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Body Language pt. 1: Geno Auriemma

Shannon sent me this video over the weekend and I think it is a great message to share. Geno Auriemma is the head coach for the UConn women's basketball team that loses a game once every 5 years or so. At a press conference he shared his thoughts on playing time and recruiting - it turns out most of it comes down to body language.

I also like this quote:

"They haven't even figured out which foot to use as their pivot foot and they're gonna act like they're really good players."

Goon and Goblin Resurgence 9/18

This one is sure to draw some chatter, and again comes from Jacob.

Who would be in your all-star session? You can pick anyone from any era in Champions Club history, yourself and 5 other athletes.

Couple notes:

1. This is not necessarily based on how athletic the people are, just who you would like to be in a session with the most.

2. You cannot clone yourself Reggie.

3. This is obviously all in good fun. If you are thinking of getting offended from being left off a list, think again. There's stiff competition. Any time you are pitted up in a popularity contest against Mrs. Pip you will lose. Unless, of course, you are Mrs. Pip.

Pics of the Week: Mrs. Fitz Spartan Challenge

Last weekend Mrs. Fitz was not at our weekend workouts because she was participating in a Spartan Race held in part at Michigan International Speedway. She said she was part of a team that grinded through the course, and her training in CrossFit helped her make it through the ropes, bar swings, and the overall running. Here's a few photos from the action.

Way to represent Fitz-O!

Beast Mode: Conor

Don't look now kids, but Conor has been about as consistent as anyone since July. And go figure, his workouts have been reflecting it. For some reason, he still can't string together more than 4 pull-ups to save his life, but I have been seeing a lot of improvement in midline strength and jumping mechanics. Both of those were on display last night at the 6:30 session for 3 rep max hang cleans. It should be noted that the workout called for hang power clean - meaning you're supposed to catch above parallel - but in his case I was a tad bit lenient. As for the "hang" part of it, we allowed athletes to regrip once the weight got heavy.

This is Conor's last set - topping out at 150-lbs.

Keep it going Panic!

DIV: Destination In View

On August 20, 2016 I went to the Warren Mott Alumni Cross Country; our 11 am goobers were all running, as well as Matt Fecht, who was probably using the 5k race as a warmup to his warmup. But when I started walking towards the entrance gate the first thing I noticed was not the goobers, or Fecht’s flying-V upper body, or even Coach Mark’s high socks. What I saw produced a glare that could blind a man. Or at least a small child. 

A 110-lb. pale, shirtless David Saporito - a sight that had been absent for over two years.

Sap first joined the Champions Club in October 2013 during the prime of The Freaks Generation; Jason was Jason, JZ and EP just joined, the Banets, Collin, and Aaron Sexton were coming off their first Summer, the Jabaras were about to join, and our Foley crew of Bubs, the Augustyns, the Kimmels, Connor, Bromm…

…Jesus that was an awesome group!

So David joined right in the middle of that as a high school junior looking to boost his already established running portfolio, and he was our best athlete from the day he finished Fundamentals. He rocked it from November through most of March. Then a little incident happened that was completely on me; combine that with a track season that did not go as well as expected and David made the decision to step away from the Champions Club before Summer 2014. The interesting thing, though, was he emphasized that he wanted to come back after his running career was over. I would need chalk to tally how many times I heard this from departing athletes, but I always held out a sliver of hope for the Gingerbread Man.

Fast forward to last August: I tried my best to avoid any CrossFit-related topic when I saw him. But he brought it up almost immediately:

“Dude… I want to do CrossFit! And not to get better at running, but I just want to do CrossFit!” I played it cool, but this definitely got me thinking about the next Summer. Then I got a text sometime in November:

“I am not running Cross Country for Eastern any more. Do you know of a good CrossFit gym in the Ann Arbor area I can go to?”

And Summer 2017 officially began.


“Summer at the Champions Club is a 3-month long family reunion.” – We Love to Hate the Shakes We Love

Truer words may never have been spoken on this site. And Summer 2017 proved that there is just something about this place that you can’t leave unattended for long periods of time. I'm guessing it's the perfect mixture of nostalgia, guilt, and results. I mean, look at the names that came back:

  • Alan – 3-star prospect who met expectations and is sticking with us this fall
  • Binno – is Binno.
  • Cory – unranked coming into Summer, raised gym GPA, and also committed for the fall
  • Craigen – kinda weird with short shorts, but definitely out-performed 2-star status
  • David Sap – AOTS
  • Jacob – lived up to 5-star ranking. Brought in people. Commented on site. Hot in the face.
  • Jay – luck of the draw brought his job close to the gym. Balding but athleticism makes up for it.
  • Kris – D1 athlete who boosts our credibility and need for air fresheners.
  • Steven Carey – also out-performed 2-star status. Good attendance, excellent Coach Tim impression.

And that doesn’t include people like EP, Meghan Murley, Mike Pond, Mr. Fitz, and the Andersons – who have all hinted about coming back in some way, shape, or form. This place is like a magnet. And thank God for that, because this Summer would have been a rough one without those names above.

Jacob Augustine also deserves special recognition; I know he’s one of like 3 friends I have so I try my best not to be biased, but he had just as big of a hand in this Summer’s success as anyone. What started as a wings-and-grinder conversation in late-April turned into a verbal commitment to 2 days per week – which, in the right Jacob mood, is far better than zero days per week. Before I knew it, Jacob literally doubled-down on his promise and brought a crew of goons with him. A Filthy Fifty here, a mobility session there, and a different name might have been destined for the rafters. Which brings me back to the man of the hour.

