Open WOD 14.4

14 minute AMRAP:
60-calorie row 
50 toes-to-bars
40 wall-ball shots, 20 / 14 lb.
30 cleans, 135 / 95 lb.
20 muscle-ups

Read the full workout description and rules here.

Alternate WOD:

For Time:
550m Run
50 Sit Ups
50 Squats
50 Dumbbell Cleans
50 Burpees

Post results to comments.

Coach DO scores 180 with a 13:55 tie break

  • Happy Birthday Janelle B., Jenna J. and Doug M.!

Winos Needed!

Like wine and good times! Brian Scott is looking for help pouring wine at The Hess Collection’s table during this year’s Wine Riot. This is a tasting geared towards cork dorks in their twenties and is always a great event!

There are 4 pouring passes available for each session:
Friday, April 4th: 7pm – 11pm
Saturday, April 5th: 1pm – 5pm or 7pm – 11pm

To pour you must be 21 years old and arrive at the venue 1hr prior to set up the wines. Everything will be provided and all that is needed is for one person to be behind the table at all times. You will not need to pay an entry fee ($60) for the event.

Note – if you work the Sat night shift you will get to keep any leftovers – provided you can haul it away.
Interested parties please contact Brian at bscott (AT)

A reminder that tomorrow at 2p is the meditation workshop.  The workshop is at capacity, but everyone who already RSVP'ed in the comments section on the event page is welcome to join.  If you can't make it after all, please let Mare know at mare(at)  

"Gym" (Planet Fitness) tells woman she's intimidating guests with 'toned body'
"Ha!" Takes a serious look at humor NYT
Ira Glass on taste, creativity and drive


Rest Day

It's our second installment of Behind the Lens, about our intrepid and freakishly talented photographers. Photographs don't grow on trees, and our Flickr account is populated by the art of a number of wonderful CFSBKers. They're so good at shooting us while we sweat that we sometimes even forget they're there! Our first interview was with Bekka Palmer, and this one is with the marvelous Asta Fivgas. See some of her favorite photos and her interview with Kate below.

Behind the Lens: Asta Fivgas

Candid Shots

Where and when were you born? Keflavik, Iceland on May 25, 1985.

What color are your eyes? They're actually the same color as my hair. Matchy matchy.

Favorite smell? Cinnamon and that super toxic smell when the A/C first comes on in the car.

Weird fact: Besides when people find out I was born in Iceland? I pronounce my w-h combinations in words, it's not really weird but people point it out a lot.

What is your perfect Friday night? Something involving friends, laughter, and bourbon. Sometimes this devolves into just liquor by myself on the couch after a long week. And open gym. You can usually find me there when my Friday is going as planned.

Favorite photographer? I don't know if I can really narrow this down, I appreciate a lot of different photographers for a variety of reasons but two of my favorite books of images are by Lee Friedlander and Geir Jordahl.

One of Asta's favorite photos that she took at the MoMALonger Exposure

Kate: You've been around CFSBK way longer than I have, so other people might know the answers to some of these questions. Regardless, clue us all in, if you don't mind. How did you start down the CrossFit journey and how did you find SBK? 

Asta: I was dating a guy who was super into CrossFit but always made it sound like the most bizarre thing in the world—so when I got the opportunity to meet some of these "CrossFit people" during a little potluck (complete with what turned into a really aggressive game of dodgeball and burpees), I was definitely going to be there. I decided that I, too, wanted to work out in the post-apocalyptic movie set known as the Lyceum and challenge myself more than my gym routine of peddling away on the stationary bike while reading The Fountainhead. I knew I had endurance, but I wasn't very strong and I truly didn't know what to do to get strong—so being around all these really interesting, diverse, strong people definitely called to me. My first teaser was with Margie and I started Foundations in January of 2009. 

Kate: Tell us about your journey with your camera. Do you remember your first photograph? What did you shoot with?

Asta: I don't remember my first photograph but I know I always liked taking pictures. I have albums upon albums of developed images from my childhood through college. I ended up at an art school for college and was able to take a bunch of photography classes where I learned to develop my own film and really explore photography as a craft. Back then, I was really into black and white nudes and exploring ways to highlight the human body. I didn't start taking a lot of digital photography until I traveled around Europe towards the end of college with my 5MP (laughable now) HP point and shoot. That's when I started working more with trying to capture moments in a moving environment.

