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Rest Day

 I'm just back from a great week-long trek through the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. This is me at 14,000 feet, near Mt Taulliraju in my favorite CrossFit South Brooklyn tank....All those miserable weighted lunges we've been doing helped me make it over that mountain pass the next day!

I'm so thankful for such an incredible gym & program, it's been totally the highlight of my spring to join and have the real fun of working out with a great group of coaches & friends

Warmly, Jynne

News and Notes

  • Did you lose something? Check out our Flickr Page for themost recent batch of items left in the lost and found. Slacks, tarps, buisness books.. there's no limits to what can be found in our L&F Bin!
  • Good luck to the Calaveras, CFSBK's softball team, who are playing tonight at 6:15pm. Head over to the Red Hook ball fields to cheer them on.
  • There is NO ACTIVE RECOVERY tomorrow since Coach DO will be out of town.
  • Happy Birthday Michele K.!

How to Be a Good Bar Partner

By Chris Fox 

We’re not speaking about how to help a friend get lucky by being a good wing man or woman here—we’re going to discuss seven ways you can be a solid bar mate when paired up with others during one of the lifting segments of a group class at CFSBK. 

1. Be ready to lift. This seems simple enough. After all, that’s what you’re going to do in a moment. Have your lifting gear—shoes, wraps, tape, belt, sleeves, special clean and jerk PR shirt, whatever—on you by the time your coach pairs you out to lift. 

2. Have your numbers planned. Obviously you need to know this so a coach can pair you on a rack, and this goes especially for the slow lifts where there shouldn’t really be any guessing. This is where good journaling comes into play. Knowing what you squatted last week, what you plan to hit this week, and what your warm up sets will look like will help you be efficient during the warm ups so you can rest between work sets. I’m always amazed when it’s 10 minutes into lifting time and a rack is still warming up. If you don’t know what you’re loading on the bar, then at best you’ll waste some of your lifting time. Even worse, you’ll waste your classmate’s time. This is by far the biggest time suck we notice during classes. Having a plan for your warm up sets will allow you to make practical decisions for your warm ups and also be flexible for the sake of keeping the flow moving. 

3. Be present, especially if you are spotting someone. I don’t think I need to explain why you should be present when spotting but I’ve seen people drift off while doing it. I once had to “ask” someone not to be on their phone when spotting the bench press. Related to this, understand how to spot a lift. We’re only talking about the bench press and the back squat here. What we expect might be different than what you learned in the high school weight room, so if you’re not sure how we spot these lifts at CFSBK, ask a coach. Even while not spotting, being present with your rack mates is a good idea. You’ll often lift with the same few people for a cycle on a lift. It’s nice to know a bit about them and enjoy the time. I don’t mean you need to force idle chitchat, but an extra pair of eyes can be helpful, as can words and cues of support. Additionally, being present ensures that you’re being mindful of things around you and your partner’s rack. Extraneous bumpers lying in the way of a potential bail can cause a bar to take an unpredictable path, as can someone walking into a heavy bar on someone’s back. Being aware of your surroundings can head off avoidable injuries. Be in control instead of wondering what’s going to happen. 

4. Keep it in bounds. While we expect people to be engaged and help their partners, remember that you are not a coach and shouldn't take over all the cueing adjustments/programming in your platform. It's a fine line to find for some people but when in doubt ask a coach and always defer to the advice given by staff. We've heard people with great intentions give bad cueing or suggestions to rack mates. Know thyself. 

5. Be ready for your set. When you’re not ready, you push the person behind you further back on the clock. In busier classes when there are three or even four people in a rack, someone should just about always be lifting. Don’t miss your turn or make your rack run out of time. 

6. Be clean, at least relatively. If the air around you suggests you may not have seen a bar of soap since the X-Files went off the air, it can be unpleasant and distracting to those around you. We work out together in pretty close quarters and get sweaty and sure, we all stink a bit every now and then (like me a few Thursdays ago, sorry!) but do your best to make that the exception, not the rule. Please note that some exercise apparel, especially that tech/wicking stuff, does not wash well—and all exercise gear has a shelf life.

