Monday
Feb132017

Crush Week: Push Press | Jackie

Push Press

Performance
1-1-1-1-1

Establish a new 1RM Push Press.

Fitness
5 x 3

Warm up and perform 5 sets of 3 at a medium-heavy weight.

Post loads to comments.

__________________

"Jackie"

For time:
1000m Row
50 Thrusters, 45lbs
30 Pull-Ups

This CrossFit benchmark workout is a leaderboard item. Be sure to keep your reps on point if you're aiming for a top spot! Go your hardest in any case. Baller status for unbroken reps on the Thusters and Pull-Ups. No bailing empty bars!

Post time and Rx to comments.

The Iron Maidens of CFSBK: Meredith Riley

The Iron Maidens Raw Open is now less than a week away! Leading up to the event, we've been posting brief interviews with CFSBK lifters to help you get to know our team and give you a sense of what these women are doing to prepare physically and mentally. This year, through competitors’ fundraising efforts, Iron Maidens will once again fund the Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship. Last year, Iron Maidens participants raised $30,000, far surpassing the $20,000 goal. This year, our goal is to raise $30,000 to pay for 70% of college tuition for students in the College Prep program at the Bronx-based Grace Outreach. Right now we're at $21,421, and we need your help to reach that goal! You can donate to a lifter's campaign by going here.

So far we've brought you Allison K., Derrian R., and Lady Fox. Today's Iron Maiden is one with many well-deserved nicknames...

Name (and any nicknames): Meredith, Mer, Merry, Mer Bear, Megadeath

Megadeath! This is your first time participating in Iron Maidens. Is there anything you're particularly looking forward to or nervous about?

First time! I am terrified of being in front of the crowd for my lifts, but am looking forward to being part of the crowd for everyone else's. I tend to DOMINATE the back-corner squat rack, so lifting in front of spectators will be a new and nerve-wracking experience. But we have such a mind-blowingly supportive community at CFSBK and especially at Iron Maidens. There is so much support from management and coaches, and friends and family members. It will be incredibly inspiring, if also sort of super uncomfortable.

What are your goals for Iron Maidens?

My goals are really just to participate, get a sense of what it feels like to be in a powerlifting meet, have fun, and raise some money. If you had asked me this three months ago, my goals would have included huge PRs and unimaginably impressive feats of strength. But you know, life intervened, I got a new job, etc etc, the usual, and those were outsize aims to begin with. So now my goals include small PRs and walking away having spent some time figuring out and acquiring a better knowledge of lifting. I know a lot more about what my strengths and weaknesses are, and what I need to work on. Just spending dedicated time on it has allowed me to move past some long-term barriers and identify what’s behind some other ones. This is an outrageously ideal environment to start out in, and I’m looking forward to building on those lessons and going forward in my strengthening journey.

How has lifting impacted you athletically? Personally?

For me, both the meet and lifting are really about challenging myself and dedicating myself to doing something that is outside my comfort zone. I came to weightlifting through CrossFit, and to CrossFit through running (right), so this is all very far from my natural athletic inclination. And weightlifting is about one thing: strength. It is far too rare that women, individually or as a group, have an environment in which they can focus on just plain getting stronger. It's like, just not done, sort of, right? But there is no good reason for that. We get so many social messages about how women should be and look, and, frankly, what we should do with our bodies, that all gear us toward being the opposite of strong. CrossFit, strength work, and an all-female weightlifting competition all have inherent good in counteracting that. It’s a daily practice of getting better at being who you are when so many people are subtly (and not so subtly) saying you should be otherwise.

I’ve also been continuously struck by how lifting is so simple but so weirdly profound. Everything you do (rest, recovery, nutrition, programming, form, and mental focus) feeds into your numbers and how much weight you can get under on the bar. There are no shortcuts. You can’t ignore a problem in your form, for example, because it’s going to stop you sooner or later, and it could easily result in a devastating injury that will undo everything you’ve worked toward and then some.

And there is no getting around the simple truth of just lifting heavy. You can’t sacrifice form or programming, but if you want to get stronger you just have to suck it up and lift more weight. It is hard and uncomfortable and can be frightening, but you have to find that zone of “heavy” and get used to spending lots of time in that zone. Lifting is also a solitary thing, but in order to be your best you need other people. I am notorious for not wanting to ask other people for a spot (#awkwardopengymmoments), but you need to lift very heavy and in order to lift very heavy you need spotters. And you need people to check your form, ask for advice, and help troubleshoot roadblocks. It’s your lift, but you can’t get there on your own.

