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Congrats to Athlete of the Summer 2014: Jason Withorn

Mock Elections are in! See results here

Fall Schedule + Anniversary

Summer is over and school is in for everyone. Here is our schedule for the Fall.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

3:15 pm

5:30 pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm


1:30 pm

6:30 pm

7:30 pm


9 am


11 am - team workout


The times on Wednesday may be adjusted depending on what time people are showing up. Same with Saturday. If this is your first time training during a school year, it should be noted that there is no signup as there was for the Summer. The session you'll attend may vary depending on sports schedules. Monthly fees are also due. Hit me up if you have any questions.

Today is also the 1 year anniversary of everyone's favorite trash-talker Jacob Zelenak signing up for Fundamentals. JZ came to us as a scrawny spazoid who couldn't lift more than any of our girls. Not much has changed to be honest, but he's still with us for some reason.

JZ - Day 2 of Fundamentals

But seriously, JZ has been one of our most improved athletes over the course of the year. He's been working endlessly at his shoulder range of motion and in the meantime has seen his strength in all lifts go way up. While he still has a difficult time keeping track of his reps during a workout, JZ has been hitting the WODs hard since he joined the group - posting some of our most impressive times on any workouts involving pull-ups, rope climbs, or any other bodyweight movements. This Junior baseball prospect has a nice upside if this past year is a sign of things to come.

Beast Mode: 10 amers

Our last max effort day of the Summer was the 1 rep max Back squat on Friday. For two of our 10 amers it was their first time doing the movement, so they did 3 rep max and kept the weight lighter but were able to maintain good form.

Here's Carter the Blob at 55 pounds with modified ROM...

...and Mikayla Hay with 65 pounds

Great job kids! Keep it going throughout the school year.

Building a Champion pt. 7: The Summer of the Sumo Deadlift

For one reason or another, this Summer did not have quite the same feel as Summer 2013. Building a Champion pt. 7 will take this in detail, investigate some causes, and then help you (or me) realize that it’s not really the end of the world.

The Champions Club community in late 2012 – early 2013 was already a solid one. Then Summer 2013 happened. We added lots of people – people who have come to define our gym – and the gym became a wild living thing. Summer 2013 was, as Jay Junkin described, “pretty magical.” And coming from the likes of Jay, that says a lot. Naturally, we would expect the same thing this Summer. But it just never happened. There was no Northwood Football invasion, no crazy freak Canadian athlete hobbling in our doors, no rabid 10 am crew, no Trips, no CrossFit celebrity, and not one single day of 50 people in attendance. But what annoys me the most is all these things were actually in perfect place to happen again this Summer.

Come May, it appeared that last year’s Northwood Invasion would be replaced by a much younger, much more promising Warren Mott Invasion of Big Kris, Pond, and Malachi – with Coach T the Shepherder of the Sheep leading the way… plus any of the dozens of kids in the gym class who said that they were “in for sure.” Long story short, the big 4 couldn’t make it work, and of the all gym class heroes who claimed they were in, only one signed up for fundamentals (and never actually showed up). Next, there were two opportunities for a CrossFit celebrity appearance – one a long shot and one a sure thing. The first of which was an outside chance Dr. Romanov and his son were going to come out to our gym in June. However, they were sidetracked due to the Doctor’s commitments to the Russian national team. Very understandable and not expected anyway. So instead, the folks from the CrossFit Journal and CrossFit Kids HQ were supposed to make it our way to do a feature – complete with a surprise guest appearance with the one and only Carl Paoli. But the person I was in contact with got transferred to another division among the CrossFit ranks (seminar stuff I believe) and now I’m supposed to be on the lookout for someone to get ahold of me to continue the feature. Still waiting…

