Back Squat / Front Squat | WOD 8.17.16

Back Squat / Front Squat

Back Squat: 2 x 12 Linear Progression
Front Squat: 2 x 8 Linear Progression

Start light enough to add weight through the cycle.

Back Squat: 70% x 2 x 2
Front Squat: 70% x 2 x 2

Every other exposure, starting today, is a de-load so these should feel light.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 1 of 16

3 Rounds for Time:
270m Run
15 Pull-Ups
15 Burpees

Post time and Rx to comments.

Q: "Did you do something different with your hair, Molly H.?" A: "Double-Unders!" | Photo by Thomas H.

  • We're still looking for volunteers to help out at the Subway Series this Sunday, August 21st. Check out Sunday's post for more info. Oh, and even if you can't volunteer, come out to the event and cheer! It's a great event and a fun time.
  • A new post just went up over at Inside the Affiliate! "Steal This Foundations Template for Your CrossFit Affiliate" is an interesting article and yet another reminder of the outstanding programming and coaching we get at CFSBK, from Foundations to group class and beyond.

Go See Peter W.'s New Movie!

A note from Peter W.:

"A movie I wrote, GHOST TEAM, opens in theatres this weekend. Go see it! It's a really fun, weird, horror comedy with a great cast (Jon Heder, Justin Long, Amy Sedaris, David Krumholtz). And it's about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, so, y'know, PARALLELS. Plus, I wrote the entire thing FROM THE BOTTOM OF A SQUAT.

Here's the trailer.

And here's a link to the website, which lets you know all of the cities it's playing in. 

Peter W. (current lifting numbers, feel free to ask)"

Congrats, Peter!

Tweet The Deets

We're totally crushing on all you guys and we love to hear what you're up to. Got something of note going on in your life? Let us know! We want to hear about your promotions, events, art, personal victories, discoveries, media campaigns, and small government coup d'états (especially those), or you can just share interesting links. We also always love hearing about any CrossFit/athletic-related goals and accomplishments. Send awesomeness to Josh [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn [dot] com.

Michael Ian Black Reviews 2 Books About the Male Physique NY Times
This Olympic Weightlifter Busts Out Cool Dance Moves Because Climate Change Is Making His Country Disappear SB Nation


Rest Day

Andrew S. taking on last year's Subway Series event

This Sunday: The Subway Series Returns to CFSBK!

Another year has gone by, and it's time once again for an NYC affiliate throwdown: the sixth annual Subway Series! All NYC affiliates are invited to participate—the affiliate with the best overall score at the end of four events wins the Subway Series Trophy and bragging rights for a whole year! The second event of the year will take place right here at CFSBK this Sunday, August 21st. The action kicks off at noon.

As a result, we'll only be offering 8, 9, and 10am group classes. Everything else, including Active Recovery and Anti-Gravity, will be cancelled. Come for class in the morning, stay to watch your fellow CFSBKers throw down in the afternoon!

Interested in helping out? We still need volunteers to judge, keep score, set up, and break down. Contact David [at] with "SS Volunteer" in the subject line and let him know what categories you would like to volunteer in and what hours you're available. As a bonus, CFSBK will be providing some light refreshments for all volunteers.

We can't wait to see you there!

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Deadlift / HSPU | NFT Work
These Five Sporting Events Took Less Time to Compete Than Katie Ledecky's Margin of Victory Deadspin
Do Vegetables Really Exist? BBC Earth


Deadlift / Handstand Push-Up | WOD 8.15.16

Deadlift / Handstand Push-Up Superset*

1A) Deadlift

3 x 6

Start light enough to add weight for 6's next week.

70% x 3 x 3

1B) Handstand Push-Up

3 x 5-10 Box Piked HSPUs

1-2 AbMats are ok. Knees are easier than toes. Sub 8-12 Seated Dumbbell Presses if you don't have Boxed Pike HSPUs yet. 

3 x 6-12 Strict HSPUs

1-3 AbMats are allowed as long as you're getting some range of motion out of it. If you can do 3 sets of 12 easily, then add a deficit. DC blocks and bumpers work well for this.

