Clean and Jerk | WOD 11.6.16

Clean and Jerk

Take 10 minutes to warm up to work weight or a little above it.

For Time:
50 Double-Unders
10 Clean and Jerks 155/105
40 Double-Unders
8 Clean and Jerks
30 Double-Unders
6 Clean and Jerks
20 Double-Unders
4 Clean and Jerks
10 Double-Unders
2 Clean and Jerks

The Cleans are Rx'd as full squat. The Jerks are overhead anyhow (Squat Clean Thusters count as reps). Scale Double-Unders to 2 x Singles or 1/2 attempts as needed.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Happy Sunday from Andrew S.! | Photo by Thomas H.

  • The NYC Marathon goes down 4th Ave. today, so be sure to budget extra time to get to the gym, especially if you're planning to come to one of our earlier classes. Best of luck to David P., Jaclyn K., David B., and Steph P., who are running the Marathon today! Is anyone else running it?! Let us know in the comments and feel free to hand out and watch the runners, they go right past the gym on 4th.
  • Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00am on Sunday. Don't forget to set your clocks back!

Short Circuit: Reprogram Your Body!™

For the past few weeks, we've been telling you about Short Circuit, a new class utilizing some of the best training methods to give you a great total body workout in just one hour. Each class includes two circuits programmed specifically to help you shed pounds while increasing your strength, stamina, and flexibility. Mo S. posted a great comment on the blog this week about her experience in the class, so we're reposting it to give you a better sense of what the class is like:

I’d like to share my current experience with Brett’s Short Circuit classes. About 3 weeks ago I decided to try these classes in combination with regular CrossFit classes.

Prior to my first class I decided to measure (arms, legs, chest, shoulders, waist) and weight myself. My eating regimen and sleep stayed the same – 4 to 5 clean meals and 8 hours of sleep per day.

The first class started as expected. We went through mobility, stretching, name and question of the day. Then, Coach Brett went over the WOD… The only thing I could think of while he was going over the WOD was that we were about to work for about 45 minutes straight AND there was no or very little rest incorporated into this class. The WOD was intense, structured, and basically a sweat-a-thon. I loved it!

3 weeks into it and I’m happy to share the following: I lost 2 lbs the first week, 1lb the second, and the 3rd week my weight leveled off. 3lbs in about 2 weeks was a bit aggressive for me, so I decided to re-measure my body during week 3 to see what was happening. My arms and chest stayed the same size, my shoulders and legs increased in size, and my waist decreased by inches!

The other thing I noticed was how much my capacity increased. My heart rate definitely increases during WODs, but I’m not getting winded and I’m able to go noticeably faster – even on days when I do double WODs.

In a nutshell, these classes are great and Brett’s programming and coaching is dead on!

Thanks, Mo! Unlike our CrossFit group classes, you don't have to have taken Foundations or have any kind of CrossFit background to participate in Short Circuit, so now you can sweatily bond with your friends and family. Now they'll get to find out what this CFSBK place you've been talking up is all about!

How is this different from CrossFit? While some movements will be familiar, Short Circuit does not include barbell training or higher-skilled calisthenics (like Kipping Pull-Ups or Handstand Push-Ups). You will get a a kick-ass workout, though, and as with our other specialty offerings like Active Recovery, Anti-Gravity, Pilates, and Yoga for Athletes, it's up to you to decide how Short Circuit might fit into your overall training. That's why members with CrossFit Group class memberships can use their existing memberships to attend any of these classes! 


Monday 9:00am
Wednesday 9:00am
Friday 9:00am

For more info on drop-in pricing and packages, head over to the Short Circuit program page.

Rowing: Body Position CrossFit
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Front Squat | WOD 11.5.16

Front Squat

3 x 5

Warm up and perform 3 x 5 at 90% of your heavy 5 from Week 1.

5/3/1 (1 Week):
75% x 5
85% x 3
95% x 1+

These percentages are based on your Training Max (or TM). The final set (the 95% set this week) is done for max reps, stopping 2 shy of failure. The goal is between 8 and 15 reps. If you fail at fewer than 8 reps, then reduce your TM by 10%. If you get to 20 reps, then increase your TM by 10%. Read more about the 5/3/1 here, and use this calculator if you don't have a true 1RM.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 3 of 8

AMRAP 10 Minutes:
10 Kettlebell Swings 32/24kg
2 Ring Muscle-Ups

The swings should be on the heavy end for you and are Rx'd as American. Scale to Jumping Muscle-Ups or Floor-Assisted Ring Transitions (add the Dip if you're able to) as needed.