Then a snowball started rolling. The Skorupskis could never get a ride. Emma had to work. The Trips went to the Boys and Girls Club. The patent lawyer wanted $20,000 for a piece of paper saying that a 10-person Secret GHD is a unique idea. Rogue didn’t have time for the Secret GHD. Again Faster didn’t think the Secret GHD was practical. The CrossFit Journal rejected more stuff. Tabata Times didn’t feature Coach T’s video or Brian’s article. The moms didn’t understand what 6 pm meant. The 10 am session was changed to the-session-formerly-known-as-the-10-am-session. There were sumo deadlifts high pulls in EVERY FREAKING WORKOUT. Mr. Wonsil hurt his back under my watch – becoming the first person I’ve ever seen get hurt deadlifting with a flat back. Amanda hurt her knee under my watch – becoming the first person I’ve ever seen get hurt squatting with a stable foot, stable hip, stable spine. Kroll rolled her ankle playing basketball. Maria had/has that lingering elbow thing. Just as Pryde was strengthening his back from years of injury, he (probably) tore his rotator cuff helping his brother move stuff. Megan Kav found out her co-workers are out to get her injured. My grandma forgot she promised me she’d come in to work out again.  My cousin Alex remembered he was lazy. My cousin Josh split time this summer between being at a new job and being back at school. Buzz was shipped out to North Carolina for a summer job. Faust got shipped to Kansas City for a job job. We had the flood Armageddon. Carter’s mom didn’t like CrossFit. Coach T’s time was in demand between Mott and Stony Creek. Sap transformed into a Track People. Amy transformed into the Sydni. It was 50 degrees day in the middle of July. My phone broke. Aly Baringer got Athlete of the Week. Aly Baringer.

No. More. Sumo. Deadlifts.

I think the thing I like the most about this gym is that it’s full of people who play (or have played) sports. Sports teach us how to deal with failure; and failure can range from a missed a shot, to a bad game, a bad season. Failing should always suck, but it’s an inevitable part of sports. The important part then becomes what happens next. While the Champions Club, itself, is not a sports team, we operate very similar to one and we can use the same principles to deal with failed expectations. One thing I preach to Jason, Emma, and Murley is “coach what you see.” True indeed, our attendance was average at best, laughable at worst. But we used the lack of numbers to our advantage in the coaching realm. We got into more detail, gave more attention, and ultimately gave a better product than last summer. This Summer’s 10 am session doesn’t even come close to having the “flashy” athletes of last Summer’s crew including two Banets, three Skorupskis, a wild Snorlax, and a black kid! However, judging which session moved better is not even a close comparison – this year’s crew takes the crown by a long shot. And Murley managed to accomplish this with sporadic attendance and His Blobness trolling around. That’s just one example where we simply made do with that we had.

We introduced the Water Wars and Mario workouts – two of the coolest theme workouts we’ve ever done. We morphed the Hawaiian and Shark Week workouts into one awesome event at The Hill. Shannon managed to pr twice in one day on the same workout, both being Champions Club records. Erika Banet beat Shannon in workout(s). I had a great experience doing the running seminar for the BMW people and the local affiliate owners. Then, the BMW people came our way to hang at our gym for a team workout. Ok, plan B: Army workout! Lauren Higgins became that Lauren Higgins. We added to our Banet collection. Rachael Kroll came back! Aly went from being a most-hated member, to a tolerable member (don’t let it get to your head, lest you travel back down the totem). Carter did things that mildly resembled athleticism. Katie Shakes found her inner COUNTRY STRONG. Jacqueline got a muscle-up. More rx’d workouts than usual. Murley had an hour-and-a-half conversation with Jeff Martin. Movement Shapes pt. 12, Sexy pt. 2, and Mock Elections!. I found out our site gets 2-3x the traffic of normal affiliate sites. Carl Paoli gave us a 400 page view into his brain. Aaron Sabal cloned Mr. Wonsil’s 22 year old self. Jay Junkin and Aaron Sexton got good at basketball. Alyssa Jabara did Alyssa Jabara things. Ryan made the dip cage. Ryan made pull-up bars in the garage door. Jason coached. Emma attended. Chris mutha****in Binno.

Chris mutha****in Binno

As mentioned in A New Standard, I kind of rate our progress based on three categories: coaching, movement, and community. Our coaching was better. You guys moved better. We just didn’t have the community from last Summer. We can make the best Theme workouts and have the best website posts, but not even my elegant daily musings can replace Alex Faust’s deliberate flatulence, or Meghan Murley’s artwork, or Jake Tripoli’s blunt honesty. In fact, the only close replacement was Binno filling the void AJ left – but both would still be much better. Bottom line is there is no replacing the actual people in the gym. That is how we know this is truly a family – well, that and the constant fighting/making up two minutes later. I’ve heard a lot of coaches say their members at the gym are like family, but will also turn around and say not to worry about people leaving. “They’re replaceable,” is typically the response. But in an actual family, nobody is replaceable. When someone dies or a divorce happens, you lose part of your family. When your dad leaves out of town or your brother goes away to college, there is no replacing that until they come back. You can make do with what you have (friends, relatives, television) but it’s not the same.

When Mariah leaves for college, or when Meghan leaves the gym, or when Faust leaves the Eastern Time Zone, those kinds of things simply cannot be replaced.

