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Bench Press / Bent-Over Row | WOD 7.25.16

Bench Press / Bent-Over Row Superset*

1A) Barbell Bench Press

3 x 5 Linear Progression

Add a few pounds to last week's weight.

3 x 6

Go heavier than last week's 8s.

1B) Barbell Bent-Over Row

3 x 5 Linear Progression

Add a few pounds to last week's weight.

3 x 6

Go heavier than last week's 8s.

In both cases, keep these light enough to perform strictly and with solid form. Don't let these turn into an ego exercise. Really think about the movement rather than the weight moved. Keep the following notes in mind:

1) Set up like a Clean and Deadlift the bar up.
2) Hip hinge until bar is at least below the knee (try to be as horizontal as possible).
3) Maintaining a consistent back angle, pull your elbows up and back and aim to hit your stomach (not your chest) with the barbell.
4) Start with a weight that allows all the reps to be done perfect and without momentum. It should feel too light to start.

*Superset means that you perform a set of exercise A (in this case the Bench Press) and then after a short rest, 30 seconds to a minute, you perform a set of exercise B (in this case the Barbell Bent-Over Row). You then rest a short period before returning to exercise A and continue in this fashion until all warm up and work sets are completed.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 7 of 8


3 Rounds for Time:
15 Front Squats 95/65
15 Push Presses 95/65
15 Pull-Ups

The barbell comes off the floor. This should be on the light side light and will be unbroken sets on the fast end. Sub Jumping Pull-Ups or scale volume as needed.

Post time and Rx to comments.

CFSBK Athlete of the Month Michael A. "I was in 11th grade," he explains, "and DJing pretty heavily."

July Athlete of the Month: Michael Affronti

By Chris Fox

This month we honor yet another 6am regular. Something in the water? Is the coffee you sip before sunrise somehow more caffeinated, more powerful? We’re not sure, but the 6am class does seem to get after it, and as expected the banter was quite strong during the interview that informed this article. He’s been with us for about 3 years now and from our first introduction (doing a cool down mile on a Saturday with coaches Jess, MeLo, and myself) I knew he was a great guy. I hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit a bit about the “Tornado of Fitness,” Michael Affronti.

Fox: Hey Mike! Thanks for coming in on an evening to sit down with me, and congrats!

MA: Thanks! I just want to say how honored I am to be AOM. You made my whole month when you told me that yesterday. CFSBK is such an important part of my life, and I feel fortunate to be a part of our community.

Fox: Well, it’s very well-deserved. Tell us about how and when you found CrossFit?

MA: I started at CrossFit Belltown in Seattle in 2009, which was and is an amazing gym. I really cannot say enough great things about Nadia and Eric and the place they’ve created. Anyway, I actually found CrossFit through the Paleo/Primal-sphere. The short version is that I’d torn my ACL playing soccer and had a long rehab, during which I continued to eat like someone playing sports for a few hours each day. I got pretty heavy. I found Mark Sisson (Mark’s Daily Apple), Robb Wolf, and a few other sources and began eating a paleo/primal diet, which eventually swung me too far in the other direction. I got too skinny. I wanted to follow a fitness program that would get me results and not be boring. I was tired of my meathead days of following magazine routines at the 24-Hour Fitness. I eventually found CFBT and I was hooked. It’s a beautiful space with a great community, and I quickly began to see results. CrossFit just really clicked for me and when I find something I’m interested in I generally go all in. I eventually pulled some friends in and most of them still train there.

Fox: I’ve heard great things about that gym. I remember watching videos of Nadia and Robb on Kipping Pull-Up progressions. It’s awesome that you got a great start with CrossFit. How’d you wind up with us at CFSBK and why do you stay?

MA: I’m originally from here (Brooklyn and Long Island) but had been living in Seattle since 2004. I decided to quit my job at Microsoft and move back to NY to work on a startup with some friends. Leaving Seattle was really hard and a big part of it was how integral CrossFit Belltown was to my life. Honestly, I was really nervous about joining another CrossFit, but when I came to check out CFSBK, I got good vibes right away. The first person I met was Matt Katz, who chatted with me a bit, which put me at ease. I did "Diane" at my first 6:00am class and then chatted with Peter (Mattis, former AOM) about tech for 20 minutes after class. I felt like I’d found my new gym home. The programming here is a bit different from Belltown's, and I found myself PRing most of my lifts in the first year, which was motivating. Overall this place is great, and the 6am regulars have a special little relationship. One thing I’ll say about why I love CFSBK is that I don’t have to really work on creating (fitness) goals. The programming is laid out such that it takes care of that for me. As someone who is constantly creating and working on goals in my professional life, it’s quite a relief to come here and zone out in a sense.

