Clean | WOD 10.2.14

Fitness: Clean Deadlift + Hang Power Clean
Work up to a heavy weight on the complex and perform 3-5 reps there. 

Performance: Clean 5 x 1
Hit 5 singles between 80% and 90% of your recent 1RM. If you're feeling good then work at the 90% end, if you're feeling off then work at the 80% end. Your work reps must be no lighter than 80% and no heavier than 90%. 

Post loads to comments.

Spend 15 minutes working one of the following options:

A) Strict Muscle Ups. Use a manual assist as necessary.

B) Muscle Up Progression:
-5x3 Box Humps (use a false grip, reset after each rep as necessary)
-5x3 Band Assisted Transitions (finish the dip as able)
Perform all reps of one then the other.

C) Upper Body Strength Work
-1a) 5x3 Strict Chin Ups, as difficult as possible
-1b) 5x3 Matador Dips, or Close Grip Push Ups
Alternate between exercise A and B.

Post what you worked on to comments. 

CFSBK Public Service Announcement: Please don't store your phone or keys on the cinderblock ledge. Though there might be a happy ending if you're Coach JB and have fishing line, a hook, and a talented significant other...

News and Notes

  • ATTENTION FIGHT GONE BAD TEAM CAPTAINS! All team shirts will be ordered on Friday, and you must get your info to Jess by 5pm Thursday. Any team that doesn’t provide this info will all get large t-shirts and the color of her choosing! Also, if your team has not heard from their team captain, contact Jess ASAP. Info [at]
  • We're at $8,662 as of 10:30pm last night! Nice job, FGB fundraisers! Special shout-out to Peter M. who pulled in first yesterday and Erik B. who continues to crush it! Team Wodtoberfest is in 1st Place!
  • Happy birthday, Emily V.

Catching Up With CFSBK Classifieds 

Photographing the Extreme Transformation of the Meatpacking District Citylab
Swedish Scientists Square Off Over Who Can Sneak In Most Dylan Lyrics NPR
Mattias Adolfsson’s Manically Detailed Sketches and Doodles Colossal
Missing Lifts in Training Catalyst Athletics 


Back Squat | WOD 10.1.14

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start a few pounds lighter than where you ended the previous cycle. 10 pounds off is enough if you were still moving well, up to 20 if you were really grinding through reps. 

Performance: 5/3/1 5 week
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5+
Percentages are based off your TRAINING MAX (90% of a recent 1RM). Aim to hit 10 plus on the rep out, but save 2 reps in the tank. 

Post loads to comments.

For Time:
1000m Row
50 Goblet Reverse Lunges 53/35 (25 each, alternating legs)
30 Ring Rows 

For Time:
800m Row
40 Overhead Squats 115/75
20 Chest to Bar Pull-ups 

Post time and Rx to comments.

It's CSA bonanza day from 6-8:30pm—meat/fish/veg/eggs! If you want to pick up your goodies before then, please be SURE to leave your name (and what you took) with the Front Desk. Eggs will also be for sale for $6/dozen. Bring small billz!

  • ATTENTION FIGHT GONE BAD TEAM CAPTAINS! FGB t-shirt information is due on Thursday (10/2) by 5pm. If you didn't receive an email from Jess, email Info [at] ASAP.

Need Help with Emails for FGB Fundraising?

Guys, we're at around $5,000—which is only 12% of our fundraising goal for Brooklyn Community Foundation. We posted some great fundraising tips last week, and below we've included a sample email template for you! Make it your own, and then send it off TODAY! 

Take a moment to learn more about The Brooklyn Community Foundation and all the great work they've done. They support a variety of artistic, agricultural, environmental, social, and educational programs helping people of all ages. No doubt there are several programs they've helped that you identify with. Here is a quick list of ALL their grants.

Congrats to those teams and individually topping our leaderboards on CrowdRise... But who's ready to knock them off? Below are our top fundraisers from both the individual and team divisions (as of 6pm Tuesday 9/30):

Top Five Teams:

  2. Menace to Swolbriety
  3. In WOD We Trust
  4. Gatto Vattos
  5. Swoldiersoffortune

Top Five Individuals: 

  1. Asta F.
  2. Scott M.
  3. Erik B.
  4. Matty C.
  5. Kate R.

Sample Fundraising Email for FGB

It’s almost like a Mad Lib. Select, replace, or delete adjectives as you feel led...

