Rest Day

Summer time CFSBK, "Murph" 2014

Handstand Clinic, WOD, and Beer Social, Courtesy of lululemon in Brooklyn

This Saturday (tomorrow!) CFSBK is hosting a complimentary handstand clinic followed by a short WOD from3:30-4:30pm followed by drinks courtesy of our friends at lululemon athletica in Brooklyn. The beer social afterwards will be held one block over at our new neighbors Threes Brewing. If you're interested, please RSVP to brooklyn-store (at) as space is limited for the class. If you don't make it into the class or can't make it, folks are still welcome over for some drinks afterwards.

Stretching the Space-Time Continuum, or, How to Get the Most Out of One Hour at CFSBK 

By Noah Abbott 

Fresh out of Foundations, the world of Crossfit and CFSBK can seem a bit overwhelming, full of jargon, percentages, and acronyms only a government employee could love (“This is an AMRAP WOD of T2B and DUs!!!”). While things can seem to move pretty fast, there are some specific strategies and considerations that will make your daily hour of fitness better spent. Equally important, it will make for a more pleasant experience for your fellow members, and allow your coaches more time to spend doing what they love (yelling “Knees Out”) and less time in an administrative or cat-shepherding function. To be fully awesome, do this: 

Read the Blog
Aside from inspiring/funny pictures of your fellow members and links to Prancercise videos, the CFSBK blog contains some very important information—the daily programming. We take the time to write out the lifts, WODs, and accessory work you will see when you get to the gym, often with some editorial comment, helpful links, or videos related to their execution. Taking a few minutes to review your expected toils will let you plan your approach, think about possible scaling or substitutions, and save everyone time when you get to the gym. Also, make sure to comment, and add your voice to our community. 

Be a Data Geek
Those crates near the whiteboard? The ones filled with notebooks? Those aren’t our 7th grade diaries (although that would be totes funny). They are training logs, and you are encouraged, nay, expected, to keep one. Dutifully logging your numbers will allow you to track progress over time, so you will know when to give yourself pats on the back (assuming you have to mobility to do so, see below.) Further, almost all of our programming is referential in nature—it is based upon work you have done before—whether that’s last weeks squat numbers, a bench press 1RM, or your time and scaling on a benchmark WOD. Even days that seem self-contained—a novel WOD or a lifting day where we “work up to a heavy 5”—can be better understood if you have the context of similar WODs or previous lifts. If you are following the Performance track this is especially important, as much of the programming is percentage based. You will earn the undying love of your rackmates and coaches if you have worked out your percentages before you lift, trust me. 

Be Fashion Forward
Shoes, wraps, belts—somewhere along the line CrossFit evolved from the hobby of sweaty dudes in Chuck Taylors and board shorts into the sport of spandex clad meat robots (props to Kelly Starrett) sporting enough neon colored accessories to make Jem jealous. With some exceptions, good gear can be a true boon to your performance, and as such we at CFSBK encourage members to take advantage of it. That said, at the very least you should have your gear within immediate arms reach when it comes time to use it. Having to dash to your bag to grab your jump rope or switching shoes during lifting time eat into everyone’s time. Part of the blog review mentioned above is to make sure you know what gear you need to bring, and when you will need it. Be prepared. 

Be a Loving Partner
So now you’ve read the blog, prepped you numbers, laid out all your sparkly fitness gear, and its time for *gasp* actual human interaction! The biggest difference between CFSBK and a globo gym is that ours is a communitarian fitness experience, and our conduct at the gym can enhance and embellish the experience of our fellow members. So when paired with someone to lift, introduce yourself, chat for a bit about what you have planned for the next 15 minutes, and then be an active and encouraging partner. Watch your partner’s lifts, offer kind words and feedback, and be ready to lift when it’s your turn. Nothing is worse than waiting around for your bar partner, who has unexpectedly disappeared to go pet a dog. 

Show Up Early, Stay Late
We pack a lot into an hour at CFSBK, but we can’t do everything everyone wants to do within the relatively short time we have allotted. If you are feeling beat up, have specific mobility concerns, or want to practice a specific skill, feel free to come before class, or stay after, to work on your goals. The coaches are always happy to point you in the right direction to get you started. Incorporating Active Recovery class will also give you the tools and know how to address your problem areas. Making sure that you are physically prepared for class will reap immediate performance benefits. Our most successful athletes make sure their are properly warmed up and mobilized before class and make sure to cool down and work on skills afterwards. 

At the very, very least, be on time. Running into a class late is disruptive for other members and the coaches, but more importantly you are gambling your personal safety by coming in cold and underprepared. Remember, we have a five-minute grace period for class attendance. Any member arriving over 5 minutes late will only be permitted at the coach's discretion. If you show up 10 or more minutes late you should start planning your extended warm-up, make a Lego sculpture, or ask your beloved coaches how they like their coffee!

That’s it, kids. Print this list out, tape it to the inside of your eyelids, and I’ll see you at the gym!

  • Happy birthday, LF DOOM and Dr. Mike!
  • Today is the last day to fill out our survey regarding the upcoming CFSBK Kids Club Program!

