March Athlete of the Month


Carlos Guerra!!!

As the winter finally leaves us here in Brooklyn we honor in a Spring Chicken of an athlete…Carlos Guerra. Carlos much like a good handful of you came to CFSBK at the behest of a significant other, his wife Christine. Christine, who like previous AOTM David McGrath had found CFSBK through fellow Brooklyn Triathlon Club members, had been doing private sessions with David for a while. Somewhere along the way she convinced Carlos to attend a few sessions with her and so Carlos’ journey with CrossFit began. It so happened that when I told Carlos we had chosen him to be our Athlete of the Month he was in the middle of one of his busiest work periods of the year. We wound up meeting for the interview late night over food and a few drinks at a local pub; I hope our next honoree is real busy with work as well…

Fox – Carlos, thanks for meeting me after a long workday, and congratulations on being our March Athlete of the Month! We’re proud to have chosen you for a few reasons; your longevity with the program, your consistent blog posts, your ability to hang with the big young guns on any given WOD, and the fact that your entire immediate family is in one way or another involved at the gym.

Carlos – Thanks so much. I’m surprised it’s little old me you guys picked. It’s an honor.

Fox – Alright, let’s get into it. How did you first come to CrossFit South Brookyn?

Carlos - As with many things that have been good for me, Christine convinced me to try it. I had been working out at a Crunch gym on my own following a power-lifting program and was getting bored. I began tagging along on Christine’s sessions with David back at the Lyceum and liked it right away. I did that for a while and then began to get curious about Group classes. After some time working with David and Christine I asked and David told me I was ready. I remember this one time after doing classes for a while I was deadlifting maybe 375 or something and David came over to talk to me. “That was awesome! And, don’t ever do that again.” David then gave me a short lecture on safe deadlifting practices, as apparently this was the first time I was learning that form mattered and not just weight.

Fox – Do you remember your first group workout?

Carlos – I believe it was Helen or something, definitely a met-con and not a strength day.

Fox – You mentioned training on a power-lifting program, did you compete?

Carlos – No. Back in college at Texas University I took a Power Lifting class but there was no team. The instructor Jan Todd was great. She was a power lifter who had competed and won championships in the 70’s. We followed a periodization program with periods of stamina, hypertrophy, power, and strength with max-effort days. It’s basically the program I was still following until I began at CrossFit.

Fox – Cool! It sounds like you were put on a smart program early on. Did you compete in any other sports as a youth?

Carlos – In High School I played competitive golf but I was so small that no colleges would recruit me! Before college I weighed a whopping 118 lbs. During my power lifting days at UT I was able to put on more than 20 lbs of muscle. Now I try and stay strong for work, or rather I need to stay strong for work. CrossFit prepares me for life in a way that power lifting did not. I feel stronger all around.

Fox – You’ve got an interesting career, tell me about that. What you do, how you started, etc.

Carlos – I work in TV and movies on the steady cam. It’s a big camera that weighs over 75 lbs that I strap on and hold for hours at a time and sometimes 14 hr days. Sometimes when I’ve walked onto a new set I’ve gotten skeptical looks as if I can’t possibly be the steady cam man, but I’ve been quickly able to prove I can hold my own. Currently, for the last few years, I’ve been working on the set of. Law and Order Special Victims Unit. This is the first time I’ve worked on television, before this it was all on movies. I started while I was still in college working on movie sets as a loader and began working my way up through the ranks. I made a name for myself and eventually was offered promise of work in both LA and New York. As with other good decisions, Christine decided we should move to New York. A friend helped me get into the union and I did movies for a while until deciding to look for something a bit more stable and close to home. We had the boys at home so that made that decision easy.

Fox – You work with Ice T! Crazy. What movie sets have you worked on? Anything I’d know?

Carlos - The Departed, most everyone knows that one. My favorite was probably Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Then there was a bunch of others, some big budget ones that didn’t make it like All The Kings Men and The Lovely Bones, and some smaller independent ones also.

Fox – Sounds glamorous! Any hobbies outside of CrossFit?

Carlos – Oh yeah, Christine and the kids and I stay busy with lots of stuff. Snowboarding, surfing, yoga, I also skateboard but more as a means of transportation, no tricks. Our snowboarding trips got cut short this year when Manuel broke his arm. We’ve taken a surfing vacation to Rincon Puerto Rico also which was great. I run a bit too, although not too much over the winter.

