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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

Entries in danielle (16)

New Graduates: Sam and Danielle

With our Summer rookie sessions under way, you know the New Graduate posts will roll in. On Tuesday, 8th grader Sam Butcher got her first rope climb during the warmup!

Sam was actually the middle school kid that started our session in the winter, and that grew to be very crowded by late spring. Hopefully this is a sign of many good things to come this Summer for this future Lamphere athlete.

Then this morning Danielle was the lone ranger at the 11 am session. We went over goals before the session and she mentioned that she wanted to be able to kick up to a handstand by the end of the Summer.

Welp, 13 minutes later...

Great job to both of you girls!

Senior Tribute 2018

by, Danielle Worden...

Jennifer Banet aka Jen

One of the most hard working athletes I know. She never gives up especially when it comes to breaking records. Off days you ask? Jen doesn't know what those are. Not only is she a top athlete but she enjoys what she does. Whenever I see her in the gym she never fails to have a smile on her face. She shines bright and inspires those around her. Overall she is an amazing person and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for her!! Good luck girl!

Jennifer's first day at the Champions Club - Summer 2014

Brendan Crawford

I honestly didn't know his first name until a month after meeting him; I only knew him as Crawford. Oh boy where do I start...besides calling everyone a "Jew" Crawford is a pretty good kid and actually quite intelligent, outside the gym. But in the gym he works hard until the work is done and from there on out it's all fun and games. He is definitely the goofball of the gym yet his dumb jokes never fail to put a smile on someone's face. The gym will be much quieter without him but overall his work ethic and personality will be missed. Good luck at Macomb and Lawrence Tech!

Crawford and his 11 am goobers from Summer 2016

...and Carter the Blob

Aaron Sexton

Aaron is one of the weirdest people ever. He can roast you and then be cool with you. A big part about what kept me trying to compete with the rest of the people in a workout is just to beat Aaron a brag to him(never beat him). He has this weird catchphrase that makes no sense whatsoever but is just so odd and catchy that Chris and I both say it. Holy potatoes Jim, its been awhile since you been in the gym.  (That rhymes, I'm a poet and I didn't even know it)

7th grade Aaron Sexton - Summer 2013

Dawson Bielski

I was hella impressed ever time I saw dawson play football and he'd be out on the field. Crossfit has worked wonders on him and from a perspective of a younger highschooler it was interesting to see someone built to be a jock be so chill and relaxed. I would always laugh when he pulled up with the purple Dodge Charger. That was so funny to me.

Super Gump in the flesh with his first double under. Summer 2016

Kenny Jensen

KENNYYYYY. By far one of the quietest people in the gym but that's ok. He works his ass off any work out I've seen him in. I remember the good ol' no on squad with Crawford, Kenny, and the little short kid(matt?mike? Something with an M). That was fun and I'm glad Kenny would be one of the few i tried to keep up with. He always gives his full and I'd like to see him back in the gym some day.

Kenny's death stare in his rookie class at Summer 2016

Beast Mode: Danielle vs. Alyssa

I think one of the biggest light bulbsof my coaching time at the Champions Club is understanding the idea of what I like to call "movement factors." In essence, the standards for all movements are set: midline stability, loading order, and laws of torque (see the long explanation in the most recent Building a Champion installment). My main job as a coach is to make it difficult for you to maintain those standards. This is where adaptation happens.

For example, go ahead and do that 35-lb. thruster Mrs. Kroll. No biggie!

Now what about adding a movement factor: volume; let's do 3 reps instead of 1.

Okay so that looked good. Now we can add some load; how bout going to 45-lbs. instead of 35.

Still good? Now add the most diffucult movement factor: fatigue; let's do an all-out 200m sprint before every heavy set of three.

All of a sudden, that moderately heavy weight turns into the most difficult thing because you're supposed to keep it looking exactly the same as a warmup set. This is what Alyssa Jabara and Danielle did really well yesterday. Sandwiched inbetween two overly crowded sessions, these two went head-to-head at five thirty. Check it out.

Pic of the Week + Triple Graduates

First off, our heater has been acting stupid for the past two months or so. I've been trying to sweep the problem under the rug but that hail storm we got last week was the final straw. I called the most trusty heater guy I know:

That's right! Mr. Fitz responded and came in on a day's notice. Now we have no more heater problems and I am back on the recruiting trail to get one of our favorite dads back in the gym!

Either way, thanks my man!


This afternoon during our team workout we had stations of jump rope practice. We saw two first-time double unders:

Danielle Worden...

... and Mr. Bennis

Also, Jay Junkin took the time to work on triple unders and ended up getting 5 in a row.

Good work to all you guys and let's get a better turnout next Sunday.

Pics of the Week: Planet Rock

As part of Sabal's going-away... we can't really call it a "celebration", but maybe a memento... Katie Shakes organized a Planet Rock field trip with some of our regular crew, and they even ran into Nate Dogg (who works there now), and Pierce and Cassidy from the Babies session.

Bonus footage of Jay and Shakes attempting the 50-ft. rope climb was even caught on film.

