Rest Day

Alex B and Tom H created this awesome video of team CFSBK throughout the 2016 CrossFit Open! Check it out!!

Win a Free Entry to the Brooklyn Rugged Maniac Race on June 25th!

Looking for an adventure? How about a day filled with 25 epic obstacles, rockin’ music, and plenty of beer? If this sounds good, you're in luck: we're offering 4 free entries to the upcoming Rugged Maniac race in Brooklyn on June 25th!

What Is It?

Here's how Rugged Maniac describes the race: "Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around outside with your friends climbing trees, jumping in puddles, playing tag, and just plain having fun? Well Rugged Maniac is simply an adult version of that! We build 25+ epic obstacles for you and your friends to play on (like fire jumps, water slides, trampolines, and underground tunnels), put them in a 3-mile course, and then throw a crazy party with plenty of beer and music!"

Why Should I Enter?

Well, first, it'll be fun! Second, as a Rugged Maniac competitor, you'll have the chance to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Finally, the 4 winners will have the honor of representing Team CFSBK at the race!

How Do I Enter?

1. Check in at the Front Desk and complete the Rugged Maniac WOD (see below). All CFSBKers with an active membership are eligible.

2. Have a Front Desker or a fellow CFSBKer take a picture of you doing the WOD. Post the pic to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter along with your time. Tag both CFSBK and Rugged Maniac in your post!

3. Your name will be entered into a drawing, the results of which will be announced on this here blog on Monday, May 16th. 


For Time:
Assault Bike 50 Calories

1 lap around the block with a sandbag

Men's and women's Rx sandbags will be stored near the entry at 608. Ask the Front Desk if you have trouble finding them.

Questions? Contact Josh [at] CrossFitSouthBrooklyn [dot] com.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Rest Day
Exercise is ADHD Medication The Atlantic
Guy At Gym Has Precious Little Diary to Keep Track of All His Exercises


Ring Dips | WOD 4.25.16

Ring Dips (or Close DB Bench Press)

Tempo Ring Dips (32X1):
4  x 6-12 Strict, 1 x Max Reps

Perform 4 sets across to 2 reps shy of failure, then 1 max effort set to failure. Perform a full range of motion on all reps. Rest as needed between sets. Goal is to add total reps each week by increasing the sets across and/or the max set.

Tempo Close Dumbbell Bench Press (32X1):
4 x 6-12, 1 x Max Reps

Perform 4 sets across to 2 reps shy of failure, then 1 max effort set to failure. Rest as needed between sets. Start with a load that feels almost easy for 12 reps. Keep elbows in close to mimic the bottom of a dip.

The tempo note (32X1) means control the eccentric (down) portion for a 3 count, pause at the bottom for a 2 count, contract concentrically (up) as fast as possible, then hold the top for a 1 count before beginning the next rep.

Post loads/work to comments.

Exposure 3 of 8


For Time:
50 Calorie Row
50 Box Jumps 24"/20"
50 Russian Kettlebell Swings 72/53lbs
550m Run

Row hard but don't blow up on the first part of this chipper. Box jumps are Rx'd as a two foot take off. Step ups are a scaling option but we'd rather see you jump to a lower box than step to a higher one. The KBS should be on the heavy side. 550m = 1 lap around the block

Post time and Rx to comments.

April Athlete of the Month: Paul Astuto

By Chris Fox

This month brings yet another athlete whose name has been tossed into the AOM mix for a few months now. The coaching staff all agree that he’s coachable, eager to learn, and super committed to improving himself. I had fun sitting down and getting into the head of someone (as I realized early on) was as nerdy about fitness as I am.

Fox: Hey Paul, congrats and thanks for meeting with me! Sorry you had to miss AG for this! Anyway, let’s start at the beginning. When and how did you first start doing CrossFit?

Paul: Thanks so much for the chance to be sitting here, Fox. I’ve been not-so-jokingly saying that being named AOM is probably the greatest honor of my adult life. I started Foundations with you in September of 2013, so coming up on three years now. Steve L. from my group still comes to the gym as well. A buddy of mine had been going to CrossFit Virtuosity and kept telling me about his workouts there. They sounded like fun and hit on notes of competitiveness that intrigued me. The main thing, though, was that it was in a group setting. I don’t do “alone” very well. Like, even on my walk to and from the train I’ll have to have a phone conversation with someone. So I searched Yelp and the reviews led me here to CFSBK. I now realize I was insanely lucky to find such a great place. 

