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Rest Day

 Colette K. is the life of the party.


Congratulations to all the athletes who hit PRs yesterday!
Some of the higlights include:


John J. went from 13 to 25 consecutive DUs
Vincent hit 97 DUs
Kate B. strung together 2 Doubles
MIke F. 27 DUs
Nino got 4 unbroken
Andrew C. PR'd by 15 lbs on the Power Clean with his 150
Charlotte K. hit a solid 135!


Don't forget to put your new PRs and milestone on the accomplishment board!


Sett(l)ing for a New PR
Coach Christian Fox


It’s Max Effort week at CrossFit South Brooklyn. That very special time when the practice and hard work that you’ve put in over the previous three weeks of the strength cycle comes, hopefully, to fruition. I really enjoy few things more than witnessing one of our athletes (and by athletes I mean ALL of you) PR a lift or WOD at our gym. Better numbers on the bar or clock are tangible success. That can be something hard to achieve in other areas of our lives, and as a coach it’s great to feel a part of that success. Just today I watched one of our athletes nail a PR on a Power Clean by about 15 lbs more than she thought she might. AMAZING! I recognize though, and you should too, that not every day is going to be a PR. Shocking, I know.


We’re always trying to get better, that’s why we dutifully records metrics in CrossFit. But sometimes, sh*t happens. There are any number of things that can interfere with a good training session, especially for a population that isn’t getting paid to train, recover, and perform. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, injury, stress, not warming up properly, or just not being able to “get your head in the game” can all negatively affect a training session. And, when we have lives outside of CrossFit, these things can be hard to control. When this happens try not to beat yourself up about it. Instead try to learn from it. Move on. Try to recognize what went wrong and see if you can control that factor next time around. In the end, getting down about a disappointing performance will not do any good at all. “Onwards and upwards”, as the saying goes.


Just as much as witnessing a PR is one of my greatest joys as a coach, seeing someone get down about their PR can drive me nuts. I’ve seen it too many times, an athlete thinking they should have been faster and/or stronger and not enjoying the moment. “It’s only a 5 lb PR”…A PR is a PR, whether by 1 lb or 10 lbs (or 2 seconds or 2 minutes). Heck, experienced Olympic lifters know that ½ kg can make all the difference in a competition and game it accordingly. As your training age increases, PRs become harder and harder to come by. A 5 lb PR on the snatch for example, is HUGE. You can ride those 5 lbs all year long! Additionally, keep in mind the percentage of the total that the PR represents. If you had an 8 minute Fran before and then do it at 7:45 that’s less than 4% better but huge in terms of a 15 second PR. If your clean goes from 95 to 100 lbs that’s better than a 5% increase, and again huge. It’s easy to think of increases only happening in terms of plates on the bar…95 to 115, 115 to 135, using the next set of bumpers. Don’t be that person. Don’t get caught up in that, it’s an ego trip and can be destructive to a successful fitness career. We have fractional plates at CFSBK that allow for increases as small as ½ lb on the bar, use them. Don’t get stuck failing at 135 lbs, instead try for 131 or 132 lbs. A PR is a PR and it represents progress and tangible success. That’s why we track all those metrics, remember?


Remember to keep this stuff in perspective with the other areas of your life. We’re trying to be fit for life. A few bad days at the gym will not make or break that, and you can ride the really good days for a long while. Your time at CrossFit should be like adult swim. It’s your playtime and should be fun. We coaches do our best to keep it that way.


 Three cheers to PRs!!! or not. And, to having fun while working toward them.


Carol Dweck's Attitude Chronicle of Higher Education

Reader Comments (18)

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December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Scott
Thanks for this, Fox!

From "shit happens" land...

lifetime PR from yesterday: choosing to rest and recover sensibly from an injury instead of heading right back into the gym and re-injuring it (ok, this only counts after Thursday), even though doing so makes me feel like a giant wimp

immediate gratification: today's (recent) PR: being able to raise my right leg above 45degrees without pain! And put on pants without cursing! And walk up the stairs like a normal person! very exciting.

I guess future goals for "shit happens" PRs include not feeling like a giant wimp for being responsible about injuries - but one thing at a time, ok?

