The Iron Maidens Raw Open

Today Is the Iron Maidens Raw Open at CFSBK!


Here is the schedule:

 9:30-2:30pm: Pixies and Ladies lift, Awards Ceremony to follow
12pm: Kettlebell Kitchen begins serving lunch
2:45pm-6:30pm: Dames and Broads lift, Awards Ceremony to follow

There will be competitors present from lots of gyms, but here are our ladies from CFSBK:


Notes For Sunday

  • Coach Jeremy's Strength Cyclers will wrap up their eight-week cycle with a Total tomorrow, starting at 2:00pm.
  • This is the 17th and final week of the C.R.A.S.H.-B.'s program. The big day is TOMORROW! As of now, 15 CFSBKers are competing. Row hard!
  • The 2015 CrossFit Open started on Thursday. We normally program these WODs on Saturday (which you can expect for the next four), but because of Iron Maidens, we are programming it for tomorrow. 

Science Says The Dress Is Blue and Black (and Explains Why You See White and Gold) Wired

Good luck, ladies!! 


Rest Day 

Different torso lengths will result in different start positions for pulling bars off of the floor. Athletes with longer torsos like Joy M. will end up a bit more upright than athletes with relatively shorter torsos.

Weekend Schedule Changes and Events You Need to Know About 

  • CLASSES ARE CANCELED TOMORROW for the Iron Maidens Raw Open (this includes Yoga for Athletes and Active Recovery). 
  • The 2015 CrossFit Open started last night. We normally program these WODs on Saturday (which you can expect for the next four), but because of Iron Maidens, we are programming it for Sunday. If you came to the gym yesterday and want to come today and Sunday, there is a floater WOD available (see the comments below). 
  • Coach Jeremy's Strength Cyclers will wrap up their eight-week cycle with a Total on Sunday, starting at 2:00pm.
  • This is the 17th and final week of the C.R.A.S.H.-B.'s program. The big day is this Sunday! As of now, 15 CFSBKers are competing. Let us know how it goes! We're cheering for you.

Today Is Your Last Chance To Nominate Inside the Affiliate for Breaking Muscle’s Annual Top 10 Fitness Blog Contest!

We ended up in the Top 20 last year (after being live for only four months!), but this year, we're gunning for the Top 10. To get there, we need to be nominated first for the Top 20. If you’re on Facebook, it’s super simple: 

1. Click here.
2. Scroll down to the comments. Include a link to Inside the Affiliate ( and why you like it.
3. Nominations will be accepted up until 8PM TONIGHT, so jump on it!

Will Lifting Make Me Bulky? Answers to Common Questions About CrossFit Inside the Affiliate
Snowtime: A Microscopic Timelapse of a Snowflake 
Surreal Photos of Abandoned, Snow-Filled Malls Fast Company 


Snatch | 2.26.15

Fitness and Performance: High Hang Snatch (or Power Snatch)
Catch as low as your mobility allows. 

Post loads to comments.

3 Rounds For Time:
10 Overhead Squats 135/95
15 Chest To Bar Pull-Ups
20 Power Cleans 135/95

Post time and Rx to comments.

Take 12 Minutes to work up to a medium/heavy load on the following complex:
6 Hang Power Cleans
3 Push Presses or Jerks

Post time and loads to comments.

What are you doing this Saturday? Come watch our strong ladies lift all the weight!

News and Notes

  • 15.1, the first 2015 CrossFit Open WOD, will be announced TONIGHT at 8pm! Follow along here
  • Happy birthday, David D.

Everything You Need To Know About the Iron Maidens Raw Open

ALL CLASSES ARE CANCELED this Saturday, as we are hosting the Iron Maidens Raw Open. Here is the schedule:

 9:30-2:30pm: Pixies and Ladies lift
12pm: Kettlebell Kitchen begins serving lunch
2:30pm: Awards Ceremony
3pm-6:30pm: Dames and Broads lift
6:30pm: Awards Ceremony

There will be competitors present from lots of gyms, but here are our ladies from CFSBK:


Thank You To Our Sponsors 

A BIG thank you again to our sponsors. We appreciate your support! Check out their sites to learn more:

Sara June Hair Salon (mention Iron Maidens for a 20% discount on services through April 2015)
Kettlebell Kitchen
Chameleon Cold-Brew
SlantShack Jerky
Cafe Grumpy
Gear to Go
Threes Brewing (providing $1 off all beer and well drinks to everyone after the meet!)
Herondale Farm
Starting Strength
Bricks Bars

I Switched to a Standing Desk, So Now You Should, Too The New Yorker 
35 Innovators Under 35 MIT Technology Review 
Our Amazingly Plastic Brains The Wall Street Journal 


Back Squat | WOD 2.25.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 5-10 pounds to last week's exposure.
Performance: 90% x 2, 80% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

20 Minutes, Not For Rounds:
10-15 Kipping Toes to Bar
15-20 Games Standards Box Jumps 24/20
1:00 Plank Hold 

Play around with technique and also with max and sub max sets. Use today to work on finding a pace that allows you to do more work overall and not burn out. For box jumps, all versions are acceptable: step up/step down, step up/drop down, jump up/jump down, jump up/step down. If you can't yet perform toes to bar, sub knees to elbows or 5-10 Floor Levers instead.

Post what you worked on to comments.

Michael C., one of our LFPB Challenge winners (and last September's Athlete of the Month!)

  • Please note that ALL CLASSES ARE CANCELED this Saturday, as we are hosting the Iron Maidens Raw Open all day. 
  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP TO CLASS: Click on the Class Schedule and RSVP tab in the left-hand column (under General Information) and select the class for which you'd like to RSVP. 

Recapping the Look Feel Perform Better Challenge 

We wrapped up another successful LFPB Challenge on Saturday night at our Community Potluck. Congratulations to our winners!


  1. Shawn T.
  2. Michael C.
  3. Joe B.


  1. Sarah P.
  2. Allie B.
  3. Kelly L.

Instead of offering you our thoughts on how well the Challenge went, we'll let a few of our participants speak (anonymously) for themselves. Here are some highlights from their post-Challenge reflections...

The past seven weeks have been a very enlightening life experiment. I am actually quite surprised by how just a few tweaks to my lifestyle have brought about such noticeable changes. 

I lost the 15 lbs that I had gained over the previous 18 months.

You tend to make better dietary choices when you're not hungover all the time.

Setting aside time for active recovery/meditation/yoga was also a welcome addition to my day—it helped managed my anxiety during an incredibly stressful month at work.

Adopting the Paleo/Zone diet also ended up being more fun than I thought it would be—I tried a ton of new recipes, discovered my new all-favorite butternut squash chili, and cooked more than I had in recent months. 

I am pleasantly surprised that I have made steady progress with my bench, snatch, jerks, and squats. I can feel myself getting stronger, I can see my form slowly improving and I’m challenging myself to take bigger leaps of faith. (For example, I’ve been attempting all WODs as Rx-ed to see if I can handle it first…if I can't, I pull back, but I'm trying to challenge myself to go outside my comfort zone.)

It really hit me how what we eat has an impact on everything from energy, sleep, performance, mood, skin, concentration, and so much more.

I am more alert and energetic during the day. Before the Challenge, I would have a cup of coffee in the morning at home, and by the time I got to work, I needed more. Now, I only need that cup in the morning. I still have another cup from time to time, but it's mostly for the taste and pleasure of drinking it as opposed to the need. I feel I have more concentration and focus, which I never even thought I had any issue with before.

I have suffered from acne since college. During this Challenge, many people commented on how clear my skin is and that my complexion is brighter. I noticed all of these changes with eating clean about 60-70% of the Challenge.

I lost about 7-9 pounds. Made it back to my lightest weight in 18 years.

Kettlebell Kitchen really helped me stay on track during those periods. 

I had been operating under the assumption that I needed to work out harder to lose fat weight and improve my numbers in the gym. Turns out I had it backwards—by improving my dietary habits I lost weight, which in turn has improved my performance and increased my capacity for harder work in the gym. 

I feel so much stronger and my stamina during WODs is through the roof. I did 60 bar-facing burpees this week, without resting, which I would have not thought possible six weeks ago. 

