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Rest Day

Jen focused in her front-rack position

A Letter to New CrossFitters: Good Training Habits 

The original version of this article appeared on David’s blog, Inside the Affiliate. 

Below is a short article we ask all our new members to read when they graduate from our Foundations program. At CFSBK, we believe it's important to guide our members’ training perspectives early on. The sooner we can get folks thinking about how to make proactive, intelligent training decisions, the more likely they'll optimize their time under our roof.

While it's our responsibility as coaches to teach movement, program wisely, and generally take care of folks, it's your job as an athlete to listen to your body, track your workouts, and maintain a mature perspective about why you’re doing CrossFit in the first place. For some athletes, this may be completely intuitive, but most folks walking through our doors will need to be taught even the most basic components of serious physical training. Many people pursue CrossFit because they want to lose some weight or a friend does it and it sounds fun—not necessarily because they've suddenly decided to eat, sleep, and breath CrossFit. (The obsession part happens organically, after they’ve been exposed to its benefits.)

With that in mind, the commercial fitness industry’s claims of quick fixes and supposed “secrets” to success may have influenced peoples’ perspectives and expectations when they arrive at our gym, and it behooves us to disabuse them of such false messaging. Messages such as the one below are part of a larger dialogue that CFSBK is constantly facilitating, with the aim of giving our members the most accurate and honest advice about what it takes to adopt a healthy lifestyle. 

Hopefully, all of you have already read this article. But a good refresher never hurt anyone…

Good Training Habits

While it’s our responsibility as coaches to teach you movement, program intelligently, and keep you safe, it’s your responsibility as athletes to develop good training habits. Here is an overview of three great habits that will significantly enrich your training experience.

1. Be Proactive With Your Movement Prep
Everyone needs to do a little personalized maintenance on their bodies. Even 10 minutes of DIY movement prep before class can go a long way in keeping you fit and pain free. After you've signed in and changed, take advantage of the time you've got and start moving. 

Row an easy 300-500m on the erg. Get your heart rate up a little and try to get a light sweat going. We recommend holding 20 strokes per minute and rehearsing good form. 

Stretch/Foam Roll
Many of us know where our tightest areas are—they're the ones that make it difficult to squat below parallel or press a barbell overhead. Spend a few minutes mobilizing and doing some soft tissue work (foam roller/LAX ball, etc.) on your "problem areas.” If you don't know where to begin, ask a coach what you should be prioritizing and we'll help you out. We also regularly refer our members to out Active Recovery classes and MobilityWOD.com. This is great resource for folks who need simple, effective strategies to help them move better. 

2. Log All of Your Workouts
Training without logging is like driving without a road map. You don't know where you've been or where you're going. Taking notes on each training session helps you track your progress and helps us make informed decisions about how to assist you in choosing weights and scaling movements. Each day should list some quantitative and qualitative notes about your training session. Here is an example:

3 rounds NFT
5 Snatch PP (22lb bar)
5 Muscle Snatches
10 Push-ups on knees 

Move up to yellow bar

AMRAP 15 minutes:
Row 350m
12 Overhead Squats, 45lbs
4 Rounds + 320m 

Kept rows at about 2:23 splits, felt hard but doable. Don't shift forward during overhead squats.... Mid foot!

You can track your workouts in a journal or online. As coaches, we LOVE to read the details of your workout in the Comments section of CFSBK’s blog. It gives us a deeper perspective into your training and the programming in general. 

3. Start Slow and Maintain Perspective
We take our training seriously at CrossFit South Brooklyn and with that comes with a good deal of responsibility. Our movement pool uses serious strength and conditioning exercises in order to develop broad, inclusive fitness. If we don't treat these movements and workouts with respect, training plateaus and injuries are sure to follow. The best way to ensure your success and training longevity with us is by starting slowly and developing a rock-solid technical base. In fact, the first few months you start CrossFit, intensity should not be a significant concern. The movements are potent enough that just consistently performing them will create a favorable adaptation. After you feel really comfortable with most of our exercises and have a working knowledge of your weights, only then should you start ramping up the intensity. 

Training with a lifelong perspective is incredibly important. Remember that you're here to build yourself up, not break yourself down. Scaling workouts properly, listening to your body and checking your ego at the door will allow you to work out successfully for years to come. Most importantly, have fun with this stuff and enjoy the process.

