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High Bar Back Squat


Perform 3 sets of the following:
A) High Bar Back Squat x 8 reps. Start light in anticipation of adding weight over 8 exposures.
Rest 30 seconds
B) 5 Lat Activations
Rest 90-120 Seconds

3 Rounds For Time of:
50 Double Unders or 25 attempts or 150 Single Unders
30 Sit-Ups

If 30 sit ups are no big deal for you add weight via dumbbell


Spend 15 Minutes working up to a heavy 5 rep High Bar Back Squat. No failing, no bailing. Leave room to go up for 5 reps next week.

3 Rounds For Time of:
50 Double Unders
20 Kipping Knees to Elbows

If you can't perform a kipping knee to elbow, scale the volume to 10

Post results to comments.

Kate B during FGB5

Athlete Of The Month
Kate Brash

This AOM has been a long time coming and I'm very proud and excited to see her under the spotlight.  Kate Brash has been an outstanding member of our community from the start and someone I've always wanted to feature for AOM.  Kate showed up pregnant at CrossFit with kind of a hazy idea of what she was getting herself into. Regardless, she stuck with it through and through and impressed everyone on staff with her dedication to smart training and her encouraging and approachable nature.  Lets all get to know a little more about KB..

David O: Hi Kate, congratulations on earning the title of July Athlete of the Month!

Kate B: Thanks, I'm excited.

DO: So lets start from the beginning, can you tell me a little bit about your athletic background before CrossFit?

KB: Well I grew up in the DC suburbs and loved sports but was never a "good sport".  I was a really sore loser and would get into fights with umpires, curse at people and get kicked out of games.  It was not a pretty scene, I just really hated losing.  When I was about 14 I became exposed to Kayaking at summer camp and searched out a program with my twin sister back near our home.  I was a competitive kayaker for about 5-6 years.

DO: Getting into fights?? That seems very uncharacterisitc of the KB I know, but kind of hilarious. Also, you're saying there's a KB2 walking around somewhere?!

KB: Well we're fraternal, so not exactly but I do have a "twin" sister.   I've gotten a lot more mature about competition since. Well, maybe I'm just better at redirecting it..

DO: So what happened with Kayaking?

KB: Well the kind that I did was really focused on racing, so when I realized that I wasn't olympic bound it didn't make for the best recreational activity.  It was also logistically a tough sport to keep up with, lots of long drives, early mornings and expensive equipment.

DO: I see. Any other athletic endeavors pre-CrossFit?

KB: Back before getting pregnant I ran the 2007 NYC Triathalon.  I actually really loved training for the event but was less excited about the race itself.  I got pregnant right after that Tri but still signed up for another sprint Triathatlon in Montauk before having Gus.  After having my first kid I found it really hard to keep up with exercise, especially triathalons which were really time-intensive. Beyond that I would try and take classes at commercial gyms which were okay.  I enjoyed spin classes but that's about it.

DO: So what brought you to CrossFit?

KB: I heard about it through my friend Charlotte Kaiser, we were close in High school and kept in touch evern since.  I saw her Facebook post about Fight Gone Bad which really intrigued me.  At this point I was pregnant with my second (Sadie) and I knew Charlotte had trained with you guys while pregnant so we talked about her experience and she put my mind at ease.  I figured Charlotte is pretty level headed and wouldn't lead me astray.  I also had been getting sick and not feeling well in general throughout this pregnancy and thought exercise would help me through it.

DO: Tell me about starting CrossFit while pregnant.

KB: Well I did 1 on 1 Foundations with Fox since I wanted to take things a little slower at first.  I was happy to see how well things could be modified for me and how supportive and encouraging everyone was.  My goal was to keep my shit together until the upcoming Fight Gone Bad, which I successfully competed in. 

DO: You've mentioned to me that you weren't that clear about what CrossFit was all about when you started.  What was your initial reaction when you came to the gym?

KB: I loved it!  Back when I was training for Kayaking we would do basic calisthenics, barbell training and hard workouts in this awesome rickety clubhouse on the banks of the Potomac in DC.  When I walked into CrossFit I felt like I had found what I was looking for. It felt like the same down to earth rugged fitness I had loved as a youth.  I did feel somewhat conflicted with my training intentions as CrossFit is focused on increasing performance and I had to prioritize general health above metrics at this point.

DO: I remember people using you as a rallying point for not having any excuses to not train.  It was a really fun experience for the staff and community to see you CrossFit as you kept getting bigger and bigger.  Very inspirational!  So why have you stuck with CrossFit?

