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Entries in danielle (23)

Beast Mode: 5:30 Trio

Overhead squats are no fun and very uncomfortable, but nearly unrivaled in developing strength in the midline and balance. For that reason I decided not to skip over the max effort session yesterday and let you all grind through those positions. We did a lot of tempo stuff at light weight, and in some cases didn't move past 15 pounds for the entire workout. I was very pleased overall with the technique.

The 5:30 session was the biggest surprise of the day; Danielle "Ol' Tight Shoulders" Woorden, Mrs. Bennis Complaining Queen, and Summer 2018 rookie Owen Munk made up the crew I was responsible for. After extended technique work and spending time in the positions, they ended up looking really good. Mrs. Bennis finished with 60 pounds, and Owen and Danielle topped out at 65.

Coach's Corner: Danielle

Deadlifts are probably the best exercise when it comes to developing strength in the hips and spine. Yesterday we did a 5 rep max of sorts, and some athletes with enough mobility stood on plates to make the first part of the lift even more difficult. Here's Danielle's last set at 165 lbs.

With increased range of motion comes great chances of flaws. Do you guys notice anything off about the lift? Note: she has the mobility to do a regular lifting style with her feet closer and hands outside, but this is her powerlifitng style, so we're going to keep with sumo deadlifts until the season starts.

Athlete of the Week: Danielle

This was a weird week for Athlete of the Week because it was full of people who had a few really good ones but not the consistency. Fry had a great Tuesday and a pretty good Friday; Elizabeth did the same; Erika had an incredible Friday; Jessica had a really good Tuesday workout. But I think I gotta give this week's award to Danielle.

As I mentioned in her 1-year post, the thing she needs to develop the most is her mentality, and I think this week was a good of a first step as we can hope for. Tuesday was her best day, in my opinion, with a 105-lb. clean. Although her numbers weren't as good as Fry or Biff, she did a great job working on timing. Thursday's burpee bruiser gave her a great practice opportunity to see what kind of intensity she is capable of. And for Chelsea on Friday, she was able to turn it back and regress into a solid pace for all 30 minutes.

Keep it going Danielle! One more week left of your first Champions Club Summer!


This evening Conor Fitzgerald did 15 burpees on his first round. Then I told him that if he got 18 on his next round, he could be done. So he promptly got 19 1/2 reps on his second round. Danielle Woooooorden was doing rounds of 10 and 11 before she finished her 5th and final round with 13. So what does that tell us about their previous rounds?

In basketball terms, we simply call this BULLSHITTIN'.

BS'ing on the SpongeBob workout? No big deal. On today's workout? Not so much.

If we were being polite we could say they didn't pace right, or had more in the tank than expected, or had an off round, but let's call it what it is.

Erica did 14 burpees her first round, 13 burpees her second round, 10 her third round, and died on the fourth before I cut her workout short. I would prefer this kind of output for a workout like today; she worked to the peak of her capacity. A few others were in that mix (Elizabeth, Josie - for her current capacity - was close), but everyone else left a good amount in the tank, even though it didn't feel like it at the time. On days where we want to emphasize intensity, I'd rather go too fast at the start and die out than pace. Tomorrow's workout? Not so much. But when you can see a round-by-round comparison in your workouts, and your best one is your last, then don't sugar-coat it; you were BSing. And listen: there's nothing wrong with that! Do I want Reggie working out to the point Erica did today? Probably not. Does a post-baseball career Jacob have the incentive to go to "that place"? Probably not. It's not a dealbreaker if you bullshit rounds of workouts. I do all the time. Just recognize it for what it is; a conscience choice to not squeeze every ounce of improvement you can from that workout.

One Year Anniversary: Woooooooorrrrrrden

One year ago yesterday, Danielle Worden (which Coach T spelled out to me as "Woorden") signed up for Fundamentals at the Champions Club.

It was pretty apparent early on that Danielle was going to be a "glue guy" - as they say in basketball terms. In normal people terms, this means she's someone who holds the thing together. Our high school crew is not near where I want it to be, and it takes a few "glue guys" to get things rolling in the right direction. Danielle lives about a half hour from here, shows up 6-7 days per week, and recruits her butt off to try and start a Ford connection - which seems to be showing signs of life already.

On the workout side of things, Danielle has developed a really inclusive fitness capacity; she's a state qualifying powerlifter and also excels in endurance-related workouts. This was showcased earlier this year, as she got the Athlete of the Winter award.

Going forward, Danielle's biggest obstacle is going to be herself. She's definitely enrolled in the Murley/Crawford Class of Self Doubt about twice a week, and this shows on workouts that involve things like heavy cleans, 800s at a fast pace, or anything else that she finds herself struggling at. I've seen tantrums and self-labels of "peaking," only to witness a string of great workouts soon to follow. And I know there will be more to come as well. And that's not entirely bad.

One of the coolest things about being part of the Champions Club is that we see these kids grow up right in front of us. I am going on record predicting that over the course of the next year, we are going to watch Danielle Worden figure "it" out. She's going to develop into one of the fittest and mentally tough girls we've ever seen come through our doors; she's going to realize that it's okay for a 17 year old kid to be exactly one year into CrossFit and be bad at multiple things, and that every failure is part of the Natural Progression she has to go through in order to find the right method for success. And when she does find that out... I'm going to take all the credit!

