Rest Day

Andre L. and Jaclyn K. looking pretty synchronized at Fight Gone Bad 2016

Short Circuit: A Testimonial from Kristin H.!

For the past couple of 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. In case you missed it, our resident Pilates expert Kristin H. posted a great comment about her first Short Circuit experience to the blog yesterday:

"Today I took the 9am Short Circuit class for the first time and I just want to make a public plug for it. It was super fun to work on accessory movements that will help my regular crossfit exercises (bicep curls, single leg squats, planks), and the atmosphere was really jovial and sweaty. I liked not having to keep score of my reps and just move through the stations with the music. Also Brett is okay as a coach, I guess. Jkjkjk he's awesome! Try it out if you have the coveted 9am hour free."

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.

News and Notes

  • Tonight's 7:30pm Pilates class with Kristin H. is cancelled. 
  • NBC'S hit competition series AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR is looking for a variety of awesome athletes to apply for this upcoming season. Go here to apply.
  • Did Fight Gone Bad whet your appetite for competition? Check out the 2016 Hoboken Winter Challenge! The event will take place on December 3rd, and registration is now open

The Most Efficient Way to Destroy the Universe Kurzgesagt
Top 5 Mobility Needs for the Olympic Weightlifter The Barbell Physio


Push Press / Dumbbell Bent-Over Row | WOD 10.24.16

Push Press / Dumbbell Bent-Over Row Superset*

1A) Press

Fitness and Performance

Work up to a heavy set of 10 after 2-3 warm up sets. 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 seconds to a minute, 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 2 of 8


10 Deadlifts (touch-and-go, at about 50%)
5-10 Strict Toes-to-Bars
270m Jog

Top out the Deadlift weight at 225/155 and use a double overhead grip. As always, maintain a neutral spine. The Toes-to-Bars are written as strict but feel free to work on your kip if it needs it.

Post work to comments.

This year's Fight Gone Bad photos are so good that we're just now getting to Prince and the Row-volution | Photo by Kate R.

SAVE THE DATE: The 3rd Annual Iron Maidens Raw Open

Hosted by CrossFit South Brooklyn
February 18, 2017, 9:00AM-6PM
Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift

Registration will open the week of December 5, 2016

You are invited to test your one rep maxes in a rare, women’s only environment of badassery. Compete for awesome prizes and cheer on female feats of strength. This meet is open to all women; you do not need to be a member of Crossfit South Brooklyn to participate.

All lifters will have three attempts to lift one maximal rep, in the following order, for:

1. Back Squat
2. Bench Press
3. Deadlift

The sum of the heaviest successful attempts will constitute each lifter’s Total. For each weight class, a first, second and third place will be awarded to the highest Totals.

Weight classes: 123lbs and under; 132lbs and under; 148lbs and under; 165lbs and under; Over 165lbs

Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship
Once again, we are thrilled to partner with Grace Outreach, a Bronx based nonprofit that works with women to further their education and gain financial independence. Through competitors’ fundraising efforts, the annual Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship assists low-income women in paying for their college tuition.

In 2016, competitors raised $30,000 in scholarship money, $10,000 above our goal. We look forward to supporting even more women this year as they pursue higher education.

Check out the Iron Maidens blog to learn more and see results from last year's competition.

Questions? Contact Meet Director Margie Lempert at Margie @ crossfitsouthbrooklyn [dot] com.

Time to Train Starting Strength
Dazzling Designs for a New York That Never Existed Atlas Obscura


Clean and Jerk | WOD 10.23.16

Clean and Jerk Metcon

Every 5 minutes for 6 rounds:
40 Double-Unders
2 Mid-Hang Cleans + 1 Push Press + 1 Jerk

Start light and work up as appropriate. The goal is zero misses on the barbell. Perform a 10 burpee penalty on the spot for any missed reps. Sub 2 Push Presses if you're newer to the lifts. Sub 100 singles or 20 attempts (or about 60 seconds) for dubs as needed.

Post work to comments.
Exposure 1 of 8


4 Rounds Not for Time:
10 Dumbbell Curls
45 Second Hollow Hold

Post work to comments.

He-Man (Coach Brett) and She-Ra (Coach Jess) may be Masters of the Universe, but they still find time for Box Jumps | Photo by Kate R.

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.

Zhao Jinhong (-48kg) Clean and Jerking 95kg Hookgrip
Why Are Some Dolls Creepy NY Mag


Front Squat | WOD 10.22.16

Front Squat


Warm up and perform 3 medium-heavy sets of 5 reps

5/3/1 (5 Week):
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5+

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.
Week 1 of 8


3 Rounds for Time:
400m Run

Strict or kipping is allowed on the Handstand Push-Ups, as is 1-2 AbMats. Sub Box Piked or regular Push-Ups as appropriate.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Skeletor may be a skeleton, but he's surpringly strong overhead | Photo by Joel Z.

Goodbye to Pigeon K. and Evan H.

