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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

Next Theme Workout: TBA



Entries in ashley fry (12)

Saturday Highlights: Jurassic Park Theme Workout

Yesterday marked the return of our Jurassic Park Theme Workout - which debuted back in Summer 2015 - and had a total of 17 in attendance! Two weeks in a row of great Theme Workout attendance definitely makes me less of a cranky elf. We modified this one a bit; changed clean & jerks to just cleans, and did 2 reps before rotating instead of just 1. We also did the full minute on the second rotation. Due to the numbers, there were short transition times after the dinosaur attacks to get us organized.

The winning team was Murley and Fry!

Danielle and Cecilia were close in second place, followed by a few other teams. We even got a surprise guest appearance from Pat! Overall it turned out pretty well given the complexity of this workout compared to, say, 80s or Disney. Big ups to everyone that showed up! I'll keep you guys posted on when the next theme is.

Check the results here.

Check the photo gallery here.

Our Bad Form is Your Good Form

In the latest version of "WOW MY FORM WAS HORRIBLE" we have Ashley Fry on her all-time pr 1 rep max deadlift at Saturday's Lifts 4 Gifts. Her previous pr? 225 lbs. What did she lift on Saturday, you ask? Oh not much really. Just 265 lbs., a mere 40 lbs. more than she maxed out 16 hours earlier.

The difference? She let her form slide. It was disgusting and broken and unlookable and looked like this...

...which is not really that bad.

One of our mentors and CrossFit Kids founder Jeff Martin (also an insane form Nazi) said, "small deviations in form should be seen at maximal weights or under extreme duress". Well this, for Fry, would certainly constitute a maximal weight. And even more importantly, this is what a "small deviation" would look like, and I have never been so happy to see someone round their back on a deadlift in my life.

Ashley is currently our strongest mover - meaning her position on strength movements like push-ups, squats, deadlifts, and ring rows is on point (skill movements are another story for the time being). She knows how to keep herself stable while she lifts, and she starts crying any time she loses it. For athletes like her, I wouldn't mind seeing a slight push past the realm of their Champions Club standard perfect form in order to see what's really in the tank. When Fry was testing out the lifts on Friday (or maybe it was Thursday, can't remember exactly), she made 225 without the slightest nudge in her spine. At Lifts 4 Gifts, she let the reigns off and lo it ended with a 265-lb. bar finding itself hoisted 3 feet off the ground by one Ashley Fry. Unless Lauren Higgins did more, I am going to guess that is the 3rd highest female deadlift in Champions Club history (Shakes being the highest, going one hundred pounds heavier on Saturday. Holy pants!)

The second reason why this makes me happy is because I have seen max effort deadlift look so, so much worse. When Coach T and I spoke at Michigan State back in February, we tried to hammer home the point about how important it was to have a standard. An actual, observable, universal standard. And the standard for deadlifts is your spine does not move, period. As luck would have it, we have a picture of Ashley meeting that standard:

This is what perfection looks like with regards to midline in the deadlift. Now go back and look at her L4G picture above. When we have a clear standard in place, then, and only then, can we make judgements on deviations. In my opinion, based on THE standard, Fry had a small deviation. A "mistake" in Dr. Romanov's words, as opposed to an "error". Her lower back lost tension and flexed, and it trickled into her upper back a tad bit. Repeated lifts like this over the course of weeks, months, and years will eventually catch up with her and cause injury. One or two lifts like this in the right settig will cause a pr to happen. That's okay. Now if it looked something like this...

...that would be a different story, as it could not be considered a small deviation. But when you guys practice and exaggerate with form that is as close to perfect as realistically possible, our bad form looks like Ashley's above.

And that is how we make our own standard. The Champions Club standard. Good shit kids!




Dude, Katie Shakes lifted 365 pounds.

Coach's Corner: Arches in Kb Swings

Back in April we did a post with Mr. Carey showing excellent foot position as he was doing back squats. Here's what it looked like as a reminder.

It's almost impossible to tell when he is squatting and when he is standing, which is exactly what we want. A back squat is also what is known as a Categoty 1 movement, meaning we are maintaining connection through the entire movement. Think about the difference in movement control between a back squat and a kettlebell swing: they both are identical in terms of position, but one had a speed component that causes the feet to leave the ground. This is what makes the kb swing a Category 2 movement from a lower-body perspective; we are removing connection and support from the ground.

When this happens, it is more difficult to maintain good position. In theory our arches should always looklike our arches, whether we are back squatting, kettlebell swinging, running, or changing direction. In real life they will not look the same. But the cool thing is we know the standard (having a full arch) and we can stay as close to that standard as possible. Here's Ashley Fry and Avery from last Thursday's workout.

Notice the points where their arches are encouraged and the points where they collapse a bit. For both of them, it's on the swing up, which is oddly similar to the oush presses we were doing the other day where both of them say their knees clicking in on the drive up. So what does this mean? Well, in my interpretation it means they need to refine their jumping mechanics. We do a lot of exaggerated practice on landing (box jumps, lump rope, lowering down on squats) but not so much on the up part. Be on the lookout for this stuff in the warmups.