Dan got me started on the sports photography and using an SLR. Even though I had my digital point and shoot, I still turned my nose up at digital photography a bit since you weren't really physically developing and the connection between photographer and piece... you probably get where I'm going with this. One day Dan just handed me the camera and said go for it, and it was HARD. Shooting people moving rapidly was a nightmare; I was so disappointed with my first shots, but also kind of responding with "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED." I then had the opportunity to shoot regionals upstate and everything just sort of clicked. I had explored the human form in black and white (and staged) and now I was getting to do the same thing but with color and speed and very little control other than to find the best shot/angle/moment.  

Kate: What do you shoot with now?The Preatures

Asta: Canon 7D with a 50mm/1.4 

Kate: What's your favorite photo that you've taken?

Asta: This is kind of always evolving and changing depending on what I’m interested in at the moment. Sometimes it's patterns, sometimes it's monumental structures, sometimes it's broken things I find on the sidewalk. The first thing that comes to mind though is a photo I shot at a show recently for CMJ (music festival) in NYC. I was put on an Aussie Showcase with about seven sets, and one of the bands was The Preatures. The female lead was really intense on stage, but had these great moments on interaction with her bandmates.

Another is an older photo from an exhibition at MoMA years ago. I like the pattern and I remember getting in a lot of trouble from the security guard for sticking my camera "into the piece."

Kate: What captures your eye over everything else?

Asta: Human connection/touch and lines that form patterns.

Kate: If you had to spend the rest of your life photographing one thing or one type of scene, what would you choose?

Asta: People exploring Carlo Scarpa's Brion Cemetery or Castelvecchio in Italy. Hands down the most incredible spaces I've yet to be in.

Kate: Tell us about your life outside of the gym. Word on the street is that you’re an architecture buff. How do you spend your days beyond barbells and skulls?

Asta: Ghost in the machine at a big global engineering/architecture firm. Well, not really ghost—I just say that because sometimes people don't understand what architects do.  Which is completely understandable, we are such mysterious creatures (haha). 

I moved from a design-heavy small firm to a technical-minded large firm a couple of years ago and am really enjoying how hands-on my current job is. I get to travel, I get to break open walls and investigate damage, hang off really tall buildings on scaffolds—it's fun and it's challenging. I'll probably go back to design full-time at some point and I still do freelance architectural design on the side to scratch that itch, but for the time being I think it's important I keep nerding out on the technical side of our built environment to improve my capacity as an architect.

Otherwise, I try and travel as much as I can. Sit on beaches. Eat exciting food. See the stars.

Kate: One of the things I always love about your photos for CFSBK is how they capture bodies in motion so beautifully, and in a way I feel like I haven’t seen before, at least not with “ordinary” people. Talk to me about shooting athletes and people who are sweating all over the place and often not looking their conventionally sexiest. How do you capture CrossFit in your photos? What's the hardest part about shooting athletes?

Asta: Bad lighting?  ;)

I see it this way, bodies are these incredible and beautiful mechanisms, especially in motion when they are experiencing the struggle and elation of performing a really hard task. I've had to really let go of expecting people to be in the right spot or making the right face, which is what all my previous work was about. I think that when people are performing and not paying attention or worrying about how they look, that's when the good photos happen. I mean, I take thousands of photos and parse them heavily to find the shots that work. At the end of the day, you're telling someone’s story and I want that story to be relatable, to mean something, to mean many different things to many different people. Occasionally there is a creepy moment when someone makes direct eye contact with me through my lens which is my cue that I'm not being mindful. If I'm distracting them, then I’m not catching the really good shots, and they aren't focused on the task at hand. Photo ninja, it's a work in progress.  

Kate: What's your favorite event or day that you shot at SBK?

Asta: Events with multiple gyms involved (Subway Series, games). The shots of people giving it their all with their whole support network yelling it out on the sidelines, the energy in those shots is palpable. Uhm, and anything with a self-service photo booth, since I get to take all the photos home.

Kate: If you had to give a piece of advice to blossoming photographers or people who want to take better photos, what would it be?

Asta: Take a lot of shots, even if you've set up the scene/still-life—take a burst of frames. You'll soon realize that one in 50 will actually be worth going in your "really good" album and that is completely normal, frankly I would consider that a good day. Also keep track of your images, rank them, compile your favorites, see how your own story develops. Last, my personal thing is, I don't take photos of people where I wouldn't be okay having my photo taken if roles were reversed. Empathy can be helpful.

Kate: Where can we see more of your work? Can I hire you?

Asta: My photography portfolio is available by request. I take on jobs every now and then (headshots, events, concerts/shows)—if you have something that you want to collaborate on, get in touch! Also I post all the CF photo content on the CFSBK Flickr account, so if you want some photo overload, go poke around there.

