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More Program than Gym

See the editorial here.


 

Coach's Corner: Hips and the Push-up

Just a reminder that the only evening session today is the 5:30 session. No 4:30 or 6:30 pm.


When your arms go, they go. Not much we can do about that. Mostly, we see this happening in pushing movements like dips, hspu, and push-ups. Since our brain is wired to complete movement regardless of how fatigued we are, we adopt a natural technique; unweighting. In this case, it comes with our hips.

Our hips are the center of our body's mass. When our hips move, more mass is moves, and when our hips stay put, we don't move as much mass. The video below shows Bubs and Erica in the later rounds of last Thursday's workout. Notice where their hips are in relation to the rest of their body.

Erica's hips travel further up and down, where as Mariah's go through much less range of motion. If you have the strength, try your best to keep the hips moving with the rest of your body. If you don't practice this in the warmup and use Mariah's technique when you are fatigued in a workout.

Memorial Weekend Schedule + Summer Email Vault

The session times for this weekend are as follows:

Sunday

12 noon (team workout)

1 pm (babies)

 

Monday

9 am

5:30 pm

 


 

The Champions Club Summer 2017 Official Signup will be posted and emailed out on Tuesday. If you are new this time around, a tradition started with Connor Moore in 2013 to respond in a rather creative way...

This, of course, grew into some very eccentric and complicated messages from the past few years. Morrow, Arlene, Fry, and an unfortunate gentleman mysteriously named "Juan" Junkin who had a cat in his pants all chimed in with their replies.

And then, of course, there was Joe Wonsil, who replied not by email, but by YouTube.

Get your replies ready to go by Tuesday!

Thinking Out Loud: That Time I Met Flo (NTF)

by, VJ Tocco

In my introductory post, Chris mentioned a transcendent moment of my life last summer: the time I met Flo-Rida.  Flo's music has always held a special place in my heart. I can vividly recall cutting a rug to "Elevator" at senior prom. The energy on "Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" fueled most of my workouts in college. "Good Feeling" is still my favorite song to blast as loud as my car's speakers can play during my Friday afternoon drive home. Many other of his hits instantly take me back to fond memories. So you can imagine my surprise of that day, when I was out with my girlfriend, Terra, at an outdoor mall near Disney and I saw one of my favorite artists casually shopping amidst the public.

We were walking towards a candy store in the mall when I spotted distinctive, colorful tattoos on the man walking in front of me. My heart began to race when I saw a hundred-thousand dollar watch on his wrist with a pinky ring to match and realized I was only a few feet away from one of my idols. I noticed he was traveling with an entourage: four massive bodyguard-looking dudes and a woman with preposterously large buttocks (sadly, she was not clad in apple-bottom jeans, nor boots with the furs). We followed them at an awkward distance for about five minutes while I debated how to approach him.  In the end, I went with a cheery "Hey, Flo! Can I get a picture with you?"

In the aftermath of that event (after I had sent the picture to everyone I knew), I considered the trajectory of unlikely events that had led me to that exact moment. How was it that we both happened to be walking near each other at the same mall, at the same moment in time?

I'm not sure what happened in Flo's life that led him to that candy store at that precise time.  Maybe he just wanted him some sugar (da ba dee da ba daa).  As for Terra and me, we were out for dinner and shopping at the mall because of one of her friends in Orlando had recommended it. She had met that friend through work, at a job she sought out and accepted because of her desire to stay close to me until I graduated school at UF.

It occurred to me that had I never met and began dating Terra, I would have never met my idol. Terra and I had met on a chance encounter at UF, and she only kept talking to me because I was interested in her poodle.

Moving back further in the story, had I not been attending UF for grad school, I would have never met Terra. My decision to move to Florida was fraught with many other chance events that are too long and complicated to list here.

The entire saga reminds me of one of the more interesting topics that I learned during my education engineering: chaos theory. This concept is also known as the "butterfly effect", and if you've seen that goofy Ashton Kutcher movie, you already have some notion of how it works. The basic idea is that systems that seem random are actually deterministic (meaning able to be predicted), but depend heavily on the initial conditions. Also, miniscule differences in the initial conditions can yield completely different results.

Take for instance a coin flip, which many people consider a fair, random method to make a given decision. Theoretically, however, if you could know and measure all the input variables (the initial launch angle and velocity of the coin, the air currents in the surroundings, the elasticity of the landing surface...), you could calculate the outcome. Of course, this outcome is very sensitive to these initial conditions, so such a calculation would be futile. Even the smallest gust of wind or vibration in landing surface can cause an unpredictable outcome.