*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/work to comments.
Exposure 1 of 8


3-5 RNFT:
25 yd Farmer Carry, Left
25 yd Farmer Carry, Right
10 Box Jumps
10 Strict Toes-to-Bars

Do the carries as heavy as possible. Do the Box Jumps higher than you'd be comfortable with in a WOD. Sub Hanging Leg or Knee Raises or 20 Sit Ups for the Toes-to-Bars as neeeded.

Post work to comments.

Evan H. and Kevin Y. working on their Box Piked Handstand Push-Ups, which you may be seeing a lot of this cycle!

  • We're still looking for volunteers to help out at the Subway Series this Sunday, August 21st. Check out yesterday's post for more info. Oh, and even if you can't volunteer, come out to the event and cheer! It's a great event and a fun time.

Upcoming Training Cycle Template

Training Cycle Dates: M 8/15 - S 10/9
Crush Week: M 10/10 - Su 10/7
Transition Week: Will be the first week of the following cycle, starting October 8th.

We'll continue programming barbell lifts on consistent days of the week, flipping the Olympic lifts from the previous cycle. Olympic lifts will be on-the-minute or every-other-minute-on-the-minute work. Squat days will include both Back Squats and Front Squats (Wednesdays and Saturdays). Monday will be another superset day with Deadlifts and Handstand Push-Up work. As usual, every 5-7 days the metcon will be Not For Time (NFT). Additionally, we’ll be changing the Standardized Warm-Ups (SWUs) to include more unilateral strength work.

Monday - Deadlift + HSPU/Inversion + Metcon
Wednesday - Back Squat + Front Squat + Metcon
Thursday - Clean and Jerk + Metcon
Saturday - Back Squat + Front Squat + Metcon
Sunday - Snatch + Metcon


1: 3 x 6
2: 3 x 6
3: 3 x 5
4: 3 x 5
5: 3 x 4
6: 3 x 4
7: 3 x 3
8: 1-1-1 (Max Effort Day)

1: 70% x 3 x 3
2: 70% x 4 x 3
3: 70% x 5 x 3
4: 70% x 6 x 3
5: 75% x 5 x 3
6: 80% x 4 x 3
7: 85% x 3 x 3
8: 1-1-1 (Max Effort Day)

Strict Handstand Push-Up Cycle

We'll do 2 sets of 6-12 Reps after warming up, followed by a “max” rep set. The goal is to stop a rep shy of failure on all sets. Start conservative with the number of reps and give yourself room to go up. Scale range of motion (2 or 3 AbMats is ok as long as you’re getting some ROM) or add it as appropriate.

If you don’t have a few Handstand Push-Ups, then perform 3 x 6-12 Box Piked HSPUs (1-2 AbMats is ok) OR 3 sets of 6-12 Seated Dumbbell Presses. Start light enough to get 3 sets of 12 reps and progress to heavier weights and lower reps as the cycle goes on.

Squat Cycle


Back Squat 2 x 12
Front Squat 2 x 8

Back Squat 2 x 5
Front Squat 2 x 3

Warm up and perform your work sets on the Back Squat and then move directly to your work weight for the Front Squats. Start light enough to add weight each week.


This is a modified Russian Squat Program. Use the same percentages for Back Squat and Front Squat. Warm up and perform your work sets on the BSQ and then move directly to your work weight for the FSQ.

1: 70% x 2 x 2
2: 70% x 3 x 2
3: 70% x 2 x 2
4: 70% x 4 x 2
5: 70% x 2 x 2
6: 70% x 5 x 2
7: 70% x 2 x 2
8: 70% x 6 x 2
9: 70% x 2 x 2
10: 75% x 5 x 2
11: 70% x 2 x 2
12: 80% x 4 x 2
13: 70% x 2 x 2
14: 85% x 3 x 2
15: 70% x 2 x 2
16: 1-1-1 (Max Effort Day)

*Note: each day except for exposure 16 is 2 sets of the Back Squat followed by 2 sets of the Front Squat for 4 total sets. The odd exposures (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15) are all deloads and, as such, should feel light. Exposure 16 is max effort on both lifts.

Snatch Cycle

Varying on-the-minute and every-other-minute-on-the-minute work. We’ll be pulling both from the floor and from the hang, and doing both full and power versions of the lifts. Snatch Balance and Overhead Squat work will be in the mix on Snatch days.

Clean and Jerk Cycle

Varying OTM and EOMOTM work. We’ll be pulling both from the floor and from the hang, and doing both full and power versions of the lifts.

