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Back Squat


use no more than 65% - 75% of your 1RM

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21-15-9 reps for time of:

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compare to 6.15.11

Guest photographer Hannah G captures a group warm-up

The CFSBK staff would like to thank everyone for an incredible 2011.  We've seen our gym grow by leaps and bounds in the last year and that is in no small part due to the dedication, integrity and fun that our community brings to the gym every single day.  We are so thankful to work with you guys and can't wait to see what 2012 brings us.  From the bottom of our hearts, Thank you!

A Crossfit Shoe Primer
By Coach Noah

If you’ve been Crossfitting for a little while, odds are you’ve noticed that most of our athletes tend to sport some footwear that many would consider unconventional, old-school, or just plain weird.  While you can Crossfit in any pair of shoes, some types of shoes will optimize your ability to get in good positions, protect your body, and ultimately perform better.  Since among our coaches I own the dubious honor of being the resident shoe-ho, I will be your tour guide through the always controversial world of Crossfit footwear.  3, 2, 1, GO(d I am lame)!

Training Shoes

For most of the population, one pair of shoes should suffice to get us through 99% of Crossfit workouts.  These don’t have to be incredibly expensive, and may in fact be cheaper than the over-engineered running shoes currently on the market.  Rather than give you specifics about one shoe over another, following a few general rules should get you into something appropriate:
A (relatively) flat and (relatively) non-compressible sole:  Most of the activities we perform require the ability to “feel” the floor.  Many athletes have trouble keeping their heels down when they squat or shifting their weight forward when they swing a kettlebell simply because their shoes are so built up and cushioned that they simply have no concept of their foot’s relationship to the floor.  Look for a shoe with a sole that is flat and low, without any zany cutouts or hollows.  Ideally, the shoe will be close to “zero drop” a term which means that the heel and toe of the shoe are of the same height.  The sole should also be made of relatively firm rubber.  Some shoes, in their quest for greater cushioning have embraced such plush materials that you may as well be squatting wearing a pair of sweet potatoes on your feet, which while delicious, is not ideal.

Lightweight aka the Single Digit Rule: An easy rule I’ve come to embrace is that any show I wear to work out in should weigh under 10 ounces.  Many weigh under 8, and there are some under 6 and even a few under 4.  The lighter the better, although I personally question whether your feet know the difference between 4.6 and 5.3 ounces.  Mine certainly don’t, but they, like their owner, are stupid.
Rad colors:  This is a personal sentiment, but c’mon folks, this isn’t black tie footwear we’re talking about. 

Most of these shoes fall into the “racing” or “performance” running shoe category.  Manufacturers use these terms to signify that when trying to run fast (like, say, for a race), people will want light shoes that don’t make their feet act stupid.  Since we are Crossfitters, and are ALWAYS RACING, we can just wear them all the time.

Weightlifting Shoes

Dedicated weightlifting shoes take the concept of a firm sole to the next level, using either ultra hard
synthetic (EVA or similar) or real-honest-to-paleo-god wood(!) for maximum stability and to better transmit force from the lifter to the floor.  These are purpose specific shoes, which violate the “no heel” rule above- most weightlifting shoes have a heel of about ½ to 1inch high, to allow for more ankle flexion at the bottom of squats, which helps mobility/positioning under heavy load.  Consider:

Incredibly stable
Aids in mobility and positioning at the bottom of squats and in force transmission
Can “add” weight to your lifts (somewhat illusory/placebo, but whatever)

Most are expensive
Extremely purpose specific.  If you wear them to a bar, people will laugh at you.  Ask me how I know this.
Look like they were designed by a team consisting of my grandpa, Frankenstein, and a Hell’s Angel (except for the super sexy Nike Romaleos, which cost approximately the GDP of Belarus.)

Some other quick thoughts

LSD Shoes: No, these are not shoes to wear while attempting the Dark Side of The Moon/Wizard of Oz mashup- I’m referring to Long Slow Distance.  If you are planning to run substantial distance, or are training for a long race and logging significant miles, you may want to invest in some purpose specific running shoes.  Especially if you have not practiced (or suck at) minimalist/POSE/Chi running, you may want to avoid super-minimal shoes.  While a super-efficient runner may get away with a length of tractor tire duct taped around his foot, most of us could benefit from a little bit of cushioning in our shoes.  There are plenty of models out that split the difference between the conventional Staypuft Marshmallow Man meets Cadillac Biarritz shoe and dipping your feet in candle wax before your marathon.  Ease into it.

Chuck Taylors: Worn by the everyone from Wilt Chamberlain to Kurt Cobain to toddlers everywhere, Chucks are in many ways the perfect Crossfit shoe.  They’re flat, non-compressible, fairly light, and cheap.  Plus, you can wear them in the “real” world, which cuts down on WOD to “first beer of the weekend” transition time on Friday.  The only real downside is that they are a bit clunky to run in, and don’t make you feel like a ninja.