Fox – You really are a busy dude. The boys (Manuel, Patricio, Carlitos, and Joaquin) are all in CrossFit Teens and Kids with Shane. What do they think of that?

Carlos – They love it. They really look forward to it and enjoy the challenges and variety. I know sometimes they can be a bit much to handle but once they get going they’re into it, and we love seeing them accomplish stuff in class. (Note: Coach Shane could not remember an instance when the Guerra boys were difficult. Maybe Carlos was thinking of someone else’s kids…)

Fox – You recently started doing our Competition Team class. How’s that? And, are you looking to compete as a Master this year?

Carlos – I love the class, and am nervously looking forward to competing this year. We’ll see how it goes.

Fox – What things do you like about CrossFit, and why do you train here as opposed to at another gym?

Carlos – I like the members and the community in general. In any other gym most people have their headphones on and are trying to ignore everyone else. I like that I actually know and like the people I’m working out with. We have dinners together and socialize. It’s a whole different experience. The coaching and programming at SBK is phenomenal also. I’d been lifting for like 20 years and still feel like everything in CrossFit was new to me.

Fox – Great stuff. Last thing; what should we look for in future Athlete’s of the Month?

Carlos – People who are involved in the extra-curricular stuff that happens at the gym, like helping to organize events and such. Also people who make sacrifices to train here, whether time-wise, travel-wise, family-wise or all of it. I see families handing off kids between classes often, like mom just finished working out and now dad is gonna come in. That is a lot of commitment to be here.

Fox – Well said, my man. Thanks again for meeting me late and good luck in the CrossFit Games this year!

Paleo Potluck & First-Year Anniversary Party Saturday!

Tomorrow (March 5th) at 6pm we'll be partying our faces off!  Come one, come all and bring friends, bring family (even your kids!).  All are invited whether you've been with us for three years or just finished Foundations.  It promises to be a great night and we'll be announcing the winner's of the Paleo Challenge!  For the full details on the evening go to the Potluck page.

We encourage everyone to bring a delicious Paleo-friendly dish.  Those in need of meal ideas can check here and here.

Please RSVP with the number of people in your party and the dish(es) you'll be bringing to info(AT)  We look forward to partying with you!

Last but certainly not least we wish David Mak a Happy Belated Birthday!!

Coconut Oil From Villain to Health Food NY Times
Paleo Fail/Paleo Success
50 TED Talks on Hulu


Push Press

Heavier than last week
then, 1x Max Reps @ 75% of work weight from today

Post loads to comments.
Compare to 2.24.11

As Many Rounds As Possible 12 Minutes of:
30 Double Unders
20 KB Swings 24/16kg
10 Pull Ups

Post Rounds and Rx to comments.

CFSBK Featured on Nightline's "Eat Like a Caveman"

We know you're Family but are you our Friend on Facebook?

The kids these days love the Facebook!  So do we and we'd love to have you as our friend if you aren't.  So check us out at  Let's be friends. Best friends....


Meet the Caveman Dieters Nightline
A Growing Debate: How to Define Organic Food
Is Eating Too Much Protein Going to Harm My Kidneys?
Mark's Daily Apple


Front Squat


Post loads to comments.
(E 6/8) Compare to 2.26.11 and 2.23.11

In 3 Minutes Complete:
400m Run
Max Rep Front Squats 135/95 in the remaining time.

Rest 3 minutes in between rounds.  3 rounds total.

Post Rx and FSQ totals to comments.
To scale use ~65% of heaviest FSQ set from the strength work.

Four Queens: Coach Margie, Kiki, Jess F., Steph P.

Feeling Competitive?

Jess F., Kiki, Steph P. and Coach Margie showed their stuff this weekend at the Hail to the Queen event at CrossFit Queens.  Are you looking for a way to test your mettle?  If so there are a couple of competitions coming up that'll give you the shot. 

2011 CrossFit Games Open Sectionals begin in a little over 2 weeks.  The competition this year is sure to be the fiercest yet.  The full details of how the open sectionals will run can be found here and you can register  at the following link:

Brooklyn Bun is a duathalon (Bike/Run) being held on April 17th in Prosepct Park.  If you're interested in a 20k bike followed by a 3.3 mile run check out the event's official site.  CFSBK members get $10 off registration! Post interest to comments or email David(AT) 

Party of the Century!

