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New Feature Post: Behind the Champion with Mr. Augustine

Check out the epic interview here.


Coach's Corner: Conor and Mr. Carey

Yesterday we did a max effort split jerk for the first time in forever. The main thing I was noticing was the disconnect on the timing between the unweight and the lunge, which is going to happen when you haven't done them in forever. I assumed there would be a translation from the cleans you guys have been doing - which are looking very good as a whole re: timing - but I didn't take into account that the fear component is multiplied because the weight is over our heads.

As I wrote about in the workout post, Conor and Mr. Carey were two of the crew that stayed extra to work on their technique. They both ended up getting 2/4 reps with good timing. Here's what their bad ones looked like:

From my viewpoint, it comes down to points of support. To be good at Olympic lifts, you have to remove all points of support completely (feet, shoulders, and hands). Call that triple extension, the second pull, or whatever. We call it unweighting because that's what it is: you are removing your bodyweight. Conor never removed the support from his hands or his shoulders, and this is evident because if he did, he wouldn't be able to push the bar upwards like he did (yellow arrow for reference). He does a great job to unweight the feet, and allows the bar raise up by his face, but his next direction needs to be down. Conor is afraid to fall, plain and simple, and this also shows up in his running.

Mr. Carey is trying to fall. Trying so hard, in fact, that he starts splitting his feet almost immediately after the bar leaves his shoulder (line and circle). If he waited even as long as Conor, then this would look better. But he doesn't want to because that would mean completely removing all support, which, in his words, "is really scary".

Is this picky? Yep. Sure is.

This guy below is Chad Vaughn. This video was taken a few years ago if I recall correctly, but it was just reposted on the CrossFit social media feed and Pat pointed it out to me. The timing on this is very good:

 

A post shared by CrossFit (@crossfit) on Nov 8, 2017 at 9:43am PST

 

Here is another good example from 2015. The movement is a push jerk, with is a lot tougher from a mobility perspective, but the principles are exactly the same.

Will somebody please bring Jennifer back in here! Volleyball is over!

Theme Workout Announcement: Thanksgiving 2017

With a lot of new faces around this year, I wanted to make sure everyone knows about our traditional Thanksgiving Morning workout. This year's edition will be at 8:30 am, same as last year. All are invited, especially the college kids back in town. The schedule for the rest of the weekend will be posted sometime next week. Just remember the basics:

Thursday, November 23

8:30 am

Thanksgiving 2016Also, Jarrod and I are talking about the specifics of Lifts 4 Gifts. And when I say talking, I mean I left him a funny message, he laughed at the fact that we are procrastinating this yet again, and now we actually remember that there is a thing called Lifts 4 Gifts that we are in charge of.

So stay tuned, because there might be an official announcement in the next week or so. Or maybe not. Who knows. But you guys know the drill. Middle of December(ish). Probably my gym. Lift heavy things. Go home.

Sunday Highlights: A Small Triplet

We had a really good turnout yesterday at the team workout, including one of Danielle's friends coming to try it out and a guest appearance by the Super Gump himself, Dawson. The weather was nice enough for a run to be included, so we took advantage. I was also very impressed with how the 10 am rookies Josh Howey and Isaac Dawkins moved. Here's the highlights.

From the Vault: Hero Workout, 2016

Summer 2016 was definitely the hottest one we have ever witnessed at the Champions Club. It was also the Summer that Katie Shakes asserted herself at the top of our ranks. She was part of the small 9 am session on June 16 of that year, along with Sabal, Elle, and 2013 Athlete of the Summer, Katie Bromm.

It is not often we extend workouts past the 20-minute time range, but on this day we blew past that with the hero workout "1775". This one included cleans, squats, and the infamous running with plates/bars, and lasted for 40 minutes.

Here's the highlights from that session.

Anniversary: Mr. and Mrs. Carey

This is not a CrossFit anniversary, but in fact their wedding anniversary. 27 years to the day, to be exact. Mr. Carey is a calm, kind, and patient man, and still nobody knows how he can put up with the constant nagging from the Mrs. Yet here they are, finishing yesterday's workout at the exact same time.

Congratulations to you both! And thank you for being a pillar in the Champions Club for the past 7 years... yes, even YOU Mrs. Carey!

Seeing the CC Difference

For all the shortcomings of our gym - warehouse look, homemade equipment, Arlene, the roof.. wait... we have a roof I think! - one thing you cannot really argue against is how well we move as a whole. I have been told by a very well-respected and well-known coach that it is between us and some gym in Europe that house the best "movers" in the business.

That's all you guys! Lots of coaches know as much as I do, or Shannon, or Murley, but not every coach has a group of athletes that accept those standards day-in and day-out for the long haul. One session? Sure. One week? Maybe, if they're in a deloading cycle. Years? No chance. And since around December 2010 when I decided our form was crappy (including mine), we have been on a constant, endless pursuit to move better than anyone we see. I mean, Jacob will probably volunteer and claim he has the worst form in the gym, and his push-ups on burpees look like this:

Alan! Fix your freaking head position!

What I've been noticing over the years is stories from you guys about seeing people move in other settings that don't look like Elizabeth, or Mrs. Carey, or Conor. Rachael was talking about one the other day working out in OU's rec center (if I recall correctly), Lindsey commented on a few out at Saginaw Valley, Shannon dropped by another CrossFit gym and was talking about bad box jump landing, and Crawford was squeeking on about some push-ups in one of his building trades classes (if you're confused, welcome to Crawford).

Yesterday I was talking with a coach who had his baseball team training with us last year, but switched to a different CrossFit gym this time around because the parents wanted somewhere that was not a half hour drive each way. Understood and no hard feelings. The first thing out of his mouth was:

"Brotha! I miss you guys! They don't teach technique over there like you."

This is a tough one for me, obviously. One one hand, I don't like the downtalking of another coach or gym (especially a fellow CrossFit gym). On the other hand, it does make me feel good that we have set a standard so high for movement quality that anything less is unspeakable and cringeworthy. When you see the difference, you know it. And it is evident when I have people like 8th-grade Maddy Wesner telling me her doctor was telling her squatting is bad, then showing her a squat with knees forward. Like learning how to do basic mobility work on yourself, good technique needs to be obvious to everyone, from 6-60 years old.

When you see something that doesn't look like how we move now, there are two things that should go through your mind:

1. Be humble

Don't forget, we used to look like this:

It's just a stage of a progression. Or they might emphasize a different area of the affiliate: intensity, weight, facility, revenue, etc.

2. Be proud

It took a lot of work to get from where we were in 2010 to now. Hours and hours of undoing bad habits, teaching new ones, then unteaching those when we found something better. You guys really do hold yourselves to very high standards of working out, and not everybody has that goal. Enjoy it!

Beast Mode: Danielle

It usually takes a bit for new kids to warmup to our tightly knit community. Danielle is no exception. Slowly but surely, "Woorden" as Coach T mistakenly spelled her last name to me, has been making herself at home since September. Naturally, that has come with consistent attendance. Most notably, she has been at nearly every mobility session, making the half-hour drive just to mash, band distract, and do that t-spine crucifixion thing on the GHD machine.

Last time we did front squats, she could not do 65 lbs. for 5 reps without her wrists feeling like they were going to snap off. On Monday, she topped out at 140 lbs. on her 3 rep max. Check it out: