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Box Squats

Fitness: 3x8 Across
Establish your first 3x8 for this cycle.  Leave room to add weight each week for the next 3 weeks.  It should feel medium heavy and look perfect.

Performance: Work Up to Heavy Triple
Take 15 minutes to find a heavy triple. You'll have an opportunity to beat it next week. Go heavy, no failing.

With a Partner, complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 15 minutes of:
10 Ring Rows
15 Wall Ball Shots

With a Partner, complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 15 minutes of:
7 Strict L-Pull-Ups
20 Wall Ball Shots 20lb-10' / 14lb-'9'

- These are both done relay style, one partner completes a full round before their other partner comes in to complete the next.
- If you can't do the L-Pull-Ups, you can scale to either knee tucks or having your partner give you a modest manual assist. No bands today. 
- Attempt to do the Wall Balls in as few sets as possible each round.

Post Rx, work completed and partner to comments.


Asta F will be in-house this weekend to take Lean Out Challenge photos!
Saturday from 10:30 - 12
Sunday from 11 - 12:15



June Athlete of the Month

Samir Chopra!

    The Professor. The Lifter. The Legend! We’re going old school again this month to honor the squat philosopher for all he brings to the table at Crossfit South Brooklyn. He’s been working hard and improving with us for almost three years now so it was only a matter of time and the time is now. Here’s the man, Samir Chopra.

Fox - Chopes! You’re athlete of the month.

Samir - Oh shit, man! I thought you were bringing me up here to give me another one of your head check talks!

Fox - Nope. You’re the current man! Let’s start. How and when did you find CrossFit South Brooklyn?

Samir - I used to work out at Crunch in Fort Greene doing chest and tris, back and bis, and the stairmaster (groan). My friend Sean turned me on to CF mainsite programming and we gave a few WODs a go. The WODs on the mainsite and the photos that accompanied them were particularly inspiring, even if I was modifying the workouts to fit me. Around that time I actually knew Samantha Orme (co-owner of CrossFit Virtuosity) through a friend and she told me she was opening a CrossFit gym in Brooklyn. I didn’t know that there were even CF gyms in NY so that led me on a search and I found David and CFSBK.

Fox - When was that? And what did you first think of CFSBK?

Samir - Well I started Foundations around June 2009. I’d had a few email communications with David and to be honest I was a little surprised when I first met him. I expected him to be this big, tall, white dude...small Colombian dude from New Jersey was not what I thought I’d find! David quickly proved himself to be larger than his stature and I’m so glad I found CFSBK.

Fox - I was also surprised when I finally met David. Anyone from your Foundations still with us? Do you remember your first class?

Samir - My Foundations class was Vincent D, Ariel K and Ben W, Joe W, and Cloyde. All of them are with us, though some less frequently I believe. My first class involved bench pressing and I worked with Alec and Sameer. From that first class I had that feeling like “this is it”. I knew that I’d found a real fitness program. Pretty shortly after however, in July maybe, I had a back injury. This is where David really showed me who he was. He encouraged me to come in and work, and he would create programs for me to work around my injury. I remember you working with me on a pushup and pullup ladder once - individually! I was so impressed with how much care was directed at me and the level of detail in which everything was taught. It sometimes even feels tedious--like those barbell drills we do before the major lifts--but I was and am still amazed at the CFSBK attention to detail because I know it works and is done for a reason. It made me eventually pay that much attention myself and I’ve become much smarter about mobility and checking my ego. Since then, I’ve had a great time here, doing things I didn’t think were possible, like getting muscle-ups, squatting 300 (thanks to our great strength program with Jeremy), or doing stuff like Angie and Murph, which still feels a bit unbelievable.

Fox -  Bench press! A chest and tris day to start out! What was childhood like? Were you athletic?

Samir - Athletic? No. Skinny, weak, and bullied? Yes. I grew up in New Delhi, India and never really took to sports - just serious nerding out with books by myself. Two libraries, two cards, eight books out at a time. Then I went to a boarding school as a teen and played a lot of sports: field hockey, cricket, soccer, rock climbing, and most importantly, boxing. I was a flyweight, and I think, pretty good, though I lost in the finals to my best friend’s identical twin!. When I was 20 I came to grad school in Newark, NJ and lived on beer and sandwiches. I would run a bit, became good at doing laps of Central Park, and would try to start a workout routine but I would fall off or fail. This really continued until I found CFSBK. I was pretty proud when I went back to India last year and was able to beat my brother and nephew in a pull up contest!

Fox - Tell me a bit about what you do outside of CrossFit?

