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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer!

See schedule here.

Entries in jay (49)

Beast Mode: College Kids do QGB

The strength-oriented version of Fight Gone Bad came up last week, a classic known as Quarter Gone Bad. 5 rounds, 15 sec. of work, 45 sec. of rest: thrusters, weighted pull-ups, and burpees.

The 4:30 session consisted of Jay, Jackie, and Bubs; three of our college kids trying to get back in the swing of consistent workouts. Much to my delight, their form looked really good. Check it out.

As a bonus, this workout came up last time in 2008. As luck would have it, Brian and I both did it. Check out our retest numbers:

New Graduate: Lindsey

Yesterday morning Lindsey Eason finished her 8th and final Fundamentals session doing a Helen in 7:59 with 200m runs, 12k swings, and ring rows. She will now be joining the group with her sister, Kasey, and is primed to have a great Summer.

Lindsey is one of the most pleasant surprises I have seen go through Fundamentals in recent memory. Being the younger cousin of Jesse and Jay, I naturally heard a lot of teasing directed at her (and Kasey, obviously) about her athleticism. But Lindsey proved to be a very quick learner throughout the course of our Fundamentals sessions. On Day 1, she could barely do a 10 sec. hollow hold, and yesterday she did 4 sets of tabata rocks without breaking one bit. Running, unweighting, kipping, squats, and jump ropes all progressed very quickly. The only weak point I noticed was upper body pulling strength. But it's nothing a little consistent attendance won't fix.

Lindsey also seems to be having a good effect on her sister, seeing as Kasey's attendance has improved since Lindsey joined. Hopefully we'll be seeing both of them around a lot. Welcome to the Champions Club Lindsey!

Ghosts of Champions Club past: Katie Shakes with Jennifer Banet's laugh.

New Kid on the Block: Lindsey

While Jay was back for a brief stint last week before going back to Grand Valley to finish up a summer class, he brought in his cousin, Lindsey Eason, to try out a session. As luck would have it, that session was the running/deadlift/back squat in the rain, and somehow she still decided to sign up.

Lindsey is the sister of 2015 Fundamentals graduate and part-timer Kasey Eason. Unlike Kasey, Jay, and Jesse, Lindsey decided against Grand Valley and chose Saginaw Valley where she just finished her sophomore year. As a high schooler at Lamphere she did cheerleading and soccer, as well as some side gymnastics work to help with cheer. So far, Lindsey has surprised me with her coordination and conditioning.

Earlier today she got her first ever double under and was able to cycle through regular jump ropes easily. And she's been through workouts that have given past Fundamentals peeps some trouble, coming out on the other end less fatigued that I assumed.

She picks back up with Day 3 tomorrow, but so far things are looking good for this college kid.

CrossFit Injury Rate Study + Mini Rant

I got a mass email last night from a student at USC who is looking for participants in an online survey regarding a very common topic: injuries and CrossFit. It's really quick and if anyone wants to participate, the link is below.

Severe Injury Rate in CrossFit

How bout this throwback from the vault! Summer 2012Coach Glassman had a great quote that was something along the lines of, "I could make an exercise program that is 100% safe, and doing so would also make it 100% ineffective. You'd just be sitting on your butt the whole time."

Obviously we never want to get athletes injured during training; this is not our main goal, but it is very high on our priority list. Some of the things we do in life and sport requires potentially risky physical activity, so it is best to train those things in the gym in a little bit safer fashion. We jump on boxes, climb on ropes, tumble and go upside-down, and we put relatively heavy things over our heads. Sometimes Mr. Carey just misses the box. For the most part, I can live with those kind of injuries.

The ones I obviously have a hard time dealing with are the ones I think came from training with bad form. Bubs's shoulder thing in 2012 (or early 2013, I forget) comes to mind as the only one that I can think of that was probably solely due to a workout and required surgery. In fact, it's something I still think about - which is why I am so picky about head position on all lifts. The other ones that have hit me hard are when our kids get injured in their sport. Thankfully they have been few and far between, but Jay's knee was tough for me to deal with, as was Cam's and Amy's knees. I always think there was more I needed to do in here to help them prevent that stuff.

