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Rest Day

  • Due to the plowing on Degraw Street, our bike rack is currently buried under a mountain of snow. We can't offer bike storage inside the gym because it has the potential to create a fire hazard, so please make alternate plans until the snow melts and/or we're able to dig it out. Sorry for the inconvenience! 

January Athlete of the Month: Asha Banker

By Chris Fox

You may know her as the gal who spends time on the mat before and after class, stretching and prepping or cooling down. Or as the gal getting after it when the WOD gets tough, throwing down hard while still encouraging her classmates. Or maybe just as the gal with the perennial smile on her face. Asha has been training regularly at CFSBK for a few years now but has really progressed in leaps and bounds lately. Let’s spend some time learning a bit more about her.

Fox: Hey Asha, congrats on being our next featured AOM! When and how did you first start CrossFit?

Asha: Thanks! I’m surprised and excited! In 2011, a co-worker first told me about CrossFit. Although he was really into it, I was hesitant, having heard stories of injuries and such. In July 2012, my mom broke her ankle in a bicycle accident in the Boston suburbs, where I grew up. I went home to help take care of her and it turned out that her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Rockett, (who also happens to be part of the CrossFit Games Medical Team) did CrossFit! I was sold and signed up for Foundations at CFSBK before even returning to Brooklyn. I realized later how fortunate I was that CFSBK happened to be the box closest to me. I did Foundations and have been hooked since! Because I like to stick to our programming, when I travel, I try to change things up, getting in running, yoga and AR. I did go to CrossFit Original Addicts in Paris last March so I could do 15.5, and over Christmas, tried out classes a couple classes at boxes near my parents. I may convince them to start training!

Fox: What a great story. We’re fortunate that you found us, too! What was your first impression of CFSBK, and what made you stay?

Asha: I’d always played sports growing up. In high school, it was field hockey, swimming, and lacrosse, and in college, I ran Div III cross country and track. Through patience and learning how to train smart, I became the fastest runner on the XC team my senior year, and was also co-captain. Since college, I have remained active. I have run one NYC marathon, done a bunch of half marathons in New York and Mumbai, and played in a large field hockey squad when I lived in London. I also did Muay Thai in Manhattan for a couple years, which I loved, but stopped when I moved to India in 2007. After coming to Brooklyn in 2011, I kept up running, as well as yoga, but was searching again for intensity and camaraderie. CrossFit filled those gaps and I immediately started to make friends in the gym. I remember early on, meeting Joy Mele and Julie Barnard (OGJB) when I was a 6am-er, and watching Jess Bailey kick butt at the Subway Series at Virtuosity. So many other cool people were supportive and inspiring, which soon extended to pursuits outside the gym. While CrossFit remains a big financial commitment, I justify it as group-level personal training. Having a committed and fun group is key -- every marathon-distance run I’ve done has also been with training partners. I’ve never not wanted to come to the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I’m nervous sometimes, but it’s a fun kind of nervous and I know that others are feeling the same way. CFSBK always has a great vibe and it’s obvious that David has great hiring practices. I’ve learned from every coach and have been particularly impressed with how coaches prioritize proper movement, are incredibly thoughtful about managing injuries, and that we push everyone to keep the gym organized and clean.

Fox: Those are all such great compliments to the SBK staff and community alike! I’m glad we’re filling those roles for members. You were sort of coming in and flying under the radar for a while, but at some point you really kicked it up a notch. Was there something that changed? 

Asha: I did 3x/week until the summer of 2014 when I took Coach Frank’s Next Level Olympic Weightlifting Cycle and added on the 2x/week CF option. The combination upped me to 4x/week, which was a good transition. After Frank’s class, I felt ready to become a 5-time-a-weeker. In 2014, I also started putting in additional time for skill work. Getting my first strict chin-ups that summer became a gateway to work on more bodyweight movements.

Fox: That’s great! I love to see people get their “firsts” in the gym. Can you tell us a bit about your life outside of the gym? Family and hobbies? 

