Warm up and work up to a heavy set of 5. The barbell comes off the floor.
Post loads to comments.
5 Rounds for Time:
7 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
14 Alternating Pistols
5 Rounds for Time:
7 Jumping Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
14 Alternating Reverse Lunges
Post time and Rx to comments.
February Athlete of the Month: Allie Barsamian
By Chris Fox
We look for members who show a list of traits for Athlete of the Month honors, and this month we’ve got someone who hits on all of them. Consistent training? Yep. Engages in both fitness and social activities at CFSBK? Yep. Has made progress in a variety of ways and goes the extra mile not only for herself but also for fellow members? Yep and yep! Allie couldn’t be a better example of what we look for. Read on and learn more…
Fox: Congrats, Allie! Thanks for coming in to sit down with me. Starting at the beginning, when and why did you start CrossFit?
AB: Wow, thanks for the honor! This is very exciting. I started at CFSBK in May 2014. I’d recently broken up with my longtime boyfriend and was busy trying new things and getting fit. I had started running, and was pretty into another fitness cult, Soul Cycle, so I figured I’d give this one a try. Funny story, I actually thought I signed up for an intro class at CrossFit Prospect Heights, which is the gym I passed by on a run and wondered what what was going on in there. I show up for the class and the gym is closed. I searched my email and realized that I actually signed up for the Free Intro Class at CFSBK. Luckily I was planning to be early so I had enough time to get over here and that was that. I met David, and he made it very clear what made CrossFit different from other methods. I had to wait until summer break to do Foundations, but I’ve been coming ever since.
Fox: So from one fitness cult to another! Were you always a gym junkie?
AB: Not at all! I was never into fitness, had never been in a gym, and had no idea what weightlifting was. I was always an art and theater nerd whose main form of exercise was occasionally taking the stairs. I was never overweight as a kid, but I certainly wasn’t what you’d call fit. Then, in my senior year of high school I attended an arts camp and gained about 15 lbs that just sort of stuck around. I actually weigh the same now as then but at a pretty different body composition.
Fox: So we were your introduction to the gym. That’s pretty great! What were your first impressions?
AB: David was immediately welcoming, and made me feel comfortable even with no prior training experience. We learned how to Squat and he taught us why we should actually Squat below parallel, something that most everyone tells you not to do. Right away I felt like CrossFit was going to be for me. The coaching was attentive, the progress was quantifiable, the exercises were varied, and the coaches could explain why something was beneficial. The biggest thing that stuck out was the emphasis on health, not necessarily on vanity.
Fox: I know you like to drop in to gyms when you travel. Do you have a favorite?
AB: CrossFit Acadia in Bar Harbor, Maine. They’re so great and welcoming and the classes are well structured a la CFSBK. They even know DO and Inside The Affiliate.
Fox: What can you be found doing when you’re not at the gym?
AB: Man, exercise really is my main hobby now, so I’m here a lot. The gym has given me a social community and a place to have friends as well. Being fit even makes me relish mundane chores like carrying groceries or washing the dishes. I’m really appreciative of my ability to do simple stuff. I work as a music and drama teacher at Achievement First East New York Middle School, and I really love my job. I get to meet every student since they all have to take my class for a semester. In addition to my classes, I direct musicals and head up the technical theater team. It was my first job out of college, and I’ve been there since 2009. The school and the students are really special to me. Other than the gym and work, I like to go see live music and will often buy a ticket just for myself. Any and all types of music are great by me. I’ve even been to Saint Vitus! The last show I saw live was Espiranza Spalding over in Red Hook at Pioneer Works. She was amazing. My boyfriend Ben and I just celebrated our two year dating anniversary! He doesn’t do CrossFit but he does Squat and Deadlift. 🙂
Fox: I finally got to include a Saint Vitus mention in one of these articles! I hear you and Ben have a funny origin story. Care to tell it?
AB: Of course… it’s pretty funny now! We met online and set up a first date, and of course I was at the gym that day before the date. Long story short, I took the tail end of a rowing machine to the face and suffered a cut that required seven stitches. I felt awful and was worried it would seem like I was just trying to ditch him, so I texted him picture of my bloodied and bruised face. Can you believe, lol, this guy still came to meet me? We went to the bar that we had planned to meet at that night and had a few drinks, all the while I was still in my workout clothes, and have been dating ever since. I’m so happy to have met him.
