You got what it takes?

In preparation for the upcoming competition season, the Black Box will be implementing team training and practice. Details below:

What: Kick-off meeting to discuss the plan, assess skills, and (maybe) do a team WOD.
Who: Open to any members who have an interest in competing. Even if you don’t think you have what it takes.
Why: To develop an adequate pool of competitors for team CFNYC–both male and female.
Where: The Black Box.
When: Sunday, October 2, at 3:00pm

To sign up, email:

Further announcements, including dates and times, to follow.

Sean will keep standing on his hands until he gets enough people to sign up. Don’t leave him hanging!

A.: L-sit skill work

B.: WOD: “Helen”
Three rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
Kettlebell swings, 21 reps 24kg/16kg
12 Pull-ups
Post time to comments.

Is junk food really cheaper?
Moving forward (like a zombie)
Can we trust Dr. Oz on nutrition advice? Only in moderation
The 3rd annual Brooklyn bacon take-down / Chicken’s attraction is truly skin-deep

* * * * *
Here’s a preview of Thursday’s WOD:

CrossFit Total

Back squat, 1 rep
Shoulder Press, 1 rep
Deadlift, 1 rep

Post total to comments.


  • Madeleine

    Still on the road. At the company gym:
    5 (each side) Turkish get-ups with a 20kg dumbbell.
    5 (each side) windmills with a 20kg dumbbell.
    modified WOD from yesterday: 5 rounds of 30 standing lunges and 15 inclined push-ups (feet on a bench), 12:20.
    two sets of 5 (each side) pistols with a 5kg dumbbell.

  • Dickie

    13:46 Rx’d

    • Cashew

      uh…YEAH YOU DID! woot!

      • Dickie

        Thanks Cashew!

    • Kawasaki-san

      woot, woot!

    • Reis

      Excellent time Richard…

  • Jenny A

    No bueno. Last time I did Helen, my time was 10:35 with jumping pullups. Since then, I thought I’d graduated to real kips in a WOD, and during Fran 2 days ago I actually managed to link a few together. Because I was so psyched about my new ability to kip, and feel comfortable running, I thought I’d fly through Helen. She turned out to be my perfect sh#t storm instead. I could barely kip one pullup at a time, and it felt like I was the one being swung by the kettlebell. 14:42. Ugh

    • Hari

      Actually, it sounds to me like you’ve gotten better, Jenny.

    • Cashew

      second what Hari’s saying…you went with kips this time around..and we’re all going to be amazing after Sara shows up some kipping tricks tomorrow right?! HELLS YES

    • Dickie

      Nice job, Jenny. Agree with Hari and Cashew – if you got through with even unlinked kipping pull-ups, you’re improving (cause, you know, I’m clearly an expert at kinesiology). ;-)

  • Nick W.

    Great to meet everyone in the 6:15am class. Lots of energy for so early in the morning.

    11:42 Rx’d with 1.75 pood (28 kilos) KB. Not trying to be a hero with this WOD, just the lucky loser who didn’t make it to the KB rack in time to take possession of their equipment.

    In Boston for the next couple of days. I will definitely get a workout in at Crossfit New England. Does anyone else have any suggestions for one other box to get a WOD in while in town?
    CF Boston
    CF Southie
    CF Fenway ($30 drop-in fee and $50 w/t-shirt – not a very good deal IMO)

    • Cashew

      when you’re not dog dutying..6:15 is definitely the way to go..we are all too happy

    • Dickie

      “Join us, Nick…”

    • Lisa

      Nick, not sure if you will get out to the burbs but Crossfit Craic is in Dedham and is run by my fellow Corkonian, John McEvoy.

      • Nick W.

        Lisa, thanks for the info. I will be in Natick visiting Crossfit New England and don’t think I’ll have time for another “burb WOD” but thanks for the referral. I will definitely check them out next time I’m out there!

  • Hari

    Maybe we should have titled this post, “You Going To Develop What It Takes?”

    We want to build a team to compete not only this year, but in years to come. We’re not simply looking for people who are “ready for the majors.” We are looking for people who hope to compete in the majors. Don’t harp on what you can’t do now, unless you think you think you wont be able to do it ever.

    To continue the professional sports analogy, we are looking to build a new stadium over the next year, and to create the type of training facility that can accommodate both a starting lineup and a “farm team.” To field a nine-man team in baseball requires a twenty-five man roster. A similar pattern exists in fielding an affiliate team. Now is the start of this year’s “spring training.”

    If we can be one of the top affiliates in the world in membership and fundraising, we can also be one of the top affiliates in competing, We have a sufficient talent and coaching pool. We will now be providing sufficient management and funding.

    • Dickie

      I’m in for Sunday, and looking forward to it!

    • Kameron

      Was planning on resting Sun, but this is a good reason not to. I’ll be there.

    • Sara H.

      I’m ready to be on the “farm team”!

    • Kawasaki-san

      count me in.

    • Jai

      Count me in on the farm team, though it may take a year or two more for me to get to RX’d weights.

    • Reis

      Do you have a “barn team”?

  • Jordan

    Helen: 12:07 Rx’d. Good work 7am crew!

  • Hari

    Closely related to the article on whether junk food is cheap is this article on whether paleo is expensive:

  • Kawasaki-san

    10:52 with 16kg KB and jumped on the last 4 PUs. KB swings need some work.

    still sweating 2 hrs later

    • Cashew

      SWACK..did you take 2 mins off? :D

      • Kawasaki-san

        I did – took me way too long to do the math though

  • Cashew

    13:51 Rx’d

    compared with 15:17 Rx’d on Jul 24)

    thanks for the help on the HSPU attempts Sara and Kameron, and thanks to everyone who was watching :D

    • Kawasaki-san

      did you make one? you were almost there. go cass!

    • Dickie

      Nice job on the WOD!

    • Kameron

      Nice work today Cass! The handstand is coming any day now. I can feel it!

  • Jason E

    Helen: 13:17…although probably a little less than that given the downstairs door was locked after the last run and had to ride the elevator of shame.
    Black band pull-ups
    24kg kettlebell

  • Kameron

    10:59 Rx. First time with Helen. I like her! Felt pretty good. Will be interesting to see what kind of progress I can make on this one. Apparently, 7 mins is the gold standard. Holy crap!

  • Jamie F.

    11:31 as RX’d.

    Last time I did this was on February 18, 2011 @ CF Miami Beach (a ground floor crossfit establishment). Time then was 11:55 as RX’d. 24 second PR with the added element of getting vertical!

    KBS – All unbroken
    P/U’s – (Unbroken, 9/3, 2/7/2/1)

    Last pull-up set fell apart, wish I was a little faster on the runs as well.

  • Rory

    13:08 w/20kg and strict pullups broken into a number of sets (can’t wait to learn kipping tmrw)

    my time was impacted by the wait for the elevator w/ Jason after the rubber thingy that was holding the stair door was moved

    Sara thanks for the visual on where your thumbs should be at the bottom of the KB swing

  • Jamie F.

    P.S. Would the powers that be mind hyperlinking to the previous time we did a particular WOD? Thanks.

    • Reis

      For times that this isn’t done, just put this into Google: helen

      Hint: It works for any site…

  • Jenny A

    Anyone think it’s worthwhile to try to learn to butterfly kipping if standard kips just aren’t working for you (like a year and months in)? And YES I know deadhangs are the best practice. I have some of these, and am working on getting a lot more. But still, it would be nice to get moving on the kips already.

    • Mike K

      If they don’t hurt your shoulder, then maybe, but you won’t be able to keep them up indefinitely and at some point will need to revert back to regular kipping when you get tired anyway.

      Personally they bother my shoulders, so for me the faster potential time is not worth the injury risk.

    • Brett_nyc

      Can you elaborate on “aren’t working?” Is it that you’re stuck at 5 reps, then run out of grip and pull strength? Or that your kip rhythm is inconsistent which makes you swing all over the place?

      Butterfly kipping requires much more absolute strength, more coordination, and stresses the shoulder girdle a lot more than normal kipping, (though in a slightly different plane).

      • Dickie

        (Maybe a stupid question, but…) Are they easier for taller people?

      • Dickie

        And, Brett, everything you just said about regular kipping applies to me (stuck at 5, then grip strength fails, shoulders fatigue, rhythm dies, and random swinging occurs).