See the Current Programming Cycle page for our new Standardized Warm-Ups.

The Fallacy of the Fat Burning Zone elitefts
18 Badass Women Who Competed in the Olympics While Pregnant Fusion


Crush Week: Rack Thruster | "Karen"

Rack Thruster


Work up to a 1RM Thruster taken out of a rack. Take the bar out strong and maintain a strong rack position through the drive. Any re-bend of the knee is missed rep.

Post loads to commments.



For Time:
150 Wall Balls 20/10, 14/9

Settle in and embrace it.

Post time and Rx to comments. 

Coach Nick writes, "Greetings from Missoula! Our friend owns a mug that might be of interest." 

  • Schedule Change: Today's 2:00pm Anti-Gravity class is cancelled.

Volunteers Needed for the Subway Series at CFSBK

CFSBK is hosting the 3rd event of the 2016 Subway Series next Sunday, August 21st, and we need your help to make it even better than last year! We need volunteers for a few hours starting at 11am until about 3pm in a few categories:

Score Keepers (spreadsheet experience needed)
Set Up/Break Down

If you're competing and are willing to judge when you aren't, we'd love to use you. And even if you're new to CF or haven't done this before, we want you!

Contact David [at] with "SS Volunteer" in the subject line and let him know what categories you would like to volunteer in and what hours you're available. As a bonus, CFSBK will be providing some light refreshments for all volunteers.

(And hey, don't forget to head on up to CrossFit Gantry today for the 2nd Subway Series event!)

Yesterday's Whiteboard: "Jerry"
Dave Castro: Technique Vs. Intensity CrossFit Journal
"Karen" Demo WODwell


Crush Week | "Jerry"


For Time:
Run 1 Mile
Row 2k
Run 1 Mile

Post time and Rx to comments.

Cute moments in VooDoo Flossing with Greg A. and Maggie S. | Photo by Thomas H.

TOMORROW: The 2016 NYC Subway Series at CrossFit Gantry

Another year has gone by, and it's time once again for an NYC affiliate throwdown: the sixth annual Subway Series! All NYC affiliates are invited to participate—the affiliate with the best overall score at the end of four events wins the Subway Series Trophy and bragging rights for a whole year! The second event of the year will take place at CrossFit Gantry tomorrow, August 14th.

The action kicks off at 12:00pm, and workout info can be found here. Head to Gantry to support CFSBK's athletes!

Britain's 42-Year-Old Distance Runner Is a Sign of Athletics to Come NY Mag
How Did The First People Populate North America? Pacific Standard


Rest Day

Sara G. wearing what may be the best pants in the world | Photo by Thomas H.

This Week at CFSBK in Review

1. Coach Whitney will be away at the CrossFit Gymnastic trainer's course this weekend, but tomorrow's 10:00am Yoga for Athletes class is still on with guest instructor Sasha S.!

2. SAVE THE DATE: Fight Gone Bad 2016 will go down on Saturday, October 15th! Registration info will be available soon.

3. Morit S. reported on her 2nd place finish at the New Jersey State Powerlifting Championship. Congrats again, Mo!

4. In our most recent installment of the CFSBK Guide to Cues, Coach David explained what "pull yourself under the bar" means.

5. As a mid-Crush Week treat, we reposted Coach Noah's "The Sweat Spot: Balancing Precision and Intensity for Maximum Gainz." Required reading!

6. Head on over to CrossFit Gantry this Sunday to watch our athletes compete in the second event of the Subway Series. The action kicks off at 12:00pm.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Hang Snatches, Ring Dips
Nijat Rahimov Breaks Clean & Jerk World Record, Beats Lu Xiaojun in Epic 77kg Battle BarBend
The Sharks That Live to 400 The Atlantic


Crush Week | WOD 8.11.16


AMRAP 20 Minutes:

Hang Snatch 95/65
Ring Dip

The Snatches should be on the light side and are Rx'd as full squats. Only scale to Power Snatches if mobility necessitates it. If you have 5 Ring Dips at a time, then go for it. If not then scale to Push-Ups. If you complete through the 3 Ring Dips, then stop there and score time to complete.

Post rounds, reps, and Rx (or time and Rx) to comments.