Seeing that I'd definitely dropped body fat in those photos was heartening in a way that watching a number on a scale usually is not. Perhaps, most positive of all was when I went to my doctor recently. I’ve been on blood pressure medication for the past three years for insanely high, stage 2 hereditary blood pressure. This particular doctor’s visit, I realized I had forgotten to take my meds that morning so was bracing myself to hear some outrageous blood pressure reading. Unbelievably, my doctor told me my blood pressure was completely normal without the medication and asked what I'd been doing to bring it down. (CrossFit South Brooklyn!) I couldn’t believe it. I thought I’d be on those pills for the rest of my life, but it looks like if I keep this up, I may not need them after all.

I ate more carefully and consistently—not to mention just generally more healthily. So much kale. 

Potluck Winners

And of course, congratulations to the people who may not have won anything related to the LFPB Challenge, but instead excel at cooking, baking, and eating...

  • Best Main Dish: "Noah's Progenex Fed Meatballs" (Coach Noah says he used a bit more red pepper than the recipe called for... and no Progenex.)
  • Best Side Dish: Carissa C.'s Shaved Brussell Sprouts with Proscuitto Goodness (Accost her in the gym if you want the recipe!)
  • Best Dessert: Kate R.'s "Almond Butter Semi-Paleo Crack Bars" (Recipe forthcoming in the comments.) 

Language Quiz: Are You On Fleek? The New York Times
How Reading Fiction Can Help You Live a Better Life Lifehacker 
Guy Trolls Russell Crowe For 2 Years, Finally Gets Blocked The Chive


Rest Day

The 2014 CrossFit Games: 
Each year, CrossFit Media puts out a behind-the-scenes look at the CrossFit Games, often following a handful of athletes leading up to the Games and throughout the weekend. It's an incredible insight into what these athletes sacrifice to earn a spot to compete in Carson, and what it takes to be a CrossFit Games competitor. The documentary is long, but we highly recommend you all watch it. Fair warning, you may cry a few times. 

News and Notes

  • Please note that ALL CLASSES ARE CANCELED this Saturday, as we are hosting the Iron Maidens Raw Open all day. The first session (of Pixies and Ladies) is from 9:30-2:30pm, followed by awards, and the second session (of Dames and Broads) is from 3PM-6:30PM, followed by awards. Kettlebell Kitchen will be selling lunch starting about 12pm. Come on out to support our strong women!
  • DON'T FORGET TO RSVP TO CLASS: Click on the Class Schedule and RSVP tab in the left-hand column (under General Information) and select the class for which you'd like to RSVP. 
  • Congrats to CFSBK's Hoopin' Tacos, who had two nice, come-from-behind victories last night (including their second overtime win) to bring them to 6-0! GO TACOS!
  • Happy birthday, Coach JB!!!

Have You Nominated Inside the Affiliate for Breaking Muscle’s Annual Top 10 Fitness Blog Contest Yet? Help Us Out!

We ended up in the Top 20 last year (after being live for only four months!), but this year, we're gunning for the Top 10. To get there, we need to be nominated first for the Top 20. If you’re on Facebook, it’s super simple: 

1. Click here.
2. Scroll down to the comments. Include a link to Inside the Affiliate ( and why you like it.
3. Nominations will be accepted up until 8PM THIS FRIDAY, so jump on it!

Thank you so much to everyone who already nominated us!!

Hail to the King at CrossFit Queens

Crossfit Queens is hosting an all-male competition on Saturday, May 2nd. There will be two divisions, with 80 total athletes. Additional details can be found on the event's Facebook page: Hail to the King. Register here, and then shoot Coach MeLo an email (Melissa [at] to let her know you registered. 

The following CFSBKers have registered:

Jay R.
Matt K.
Alex B.
Pierre D. 

Read more on our event page!

Here's What Happens To Your Brain When You Give Up Sugar For Lent IFL Science!
The Power of Sidewalks The Atlantic
Old India’s Village of Warriors Becomes Birthplace of Bouncers The New York Times 


Bench Press | WOD 2.23.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 2.5-5 pounds to last week's exposure.
Performance: 90% x 2, 80% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

4 Rounds, AMRAP:
In 2 Minutes, row 250/200 meters 


Max Thrusters 95/65

Rest 2 Minutes between rounds. Score total reps of thrusters.
Post total reps to comments. 

Colleen at Fight Gone Bad last year!

  • The Hoopin' Tacos CFSBK basketball team has a game tonight at 7:45pm at John Jay. If you're free tonight, go cheer them on! 

