Rest Day

Throwback from #sbkgoeswest, at CrossFit SolCity

On the Road, and Sweaty: Visiting Other CrossFit Affiliates

By Noah Abbott 

About a month ago, Coaches Melissa, Chris and Jess Fox, Commander in Chief Osorio, a few of our members, and I were lucky enough to take a long vacation in California, centered around attending the 2014 CrossFit Games. (You may have noticed when every single class for a week was taught by some combination of McDowell, Arturo, Jeremy, Whit, and Nick.) While on the road, despite some questionable food choices and even more questionable beverage choices, we were able to work out roughly about every other day, each time at a different CrossFit affiliate. Heading down the CA coast, we stopped in at CrossFit San Francisco and WODed with Carl Paoli, benched outside, Muscle Beach style at Grover City CrossFit, and experienced both older, established, and polished Brick Crossfit and the younger and more familial Sol City CrossFit in LA.

"Dropping in" at another gym can be a wonderful experience, or a shocking reminder that CrossFit gyms vary widely in philosophy, organization, and overall quality. We often get questions from members about what gyms to visit while they are away, and have a dedicated Travel Gym Recommendations section of the blog to make finding a good home away from home that much easier. Still, if you find yourself headed to a locale nobody else has visited, or haven't stepped outside the gentle confines of CFSBK, here are some tips and (typically verbose) musings to make you a better road warrior. 

Preliminary Research

Much like Coach David suggested in his ITA piece on choosing a Crossfit gym, it's useful to do some poking around on the web when looking for a gym to visit. First, size up the gym itself: 

  • Programming: Check to see if the gym programs (roughly) like CFSBK. Do they have dedicated strength training along with metcons, or just day after day of chipper style beatdowns and Hero WODs? Do they talk about mobility, technique, and recovery? Scroll back through a few weeks of their blog, and see if you can get a feel for how they run their gym—even though you are just going to be there for a day or two, look for intention and clarity in their approach.
  • Staff Bios: Check out how long their staff has been coaching and whether they have some diversity of experience, knowledge, and credentials. If the head coach or owners blog says "I started CrossFit 6 months ago and fell in love, got my Level 1 and opened my gym last week!" you might be in for some growing pains. Look for coaches that emphasize their education and coaching experience over their competitive CrossFit resume ("Trevor is a total firebreather and took 26th place in the West Mid-Central Madagascar Region!!!”). It seems silly, but you can get a decent idea of the vibe of a gyms coaches by how they portray themselves. I once didn't visit a gym because their head coach's bio picture was him posing with a giant machine gun—not necessarily a bad thing, but generally not the vibe I look for when choosing a gym.
  • Drop In Policies, Schedules, and Flexibility: I'll cover some of this in greater depth further along in this article, but make sure to check out what they require of visitors, if their classes fit your schedule, and if they can accommodate any special needs you might have. Smaller and newer gyms tend to be looser about paying for classes, and will often be more flexible about scheduling. Recently I dropped in at CrossFit Ancile in the bustling metropolis of McFarland, WI. They were able to accommodate a bunch of specific training requests I had, mainly because they were under a year 

Reach Out 

Once you've found a gym to go to, it's good policy to get in contact with the gym's management to let them know you'd like to drop in. A quick email will usually suffice, and there is no need to go into voluminous detail. Just let them know you're interested in dropping in, that you're a CFSBK member, and how long you've been CrossFitting (especially important if its been 6 months or less). This will often start a short dialogue with the gym owner/administrator, and it’s very useful on their side, so they can let their coaches know to expect you. Some gyms may require you to register in whichever logistics system they use, and possibly RSVP to a specific class. 

Be a Badassador 

Whether you are cognizant of it or not, you are effectively a CFSBK ambassador when you are on the road (especially if you are wearing a skull 'n bones tee!) Most of us are pretty well-mannered gym-goers anyway, but prepare to kick things into overdrive as a visitor, and reprezentreprezent. 

Once all of the logistics are squared away, its time to actually show up and work out. Make sure to show up at least fifteen minutes early. This is good practice at CFSBK too, often neglected (you tardy scofflaws know who you are!) but especially important when traveling. You'll need to get the lay of the land, fill out waivers, and generally get settled into a new place. If you stroll in a minute before class time, especially at a gym without a dedicated front desk or admin staff, you will be monopolizing the coach's time, and by proxy the members' time as well.