The broader lesson of chaos theory is that you can very rarely plan out your exact future.  For the younger member of the audience, you may soon have difficult decisions about where to attend school, what you will study, and who you befriend.  You may have long-term goals and stress out about how to achieve them. When you are confronted with two roads diverged in a yellow wood (Frost reference, thanks Mrs. Sienkewicz), you may have some idea where each road might lead, but you cannot predict what surprises, sub-plots, and other diverging paths await you along the way.

My advice is to not sweat it so much. Be decisive with your choices and have confidence that you chose correctly. You might not meet one of your favorite rappers as a result, but everything tends to work out in the end.

Quote of the Week vol. 193

"The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do, and what a man can't do."

- Captain Jack Sparrow

Summer 2017 Wishlist

The Champions Club Summer 2017 official sign-up is not quite ready, seeing as we are waiting on a few last-minute decisions. We did a wishlist in 2015 based on who I thought would fit well into sessions. This time around the wishlist will be different. Seeing as this might be the Summer of the Great Returns, I did a recruiting board. The star rankings are not based on ability, but based on what I would expect their attendance/community contribution to be like if they signed up.

Important: this is only done for people who were not in the Champions Club last summer. I think it would be kinda weird if we did it for new people. And a post involving everyone we have would take a lot longer than I would care to spend on a post. So read this like you would a Rivals board: you have the players on your team already, and you are looking for additions. Enjoy!

Jacob Augustine

5-star prospect

A big burly boy with sweat glands stemming from every possible inch of surface area of his body, Jacob has been rumored to make his return to the Champions Club this Summer in hopes to round out his overall fitness and learn some techniques to help his coaching over the fence. Boom or bust type prospect with a history of both booming and busting. And sweating.

Pros: Great community contribution. Unrivaled in recruiting persuasion.

Cons: I'm going to have to buy more 45-lb. bumper plates and Lysol whipes.

David Saporito

5-star prospect

After deciding he'd had enough of not being allowed to run the open 800m, Sap decided his time on the Eastern Michigan track/CC team was done, and he is looking to get back in "CrossFit shape." Despite being a runner, he's always had good strength and coordination that has helped him excel in the gym. Now that he is back home for the Summer, he is considering making his return to the place where his CrossFit career started in the fall of 2013.

Pros: Community involvement/recruiting persuation rivals Jacob. Shows up all the time. Kind of funny.

Cons: Physical liability from training with track people the past few years. Might not have a soul.

The Babies (collective unit)

5-star prospects

With the help of patient families like the Bodways and Asmars, and Matt Fecht's basketball camp, the Babies group has been a critical addition to the Champions Club since February. They are rabidly energetic and are very consistent in their attendance every Sunday. They currently include Simone, Sydni, Jacqueline, Drew, Conamora, Zeena, Ender, Lily, and Kyle/Haley (not pictured). While we technically had Babies sessions the past two years, it was nothing like what this Summer's might turn out to be.

Pros: The future of the Champions Club is looking at us.

Cons: Requires anywhere from 3-4 coaches at a session for safety. Potty-training might be an issue.

Elizabeth Banet

4-star prospect

Since school has been out, Biff has been steadily returning to her usual form. While taking last Summer off... wait... she was here last Summer? My bad. On to the next one then.

Pros: n/a

Cons: n/a

Mrs. Kroll

4-star prospect

With her son, Robert on the verge of getting his driver's license, there is a chance Mrs. Kroll might be able to make time out of her probably-busier-than-it-should-be schedule to make a committment to the Champions Club Summer. She's been in the Champions Club consistently since 2015 for 9 months out of every year, but has yet to put together a consistent Summer. Will this be the first?

Pros: Unconditional loyalty. 100% buy in. Easy pickins to make fun of. Everything you love about our moms!

Cons: Extra explaining is required. One of the bathrooms will always be occupied.

Mr. Fitz

4-star prospect

Despite aches and pains that have been naging at him since a youth, Mr. Fitz has tried to work around whatever was feeling sore on that particular day. In April, he had to make the call to walk away from CrossFit for good. Or, at least, he said it was for good. But after some mobility sessions, rest, and a general life without Mr. Z, Reggie, and teasing Mrs. Fitz in public, Mr. Fitz has given some hints about making a comeback for the Summer.

Pros: Very coordinated. Strong upper body. Dresses in kilts. Makes fun of Conor and Mrs. Fitz.