Fox: That’s a great story. Ben sounds like a great guy. Where did you grow up?
AB: I grew up in Novi, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, where I danced competitively and did cheerleading from the time I was 3 years old through high school. My dad recently sold his private dentist practice, and my parents are building a home on the gulf coast of Florida. It will be nice to visit a warmer place, but it’s pretty weird to think that the house I grew up in won’t be ours anymore.
Fox: You’ve been pretty open and vocal about some food issues in the past but seem to be in a pretty good place nowadays. Care to talk a bit about that?
AB: Well, I was a longtime vegetarian, and as I mentioned, not overweight but not fit. When the previously mentioned boyfriend and I broke up I decided to have a steak as sort of an “eff you” to him since he was part of the reason I was vegetarian. Once I started eating meat, I noticed my body composition change pretty fast for the better, but then I went to the other extreme. That first year I was a member I did the LFPB Challenge and was strict Paleo, meaning I pretty much only ate protein. I lost a bunch of weight but was not at all healthy. The next year I did a bit better, and the year after I decided not to do the Challenge at all. I tried a macro-counting program later that year but wound up relying on a bunch of sugar-free crap and developed some bad habits on that diet also. Now I’m in a much better place and have built some healthy habits that I can maintain. I generally eat clean foods but am ok with indulging and not letting it get me down and just getting right back to my next choice. I’m still a work in progress for sure, dealing with food pressure from co-workers can be a bummer, but I’m learning. One funny thing is I eat so many more vegetables now that when I was a vegetarian!
Fox: That’s a familiar trajectory, and it’s great to hear you’re learning what works best for you. Nice work. What were some gym goats for you when you started, and what are you working on now?
AB: Man, I thought I would never get Double-Unders. The big “secret” for me on those was just to practice, consistently. As you (and anyone who reads the blog) may know, Muscle-Ups were a longtime goal of mine, and I put in so much work to get one. I don’t just “have” them now (I’ve done a total of 5), but it was pretty rewarding to finally unlock that achievement. Now I’d like to be able to do them with consistency and also to do Bar Muscle-Ups. AG Strength has built up my upper body strength pretty well, but my legs are lagging behind! I would like to Squat 185 this year. There, I said it.
Fox: Those muscle ups were a long time coming… congrats! Last question: What should we look for in a future AOM?
AB: I think it would be great to highlight someone from one of the specialty populations like Kids, Teens, Fit 55+, or one of the Barbell Clubs (Starting Strength and Next Level Weightlifting). There are so many people who push hard and inspire there, too. Also moms and dads who are committed to work childcare in and around exercise, introverts who are quietly working hard, and anyone who cheers and supports others.
News and Notes
- Take a look back through 7 years of Athletes of the Month over on our Articles & Media page.
- Don’t forget to submit your 18.1 scores to the CrossFit Games site by 8pm tonight!
- Intramural League captains: please submit your athletes’ scores to the spreadsheet by Tuesday at 8pm!
Why Olympic Lifting Makes You Better at Practically Any Sport BarBend
The Most Metal Closing Ceremony of All Time Deadspin
Karina S says
What a fabulous Athlete of the Month! Allie is the best.
I missed the Friday comment train, but I also wanted to hop on and say those t2b I saw in the live FNL video were a work of art 🙂
It’s 1am and of course I am awake and had to post when I saw Allie is AOTM!! So proud of my girl and couldn’t have made a better choice. She is one of the main reasons I joined SBK when I changed gyms years ago after meeting her at a CF prom (yes, that exists). I was immediately drawn to her positive energy and she instantly became a friend when I joined. SO proud of all of your accomplishments this last year, Allie. You made substantial changes to your eating habits, set major goals, worked your a** off and achieved them! Can’t wait for you to tackle your lower body goals, too (leg day during Sat OG together?) and watch you just crush it all around. Allie is also one of the best cheer-ers ever and now I know why, learning a bit more about her. Love partnering with her on WODs or having her as a judge. Oh, and she and Ben are a a match made in heaven. Love ya!
Daniel R says
Allie congraaaaats!!! Super well deserved – a great person to be around, super supportive and works so so so hard. You make CFSBK a better place!