Fox: What were your first impressions of CrossFit like? Did they meet the expectations that your friend’s stories laid out?

PA: Well, funnily enough, it was actually a struggle to get myself into Foundations in the first place! The cycles kept selling out before I would sign up. One day I got a last minute call—I guess someone had dropped out—and I jumped into a cycle. I learned a lot, and I still remind myself of many of the things you said in those six classes (vertical bar path, listen to your body, stay tight, etc.). The workouts were not awful but they were hard enough and they were fun. Since I don’t do “alone” very well, I remember initially starting out feeling slightly detached from the group as I was not only bad at everything (even Single-Unders were an issue), but also felt like there was an “in” crowd of folks who had a tight knit bond with each other that I wasn’t yet a part of. It wasn’t that anyone was cliquey or mean, but I recognized the bond that exists in this gym and wanted to be part of it.

Fox: Yeah, it can be tough entering a new environment and being apart from the crowd. I’m glad you didn’t read that bond between people as exclusive or anything. Seems like you’ve made plenty of friends over the past three years here. What was your fitness life like pre-CrossFit?

PA: To go way back, I was a very overweight, very non-active kid. By the time I got to high school, I’d started to go to the gym and dabble a little bit but nothing that made any real sense. I went to BC and in college I joined a group that was training to run the Boston Marathon, which suited me pretty well (emphasis on the group part). So I ran the marathon and lifted like an idiot with no concept of a program or results. I was fairly devoted, even ascetic about it at times, but I eventually became bored.

Fox: BC, huh? The New York Giants love to sign those guys. Are you from the Boston area?

PA: Nope. I’m a NYC kid from Staten Island. My family is still there, my parents and brother and sister. Let’s just say that they better represent what people think of when they think Staten Island than I do, and that I can turn on the accent on command / fist-bump with the best of them.

Fox: As a Queens kid myself, I would never have guessed you were from SI! I know you’re getting hitched soon. Tell us a bit about the lucky lady?

PA: Of course! My fiance, Eve, is from Petersburgh, NY, and we actually met online a while back while she was living in NY. She’s great! We’ve been doing the long distance thing for some time now as she’s in grad school in Michigan, but the day we’ll tie the knot and be together full-time is getting closer (as in a week until the end of long distance and a month until we get married).

Fox: I’m guessing that Eve is often the person you’re calling on the walk from the train to the gym? Any work stuff or hobbies you care to share?

PA: I wish I was cooler than I actually am. By day I’m a Dean of Students at AF Crown Heights MS (a sister school to the one that Allie B. and Eduardo C’.s wife work at), and my life mostly resembles this commercial of a rinse/repeat cycle of work, gym, eat, and sleep. One fun fact is that when I was designing our school’s PM HR system, I decided to implement a portion called “Question of the Day” where kids come up with and answer a question about themselves before heading home that I stole directly from CFSBK's group classes. Moreover, while my day job is ensuring strong culture in our school, I’m also a team-building/management book fanatic and I love thinking about questions like, “What is it that makes a great team where people perform at their best?” that you may have seen me reading books about on the couch. In all seriousness, though, the more I read these academic works about what makes a great organization the more I think to myself, “Man, CFSBK truly is a living example of this,” and the more I can see the intentionality that goes into building the culture that we all feel so strongly in this gym. I’m so thankful to DO and all the other coaches for doing what sounds incredibly easy but is, in practice, incredibly hard. I’m also so thankful to them for indulging me as I tell them about the newest book I read and how the lessons can be applied to CFSBK. (You know who you are, coaches.)

Fox: Sometimes the simple life is the easiest to enjoy and excel at. Do you have any current goals in the gym? What things are you looking to improve on?