Fox: Maybe it’s a “less thinking, more doing” mentality that breeds this interesting 6am group? I’ve heard tales of late nights and mezcal fueled workouts.

MA: Yeah, we’ve obviously found a common bond with CrossFit but our group gets along easily and doesn’t even talk about fitness all the time! There certainly are some late nights followed by early classes that we get through somehow. We’re sort of like a team within a team. We send texts to egg each other on and support each other outside the gym, too. We’ve helped each other through more than a few tough times over the years.

Fox: As someone who rarely coaches 6am group classes, I have to say that walking in and overhearing you guys banter as I drink my coffee is a fun way to start a work day. You’re all there to work but still manage to have fun. Tell us about growing up, where you’re from, and your family.

MA: Of course! I grew up in New Hyde Park, Long Island and all my family is still there. I’ve got a sister, a niece, a nephew, a brother, and my parents all in Long Island, so I visit regularly for family time. I’ve got Brooklyn roots, though. My grandfather immigrated from Sicily in the 40s and eventually opened up Paisano’s Butcher Shop on Smith Street, which my family has run for years. Dad is semi-retired, and now my brother Tony oversees the day-to-day operations. I went to New Hyde Park Memorial High School and played soccer, lacrosse, and football there. I also swam competitively, so I’ve been an athlete of some sort for my whole life. I attended Boston University after high school and stayed active there as well. Fun fact: David Silk was a professor of mine. He showed us his gold medal on day one and sure got our attention.

Fox: I’ve heard rumors that you used to DJ?

MA: Sure did. DJ Flash! I got the nickname since I was “the fast guy” on the soccer team. I am very passionate about music and am always looking for something new to learn. In high school I bought a double tape deck and started recording and mixing songs from the radio. I gave away the tapes to some of my friends and they were into it, so I then started selling mix tapes out of my trunk. I was once at a sweet 16 party with a pretty bad DJ and no one was dancing. I approached the booth and said “Listen, if you just play this tape people will come back on to the dance floor.” Well, they did. DJ Flash to the rescue!

Fox: You were entrepreneurial pretty young! What do you do now?

MA: Actually, I started my first business when I was 10, making menus for local restaurants! I’m currently VP of Product for Fuze, a technology company that builds communication apps for large companies. It’s like WhatsApp and Skype but for enterprises. Prior to Fuze I was helping run a startup called Contactive here in NYC. I spent the first ten years of my career after college living in Seattle and working at Microsoft building communication and social experiences in Microsoft Office.

Fox: How about in your spare time? Any hobbies? 

MA: I’m fortunate that my work allows me to pursue one of my favorite hobbies, which is travel. I travel a lot for work. Whenever possible I turn a few days surrounding a work trip into some adventure travel, and of course, visit new CrossFit gyms whenever I can. I was recently in Iceland and loved every minute. I go to concerts as often as I can, as often as once a week. I recently saw Balkan Beat Box who killed! I mentor frequently also, working with startups here in NYC and also speaking regularly at my high school alma mater about picking and growing your career. I’ve also got a blog, where I post monthly on various topics and have recently become a writer at Inc.com! I also teach a course at General Assembly on Product Management and Entrepreneurship.

Fox: You’re a pretty active guy! Great stuff. Last few questions. Getting back to fitness, what are your current goals in the gym?

MA: I’d have to say increasing my technical skill on the Olympic lifts so that they catch up with my strength numbers. When I first started, I needed to get my gymnastics skills up, and I’m pretty happy overall with that area. I’ve been working on staying humble with my numbers, especially after a few minor injuries.

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

MA: Someone who leads by example, makes sure people feel included. Sticking around so folks finish together is so important, I think. You can always put your weights away a few minutes later once the last person finishes. Also, someone who busts ass a bit!

Weighting Game CrossFit Games

Reader Comments (49)

I'm excited about the prospect of today's comment volume topping the record set 5-6 weeks ago with the shirtless comments. Because that picture.

