WOD 5.14.11

4 Rounds for max reps of :
1 Minute Deadlift 315/215
1 Minute Ring Dip, Bar Dip (no bands) or Push-Up
1 Minute Double Unders
1 Minute Rest

Post total reps per movement and Rx to comments.

Rob I Pulls a Heavy Single

Hear Ye Hear Ye!!
All may return thy shoes to the coat room now! We're holding all the unclaimed shoes (and there's a lot of them) hostage in the office in a big (air tight) box.  Let us know if we took your shoes otherwise they're all being donated at the end of the week.
On a similar note.. Please claim any belongings from the lost and found!  Again, anything left unclaimed by Saturday the 21st will be donated to charity.

Go Team SBK!
Remember you can follow our the CrossFit South Brooklyn Ragnar Relay team on twitter at #sbkragnar.  Please send them some love. Remember, you're currently sitting on your butt at the computer and they're running 200 miles!
Squatting Toes-Out Vs Squatting Toes-Forward Cathletics
Better Hip Positioning for Better Deadlifting Mobility WOD
Ring Dip Shoulders and Shoulder Stability Mobility WOD


Rest Day

The CFSBK Ragnarians give their legs one last break before this weekend

The Ragnar Relay is Here!!!

After months of training the Ragnar Relay is finally upon us.  16 SBK'ers will run night and day, relay style, through the mighty Catskills to complete a 197 mile race.  Best of luck to all competing!

Team CrossFit South Brooklyn:  (as pictured above)
Steph P, Jess F, Bjorn B, Charmel R, Noah A, Juliana A, Dan L, Asta F, Sarah H, Collette K, Dan R and Joe W

Plus even MORE CFSBK'ers competing in Ragnar this weekend:
Maggie G, Eli F, Josh M and Melissa L

Start Time:  8:30am, Friday, May 13 (Bethel, NY)

Estimated Finish:  3:30pm, Saturday, May 14 (Dobbs Ferry, NY)

Total Miles: 197.1

To learn more about the race, click here

Team SBK will be tweeting updates to the hashtag #SBKRagnar throughout the weekend. Please send encouraging words!


WOD 5.12.11

3 Rounds for time of:
Row 500m
10 Power Clean and Jerks, 155/105
Run 400m
10 Toes to Bars

Post time and Rx to comments.

CFSBK May Athlete of the Month:
Melissa L!

Days are getting longer and apparently going by faster as we get into
the warmer weather! Apologies for this months AOM article taking a while
(I was just really trying to surprise her...) but it was worth the wait. This
month we honor the one and only, death defying, Connecticut Crusher,
Melissa Loranger! Melissa came to us last summer and has steadily
stepped her strength and skill set up (catching our attention for AOM in the
process) eventually participating in SBK Competition Team classes and
also in the CrossFit Games Sectionals this year. If you know Melissa then
you already know that she’s a great athlete, a great team player, and a
super nice gal to boot. Here’s your chance to get to know a little bit more
about her and how she came to SBK.

Fox - Hey Mel, you’re our Athlete of the Month! Let’s talk!

ML - Wow, thanks! That’s awesome. I really appreciate it.

Fox - Yeah, it’s awesome to choose you. You’ve really impressed the
coaches lately especially with how well you did in the Games this year. It
seemed like you really attacked a few weaknesses and went for it. That
was cool to see.

ML - It was a lot of fun too, and I learned a lot from it.

Fox - OK. Lets start at the beginning...How did you first start CrossFit?

ML - My brother first told me about CrossFit. He had dome some CF and I
also have friends that own a CF gym up in Connecticut (CrossFit Milford).
I was living on Brooklyn but working in Manhattan at the time and didn’t
know that CFSBK existed. I first took a teaser class at the Black Box/

CFNYC in January of 2010 and started their Elements cycle shortly after. I
remember at the teaser class we did a ½ “Cindy” and I was smoked. I had
T-Rex arms for a few days after and I was hooked! I loved the intensity of
the whole thing and the fact that I trained that hard in only 10 minutes. I
eventually found SBK and started here in July of 2010. I remember visiting
with Teresa and meeting you and David and immediately liking the vibe.
You guys were both really welcoming and seemed genuinely interested in
us. Now I can’t imagine working out anywhere else. I talk about CrossFit all
the time to friends and anyone who listens...I guess I’m a little addicted?

Fox - If you are it’s a healthy addiction. What were you doing fitness-wise
prior to CF?

ML - I was ‘working out’ at my work gym, doing some spin classes and
boot camp classes and running as well. I did a few small races and half
marathons but was getting bored with the routine. I’ve always been a
competitive athlete, I played softball from when I was a little girl right up
until high school, played soccer and ran track in high school, and played
soccer and one year of lacrosse in college. When I was little I also did
ballet for a while. I think it was my parents, probably more my Mom’s, way
of trying to keep me balanced :) I still play competitive soccer with the NY
Metropolitan Women’s Soccer League. Appletown is my team. I’m a center
midfielder but sometimes play different positions depending on who we
have playing on any given day. I’ve always loved competition.

Fox - Natural athlete, huh? You’re also doing the Ragnar this month. Tell
me about that.

ML - Yeah, I’m actually a team captain. It’s 12 of us, a bunch of family and
friends who are doing it together. My total mileage is just over 20 miles
which will be the longest I’ve ever ran. I’m really looking forward to it,
should be fun!

Fox - Cool, it sounds like a great time. I’m sure you’ll have stories to
compare with the CFSBK team after the event is over. Let’s go back for a

minute to CF. What keeps you coming here as opposed to doing what you
were doing before?

ML - The intensity, the challenge, and the fact that we train movements
that you just don’t see elsewhere. Before CF I had never done a clean
or a snatch, or really learned anything new fitness-wise for a while. I like
learning the movements and that I can continue to get better at them. Also
before, I’d spend up to 2 hrs in the gym and not get anywhere near the
training effect that 10 minutes of CF can give me. CFSBK is such a great
community also. You get to know and hang out with the people you are
working out with. There’s a sense of commitment to making a class if you
know that someone else is going to be there.

Fox - What are you most and least favorite movements?

ML - Favorite would be thrusters, I feel pretty strong at them. I don’t really
have a least favorite but the most challenging for me would be the Olympic
lifts. There’s the technical aspect to them that is a constanrt challenge
which I actually like.

Fox - What are your impressions of competing in the CF Games this year?

ML - Well, after I was convinced by you and David that I should accept
the invite to the Competition Class, it didn’t take much to get me to sign
up to compete. It helped that others had confidence in me that I’d be able
to do everything Rx’d. It was a great learning experience and taught me
what I need to work on, namely Oly technique and endurance. My favorite
event would probably be the Deadlift/Push Up/Box Jump WOD, and my
least favorite would definitely be the 5 min AMRAP Squat Clean and Jerk.
The cleans got hard really fast. The wall ball and toes to bar were a little
easier than I thought they’d be, so I was pleased with that. Again, it all
just gives me stuff to improve upon. The first time I saw a CF event was at
Hoboken last December and I thought it was awesome. The energy, the
level of competition, and the support that everyone shows each other was
amazing. The Sectionals were more of the same and did not disappoint.

Fox - I’ve got to ask you about something I know you did recently,
skydiving. What was that like?

ML - It was a pretty amazing experience, something I’d always wanted to
do, and something I’d do again. We went out to Long Island Skydiving and
the folks there were great. There were 4 SBK’ers who went, Teresa, Josh
M, Charmel, and myself. First up were Charmel and me so Josh and T got
to watch us go and then we got to see them jump. The free fall was the
best part. You’re going so fast, it’s really exciting. Once the chute opens
it’s almost disappointing. I was like, “OK, now I’m safe, this sucks”. I was
momentarily freaked out though at the thought of the chute not opening, but
obviously everything went as planned.

Fox - Wow. Crazy. Just. Crazy...It’s so cool to learn a little more about the
folks we see every week in the gym. I never would have guessed that ballet
was in your past. Any other interesting hobbies?

ML - I sew, a little. I mean if you want a square shaped thing with an
opening I’m your girl. Tote bags. pillow cases, that’s about where I’m at
right now.

Fox - Alright Melissa, thanks again for sitting with me and for being a great
member of our little community. Last thing. What should we look for in a
future Athlete of the Month?

ML - Someone who works hard, gives 110%, and supports and encourages
others. Someone who is committed to CFSBK at large and who has the
drive to get better.

Fox - Well said.


