Rest Day


Set Your Back! (But Whats My Back?)
by Christian Fox

Your spine has 24 vertebrae divided into 3 segments; 7 cervical (your neck), 12 thoracic (mid/upper-back), and 5 lumbar (low-back). Below this is your sacrum, which are actually 5 fused vertebrae, and below that is your coccyx (or tailbone). On the posterior side of your spine, there are facet joints that facilitate movement of the segments. In between the vertebrae you have discs housing a gel-like substance that act as shock absorbers between segments. Now importantly, just behind the discs and just in front of the facet joints lays your spinal canal. The spinal canal is where your spinal cord and all your nerves are housed. Every nerve in your body comes from some point in that spinal canal, ergo, it’s pretty freaking important. Wrapping around the spine are also ligaments, tendons, and muscles that work to both mobilize and protect your spine, and blood vessels that nourish all of this tissue.
            Hopefully having this info and picture in your mind can help to clarify a few things about both strengthening your back and preventing injury. Any insult to the tissue around the spine can be painful. Muscle strains are the most common. These guys are well suited to move your spine into a safe position and keep it there under load. However, once the position is compromised, those same muscles are not that good at getting back there. So if you set your back well on a dead lift but then lose it on the way up, your spinal erectors may very well be barking at you for a few days as a reminder. Similarly, if you lack the flexibility to even start in a good position for the dead lift, you are also at risk for strain. If you strain your back, ice can help for the first 24-48 hrs, and ice and heat after that. Most strains are not serious.
            The position your spinal cord wants you to maintain while under load follows the natural curve in your spine and provides the most room for the nerves inside. That position is: a strong arch at the lumbar, a slight arch at the thoracic, and a slight natural arch at the cervical. *(While the thoracic can be slightly rounded (or flexed) in standing posture, an arched (or extended) spine up top will have all the spinal erectors working together and result in a better arch down low). The discs of your spine are put at risk of bulging or tearing when the spine is flexed under load (a rounded back on a dead lift), or worse, flexed and rotated. If a disc bulges or ruptures, the gel from inside it can put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels in the spinal column, resulting in sometimes debilitating pain. Once a disc is ruptured it will NEVER be the same. Good posture, in the gym and out, are paramount to minimizing pain in this case.
            The flip side of rounding your back can also be problematic. Over arching, or hyper-extending, your back can cause the cartilage in your facet joints to wear away. This can cause or exacerbate spinal arthritis (spondylosis). Worst-case scenario here is that bones spurs occur and either press against the spinal cord or fuse with other vertebrae. Neither sounds good.
            Get into and maintain a good position for your lifts. If you can’t, then don’t load weight on the bar until you can. Perform exercises like static back extensions to strengthen your spinal muscles so you can keep that back set. Work on mobility consistently, and limit ROM as needed until you can maintain a set back throughout a full ROM. Remember to always practice good posture in and out of the gym.


The bad and the beautiful

If you've gotten better at setting your back, what methods have helped?

Robb Wolf Interview on T-Nation


Back Squat


Post load to comments.
Suggested Back Off Week

4-5 Rounds NFT of:
10 Toes to Bars
10 Hip Extensions
5 Forward Rolls


So goes the old saying, "The couple that lifts logs overhead on the beach, stays together"

Fight Gone Bad Team 6:
1. Ben W
2. Becca S
3. Jess F
4. Samir C
5. Sean B

Fight Gone Bad Team 7:
1. AJ
2. Ashley F
3. Ryan P
4. David M
5. Collette K

Fight Gone Bad Team 8:
1. Chris F
2. Brian Z
3. Katie M
4. Nick K
5. Joe W

This clears our all our current registered athletes for teams (except David).  Can we register at least 2 more full teams before FGB on September 25th??  If you're interested please register today!  We also still need at least 3 more athletes for the Fight Gone Belated team.

CFSBK Fight Gone Bad Registration and team page


"Quarter Gone Bad"

Five rounds for total reps of:

135 pound Thruster, 15 seconds

Rest 45 Seconds

50 pound Weighted pull-up, 15 seconds

Rest 45 Seconds

Burpees, 15 seconds

Rest 45 seconds

Post total reps for all five rounds to comments.
compare to 4.13.08

WOD Demo

Handstand Practice!

Fight Gone Bad Team 4 is:
1. Dan R
2. David McG
3. Matt U
4. Bethany B
5. Robin R

Fight Gone Bad Team 5 is:
1. Charmel R
2. Chris A
3. Mindy S
4. Sameer P
5. Erica N

To see registered athletes, teams and info on FGB, click here.
5 Things you can do to Double you Fight Gone Bad fund raising total


CrossFit Total

Back Squat 1-1-1
Press 1-1-1
Deadlift 1-1-1

This is a CrossFit style powerlifting meet in which you have three attempts to find a 1 rep max in each lift listed. Your CrossFit Total is the sum the highest successful lift in each section. For a detailed explanation on the event and standards for each movement, please read Mark Rippetoe's CFT overview here.  To see how you rank, check out these strength standards.