Thaisa Lemos says
Yay, Allie!!! Such a perfect choice for AOM! Always a great partner, cheering and pushing us during wods and also an inspiration, working hard and pushing yourself. Great great choice!
Yeah, Allie! So well deserved. Energy level is always at a high when you’re there.
Congrats Allie!! So deserved!
ALLIE!! I feel like we’ve all been waiting for this one. So deserved. Allie is so encouraging and also such a great example of how to push yourself to always do more than you think you can do. Love it. Congrats, Allie!!
“ALLIE!! I feel like we’ve all been waiting for this one.”
True story. Congrats girl!
Jen Bokoff says
Congrats Allie! Terrific AOM choice!
7am with Ronickers
Worked up to 73×5 for push press. 73 is my current 1RM so that surprised me. Definitely not as strong form on the 4th and 5th one though.
WOD (fitness) in 14:14. Times for each round were relatively consistent but maybe I could have pushed the pace on the run a bit.
Unrelated, but Joy, I hear you’re responsible for the lovely front desk flowers every week? I really love them and think it’s awesome that you do that.
kate tk says
always love the flowers from Joy <3
Charles Smith says
So well deserved.
Gaby V. says
Congrats, Allie!!! Stellar choice for AOM
kate tk says
Allie B! Honestly surprised you hadn’t been AOM before now 🙂 You’re an encouraging and positive force in the gym & a great friend outside of the gym as well! Congrats & well-deserved.
Strict press 63, 68, 73, 73. Still feeling that weirdness in the right front of my shoulder, which I asked KHarpz about on Saturday. Sounds like the front of my shoulder is stronger than the back of my shoulder, so I need to make friends with A-T-Y-Ts again. I did 3 sets of 8 between work sets on the press.
WOD in 13:58 (I may have written 13:48 on the board and/or in my logbook…oh short-term memory, where are you today?) with 4 strict C2B chins and reverse lunges each round. Sadly no room at the inn for banded pistols during the WOD, although it was good to do them in warmup.
Lauren S says
Congrats Allie!!! I so love your enthusiasm and support of others – and you have been crushing it. well deserved!
Jenny B says
Congrats Allie!!!!! So so deserved. You are one of the most supportive, caring, positive, inspiring humans out there. You go out of your way (though it seems like second nature!) to be encouraging and supportive to us all, and its truly appreciated. You’ve brought a smile to my face many times with your positivity and kind words. May I some day be half the cross-fitter (and human!) you are 🙂
Jaime C says
Such a perfect choice for AOM! Such a happy, talented, strong and fun athlete and friend all around. Glad to know you and occasionally get the honor to work out with you!! (7am welcomes you with open arms!)
7am with Ro + Lauren:
63×5, 73×5, 83×5. I think I could go up to 88#, possibly to 93#.
My diet on this “Beerlympics” weekend away with friends consisted of solely Bud Light, pizza and potato chips, so I was preparing myself for a sluggish gym day. Surprisingly, I felt alright!
WOD, with jumping pull-ups, done in either 12:40 or 14:20. I’m sad I don’t remember.
Jen Bokoff says
You were definitely done before me…12:40!
Saccheen Martin (Sacha) says
First time posting on the blog but I had to “big up” Allie as well. Allie is one of the most encouraging and supportive athletes at the gym. I’m inspired by her in AG Strength and when she is in my group classes. Well deserved!
Yay Allie! I knew it was just a matter of time. I appreciate so much her supportive nature (if you ever need a complement, hers are always the best) as well as her diligence. It’s been amazing watching her set – and reach – goals, and then continuing to move the goalposts to her next achievement.
Push Press: (83×5, 93×5), 103×5, 113×5, 123×4 (F5)
I was the last one to still have a bar out, so rushed the last rep. This was my heavy triple two weeks ago, so happy to keep pushing here.
WOD: 16:08 Performance with 5 C2B per round
This is the sort of work I have been doing as very relaxed NFT on my own, so was interesting trying to do it with some speed. Scaled volume of pull-ups for time and hand preservation. Pistols were slow and steady.
sara g says
Hooray Allie! What an uplifting, inspiring, supportive gem of a person! Allie’s positivity, encouragement and unrelenting determination are inexhaustible. Allie is a role model, community builder and perpetual ray of sunshine.