PA: I have a few specific goals on a few lifts. I want to take my Squat from 270 to 290. I want to Clean and Jerk 185 and Snatch 135. Modest numbers, I know, but that’s where I want to be. I’m working on improving my Double-Unders and would love to get a Muscle-Up at some point, but that’s not a current priority. To digress a bit from that particular question, I have to say I feel really lucky to train here at CFSBK and I will admit I sometimes get gooey eyed when talking about it. I come here with joy and happily spend way too much time here. I can tangibly see how I’ve gotten better over these years and there are so many options for anyone’s fitness journey. From Anti-Gravity to Active Recovery to Starting Strength and Weightlifting Club, there are so many options to train with a mixture of guidance and autonomy. I love this place so much that, even though I’m currently looking for a new job, one major factor that I can’t get rid of is that I’m scared to take any job that may mean I have to leave this gym.

Fox: That’s really great stuff, Paul. Alright, last question. What should we look for in a future AOM?

PA: I’d have to give 2 pieces of advice that I think our gym does such a great job of striking the balance between:

1. Go First: I got this concept from a podcast with Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece but the idea behind it is that in life, as you are walking down the street, you have a choice. Do you go first and smile at the person walking towards you or wait to see if they go first? I try to live this as much as I can and wish I had done it more when I first joined the gym. So I think future AOMs should be the type of people who “go first” and bring positivity and joy to our space.

2. Get Better: One of my favorite Instagram posts ever came from Josh Martinez (who used to coach here) who said something like, “the day you start lifting is the day you are forever small.” In my opinion, truer words have never been spoken. I think another important component to being successful here is not becoming complacent and continually pushing yourself to get better, regardless of your skill level. I truly believe that there isn’t a single person in this gym who is “satisfied” with where they are, and I love that motivation and energy.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Snatch | Snatches, Muscle-Ups
Pre-Workout Nutrition: What, When, and How Much? CrossFit NYC
Parrots: The Highlight Reel NY Times


Snatch | WOD 4.24.16


Work up to a weight heavier than what you'll use for the metcon.

Post loads to comments.


AMRAP 12 Minutes:
2 Snatches 135/95
2 Muscle-Ups
4 Snatches 135/95
4 Muscle-Ups
6 Snatches 135/95
6 Muscle-Ups
8 Snatches 135/95
8 Muscle-Ups

...Add 2 reps per round until the call of time. Score load and total reps completed.

AMRAP 12 Minutes:
2 Snatches 95/65
2 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
2 Burpees
4 Snatches 95/65
4 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
4 Burpees
6 Snatches 95/65
6 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
6 Burpees
8 Snatches 95/65
8 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
8 Burpees

...Add 2 reps per round until the call of time. Score load and total reps completed.

Post loads and reps to comments.

Mark L. at the top of an American Swing | Photo by Thomas H.

Sign Up for Our Seasonal Fish CSA! Discount for Early Birds

Last summer, we brought in a new fish CSA partner and were blown away by the quality and freshness of their fish! Lucky for you, registration is now open for the 2016 season, which runs weekly from June 11 til late fall.

Big City Fish Share, now in its fifth season, delivers sustainably caught, never-frozen, super-fresh seafood from Montauk to New York City. You can sign up for a weekly share of either 1 pound or 2 pounds of filleted fish, littleneck clams, or oysters.  Sign up by June 7th, and lock in $16 per pound for the whole season.  After June 7th, the price will go back to $17 per pound.

The delivery window will be Saturday mornings, 10am to 12pm, starting June 11. This is a weekly, not monthly, share.

Customers can sign up for 4 deliveries at a time, and can easily place their orders on hold through the website if they go out of town. Any funds left in your account at the end of the season will be returned to you by check. Expect a good variety of fish, including big-eye tuna, squid, founder, fluke, swordfish, black sea bass, bluefish, porgy, and monkfish. 

Any other questions? E-mail bigcityfishshare [at] gmail.com. For general CSA questions, e-mail Michele at mignyc [at] gmail.com.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Front Squat | Row, DB Thrusters, Forearm Plank
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Front Squat | WOD 4.23.16

Front Squat


Add weight to last week. Use a full range of motion and control.

3x5 Linear Progression

Add 5-10 lbs to last week.

Post loads to comments.