Asha: My family is Indian. My mom grew up in Mumbai and my father in Sri Lanka; they moved to the US right after they got married. I was born in Chicago, but we moved to the Boston area when I was two and a half. The year after we moved was the Blizzard of ‘78 - I remember seeing snow higher than me! Fun fact: CFSBK photog extraordinaire Thomas Hinton was in my fifth grade class. I also have an older sister who lives in Manhattan. Our parents always encouraged us to be active. We started skiing when I was three and my sister was six. My parents and sister were good role models for being active and healthy. I love cooking (and eating) good food and am fortunate to have friend groups in New York from different chapters in my life. I’m in a book club, and last summer, I took an improv class just for fun. And I am doing a ski trip to Italy in March, right around the Open. 

Fox: Tell us about your work life. What do you do?

Asha: I studied economics in college and was always interested in social and economic development. I have been working in education since 2009, but my path there was not typical. After college, I worked in finance in New York and then London. It was tempting to stay but I wanted to channel my analytical and people skills to help build organizations. So after business school, I worked first as a product manager in open source software, and in 2005, volunteered in Gujarat in India, working with a women artisan non-profit. Being able to apply my different expertise towards truly tangible work was exhilarating. I moved to India for three years, transitioning to the education sector while there. I then came to Brooklyn to develop the K-12 school turnaround practice for Wireless Generation/Amplify. After subsequently working for Newark Public Schools, I started an organization last year, Verdant Learning. Having seen top-down approaches to school improvement fail, I wanted to support schools hungry for grassroots change. Verdant helps middle schools (as CFSBK parents know, they are in particularly high need in New York), make parent engagement a core driver of school improvement. We help schools link parent engagement to learning outcomes, make communication easier and more meaningful, and build capacity within their community. Quick plug to our highly talented CFSBK peeps: I am looking for a visual designer to help with my website and some marketing docs, and am always looking to brainstorm with interested educators and philanthropic investor folks.

Fox: Sounds like you’re doing worthwhile work. Can you tell us one odd thing about you?

Asha: Hah! Ask me in person about all the cities and apartments I’ve lived in. Until finding my apartment in Brooklyn five years ago, I had moved a lot! 

Fox: Alright, last question. What should we look for in a future AOM?

Asha: Humility, perseverance, and someone who is quietly progressing while genuinely cheering for the success of others. Also, they should have a sense of humor. We’re in this for the long haul!
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Push Press | Push Press, Row
When Is It Enough? YouTube
This Is No Game The New Yorker 

Reader Comments (42)

Wednesday's Programming

Front Squat/Back Squat

Heavy: Back Squat 87.5% x 2 x 2, Front Squat 87.5% x 2 x 2
Based on 1RM.

Back Squat 2 x 5, Front Squat 2 x 5
Heavier than last week.

Post loads to comments
Exposure 13 of 16

For Time:
20 Deadlifts 135/95
20 Ring Push-Ups
15 Deadlifts 225/155
15 Ring Push-Ups
10 Deadlifts 315/205
10 Ring Push-Ups

Have the necessary plates nearby to make efficient weight changes. Must use clips. Scale the ascending loads on the deadlift such that it starts very light and finishes on the heavy side for you. For the ring dips, scale volume as necessary or scale degree of difficulty and perform regular or modified push ups.

Post time and Rx to comments.

January 25, 2016 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio


A. Ring Muscle up

B. EMOM 8 min
ODD: 10 Band Pulls

15 Double unders
5 Burpees
20 Double unders
10 Burpees
25 Double unders
15 Burpees
30 Double unders
20 Burpees

*Keep adding 5 reps to each round for the remaining time.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCoach Ro

This one is NOT a surprise -- I can't imagine anyone who more clearly has all the traits of a true AOTM! Congrats, Asha!!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterariel c


January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Congrats Asha! What a perfect choice. I am so happy we got to know each other as platform partners in Frankie's class!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay-Star

What a great choice for AOTM! Asha is a star.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMattyChm

Yay Asha!