Thanks to Melissa for taking time out on a gorgeous Friday afternoon to
sit down with me. We appreciate all that she brings to the gym and really
look forward to seeing her get even better along her journey with us.
Congratulations, Ms May!

Long Island Skydiving
CrossFit Milford


Developing Your Pull-Up

By Coach Christian Fox

There are a bunch of reasons to get better at doing pull ups. For one, we do a
bunch of them in CrossFit. They’re also a great way to increase the
strength of your upper back, arms, lats, grip, and help to have a
balanced and healthy shoulder girdle. You should be able to do strict
pull ups with a variety of grips, and once you can consistently do few
pull ups  at a time it may be time to start working on the kipping pull
up. Here’s how you’re going to get better, no matter where in the scheme
of it you are.

(No pull ups, or “I did one, once...”)

“A” Day
3 sets of 12 reps of either: Ring Rows or Band Assisted Pull Ups. Use an
angle or band that makes completing all the repetitions challenging. Rest as needed between sets.

Followed by, 3 Supersets of 12 reps of either: Dumbbell Curls (I know you’ve secretly wanted to do these anyway) or  Dumbbell Rows
with either: Dumbbell Bench Press or Dumbbell Floor Press
Choose a weight that feels like you could have done another rep or two at the
end of the set. Take minimal rest between exercises in the superset.
“B” Day
10 ‘mini sets’ of 1 rep each of 5-10 second negatives using either a pull
up or a chin up grip on the minute for 10 minutes. You can jump to the
top or set a box up that allows you to start at the top (collar bone
above the bar). Yes, that seems like a lot of rest in between reps, and
no, it’s not a lot of total reps. That’s a good thing, trust me.

Alternate between the A day and the B day with a day of rest between workouts. An example would be:
Monday A - Wednesday B - Saturday A - Monday B - Wednesday A - Saturday B

(Can do 3-5 pull ups at a time)

Week 1)  6 sets of 2 reps. Rest 1 minute between sets. Perform twice a week.
Week 2)  5 sets of 3 reps. Rest 1 minute between sets. Perform twice a week.
Week 3)  4 sets of 4 reps. Rest 90-120 seconds between sets. Perform twice a week.
Week 4)  3 sets to failure. Rest 3 minutes between sets. Perform twice a week.

This program can be used until you have 3 sets of 10 reps in the 4th week.
In other words, if you don’t get the 3x10 in week 4 restart at week 1 by
adding a rep to the sets. Week one would be 6x3, week 2 would be 5x4,
and week 3 would be 4x5, then retest in week 4.

End each session by practicing kipping pulls ups for a few small sets, no
more than 5 sets and no more than 8 reps. Terminate the set if you fall
out of rhythm. It’s all about developing a rhythm that you can control
and maintain. Remember that a solid kip uses your whole body and don’t
forget that your abs need to be engaged throughout. If you fly open in
the front of the kip you are leaking tons of energy away from the bar.
Check out this video for a peak at what an efficient pull up should look like.

(Can regularly do sets of 10 or more strict and/or kipping)

Congrats, you stud or stud-ette. You are now on your way to becoming elite! Don’t expect though that your pull ups will magically become better if you
don’t practice them. You should still be working on both strict and
kipping pull ups. Mix up the grip that you use when you practice. Try

1) Once a week do a set or two to near failure. Start with a pull up grip
(hands outside shoulder width and palms away) and when you are 2 reps
shy of failure switch to a chin up grip (hands inside shoulder width and
palms toward you). When you are 2 reps shy of failure switch to a mixed
grip (1 palm in, 1 palm out) and do the same before switching again.

2) You can practice similarly by doing a set or two of max strict pull
ups,  immediately switching to kipping and again going till failure (or a
rep shy of it).

3) Start doing weighted pull ups/chin ups, 3 sets of 5 reps, and seeing if you can add weight each week.

4) 30 seconds on/30 seconds off for 5 minutes of max reps kipping pull
ups. The set ends if you come off the bar. Remember to stay engaged in
the trunk. Don’t leak energy out in front. Remember this video.

5) Each time you’re in the gym do a 3-5 sub-max sets of kipping pull ups,
trying to add a rep each time you do the drill. You want to feel fresh
and stay shy of failure here. Terminate the set if grip becomes the
limiting factor. Again, remember to stay engaged and not leak energy out
of the front of the kip. Once again...