Michael A - you are a true gentlemen, friend, and man of impeccable taste.

I have a feeling frosted tips will be making a comeback at our gym after that photo.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames A

Congrats Michael!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Great choice! Congrats Michael!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay-Star

Hey guys I just texted Arturo to let him know I bought some toothpaste. Meant to tell Adele. While I am at Walgreen's does anyone need anything?

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJay-Star

Michael is one of the best people in the gym and over the years has become a solid friend.
He is the 6am Cruise Director and one of the main reasons we have all gotten so close.

In short, he lights up my life.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMattyChm

Please join our band!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter98 Degrees

We saw him first!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter5ive

Congrats Michael!! An excellent choice!!

6am with HubDubs and Arturo
Bench & Row: Fun to partner with Alex and Jill. Worked up to 85x5x3 for the bench and 63x5x3 for the row.

WOD scaled in 8:51. I did a few warmup push presses at 53 and decided I should stick there for the workout. Also did jumping pull-ups. This was hot and sweaty.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Does anyone want a veggie/fruit/egg CSA? I'm out of town today and can't pick it up. First one to claim it here and e-mail me at Josh [at] crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com can have it!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJosh S.

My immediate reaction to today's post:

1) Affronti is AOTM? You mean he wasn't picked AOTM ages ago? Well deserved.

Morning OG:
HBBSQ 170x5x2, 170x8. A grind.
Bench 115x5x2, 115x8. It's kind of amazing how five more pounds on the bar changes everything.
Superset x3 of 6 chinups, 10 DB press at 25#. This also was WAY harder than chins and press were last week (which I guess is to be expected, it's a 25% weight increase on the DB press).

Not at all sorry not to have been doing that Fran-ish thing in the sticky hot gym this morning.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Congrats Michael!! A great guy and a great friend. Our little 6am crew would definitely not be the same without his banter, sense of humor and remarkable organizational skills.

Group trip to the salon for frosted tips for our next 6am get together?

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan L


July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCam

AOTM and Nicest guy award! congratulations!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMo

Congrats Michael! Great choice for AOTM and the banter at 6am would not be the same without him. Always helpfully pushing me towards becoming a better crossfitter and social drinker.

6am with WhitRo

Bench 185 x 5 x 3. Failed at this weight 4-5 weeks ago so happy to hit it solidly today
Row 150 x 5 x 3. Felt much much better than 145 last week

WOD in 9:59 Rx. Same load as Fran but took me about 3-4 minutes longer. Just hot, sweaty, and gross.
FSQ - unbroken, 11-4, 12-3
Pushpress - 5-10, 9-6, 4-5-6
Pull-ups - 10-5, 5-5-5, 4-4-3-2-2

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Dude, not cool stealing my high school prom photo.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGuy Fieri

We all knew it was bound to happen that Michael A would be AOTM. He is our cruise director, social secretary, and has introduced his signature "Brooklyn" to crossfit gyms across Europe and the continental US. He is an all around great guy, but beware all crossfitters, do not "Affronti" a workout!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoy

Michael has been gunning for this nomination for sometime. Has anyone else seen him giving bottles of Rose to the coaches? Nevertheless, well deserved for his hard work on and off the gym floor. Great job good friend!

6am w/ RoWhit.
Bench / Row: 180x5x3 / 135x5x3. Everything moved well. Sore from yesterday's metcon.

Metcon: 8:53 Rx. This Fran look alike is miserable, have to say I prefer real thrusters compared to today's deconstructed movements. FSQ: 15, 12-3, 14-1, PP: 15, 6-9, 8-7, Pullups: 15, 10-5, 15. Every "-" equals about 30 seconds of hands on knee.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBK

Congrats Michael.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterken

8AM with Whit

Bench: 145x6x3

Row: 125x6x3

WOD with 25lb strict presses instead of push-presses: 9:xx?

I was wiped out after this. So freakin' muggy. Let's make America Non-Humid Again!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Congrats Michael! As our cruise director, sender of 4:30am emails and provider (pusher?) of rose he's definitely shaped 6am for good or for ill. He's also a really solid guy who's become a great friend.

6am with WhitRo

Bench: 205x5x3. Don't recall ever hitting this for 5x3. Was heavy, but very happy to see it move.
Row: 185x5x3. 20# jump might have been too much. Got all the reps but the last 1 on each round had a bit of momentum.