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelon
Power Cleans185x3x5Dips8,6,6

Conditioning3 rounds of300m row21 double unders15 ball slams 30#10:14My lungs are still burning, i am coughing and I have a headache. It has been a while.that was literally the worst 1.3 mile bike ride home of my life
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergabrus
1. Great article, Foxy Boxy. I especially like the sentiment that we are primarily a population who is not paid and pampered to set records in the gym, so it's expected that external factors (controllable or otherwise) may significantly come into play with how you perform. Also- more importantly, that the fun is in the process and this really is adult-play time.

2. Melon, Glad to hear you're on the mend. Minor injuries in high use areas are a pain to get over. A small strain in the hip is hard to heal since you're constantly using it to get around. Good work on the active resting! I myself have what seems like a minor, but annoying impingement in my left shoulder. After a WOD last week I went to cross my arms and felt a little pop. Internal rotation is very modestly restricted now. Some time with the Theracane has come a long way already. Hope to be 100% by next week.

3. I like the Dweck article. Ever since reading Robert Anton Wilson in college I've been interested in how our semantics shape our perception of reality. How we speak about things being malleable or fixed, subjective or objective and the ownership we take of our opinions can really change the way you see the world. I recommend his book Quantum Psychology. He's a little out there but in a really fun and interesting way.

Last night:Warm-UpLots of mat based mobility and Theracane love. Did a little traction with a dumbbell on my left shoulder

Cleans:(45x3, 95x3, 135x3, 155x1)165x1, 175x1 185M, 185M, 185M

I did multiple sets of 185 in the second exposure with no problem and planned on hitting 190-195 today. I had a bit of a mental block on pulling under and felt worn out. Decided to not beat a dead horse and move on.

Front Lever work::05x54 Sets with a single leg tuck and one set with both legs fully extended and less ROM.

I was thinking about adding some lever work this month.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Osorio
I concur with the Fox man. I got up at 3 am to get to the lifting meet in Pennsylvania on Sunday, was nursing a chest cold, didn't bring food,then proceeded to completely cock up 6 lifts in a row. I left early in disgust. Shit happens, but this was the perfect shit storm. If it didn't happen to me, I would actually think it was funny. Anyway, I decided it's no reason to rethink my entire existence. Just a crappy day. congrats to Paulie, Avi and Jeremy who did us proud.
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack
Jack, 'twas just one meet. You're still a champ.
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra
fun class this morning, lots of great folks out at 7am!

wu:foam rolling, pnf5 min row piececlean progression warm up w 45# bar

power clean:(65x3, 85x3, 105x3, 115x2)

125x1, 135f, 135f, 135f

went back down to 115x2 and worked on my starting position. i was looking down and not out in front of me and wasn't getting under the bar enough.

then 135x1, 140x1(PR)!

one thing i learned today is that i need to not get frustrated and throw in the towel. going back down to 115 got my annoyed after the constant misses at 135. but getting those good reps in at that weight prepared me to go back up in weight. the 135 then felt easy. thanks david for the coaching!

double unders

new PR: 52

got that on my first set during the 12 minutes and was pretty gassed. attempted to get a more casual rhythm going and then attempted consecutive backwards doubles and got to 3.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstephaniep
HA!! oh the days when i could lift 45 lbs--this picture totally made my day! (which has been spent in bed sick again after 2 weeks of already being sick and i thought i was better) i miss cfsbk!!!!
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterColette
Great article Mr. Fox! I have to admit that I'm one of those folks that has not found a 1 or 2 pound PR significant. I guess I feel that I'm still relatively young in my training age and that I should still be hitting some bigger PR's, regardless of what external factors might be affecting me. I also often compare my numbers to the other ladies in the house, being amazed by their accomplishments and downplaying mine. I forget that PR is in fact a "personal" record and that I should be effing thrilled that I just accomplished something either heavier or faster than I ever have before.

Consider my attitude towards PR's changed. Unless of course, I find a way to get paid to train, recover and perform. ;)
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Cats and Kittens,

The Training Articles page has been beefed up with CFSBK in the media and a videos section

Click the link in the left column!
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Osorio
Chris: Thanks for the great article. Words of wisdom as always.
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra
As always good stuff from Coach Fox. When I go into the gym, I'm in the gym, and I am trying to hit goals. I'll take a 5 pound pr and be happy with it, but there's always an area that seems to need more work than others.

The key that I always go back to is what you wrote about, not being paid for this. While I may be frustrated here or there at lack of progress, when I take a step back, I am thrilled with what I, and others have done in the gym. Here's what I usually tell myself:

I get up at 5am every weekday, and am out hard usually one night a week, sometimes more. On top of all that, most importantly, I am the father of three young boys. Frankly, the gym comes in third. fammily, work, gym.