Usually the best players on the team aren’t the leaders and team captains; it’s the walk-on, grind-it-out white guys who can yell loud and capture everyone’s attention. This is completely fine; usually the best players on the team are busy being responsible for things only the best players on the team can do. In the same way some people are just naturally the best, other people have a weird ability to get their teammates to do what they want. In rare instances when both characteristics reside in the same person, you hit the jackpot. This is the case with David; he is the main instigator for The Freaks group listed above, and he is by far our fittest athlete. His absence was not truly appreciated until we saw him back this Summer. Elizabeth, Jacqueline, and Erika all finished near the top in attendance, and he also had a way of encouraging people like Mrs. Fitz, Binno, Ricky, Shakes, and Crawford to keep theirs up. And on the workout side of things… well, you probably saw.

  • 25+ rounds on Cindy
  • 15:17 on Filthy Fifty
  • 275-lbs. on a 1 RM Front squat
  • 20 minutes on the running/l-pull-up workout
  • 355 1 RM deadlift with good form
  • Stoopid round totals on the Dallas 5 trilogy

In a setting where I value intensity over just about everything else, this kid’s overall motor on a wide range of workouts is about as good as I’ve seen – right up there with the Ryan Richards and Erika Banets in their prime. It was no surprise that David was also very open to getting his form back on point. The entire process is still ongoing – we couldn’t get rid of the deadlift setup flinch all the way, and same with loading his knees – but he made a ton of progress to the point where I’m fairly confident he should be able to workout on his own with minimal damage before coming back for Christmas.

Usually the best players on the team are also the least coachable. David had something to say about that as well.


I judge the Champions Club based solely on three categories: Coaching, Movement, and Community. It starts with me and whoever else can tolerate me at the time (usually Murley or Shannon) and comes down to what kinds of standards we set both inside the gym and out. Then we look at movement, and it’s really simple: how well can the Champions Club athletes move without being coached? Finally we have community; is the Champions Club a family or not?

Here’s a family test: Jack and JZ were both not on good terms with me when they left this past year. I am stubborn, they are them, and I didn’t budge so they did. It was pretty tense on both sides leading up to it. So did I miss them when they left? Hell freaking yes! Can they be replaced in the gym? Hell freaking no! Who will come in with skintight suites with dickbutt stitched in leather? Who will recite the entire Django KKK scene in perfect cadence? Family members cannot be replaced in any way, shape, or form, even if you don't want their professional service. Just because you don’t need your uncle the plumber to fix your faucet doesn’t mean he’s not your uncle.

Now when we do get people back after a long hiatus the Movement aspect obviously becomes an issue. Steven and Craigen took 5 years off; Crawford was probably just being born last time they were in here. There is zero chance their form will be good right away. Sap got to work out some kinks when he came back during Christmas, but then he had another 4-month break before starting back up in late-April. Luckily he has the combination of being athletic and coachable and his form was more than respectable by the end of the Summer. Here’s the way I look at it: I can live with a decrease in overall movement quality for 3 months if it means we get some old faces back because those very faces make our Community so much better. And should they want to stick it out after Summer, I know their form will gradually improve.

Bottom line: once in the Champions Club, always in the Champions Club. The timing might not be right at this moment, or next week, or even this year. But I have a good feeling most of those who wondered will be back within our walls someday. This Summer was a perfect microcosm of that, and it was led by David Saporito. Trust me on this one, if he came back, anyone can. But just a warning: there is a little grunch who also calls this her family who might attack upon return. It’s the magnet thing.


Campus Improv Eats - 9/14/2017 + AOTS Feature Announcement

David Saporito's Athlete of the Summer feature article will be posted tonight at 5 pm.

Lauren Higgins was kind enough to send in a food picture for analysis this week.

Again, since we can assume this is not a cheat meal we want to look at this meal in three categories: Protein, Carbohydrate, and Fat. I really needed to specify before I posted this up, but it appears we have chicken, potatoes, and chips with corn salsa. In the second we have an all-veggie salad with ranch dressing. Here's the breakdown:

  • Protein - chicken (assuming that's some chicken in the first picture), cheese on salad
  • Carbohydrate - potatoes, chips, corn salsa, salad
  • Fat - ranch dressing

The first thing I notice: she is lacking on protein. The potatoes and corn chips are high in carbohydrate, but there isn't an excessive amount of either, and the salad is minimal, so I'm good with the carbohydrate count. The fat in the dressing is fine. It's just the amount of chicken mixed with the potatoes and cheese on the salad most likely does not balance out.

Win or loss: I am going to say slightly leaning towards a loss on this one. If those are chicken slices in there, I think she could have easily added more. If those are not, then defiitely a loss.

Fix for next time: Use your palm or fist to estimate roughly how much protein you need for a meal.

Quote of the Week vol. 208

"It is important to be stubborn in your vision but flexible in your plan."

- John Maxwell

Mrs. Carey, Mrs. Pip, and Mama V celebrated their 7th year Champions Club anniversary last Thursday. My vision has always been for our athletes to be lifetime members. The plan on how to get to that has changed about a thousand times, and will continue to do so. I think we're somehwere in the correct trajectory, though.