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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!


Entries in 10 am (45)

Beast Mode + New Graduate: The Walkers

While most of our rookie class is finishing their final week of school, Abby and Emily Walker are getting a head start on Summer 2018. They came in late-April as a recommendation from the Kavanaughs and joined out middle school session. They are both on board for the Summer and looking to improve their tennis game. Abby is in 8th grade and Emily is in 5th. Here was their workout yesterday:

This morning we had rope climbs in the warmup, and on the 3rd round Abby mnaged to get her first rope climb!

Keep up the good work both of you!

Coach's Corner: Josh and Isaac Tempo Thrusters

One of the main movement patterns we emphasize is jumping and landing. As of late we have been doing more coaching on the landing portion of the movement, whether that is the soft knees on jump ropes with feet together, vertical shins on box jumps and cleans, or doing a slow tempo descent into the bottom of our squats.

The jumping portion emhpasis is usually on the timing (ie. unweight with the shoulders), but starting with Avery and Fry sometime before Christmas, I noticed a common fault in the position of our jump. Mainly when we see the knee clicking in during the movment of our peak force. For Fry and Avery, it was during the unweight of the clean, not necessarily the deadlift portion, and on the split jerk as well. This movement fault is consistent to some degree with everything that involves jumping - which is a lot of movements we do. Usually this is most visible at the heaviest loads or highest speeds.

On Tuesday we had max effort thrusters and we used the opportunity to work on that position. In the video below, Isaac demonstrates a few max height wallballs where you should notice he maintains position pretty well on the way down, but has that flinch on the way up just when he is putting the most effort into the toss. In the thruster, we stop at that position to give him better perception of his body, and we don't see the fault. Same with Josh (we didn't get his wallballs on video).

Remember, everything we do in the weight room is an exaggeration of reality. So we are exaggerating this one part of the thruster/wallball/whatever so that when we jump in real life, we won't be a perfect robot but we'll be closer to perfect than before.

Beast Mode: Josh Howey

Wrestling is one of those sports that is definitely hard to follow from an outside perspective. The scoring system is obscure and subjective, the matches are held in the off-hours of basketball gyms, and it's way less glamorous than basketball or football. But there is no doubt that wrestlers are among the strongest and best conditioned athletes in all of sports.

Summer 10 am rookie Josh Howey plays football, basketball, and track with the seasons, but his main sport year-round is wrestling. It turns out he's pretty good. Last weekend he had a national-level tournament in Lansing, and he was on top of his game, so much so that he even received All-American honors.

This is sweet! Great job Josh, and I had no idea we had an All-American among our ranks! Keep working my man.

New Graduates: Andre and Josh

Almost on cue with yesterday's introduction post, we had two graduations at the 10 am session this morning. After the workout we were practicing rope climb technique and both Josh Howey and Andre Saffar got their first one in the books!

Both kids have been progressing very well in their short time with the group. Hopefully this continues through the rest of the Summer as Josh goes into football and Andre goes into Cross Country.

New Kids on the Block: 10 am session

Well, this took an entire Summer to develop, but starting about 2 weeks ago we finally had a consistent 10 am crew.

Avery Maslowski

As many of you know, Avery joined us in the winter. She had decent attendance, but nothing like she has displayed so far this fall. She will sometimes jump around to the 11 am or evening session if she can't make 10 am, but that doesn't stop her from leading the way for the rookie group - both in good form and workout intensity. We might have a good one on our hands here folks! Avery seems to be cut from the Katie Bromm mold - long legs, coordination pending, talking rarely.

Emily Gurney

Emily (pictured on the right) was part of the initial kids crew in the winter of 2016 - along with Josh Ellsworth. She came here through her mom - a P.E. teacher in Warren Consolidated who attended one of Murley's clinics. Emily stopped coming in for a little over a year, but has picked things back up this Summer. Still, her attendance might be the most inconsistent out of the crew so hopefully we can see that increase like it has the past two weeks. This incoming 10th grader has some upside as a runner for sure. Emily seems to be a soccer-first version of Maria, matching sass-for-sass the coaching efforts of myself or Murley.

Mrs. Dawkins

Mrs. Dawkins has been a very important addition to the Champions Club rookie session this Summer, and one of my favorite people to coach at the moment. She is completely open and honest with her limitations of fitness, and that, I think, has been the main part in her crazy improvement over the past two months. Her running and conditioning have seen the most improvement in my opinion, as welll as her midline control. Plus, as you are about to read below, she also works out in the same session as two of her kids. Yet, I never catch a hint of the over-protective helicopter parent we have all seen in one way or another. This is Mrs. Anderson minus the squat mobility.

