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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2016

See schedule here.


Beast Mode: Football Boys

The Mott football boys have been putting in a good Summer of work here in addition to the lifting they are doing with Coach T around the corner at school. We're been really trying to dial in technique for Dawson Bielski and Tyler Jabara on Olympic lifts - especially the timing portion. We usually go from the hang because it almost forces the correct movement, but today we went from the ground and they both looked good. Check it out.

Dawson: 145 lbs.

Tyler: 160 lbs.

Preparing for the Unknown...and Unknowable

The CrossFit Games have been on, for those of you who are into that, and generally Dave Castro likes to throw out some crazy programming stunts. Although sometimes it seems like he's doing it just to find new ways to destroy athletes, it's one of the main points of CrossFit.

When Greg Glassman sums up world class fitness in a 100 words, he says,

"Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: deadlift, clean, squat, presses, clean and jerk, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climbs, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports."

One of the biggest parts of CrossFit has always been learning new things and overcoming new obstacles. That's why CrossFit is often considered preparing for the "unknown and the unknowable." So if you're watching the games, and wondering what "the snail" is doing, it's just Castro doing his best to simulate...new, unknowable sports.

The snail making its first appearance at the CrossFit games. Pretty much a giant drum filled with sandbags.

Sunday Conversation: Misleading Metaphors from Mel

... well, not ecactly from Mel directly, but reference from Mel. If you are aware of the goings on of the Sidebar, our favorite North Carolina fan dropped us a link to an article from The Economist under their Language and Thought section.

Declare War on Misleading Metaphors

I think the article is even more related to fitness than what Mel suggested because so much of our fitness output is determined by how well we view reality. Metaphors (comparisons) are a great way to translate the way you see something to another person. I have found they also help my understanding of the topic at hand. But as the author, "HJ," suggests, lazy or one-sided comparisons can skew the other person's view of reality, and therefore negatively influence how they react. It's a short article and very to-the-point, but just in case you are Jack Trastevere here are a few sound bites from the piece.

The metaphor of “stress” for mental or emotional strain or tension has shaped thinking about mental health since it was coined in the 1930s (see article in this week’s issue). Borrowed from physics, it suggests that people can withstand adverse or demanding circumstances up to a certain point, after which they will break. Yet it is wrong. New studies suggest that the mind is more like a muscle than an iron bar—weakened, not protected, by being saved from significant challenges. To grow stronger it needs to tackle hard tasks in fruitful ways—and to be allowed to recover afterwards.

The notion that “the body is a temple” misleads slimmers and health freaks into pursuing purity and eschewing contamination when choosing foods. That can cause malnutrition and eating disorders—and supports a vast, quack-ridden diet industry.

If you think talent is a treasure possessed from birth, you will believe too easily that if you cannot do something now, you never will.

Language is an incredible tool to bring about the change you want. That's what kept me interested during my brief time as an English major. One of my teachers, Mr. Martin, was very emphatic about not using big words and metaphors just so make your paper sound better; it had to fit exactly as the meaning suggests. But even more than that I am just really behind this article. The examples the author uses seems like those common sense things like, "well of course that's the way it is" but for some reason you never thought of it before.

I guess what I'm trying to say is both my English head and my athletics head are in nodding in agreement.

Athlete of the Week: Elizabuff

After the Banet victory at the Disney Doozy last weekend, we started to see the Elizabeth that we remember from last summer. Her attendance so far has been less than expected for our previous Athlete of the Summer titleholder, but things turned around this week.

The results speak for themselves. On Monday, Elizabeth was one of the few lucky kids with pull-ups good enough to do "Angie" as prescribed for the first time. Her final time: 24:03. 100 pull-ups in 13 minutes. Then on Thursday's running workout, she finished in the top ten with a final time of 20:30. Those are really good times, although not outstanding or enough to stand out alone. But an athlete as well-rounded as Elizabeth who consistently appears on the leaderboards, even if it's not always at the top, is exactly what we're striving for at the Champions Club.

Don't get me wrong, Elizabeth does have her standout moments. Those moments are usually highly correlated with the days handstand push-ups show up in workouts. Friday happened to be one of those days. We modified the workout from the original on the CrossFit.com site, which was like "Angie" on steroids:

For time:
100 chest-to-bar pull-ups
100 handstand push-ups
100 GHD sit-ups
100 one-legged squats, alternating

Instead of doing our modified workout, Elizabeth came in and said "I feel like doing 100 handstand push-ups today." While we're busy questioning her sanity, she's knocking out 30 in a row. 100 handstand push-ups in seven minutes. Not only that, but she also did 80 GHD situps and 60 full pistols in the same time it took gumps like me to do half of that. 

If only Chris got it on video for us all to witness this superhuman feat.

so much beast mode trapped in such a small person...

80's Workout Recap and Photo Gallery

Another year, another classic 80's Theme Workout at the Champions Club. We had a group of 14 this year and it was hot as blazes in the gym and out on the parking lot. It was 10 exercise stations with one partner doing 80 seconds of work, then the other partner doing 80 seconds; one time through for total reps. The only change this year was we added in two water breaks after the 4th and 7th cycle. Shannon and Murley took home the victory this year, followed closely by Elizabeth and Jennifer.

See the full workout results here.

But everyone knows the workout comes secondary to the dress code. This year, newcomer Conor Fitzgerald stole the show with these ridiculous shorts.

It still pains me to look at that. But you can see the rest of the photo gallery here.

Thanks again to everyone who came out today. Be ready for the next theme workout.

Pics of the Week: Babies Session

Hopefully a few of you have seen the "babies" session this Summer on Sundays before mobility. We have a very entertaining group. Earlier this week, we snapped a few pictures of them in action. Check it out.

Beast Mode: Mr. Wonsil's HSPUs

I think Mr. Wonsil's workout tonight deserved a special shoutout because it is the first one in his 5-year Champions Club career where he did actual handstand push-ups.

He ended up with 16 in total - doing mostly singles. He had a few really clean reps (one of which was basically freestanding), and some that were not the prettiest, but sometimes just getting over that mental hump and doing them is more important than how good they look as long as it is safe.

Big ups to Mr. Wonsil for sure and hopefully he'll dress to impress at the 80's Workout.