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"The Games is the least important thing that happens in CrossFit. There is nothing less important than The Games."

- Coach Glassman

Entries in crawford (16)

Pic of the Week: Crawford and his Coach

Many of the fall sports around the area held their annual banquet at some point this past week. Warren Mott Cross Country was in that camp, as theirs went down on Wednesday. As you know, we have quite a few runners on that team that are part of the Champions Club now, or at least were for a while - Andre, Kenny, Hickey, Parker - and the guy that started that connection was Brendan Crawford. Yes he's annoying, yes Avery can beat him up, and yes, he's still one of my favorite athletes to have in the gym. He's in that Katie Shakes camp as far as just being a plain, old-fashioned good kid.

At the banquet on Wednesday, somewhere between dinner and their coach getting silly-stringed, a few of runners interrupted the procedure in favor of a special announcement: they gave Crawford a trophy and nominated him as an honorary captain. He brought it to the gym on Thursday and the first person he hold was Mrs. Pip, who took a lot of time to work on his nutrition over the past year.

Crawford finished the season very well, and is looking to run at Macomb Community College next year.

Congratulations kiddo! Keep up all the hard work!

Beast Mode: Crawford

In relation with our recent Campus Improv Eats series, Summer 2016 rookie Brendan Crawford has been doing a much improved job with his nutrition over the course of the past six months or so. He fell off a bit at the start of the school year but picked it back up in recent weeks.

Yesterday at his Cross Country meet at Grosse Pointe South, Crawford ran an 18:26, which is an all-time best by 50 seconds. 

Crawford also made a good decision on Monday to do half of the workout and spend the rest of the session on the Marc Pro. In-season athletes should do some experimenting on whether they tend to get more sore the day of or day after a workout. Crawford is usually sore on the day after, so he opted for a lighter effort on the day before.

Now he's hoping to get as close to under 18 as possible before the end of the season. Keep up the good work kiddo.

Coach's Corner: More With Tempo

Among other things, this has been the Summer of tempo lifts. On Tuesday we worked slow sets of 5 front squats with everyone in our constant attempt to develop more movement control - and therefore strength. Here is the last sets from the 11 am and 6:30 pm sessions.

Carter: "OOWWWWW"

A couple points of note:

Rack position. The front rack archetype is one of the fundamentals shapes our shoulder need to be able to go through, and is very prominent in things like throwing and tumbling. In the front squat, the main limiting factor for most in keeping the elbows up isn't the wrists, and it's not necessarily the shoulders (although improved mobility will help). It's actually midline strength. At the bottom I yell out "elbows up" as a means to make sure the athletes are not breaking any position of the midline. I'm sure they noticed how much harder this made the lift.

Gravity. The more I am learning about strength and conditioning, the more I am beginning to realize the role of strength: resisting gravity when needed. If we are exaggerating the skill/technique of a movement, then we are working with natural forces (gravity, muscle/tendon elasticity). But in real life, we will not always have the perfect technique to serve what nature is offering us. Or maybe we will be blindsided by a linebacker. This is where strength comes in to help us keep our position relative.

Movement control. In order to keep position, we need to control how our body moves. This is what I refer to as movement control. This can be as simple as bracing the midline, or holding the figure-4 Pose in running. When you speed a movement up, athletes can find flow that can help them with the skill/technique; when they slow it down, it helps on the other end of the movement control spectrum. The front squats in the video above are a great challenge to the athletes' position. Watch Elizabeth go through her front squats; how many moving parts are there? Is her head moving? Her arms? Her belly? Not really. Watch Crawford (with 3 years less CrossFit experience); how many moving parts do you see? Was he able to control the squat movement to the tempo of my counting? What about Kroll?

Now this is all fun for me to talk about, but the thing I really value is intensity. So when we see movements with the squat performed at high intensity, I am interested to see if this translates as well as I think it will. Just some things to keep in mind...

Athlete of the Week: Crawford

The Athlete of the Week award this time around goes out to Brendan Crawford.

Crawford has definitely come a long way since his Rookie Session days last Summer, and this week he’s been at about the best I’ve seen him. Fueled by a brewing/entertaining rivalry with Murley (his coach from last Summer) and Mrs. Pip’s constant nutrition guidance, Crawford is put on quite a performance this week. He started off things on Monday by doing handstand push-ups to a wall for the first time in his CrossFit career. On Tuesday he finished a few seconds behind Murley, though he did partial ROM GHD sit-ups with good form.