Coach Fox wrote an article a few weeks ago that expands on many of these themes, called "Tips on How to be Prepared and Get the Most Out of Group Classes." Check it out!

  • This is the second day of the first week of our new cycle. If you want to see what else is on tap, check out the Current Programming Cycle link in the left sidebar

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Reader Comments (18)

Wednesday's Programming

Back Squat

Fitness: 3 x 5 Linear Progression
Start below your last exposure to leave room to grow.

Performance: 1 x 20
Start at about 55% of your 1 Rep Max.


In 12 minutes:
5 Wall Ball 20/10, 14/9
5 Knees to Elbows
10 Wall Ball
10 Knees to Elbows
15 Wall Ball
15 Knees to Elbows
20 Wall Ball
20 Knees to Elbows
25 Wall Ball
25 Knees to Elbows
If you can't perform K2E as Rx'd then sub V-Ups.

Post loads and rounds to comments.

August 4, 2014 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

6am class, doing Monday's programming with Jess

Bench press: 185x5, 180x5, 180x4
With a little more recovery time I think I could have had the last rep in the last set. As it was I didn't attempt it. My last bench cycle ended up at 190x5x3, so I think I slid back a little.

25/15 KB/plate-burpees thing: RXed, reps were 25/15, 25/15, 25/15, 25/15, 20/6
Pretty much collapsed in the last round. This was a crushing workout for me. The two week vacation I just returned from probably didn't help, but I feel like this was one of the hardest workouts I've done in a long time.

Great to be back in the gym.

Oh, also I started Franks oly lifting class last night. Really excited. Mostly range of motion testing last night and position drills. Love the instruction so far.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex C


Can we do a session where we discuss Kinesiology Tapes, its usefulness and how/when/where to apply them?

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPigeon

Bench - 185x5, 205x5, 205x5 - Felt solid. Could have gone up but figured this was a good place to start the cycle.

WOD - This was kind of right in my wheelhouse, but still pretty tough. Kept pretty consistent finishing the KBs between :40 and :45 and the burpees between :45 and :50

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

Pigeon - it's snake oil with no science behind it. That's my 2 cents, and the same opinion as most professionals who don't sell the stuff.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFox

6 am w. McDowell and Jess doing Wednesday's programming.

Fitness HBBS at (45 x 5, 95 x 4, 110 x 3 and) 120# x 3 x 5. Ended the last cycle at 130#, and today's weight was tough, but doable. I think I might only jump up by 5# next week so I have some room to grow over this cycle, we'll see how it feels next week.

WOD w. 16/9 WBs and Knees to Elbows. Made it 11 reps into the set of 25 Knees to Elbows for a total of 136 reps in this WOD. WBs were unbroken for the first three sets, then broken into sets of 10. K2E were unbroken for the first two sets, then broken into sets of 5. I started WBs at 12/9 several months ago and am gradually trying to work my way up to Rx standards. Last time we did WBs, I used the 16# ball for the first time and had trouble hitting the 8' mark consistently. The 16# ball felt better than I expected today, so I was able to hit the 9' target throughout the WOD. I'll stick with 16/9 until my consistency/speed improves, and then hope to keep increasing the weight/height until 20/10 someday!

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNeal P.

Thanks Fox.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPigeon

Fox hit the nail on the head re: Kino Tape. I'd add that you should just pick the color that matches your booty shorts best and just wrap it randomly about yourself.

In an effort to be better about posting, since I'm following group class programming this cycle:

Monday makeup post:

Bench: 215, 225, 235. Nice to know my untrained bench press is still pretty much there. Good time working with Andy, quite a bald guy power duo.

WOD: RX weight and ROM, sub-RX reps completed...this beat me up a bit, I just didn't have the discomfort tolerance to push through the KB swings- American ones always kill my forearms and shoulders.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

I tried the tape last year as part of a desparate attempt to cure my plantar fasciitis. Can't say that it really did anything - but I thought it looked cool and I am all about fashion. I pulled the following down from WebMD - good perspective on the question at hand:

Philip Newton, physiotherapist and director of Lilleshall Sports Injury Rehab, agrees the benefits may be in the mind: "My view is that Kinesio tape probably has a significant placebo effect," he says in an email. "The placebo effect is not fully understood but it is generally accepted that any treatment/intervention will elicit a placebo response, which has complex cultural and contextual elements."