Love you! I'm always so happy when I get to be in class with you. So well-deserved! Xx

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

6am with Nick and Jess - doing Monday's push pressery with Nick. I have never tested a 1rm push press, so when asked I said 165#, which was totally pulled from my ass. Turns out my ass was right! These went 95x5; 115x3; 125x3; 1135x2; 155x1; 165x1; 175x1(f). I might have been able to get 170 up, but 165 felt plenty heavy so maybe not. Either way, I'm pretty happy with where I ended up here.
I did the metcon with 115 on the bar. The rounds were very consistent with 14 reps in all but the third round, when I got 15 reps (broken up 8-6 and 9-6). The rows were also consistent with 20 cals every round but the 4th, when I rowed 18. I really had to fight for the last few cals on the last round. Glad I did.
Congrats, Asha!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

So incredibly well deserved. I have always admired Asha's positive attitude, approach to working hard (yet efficiently), and above all, ability to do it with grace. I want to be like Asha.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterkristin caps

Congrats, Asha! Well deserved! Xoxoxoxoxo

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermuxx

Congrats Asha, another great choice for ATOM.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterk2h2

Asha is a total BFA... +1 +1 +1 AOTM

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Congratulations Asha! Well deserved!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Congrats Asha!!! Perfect pick, always makes the gym a little brighter. TFBA and amazing human being!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKayleigh R.

Yay Asha! Total killer.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Mc

Congratssss Asha! Such a well deserved recognition! You are the best xo

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCam

Congrats Asha, always great to hear how folks found CFSBK and little about their lives.

6am w/ Jess & Nick.
HBBS: 135x5, 185x3, 225x1, 241x2x2 then FSQ: 210x2x2. Weight moved well, no belt.

Metcon: Don't remember my time, but it's Steve + a few seconds. It took forever to load the bar. Deadlift weights at 135-225-295. Deadlifts: 20, 10-5, 3-2-1-1-1-1-1. Ring pushups: 10-10, 8-6-1, 10. The first two rounds were completed in approx. 3 mins or so. Those were quick and fast. The last round of deadlifts were very heavy and took extra time to ensure good form. The bonus for taking more time was the last set of ring pushups was unbroken and fast.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBK

nice Asha!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris A.

Congrats Asha!

6am squats with Jess

HBBS - 255 x 5 x 2
FSQ - 230 x 5 x 2
Felt appropriately heavy but still moving with good speed. Both 5# jumps from last week. As usual first set of FSQ my front rack looks horrible before getting better for the second set.

WOD - 8:06 or 8:16, can't remember. Deadlifts at 135-225-275 and 20, 10-5, 5-5. Ring push-ups 10-5-5, 5-5-5, 5-5. Probably should have joined BK at 295 on the deadlift, 275 was heavy but surprisingly easy and allowed me to catch up. Never tried ring push-ups before but went pretty well.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Congrats, Asha! Very well deserved!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLil JB

Congrats Asha!

6am with Nick and Jess - Monday's Work. This might have been my first 6am of 2016 due to way too much travel. Nice to be back.

Push Press: Everything felt pretty good. 135 felt heavier on my shoulders than I expected, which made me think the rest of the attempts were going to crush me, but they kept going up, until the last one.


Metcon: Best round was the first. 13@135# and 22 calories. Worst round was the last. 9@135# and 18 calories. Was consistently at 11/20 in the middle rounds.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrad D

Asha was an easy pick. Her commitment to improve, her friendliness and easy way she carries herself, and her commitment to detail are all well noticed. Congrats, Asha!


Bench Press

Close Grip Bench Press

then did tomorrow's DL/RPU WOD'

20 Deadlifts @135 (unbroken)
20 Ring Push Ups (12/8)
15 Deadlifts @225 (6/5/4)
15 Ring Push Ups (6/5/4)
10 Deadlifts @315 (5/3/2)
10 Ring Push Ups (6/4)
Time 5:12
Never looked at the clock. Going in to the round of 10 Jess was saying "sub 5" so I have to imagine I could have shaved a few seconds off by being less conservative with rest and breaking up sets but I'm OK with that. Last training day before a week in NorCal. See y'all next week!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFox

7am doing Monday's work with Jess:

Push Press - 95# x 5 / 105# x 3 / 115# x 3 / 125# x 2 / 135# / 145# / 155#

No fails here, just one ugly cycle in the round of two. Pretty happy with how this went considering I can't remember the last time I tried a heavy single on the push press.

