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Open Field Practice Time, Fridays from 6:30-7:30pm

Any teams, schools, parents, or kids interested, see this post for details.


Beast Mode: 9 am Tabata

Just a reminder that the 9 am session over break has been moved back to 8:30 am as usual.

Cecilia, Luke, Noah, Elmer, and Avery were all at the 9 am session last Friday (Avery even brough in her brother Drew from the Babies session) to hit the Tabata workout the day after the Filthy Fifty. We know how things will look the first round, but it's the last round that I really took note of. Here's how they looked on the 8th cycle of each exercise:

Lots of room to work on for sure, but not bad considering the fatigue.

College Kids Power Rankings: Winter 2018




So with this being the last day most of the College Kids will be around until the spring, I thought it would be fun to do a little ranking based on how they performed over break and the kind of shape I think they'll be in come Summer.

1. Alyssa Jabara

Highlights: 285-lb. deadlift at Lifts 4 Gifts, good kipping pull-ups

Lowlights: still can't do double unders

Notes: Alyssa seemed like a girl possessed this winter. She was in almost every single day and did not seem to lose as much from a good Summer as I thought she would. I also noticed a serious tone to her that I had not really seen before. She's headed into her junior season on the softball diamond at Concordia and she's got that starting catcher spot locked in tunnel vision now.

2. Noah Heide

Highlights: Filthy Fifty, that sleeveless hoodie thing, kipping pull-ups

Lowlights: that deadlift/box jump workout, and the thruster/burpee one after

Notes: Due to some kind of witchcraft, Noah has habitually suffered lower back pain every winter since 'Nam. We had a brief stint of that after his first workout back (that deadlift/box jump one that made everyone sore), but we've seen him recover well enough to the point where he's at full strength now. He also routinely stays after the morning session is done to work on footwork, throwing, and other quarterback drills. Missing the Christmas workout cost him the top spot, but he will also be in for this next week, so he gets bonus points.

3. Josie Junkin

Highlights: Filthy Fifty, running jump ropes, overhead squats with the 15-lb bar

Lowlights: when she tried to add 5's to that OHS bar, allowing those hooligans to wrapping-paper the basketball hoop

Notes: The Josie Junkin I've seen the past two weeks almost made me completely forget about the headaches she caused Jesse, Jay, Jacob, and I during our adolescent years. Almost.

Josie was a quiet addition to the Champions Club this Summer who all-of-a-sudden finished in the top 5 for attendance. After some digging, I found out that she had done virtually nothing while away at Michigan to keep up the fitness she gained during the Summer and I was worried things would regress. Well they did, but not nearly as much, and not nearly as long as I though. In fact, yesterday she had one of the best Filthy Fifty times out of anyone in the gym. And the tequnique on things like overhead squats and push-ups looked good. She even let two spotters hold her upside down for about 7 seconds in something that resembled a handstand.

4. Ally Kauzlarich

Highlights: attendance, handstand walks

Lowlights: feet still can't stay together

Notes: Ally is literally always at the gym. But she is by-far the most quiet in our group. In fact, I've decided to do the next Behind the Champion on her, so be on the lookout for that. She's one of those people who's always good to have back, even though you don't really know a lot about her. I have zero complaints for Ally over the past few weeks, and that is about the highest compliment one can receive.

5. Lindsey Eason

Highlights: all of Lifts 4 Gifts, cheering on everyone working out

Lowlights: every time she walks into the gym, Taylor Swift radio on Pandora, please take down my picture from your mantle

Notes: As much as I hate to admit it, Lindsey is quickly becoming one of those Shakes-types that just makes things go during a session. She's fit enough to where she won't lag too far behind in any workout (or she'll just cut reps), and she talks to anything that moves. So best bet is to stay completey still and she might ignore you. 

6. Luke Heide

Highlights: Filthy Fifty, kipping pull-ups, longsnapping, running wasn't horrible

Lowlights: cheating in Spike-ball

Notes: I'm not gonna lie, I was not expecting Luke or Noah to retain much from the Summer. But I was pleasantly surprised to see their form didn't look too bad. Luke rounded his back on deadlift set-ups early on, so I yelled at him and he fixed it. Unfortunately he was gone for about a week, which is why he's so much lower than his brother on the rankings, but he's got an extra week too which helps place him ahead of...

7. Cecilia Steinwascher

Highlights: running/thrusters, running/overhead squats, running in general

Lowlights: cheating in Spike-ball, that weeklong vacation

Notes: Cecilia got off to a really good start on her return, but like Luke, the vacation let the likes of Lindsey, Ally, and Josie crawl ahead of her on the power rankings. She also wouldn't let us hear the end about how sore her calves were after box jumps. Still a useful couple weeks of workouts for the soccer star.

