Welcome back, competitors!

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#124 starts TONIGHT SOLD OUT!
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#126 Mon/Thurs @ 6am, starts June 7 (3 slots left)
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#128 Mon/Thur @ 7am, starts June 14 (3 slots left)
#129 Tue/Thur @ 7:30pm, starts June 15 (just 2 slots left)
#130 Mon/Wed @ 7:30pm, starts June 21
#131 Tue/Thur @ 8:30pm, starts June 22

Monday 100524
Back Squat 5-5-5-5-5 reps
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Compare to 091028.

2 QUESTIONS: (1) For those who competed this weekend, what did you learn from your experience? What surprised you the most? (2) For those who did not compete, does all the blog coverage of our participation at Northeast Regionals inspire you to want to participate next year or does it seem impossible to even imagine yourself being “good enough” to compete? Why?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRYCE!
Firebreathers’ forum (preview video) / full video with CFJ subscription
Hypertension and fructose
Further proof that red meat isn’t bad for you
Vision improvement (I’m not talking about eyeglasses)
A little crossfit history for you from Sam Radetsky of CF West Santa Cruz
Final team WOD (thanks to Rickke for the footage):

Team WOD #2 aftermath:

Thanks to Emily, Grace, and Tony T. for the wonderful pics!
Hari faces the paparazzi!
allcamerasonhari.jpg
Just call them “Team Knee-High”:
teamkneehighs.jpg
Some of the gang’s all here; from left: Christine, Sophie, Lenny, Mike M.
teampic.jpg
Don’t mess with the HOG:
hogsupersoaker.jpg

  • http://allisonbojarski.tumblr.com Allison Bojarski

    From the CrossFit Brand X forums:
    Today, everyone is a Big Dawg. Everyone can do this workout as Rx’d. If you are unfamiliar with the lift or have an absolutely horrible air squat, go light and work on form.
    http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/backsquat.mpg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1u9vCOvJMdk
    ————
    Might I also add, in the wardrobe department, you’ll want to wear the following:
    Footwear, in order of preference: weightlifting shoes (BEST CHOICE!), Chuck Taylors, dress shoes or combat-style boots, or, as a last resort, socks, barefoot or Vibrams. What NOT to wear: sneakers of any sort (besides Chucks or similar hard-bottomed sneaker). Basically, you want a hard-bottomed shoe not a soft squishy one for heavy squats. Weightlifting shoes are worth the investment but you’ll have to purchase them online–you can’t find them in stores, not even in New York City.
    Pants/shorts: anything that won’t restrict your legs/hips/butt from moving to below parallel on your squats.
    Shirt: cotton t-shirts work best in getting and keeping the barbell in the low-bar back squat position and not sliding down your back. Shiny/slippery shirts like Under Armor are not a good choice on heavy back squatting day.

  • Dave A.

    Congrats to everybody who competed this weekend, particularly Sara, our affiliate team, and my friends from home at the Crossfit Tribe. I thought the programming was great, particularly on the last event, and they took great advantage of the space they have. One thing to note as I talked with a lot of the different boxes and athletes, the elite athletes, most of the people who make the final 18 of men or women not only train everyday but that is all they do. Most of them owned boxes or in some other way are working in fitness full-time you did not hear of a lot of brokers or attorneys. I do not find this discouraging as I cannot leave my job to do this, but it does show the amount of time and dedication you must put in to get those results. Either way congrats to everybody I recommend to anybody who didn;t go to check this event out next year, the level of intensity and athleticism even compared to sectiones was night and day.

  • Tim B

    congrats to everyone who competed this weekend! catching up on all the photos on facebook, you all look BADASS!

  • JeffZ

    Congrats everybody, judging by the photos looks like it was a lot of fun!
    Honestly, I can’t fathom getting the point where I’d be able to compete. I love the feeling of progress I make every WOD, I just don’t know if I’ll ever have it in me to reach the point where I can go up against all the elite athletes. I’m okay with that, because I still go all out, every time. I crossfit for the ‘doing’, not the ‘done’.
    WOD: 135,145,155,165,165 — then a 3:58 1k row.