Finally, every lift is ultimately an act of mental and physical focus. There is no element of a lift that just happens. You have to focus on it and willfully make it happen. Letting your mind wander in the middle of a heavy lift will quickly send you into a world of hurt and trouble. Lifting forces you to do something difficult while simultaneously forcing you to focus everything on executing every component part of it. 

What a great answer! What's your motivation for competing in Iron Maidens?

Getting the chance to participate in an all-female lifting competition, surrounded by such a supportive community, next to all of these super-strong women, and for such an important cause, was sort of a no-brainer. The whole meet is about women getting stronger, and benefits women getting stronger not just physically, but in the rest of their lives. Education has been enormously important to me—everything in my life has been possible because of it. And everyone deserves that chance. It is unfair and arbitrary that the women Grace Outreach serves would be denied the opportunity to earn an education just because of the circumstances they happen to be in. So it’s about lifting, but it’s also about lifting each other up.

(Great line, right? DONATE MONEY.)
__________________
The Terrible Myth: William Kunstler
POV on PBS (Kunstler is CFSBKer Jess G.'s grandfather!)
Inside the High-Flying World of Estonian Extreme Swinging Atlas Obscura

Sunday
Feb122017

Snatch | WOD 1.12.17

Power Snatch Metcon

5 Rounds of...
AMRAP 3 Minutes:
3 Power Snatches 155/105
6 Toes to Bars
9 Burpees
Rest 3 minutes between rounds

Start each round on the barbell. Score best and worst rounds.

Post best and worst rounds and Rx to comments. 

Post partners, time, and Rx to comments.

Here are the CFSBK CRASH-Beasts putting in their final workout with Coach Nick at Harvard's Newell Boathouse. "'Ex Nemo,' Coach Nick says, "is short for 'ex nemo non feces'—basically, don't take shit from anyone. Harvard humor."

CFSBK at CRASH-Bs

The CrossFit South Brooklyn Indoor Rowing Team—AKA The CRASH-Beasts—are competing at the CRASH-Bs in Boston today! CRASH-B stands for “Charles River All-Star Has Beens,” and it’s the premier indoor rowing competition. The CRASH-Beasts have been hard at work for the past 17 weeks in preparation for the event – that’s four months of rowing on the erg, all DIY training. The team consists of:
Matt Egan
Jason Horowitz
Maria Barklie (CrossFit Dynamix)
Laura Dunne (CrossFit Dynamix)
Joe Mefford
Liz Mefford
 
Break some chains, CRASH-Beasts! Let's wish them good luck and send good vibes their way.

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Road to the Arnold: Hafthor Björnsson Rogue Fitness
CRASH-Bs: The High and Hell of Indoor Rowing Sports Illusrated

Saturday
Feb112017

Back Squat / Front Squat | WOD 2.11.17

Back Squat / Front Squat

Back Squat:
2 x 10

Front Squat:
2 x 10

Move directly from the Back Squat to the Front Squat. Go heavier than last week. These should move fast throughout the entire cycle. Increase weight only as appropriate.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 8 of 8
_____________________

7 Rounds For Time:
7 Kettlebell Swings 32/24kg
7 Handstand Push-Ups
7 Box Jumps 24"/20"

The swings should be on the heavy side and are Rx'd as overhead. If you can swing a bell overhead safely, then do so, scaling weight as needed. Sub Box Piked Handstand Push-Ups or regular Push-Ups as needed. 1-2 AbMats is ok as a range-of-motion scale, but you should be able to move through the reps in 1-3 quick sets.

Post time and Rx to comments

Tonight! Postcard Party with Shaye L.

WHEN: Tonight from 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
WHAT: A postcard party! Come write some postcards to our representatives! Use your voice to tell our elected officials what matters to you!
WHAT TO BRING: A $1 donation to help offset supply costs. Any additional money will be split evenly and donated to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Postcards and pens will be provided. Shaye will handle all the mailing, too. Just bring yourself and an insatiable desire to be heard!

RSVP: Shayealexa [at] gmail.com

_____________________
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Rest Day
Lessons on Aging Well from a 105-Year-Old Cyclist NY Times
What Makes for the Hottest Dance Moves? Hips Don't Lie Scientific American

Friday
Feb102017

Rest Day

Captain Osorio gives some shout-outs at the CFSBK Community Potluck. More photos from the Potluck are up on our Flickr account!