Hyperbole aside join us this Saturday starting at 6pm for the final paleo potluck and our first birthday at Degraw St. There will be paleo friendly drinks, a whole host of delicious food and we'll be announcing the winners of the Challenge as well as some other surprises.  Bring your friends, bring your family, bring food! To RSVP email info(AT) with your number of guests and the dish you're bringing.  This is for all members whether you were in on the challenge or not.  Come out and party with us!


So, you had that cheat meal(s), how're you feeling?

The Secret of Loaded Carries Dan John
The Classic Things You Will Do in the Gym to Shoot Yourself in the Foot
Staley Training Systems


Rest Day

Josh L. picks things up and puts them....overhead.




By Coach Fox

..Now what? Sidetracks aside, many of you stuck with your goals and intentions for the duration of this 60 day Paleo Challenge with results ranging from good to great to outstanding. Today you'll get your 'after' photos submitted along with your write-up detailing your experience, and tonight you'll likely want to celebrate the end of an era. But wait, is that what you set out to accomplish? A temporary solution? Or an introduction to a sustainable lifelong way of dealing with exercise, nutrition, rest, and recovery? Hopefully the latter, and while you may be bursting at the seams to indulge, make the breaking of your challenge an informed adult decision.

Some of you will feel no need to indulge in non-paleo treats and continue tonight and tomorrow exactly as you treated any other day in the last 2 months, and that's great. Many of you will want to satisfy a craving that's been with you since January 1st, and  that's ok too. Go ahead and have the dessert/pizza/beer/bread/pasta that has been on your mind as you fell asleep many a night during the challenge. I want you to see what that indulgence holds for you and take stock of its value vs its perceived value. If you have a taste and move on continuing with the good habits you've developed you may notice little to no down side to this occasional treat. If, however, you decide to have the dessert after the pizza and beer and bread and pasta, you may feel differently. My advice is to treat yourself sensibly and not go overboard. Hopefully the cravings you experienced during the first few days and weeks of the challenge have subsided and a pattern of health supporting decisions have followed. Don't let today start a yo-yo pattern where you need a "challenge" a few times a year to re-start healthy habits. 

Here's what my 'paleo is over' cheat looked like; Toby's in South Slope, a shared meat and cheese antipasta , a shared 12" soppresatta pizza, all washed down with a delicious IPA (ok, 2 delicious IPAs). I woke feeling a bit groggy and swolen and decided to pass on breakfast. The rest of the day I kept paleo with sausage and eggs with spinach for lunch and beef and collards for dinner. Today (and tomorrow) will be more of the same. Paleo eating is a way of life for me now, and I hope it is for you too.


Can't wait to celebrate the winners of this challenge and see folks from our community at-large at the CFSBK Paleo Challenge Wrap-Up party/1 Year Anniversary at Degraw Street party! I hear Shane is brewing up some more Nor-Cal Margaritas and I intend not to miss out.



Paleo Challenge Write-ups and "After" Pictures Due Today

Folks competing in the challenge must submit their After pictures and their write-ups detailing their experience and adherence to their "Plan of Attack" to info(AT) by the end of the day today. We look forward to hearing about your Paleo Challenge experience and results!

Are you looking forward to a "cheat" meal? What is it?


Eating Meat: A Primer for the Meat Challenged Whole 9
Steal These Meals: Recipe Sharing Blogs
Whole 9
Fear is My Homegirl




Snatch Balance

Post loads to comments.
(E 3/4) Compare to 2.21.11 and 2.14.11

Erica N. hitting 210

Paleo Challenge Finale!

Tomorrow is the last official day of the Paleo Challenge.  Tremendous work by all involved.  We've heard amazing tales of increased performance, weight lost, pants thrown out, and better energy levels.  For those of you who have made it all the way to the end your write-up and "after" photos are due in by the end of tomorrow March 1st.  In your end-of-Challenge wrap-up please include a through rundown of your experience, results and your adherence to your initial Plan of Attack.  As best as possible please try and replicate the angles from your "before" pictures. 