A Letter to New CrossFitters: Good Training Habits Inside the Affiliate
Valgus Knees and Why RG3's Career is At Risk Volt Athletics


Power Clean | WOD 12.4.14

Fitness: 5 x 3 Linear Progression
Start light. Bail each rep and reset within a few seconds.

Performance: Work up to a top set of 5 on a Touch and Go Power Clean
Start light  (around 50% for first work set) and work on resetting hook grip on the descent. You can pause at the hang but not at the floor. Must be touch and go. 

Post loads to comments.

For Time:
50 Double Unders
40 Burpees
30 Calorie Row
20 Dumbbell Hang Clean Thrusters 

Post time and Rx to comments.

Dr. Fidler saying hi from Morocco! 

Tweet The Deets

We're totally crushing on all you guys and we love to hear what you're up to. Got something of note going on in your life? Let us know! We want to hear about your promotions, events, art, personal victories, discoveries, media campaigns, small government coup d'états, or just share your interesting links! We also always love hearing about any CrossFit/athletic-related goals and accomplishments! Send awesomeness to Kate, our Managing Editor, at Katharine [at]

Catching up with CFSBK Classifieds

  • You know the new Assault bike? That came to us via CFSBK Classifieds, thanks to Mike R.'s wife not wanting it!
  • Kate R. posted glowing words about an accountant she recently hired, who is accepting new clients if you're on the hunt for someone who rocks with numbers!

Happy Birthday, Matt K.!

Sugar Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Brooke Ence Does "Fran +" CrossFit
It's All in Their Heads: The Mental Edge of Athletes Who Win Greatist
Three Great Discoveries of 2014 SciShow


Front Squat | WOD 12.3.14

Fitness: 3 x 3 Linear Progression
Performance: Work up to a Heavy Single (80-90% of 1RM), then Max Reps at 50% of 1RM (capped at 20) 

Post loads to comments.

3 Rounds, AMRAP in 3 Minutes:
10 Pull Ups or Ring Rows
15 Push Ups
20 Lunges
Rest 3 Minutes between rounds. Pick up where you left off. 

3 Rounds, AMRAP in 3 Minutes:
5 Strict Handstand Push Ups
10 Pull Ups (high bar in front of pull up statiion)
15 Pistols
Rest 3 Minutes between rounds. Pick up where you left off. 

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

We will review this in class, but when front squatting, remember to find a good rack position, with your upper arm parallel to the ground and active shoulders. Come to class early to mobilize if you struggle with this position.

  • Meat and fish CSAers! Come pick up your share tonight from 6-8:30pm. Questions? Email mignyc [at]

Have You Filled Out the CFSBK Kids Club Survey Yet?

Introducing: CFSBK Kids Club. This won't be your ordinary kids' watch program! 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 and crafts, science experiments, games, and movement. You'll get peace of mind and they get an hour jam packed with FUN! 

But before we launch the program, we want to hear from you first. Fill out this survey by Friday (12/5) at 5pm so we know what you want and need!

Can Silence Actually Drive You Crazy? Veritasium
Who Pays Attention to Calories? The Atlantic
Yue Kang 170kg x5 Squat Almaty 2014 Worlds Training Hall


Rest Day

Coach Fox demonstrates a mature inverted position during a wall walk. Note the hollow body position and full extension of his knees and elbows. The tighter you can make yourself the better!

So Close To a Pull-Up...

By David Osorio
Originally published on 1.8.2013

Are you "so close" to a pull-up? Do you feel like it's within reach but has still eluded you despite your most sincere efforts? Below are three things I think will help folks who are close to pulling body weight get over the bar.

Start with Chin-Ups
Chin-ups are easier than pull-ups and you're more likely to get your first chin-up sooner than your first pull-up so it's a pretty good place to start. In my experience once a couple chins have been developed the pull-up magically shows up a lot faster. That being said, both versions are totally legit and huge milestones for anyone who didn't have them before. Chins are also easier for people to organize well. The upper arm is already rotated into a more stable position and the last few inches over the bar usually involve less neck craning and wiggling. Once you can do about 3-5 chin-ups you'll be a lot closer (if not already there) to the pull-up. When performing chin-ups, keep your hands just inside shoulder width and imagine pulling the bar down to your chest, not pulling yourself up to it. That cue usually helps people fire the upper back and pull the elbows posteriorly during the ascent, both good things.

Keep The Reps Low
If you're struggling to get your first pull-up, your muscles experience the effort as a near maximal exertion.  You're going for something that you'll only be able to do 1 rep of (right now), so when we train to develop our first pull-up a lot of our reps should look and feel pretty similar. Several doubles or singles with just enough resistance to clear the bar is better than high volume sets of 5 or 10 with much more assistance. If you were a 1 rep max obsessed lifter, you wouldn't spend all your time doing sets of 5 and 10, you'd perform submax singles, doubles and triples more often to get your body ready for the effort. Here are two examples of productive training sessions:

7 sets of 1 rep with ample rest
5 sets of 2-3 reps with ample rest

"Ample rest" could be anywhere from a minute to three minutes depending on how much you require to get another successful rep. Because this is going to be a strain, make sure to warm-up with some ring rows and more heavily assisted pull-ups. 2-3 sets of 5 reps should be sufficient.