WOD @ 115# - 56/ 94 for 150 total
PP - 12 / 12 / 12 / 10 / 10
Cals - 18 / 20 / 18 / 18 / 20

Row was fine, presses got heavy at the end. Broke them up 7/5 for the first three rounds then 6/4. Second set was alway rough. Pleased at being able to get that many reps at this weight though.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan B

Congrats to Asha; awesome person all around!

Make up post from 5:30 class yesterday

Push press work

I arched my back both times I tried to hit 225 which was frustrating. I should have went to 215 instead of taking such a big jump. Bad planning.

Did the WOD at 145# and stayed relatively consistent
15/25 broke up 6/6/3
13/22 broke up 6/5/2
12/22 broke up 5/5/2
11/21 broke up 6/5
11/22 broke up 6/5
Total 62/92

GHDs 10/12

These were hard but felt pretty good. I have to work on pushing my head through and keeping the bar close on each rep. I have a tendency for the bar to get out in front of me.
I'm not sure at what point I did it but my neck has been really sore and stiff today. Lots of lacrosse ball rolling at work and heat compresses. I feel like I'm wearing a neck brace.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBen Lock

Yay Asha!! I remember being super inspired by your hard work during the Crossfit Games last year. Congrats on a well-deserved AOTM!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBethany Erskine

Yay Asha!
For me, one of the people that immediately comes to mind when I think of CFSBK's great community.

Monday's Programming

Push Press

Only got to do 2 rounds (105#), then had to bolt.
I'll make it up tomorrow.
Seriously, I will.
No really.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris "Rx Next Time" Yun

Make up post from yesterday:

First--loved Katie and Melo's write up about Wodapalooza. You ladies are very inspiring and incredibly badass.

Filthy Fiddy w/ the comp team: 18:04. I think this is about a 2 min PR, though I did back extensions instead of deadlifts last time. Very happy with the time and how I felt throughout.
BJ: all jump up, step down
JPU: sets of 10
KBS: unbroken
Walking lunges: unbroken
T2B: all sets of 5, despite early temptations to bite off more
PPs: 35/15
DLs: 20-10-10-10. These were the hardest part of the workout
Wall-balls: 10-6-4-6-6-6-6-6-6. I knew these would be tough. Just tried to keep my breaks relatively short.
Burpees: slow-going, but just pushed through (you'll never fail a burpee!)
DUs: unbroken

Followed by 5 very fatigued sets of: power snatch + OHS + hang squat snatch. Worked up to 83#, with some good intimidation from Bryan to prevent me from jumping forward.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLil JB

I remember when the question of the day was, "If you were a superhero, what would your name be?" and Asha answered Super Asha. When it came to me, I said, "Super Asha" too. I didn't even know her then so it's all the more true now! Great pick and another job well done by interviewer extraordinaire, Coach Fox.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShawn Campbell

Congrats Asha!! Always impressed by Asha's determination and amazing attitude at CFSBK and now in awe even more after learning about Verdant Learning.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJude


Congrats Asha!!!!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave Fung

Congrats, Asha! LOVE GUNS FOREVER!!!!!!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

THANK YOU for the love everyone! I have been inspired truly by so many members and coaches at SBK, and by how thoughtfully David runs the whole place. I look forward to more growth, gainz, and fun!

Shawn: oh dear, did I really say that?!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAce Frehley aka Asha

YAY ! Congrats Asha, so well deserved !