What is your 14.4 strategy?
Happy Birthday, Dan E!

Snatch Analysis video with Pendlay


Clean and Jerk

Performance: 3 Position Clean + 1 Jerk

Fitness: Segment Deadlift + 1 Mid Hang Clean + 1 Jerk

Post loads to comments.

Team Chipper
In teams of 3 with one partner working at a time, complete the following for time:
3000m Row
150 Box Jumps
100 Dumbbell Thrusters

We recommend doing 500m relays on the row, breaking up the box jumps into 25s and the Thrusters into 16 rep sets. Go heavy on the DB Thrusters

Will Wall Balls make their apperance in the 14.4 Chipper?

  • Happy Birthday Uzef G!

News and Notes

  • Save the date! On April 5th, we'll be hosting a bike maintenance class to help bring your bike out of winter hibernation. Basic bike maintencene like flat repair, brake and gear adjustments as well as general maintencence tips will be covered. You'll be able to bring your bike right into the gym to use it as an example with the folks from Bicycle Habitat.  Click on the event page to the right for more info!
  • We're also considering a clothing swap event on April 19th after Saturday group classes pending interest. If you're interested in swapping some gently used adult and children's clothing, please let us know in the comments.
  • Don't forget, Yoga for Athletes with Whitney H is now at 7:30pm on Thursday nights!

Meat CSA: Free gift for new members and NEW refer-a-friend bonus! 

We are having a special sign-up bonus for new members who join the Herondale meat and poultry CSA in the months of April or May.

New 15-lb share members will receive three of our most-loved items: a juicy NY strip steak, a pack of pork chops, and a pack of our legendary bacon. That's in addition to the regular share - a $50 bonus! 

New 10-lb share members will receive a NY strip and a pack of bacon in addition to the regular share - a $35 bonus!

Refer-a-friend: Any existing CSA member who refers someone to the program will receive 2 packs of the brand-new Jacuterie bacon - choose any 2 from Jack's great new flavors (maple, honey garlic, or Italian.) All are mouth-wateringly good, so refer your friends today! Write to to make it happen. Remember, you don't need to be a member of CFSBK to belong to the CSA.

Sign up here.

Questions? Email mignyc at gmail dot com.

Check out "A Tale of Two Wendler Waves" written by our own Samir C!


Low Bar Back Squat

Work Up To A Heavy Triple
No Failing! No Bailing!
Post loads to comments.

As Many Rounds as Possible in 10 Minutes of:

20 Russian Kettlebell Swings, 45/25
10 Push Presses, 115/75

20 Russian Kettlebell Swings, 72/53
10 Handstand Push-Ups

Post rounds completed and Rx to comments.

Rosie's first day of CrossFit

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, starting today.

Two Faces of Agriculture: Industrial vs. Agroecological

Farming uses land in order to make food (I see you hydroponics, but I’m ignoring you for now). How we use the land varies in different systems. It’s common to think of farming as a one-directional relationship: we try to make the land conform to our goals on our terms. These terms distinguish farming ideologies, which influences the how and whether the relationship can be reciprocal.

Industrial agriculture, like any other industry, tries to achieve consistent yields so that it can scale up continuously in order to turn an increasing profit. Climate, soil, precipitation, and topography are examples of conditions that must be overcome. Given the scale and geographic reach of this kind of agriculture, its terms have to be uniform and prescriptive in order to efficiently and consistently meet demand.

In contrast, Agroecology merges agriculture and ecology by seeking to recognize, value and be part of the dynamic conditions of farming. The primary goal is still to produce food, of course, but the terms are based on dialogue rather than prescription. Agroecosytems contextualize the goal of growing food by understanding the intrinsic nature of discrete elements like soil, plants, wildlife, climate, people and economics, as well as the interactions among and between those elements. This is a holistic way of farming characterized by multiple goals, which include, but are not limited to, turning a profit. Resiliency (against erratic climate, volatile markets, personal crisis, blight and disease...) is a central tenet of the approach.

There is certainly crossover between the two systems, and lots of farms operate somewhere in between, but I’m being overly simple so we can keep them distinct in our minds.

A grazing farm is an example of an agroecosystem. The success of the practice depends upon studying and harnessing climate-land-plant-animal-human interactions in order to produce food.

This series of posts will unravel the elements and interactions of a grazing farm in order to help you understand grass-based livestock farming. We’ll focus mostly on beef production, but many of the same principles can be transferred to other livestock.

This is also an unabashed attempt to persuade you that by joining a CSA, you have a unique opportunity to be part of an agroecosystem.