ALLIE! Such a well-deserved recognition. Allie was one of my first gym friends and remains one of my favorite people to work out with. Obviously, her work ethic is unmatched. She’s also super-smart with WOD strategy, incredibly encouraging and just an all-around inspiration (especially when she’s doing push-ups!). Grateful to know you, Allie! Congrats! <3
Rest day today, but lots of good fitness this weekend…
Saturday 9am w/ Melo: 18.1! 221 reps, which is 7 rounds + 21 reps. Awesome being partnered with Kate Tk…I credit her for keeping me motivated to really push it at the end and get as far into the 8th round as I did. Something just clicked with my toes-to-bar recently, so that went well. With the DB stuff, for me the key was really dropping under it in the jerk. Saved my shoulders and made it feel not too heavy. Tried to keep my rowing pace above 800 (closer to 900 or more when I could manage it) and having that goal helped me stay focused. Really fun workout and a great start to the Open!
Sunday 11am w/ Ro + Lauren: Worked up to 83# on the power snatch and stayed there for the last several rounds. Double-unders unbroken on all but the first two rounds. 3 strict pull-ups/round. Got a game-changing cue from Ro about setting up the snatch (think squat, not deadlift). Good example of how sometimes you just need to hear it in a different way to get it!
Congrats, Allie! Super fun interview, and an honor a long time in the making. Well deserved.
Metcon Perf Rx’d in 13:46
Shawn Campbell says
Well done on the interview as always! Also looks like you did a great job judging the re-do this morning! What a feat that was!!
Congrats Allie! Always impressed by all the work you put into achieving your goals and being such a welcoming person at the gym!
Congrats Allie! Well deserved recognition.
Karina S says
In honor of Runit and his complaint that my posts are too long! Here is a short one.
Sad! Low energy.
-didn’t eat all day, first full effort workout back since 6 days of not eating due to food poisoning
-Wrong t2b technique, did singles which was dumb cause I could have kipped, wasted a bunch of energy. Then panicked at my strategy and started doing strict doubles? idk
-35lbs single arm overhead is heavy for me, this was the worst part, set the dumbell down twice. forgot I could use 2 hands to lower
-rows all at 1000-1100, fine (relax your face folks, there are no face gains)
were I to do it again I would not worry about my score strategy and use the skill I have and probably get a better score. but I got some cool bruises and that’s what this is really about right?
Karina S says
this was also my first open Rxed workout, yay!
Daniel R says
Congrats on the first Open Rx workout! Good advice on the face gainz, today there was a moment midway through where I clearly found myself with my face all scrunched up while rowing.
Shawn Campbell says
I also like this strategy of breaking your posts up into comments on your post to make them look shorter. Well played! Congrats on the rxed 18.1!
FACE GAINS OMG DYING
(You just reminded me of how I clocked my chin on the bar this morning. Doing a STRICT chinup. How is that even possible?)
Shawn Campbell says
Allie B! Such well deserved recognition! Allie is so benevolent giving praise and so humble receiving it. She’s great at setting goals and devising strategy and really, an inspiration!
As we can see from the photo, she makes everyone around her look better and feel better! Plus, is it just me or does she not have one of the cutest voices ever?
Congrats Allie B! Keep on keepin’ on!
Additional awesomeness that deserves a congrats was Jess re-doing 18.1 to beat what seems to me to have been an already impressive score this morning. Way to push thorough that last bit of the blind row!!!
Today 8 am with Lauren
I worked up to an 83# set of five. These didn’t feel great. I somehow felt funny on my feet at the top – taking steps and just not solid in the finishing position. Hopefully just an anomaly. I felt strange in the WOD too but this was a good strange. Runs seemed consistently paced, did 4 kipping pull ups each round and they mostly happened without too much struggle and the reverse lunges happened sans pauses. 13:49 and I’m OK with that.
Yesterday with the Foxes
That EMOM was great programming! Sore as heck from 18.1, this still challenged on lifting and helped key in some positions. The hold really helped just engaging muscles after that moveit moveit moveit 18.1 work and then the dubs skills practice is always good for me. Where I struggled was with the 5 pull ups. Holy cow, my arms just weren’t recovered enough so I threw in some banded here and there when I couldn’t finish 5 in a min and thought of them almost as an AR movement.
