Back Squat | WOD 2.4.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start a bit below last cycle.
Performance: 92.5% x 1, 72.5% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

12-9-6-3, For Time:
Deadlifts 275/185
Burpees Over The Bar

Post time and Rx to comments.

All the cool kids are checking out CFSBK Kids Club

CFSBK Kids Club: Sundays at 9am 

Want to come to a class on Sundays but can't find a babysitter? Let CFSBK Kids Club help! This one hour drop-off program is designed for children ages 3 to 8, and will keep them engaged with hands-on activities. While you're working out, your child(ren) will have the opportunity to explore arts & crafts, science experiments, games, and movement activities. You'll get peace of mind and they get an hour jam packed with FUN!   

When: Sundays at 9am
Cost: 1st child - $10/child (take 20% off for the older child when siblings are registered together)
5 Pack - $40/child (1 child), $55/siblings (2 children) 
RSVP at the Front Desk

Please note that CFSBK Kids' Club is a separate program from CrossFit Kids. CrossFit Kids is under development and will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Questions? Email Janelle [at]

News and Notes

  • Meat CSA-ers and Egg Lovers: Don't forget to pick up your meat and/or buy eggs tonight, from 6-8:30pm. Eggs are $6/dozen, first come, first served! Please bring any green bags you have back to the gym, and remember to bring your own bag for your share. Questions? Hit up mignyc [at] 
  • Head over to the event page to tell us what you're bringing to the Community Potluck on Saturday, February 21 at 7pm! 
  • 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. 
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAY-STAR (aka Stringer Kettlebell)!

The Turkish Get-up With Jeff Martone CrossFit 
Creating Long-Term, Sustainable Behaviour Change With a Positive Feedback Loop Whole9
Tired, Hungry, and Sad? Relax, You're Hibernating Daily Mail
Here’s A Shocking Truth If You Think You’ve Wasted Your Life Lifehack  


Rest Day

We love all your pithy t-shirts at CFSBK

News and Notes

  • The Snowshoe trip to the Catskills was rescheduled for this Saturday, and there is one space left. Email Mare [at] if you're interested! 
  • Meat CSA-ers and Egg Lovers: Don't forget to pick up your meat and/or buy eggs tomorrow night, from 6-8:30pm. Eggs are $6/dozen, first come, first served! Please bring any green bags you have back to the gym, and remember to bring your own bag for your share. Questions? Hit up mignyc [at] 

Warming Up a Lift

By Noah Abbott 

Are you the type of person who would give a speech to a packed house without practicing it first? Would you dance at a wedding without having a drink or two to lubricate your get-down muscles? 

If you are one of those rare souls that is eternally ready to perform at full intensity and proficiency at a moment’s notice, you can ignore this article. For the rest of us humans, I’m here to talk to you about how we should approach warming up our barbell lifts. 

General Barbell Warm-Up Guidelines
First, let’s preface that this approach has greater applicability for the “slow” barbell lifts (squat, deadlift, presses, etc.) than the “fast” or Olympic lifts. While the principles apply generally to Olympic lifting, the unpredictability and technical aspect of those lifts means they will be warmed up in a slightly different manner (extended barbell drills, more singles, etc.). 

So, here’s the easy part. When we warm up our lifts, we will always start with the empty bar. This is good practice for 500# and 100# squatters alike, for reasons I will delve into later. The only exception to this rule is the deadlift, where light bumper plates are needed to elevate the bar so we can get into a proper starting position. We want to generally take 3 or 4 warm-up sets to get to our working weight. Sometimes, if our work sets are very sub-maximal, we can take slightly less. If we are sore, trying to iron out some wonky movement patterns, or simply have learned that our body responds well to some higher warm-up volume, we can take slightly more. Still, it shouldn’t take much more than a handful of warm-up sets to be ready to rock. 

With that in mind, let’s take a theoretical athlete warming up to squat 155x5x3 (to be clear, that’s five reps for three sets). I’ll outline the athlete’s warm-up, and use it to illustrate a few points: 


Don’t Let the Appetizer Spoil Your Dinner
First, and most importantly, notice that as the lifter nears their work weight, volume decreases, moving from 5 reps when its light all the way down to 1 when its fairly heavy. You want your warm-up to be just that—something to get you prepared for your work sets, without diminishing from them. While your brain understands the difference between 145 and 155 pounds, your body will distinguish very little between the two as far as fatigue is concerned. In this example, 145 represents 93.5% of the lifter’s working weight. A set of 5 at this weight would amount to that lifter performing something so close in stimulus to their work set that it is operationally indistinguishable. For a novice lifter who is working with very sub-max weights, this might not be a problem. For someone near the end of a linear progression or attempting something relatively challenging, this could be the difference between success and failure. Your last warm-up set is simply to prepare your body and mind for your heaviest weight of the day- your work sets.

