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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2019

See schedule here. Dancing, anyone?

Athlete of the Summer FYI pt. 2

"Make superstars of your athletes"

- Coach Glassman.


I loved summer more than any season growing up, and I love it even more now that it's Summer with a capital 'S'. We don't really promote CrossFit competitions, we don't really do nutritional challenges, we don't really do periodized training... we just kind of do the same thing every single day. I believe it's a bigtime fault to let boredom get in the way of best practices. Eventually, every tem takes on the personality of its coach. So how can we get a group of 100 people to see the Summer in the same importance that I do? Uh...

Ryan Richard was Mr. Bennis before we knew Mr. Bennis existed. Check the Extras tab and click on Ryan Design

A decision was made in January 2013 to hang up a few banners and it has grown into the weirdest and coolest obsession in the Champions Club. I want to open up about Athlete of the Summer a bit for you ravenous gymfolk.

Who is Franklin Lama? In 2010 we had Abby and Ben Lama as founding members of the Champions Club; the day before Summer started I got a text from Ben asking if his 5th grade brother, Franklin, could join. Neither Brian or I had ever trained anyone that young, and we kinda wanted to say no, but we took the challenge and Franklin ended up with the best Summer attendance. Check out Cool as the Unthawed for a better account of that legendary time.

So is it based on attendance? Yes. Frankie had the best attendance in 2010, Nick Prys had the best attendance in 2011, and same with Bubs in 2012, Bromm in 2013, and Jason in 2014. There is this odd correlation, however, with people who show up a lot and the general fitness level they achieve. 2014 Jason coming off his freshman year was absolutely stoopid with the CrossFit. Bromm and Bubs both saw their fitness skyrocket. And Nick Prys beat me in a running workout. They were all really, really good.

But then why didn't Shakes win in 2015? Or Andre in 2017? Or Fry in 2018? Because it has to be more than just attendance. David Saporito kind of brought this to my attention back when he was in high school and it kind of stuck with me. Fast forward a few years and 2015 was absolutely loaded from top to bottom. All the time I knew Shakes would finish at the top of the attendance, but there were 6 people who I thought put in more impressive Summers than her. And that was the Summer she lost like 40 pounds and out lifted and out ran everyone; that's how stacked we were. This is when I made the unofficial/official standard that the winner had to be in the 90% attendance.

Then in 2017 nobody got over 90% attendance. So I had to scrap that idea. Top 10 seemed like a reasonable standard, and actually cost Jacob a banner that year.

Last year, as I mentioned in her Athlete of the Week post, Fry was not in consideration - and neither was Danielle. It's hard to put my finger on it, but their workout performances weren't at that level with Erica and Jennifer.

So how the hell do I decide? It's simple: I cut off everyone below top-10, stare at the list for a long time, and decide who I think should get it. It is very subjective and I can't really explain why Elizabeth should have gotten it over Jennifer or Erika that year. I just felt like she was the one. The objective part comes in the attendance. I usually only make adjustments for kids joining late and leaving for college early. You get penalized for having a life. And since the parents' percentage is still out of 7 days, they can double-up if they spend two hours of their Wednesday night at the sweaty, muggy gym.

But then isn't that harder for parents to get Athlete of the Summer? Yes.

Do I have favorites going in? Of course. there are preseason Heisman lists in College Football, preseason MVP lists in the NBA, and the odds-on favorite to win the Wooden Award next year is taking his high school final exams as you're reading this. I have seen things in previous Summers. I have seen things this spring and winter. I have seen the general trajectory of people and their perceived ceiling. I definitely have favorites. If you are in doubt, you are probably not one of them. Shakes definitely wasn't. Still isn't, in fact. And yet...

What does all this mean for this Summer? We seem to be loaded again. Erika was someone who I had my eye on in the spring, and she's caught in the mix of a tough group. As good as Fry was in week 1, she is borderline top 3 right now. Cecilia is absolutely rolling right now but has some soccer obligations. Noah is trending really high, but will his attendance make the cut when Jay Freaking Junkin is coming to mobility sessions now?! Mrs. Bennis is about to be the first Champions Club athlete to lose 100 pounds. Coach Casey knew Scottie Pippin went to Central Arkansas. And for as annoying as Murley can be, anyone want to volunteer to go against her in a workout? Oh wait... anyone seen Shakes lately?