8. Ricky Carey

Highlights: snatches, the double-unders on the Filthy Fifty

Lowlights: attendance, sit-ups on the Christmas Eve Workout

Notes: We got to see Slick Rick for only about a week this Christmas break, but it was an entertaining one nevertheless. He missed out on Lifts 4 Gifts and the Filthy Fifty, but Ricky is always Ricky; he'll be ready in whatever shape he needs to be in should the desire come his way.

9. Kris Campbell

Highlights: gracefulness on box jumps, kipping pull-ups, bringing in the Spike-ball thing

Lowlights: stretching out my hoodie, that deadlift/box jump workout, forgetting the Christmas Eve workout was on Christmas Eve

Notes: I was not aware that the Air Force football program does not believe in doing deadlifts (true story), and the last time Big Kris deadlifted was Summer 2017 here. So in retrospect, 70 deadlifts at 225 may have not been a great idea on my part. After a few days of being sore, he was back at it. Wish we could have seen him more, but always good to have the Big Fella back in any capacity.

10. Brendan Crawford

Highlights: brought in that bite-sized cheesecake thing for me

Lowlights: continues to allow Sweet Dreams to get in the way of him being a strong girl one day

Notes: Crawford is Crawford, and I will defend him to the death. That's my man 50-grand, and the Champions Club is always better when he's around. Definitely was hoping to see more of him over break, but his running background should keep him in pretty good shape for the Summer.

11. James Willis

James pictured behind CrawfordHighlights: the attention he pays to his new smart watch, seeing his car parked in his normal spot when I pulled in on my way back from Stoney Creek

Lowlights: not seeing it much more after that despite him working AT THE SAME FREAKING BUILDING NICK AND ERICA WORK!

Notes: You're right there dude. Literally right there! You don't even have to make a turnaround. Straight across Stephenson.

12. DIV

Highlights: those two workouts he was here

Lowlights: form, technique, he still has my Steve Jobs movie

Notes: pissed

13, 14, 15. The Banets

Highlights: still look and move like Banets

Lowlights: conditioning is down a bit, Biff is working through a hip thing

Notes: They're the Banets. They'll be fine. Summer 2019 should be fun!

Honorary mention - Bubs

...for having the audacity to choose a grad school not withing driving distance of the Champions Club. We miss you!

Honorary Mention II - Rachael Kroll

All you need to know about Kroll is this was her med ball for the Run 400 meters, 50 squats workout. Ol' Floppy, sad and depleted and not meant to be squatted to.

Champions Club Field Open Practice

TL;DR essentials:

What: Says it in the title

When: Fridays, 6:30-7:30 pm

Cost: Little Caesars Hot-N-Ready (minus tax)

Sports: Soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, football, track maybe? I dunno, be creative!

Limitations: Paid coaching, cleats, jerks (or any synonym thereof), Sparty fans, the color red, and more than six people at a time.

Practice is a dying art, more than even my beloved mid-range jumper, or non-mumbling hip hop.

I am not far enough removed from Kids These Days to be able to use the term Kids These Days, but for the love of pants every place I coach I hear basketball kids talking about hiring a trainer to help their game, or softball kids looking for pitching lessons, or soccer kids doing goalie training. In CrossFit terms, I like to call this a dead end.

Paying $120/hour for training is not going to stick. There is no way it can. Sooner or later parents are going to realize that this routine is taking the most important parts of the learning process out of the equation for the athletes, and instead putting a band-aid on parts of their game that need improvement. Also, it's ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS! I have a CoachUp profile where I charge $70/hour, and I feel guilty about it.

Individual practice is something that needs to be guided slightly, not heavily coached. I'll show Bryce the footwork for a stationary behind-the-back into a jumper, maybe introduce a small progression to help him get there, then just watch. I might give him a hint or a nudge in the right direction, but the majority of the learning happens when he feels himself mess up.

In short, by learning how to practice, Bryce learns how to coach himself. That is not a dead end.

This kind of self-evaluation is impossible when you are just following a coach or trainer's directions. What ends up happening with over-coached practice sessions is the kids get really, really good at the drills. But drills are exactly that - drills. They're exaggerations, and a lot of them don't translate to the game. It's kind of like a Ponzi Scheme; the worse the kids does, the more they need to buy lessons. Dribbling two basketballs in a zig zag through a line of cones helps coordination to an extent, but, in my opinion at least, Bryce would be much better off simply reinforcing how to protect the ball on a simple crossover... unless Adam Silver allows for two basketballs on the court now that Demarcus Cousins is on Golden State.

Sessions with a trainer or coach should be few and far between. The bulk of practicing needs to happen either alone or with someone who just assists (kicking at you, pitching to you, rebounding for you, etc.) like mom, grandpa, or that friend who you share homework answers with (good tradeoff!) 