Athlete of the Winter: Danielle Worden

The origin of Danielle's whiteboard name is pretty simple; when Coach T texted me back in August about one of his powerlifting girls wanting to try out CrossFit, he gave me a contact number to get ahold of her. The name labeled above the number was "Danielle Woorden". So I called Miss Woorden, signed up Miss Woorden, did Fundamentals and website posts with Miss Woorden, and it wasn't until about two months after when she finally told me that I was spelling her last name wrong this entire time. So the fact that Coach T can teach Afahn Kahn to squat through an interpreter, but cannot give me the correct name of his state qualifying lifter says... well... not much really. I just thought it was a cool story.

A cooler story, in my opinion, is now Danielle is the Athlete of the Winter!

This was a close call. Very close call. Early in the winter Ashley Fry was in permanent Beast Mode and looking like she could overtake Shakes as the strongest girl person in the gym. Then midway through, Mr. Auggie started showing up 4-5 days per week and really made a significant physical change to his body. Plus he brought Bo, his puppy, a few times. And finally, Erica came on late in the winter with some very impressive workout results - finishing in 2nd place by a few "votes." But as with all of the seasonal awards, consistency reigns. And Danielle had the Champions Club on lock from late-November through March.

Considering her background we know that the heavy lifting is her forte', but after much thought and analysis - and this is stuff I think about through most of the day, oddly enough - I don't think I would call Danielle a powerlifter; I would call her an athlete who powerlifts. And to make a public plea, I sincerely hope Danielle goes back and gives volleyball and soccer another shot because she is about as well-rounded as female high school athletes get. I really began to notice midway through the winter that she was not really a bad runner at all, and this jumped to "yo Murley... Danielle can run for real!" at the end of January when her and Izzy went head-to-head in the benchmark workout, Eva.

Then I slowly watched her increase mobility in her rack position, overhead position, and hip range of motion to the point where she looks like a normal person doing Overhead squats instead of a Crawford doing Overhead squats. This, no doubt, came from her 6-7 days per week attendance despite living over a half hour away from the gym. Considering she's around here so often, she's blended right in with the family - whether that's Mrs. Carey, Reggie, and Mr. Z at the Sunday workouts, hanging out with the Banets and Shakes after a session, or leading some of the new kids like Izzy, Emma D, and Laura. Honestly, this girl might be something special here at the Champions Club and learning how and when to hold the reigns back will probably be the biggest challenge. In fact, this was evident during her powerlifting season; a few weeks ago Danielle came to me talking about feeling burned out from CrossFit and powerlifting. Luckily for her, Coach T and I are really good at communicating what we are seeing, and we made the call to go In-Season for her CrossFit workouts in the weeks leading up to the Ford meet, where she hit massive pr's on her lifts. We did the same thing for states, and she hit another pr on her deadlift.

Just business as usual this Winter for Woorden.


I want you guys to do CrossFit so that you can be good at everything that is not CrossFit. Because CrossFit is CrossFit, it can do that... even when it's not done with the best of form, as was evident when I was doing it in high school. Combine the movement standards that the Champions Club holds with the daily workout and you truly get a skill-transfer to whatever you want. But it didn't end there because Danielle was hearing the exact same language at Ford, as Coach T holds his athletes to the same movement standards we do. Aside from the physical side of this, CrossFit also exposes mental baggage because you are constantly coming up to things you suck at. It's really interesting to watch from my perspective. Mr. Carey, in my opinion, has the best understanding of this in the gym, but it is impressive to see how mature our younger crowd carries themselves. And not "mature" in the way your Math teacher talks to you about (usually with a hard "t") after you shoot a paper hornet at one of your classmates, but rather how calm you stay when you don't like what's unfolding around you.

Danielle has a lot of room improve in this area; the most exciting part about this, whether she knows it or not, is how fearless she seems to be in putting herself in those situations. The challenges in CrossFit is one thing, but man the stands were pretty packed at those powerlifting meets. At Ford, she had like 6 Champions Club people there watching her, plus me, Jarrod, and Brian; that's a lot of pressure to perform. At States, Danielle's bench press did not go the way she wanted and it showed. Somehow she fixer herself up in time to set an all-time pr on the deadlift and be a supportive teammate for Kayla, who ended up making All-State. And what is she going to do next? Oh you know, just go out for track and do the 800, long jump, shot put, and discus; not only an extremely difficult blend of events, but also a sport that she's never done before.

I have always believed that it is a disservice to coach girls any different than you would coach guys. Whether or not I am right about this will probably be more clear when I'm 103 years old and coaching Elizabeth Banet's teenage granddaughter how to do push-ups, but I do know that if I was a chick, I would be pissed if I felt that I was getting coached to a lower standard than a dude I was training with. I'm just as relentless with Danielle as I am with Conor or Isaac Dawkins, and she's met everything I've thrown at her this winter. This award, whatever it's worth, was truly earned.

Beast Mode: Danielle

At the Powerlifting State Finals meet yesterday, Danielle Worden overcame the disappointment of slightly missing pr's on the squat and bench press by hitting a new pr on the deadlift. She topped out with her final list at 255 lbs. Check it out!

This marks the end of the powerlifting season for everyone. Danielle definitely represented well, and it was cool to see that her technique improved from her last meet. Now it's on to track season, where she said she's just dying to run the 2 mile every practice.

Great job kiddo.