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Press 101

Press 101

Work up to a heavy single in 5 attempts. If you haven't pressed much before, use today to find your starting weight for a 3x5 Linear Progression. We'll be seeing presses in the next cycle.

The birthday girl on her final mile of "Murph" with Asha, who was already done with her heat, but joined Whit's last mile for support

  • Happy Birthday, Coach Whitney! 
  • Back Off Week starts today! 

Back Off Weeks 

By David Osorio

For most of us, it can be quite difficult to hit the WODs hard, week-in, week-out, ad infinitum. Your ability to successfully train at high intensity over a period of time is determined by genetics, recovery, nutrition, injuries, and training age.  At CrossFit South Brooklyn, we follow a 3/1/2/1 weekly microcycle which looks like this:

CFSBK Microcycle
Saturday: On
Sunday: On
Monday: On

Tuesday: Off 

Wednesday: On
Thursday: On

Friday: Off

By allowing at least two non-sequential days off, we can train at high intensity over the course of a week. Consistently training CrossFit more than three days in a row can lead to a decrease in performance due to accumulated inflammation and a lack of recovery. Many of you guys have been following our 3/1/2/1 schedule with great success.

But what about training over longer periods of time than a week?

The type of training we do as CrossFitters leads to degrees of adaptation much more closely related to competitive athletics than traditional "fitness" programs. That being said, it's important to note that most organized sports teams map out their yearly programming goals based around a competitive season.  Conversely, CrossFit is a GPP program which aims to achieve a consistently high level of work capacity over a life time. There are many individuals who use CrossFit to train for their sport or occupation (MIL/LEO etc.) and an ever-growing number of people who are competing in CrossFit as their primary sport. These individuals will generally modify variables of their programs to better prepare themselves for competition or deployment.

But what about boring old me?

The majority of us are training CrossFit without any regard to a specific competition or training goal other than health, longevity, and fitness. It's therefore necessary for the average CrossFitter to take it upon themselves to consider their training over longer periods of time than a week. Especially for the folks coming in five times a week, we program every 8th week at less intensity and use it as a period to scale back and give your bodies a chance to clean house and manage any systemic inflammation.

The workouts we post on Back Off weeks will generally be of lighter total volume with less emphasis on load or time, if at all. Additionally, we'll use it as an opportunity to prep for the upcoming cycle by workshopping the movements in longer formats. It is simultaneously the end of the previous cycle and the beginning of the new one.

CFSBK Mesocycle

Week 1: Training 
Week 2: Training 
Week 3: Training 
Week 4: Training 
Week 5: Training 
Week 6: Training 

Week 7: Testing ("Crush Week")

Week 8: Back Off/Prep Week

If you train with us less frequently, perhaps once or twice a week, and are not considerably active outside of CrossFit, you can still benefit from some cyclical recovery. How much recovery and fluctuation in intensity you need is highly specific and you should always be listening to your body and adapting accordingly. Folks who are living hard and fast outside the gym should be especially sensitive to how they're feeling.

A Thank-You and a Warning Catalyst Athletics
12 Surprising Foods with More Sugar Than a Krispy Kreme Doughnut takepart

Reader Comments (23)

Second day in a row at Crossfit Asphodel in HK and the workout was similar to this one so I might as well post (Press 1-1-1-1-1, Push Press 3-3-3-3-3, Push Jerk 5-5-5-5-5)

40x3 50x2 57x1 60x1 62.5x1 65xm,m

65kg would have been a tiny .5lb PR, wanted it but they both stalled out early.

Push press
60x3 62.5x3 65x3 70x3 72.5x3

Push jerk
60x5 65x5 70x5 75x5 80x4(m)

Push Jerks felt great today, should have had the last rep at 80kg but it got out in front of me. Cashed out with 5x5 strict pull ups to try to counteract all that pushing. Shoulders are fried.


Make up from yesterdays Olympic class at Asphodel, where I lucked into their max-out day.

40x3 50x2 60x1 65x1 70xP,M,1 75x1 80xM,1 85xM,M,M

Got under all three 85 attempts, which was miraculous. It's going up soon.

Clean and jerk
60x1 70x1 80x1 90x1 95xC,1 100x1 105xM 102.5xC,M,M (Clean PR)

Then some of the class talked me into a 5min alternating plank cash-out. Not fun.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

6am with Nick, McD, and the rest of the crew.

Super glad to be starting back-off week.

Partnered with Everett on the press. Felt surprisingly good today, warmed up with 95, then did 125, 145, 165, attempted 175, failed, and then did 170. 5# over my last PR, so a decent way to start a Monday.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael A.

Whit happy birthday <3333 hope penny got you something good!

Thought i would avoid 14.5 in my lifetime (did AR the first time it came around and wasn't doing the open)... but NOPE. Scaled the weight but finished in 22:11. Between that workout and the day before with the run/power cleans/push ups, my shoulders are asking 'WHYYYYYY???'. Glad to have back off week!

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Happy Birthday, Whit! Enjoy the sunshine!!

Community: I'm looking for a roommate! The master bedroom in my 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment is open. 6th and Union (so close to CFSBK!), parlor floor of a brownstone, with exposed brick, working fireplace, and a back patio. It's really a gem of an apartment! You'd have the front, sunny bedroom and your own, full bathroom. $1475 + utilities with a July 1 move-in.