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLauren S

Would like to add my sheer admiration for Steel Magnolias' sheer grit. Look forward to hearing more about our Comp Team's endeavors. And - I want to hear more about HSPUs on open water?!!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAsha

Congrats, Asha! I'm always happy to be partnered with Asha. She's so focused and determined to get perfect form on every rep. She gives 100% every time she is at the gym. Just make sure if you are partnered with her, you don't give her the rep count until she is "a little bit above the 50% mark." That will motivate her through a tough WOD. And definitely DO NOT confuse a song she likes with a Bieber song or you will be the butt of her jokes for every QOD. :) :) :)

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKLove

Congrats Asha!!!!

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterK HarpZ

Congratulations Asha!

HBBS 87.5%

Workout in 17:49
20 Deadlifts 95#
15 ring push ups
15 Deadlifts 145#
12 ring push ups
10 Deadlifts 175# really hard
10 ring push ups

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Congrats Asha!

AG tonight with Ro

Messed around with muscle up drills
EMOM 2-4 HSPU with with varying levels of ab mats/band pulls

Got 26 reps into the round of 40 double unders. This was so hard. ah.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny M

Things I learned from Asha pre-reading:
-pause squats help with depth issues!
- meticulous tracking is a must if one's in it for the long haul!
-it's ultimately about health and YOUR personal wellness (not competitive)
-plan what accessory work you want to do and stick with it!

Things I learned from Asha post-reading:
-There is so much life to be lived!!! You are a truly fascinating and and exceptional role model.
So glad to know you better now, for real!!!

Push Press:
63X5, 73X3, 83x3, 93x1, 93x1, 98x1... I think I could get 103. Used a wider grip & kept bar in contact with shoulders on dip as per Whit's suggestion: big help!

70 pp @ 68 (15, 15, 14, 13, 13)
15 cals X3, 16 x2 thanks to the push from Val
I am a samurai and every calorie is an epic battle when rowing. #thingsyouthinkaboutonanerg

Great mobz and honest convo at AR. Scivation Xtend should hire me and coach fox as their spokespeople.

Fun times at AG.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllie B

5:30 pm
Did Monday's WO
Push press as follows:
5@75, 3@95, 3@115, 2@125, 2@125, 1@130, 1@135, 1@140.
140 isn't my actual 1rep Max...but it was today's 1rep Max. Left shoulder was extremely tight and so I just kept it safe and did what I could safely do.

The WOD was a good one...but don't let that 1 min break fool ya...lol.
And as usual, AR was great! I love that this box offers so much to its members.

January 26, 2016 | Registered CommenterLatasha Burnett


Was rescued by Steph and Andrew coming in to workout tonight. I would not have done nearly as well on the WOD and probably would've just been a lot more sluggish. Hooray for fit friends.

SQUAT... been a bit all over the place in the past few weeks, so decided to jump in on performance programming tonight.

45x5, 95x4, 135x3, 165x2, 185x1

165x2x2 ... that's about as solid as that weight as felt in a while. Gotta keep ramping this up!

21-15-9 reps for time:
Squat Cleans 95#
Ring Dips

Time: 10:19

First time with this one, at least in any version resembling RX'd. Really happy with how this went. Think I did as well as I could. Didn't leave much on the table... maybe a bit less rest during the 21 cleans.

Cleans: 6-5-5-5, 5-5-5, 5-4
Ring Dips: 5-3-3-3-3-2-2, 3-3-2-2-2-1-1-1, singles to the end!

Need to work on my ring dip kip. I've known this for a while, but whenever I do ring dips I feel the need to work them strict for strength (or with a pause). Just haven't dialed in the kip though it wasn't terrible. Def the most volume I've ever done! Probably going to be mad sore tomorrow!!!

Cleans felt surprisingly smooth. Wasn't planning on doing 5's the whole time, but it just felt good tonight! Squatting before helped I think.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

AG was lots of fun tonight!!

Did some muscle up stuff which I was pretty awful at, surprise, surprise!!! But it's always good to try.

I did all four kipping HSPU's with no abmat, unbroken in each round. Who am I?!

Got through 35 DU's and 12 burpees after a shaky start hitting the rings above me with my rope and wondering what the hell was going on.

January 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

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