At the end of the day, it's difficult to balance that line with playing things conservative and progressing an athlete further. The longer I'm at this, the better I'll get, and the longer you're at this, the more feedback you'll be able to give regarding which days are good and which days aren't. Just remember that there has to be some element of risk in an exercise program in order for anything productive to get accomplished.

Butterfly Pull-ups: Blocked Practice

One of my unofficial goals for the Champions Club is to get the kids I feel are ready comfortable with butterfly pull-ups by the time Summer rolls around. If it doesn't happen, my heart won't be broken but I would really like to see it.

The butterfly pull-up is a movement that is unique to CrossFit and came about in 2007 when stud CF athlete Brett Marshall (known in the community as AFT) posted a video of a record Fran time using the style.. The standard of chin-over-bar done as fast as possible lead to this style being naturally adapted; meaning it was only a matter of time before someone figured it out. When I first found out about them I practiced and practiced and practiced until I could finally do them comfortably in workouts.

Then I tweaked up my shoulder in 2009 and had to resort to modifying many workouts. It was no fun.

I wonder why...and these were better than the ones I used to do

So it seems like a tricky place when it comes to butterfly pull-ups: they are a higher skill movement and requires a lot of practice to get the rhythm, but they also require more mobility and can wreck your shoulders and elbows if done incorrectly over and over.

This is where the concept of blocking movement comes in handy. When we flip our hands backwards (reverse grip) it automatically puts our shoulders in external rotation and therefore keeping them safe in that overhead range of motion. So recently we've been practicing with a few athletes during workouts. Below is Alyssa and Carter from earlier in December and Jay, JZ, Elizabeth, and Jackie from yesterday. For all of them this was their first time doing butterfly pull-ups in an actual workout.

The rhythm will take lots of reps of practice and the blocked position (hands backward) ensures that they'll stay safe doing it. Then when they have the rhythm down and their mobility allows for it they can flip their hands the normal way.

The butterfly pull-up catches probably more slack than anything else in CrossFit. I definitely get it; it's new, looks funny, and makes doing a pull-up much easier and seems to take away from the strength portion of it. But this kip actually requires a great deal more strength to perform than a regular kip - especially in the midline (abs and core). It's a great skill-transfer for the positional demands of the snatch and running, as well as throwing and kicking. Plus, it helps you do more work over a shorter period of time - meaning you'll often get more of a cardio feel.

The more I think about it, I really wish I had spent more time starting in 2014 teaching both butterfly pull-ups and strict pull-ups. But it's never too late. We've been doing a good amount of strict pull-ups in the past two years or so, and now I think it's time for the butterfly pull-up to be added to your skillbag.

Theme Workout Announcement: Harry Potter

School is starting up very soon and that means the Hogwarts Express will be loading up on Platform 9¾ ready to take wizarding students to Hogwarts. This means one thing for the Champions Club:

Harry Potter Theme Workout!

As is tradition, we will be dividing everyone into four houses and they will be competing for the House Cup. Goblet of Squats, Hagrid's Hang Cleans, and Chamber of Sit-ups will be featured and reps will be counted up at the end.

Saturday at 11 am for the kids, Sunday at 12 noon for the parents. Be ready!

Theme Workout Announcement: Rio 2016 - For Real This Time

Okay, after putting it on hold for a week, we are officially ready to unveil the Rio 2016 Theme Workout this weekend and the additional Olympic activities.

Here's the schedule:

Team Workout - Saturday, 11 am

Kavanaugh's pool - Saturday immediately following team workout


Mobility - Sunday, 11 am

Parents team workout - Sunday, 12 noon

Sand volleyball - Immediately following parents workout


The Kavanaughs are getting us into the pool for 5 bucks per person - which is a discount from the normal rate. As for the sand volleyball game, Murley will chime in soon for more details.

Start to gameplan for a swim race and diving competition. It should be a good one.