  • Lenny

    The weekend was amazing and everyone did a great job. I learned that I need to work on my strength. I’m going to work on that alot in the next year. That’s what separates the field IMO.
    As far as a team we did the best job we possibly could. We are clearly the best team in the NYC area. We were really consistent and we all got an equal oppurtunity to shine and have fun. Everyone, individual and team alike, did a fantastic job this weekend. Congrats.

  • Lenny

    Happy Burfday Bryce!!

  • Lenny

    Happy Burfday Bryce!!

  • Chris H.

    135, 155, 175, 185(f-3 reps), 175
    What’s the age requirement for masters, 50? That gives me 15 years to train for my first year of eligibility, and by then I think Jacinto would still be kicking my ass…

  • Lisa

    Congratulations to team and individuals for competing so hard and strong this weekend. The photos are amazing.
    To answer question #2, I think Crossfitter can become eligible to compete if they commit to it and train for it. It comes down to whether you want to compete or not. For me at present I am motivated to improve at doing all the skills and movements for their own sake, without needing the goal of competition to keep me going.

  • Dave A.

    In regards to the questions, having competed in sectionals after only 7 months of crossfit and being relatively inactive for the previous 5 years I think ANYBODY can excel at crossfit and be able to compete. Compared to most other sports there is less natural talen, i.e. baseball, golf, but much more training and diet regiment and most importantly body type. Crossfit has no weight classes and the weights for the workouts tend to require somebody to be a certain size to be truly competitive. Even Austin M., who got 3rd place) who is only 5’5″ still weighs 170. My friend from home who competed weighs only 147 and was clearly the lightest person there, although he did well on the C & J and the AMRAP the OH Squats were too much weight, and this is someone who eats more than anybody else I know and is constantly trying to gain weight, it is just not how his body is built. This is my advantage in crossfit, although I am not particularly naturally athletic and do not do most of the lifts correctly, I am 6’1″ 190, a relatively good size for a crossfitter. I think anybody can compete but without weight classes I do not think you will see a winner of the games right around 5’10″ 185.

  • Mike Mishik

    As always youve got to love the spirit of the competition. Its another level that can’t be achieved at the box every day. Something I learn everytime I compete with crossfitters I’m always impressed with the level of respect towards other athletes even when you’re complete strangers.
    Not to surprising..
    How awesome the support was this past weekend from the team and our fans

  • Emily

    Watching everyone compete this weekend not only got me itching to get back to the gym (even though I’m in the middle of a week off), but got me even more excited to get done with school so I can concentrate on my training and get in competitive shape. Not to mention get my shoulder completely healed…(it’s so close!!)
    As many of you know, I’ll be moving back to UT after I graduate in December, but Gracey is under the impression that I’ll be coming back next year to compete with the Box. :)

  • Emily

    and Happy Birthday, Bryce!!!

  • Bryce

    Dave raises an interesting topic, is Crossfit a small, a medium, or a large man’s sport?
    Putting my Hari, analyze the numbers, hat on, here are some figures:
    2009 Games
    Mikko Salo won at 67″ and 176lbs
    The top 16 men last year averaged 72″ and 195lbs
    The 74 men that competed averaged 70″ and 185lbs
    2008 Games
    Jason Khalipa, 69″ and 205lbs, won
    Top 3 averaged 69.33″ and 193lbs
    The deciding event was a squat clean Grace at 155lbs
    2007 Inaugural Games
    OPT, 70″ and at the time 163lbs, won
    Top 3 averaged 68″ and a “measly” 166lbs
    The final event was a Crossfit Total
    Crossfit programming at any single event, whether it’s the national, or regional, or sectional, is more art than science. For instance, if the 2008 final event had been 30 muscle ups instead of 30 clean and jerks, the podium would have probably had Chris Spealler, 65″ and 137lbs, on top.
    Given that Crossfit can be so varied, perhaps it’s more accurate to look at one’s performance over the course of several years and several competitions. It will be interesting to see how last year’s competitors fare this year given what will surely be different and more challenging events.
    I would argue that Crossfit is a medium man’s sport, 170 to about 185lbs. I like the fact that there are no weight classes, it makes the sport purer. I hope that doesn’t change but think it will in order to make the competitions more accessible to the sport’s growing population.