Beast Mode + 4th of July Schedule

The schedule for 4th of July is... the same as any other Tuesday because I live to serve and also have no social life. Not sure which came first, to tell you the truth. Probably the latter. Anyways, hope you guys can make it in. If not, catch you on the flipside.



Last Thursday we did another max effort day using tempo. So far I've liked how it has looked and hopefully it ends up showing is better form and pr's lifts.

Two of the most impressive athletes were Josh Ellsworth and Ashley Fry. Josh is Josh, so one day his form will look great and the next you'll just shake your head (as Reggie and Arlene do the same). This was one of those days where you liked what you saw. He topped out the day at 115-lbs doing 3 reps (although the video below shows a set where he did 2 reps at the same weight). Either way, the form is what we were looking for and it was on point.

On the other hand, Ashley Fry has that Mrs. Carey-esque ability to use facial expressions to make lifts look harder than they actually are; from the neck-down, it looks anywhere from casual to decently challenging, then from the neck-up it looks like she saw Jacob shirtless. Here is Fry's second-to-last set with 155-lbs.

Still, 155 is a legit lift... and she didn't end there. Fry topped out with a 1 RM tempo at 165-lbs. Great job to both of the kiddos!

Spray Paint and Ink Pens

First off, shout out to my dad for helping me pick the color and texture of the paint, as well as doing most of the skilled work when it came to actually painting the floor.

Secondly, I thought it would be a cool idea to let you guys spray paint your name or something similar in a small spot on the floor. We have a couple of bottles left from the scopes and such, but I don't know how long they will last. Especially since The Freaks and Fry used up a decent amount last night.

As of now, it's available to mark your territory after the 9 am session or after the 6:30 pm session. Just ask permission.

One Year Anniversary: Ashley Fry

One year ago yesterday, Ashley Fry came in to begin her Champions Club career with her first day of Fundamentals. Everyone talks about how important first impressions are, and it was clear from the get-go that this kid moved about as well as anyone I have ever taken through the Fundamentals sessions. Since then, she has not disappointed.

Fry. Day 1.Once joining, we simply could not get rid of her. She formed a dynamic duo with Katie Shakes in team workouts, quickly progressed through movements like handstand push-ups, dips, and pull-ups, and even taught us how to do the baton-swirling thing. Before we knew it, Fry was on the Summer 2016 Dream Team list - impressing both Murley and myself and finishing second in the Athlete of the Summer running next to her team workout partner.

As far as the movements go, Fry's technique tends to be among the top in the gym - with much help coming from her flexibility. All the strength movements are nearly perfect, and she was steadily fine-tuning the skill portion of the more complex ones. Even the Pose running came along nicely. Here's a few highlights from this past year:

As with all the "glue kids," Fry's biggest contribution to the Champions Club has come from the community side. If Mrs. Pip didn't exist, Ashley Fry might qualify for the Nicest Person in the Program award. She can conversate with the goobers like Crawford and Conor, her peers like Murley and Sabal, and parents like Mrs. Carey and Mr. Warthman. Heck, she even had a sign language conversation with Mr. Wonsil on her second day of Fundamentals. From my perspective, it's so cool when someone who fits this well is also a beast athlete; this is not me just throwing the "good personality" thing out there when someone has nothing else good to say about them. Get it straight, Ashley Fry will kick Aaron Sexton's butt in a workout, briefly cry for some reason, then smile and light up the place.

Recently, Fry has taken a brief hiatus to finish up some stuff on her to-do list, but as I always say, "Once in the Champions Club, always in the Champions Club." Hopefully we'll get to see her back in action soon.

New Year's Weekend Schedule Update + Fatigue: The Great Equalizer

Here's what things are looking like for this weekend and early next week:


11 am (mobility/makeup WOD)


12 noon (team workout)

1 pm (babies session)

Monday, Tuesday

11 am

5 pm

6 pm

7 pm

When you look at yesterday's workout at first glance it might appear like a typo. Only one round? 15-12-9 burpees? Single digit cleans? There's got to be some kind of catch.

Well, there was. It's called intensity. Do fifteen burpees as fast as humanly possible and all of a sudden that bar does not look so appropriately loaded as you thought during the form check. Among other people (pretty much everyone else), Ashley Fry found out the hard way.

As I was going around for the form check at the 6 pm session, I noticed Ashley toying with the 95-lb. bar in front of her for three reps. No rush, no pressure, just three perfectly clean cleans. Fast forward about 55 seconds later and she just finished an epic burpee race with Carter the Blob (which I lost 2 bucks on by the way). She staggered over to the bar tried to lift it, and could not squat under for the life of her. She tried two more times before I walked over to do a quick pit-crew change down to 85-lbs. and finished the workout there.

When you look at a weight listed in a regular workout you should never take it out of context; meaning when the other exercises induce a lot of fatigue, typical heavy-weight logic often goes out the window. When you are gasping for breath and dizzy from moving very fast, even an empty barbell can feel like an immovable object. Any time a workout looks easy on paper, I would be very cautious in your approach. It might leave you on your back after a short dose.

Referenced reading: Intensity FYI