In one way the Athlete of the Summer is kind of like the points in Whose Line is it Anyway?; the performers do their thing but Drew Carey just ends up picking who he wants at the end to read the credits like a Spanish mariachi singer. In the other way, this is something that means you get recognized among a group of people you hold in high regard. And for people who know me well, respect notoriety among people I look up to has always been an unrelenting motivating force for me. Whoever ends up in the rafters this year is going to have some serious work cut out for them. I take bribes in the form of Starbursts, recruits for the gym, and late 90s/early 2000s NBA trivia.

Attendance Record: 6/17/2019

If I recall correctly, our previous record for people in one day was 56 in 2015. We may have tied that last year at one point.

Today we had 53 after the 5:30 session.

7 more and we'll have our first ever day with 60.

19 people later...

72 people in one day, for us, at least, is a lot of freaking people. You sure you still want to help with attendance Coach Casey and Erica?

Here's the highlights from the 6:30 session:

Theme Workout Announcement: Toy Story

The first Theme Workout of the Summer is always a new one, and this year we are rolling with...

There were quite a few options to open up this Summer with. Game of Thrones theme idea was tossed around during May, and we took that into consideration. Then Elizabeth recommended we do the Office, and I was in favor of that - even though I've never watched the show - because lots of you have seen it and most of the parents and college kids can relate to working in an office.

Pokemon Theme is always on my mind, and we actually drew up a general framework of how we would do it. But I decided against it because 1) I don't think the parents could relate to it and 2) when we do finally do it, I will probably give it the best hype video of all time and announce it at every session starting in April.

Toy Story 4 is coming out this weekend. Everyone has seen at least the first two. And since the high ups are determined to ruin a great movie franchise with this new Forky character, I figured we could honor Buzz and Woody better by doing a Theme Workout.

Saturday, June 22 @10 am

Because Coach Casey accused me of "mailing it in" for the parents team workout sessions, they will have to wait until next Wednesday for their version of the Toy Story Theme Workout. Well, that and also because we probably won't have the workout designed by this Wednesday.

Champions Club Summer News Episode 1

Athlete of the Week: FryDay!

In 1991 the hip hop world was waiting for A Tribe Called Quest to come out with their follow-up to the classic debut People's Instinctive Travels. There were rumblings about the group being on bad terms with each other and a sophomore slump coming on. Then they released Buggin' Out and the hip hop community was introduced to the hardest "Yo" they ever heard, courtesy of Phife Dawg. The Low End Theory was here to stay.


So it's Summer now and we do Athletes of the Week on every Saturday some time in the afternoon. Except for today because I wrote this last night after the 6:30 session. Matter of fact, I announced to the 6:30 session that Ashley Fry was the Athlete of the Week was before I saw her mutilate that running, dumbbell snatch, push-up thing. Before Fr(y)day she did two straight sets at 145 for 15 reps on back squat, moved the needle on her strict pull-ups during Tuesday's Nicole, and set a pr on the 5k sub workout on Monday.

My intuitive sense of the female creature tells me that Ashley Fry is a female possessed and has a nice little chip on her shoulder freshly removed from perfect Summer attendance without a banner. Last year Fry was not really on the radar, to be honest. She had a lot of ground to make up and Jennifer and Erica really were on point all Summer. I stand by either of them getting it.

This week, Ashley Fry let out an emphatic "YO!" to let me know she is officially on the map.

I see you Fry.

Pics of the Week: Babies at Baseball, Bad Carbs, and Bubs

First up we have Josh Bennis and Mallory at Dylan's baseball game:

Next up, the college kids hit up Tropical Smoothie after one of the morning workouts this week:

And lastly, let's not forget about Champions Club OG and superfan #1 Mariah Fielder (aka Bubs), who signed up for the Summer in spirit and has been hitting the Campus Improv version of the daily workout while in Miami:

Beast Mode: 4:30 Session

We modified the row/jumping ring dip/jumping pull-up workout today into 4 rounds for time of: 400m run, 30 dumbbell snatches, 15 clapping push-ups. For the push-ups we wanted some kind of hand release in the air, and the dumbbell snatches were the lazy muscle-snatch kind.

Our 4:30 session was stacked with speed, both from the kids and the parents, and I caught their first round on video. Check it out: