Strong is why we are here

NOTE! Today is a regularly scheduled day at the gym (10am beginners; 11am, noon, 1pm WOD classes). Tomorrow, Monday, May 25th (Memorial Day) there will only be 2 WOD classes: 11am and 12:30pm (beyond that the gym will be closed on Monday).
Sunday 090524
CrossFit Total
Back squat, 1 rep
Shoulder Press, 1 rep
Deadlift, 1 rep
Post total to comments.
Compare to 090410.

The Mic’d Instructor: The Back Squat

Is consumer choice enough?
The perils of overtraining

Pastured eggs–taste better, ARE better

How fast do we rot?
Juan has been doing a great job of getting (and quickly posting) photos of Day 1 of the Northeast Qualifiers. Thanks, Juan! Enjoy some highlights below, see the full set here on his Flickr page.
Vadim pushes Zach to go harder on the 2K row:

Lisa of Spartan Performance, Jenn of I3E CrossFit, and Jeff:

Dammit (former Black Boxer, current owner of Pioneer Valley CF) pushes Robzilla (another former Black Boxer) to row harder:

Judge Judy’s got nothing on Judge Juan:

Jacinto’s cheering section:

The man, the myth, the legend himself–JACINTO!


  • Allison Bojarski

    From the CrossFit Brand X forums on CrossFit WODs, here’s some advice on how to approach the Total (along with the “rules” of doing the Total):
    Everyone is a Big Dawg today. If you are unfamiliar with the lifts look at the following:
    Back squat:
    The best example of a good heavy back squat that I can find on vid is Nichole at the CF Games.
    Nichole is wearing red shorts and lifting more than the other ladies. Notice the low bar position. the depth of the squat and how she uses her hips to lift the weight.
    Shoulder Press:
    Here is a vid with Nichole pressing. Note this is a shoulder press not push press, any bend in the knees or flexion of the ankles is a fault and the lift doesn’t count:
    And some instruction from Rip:
    More instruction from Rip:
    If you are unfamiliar with these lifts buy Starting Strength. ( )
    If you are familiar with these lifts and do them all the time buy Starting Strength. ( )
    If you think these lifts are easy and you have nothing to learn about them, in fact you should probably be teaching them to other people buy Starting Strength ( ) Read it, carry it with you, read it again, buy a second copy read that one, and for $%#@ sake vid yourself, look at you form before messing with other people.
    CrossFit Total
    Rules to remember if you are playing by the rule book:
    1. You get three attempts at each lift
    2. You cannot remove weight from the bar. Example if you put 295 on the bar and make a succesful back squat, that is one attempt. If you decide to go to 315 on the next attempt and you fail you cannot lower the weight and make your third attempt.
    If on the other hand you just want to find your best lift, don’t be pigheaded as Rip says.

  • Allison Bojarski

    Since Mark Rippetoe is the architect of the CrossFit Total, it’s only appropriate to quote from him here. This is from the opening chapter of Starting Strength, which is an excellent book that I’d recommend to anyone who is serious about strength training:

    “Physical strength is the most important thing in life. This is true whether we want it to be or not. As humanity has developed throughout history, physical strength has become less critical to our daily existence, but no less important to our lives. Our strength, more than any other thing we possess, still determines the quality and the quantity of our time here in these bodies. Whereas previously our physical strength determined how much food we ate and how warm and dry we stayed, it now merely determines how well we function in these new surroundings we have crafted for ourselves as our culture has accumulated. But we are still animals–our physical existence is, in the final analysis, the only one that actually matters. A weak man is not as happy as that same man would be if he were strong. This reality is offensive to some people who would like the intellectual or spiritual to take precedence. It is instructive to see what happens to these very people as their squat strength goes up.
    As the nature of our culture has changed, our relationship with physical activity has changed along with it. We previously were physically strong as a function of our continued existence in a simple physical world. We were adapted to this existence well, since we had no other choice. Those whose strength was adequate to the task of staying alive continued doing so. This shaped our basic physiology, and that of all our vertebrate associates on the bushy little tree of life. It remains with us today. The relatively recent innovation known as the Division of Labor is not so remote that our genetic composition has had time to adapt again.
    Since most of us now have been freed from the necessity of personally obtaining our subsistence, physical activity is regarded as optional. Indeed it is, from the standpoint of immediate necessity, but the reality of millions of years of adaptation to a ruggedly physical existence will not just go away because desks were invented.
    Like it or not, we remain the possessors of potentially strong muscle, bone, sinew, and nerve, and these hard-won commodities demand our attention. They were too long in the making to just be ignored, and we do so at our peril. They are the very components of our existence, the quality of which now depends on our conscious, directed effort at giving them the stimulus they need to stay in the condition that is normal to them. Exercise is that stimulus.
    Over and above any considerations of performance for sports, exercise is the stimulus that returns our bodies to the conditions for which they were designed. Humans are not physically normal in the absence of hard physical effort. Exercise is not a thing we do to fix a problem–it is a thing we must do anyway, a thing without which there will always be problems. Exercise is the thing we must do to replicate the conditions under which our physiology was adapted, the conditions under which we are physically normal. In other words, exercise is substitute cave-man activity–the thing we need to make our bodies, and in fact our minds, normal in the 21st century. And merely normal, for most worthwhile humans, is not good enough.”

