Say hello to Team CFNYC!

Wednesday 110615

BLACK BOX WOD (current skill: press)

press 5-5-5-5-5

Post loads to comments.

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Post-Elements WOD @7:30pm w/Rickke:

A. Front Squat 5-5-5

B. Pull-up Clinic
(kipping, strict – creating plans to getting both)

C. AMRAP 10 minutes
5 pull-ups
5 front squats
10 sit-ups

Pain in your ass
The only way out is through
5 barbell rules
Save the ocean, eat a squid (via)
What the fruc(tose)?!?!!

Northeast Regionals are this weekend and CFNYC is proud to be represented there by our team: Coach Sara C., Jackie Z., Cathy, Coach Mike K., Alex P., and Mike M.
Here are interviews with Cathy and Alex–look for more interviews to come, as well as Regionals coverage as the weekend is happening!

1) Cathy, you competed in sectionals with no intention of qualifying as an individual or being a part of our team. Did you approach sectionals differently because of that? Not really, I wanted to the best I could, regardless if I had any intention of being on the team or not. I paid attention to what other females in the box were doing, I was always trying to get close to Jackie and Sophie, just as a goal for myself, but some of the workouts were complete PRs for me. I had never OH squatted that heavy before and I was able to get four, which I was excited about. Maybe if I had more sectionals to do I would get more PRs!?

2) When CFNYC asked you to join our Regionals Team at the last minute, how surprised were you? What emotions did you work your way through before saying yes? Since Avery, Sophie, and Christine were not able to make it this year, I had a feeling I might be asked, but was crossing my fingers it wouldn’t come to this! (Bad attitude I know!) My goal was to try out next year for the team, and feel a bit more prepared, but my time line moved up a bit, which I am coming to terms with.
I was petrified at first, I am not as strong physically or mentally as I would like to be going into this competition, but then I read a great article written on the CrossFit Invictus blog about a female in the same position I am in. I am now trying to have her mind set. She is freaked out of her mind, but excited she will be able to go and compete with a fun supportive team.
Everyone on our NYC team has been great, and I might not have a handstand pushup, but all I can do is go out and try my best, have fun, and get to watch amazing athletes.

3) Are you still glad you said yes? ; ) Yes, it’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and there are amazing people on our team: Sara, who got to compete as an individual last year, Jackie who has been doing Crossfit for less than a year and kicks ass, and then there are the guys: Mike K, Mike M, and Alex, all of whom are like energizer bunnies at our box. So not only is it great to be competing with them, but I think it is going to be crazy to see some of the top athletes in our region compete.

4) Any advice to new crossfitters and those who haven’t yet competed? It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people in the gym, especially when it comes to preparing yourself to compete. I think it’s important to play around and see what training works best for you. What works for the person next to you might necessarily be the best training for you. Most importantly, which I struggle with at times, is remembering it is just Crossfit, we are working out here, so we should be having fun!

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1) Alex, is this your first time competing as part of a team? If so, what are you looking forward to with the team aspect vs. individual?
I’ve competed on teams before growing up playing sports, but this is my first time competing in a crossfit team competition. I’m excited for the team competition for several reasons. The strategy for a team is different than that for an individual. It has been fun trying to balance the strengths and weakness on our team. Competing as an individual can be lonely during a wod as you grind out for one more rep. I’m excited to have people doing the wods with me that I can look to for inspiration. Lastly, it will be a lot of fun to hang out with people outside of the box.

2) What was it like doing Sectionals week after week after week? Did you ever consider quitting? I didn’t really enjoy the Sectionals process. I thought the wods interrupted my training. The Sectionals did become a grind. I found myself getting to caught up in each Sectional wod instead of doing it once and moving on. By the last two weeks, it was hard to get motivated. I also enjoyed going to Sectionals last year and competing in person. The Open Sectional did not give me the same sense of excitement as having an event to go to.

3) How long have you been crossfitting, and what’s your previous athletic background? I’ve been crossfitting almost 4 years. I played football in high school which gave me a foundation of strength and familiarity with most of the olympic lifts. I wrestled extremely briefly and extremely unsuccessfully while in high school. After high school, I played intramural and rec league soccer.

4) Name one way in which crossfit has had a positive influence on the rest of your life (that has nothing to do with working out or nutrition). Crossfit has allowed me to meet interesting people. I recently moved to New York. Having a community to be a part of helped me transition to living in a new city.