Dear/Salutations/Greetings/Hola/Aloha/Beloved [insert name], 

As you probably know, I’m really into CrossFit. It’s helped me/I love it because _______. Every year at my gym, CrossFit South Brooklyn, we have an event called Fight Gone Bad, where we do this crazy/hard/weird/incredible/soul-crushing/soul-enhancing workout (which you can see here). 

What makes the event even more cool/inspiring/sweet/meaningful is that it’s not just a competition for highest reps, but also a competition to raise money for a local organization called Brooklyn Community Foundation. BCF supports a variety of artistic, agricultural, environmental, social, and educational programs in Brooklyn, helping people of all ages. 

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I need your help! [Insert any crazy story or incentives for hitting certain fundraising markers, i.e., If you donate $XX, I will do X, Y, and/or Z.] Donate here [insert link to your page]! 

I will be sure to let you know how the event goes, and probably send along a sweaty/hot/sexy/revolting photo of myself post-workout.

Sincerely/With love/Gratefully/Be well/Shalom,
[Your name]


Get motivated, and get weird!

Whole9′s Budget Guide to the Grocery Store
Before Blindness Sets In, Boy Sees Northern Lights NBC News
The Man Who Made Jogging a Thing The Atlantic
The Thing You Do Everyday That’s Setting You Up For Shoulder Injuries Breaking Muscle


Rest Day

Throwback to TFBA Charlotte, the original CFSBK mom

CrossFitting While Pregnant: An Interview with Four Women and a Coach, Part 3

By Kate Reece

In case you missed it last week, we continued our three-part series about training CrossFit while pregnant. In Part 1, we introduced you to four CFSBK women who became pregnant in the midst of their training, and also spoke with Coach Fox. The women answered our questions about their reaction to finding out they were pregnant and the best kinds of advice they received. Last week in Part 2, we heard from them about whether they continued to CrossFit after becoming pregnant and how that decision affected their experience. We also asked them to share any advice they might have for other women. Coach Fox weighed in with his advice for women who become pregnant and want to continue training. (He also wrote a helpful document called Guidelines for Training While Pregnant at CFSBK, which we wrote about on Inside the Affiliate.)

This week, we’re concluding our series by addressing the postpartum experience of getting back into the gym. 

CFSBK: Talk to us about getting back into the game after giving birth. How did it go for you? Did you have a plan going into it? Did your body interrupt those plans? What advice would you give to other postpartum women? 

Bethany E.: After Alex was born, I waited for my requisite midwife clearance and came back to the gym around six weeks postpartum. I think I did some very gentle mobility-type work at home on my own around four weeks but mostly just kept it to walks while I recovered. At my six-week checkup, my midwife diagnosed me with diastasis recti, but said it’d probably close up on its own, so I just came back to group class. I did a small amount of research and knew not to do sit-ups but other than that, I just hoped it’d heal on its own. 

I think it was about six months postpartum with Alex before I started feeling remotely like myself training-wise again, I remember doing a 215-pound deadlift and feeling like I was coming back. However my core weakness was really still an issue and I knew it and could feel it—I still couldn’t do a hollow-hold, for example, and my squat weights weren’t really going anywhere. I found a fellow mom who’d just completed Pilates training and was looking for students and started doing once-a-week sessions with her, which helped. We did super-modified Pilates and yoga in my home once a week and my diastasis closed around the time Alex turned one. I vowed for any subsequent pregnancies to address any diastasis and core weakness first before hitting the weights hard. Right about the time I was starting to feel strong again, I got pregnant with Oscar.

My postpartum experience with Oscar was very different. Because I’d worked out the entire 39 weeks of my pregnancy, and because it was my second baby, my recovery was much easier. I felt energetic and healthy and also very, very anxious to get back into the gym (hello, crazy post-partum hormones!). I don’t know why I let myself do this, but I came back to group class around three or four weeks postpartum which was too soon. I had diastasis recti again, my entire core was mush, and I had additionally been diagnosed by my midwife with pelvic floor prolapse, which I was slightly in denial about. I started physical therapy and was lucky to get a therapist who does CrossFit and who advised me that it probably wasn’t the best idea to be back. After my own additional research, I realized she was right and decided to back off of CrossFit for a bit and put all my efforts towards dealing with the diastasis and prolapse.