Hish highlight from this week definitely came on Thursday, where he topped out at an impressive 225-lbs. on his 1 rep max deadlift - which is a pr by almost one hundred pounds! Then yesterday he showed great breath control and posted the top score of the day.

Another important aspect of Crawford that cannot be overlooked is his community involvement here. Besides leaving us with a delicious box of cheesecake goodness at the start of the week, he also brought in a great new addition for our 10 am session.

Keep up the good work Crawford! Finish strong for your senior year!

Coach's Corner: Goobers a Year Later

Last week we had a rough workout in the form of a 27-21-15 rep scheme; to make matters worse many of you did full cleans from the ground. Cleans and dips are always a tough combination and while this one was not nearly as intense as Elizabeth, it still proved to be very fatiguing.

One of the groups I was most impressed with that day was the 11 am session, which featured Summer 2016 rookies Josh Ellsworth, Conor Fitzgerald, Kenny Jensen, and Brendan Crawford. Normally they do cleans from the hang position, but during the technique segment I thought their form looked good enough to do them from the ground. In addition, they all did unassisted dips with a modified number (21-15-9) with the exception of Conor (switched to a skinny band after the first round). Here are some highlights.

You should notice that neither the cleans or the dips are perfect. On the dip, they had trouble keeping tension as they descended down, and on the clean they would sometimes miss Pose 2 and unweight too early. But I also wanted to emphasize position on this workout as well, and both their deadlift and front squat remained in tact. There will always be stuff to tweak but I think this was a good start for the goobers.

Senior Tribute 2017

by, Brendan Crawford

So every year our Champion Club seniors are being released into the adult world. This year's seniors are Erika Banet, Kris Campbell, Kaleb Diana, Hadley Hopkins, and Emmanuel Myles. Each one of them are a great addition to the gym community. Although they're maturing, each one of them has their own comical traits that anyone at the gym would recognize at a moments notice. From crazy dance moves to a big ole' blue pick-up truck, we are proud of their accomplishments.

Summer 2013, a few days removed from 8th grade

Erika Banet, one of many Banets, I have heard she has been apart of the gym for quite some time now and has definitely made a name for herself. She's generally really nice and funny and you can catch her doing either basketball, soccer, or working out at the Champions Club.

Big Kris - Day 1 of Fundamentals. May 2014

I've known Kris Campbell for quite some time and he is a pretty funny guy and a hard worker. One of my favorite memories of him is when him and Chris tried to wrestle and Chris went down in less then 10 seconds. It was a Kris on Chris pancake. Wrestling aside, he is a great leader and will prove to be a greater one in the future.


Everyone knows when Kaleb pulls up because of the big blue truck with the American flags. I've know this guy for 4 years and I know for a fact that he is a hard worker and some of the stuff this guys says is the funniest I've ever heard. Another name you may know him as Kaleeb-Cabob as the cross country team made his nickname or from me screaming it XD.


I don't know much about Hadley but I have run into her at a few sessions and although our schools are rivals, she seems to be a great athlete and never showed any annoyance with any workout. I know she is recovering from a knee injury, so hopefully we'll see her back with the gym soon.


Emmanuel Myles, or as I know him as a crazy fast sprinter, hasn't been introduced to me until I met him in class this year but from his air drumming in class to his dance moves at the gym, he's a pretty funny guy.He is probably the best sprinter I've ever met and when you see him run, man he is haulin.


Congratulations to our seniors and thank you for helping make the Champions Club so great! Good luck in college and I will be happy to see you all back at the gym.

Quote of the Week vol. 189: Mr. Auggie with the Dad Joke

Crawford: ...a session full of complaining about the books he's reading...

Mr. Auggie, finally: "You need some cheese, Crawford"

Blank stares from everyone at the session

Mr. Auggie: "Ya know, to go with all that whine"

He also sent a QOTW worthy text on Monday but it is not suitable for this site. Rest assured, Mr. Auggie's dad jokes are right on par with Mr. Wonsil at the moment.