  • Richard

    45-55-65-75-75-85-85(3 reps)-85 lbs

  • Hari

    Please note that Open Gym begins at 7:30 PM during the week (Monday thru Thursday)

    We had first announced this in October:

    Although we have not been strict about enforcing this rule, we really need to begin doing so. Monday is the busiest day of the week, and we are having difficulty managing the 6:30 PM WOD in the back half of the gym. Tuesday and Thursday, we have Level 2 Programming at 6:30 PM, and Wednesday we have a Beginners class. We can be more flexible on Friday, but really, it is not practical to allow Open Gym prior to 7:30 PM Monday thru Thursday.

  • Simon P

    Hi everyone, just wanted to check in, and ask a few questions with regard to my slowly healing shoulder. So, I had my surgery on May 25th, and apparently I had a huge spur in there. The doc said it all went well, and that when he looked around in there my rotator cuff tendons looked fine, no visual signs of damage. So that’s a good thing. The rehab has been slow, but it seems like I’m definitely making progress. Has anyone here at CFNYC been through this? How long did it take to be pain free? It’s looking to me like the 6-8 weeks might be the optimistic estimate…

    Also, my physical therapist said that even after I was fully rehabbed and pain free, that I shouldn’t do ANY overhead exercises. That the spur is a formation that occurs as a result of the ball joint and tendons pushing up into the acromion which stimulates the bone to grow in that area as sort of protective mechanism, one which unfortunately has negative consequences for the rotator cuff. That my spur is evidence that my body reacts this way to that particular stimulus. This was pretty discouraging news. I want nothing more than to get back into CF, but CF workouts overall are comprised of at least 50% overhead movements: press, snatch, clean and jerk, thrusters, wall balls, TGUs, wall balls… So, has anyone recovered from a shoulder spur and gone back to CF, and avoided a recurrence? Any words of advice?

    • Hari

      There are 83 articles in the catagory of Medical/Injuries on the CrossFit Journal. I’s start with this one:

    • Simon, wish I could recommend someone to talk to who’d gone through that injury but I can’t think of anyone off the top of my head.

      I reiterate Hari’s suggestion but would also recommend online forums at,, etc., as virtual places where you might be able to find folks who’ve been through similar issues.

    • mike n.

      I had the same surgery on my right shoulder 6 years ago and on my left 4 years ago. my right one never healed well because I went back too quickly to doing stuff so i’ve never been pain free. my doctor basically said never do anything overhead which I don’t listen to but i don’t do heavy weight on a strict press. I’ll do 100 pounds and just do more reps. exercises that are overhead but the movement requires legs will hurt you less for obvious reasons. when i press i feel pain, when i do thrusters i feel much less, usually nothing at all. Anyday where i’m supposed to do a 1 rep max for something that involves a lot of shoulder i will typically either do sets of 5 or 7, or just do a metcon.

      I live with the fact that my right shoulder has limited mobility. kipping has always been a problem. last week court showed me a stretching thing where you put you hand behind your back and grab a pole and then lean forward away from the pole. that basically showed how limited my mobility still was. on the left side it didn’t hurt at all. on the right it was unpleasent. you should try this to see progress once your doctor says its ok

    • Simon, I’m a relatively new CFer (about one month). I had a shoulder surgery (as well as two back surgeries) in May 2009 — bone spur, labrum tear, and bicep tear. Right after the surgery, I thought I’d never move my arm again. I followed my rehabilitation instructions, and then started hitting a heavy bag about 7-8 weeks after the surgery. In a little over 4 months after, I was kickboxing and grappling. My training partners avoided attempting left shoulder submissions for about nine months. About a year after the surgery, my shoulder was stronger than I had ever remembered.

      I was also told that spurs may reoccur and I have arthritis that will likely come back. Nothing yet.

      Rehab, I find, is more mental than physical. It is very depressing not getting better as quickly as you would like. You will get there. People told me this when I was rehabbing and it didn’t make me feel better, but they were right. Hang in there.


      • Simon P

        Thank you all! Mike and Dave, did you do anything specific nutrition/supplement -wise while you were rehabbing? And since then? I’ve read a little about calcium and magnesium being helpful for bone health. And of course paleo is great for keeping inflammation down… Thanks again, the descriptions of your experiences are very encouraging. Got to stay patient, and do ny rehab diligently and by the book.