As it turns out, Community is also the toughest part to quantify and therefore fix. It could be on me, or on you. It could just be bad luck, or it could be the ghost of LeakSeal’s past. Either way, trying to figure out what to prioritize can be tricky, so I like to think about what came first. Brian and I started with coaching back in the Before Time. Then you guys followed and moved according to how we wanted (which has changed over time). Next, the people that accepted the movement standards have stayed and learned to get along with the other people that stayed. Lastly, we made a website to highlight our community, make superstars of our movers, and share our coaching. So with this in mind, coaching and movement will always be the priority, but I always know that the community (our family) is what makes this group special. From my perspective, both us as coaches and you as athletes were more prepared coming into this Summer than last. So if I had to answer, I would say in this rare case we were just unlucky. So I don’t think there’s a need to change anything drastic (especially considering all the good things that happened). But still, there will probably be a few minor tweaks for next Summer.

For many of us, this is our first taste of overall Summer defeat. Actually, I wouldn’t even call it defeat. More like “winning ugly.” It wasn’t always pretty, we didn’t meet expectations, but the overall outcome was successful. When this happens, the first thing to do is identify the issue (which we did: community). The next thing is to spend some time trying to figure out what you can do to help fix it so the problem is less likely to resurface. The third part is actually doing it. It might not get fixed by next Summer, or it might. But following this plan takes a lot of potential issues out of the equation and leaves only things you can’t control as possible culprits.

Post what you can do better in any category to comments. Next Summer we will use this as a test/retest.

Champions Club, you’re on the clock:


Schedule Reminder + Archive Articles

If you were not in attendance this morning, you dodged a bullet. Great job to everyone who did Fight Gone Bad this morning. Lots of pictures uploaded so check them out. Also, big ups to Murley for setting a Champions Club record (guys or girls) with a score of 424 reps.

This is a reminder that the session times for tomorrow (Monday) are 10 am, 1:30pm, and 7 pm. The Fall schedule will be finalized tomorrow and published also. The Summer season is officially over so the monthly payments pick back up starting tomorrow.

My Summer wrap-up will be published tonight. For best effect, please read (or re-read) the following editorials - as they will be referenced.

Building a Champion pt. 6: A New Standard


Yes, I'm sure many of you have already seen these posts. But reading them after the fact gives you a different perspective. So check them out then keep posted for tonight.


UPDATE: This editorial will now be part of the Building a Champion series, and should be set to publish at 7 pm.

New Graduate: Mr. Zelenak

Today was Mr. Z's last day of fundamentals and his first date with "Fran." He posted an impressive 5:08 time with dumbbells and ring pull-ups. I have a feeling he will make an impressive addition to the Dad's club trio, and rumor has it we might have some others joining us soon (Your move, Mr. Jabara)!

Look for this 5-star recruit at the new 5:30 session this fall.

Test/Retest: Summer Attendance

As I don't have anything better to do, I spent quite a bit of time nerding out on the stats. And as with our Workout of the Day, we have numbers to compare this Summer to.

Comparing this Summer with Summer 2012 is not very effective; we were pretty much two separate gyms. For instance, Bubs won Athlete of the Summer with 46 workout days attended (we did not count mobility at the time.) That number would not have even cracked our top 5 this year. 2012's 5th place athlete, Nicole Murley, attended 40 workout days - which would've put her in 13th place this Summer - one spot ahead of chatterbox Elle Laurencelle. This is one of the reasons why Summer 2013 was so great. It was uncharted waters. Our improvement was unprecedented. Last Summer, we set a New Standard for many things, the least of which being attendance. So the only obvious thing would be to see how we held up against our best numbers. Here's how it looks.


The Good

Athletes in the 90% + attendance caregory:

2013: 5 (Katie, Bubs, Murley, Elizabeth, Jason)

2014: 6 (Jason, Lauren, Elizabeth, Jennifer, Erika, Binno)


Athletes in the 80% attendance category:

2013: 4 (Erika, Ricky, Frankie, AJ)

2014: 6 (Murley, Emma, Jacqueline, Ricky, Katie, Bubs)

2 wins! Worthy of an epic Brady Hoke Double point

The rich got richer. We had three more kids in the "upper class" - which is not an easy group to join. A lot has to go right to attend 90% or more of the days, and we had six people do that (all except Binno eligible for every day, whereas last year only Katie and Murley were). Plus, two of this year's 90's were rookies (Binno and Jennifer). And our 80% people were equally as impressive. Jacqueline rose from the middle of the pack to solidify a spot with her sisters, and Emma made a ridiculous move back into relevance this Summer. Ricky only dropped a little bit. Katie and Bubs made significant drops, but still didn't leave the 80% range.

