What the Helen

In Brooklyn
#13 Mon/Wed @ 8pm, starts September 30 (5 slots left)
#14 Mon/Wed @ 8pm, starts October 26

In Manhattan
#81 is SOLD OUT!
#82 Tue/Thur @ 6am, starts October 6 (5 slots left)
#83 Mon/Wed @ 9pm, starts October 14 (5 slots left)
#84 Tue/Thur @ 9pm, starts October 20
#85 Mon/Wed @ 8:30pm, starts October 26

Wednesday 090930
Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
1 1/2 pood Kettlebell X 21 swings (or 55 pound dumbbell swing)
12 Pull-ups
Post time to comments.
Compare to 090415.

Can Vitamin D improve your athletic performance?
The people profiting from food allergies
Why crystal meth lattes are bad for you

Flu shots and danishes

A CrossFit transformation story from CrossFit West

Old…OLD world waffles
The joint was jumping last Saturday at FGB4:

Happy birthday, David S.!
david s.jpg


  • Scaling options for “Helen”, courtesy of CrossFit/BrandX forums:
    Big Dawgs:
    as rx’d
    women 35# (i.e., 16kg KB)
    3 rounds for time
    Run 400 m
    21 dumbbell/kettlebell swings, 35-45#
    12 pull ups
    women 25#
    3 rounds for time of
    run 400 m
    15 kettlebell/dumbbell swings, 15-25#
    9 pull ups (assisted, or beginner pull ups)
    3 rounds for time of
    run 200 m (run/walk)
    12 kettlebell/dumbbell swings, 5-10#
    6 pull ups (assisted, or beginner pull ups)

  • Hari

    From the stimulant article:
    ‘Cause here’s the thing about stimulants. They do not “give” you energy. They BORROW energy from the future. Energy doesn’t come from nowhere. (Cf. Laws of Thermodynamics.)
    To fully appreciate how stupid this particular argument is, try replacing the word “stimulants” with the word “food.”

  • kj

    Fellow mud-runners – anyone driving to the race that has extra room in their car (or trunk)? Life’s been crazy, and I have totally failed to consider how I’m getting to this giant mud puddle until this morning.

  • Ad

    I am planning on driving and so far have an emty car

  • Martin P

    13:44 Rxd
    (Ran to the corner of 27th and 6th and back)

  • Josh Rosenfield

    Regarding the Nike SF boots article from yesterday, I asked my buddy stationed in Afghanistan about them, he said the following:
    “a few of my soldiers experimented with the nike boots in the beginning of the deployment…they just weren’t rugged enough up here in the mountains. guys were tearing the soles off and blowing out the side of the boot. Most of us wear civilian hiking boots now. if you’re looking into a good pair of boots try the asolo fugitive gtx. They still break too (im on my second pair now) but they are a really good hiking boot.”
    So I guess these boots are best for those tactical ninja missions by Jack Bauer or James Bond.

  • My version of “Helen”:
    (3 rounds for time)
    400m run: Antique Cafe cut-thru and back
    swings: 24kg KB to eye level
    pull-ups: jumping (kipping aggravates shoulder issues)
    time: 11:53
    Afterwards I did a cartwheeling, dancing cool down (fun having the gym to myself mid-morning) followed by 10 sets of 2 strict pull-ups in a row (30-45 sec of rest between each set). Yay strict pull-ups!
    Glad I got this done early.

  • Gabe K

    Helen helped my slamming headache quite a bit today…
    14:20 RX’d

  • Tim B

    CFE this morning
    6x 410m
    1:38 to 1:28 about a second and a half faster each time

  • Scott R

    First time for Helen
    Ran through the courtyard over to broadway continuing around the block (felt longer than 400m)
    16kg KB
    Last two rounds had to jump thelast 6 pullups

  • jim

    Can we standardize runs please… ie – write on the whiteboard what the 400 and 800 runs are. this way we will have everyone doing the same thing. thoughts?

  • Hari

    When dealing with the runs, obviously the problem is the stairs. If we map a run of exactly 400 meters on the ground, then the WOD will be as RX’d plus multiple trips up and down two flights of stairs. (This can add two or three minutes to a typical “Helen” time.)
    Since we were on Sixth Avenue, we have compromised by making a slightly shorter run (about 320 meters) and counting the stairs as the balance when deciding what is “RX’d.” (This is similar to the concept of “ground’s rules” in baseball, where there are slightly varying applications of some of the general rules applied in different stadiums.)
    Originally, we came up with running to Broadway, up to 27th Street and back for the “Black Box 400 Meter.” Then, in an effort to avoid some of the unsavory activities on Broadway, we switched to running to 27th Street via the pass-through by the Antique Cafe.
    We should probably figure out whether these two paths are the same distance. They are close, but probably not exactly the same. If the paths aren’t the same, then we should shorten one or lengthen the other to make them equal.
    (It would seem a shame to give up one or the other, since sometimes the gate is locked and sometimes Broadway is a mess.) If we can standardize these two lengths, then we can call either one a “Black Box 400” and people will have no need to explain the path when posting their times; it will be as irrelevant as explaining whether they ran clockwise or counter clockwise on a track.
    Similarly, we should standardize the lengths of the 800 meter runs, allowing the people to accurately compare times.
    Clearly this should be figured out before we can post times on the Black Box Leaders’ Board. We need to be both practical and precise. It makes no sense for someone who puts out the effort for a 1:30 400 meter to have a time of 1:10 or 1:50 on a “Black Box 400.”