Throwback Thursday: Here's our very own Coach Nick competing in the men's quadruple sculls (with boatmates Jake Wetzel, Ian McGowan, and Sean Hall) at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney

  • The second event of this year's Subway Series will take place at CrossFit Gantry this Sunday, August 14th. The action kicks off at 12:00pm, and workout info can be found here. Head to Gantry to support CFSBK's athletes!

The Sweat Spot: Balancing Precision and Intensity for Maximum Gainz

Editor's Note: We're about halfway through Crush Week, when turn up the intensity to cap off our current 8-week training cycle. So now's a good time to revisit this piece on training intensity by Coach Noah (now of CrossFit Lumos in Austin, which we can only assume is a cowboy gym). "The Sweat Spot" was originally posted on 3.30.2015.

By Noah Abbott

At CFSBK, we always tell people that from their first day of Foundations through the first month or two of group classes, their loading, pacing, and intensity should be at roughly 60-70%. Things should feel easy and athletes should leave each class feeling like they had more in the tank. This is incredibly important advice—your first few months and few thousand reps are crucial for motor patterning. Your body learns the positions and pathways you move through, and if you are assuming imperfect positions or moving inefficiently from point A to B, you will gradually condition yourself to keep repeating those patterns. You can always go back and re-learn these patterns, and to some extent they evolve over time, but starting with great positioning is key to continuing to move well as weights go up and intensity increases.

That covers the first few months, and most of our members are great at following that advice. Everything still feels a little foreign and clunky, so people are happy to stay well within safe and proper parameters while they slowly gain confidence and familiarity with the movements. However, after the first few months, many people struggle to find the proper balance between precision and intensity as they begin to develop as an athlete. Often people fall toward one of two extremes, both of which blunt performance and progress. Either they want to do everything as fast, heavy, and hard as possible, or they are so focused on doing everything perfectly that they rarely work hard enough to elicit a neuromuscular adaptation.

The Three Pitcher Analogy
This analogy was first described to me by a coach in Arizona, using three target pistol shooters as the example. Since (legal) competitive gunplay in Brooklyn is about as rare as a pair of Nike Metcons (ohhhhh snap), and since baseball season is right around the corner, I’m going to modify the example a bit, and use three baseball pitchers as our test subjects. Instead of just calling them A, B, and C, I’ll call our pitchers Alex, Bo, and Chris. 

It’s a hot summer day when our pitchers report to the practice field to throw a practice session under the watchful eye of their coach. Coach tells each pitcher to throw five pitches before regrouping and discussing what they need to work on.

Alex is up first, and really wants to impress. He rears back as hard as he can and every pitch is a flurry of elbows and knees. No two windups or deliveries look the same, Alex is falling all over the mound, but he’s throwing HARD. Half the time his cap falls off as he throws—he’s almost throwing himself at the catcher. Further, he’s rushing—the moment one pitch thumps into the catcher’s mitt Alex is already winding up for the next one. He finishes his five pitches, huffing and puffing, with sweat pouring down his face, his hair sticking up in ten different directions, one of his shoes untied, and limps to the bench, totally exhausted.

Bo is next up. Bo looks much more in control than Alex from the get-go. He’s working hard, and obviously putting his all behind each pitch, but he is taking a little more time between each pitch, and looks markedly more in control of his body. Still, you can tell Bo is working, and he audibly yells after his third pitch (“Shucks” or “Rats” or some other folksy, W.P. Kinsella-like exclamation). By the end of his session, he’s breathing hard and sweating, but still fairly composed. He walks to the bench slowly, and looks happy to rest for a bit. 

Chris is up last, and wants to outshine Alex and Bo. He’s cool and collected as he walks to the mound, and takes his time getting ready. He is smooth and controlled as he throws, fluid and easy through all of his movements, and takes a lot of time between each pitch to carefully reset his footwork, make sure all of his mechanics are correct, and that he is ready to go. Every pitch looks like a mirror image of the one before, but the catcher’s glove doesn’t pop quite as loud as for Alex or Bo—it looks like Chris is taking a bit off each pitch in an effort to be perfect. 

Here’s how their sessions look when overlaid on a batter and strike zone:

As we can see, Alex is pretty wild, with two of his pitches well out of the strike zone, and no real consistency to any of his efforts. Bo misses the strike zone once, but just by a bit, and most of his pitches are pretty consistent. Chris groups all five of his pitches very close with no misses (for sake of illustration, the pitches are probably even more scattered so they can be seen individually). 