I’ve been doing the MuTu Focus program every day for the past 10 weeks and my diastasis is nearly closed up, which is fantastic. I’ve returned to group classes occasionally when I can modify the movements to be safe for me (no heavy lifting, no heavy kettlebell swings, etc.), and am in general just trying to feel out what works and what doesn’t. Anything that creates too much intra-abdominal pressure is out, which is a lot at CrossFit. I’ve also been going to KH’s Tuesday night Pilates class when I can, and was just careful to modify any movements there that were too advanced for my recovering core or unsafe for diastasis. I’ve been seeing Debbie Parsons [link] once a month to help me with my alignment and breathing. So, on the positive side, even though I’ve been absent from any regular lifting and training at CFSBK, my body at five months post-partum feels healthy and my core feels stronger than it ever did after having Alex.

Advice I would give any postpartum women: first and foremost, the weeks after having a baby should be about healing and restoring your body while enjoying your baby, not about training or “getting back in shape” or losing weight. Be kind to yourself! Your body and internal organs have been rearranged dramatically, you have to give yourself and, specifically, your pelvic floor some time to heal. There is nothing heroic or bad-ass about coming back to group class too soon. Be on the look-out for crazy postpartum hormones that are telling you otherwise. Wait for your medical clearance, make sure you’ve been tested for diastasis and if you have it, work on closing it first before coming back to group class. If your doctor or midwife doesn’t test you, Google it—the test is very simple. If anything feels “off” down there (i.e. leaking, heaviness or bulging feelings), do not chalk it up to “Oh, I just had a baby.” You need to get it get it diagnosed and deal with it first before putting any stress or weight on it. 

I highly recommend the MuTu System Focus program as your first postpartum exercise. You can start it as early as two weeks postpartum. I wish I’d had it after I had Alex! I’d even recommend it to anyone who hasn’t had a baby, but is dealing with leaking during double-unders. Katy Bowman’s “Katy Says” blog is also an amazing resource for alignment, pregnancy, postpartum, and pelvic floor health.

When you do return to the gym, focus on the basics. Start light and work up from there. Even if you did get to work out the entire pregnancy, you’re going to need to re-learn how to do those movements without a huge belly in front. Make sure your whole-body alignment is good before you start putting any weight on your back. 

I will admit though that after both pregnancies, tears were shed after group classes because I was so humbled at how far my body needed to come fitness-wise to even be at the point it was WHILE I was pregnant! Nobody really tells you that the postpartum period is really hard even if you work out right until the end of your pregnancy. Just know you have the whole rest of your life to be the super-fit mom you want to be. Pat yourself on the back for even making it to the gym, and enjoy your “me time” without getting too hung up on numbers and times.

Noor A.: Because my daughter ended up being breach, I had to have a c-section, and so my required recovery time was about six weeks. But through whatever miracle of surgery my ob/gyn did, I felt ready to come back much, much sooner than that. I think I finally did go back to the gym about a week earlier. I could tell that I had lost some abdominal muscles, I could barely jump up on the small box, hollow rocks were looking more like just plain rocks, but after a few weeks things seem to be getting better. Plus, since I was on unpaid leave for about five months, and Samir was on sabbatical, the gym became our main social space. We hung out there for three hours almost each day, taking turns holding our sweet little sleeping princess in the carrier. Oh, the days when she would just sleep like that, it was amazing!

Courtney S.: This was the part that surprised me the most. Since I had such an easy pregnancy, and trained often during it, I really expected to go back into the gym after my six-week medical clearance and be in the same place that I was before I got pregnant. Not the case. I was completely shocked when the empty barbell (which hadn’t felt heavy at 40-weeks pregnant) felt like it weighed 100 pounds and I could barely lift my toes to the bar. I also really had not accounted for the physical and mental toll that sleep deprivation and breast-feeding a newborn would play in my recovery. 

Having these unrealistic expectations was tough, because I pretty much knew after five minutes in the gym that I was going to have a long road back and I hadn’t expected that. After a few disappointing gym sessions, I decided to take some time off from CrossFit and spent the next few months outside of the gym, re-building some endurance by running and walking. After five months, the baby was sleeping better, I felt less mushy, generally had more energy and was finally eager to get back in the swing of CrossFit-type things. Even four months back into CrossFit, however, it is still not easy and I still oftentimes feel myself getting frustrated with the fact that I am not at the point I was pre-pregnancy.  

In the end, I really wish that people would discuss postpartum recovery more. There is tons of information out there on CrossFit while pregnant, but very little about what to expect what the baby is born, how best to get back into the swing of things, how to deal with breast-feeding while exercising, etc. Which leads me to my biggest piece of advice for postpartum women (and something that I would like to remind myself next time around): be patient with yourself, mama. 

