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The Champions Club Checklist

Reminder: add 10 bucks to your May monthly payment to cover first week of June


Graduation: The Graduate

Recent high school grad and baby of the Wonsil family Joe decided that his blistering 6:59 on Jackie was not enough. After this week's mobility session he hopped up on the high bars and tried out a couple of bar muscle-ups. With the Banets coaching him, he finally got up here...

Keep it up kid!

New Challenge: Hard Routine

Nutrition is a topic I purposely avoid in the gym, even though I am confident in the methodology. Nutrition can be like a religion to people and I can't prove food things like I can with knees out squats or Pose running. But still, I'd like to throw out a challenge to get ready for the Summer. It's called the Hard Routine and a majority of it revolves around Nurtition. Here are the rules:

Duration: Tuesday, May 25 - Monday, June 8

Prerequesite: Get Zone portions from Chris or Murley


1. 5 meals per day (3 main and 2 snacks). Strict Zone portions. No cheat meals!

2. Limit of 2 unfavorable corbohydrate throughout the day (still in Zone portions).

3. Minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night.

4. 10-15 minutes of mobility work (outside of your session) on something you suck at.

Triple Baconators are generally not Zone-friendly

Post to comments if you are in. Note: minor deviations may occur for in-season athletes.

Schedule Update + Signup News

The schedule for this weekend will be the same as usual with one minor adjustment.


10 am babies session test-run

11 am team workout

12:30 pm parents team workout



12 noon

3:15 pm

5:00 pm

6:00 pm

7:00 pm


You'll notice that we are holding a 10 am session tomorrow. This is for kids in preschool through early elementary age. If you have anyone in mind, give me or Murley a heads-up. The session will last about 20 minutes. That will also mean that their parents might be checking out the site over the next few days, so try to keep things PG-13 (as it has been as of late).

Champions Club Summer 2015 Official Signup will be coming out on Monday. If you were not a part of last year's crew, then you need to provide me with your email address either by comments section or text.

Please review the Summer 2015 Wishlist to see where you stand.

Lastly, it has been a tradition of sorts for a few class-clowns to reply in a... creative fashion to sign up for a session. The funniest I can remember is Jesse's from last year, but it is not anywhere near suitable for me to post on here. So instead, we have a classic from Master P.

For other memorable replies to last Summer's signup, see Summer Reminder #3: Mystery Athlete Edition.

Pic of the Week: Sabal's Clique

Despite what we may believe, Aaron Sabal does not spend the entirety of his day in a moldy, dimly-lit labratory examining test tubes only to return home to a nagging wife-type substance who has yet to make a substantial meal AGAIN so they just order pizza. In fact, the Hot Doctor actually has a social life and friends - both something I will sadly never experience in my wildest imagination.

Something else I thought I would never experience in my wildest imagination would be running into a man named Merlin who is not a wizard but, in fact, a real life human being. And it happened yesterday, as it turns out, because Sabal has a friend named Merlin.

If that was not odd enough, Merlin brought a friend (which would technically be Sabal's friend too) named Chelsea. This is how she introduced herself to our gym...

Yes, you are right. Sabal has a friend named Merlin and a friend who is a contortionist capable of performing acrobatics that may not even be legal on this side of the Mississippi. But best of all, they were both Chelsea and Merlin (the shirtless warlock standing behind Joe in the picture) were really cool have in the gym. Hope we see them back soon. And in Chelsea's case, I might actually brush the dust off my pile of wavers.


Back Squat FYI

A common fault in the back squat that we see a lot in the gym is wrist position. Although the ideal position for the hands is a little bit wider then you would have for a clean. However, sometimes that ends up looking like this:

It doesn't look too bad from the front, but if we change the view and look from the side...

If Mariah were to maintain this grip, then all the weight that she should be back squatting will be supported on her wrists, much weaker joints than her hips. This indicates that Mariah doesn't have the shoulder extension to use this close of a grip. In order to keep her wrists neutral, she would have to move her grip out a little bit too look like this:

Looks much better from the side:

Until then, keep at those German hangs. 

Guest Post by, Mel: The Rebuttal to Test/Retest: The Main Site

In response to my post about the evolution of main site programming, Mel sent me a response by email. I thought it was worth sharing, so here it is!


Main site programming is not as good as it used to be.  This is an interesting – if perhaps unoriginal – thesis.  Let’s examine it in more detail.  Here are some premises:

1. Programming is ever evolving 

Coach says as much himself.  3-on, 1-off was not always the standard.  Look at some of the earliest main site WODs.  It was basically Coach experimenting.  I mean, look at this mess.

Or how about this one – Coach’s original post said this:  “REST DAY?  / Let's put some energy in to the five CrossFit Challenges (No's 1-5)…”

That’s a “rest day”?  What was Coach thinking?  Some will lament the fact that an affiliate programs a strength WOD and then a metcon on the same day.  Looks like Coach tried this as well.