7. Help load and unload the bar. Another pretty self-explanatory one. Share the workload on setup and breakdown—even going as far as to help another rack put stuff away if you’re done. You can’t really do too much here, but you can certainly do too little.

These are just a few things that can help your experience and that of your peers be more effective and enjoyable. Your fitness doesn’t happen in a vacuum at CrossFit South Brooklyn and the stronger we all get, the stronger we all get.

QOD: What’s one quality or habit that you think is important in a bar partner? 

David Attenborough: Origin of Life

I wen undercover to find out why people do CrossFit
NFPL East Vs West Match

Reader Comments (19)

Saturday's Programming


Fitness: Halting Snatch Deadlift + Snatch
If you have a difficult time pulling from the floor, then perform the Snatch from the mid-hang after the deadlift.

1) Snatch 1-1-1

2) Snatch 70% x 2 x 2


Back Squat

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Add 5-10 pounds to last week's weight.

Performance: 72.5% x 8 x 4
Rest less than two minutes between sets. Use 105% of the 1RM you used for last cycle.

June 12, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Fox, THANK YOU for this post. When not in Strength Cycle, I often get paired with less-experienced male lifters, simply because of the numbers, and #2 often makes me crazy because someone will just follow whatever weights I'm doing, except we're doing different programming. Then with 3 minutes to go my bar partner will realize he has two more sets to do because he has been in effect warming up whereas I've been doing ascending work weights. It's no skin off my nose, but it pains me anyway because I feel like I've messed up that person's lifting time.

I would like to add one more request: When chatting up a new bar mate, treat it like a first date as far as controversial topics. I once had a lifting partner grill me about my political views (which, as many of you know, are fairly unconventional). Some people love spirited arguments; I'm not one of them, so the conversation just got me agitated, which is not the mental space I need to be in before I get under a barbell that weighs more than I do. Again, some people also lift better when they're mad, but I'm not one of them. After you've been lifting with me for long enough that you know whether it's a good idea -- THEN talk to me about stuff you wouldn't discuss on a first date!

Respect for the weight and for each other is, I think, the most important quality a bar mate can have.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Hey CFSBKers! I'm going to be in London in a couple of weeks and need box reco's. Anyone have any input? Thaaaaaanks :D

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindstar

Strength Cycle W.4 D.2

45 x 10
95 x 5
135 x 4
160 x 3
175 x 3 x 3- paused squats.

Good to de-load after that craziness on Tuesday.

45 x 5
55 x 3
60 x 1
67.5 x 5 x 3

This was where I got stuck and started failing last cycle. So this is a 3 x 5 PR for me. Felt pretty good!

135 x 5
185 x 4
215 x 3
230 x 1
255 x 3
275 x 2 x 2
255 x 3

Heavy but moved well, I think.

QOD- I like a partner who is good at barbell math :)

Lindsay- my friend Fergus from home owns Crossfit Blackfriars. Let's talk.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Yesterday 7pm Strength Cycle. Make up lifting due to todays Swedish Midsummer Fest.

215x3x3 2 second pause squats


Mandatory Midsummer Fest today in Battery Park makes me miss today's session. So I went yesterday instead. Not so nice for my forearms which gave me a really painful time. Squats felt easy after Wednesday 295. Bench is still moving, need to keep the speed up and not fight the barbell on the way down. Jeremy let me off the cleans.

Pay attention to your partner when he/she lift. Be respectful and do not chat around.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

Lindsay -- I went to CF Central London and although it's conveniently located, I wouldn't say the coaching was the best there. (I was doing one-armed KB movements for the first time with no instruction -- terrible! I ended up with badly bruised forearms and sore shoulders for the rest of my trip.) You've been CF'ing long enough to know what you are doing, so that might be okay -- but if Charlie's friend's box is easy for you to get to, I'd say go there first.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Make up post from yesterday. 104 push-ups Rx. Had the most trouble on the run actually - Pigeon flew by me (get it) each round. I blame the my strength cycle gainz. Wednesday Olympic Lifting class a good time as always. Still need to stay over the bar longer. Also I hop forward a bit so will think about dropping straight down.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Make up from 7:30pm Fitness version, about 80-85 push ups Rxed.
Never thought I'd say this, but the 24KB felt light.
Oh and I got a totally unintentional 10 second handstand because my feet never made it to the wall and just stayed up there. WIN.
Then I watched the ladies lift some heavy ass shiz.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPigeon

6am. Snatch (kilos): 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 75, 60x2x3. Shoulders were feeling weak today which I attribute to the punishment they received yesterday. Would have been better to take a rest day, but I'm out of town this weekend and needed to get my snatch on. Pretty pleased I made 75 as that weight used to give me trouble and now I can hit it even on off days. HBBS: 230x8x4. Long pause in the middle of the very last rep. McDowell said it looked like I really wanted to savor it. Ha! Glad the 8's are done. Partnered with Scott for the wall-ball cash-out.

I like a bar partner who is conscious of the time. Especially important with the perf lifting format with max 2min rest between sets.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

My wrist wraps are MIA again and they haven't made an appearance in the lost & found bin. They're black and white Rogue strength wraps (http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-strength-wrap) and my name is written on them in red. If you grabbed them by mistake, please leave them for me at the front desk. Thanks!

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRickke

6am, doing yesterday's work with DO. The handstand kickups/v-ups/weighted lunges NFT went well. I absolutely love handstand work, partly because I think I have some natural aptitude for it, but mostly because it's just fun. I aspire to being able to blow my kids' minds by busting out a legit, freestanding, lasts-longer-than-two-seconds handstand when I'm with them at the park. This will happen in the near future. I think I have pistols in me, but the balance and ankle mobility weren't there today, so I did lunges with a 25 lb plate.

On the WOD, I worked with a 20lb kettlebell and it felt fine until the last swing in the third round when I think I overextended my back a bit and I felt some midback muscles twinge. I went slowly through the run and 18 pushups (as opposed to 30 and 26 in the preceding rounds). When I picked up the kettlebell again after 4 mins rest, those muscles seized right up and let me know round 4 wasn't happening. Dammit. After taking David's advice re. smashing those muscles with a lacrosse ball and taking a long, hot shower, I feel much better, if not 100%.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

Still missing my SBK charcoal grey hoodie, the ones that we did about 2 years ago. Size small. Anyone.. please.. Bueller..

Bar Partner: If you're sick or what have you.. cough or sneeze on/in your arm or your shirt. On the hands then on the bar.. yeah.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJB

Good day at the gym. Snatch: worked up to my previous PR, did a very smooth rep at 55 (kilos), then 57 (PR), then 60 ( still M - but I know I am close)
Squats: 280x3x5. Getting close on my linear progression to my Squat PR. Very tough the first 2 sets, but oddly the third set felt easier. Sometimes I think I am trying too hard at first, and as I get more tired, I just relax.

My bar partner today was great - so encouraging, I really wouldn't have made it through those squats without him and McDowell's positive energy.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

@Stella....well said

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRob F

Can't think of much else to add to the article. The theme of it all would be that when you're lifting with a group of people, you guys are a team and need to work together so that everyone gets their lifts in and the atmosphere is supportive and fun. It's also important to cut the new folks some slack as you were in their shoes once too. Instead of being frustrated if they don't know something, try to let them know about how to be a good rack mate and help them out, or you can always tell a coach that your partner might need to be clued in and we can help out too.

June 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Good bar partners always:

1. Help loading and unloading and bringing the needed weights over.
2. Move quickly through warm-up sets.
3. Pay attention to time

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Two other things...

I love the pic and write up from Jynne and David Attenborough is one of my favorite humans I've never had the pleasure of meeting.

June 20, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

hey, anyone see a pair of do-wins, blackish/blueish and white, size 6.5, had my name rubber banded to them at one point? they've been missing for a while and now that i'm in strength cycle i could really use them.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterariel c



Clean+Push Press+Push jerk+Jerk

Snatch Grip Strict Press

2Rds NFT
10 Bench Press@225
10 Ab Whell roll-outs

Clocking a sweet homer in the softball game.

June 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

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