School’s in session

If you’re a lurker and have never been to the Black Box, sign up for a free beginners’ class now. If you’re a member and want to help us out, encourage a friend to attend a free beginners’ class (or even attend it with them!).
If you’ve been to a beginners’ class already and haven’t yet made the Elements Workshop plunge, what are you waiting for? Wouldn’t you like to be in full CrossFit mode by summer? Summer is a great time to exercise–we’re naturally more active on long, sunny, warm (or ungodly hot) days.
Upcoming Elements Workshops:
In Manhattan:
#48 — M/W/F @ 7:30-8:30pm STARTS THIS MONDAY! (only 1 spot left!)
#50 — M/W/F @ 8:30-9:30pm starts April 27 (3 spots left)
#51 — M/W/F @ 7:30-8:30pm starts May 4
#52 — Tue/Thur @ 8:30-9:30pm starts May 5
#53 — M/W/F @ 8:30-9:30pm starts May 11
#54 — M/W/F @ 7-8am starts May 12 (4 spots left)

In Brooklyn:
#6 — M/W/F @ 7-8pm starts April 27 (5 spots left)
#7 — M/W/F @ 7-8pm starts May 11

Friday 090417
Black Box Rest Day WOD
Skill work on the dip from the pull, the rack, and the press.
Progressions and intensive corrections, 30-40 minutes.
Warm-up and finisher WOD to be determined by instructor.
6, 7, 8am, 12:30pm: Instructor’s Choice
6pm: “DT”
6:30pm: Black Box WOD
7pm: “Helen”
8pm: “Danny”

Hot Bread Kitchen (via)
Findings show insulin–not genes–linked to obesity
Straight to the superbug supersource: Q&A with Maryn McKenna about MRSA in people — and pigs
Thrusters suck! But thrusters are great…
Is it a moment of gastronomic time travel? Where is the theatrical line?
iPod/iPhone as kitchen helpmate
No yellow jerseys here
The 11th Annual Blessing of the Bicycles (via)
Brett and Rip at the barbell cert:


  • Who would you not mind being stuck in an elevator with?
    Someone who’s handy could help get you out. Someone hot could help pass the time. List who’s in there with you.
    (via, where I get my Rest Day Questions)

  • torch

    For the record, I am not the brooklyn bomber.

  • Aram

    Made up Danny: 2 (69,32)

  • Sara

    Jacinto killed me:
    AMRAP 20 min
    5 pushups
    10 kb swings (35lbs)
    15 goblet squat (35lbs)
    Made it through 10 rounds
    Then 5 rounds of:
    5 95lb bench press
    5 ring dips
    6 plyo pushups

  • chad

    Should we be looking up “brooklyn bomber” on
    Looking forward to the skill work. Good choice.

  • Happy birthday to Josh Ruz today and Luke S. tomorrow.

  • Josh R

    I think it’s pretty obvious who you would want to be stuck on an elevator with…
    All we need is a #2 pencil, a rubber band and some gum.

  • isaac

    I rocked it with Sara, 11 rounds.

  • Joe Fallon

    The olympic lifts are highly technical and I am grateful that this is the focus of the rest day. These lifts are often a core component of the WODs. Given the importance of technique and the frequency which we see these type of lifts, would it be possible to use the rest days to review these lifts again for those of us that can’t make today’s session and can only learn so much by watching the videos on the crossfit and other websites?

  • Justin “Thor”

    One of the biggest issues I’m seeing in the dip right now is muted hip function. Work on hips going straight down instead of forward. A bit back is ok (but even then you want to fight for straight down). Also, remember the dip is not a slow half-squat. Its a quick up and down motion increasing in speed so you can be fast through the middle.
    Made up DT and got 9:55 as R’xd. Deads and push jerks easy, HPC not so much.