WOD in 11:40 Rx. Front Squats unbroken, push press in 9/6, pullups as doubles. Add an embarrassing amount of rest in between. Happy to be working doubles for kipping pullups.

Make up posts:
7/23: Squat - 305x5x3. Wod - 13:10 rx'd. Squat felt good. Thrusters surprisingly more tiring than snatches.
7/24: C+J - up to 205, clean at 215 (no jerk attempt). Wod - 2 rounds in 12:13. Thumb hurt from thrusters so took it easy on C+J. Could not catch breath on wod and almost coughed up a lung, so shamefully finished 2 rounds slightly before our AOTM did 4.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDan G.

That photo is unreal. thank you.
Congrats Michael ! so well deserved

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLauren S

Congrats Michael! You 6amers certainly know how to balance the work hard/play hard lifestyle! And this pic is just wonderful- I love that you shared it with us.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

Way to go, Michael, both on AOTM and that amazing vest! (Also, super-cool that your family runs Paisano's! They once got me some boar meat on special order for a "Game of Thrones" watch party. That may be the nerdiest thing I've ever typed.)

8 a.m. w/Whitney (ft. Ro and Jess dropping in).

Bench 170x6x3; Row 145x6x3. A grind, like last week, but they all happened. Whit pointed out that my back got loose on the row -- will make a more conservative jump for Week 8.

Metcon: 11:07, 1/2 pull-ups (chins for the third round). FSQs 15 / 10-5 / 15; Presses 8-7 all three rounds; Pull-ups blah. Noah would've given me a hard time for dropping the kip, had he been here, but my hands were just too sweaty and I didn't want to tear them trying to get some purchase on the bar. Gotta remember to pack those wrist sweatbands...

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChas C.

Josh I'll take the veggie/fruit/egg CSA if it's still available. I'll email you.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Great profile Michael - so cool to hear about those deep Brooklyn roots!

Sunday workout at Crossfit Fairmount in Philadelphia
Warmup: 5 rounds of Cindy
WOD: 12 minute AMRAP:
6 ring dips
6 pullups
6 snatches from the floor (85 for me)
9 hand-release pushups
Made it three rounds and change

Then 5 rounds of 2 push presses starting at 90 percent and working up to a 1 rep max. I made it to just 130 on one hot day in Philly.

Really nice crew. The gym is run by Paul Donovan, a native Dubliner, and Gavin Young. Close attention and very welcoming.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGerry M.

Michael hadn't been AOTM yet? Crazy. Solid individual making banter great again.

7am with Ro and Whitness

Bench - 145 x 6 x 3
Row - 110 x 6 x 3
This all moved well and will keep cruising up next week.

Metcon Rx - 14:13
Did the first 2 rounds in 7 minutes. Then just got overheated and took my sweet ass time getting back and forth to the chalk bucket / bar / sweat puddle. I don't do well in this kinda heat.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan B

From now on, all AOTM and Know Your Fellow Member shots should be from the 11th grade.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSamir Chopra

Loved interviewing Michael. He's been a great addition to the gym. Never seen him not smiling.

Too light but bar math...

WOD Rx'd in 9:34
That sucked. So hot in 608. Broke up and rested too much but it was so hard to breathe.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterFox

Congrats Michael, very well deserved.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPigeon

The best part of that photo is the dick in a box that's just out of frame.

Congrats Michael - a very well-chosen AOTM!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

Admit it, Affronti – that picture was taken last week. Congrats on the your AOMness! Well deserved.

Big shout-out to the SBKers (and some guests from Bay Ridge Crossfit and CrossFit Kingsboro) for did the Marathon Row yesterday! Thank you so much for coming out to play on the erg. You did great! We'll do another Ergathon this fall, and I hope to see more SBKers there!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick Peterson

1) Michael A has yet to be AOTM!? He's a role model of dedication, commitment and hardwork for us all, not to mention burpee master! Congrats!

2) amazed by marathon rowers and charity donors! Great job!

3) made up Sunday's workout at OG this morning.
Performance Clean Complex: 83x 2, 93x 3, 98x 3,103x1-- stayed light because split jerks were needing footwork and dip practice.
WOD: 22:21 with 35# DB. Took a long time with snatches as I felt back starting to round and form break down as I got tired. Tried to properly reset every rep. No injuries allowed! SO.D@MN. HOT.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAllie B

Congrats and well deserved Mike!