Commodity and Grass-fed Beef

In the commodity beef market, production goals focus on speed, efficiency, consistency and uniformity in order to meet increasing demands for meat. (The U.S. supplied the world with about 20% of its beef in 2007.) If animals fatten at predictable rates, to similar weights, and consistent marbling, your entire production system can operate more efficiently and, hopefully, turn a reliable profit.

All beef cows start out on grass. Commodity cows are moved off grass relatively quickly and sent either to an intermediary farm where they’re fed a mixed diet of forage and grain, or directly to a feedlot. The distribution of cows is partly based on putting like with like (i.e. breed types, genetic strains) so that producers have a fairly clear idea of the process needed to reach a desirable time to slaughter.

Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are where most beef cows get “finished.” CAFOs are penned in areas, which contain a minimum of 1,000 tightly packed cows – no more than one acre per cow is allotted (that’s being generous). Food in the form of mixed rations (grain and forage) is brought to them. Because of the continuous concentration of animals, the ground is bare, exposed soil. As a cow nears slaughter, its diet becomes increasingly grain based in order to reach correct weight and marbling. This production method is intimately tied to corn production in the U.S. In fact, over one-third of our corn crop is used to feed animals.

On a 100% managed grazing farm, cows are either purchased as weaned calves, or the farmer breeds his/her own stock. In most cases, the animal will remain on the same farm for the duration of its life. The number of animals a farmer owns is tied to the size of the farm: in the Northeast, it’s typical to stock one steer per 1.5-2 acres. A decent herd size is a couple hundred head, with many at 100 or below. Farmers divide their land into paddocks and allow animals to wander within a fenced area, grazing the grass (their only food source) until the farmer feels it’s time to rotate the animals to new pasture. This decision is based on variables like precipitation, season, how hungry the cows are, or the impacts on the soil. But a key practice is never to let the animals eat the grass down to the ground, otherwise the leaves won’t be enough of a “solar panel” to photosynthesize for regrowth. Instead, grass would be forced to deplete its roots for energy, which would eventually reduce its capacity to grow. Over time, a rotational practice leads to robust above and below ground “biomass.” In other words: long roots and tall grass. Farmers in the Northeast will rotate their cows around the farm a couple of times during the growing season; it usually takes 4 weeks to return to a pasture.

So, grass-based farmers are actually growing both grass and cows by managing their relationship to each other. Cows are nourished by grass, and grass is nourished by cow manure, the physical impact of hooves, sun and water.

While both systems have the same goal of producing meat, it’s pretty clear how much they differ in terms of process. Commodity beef production simplifies and moves linearly. Grass-fed production uses guiding principles to respond to dynamic conditions.

Coming up next… animal welfare in each of these systems.

Austin Malleolo wins 14.3 for the men's division
Danielle Siddel wins 14.3 for the women's division

Jared Fleming and the Overly Strong Squat
23 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You Move To NYC
Kokedama: Make Your Own Living Moss Balls at the Brooklyn Brainery


Rest Day

Behind the Desk

Full name: Ava Christine Page

Where were you born and where did you grow up: Born: Washington, D.C. Grew up: all over the place.

First album that you loved: Something by Talking Heads or The Police. My Dad played those albums when my brother and I were really young. We used to dance around wildly on the wooden floors in our house to classic jams including "Roxanne" and "Psycho Killer."

What are you up to when you're not at 597 Degraw Street: Law schooling, running around criminal court, petting other people's dogs, biking to beaches, dreaming up foreign travel plans, dancing, adventurating with friends around Brooklyn and other boroughs.

"Ask me about that time I...":  swam through an underwater ravine of sharks in Ecuador.

Earth is about to implode but aliens on a previously undiscovered planet named Euripides want to preserve one artifact from humans. What would you offer them? Hm. I would try to trick them into accepting a dozen puppies contingent on their promise to whisk humanity away to safety on Euripides.
Favorite shade of blue: Red.

Favorite lift: Clean and jerk!

CFSBK Front Desk Reminders

  • Use your scan card to check-in to class.  (If you lost your card and/or the barcode won't work, then let us know and we'll issue you another one!)
  • Please don't walk away from the front desk until you know you've been checked-in.
  • Always try to arrive a few minutes before class so that you have enough time to check-in and get ready for class.
  • Let FD staff know in advance if you plan on taking multiple classes. 
  • Be patient and smile!