Samir - I teach philosophy at Brooklyn College and I love it. I actually just made full professor so that’s kind of a big deal for me! I’ve been there for 10 years and really enjoy teaching. I’m constantly aware of how you coaches impart knowledge and I believe it’s made me a better teacher as well. I like to take on teaching new courses all the time too. A lot of professors won’t do this since you have to write new course material and all. I like it though since it keeps me in the learning mode as well and keeps things fresh. In addition to work which keeps me pretty busy I am an avid reader and music fan. I read the gamut but lean towards non-fiction, history, and philosophy. I’ll usually have 2 or 3 books going at a time and of course, I read review journals like the New York and London Review of Books. Music-wise I am into a lot: old-school metal, death metal, industrial,  old rap, also some classic rock and jazz. I was even a Deadhead (?!). My dad listened to an eclectic mix of rock-n-roll, jazz, and blues, and I think that started my love of music.

Fox - Any other hobbies? You write a few blogs too, no?

Samir - I do! I recently became a paid writer for ESPN-Cricinfo at The Pitch, (they pay me enough to buy a few books once in a while!) and I have my own blog samirchopra.com as well. I really enjoy hiking also and have done so at some amazing places. The Himalayas, the Andes (Peru and Ecuador), New Zealand, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana to name a few. My favorite hobby though is spending time with my amazing wife, Noor.

Fox - You even tricked her into joining the gym so you could see her more! Tell me about you two. How’d you meet?

Samir - Well Noor and I are somewhat activist types and I’d see her at some meetings we both attended. It’s hard not to notice her, all 5’11” of her! I would travel from Brooklyn to the Bronx for meetings that I knew she’d be at just to speak with her. We eventually dated and I smartly asked her to marry me 9 months later. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Funny enough, Noor was hesitant to join CrossFit for some time. She thought it was a bunch of douchey guys acting like meatheads. Ha!

Fox - Alright, Samir. Last Q. What qualities should we look for in future athlete profiles?

Samir - There’s been so many times when the only thing that keeps me going through a tough WOD is the person next to me who counts reps for me or someone who yells encouragement from across the gym. I think being encouraging to your fellow athletes is paramount. Also someone who sees this place as not just a gym but a place you go to see your friends and meet new ones. I can have a real crappy day but if I can make it in here, one hour later it’s all good. That’s a really great thing.    


Thanks to Samir for being an outstanding member of our community, and for being patient while this article turned around. It’s a pleasure to celebrate your success in the gym and to have your unique commentary running in the gym and on the blog. We look forward to more of the same from you!
Are Your Shoulders Tight? CrossFit Invictus

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Reader Comments (71)

katz - of course. it was most intense right at the beginning, and did recede a bit over time.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Super. Duper. Samir, congrats! crossfit south brooklyn--excellent choice!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.

Who doesn't love Samir, really? Easy choice for AOM!

JJ, yes you'll be able to sign up later for the Spartan Race provided it doesn't sell out. There's rumors that the early heats on Saturday are already sold out. But, the website states that as long as team members sign up for the same day, they'll adjust heat times so that we're all in the same heat.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Awesome choice. Congrats, Samir.

Katz. I was not so much hungry during my first cycle as much as I just NEEDED to eat ALL THE TIME. And that was with dairy.
Curiously, I'm not nearly as hungry this go around. Yet. I'm sure it's coming.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCorbett

Congrats, Samir!

Everybody: Ask Samir about Nobel physicists sometime. He pretty much knows them all.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew M.

I'm mostly dairy free for now and I'm still eating nonstop. It's kind of amazing.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

You're the man, Samir! Congrats and very well deserved.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRob N

YAY Samir! One of my favorite smiling faces to see in the gym and a very deserved AOTM.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBethany B.

Today was the first time I left the wall ball station feeling like they were crisp. Solid depth, and good hip pop and clean cycle through the first few rounds. Cant believe folks next to me (reshef) hit 6 rounds unbroken wall balls. Set of 20 seems like a lot.

Really enjoyed todays workout.

275X3 box squat (felt good squatting again)

6 Rds rx'd with L hang pullups. Also really enjoyed the music in the gym tonite. Lil Wayne 50, Eminem, Jay Z. I can bop to that any day.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDH3

Oh big ups to my partner "The Nuge" and congrats again to the प्राध्यापक

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDH3

Concur with DH3 on the music.


3rds NFT
20 16kb kb swing (russian)
30 seconds hollow holds with bended knees.

Abs are super weak and were sore from toes to bar yesterday. KB swings felt nice and easy. Focused on really snapping at the hip.

Box squat:
1st exposure to box squats in forever and first time squatting in 2 months.
Tried to maintain tempo down and stayed consistent with a full 1 second hold at the bottom, and exploding up (thanks for counting allan).

Worked up to a heavyish triple.

Bar x 5
95 x 4
135 x3


Lots of room to go up here. these still felt lightish, though the last 2 reps of teh 205 set had to really drive out the bottom.