Isaac Dawkins

Isaac is good friends with Nolan (more on that below) and is an incoming 7th grader, who's primary sport is football. Isaac is probably the most-improved mover out of the group; we have seen him show much more control in his squat, hollow hold, and jump in recent weeks. He even is progressing on handstands quite will; push-ups may be a longer story. For that reason, Isaac reminds me most of Ricky Carey.

Sophia Dawkins

Sophia (pictured above with Emily Gurney) is Isaac's twin sister, and obviously also going into 7th grade. Her main sport is volleyball, and she also had a good gymnastics background growing up. This Summer she has been working around a lingering Achilles thing she tweaked back in the spring. Slowly but surely it seems to be getting better with the constant attention to mobility and position. Think of Anita Partyka, but a little more polite.

Nolan Wesner

If the last name sounds familiar, then you are on track. Nolan is Maddy's younger brother, and also happens to be in the same grade as Isaac and Sophia. Originally, Mrs. Wesner recommended Mrs. Dawkins and her kids to join the gym at the 10 am session, but did not include Nolan out of fear that he would overcome his sister in athleticism... or possibly because he didn't have a ride. However, once Mrs. Dawkins volunteered to drive the youngest Wesner, we added another member to the 10 am session. Nolan, another football/basketball player, is pretty tall for his grade, so the coordination is coming along similar to Isaac's. But still, he reminds me a little of Frankie Lama.

Andre Saffar

On a random day in late-July, Crawford pulls into the parking lot the usual hour and change early to his 11 am session. Only this time he was accompanied by one of his Cross Country teammates also fresh out of practice. Andre tried out a workout, liked it, and signed up the next day. By pure percentage, Andre probably has the best attendance. If that keeps up, look for good things coming from this incoming sophomore. He's a pretty close representation of Kenny Jensen, but a little bit faster.

Josh Howey

Josh is the older brother of Samantha, one of the standouts in the Babies session. He is going into 8th grade and he cannot decide between wraastling and football as his favorite sports. Josh has the best mobility out of anyone in the group and is now working on the movement control to go with it. And man, he is picking up fast. Cleans, push-ups, handstands, and hollow holds look pretty good considering his 2+ weeks with us; the main thing he has to correct is the knees-forward fault. Definitely reminds me of a shorter version of Conor.

Mrs. Howey

On Josh's first day with our 10 am session, his mother was the one to drop him off. Only, she didn't necessarily drop him off so much as venture in through the garage doors with him. She wasn't a stranger, though, seeing as she often brought Samantha to the Babies. Anyway, I noticed she was dressed in attire that could be reasonably passed for workout clothes, so I invited her in. One hour later, we had our second mommy for the rookie session. So far, the coordination part of the movements is the most challenging for her, but the mobility is ready once the motor control catches up. If anyone remembers Angie Kadawaki from the early days of this gym, this might be her in disguise.

Mrs. Bass

And last but not least, back for the second Summer in a row is Champions Club fan-favorite Mrs. Bass; badass P.E. teacher at Warren Mott. Unfortunately she could not convince her boys to return for another Summer, but we are still glad to have this one on board. Honestly, Mrs. Bass is one of the most inspirational people I coach. It is not often that P.E. teachers and coaches practice what they preech; Mrs. Bass is a glaring exception. If we could get her here even more consistently, it would make me a much happier Chris. Definitely some Mrs. Kroll in this one for sure.

New Graduate: Sophia

This morning we had a small 10 am session and were therefore able to fine-tune some coaching points on movements we don't always get to. One of those is the rope climb, and incoming 7th grader Sophia Dawkins got her first complete one on her first attempt. Check it out.

Keep up the good work kiddo! Be on the lookout for the 10 am intro post soon.

Beast Mode: Avery

10 am/11 am roamer Avery Maslowski may be on pace to win the Summer's coveted M.I.L.F. award first claimed by Mikey Peterson (Most Improved Limb Function). It has been fun to watch her improve at the rate she has this Summer.

Last week she kept moving up, and up, and up, and up in her max effort deadlifts - starting with the 15-lb. bar, and leading up to 125-lbs for 2 reps in her final set. Check it out.

This is about as Katie Bromm as you can get without ginger hair. Great job Avery!