I’m just back from a great week-long trek through the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. This is me at 14,000 feet, near Mt Taulliraju in my favorite CrossFit South Brooklyn tank….All those miserable weighted lunges we’ve been doing helped me make it over that mountain pass the next day!
I’m so thankful for such an incredible gym & program, it’s been totally the highlight of my spring to join and have the real fun of working out with a great group of coaches & friends
News and Notes
- Did you lose something? Check out our Flickr Page for themost recent batch of items left in the lost and found. Slacks, tarps, buisness books.. there’s no limits to what can be found in our L&F Bin!
- Good luck to the Calaveras, CFSBK’s softball team, who are playing tonight at 6:15pm. Head over to the Red Hook ball fields to cheer them on.
- There is NO ACTIVE RECOVERY tomorrow since Coach DO will be out of town.
- Happy Birthday Michele K.!
How to Be a Good Bar Partner
By Chris Fox
We’re not speaking about how to help a friend get lucky by being a good wing man or woman here—we’re going to discuss seven ways you can be a solid bar mate when paired up with others during one of the lifting segments of a group class at CFSBK.
1. Be ready to lift. This seems simple enough. After all, that’s what you’re going to do in a moment. Have your lifting gear—shoes, wraps, tape, belt, sleeves, special clean and jerk PR shirt, whatever—on you by the time your coach pairs you out to lift.
2. Have your numbers planned. Obviously you need to know this so a coach can pair you on a rack, and this goes especially for the slow lifts where there shouldn’t really be any guessing. This is where good journaling comes into play. Knowing what you squatted last week, what you plan to hit this week, and what your warm up sets will look like will help you be efficient during the warm ups so you can rest between work sets. I’m always amazed when it’s 10 minutes into lifting time and a rack is still warming up. If you don’t know what you’re loading on the bar, then at best you’ll waste some of your lifting time. Even worse, you’ll waste your classmate’s time. This is by far the biggest time suck we notice during classes. Having a plan for your warm up sets will allow you to make practical decisions for your warm ups and also be flexible for the sake of keeping the flow moving.
3. Be present, especially if you are spotting someone. I don’t think I need to explain why you should be present when spotting but I’ve seen people drift off while doing it. I once had to “ask” someone not to be on their phone when spotting the bench press. Related to this, understand how to spot a lift. We’re only talking about the bench press and the back squat here. What we expect might be different than what you learned in the high school weight room, so if you’re not sure how we spot these lifts at CFSBK, ask a coach. Even while not spotting, being present with your rack mates is a good idea. You’ll often lift with the same few people for a cycle on a lift. It’s nice to know a bit about them and enjoy the time. I don’t mean you need to force idle chitchat, but an extra pair of eyes can be helpful, as can words and cues of support. Additionally, being present ensures that you’re being mindful of things around you and your partner’s rack. Extraneous bumpers lying in the way of a potential bail can cause a bar to take an unpredictable path, as can someone walking into a heavy bar on someone’s back. Being aware of your surroundings can head off avoidable injuries. Be in control instead of wondering what’s going to happen.
4. Keep it in bounds. While we expect people to be engaged and help their partners, remember that you are not a coach and shouldn’t take over all the cueing adjustments/programming in your platform. It’s a fine line to find for some people but when in doubt ask a coach and always defer to the advice given by staff. We’ve heard people with great intentions give bad cueing or suggestions to rack mates. Know thyself.
5. Be ready for your set. When you’re not ready, you push the person behind you further back on the clock. In busier classes when there are three or even four people in a rack, someone should just about always be lifting. Don’t miss your turn or make your rack run out of time.
6. Be clean, at least relatively. If the air around you suggests you may not have seen a bar of soap since the X-Files went off the air, it can be unpleasant and distracting to those around you. We work out together in pretty close quarters and get sweaty and sure, we all stink a bit every now and then (like me a few Thursdays ago, sorry!) but do your best to make that the exception, not the rule. Please note that some exercise apparel, especially that tech/wicking stuff, does not wash well—and all exercise gear has a shelf life.
7. Help load and unload the bar. Another pretty self-explanatory one. Share the workload on setup and breakdown—even going as far as to help another rack put stuff away if you’re done. You can’t really do too much here, but you can certainly do too little.
These are just a few things that can help your experience and that of your peers be more effective and enjoyable. Your fitness doesn’t happen in a vacuum at CrossFit South Brooklyn and the stronger we all get, the stronger we all get.
QOD: What’s one quality or habit that you think is important in a bar partner?