Clean up crew

BLACK BOX WOD (current skill: the clean):

5 sets, not for time:
3-position clean:
from the High Hang
from the Mid Hang
from the Floor
Increase weight each set
Bar doesn’t leave hands during set.

Post loads to comments.

And now…PICTURES of Team CFNYC at the NE Regionals!

Sara on kettlebell swings:

Jackie is all smiles after getting her first-ever totally legit full-ROM HSPUs:

Mike K. crushing the tall box jumps:

Mishik sez: “Look ma, all hands”:


  • Hari

    Survey Question:

    When Sunday is a Main Site WOD, but either Monday or Tuesday are Main Site Rest Days, would you prefer to see us swap and make Sunday a Rest Day, then do the Sunday WOD on the Monday or Tuesday Rest Day?

    The benefits of this change are (1) it will make it easier for those who really want to follow the Main Site to take Sundays off; and (2) it will make it easier to plan specific seminars, etc. for Sundays.

    If this idea makes sense, we could also take it a step further, and declare that Wednesday will always be a Black Box Rest Day, and that we will make up the Wednesday WOD on the Thursday, Friday, or Saturday Main Site Rest Day that invariably follows.

    In sum, we could standardize our rest days to Wednesday and Sunday, allowing people to maintain a weekly routine. We could then also plan specific programing for Sunday and Wednesday.

  • Marcos

    With all the great trainers we have, why don’t we create our own programming? On many occasions we have to substitute certain excercises for others. After witnessing other athletes/boxes at the NE regionals, most with their own programming, I say let’s get on the ball. Let’s kick it up a notch. Take it as a challenge or what you may but I feel if we want to make a statement at next years regionals let stop BSing.

  • Hari

    I call BS on the notion that CFNYC would have performed better at the Regionals, but for the fact that we follow the Main Site. Not a single member of our team has been confined to Main Site programming. All six have pursued any and every option they desired.

  • Marcos

    Thanks for agreeing Hari. Too bad you couldn’t come up and support.

  • sam.gaberal

    I have always found CrossFit NYC’s choice with using main site as its programing as interesting. I had a lot of choices to choose from when picking a Gym, as I live in Brooklyn and commute to come to this box (CrossFit South Brooklyn and Virtuosity are very close). Main site programing makes CrossFit pure, and the whole consistently varied thing, which I am down with, and it leaves it very interesting to people that are not worried about competing or making it to the next competition, in which the CrossFit community is made up of.

    I think there are many athlethes that still use main site as their programing, just to see how the pan out, but no matter what, if you are intrested in becoming competetive its to the point where you have to do you’re own programing, as you are the only one that actually knows your own weaknesses.

    The only thing that I think we are lacking with is the use of other equipment, sandbags, The reverse Hyper, heavier kettlebells, and dumbbells, weight vest’s, Sleds, ext, but I do know space and noise is a constraint. I do programing with the odd objects, and the people i train really enjoy stuff like the sandbags, the sled, and weight vest stuff, So it would be awesome to start to see some of that stuff incorporated into the level two wods, or maybe just warm ups before the main site wods.

    • jim

      wow, totally disagree that more equipment is the answer. the current toolset is ample enough for athletes of all levels, games competitors included.

      it is really hard to argue what is the ‘right’ programming. main site is sufficient for nearly all athletes. it is fun, different, and ‘easy’ to follow wether at home or on the road as you can drop in nearly anywhere and stay on track with the same schedule. do i think it is ideal for me? not so much, but i do follow many of the workouts with an emphasis on supplementing with a strength component nearly every day.

      simply showing up and giving 100% effort on workouts will get you close. really close i do believe. but what marcos is saying is that it is not robust enough to make for a top level athlete and i do agree with him.

      my .02 cents….

  • Steve Slo

    I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of having Sundays and Wednesdays as dedicated rest-days, but for purely selfish reasons. Since I’m still building a lot of the basic CF skills, I make it a priority to come to every Black-Box WOD. The class size is usually smaller, the instruction more detailed, and it’s usually a solid 45 minutes block of straight-up skill practice. Unfortunately Sundays are the most difficult day to make it out to the box. So… I wouldn’t be all that enthused about this plan.

    Also… this would mean that these skill-centric WODs would, for the most part, be taught by the same two coaches every week. I prefer the current setup where it tends to rotate between instructors. Dan teaches the clean-and-jerk slightly different than Kevin, who teaches it slightly different than Avery who teaches it slightly different than Court, etc. It sometimes helps to get a different perspective on the same movements.

  • Hari

    My sense is that my comment has been at least partially misinterpreted, so let me elaborate. I want this to be an open discussion of an issue that is on the minds of many of our members. If you have something to say, please feel free. I will try to be as complete and open in my responses as possible.

    In running CFNYC, we have multiple constraints and multiple objectives. For the moment, I will mention two: Providing the best possible coaching for our membership, and fielding a top team for the CF Games. Given the constraints of our facility, it is not possible to maximize both.

    As a simple example, consider the Thruster-Ladder WOD. There is no question that the athletes from CFNE did endlessly more Oly lifts than our people. They had limitless opportunities to drop as needed. The reason for the difference doesn’t lie with our team members, or with our programming. The fault lies with the fact that we are located on the Third Floor of an office building. (We are currently looking at making several thousand dollars worth of repairs to the downstairs ceiling.) As second example is the run-HSPU-row WOD. Our team members literally could not do that WOD as RX’d, because we don’t have direct access to a running course without going up and down stairs and through pedestrian traffic.

    Even if, you assume that we are capable of designing advance programming worthy of supporting a “major league” team, you need to then remember that we are currently in a “minor league” facility. Still, we try–and are continuing to try–to offer advance programming. We are running Level 2 WOD’s, three days per week. We are looking at additional alternatives. My original question was directly based on our desire to improve. As it applies to the Oly Lifting example, the schedule above might allow us to concentrate on advanced Oly Lifting work and/or team training on Sunday’s, when we don’t have to deal with our neighbors.


  • Hari

    I’d like to continue elaborating on why I suspect CFNYC is not likely to be in a position to be sending a team to the CF Games in the near future. The problem does not lie with our athletes, per se, but more with the fact that we are in NYC.

    As a simple example, have you ever noticed that while NYC is considered a college town, it is not exactly know for its college sports teams? An affiliate like CFNE attracts many top athletes, in large part, because it has a larger concentration of top athletes residing in the surrounding area. (And that area may extend 20 or 30 miles, because it is so much easier to hop in a car and drive to a facility when you get outside of NYC.)

    I think our athletes did an incredibly impressive job working with the constraints they faced. Let me tell you how impressive. There are probably 500 affiliates in our region. We finished number 24, which easily puts our team in the 95th percentile of all affiliates. The issue I think Marcos was driving at, is asking what would enable us to do better still. It’s a fair question, but the answer is complex, and involves a fair amount of speculation.

    If our team had cut 90 seconds off of the two chipper WOD’s, 60 seconds of the DL-BJ WOD, and added a combined 40 lbs to the thruster WOD, we would likely have finished Saturday in the top 10. Our team as it stands, probably could have added the 40 lbs, simply by having had more Oly Lifting practice, which as I explained is nobody’s fault.

    Then, you need to ask how much time our athletes were able to devote to practice, given their hectic lifestyles. If, as a thought experiment, you imagine that we were running comparable team programming in comparable facilities, would we have turned in similar performances? It is my suspicion that we would not have. We had to struggle to fill some of our slots. Many of our best athletes were injured and/or had other commitments. Another way of asking the question is this: How many of our athletes would have been on the CFNE team had they been training there for the past two years? Again, let me be clear, this is in no way a criticism of our athletes; in fact it is the opposite. To continue the college athlete analogy, I think in many ways, we’re like the “Ivy League” of college sports teams.

    We can and will provide better programming over the next year, but I stand by my point that our primary issue is not whether or not we follow the Main Site. It is my belief that had we run the same programming as CFNE, during the past year, the outcome would not have been dramatically different.

    • jim

      “It is my belief that had we run the same programming as CFNE, during the past year, the outcome would not have been dramatically different.”

      Agreed 100%.

  • Sam Gaberal

    Tabata interval Row, increasing wattage each round 8 rounds (max wattage was 400)
    I didn’t come off the slider, I just melted off after.

    5 minture Amrap desgined by Kevin

    15 double unders
    10 ring push ups
    5 weighted sit ups (45 lbs)

    4 rounds (15 du, 10 pU, 1 sit up)

  • Avery

    Marcos – you’re question concerning programming is totally valid, however trying to reason that we would have done better as a team without main site programming seems pretty short sighted to me – this all coming from someone who doesn’t follow main site. Also, most of the athletes that competed (at least that I know – correct me if I’m wrong) follow alternative programming.

    There are plenty of boxes that have individuals and teams (all across the country) that have advanced to the Regional level that follow dot com programming exclusively that have been featured on the site. When asked what they do they say: “Work on weaknesses, and follow main site”.

    On the flip side there are plenty of boxes with excellent, excellent in house programming that did not advance a single individual or team to the Regional competition – I can think of a few in our area and that’s a shame – definitely not a reflection of the programming or level of coaching at those boxes.

    I would argue there are other factors, mainly being limited by our facilities in New York City as the primary reason that we are weaker on various movements overall as a box. Do I think we’d score higher on a thruster ladder if we could actually drop heavier weights from overhead consistently at the gym? Absolutely.

    What is it going to take to get an athlete or team to be competitive beyond the local level at CF these days? A lot of freaking hard work. This now has to be your “sport”. It’s not by luck anymore or being the best athlete at your box that you will likely advance – it’s knowing the criteria that is needed to make it to that next level which has to be a year long (plus) pursuit, getting stronger, being able to do ALL movements rx’d with ease. That involves a lot of goal setting and work on the part of the athlete. I don’t believe that’s necessarily the responsibility of the programming. If people want to get to that level there are trainers at the box who can get them there, without a doubt, with consistent training towards that goal.

  • Hari

    Took expand the discussion, I think we should also consider Sam’s point on how we program for the vast majority of people who are not going to be Games competitors.