February Athlete of the Month: Colleen Meagher 

By Chris Fox

Colleen came to us a little over a year ago and would win the Most Improved Athlete award, if we had one. Humble, smart, social, and consistently eager to improve, Colleen embodies all of the attributes we like in an AOM. Sit back and enjoy learning a bit about this remarkable gal from Philly by way of Connecticut by way of Mexico.

Fox: Col, congrats on being an Athlete of the Month! Tell me first, when and how did you first learn about CrossFit?

Colleen: Thanks so much! It’s such an honor. I was visiting my sister in Dallas in January 2013, and noticed a bunch of people running around the streets in Five Fingers. I followed them in to the gym and asked a few questions. My interest was piqued enough for a Google search when I got back to Brooklyn and that lead me to CrossFit Dumbo and CFSBK. I remember liking the CFSBK blog. It was funny in a way that appealed to me, the pricing was upfront, and the steps to get started were clear. I could tell that you guys meant business about training. I signed up sight unseen for Foundations and started in February.

Fox: You coming to train with us is in my mind the best thing that those Five Fingers have ever accomplished! What was Foundations like for you, someone so new to the idea of CrossFit? 

Colleen: Well, at first I was terrified! I showed up and people were dropping weights all over the place, it was a little intimidating and part of me wanted to walk right back out the door. I told myself to take it one step at a time and that if at any point I really wanted to leave I could. I had you and Arturo as my Foundations coaches and I quickly learned how much emphasis you both put on form. On deadlift day, I was afraid I’d break right in half. I’d previously had serious pain from herniated discs and was nervous about weights. After a few days when I didn’t have any of the back pain I was afraid of, I realized that CrossFit was for me. I became addicted pretty quickly and knew I had the willpower to continue. To this day, not only have I have had zero pain from previous disc issues, but pain I used to get from sitting or bending over is completely gone. 

Fox: That’s great! I’m glad that we could instill confidence in you to continue and that you trusted us enough to eventually not fear the deadlift! What was your fitness path like before CFSBK? Why did you decide to make a change? 

Colleen: As a kid, I did ballet and enjoyed horseback riding (which I still enjoy, although its tough in NYC). I’d been going to Crunch for 10 years or so where my fitness level had its ups and downs. I wasn’t motivated to go anymore and I wasn’t getting results. I needed something that would work and CrossFit started providing that pretty soon after I started. My workout partners are always amazing. I can’t count how many times I’ve been the last person to finish and there are five or 10 people cheering me on. No slacking when that happens! I’ve always believed that the overweight person in the gym should not be embarrassed about being there. From Foundations on, I learned that everything was scalable to my level and there would be an appropriate version of the workout for me. I was never made to feel any different, and training here reminds me of adult phys ed. Even when I’d developed some plantar fasciitis issues from doing hill sprints, I was able to learn how to deal with them. I did a private session with Arturo which helped tremendously. He introduced me to Kelly Starrett and in turn taught me how to be proactive about mobility and nagging little injuries.The social element here is powerful, too. I know people at the gym and enjoy working out with them. I really like the QOD and the coaches are all pretty funny. One of my favorite things is the “What Not To Do” demo that sometimes happens before a lift of workout.

Fox: A fun part of the job for me (and I’m sure for the rest of my fellow coaches as well) has always been the little sort of stand-up comedy routine we get to play out in classes. It can ease anxiety sometimes, I think. How about you outside of the gym—where are you from and what do you enjoy outside of the gym? 

Colleen: I was born in Philly, went to elementary school in Connecticut, and middle and high schools in Mexico City. I love Mexico City and love to visit still. I moved to NYC in 1991 to attend FIT, although I don’t currently work in fashion. I’m the oldest of five siblings who are all scattered across the place with the exception of one sister who lives here in NYC. I’m pretty simple, I suppose. I live in Brooklyn Heights with my two cats, Miko and Bronwyn, who are my steady Hulu-watching buddies. I’m into The Daily Show, The Colbert Report (sniff, sniff), Ru Paul’s Drag Race, American Ninja Warrior, mostly light stuff that gives me a laugh. I’m a vegan and really would like to learn to cook and prepare foods but my current apartment has no kitchen! I’m on the lookout for a new housing situation so hopefully I can start working on that soon, as I’m in the process of buying my first place.