KB: Well it's a more substantive experience than any other gym.  It's not just sets and reps at a place that has weights available for me to use.  Theres more context to the experience, if I stopped coming, I feel like I would be missing out on seeing friends I've made, being pushed hard and feel like I was letting people down.

DO: You've also had some knee issues you've worked around, right?

KB: UGH, yes.  I've had knee issues for seemingly no apparent reason since college.  I had orthoscopic surgery in my early 20's but didn't do PT afterwards which I think really hurt me. I could barely bend my knee for about a year after surgery.  I also tore my ACL in 2005 while skiing in Switzerland.  It was horrible, I was with my husband (Benet) and I was really hesitant about skiing in the first place.  On our first run he took off and I fell and hurt myself at the top of the mountain.  No one spoke English and I was in agony.  Eventually Bennett came back when I didn't turn up at the bottom of the mountain and I had to go to the hospital. I had it reconstructed and did a bunch of PT after that.

DO: You also re-aggravated it while doing lateral jumps at the gym.  I remember that we had been scaling for you as a pregnant special population which included avoiding plyometics and running. Post partum, we overlooked that you had significant knee issues and were rolling you back into regular training.

KB: Yeah I was really mad at myself for that, I knew I shouldn't have done it. It didn't feel so bad right afterwards but got worse and worse as time went on. I ended up doing some personal training with Shane but when it wasn't getting better I decided to get surgery in June of 2011. I did PT for about 6 weeks and then came back to CrossFit.  It's been good since then and I've recent been adding some modest running to see how it feels.

DO: A cautionary tale no doubt.  What else should we know about KB outside of your fitness life?

KB: Well I went to Haverford and studied anthropology.  It seemed like the least focused major that I could really do whatever I wanted with. After college I moved to San Francisco for a while and then back to NY to go to Grad school at NYU to study environmental policy.

DO: Why environmental policy?

KB: In college I spent about 4 months on an Alaska trail crew. We would Kayak around Alaska in the national parks and clear trails and upkeep the facilities.  Since you're in protected land no motors were allowed so everything we did was manual labor.  It was a really significant experience for me and one of the most beautiful and rewarding things I've ever done.  The following summer I did the same thing in Payette, Idaho, except we were hiking, not kaying, obviously.  I really fell in love with he outdoors and wanted to help protect it.  I've worked for the last 8 years on climate change policy, trying to help educate the public.

DO: That sounds amazing. So just a few more questions.  First, what advice would you give a new CrossFitter?

KB: Don't worry about ramping up the weights or intensity too soon. Just developing proper technique is plenty of stimulus in the beginning.  I sometimes see people wanting to get aggressive with their numbers too soon.  It takes a really long time to get good at this stuff, take your time and enjoy the process.

DO: Kate B for president!  Great advice.  Next, what should we look for in a future AOM?

KB: I really think anyone could be an AOM.  I think it's really informative and interesting to learn about people and their backgrounds. I'd want to know about everyone we train with.

DO: Okay, but what qualities do you think make someone stand out to you?

KB: I think it's important for people to be thoughtful about their training. To know why they're here, what their current strengths and weaknesses are and how they're trying to gradually improve.

DO: Spoken like a true champion.  Finally, where is your head at training wise right now?

KB: I just finished the Tough Titsday classes with Coach Margie which I would Highly recommend to anyone. It was great to really learn more about the lifts and how to approach them.  I feel like I learned how to plan my weights and not be so intimidated by heavy loads.  I'm considering doing an upcoming Strength Cycle.

DO: Kate picks things up and she puts them down.  Thanks so much for spilling your guts, Kate and congratulations again.

Women's Obstacle Course

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    Crossfit South Brooklyn - Workout of the Day - High Bar Back Squat

Reader Comments (25)

Congrats Kate! Rock on - well deserved!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Congrats Kate!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

Kaaaaaate!!! Congratulations! What a great choice for AOTM. It's been so fun watching you take on CrossFit and make it your own. You are such an awesome presence in the gym; I love your attitude and your grit.

I can attest to the competitiveness of 20 years ago :-)


July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Nice one! Congrats Kate!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

Congrats Kate, obviously well deserved!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDmak

6am with Josh. Worked up to a 235# 5 rep high bar back squat. Lat mash would be a better description that squat. Definitely have room to go up next week. 8:04 on the metcon. The first round of double-unders felt good: 2 sets of 25. Felt gassed for the second and third rounds. Knees to elbows broke down into 3s and 4s in the last round.