I hope to someday earn the title.

125 bench failed on the last rep of the last set. This is a big number for me. After my first injury strength class got me to about 120 and struggling. The second time put me back but I have been making slow steady jumps this cycle and feel I'm stronger in the bench this time.

Row 115 could probably have done 120.

WOD did round 1 at RX but the press on round two stopped that.
Went with 95# squats 75 pound press 15 pull-ups.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W.

Michael is a super cool, and strong, dude! Good pick for AOTM.

Shawn, dying laughing. He does look like quite the Motherlover in that photo.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Congrats Michael! Grandmaster Flash, aka the straw that stirs the 6am drink. Great combo of funny, intense and kind - has kept me locked in at the tail-end many a godawful WOD. Great choice.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Congrats, Michael, and very well deserved. You're an awesome athlete and a great role model for the gym, and your witty banter game is on point. It's always a pleasure coaching you and hanging out with you.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJB

HOME workout tonight! no clients this evening and just couldn't bring myself to go back to the gym in the heat/insane-thunderstormness!!!

Heat Up: inchworms, hip openers, general movement

5 ea Lat step up (about 22 inches on my coffee table)
1 arm handstand (:07 hold ea)
4 Chin up

5ea Kossack Lunge (20# DB, goblet)
8ea Box hammy curl (2x12 tempo)
8ea 1-arm DB press (20#, 2x12 tempo)

Amrap 6 min
8 DB squat snatch, alternating arms (20# DB... all I had!)
10 burpee

5 rounds even. this was super fun!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterWhit H

Came on the blog to say one thing and one thing only: GET EM DJ FLASH!!! Congrats sir you've earned it!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterK HarpZ

DJ Flash is another well deserved AOM. We're luck at CFSBK to have SO many good options for this role. I think, as people mentioned where DJF goes above and beyond is in his ability to bring extend himself to new people, and keep a group cohesive. He's a great member and a great ambassador for CFSBK on his many travels around the world! Three cheers for DJF!

July 25, 2016 | Registered CommenterDavid Osorio

Michael - an amazing pick for AOM and an integral part of the 6 AM experience. Congrats!

Flew into Brooklyn this morning and was finally able to make it back into CFSBK. Was able to go to Crossfit Flagship and Pacific Strength while I was in San Francisco, lucky enough to do a partner WOD with JB.

Bench: 105 x 6 x 3.
Row: 95 x 6 x 3.
Was feeling out both of these lifts given my absence - both felt appropriately challenging.

WOD: 9:36 with Rx weight, but only 7 pull-ups per round.
Have done no kipping pull-ups in almost 4 weeks, I took it easy to ease back in. The squats and push presses were unbroken the first two rounds, then was able to do three push presses in the third round before dropping the bar.

So good to be back.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKayleigh

Congrats Michael!

Sweaty sweat pants today. It was damp and gross in the gym during the rain storm.

530 with Ro and melo
Bench 3x6 @235. Felt great. Will prob make a ten pound jump next week

Bent rows 3x6@185.

Wod: 5:10 rx. Ripped my hand in the first round of pullups (not fun).

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJason M

DJ Flash is the man!! Congrats Mike!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave Fung

Cheers Michael, well deserved! Thanks for being an overall nice dude, for making me feel part of the community when I first joined and for making me feel inadequate when I watch you do burpees.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNikhil B.

Thank you everyone for the kind words and support! I am proud to call myself a member of this amazing community and family.

Also, I found some old mix tapes if anyone is interested. $5.


July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJ Flash

Congrats Michael!

Bench: 100x5x2, 100x4, didn't attempt the fifth because the fourth was so grindy.

WOD RX in 10:54. So many pull ups! By far the slowest part for me.

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJenny M



July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJakeL

So many funny comments on the blog today. Congrats, Michael! So well deserved!

Dropped into my first oly class with Frankie! Decided to take the plunge after getting feedback on about 3 different aspects of my C&J during Sunday's workout.

Surprisingly got less feedback on my snatch than my C&J. Way too many things to work on with my C&J to mention here but I will be back next Monday to work on them!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKLove

Back to the gym - and back to strength cycle - after nearly 4 weeks off.

Back squat
255 x 5 x 3

115 x 5 x 3

285 x 5

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