Taper Your Jumps
The next thing to consider while looking at our theoretical lifter is that each jump in warm-up weight is slightly smaller than its precedent as the lifter nears their work sets. I’ll do the math for you: 

45x5 (+45#)
85x5 (+40#)
120x3 (+35#)
145x1 (+25#)
155x5x3 (+10#)

The reasoning behind this is to make sure that as we move towards heavier weights we are being a bit more cautious with our jumps. This could be thought of as the “don’t dive headfirst into the freezing lake” effect. 

This doesn’t need to be approached with the precision seen in our example. It is certainly most important for the last warm-up set or two and the jump between your last warm-up and work sets. Truth be told, I had to work backwards and massage the numbers a bit to make sure each jump was smaller than the one before it. When we account for the reality of time constraints, working with partners, and annoying 2.5# plates, this is simply a rough guideline to consider when planning warm-ups.

Know Your Body
Here comes the part when I tell you to that all of the preceding circuitous rambling is highly dependent on personal characteristics, preferences, and experience, and can vary from day to day. For instance, I know I like my last warm-up to be very close to my work weight—within 5 or 10 pounds. Others are more comfortable taking larger jumps, it’s highly personal. Over time you will learn what works for you, and some days you may feel like you need a little extra warm-up, either because you feel sore or cold or because you need some extra practice before “shit gets real.” Listen to your body, consult your journal, and don’t feel too locked into one specific way of doing things. Also, keep in mind that as your strength increases, your relative jumps must increase as well—don’t get stuck making the same jumps, or else you will need to either make a giant leap between warm-up and work sets or take about 9 warm-up sets to get to work weight.

Intention Through Your Warm-Up
Lastly, here’s a thought process to guide your through your warm-ups.  This golden nugget of fitness wisdom was imparted to me by the Celestial Bodhisattva David Osorio, Blessed Be His Hamstrings, and has been invaluable to me in my own lifting. The following guiding principles are arranged to be considered in order, from your first warm-up (WITH THE EMPTY BARBELL) through your last warm-up set, and are cumulative—don’t discard them from your thinking as you move forward, simply shift your mental prioritization. 

Position: For your first warm-up set, pay attention to your positioning, range-of-motion, and whether each joint action and limb segment is doing what they are supposed to (knees out, wrists straight, etc.). With the empty bar, it is easy and safe to make corrections or even pause in a position to work thing out. Make sure you have done so before moving forward.

Balance: After you add some weight to the barbell for your second warm-up set, you will now be better able to feel slight deviations from balanced position. Pay attention to bar path and where your weight is in your feet throughout the entirety of the lift. The weight is still light enough that you can slow or possibly pause the movement to make corrections. Make sure you are well balanced before your next set.

Tension: As we approach our third set, there should be a moderate amount of weight on the bar, and we can begin to set our intention (‘sup yoga?) to creating tension. Focus on bracing, pulling your ribcage down, and bracing your abs. Make sure your knees are driven out, your shoulders are pulled back, or whatever specific element needs to be tight and packed for your movement.  

Focus: This may be the most overlooked, and possibly most important part of your warm-up.  Your last set, at a weight that is virtually identical to your work weight, is your dress rehearsal.  Now is the time to practice all of the singularity of purpose, tenacity, and heart you will bring to bear for your work sets. Go through your little ritual, stomp and stamp, grip the bar like you’re gonna break it, whatever works for you. Treat it like it weighs more than your work weight. If you do this right, it should feel easy and smooth, and inspire confidence for your work sets. If you are lackadaisical in your approach it will feel heavy and make you feel that much more uneasy about your work. Let it all hang out. 

By now you’ve warmed up your synapses, and certainly your eyeballs, by reading this missive.  While it may seem unnatural to spend this much time examining what amounts to a simple preparatory period for our work, keep in mind the 7 P’s: Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. If performance is our goal (and it is) that planning is our pathway to that goal.

Walk it with heart, determination, and intention. Peace. 

What is Art for? The School of Life
Less of Moore CrossFit 

Veteran lifters: how do you approach your warm-ups? 


Bench Press | WOD 2.2.15

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start at about 90% of where you left last cycle.
Performance: 92.5% x 1, 72.5% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

3 Rounds For Time: 
50 Double Unders
15 1-Arm Kettlebell Thrusters, Left 24/16kg
15 1-Arm Kettlebell Thrusters, Right 24/16kg

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Joel W. warming up his bench press

  • Do you have the Community Potluck on Saturday, February 21 at 7pm on your calendar? Head over to the event page to RSVP and tell us what delicious dish you'll be bringing!