2. CrossFit workouts are supposed to be challenging. 

CrossFit programs for “the tip of the spear”.  Why program for the best and scale for the rest?  Coach explains here: 

CrossFit main site workouts “exceed the demands of the world’s fittest human beings”.  There are lots of ways a workout could “exceed one’s capacity” – but certainly strength (too heavy) and skill (can’t muscle-up) would be two of the most common.

3. There are many ways to gain benefit from a workout.

Everyone loves the “sexy metcon”.  The one that “would leave all 40 people following the program dead on their back”.  But CrossFit is not just a “conditioning” program.  It is a “strength and conditioning” program.  That is why we have heavy days.  Are heavy days elegant?  Not particularly.  Do they leave you flat on your back?  Not usually.  Are they effective at increasing strength (powerlifts) and/or power (oly lifts)?  Of course.

What about a workout like J.T.?  What is the benefit of this workout?  Those who have done it realize that one of the primary benefits (for most people) is increasing stamina.  Are you gasping on the ground after J.T.?  Not likely.  More likely you are spending half the time shaking out your arms, and wondering why the 2nd round of HSPUs are so hard, or why in the world you have to break up a set of 9 push-ups!

 Run 5K.  Could there be a workout I dodge more than this one?  Boring.  And basically 20 minutes of pain if I want to get anywhere close to a PR.  And yet, cardiorespiratory endurance in monostructural activities can be important.  So can improving lactate threshold.

How about those crazy “not for time” workouts, ala this one.  What do we improve here?  Oh, that’s right – some of the more “skill-based” fitness attributes: balance, coordination, accuracy, agility.

Sometimes you just gotta work on those other skills.


Assuming the premises above are true – we could certainly argue about that, but it is beyond the scope of this response – we should now revisit the question which was asked: “Do you think that the Regional events should be listed as main site programming?”  In one sense, we need to understand what is behind this question.  Why are these workouts not appropriate / not ideal?  It was difficult for me to intuit just what the criticisms were, though I think weight (too heavy) and skill (too hard) may have been a factor.  As in – the workouts could have elicited a better metabolic response if they were lighter / easier (less skillful).  But if this is the criticism, why not scale so that the appropriate response (and therefore adaptation) is achieved?  

In any case, let’s examine the workouts cited one-by-one:

Back squat 10-5-3-1-1-1-3-5-10 reps

Strength workout with a heretofore never seen rep scheme.  Challenge yourself – can you do the last 3 sets at the same weight you did the first 3 sets?

For time:
15 muscle-ups
205-lb. squat clean, 1 rep
225-lb. squat clean, 1 rep
245-lb. squat clean, 1 rep
255-lb. squat clean, 1 rep
265-lb. squat clean, 1 rep

A sprint for the Games athletes.  Will your grip be affected after doing muscle-ups?  What about your pulling strength?

5 rounds for time of:
Row 25 calories
16 chest-to-bar pull-ups
9 strict handstand push-ups

A classic – dare I say “elegant” – CrossFit triplet.  Can’t do C2B pull-ups and strict HSPUs?  Scale.  Or maybe – give it a shot and only scale when you need to.

For time:
Handstand walk 250 ft.

1-rep-max snatch

Two specific tests, one gymnastics and one weightlifting, but back-to-back.  How do you like snatching heavy when your shoulders and midline are fried?

1-mile run
135-lb. overhead squats, 50 reps
100 GHD sit-ups
150 double-unders
135-lb. sumo deadlift high pulls, 50 reps
100 box jump overs, 24 inches

An interesting little CrossFit chipper.  By the way, chippers are part of CrossFit – otherwise why would we obsess about the Filthy Fifty or the Dirty Dozen?  This one probably feels like a Hero workout – a long slow grinder where you just have to put your head down and do work.

Ahhh the Filthy Fifty. A beloved (for some) CrossFit chipper.


Let’s return to something Coach always says:

“The magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation.”

Programming is an art, I will admit.  And it is certainly possible to program a workout where you don’t get much out of it.  But isolating your programming to only hit “the sexy metcon” is a mistake – it violates one of our core principles, variance.  The fitness adaptations we make are not all driven by metabolic response.  As noted above, some are driven by strength, some by stamina, still others by skill.

New Graduate: Kyle Anderson

Kyle is the fourth Anderson to complete fundamentals and officially join the group! He finished with his first attempt at "Fran" and finished at 7:53 with 65 pounds and ring rows. Once he masters the kipping pull-up he'll probably destroy that time. The 5 pm group even got to cheer him on as he finished. I'm predicting that Kyle will probably be one of the most improved athletes of the summer... We'll see!