3 Rounds for Reps:
1 Minute Max Cal Row
1 Minute Rest
1 Minute Max Dumbbell Thrusters
1 Minute Rest
1 Minute Forearm Plank
1 Minute Rest

Row hard! Load the Thrusters heavy enough so that you'll probably need to break up them up into at least 2 or 3 sets. Scaling for the Forearm Plank is a Tall plank. Keep your butt, belly, and quads tight and your hips between your knees and shoulders for the entire minute. Pay attention upstream as well and don't let your head drop.

Post reps to comments.

The gates are up! Charlie does some barbell drills at 608 | Photo by Thomas H.

The Inaugural Iron Maidens Lift 'n' Learn Session: Sunday, May 1st at 2:30pm

We want to keep the Iron Maidens energy and community connected between Competitions, so we thought it would be fun to get together semi-regularly to train and learn about lifting (and maybe other stuff!) from women achieving great things.

We're happy to invite you all to the first Iron Maidens Lift n' Learn session on Sunday, May 1st at 2:30pm.

What: 90 minutes of lifting, followed by a 30-45 minute talk/workshop/dialogue
When: May 1st, 2016 at 2:30pm
Where: CrossFit South Brooklyn, 597 Degraw Street (608 space)
Who: IM participants, and anyone's who's curious about IM
How Much: Free!

Our first session will likely feature: You! Bring your ideas for people and topics you want to us to cover in the future to help shape the program.

The Giants of Iceland Vice
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Rest Day

Video of the Week: CrossFit HQ recently released their Behind the Scenes video from the 2015 games. Here are parts 2 and 3.

This Week at CFSBK in Review

1. We reposted Coach Noah's "Thoughts on the Absolute Necessity of the Hook Grip," a fun read and a great refresher at the beginning of this programming cycle.

2. To much fanfare and many positive vibes, we announced the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place winners of the Look Feel Perform Better Challenge. Congrats to Francine, Mo, Jenny, Evan, Erin, and Chas!

3. Have you signed up for our CSA with Common Hands Farm yet? Get on it and secure your veggie supply for the Spring/Summer/Fall!

4. The first Iron Maidens Lift & Learn session will take place on Sunday, May 1st. We want to keep the Iron Maidens energy and community connected between competitions, so we thought it would be fun to get together semi-regularly to train and learn about lifting (and maybe other stuff!) from women achieving great things. Here's everything you need to know!

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Clean and Jerk | C&J, Run
Warm Up with Chris Hinshaw CrossFit
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Clean and Jerk | WOD 4.21.16

Clean and Jerk

Warm up to a Clean and Jerk weight slightly heavier than the one you'll use in the metcon.

Be patient and don't rush the pull from the floor.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 3 of 8


5 Rounds for Time:
10 Clean and Jerk 135/95
400m Run

Should be a weight you can power clean and jerk with ease, possibly being able to do unbroken sets in the first few rounds.

Post time and Rx to comments.

Matt E. pulls a heavy Deadlift | Photo by Thomas H.

Common Hands Farm CSA: Sign Up Today!

Happy Spring! Getting fit and eating well starts now. We have your direct hook-up to fresh produce grown upstate, and its time to sign up to reserve your membership today!

In its fifth year, Common Hands will deliver CSA shares right next door to 575 Degraw (Brooklyn Boulders) on Tuesdays from 6 to 8:30pm.

What is a CSA Share?

It is a membership to a farm where you get an exclusive deal on fresh organically grown vegetables delivered straight from the farm to you! Once you pay the upfront membership fee (payment plans available) you receive a weekly delivery from the farm starting in June through November.

Why Should You Join?

Beyond receiving freshly harvested and health-giving food, grown cleanly with no pesticides or herbicides, you are also putting your money where your mouth is, and supporting the local food economy. This is food from real farmers, and by buying a share you are supporting small organic farms. We grow food for you, period. We are not a distributor or large conventional farm with lots of employees, but real down to earth people. On our farm, a team of less than ten people work to grow food for upwards of 200 members each year... and we care what you eat!

We offer Full and Half Vegetable Shares that can be paired with the optional Full or Half Fruit & Egg Share. A Full Share picks up weekly, while the Half Share picks up bi-weekly. Veg shares are $615 for a weekly ("full") share or $375 for an every-other-week ("half") share. Fruit and eggs can be purchased in addition to Veg Shares and are bundled together: a full share is $280 and a half share is $140. Pending interest, Flower Shares may be available as well.