Not Competing In Iron Maidens, But Interested In Helping Out? 

We are looking for a few strong women to volunteer during the day! Please email margie [at] by Monday, February 9 if you're interested in one of the following jobs, and indicate which shift(s) work for you (all shifts subject to slight change).  

4-6 women who have experience lifting and spotting, and are relatively strong. You MUST be comfortable responding quickly to calls for spot and working with a team to keep the lifters safe. Shifts are roughly 9:30am to 1pm and  2:30pm to 5ish.  

1-2 women who can weigh-in competitors and take opening attempts weights. Shifts are 8:30-10am and from 12-1pm. 

2-4 scorers who are comfortable using USAPL software to enter competitors scores during the meet. Will train scorers on software. Shifts are 9am-2pm and 1pm to 5pm.  

1 or 2 volunteers to fill in where needed, and help sponsors get set up.
Shifts throughout the day 

Prepping for Iron Maidens: Advice on Modifying Group Classes

By Margie Lempert 

We're about one month out from Iron Maidens, which means there is still time to do some specific training. Below are suggestions for how to modify what you do in group class in order to prep for the meet. Our coaches are on-board, but always be sure to talk to whoever is coaching class about your plans so they can adjust logistics accordingly. And, of course, ask any coaches or me for specific advice on choosing loads/exercises. 

If this is your first meet and you’ve never maxed out a linear progression, then you should stick to the Fitness track in group class with some potential additions/substitutions. If this is your second, third, or more meet, or you’ve done quite a few linear progressions, then you can play with some other training regimens, as well as accessory work to address particular weaknesses. Most important is to get the work in every week. Consistency = gains.

Here are some suggestions:

For Everyone
In the week before the meet, you should work up to one heavy triple for each lift. This should be a tough triple, though not necessarily an all-out max. No need to get ugly about it. This will be your opening weight at the meet. You should hit all your triples by the Wednesday before the meet, but they do not have to be done in the same day. Make sure you pause the bench press. (After Wednesday, your aim should be sleep, active recovery/light training, and food.)

For Novices

Linear progression

  • Substitute front squat with low bar back squat so that you back squat 2x/week, increasing 5lbs/exposure if possible. Make sure you have at least 48 hours between squat sessions. 

Bench Press
Linear progression

  • Make sure you practice the pause command on your bench press. You can do this on your warm up sets throughout your training, as well as on your heavy triple day just before the meet. Get a friend/coach to cue you to press when the bar has made solid contact with your chest, or give yourself a one count.
  • Consider adding in daily pushups via frequent, submaximal sets. Example: if max pushups = 5, aim for 5 sets of 3 pushups spread throughout the day. Do this 5 to 6 days a week. These should never be sets to fatigue. Each week, try to add one pushup to all your sets OR add one set of pushups/day
  • Consider adding an overhead press exposure 1x/week during open gym. Follow a linear progression here as well. 
  • Special note: ladies, we can always do with more pressing. As long as your joints feel good, go for all of it. 

Linear progression

  • Replace Snatch OR Clean complex with DL so that you DL 1x/week. Warm-up to one workset set of 5; linear progression of 10lbs each exposure. All warm-ups should be sets of 5. Do not touch and go; take a breath and reset your back for each pull. If you have never hooked or switch gripped, start to practice this on your heaviest set. 

For Intermediate Lifters

Substitute front squat with low bar squat on both days. Make sure you have at least 48 hours between squat sessions. 

Option 1: Moderate volume, with heavy singles. Good choice for novice/intermediate who is looking for a little more experience with heavier weight.
Day 1: 3x5 linear progression
Day 2: Follow Performance track 

Option 2: Lower volume, with emphasis on finding and driving out of the bottom. Good choice for those who have trouble hitting depth or get stuck at the bottom. Also works postural strength (i.e. extended back, knees out, even pressure through the feet).
Day 1: Performance track
Day 2: 3x3 Pause Squat, increasing each week. Two count at the bottom. 

Option 3: Moderate volume, with heavy doubles/triples. Good choice for advanced intermediate who is able to put in a lot of work and manage recovery well.
Day 1: 2x5; 1x10 all at same weight (i.e. 155x5x2; 155x10) increasing each week
Day 2: Work up to heavy double or triple in no more than 5 total sets, including warm-ups. Try to beat yourself each week 

Bench Press
Option 1: Follow Fitness track; pause at least one, if not all sets. 