Please send your photos and write-up to info(AT) with the subject line "Paleo Results."  Winners will be announced at the Paleo Potluck and Post-Challenge party this Saturday, March 5!

Remember here's what's at stake!

Top Male and Female each receive:
1) 2 months of 5x/week membership
2) A Lululemon "Fit and Function Session" valued at $100
3) A steak from Grazin' Angus Acres valued at $40

2nd place Male and Female:
1) $300 cash
2) $50 gift certificate to Bierkraft
3) A steak from Grazin' Angus Acres valued at $40

3rd place Male and Female:
1) $150 cash
2) A steak from Grazin' Angus Acres valued at $40

Best of luck to everyone!

Paleo Potluck and Post-Challenge Party

This shinding is to celebrate the end of the Paleo Challenge and to commemorate CFSBK's first year on Degraw St!  After the great turnout and excellent meals prepared for the first potluck we're very excited to have another event at SBK for you all to show of your skills.  Festivities will start at 6pm and all are welcome to attend whether you were involved in the Challenge or not!  All dishes should be Paleo (Don't be the guy/gal that brings Papa John's) and if you need suggestions or ideas check here for some suggestions.

Please RSVP to info(AT) and include your number of guests what you're bringing for a dish. We look forward to seeing you all there.


For those of you finishing up the Paleo Challenge today where to next?  Are going to stick with it? Make any adjustments?  Go back to the modern ways or maybe give the twinkie diet a try?


Paleolilith Tries to Cheat on Mr. Paleo Diet But Can't... Paleolilith
Captive Gorillas Succumbing to Human Disease
Environmental News Network



5 Rounds for time of:
20 Pull-Ups
30 Push-Ups
40 Sit-Ups
50 Squats

Rest precisely 3 minutes between each round.

Post total time, work intervals and Rx to comments.
compare to 7.1.10

Thoughts on Scaling Pull-Ups in "Barbara"

by David Osorio

This benchmark girl is a high-volume interval workout comprised of body weight movements. Completed as prescribed, it calls for 100 Pull-Ups, 150 Push-Ups, 200 Sit-Ups and 250 Squats.  To preserve the intended stimulus of "Barbara", scale the movements such that you can complete each round in about 3-5 minutes. For many people this will mean drastically scaling the pull-ups.

Scaling Pull-Ups, Strict versions versus Kipping Pull-Ups
If you don't have well developed kipping pull-ups then you'll need to drop upwards of 1/2 to 3/4's of the volume on this movement.  Kipping pull-ups and strict pull-ups are very different exercises with different training outcomes.  The kipping pull-up is a dynamic movement used for conditioning purposes while the strict pull-up is a slower movement used to develop pulling strength & stamina. If you're doing a strict variant (For example: Strict pull-ups, Banded Strict Pull-Ups, Leg Assisted Pull-Ups or even Ring Rows) choose either 5 or 10 reps per round.  If you choose 10 reps then you should be able to accomplish every set in 2-3 micro sets. For example, if your reps look something like this: 3-2-1-1-1-1-1 then the scale is too difficult! 
What you don't want to happen is for the these to slow you down so much that you spend most of your time at the pull-up station staring at the bar and shaking your arms out.  The small danger is that it could ruin the intention and balance of the workout while the larger danger is that this kind of training will leave you unreasonably sore and could ruin the rest of your training week.  Because strict variants have a controlled lowering phase (unlike kipping pull-ups) they have the potential to do a lot of structural damage on your muscles. While we want enough of this "damage" to make your body a little sore for a few days  we certainly don't want so much damage the putting your shirt on two days later because a workout in itself. Trust me on this, sometimes less is more. Scale to make these challenging but doable.

If you've got kipping pull-ups then it becomes more a matter of how many reps you can do unbroken.  If 20 reps is something you can bite off in 1-3 sets then go for it Rx'd. If you work mostly in 2's and 3's then scale to 10 reps per round.

Here is a programming summary with scaling options for you to choose from:

Strict Variant:
A: 10 reps, B: 5 reps
Kipping Pull-Ups: A 20 reps, B: 15 reps, C:10 reps

As always, you can scale on the fly whenever you feel like you've bit off too much or perhaps not a big enough chunk.  If you start with 10 reps but by round three have "lost your pull-up", swallow your ego and drop the reps. Remember you want to keep the workout moving and not hit a wall on any particular movement.