  • I disagree with Thor that the dip should be a quick down and up. I concur that it should be a hard, aggressive drive up, but it should not be a fast dip.
    A fast dip is hard to control as weights get closer to maximal weights and as weights get heavier you must take into account the whip of the bar. It should be as quick as you can manage while still maintaining control of the barbell. too many times when we ask for a quick dip and drive people forget to control the bar and it ends up all over the place. They are focused on speed over control, and as weights get heavier they quicken everything out of “fear.” Even if you tell someone to do a slow and controlled dip and a quick drive, they still move as fast as necessary to complete the movement, AND the movement looks a whole lot better.
    Also, it must be taught to give a slight pause at the bottom of your brief dip. This way you can catch the whip of the bar as it unloads on your drive. If you drive right up at the bottom of your dip then you have to fight a still downward descending barbell and gravity. Allow the bar to unload briefly at the bottom of the dip.

  • Alexei

    Since today is a rest day, time to take a break from debating politics…
    I have a question to any takers about deadlift technique:
    I am 6’5″, which makes proper deadlifts very… challenging… it feels like I’m just not flexible enough to lower my torso enough to where I can grab the bar without a slight arch in my lower back even when barefoot (and a bigger one with shoes on…). What then happens is when I actually execute the lift, Jacinto cringes because my back arches further from there.
    If barefoot, it seems ok, but it just doesn’t feel like my lower back is straight, and if the weight is lower I think I straighten it out in the beginning of the lift and maintain it from there, but at heavier weights form goes downhill fast
    Does anyone have any hints/tips as to how to improve my form/technique?
    Thanks in advance!

  • Davi

    I am on rehearsal LOCK DOWN and working on getting LOCKED IN, sleep-wise.
    enjoy this beautiful day!
    For those folks who come in on rest days and do the rest day WODs, are you skipping WODs you didn’t complete earlier in the week or on a different/no rest schedule?

  • Alexei

    About the elevator question – the obvious – A girl who’s hot, intelligent, articulate, speaks Russian, and most importantly – is loaded.
    Give me that and I’ll quickly lose any desire to leave that elevator…

  • Brett_nyc

    Alexei, As Rip would say, “Some people just ain’t gonna be good at deadlifting.”
    The deadlift is a basic geometry puzzle that requires aligning the scapula over the bar, over the middle of the foot. For many people as tall as you, this will create a set up that puts your butt HIGHER than your shoulders, clearly unacceptable. If your back and hamstrings are as loaded as possible and you still end up in the Ass Above Head position, the solution is go to a Sumo stance. Placing you feet wider, outside your hands, effectively shortens your legs which will allow you hips to get lower, hopefully below your shoulders.

  • Erik

    Hey Alexei,
    I also have that issue… im about 6’6″ and definitely have some issues getting all the way down to pick up the bar. I have found that warming up the hips before doing the lifts gives me a bit more mobility and allows for better form. I have also been really trying to work out stretching my hamstrings and legs after workouts to try and improve flexibility. I have found that just after a month or so I have seen some nice improvements. While I conceded to the fact that I will never put up the numbers some of the “shorter” crossfitters can, I know I will always have the rowing machine.

  • Sara

    I’m personally on the not many rest days schedule. Someone was posting the other day about taking days off with running and doing the wods etc…. I’ve never been a fan of more than one day off a week, but I’m new to crossfit so I’m wondering how detrimental this is to my progress… Any answers?

  • Max

    Dan, do you have those pictures from the 6:30 class last night?

  • Alexei

    Thanks Eric and Brett!
    A follow up – do you think widening my stance a little (not to sumo, but a few inches at least) to halfway between squat and proper deadlift will help? Or is that bad and should be avoided?

  • Justin “Thor”

    When Brian says:
    “It should be as quick as you can manage while still maintaining control of the barbell.”
    Is exactly what I mean when I say a quick dip. From my experience, people I see who are having problems with their dip isnt because they are going to fast, but the opposite. They dip real slow and deep, and they have no aggression and end up doing a half front squat into a press. Now Smallville may very well be seeing the opposite issue in people, which would be problematic as well. So my cue is “fast through the middle, get aggressive”. Controlling the bar is a given, but of course I should have mentioned that as well. Again, with most crossfitters, the general issue is that muted hip function, and making sure the hips go in the right place is a bigger concern and one that takes a while to correct.

