Crush Week WOD 9.15.14

For Time:
Row 250m
9 Muscle Ups
9 Push Jerks, 135/95
Row 500m
6 Muscle Ups
6 Push Jerks, 135/95
Row 750m
3 Muscle Ups
3 Push Jerks, 135/95 

Compare to 7.5.12 and 12.2.10

For Time:
Row 250
21 Dumbbell Push Presses
21 Ring Rows
Row 500m
15 Dumbbell Push Presses
15 Ring Rows
Row 750
9 Dumbbell Push Presses
9 Ring Rows
Use a heavy-ish load on the dumbbells that you can move through in sets of at least 7 when fresh. Make the Ring rows hard. No pull up scale today.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Strength Cylers Post Total

Ever Wanted to Compete in a Strength Competition? 

Now's your chance—and you don't even need a singlet (but you can wear one if you want)! On Saturday, October 25th, eight gyms across the US and Canada will hold a strength lifting meet organized by Starting Strength coaches. Three attempts to establish a one-repetition maximum in the Squat, Press, and Deadlift. The competition will be both local and international. Coach Fox and others will be attending the event in Queens from 8am to 4pm, and there are still a few places left if you want to compete. Learn more here.

Each meet will have its own winners, but the results from all the meets will also be combined and the best lifters announced. Each best lifter wins a spot at a Starting Strength Seminar.

News and Notes

  • We recently updated our Membership Policies (and included some advice for choosing between Fitness and Performance programming). Please review this page in case you need to make any changes to your membership!
  • There's a new post over on Coach David's blog, Inside the Affiliate, about CFSBK's standardized warm-ups. Geek out about body temperatures and the fragility of cold tissue!
  • Lost something and want to find it? Check out the items in our recent found collection, and grab your stuff by 9/25 in the bin by the sink, or we're going to donate it!
  • Congrats to everyone who PRed their lifts this past week. We saw some awesome numbers in the comments and on the white board!  
  • CFSBK's soccer team won their first game yesterday, 4-0, with goals by Coach MeLo, DH3, Moe, and someone on the other team, forced by Murat. In Coach Noah's illustrious words, "We are awesome."

Calling all Food and Wine Geeks! 

Resident CFSBK sommelier, Brian S., is looking for some help pouring wine at his fundraiser, Sip for the Sea, this Thursday (9/18) at the Central Park Zoo. No experience necessary as long as you can open a bottle of wine and are over 21. Sip for the Sea is an upscale food/wine pairing event to benefit the rebuilding of the NY Aquarium in Coney Island, which is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy (can you believe it?). All the details are here.

Brian is looking for 5-8 people to help pour wine from 6pm-9pm. You will be fed and have plenty to drink! If you are interested, please send him an email at bscott [at] 

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Clean and Jerk | WOD 9.14.14

1 Rep Max
Work up to a 1RM for the day. If you have a hard time organizing the pull from the floor, then work from the hang. Press outs are missed lifts.

Post loads to comments.

For Time:
Power Clean 115/75
Push Ups

Post time and Rx to comments.

All the pull ups

  • The Teaser class is canceled today! 

Strength Total Today at 2pm

Coach Jeremy's Strength Cyclers will wrap up their eight-week cycle today starting at 2:00pm. Lifters will be testing their 1RMs in the back squat, press, and deadlift. All are welcome to come by, hang out, and do some cheering. Get ready for some massive PRs! The roster of our hella strong lifters is below:

Bree P
Genevieve H
Robyn O
Tom S
Nick P
Dan E
Erica N
Ruth P
Mel L
Rob U
Eric E
Michelle B
Adele M
Stella Z

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Back Squat | WOD 9.13.14

Fitness: 3 Rep Max or 1 Rep Max
Only more experienced lifters (3+ cycles consistently following an Linear Progression) are allowed to go for a 1RM. Start at about 5% above your 3 x 5 weight. Add about 5% to your next attempt and go from there. 

Performance: 90%x 1 x 5

Post loads to comments. 

4 Rounds Not for Time:
25 Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9
25 Calories Rowed
Focus on developing a rhythm on each movement and doing the wall ball unbroken. Rest as needed between movements. If you can perform the Rx for wall balls easily unbroken, consider scaling up by using a heavier ball or a higher target. 

Kettlebell Kascade

News and Notes

  • Fight Gone Bad 2014 teams have been announced! Please check your email for details. If you registered but received nothing, please email Info [at] Fight Gone Belated emails have not been sent yet, so hold your tiny horses on that one. 
  • Happy belated birthday, Alex B.! And happy birthday, Murat U.!
  • Congrats to Front Desk Super Star Lindsay S. and Megan D. who participated in the GORUCK challenge to commemorate 9/11.  
  • Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whitney is canceled today. Check out Active Recovery at 11am and 12pm with Coach David instead. He'll ask you a bunch of weird questions and his cute dog Herschel might be co-coaching...
  • If you signed up for Ken H.'s rings class, remember that you're meeting today from 2-3:30pm! 

Strength Total Tomorrow at 2pm

Coach Jeremy's Strength Cyclers will wrap up their eight-week cycle tomorrow starting at 2:00pm. Each lifter will be testing their 1RM in the back squat, press, and deadlift. All are welcome to come by and hang out. Get ready for some massive PRs!

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Rest Day

McDowell lifts MeLo up at the final Subway Series event

Do You Run or Work for a Cool Business?

We are still on the hunt for super awesome (or just awesome) donations for prizes for Fight Gone Bad 2014. If you own or work at a business that wants to provide some sort of prize (no matter how small!) for our top performers (for the WOD and fundraising) please email David [at] 

Come Roller Skate with CFSBK on October 12th!

What: All-ages roller-skating, admission for the first 25 people that RSVP is compliments of CFSBK
When: Sunday, October 12, 2-4pm (Note: this is the weekend the gym is closed for the Starting Strength Seminar)
Where: the newly-opened Pier 2 Roller Rink at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Event is a go with a minimum of 10 people. Skate rental is not included. The same pier also has bocce and shuffleboard courts we could play on. Afterwards, we'll head to 68 Jay Street Bar (where Charlie works) for some post-skating drinks. Stella Z.'s SMART in DUMBO trivia night is also happening later that day at 7pm, in case people want to stay for that too. 

RSVP to mare [at] by Friday, October 10. 

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Snatch | WOD 9.11.14

Snatch 1RM
If you have trouble organizing the pull from the floor, work from the hang. 

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 10 Minutes:
50 Russian Kettlebell Swings
50 Burpees
50 Pull Ups

AMRAP 10 Minutes:
100 Double Unders
50 Burpees
30 Muscle Ups

Post time and Rx to comments.

Austen I., ready for anything, with some great advice for your Thursday

News and Notes 

  • Yoga for Athetes is canceled tonight (9/11) and Saturday (9/13).
  • Happy birthday, Henry O.!

Throwback Thursday

To get your creative vibes rolling, these were the team names for Fight Gone Bad in 2010:

Charmelicious Crew
Mr. Scott and the Astafarians
Fight Gone Bad Club
SBK MisFits
The Sixy Beasts
CrossFit Kids Gone Bad
The Leftovers
La Lucha Dolorosa
Tyrannosaurus Rx'd
Conn Men
Heedless of the Consequences 

Also, Erica N. painted her nails in a particularly spirited way for the event. 

We still need donations for prizes for this year's Fight Gone Bad. If you own or work at a business that wants to provide some sort of prize (no matter how small!) for our top performers (for the WOD and fundraising) please email David [at] 

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Back Squat | WOD 9.10.14

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 5 pounds to last exposure. 
BSQ e11/12 

Performance: 1 x 20
Add 5-15 pounds to last exposure. Use spotters.
BSQ e6/6 

Post loads to comments.

4 Rounds, As Many Reps As Possible:
1 Minute Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pull 72/53/35
1 Minute Box Jumps 20/16
1 Minute Push Presses 75/55/35
1 Minute Rest

Post reps and Rx to comments.

Katie... holds a barbell. We just think this is a nice picture.

Are You a Strong Woman Who Wants to Flex on the Beach?

Two pretty cool dudes, Alan L. and Mike F., are looking for a girl to compete in the Flex on the Beach this Saturday, Sept. 13th. If you can Rx the WODs and want to have a shit ton of fun, email Mike ASAP at mfiore319 [at] 

Learn More About the Park Slope Babysitting Coop

CFSBK parents, are you looking for affordable and convenient babysitting? A way to get to to know other CFSBK/Park Slope families? The Park Slope Babysitting Coop—currently headed by CFSBK's own Coach Nick (president) and Erica N. (secretary)—allows parents to trade babysitting shifts with each other, and is currently recruiting! The fall meeting will be held at CFSBK on October 5th at 3:30pm-5:30pm. If you are interested in joining or just want to learn more, please plan on attending! 

About the Park Slope Babysitting Coop 
The Park Slope Babysitting Coop is a convenient way to trade babysitting time with your neighbors! Babysit others' children to earn points, and trade those points in when you need a night off. You have complete control over who you sit for and who sits for you. Scheduling and point management are handled though an easy-to-use website.

Best of all, trading babysitting is affordable. Annual coop dues ($10) pay for managing the website, and there are no additional costs for trading babysitting hours.

The Park Slope Babysitting Coop meets quarterly to ensure that all participants have a chance to get to know their potential sitters and children. Attendance at a meeting prior to joining is mandatory. If you are interested in joining, please plan to attend the summer meeting at CFSBK, October 5th, 3:30pm-5:30pm! RSVPing is appreciated, but not required.

Contact Erica N. with any questions and to RSVP: erica.nofi [at]

QOD: When you were in grade school, what did you want to be when you grew up? What do you do now?

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Rest Day

Good rack mates are engaged with each other and provide feedback when they can

Failing, Bailing, and Training Culture at CFSBK 

The original version of this article appeared on Inside the Affiliate.

At CFSBK, we discourage members from failing slow lifts—squats, presses, and deadlifts—on a regular basis. Of course, failing is an inevitable part of training for experienced CrossFitters, since we want to push our limits and really discern our capacity. But the key is that it’s inevitable for experienced CrossFitters. We particularly encourage new members at CFSBK not to hit failure on their lifts for at least four to six months of consistent training, since they don’t have a solid enough foundation to be working with training maxes. We believe that how we approach hitting failure on lifts strongly correlates to our gym's culture, safety, and training appropriateness. 

How we handle and teach failing is related directly to the intentionality of our programming and our overall culture of how to train well. For more information about CFSBK’s programming, check out previous ITA articles “Effective Programming Strategies at CrossFit Affiliates” and "The Benefits of Leveled Programming," which address how we program and offer our members different options based on training age and goals. In this article, I want to focus more on how failing should happen only within certain programming contexts.  

Training Versus Testing, and Its Impact on Gym Culture
Failing lifts too often can be seriously taxing on the central nervous system and frustrating for athletes—in addition, it adds psychological stress and creates negative expectations when approaching lifts. To prevent it from occurring too often and to gain control over teaching our athletes to fail well, CFSBK works testing our lifts into our programming macro cycles. For more experienced members, testing new rep maxes at the end of our cycles is an acceptable and inevitable part of serious training. But every day is not a limit test and we don't want anyone maxing out to failure with any regularity. Our day-in, day-out workouts should be considered training, and an opportunity to go a little bit heavier or hit prescribed percentages without reaching absolute limits.   

Teaching the difference between training and testing significantly impacts the culture of a gym, since training intelligently enables athletes to learn when to push through a difficulty instead of giving up. If an athlete is trained to think, "Okay, when things get hard, I've got an easy escape route in bailing," they learn to give up more often and expect missed reps to be a regular part of their training routine. Missed reps should be meaningful as an indicator of one’s current capacity, not simply the norm. When missing reps and failing become the norm, the experience can subtly undermine an athlete’s self-expectations and the mindset with which they approach their lifts. 

We teach our advanced members to respect heavy weight, and teach that when it comes time to work, you should grind. Of course it should feel difficult and it should feel heavy! You should expect to fight for lifts! But just like in real life, you don't start fights you don't think you can win—especially on a regular basis. A skilled athlete doesn't need to constantly miss reps to know their potential on any given day. A mark of real skill and intelligence in training involves developing an innate sense of one’s capabilities, and knowing when to call it quits. Missed lifts should be considered learning experiences for an athlete’s physical capacity, psychological outlook, and technique, and they always should be put into the broader context of the intended training stimulus for that specific day. 

Why Novice Lifters Should Avoid Failing Lifts
Having novice lifters attempt rep maxes on their lifts is both dangerous, inappropriate, and an ineffective use of training time. All our new members should start out with weights that feel "too light" and then gradually add weight on a weekly basis and as your technique warrants (better technique equals more weight). Over time, you'll develop the requisite motor patterns, soft tissue integrity, and experience to handle heavier weights and test your limits. But before that, the proper foundation needs to be established. Remember, literally anything will "work" if you haven't been training. You could squat on Day One, take a Zumba class on Day Two, run five miles on Day Three—and then a week later, test your squat and see some improvement. So the key is optimizing your novice training stage in a way that sets yourself up for long-term success. 

Long-term success happens through progressive overload and good coaching. As coaches, we want to provide you with the appropriate stimulus for your strength and experience, and most novice athletes have a pretty low baseline for what’s required to stimulate an adaptation. Having someone walk off the street and attempt a 1RM deadlift is well in excess of what they need to produce a meaningful adaptation. If you have no deadlifting experience and sit behind a desk all day, why not work up to 75lbs (which may feel "light" to you) for a set of five and focus on being perfect at the movement? The next time you come in, you can try 85lbs, and so on and so forth until you're gradually moving some significant weight with the confidence, experience, and consistent form that you need to get stronger.    

An overarching goal of our programming is to teach you how to train responsibly with longevity in mind, so you learn how to slowly approach gaining strength and competence with the required lifts. That's why we start you slow and let you know that just because you could go a little heavier today doesn’t mean it's optimal for you. If you focus on going a little heavier each week, you keep pushing the ceiling of your potential a little bit higher—instead of slamming into that ceiling and having nowhere to go but back down. When we see you missing reps out of the programming context, we'll probably pull you back and have a conversation about training versus testing. 

How to Fail Well 
Proper spotting and bailing techniques need to be taught and initially supervised—the same as anything else at CFSBK—so that when it comes time to test training, you are prepared and safe. Spotting technique for the back squat and bench press can be found in Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (Third Edition), pages 62-64 and 172-172 respectively, if you're curious. All other lifts require teaching proper bailing technique through demonstration and practice at sub-maximal weights. If people are going to potentially miss reps, it's important that the area is clear of loose plates and other athletes that could make a good bail go bad. 

At CFSBK, we seek to address your needs at the various stages of your development—so listen when a coach tells you to temper your loads to be safe, and also when you might need to put more weight on the bar to get better.

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