When you're scaling workouts, use the lowest volume option possible. 20 pipping pull-ups as Rx-ed on the workout might be 5 chin-ups for you. That component of the workout won't have anywhere near the same conditioning effect but depending on your goals that might be okay.

That being said, a little volume isn't a bad thing. Just remember that if you want to get a pull-up you've got to train in a way that feels similar to your goal.

Resistance Matters

While the big jump-stretch bands can be a valuble tool in this process, they shouldn't the only or even the majority of assistance you use. In my opinion, having a good spotter is ideal. Someone who knows how to give you just enough help to make you finish the rep without any jerky movement, uneven assistance or too much pushing. You've got good hands on you if you never get "stuck" anywhere in the rep but still work really hard at the most difficult positions (the very top and the first few inches at the bottom). The range of motion should be smooth and you should be able maintain good organization throughout. Another option is using a band just below what you can do on your own and having a partner gently push you through the finish. Depending on the size, height and strength of everyone involved, sometimes this is a more practical solution and can lead to better spotting. If you're working with someone who is not a coach or giving you too much/too little/weird help, tell them what you feel and work together to make it better. One major problem with bands alone is that at the top of a rep you're getting the least help since the band tension decreases as you ascend. If you're flying solo, choose a band that helps you get all the way over the bar, not just enough so that when you reach your chin can barely make it over the bar. That's a no rep.

Hopefully these three tips can help you find some success with getting your first pull-up. Make your goal to not only do it, but do it well. If you train smart in the beginning and pay attention to your neck and shoulder positions you'll develop a solid foundation to build off of. If you make your emphasis simply getting any sliver of your chin over the bar, things will be a lot slower and less awesome for you. To see exactly what I'm talking about, watch this MobilityWOD: Stop The Pull-Up Chicken Necking People!

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Bench Press | Deadlift | WOD 12.1.14

Bench Press

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Performance: Work up to a Heavy Single (80-90% of 1RM), then Max Reps at 50% of 1RM (capped at 20).



Fitness and Performance: Heavy 5
Work up to a heavy, dead stop, set of 5 reps. No loss of spinal position. No touch and go. Start light enough to add 30-50 lbs over the cycle. These should feel easy today. 

Post loads to comments.

Tabata Row for Calories or Fartlek Mile

Post what you worked on to comments.

Want to get see the long view of our programming? Check out the programming board between the two bathrooms to see what we've done each month. If you stare are it long enough you can see the past present and future simultaneously. 

News and Notes 

  • Coach David's blog Inside the Affiliate is back with a new spotlight, this time on STRONG Gym in Missouri. Learn more about how they do things in Middle America here!
  • CFSBKer Christian A.’s friend Gary Chou runs Orbital Bootcamp, a 12-week program to help students launch their ideas into the world. He's launching a winter session and is hoping to raise money to fund scholarships specifically for women and people underrepresented in tech. From the previous program Gary ran, Orbital had a gender balanced pipeline (exactly half of the 60 applications came from women), and 70% of admitted students were women or people underrepresented in technology. Check out the Crowdrise campaign here

Want to Bring Your Kids to CFSBK?

Introducing: CFSBK Kids Club. This won't be your ordinary kids' watch program! 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 and crafts, science experiments, games, and movement. You'll get peace of mind and they get an hour jam packed with FUN! 

But before we launch the program, we want to hear from you first. Fill out this survey by Friday (12/5) at 5pm so we know what you want and need!

Would You Live in a Treehouse? The Atlantic
The Science of Kissing It’s Okay To Be Smart
Stochasticity Radiolab

Would you be interested in a self defense class if we offered one at CFSBK? Post thoughts below.


Power Snatch | WOD 11.30.14

Fitness: 3-3-3-3-3
Controlled bail of each rep, then reset and pull with in a few seconds. 

Performance: Touch And Go 5-5-5-5-5
Build up to a heavy but perfect 5. Work on resetting your hook grip on the recovery and catching at the hips, not the thighs. Example here

Post loads to comments.

For time, 15-12-9-6-3:
Hang Power Snatch 95/65

Power “Amanda”
For time, 9-7-5:
Power Snatch 155/105
Muscle Up

Post Rx and time to comments.

Jason M. overhead squats 258 lbs last Saturday to hit leaderboard status!

Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl
The Importance of Play CrossFit Invictus 


Back Squat | WOD 11.29.14

Fitness and Performance: 5 – 5 – 5

Post loads to comments.

Every Minute on the Minute, for 12 minutes:
6 Deadlifts 155/105
2 Push Jerks 

Post Rx to comments.

Congrats to our former (but forever) CFSBKers Sara and Dave Elwell on the birth of their son: Henry Donald Seymour Elwell, 11/19/14, 8lbs. 2oz, 20.5 inches.

  • Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whit is canceled today.

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