        • Cashew

          same issues

        • Brett_nyc

          Being taller might make it more challenging since your body is moving through a longer range of motion, due to your longer arms.

          Without seeing your kip technique it’s hard to coach, but the most common problem I see in the sub 5 reps crowd is that they don’t get forward enough at the bottom of the hang. That is, they don’t open there chest and shoulders enough to get a good, dynamic stretch reflex. Instead, they drop or swing down but without enough forward momentum to then bounce backwards and then up. Without that stretch reflex through the chest, all of the pull back up is left to the lats, arms, hands and fingers. Not optimal.

          • Dickie

            That makes sense. If you’re ever around at 6:15, feel free to look at my “technique”…

          • Brett_nyc

            sure I usually get there around 7

          • Jenny A

            Thanks, Mike and Brett. Brett, I have all the issues you described. Actually, i WISH i were stuck at 5. At most, i can only link 3. I figured that just as much, if not more, strength and coordination would be required for butterly kips as for standard kips, but I thought I’d throw the question out there and see if butterfly kipping somehow clicked faster for anyone than standard kipping.

          • Mike K

            I think butterfly kips are easier for people with shorter limbs, as that extra stress on the shoulder Brett mentioned is obviously a lot more when you have longer arms. I see the same issues he mentioned in the 2nd post a lot too.

            Also, if you can only hang from the bar for 30 seconds, you will never do more pullups than you can do in a set that is 30 seconds long… address the least common denominator first

          • Jenny A

            Thanks, Mike. That makes sense. Yeah, grip strength definitely needs work. Josh recently suggested I try hanging from the bar with one hand

            me: how long should i hang like this?

            josh: oh, it’ll be short.

          • Jason L.

            butterfly kipping “clicked” faster for me. I still can’t really standard kip unless I’m really fatigued. How many strict pullups can you do?

          • Dickie

            I have 11 as of Monday.

  • Aaron

    10:54 Rx’d

    Broke up the second two KB sets, and the second set of pull-ups. In retrospect I probably could have gone all unbroken on the pull-ups, but I’m still really happy with my time.

  • Reis

    20:35 – 1.5 pood / red band

    I rumble rolled and iced my quads last night after yesterday’s lunge-fest, and actually felt OK this morning until I was limping my way through the first run. Things improved in the second round, but I was toast towards the end. Big thanks to Tim B for running with me for the last round.

    I’d like to think I’ll come in tomorrow and improve my Total by 50#, but this week is turning into a barnburner…I’m not sure if PRs are in the cards for me after these last few days. I wish the Total was Monday and Fran was tomorrow. I’d take another 12-minute Fran over another sub-900 Total. – #1stWorldProblems

  • Jason W

    9:50 rx’d, All unbroken.

    Jamie asked me to go sub 10 min, so I thought I’d oblige. I really need to start working on running again.

    • Dickie

      Nice job!!

    • Reis

      You are an inspirational human.

    • Jamie F.

      Awesome! I should have asked you to go sub 9:00 though…

    • Cashew


      Now that I have the same shoes as you, I should be matching your times right???

    • Jenny A


    • Jason W

      hrrm . . . . wait, helen is only 12 pull-ups? i thought it was 15. whoops . .. i guess all the pull-ups we did that last cycle adjusted my notion of what was reasonable.

  • mike r

    just a quick reminder… reebok wants your money and will do anything to get it… glad to see they got burned

    Even child labor aficionados Nike couldnt bring themselves to enter the lucrative toning shoe market because they knew toning shoes were an absolute sham

    • Reis

      Interesting…makes you wonder how much Chad Wittman had to do with this. He’s head of the Reebok Crossfit One initiative, but he’s also head of their sports marketing division. Not that he’s getting much past the Crossfit community as far as extreme ridiculous products like this, but as good as he represents his intentions to be with Crossfit, it makes you stop & think…

      • Mike K

        haha, they should bring back the old school reebok pumps, but make them specific to crossfit…. those would totally work! :-P

      • mike r

        Pushing toning shoes just really shows reebok has no standards. How much more hypocritial can you get than partnering with crossit and selling toning shoes? The people who wear toning shoes are the low hanging of society. What does that say about how rebook views the crossfit community?

        • Reis

          I completely agree that companies capable of selling that crap are capable of anything. And there’s no mistaking that the reason they bid on Crossfit’s partnership (apparently all major apparel brands were in contention) is to open up a fresh market to sell custom gear to. That said, it seems instead of tarnishing their reputation by trying to swindle the public into buying faux fitness gear, their foray into Crossfit comes out of a genuine interest in the future of fitness. They do have a CF box onsite, and hundreds of employees do WODs every day. Wittman himself has been shown doing WODs on the main site, and he has a Fight Gone Bad score of 400+. There’s an obvious love for our “sport” that goes beyond the marketing potential. So I don’t think he’d be stupid enough to try and sneak bullshit gear by our community. It definitely makes me think twice about supporting them, even if Crossfit might be Reebok’s path to redemption.

        • Hari

          I agree with Reis.

          Corporations are capable of getting some things right and other things wrong. In my opinion, Reebok’s venture with CrossFit is a definite attempt at getting it right, this despite the fact that the company has been found to have made a serious–and ultimately costly–mistake elsewhere.

          That a company sells or markets a substandard product does not imply that all its products are substandard, or that you are necessarily a wise consumer for avoiding that company all together.

          Every major drug cahain sells both life-saving medication as well as candy, junk food, and cigarettes. Philip Morris used to own Kraft. (Okay, that’s last one is not a great example for the paleo-as-religion crowd.)

          • mike r

            My point was that Crossfit may have taken on more reputaional risk then they bargained for. People who saw the FTC announcement may have said, “what other garbage does Reebok endorse?” I bet a few pround owners of toning shoes got the link I posted earlier from friends with a big “I told you so” in the subject heading. I’m sure we all agree that we want Crossfit and Rebook to grow together and both get stronger from the relationship, but I also think crossfit needs to be careful and maybe even a little demanding of rebooks standards. On the bright side, it can’t get much more embarassing than those finger toe shoes alot of people wear :)

  • Jeff B.

    10:36 Rx.

    • Dickie


  • Jason L.

    Back Squat 3×230 3×265 7×297.5 (uneven bar…oops)

    Shoulder Press 3×115 3×130 5×145

    3 Rounds for time:
    10 HSPU
    15 Box Jumps, 24″
    20 Wallball, 20#


    8:47 Rx

    • Jamie F.

      Sub 9:00! Damn Jason! And too think, I skipped my Wendler work to try and go a little faster!

      Hero WOD this Saturday?

      • Jamie F.

        I meant “to think.”

    • Reis

      So impressive…

  • Dickie

    Brett, Richard means 6:15AM

    • Dickie

      Who ghost-posted as me?

  • mike n.

    12:30 rx’d

  • Michael C

    10:18 Rx’d

  • Sophie

    Here is the link to the September Black Box Journal. If you did not receive it via email, please send an email to:

    Sophie: srblahdATgmailDOTcom

    Email Subject: newsletter distribution

  • Big Willy

    9:54 Rx’d

    Helen was the first WOD I ever did as prescribed…so its a sentimental one for me :)

    First time I did it back in July of 2010, my time was around the 21:00 mark.

    • Jenny A

      Awesome, Will!

  • Sara

    My classes tomorrow: 6:15, 7, 8, 10, and 1. If you have strict pullups and need to learn/work on your kip come to class tomorrow. I will be reviewing progressions and telling you what you’re doing wrong. If you don’t yet have pullups: get a pullup bar at home and come see me for a program.

  • drake

    11:30, Rx.

  • Ryan

    RX 10:04

  • Annie

    11:50 Rx

  • Sofia

    12:25 12 kg boo

  • Seth

    12:30+ Rx’d

  • Sam G

    5/3/1 press & squat

    3@ 262
    9@ 283

    Press with lean back Olympic style
    3@ 120
    8@ 142

    40kg kettle bell farmer max holds
    1st 1 minute
    2nd 40 seconds

    6 farmer walks around gym 40kg bell

  • Vince

    Medium band for pull ups

  • Jeff

    set of weighted pull ups on the minute
    alternating between overhand (odd minutes) and underhand (even minutes) grip
    1 pood & dip belt
    8, 8, 3, 5, 3, 4, 2, 4, 3, 5 (something like that)
    pull ups 8, 3, 3, 2, 3
    chin ups 8, 5, 4, 4, 5

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