  • Aram

    614 (90,45)

  • Rory

    Bummed that I am out of town this weekend, I’ll definitely make this up on Wed. Luckily, I was still able to do my four burpees.

  • Gabe K

    Great work this am.
    1030# CFT
    Dead-460# PR
    Presses were awful.

  • rob l

    390 squat. 260 shoulder press. 450 deadlift.

  • Jeffrey B.

    An ugly 805 today.

  • Rickke

    BW: 142.5#
    BS: 225 (PR)
    SP: 115 (PR)
    DL: 260 (PR)
    Total: 600 (PR)
    My last CFT was 540, so this was an unexpected improvement. Glad I finally hit something more than 110# on the SP. Thanks to Tony and Hari for watching my form and for the encouragement. Great job to everyone in the 11am class today!

  • torch

    I refuse to do the total more than twice per calendar year. I already have one for 2009. Reason is, I always get hurt doing it.
    Torch Alternate WOD:
    Heavy Bag Step Ups
    Weighted Pull Ups, 2 pood
    Toes to Bar
    Goblet Squats, 2 pood
    5-4-3-2-1 would have been plenty adequate. Pull ups the big time suck! Tried to make it strength intensive

  • Tony T

    Backsquat – 185, 205F, 205F
    Press – 115, 118F, 120F
    Deadlift – 235, 245, 250PR
    Total – 550PR by 15lbs.

  • Mike

    Squat: 325, 335f, 335f
    Press: 170, 180f, 180f
    DL: 435, 445f, 445f
    Total: 930
    Everthing felt kinda heavy except the first shoulder press.
    Not my best heavy day.
    +4 burpees

  • Hari

    660 (240, 130, 290) BW = 154
    (68,54), (20, 23)

  • Reagan

    CrossFit Total
    BS 270 PR
    SP 155
    DL 370 PR
    Total 795 PR+30
    BW 160
    Black Box (107,107)

  • Hari

    Congratulations, Elizabeth: First Pull-up!
    (60 seconds later, multiple pull-ups)

  • george

    915 PR
    BS 350 (PR)(was very easy – should have gone higher)
    SP 175
    DL 390 (Failed on 400 on 2nd attempt)
    I would like to congratulate my boy rob on his first total.
    1100! 260 shoulder press is absurd.

  • Gabe K

    Rob I, great to have you at the box. Finally can do the total w/ someone and not have to shift weight around!
    Also, welcome Alex (I believe that’s it) who kicked everyone on the total today but must not be up on the blog yet!

  • george

    just checked my “records” – i hadn’t done a total since oct ’08
    Today was a 95 pound pr from then.

  • Syn

    So how do I start this comment… Let me say this ZACH IS AN ABSOLUTE SOLIDER and the HEART AND SOUL OF EVERYTHING I LOVE ABOUT CROSSFIT!!!!!! Why would CrossFit NYC send more judges than competitors??? I watched for two days while ZACH PAINFULLY HELD CROSSFIT NYC ON HIS BACK and this is not the first time I have seen this.
    Now I am sure everyone will have their individual reasons but I am not interested to hear about them. I don’t even have a BOX and I sent everyone I had including myself to compete and support each other as a matter of fact my team and I go to every competition we hear about because WE LOVE CROSSFIT AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER!!!!

  • bad sam

    Zach is a great athlete and an awesome guy and everyone at CFBK and CFNYC is proud of his efforts.
    Not everyone enjoys competing however. A lot of people do Crossfit purely to get fit or look good. Also, knowing the excellence of the competitors at the qualifier means that many people only go to compete if they think they have a chance of doing well.
    I’m not particularly competitive but if I would only go to the qualifier if I thought I had a chance of doing well. I wouldn’t pay an entrance fee only to get up sucking in every event.
    The most important thing, is to do what you enjoy and find fun in life. If you don’t like competing, why compete?

  • kj

    Squat: 135
    Press: 55
    Deadlift: 155
    Total: 345
    All PR’s.
    Also, Elizabeth totally destroyed this today!

  • Syn

    Bad Sam
    Your right on so many levels! CrossFit is for everyone!
    I just know that Zach deserved more support then he got and its sad that the same people who could have competed with him decided to be a judge.
    Competeing is a personal choice but at the end of the day 6 six of my team from Harlem went and only one came close to qualifing does that mean I wasted a weekend and entry money??? No it means that as a team we all rise and fall together.

  • Hari

    You’re about one step away from arguing that most of the competitors are not loved by their parents, because their parents didn’t show up to cheer them on.