This Week at CFSBK in Review

1. We continued our Iron Maidens of CFSBK series with Derrian R. and Lady Fox. This year, through competitors’ fundraising efforts, Iron Maidens will once again fund the Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship. Last year, Iron Maidens participants raised $30,000, far surpassing the $20,000 goal. This year, our goal is to raise $50,000 to pay for 70% of college tuition for students in the College Prep program at the Bronx-based Grace Outreach. Right now we're at $18,806, and with the meet just over one week away, we need your help to make our goal a reality! You can donate to a lifter's campaign by going here.

2. The first workout of the 2017 CrossFit Open will be announced in just under two weeks. We want you to sign up! We're shooting to have 100 CFSBKers register for this year's Open. On Tuesday, your blog editor gave you some more reasons to sign up.

3. Also on Tuesday, we introduced you to the newest member of our coaching staff, Coach Lauren! You may already know her from around the gym, and now you get to take Sunday classes with her. Double the Snickers, Double the Fun! (Wait, no, wrong candy.)

4. Shaye L. has organized a postcard-writing party scheduled for tomorrow from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. Use your voice to tell our elected officials what matters to you! See the event page for more details. 

5. Coach David is looking for volunteers to judge videos for the CrossFit Games regional competitions. Details are in yesterday's post. If you're interested in helping out, please e-mail David [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com as soon as possible!

_____________________
Yesterday's Whiteboard: Clean Metcon
Why Be Kind? 3 See Films
Finding a Sense of Belonging in a Divisive Era NY Mag

Thursday
Feb092017

Clean | WOD 2.9.17

Power Clean

Performance
For Time:
5-4-3-2-1
Power Cleans 205/135
Ring Muscle-Ups

The barbell load should be on the medium side for you, either cycling a few reps at a time or doing quick bailed singles.

Fitness
For Time:
9-7-5-3-1
Power Cleans 155/105
Pull-Ups
Push-Ups

The barbell load should be on the medium side for you, either cycling a few reps at a time or doing quick bailed singles. Perform the Pull-Ups as Chest-to-Bar if you can. Sub Jumping Pull-Ups as needed.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Postcard Party with Shaye L.

WHEN: Saturday, February 11th from 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
WHAT: A postcard party! Come write some postcards to our representatives! Use your voice to tell our elected officials what matters to you!
WHAT TO BRING: A $1 donation to help offset supply costs. Any additional money will be split evenly and donated to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Postcards and pens will be provided. Shaye will handle all the mailing, too. Just bring yourself and an insatiable desire to be heard!

RSVP: Shayealexa [at] gmail.com

Judges Needed for Video Reviews

Since the inception of the CrossFit Games regional competitions, Coach David has worked as the Competion Director for the North East and Canada East regions. This means he leads a team that reviews Open Workout videos and works at the Regionals leading judging and scoring teams, as well as determining appeals and making sure the competition element runs smoothly.

Part of his task is to assemble a team of 9 people to help watch the top videos in his regions in order to ensure that movement standards have been met by all the athletes heading to Regionals. We're looking for 2 more people to help lead the charge on this! You would be responsible for watching 5-10 videos per week and giving them the thumbs up or down regarding performance standards. Coach David will assist you on any tough calls or questions you have a long the way.

The only requirement is that you pass the online judges course.

If you're interested in helping out, please e-mail David [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn.com as soon as possible!

Thursday's Schedule

Winter Storm Niko is bearing down on New York City! As of right now, CFSBK is OPEN and running on a normal schedule. Please check the blog for any changes. 

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Yesterday's Whiteboard: Front Rack Step-Ups / Chin-Ups | Dumbbell Thrusters, Deadlifts
Back Pain and Butt Winks: A Better Squat The Low Back Fix
A Better Firefighter: Tamara Holmes CrossFit

Wednesday
Feb082017

Front Rack Step-Ups / Chin-Ups | WOD 2.8.17

Front Rack Step-Ups / Chin-Ups Superset*

1A) Front Rack Step-Ups

Perform 3 x 8-12 reps on each leg. Start the cycle light enough to make 12 reps on each leg without too much difficulty, and move up in weight week to week from there. Use your non-dominant leg to set the weight and only do as much weight and as many reps as that side can perform. The end goal by the end of the cycle is to perform 8-12 good reps on each leg with about 1/3 of your Back Squat 1-rep max. Use a height that allows you to be at full depth (hip crease below knee) when the working leg is on the box. Come to full standing using the working leg before the trail leg touches down for balance. Do not use the trail leg to help you stand up. Use the trail leg as little as possible to push off from, and use a tempo in which the down/eccentric phase of the movement is slower than the up/concentric phase. The barbell comes off the floor. Stop the set when you’re not sure you can do another rep or two (i.e., do not bail a bar on a box).