Partner WOD:
15 min partner AMRAP
7 pullups and 20 wall ball shots @ 20#s

Allan and I got 8 rounds +10 wallball shots.
I did strict pullups cause my abs are fried, On teh last round I had 30 seconds left and skipped the pullups and went straight to wall balls, which is how I got the +10.

Like Dh3 I felt good on the wall balls today. Most sets were unbroken. Towards the end I did sets of 15 and 5 and would try and throw my last wall ball shot as high as possible.

Talked to fox about weak hip flexors, will be working on those in the coming months,


June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commentershawn$

I'd like to thank my agent, my lobbying firm, and my Super-PAC for making this AOTM award possible. Citizens United, boo-yah!

Folks, y'all are too kind. I am overwhelmed by all the love on display and can only thank you profusely for making my time at CFSBK so enjoyable and rewarding. My time spent here is always the highlight of the day for me, and I look forward to many more days, weeks, and years lifting, grunting, and leaving it all out on the gym floor with you all. And cleaning up afterwards before I get yelled at.

Box Squats (partnered with James): 215x3

Partner WOD: We made it into the 9th round with 7 wallballs. This got hard pretty quick.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

And DH3, wow, way to go on the Hindi!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

2 nights in the gym in 3 days. A miracle! Box squated w/ PR. Worked up to a triple of 290. Then faced the bane of my existence, the wall ball. PR got through 5 rounds, and I through 4 and 16 wall balls. Unlike DH3, I still haven't found that pop.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W

Great classes tonight!


I want to throw my 2 cents in on Samir...

I've always been intrigued by the man and feel we've developed a fine relationship. One of the nicest comments I've ever gotten was during his AOM interview. Samir told me that he 100% respected and listened when I told him to either go heavier and/or faster, or to back off and go lighter and/or ease up intensity, that he felt I knew him and his capacities as good as anyone. I've watched Samir transform from a guy who couldn't squat to depth without getting hurt to being one of the guys at the top of my bar pairings when setting up a class. It's been fun getting to know you, Chopes, and I look forward to many more years of it.

Well deserved, indeed. Congrats!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Awesome choice for AOTM!

I love working out with Samir. He's super welcoming, thoughtful, and, as many others pointed out, full of all sorts of useful and fun information. I also appreciate that he is inquisitive and genuinely into hearing about the interests of others and he always seeks out feedback about his form. I often tune out during difficult WODs and can't hear sometimes (unless Whitney is on), but I somehow always hear an encouraging shout from Samir.

Congrats, Samir!

June 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterRickke

Light AM home workout with Mr. Fox:
5 rounds of:
1:00 KB swings, 16kg American
1:00 Row
1:00 rest between each movement
-stayed consistent with 30 kb swings and 13 calories each round. Nothing crazy.

PM Softball game
0-2 though I was getting ready to jack a ball in the bottom of the 7th until our game got called because of 'lightning'. It's in quotes because we think the ump just wanted to leave.

8pm Group class
Box Squats--worked up to 165.
WOD with Teresa--9 rounds plus 5 chins
-T started so did extra work. All of my chins except the very first 4 were partner assisted. Thanks T!

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlady fox

Great day at CF basking in the borrowed glory of Samir's AOTM status. Today felt like the world was just glistening!

I decided to go for 3X8 on the box squats, I think its going to be great working on this, my hammies need some igniting. Today I was at 95#, which was good and tough.

Did the WOD with ringrows and 14# wallballs. Thank goodness for the relay style, this was a long workout, and the rests were much appreciated. Our duo finished with 14 rounds total.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoor Alam

Box Squats:
WU 45x5, 75x5, 95x5
WORK 115x6, 105x8, 105x8

WOD: ringrows and 10# wallballs 10' target
partnered with Dani!
9.5 rounds together. I got 5.

Shout out to BAZ for post-class laughs! Much needed and much appreciated today.

June 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWhit

Congrats Samir! Definitely well deserved, you're a gem in the community.

I just want to clarify some things, because I feel like maybe my comments were misinterpreted.

1) I don't think the challenge is a bad idea

2) I was objecting to the fact that it felt imbalanced towards aesthetics in this challenge in comparison to the past challenge.

3) I never implied that people were vain or vapid to participate, nor meant to have my comments taken as such. I have been a girl that has grown up in a society/culture with a large emphasis on praising weight loss. What I found empowering and really a key to my own success in the last challenge was focusing on measurable performance goals, concrete focus on eating to feed my body properly to perform well and have the aesthetic portion be a reward, but not a main driver to all of it. I'm not saying that everyone has to agree to that, but I found it a liberating move from the traditional cultural values which had really overwhelmed and defeated me in the past.

June 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterSarah la Rosa

Got to make up box squats when a client cancelled. Worked to 305 for a triple. Felt good. More next week.

June 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

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