        • mike n.

          I don’t think about nutrition all that much and I think Paleo is silly. I eat what I want. Besides next year someone will do a study proving that Paleo increases your risk of cancer because that’s what always happens. Today it’s great and makes you stronger, tomorrow there’s some food Paleo people haven’t been eating that was warding off some disease.

          • Mike:

            For what it’s worth, saying fruits, vegetables, lean meats nuts & seeds is silly might be going out on a bit of a limb. I ate what I wanted for 38 years before all but limping into CFNYC last October, tipping the scales at 335. Now I’m 281 after 7 months of Crossfit and Paleo. It ain’t just the workouts I can assure you.

            I’m not saying you have to do Paleo to get results from Crossfit. But I can testify first hand that my results have been pretty damn optimal.

            Just my .02

          • mike n.

            I think diets are unnecessary unless you need to correct the problem of eating too much or too wrong. Once you have corrected that problem just eat moderately and exercise. if you were 335 you clearly were probably not a good eater. You lost the weight because you probably went from eating a lot to eating much less and from working out poorly to working out the way we do. I was 175 lb forever, I jumped to 197 back in ’09. I started crossfitting and the only thing I cut out from my diet was a few sodas I drank a week. I dropped to 167lbs in 4 months and spent all that time since then trying to get back to 180 and I finally have. I burn so many calories at CrossFit I actually have to eat more than I did when I weighed nearly 200 lbs and went to a globo gym.

            My point in all of this is you can eat what you want. Life is too short for me to eat nuts and seeds. Pasta tastes good, pastrami is awesome. I go to specialty Italian stores and get cheese they just made.

            In the effort of full disclosure I am technically a cancer survivor, I had thyroid cancer which kills almost no one, but that does change your outlook on how long you might live. So I eat like I might not be here tomorrow. But Reis, congratulations on losing the weight, I’m sure you’ll lose more and mostly because you’re pushing yourself in a way you never did and forcing your body to dig in places you never have.

  • Adam R

    Here’s a good article on a Crossfit games competitor who’s taken up weightlifting.

    In that vein, is there any interest in starting an Olympic weightlifting club in the gym? Not sure what the format would be, but it’s always good to train with like-minded enthusiasts.

  • Jeff

    I believe one of the reasons active shoulders is encouraged is because it creates more space for your AC joint.

    When I was having shoulder discomfort, my PT told me that it was from my supraspinatus tendons rubbing against my AC. She also noticed that my trapezius on the same side was hypertonic (I was shrugging without realizing). By retracting and depressing my scapula and externally rotating my shoulder a little bit, I found that I could move much more comfortably.

    Perhaps ask your PT if there’s any way you can position your shoulder in order to maximize clearance for your AC and safely go overhead.

  • Jeff

    I am interested.

  • Akash

    I would be interested in an Oly Club although I think I probably need more instruction at first… Next time Kevin/Avery do a workshop I’m definitely signing up!

  • Turkish Get-ups: 2x(somebody’s shoe), 4×35#, 2×55#.

    Presses: 5×45#, 5×65#, 5×85#, 5×115#, 4×115#, 3×115#, 5×85#.

  • Sam G

    Adam I’m Intrested as well.

  • Sophie

    Good luck to the team! Great interviews!

  • Mike Mishik

    Kick ass Cathy and Alex!

  • Steve Slo

    Presses x 5:
    105 – 115 – 120 – 125 – 130f (3 reps)

  • Kevin P

    Great article Adam. Thanks!

  • Kevin P

    The “5 barbell rules” link is very important to read and apply for members, coaches, and visitors to the gym.

  • Press (x5)

    95 – 105 – 115 – 125 – 135

    Felt stronger today doing sets of 5 than last week doing singles, PR’ing only 10 pounds higher. Every day is different…that’s for sure.

    Congrats to the Endurance crew who tackled “Small” today, all clocking in at around an hour. You guys are savage beasts. I’d STILL be at the gym doing that one…


  • Eric

    105, 110, 115, 120 F (1), 105

  • drake

    115, 120, 125, 130, 135 (4 reps, failed last).

    On cash out, 24 KB swings for every interval (30 seconds on, 30 off, 6 rounds). Patent-pending rabbit technique. Eric, did you try it???

  • B Spears

    PE- 7 rounds plus 5 p/u 3 fs #58