He says the design helps, too: "I believe that part of the genius behind the phenomenal commercial success of Kinesio taping was the idea to manufacture it in highly visible colors. This is in contrast to the traditional colors used for traditional types of tape/bandage.

"Many sports performers have historically chosen to hide any strapped areas of their bodies so as not to advertise any areas of potential physical weakness. In stark contrast, many contemporary sports people do exactly the opposite with Kinesio tape. It seems that for many it is a badge of honor.

"Maybe some wear it as a means of explaining away any possible future failures or defeats? Or maybe they want to demonstrate that they have the grit and determination to push through the adversity of injury."

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJay

i remember watching crossfit games highlights (before ever doing crossfit 'B.C.') and was like 'why are these people putting tape on them? is it to save for later?'

make up post from last night's 7:30pm class

bench 70#x5 which moved great but i didn't want to add more weight to work on my form (thanks for the shoulder staying down more when pressing up advice, Whit!)

WOD: 16kg kb (russian), was able to do the first three rounds with the 25 swings and the 15 burpees to bumper, then all fell apart by rnd 4 and scaled all to 20 swings/10 burpees to bumper (it was like moving through jell-o so slooowww).

today was rest day but decided to work on singles and double unders in prospect park today which was fun. i went to one of the adult fitness equipment playgrounds to try my hand at some knees to elbows but the place was rampant with teens hanging out doing pull-ups and also talking on their iphone earphones. went to another fitness equipment playground on the other side of the park which was much quieter and less occupied... i will say the grip on those pull up bars are hard as hell, and had to concentrate most on trying not to slip (i think the bars are def thicker than our gym's and also PAINTED)

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Camille, that is awesome.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKate R

This is day 2 of getting back on track. Other than some cold symptoms and self-sabotaging baking, I'm pleased with my progress.

Noon class with McDeisel
HBBS - 105# x 20 fine
12 min of wall balls 9'/14# and knees2elbows by 5s...
30s round (tho pretty sure I did 35 wall balls) plus 13 k2e.
That was less bad than Monday's work out. K2e are more difficult that t2b.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

kate r! thanksss!

sometimes i forget prospect park exists as a big gym itself! i dunno if i suggest using the fitness equipment pull up bars in the playground unless you have a really good grip strength (which a lot of you all seem to have but still a work in progress for me) and some chalk hahaha

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

Noon with McDowell.

LBBS 145 x 20. I felt some lower back discomfort after ten reps- this seems to happen when I do high volume. The weight was no problem so maybe my belt would help?

WOD with 14#/8' target. I tried K2E but my shoulder felt a little achy after 10 reps and I decided I would get a better workout by switching to v-ups since my K2Es are no bueno, so that's what I did. I got all the wall balls in the round of 30 and 10 v-ups so that's 190 reps for this one.

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Clean and Jerk, 75%x2x2, 80%x1x3

Front Squat, 87%x3x5

Snatch grip DLs, 110%x4x4

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

Cam, try dirt. It's like, nature's chalk. ;-)

Came in and snuck on a platform for a bit to remediate my olympic lifts.

Hang Snatch > Snatch
40x1,1,1 50x1 60x1 65x1 70x1,1,M,1

Hit too hard on the missed second rep and sent the bar out in front of me, other than that one, second pull is feeling much better.

Power Clean > 2 Jerks
50 60 70 80 90x1,1,1

115x5 165x5 200x20

Was jealous of the classes doing these. Maybe went a little heavy if there are 2 or more exposures of this. It's not that they got hard to stand up, just that after 10 I wanted to quit because it felt terrible.

DB curl and press

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

todd... dirt!! check!!

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

7:30 - Jess/Noah

Monday's BenchP & WOD


Solid heavy 5 to work off of...the last set Jess pointed out I was pulling my back of the bench a little...need to work more on my setup more to avoid that...and push those feet through the floor.

WOD was a good one. You know it's a good one when you go completely blank after the workout and forget to write anything in your notebook about what you just did. I did it backwards, meaning burpees then KB swings, with KB swings being my limiting factor it definitely made it harder. Burpees were all under 42secs...

KB Swings were 25, 25, 20, 20, 25...I haven't done the American style in a while, so need to work those in to my programming more.

More WOD's like this please...definitely liked this one!

August 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

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