Remember, your pick-up location is just down the block at Brooklyn Boulders!

Go to CommonHandsCSA.com for details or click here to sign up directly!  Questions? Email the farm at commonhandsfarm [at] gmail [dot] com, or the gym's CSA coordinator, Michele, at mignyc [at] gmail [dot] com.

Yesterday's Whiteboard: Squat | 1-Arm KB Swings, Reverse Lunges, C2B Pull-Ups
Muscle-Up Transition Tips WODprep
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Squat | WOD 4.20.16

Back Squat

3 x 12

Add weight to last week. Use a full range of motion and control.

3 x 5 Linear Progression

Add 5-10lbs to last week's work weight.


1 x 10

Warm up and perform one heavy (and perfect) set of 10 reps, heavier than last week. Touch-and-go is permitted.

Post loads to comments.
Exposure 2 of 8

5 Rounds NFT:
10 1-Arm Kettlebell Swings, Left
10 1-Arm Kettlebell Swings, Right
10 Goblet Reverse Lunges, Left
10 Goblet Reverse Lunges, Right
5-10 Strict Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

Keep the shoulder of the swinging arm packed down and back and the entire upper back engaged. Work up to a challenging weight for the Swings and Lunges. If you want to spice things up a bit, then perform all the swings and lunges as a complex (i.e., without putting the bell down to rest). Use a prone grip for the Pull-Ups. Focus on fully engaging your lats by lulling your shoulders and elbows down and back on the way up. Scale to regular Pull-Ups and/or Banded Pull-Ups or Ring Rows as needed.

Post work to comments.

Coach KHarpz and a team of Maryland CrossFit friends recently competed in the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge. Team "MAAC to the Future" took 10th place out of 46 teams! #gottabethepants

The Look Feel Perform Better Challenge Winners: 1st Place!

We're so proud of everyone who recently completed the Look Feel Perform Better Challenge, our 12-week  collective kick-start toward healthier nutrition and recovery habits in the New Year. Among the dedicated CFSBKers who rethought their diets, counted macros, and put in quality time with the foam roller, three women and three men stood out to us as winners. Yesterday we announded the second place winners. Today we're pleased to announce the 1st place winners: Erin and Chas! Tell us how you did it, guys!

  Erin M.

  Before (L), After (R)

"Wow, this is very flattering! There were several factors that contributed to my success, but I'll try my best to keep it to 3 sentences. (Ha! I should just apologize in advance for being long winded.) Having the structure of macros and logging everything I ate via My Fitness Pal really left me with nowhere to hide, providing a clear picture of what I was doing wrong or right and therefore holding me accountable. The tracker also kept me focused by having a place to put some notes about how I felt along the way, progressions, and all the gainz (and losses!).

The motivation really kicked in once I started seeing the scale move in a downward direction and my clothes fitting looser, but also small wins at the gym like more strict Push-Ups strung together, going down a band in Pull-Ups, finally getting kick-ups to the wall, and holding myself at the top of the rings for longer than a half second.

What really contributed to my success though, was the amazing support system we have at CSFBK. From the challenge talks, to the online forum, to our wonderful members - some of whom I'm lucky enough to call friends (like Jenny who was always sure to call me out!), I don't know that I would have lasted 6 weeks let alone the full 12! Thank you Fox and DO for always putting on such a great program year after year. I'm sure it takes a lot of hard extra work and it does not go unnoticed."

  Chas C.

  Before (L), After (R)

"The process of tracking was what kept me on track. I used MyFitnessPal to track my daily macros and the spreadsheet to track not only my points, but also my progress on lifts/metcons, general well-being, and daily soundtrack. The process kept me accountable to both myself and the greater CFSBK community, without whom I'd never have the strength to do "just one more rep," let alone this 12-week marathon. Now I'm still tracking to help ensure that the positive changes I've made thanks to the challenge remain a part of my life going forward."

Did you take part in the Challenge? If so, what lessons about nutrition, fitness, and recovery did you take away from it?

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