Thank you, Danielle, for having trust in my coaching and meshing into our community for the past year! And I hope we can keep you around for a long time to come!

From the Vault: Intensity

I got a lot of feedback from yesterday's 1-mile time trial that was in the ballpark of the following:

"This is stupid; two days in a row without a real workout."

"What else are we going to do after the mile?"

"How are we supposed to get a good workout if the only thing we do is a single, 1-mile run?"

Recommended reading: Intensity FYI

Here's the thing... those all show the signs of someone who is not very intelligent or not very experienced with their training. The intelligence one is frustrating for me and difficult to digest; the experience thing I can live with. After all, if you're Josie Junkin, for instance, and spent your entire life being told to pace in Cross Country and you've been doing CrossFit for less than three months, I can understand how a short workout like Fran or the mile time trial might be tough to adjust to.

For our veterans, you gotta see the value in short duration, high-intensity workouts. This is not only a staple in CrossFit, but in real life; having the ability to produce a very high output in a very short time can be literally the difference between life and death. Or on the athletic field this can be the difference between a win and a loss. Here are some things to think about.

Less pounding. The less actual volume we do during a training session, the easier it's going to be to recover from. This is a major reason why CrossFit is so effective over a long period of time. If you can sprint 400-meters and get a better response than you could if you did a long, slow 30-minute jog, that would be the better option (most of the time) because it's not as much wear and tear on the legs.

Broad time and modal domains. CrossFit is meant to make us good at everything and not great at any one particular thing. This means that we need to be just as good at short duration stuff as we are in the middle and long stuff. If you can't make a 3-minute workout suck the same way you can make a 20-minute workout suck, you have a glaring hole in your fitness.

Toughness (or lack thereof). As I wrote about in the Intensity FYI post, having the ability to take yourself to "that place" is no fun at all. But it will also do wonders towards developing mental toughness.

Staying in the present. In a broad sense, being mentally tough is simply your ability to stay in the present. Here's an example. I specifically told everyone before the run to go faster than you think you're capable of maintaining for a mile. Danielle did not. Danielle, an 800-meter/mile track athlete this past spring, paced herself, pr'd, and still left some time in the tank, I believe, by doing so. After the run when I asked her about it, she replied, "I just can't. My body won't let me." I don't think it's her body, but her mind. Instead of staying in the present (whichever step she's taking at the moment), her mind is thinking about the end of the race and making sure she had enough to finish. This is a problem. You can reach some success like this, but it is also very limited.

Needless to say, this is a glaring weakness in the gym. Saporito can go there. Jennifer, Elizabeth, and Erika can go there. Ricky, Erica, and Murley are pretty close. And off the top of my head, that might be it at the moment. So since the form has been looking pretty good overall at the gym, I think it's time to address the intensity a little better. Enjoy!

Campus Improv Workout - Danielle in South America

This morning at mobility, David Saporito let it be known that Danielle is on the trading block based on 1) her being in Coasta Rica and 2) him watching The 72 Most Dangerous Animals in South America special on Netflix. But from the looks of it, Woorden is doing just fine on her school trip.

Before she left, I told her to make it a goal of doing 7 workouts over the course of the 10 days she was there. But the catch was it only counts as a workout if there was no formal exercise - meaning it can't include things like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, or presses. It had to be informal, natural movements like hiking, trail running, moving stuff, swimming, etc. Here's a picture she sent yesterday of her playing soccer with some elementary school kids.

Gyms and fitness centers were invented only once the picture above and other activities like it stopped becoming common in our daily lives - and notice the word daily. Play, even at adulthood, should be an every day thing. If it was, the Champions Club would be out of business.

I think I have said it here on the site before, but if the most athletic thing you do during your day is a deadlift, you did not have a very productive day. We spend so much time in our little bubble of strength and conditioning that we often find it hard to create workouts that don't involve push-ups and air squats. If you cut the grass with a push mower, you worked out. If you laid down some mulch, you did a workout. If you played a game of pickup basketball, you worked out. The more of these little things we can add to our lives, the more effective our gym workouts become; instead of just trying to undo all the sedentarism (is that a word?) throughout the day, we can then actually add to our fitness.

Danielle is a competitive powerlifter, and her job is to focus on very robotic movements. And it turns out she's probably top-20 in the state of Michigan at it. But the picture above gives her a chance to showcase what that formal stuff has done for her. She's in a pistol shape right now. Her foot is not pointed straight forward. Her shin is not vertical. And both of her shoulders are slouched forward. That is perfectly okay for the time being! The more she practices those safe principles in the controlled environment of the gym, the less likely they'll be a problem outside the gym. In the meantime, she gets to work on her coordination, change of direction, reaction, and strategy. In other words, she's developing her athleticism. Controlling the soccer ball coming at her - even against elementary school kids - is way more athletic than anything she's done in CrossFit or Powerlifting. A good balance of both is what we need!