For time:
Run 1 Mile
Row 2K
Run 1 Mile

Post total time and three splits to comments.

Read Coach Nick's article on Rowing a 2K
22:19 "Jerry" Demo

The great Carlos G!


Front Squat

(E1/8) Sets Across
Load approx 15-20% less than previous 3RM with the goal of breaking it mid-cycle
Perform 6 Jumpe Squats after each work set. Rest 3 Minutes

Post loads to comments.
compare to 7.10.10

Perform Max Reps of the following:
1:00 Max DB Snatches, Left arm
Rest :30
1:00 Max DB Snatches, Right arm
Rest :30
2:00 Max Double Unders
Rest 1:00
3:00 Max Burpees, Games Standards

Load on Dumbbell should be ~20% Body Weight

Post Rx and reps per movement to comments.

Claire can Run. Run, Claire, Run.
Photo courtesy of our friends at lululemon athletica Brooklyn

Happy Birthday to our October AotM, David McG!

Happy Belated Birthday (yesterday) Yoon S!

Today is day 1 of Paulie's ODDLY STRONG workshop. Couldn't make it today? Then sign up for tomorrow!

The EliteFTS Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Prowler


Rest Day

Kate B
The inspirational Kate B!

T h e   P u l l s
Chris Fox

Most of you know (or maybe you don’t?) that at CFSBK we cycle through strength movements from 3 pools. Those categories are: Squat Variants, Upper Body Movements, and Pulls. The squats we use are the back squat, the front squat, and the overhead squat. The upper body movements vary more and have included dips, presses, jerks, bench press, weighted pull-ups, handstands, and handstand push-ups. The pulls are the deadlift, the clean, and the snatch. They refer not to pulling a load with the arms, but rather pulling a weight from the floor using the legs and hips. Let’s look at the pulls.
            The deadlift is the slow pull. When executed properly it’s a pure expression of raw strength. Most people will be able to move the most amount of weight in the deadlift when compared to any other lift. When going for a PR this lift can grind on for a few seconds from start to finish. The deadlift seems to make sense to most folks. Once you now what a set back is and how to achieve it, it’s just a matter of standing up with the bar in your hands (a bit more complicated but that’s the main idea). With the fast pulls, the clean and the snatch, things can get a bit trickier. Now you are going to aggressively use your legs and hips to do a job that for most of your life you would have done with your arms, i.e.; get an object to either your shoulders (clean) or overhead (snatch).
When first learning the Clean and the Snatch many athletes have a hard time getting over the urge to pull the weight up with the arms. This will always lead to problems with the lift. For one, the bar will tend to get out in front of you leading to a missed lift forward. An early arm pull limits the amount of force you can apply with your far stronger legs and hips, thereby limiting the amount of weight you can pull. Try to envision a pulley system… you’re applying force at one end of a rope and through the pulley the rope lifts an object on the other end of it. To move the object you first take the slack off of the rope (straighten out your elbows and tighten up your torso and hips) and then pull. Viola, the object comes up. What if you don’t take the slack out? The object isn’t going anywhere. What if you used a rubber band instead of a rope? There’d be a lot of slack to take out of that band and you’d have to pull a lot longer and harder to move the object, and if the object were heavy enough it wouldn’t move and eventually the rubber band would snap. This is what it’s like when you bend your elbows early and try to use your arms too much in the pulls. You’re asking the muscles and tendons at the elbow to do work they just can’t do. Either you’ll fail at significant loads or you’ll wind up injured, or both.
Let’s think Snatch. Your arms have 4 jobs in the snatch…
1. They connect the legs and hips to the bar via the torso
2. After the jump they guide the bar into place on the way up,
3. Once the bar is at max height they help pull you UNDER the bar FAST to receive it while it’s weightless
4. They support the bar overhead in the receiving position.
Here are a few things you can be thinking about when snatching during this cycle (see how conveniently that works out?). Pick one or two and focus on them.
-        My legs and hips are going to jump the barbell up, NOT my arms.
-        I will be FAST!
-        Once the bar is at max height my arms will help to pull me UNDER the bar FAST into the bottom of an overhead squat.
-        I will receive the bar as strong as I overhead squatted last cycle.
-        I am an awesome snatching machine and will dazzle family and co-workers with tales of my snatchtastickness.
Cheers to the snatch!