1B) Chin-Ups or Supinated-Grip Body Rows

Performance
Perform 4 sets of max reps. Once you can no longer clear your chin over the bar, your set is over. Each rep starts from a dead hang. Initiate the movement by pulling the shoulders down away from the ears and pull the elbows as far down and back as possible. If you can touch your chest to the bar on each rep, then do it. You should really be feeling these in your lats.

Fitness
Perform 3 challenging (but submaximal) sets of 2-4 reps using bands or a small partner assist as needed to achieve full range of motion, followed by a 4th set for max reps. These should be tough sets in a low rep range with the goal of performing around 10-15 total reps. If you can do them unassisted but only 1 at a time, then pepper in as many singles as you can in between sets of Step-Ups during the lifting segment. Start and finish the superset with a set of Chins to get all 4 sets in.

*Superset means that you perform a set of exercise A (in this case the Press) and then after a short rest, 30 to 90 seconds, you perform a set of exercise B (in this case the Chin-Ups or Supinated-Grip Body Rows). 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 work to comments.
Exposure 8 of 8
_____________________

4 Rounds for Time:
15 Dumbbell Thrusters
15 Deadlifts 185/125
Rest 1 minute between rounds

Rx the Dumbbell Thruster at about 45% of your bodyweight total between both dumbbells, or a medium weight you can perform unbroken. Same for the Deadlfts. They should be on the light side of medium for you and unbroken on the fast end. Consider 50% of your best Deadlift or less.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Coach Jess's entry from CFSBK member Susan Pittard's Strong Is A Woman series: "The greatest part of getting stronger is that it has given me so much more confidence than I would have ever expected. Not only confidence in knowing that I'm physically strong enough to lift a certain weight, but just an overall confidence in myself... enough to leave a pretty secure city job after 7 years to pursue a new career. One of the best decisions in my life and something I would have never had the 'strength' to do before." Check out Susan's Instagram for more from this awesome series.

The Iron Maidens of CFSBK: Coach Jess Fox

The Iron Maidens Raw Open is now less than 2 weeks away! Leading up to the event, we'll be posting brief interviews with CFSBK lifters to help you get to know our team and give you a sense of what these women are doing to prepare physically and mentally. This year, through competitors’ fundraising efforts, Iron Maidens will once again fund the Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship. Last year, Iron Maidens participants raised $30,000, far surpassing the $20,000 goal. This year, our goal is to raise $50,000 to pay for 70% of college tuition for students in the College Prep program at the Bronx-based Grace Outreach. Right now we're at $16,500, and we need your help to make our goal a reality! You can donate to a lifter's campaign by going here.

So far we've brought you Allison K. and Derrian R. Today's Iron Maiden is none other than...

Name: Jess Fox (a.k.a. Lady Fox)

What is your athletic background? How and when did you get started with barbell training?

I grew up playing softball and later picked up soccer and basketball in junior high and high school. I never really trained with a barbell until I met my future husband (Mr. Fox). When we first started, I was scared to Squat 95lbs!

Have you competed in a powerlifting meet before?

Yep! I've participated in the original Tough Titsday in 2011 and 2012 (and won the middle-weight class!) I took a break from competing for a couple years and then returned to compete at Iron Maidens in 2015 and podium in the Dames category. I still have all 3 trophies!

Any advice to offer to first-time participants?

For first timers, I'd suggest to plan to have fun! Set your openers really light so that you get nerves out of the way, and set a goal to go 9 for 9. 

What are your goals for this year's Iron Maidens?

PR's in all my lifts would be great but that's much harder now that I'm older. Would love a 290 Squat, 160 Bench Press, and 340 Deadlift. But really, nailing that first Squat is the main goal of the meet.

What’s your training program?