My arms were so tired and the approach to the workout so chill that I accidentally or at least unthinkingly PRed my snatch by a couple of pounds. I couldn’t believe it until I got home and checked my journal. Happy day!
Daniel R says
Congrats again Allie, you’re awesome and the energy you bring is unmatched!
18.1 redo in NC Fit, Mountain View CA: 9r+2 (290 reps) Rx
This was 25 reps more than my first attempt. I’m super happy, there isn’t much more that I can do with this workout. I removed all the transition time, transitioned C&J in the air, kept the row in a good 1100cal/hr range, I just don’t have the endurance to keep moving fast throughout all 20min. Kudos to Thaisa for judging and pushing me throughout.
Colleen Meagher says
Yay! Congrats Allie! I’m always inspired by your hard work and friendly spirit. Your cheering is second to none!
What a fun write-up too! I didn’t know that you inadvertently ended up at CFSBK – such a funny story. 😀
Yay Allie!!! In the few times we’ve been in class together, I couldn’t agree more! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 What an inspiration!
Roosevelt M says
Congrats Allie! Well deserved. 🙂
I couldn’t agree more with everyone’s comments. An excellent choice for AOTM. Congratulations Allie. Very very well deserved! And what an outstanding photo!
I don’t have much to report in the land of WODs. After falling off the pull up bar last Tuesday, I was hoping for a miraculous recovery by today, so I could hit 18.1 with maximum effort. Unfortunately ‘twas not meant to be. ☹️ I managed to string together 2 painful toes to bar and quickly called it a day! Better to stop there instead of making it worse I guess. Let’s see what 18.2 brings!
Shawn Campbell says
Sorry you’re not feeling better but glad you got up for that couplet and get to enter a score!
Shawn Campbell says
Hey everyone – Saturday party at my house! Friend me on facebook or email me at shawnalysec at gmail for info!
I didn’t read the blog this morning before getting to the gym and I was SO HAPPY to finally see your smiling face on our AOM wall in the reception area! This is long overdue in my opinion. Allie- congrats. You are an inspiration to us all and a constant encouraging presence. Love you! 💕💪👊
Congrats, Allie!!! Such a perfect choice. Your positive energy and quiet grit really set a wonderful example for the entire CFSBK community. Not to mention the fact that you’re strong as hell 🙂
Such a long time coming Allie B!!! Always so impressed by your grit and determination! You rock girl.
Side note, I tweaked my back and didn’t get to do 18.1. Hoping to get back in the gym in the next few days and start slow again.. rats! 🙁
Allie B. says
Man, thanks so much everyone!!! I don’t even know what to say in response to your kind words. Of course the day I take a rest day this article is posted. Lol.
I love Crossfit South Brooklyn because it’s a place where everyone raises each other up and celebrates others’ successes. It’s really amazing– not many places (gyms, work places, etc…)exist where ego comes in so far behind determination, hard work, and encouragement. Not to mention the rarity of places where people actually celebrate those traits genuinely on a daily basis. So lucky to have found this amazing community.
Anyway, can’t wait to see who’s next because literally everyone I know deserves it! Bye!
Sarah C says
Congrats Allie! Couldn’t agree more with this nomination!!
Congratulations, Allie!!! So well deserved and so wonderful to see all of your growth!
Great also to have you as our Incredible Hulks captain!
lady fox says
Wow, everyone has already said so many amazing things that I couldn’t agree with more. Allie, congrats on a well deserved AOM!!! So impressed by your drive and commitment to reaching your goals. And of course, by the support that you give to other members! You are always a smiling, positive presence.
As Shawn mentioned, redid 18.1 today to complete 330 reps total (11 rounds even). 18 reps better than FNL. Happy about that. Knew I needed to row harder…probably could still row a touch harder IF I ever saw this again in the future. TTB unbroken through about round 7-8 this time, then 6-2, 5-3. Rows in the 900’s. Thanks to the hubby for judging me and pushing me (and the 8am class!). Super impressed by all the scores everyone has put up!!! 1 down, 4 to go!
I love the Open.
ALLIE!!!!!!! YES!! Well-deserved recognition. I really admire your strength, dedication, honesty, and am ALWAYS grateful for your encouraging cheerleading 🙂
Sofia Melo says
Allie, congratulations for the well deserved recognition as AOM! You are a true inspiration to anyone that meets you!
Hooray for Allie! Congratulations