Who Is Training Correctly?
While all three pitchers will gain something from practice regardless of intention and intensity, the athlete coach would reward with a “good job, keep it up,” is Bo. 

Alex needs to slow down! He’s wild, overthrowing, putting himself at risk of injury with undisciplined mechanics, and isn’t learning much. He is confusing unbridled intensity with hard, disciplined work. He should go back to basics, take a little longer between pitches to make sure he is set, and work on consistent mechanics and technique. 

Chris needs to work a little harder. He can obviously throw a fastball over the plate when he takes his time and throws a bit softer than his upper limit. Chris should work on throwing a little harder, working faster, and maybe throwing in some more “advanced” pitches. He won’t develop if he just keeps doing what he already obviously knows how to do. He is too concerned with being “perfect.” 

Bo is our ideal athlete, taking his refined technique and then pushing it right to the edge. He is very effective and efficient, but is working hard enough that one in every five to 10 pitches is slightly less than optimal. Note that when Bo misses, he misses small, and then can make a correction the next time to get better. Bo will grow the fastest of the three because he is pushing the limit of his ability.

In CrossFit, we call this Threshold Training.

Threshold Training and YOU
The concept of Threshold Training is as old as CrossFit, being cited early by Greg Glassman (hallowedbehisname) in one of those weird old videos where he draws stick figures on a chalkboard while Tony Budding leers at him. Simply put, the concept is similar to the Pitcher’s Analogy above, that during training athletes need to push themselves hard enough that their accuracy may slightly suffer, but not so hard that it goes totally out the window. There is a sweet spot to find in your training, and falling too far on either side will slow or blunt your progress. 

Do you go as hard as possible every workout, only to be outperformed by others who look like they aren’t trying too hard? Do you often have to strip weight or scale movements mid-WOD? Do you feel like your progress is lagging behind your intensity? If so, you might be like Alex in the Pitcher’s Analogy. You need to slow down, go a bit lighter, and focus on being more consistently accurate before ramping your intensity back up.

Do you often finish WODs without really breaking a sweat? Have you never felt that gut-punched, world-spinning feeling after a workout? Do you use the same weight all the time, or hover in a narrowly prescribed range? Do you repeat lifting exposures or avoid adding weight during Olympic lifts if you felt the lift wasn’t 100% perfect? You might be training like Chris the pitcher—you need to push a little further out of your comfort zone. Perfect practice has its place, but during work sets and WODs, a small bit of deviation is expected and encouraged. Pro football players certainly practice perfect running mechanics, but come gameday, nobody praises how perfectly a player runs with the ball, only that they get to the end zone.  

A Contextual Approach to Threshold Training
All that being said, the different training modalities, prescriptions, and resulting intensities need to be approached contextually. While we generally avoid “being Alex,” there are rare times when that approach is appropriate. Similarly, there is value to sometimes slowing things down and “pulling a Chris.” Here are some loose guidelines: 

Alex (100% intensity, regardless of technique): Last few seconds/final attempts of a competition where there is some real sort of prize on the line. Money? Prestige? Qualification for Regionals/Games/American Open, etc.? You have to decide if it’s worth it. 

Bo (90% intensity with 90% perfect technique): Benchmark WODs, Open workouts, competitions, and any WOD where you feel very comfortable and confident with the movement and you have built a sufficient base of perfect practice. Movements should feel like they are on “auto-pilot” and that you don’t need to do a ton of thinking about how to execute them.

Chris (sub-maximal intensity with 100% perfect technique): Warm-ups, skill practice, new or rarely seen movements, any movement that you don’t feel super comfortable with, are trying to iron out a “kink” from, or any time an old or recent injury or mobility restriction is taxed or bothered during execution.

Aaaaand I’m Done
Okay, enough sports analogies, this is getting ridiculous. Stay tuned for my next article, in which I create a hackneyed and longwinded analogy between muscle-ups and nineteenth-century Russian literature.

Train smart, train hard, and don’t be afraid to explore the outside edge of your comfort zone.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Power Cleans, Double-Unders
Everyday Hero Tries to Scale the Trump Tower with Suction Cups Vice
Shoulder Position in the Overhead Squat CrossFit
Whatever It Takes: The Steroid Scandal in Olympic Dressage