Option 2: Follow Performance track. Choose to hit a heavy single, double or triple. Pause your top set, but not your drop set of 10. 

  • If a coach approves, try to add a pulling exercise between each work set, i.e. chin/pullups x submax; or DB rows x 10-12 or Ring rows x 10-12. If there’s not space during class, get it done during open gym.
  • Consider adding an overhead press day at open gym. Work up to a top set of 5 - this should feel like you have one or two left in the tank. Then drop 6-9% and hit sets of 5 until it feels as difficult as your heavy set (should take 1-4 sets, rest 2-3 min between sets).

Replace snatch OR clean complex with deadlift.

Option 1: Linear progression of one set of 5 reps

Option 2: Linear progression of one set of 3 reps; drop 6-9% and hit another set of 3-5

  • Consider adding in a second day for accessory work or a deadlift variant to address weakness in your deadlift. This would be done at open gym.
  • Options:
    • Back: barbell rows from the floor, or heavy dumbbell rows; Pullups (weighted); ring rows (feet on a box). 3 sets of 10-12
    • Weak off the floor: deficit pulls from 1 or 2". 1 top set of 5, or 3x3; linear increase. (25# rogue plate is 1” and the dc blocks are 2”.)
    • Weak past the knee: rack pulls, 1 set of 5 or 3x3, linear increase. Set the pins so that the bar is just below your knee. See this video for a thorough explanation.

Please feel free to ask me for clarification or advice any time: margie [at]

Happy Training!

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 The Atlantic
Getting Through a Five-Year Setback Catalyst Athletics


Clean | Deadlift | WOD 2.1.15

Work up to a heavy load on the complex:
Fitness: Power Clean + FSQ
Performance: Clean Pull + High Hang Clean 

The Clean Pull reinforces finishing hip and knee extension in a vertical manner. It should exactly mimic your clean, minus the third pull, aka racking the bar. In the first version the lifter reaches triple extension (ankle, knee, hip) and shrugs at the top. In the second version the lifter hits all the same points of performance and adds in a sharp redirection under the bar without actually racking it.

With no redirection.
With rapid redirection, aka "Panda Pull." 

Post loads to comments.


Fitness and Performance: 1 x 5 Linear Progression
Back off a bit from where you ended last cycle with the goal of surpassing it by the end of this cycle. Reread Coach Noah's article on Monday, "Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: Planning Your Lifts Before and During a Cycle" to get a more specific sense of where you should start.

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 6 Minutes:
12 Split Jumps
6 Toes to Bar or 8 V-Ups 

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Whether performing a deadlift, snatch, or clean, the following points of performance always apply when setting up to pull a barbell off the floor:
- Your back should be set in absolute extension
- Your feet should be in the "power stance" with the weight balanced towards the mid-foot
- The bar should be touching your shins
- Your lats should be engaged and you should feel like you're pulling up on the bar without actually lifting it.
- The bar should be held towards the base of your fingers so that no skin gets pinched when you start to pull

  • Happy birthday, Morris L.!

Updates to RSVP to CFSBK  

  • You no longer have to leave this blog to RSVP. Simply 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. Zen Planner will load on the page and you can follow the same steps as before.
  • We’ve removed the one-hour limit on time to cancel your RSVP.
  • If you’ve RSVP-ed for a different class than the one for which you show up (though ideally this doesn’t happen), please ask the Front Desk to uncheck you from the original class, so you don’t get charged for two classes.
  • Effective Monday, Active Recovery drop-ins will now be $20 (the same price as Yoga and Pilates). We are offering a 10-class Active Recovery punch card for $150 ($15/class), which has a six-month expiration. Yoga and Pilates punch cards will remain at 5 classes for $85. 

Nike releases its first "CrossFit" shoe, the Nike Metcon 1 Nike
Failing, Bailing, and Training Culture at CrossFit Affiliates Inside the Affiliate
A Four Year Degree Versus a Two Day Seminar The Russells


Front Squat | WOD 1.31.15

Fitness: 3 x 3 Linear Progression
Start a bit off where you left off last cycle. Aim to add 5-10 lbs each week.
Performance: 90% x 1, 70% x 10 

Post loads to comments.