Vibram Five Fingers: I’m going to take some flack for this, so I will be gentle, but I don’t particularly care for VFF’s (yes, in the name of science, I do own a pair.)  VFFs arose from well-intentioned folk who wanted a more minimalist training shoe when there weren’t many options out there.  Now there are plenty of shoes that blend minimal/lightweight design and the benefits of modern technology.  Five Fingers are offer poor stability during lifting, and are inadequately padded for box jumps, double unders, and sprints.  I do think Five Fingers can be useful for training runs or to practice minimalist running, as they do offer great ground feedback, but as I mentioned earlier, that feedback comes at a price.  If you can run fast in Five Fingers, you can run faster in real sneakers, trust me. 

Ok!  Enough about shoes already!  You get the drift- light, flat, not squishy.  Cheap and colorful are pluses.  If you have any other questions, want my thoughts on Shoe A vs. Shoe B, have specific training goals or injury history to consider, or just want to talk about feet, email me at noah(AT)crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com

Skill Session: Double Unders Workshop

Hey you!  Yeah you!  The one with the jumprope tangled around your neck!  Come get your skip straightened, your bounce bolstered, and your jump jazzed up- Join Coach Noah on Saturday, January 7th at 1:30 PM for a Skill Workshop focusing on everyone's greatest nemesis- THE DOUBLE UNDER!
This will be an hour long session incorporating technique discussion, movement prep, and guided practice to try and smooth out the kinks in people's double under game.  There is a $10 drop in fee and participants should have at least 3 linked double unders in their repertoire.  Space is limited to eight people, sign up on the sheet next to the bulletin board at the gym.

The Paleo Challenge starts TOMORROW!

Tomorrow marks the first official day for the 2012 Paleo Challenge. We've got about 80 folks Willing, Able and Ready to make some dramatic changes in their health, performance and appearance.  The next two months will test your will and reveal to you how important consistent healthy nutrition can be.  Best of luck, Paleo Warriors!

Only 6 days left to sign up for the 2012 Paleo Challenge! Sign up today!

How will you spend the first day of 2012?

En Dag I South Brooklyn StenaldenKrost Og Crossfit
The Year in Fitness
NY Times

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    Wonderful Web site, Preserve the wonderful job. Thanks!

Reader Comments (14)

Anyone want to go to the Polar Bear Swim at Coney Island with me tomorrow? Yeah, you know you do!

I am hoping to do the WOD at 10am then drive out to the beach at 11am. Shoot me an email at billy dot keefe at gmail dot com.

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Keefe

Cooking, of course :)

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Got my WOD on at 9 AM -- nice to have the hard part of New Year's Eve out of the way already :)

BSQ 45x5, 75x5, 95x5, 115x5, 125x10
I wish I'd gone a little higher! This felt only moderately difficult. Then again, Jeremy said to take it easy between cycles so I guess that's a good thing.

WOD 9:00 with green band pullups and lots of swearing during the burpees.

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Oh yeah, and to answer the QOD, I'm having brunch with a friend who's moving back to NYC after 3 years in Sao Paulo (yay!) and showing her around the neighborhood since she's considering living in Brooklyn. Then a showing of "Barry Lyndon" at Museum of the Moving Image in Queens -- I'm stoked that it's warm enough we can probably walk to Salt & Fat for dinner!

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStella

We will be spending the day on the beach in Puerto Rico! Feliz Ano Nuevo! Nos vemos la semana que viene!

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJr

I will be spending the day watching the giants kick the shit out of the cowboys (hopefully)...and NOT drinking beer (that sentence made me sad)
See you guys in the winners circle at the end of this challenge

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergabrus

The Zellner Family always does this super weird New Years Day feast, consisting of strange childhood favorites and foods based on their heritage. Jeff and I will be partaking... Paleo style this year! This has been a tense subject with the sister-in-laws... they think it's sacrilege to the tradition.

Typically the meal consists of: Swedish Meatballs, Hot Wings, pepper salad, caramel roles, baby corn, black eyed peas, oreos, m&m's, milk, and baked beans... so, obviously, there is quite of bit of altering that needs to happen... like 90% of the stuff is not Paleo at all. So yeah... tricky.


Best active recovery class ever today. I love that class (and the wiener dog) so much.

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLana Z

Watching the once and future Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers is the perfect way to start the new year... even if we are only playing our JV. Go Pack!

155x10 on the backsquat--seemed like plenty. 68% of my one RM.

Pullups--blue band (or small green band, actually, which I think is the equivalent of the old blue bands--there's a fat white one that is the same too, I think.)

9:37 (last, sigh)

Happy Paleolithic New Year everybody!

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

NYD is my early morning polar plunge at Brighton Beach. Just floating with all the locals - me screaming and them just bobbing about with vodka. Good times.

Was very discombobulated doing the later WOD this morning, too much sleep and out of it due to Grace - loved it but sweet jam it kicked my arse sideways, the warmup + 10RM *really* felt good though AND that weenie puppy was damn adorable. Cutest!

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJules

On NYD I want to wake up without a hangover and feeling fresh. I want to make breakfast and then clean up my apartment and then have a relaxing day!

December 31, 2011 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

You guyyyssssss

Thanx so much for the nice wordz. I tryd to be a super frend and help activ reecoveree class. Thanx for the pancakes and fetch

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHerschel


Sleeping in
Eating a large paleo meal
Watching the Giants enter the playoffs

Herschel spells like her dad ;)

December 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Happy Valentines Day

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