Fox: A while back, you made myself and in turn the rest of the coaching staff aware of some health concerns you were dealing with. Would you like to share that here? 

Colleen: In fact, I would be grateful to share. On April 14 of 2014, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Luckily there was no lymph involvement, but working out to save my life has taken on new meaning for me now. I knew that I’d need to take some time off for treatment but never considered giving up on CrossFit. One of my first thoughts was “How will this affect my CrossFitting?”. I’d finally found something I could see doing long-term and here was this thing threatening to take it away, which I wouldn’t accept. My doctor advised me that the stronger I went into treatment, the better off I would be, so I trained hard leading up to then. 10 days post-surgery, I had a private session with Coach Melissa that helped my road back. Right on time, six weeks later, I began doing everything normal.

As of now, I am monitored closely and am grateful that my tests show no detectable cancer. I’ve removed all the causative factors under my control and am in fact healthier than I’ve ever been. My doctor, the chief of breast cancer surgery at a prestigious New York hospital, has asked me to write about my health and fitness transformation and commitment to a healthy lifestyle! The funny part in all of this is that I’d had a mammogram about one month before being diagnosed and been given the “all clear” and told to come back in a year. If I hadn’t been CrossFitting and losing extra weight (to date Colleen has lost 80 lbs!), I might not have noticed that mass that led me back to the doctor’s office.

So, to end this part of the story, my PSA to all the women out there is learn how to perform a self exam! I’m happy to talk in person to anyone interested about all of this as well. It’s been quite the journey. 

Fox: It’s a very moving story, and one that I really appreciate you sharing with us. You’re what we at CFSBK would call a TFBA! Anything else you’d like us to know about you, in the gym or out?

Colleen: Well, my last name is actually pronounced “maher,” unlike its spelling might indicate. Considering myself an “athlete” who trained alongside all these other athletes clad in spandex and otherwise was a turning point for me. Once I stopped working toward weight loss and instead toward performing better, the weight started dropping. Can I share my newest gym achievements and goals? I can do hollow rocks, full burpees, banded pull-ups and strict push-ups. I can squat over 115 pounds now, so I’m looking for more there and I can go for a run without having to think twice about it. I’d still like to be able to do more strict push-ups, I can link three, going for four! And to link double unders together.

Fox: For some reason I have no doubt that you’ll achieve those goals and be on to new ones in no time. Last thing—what should we look for in a future AOM? 

Colleen: Someone who sticks with it, even if you’re older or heavy or limited somehow. Someone who thinks about what they do outside of the gym as well! And all the advanced people who inspire all the newer athletes each day to be better. Thanks again! 

Huge thanks to you, Colleen, for being a part of our little community and for being an inspiration to many of us. We look forward to seeing you get those push ups, and down the road pull ups, and to squatting 200 lbs for the first time as well!

How to Do a Breast Self-Exam Fitness Magazine
Breast Awareness and Self-Exam American Cancer Society


Clean | Deadlift | WOD 2.22.15

Fitness: EMOM 8 Minutes, 2 Clean High Pulls + 1 Power Clean
Start at 50% and go up as appropriate. Focus on a smooth pull to the high hang and a close bar path. 

Performance: Clean

Post loads to comments.


Fitness and Performance: 1 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 5-10 pounds to last week's exposure. Dead starts, no touch and go. Use a hook grip if you can. 

Post loads to comments.

Fitness: 100 Burpees for Time
Compare to 1.5.15 

Performance: 30 Muscle Ups for Time

Post time to comments.

Coach Fox addresses a packed crowd last night at the Community Potluck. Thanks to everyone who came out and contributed delicious food, and congrats to all our winners, of the LFPB Challenge and for the most loved dishes! We'll announce all of them on the blog soon.

News and Notes

  • Good luck to Todd C.Ryan J., and Jake L., who are competing in the 2015 NYC Experimental Open in Garden City today! Let us know how it goes!
  • Want to work out today at 9am and bring your kid/s? Now you can! Sign them up at the Front Desk for CFSBK Kids Club, and learn more here.
  • Happy birthday, Jayne B.!

CRASH-B's: The High and the Hell Of Indoor Rowing Sports Illustrated 
A Regal Beagle Seizes the Spotlight The New York Times