January Newsletter

Metropolis Newsletter
January 2017

Happy New Year everybody!

Every year, January 1st falls on or just prior to New York Sports Club’s busiest week. Millions of people resolve to get active, and stay committed to healthy exercise habits.

We do things a little differently at CrossFit Metropolis. No ellipticals, no leg extensions, no bicep curls (I’m talking to you Ki, Jon and JCash)… so naturally we tend to think we ARE different. But when it comes to seeking better health, and struggling to stick to our commitments, we are just the same.

That’s right, you and Tammy Treadmill are the same. While it is certainly bad news — that we are all fallible — there is a silver lining! Great thinkers have put plenty of thought and research into solving our lackluster motivation and commitment problems. Let’s start with:

SMART Goals! There are several variants on the following list, but this one should serve us nicely.

The best, most effective goals we set for ourselves in 2017 must be:

S – specific, e.g. “row a 7:30 2k” not “improve cardio”

M – measurable, e.g. “do 10 pull-ups” not “get better at pull-ups”

A – action-oriented, e.g. “squat 3 x 10 twice a week” not “squat 300lbs”

R – realistic, e.g. “do 10 solid push-ups” not “do 10 ring-dips”, when you can’t do any ring-dips

T – timely, e.g. “run a 5 minute mile in February” not “run a 5 minute mile”

So with this framework in mind, think about what you want to accomplish in 2017. Then forget about spring, summer, fall and winter, and think about what you can accomplish in 10 weeks. 10 weeks is a long time. If you commit to doing a certain thing twice a week for 10 weeks, that’s 20 sessions of work you’ll put in. I’m telling you right now, with only a few exceptions, 20 work-sessions across 10 weeks can bring about serious change.

I really want y’all to skewer those weaknesses and dominate your fitness this year, so I’m setting aside January’s first Saturday open gym session for goal setting. There will be no lifting, no metcons, only goal-setting for the first 1/2 hour of open gym. Get excited for print-outs and calendar reminders. We will sit, and think, and discuss. Self-reflection is a constantly necessary practice, in all areas of life, and certainly for high-level athletes. If you want to kill it in 2017, then show up on Saturday, or make your own goals on your own time and EMAIL THEM TO ME. I can help.

Here’s my 10-week goal: Gain 10lbs with casein at night. Wish me luck!

Upcoming Events


photo credit: peterjcoughlan Mönch – Where Clouds & Snow Collide

Goal Setting Session – Saturday, January 7th, 1:30 to 2:00pm, taking place of the first 1/2 hour of Open Gym.

MLK Day, January 16th – The 6am, 7am, and 8pm classes will be cancelled. All other classes scheduled as usual.

Bodyweight Skill of the Month


Each month I select one gymnastics skill for you to focus on.

This Month’s Skill: Strict Pull-Ups

Everyone should be able to do a pull-up. Like last month’s handstand push-ups, they’re another skill that punishes you for every extra 10 pounds you’re carrying, but don’t let that be an excuse. Athletes big and small, old and young, can and should do pull-ups. It just takes time and effort.

A lot of people get frustrated with their lack of progress when it comes to pull-ups, and people who can’t do pull-ups have all sorts of ideas about the best way to build up to a pull-up. Some say bands will never get you doing pull-ups (not true). Others say kipping pull-ups will never get you better at strict pull-ups (also not true). Some really sharp folks say you shouldn’t bother with kipping pull-ups until you can do 5 or 10 strict pull-ups. There’s some truth there.

Getting better at pull-ups is really simple: Pull hard and pull often. That’s it. You want to do a 5-step progression with negatives and holds? That’ll do. You want to follow a prescribed rep-scheme with progressively weaker bands? Go for it. Smalov barbell rows? 100 ring rows for time twice a week? These are all valid methods. The hard part is putting in the time. If you want it, you’ll do it. If you haven’t yet, try the fighter pull-up program some of us followed last month.

This month, I’ll program plenty of strict pull-ups. Those of you who can’t do them yet will get some structured time to work towards them with ring rows or banded pull-ups. Those of you who can should see some measurable gains.

Links to Cool Internet Stuff

Real World Overhead Mobility for Weightlifting by Greg Everett. I’ve shared this before. No gimmicks here. Keep it simple, mobilize as needed, and hold that bar overhead longer. If you won’t stand there (or squat there) with something heavy overhead for more than a second, you surely won’t stand there with something really heavy overhead.

Smart Goals – from Project Smart

Happy Training!




  1. Pull hard and pull often, ladies. That’s it!

  2. Motivating! See you next week!!

  3. Goals 2017
    Muscle-up rings
    Full Snatch 75lbs
    HSPU RX way.