Unfortunately, this is where things started to go down.

The Bad

The "middle of the pack" attenders from 2013 carried the load, while this year we were lacking.

Athletes in the 70, 60, 50 percent attendance category (in that order):

2013: 26 (5 @ 70%, 7 @ 60%, 14 @ 50%)

2014: 13 (1 @ 70%, 6 @ 60%, 6 @ 50%)


Here's an individual analysis of how 2013's middle class citizens held up (this Summer in parenthesis):

70's from 2013

Meghan Murley (did not sign up this Summer)

Pudge (-23% from last Summer)

Jacqueline Banet (+16%)

Amanda Augustyn (-32%)

Megan Kavanaugh (broke even!)

60's from 2013

Aly Baringer (-13% - but she was more tolerable this time around, so I'll live with it)

Shannon Marchant (-5%)

Jay Junkin (-17%)

Ryan "Buzz" Spicuzzi (did not sign up this Summer)

James Lundy* (signed up but did not show up this Summer)

Erin Kavanaugh (+3% this Summer)

Alex Faust (did not sign up this Summer)

50's from 2013

Aaron Sexton (-24%)

Collin Skorupski (-28%)

Emma Wonsil (+29)

Marianne Carney (+2%)

Amy Potter (-54%)

Elle Laurencelle (+6%)

JenJenJen* (did not sign up this Summer)

Alison Kimmel (-48%)

Hannah Kimmel (-22%)

Mrs. Carey (-16%)

Alex Andreoli (did not sign up this Summer)

Mrs. Pip (-15%)

Seth Richard (did not sign up this year, but I still hold MAD respect for)

Mr. Withorn* (did not sign up this Summer)

*James, JenJenJen, and Mr. Withorn joined in the middle-end of the Summer after their Fundamentals program.


On the bright side, the athlete who came in 57th place in 2013 (barely ahead of the infamous JasDEEP) was none other than Lauren Higgins, who attended only 34% of the workouts. She rose from the dead this Summer with a solid +63%.


The 10 am crew (or lack thereof) was not the only annoyance this Summer. Last year, we had an influx of athletes come in late-April and May who became significant players in the New Standard Summer (Shannon, AJ, Northwood Invasion). This late-April and May, it looked like history was going to repeat itself with the Warren Mott Invasion. But it just didn't pan out that way. More on that in another post.

2013 Top 10 Rookies: Elizabeth (94%), Erika (89%), AJ (85%), Jacqueline (72%), Shannon (69%), Buzz (65%), James (64%), Alex Faust (60%), Aaron Sexton (59%), Collin Skorupski (59%)

2014 Top 10 Rookies: Jennifer (94% hur hur), Binno (90% mod4), then... Sabal (58%), Katie Shakes (53%), Maria (46%), Carson (42%), Rachel Murley's-Cousin (32%), Mikayla (31%), Carter the Blob (29%), Megan Kruger (14%)

Notable abscences from this list are Pryde, JZ, EP, Alyssa, and Tyler Jabara (whom I did not consider to be rookies due to their extensive time with us previously).

Daliy attendance:

This Summer, we had 5 days total of 40+ attendance - with the highest being 49.

Last Summer, our entire first week was 40+ attendance - with the highest being 52. I did not check past that.

The Ugly

Close your eyes if you know you're going to be called out for signing up, showing up a little, and not paying.


Ok you can open them. On this occasion, I'll spare you. But know that we operate on the honor system, and to participate in the honor system you actually need to have... honor. We would still love to have you around but you can't take advantage of the people who pay on time to support the place you take for granted. So don't worry about the Summer money, but to participate from now on, your payments will now be due first of the month. No exceptions.

Numbers never lie. But numbers can be interpreted in many different ways. How do you interpret these numbers?

The Lost Images of Summer 2014

Every Summer there are multiple pictures that don't make the cut into the monthly photo galleries. It has very little to do with the picture quality. Instead, they mave have been misplaced and forgotten about, oversized and I didn't feel like modifying them at the time, or uploaded to the Drop Box. But eithert way, we jumble them into the final photo gallery like the Island of Misfit Toys.

The Lost Images of Summer 2014

Vote for your favorite picture of the group.