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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer!

See schedule here.

Athlete of the Week: Jacqueline

This week was a no-brainer; Jacqueline Banet was in complete beast mode from Monday through Friday.

Jacqueline started things off this week strong on Monday's workout by showing the strength to do ring dips and keep her form good. Then came the two consecutive days of Filthy Fifty-esque chippers, and this is where Jackie was really on top of her game. She did Tuesday's version of the 50's in 16:20 - which beat Jennifer by 20 seconds and Elizabeth by almost a minute. Then she was able to recover by Thursday and not only post a great time of 11:48, but she also did all 50 pull-ups with the butterfly kip! To wrap things up on Friday she posted a solid total of 135 lbs. on her 1 rep max clean.

Jackie has quietly put in a great Summer so far and is showing a very good example for her sisters. And man, those butterfly pull-ups are looking pretty nice. Sets of 10 seem to be no problem. Keep up the good work!

80's Theme Workout Recap

The 7th installment of the 80's Theme Workout took place earlier this morning and, well, we have a winner...

After Mr. Wonsil walked through the door, there was very little attention paid to reps completed, movement technique, or anything unrelating to those fantastic calves and pale thighs. But for the sake of tradition we did our best to count reps and such, and it turns out Sabal and Reggie came out on top!

Full workout results can be seen here. And full photo gallery here. And full-body pics of Mr. Wonsil will now be in the dreams of every single mom that reads our website.

Great job to everyone who showed up today! Be on the lookout for another theme workout next weekend. Should be extra dangerous!

Thinking out Loud: Published Paper Politics pt. III

by, VJ Tocco

Like many other kids who grew up in the 90s, I was very excited to learn about the new Bill Nye (the science guy) series on Netflix. I had cleared my entire schedule one Sunday evening, intending to binge the whole series.  Much to my dismay, I quickly realized the show was much different than the old Bill Nye show, and began to skim the content after two episodes and ultimately shut it off entirely in favor of The Office re-runs.

My biggest beef with the show was that Bill Nye was telling, not showing. Very little (if any) actual data or evidence was displayed. Rather "experts" and comedians joined the show to pontificate, promote their ideas and ridicule those with different viewpoints.  This ridicule reminded me of a news story from earlier this year, when NBA star Kyrie Irving made headlines for his beliefs that the earth is flat. Although I disagree, I admire and respect Kyrie's train of thought. He had never experienced direct evidence to the contrary, and refused to simply believe what others had taught him. The media who covered the story completely missed this point, and instead vilified him as a role model to young children.

Too many people blindly accept "conventional wisdom" as truth although they have no direct, indisputable evidence. Examples: breakfast is the most important meal of the day, 30 minutes of exercise per day avoids health problems, re-using the same plastic water bottle leaches chemicals that give you cancer, a diet full of omega-3 oils is good for heart health, etc.

I haven't regularly eaten breakfast in about seven years. I stopped sometime in college because I enjoyed sleeping more in the time that I would have spent preparing and eating the food. Truthfully, I don't even get hungry before noon anymore. Yet, when I share this fact about myself to my friends, most are shocked at the damage I'm doing to my metabolism. When I challenge them on these beliefs, not a single person can point me to a peer-reviewed article that indisputably shows evidence.

The only way to really know these things for sure is to evaluate the primary scientific literature that proposes these claims. However, primary scientific literature is mostly inaccessible to the public for three main reasons:

  1. Written in confusing and pretentious language:
  2. Many literature articles are written for other experts:
  3. Journal articles cost money to read: Unless the article is open access (free), scientific papers cost about $35! (Link:

So is all hope lost? Maybe not. Here is a blog I found for ways to access literature ( As for actually understanding what you read, I can personally ensure that it gets easier with practice. It's also easier if you can discuss with a friend who shares your interest.

Whatever you do, never ridicule those who think differently than you do without having done your research. Also do not be offended by being challenged on your beliefs. Healthy debate is good for your brain.

New Graduate: Conor

Hidden behind the goofy antics, habit of sleeping in, and quiet Panic-from-Hercules mannerisms, Conor Fitzgerald might be the most athletic kid out of our new generation of goobers. He was away for most of last week with wraastling camp, but this week he has been consistent with his attendance.

Yesterday at the mobility session, we were practicing some muscle-up progressions before the session started, and it turned into this:

Great job Conor! Keep up the good work! Be on the lookout for his repulsive short shorts at this Saturday's 80's workout.

Theme Workout Announcement: 80's!

This Saturday will mark the return of arguably the most highly-anticipated theme workout in the Champions Club vault: Back to the 80's!

The Summer 2011 in the Fieldhouse was the first time this workout was introduced to the Champions Club, and Brian the Trainer was the main producer. It has evolved a little over the years and the soundtrack has been popular, but without doubt the main attraction is the workout attire:

I am slightly concerned what might come of this weekend with Binno returning and a rumor of Jacob coming in. But we shall see...

Saturday at 9 am! Set your alarm!

Quote of the Week vol. 200: The Tyler Ecker Parable

Michigan football fans know 2005 as the Year of Infinite Pain (before we knew what pain was). We were plagued with injuries, bad luck, and Mike DeBord andit made the entire season absolutely miserable to watch. In fact, the only ray of hope was for Steve Breaston to do Steve Breaston things. For schools like Michigan, years like this, 7-5, result in post-season bowl games that neither produce extreme joy when victorious, or sadness when lost. So this year we played Nebraska in the Alamo Bowl. I watched the entire game in a semi-conscious state; daydreaming about Braylon Edwards from the previous year, and fantasizing about the future with Kevin Grady. How foolish I was, indeed.

However, with Michigan down by 4 with one second to play, and 70 yards to the endzone, I suddenly snapped awake as I saw the game's final play unfold.

Okay. So watching that without a football background might be a tad bit confusing. Here is a close-up of really the only thing you need to know:



Since around my freshman or sophomore year in high school, I always thought one of my biggest strengths as a player was having a good sense of my abilities compared to other players. With the help of my dad, I was able to get very honest with myself and assess my strengths and weaknesses. As a coach, this is something I am still working on, obviously, but I think I have a good idea of who I would consider myself better than, and who I would consider better than me (the specifics of what "better" means were partially covered in the Motivation Case Study and might a topic for a different conversation).

Experience helped me the most as a player, and I got to play against kids who were never going to make a high school team, and kids who were going to be in the NBA. So the more I played, the better sense I got of how good I was.

Having this ability is important because in most settings we are operating as a team, whether that is on an actual sports team, at work, or running a family. There are somethings you are better at compared to those around you, and some things they are better at than you. If we can step back and see our abilities for what they are at that moment, we can let each "teammate" play to their strengths. Then winning happens. Or you could be Tyler Ecker with a Heisman candidate running behind you.

PITCH THE DAMN BALL!! And you will win.

Related reading: Everyone's Open Parable

New Graduate: Mrs. Kroll

Sometimes peer pressure is the best way to get things accomplished. And sometimes it's just pain old trickery, deception, and manipulation. All techniques were on display yesterday at the 4:30 session when Mrs. Kroll got on the rope fully expecting to do a half-climb. Unbeknownst (spelling?) to her, her daughter was lying in wait wth the camera on record. Then peer pressure took over. Here's what we got:

Mrs. Kroll's first rope climb! Great job kiddo!