  • Davi

    Sara – this is an interesting question. One of the great things about Crossfit is that you have these benchmarks – these measurable things – by which you can assess your progress, your fitness gains, over time.
    At this early stage, however (and I am also at a very early stage), it’s a little hard to assess beyond how my body feels. But there’s another issue for me and it has to do with hours in the day/time management/sleep/nutrition/balance between Crossfit and all the other things that I do. I am interested in how Crossfit bolsters and enables these other activities (several of which – performing and yoga – are my livelihood) … sure, I am loving Crossfit in and of itself, but I want to Crossfit to live, not live ONLY to Crossfit.
    So, how rest factors in remains a question/exploration right now and a prioritization game. I’m trying to schedule tumbling, for instance, on ‘rest days’, but the thing is: I actually NEED to rest and tumbling is something that I can seriously hurt myself doing if I’m fatigued/slightly injured from going too hard for too many days. Especially when I’m also rehearsing and biking all over town and not getting to bed early enough and having a social life and… you know the score. And different people, I am sure, recover in different ways and at different rates.

  • Rory

    Sounds like some great rest-day learning, sorry I can’t make it in today. Please have more sessions like this in the future!

  • Brett_nyc

    You can widen your feet without going Sumo, but pretty quickly your arms will prevent your legs and feet from getting any wider. Widening your your arms to accommodate wider foot placement will effectively shorten your arms, just gets you back to square one.

  • Jeff

    Here’s yet another article to allay women’s fears bulking from lifting weights.
    It’s nothing new to CrossFitters, but if any of you have clients who are still in the stage of not listening to you, maybe reference this.
    I’ll be honest. I didn’t bother reading this. I’m just assuming that fitness information from MSN’s Diet & Fitness/Weight Loss/Women’s Health department is going to be condescending.

  • Davi

    A zone question:
    can someone explain to me why one would increase the fat blocks and NOT the protein blocks if one were hungry/tweaking one’s Zone prescription?
    Is it because fat is more efficient fuel? Fat slows the absorption of food into the bloodstream?
    I wonder this as someone who in coming up on the end of week 2 of Zone-ing. I feel hungry from time to time, but I don’t crave carbs and lately I’ve actually not wanted to eat my 11 blocks of carbs per day and have been hovering more around the 7 mark. I’m trying to get leaner, though, so increasing fat blocks doesn’t make much sense to me at this stage.
    I would like to understand the principles behind the fat (as opposed to protein) increase.

  • chad

    The class seemed to be the least important thing going on at the box from 12:30 until shortly after 1.
    Nevertheless, Allison took us through skill work on the dip drive and hamstring activation.
    Followed up with 5x5s of front squat and push press/jerk.
    Happy birthday, Allison.

  • juan

    what happened during the lunch class today?

  • Robzilla

    You are correct in the assumption that you increase fat to increase the fuel source. You don’t increase protein as well because it is not as efficient a source as fat is. If you are trying to lose a couple of pounds then you won’t want to increase your fat blocks. However, be careful because you also want to make sure that you are getting enough calories to have energy for the workouts. It’s a fine line.
    I find that the quick video “The Idiot Suit” explains it much more elegantly than myself. You can find it on the linked page:

  • torch

    Rest Day dinner tonight in Williamsburg. Radagast Biergarten at Berry and N3rd.
    CFE tomorrow at the McCarren Park track. 10am. Weather is supposed to be good

  • Jon S.

    Made up Danny (95lbs, chest to bar) 2 rounds, 11 box jumps
    1600m row – 6m36s

  • michelle foxman

    so im out of crossfit about two months now–loong time. sad. im fat skinny or maybe just fat now. andi complainto anyone who will listen about the horrible life u have of two months with no crossfit after two years with- anyway a mom of a boy who has her kid on chelsea piers gymnastics team with my son (who also says i look better with lessmuscle bc i look thinner- wtf?) says hey my sister and i were googling our old boyfriends and one of hers came up and he teaches crossfit in santa cruz? who is it?
    tony tony b.
    six degrees of separation. its crazy.

  • michelle foxman

    sara-anyone shld do what u do. u kick ass. and look amazing while doing it. sara is my new crossfitnyc lady inspiration and i cant wai to come back end evntually squat half of what u do!