Post rounds, reps, and Rx to comments.

Jamie C. cooking up some Push Presses at Fight Gone Bad 2016

Register Now for the Pelvic Floor Health Workshop!

Iron Maidens Lift n' Learn presents:

A Pelvic Floor Health Workshop
November 13, 2016 from 2:00-4:30pm

Do your hips ever feel a little unstable at the bottom of your squat? Are you fastidious about making a trip to the bathroom before that heavy Deadlift... because you learned the hard way? Do you sometimes feel pressure in your pelvis on a max set of 5?

The health of your pelvic floor is part of the equation here! Correct pelvic floor engagement is an essential, but often overlooked component of lifting, and everyday life.

This team taught workshop aims to shed light on what exactly constitutes the pelvic floor, how to strengthen it, and engage it under load. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to cultivate healthy pelvic floor function and prevent dysfunction.

You will walk away with:

  • A basic understanding of pelvic floor anatomy
  • Exercises you can do at home or as part of your warm-ups to engage and strengthen the pelvic floor, including breathing and bracing techniques
  • An understanding of how to apply engagement under load 

This workshop is for women only.
Limited to 25 participants
$75 registration fee


Developed and presented by:

Katie Harper received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2016 and has been a CrossFit coach and personal trainer at CFSBK since March 2015. She is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer, Functional Range Conitioning Mobility Specialist (FRCms), Functional Movement Screen Provider (FMS), Graston Technique Provider, Rocktape Functional Movement Specialist I, and has attended the Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation I course offered by the Institute of Physical Arts.

Kristin Hoesl has been training clients one on one and in groups in Pilates for over a decade. She specializes in helping athletes access their pelvic floor, and find both stability and mobility through their abdominal core and spine.

For over 30 years, Debbie Parsons has been teaching and studying movement. From a professional dance career to Pilates certification (1994), and continuing through Crossfit Level one and Starting Strength programs, Debbie has been helping clients to move with economy and efficiency.

Margie Lempert has been a coach at CFSBK since 2009, always with a focus on barbell training for women. She founded Iron Maidens Raw Open, an annual all-women powerlifting competition in 2015, teaches small group barbell classes with her husband, and trains individual clients. She is a Starting Strength Coach and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. 

Melissa Loranger received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2016 and has been a CrossFit coach and personal trainer at CFSBK since April, 2012. She is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, a Certified Starting Strength Coach and has taken multiple continuing education courses offered by the Institute of Physical Arts, Graston Techniques, LLC, and Rock Tape.


Yesterday's Whiteboard: Rest Day
Repurposing Recovery Day
Starting Strength
Report: Holding Trophy Above Head Still Number One Celebration Technique


Rest Day

Dave and Aileen F. recently welcomed Noah William Fung into the world. The happy parents report that Noah weighed in at 5 lbs, 14oz, and his PR is 3 diapers in 1 minute thus far. Aileen trained at CFSBK throughout her pregnancy, and we couldn't be happier for the whole family!

This Week at CFSBK in Review

1. The 3rd annual CFSBK Art Show is just two weeks away! Kate R. will be finalizing the flyer this weekend and wants to get your name on it! Email her at katharinereece [at] to join the roster of artists. We can't wait to see your work!

2. Super Karl is the October Athlete of the Month. Congrats, Karl!

3. There's still space in the upcoming Pelvic Floor Health Workshop. Register now!

4. Rob U. and Dan C. kicked some ass at the Starting Strength Fall Classic last weekend. Great work, gentlemen!

5. Coach Nick reported on his experience at this year's Head of the Charles Regatta.

6. Want to spice up your training with some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or MMA? Good news! Both are now available at CFSBK. See yesterday's post for more details!

7. Squad WOD, originally scheduled for this weekend, has been postponed. It will be rescheduled for early 2017.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Snatch Metcon
Kipping Ring Dip CrossFit
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What Is Sports If Not Pain? Deadspin


Snatch | WOD 11.3.16

Snatch Metcon

5 Rounds for Time:
10 Snatches (full) 115/75
10 Over-the-Bar Burpees (lateral)
270m Run

Post time and Rx to comments.


8-12 Bicep Curls
6e Palloff Presses

Post work to comments.

Have you ever wanted to try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or MMA? Now's your chance!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Crossfit South Brooklyn

Want to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Classes are now available at Crossfit South Brooklyn's facilities! Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grappling martial art which first gained popularity with its success in mixed martial arts competitions in the 90’s. Since then it’s continued to gain in fame as a fun sport and efficient form of self defense. Practitioners use joint locks, chokes, and leverage to subdue opponents instead of using strikes. The teacher is Jesse Leach, a 1st degree black belt, certified by the IBJJF and medalist at international tournaments. Classes will be Wednesday nights 8-9pm, and Sundays 12-1pm as well as a mixed martial arts class Sundays 1-2pm. Crossfit South Brooklyn members can purchase their first one month pass for $50. Daily rates and class packs are also available. E-mail contact [at] for more info.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Back Squat | NFT Work
Barbells for Boobs: Saving Lives CrossFit
Samantha Coleman Deadlifts 600 Pounds BarBend


Back Squat | WOD 11.2.16

Back Squat

3 x 5

Use 90% of Week 1's heavy 5.

5/3/1 (1 Week):
75% x 5
85% x 3
95% x 1+

These percentages are based on your Training Max (or TM). The final set (the 85% set this week) is done for max reps, stopping 2 shy of failure. The goal is between 8 and 15 reps. If you fail at fewer than 8 reps, then reduce your TM by 10%. If you get to 20 reps, then increase your TM by 10%. Read more about the 5/3/1 here, and use this calculator if you don't have a true 1RM.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 3 of 8

8 Rounds for Quality:
15 second Ring Support at top of dip
15 second Ring Support at bottom of dip
20 second Hollow Hold
15 Russian Kettlebell Swings, as heavy as possible

Scale the Ring Supports to feet elevated, band assisted, or do them between 2 benches. At the top, keep the shoulders active and the elbows absolutely extended. If they are easy for you then externally rotate the shoulder (turn the thumbs out) and let the arms drift an inch at a time away from your torso. At the bottom the elbow must be below the shoulder and the shoulders stay active. Scale the Hollow Holds to tuck holds. If a 20 second Hollow Hold is easy for you then hold a light dumbbell overhead.

Post work to comments.

Just When I Thought I Was Out: Coach Nick at the Head of the Charles Regatta

By Nick Peterson

I consider myself a "recovering rower." But like Michael Corleone, just when I think I'm out, rowing pulls me back in. For the past three years I've been rowing with a group of guys in the masters division at two regattas: the San Diego Crew Classic (2000m, in April) and the Head of the Charles in Boston (3 miles in late October). There are a few other crews out there that give us a run for our money, and we've been trading first place with them over the years.

This past weekend our crew came in third at the Head of the Charles – 7 sec. behind first place, and .07 sec. behind second place. While it pains us to lose, we're pretty happy with how we rowed in terms of technique and aggressiveness. And unlike these other guys, we're scattered to the four winds (one is in Hawaii!), and don't have the opportunity to train together. We joke that the other crews test positive for training. In the next year we may change this whole not-training-together thing, and run one or two mini-camps to get more water time.

Here's video of us in the last mile of the race. The Head of the Charles is single file, or "head style," meaning that the crews can roughly tell where they are in relation to the crews immediately ahead and behind them, but otherwise are just racing the clock. In the video, we're on one of a few big turns – this gives you an indication of the importance of the coxswain (the little guy in the stern who's steering and calling the race) in this race.

News and Notes

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Rest Day

Rob U. and Dan C. competed in the Starting Strength Fall Classic over the weekend. Rob hit 372.5/177.5/435 for a 985 total. Dan went 500/225/575 for a 1300 total, a new gym record, and first place in the Master's division. Congrats, Rob and Dan! You make us proud. 

  • Looking to try something other than group class this week? Check out 6:30pm Active Recovery with Coach Fox or 7:30pm Pilates with KH!

Call for Artists in CFSBK's Third Art Show, on November 19, 2016!

Ever wonder what CFSBK would look like if it transformed into an art gallery? Well, those of us that participated in or attended CFSBK's first and second Art Shows know it looks pretty awesome. Our third Art Show will be Saturday, November 19th, so save the date, and START MAKING ART!

The aim of the evening isn’t to sell the work of our artists (though if that happens, great), but to showcase the often hidden talents of CrossFitters, bring our community together in a novel way, and to continue being the coolest CrossFit gym on the planet.

Want to Participate?
We're excited about everyone who has reached out so far, but we want to hear from more of you! If you are an artist (even if your art is just a hobby!) and a CrossFitter at CFSBK or beyond, reach out to Kate R. at katharinereece [at] by November 4th, 2016 to get on the roster of artists. If you haven't participated before, your email MUST INCLUDE 2-3 images of pieces you would consider showing or pieces that are similar to what you would create for the show. The volume of responses we receive will determine how many of your pieces we can include.

Note: Several of you have asked if anyone can participate. Yes, but the artist MUST be a CrossFitter. They don't have to work out at CFSBK!

The more diversity of mediums the better—painting, photography, film, collage, printmaking, dance, design, drawings, textiles, installations, or something we haven’t heard of yet. The 180'' projector is taken. If you participated in years past, please DO NOT repeat work you included for that show.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Press / DB Bent-Over Row | Toes-to-Bars, Push-Ups, Box Jumps
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Sleeping While Awake Scientific American


Press / Dumbbell Bent-Over Row | WOD 10.31.16

Press / Dumbbell Bent-Over Row Superset*

1A) Press

Fitness and Performance
3 x 10

Perform these at about 90% of what you successfully made for 10 in Week 1. Touch-and-Go is permitted.

1B) Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

Fitness and Performance
3 x 8-12

Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Use Week 1 as a guide. Aim initially to get 3 sets with perfect form and aim to increase either reps or load from week to week. Keep in mind that these are an accessory movement and you’ll get more out of them by performing the movement well than by heaving heavier dumbbells around with poor form. If you can finish the cycle with 3 perfect sets of 12 at your heaviest 10 from week one, you win! These are both arms at the same time. Keep these strict and avoid using momentum from your back and hips. Elbows finish close to the torso. Drop weight if you need to heave the dummbells.

*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 Dumbbell 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 3 of 8


AMRAP 20 Minutes:
5 Toes-to-Bars
10 Push-Ups
15 Box Jumps 24/20"

Scale the Toes-to-Bars with Hanging Leg or Knee Raises as needed. Scale Push-Ups to Elevated, Knee, or Switch (toes down, knees up) Push-Ups as needed. The Box Jump is Rx'd as a two foot take off.

Super Karl, our October Athlete of the Month, gets into the Halloween spirit!

Athlete of the Month: Karl-Henry Cesar

Time for another installment of awesomeness! Karl started doing CrossFit in early 2013. He has been coming to CFSBK since he started working in NYC in fall 2013 and is a staple at classes, Open Gym, and social events. Aside from his approachable demeanor and 24-hour smile, the coaches all recognized Karl’s dedication to improving in the gym by arriving early and staying late to put in the work. Read on to learn a little bit about “Super Kar,l” the only man who can rock a fedora while wearing tights and a tank!

Fox: Karl, congrats! Thanks for meeting up with me. Let’s get started. When and how did you first start CrossFit?

Karl: Thank you! I really appreciate it. I started when I was living in Baltimore and doing a year-long fellowship at Baltimore City Public Schools. I attended a local gym because there was this woman who had a deal with the gym to keep her Olympic lifting equipment there and she happily allowed people to share it. During grad school, I had developed an interest in Olympic weightlifting and I was excited to finally get a chance to try it. Unfortunately, she had a falling out with the gym’s new management and left. So, I searched for places to continue which is how I found CrossFit Harbor East. They had a deal for 40% off your first month which is what got me in the door. What kept me was the people I befriended while I was there and how much I really had to learn to keep up with the other people in classes. I mean, I could probably do 5-6 strict Pull-Ups back then, but I thought kipping was sort of cheating. Then I encountered workouts that had 50 Pull-Ups in them and realized that kipping thing might have something to it! So I came for the weightlifting part of CrossFit but soon developed a respect for the other aspects as well. I stayed at Crossfit Harbor East there until I started working in Brooklyn in fall 2013. Not too long after that, I found you guys!

Fox: Yeah, that first time doing a workout that has a bunch of Pull-Ups in it can be a lesson alright. It’s interesting that your journey to CrossFit is the reverse of how many people are becoming interested in weightlifting and powerlifting. What brought you to CFSBK and what kept you? 

Karl: When I started working for the New York City Department of Education on Court Street, I was still commuting to and from my parents place in NJ. I needed a place where getting to Penn Station wouldn’t be a chore and CFSBK fit that criterion. Most importantly, I really wanted a place that had a similar community to CFHE, so I bought a 10-class punch card to try this place out. Fun fact" Coach Whitney was working the front desk at the time and sold it to me! Anyway, I was sold after those first 10 classes. I liked the people and the structure of classes and programming. The programming allows for some individual freedom and the whiteboard talk gives you options to express that. If I want to work more on strength, then I could use a heavier (relative to the individual) load and bias that aspect of fitness. The people here are great and that extends to outside of the gym. Obviously there are the gym social events, but this year alone I’ve been to The Rub with fellow CFSBKers as well as trivia at The Rock Shop (shout-out to Brainz and Gainz!) and the educator discussion group that Coach JB put together. It’s great to be around people who are comfortable with giving and receiving feedback. Also, I come to CrossFit so I can survive NY Jets games. Without this fun, challenging, and supportive environment in which I healthily push myself, who knows what foolery I’d embark upon while yelling at my Jets...

Fox: Haha, spoken like a true sports fan. Tell us a little about you outside the gym. Where’d you grow up? Were you athletic as a kid?

Karl: Well, I’m the oldest of three and was born right here in Brooklyn. My family moved to New Jersey when I was young and my folks are still there. My siblings both live in NYC and we’re very close. We’re also all huge Ronaldo fans and text each other constantly about his exploits and other things! We like him because he is great, is not ashamed of his greatness, and works hard to be even greater. While I’m no Ronaldo, I was somewhat athletic as a youth. I wrestled in high school, rowed crew, and did some Ultimate Frisbee on the side. Wrestling was an especially great experience for me because it reinforced the notion that a healthily competitive environment is a team and individual endeavor.

Fox: Where’d you go to school and what do you do for work?

Karl: I went to Phillips Exeter Academy for high school and Washington University in St. Louis for college. In college, I wanted to do pre-med. However, medicine wasn’t meant to be (cough cough Organic Chemistry, Genetics, and my laziness) and the summer before my senior year, I participated in a summer enrichment program in Providence, RI, where I co-taught ELA. That experience unearthed an interest in education that I wasn’t aware of until that point. Senior year, I applied for post-graduate teaching residencies and was accepted to one in France where I taught high school English in Venissieux, a suburb of Lyon. Funny how life works because that was when I realized that I want to make education my career (still figuring out what this means). After France, I did admissions in Western Massachusetts for 2 years, worked at Harlem Children’s Zone Countee Cullen Community Center, and then attended Carnegie Mellon for grad school. After grad school, I did a yearlong fellowship in Baltimore City Public Schools. In fall 2013, I started working at the DOE, and since early August, I’ve been working for Success Academy Charter Schools as a project manager.

Fox: Sounds like quite a journey to where you’re at now. How fortunate that you spent that summer in Providence! What do you do for fun outside of the gym (and tearing up the dance floor at The Rub)? 

Karl: Nerds, unite! I read comics and love going to comic book movies. I also love to draw, especially sketching people. I’ve been to Dr. Sketchy’s a few times and am looking forward to more. I really just enjoy learning and building new skills. I’m always learning something and staying humble.

Fox: What are your current gym goals?

Karl: The thing that first got me into a CrossFit gym, the Snatch. My goal is that by the end of 2017, I hit 185 lbs consistently (Squat and Power). I’ve definitely improved on the lift; heck, I’ve even had some lifts where I thought I’d “gotten it,” but the saga continues. I love the Snatch because there is absolutely no room for doubt. In order for the lift to go well, first you have to believe in yourself.

Fox: I couldn’t agree more. Last question: What should we look for in a future AOM?

Karl: People who are friendly and coachable and want to improve. There are some introverts here also, so don’t overlook them!

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