  • Lisa

    85, 105, 115, 105, 105
    It was great to work on back squat skills today. Hamstrings are on fire now.

  • Hari

    Almost without exception, the WOD’s at the Games punish competitors for what they do poorly rather than reward them for what the do well. Here are a few examples:
    Among the Masters competitors, I would grade myself an “A” in CTB pull-ups and pushups, a “B” in the other movements except for being a “C minus” in double unders. The effect of my poor double unders dominated my results. Had I been straight B’s, I would not have DNF’d on DU-Helen. All my time was wasted on inefficient and missed double unders . This is, of course, entirely my fault. Years of counting double under attempts rather than mastering the skill caught up with.
    A second area where I underperformed was the 1RM thruster. This wasn’t a matter of strength, per se; it was a matter of form. My lousy technique cost me 15-20 lbs relative to my strength, which would have made a significant difference. (Had I not received excellent coaching from Kevin Prouse, my results on this WOD would have been much worse. Thank you, Kevin!)
    The good news is that I can and will fix these things, as well as several others that I have been hiding from for years. One year from now, my DU-Helen time will be sub 10:00 and my 1RM thruster will be 185, numbers that this year might have sent me to the finals. And next year, I will know better than to believe any other weakness will go unexposed.
    In the individual competitor WOD’s, the same theme was apparent. Everyone at that level can do CTB pull-ups, but not everyone can handle high-rep, high-weight OHS. The difference between being a “B” in both and being an “A” in one and a “C” in the other was the difference between finishing and DNF’ing. (Congratulations, Sara!) In the AMRAP, everyone could dead lift and box jump. Those exercises did little more than further punish those who did not own HSPU’s. The relative rankings on that WOD probably would have been nearly identical had it consisted of no more than AMRAP HSPU’s for 12 minutes.
    In the Affiliate WOD’s, it was the same story. The snatch- HSPU WOD came done to how many of the four team members could do HSPU’s well. (Also, those who needed to press out their snatches found those muscles exhausted when they switch from being right-side up to upside down . On the 20-minute row plus five exercises, the outcome was determined to a large extent by what people couldn’t do well. The more one person had to carry the load on any given exercise, the less talent was available elsewhere. In the final chipper, if any athlete couldn’t handle the prowler, his or her team was out of it. (Amazing job on that by Avery and Sophie!)
    Next year, the individual members of our affiliate may not be the best at any particular exercise, but they will be weak at nothing.

  • Hari

    Bryce asks an interesting question. I wonder whether the dominant factor may not be size but profession, something Dave A has picked up on in his comment above.
    If the top CrossFit competitors are disproportionately dominated by firemen and other first responders, who are pre selected for their jobs based heavily on size and strength, but are now able to train extensively based on lifestyle, then size may not be as relevant as it might appear.
    Additionally, the type of people who are drawn to CrossFit may include a disproportionate number of former school athletes who as children were more likely to excel at (or be chosen by their coaches for) sports as a result of their relatively larger size.

  • dex

    Welcome back guys and congrats on representing the blackbox!!! I’m loving the photo-documentation on crackbook.
    225,250,250,265,275

  • Josh Rosenfield

    Rob Orlando is a former strongman and weightlifter. Owns his own gym, Hybrid Crossfit. Trains all day
    James Hobart has an olympic lifting background and is a trainer at Crossfit Boston. Trains all day
    Austin Malleolo has been lifting for all of college. Used to personal train, now works at Crossfit Dewitt. Trains all day
    Eric Magee was an Army Ranger, professional MMA fighter appearing on season 8 of Ultimate Fighter. Trainer at Cynergy Crossfit. Trains all day
    Mike McKenna was a competitive boxer. Owns Crossfit 914. Trains all day
    etc.
    There’s your common trait. How many desk jockeys? Zero. Not saying it can’t be done, but 2 hours in the gym will never add up to 8 hours every day.

  • Sophie

    Josh, I agree, and I’m pretty sure the same could be said about the top 3 female athletes as well
    I had a great time this weekend, thanks to everyone who came out to support the team and the individual competitors.
    I have noticed, at both the sectionals and the regionals, that the best competitors have a very strong mental game. They know how to fight through the pain and keep going even when it gets uncomfortable. I think your mental attitidue is just as if not more important than your skill work. You can only get so far in your training and in order to take it to the next level you have to master the mental aspect of the sport. This is something I definitely need to improve as I continue training.

  • Emily

    To all competitors:
    I burned 8 CD’s with all the pics I posted on “crackbook” from this weekend and I’ll leave them at the desk. If any of you didn’t get one for some reason, let me know and I’ll burn you one.

  • Seth

    I go to the main site every day, I watch the videos, I read the articles, the top crossfit athlete’s own their own affiliates or are first responders. I have yet to seen a video highlighting a top athlete who does not own an affiliate or is not a trainer/first responder.
    I always thought there should be two divisions of athletes, trainers/affiliate owners/first responders vs. everyone else. Admittedly, I’m a desk jockey. It is my choice, it is what I have to do to build my career. As a rational actor, I know, no matter how hard I train or eat properly, I am sitting at a desk for 8 to 10 hrs per day. How can I compete against a personal trainer? An affiliate owner? A SWAT team member?
    I consider myself a Cross fitter but my goals are modest:I am trying to get on main site programming w/out missing days, I want to clean up my diet and work towards better form on the Olympic lifts. Hell, I’m still working towards my first pull up. As someone still new(ish) to crossfit, competing against anyone but myself seems daunting.
    Sure, watching someone get a sub 3:00 Fran is inspiring, it makes me want to achieve better results, but when you find out they have been training for 3 months non stop and they own their own affiliate, it can get a little disheartening.

  • Josh Rosenfield

    Seth, my comments nor this discussion were in no way meant to discourage or dishearten anyone training at Crossfit. Instead, it should encourage you in the fact that the common trait is that they train all day, not that they were born with an innate ability to do Crossfit, or an extra muscle group that no one else has.
    I personally think about, “Hey, if I devoted myself to this I could potentially compete at the top level.” Where as any other professional sport this is most likely not possible.
    At the same time, it’s not easy to devote your life to being a top competitor. Go ask any of those guys the last time they had a piece of bread, let alone ice cream or an entire pizza pie. I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to turn my 90% paleo into 100%.
    Sophie, you’re right, the girls also all train and/or own gyms.

  • http://www.ilikewidget.com Brian S.

    i go to crossfit some mornings, i got jiu jitsu some nights. some days i do both. most days i find both too tiring. when i am not doing that i am either behind a computer or behind the bar. i would like to think that if i owned/worked@ a gym i would be able to kick some serious ass…but i kinda doubt it. if i wanted to, i could exercise more. Go to both every day. As it is i am always constantly dealing with one injury or another. It would be nice to blame my profession on my lack of ability, but it is really a genetic and motivation issue.

