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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2014

See schedule here


From the Vault: Triple Pull-up

The Champions Club called the Fieldhouse home three short years ago for our 2nd summer of existence. Those were the days of fun runs, cheerleading mats accompanied by cheerleaders, and thinking that good coaching meant yelling "HOLLOW BODY" without understanding what it meant. Back then girls getting a pull-up was more of a surprise than something expected as it is now. This video shows three of our OG's Christina Powers, Meghan Murley (Versele at the time), and Abby Lama getting their first pull-ups - all on the same day as luck would have it.

August 5, 2014

Ryan, take note of your lack of flowing hair in the video.

New Graduate: Kroll

Champions Club OG and 9 amers Rachael Kroll got her first pistol this morning at the 9 am session. At least, we think it's her first pistol - she can't quite remember. I know for sure she tried them last night at the 7 pm session but couldn't stand up out of it. So we'll count this one as her first.

Happy Birthday, Emma!

Today is the April 1st of the summer, and it's also the day that Emma turns 19! And without her first steps into the world 19 years ago, the Champions Club might never have come to be what it is today.

Emma was not the first girl to join the Champions Club, but she is one of the only ones to have stuck it out since the first summer back in 2010. She joined right before her sophomore year of high school, and shortly thereafter the majority of her volleyball team at Foley joined her. Since then she has been the most consistent and arguably the most influential athlete the Champions Club has seen. Emma's contributions to the Champions Club as an athlete and coach are innumerous, but she deserves to at least have a few of them highlighted today:

Emma is the definition of a beast.

She brought Chris and Brian a lot of credibility at Foley for racking up the hardware - including accruing three regional medals for the 400-m dash. While she was showing off her Pose skills, she was also repping the Champions Club as a key player on the basketball court and softball diamond. She even showed her prowess in the CrossFit community, joining the Champions Club and CrossFit BMW's teams for two team competitions in high school. She and Ryan competed against people almost twice their age who were full-time CrossFitters and dominated. The CrossFit BMW/Champions Club team was almost guaranteed a 1st place spot at the Tribe Wars, but both athletes had to drop out to go play for Foley. Even now, Emma has the highest numbers (weights, not times) for any girl in the Champions Club for almost any lift. She posted a 4:12 "Grace" yesterday with the prescribed weight and overhead squatted 145 lbs on Tuesday for crying out loud!

Tribe Wars 2012Emma is one of the best coaches in the state.

And she's only 19 years old. For the kids who weren't around when she started, Emma was a natural coach since the summer of 2011. That was when she was going to be a junior in high school - just barely 16 years old! Her nickname at the Level 1 Trainer's Course she went to was "high-schooler," because for those of you who aren't aware 16-year-old coaches are not commonplace. When Jarrod decided to relocate his affiliate from Royal Oak to Midtown Detroit, Emma was up at 6 coaching his athletes before school. Then she would come back after to coach some more. And she believes in the way we coach so much that she is going to find a way to scientifically prove that it's the best way to train someday.

Emma's 10am crew last summerEmma is at the center of the Champions Club community.

Think about it: who brought you here? Was it Amy Potter? Was it Jason? Was it Mama V? All of those people can be traced back to Emma. She was one of the first people to advocate for the Champions Club when she was with her teammates at Foley or with her aunts and uncles at a family barbecue. I joined because I saw how much better she was than me and I just had to compete with her. Without her, there would be no Mom's club OR Dad's club, considering both of her parents were the founding members. She somehow convinced her dad (her mom didn't need convincing) to submit himself to the hardest physical tests he'd done in years and to put up with Chris's tyrannical coaching style. The domino effect Emma has had on our gym's demographic is unfathomable.

Emma jumping in a workout with Mrs. Pip and Mama VEmma's role in the Champions Club can best be described as the Game Changer - she is what makes us this great. So Em, I hope your birthday measures up to be what you deserve, and I can't wait to see what you'll do for us next!

Coach's Corner: Grace for the Rookies

This morning, we saw our rookie 10 amers take their shot Grace. Murley did a lot of work in the technique circle to get them ready, and here's what it looked like.

How did they look? Obviously the form is not going to be perfect 1) because it is a benchmark workout and 2) because it's their first time doing the movement in a workout. So with that in mind, what coaching points would you emphasize if you were in charge of the session?

Theme Workout Announcement: The Grinder

CrossFit has heavily influenced and been influenced by the military since its founding. This relationship stems from the fact that their goals are the same: To produce the fittest individuals possible that are physically prepared for any challenge.

Many military branches abroad use CrossFit programming to train their troops. They also use it for conditioning purposes while soldiers are on location, which means they don't have the luxury of using the traditional equipment we see in most CrossFit affiliates (barbells, rings, pull-up bars, medicine balls). Instead, they use sandbags, heavy stones, empty barrels, or whatever they can find to perform deadlifts, cleans, presses, and carries.

As a way of saying thanks for all of the things the military gives us, CrossFit dedicates "Hero" workouts to fallen soldiers, like "Murph." We might see that come up later this summer, but this weekend we're showing our support with a team workout programmed specifically for a platoon stationed overseas. CrossFit HQ released these workouts in a journal called "The Grinder," and the one we will be doing is "YBF" from November 2006.

FRAGO 04 to OPOrd 01 -- OP GRINDER
Ref: A. OPORD 01 01 Jul 06
Task Organization: Annex A
1. SITUATION. No Change.
"YBF": 3 rounds for time: 21, 15, and 9 reps of double-unders, thrusters, ring dips, squat
cleans, and deadlifts
a. Concept of Operations.
(1) Intent. Complete three rounds of the exercises as quickly as possible in a
safe manner. This is a five-man-team, "task-specific" workout. The team's
time ends when the last member of the team completes the workout. The
purpose of this workout is to develop cohesion and combat fitness under
fatigue conditions through shared hardship, challenges, and competition.
(2) Scheme of maneuver. The platoon will be divided into as many teams of
five as possible. Each team will require a skipping rope, a sand bag, rings,
a 45-pound rock, and two .50-cal. ammo cans. All the teams will start at
the same time.