If you or someone normalish you know needs a spot, please hit me up! lvs3h(at)virginia.edu

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLily

BCAA Suggestions

Could anyone recommend a Branch Chain Amino Acid drink/powder that is made without milk-based products (ie. Whey) as well as a respectable online retailer where I can get it?

Cheers. And happy bday Coach Whitney!

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris Yun

Strength Cycle Week 2 Day1:

I still need someone to remind me mid-push to keep my chest up.


Trying to find the right position for the first pull and now drop my ass.

Followed it by a 1000m cool down row at about 2:10 pace.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPigeon

guess what this Wednesday is?

meat and fish CSA day, that's what!

pickup is 6-8:30! be there or be square.

NB for vegetable CSA members: your first delivery will be Wed June 11.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermichele

Great to be back from Regionals!! I'm pretty wiped out and am slowly trying to catch back up to regular life and log some extra sleep hours. We were done anywhere from 8-11:30 each day and back up at 5:30am. Basically non-stop action from the moment we get on the floor to the moment we leave.

Didn't get a chance to post on Saturday:

Saturday's WOD in the athlete warm-up area with a bunch of other volunteers and staff working out. It was a true Bro session! I loved it! everyone cheering each other on doing random things and blowing off steam from another packed day.

worked up to 175

5 Rounds of:
5 Power Snatches 135lbs
10 Toes to Bars
10 Burpees to an 8' Target

I left my phone in the car so just did this quickly. I was the last person to get to the warm-up area to train since I had to finish up some other stuff so some dudes I'd never met stayed behind to cheer me on the last few rounds of this. Was definitely feeling the CrossFit community love

June 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Shitty hotel wifi ate my post.

Went back to Windy City for another strength cycle makeup session, since tomorrow I'll arrive at LGA right in the middle of class.

Everything in kilos since I was in their Oly area today. Squat 77x5x3, bench 48x5x3, deadlift 93x5. Then 3 sets of 5 chins.

Can't wait to get home to my strong ladies!

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Speaking of Regionals… David did an awesome job! The judges were professional and coordinated. It almost felt like a play with set changes, players hitting marks etc. You could just tell David was involved. Also, he wore a collared shirt and rocked a headset all weekend - looking very boss man ;)

Never in my life did I imagine that I would travel to attend a regional exercise competition, but what can I say? Crossfit makes you do weird things. My boyfriend’s team was competing, so I only really saw the team events and the first day of individual males before we went back to the hotel to rest and recover. The team category is competitive in our region, and it was fun to cheer on so many local NYC gyms. I’m most excited the Virtuosity made it. They were one of, if not the, lowest seeded team coming in, but they had a great first day and hung in there all weekend to earn a trip to Carson. Maybe it’s because of the Subway Series, but I had the most warm fuzzies for them :)

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

happy birthday whit!

any chance we can get a preview of the lifts & corresponding days for this upcoming cycle? :)

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterasta

Asta! You'll be getting them very soon in our friendly neighborhood SBK newsletter.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Katz

DO wore a collared shirt? Pics or it didn't happen.

Also happy birthday, Dubhubs!

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

6am class with Nick and McDowell. I worked up to 115# on the press, which I've somehow never done before. That felt right, like it was about as heavy as I could go for now. I'm looking forward to moving that number up by the end of this cycle.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

LILY- hit me up, my ladyfriend is looking for a place. She's swell, I promise. noahbarth AT gmail

WHITNEY!!!!! (end of sentence)

...and I'm swayze...

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternoahb

Snatch(60, 70. 75%)x2
176, 188, 203

HBBS 80%x5x6
**These felt great

GHD Situps 3x10

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

6:30am Strength Cycle A

LBBS 95 5 x 3
-these still feel on the light side

Press 40 5 x 3
-also lightish

Deadlifts 135 5 x 1

Don't miss group class AT.ALL. Sorry not sorry.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle B.

6am with McD and Nick...

Press - did not go well as I have some pain in my left lat/shoulder. Hoping some AR and acupuncture will have me in shape by next week. Worked up to 58#...tried 63# but could not get it up!

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNan

4:30 w/ Coach Tae Kwon DO

First day back after Murph. Yes, I skipped crush week. In fact, I spent the majority of last week channeling both Nic Cage from Leaving Las Vegas and that Sloth guy from Seven. Thank goodness for Back Off Week!

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChris Yun

I really have no idea how people did presses today if they did both of the weekend's workouts - I found my shoulders were fried and had to back off pretty damn fast.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Happy Birthday Whitney!!

7:30 pm w. Coaches RoMeLo.

Press at (45 x 5, 65 x 4) then 1 rep each of 70, 75, 80 (PR tie), 75 and 70 #. I think this cycle will be tough for me, which I guess means the more practice the better (or so I'm telling myself).

Weighted strict chin ups prescribed by Coach MeLo for cash out: 5 reps w. 10# plate then 5 additional reps with 15#.

June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNeal P.

10am class


June 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

6am with McDowell and Nick.

Pretty tough to press today after the recent shoulder work in our WODs. A few months ago, I hit a max of 135 so I was hoping to beat that, but I only managed to match it.

125, 135F, 130, 135

Looking forward to beating that 135 mark in another 6 weeks.

June 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterElliott

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