  • Avery

    I totally agree with a lot of the comments thrown around today about the top competitors. Without fail almost all of them are former athletes (pro, semi-pro, collegiate) and/or full-time trainers/affiliate owners/first responders. It’s hard to match that level of performance when you may be a relatively untrained individual who works 9-5.
    Regardless of that fact (and that I may never be on the same level of competition no matter how much/how hard I train), I took great satisfaction in competing at Regionals this year. It was something I never thought I would enjoy, and I honestly never thought I’d be a qualified competitor. In fact, even this year I dragged my feet quite a bit insisting I didn’t have certain skills I thought I needed.
    I agree with Sophie, so much of the competition was how much mental game you had to push past the pain. Also, as Hari pointed out, knowing your weaknesses and how to improve them is key if you want to compete. Regionals definitely highlighted my weaknesses…now I can improve them or continue to ignore them. The choice really lies with the Crossfit athlete. Most of us know what we’re bad at!
    Biggest surprise of competing was how terrible my legs felt after pushing a prowler less than 80 meters. TERRIBLE.

  • Mike K

    Totally agree with everything above. This weekend was a lot of fun and I’m happy I did it.
    Even if you aren’t fortunate enough to have the training time of a full time gym owner/trainer, almost every crossfitter here ends up making more progress than the average globo-gym goer after a few months. I think a lot of people would be surprised at what they can do even if they don’t consider themselves and athlete. Getting a little better every day adds up over time. Just because you think/know you won’t win doesn’t make it a good reason to not go and compete anyway.
    Its also a good way to test yourself… you have a judge making sure your reps are legit (but everyone is holding themselves to that standard everyday, right?) and its just a completely different environment then your average WOD. You will learn a lot about yourself and your own mental toughness as well… and I’m sure you’ll have at least a bit of a different mindset on your next WOD.

  • Hari

    “Next year, the individual members of our affiliate may not be the best at any particular exercise, but they will be weak at nothing.”
    Rereading that, I want to make clear that this was in no way a criticism of any of our affiliate team members, who were all incredible. Rather, I was picking up on Lenny’s and my point about our all our needing to attack our weaknesses. To Sophie’s point regarding the importance of the mental game, I believe that is one area where or team particularly excelled. No one on the team ever stopped.
    Avery, Christine, Lenny, Mike K, Mike M, and Sophie are all true team players, which made us better than the sum of our individual strengths and weaknesses. They are all the type of people you want to work with and root for. I feel very lucky to have them and the people who supported us as members of CFNYC.

  • kj

    85-105-115-120-125
    PR + 10. I am partial to the back squat.
    Loved the number of ladies lifting at the box tonight!

  • kj

    85-105-115-120-125
    PR + 10. I am partial to the back squat.
    Loved the number of ladies lifting at the box tonight!

  • kj

    85-105-115-120-125
    PR + 10. I am partial to the back squat.
    Loved the number of ladies lifting at the box tonight!

  • MC

    135-165-185-195-215

  • Mike Mishik

    Grace 2:38 rx’d, sorry for dropping the weight Court.
    cashout 21-15-9 box jumps/burpees 3:15
    Squats: 135:185:205:205:205

  • jenn

    125-135-155(3)-145(4=I can’t count)-150(2)
    Felt miserable and lazy. Time for a rest day.

  • Bryce

    With Crossfit’s evolution of exercises, think sandbags, prowlers, and fat bar deadlifts, an intriguing question now is what is considered a Crossfit weakness?
    Twice this year handstand walking and ring handstand push ups have shown up on the main page. Could they perhaps become a ‘standard’ Crossfit movement along with double unders and chest to bar pull ups?
    I think many people were surprised that the Games included a 7k run last year, even though run 10k showed up a few times on last year’s main page. Unknown and unknowable I guess.

  • Derrick

    205-225-235-245-265. tried to find the right weight and focus on form for my 1st go-round with backsquats. thanks to all for the help/guidance with proper form. much appreciated!

  • Lenny

    I would like to say that I do not believe Josh R is 90% paleo. JK.
    Second you are making me feel bad cause I have that schedule that allows me to train that way. I think that I have the ability to get into next year’s Regional competition but to be among the top guys is gonna be tough. My goal is to make the top 30 next year at sectionals and with some good training i think I can achieve that goal.

  • Jeff

    I actually think my overall conditioning has not drasticalyl improved since I started spending more time in the gym training people. In fact it may have declined. You can still get pretty good results from just coming into the gym right after your 9-5 desk job and hitting the WOD hard.

  • Emily

    taking some time off the WODs. I’ll start up again in the next cycle. Came in and sat on the erg today.
    30 min: 6326 m avg split: 2:23 i believe… not bad for not pushing it too hard and trying to focus on my form. as soon as my ass started to burn i had to focus a little more. ha!
    @ Lenny: You have absolutely nothing to feel bad about. We all know that a number of factors go into how well you perform on any given day. I have days where I feel fine, but I may just be completely ignoring the fact that my body is exhausted from stress in another part of my life and my numbers then suffer (had that with the Total a few weeks ago). Maybe the cold got to you just enough that day, or not enough sleep. The fine tuning of an athlete is what makes the elite what they are. Set your goals high and don’t stop until you reach it. You are the only one that determines whether or not you fail at something.

  • Jonathan P

    155-165-175-185-165
    Competing was part of the original appeal of Crossfit for me, so yeah I totally want to. I would have liked to do sectionals for the experience, but it would be much better for me to do some other local multiple event competitions first. There are some people with similar strength to me in CT who entered sectionals for fun, and I think that would be really good to encourage everywhere. Post on the blog if you’re going to a local competition or hear of one.
    Happy Birthday, Bryce!

  • michele

    first exposure to back squat max today. thanks to the other women in the 7:30 class who were clustered at my bar for all the coaching and encouragement, and to Coach Court for the same. it is such a kick to be working out with you all – you inspire me.

  • Lenny

    @Emily I don’t feel bad per se about it. It was my 1st competition of that kind so I know I will do better knowing what it takes to get to the next level. I perform better under pressure. I think that next year we should have alot of competitors trying their hand at it if only for the experience and camraderie it builds.

  • Seth

    Lenny-
    After reading my post from earlier, I sounded like an idiot. I sometimes forget why I started this: to get in shape and have fun. After looking at the pictures and hearing the stories, competing should be something I look forward to, to try and build towards, regardless of the outcome.

  • Justin Ferris

    CFFB in BK
    Swod: box squats with purple bands, worked up to 235×2. Squatting with band tension is really keeping me honest form wise.
    Press: 135-155-175-180-185(f)
    Wod: 10 rds + 10 pushups. Pullups were c2b.

  • Jai

    85×5 / 95×1,f / 90×3,f / 87×2,f / 85×2,f
    Weirdly, felt good in spite of multiple fails. Cashed out with 21-15-9 alternating 20″ box jumps and burpees, 6:25.
    Starting mid-June, going to work weekly with back squats. Time to get better at those.

  • Josh Rosenfield

    Lenny, you’re right I mis-spoke. Half the time, I’m 90% paleo.

  • Rickke

    185-195-205-215-225 (PR)
    Going to regionals was really inspiring. Congrats to Sara, Hari, Sophie, the Mikes, Christine, Lenny, and Avery for working hard and having fun.
    I didn’t register for sectionals this year because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to to do the WODs. I’ll probably have the same fear next year, but I’m going get over it and to do it for the fun.
    Happy birthday, Bryce!

  • Elizabeth M

    95-100-105-115-125-135-145
    Wasn’t sure where I should have started weight wise but made it all the way to my former 1 rep max.
    I love competition–which is why I enjoy competing against myself everyday in the box plus I do various running races throughout the year. Since I am on only 4 month into crossfit, and had been sedentary before that, aiming to completing in sectional next year would be a lofty goal. However, other competitions like the crossfit challenge that is being organized on a rest day Saturday in June sounds amazing.