Here's a fair warning: This could be one of the toughest team workouts we've done this summer.

Leader of the New School vol. 2

It was recently brought to my attention that Jack Pryde was given a spot as an assistant coach on Warren Mott's Varsity Soccer team. Pryde was an established soccer player in high school for the elite travel team Vardar before suffering numerous back injuries and switching to football as a kicker. I'm sure Pryde will be a great addition to their staff and we'll be sure to catch a few games this fall.

Untitled/Unedited Rant from 7/30/2014

In a series of unfortunate events, the single most valuable piece of memorabilia from the Champions Club – my cell phone – was destroyed beyond repair. Actually, it wasn’t a series of events. I was simply reaching for my phone to text Katie Bromm to ask her where in the name of all holy gingers she has been in the past four days. When I performed my nonchalant flick of the wrist to flip the phone open, it slipped out of my hands and landed on the ground below like this.

How and why this tragedy happened is irrelevant. The important part, of course, is figuring out whose fault this is.

First, I blame society. The pressure they put on strong-minded individuals such as myself is nauseating. And if the technological advances in cellular devices weren’t so radical, the feeling of lost authenticity would not nearly be as intense.

Second, I blame school. If I had never graduated High School, then I would have never had a phone as a graduation present – in which case I would have been spared from the agony of Monday’s events.

Third, I blame Jason. Two weeks ago, I did Helen at the “remedial session.” While Shannon, Emma, and Bubs did not put up much competition, Jason was on my heels for the first round and a half. I was forced to go faster than I was hoping, causing a cascading effect of upper-body and upper-respiratory fatigue that still hinders me to this day.

Fourth, I blame Amy. Back in the Fall, Amy summoned the spirit of a young Arabian child killed at war who goes by the name Dean. This, as one can guess, was initiated with the help of a Ouiji Board at the Potter household and then directed here with Amy’s witchcraft. I have never dropped my phone flipping it in such a manner, so one can only assume he was playing a cheap trick on me.

Lastly, I blame Verizon wireless and Samsung. If you can’t trust your phone to last for over 6 years, then what can you trust?

Dean's doing from November 2013

Ok now that the important part is out of the way, the rant may begin.

All throughout high school, I did not own a cell phone. While I occasionally found it frustrating (considering one instance where a college coach from Ball State tried to text my landline), I did not mind the fact that I was one of the only people in the school without one. It was one less thing to get a detention for. Also, many fights (white-people-fights, that is) seemed to get started over someone reading a text message they weren’t supposed to or a some guy not calling his girlfriend enough. Not having a cell phone kept me out of that bubble; something I was grateful for. If I ever needed a phone (basketball trip, etc.) I would just borrow my mom’s. I tried to think of another example where I would need a phone, but etc. is all I could come up with. But in reality, what other reason would I need a phone at the time? Most of my friends lived within walking distance where I could just merely walk thirty steps in a general direction and use the fool-proof technique of knocking at the front door to see if they were home. And those who did not live that close could be reached via this thing called the home phone. Even if my friends (all four of them) could not be reached, it was not the end of the world. I would just go do something I probably should’ve been doing in the first place – like working out with Brian. When we were doing our CrossFit thing, we would agree on a time for the next day and meet up at that time. If it was up in the air, I would call him from my home phone and figure it out from there. Sometimes, I wonder if memorizing numbers is useless or a good thing. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

As mentioned above, it wasn’t until I graduated High School that I got my first cell phone – the same one that I had up until Monday night. The phone served its intended purposes; perform basic calling/text message procedures, provide people with an efficient avenue to reach my attention, and acting as a totem of sorts to spin and flip to tell me if I’m dreaming or not. It was 2008 when I got my phone. And if I’m not mistaken, cell phones started to get smart in 2009 when the first iPhone came out. As the cell phone technology grew, many of the people I knew upgraded. While there were still a few stragglers, it was only a matter of time before they were sucked in to the iPhone army.

At this very moment, I 100% need to own a cell phone. That, I think, is pretty obvious. Having a cell phone is a very efficient tool to get things done that help run a CrossFit Gym. But tools can break – and if I learned anything from building stuff with Ryan this year, it’s that you should have backups for all of your tools. A cell phone could very well be the best tool for whatever purpose it serves, but it’s risky to have it as the only one. Yes it was slightly inconvenient to not have a cell phone for two days, but my email address and the Champions Club website were able to pick up the slack. Were I to own an iPhone, I could easily see myself relying too much on it to the point where I would not be prepared if it went down.

I like certainty. If I see a cell phone as a tool, I would prefer that it be as reliable as possible. Low risk, low reward. My old phone was the epitome of that.

It is pretty much impossible to argue against owning an iPhone. They appear to be able to do a lot of cool things and they make things really convenient for people. But over time, people seem to confuse convenient with necessary. Unfortunately they are not always the same avenue. It’s important to not let the convenient nature of your smart phone carry into other areas of your decision making. Otherwise we get things walking around like Connor Moore and Jesse Junkin who are rarely seen doing anything at the slightest inconvenience.

Either way, the time has come for a new stage in my life. The prehistoric age has passed and it is time for me to join the rest of society. I am not a sellout, nor am I conforming to those around me. I have merely made an upgrade based on necessity and common sense. I would like to introduce the Champions Club to my brand new smart phone:

Not only does this have a built-in alarm clock, but the buttons actually work when you press them (for now). Ya jealous yet?