Closing Thoughts
Even if you drop to 5 pull-ups per round, the rest of the workout (even scaled) can pack a pretty serious punch. If it's your first time with "Barbara" we highly recommend doing a 3 round version of the WOD.  Interval workouts like this, especially THIS one, have been known to make people "not right" afterwards.

As Rx'd, Barbara gives you 700 opportunities to choose to do a movement correctly or rush through something with questionable form.  Our goal is to increase your work capacity while strengthening your muscles, connective tissue and discomfort tolerance.  Scale wisely, move well and enjoy your date with Barbara today!


Linus taks a nap on Smudge

Congratulations to team SBK on their performance yesterday at CrossFit Queens' "Hail to the Queen Throwdown"!  We're proud to report that Kiki tied for third place overall in the event!  Great work to Margie, Steph P, Jess F and Kiki!  Let us know how it went down in the comments, Ladies! 

The Paleo Challenge is almost over!
Remember that your "after" photos and post challenge write-up are due by Tuesday March 1st.  We want to hear from everyone on how you did, the good the bad and the ugly.  This is a learning experience for you guys and for us so please help us help you.  And also.. there is a post challenge Pot luck and year at Degraw Street Party on Saturday, March 5th.  For the details on everything, click here!

Pat Barber does "Barbara" CrossFit


Front Squat

Use >90% of your best Double from last exposure

Post loads to comments.
(e5/8) compare to 2.23.11

For Time:
Row 200
10 Overhead Squats, 95/65
Row 200
8 Overhead Squats
Row 200
6 Overhead Squats
Row 200
4 Overhead Squats
Row 200
2 Overhead Squat

Post time and Rx to comments.
compare to 10.27.10

Kevin R's Muscle Up

Good luck to Kiki, Margie, Jess F and Steph P on the "Hail to the Queen Throwdown" at CrossFit Queens today.  Let us know how it goes, ladies!

There is NO ACTIVE RECOVERY class today.

Interested in Competing in the 2011 CrossFit Open Sectionals?
This year’s CrossFit Games are fast approaching! We're pleased to announce that CrossFit South Brooklyn, CrossFit Virtuosity, and CrossFit Long Island City will combine forces to host all six events of the CrossFit Games Open.  In the "Open" spirit, all CrossFit athletes are welcome to participate regardless of affiliation.  These promise to be fun, exciting, and competitive events!

Athletes may register for all six events in advance, or on a week-by-week basis.  If you will be missing one or more events, please indicate that during registration!  Registration will close at midnight on the Thursday preceding each event.  Heat assignments will be posted by 9am the morning of each event.

Event Schedule
Week 1: Saturday 3/19 at 1pm, CrossFit South Brooklyn
Week 2: Saturday 3/26 at 1pm, CrossFit South Brooklyn
Week 3: Saturday 4/2 at 1pm, CrossFit Virtuosity
Week 4: Saturday 4/9 at 1pm, CrossFit Virtuosity
Week 5: Saturday 4/16 at 1pm, CrossFit Long Island City
Week 6: Saturday 4/23 at 1pm, CrossFit Long Island City


CrossFit South Brooklyn: 597 Degraw St, Brooklyn, NY 11217
CrossFit Virtuosity: 221 N 8th Street, NY 11211
CrossFit Long Island City: 5-26 47th Avenue, NY 11101

Athletes: $20/event or $60/series
Spectators: Free.

We welcome spectators (and cheerleaders!) at all events.  To ensure entry, please register online.  If space runs short, there is a chance that we will have to turn away spectators who have not registered in advance.

Judges & Volunteers
We're now recruiting judges and volunteers for all events, particularly Level 1 certified trainers.  If you're available to assist at any of these events, please register online, or get in contact with David, Vadim, or Sam!  All judges and volunteers will receive a free t-shirt courtesy of the host box (we suggest you collect all three!)

The Party!
We'll be throwing a blow-out after-party-slash-awards-ceremony on the evening of Saturday, April 23rd.  Prizes will be awarded for top male / top female athletes as well as individual event winners.  Save the date and stay tuned for more details!

Regsiter here!