Partner WOD
In teams of two with one partner working at a time, complete AMRAP in 12 Minutes of:
12 Dumbbell Thrusters
24 AbMat Sit Ups 

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Coach JB at the bottom of her front squat

CFSBK Events Update 

  • Do you have the Community Potluck on Saturday, February 21 at 7pm on your calendar? Head over to the event page to RSVP and tell us what delicious dish you'll be bringing!
  • Our Meditation Workshops the past two weekends were great events! Here's a pic of last Sunday's participants. A takeaway tip in case you weren't able to attend: one misconception about meditation is that it requires one to stop thinking. On the contrary, meditation acknowledges that it is the nature of the mind to think and instead allows thoughts to be present with the goal of developing greater awareness of thinking patterns and then recalibrating as necessary.

Are Vitamin Drinks a Bad Idea? The New York Times 


Rest Day

Mobility super friends Eric and Manu at Active Recovery

Update From CFSBK Endurance Program Coach Mike O.

First off, I want to thank every single athlete who participated in any workout that we held for the entire season of 2014. I am grateful for the chance to work with a tremendous group of people who have become my friends and family at CrossFit South Brooklyn, and I am also grateful for all of those who I was able to meet and workout with this past year. 

Next, I want to provide a quick update for 2015. I do not have a program planned until the weather improves. I believe it can be tough on someone's health to be active and try to learn/train outdoors when it is always below freezing. This part of the year is what I often call a runner’s off- or pre-season. I will update people as the weather starts to swing and will NOT hesitate to get things cranking ASAP! Follow along on the blog for updates, or email me if you’d like to me added to my CFSBK Endurance Program email chain. (michael.olzinski [at]

I would also like to provide a little insight for those athletes who do have endurance, swimming, cycling, running, and/or triathlon goals for the coming year. The only thing that will NOT lead to progress is constantly doing the same thing over and over. Avoid the monotonous "mediocre" training sessions—the sorta hard run that’s not hard enough to change you, but not easy enough to be recovery. My best recommendation? Get involved in something different! We are all lucky to be a part of a great community with so many great resources. these are some of the great things that people are up to and that I highly recommend: 

  • Focus on your strength and the quality of your physical movements. Doing Strength Cycle with Coach Jeremy is a GREAT idea and can set you up for a more successful, stronger, and injury-free 2015.
  • The Olympic Lifting Program with Coach Frank is a great option, along with pushing yourself to compete. Olympic lifting is incredibly effective at enhancing your physical synchronization.
  • Gymnastics! Everything that is wrong with most runners is exactly what's RIGHT in most gymnasts. Take some time to get good and utilize our coaches, especially Ken H. and his program!
  • ROW. I know and have seen tons of athletes training for C.R.A.S.H.-B.'s, which is one of the smartest things you can do. Even even if you are not in that program with Coach Nick, then try to get better at rowing. It will make a difference.

I also utilize the guys upstairs, the TriBy3 and ACME coaches (at 597 Degraw Street #2F). Specifically for anyone with Triathlon goals, they have a BEAUTIFUL facility and run several coached computrainer bike sessions every week, not to mention group workouts and runs. Visit their website to learn more.

You can also check out CrossFit Endurance. Brian McKenzie just created a bunch of programs for running and triathlon that incorporate your CrossFit schedule, and his teachings are always incorporated into CFSBK’s Endurance Program.

Lastly, if anyone has very specific goals or questions, please let me know and I can certainly try to advise as best as I can. I work as a full-time assistant coach with purplepatch fitness so if anyone does have questions or wants a very specific training program for a race or year, I can definitely steer you in the right direction to incorporate with CrossFit training.  

Also, if anyone is looking for races to tackle, here are my first four races for 2015:

  • NYC Half-Marathon:  March 15th
  • New Orleans Half-Ironman: April 19th
  • St. George Half-Ironman: May 2nd
  • Raleigh Half-Ironman: May 31st

If you have any questions, email me at michael.olzinski [at] Happy running!

Be More Human Reebok
Incredible Single-Armed Clean and Jerk
Dog Balancing Common Household Items On His Head
How Many Days Are In A Week? Internet Steakheads Go To Deadspin


Snatch | WOD 1.29.15

Work up to a heavy load on the complex:
Fitness: Power Snatch + Overhead Squat
Performance: High Hang Snatch + Hang (knee) Snatch 

Post loads to comments.

AMRAP 5 Minutes:
10 Goblet Squats 72/53
10 Push Ups 

Rest 1 Minute 

AMRAP 5 Minutes:
5 Strict Handstand Push Ups
10 Box Jumps 24/10"

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

In case you missed Coach David's ITA article yesterday about the inner workings of CFSBK, we wanted to share this photo of what the "Front Desk" used to look like. #tbt

News and Notes 

Big Sugar Leaves a Bitter Aftertaste Reason
Special Olympian/Badass Timmy Hedley Squats 275lbs
A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time The Atlantic