Clean | WOD 2.9.17

Power Clean

For Time:
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.

For Time:
Power Cleans 155/105

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]

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] 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. 

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


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

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.

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!)


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!

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


Close-Grip Bench Press | WOD 2.6.17

Close-Grip Bench Press

Work up to a medium-heavy set of 8-12 reps. Control the down phase on the bar. It should be slower than the up. If you start to grind on either the descent or the ascent, then end the set. Use spotters on all work sets. Use a grip that's about where you would usually perform a Strict Press, Push-Up, or Burpee.

Post loads to comments.
Compare with 12.26.16


AMRAP 2 Minutes:
20 Double-Unders
10 Squats
5 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

Rest 2 minutes between each round.
Repeat for 5 total rounds.

Start each round on the Dubs. Aim to work at 85-90% and maintain even scores throughout each round. If you can perform Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups but cannot link sets of 5, then use today to practice them (i.e., do not scale volume).

AMRAP 2 Minutes:
20 Single-Unders
10 Squats
5 Jumping Chin-Over-Bar Pull-Ups

Rest 2 minutes between rounds.
Repeat for 5 total rounds.

Start each round on the jump rope. Aim to work at 85-90% and maintain even scores throughout each round.

Post round, reps, and Rx to comments.

The Iron Maidens of CFSBK: Derrian Robinson

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. 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 $15,056, and we need your help to make our goal a reality! You can donate to a lifter's campaign by going here.

Last week we brought you Allison K. This week, we're thrilled to feature Derrian R., who trained with Coach Margie and represented Grace Outreach at last year's Iron Maidens event. Derrian went through both the High School Equilvency and College Programs at Grace Outreach, and she now works there as an assistant teacher!

You participated in last year's inaugural Iron Maidens Raw Open, Derrian. How'd it go? Any advice for first-time competitors? 

This is my second time participating in Iron Maidens. My advice to new participants is to take the nerves and use them to power through the lifts. In my first competition, I was extremely nervous. However, it turned out to be one of the best challenges I've ever taken on. I received so much support from other competitors and the new folks can expect to receive that as well. The entire day, from beginning to end, was exhilarating.

What are your goals for this year's competition?

I've set two goals for myself. The first is to represent my organization, Grace Outreach, in my best capacity. My second goal is more personal. I hope to push my body to lift weights that ordinarily I would never imagine I could.

How has lifting impacted you athletically? Personally?

Athletically, lifting has helped me to be more conscious of developing my physical strength and overcome certain limitations. Personally, lifting has made me more confident in assuming challenges that, in the past, I convinced myself I could not accomplish.

News and Notes

  • Photos from last weekend's CFSBK Community Potluck are now up on Flickr. Check them out here!
  • The 2017 CrossFit Open kicks off in just under 3 weeks, with the annoucement of Open Workout 17.1 coming on February 23rd! This year, CFSBK is shooting to have 100 members register for the Open. Have you signed up yet? Well, giddy up!

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Snatch | Partner WOD
Approaching Life with Beginner's Mind zen habits
The Benefits of Leveled Programming Inside the Affiliate


Snatch | WOD 1.5.2017

Snatch Complex

Every 90 seconds for 10 reps (15min):
Snatch High Pull + Hang Snatch

Build to a heavy load on the complex.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 7 of 8


Partner WOD
In teams of 2 with one partner working at a time, complete the following for time:
2000m Row
100 Overhead Squats 95/65
100 Burpees Over the Bar

Partition the work between partners however desired. The barbell should be light for you. light enough that you could do sets of 15+ to start out. Scale accordingly. You may choose to break it up into smaller sets, but it shouldn't be because it's too heavy! A full Snatch at the start of each set of Overhead Squats is permitted as a rep.

Post time, Rx, and partner to comments.

Laura and Grant enjoying our new Diapers & Dumbbells class

  • Join Coach Fox today at 12:00pm in the Annex for the Look, Feel, Perform Better Challenge Info Session, "How Do Sleep and Active Recovery Affect Performance and Body Composition?" As always, a Q&A will follow!

