Fitness and Performance: Work up to a heavy triple on the Paused Squat.
Have a partner count out “1 one-thousand, 2 one-thousand” before rising. No missed reps, use spotters if you’re not 100% sure you’ll make all three reps. Rerack if you think you might miss mid set.
Fitness Transition: If you’ve been doing Fitness programming and have cleared a full Linear Progression, find a heavy single to use for the upcoming programming cycle.
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20 Minutes, Not for Rounds of:
16 Unbroken Kettlebell Swings (go heavy)
3, 6 or 9 Strict Pull-Ups (add weight if desired)
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September Athlete of the Month: Michael Crumsho
By Chris Fox
September’s Athlete of the Month has been sitting in the wings for almost as long as he’s been a member. I must confess that the first time his name came up as a potential AOM, my response was an emphatic, “Let’s let him be a member for while!” Mike has since proven to be a diligent, coachable athlete who has trained consistently since Foundations. He has in fact been around for a while now, and here’s our chance to get to know him a bit better.
Fox: Mike, how did your journey to CrossFit South Brooklyn begin?
MC: It actually began somewhat begrudgingly, and long before I’d heard of CrossFit. To start way back, I turned 30 years old and decided to get in shape. At a recent doctor visit, I weighed in at 297 pounds with a fasted glucose level of 155. Needless to say I was in need of change. It was around then that I started lifting weights, with my long time college buddy Todd C. paving my path. He introduced me to Starting Strength and I followed that and then eventually 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler with lots of assistance work. During that time Todd had started at CFSBK and I was hating on it. I had all the standard arguments against it, from it being for shirtless and mindless bros, to a lack of thought or purpose in programming. I was making pretty good progress with the lifting and Todd was a completely non-assertive influence, though after seeing some of that years Fight Gone Bad photos, I decided to give CF a shot. Camille and I joined a Foundations class in October of 2013, a little less than a year ago.
Fox: Glad you decided to join us! 297 is a big weight for you, I can’t imagine it. Where are you at now? And what really was the deciding factor in joining CF after lifting on your own?
MC: I can’t say I truly enjoyed lifting on my own, and I’d developed my fair share of gym “enemies.” Ask me about the Jeff Van Gundy look alike who would occupy the squat rack for an hour to do dips and curls… the final straw was when I hurt my back in June of 2013. I suffered an L4/L5 herniation, likely while deadlifting, that sidelined me. Looking back I believe I had unrealistic goals regarding my training and I recognized that I really needed to just listen to someone else and have eyes on me. I needed to take a few steps back and focus on the things that mattered, like moving well, and also to work on some more complex movement patterns that would increase my movement pool overall. You (Fox) and Ro showed me right away that I would in fact have eyes on me and also that I had a lot to learn.
Fox: What is it about CFSBK that keeps you coming back?
MC: CFSBK appeals to me for a variety of reasons. There’s a level of intelligence in programming with consistent exposure to movements. There’s the vibe in general with the (usually) good music, the inclusive atmosphere vs the solitariness of the Y where I used to train, and the balance that’s struck between a DIY approach and personal training. There are a bunch of things that I still need to get better at, including HSPUs, double unders, and muscle ups. Overall though the tangible progress I am making is a large enough reason to keep coming. My first squat exposure was 55x5x3. I ended this last cycle at 275x5x3, and hit a 1RM of 305. It’s still a bit off from my historical 1RM, but mentally it feels like I am back in the game, with better form to boot. After my previous injury I was scared of deadlifts, now I’m comfortable with the them and hit 390 for a 1RM the last time we worked on this lift. I see myself developing in a very positive and quantifiable way.
Fox: Tell us about you outside of the gym. Were you athletic as a kid? What do you do outside of nerding out on your training?
MC: I’m from outside of Philadelphia. I played football and swam as a kid, and focused on basketball in high school. I never really gave much of a thought to rowing until I got to CFSBK, which is a little strange given that my high school was pretty well-known for its crew team. I guess the “henley and Penn cap” lifestyle conflicted with the whole “eat mushrooms, listen to My War” thing I was trying to cultivate at the time. Anyway, I gave up sports in college to basically become captain of the bong team and hang out at the radio station. During my time at at NYU, between 1998 and 2006, I was a Music Director and DJ on a couple programs—The New Afternoon Show—and I also started a program called Outside that played weirder, more experimental stuff.
My longstanding passion has been music. I’ve always been a pretty avid collector, and have a few thousand CDs and LPs in our apartment—if you don’t see me show up in class for a few days it will be safe to assume that I have finally been crushed under the weight of them. I have played synthesizers and “sang” in a few bands. I’ve also written as a music journalist for outlets such as The Voice, the AP, and The Baltimore City Paper. I consider myself to have a strong punk ethic but my ear ranges from Minor Threat all the way to electronic, jazz, psych rock, and folk music. Arthur Russell, Alice Coltrane, and Fela Kuti are a few of my faves at the moment. I recently discovered that Windhand are one of the LOUDEST live bands out there…
I really just simply love good music. In fact I met my partner, (Front Desk superstar) Camille, through the music scene. We were on the same punk and hardcore forums and connected through there. Aside from music I’m pretty tame. Career-wise, I am a brand/product manager and content strategist that develops digital products like apps and websites. For the past seven years, I’ve focused on the medical education and point-of-care side of things, helping to steer a publishing company out of books and into the interwebs. I like to chill out and watch movies and TV shows, I’m a huge Trekkie but I won’t force that on the readers. Really, cooking a good meal at home and maybe watching a movie is a great night for Cam and I.
Fox: Great stuff, Mike. Last stock question: What should we look for in a future AOM?
MC: Someone whose demeanor is the same whether they’re first or last to finish. You know, to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. When I bit off more than I could chew and tried “Angie” Rx’d a couple months ago, I remember and appreciate the people like Jason and Pierre who stuck around and cheered even though they were finished. Finally, someone who listens. You’ll get something out of simply coming to a CrossFit gym and being exposed to cool movements at high intensity, but you’ll miss the point if you don’t take the advice and cueing of your coaches. Being a humble, coachable athlete is important.
- Happy birthday, Coach McDowell!
- We begin our new cycle next week. If you want to see what’s on tap, check out the updated Current Programming Cycle link in the left sidebar.