Two of our wonderful members recently departed for the West Coast. We're sad to see Pigeon K. and Evan H. go! Both had wonderful things to say about CFSBK, and as is our blog tradition, we want to share their farwells. First, here's what Pigeon had to say:

You took the business of CrossFit and turned it into a friend-making machine. Yeah we came in to get in better shape, get stronger, learn to lift, score PRs... but we mostly came in to have that hour of bonding, like an hour of adult play-date.I look forward to finding a new gym in Portland, OR and will try very hard not to judge it by the high standards set by CFSBK. I will miss everything about the gym, but mostly our 11am Saturday AR sessions, where we discovered that much more about each other. (Mongolian throat singers aficionados.)

Bye, Pigeon! Portland is lucky to have you. Evan had so much good stuff to say that we just decided to post his whole e-mail to Coach David:



My wife usually complains that I am a horrible story teller because I tend to “bury the lede,” so I’m going to get right to it:

1. I am moving to California for work, so I will be leaving CFSBK.

2. Being a member at CFSBK has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to train with you all.

I’m not sure that I will ever truly understand all of the ways that you and the team have impacted my life, but I’m going to do my best to articulate my gratitude for each area:

1. My Fitness Level – For the vast majority of my life, I have looked at fitness & exercise as, simply, a means to an end.  I’ve never really been good at sports or, if I’m honest, trained hard enough to see any real gains at the gym. So I’ve spent most of my time begrudgingly plodding through some random workout routine that I saw in Men’s Health. When I started at CFSBK, I couldn’t do a proper push-up or pull-up, let alone a snatch, double-under, or clean.  The beauty about you all, is none of you cared about what I couldn’t do.  You met me where I was physically & showed me what I could do.  You then worked with me by putting me through a series of linear progressions and I started getting better at every movement & exercise. Before I knew it, I was no longer avoiding exercises I was bad at, and was actually enjoying myself. I am by no means a Games-qualifying athlete, but the progress I’ve made is something that I am very proud of and I can honestly say that my relationship with fitness has completely changed.

2. My Health – Since I started working out at CFSBK a little over a year and a half ago, all of my regular health metrics have greatly improved. (i.e. blood pressure, resting pulse, triglycerides, all of ‘em.) I have also dropped about 30 pounds, while increasing my overall muscle mass. I have to give credit where credit is due, Fox’s guidance during the Look, Feel, Perform Better Challenge changed my world.  I was also a member of the Fat Kid Club and lost a lot of weight in my late teens/early twenties, but because I never changed my relationship with food, it has always been difficult to keep my weight from yo-yoing.  By following Fox’s guidance, I have been able to clean up my diet & I actually stop eating when I’m full…and it’s actually sustainable! (except pizza, I will always eat too much pizza)   

3. The Community – There is not much I can say here that hasn’t already been said, but the community you all have built is amazing. Many people are surprised to find out that I am, by nature, an introvert.  I usually do well in crowds, but typically avoid them like the plague. I tend towards solitary activities, because I like being by myself. (Or in really small groups.) You can imagine my surprise when I didn’t just tolerate the large crowds at the gym, I loved them! I have never been around so many smart, funny, and kind people in one place. These people are awesome.

4. My Perseverance – A lot has been written about this recently, but I have found that working out at CFSBK has completely shifted my paradigm on how I view challenges. You all have taught me the reward & value of going deep in the “pain cave” in all areas of my life. (I think I’m going to make an inspiration poster out of that.)

5. The Coaches – My God the coaches! I hope you don’t mind me calling each one of them a beautiful snow flake! They are all very different, but each bring different strengths that make CFSBK the beauty that it has become.  Jabronis like Noah leave and you think the world is going to end, but then a different coach steps in and you get to know that coach better & realize how amazing he/she is as an individual & coach.  Now that I’m writing this, I almost feel like I should write a separate email just to the coaches…I might.  But seriously, I could gush about the coaches for hours…ask my wife, I do.

David, thank you for everything. You are humble, so you will probably say that it took a lot of people to make CFSBK what it is today (true), but it wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t started it & guided it into what it is. Say what you will of the cost, but the value that I have gotten from my membership has far exceeded the monthly fee that I have paid. You’re amazing! 

I love you all!

Evan Hunt

We love you too, Evan!

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Rest Day
Mobilize at Your Desk in Just One Minute Per Hour BarBend
Bob Dylan, Master of Change New York Times


Rest Day

There are so many good photos from Fight Gone Bad on our Flickr account | Photo by Thomas H.

This Week at CFSBK in Review

1. Fight Gone Bad 2016 was a huge success! We raised over $30,000 for Brooklyn Community Foundation and had fun doing it. Read all about it.

2. We announced our new training cycle template.

3. Another great event, the 3rd annual CFSBK Art Show, is just around the corner! Kate R. is still accepting submissions. You can contact her at katharinereece [at] gmail.com 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.

4. We reported on the CrossFit Team Series at CFSBK. Congrats again to all who participated!

5. Squad WOD at CFSBK, originally slated for Novemeber, has been cancelled but will be rescheduled for 2017. Keep a lookout for another annoucement.

6. Coach Noah is alive and well and living in Austin, and he also wrote an awesome article called "It Was All a Dream: Starting a CrossFit Gym" for Beyond the Whiteboard. Check it out to find out how things are going with the launch of his new gym, CrossFit Lumos!