Interesting to read the back story on a familiar face in the morning. Congrats, Kate.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Congratulations Kate!

7am with Josh. 115# x 5 on the HBBS, felt like just the right amount of weight where it was challenging but there's room to go up next week.

8:18 on the metcon. On my first set of double unders I banged out 42 in a row, which is sick for me. I find that as long as I'm not tired, my technique is getting good and I can really churn them out. I did 10 K2B each round, sort of alternating between doing them strict and kipping them. My strict aren't too terrible but my lats seem to be useless no matter what I do. I really wanted to practice kipping since I don't ever get to work on that skill, but DO caught me not going high enough and made me slug through some stricts. Honestly, they were effin hard no matter how I did them.

So looking forward to Titsday!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKH

PS I am back squatting in the Denver University gym. There are mirrors. It's weird.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Congrats Kate! It was inspiring to watch you work hard while pregnant but even moreso to watch how quickly you got back to business after having the baby.

6am with coach Josh today. Worked up to 245 x 5 on the HBBS. These sure do feel foreign after all the low bar work we've been doing. Finished the performance WOD in 4:56. I was chuffed to get the first set of KTE unbroken, but that last set was rough - had to break it down 5/5/5/3/2.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBetz


It's a good reminder to pick a spot on the floor a bit ahead of you and get your chin down.

Speaking of that, and maybe I missed this last night, with the high-bar back squat do we want a more neutral head position than the more downward focused one we have w/ the low-bar?

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoel W.

7am with Josh & some pointers from DO. Worked up to 135 on the HBBS (fitness), felt pretty good and should have room to go up next week.

Really didn't do well on the WOD. Did 25 reps alternating 1 SU, 1 DU, without trouble for the three rounds. Had to leave early to make it to work on the time so didn't want to grind too much, but still: I wanted to try the performance version since I've done K2E before, but today I could barely do it at all. When I switched to situps, I could barely do that, either. Must have been tired from something. There's always next time...

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdave p

Congratulations Kate! So happy to see a fellow 6 a.m.er as AOTM.

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Congratulations, Kate, all the best.

@Charlotte, embrace it! pull a Fonzi...go to fix your hair, stop yourself, and give yourself two thumbs up. I challenge anyone to do this, and tell me that you don't feel better!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChachi

Yeah, Kate Brizzash!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

look forward on HBBSQ

8am Group Class w/ Josh

3 Rounds
Run 130
10 Push-Ups + Plank

Calve Mash 2:00e

High Bar Back Squat
(45x5, 135x5, 185x5)
205x5, 215x5

Will attempt 225 next week

5:58 as Rx'd
Hello forearms!

July 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio


July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Nice, Kate! Fun reading about your background. :)

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterasta

Congrats Kate!

July 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterChristine Naclerio


July 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteryosh

Kate representing 6am, congrats!!

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCP

WTG Kate!

7am with Josh...
after 4 warm up sets of 5 building up to 186
hit 185 for one set of 5 then another for 3 before I put it back it was really crushing my trap on my right to the point that I rather rack and go back to 165 (should have went to 175). Out time was up so I left it at that. 2 at 165 one at 185 and scrubbed the other 3 at 185. Too much tension in my shoulder I guess.

Killed it at the WOD today. with 6:10 Which I was really happy about.
I want to hit 50 unbroken DUs...I got to 33 unbroken and finished it the first set and then hit 28 on the second set unbroken and then 31 No whipmarks! Killed the k2e in sets of 10 until the last then it was like 7/5/5/3. Ripped my palm open trying a different grip to save my hands where they usually rip.

On a different note...So I saw this and thought this might be a good thing to have on the cages... then again the boards/chips are fine too. (look at the 2 minute mark)

http:// www. youtube.com/watch?v=17IIWARMacY&feature=autoplay&list=PL4EB790F3D80EF12D&playnext=5

July 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

When I paste that URL it comes up as inaccurate

July 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Congrats, Kate!

July 18, 2012 | Registered CommenterRickke

HBBS: 45x3, 95x3, 125x3, 140x3x8. +10# next time.
Fitness WOD: 10:00 15# DB on sit-ups which I abandoned half way through. Found DUs much easier when I kept my eyes up.

July 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Jones

David.. Take the space out before the www and before the Y in youtube

I put 2 spaces in because sometimes the blog grabs URLs with even 1 space.

http://www .youtube.com/watch?v=17IIWARMacY&feature=autoplay&list=PL4EB790F3D80EF12D&playnext=5 Space is between the www and . this time.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

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