  • Gabe K

    Well said Sam.
    One thing I’ve learned in my short time at CFNYC is that we are a very tight family. We maintain all of the positive and negative attributes of a real family. We support each other profusely, while not always overtly, but we honestly care a lot about each other.
    I owe so much more to CFNYC than just improved fitness. I’ve cultivated a rich group of friends and continue to leverage the knowledge and friendship at our box to move closer to my ideal lifestyle.
    Crossfit plays a distinct role in each individual’s life that participates. Be it for fitness, relaxation, motivation, a place to feel good about yourself or whatever. Each of our relationships with OUR box is unique, and ours.
    I know that while we may not have all attended the qualifier, we all did provide our proverbial $.02 while watching Zach toil in preparation for the qualifier. We all provided opinions like old Jewish men where our opinions were neither asked for nor necessarily positive. We all were interested.
    Please don’t rock a boat that isn’t yours to sit in.

  • Jessica

    I don’t think it’s appropriate to judge the members of Crossfit New York on their personal choices – whether they decided to compete, judge, express support…anything.
    It’s especially troublesome on a public blog. People who have not yet tried crossfit or thoroughly read the comments sections can easily be put off by accusatory and negative posts.

  • juan

    I wasn’t expecting what I witnessed this weekend at the NEQ. It was definitely an awesome expression of community and support that i think Syncere was trying to share on his comment. It was alot of fun and totally inspiring.
    I don’t know what Syn is aiming for by calling out an entire affiliate based on the fact that I and a few other blackboxers chose to drive up to the NEQ and be a part of huge crew that busted their collective ass all weekend to make this event happen.
    For sure, a bigger CFNYC contingent was definitely missed.
    But, the decision to ‘compete or not’ is a non-issue. Any reason anyone may have is their own business.
    That said, awesome work up there by everybody that went from the whole NE region. Congrats to the CF harlem girls who placed in the top 16 going into the final event today.
    Teresa and Shanon kicked much ass on Saturday to get there.
    And congrats to Jacinto and Zach who made the trek up there to tryout give their all.

  • Jeff

    You directly asked me this weekend why I wasn’t competing. I wish I’d known how strongly you felt about this and I wish that I’d known you were intending on airing this in this manner rather than addressing me. I would have liked to discuss this privately, but I don’t have your contact information and you did after all choose to make this public.
    I am extremely proud that Zach and Jacinto represented us at the qualifers. There is no doubt that the true heroes of the weekend are Zach, Jacinto, you, your crew, and the other competitors. I agree that the fact that your entire team showed up and competed is a testament to your dedication and support for one another. I hope that others at our Box are inspired by their example and CF Harlem’s since I also would have preferred if there was more representation from CFNYC.
    Zach certainly deserves your praise for standing out and taking the mantle. However, I don’t understand why you found it necessary to simultaneously attempt to shame the CFNYC judges. For all the acknowledgement Zach has earned, it does not need to come at our expense.
    While Vadim, Brian D, Juan and I are all respectable athletes in our own right, just because we were not competing does not mean that we simply did nothing and abandoned our competing brethren. I would have gone up to Albany just to support our guys. However, there was a call for additional assistance and I volunteered to help out. Although I had to be judging while Zach and Jacinto were competing, if my role greatly diminished my support for them, neither has yet to let me know. As far as I know, the event organizers, competitors and the spectators were all very appreciative of the efforts of the volunteers and judges. Remember, we were the ones who set up the stations, assembled the rowers, loaded and unloaded the bumpers and barbells, wiped blood off the bars, counted your reps, etc.
    Syncere, you are a good guy. I like you. I understand that you would have liked to have seen more of us at Albany. But I don’t think you have considered this thoroughly. You have not chosen your words correctly. You are wrong.
    Vadim, Brian D, Juan and I do not deserve this treatment. I am demanding an apology from you to the CFNYC judges.

  • juan

    You too Robzilla, way to row sir!
    He just flomped out of that C2 rower seat right to the ground after that 2k WOD. Not sure if flomped is the right word but the man wasnt himself after for quite sometime.

  • Syn

    Jeff, Juan, Brian, Vadim
    I apologize for offending anyone personally, I have come to respect each one of you individually including Juan and Brian who I don’t know that well.
    Your right I wasn’t thinking all too clearly so I didn’t sit down and plan out exactly what I was going to say I said what I was feeling watching Zach suffer representing your affiliate, your family and himself.
    It’s just that when we competed in Hoboken last year everyone came and you kicked my Team’s ASS!!!!
    So I grew to expect that same turn out of competitors every competition and I haven’t seen it.
    So I promised Zach I would say something and I did.
    Watching Zach’s touched me to the point where I became speechless.
    I respect all of you!!! You know this and if you don’t you should.
    My contact information has been the same Allison should have it, if she doesn’t Keith definitely does.