Remember that while traveling, you should strive to be the most A+, 110% version of your elite self you can be. Arrive early, listen as closely as possible, perform all movements with as much care and virtuosity as you can possibly manage, help break down equipment, clean up your space—you want to act like the Coach's Pet, a near caricature of what a good gym member should be. Accommodating visitors can be hard work for a coach—different gyms speak slightly different "dialects" and follow different patterns, so try and be as helpful, unobtrusive, and anticipatory as possible.  

Treat this experience as just that, an experience. It's unlikely that the programming where you're visiting will match up with ours exactly, and that's okay. Try not to get too Type A about missing your Wendler 3 week, and just embrace the “Unknown, Unknowable,” aspect that is central to CrossFit.

Be chatty! Introduce yourself to other members, the coaches, and if you are working as a team or as partners in a WOD try and be as supportive and motivational as you can be, within reason. I love to plumb members and coaches for restaurant recommendations, places to see, and other info that a local CrossFitter would know. Try and be an ambassador for CFSBK, and leave your temporary home with a good impression of our little community. 

One last, weird little thing regarding paying for drop-ins. Some gyms have very hard and fast policies, and charge decently hefty fees, some allow a set number of visits before you have to pony up (generally 1-3), while others have no policy at all. Usually it’s the older and more established gyms that allow for free drop-ins, as they were a central community value when CrossFit was starting out. Informally, most gyms will waive the fee if you buy a t-shirt, and since 90% of the reason people do CrossFit is for the t-shirts, this tends to work pretty well. Always offer to pay the drop-in fee, and the coach will likely waive it or just tell you to buy a shirt.  Sometimes it can be a bit of a stilted exercise in reading between the lines and innuendo, but it’s a pretty unique and cool tradition based in the idea of a larger CrossFit community.

It's also pretty common to ask the coach who ran your class or even the whole class to pose for a picture, and most folks will be pretty accommodating about this. That said, try and find a time when people aren't busy, generally the start and end of each class. Getting a picture in front of something with the gym's name on it is always cool, as is making muscles and faces for the camera. Make sure you email KR Editz (aka Kate Reece) your picture so she can pump you on the blog, and also put it on your Instagramz so I can give you mad likes and emojis.

Go Forth and Conquer!

  • Happy belated birthday, Rob U.!
  • Please remember that Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whit is canceled tomorrow. 

Edible Anatomically Accurate Chocolate Human Skulls Colossal
Roadways You Can Install Like Throw Rugs NPR
Taking an Honest Look Catalyst Athletics
My Secret New York Sanctuary Narratively


Snatch | WOD 8.28.14

Fitness: High Hang Snatch + Behind-the-Neck Push Press + Overhead Squat (1+1+1)
Work up to a moderate load on the complex. This means one of each, so: 1 HHS + 1 BTNPP + 1 OHS. 

Performance: Hang (knee) Snatch 2 Rep Max
Must stay on the bar. You do not need to fully recover (stand up) the the first rep from the hang, but it must be a clear rep before dropping the bar back to the hips. Practice the jump/catch recovery during warm-up sets.

Post loads to comments.

Partner AMRAP in 15 minutes
With one partner working at a time, complete as many rounds as possible of:
6 Pull Ups
9 Burpees
12 Dumbbell Snatches (6 each, alternating arms)

Go as heavy as possible on the dumbbell snatches but maintain control of the weight all the way to the floor after each rep. Assess a 130m run for dropping the dumbbell from anywhere above the floor.

Post rounds and Rx to comments.

Michael C. tearing the erg up on Sunday at the Subway Series

News and Notes

  • Happy birthday, Daniel O.!
  • Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whit is canceled on Saturday, but come bend and stretch with her tonight at 7:30pm!

Fight Gone Bad 2014

Guys, we keep bringing it up because it's that important and that fun. You now have four days (a mere 96 hours!) left to sign up for FIGHT GONE BAD 2014. Read more here, sign up here

Also, we are now open for any and all donations for prizes. 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 Info [at] 

Throwback Thursday

Around this time in 2010, Saturday classes were canceled to accommodate Robb Wolf's Paleolithic Solution Seminar. “Folks” (which remains David’s favorite synonym for people) who didn’t go to the seminar went to Red Hook for track work and tacos, organized by Coach Fox (the taco loving should give that away). John D. (“The Hammer”) was Athlete of the Month. The Accomplishments and Goals board was packed full, and Coach Jess PR-ed her double unders at 60—ask her how many she can do unbroken now, or just look at the Leader Board. 

