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Behind the Champion with Erica

See the interview here.


Kroll's Birthday Reactions + Banetfight

It was Rachael Kroll's birthday yesterday and she sent in a workout for us to do today. Last night I showed the 6:30 pm session and they had interesting reactions - including one from Mr. Wonsil that is not safe for men, women, or children. There is also bonus footage of a Banetfight - which probably happens often with 8 kids in their family.



Ice Skating Adventure + Snow Day Schedule

Kids, it is looking like tomorrow will be a snow day for most schools. Still, best to pray to God, Allah, and Yeezus just to make sure. Either way, there will be normal session times. 8:30 am, 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, and 6:30 pm. Hope you can make it once things clear up!



Secondly, over Christmas break I was really doing some critical thinking about why I coach the Champions Club like I do and what things I could be doing to get a good message across. Among other things, one that stood out to me was emphasizing outside sports and activities. I always encourage kids to play multiple sports, but I don't do enough to promote things for our peeps who are out of high school and college sports. Then when the dads bowling thing was getting under way, I figured it would be cool to organize and budget a Champions Club Field Day of sorts every other month or so. The first one will be this month, I believe, and will be:

Skating... on the ice

Have you ever put on a pair of ice skates in your life? No! Of course not. Because you are not Canadian... or, at least most of you are not. Also, you are all athletes to played real sports in the winter, like basketball. Hockey is for the Nordiques and other nomadic folk who don't have access to shovels. Yet last fall, I followed through on a promise to Cory that if he had good Summer attendance I would embark on this ice skating journey with him. He did, so I dragged my butt to Royal Oak Ice Arena and put on a pair of hockey skates for the first time in my life. It was the weirdest thing when I stepped on the ice; it was like there was no friction. My feet just when wherever gravity wanted them to go. I was about as ugly as Jacob's back when he deadlifts without me watching him. Or Nick Bewick's hair when he comes to morning mobility. It took me an entire 40-minute session to move more than a few feet without use of the boards. But towards the end I was getting the hang of it a bit. More than anything, I really enjoyed being coached (Cory did a good job, as much as I don't like to admit) and feeling like a complete newbie.

So we'll get this thing figured out - it will most likely be the last weekend in February - but just keep a few things in mind:

  • This will be no cost to you. It will be covered by the Champions Club.
  • You don't need skates, they will provide them for you.
  • Helmets and knee pads are for Frenchmen.
  • I will be there, which will either make it feel more okay for you to go, or stop you from going altogether.
  • This is for anyone in the Champions Club at any skill level.
  • It was way more fun than I thought. It's not basketball, so I would never do it regularly on my own, but as someone who was, and still is, a hockey-hater, I would recommend trying this at least once. Very challenging in my opinion.

Stay tuned, we will post details coming soon. As a bonus, here's some South Park.

National Signing Day Stories

For those of us obsessive enough to follow high school kids and their decisions to play college, yesterday was one of the most important days of the year: National Signing Day. Football recruits from all over the country made their decisions on which college they would be playing for (Michigan's did not turn out that well on paper, at least). But the glorious coverage was all day on the ESPN networks and it has become so popular that most kids make an event out of it - which I don't necessarily see as a bad thing.

SB Nation had an article earlier this month that highlights the weirdest announcements we have seen on National Signing Day. This came just before this happened yesterday:



That is Jacob Copeland's mom walking out after he didn't pick Bama. Never a dull moment in College Football.

Ben Bergeron on Recovery

It's Wednesday, meaning it's a rest and recovery day for everyone who isn't making up a workout they missed, but it's also important to understand how recovery works and the different factors that go into it.

Ben Bergeron, from CrossFit New England, just came out with a really good video on the topic. Check it out here.


2:00 - 5 things in our control (training, nutrition, mindset, recovery, and sleep)

4:00 - training makes you weaker, recovery is where you get better

15:00 - the origins of sports conditioning in bodybuilding

17:20 - 9-10 hours of sleep as minimum, HGH development in sleep

20:00 - body work (massage, mashing, Marc Pro,etc.)

27:00 - ice is the devil, it's common sense now

Quote of the Week vol. 229

Mr. Wonsil: "What's the difference between a dad joke and a regular joke?"

Me: "I don't know"

Mr.Wonsil: "At the end, the dad joke becomes apparent"

Theme Workouts from the Vault

Around this time of year, the Champions Club has traditionally done two of our school-year theme workouts: Super Bowl and Valentine's day. For the second year in a row, we did not do the Super Bowl workout, but once we get the numbers back up we will be sure to bring it back. It will be difficult, however, to top the classic 2014 Super Bowl workout during the prime years for The Freaks. We had a crazy tiebreaker, a fishing battle, a chick-fight with Amy and Bubs, and the only sin Aaron Augustyn has ever committed was caught on video.

Later that month we did Anita Partyka's Valentine's Day Heartbreaker - a workout where teams are given cards to play on their opponents. Highlights from the last round can be seen below.

This one is not out of the running yet for this year. Stay tuned..

Coach's Corner: Athletic Burpees

Everything we do in the gym is a formal, robotic expression of things that happen in real life. We see a physical capacity we are lacking in sport, recreation, or every-day activity and we try to recreate it in the gym in a safe, progressive way. The burpee is the epitome of this; the simple act of getting off the ground we complicate by requiring feet together, hollow body, vertical forearms, and vertical shins. Easy once you get the hang of it. Whenever you get the hang of it.

Lately, however, we have been doing versions of burpees that add one slight deviation to the end of it. And God help us if we do anything out of the norm. A few workouts ago, this burpee included a lateral jump over the dumbbell. Here's what I got on video.

When we start to add rotation or sideways movement, the injury risk tends to multiply. You noticed how Danielle had the most exaggerated knees-in moment, and Jennifer had the best position. Think about the difference in their training experience. Our hope is that by exaggerating those formal movement principles over and over, they will eventually translate into the less formal movements.

Stay with it. There is no definite time frame. It takes as long as it takes.