  • Zach Singer

    It is imperative for the safety of your future children that you always, ALWAYS run clockwise on a track! Seriously.

  • Zach Singer

    Okay – so that made just about no sense, and sounds like I’m in remedial ESL classes (seriously, ‘safety of your future children…’), but I’ve barely slept in the past two days because I’m busy wrecking the economy…so umm, yeah.

  • Tim B

    and beware the wholesale dealers with big luggage in the morning!!
    and the little kid on the scooter who’s face almost collided with my knee this morning

  • Reagan

    As Rx’d
    Black Box (205,205)

  • Jai

    Zach: Looking to the safety of my future children reminded me of two things. You know those PSAs that ask, omninously, where your children are now? I like to point at my ovaries and intone, “I know where HALF of them are…”
    And at my college, they had “pelvic stairs”. I went to a women’s college (Smith), and when it was founded, there were really random ideas about women’s fitness. There are several sets of stairs (one in particular leading to the track / field area) that were created so that you could walk down them without moving your hips. Because if you move your hips too much, you’ll unsettle your uterus. It could like, pop out or something.
    So you keep running counterclockwise. I will avoid shifting my hips while navigating stairs. Everyone else, please point and laugh.

  • Hari

    We now realize that all that is silly. What really matters is being able to execute handstand on a moment’s notice.

  • Davi

    “pelvic stairs”?

  • Davi

    Jai – where can I learn more about these stairs? I tried looking ’em up on Google.
    I didn’t find anything relevant, but I did find a bootleg video of Belle and Sebastian performing “Stars of Track and Field”.

  • torch

    7:21 Rx’D

  • JoeR

    An interesting philosophical take on “power” that they didn’t teach us at the Level I cert…

  • Jai

    The Smith Alumnae Quarterly has crashed, but since I wrote the article almost a decade ago, I can give you some hazy details. It’s partially an urban legend, in that no particular set of stairs are mentioned, but the founders (specifically Sophia Smith’s primary advisor) did discuss women’s health and whether collegiate life would unseat reproductive organs. The stairs in question are roughly three inches high; people tend to take them three at a time.

  • Hari

    Encouraging women to be frail and weak is the modern equivalent of encouraging women to be uneducated. It is Western Civilization’s equivalent of the burka.

  • Alexei

    12:36 RX’d
    Lungs… better than during FGB, but still painful.

  • Alexei

    Also happy birthday david!

  • Jeffrey B.

    10:21 Rx.
    Happy b-day, Dave!

  • Sara

    13:00 as rx’d.. Pr by almost 3 min with wait for elevator!

  • Kent B

    9:53 as rx’d

  • JoeR

    Unfortunately I missed the 8pm class again so had to improvise at home. I call her “Hell-in.”
    3 rounds:
    – 21 burpees
    – 21 KB swings @ 1.75 pood
    – 12 ring pullups
    16:38 mins

  • Matt

    they kept shutting the door, had to wait for/take the elevator all 3 rounds

  • Tony

    11:13 with 1 pood

  • Sophie

    Happy birthday David!
    13:38 as rx’d although had to wait the first round for the elevator but thankfuly someone opened the door before the elevator arrived, don’t think it slowed me down too much
    last Helen was 16:50 as rx’d

  • Bari

    16kg KB, green band pullups

  • Mike K

    8:54 rx’d PR by almost a minute in BK – no stairs or elevators to wait for, but I still need to learn to run faster.
    Post WOD front squats
    205×5, 225×5, 245×5

  • Chris O

    14.49 RX. was my last day in my old gym. later haters…all BB now.

  • Matt

    14:17 (elevator) was otherwise Rx’d

  • Lisa

    13:23, 1 pood kb.
    Did kipping pullups first round, had to use purple band for remaining two rounds.

  • Kurt

    9:27 Rx’d at Virtuosity. 1:30 PR, due almost entirely to my improved pull up.

  • Lisa

    Awesome, Kurt! I need to build my PU endurance and do all 3 rounds as RX’ed.