David also wrote some notes about how to set goals and record accomplishments in the gym, which are below (edited, of course):

All goals written must be achievable within a month and task-driven. For example "I want 100 muscle ups!" is not an acceptable goal. “I will practice muscle ups 2x per week for 4 weeks” is a goal that is short-term, quantifiable, and contributes to a larger objective. Another example: “I want to be more flexible,” would not work, however, "I will go to Active Recovery Class 2x this month and do the MobilityWOD 3x per week" is.

As far as the accomplishments go, here you can track not only your adherence to posted goals, but any minor and major achievements as well. Did you PR your double unders? Sleep more than 6 hours 5 nights a week? Did you deadlift a new 3RM today? Write it down!

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Back Squat | WOD 8.27.14

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 5 pounds to last exposure. 

Performance: 1 x 20
Add 5-15 pounds to last exposure.

Post loads to comments.

For Time:
30 Kettlebell Swings
21 Dumbbell Push Presses
30 Kettlebell Swings
15 Dumbbell Push Presses
30 Kettlebell Swings
9 Dumbbell Push Presses

Kettlebell swings should be unbroken. Go heavy-ish on the dumbbells.

For time:
9 Power Cleans 185/135
21 Handstand Push Ups
7 Power Cleans
5 Power Cleans

One AbMat scale max, 10 minute cap.

Post Rx and time to comments.

Zach H. mid-leap over the erg at the Subway Series on Sunday

News and Notes

  • Have you seen the new photos by PigeonAsta F., and Dan R. in our Flickr account? Most of them are from the Subway Series on Sunday, and they're all awesome.  
  • You've got five days (5!) left to sign up for what promises to be one of the most fun days of your existence thus far: FIGHT GONE BAD 2014. Jump on it! Read more here, sign up here. If you don't sign up, we promise you're going to feel super left out about two weeks from now.

Catching Up With CFSBK Classifieds 

Have you checked out CFSBK Classifieds recently? Breebree is giving away a few things (for freaking free!) and she's looking for an Assistant Conference Planner (ACP) for the 6th Annual NYCoRE Conference

Also, please note that all posts will be deleted after one month, unless they are advertising long-term services, such as Camille's work as a freelance Illustrator/Graphic Designer or Amanda Mc.'s work building websites.

If you'd like to remove a post sooner or have any questions, email Kate at katharine [at] Go team!

Home Is Where Your Dolphin Is Radiolab
The End of Tanning? The Atlantic
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Rest Day

CFSBK superstar Rickke M. is traveling in Barcelona right now and while not working, eating, or beaching, he's CrossFitting! The above photo is from his visit to Condal CrossFit. Report on the affiliate coming soon in Travel Gym Recommendations! #winning

Modified Labor Day Schedule

Next Monday, September 1, 2014 (which is Labor Day, for those who don't excel at remembering the holidays where day drinking is encouraged/an imperative), we are observing a modified class schedule:



Have You Signed Up for Fight Gone Bad 2014 Yet?

The registration deadline is Monday September 1, 2014. Head over to the event page to learn more and sign up now! 

Since 2008, CrossFit South Brooklyn has conducted a yearly fundraiser in the form of a workout called Fight Gone Bad. Last year, we raised over $40,000 for the Brooklyn Community Foundation (BCF), a local organization dedicated to improving the lives of people in Brooklyn by strengthening communities through local giving, grantmaking, and community service. This year, we'll be partnering with BCF again and hope to surpass last year's donation numbers. Last year we had 180 members participating and this year, we’re capping it at 200. 

Call for CFSBK Artists!

Ever wonder what CFSBK would look like if it transformed into an art gallery? Well, you might have the opportunity to find out! We are considering hosting the very first CFSBK Open Gallery this fall, which would involve displaying a variety of art created by our members, right here at the gym. If you are a visual artist (even if your art is just a hobby!) and are a member at CFSBK, we want to hear from you.

In order to move forward, we must hear from at least 10-15 artists by August 31 who are willing to commit to participating. The aim of the evening is to showcase the often hidden talents of our members, bring our community together in a novel way, and perhaps be the first CrossFit gym ever to curate an art show.

The more diversity of mediums the better—painting, photography, film, collage, printmaking, design, textiles, installations, or something we haven’t heard of yet. (We have a 180'' projector that can be used for video-based art.) If you make cool shit that would look nice on our walls and want to participate, please email Kate at katharine [at] by August 31. Your email MUST INCLUDE 2-3 images of pieces you would consider showing or pieces that are similar to what you would create for the show. 

Everything You Need to Know to Do a Perfect Pistol Breaking Muscle
The Stationary Bike of the Soul The Atlantic
The Art of SoulCycle Hairography well+good
Why Every Man Should Be Strong The Art of Manliness


Rack Jerk | WOD 8.25.14


Work out of a rack and build to a 1 Rep Max Jerk for the day. We'll review jerk mechanics as well as bailing safety. Today's Jerks will only count for clean lock outs. Press outs will be no repped!

Post loads to comments.
Press e4/6

5 Rounds, Each for time of:
20 Calorie Row
25, 20 or 15 Push-Ups

Rows are all out efforts, for push-ups choose a rep scheme that challenges you but allows you to do them unbroken, or with minimal rest. Rest about 3 minutes between sets.

Post best and worst round time and Rx to comments.

Thank You and Congratulations!

We'd like to thank all the volunteers who helped make yesterday's event a huge success! We were honored to host the last event for the 2014 CF Subway Series and had many people come up to us to say how impressed they were with the organization of the event as well as the quality of judging. We'd also like to thank any and all CFSBKers who came out (the black sea!) to support Team SBK. Finally, tremendous work to all the OPEN teams who competed in not only this event but all in the events of the last three weeks. Our COMP TEAM did an incredible job and took third place yesterday and second place overall after four weeks of competition.

Have you ever competed in CrossFit? What about other sports? What are some of your highlights (or lowlights) from athletic competition?
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Final 2014 Subway Series Event

An action shot from last year's Subway Series event at CFSBK

2014 Subway Series at CFSBK TODAY!!!!

From 8am-1pm, we are hosting the final event for the 2014 Subway Series. Please note the following...

  • Day classes are canceled.
  • Open Gym is extended and starts at 5pm.
  • The Teaser class is canceled.
  • There will be an after party at Die Koelner Bierhalle afterwards and all are invited.

Come cheer on all the CFSBKers that are competing! Check out heat assignments here.

The Teams...

Coach Noah
Coach Arturo
Lauren S. 

Brandon N.
Brad D.
Laura C. 

Zachariah H.
Ryan J.
Mare L.

Michael C.
Alex C.
Shaye L.

Greg A.
Eduardo C.
Michele W.

Rob U.
Karl-Henry C.
Kristin H.

Asta F.
Dan R.
Marco D.

Brad L.
Kayleigh R.

Alan L.
Brett F.

Competition Team:
Coach MeLo
Coach Jess
Coach McDowell
Alex B.

The Workouts...

Open Team Workout:

Jumping "Jackie"
For Time (18 minute cap):
3000m Row
150 Thrusters 45#
90 Burpees over the rower

Competition Team Workout:

For Time:
Each team member runs through the following couplet once
18 Thrusters, 115/75
18 Pull-ups
Each team member runs through the following couplet once
12 Snatches, 135/95
12 CTB Pull-Ups
Each team member runs through the following couplet once
6 Clean and Jerks 165/115
6 Muscle-Ups
*Order must be M,F,M,F

Good luck to everyone competing today! We can't wait to hear how it goes! 


Back Squat | WOD 8.23.14

Fitness 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 5 pounds. 

Performance: 85%x1, 90%x1, 95%x1, 90%x1, 85%x1

Post loads to comments.

4 Rounds For Time:
400m Run
15 Deadlifts 185/135
15 Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9

Post loads to comments.

Ask Coach Nick how much time he averages daily in a paleo squat 

Bend, Stretch, Mobilize, and Swing on the Rings

  • Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whitney at 10am.
  • Active Recovery is back on at 11am and noon today with Coach David.
  • If you signed up for Ken H.'s rings class (AND THERE'S STILL SPACE!) remember that you're meeting today from 2-3:30pm!

2014 Subway Series at CFSBK TOMORROW

Tomorrow, from 8am-1pm, we are hosting the final event for the 2014 Subway Series. Please note the following...

  • Day classes are canceled.
  • Open Gym is extended and starts at 5pm.
  • The Teaser class is canceled.
  • There will be an after party at Die Koelner Bierhalle afterwards and all are invited.

First Annual Brooklyn Barbell Club Olympic Weightlifting Meet

Ryan J. is lifting today at CrossFit Virtuosity from 11am – 4pm today in the first Brooklyn Barbell Club Oly meet. Is anyone else from CFSBK participating?? Please respond in the comments!

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