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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

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Entries in danielle (18)

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!

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.