This cycle's Pull is the Hang Snatch.  Catch the bar as high or low as you need to.  Ideally, the first few exposures are power (caught above parallel) and the latter are squat Snatches (caught below parallel)
Here is a video from Catalyst Athletics of a Hang (Squat) Snatch

Which is your favorite pull?


WOD 10.7.10

Single Arm Barbell Snatch
Single Arm Barbell Clean and Jerk

Spend about 12 minutes on each movement trying to find a heavy single.

 Post loads to comments.

12 Minutes NFR's of:
6 Tire Flips
6 Keg Cleans or Spider Lifts
12 Burpees, CF Games Standards 

Teresa's :38 handstand

Happy Belated Birthday, Noah A!

Congratulations to Kharin B on her first Double Under!

Check out these new top leaderboard scores!
255lb Overhead Squat by Kevin R
101 unbroken Push-ups by Jeremy F
8:42 "Helen" by Chris A

Welcome, October AM Foundations!


What's a SLOSH PIPE? Watch this video
Come play with Slosh Pipes and other unusual objects at Paulie's ODDLY STRONG event this weekend.  Saturday or Sunday!


WOD 10.6.10

3-5 Rounds NFT of:
5 Windmills each arm
10 L-Pull Ups
20 OH Wakling Lunges

Post Rx to comments.
Back Off Week

Jump Rope/Hip Opener Couplet

Steve Cotter Demos Windmills

john and patricio
Patricio and John

Congratulations to Teresa B on her :38 freestanding handstand PR yesterday!

Great work to Colette K for completing a half marathon this weekend with Jeremy's Strength Intensive as her primary training!

Stone Lifting, Yolk Walks, Slosh Pipes and more THIS weekend at Paulie's South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club.  It's free of charge to CFSBK members and you can choose between Saturday or Sunday!  Sign up here!


Our October Foundations cycles are coming up, don't be a hater, tell your friends!

October Morning Foundations
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00am-8:00am
Register Here!

October Evening Foundations
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00pm-9:15pm
Register Here!


Interview with Chip Conrad

 by Shane Williams


Chip Conrad, owner of Bodytribe Fitness in Sacramento, CA, might be the hardest working man in the strength biz.  In addition to being a gym/owner and trainer he's a musician, an author, a blogger and a competitive Olympic weightlifter and powerlifter.
A student of the late Mel Siff, Chip is well-versed in everything from the old-timey strongman lifts to clubbells and yoga infused mobility moves.  He also claims to know 75% of all Tom Waits songs and about 75% of the lyrics Sir-Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back." 
Somehow he does it all while maintaining a busy lecture schedule traveling across the country giving his Brutal Recess seminar.  Here, in an effort to help you all get to know Chip a little bit better before this weekend, is a short yet sweet interview with the man himself.  Enjoy! 

Chip, your bio opens very similar to a lot of our members/trainers with 'i didn't grow up an athlete"  you were (and still are) a musician.  Now you are a competitive olympic lifter, powerlifter and sought after strength coach.  Fill in the blanks for us on how you got into the you to the world of physical culture?
21 years old... got into cross country skiing due to the need for a job.  Ski resorts hire a lot of folks.  I was one of them.

23 years old... skinny guy (about 127 pounds), wanting to get bigger. Skiing gave me some lungs, but I wanted some brawn.

About 24 years old... got certified as a trainer and was working at a gym.  Soon became fitness director.

28-ish... started questioning everything I thought I knew.  Wondering why an industry named 'fitness' wasn't really interested in anything of the sort.  Seemed built off aesthetic dreams and insecurity... ya know... sex and sex appeal.  Decided that ability, strength and... well... fitness, actually meant something, but it wasn't found in gyms at that time (still isn't in most of them).  Stumbled upon the underground world of strength athletics.  Pretty cool place, have been here ever since.

2. Crossfit has a very specific definition of fitness.  In your work you also talk about the importance of defining the term "fitness" and also offer a rather different definition.  Tell us a little about yours and how you arrived at it? 

Simple. My definition (fitness = the increase in the quality of life, or personal empowerment,  through movement) answers the question of "why is this important?"  It's the metaphysical (beyond physical) definition.  What most people list, including CrossFit, is the tenets of fitness, not actually what fitness means to anyone personally.  To embrace a passion means to define it, personally define it.  Then we begin our own philosophy, and that's how we take the first step of our journey.

Would a truly passionate musician explain music as a series of notes, harmony and rhythm? Would a brilliant scientist explain math as addition and subtraction? No, these are the tenets of those disciplines, but they sure don't DEFINE what they are.
3.  In Brutal Recess you stress the importance of various forms of play, something we as adults and athletes sometimes forget there is a critical need for.  Can you share a little about the Brutal Recess concept and what play brings to our time inside and outside of the gym?

A common chronology of our relationship to movement for us westerners:

Preteens: we enjoy recess and playtime, making up games, being silly and only dabbling a bit in the rules and structure of organized sport.  Movement, for the most part, is a tension release valve.

Teens:  For many, movement is limited to organized sport.  'Play' is now to win.  Fun is becoming less of an option, stress through competition is replacing the release of tension we enjoyed at an earlier age.

Young Adulthood.  Most folks have dropped movement at this point, unless they continue the path of rule-based competition.  Recess is gone, fun in movement has been replaced with obligation, if there is any at all.

Older Adulthood: Lack of movement has led to disease and decay of the wonderful machine that is our body.  This is not only a waste, but completely avoidable.  Keep the fun within movement, keep the concept of recess, and we have longevity in our bodies and minds!

4.  Mobility has recently (finally) become increasingly popular in the Crossfit community thanks to things like Kelly Starrett's Mobility WOD blog.  You've been including mobility complexes and movements into your training for years now and it's a big part of of the Brutal Recess seminar.  You've taken a rather integrated approach to the subject making it almost a workout unto itself.  Talk a little bit about why mobility is so key and its role in the Brutal Recess concept.

Training has gone from movement for the sake of movement (what children and only a handful of evolved adults do), which is, as mentioned, a tension release valve for the body, to a redundant, intense event that creates permanent and potentially dangerous stress in the body. That's right... our workouts are stressful, and not in the good way all the fitness literature is spewing at us.

What everyone is calling mobility now is simply moving the body through all of the possible full and healthy ranges of motion.  Most training doesn't do that, instead focusing on a handful of incomplete movements for high loads, repetitions or both. But just tacking on some obligatory bonus moves at the beginning or end of a workout doesn't quite complete the picture either.  Why not use the body as it should be used WITHIN the workout?  Slowly some factions of the CrossFit world are beginning to understand that there is much more to overall fitness than just workload/power. 

 5.  Lastly, I'm going to give you a variation on the desert island question.  Imagine you're stranded in a traditional globo gym. Forever.  You can only take one implement (i.e. Kettlebell, barbell, sandbag, etc), one training book and have one song to workout to.  Forever.  Pick 'em. 

Implement: Barbell if it is adjustable, sandbag if it is not.
Training book: a workout log.  Blank pages to ruminate on and contribute to.  Most of us know the basics... we have to trust ourselves to get creative from there.
Song: aw, come one... just one? The best I can do for now is to narrow it down to a top three list...

For Heaven's Sake
by 16 Horsepower
Victim Support by Distance
by Slayer



October Athlete of the Month

David McGrath!

Here we are folks, time for the 2nd CFSBK Athlete of the Month honor to be announced. We figured this one would be easier than the first since we’d already broken the ice, but so many of you kept coming up in the conversation. In the end we came to agreement on this special guy for a slew of reasons. Here are a few of them…

-        He’s Old School SBK. He’s been with the program since early on
He’s come a LONG way since those early days
He shows emphatic support of fellow athletes
He is very coachable, and always looking to improve
He makes his training schedule work around family life and responsibilities, and has in fact managed to make his wife, daughter, and now son a part of the SBK community as well

Ladies and Gents, I give you David McGrath!

Fox – Thanks for staying late McG. I wanted to sit down with you because you’re our Athlete of the Month, so, congrats!

DMG – Shite! Really? I’m honored. Holy Cow…/turns away and maybe wells up a bit/

Fox – Yeah man. You’re it. So now you get to sit on the couch and get interrogated by me. Here we go. Tell me a bit about your backround and how you came to CrossFit?

DMG – Basically, I was fed up with globo-gyms. I wasn’t getting anything out of them. The short version of a long story (note: there are no short Irish stories) is this… As a kid I was a competitive swimmer for 12 years, quite a good one, My brother Jason and I tried out for the Irish Olympic swim team and fell short. After spending a bit of youth I went to school for animation, moved to Germany for work, partied and got fat and lazy. Liese and I had a blast over there. Eventually we moved to the States and somewhere along the way started running together. We first used the Galloway Method of run/walk and ran the Marine Corps Marathon and then the NYC together. I soon got tired of the one sport and decided to try triathlon. I did a sprint tri with literally no training. Figured to do the NYC Olympic distance with a little more training. That went well and I decided to do the Lake Placid Ironman next. I didn’t know him at the time, but I was actually stationed at Lake Placid right next to the fellow who would eventually introduce me to CFSBK, Rob Maldonado. He was a member of the Brooklyn Triathlete Club (BTC), as was I. I remember a thread on the BTC site saying to check out CrossFit and a visceral response by a few members who said it was dangerous, blah blah blah…Like I said I was fed up at my globo, so I gave it a shot. I started out at another CF for a spell and wasn’t enamored. That’s when Rob recommended I check out David Osorio at the Brooklyn Lyceum, said he was the real deal and there was lots of good folks over there. I haven’t looked back since.

Fox –What was it like transitioning from endurance sports to CrossFit, culture and training alike

DMG – At first the short stuff KILLED me. Left me flat on my back. It was the stuff like Murph that I could break down into pieces that I had an easier time with. That stuff is mental in a way similar to endurance sports. CrossFit was the first time since competitive swimming that I felt that push. That didn’t happen for me in endurance. The cultures of the two though are actually pretty similar. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but supportive members of both communities always surrounded me. People want to see you do better and have success. It’s one of the things that I love most about CFSBK is the community. David has created a high caliber of community with coaches second to none, and it shows. (note: I did not prompt or pay DMG so say that, it was totally unprovoked).

Fox – We all know and love Lucy Goosey, and now Finn, and the CrossFit bug has bitten even Liese. What’s it like having your family be a part of the gym?

DMG – It’s a blast. We’re fortunate to work freelance so it frees us up a bit schedule wise to be able to be here. I think it’s so great to have our kids exposed to the physical culture at an early age. Look at us (gestures to me), we didn’t find CrossFit until later. Just imagine what these kids are gonna be able to do later in life. Lucy can’t WAIT to begin CrossFit Kids, and I already told Shane he’s gonna have to lower the age requirement for Finn! Rest and recovery is tough though, with a little one at home. Finn still doesn’t sleep the night.

Fox – You came from endurance, then did SBK’s Strength and GPP for 2 years or so, and are now doing coach Jeremy’s Strength cycle. What’s that like?

DMG – I can squat now! Back in the globo days, I used to be the leg trifecta guy: Leg Extension, Leg Curl, and Leg Press. I had a knee injury that prevented me from squatting blow parallel safely for quite a while and now I’m there. (Jeremy’s note: DMG has also been doing a ton of mobility work to help get him there, including the MWOD). It is hard concentrating on the same lifts, week in and week out. I used to love it when the blog would be posted late and I had no idea what I was walking into at the gym. I am however, thoroughly enjoying the tight Strength community and the gains I’m making there.

Fox – David, what’s you’re favorite CrossFit moment or accomplishment?

DMG – There’s a few. Doing the gymnastics cert, that was huge. I had always been afraid of being inverted. Also being able to do pull ups. When I first started I had Shane pushing my ass up with the green band, poor bastard. Doing most WODs Rx’d or even scaling up. When I first started I had to scale it all down. And finally having Liese, Lucy, and Finn there and seeing how much fun they have.

Fox – Alright David, last thing. Tell us a little about your life outside CrossFit.

DMG – Liese and the kids (laughs)…that’s really most of it. I do love movies and music, and taking photos (if you’re facebook friends with David you’ve no doubt seen some of his great shots). I actually wrote a horror film I’ve been shopping around, and am currently writing Speed Racer, the animated kids version. I am really fortunate to be able to do work I enjoy, and be freelance. I also love music of all kinds, I’m pretty eclectic there.

*We discovered that David used to have a career in Ireland as model. Liese tells me that he was in fact, quite a popular pin up in many  young girl’s bedrooms! His folks eventually told him to find a real job and he fell into animation. We searched hard for photographic proof of the fact but came up empty. David says that all proof of his modeling days is 20,000 leagues under the Atlantic somewhere…maybe.


            Thanks again David for sitting down with me, especially at 9 pm after a grueling Strength session under the bar. We coaches are proud of what you’ve accomplished in the last few years and look forward to seeing more of it. You’re an inspiration and a fantastic presence in the gym. It will be both sad and glorious when one day your kids can squat more than you or us!