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Entries in jay (60)

Poll: Favorite Fruit

This one was brought on by Jay last night, and trickled into the morning mobility session.

List the top 3 best fruits.

Coach's Corner: Squatting in the Push Press

Understanding the difference between "a squat" and "squatting" is very important when determining best technique for a movement. A squat is a formal, made-up thing that people practice to get stronger or reclaim function. Squatting is the universal movement pattern of bringing the hips lower to the ground and is present is everything that involves the lower body.

Push presses have squats in them, even though they are not "thrusters," and we used the max effort workout yesterday to emphasize them. We made sure to start the movement with hips back, and arches up, and really focussed on keeping the arches in tact on the way up. Here's what our morning session looked like on their final sets.

At our 6:30 session, Jay was really feeling it and topped out at 195 lbs for his set of three. He started the same way everyone else did: really light weight, a few pump fakes, and slow on the way up for as long as he could.

As the weight got heavier we started to see slight deviations, but the loading and arches still looked good. After his set of 195 he did an attempt at 200 lbs. for 3 reps. Here's how it looked.

This is the epitome of a "slight deviation" - knees coming forward a bit, midline just a little arched, but not too far gone from his lighter sets with literally perfect form. The push press challenges this squat pattern because the torso is upright and we are moving fast. If we can see the same squat mechanics in a push press as we have in a back squat then we'll be able to make it translate. If you can't then you're zoomed in too far.

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.

Beast Mode: College Kids on New Years

We had a small New Year's Group of College Kids come in and work out. And it was about then I realized that the original College Kids aren't really in college any more, so I may need to adjust their collective name. Anyway, we took the opportunity to use some equipment we don't always put to use, mainly the rower and the bike. It was originally going to be 4 rounds of 1:30 on a "cardio" station, :45 on dumbbell thrusters, and :15 on pull-ups. But Bubs came in 20 minutes late, so we added an extra round and sit-ups into the cardio rotation. Here's how it looked.

Beast Mode: Jay vs. Jacob + New Year's Schedule Adjustment

The session times for Tuesday, January 2 will be the same as last week. So the schedule for the next few days are the following:


10 am



10 am

5:30 pm

6:30 pm


Then on Wednesday we return back to normal times.

Our sessions on Thursday went: 12 at the 10 am, 9 at the 5:30 pm... then 2 at the 6:30. But these were not any two athletes. This was Jay and Jacob, neighbors from my block, and friends since Jared and Sean decided they didn't like going outside any more. Inseparable they are, withstanding the tests of different colleges, the offs and ons at the Champions Club, and even a firey Mario Baseball incident that was documented on this very site. Alas, both have been involved in the Champions Club for a very long time now. And having them both at a session gave me the chance to switch things up a bit.

First, they made up the Max Effort cleans on Wednesday, and they both peaked a bit earlier than they were hoping. So with their permission, we took the workout as a way to improve their timing on the dumbbell snatches so we can eventually see it translate to the cleans. They both had a great showing with regards to technique, and the lunges and sit-ups looked good for the most part as well. Here's the 2nd and 4th rounds:

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, but instead by former NFL lineman John Welborne on his CrossFit Football site on June 23, 2009:


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!