    CrossFit asks us to develop 10 aspects of fitness. If we were to draw an analogy to education, it is as if CrossFit has rejected the notion that people should specialize in a specific subject. If CrossFit were education, the Main Site would be the equivalent of a true ‘core curriculum.’

    To a large extent, CrossFitters who have not done the core curriculum (i.e., the Main Site) are sort of like undergraduates who have decided what is and is not relevant for their ‘broad based’ education. The Games are run at the ‘graduate’ level, so to speak. Thinking you can get their by skipping college, is unlikely, except in very rare instances.

    • sam.gaberal

      That is actually a really cool analogy, I’m steal this one if people ask me about main site programing.

  • Adam R

    Hari and Avery both mentioned that we could improve on Olympic lifting I think having some type of Olympic lifting club would benefit all our members. The lifts require both strength and technique, and a lot of practice. Even just doing work with the bar or other sub-maximal weight is going to pay off, as long as proper technique is used. When I posted a few days ago, many members expressed interest in some kind of club. Kevin and I have talked about some ideas, I’ll follow up with Hari and the other head coaches.

    • Hari

      In order to offer additional specialized programming (Oly Seminars, Starting Strength, Gymnastics, CFE, etc.) it would probably be helpful to run such programs on specific day for a finite duration, not unlike the way we handle Elements courses.

      Therefore, it would be helpful to have defined days of the week that can be dedicated to such programs. In part, the purpose of the original survey question was to see whether we could isolate two days of the week for specialty programming.

      Adam, your current approach is to opt out of the WOD classes, and concentrate exclusively on O;y Lifting. We are not in a position to make that a large-scale option for our members. In fact, it is getting increasingly difficult to manage Open Gym as it is currently structured. However, it might be possible to have advanced Oly lifting, and other specialty classes two days per week, on Wednesday and Sunday (with perhaps a single Saturday class). Such an approach might allow people to have their weekly schedule include Wed-Sat/Sun specialization classes plus several days of WOD classes.

  • Mike Mishik

    As a member of the team that competed as part of Crossfit NYC this past weekend I want to extend my thanks to my fellow teammates in addition to those that came and supported us in Boston. Thank you Jeff, Rickke, Matt, Craig, Brett, Marcos, and Court for your support it means more to us than you know.

    Congratulations to Sara, Jackie, Cathy, Alex and Mike K who gave more than 110% each and everytime we stepped out onto that field. You all deserve a job well done for such a a great effort.

    Today, should be a day of acknowledgement instead of criticism. I am going to refuse to belittle such great efforts by our team with what could’ve been if programming, equipment, or analagies say differently.

    Unfortunately, I am not surprised by the comments or content regarding today’s blog comments. In short there is a time and a place.

    Actions speak louder than words, everyone at regionals and other members at this gym understand what this means.

    Beat of luck in the future,

    Mike Mishik

  • Hari

    To the extent that anyone infers any criticism of our team members, such an inference could not be more incorrect. As I explained, our affiliate team is in the 95th percentile within our region and within the world, this despite the constraints of our facility.

    The discussion is timely, and has been ongoing. I intend to continue it on Monday’s post. This is entirely about how we can improve the quality of our coaching, including our coaching for Games competitors.

    I also want to thank our entire team, Alex, Cathy, Jackie, Mike K, Mike M, Sara. Thank you!

  • mike r

    I vote to keep the main site programing.

    As far as the team goes, I think the box should consider holding monthly RX’d competitions and offering credit toward membership fees for top finishers. Maybe even pick one or two wods during the middle of the month as qualifiers. I’ve been a member for over 2 years and can honestly say that our gym offers very little when it comes to a competitive environment. Anyway, I think this would benefit current athletes along with potentially adding some new ones.

  • Craig_Cinci

    I just want to say congratulations to the team this weekend. You all did an amazing job & it was a lot of fun coming to watch. I wish we’d been able to show you more support.

    I also think this discussion should be taken off the blog. It is inappropriate to have this discussion on a public internet forum. A meeting a the Box would be a much better forum.

  • Emerson

    One thing that I would like to see in the gym is the gym records for various lifts and WODs. There was a board with the best times for various benchmarks at the old Brooklyn location, but it was mostly blank. Having these things on public display is always a motivator for me.

  • Jason W

    Sorry I’m late to the conversation. The only thing I have to add is that, yes, I too have been frustrated with mainsite programming from time to time and at one point seriously considered moving off mainsite, but something that Austin Malleolo told me at my level 1 cert rang pretty true:

    If you want to compete, you have to do mainsite, because those are the guys doing the programming at the competitions.

    In other words, as perfect/imperfect as mainsite programming may be, whatever faults/biasses arise in day-to-day programming will also arise in the competition programming. It’s a bit of a crazy thing to wrap your head around, but I think it’s a pretty legit line of thinking. I’ve also seen a video on the journal where heather bergeron stated that she also does mainsite programming.

    Granted, there’s no doubt that elite athletes pile a whole bunch of other stuff onto mainsite programming, but just wanted to throw this out there.