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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

Next Theme Workout: Shark Week/Hawaiian Mashup - Saturday at 10 am!


Coach's Corner: Avery

When people start to come in more often and their technique gets consistent, it makes max effort days much more productive in the sense that we can actually get close to our max lift.

Avery Maslowski is about a year and a half into CrossFit and we are really starting to see her movement look good. Last week we did 5 RM front squats and normally she would have stayed around 45-lbs. and done more reps. But this time we were able to work up in weight. Here's her last set at 85 lbs.

By all accounts, she had that last rep. But this was her first time actually feeling weight that heavy, and she wasn't familiar with the strugle it can take to keep form and keep the weight moving. As we progress, this is now something we can work on, but only because - even at her failed rep - her form did not change. If Avery's knees were caving in and her back was rounded, we'd have to adjust. In short, good technique gives up options.

Pics of the Week: Shannon, Sharks, and Geez Does Anyone Ever Go Home?

One of the business mentors things I follow says that you can rate your session based on the percentage of people still at the gym 15 minutes after your session was done.

We had 17 people at mobility session today that ended at 11:00 am. At 11:30 there were still 15 people in the gym.

Next up, Shannon DropBoxed me a few pictures from track season that are in both the May and July Daily WODs galleries, and she also included a picture from her vacation in Jamaica.

... so... yeah... you guys can marvel at that for a bit.

And lastly, I'm not sure from where or when this picture came from, but it was also included in the mass of DropBox content from the last few days. It also just so happens to be a nice sneak peek of what the Theme Workout might be this week:

Athlete of the Week: Jesse Junkin

We are officially at the halfway point of Summer 2018, our our Athlete of the Week this time is Jesse Junkin.

Jesse is coming off a 4-year hiatus from the Champions Club, where he spent his time working and not doing much of anything in the terms of physical fitness. He came back this Summer and I honestly was not expecting much in terms of consistency. But I have to say Jesse has been the biggest surprise to me. Aside from about a week and a half, he's been doing 5-7 days per week and it looks to be paying off.

The other tough thing for Jesse being gone for that long was the adjustment to new movement standards and such. Luckily he seems to be adapting very well and is patient. This week was a great example.

On Monday he finished with the second-best time at the 6:30 session while looking solid on the floor press. Tuesday was a great day for him, as that 6:30 session was packed and most people were left on their own to squat. I wanted to keep an eye on his squats, but from the empty bar all the way up to his max his form in the hips and kness never deteriorated. Thursday was another good one for Jesse, as he proved his double-under game was as strong as it was back in 2014. Then Friday he did 8 rounds with 55-lbs. on his cleans, never letting his knees come forward, and today he ran with the fast group at the hill, out-lasting one of our Mott track runners.

Our gym is tough to get along with. Every few years we change our mind on what is good form and what is not. This makes it hard for college kids and the like to keep up with everyone when they come visit. Jesse's first two weeks back were pretty rough from a conditioning perspective, and a technique perspective. The conditioning comes with attendance, the technique is part attendance and part patience. Jesse has been one of my favorite people to coach this Summer and now that he's back to his normal form, I'm excited to see where he finishes up and hopefully we can continue this through the school year.

Poll: Best Hot Dog Eating Gentleman in the Champions Club

It has been brought to my attention that Jay and Jacob will be having a hot dog eating contest Saturday around 4 pm. The rules are the following:

  • 5-min time cap
  • All wieners, no buns
  • Mustard and ketchup is allowed
  • Eye contact is not

Who will take home the victory?

You Make the Call: What's the Priority

One of the things I have been contemplating since the Fieldhouse days - and even in my high school/college CrossFit time - is how to balance sports training and strength and conditioning. It can vary depending on the season for sure, and it also depends on how serious the athlete in question is for their sport. For example, a general high school athlete - 3 sports, no real college aspirations but is pretty good and enjoys playing - would probably want to make CrossFit the priority, then drill stuff on the side. Same goes for a fat kid trying to make weight for football or wraastling. And I used to think for the serious athlete, it would swing the other way. But some observations I've seen over the last year make me second guess. So you make the call.