Diapers & Dumbbells: Lift, Laugh, Learn, Love.

Crossfit South Brooklyn is excited to introduce Diapers & Dumbbells, a postpartum fitness class designed to help new mothers safely return to exercise, connect with other parents, and develop the strength they need to support their growing babies.

Diapers & Dumbbells is a one-hour class that focuses on postpartum rehabilitation, restorative exercises, strength training, and conditioning and includes time for socializing with other parents and their babies. It provides a supportive and educational environment and is appropriate for individuals with or without previous CrossFit experience. Classes are open to mothers (and partners) of all fitness levels and their pre-crawling/pre-walking babies. Scaling options are available to allow anyone to participate and progress. Bring your baby and enjoy an hour of fitness and community.

Classes are led by two coaches to ensure close attention to each participant and help parents manage their babies so they can get the most out of class.

Diapers & Dumbbells takes place at Crossfit South Brooklyn’s 608 Degraw Street location, between 3rd and 4th Avenues. Our facility includes new changing rooms (with showers and towel service) that may serve as a private nursing, pumping, or diaper-changing station.

We encourage new parents or parents-to-be to contact us with any questions at Melissa [at]

Monday: 11am-12pm
Wednesday: 11am-12pm

Single Class Drop-In: $25
10-Class Punch Card: $200
20-Class Punch Card: $360 

Members of CrossFit South Brooklyn may use their existing memberships to drop in to this class; however, anyone and everyone is welcome as there are no prerequisites for this class. You can also purchase a punch card for this and our other specialty classes: Yoga, Short Circuit, Active Recovery, and Pilates.

What to Bring
Along with yourself and your baby, we recommend that you bring typical baby changing supplies as well as a blanket to lay your baby on. We suggest bringing your baby to the class in a stroller so that they may be comfortable and easily wheeled around the gym during class.

Coaching Staff
Melissa Loranger, DPT:  Melissa received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Hunter College and is a licensed Physical Therapist in the state of New York. She has been a CrossFit coach and personal trainer at CFSBK since March, 2012. Melissa is also new mom to a 4-month-old baby girl. 

Sasha Slocombe: Sasha has worked with families as a parent-baby yoga teacher for 17 years and as a labor-support doula for 10 years. Her three children are her greatest teachers.

Lauren Borducci: Lauren is a personal trainer and wellness coach who works with individuals of wide-ranging ages and experience. She has coached a variety of CrossFit classes and has been developing her yoga practice for 20 years. Lauren has two daughters (ages 8 and 6) who have been, and continue to be, a fun and inspiring part of her focus on health and fitness.

If you have gently used boppys or toys appropriate for babies one year and under, please feel free to donate them for use in this program. Donations can be dropped off at the Front Desk.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Front Squat / Back Squat | Thrusters, Toes-to-Bars
Watch Kara Webb Pistol Squat 42 Reps For a New World Record BarBend
Hot Fossil Mammals May Offer a Glimpse of Nature's Future Scientific American


Front Squat / Back Squat | WOD 2.4.17

Back Squat / Front Squat

Back Squat:
2 x 10

Front Squat:
2 x 10

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

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 7 of 8

For Time:
Thrusters 95/65

The Thruster weight should be light for you and unbroken on the fast end, as should the Toe-to-Bars.

For Time:
Thrusters 65/45
Hanging Knee Raises

The Thruster weight should be light for you and unbroken on the fast end, as should the Hanging Knee Raises.

Post time and Rx to comments.

As Rory McKernan says in this video from CrossFit HQ, "The Open is where grassroots meets greatness." That's one of many reaons why we want you to sign up! We're shooting to have 100 CFSBK members participate in the Open this year. What are you waiting for? Register now!

Fit 55+: Staying Strong, Mobile, and Able

What is Fit 55+? 
Fit 55+ is a strength and conditioning class for older adults who want to move and use their bodies and are not content to simply sit on the couch getting older. Research points to development of chronic disease in older populations not as a consequence of aging alone, but as a product of decreased activity and less-than-healthy lifestyle choices. Strength training and conditioning can help both stave off, as well as reduce, the effects of many chronic diseases. As the old adage goes: “If you don’t move it, you lose it.”

