Functional Strength: New Specialty Class for 2017!

Starting next Wednesday, January 4th, we’ll be offering a new specialty class at our Flatiron Location: Functional Strength.


Functional Strength programming will focus on getting you as strong as possible. This class is designed for any member who wants to learn new movements and work on attacking their weaknesses through strength specific programming and Strongman style accessory work.

Functional Strength will be a Wednesday specialty class, similar to our popular CrossFit Endurance or OlyWOD classes. All levels of CrossFit experience (Beginner, Experienced, Competition) are welcome to attend this supplemental class. We recommend replacing one of your weekly workouts with this class, instead of doubling up with another specialty WOD.


Programming will focus on basic lifting principles for gaining strength (power lifting movements) and Strongman technique. A variety of strength skills and concepts will be taught as you learn how to move new implements (i.e. kettlebells, sandbags, farmer’s handles, axle bars, sled drags), which will challenge your will to work hard. There will be no conditioning in this class by design.

The Functional Strength classes and programming will be led by Coach Mead (AM class) and Coach Erica (PM class). Both have extensive experience with strength training and certified in CrossFit, Strongman, and Olympic Weightlifting. Coach Erica has a B.S. in Exercise Science from Central Connecticut State University and spent four years strength training as a D-1 athlete. Coach Mead is a nationally ranked Strongman competitor (ranked top 5 in the light weight division for United States Strongman, and top ten for middle weight division with Strongman Corporation) and one of the original teammates for City Strongman, a well-established competitive lifting team located in Long Island City.


If you have any questions about the new class, please contact Coach Mead ( or Coach Erica ( by email or in person at the gym.


  • AhmetZ

    This sounds great! Very exciting. What are the plans to offer this class on the uws location?

    • Hari Singh

      We plan to see how this runs in the two Wednesday classes at 28th and then expand to the UWS if demand is there.

      In the mean time, we will be waiving the $5 drop-in fee on Wednesday’s for UWS members who wish to attend a specialty class that is not currently offered at 67th.

      • AhmetZ

        I hope the implementation of this class at UWS location does not depend on its success at the Flatiron location. I’m pretty sure there will be a big demand for a class like this at UWS if members were surveyed.

    • Hari Singh
  • DavidLSC

    I’m really glad to hear that new options are becoming available. I do think that both locations (UWS and Flatiron) should be treated more equally when it comes to these new classes. I hope the decision of “testing” expands to the UWS as well. Please reconsider.

    • Hari Singh

      It isn’t easy to treat the two locations perfectly equal, because the Flatiron is three times the size of the UWS location, allowing us to run up to 8 classes simultaneously. We recently had to shut down Mon, Tues, and Thurs Fundamentals at the UWS, because we couldn’t manage three classes at once.

      One of the possibilities we are considering is making Sunday on the UWS a repeat of the Wednesday Oly and Functional Strength classes, but before we do that, we really need to understand how people respond to the changes at Flatiron.

      • Bryan Fogg

        Hari – I’m not sure if you’re open to suggestions, but perhaps you can leave the OlyWOD at the UWS until you determine that the Functional Strength classes will work. In that way, you can maintain the same level of service at the UWS without diminishing it while validating a new concept. I’m sure there’s a lot of discussion about the new schedules. If your clients can help, let us know.

        • Hari Singh

          Bryan, I am very much open to suggestions. Beyond the detailed explanations I have provided there are also logistical and personal issues associated with the changes. The decision to suspend the Oly WOD on the UWS was motivated by (1) the desire to improve the level of service in our primary programming track (bWOD’s and eWOD’s). The new schedule allows us to have the same classes at the same times with the same instructor; (2) the lack of qualified instructors to teach some of the specialty classes; and (3) the level of attendance at these classes.

          Given the new schedule, where do you see a class we should eliminate to bring back the Oly WOD at 67th Street?

          • Bryan Fogg

            Hari, thanks for the detailed explanation. I’m sure these are complex decisions and you certainly have a lot more information than I do. I am certain, absolutely certain, that these decisions are made after much consideration. I’m happy to discuss options if you’d like an additional brain, you have my contact info. Perhaps one of the eleven CFE’s on Wednesday can be transferred to a Oly WOD. But, again, I don’t have any data outside my own experience and the schedule I can see. I trust that you’re team continues to make both gyms the best experience possible. I appreciate you listening to your clients. I sincerely look forward to the Functional Strength programming, Coaches Erica and Mead are some of the best.

          • Hari Singh

            Paolo teaches six of the eleven CFE WOD’s on Wed, but Paolo is not yet ready to teach Olympic Lifting as a specialty class. Todd teaches the five latest CFE WOD’s, but it is not clear that we could switch any one of those to Oly without causing problems

            4:00 PM is to early to make an impact to the evening crowd; 5:30 PM is also probably a bit too early (and it would cut off the more popular CFE option for the early off-peak crowd); 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM are so busy that we would probably not be able to fit all the CFE into one or the other; we could try CFE at 8:30 PM (just as we’re initially running Functional Strength at 8:00 PM at 28th). However, that would mean that late off-peak members would only the choice of Oly at the end of thh day, when CFE is far more popular.

            These are some of the reasons we are considering running additional specialty classes on the UWS on Sunday. Currently, the UWS has about 45% the membership of 28th Street, but we run 55% as many classes at 67th. Comparing and contrasting what is available at 28th with what is available at 67th does not really give the full picture.

        • Hari Singh
    • Hari Singh

      We will add a Functional Strength Class to the UWS schedule, starting February 5:

      • DavidLSC

        Great news!

  • reisbaron
  • Where’s McArdle?

    I was just wondering if functional strength class will be utilizing wheelbarrows? I think the importance of this is twofold:
    1. The functionality of wheelbarrows goes without being said. Wheelbarrows are commonly used, especially whilst landscaping.
    2. The wheelbarrow commonly shows up in the Crossfit Games. I would hate to lose out on the podium due to the tipping of a wheelbarrow, a la Noah Ohlsen.
    Sean McArdle.
    Regionals Athlete 2013 and 2014 (team)

  • Mel Hughes

    Will the off peak members have the oppurtunity to join the Fuctional strength classess. I see the two offered are only at peak times.

    • Hari Singh

      Not at this time. The first two classes are currently at capacity during peak hours, and we cannot open them further. We will be studying attendance for the next few weeks and then determining whether to adjust in February.