Cons: Walking on eggshells with injuries, etc. Might also be Jigsaw from the horror movies.

Sydni Golfin

4-star prospect

The amazin' Asian. Blazin' Blasian. Champions Club OG and teenage psychiatrist to Bubs and Murley. Heartthrob of at least one handsome lad in the gym. At least. Sydni was about as involved in the Champions Club as one could possibly be during the Fieldhouse/New Old Weight room days. That also led through to our first Summer in here. Then school got in the way, as well as back poison. We have not seen her for a full Summer since 2013, but I am holding out hope that things might change.

Pros: It's Sydni!

Cons: She kinda told me no already.

Erica Gibbons (formerly Krueger, but pronounced Kreeger)

4-star prospect

Erica technically joined last Summer as part of a Henkel thing that didn't really pan out. So for the records, 2017 would be her first official Summer with the Champions Club crew. Over the course ofthe last few months, Erica has made herself at home with Kroll, Crystal, Mama V, and the rest of the 4:30/5 pm crew. And quietly, she has become one of our best movers. Pistols, handstand push-ups, squats, Olympic lifts, and now even kipping pull-ups. If she commits, and her job across the street stays the same, watch out for this one to be on the Summer dream team.

Pros: Great technique. Starting to break out of her shy phase. Checks the website sometimes.

Cons: Lives an hour away. Refuses to get asthma checked.

Alan Wisniewski

3-star Prospect

Alan spent some time with us during the Summer 2012 before heading of to Penn State to play basketball. He meshed very well with Jacob, Morrow, and the handsome crew. Alan was on the Groves coaching staff the past two years and I got a chance to know him decently well. Very cool dude who is looking to be a mid-level contributor at the Champions Club this Summer.

Pros: Very personable. Impeccable social skills for any audience. Basketball player. Surprisingly funny.

Cons: Will require special modifications for hip extensions, GHD sit-ups, and all max effort days. Also kinda soft.

Kris Campbell

3-star prospect

Kris signed up for Fundamentals in the spring of 2014, and yet has never participated in one single legendary Champions Club Summer. Rumor has it things will be different this time around, but we will see for sure come June 12.

Pros: Legit D-1 lineman. Great community involvement. Solid dance moves for a big man.

Cons: Tends to beat me in wraastling. It hurts. Also leaves for Air Force at the end of July.

Mrs. Fitz

3-star Prospect

Mrs. Carey aside, Mrs. Fitz might be our most consistent mommy counting this school year. She joined at the tail end of last Summer, but, assuming she signs up, this will be her first full Summer with the Champions Club. She helped bring in the Mr., and has been progressing very nicely as an athlete over the past few months.

Pros: Great attitude. Good blend of strength and endurancre. Very gullible. Shows up a lot.

Cons: Spells her name wrong on the whiteboard.

Alex Faust

3-star prospect

Another rumored recruit from 5-star Jacob's outreach. Faust came in as part of the Northwood invasion in the epic Summer 2013. After a stint in Kansas City for work, Faust settled back in to the metro Detroit area and made his Champions Club return in the Summer 2015, and eventually won himself the Athlete of the Fall later that year. He's went AWOL shortly after. Will he make a return this year? I certainly hope so.

Pros: I mean, look at the picture.

Cons: I mean, loos at the picture.

Lindsey/Kasey Eason (package deal)

3-star prospects

Kasey first joined the Champions Club for the Summer 2015 (widely considered our best Summer to date). She never quite had the attendance her cousin, Jay, displayed, but she still fit in very well and made guest appearances throughout the year. She took last Summer off for reasons unknown, but came back this spring and brought her sister, Lindsey with her. This combination should prove to be a good showing this Summer, assuming they sign up.

Pros: Combo deal to hold each other accountable. Related to Jay Junkin.

Cons: Complain about push-ups and other shoulder movements. Related to Jesse Junkin.

Matt Morrow

3-star prospect

Matt Morrow is the first person in the history of the world to officially sign up for a Champions Club Summer. It was back in the Old Weight Room. 2010, to be percise. He's been a fabled member of the Handsome Gentlemen's Club, inventor of the elbow muscle-up, and has since gone off on his own to focus on Olympic Lifting. Can Jacob pull a turn-around for this one?

Pros: Very handsome. Polite. Funny. Strong. Thick. Solid. Tight.

Cons: Kinda soft, like Alan. Maybe too handsome.

