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New Feature Post: Behind the Champion with Mr. Augustine

Check out the epic interview here.


Entries in hero workout (17)

Athlete of the Fall 2017: Jay Junkin

There is a workout in CrossFit lore that is universally known as the single most difficult WOD ever posted on any site. In a world with Murph, Eva, Fight Gone Bad, and 30 RM back squats, that is saying a lot. And oddly enough, it was none of those. In fact, the workout was not even posted on CrossFit.com, but instead by former NFL lineman John Welborne on his CrossFit Football site on June 23, 2009:

"Kalsu"

For time:

135-lb. thrusters, 100 reps

*Perform 5 burpees every minute, on the minute

In other words, you do 100 thrusters at near your 1 rep max as fast as you can. Except your are interrupted at the top of each minute with a mandatory 5-burpee buy-in. There is nothing about this that sounds sane, or just, or even marginally survivable. In fact, one could imagine taking a few minutes off from thrusters and just doing the 5 burpees at the top of every minute to "catch your breath". Ha. Haha.

I have never done this workout. So naturally when 14 year-old Jay Junkin came up to 19 year-old me in the summer of 2009 asking to try his first ever CrossFit workout, I had him do this.

Brian was away in Seattle or California at the time, so Jay and I walked Old Faithful (the original 20-lb. medicine ball) up to the Fieldhouse and used the shaded side of the building as our workout station, with wallballs instead of thrusters.

That poor kid.

That poor, poor kid.

Jay (left) - first day at the Champions Club.

...........

Nobody knows what happened after the workout. Some say Jay went into hiding. Others say he just slept for the next two years like Rip Van Winkle and grew a foot taller in the process. Either way, he resurfaced in June 2011, much to my surprise, and joined the Champions Club's Summer in the Fieldhouse - the very place of his death two years before. Over the course of the last six years, Jay has been quietly one of the most improved Champions Club athletes. It's odd saying that now because of how we see him, but when he first came in, his body just didn't seem to connect with him.

*On a side note, click on the video link in the title to see JZ's comment

Summer 2012 saw him garner the invite to the "Advanced Session". In the Summer 2013, Jacob texted me asking whether or not I thought Jay was the best male athlete in the gym - at the same time Josh, Cam, Buzz, Jason, and AJ were all in the gym (Faust... you're a kicker, can't count you, and 2015 was your prime anyway). And from then on, Jay was officially on the radar. In Summer 2014, he was a no-brainer pick as our top male athlete, then made the Grand Valley basketball team a month later. He kept up his fitness through the season, obviously, and by the time he came back spring-2015 Jay was in absolute top form. Then he tore his ACL while we were playing one-on-one at Lamphere. It was either the worst or second-worst feeling I've ever felt as a coach. The combination of me writing about his jumping mechanics previously and begging him to play a tiebreaker game that day lingered for months to follow and put a damper, for me at least, on what was probably the best Summer we have ever witnessed. That is not an easy thing to bounce back from for a coach, and I can't even imagine how that must feel for the athlete in question.

With that being said, fall 2017 Jay is the fittest I have ever seen him. It took all but a month to figure that out. Sometimes things just don't make sense.

Jay came back home from Grand Valley in August and immediately picked up with his usual 4 days-per-week at the gym. I asked him his goals before coming back and getting in pre-knee-injury shape was the only thing he really had in mind. When asked what his time frame was he replied, "Eh...whenever".

The first few days in August took some time to get back into the "CrossFit discomfort" mindset, but after that it was pretty smooth sailing (other than one inexplicable turbo boost from Cory). Some of his highlights include:

In the 6+ years Jay has been with the Champions Club, this is the first time I can remember him training consistently during the school year. He's been a Summer star, winter break warrior, and the occasional drop-in on weekends. Now he's routinely here 4 days every week, and sometimes 5 if the Lions don't have a 1 pm game. When people show up consistently at the Champions Club, they get a lot better. It's just how things work. When athletically gifted people show up consistently at the Champions Club, they go from out of shape to peak physical condition in about 3 months. It's not often you will see an athlete with Jay's height and build move as well as him and be able to express strength in all these different ways. In fact, I think I might bump him up on the board, still neutral in personality and juuuust below me on athleticism. And if he keeps on this trajectory and I think he's getting too close to me, I'll just bring out Kalsu again.

..........

The fall was up and down here. September was slow, but things started to pick up towards the end of the month and definitely into October and November. This is the story every year it seems. Conor was also in contention for the Athlete of the Fall award, highlighted by beating Jay head-to-head on the 800m sprint/toes to bar workout. Look for good things from him this winter.

We had four Fundamentals kids come through our ranks, with Danielle being the standout so far, and two more in the works at the moment. New faces are coming back around like Olivia and Erik, and hopefully more to follow. Our roof is finally getting fixed, so be on the lookout for a reorganization of some things on that side of the gym. I was anticipating better numbers after the Summer, but I think it will be looking up for the winter. Let's make it good! And congratulations to Jay!

From the Vault: Hero Workout, 2016

Summer 2016 was definitely the hottest one we have ever witnessed at the Champions Club. It was also the Summer that Katie Shakes asserted herself at the top of our ranks. She was part of the small 9 am session on June 16 of that year, along with Sabal, Elle, and 2013 Athlete of the Summer, Katie Bromm.

It is not often we extend workouts past the 20-minute time range, but on this day we blew past that with the hero workout "1775". This one included cleans, squats, and the infamous running with plates/bars, and lasted for 40 minutes.

Here's the highlights from that session.

From the Vault: Michael Without the Secret GHD

Everyone in attendance got a good taste of one of the original CrossFit Hero workouts, Michael. Run 800 meters, 50 hip extensions, 50 sit-ups. We had a session of 12 today and were able to hit the workout without any problem thanks in part to our Secret GHD machine that fits 10 people at once (5 per side). Yes, might feel like riding the Gemini at Cedar Point, but it gets the job done and has since Ryan built it for us before the Summer 2014.

What did we do before the secret GHD, you ask? Well, improvise as the Champions Club always does. Here's Shannon, Murley, and Katie Bromm on their attempt at Michael from March, 2013.

Mel's Beast Mode + Weekend Schedule Reminder

Just a reminder that this weekend's schedule is back to normal.

Saturday

10 am (mobility/make-up workout)

 

Sunday

12 noon (team workout)

1 pm (babies)


If you notice the sidebar, Mel, our favorite fan from North Carolina, recently achieved a longtime goal of completing every CrossFit.com Hero workout. Here are the highlights from his final one last week.

Last Hero WOD (Hollywood) 2017 from Mel on Vimeo.

Great job Mel Man!

Rx'd FYI pt. 1

"The CrossFit prescription is designed to, over time, exceed the demands of the fittest human beings on earth."

- Coach Glassman

Read that statement again, because there are four pain points that sould be highlighted.

1. Fittest human beings on earth

The CrossFit program philosophy was designed with the top-notch athletes in mind. With the recent inclusion of the CrossFit Games and software like Beyond the Whiteboard, there is measurable data available for the public to determine who exactly is considered the fittest human beings on earth. Although we've had a lot of really good CrossFitters come through our program (and are still involved), it is safe to say that nobody reading this blog is included in the conversation of "fittest on earth" in the same way it is safe to say that nobody reading this blog plays in the NBA, NFL, or MLB - even though most of us have played basketball, football, or baseball.

2. Exceed demands

Note this is not saying "meet" the demands of the fittest, or "challenge" the fittest. It is going to go beyond what will ever be required from someone who can reasonably consider themselves among the fittest human beings living on the planet. This means that even the best of the best will come up against something they can't do.

3. Over time

This phrase builds on the last two. Today's crazy hero workout that came up might be doable for the fittest human beings on earth. And the workout tomorrow might also be doable. And same can be said about the next day, the next week, and the next month. But, as Mel mentioned in his debut guest post, the effects of a high-intensity workout do not stop once the timer beeps and your reps are done. You might be sore, tired, or mentally fatigued for a few days afterwards. So yes, you may be able to complete the workouts thrown at you, but what's that going to mean for the next day's workout? Eventually, over time, the effects will build up and your capacity will be exceeded.

4. Prescription

This is the fun part. Based on the first three phrases, CrossFit gives a prescription; a dose, if you will, of fitness like a doctor would give for medicine. Again, the dose is based on the three points listed above: fittest people, exceed demands, over time. It looks like the this:

The following things are prescribed:

  • distance on the run (range of motion)
  • weight held on the run (load)
  • reps of toes to bar (volume)
  • distance moving on toes to bar (range of motion)
  • reps of front squat (volume)
  • distance moving on front squat (range of motion)
  • weight on front squats (load)
  • height climbed on rope (range of motion)
  • reps of rope climb (volume)
  • bodyweight climbed on rope (load)

Based on what the data considers the fittest human beings on earth, the previous 10 standards were set for the workout in order to help exceed their demands over time. If you met those standards, you get to say the workout was done "as rx'd," or as prescribed. If you are not ready to meet those standards, then any one or combination of the standards can be modified to fit your purpose.

What if you are not among the fittest human beings on the planet? Can you still do this workout as rx'd? Absolutely! That's part of what makes CrossFit so fun. You get to test yourself in a way the top people do. Just know that it might have a rougher effect on you than it would someone like Chris Spealler or Rich Froning.

It's also important to know that the standards listed above for this workout don't exist anywhere else in the world other than this thing called "Liam." Keep that in mind for pt. 2 coming soon...

From the Vault: Summer Heat

With how nice it's been this October, it makes me think about the string of 90-degree days we had back in July-August. This was one of the hotter days with the 9 am session hitting a long workout "Mr.Joshua" with heavy deadlifts, GHD sit-ups, and running.

If you notice they had some form issues on GHD sit-ups. We haven't done those in awhile so be on the lookout for GHDs to come up in warmups.

From the Vault: HSPU and Back Squat

The night before Andy showed up last September Bubs and Kyle Anderson crashed the 7 pm session for the Hero Workout "Kutschbach" with Back squats and a few different varities of kipping handstand push-ups. Here's how it looked.

During tomorrow's 6pm mobility session we'll be doing some practice with handstand push-ups and different ways to scale up and down.