I know that I am not the only one that has to juggle a ridiculously busy schedule. There's little more in my life beyond these 3 things.

To hit prs on olympic lifts, powerlifts, etc., whatever it is, is absolutely thrilling to me. This gym is one of the best things that's happened to me in the past few years, and I am a much better person for the fitness that I have gained, and for having that little bit of time with great great folks, in between work and home.

I never lose sight of this, even when I get frustrated, and I hope that nobody else does either. I love getting in there and attacking the next goal, and it's a pleasure to do with a great group of people.
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJr
Great, thoughtful article Fox! I had to remind myself yesterday that any day lifting is a good day. My body works, I'm hanging out with people I enjoy and admire, I'm doing something good for myself and I've achieved a ton from where I started when I joined CFSBK.

I'll aim to keep that in mind all the time like Jim does instead of having to remember it after a frustrating workout like yesterday!

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterariel

No belt throwing!
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterwillie
power clean:(95x3, 115x3)125x1, 135x1, 145x1, 155x1

DU: 62
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin M.
strength cycle Bweek 7, volume day

this is our last week before the Total next Wednesday, so shit is really, really heavy. just the way i like it.

incidentally, if you are free that night, please come to the gym and show your support!! there will be chills, thrills, potentially tears, and probably homemade cookies :)


warmups: lots and lots of foot, calf, ankle mobility and stretching+ new shoulder stretches i learned on Saturday in active recovery (tx Shane.)

squatw/u: 45x5, 65x5, 85x5, 105x5, 125x3, 135x1work: 140x5x5 (!)

pressw/u: 33x5, 38x5, 45x1work: 47.5x3x5


FINALLY some progress here!

blue band 9,8,7 (PR)

Pretty happy with tonight ;)
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
Great to be back in the gym tonight. Very up and down and up workout for me. I was going to give the short story, but what the hell....

Back Squat 252.x5I basically stopped going up at rep 4 and out of nowhere I hear Coach Jeremy (he was working with the strength class and I was having at it alone across the gym) yelling "up! up! drive! drive with your hips!" I did and the 5th rep was easy. that was a high point.

The next set not so much. I really went forward on rep 2 and my knees were doing funny things. Rep 3 was worse and I threw in the towel.

I'm sure if I was having a session with Jeremy or wasn't alone (I had a witness) I would have ground out that set. I definitely gave up. That said, it was 9 days since being under the bar and it just wasn't feeling right.

Bench:170x5x3Everything was strong but the very last rep I did not touch my chest. I'll take it and will move on to 172.5 next week.

Chin ups 8,8,8I'm super psyched to get 3 sets of 8. On the first set I had one more in me and saved. I read (yes, Jeremy, in Men's Health magazine) that when building pull ups and chins that to get your volume up you need to not totally max out on your sets. Last time I could only muster 9, 6, 6 so I was really pleased to get sets of 8 across. I think November's goal of 10 will get nailed this December.

Thanks to the coaches for asking how my back was and noticing I was missing. It's kind of sucks to be more present on the blog than the gym, so it was great to see folks tonight. Icing the back tonight and hoping it doesn't tighten up on me over night so I can be there Thursday or Friday. I'm going back to those squats and will put 252.5x5x3 in the books.
December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRob Israel
I learned a lot at class tonight.

1. This was the first time I failed doing a lift. Not because I'm so monstrously strong (yet), but because I never go beyond my comfort zone. In my notebook, the last highest weight I did was 78 and I noted a very poignant "blech" next to that, and I remember it feeling impossible. But tonight something clicked (Thanks, Jeremy and Margie!).

Cleansw/u 33,45,53,6368x173x178x183x1 PR88x1 PR93x1x3 F,F,F

It actually felt good to fail. Well, I mean... I bet it would have felt better to get it, but it felt good to reach a limit to test.

2. If you practice, it will come. This was the first time I had ever had any consecutive double unders. In the last couple of weeks, I'd come to be able to get single-double-single-double, but never double-double. And then tonight, something clicked.


I know, you guys. Seven! I was most happy that after getting just one DU that the shock didn't freeze me.

So... it was a night of many PRs for me. Those with numbers attached as well as teeny tiny insights. All felt quite good.

December 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

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