*for both scenarios, make the assumptions that 1) the Champions Club is the best place to train young athletes for their sport, 2) their sports trainer would also be the best in their business, 3) their general fitness is not as good as their sport-specific skills.

Scenario 1

Jessica is a 6th grade soccer player who has been in the travelling circuit for three years. She has posters of whoever is today's Mia Hamm on her wall, and has no problem putting in hard work to play at the highest level she possibly can. She's at that weird age where yes, she's still a middle schooler, but the clock will start ticking within the next few years where the serious players get separated from the casual ones. Jessica got introduced to the Champions Club and is ready to sign up. Only problem is she wants to do the rookie session at 5:30, and that's when she does her soccer lessons with her soccer trainer.

Assuming Jessica can only do one thing per day, how many days out of the 5-day-week should she do CrossFit and how many should she do soccer training? What kind of factors would go into your decision?

Scenario 2

Billy is a sophomore offensive lineman and, like Jessica, he wants to take football as far as possible. He's gone to some camps, talked to some coaches, and recently picked up his first D2 offer to play at Wayne State, although some coaches have told him he might have a chance to play at the D1 level. 

Billy also found out about the Champions Club and is signing up, but he has the same issue as Jessica. So how many days should he do CrossFit and how many should he do football-specific drills?

From the Vault: MottFit

Over 4 years ago, Coach T got me to come in and co-coach his 3rd hour lifetime fitness class. This was the beginning of our collaboration that grew to involve 3 schools, two gyms, and a B1G presentation.

Looking back on the video, I notice a few things we still coach, but most of it is kind of outdated; that is not to say it was wrong, but it has been refined time and time again. Still, it's cool to see the grassroots. Check it out.

Campus Improv Workout - Danielle in South America

This morning at mobility, David Saporito let it be known that Danielle is on the trading block based on 1) her being in Coasta Rica and 2) him watching The 72 Most Dangerous Animals in South America special on Netflix. But from the looks of it, Woorden is doing just fine on her school trip.

Before she left, I told her to make it a goal of doing 7 workouts over the course of the 10 days she was there. But the catch was it only counts as a workout if there was no formal exercise - meaning it can't include things like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, or presses. It had to be informal, natural movements like hiking, trail running, moving stuff, swimming, etc. Here's a picture she sent yesterday of her playing soccer with some elementary school kids.

Gyms and fitness centers were invented only once the picture above and other activities like it stopped becoming common in our daily lives - and notice the word daily. Play, even at adulthood, should be an every day thing. If it was, the Champions Club would be out of business.

I think I have said it here on the site before, but if the most athletic thing you do during your day is a deadlift, you did not have a very productive day. We spend so much time in our little bubble of strength and conditioning that we often find it hard to create workouts that don't involve push-ups and air squats. If you cut the grass with a push mower, you worked out. If you laid down some mulch, you did a workout. If you played a game of pickup basketball, you worked out. The more of these little things we can add to our lives, the more effective our gym workouts become; instead of just trying to undo all the sedentarism (is that a word?) throughout the day, we can then actually add to our fitness.

Danielle is a competitive powerlifter, and her job is to focus on very robotic movements. And it turns out she's probably top-20 in the state of Michigan at it. But the picture above gives her a chance to showcase what that formal stuff has done for her. She's in a pistol shape right now. Her foot is not pointed straight forward. Her shin is not vertical. And both of her shoulders are slouched forward. That is perfectly okay for the time being! The more she practices those safe principles in the controlled environment of the gym, the less likely they'll be a problem outside the gym. In the meantime, she gets to work on her coordination, change of direction, reaction, and strategy. In other words, she's developing her athleticism. Controlling the soccer ball coming at her - even against elementary school kids - is way more athletic than anything she's done in CrossFit or Powerlifting. A good balance of both is what we need!