CFSBK: What advice would you give mothers for their game plan after giving birth? Do you have any recommendations for easing back into their training? 

Coach Fox: As some of the women note in this article, they’re often shocked by how hard it is to come back in and train postpartum. When they still have the baby in there, the abdominal wall is stretched out, pelvic floor muscles are stretched too, but you’re still able to brace. Once the baby’s not in there, and you’ve got 30 pounds missing plus some wrecked muscles, you have no idea how to use your abs. The main thing we’re concerned with postpartum is that you’re going to worsen any diastasis recti, or cause more trauma to your pelvic floor. 

So take your time. Don’t come right back. Minimally, we like six weeks, maybe four if someone has had a check-up sooner. It takes time for the muscles in your abdomen and pelvic floor to come back into their normal shape. Furthermore, when you do come back in, look at it as if you’re starting over. It’s not going to take you three years to get you back to where you were—but it might take you a year. Bethany mentioned “crazy postpartum hormones,” and how they can affect your experience in the gym. It’s almost like manic-depression. If you feeling depressive and frustrated with your body, you don't want to get up and go to the gym. Manic is like, “I’m going to PR my squat today.” That could be dangerous. You could wind up prolapsing, you could wind up peeing your pants. Just really be patient coming back in, and as everyone has said, the most important thing is to really listen to your body.

Some parting tips from Bethany E.:

  • Find a good medical team that is on-board with you continuing your pre-pregnancy exercise program.
  • Resist the urge to be a badass at the gym. The fact that you are growing another human being already makes you one!
  • Learn about pelvic floor health and how to reconnect with yours after the baby comes and don’t ignore little signs of pelvic floor dysfunction, like leaking during double-unders.
  • Don’t attempt to train on zero sleep if your baby isn’t sleeping. Take a long walk with your baby instead.
  • Reach out to your fellow CrossFitting moms, as they are an amazing resource. I’m always happy to share birth stories with any interested CFSBK parents-to-be. You can email Coach Fox at Chris [at] to get my email address.

Useful Links
CrossFit Mom
Be Fit Mom
Habit-it Pelvic Floor 

A huge thank you to all our CFSBK moms who participated in this article series, and to Coach Fox! 

Race, Trust, and Split-Second Judgments Pacific Standard
The Bro Hug: Embracing a Change in Custom New York Times
An Analysis of the Hormonal Response to CrossFit Breaking Muscle
Blown Away in Canton WanderWOD


Rack Jerk or Push Press | WOD 9.29.14

Push Press 5 x 3 Linear Progression
Start light enough to leave room to go up, about 80% of what you did for a single last week. 

Rack Jerk 5 x 1
Hit 5 singles between 80% and 90% of your recent 1RM. If you're feeling good then work at the 90% end, if you're feeling off then work at the 80% end. Your work reps must be no lighter than 80% and no heavier than 90%. 

Post loads to comments.

3 Rounds for Time:
50 Double Unders
20 Russian Kettlebell Swings 72/53
10 Burpees 

Post time and Rx to comments.

CFSBK's team at Beast of the East placed 15th out of 39 teams. Congrats to Alex B. and coaches Jess Fox, MeLo, and McD!!

Where You At, FGB Fundraisers?

DON'T FORGET: Yes, Fight Gone Bad is a great excuse to do a kick-ass workout and have a fun time, but it's also a meaningful fundraiser for Brooklyn Community Foundation, 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're partnering with BCF again and hope to surpass last year's donation numbers--of $40,000! Jump on it, guys! We posted some great fundraising tips last week, too.

Congrats to those teams and individually currently topping our leaderboards... But who's ready to knock them off?

Top Five Teams:

  1. Menace to Swolbriety
  2. In WOD We Trust
  3. Wodtoberfest
  4. Fifty Shades of Cray
  5. FGB - Golden Girls

Top Five Individuals: 

  1. Asta F.
  2. Erik B.
  3. Pierre D.
  4. Stella Z.
  5. Janelle B.

New Programming Cycle Starts Today!

You can always check these details by clicking on the Current Programming Cycle tab in the left-hand column under Member Resources, but here's what's on tap for the next eight weeks...

Training Cycle Dates: M 9/29 - Su 11/9
Crush Week: M 11/10 - Su 11/16
Back Off/Transition Week: M 11/17 - Su 11/23 

Cycle Biases: Pretty similar to the previous cycle with a few focuses.
- Strict HSPU (over kipping).
- Rx'd Box Jumps will be 2-foot take off.
- Gymnastics assistance work in the form of static holds, global and hip flexion. 
- We'll also see some Rope Climbs programmed.

Standardized Warm-ups
Will be the same with a few provided to hacks to scale up or work on individual weaknesses.

Performance: Rack Jerk (80-90% range)
Fitness: Push Press (5x3) Linear Progression
+ Conditioning/Assistance Work

Performance: Back Squat 5/3/1 (Trying to get advanced Novices to transition into 531)
Fitness: Back Squat 3x5 Linear Progression
+ Conditioning/Assistance Work

Performance: Clean (80-90% range)
Fitness: Clean (complexes)
+ Conditioning/Assistance Work

Performance: Front Squat (5-5-3-3-2-1)
Fitness: Front Squat 3x3 Linear Progression
+ Conditioning/Assistance Work

Performance: Snatch (80-90% range)
Fitness: Snatch (complexes)
+ Conditioning/Assistance Work

A Defining Question in an iPhone Age: Live for the Moment or Record It? New York Times
The Woman With the Bionic Eye The Atlantic
Loose Knees = Loose Jerks Catalyst Athletics
Juicervose Radiolab 


Snatch | WOD 9.28.14

Performance: Heavy single Snatch
Must be a crisp catch in order to count, no press outs. 

Fitness: Pull to knee + Hang Power Snatch
Focus on finishing your entire second pull.

Post loads to comments.

Performance: Kipping Pull-up Practice  

Fitness: Pull-up or Chin-up Practice

If you barely have one or two pull-ups or dont have pull-ups at all, do the Fitness work.  

Post what you worked on to comments.

Tim J. (Timbo Slice) with an excellent front rack position

News and Notes 

  • Alex B. and coaches Jess Fox, MeLo, and McD are competing in Beast of the East this weekend, and after Day 1, they're 12th out of 39 teams! Keep it up! We're cheering for you guys!!
  • Bike parking will be limited today, as the sidewalk is being… revamped? Please plan accordingly. 
  • Happy birthday, Brandon B.!

Unleashing Their Inner Sis, Boom, Bah New York Times
Cycling’s Greatest Hour The New Yorker
NASA Administrator Resigns After Leak Of Offensive Anti-Moon Email The Onion
Atoms As Big As Mountains — Neutron Stars Explained Kurzgesagt


Front Squat | WOD 9.27.14

Work up to a single set of a heavy 8 on your front squat.

Use this as a jumping off point for the next cycle 

Post loads to comments.

4 Rounds Not for Time of:
3 Rep Deadlift
20 Wall Ball Shots 

Find a heavy weight on the deadlift and stay there. Focus on perfect form.

Post loads to comments.

What movement is Noah demonstrating the set-up for?

Attention Bike People!

Bike parking will be limited today and tomorrow, as the sidewalk is being… revamped? Please plan accordingly. 

Bend, Stretch, and Mobilize Today

  • Yoga for Athletes with Coach Whitney at 10am.
  • Active Recovery is back on at 11am and noon today with Coach David.
  • If you are in Ken H.'s rings class, remember that you're meeting today from 2-3:30pm! 

The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years New York Times
How to Keep Elephants and Wolves Out of Your Yard MinuteEarth


Rest Day

Mobility Tip from Coach David: The ability for your shoulder to internally rotate is an important component of many movements you see at the gym, and this rotation is critical for maintaining a fully mobile shoulder girdle. In the above photo, Coach Fox demonstrates a common mobilization we perform using a partner to help keep the head of the humerus anchored down in the joint to prevent loss of position while stretching out. Check out these three Mobility WOD videos to learn more about internal rotation.

  • Happy birthday, David L.!
  • Happy belated birthday, Kayleigh!

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.

Want to be in a Comedic Short about CrossFit?

An athletic tape company that specializes in CrossFit needs fit, funny men to audition for the lead role in a series of comedic shorts. Comedic experience is a plus. The production company will be shooting on October 4 and 5, and will pay $400. If you're interested in learning more about the project or would like to audition, reach out to Chris at chris [at], and send your info (resume, headshots, reel). 

APPLE Iphone 6 Parody Commercial by IKEA "BookBook”
Want to get more sleep into your routine? Try "Face Time Party Snoozer" Adult Swim
Stretching Doesn't Work (the Way You Think It Does) Breaking Muscle
What Do You Wish You Had Learned in College? The Atlantic