6) If you have a solid kip that just seems to go away on you when you get
gassed then try practicing your pull ups under duress. Do 50 double
unders or sprint down the block and back followed immediately by a set
of 10-15 pull ups.


If one of the days that you’re in the gym involves a lot of pull ups then
consider that a replacement day for one of the days on the above
programs. Also consider’s no mistake that smaller, lighter
people have an easier time with pull ups. While the barbell exercises
can be scaled easily to ability, calisthenics can not. If you have some
weight to lose then a solid nutritional program can work in tandem with
the above programs to help you achieve the pull up. Check out the folks
over at Whole 9 or our buddy Robb Wolf for lots of info from simple tips to detailed programs to get you started. Three cheers getting yer pull ups up!!!


Back Squat


Post loads to comments.
(e2/8) compare to 4.20.11

As many rounds as possible in 6 minutes of:
12 DB Split Cleans, alternating legs
12 Push-Ups

Post rounds and Rx to comments.
Dumbbell Split Lifts CrossFit

Congratulations to Dan H3 and Julia W on their engagement! 

Save the Date for Memorial Day Murph!
Memorial Day is almost here and at CFSBK we celebrate by doing Murph, the epic workout named in honor of fallen Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy.  

This year we'll be hosting our annual Memorial Day Murph on Sunday, May 29th.  We'll be kicking off the first heat at 11am and the BBQ will begin at 1pm.  Everyone is encouraged to attend and participate! You can do the workout Rx'd, scale up with a weighted vest or scale any of the movements and the volume.  Bring your family and friends all are welcome!  As we get closer to the date we'll be calling out for volunteers, cold tasty beverages and veggie dishes.  Those who have been with us in the past for this can tell you how great an event it is  and we look forward recognizing the sacrifices of the members of our armed forces communities with you and yours.
When It Comes to Squats, Easier Doesnt Work T-Nation
Deadlift Skill Work with Walter Reed Amputees YouTube
One WOD at a Time SicFit


Rest Day

The Great Josh L!

Got a Goal? Here's a Suggestion:
Earlier this week we posted an article that had three different programs one could use to increase their pull-up capacity.  Some of you commented that you'd like to use these programs through this cycle.  Why not pick a plan, post up your name on the goals board and make a mark everytime you complete an exposure.  This is a great way to keep yourself accountable through the month and let us coaches know what you're up to.

Why We Get Fat
Gary Taubes, author of "Good Calories Bad Calories" and "Why We Get Fat" discusses why the idea that individuals gain or lose weight due to either increasing or decreasing caloric intake is just plain wrong. In this lecture, Taubes reviews all the main points of his second book to the staff at Google.  Watch Here

CrossFit: Fittest On Earth
Mark Divine on Hypothermia and Mental Control CrossFit


Handstand Push-ups

1 x Max Reps
Rest 3-5 minutes
3 x 70%

Post reps to comments.
Compare to 10.14.10

Tag Team 3 Miler
1 Partner runs 400 meters while the other rests, waiting to "tag in". Each partner runs 1.5 miles (400m x6)

Post time to comments.

Coach Fox is on the prowl!

197.1 Miles and Runnin'!

The Ragnar Relay is this weekend!  Team SBK has been training hard and is going to represent big time! The SBK Ragnar Team is: Dan L, Sarah H, Charmel R, Joe W, Colette K, Bjorn B, Noah A, Juliana A, Dan R, Jess F, Steph P, Asta F 

Start Time:  8:30am, Friday, May 13 (Bethel, NY)

Estimated Finish:  3:30pm, Saturday, May 14 (Dobbs Ferry, NY)

Total Miles: 197.1

Each participant will be running 3 legs of various distances over the course of the 24 hours. Things just got real!

For those that can handle up to minute updates  the team will be tweeting updates to the hashtag #SBKRagnar if people want to follow along.  You can cheer them on and send words of encouragement to to hashtag #SBKRagnar.

Melissa L will also be running in this race

We hope everyone has a great time and we wish everyone the best of luck!   


Remember all shoes out by end of the day on Wednesday....or else!


Probably the most amazing view of the night sky you'll see Vimeo
Handstand Against Wall Progressions Part 1 and Part 2 Gymnastics WOD