So is this a promotion? Of course it is! The Champions Club Field will run on Open Practice on Fridays from 6:30-7:30 pm. Here's the details:

  • $5 per hour, per kid
  • 8th grade or younger - parent has to be present (at least in parking lot)
  • No formal pay-per-session coaching is allowed. 
  • 6-person max on field (including parents/coaches). Athletes get priority, first-come, first-serve.
  • No cleats/spikes
  • Field will be split with one batting lane and open field. Bring your own stuff.
  • Champions Club staff will be present to monitor, but anything is fair game. Start a pickup game, rotate swings with someone, or do drills in a corner by yourself.

Hopefully the affordable price gives kids a long-term option to practice when the weather is bad, and it also allows us to kick someone out who's being a jerk without thinking twice about it.

Any athlete from any school is invited, no appointment or booking needed (yet). Right now this is the only Open Field time slot, but more may be made available upon request.

Bye Bye Bubs pt.II

Just an update, no midnight workout tonight. Regular sessions as usual. There was some confusion for the rest of the week; see the post here for session time details.

I am embarrassed to admit that in 2014 I guessed/predicted that Bubs would be one of those kids who we don't really see again after going away to college. Thank the lord I was wrong!

Bubs has been one of, of not the most reliable College Kid who always made a point to come back for Summer, Christmas, and the random weekends throughout the school year (no doubt in part to her desire to get out of the crap hole that is Spartyville). Whatever the reason, the Champions Club immediately becomes better when Mariah Fielder steps through the doors.

Unfortunately for us there will be a lot less of that for a while. Bubs's last workout was earlier today, and she's headed down to Florida for the next three years while in grad school at the University of St. Augustine. I'm sure she'll find a way to spot between now and 2022 at some point, but we'll definitely miss her being within driving distance. 

Hope you do well Bubs! Love ya!

There's only one Bubs.

New Year's Workout Poll

In the past we have done an 11 pm workout on New Year's Eve, ending at midnight and celebrating the New Year. If we get enough people we'll do it.

Anyone in?

The Freaks, New Years 2014

Christmas Workout Recap, Results, and Photo Gallery

Okay, so I took the last 8 minutes or so just trying to figure out exactly how many people we had at this morning's Christmas Workout Spectacular. That's the kind of day it was.

47 is the number I came up with (49 if you count Mrs. Regine and Mrs. Busch who jumped in the 12 Days of Burpees for a little bit). But I may not be the best to rely on when it comes to anything mathical. As it turns out, counting was the biggest theme of the day, not only with counting people, or medicine balls, but also counting reps and rounds. Almost half of the people in attendance today were not in the Champions Club last year around this time, so it can be expected that the numbers would be inaccurate. New Kids on the Block Hunter and Zack Stein finished with the top score of the day; Cecilia and Luke also finished in the top 5, but I got to witness first-hand how much they cheat during out friendly game of Spike Ball after Lifts 4 Gifts.

It is very likely the duo of Jay and Jacob avanged their narrow loss at the hands of Sap and Ricky last year and pulled out the win. Speaking of Sap, our last two Athletes of the Summer both carried their teams to... very unspectacular performances this year. Ah, remember their glory days! But I digress, next year I'd like to try and get a better hold on the counting, but I'd trade inaccurate reps for a landslide record turnout any day; last year we were excited to have 36 at the session.

I also don't know how this thing could have been done without the turf. We used it for all three workouts, and it especially came in handy on the Magi Mile (opening up the heater side for wallballs) and the twelve days of burpees. For the Magi Mile, we simplified it into normal team workout format: one partner goes dumpster and back, other partner wallballs, then rotate for 12 minutes (I need to remember to get The Babies more organized for this one next year). As for 12 Days of Burpees, we went back to the original running format, alternating rounds, and went to half of the parking lot. The after festivities went great as well: food, gift exchange, and Elf playing on a projector.

Big shouts to Shakes, Murley, and Danielle for helping set up the lights a week ago, to Shakes, the Benni, and whoever else helped deck out the gym last night and lay on white board paint, Murley for helping clean and do the times, Lindsey for the Babies gift exchange, Mrs. Tara, Fry, Mrs. Pip, Shakes, and whoever else for the food. And Mr. Freaking Bennis for making the turf thing look presentable and adjustable. This will definitely be remembered as one of those sessions. I can't imagine it getting much bigger than this.

Christmas Workout 2018 Final Results

Christmas Workout 2018 Photo Gallery

Highlights from WOD 1 (Christmas Eve Commotion):

And, of course, Bob Ross and Winter at the Farm for the soul.

Thank you guys again! Hope to catch you tomorrow at 11 am.

Christmas Workout Reminder + Greetings from Evan

Tomorrow (Monday, December 24). 9 am.

Best single workout session of the year!

Unfortunately for us, we will not be joined by one of our most consistent rookies from Summer 2018. Evan Pugh really has it rough now, as he's on vacation in the Carribbean.

Poor kid is probably missing the Champions Club really bad right now! Too bad be won't be at the gym tomorrow at 9 am.