Kyle Anderson/Mike Morrow (Combo Meal)

3-star prospects

These two young guns made their home in the Champions Club during the Summer 2015 as rookies who led the way to our best Summer in the books. Kyle Graduated from Michigan State this spring and already made a guest appearance on a mobility day. Mike hangs out with Jacob sometimes, and therefore is bound to get roped in here at some point. Will either stick?

Pros: The two formed a great duo of movie-talking/NBA debating/good-form loving college males.

Cons: Kyle sweats more than Jacob I think. Mike panics while doing cleans.

Avery Maslowski

3-star prospect

If Renee Shelton was a little less Renee Shelton, she would be Avery Maslowski. Just a freshman, Avery came over to the Champions Club in the late fall as part of Shannon's Cross Country group. We've already seen big improvement in coordination and strength, and she's brought her younger brother, Drew, in for the Babies session.

Pros: Lots of potential to be a legit high school athlete.

Cons: Not really sure there are any. Ride issues maybe? But probably not.

Craigen Oster

2-star prospect

Unlike his handsome counterparts, Craigen has yet to put a Champions Club Summer under his belt. I mean, he did technically sign up for Summer 2012, but his attendance was not where I was expecting. However, he seems eager to get back at it this time around, and he's always been a very easy kid to coach. So I have a feeling this college kid might out-play his ranking.

Pros: Barefeet bandit. Likes Hip Hop. Younger siblings. Good community fit. Coaches outside here.

Cons: Might still have blisters from that fateful track practice in 2013. Sorry bossman!

Steve Carey

2-star prospect

This news came to me earlier in the month from the mother of the household, but assuming a work schedule can be situated, Champions Club OG (Summer 2010 origins) Steven Carey might be looking to make a return. Last I remember from him, he was a Carey - coordinated, strongish, dreadful upper-body pushing ability, and a good community person.

Pros: A Carey. Plus has ties with OGs like Sydni, Ryan, and maybe even Gabe or Landrith.

Cons: Might have long hair now. Please don't have long hair.

Erica Potter

2-star prospect

EP came to us for Fundamentals at the end of the Summer 2013 and has been with us for a few Summers already. Taking last one off due to work schedules, she came and talked to me earlier this year about the possibility of a return for 2017.

Pros: Great chemistry with The Freaks. Good work ethic.

Cons: Inconsistent attendance. Sometimes falls over things, a la Matt Fecht.

Emmanuel Myles

2-star prospect

Emmanuel has been up and down in the Champions Club since he joined in the winter. He's very athletic and has an incredibly high cieling as a runner if his training catches up to his body.

Pros: Might be best athlete along with Sap/Aaron Sexton. Teaches dance moves to Mrs. Carey.

Cons: Working at Wendy's has not helped his diet, or attendance.

Mrs. Owusu

2-star prospect

Despite having a low-star rating, I think the potential is very high for Mrs. O. Having to cart Emmanuel and his younger siblings around doesn't help her attendance, and neither does working in Canada. But once track is over and she can focus on herself a little bit more, look out for this new mommy to have a breakout Summer.

Pros: Diet has remained on point. Good mobility. Good role model for kids.

Cons: Attendance needs better showing.

Pat Luetz

2-star prospect

As our second-newest Champions Club member at the time of print, it will be difficult to know what to expect from Pat. He already paid for the Summer, so we know he's in. And he's shown a quick transition into our group that is rare for outsiders. So if I had to make a guess, I think Pat is going to out-perform his 2-star base ranking by Summer's end. So we will have to wait and see.

Pros: Really obsesses over good form. Embraces being coached. Brings in food.

Cons: Has not seen enough at-bats. Can't get cleans to save his life, yet.

...........

There you have it. Am I missing anyone? Hope to see you all in Champions Club t-shirts by July!

What Are They Saying: Pizza Edition

This took place just minutes before the 5:30 session. Saporito had to get a pre-workout meal in, and Bubs showed her confusion.

Put a caption to it. What are they saying?

Beast Mode: College Kids do QGB

The strength-oriented version of Fight Gone Bad came up last week, a classic known as Quarter Gone Bad. 5 rounds, 15 sec. of work, 45 sec. of rest: thrusters, weighted pull-ups, and burpees.

The 4:30 session consisted of Jay, Jackie, and Bubs; three of our college kids trying to get back in the swing of consistent workouts. Much to my delight, their form looked really good. Check it out.

As a bonus, this workout came up last time in 2008. As luck would have it, Brian and I both did it. Check out our retest numbers: