign up

This event is open to CFSBK members and their friends and dogs of all sizes, provided they are basically social and non-aggressive. The deadline to sign up is Saturday, July 12! Email Mare at mare [at] crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com to sign up, and include any specific topics you would like to see covered.  

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27 Places Straight Out Of Nightmares eBaum’s World
The Death-Defying Origins of Bungee Jumping The Atlantic
7 Myths About The Brain You Thought Were True ASAPScience 
"SonderUnused Words

Tuesday
Jul082014

Rest Day

Christanna S. deadlifting at dusk with David

  • Happy birthday, Nolan G. and Chris P.
  • Wanting those mad abs for your time at the beach? Check out KH's Pilates class tonight at 7:30pm!

Returning After a Layoff, or “How Barbella Got Her Moves Back”

By Noah Abbott

Stupid, pesky life. Just when you’ve gotten on a roll—hitting PR’s, mastering new skills, dropping or gaining some weight—life has a way of barging in the door like Cosmo Kramer, and knocking everything askew. New jobs, new babies, injury, vacation, the beginning of football season, great happy hour specials—the road is littered with temptation and obstacles that seem purpose-built to knock you from your lofty perch of swoledom.  

So what to do? First and most importantly, get your ass back in the gym. Email us. Just show up. Walk through the door. Follow the programming and do what you’re told, even if you feel listless or without a real plan. Like Ol’ Greg Glassman likes to say, “The magic is in the movements.” Don’t worry too much about your time off, and just start moving again. 

Of course, this wouldn’t be much of an article if the only advice was “Come back to the gym.” It certainly isn’t always that easy, so here’s some additional stuff to think about:

A Unique Opportunity
Instead of obsessing over rustiness, lost gains, or WODs unWODded, let’s reframe your “extended rest day” in a positive light. Any nagging injuries or fatigue you may have been dealing with have most likely resolved themselves. Did you have any bad habits or movement patterns before your time away? You now have an opportunity to reprogram your body and reestablish good motor patterns. Commit to eliminating that early arm pull in the clean, scarecrow arms during double unders, or soft deadlift setup. Years ago, as a BJJ athlete, whenever I came back from time off, while I would feel undeniably rusty, my Jiu-Jitsu would always be more creative and explorative when I resumed. Old patterns, tendencies, and strategies would have fallen away, replaced by a sprawling menu of possibility. Zen Buddhists call this shoshin, or beginner’s mind—“an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.” Use your time off, and harvest that shoshin, intrepid Crossfit samurai. 

You Don’t Own Anything
One of the worst things you can do, both in terms of safety and your in-gym confidence, is to try and pick up right where you left off. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially if your numbers were trending upward, and it is incredibly tempting to try and resume your lifting progressions approximately where you left them. While you probably haven’t lost a significant amount of strength (most suggest somewhere between a 10-20% drop in 2-4 weeks), and you could probably will the weight up on grit alone, your body is most likely not prepared for the load, and the risk outweighs the benefits. “But I own 225#!” you say? Sadly, we don’t own anything in the gym. Strength and skill are perishable qualities, and at best we are renters, subject to the whims of those cruel and unforgiving landlords. (This should be a pretty familiar feeling for anyone who has ever rented an apartment anywhere in New York.) 

Similarly, it’s tough when being paired with classmates for racks to try and keep up with the same “crew” you had previously been lifting with and benchmarking yourself against. Unfortunately, while you’ve been out having babies or shooting your movie or whatever, they’ve been steadily plugging away, and at this point in time, they are likely stronger than you. Realize this is only a temporary situation, check your ego, and you’ll be reunited once again.

So, treat your layoff like a reset after a failure in a linear progression, even if you were cruising along smoothly beforehand. Take 90% of your last documented lift numbers or less—you really can’t go wrong starting lighter and having things be “easy” for a while. Don’t worry, they’ll quickly get hard again. Start climbing back up that hill, Sisyphus!

With conditioning work, things are simpler. You’ll feel pretty gassed for the first few workouts, and then progressively better. Take it easy for a week or two, and consider scaling movements to slightly easier alternatives until you feel like you’re fully “back.” If you are a heavy hitter athlete, who consistently RXes workouts and has taken significant time off, be especially wary of jumping right back into the deep end. Remember, in that deep end lurks Rhabdo—often ballyhooed, rarely seen, but perfectly suited to laying low deconditioned fit people with big egos. 