Also, did you know that FD staff can help with you handle many of your membership issues?  This includes membership holds, upgrades/downgrades, cancellations and updating payment information.  Just plan on taking care of these requests about 10 minutes before/after your class, or you can also email us at cfsbkfrontdesk(AT)
Week 3 CFSBK Men's Leaderboard
Week 3 CFSBK Women's Leaderboard

What do you think of this idea? Torrance CrossFit's Intramural Open



Take 15 minutes to work up to a heavy set of 5 reps.

Post loads to comments.

Half "Angie"

50 Kipping Pull-Ups
50 Push-Ups
50 Sit-Ups
50 Squats

Post time and Rx to comments.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the "Brooklyn Get Down" this weekend! The event was a big sucess and will become an annual event at the gym.

  • There's a new article on Inside the Affiliate about our Good Training Habits article. Check it out and share it with your CrossFit friends!
  • We have a bunch of olympic lifting shoes that were left behind! We've pulled them from the closet and are holding on to them. Check out the Flickr for pics of all the shoes! If you can't make it into the gym please email cfsbkfrontdesk (at) to digitally claim them before they're eventually recycled. We can't accomodate the volume of shoes that has gradually accumulated from our awesome, proactive and slightly taller oly shoe clad members. Stay tuned for notes on a new system moving forward. 
  • Don't forget to submit your 14.3 scores to the CrossFit Games site by 8:00pm today!

Where's Coach Josh?

Many of you have noticed that Coach Josh hasn’t been in class with us lately. He has moved on to pursue new opportunities and adventures in his career as a CrossFit coach. He is now coaching at Brick CrossFit in the city. I wanted to take an opportunity for all of us to collectively wish him well on his new endevour.

Josh started coming to the gym almost four years ago and quickly became one of our top athletes. He was Athlete of the Month in April of 2011, for all the right reasons—his humbleness, willingness to be coached, and desire to be better. He’s incredibly hardworking, with years of experience, and I’ve heard from many of you and seen on your blog posts that his cues and coaching have made a world of difference in your training. His strength and dedication has inspired all of us to also be better, best of luck to Coach Josh moving forward!

Pilates for 14.3

Is your lower back fried from 14.3?  Come on down to Kristin's Pilates class Tuesday night at 7:30 and fire up that anterior chain!  As always, we'll focus on working the abdominal muscles, practice pelvic stabilization, and do some flexibility work.  Click on the link HERE to purchase a class, and we'll see you tomorrow!  Mad abs, yo.
xo, KH (Cage)

Sweat and Sobriety CrossFit Journal
Gut Microbes Respond within Days to Major Diet Changes Scientific American


WOD 3.16.14


Performance: Work up to a heavy single deadlift

: Work up to heavy triple deadlift

Post loads to comments.

*If you came yesterday and got your deadlifts in you'll work on the following triplet instead:

12 Minutes NFRs of:
10 reps per leg dumbbell reverse lunges
20 Calorie Row
:30 L-Sit Hold


For Time:
Run 5K

If you've got a stopwatch, bring it! We'll be running the following route


Post time to comments.

What are these CFSBK show shoe'ers so excited about? Maybe it's the our awesome Flickr account!

  • Good luck to Ryan J and Todd C who will be competing in an Olympic Weightlifting meet today in Garden City NJ. Resident oly lifter Jake L will be helping them warm-up and hit their lifts. This will be Ryan's first meet and Todd's second.
  • Thanks to everyone who came out to the Brooklyn Community Foundation's Brooklyn Get Down event last night. They sold about 120 tickets and we had a great time!

Yoga moving to 7:30pm

Effective this week Yoga for Athletes with Whitney will be moving from 6:30pm to 7:30pm on Thursday evenings. Come down and get your OM on a little later in the evening!

Programming Note

Due to the Open, we'll be extending the current cycle a few weeks so we don't wind up Crushing or Backing Off in the middle of it. For the next few weeks we'll follow a similar template to the current cycle, with a Back Off week starting on Monday, 3/31.

CFSBK Endurance at Red Hook Today

Hey athletes!  If any CFSBK'ers would like to sweat it out on the track today, feel free to come by our endurance session at the Red Hook Track. Interested athletes should show up at 9:45am to support the endurance athletes finishing up and then take on a 8x400m set with Mike O's guidance.
Here is a description of the planned workout for the day.

Also, GOOD LUCK to Aileen H. and Evan R. who are running the NYC Half-Marathon today.  Just getting the season started.If you are racing and we missed you please post your results to comments.

Brent Fikowski's 151 rep 14.3 performance CrossFit
I’m A Man Who Knows What He Wants And Goes After Something More Realistic