My fantastic and smart husband (Coach Fox) has been setting my programming. Yes, it's been more strength focused but it's also been incorporating skill and conditioning work to help me prepare for the CrossFit Open.  Yes, I like CrossFit and I like that I'm an athlete that can both be strong and skilled!

How has lifting impacted you athletically? Personally?

Heavy lifting andtraining has helped me gain confidence. Weights that I didn't think I could do are actually attainable. Yes, there are days that training doesn't go as expected and/or that your warmup weights feel like one-rep maxes, but in talking to other lifters, it's reassuring to know that you're not alone. No matter where we're at in our barbell lifting journey, we're just all trying to get a little better/stronger. And Iron Maidens is the perfect environment to demonstrate that! We've got ladies of all shapes/sizes/strengths/experience levels and it never fails to amaze me.

What is your motivation for competing in Iron Maidens?

Having both competed and judged in the past, I love the environment. I also know that there's nothing better to push you towards a new PR than loads of people cheering for you to make the lift! 

What's the best piece of lifting advice you've ever received?

Best advice is to not do anything different the day of the meet. Set opening weights that you know you could hit with your eyes closed and on one leg. Don't try a new food or and don't force yourself to "make weight" if this is your first meet. Have fun and just take it all in.

What are your favorite and least favorite powerlifts?

I've always had a love/hate relationship with the Squat, but I'm doing my best to get over that. Deadlift has always been my favorite of the powerlifts (though really give me Squat Clean and I'm smiling ear to ear!)

Tuesday
Feb072017

Rest Day

If you've take a Sunday class recently, you already know that our own Lauren "Snickers" Snisky has joined the coaching staff at CFSBK! While Coach Snickers has been proctoring Saturday Open Gyms since we opened 608, she will now also be working Sunday group classes as well. We're so excited that she'll continue to expand her role at the gym and help our community achieve its fitness goals. Snickers received her Level 1 Certification in January of 2015 and has been at CFSBK since May of the same year. She has also been coaching group classes at CrossFit Union Square since September of this year. Congrats, Coach Lauren!

The Open Is for Everyone

By Josh Schneiderman  (Managing Editor, CFSBK Blog)

Originally posted (as a slightly different version) 2.20.16

For a while now, we've been urging you to register for the CrossFit Open—counting down the days, posting promotional videos, and just generally prodding you to get in on the action. Still, you might reasonably ask, "What's in it for me? Why should I sign up to do a bunch of crazy workouts?"

There are a lot of reasons! As we've already explained, as of last year, the Open includes both Rx'd and Scaled divisions, so you don't have to fret if you don't have Muscle-Ups yet. And registering for the Open is good for the whole CFSBK community. As befits our spirit of inclusiveness, we usually have a big team, and we'd love to have an even bigger team this year! Even if you do only one rep for one of the WODs, it won’t bring the team down.

But, to step out of the editorial "we" for a moment, I can only speak to my own experience (hi, this is Josh). I've never really been competitve in the traditional sense. I played high school baseball and rowed in college, but looking back, I did it more for the camaraderie than anything else.

My first Open Workout was 13.3, which was a 12-minute AMRAP consisting of 150 Wall Balls, 90 Double-Unders, and 30 Muscle-Ups. I hadn't registered, because I'd only started attending group class a week or two before 13.1. I had just graduated from Foundations, and I was terrified. I definitely couldn't do Double-Unders, and I'm not sure I even knew what the hell a Muscle-Up was before I came into class that Saturday. Coach Jess led my class, and I remember her saying that most of us woudn't make it to the Muscle-Ups. Hell, I won't even make it past the Wall Balls, I thought.

I did make through the Wall Balls, though, and I picked up the jumprope with a few second to spare. In the grand scheme of things, there's nothing exceptional about this story. But I had proven something to myself that day: I can do this thing that I didn't think I could do.

The Open expresses the fundamentally democratic spirit of CrossFit. It's easy to forget about that when you watch incredible athletes doing incredible things in the Games. The Open Workouts are designed such that anyone can do them, and that's what this whole enterprise is really about. Everyone has a chance to prove something to themselves, and at CFSBK, we're lucky to be able to do that in an environment in which your fellow athletes will cheer you on, whether you're a veteran, a rookie, or somewhere in between. There are just 16 days left to register. If you're thinking about doing it, do it!

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The CrossFit Open: No Excuses Northstate CrossFit
How Psychologists Determine Whether Someone Is Faking Insanity NY Mag