Fit 55+ will help you:

  • Build muscular strength and joint integrity
  • Increase and maintain bone density
  • Improve cardiovascular function
  • Improve pulmonary function
  • Improve balance, coordination, and mobility
  • Reduce your risk of falling (and be more resilient in case you do)
  • Maintain independence and improve quality of life

Who is this class for?
Any older adult who wants to exercise in a fun, safe, and inclusive manner. Whether you’re a total newcomer to resistance training or more of a veteran, our classes will challenge you to become better. Tell your friends and relatives!

What does a class look like?
A typical class will start with a series of light warm up movements to get your heart and joints ready for exercise.

From there we’ll move onto the strength training portion of class, using a variety of tools to help you develop strength. You’ll use both weight training and bodyweight exercises of the upper and lower body to develop and maintain muscular strength and joint integrity.

After the strength training portion of class we’ll move on to the conditioning portion. Here the goal is to get a bit sweaty and elevate your heart rate for a while to improve heart function and lung capacity. To this task we’ll use a variety of equipment and modes like: rowing machines, exercise bicycles, sled pushes, sandbag training, and bodyweight exercises, in addition to many others. The variety keeps it engaging and more fun (we think) than just walking on a treadmill for an hour.

Finally, we’ll end with a few cool down stretches to relax your heart rate and your mind before you head out of the gym.

Where and When do Fit 55+ classes meet?
Mondays and Thursdays at 11am at CrossFit South Brooklyn (597 Degraw Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues) located in the heart of Gowanus. We have served the local fitness community for nearly 10 years, growing from grassroots park-based workouts to our current location, which has two spaces with a total footprint of over 11,000 square feet. In addition to our spacious facility, we also have brand new locker rooms with showers, towel service, and bath products available for your convenience.

Drop-In: $25
5-Class Card: $100
Monthly Unlimited (2x per week): $125


Yesterday's Whiteboard: Rest Day
This Is Why You Don't Invite The Mountain to Your CrossFit Competition Esquire
Should the Heels Stay Flat in the Push Press? Catalyst Athletics


Rest Day

From our Instagram account: "Some rad visitors stopping by CFSBK today! The one and only @dannybroflex aka @dan_bailey9 as well as @zogdogg who was visiting from @crossfitinvictus and repping a great cause called @555fitness check it out!"

This Week in Review at CFSBK

1. Diapers & Dumbbells, a postpartum fitness class designed to help new mothers safely return to exercise, connect with other parents, and develop the strength they need to support their growing babies, kicked off this week! See the program page for more details, and spread the word!

2. Registration for the 2017 CrossFit Open started a couple of weeks ago. We want you to sign up! In fact, we're shooting to have 100 CFSBKers register for this year's Open. On Monday, we offered a few reasons why you should do it.

3. KLove is January's CFSBK Athlete of the Month. Congrats, Kelly!

4. Coach Fox checked in with Andrew S. and Steph M. to find out how the Look, Feel, Perform Better Challenge is going. Spoiler alert: it's going well!

5. CFSBK is looking for new talent to staff our beloved Front Desk! Responsibilities include handling inquires from walk-ins, managing basic membership issues, light cleaning/organization, and other miscellaneous duties. We will be interviewing this month and hiring a new staff member for immediate training. Perks include a comped membership and all the Nespresso you can drink. See Wednesday's post for more details.

6. Interested in volunteering for Iron Maidens? We'd love your help on this very fun day! There are a variety of ways to be involved. Fill out this volunteer form to learn more and share your availability. Check out photos from last year's event to get a sense of what it's all about.

7. Finally, we bought you the first installment of this year's Iron Maidens of CFSBK series, and Allison K. knocked this interview out of the park. 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, and we need your help to reach that goal! You can donate to a lifter's campaign by going here.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Clean and Jerk | Hang Cleans, Double-Unders
How To Do the Shortest Workout Possible NY Times
Hell of an Injury, Attitude of an Angel CrossFit