Post all 9 lifts and your CrossFit Total to comments.
compare to 1.02.10

Due to the length this WOD takes to run, we have an augmented schedule today.  Please show up to one of these three times:

CrossFit Total 1: 8:00am-9:30am
CrossFit Total 2: 9:30am-11:00am
CrossFit Total 3: 11:00am-12:30pm

Kate B does a rowing interval

Team 3 for Fight Gone Bad is:
1. Shawn S
2. Scott L
3. Asta F
4. Brian S
5. Jessica B

Good luck, Team 3!!

29 men and only 14 women have signed up for Fight Gone Bad 5.  We need more ladies!! To see the full roster and teams announced so far, click here!


Rest Day

These 40lb Dumbbells are our oldest piece of equipment.  I acquired them my freshman year of college from a friend's brother who said they were too heavy to curl with.

Our next Fight Gone Bad team is:

Team 2:
Melissa L, Scott
J, Paul S, Noah A, Kate B

also, there has been a change to our first team due to a scheduling conflict.  Team 1 is now: Stefanee R, Dave Mak, Josh
M, Juliana A, Dan McC


We'll be running an augmented Group Class schedule for tomorrow's CrossFit Total.  This benchmark takes a bit longer to run than a traditional WOD and we don't want to rush everyone.  Please show up at one of the following times for your Total.

CrossFit Total 1: 8:00am-9:30am
CrossFit Total 2: 9:30am-11am
CrossFit Total 3: 11am-12:30pm

What's the CrossFit Total? Watch This or Read This

Learning the Skill of Barefoot Running Terra Plana


WOD 8.19.10

3 Sets of max rep Chin Ups.  Rest approximately 3 minutes between attempts.  If you can do more than 10 body weight chins, add weight.

Post reps and Rx to comments.

3 Rounds of :30 on, :30 off for each movement:
Dumbbell Power Cleans
Dumbbell Power Clean and Press
Dumbbell Clean Thruster

Post total reps per movement to comments.


Carrie M is a Bonafide Badass

The first team for Fight Gone Bad 5 is:
1. Stefanee R
2. Avi S
3. David Mak
4. Josh M
5. Juliana A

Each team must choose a captain, team name, team colors and what stations everyone will start at. Good luck, team 1!

Some CFSBK FGB Stats:

We've got 37 people signed up so far.  There are 25 men and 12 women registered.  As it stands we can make 7.4 teams. We still need more people to sign up so that we can round things out!  CFSBK has raised $4,295 already.

Want to find an article we've written? Check out the new CFSBK Training Articles Page located in the left column under the Information tab. Enjoy!


Articles & Media

Enjoy these training articles written by our own coaching staff.

Back Off Weeks David Osorio
Understanding Sets Across David Osorio
How do I Prioritize When Training Only 2-3 Times Per Week? Chris Fox
Two Steps Forward, Then One Step Back... Then Two Steps Forward Again Chris Fox
Appropriate Scaling Chris Fox
20 Rep Squats Chris Fox
Pull-Up Development Program Chris Fox

Exercise Psychology
More Work, Or a Sip of Water? Chris Fox
Getting Ready to Squat Margie Lempert
Goal Setting Chris Fox

Mobility, Recovery and Injuries

Your Rotator Cuff Chris Fox
Beat the Heat David Osorio
Set Your Back, But What's My Back? Chris Fox
Ankle Mobility Chris Fox

General Training

Rowing a 1500m piece Nick Peterson
Rowing a 2000m race Nick Peterson
Push-Ups 101 Chris Fox
Chip Conrad Interview Shane Williams
Good Training Habits, Part 1 David Osorio
Sett(l)ing for a new PR Chris Fox
Heavy: A Response Margie Lempert
Thoughts on Scaling Pull-Ups in WODs David Osorio
Open Gym: A Refresher
Degraw Street Etiquette 101 David Osorio

Ode to the Egg Margie Lempert
Bang for your buck Chicken Chris Fox
Curried Collard Greens Chris Fox
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Vegetables Chris Fox
Changing Weight 1.0 Chris Fox
Got Meat? Got Veg? Need Variety? Add Sauce Chris Fox
Why Do I Feel Funny? (on Paleo) Margie Lempert

Athlete Of the Month
John McCann Doyle Sept 10
David McGrath Oct 10
Jessica L Bailey Nov 10
Sarah Haskins Dec 10
Ryan Piester Jan 11
Bethany Benzur Feb 11
Carlos Guerra March 11
Josh Martinez April 11
Melissa Loranger May 11
Jack Levavi June 11

Coaches Spotlights
CFSBK Behind the Scenes
Shane Williams
Jessica Fox

Media and Videos
Ashley McCullough from Well+Good NYC tries CrossFit at CFSBK
Healthbeat Brooklyn Checks out CFSBK (video)
USRowing comes to our gym to see how we incorporate rowing into our training methods (video)
Time Out NY gives us a 6/6 on their Barf-o-Meter
US News and World Reports comes to CFSBK for an boredom-free workout
"Starting CrossFit South Brooklyn"  A CrossFit Journal Preview (video)
The Inspirational Trainer, Jacinto Bonilla Part 1 and Part 2  CrossFit Journal Previews (video)
We are huge in Europe. Exhibit A and Exhibit B

Matt Uffords FGBV video (recommended viewing!)
Brian D Clean and Jerks 280lbs
David Demos two versions of Kipping Muscle Ups
Chris Fox does "Isabelle"
David Snatches 155lbs
James N's slow mo Broad Jump