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Snatch | NFT Work
Minor Gains Catapult
A Visit to the CIA's "Secret" Abstract Art Collection Hyperallergic


Snatch | WOD 10.20.16

Snatch Metcon

Every 5 minutes for 6 rounds:
1 High-Hang Snatch
10 Burpees
1 Mid-Hang Snatch
10 Burpees
1 Below-the-Knee Hang Snatch

Start light and work up only as appropriate. Move quickly but deliberately through each round. The goal is no misses on the Snatch. If you miss a rep, perform a 10 Burpee penalty on the spot.

Post work to comments.
Exposure 1 of 8


5 Rounds NFT:
10 V-Ups or GHD Sit-Ups
10 Supinated Grip Ring Rows

Post work to comments.

Coach Whit and Joe W. taking on some partner Deadlifts during the 5th CrossFit Team Series workout

The CrossFit Team Series at CFSBK

From early September to early October, four intrepid teams of CFSBKers took on this year's CrossFit Team Series. The Team Series tests the fitness of four-person teams (two women and two men) over the course of 8 events. Today we're very happy to bring you some reports from the competitors. But first, here are the teams:

Forging Competent Fitness
Michael C.
Brad L.
Charlie N.
Kayleigh R.

Vacation Gainz
Joe W.
Coach Brett
Coach Whitney
Steph M.

CFSBK Ballers
Coach Jess
Coach Fox
Coach JB
Jason M.

All Good Fellows and Maybe Scott
Micheline G.
Charles S.
Gerry M.
Shawn C.

Definitely an all-star lineup! How did it go? Your blog editor had the good fortune to be able to judge Forging Competent Fitness's 5th workout and can tell you that it was tough! (Watching Charlie N. and Brad L. Deadlift together made it well worth it, though.) But, most importantly, we're grateful that we can share some words from the athletes themselves. Here's a team write-up from CFSBK Ballers by Coach Jess:

Our team had a great experience! We all pushed ourselves harder than if we were just doing it solo. We had to do the first 4 workouts all in one day over the course of 2 hours. That wasn't 'fun,' but I think we still surprised ourselves with what we could do and how we could recover fairly quickly to move on to the next workout. The 2nd 4 workouts were more in our favor but they seemed way more difficult! Regardless, it was fun to get together, talk strategy, talk strengths and weaknesses, practice synchronizing, hit the workouts and then go out for dinner/drinks afterwards as a team. I would highly recommend this for any/all members next year! Find 3 other people and sign up! Team workouts are always great for giving you that extra push!  And hopefully next year, we'll have organized team series workouts... like a Friday Night Lights type of deal!

Sounds like they really made good on the "team" part! Shawn C. was kind enough to gather responses from All Good Fellows and Maybe Scott. Let's see what they had to say:

"My overall highlight was the team atmosphere and feeling that I couldn't let the team down, which was really inspiring. I had three PRs and did two movements that I wasn't sure I could do at all. No way that happens without being a part of a team that was taking on challenges. Also great to get know other gym members better." -Charles S.

"The highlights were when other members enthusiastically judged us, taking time out of their routine/day to do it.  That was so nice of Joy and Stella, Andre and Kate! Then, it was so much fun to synchronize stuff.  A little silly (e.g., the Deadlift Hold) but so fun at the same time. And then just getting through it was great." -Micheline G.

Gerry M. also said that working with the team and pushing beyond what he thought he’d be able to do was a highlight, but he disagreed with Micheline on the partner Deadlifit. He was not a fan!

"Working with and getting to know better this excellent team was a highlight and their support was a big part of getting some PRs and was everything in terms of fun! I also appreciate the generosity of time and spirit provided by our judges. CrossFit Community! Thanks for everything!" -Shawn C.

Wow, thanks all! We're looking forward to Friday Night Lights at CFSBK next year. But who's gonna play Tim Riggins?

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Squat | NFT Work
How to Fix the "Starfish" Power Clean WODprep
Hand & Wrist Position Overhead Catalyst Athletics


Back Squat | NFT Work 10.18.16

Back Squat


Warm up and perform 3 medium-heavy sets of 5 reps.

5/3/1 (5 Week)
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5+

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.
Week 1 of 8

5 RNFT or 20 Minutes:
40 yard 1 Arm Farmer Carry (20 out left, 20 back right), as heavy as possible
5-10 Ring Dips
1:00 Plank Hold (from top of a Push-Up)

Use kettlebells, dumbbells, jerrycans, or farmer handles for the carries. If you don't have 5 Strict Ring Dips, then sub 5-10 feet elevated Ring Dips, or 5-10 Between Bench Dips plus a 5-10 second Ring Support.

Post work to comment.

Stella Z. repping Guns and Kips (and also the dark art of bar levitation) at Fight Gone Bad 2016 | Photo by Kate R.

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] gmail.com 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: Rest Day
The Rest Is Just Details CrossFit
If You Run Fast Enough You Can Shut Your Mind Up for a While NY Mag