Welcome Back! 
Now that you are a little more equipped, come on back to the gym, we miss you! Remember, puhleeeeeze do not hesitate to ask the coaches about any component of your illustrious comeback tour, especially if its due to injury. We love that you are tough cookies and stoic, steely-eyed warriors and all, but we are happy to work out scales, subs, and other quandaries of the anatomical, theoretical, philosophical, and metaphysical variety. We want to be your co-pilot on your road back, but we can’t read minds (YET), so please let us know what’s been going on so we can do our best to help.

See you in the gym.

How have you relocated your groove after some time away from the gym?

_________________
The Importance of Celebrating your Success Catalyst Athletics
The Overhead Squat CrossFit Journal
Stressed Out: Americans Tell Us About Stress In Their Lives NPR
≤ kg Radiolab

Monday
Jul072014

Press | WOD 7.7.14

Fitness3 x 5 Linear Progression 
Add 2 to 5 lbs to last week. 

Performance: 82.5% x 4 x 4, then 80% x 4 x 4
Rest two minutes between sets.  

Post loads to comments.
e5/6 
_________________

Partner WOD
AMRAP 21 Minutes (one partner working at a time): 
3 Strict Press 115/75
6 Push Press 115/75
3 Strict Pull Ups
6 Kipping Pull Ups
200m Sprint 

Post Rx and time to comments.

McD and David installed a Big Ass Fan to keep you cool this summer

News and Notes 

CFSBK Classifieds

Have you checked out CFSBK Classifieds yet? No, there isn't a Missed Connections thread, but there's all sorts of other neat stuff. This new forum will allow CFSBKers to connect with each other on the level of services, housing, employment opportunities, items for sale or giveaway, lessons and classes, programs, etc. It's a result of our desire to find a better way to localize all the resources within our community. Head over there to play around and post (responsibly) to your heart's content! 

Travel Gym Recommendations 

We also wanted to find a way to save all the recommendations we make to each other about other gyms while people are traveling, hence the new tab Travel Gym Recommendations (it’s also in the left-hand column under Member Resources). This will be a great place to keep everyone’s notes about their experiences at other affiliates, both good and bad. The United States West thread is currently in the lead with the most entries, but we know you guys regularly gallivant to the far corners of our globe and CrossFit, so fill up those other regions!

If you have any questions about either of these new additions, please email Kate at katharine [at] crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com.

_________________
The Secret of Effective Motivation New York Times
Burpee Equivalents: Junk Food in Terms of Your Favorite Exercise Spartan Blog
Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health, and Life w/ Ben Greenfield Barbell Shrugged
This Aerobic Video Wins Everything

Sunday
Jul062014

Deadlift or Power Clean and Jerk | WOD 7.6.14

Fitness: Deadlift: 4 x 2
Add 5-15 pounds. It should be getting heavy, but maintain a perfect spine.

Performance: Power Clean + Push Jerk + Split Jerk at 75% x (1+1+1) x 5 
Use 75% of Wednesday's number. Buy-in is 1.25xBW clean and jerk for men, 1xBW for women.

Post loads to comments.
_________________ 

AMRAP in 15 minutes:
20 Wall Ball 20/10lbs, 14''/9''
15 Box Jump Over 24''/20"
10 Toes to Bar (or 20 sit-ups)

Post Rx and time to comments.

Alex muscling up

  • Active Recovery is today at 11am, come get mobile!

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Ecuador's "Superleaf" Tea: Could It Replace Your Afternoon Coffee? National Geographic
Knowing What to Eat, Refusing to Swallow It The Huffington Post
How a 5'5" Basketball Player Trained Himself to Dunk The Atlantic

Saturday
Jul052014

Snatch | Back Squat

Fitness: Mid Hang Snatch + Knee Hang Snatch
Work up to something heavy on the complex.

Performance:
1) High Hang Snatch 1-1-1

2) Knee Hang Snatch 100% x 2 x 2
Work up to a heavy single from the high hang, then perform two doubles from the knee.  

_________________ 

Back Squat 

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

Performance: 77.5% x 6 x 5
Rest less than two minutes between sets. 

Post loads to comments.
e4/6

Kevin R. never ceases in his search for that perfect location for an impromptu L-sit. Here he is on top of a stone wall that surrounds the 13th-century San Michele de Murato church in the hills of the Nebbiolo region of Northern Corsica. 

  • Happy birthday, Dave F.! It's tough to choose, but we think this is our favorite photo of you.

Bend, Stretch, and Mobilize

  • Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whitney is at 10am.
  • Active Recovery is at 11am and 12pm with Coach David.

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Psychedelic Mushrooms Put Your Brain in a “Waking Dream” Washington Post
Think Like a Doctor: Sugar-Free New York Times