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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

Next Theme Workout: Shark Week/Hawaiian Mashup - Saturday at 10 am!

Entries in kroll (40)

The Crooked Road Towards a PR

"If everyone pr'd on every race, the world record would be zero"

Matt Fecht uses that quote often when talking about how many different factors go into getting a pr in a race. For example, Matt qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials after his race at Cal International in December. He was running with a broken bone in his hand, he didn't have good training leading up to the race, and he wasn't even mentally planning on hitting a top time. So then he ended up not only hitting a qualifying time, but also set his all-time pr by (I believe) 45 seconds.

Sometimes things just happen.

Yesterday's workout gave us a chance to examine what really goes into setting a pr. The workout we retested was done just about 2 weeks after it first came up. Is it physiologically possible to improve your overall strength and conditioning in two weeks? I don't know. Probably? Like a little bit I'm sure. But the pr's were coming by the 1 and 2-minute time range. Is Cecilia two minutes and thirty seconds better than she was on June 29? From a biological perspective, although I have virtually no background in that field, I would find that hard to believe. Why did she pr? I sure don't know.

I'll take it though, and I'm sure she will too!

Here are some factors that might go into a pr that are in your control:

  1. What you ate the day before
  2. What you ate the day of
  3. How well you were hydrated the day before
  4. How well you were hydrated the day of
  5. Sleep two nights before
  6. Sleep night before
  7. Technique improvement
  8. Mentality

Here are some factors that might go into a pr that you can't control:

  1. Who is in the session with you
  2. What the weather is like
  3. The equipment that is available
  4. The workout the day before
  5. The workouts the week before
  6. The coach's instructions and execution
  7. Having a previous compare-to time*
  8. Transition time
  9. Mood of the session

*I could see this one going in either but since the workouts are not quite random but incredibly varied, it's really luck of the draw which one comes up that you've already done.

In no way are either of those exhaustive lists, but you can see there's plenty of things you can control, and plenty you can't. Last time the workout was done on probably the second-hottest day of the Summer (next to SpongeBob the following day). The previous workouts were GHD sit-ups, mile run, tons of thrusters, and more GHD sit-ups. This one was coming off a rest day, and had the toughest workout leading up to it being the hill. It was very muggy in the morning, and Shakes and V pr'd by a ton. It was pretty nice in the afternoon, and everyone still pr'd by a ton.

Kroll pr'd by 5 minutes at the 11 o'clock. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Erika Banet missed a pr by 40 seconds. Does that mean she got worse? Hard to know for sure, but I don't think so. In fact, I think she's at her top form I've seen from her since Summer 2015. Maybe she just had a mental lapse in the middle of the second round. Maybe she didn't sleep well, or eat well. 40 seconds in this long workout is close enough where you almost look at it as negligible. If anything, she maintained. Same with Jesse, who was 20 seconds off his time two weeks ago.

In training the way we do, chasing pr's is not the way to go. They will come with a combination of controlled and uncontrolled things. Just do your job that day as best as you can. Training is a process and despite the laid-back approach to the results we take, we still don't hand out participation trophies. Erika has been with us for over 5 years now! In the next 5 years, do you really think she's not going to come across a workout or two that she does not pr? It would be impossible not to. Especially when she gets into her 40s and 50s. Over the course of our lifetime training in CrossFit, you have to be able to see that and, more importantly, be okay with it. On days you have it, go for it! On days you don't, make it a challenge to see how close you can stay to your pr. When the time is right, and you've been doing your job consistently, it will happen.

Athlete of the Week: Kroll

Three weeks into the Summer 2018 already, and we had a rough one as far as workouts go. Lots of thrusters, ghd sit-ups, and even legless rope climbs. The standout this week in my opinion was Rachael Kroll.

For those who don't know, Kroll had to take most of April and all of May off from training due to bunion surgery on her other foot. This recovery process has been much faster than last year's, and Kroll is taking full advantage of that. Monday saw her do jump ropes for the first time since her surgery with no negative after-effects, and while she modified the timed mile run on Tuesday, she closed out the week with running for the first time since surgery - 400m each round - and posting a good time of 16 minutes. Her highlight, in my opinion, came from the picture above: legless rope climbs and GHD sit-ups. Kroll found her kip and had good height on the legless portion, and for the second time that week, her GHD sit-ups were almost flawless.

Kroll is the model for patience at the Champions Club, and her first three weeks of consistency and progressing her way back into the swing of things is going to pay off come August! But in the meantime, great job this week Krollster!

A Little Bit of Good Luck, A Little Bit of Bad Luck

by, Rachael Kroll

As most of you know, Krollster is out of action for a bit due to another surgery on her remaining bunion. Like last year, she has been kind enough to keep up updated with some SHORT musings (get it, anyone? my jokes are funny and original) to hold us over until she graces us with her presence again. Here is the first one for this time around.


The day before impending doom once again decided to strike in my life, I gallivanted outside for a solid 12 hours but not without fail of bad shitake happening.

I was about to meet up my BFFF, and a bunch of other swell people at the zoo. Idk why the zoo but felt like I was doing myself and animal welfare worldwide a favor. Surprisingly, one of the Trasteveres was ready to leave just about on time, but another was not, through no fault of their own. As my BFFF wondered where we were, with no knowledge to the extent in which I expanded our guild, we came to find out an automated traveling device had ceased to work, and now had to rely on my 2001 Dodge Caravan, complete with 282,000 miles and a rusted out bottom. So the day started with pushing a car for about a block at nine thirty in the morning. It was a good decision that I chose to wear shorts. We finally got to the zoo, after almost making illegal u turns in a parking structure (but ended up with a sweet spot right by the exit), and our gallivanting commenced. Of course, lots of work was being done on exhibits so some were closed, but a discounted ticket meant that I didn’t care.

As my BFFF left to check on her ailing parents, some of the group traversed to Troy Deli, the ONLY place to get a sammich and I mean ONLY. With a turkey bacon sandwich, chocolate cookies, and Kool-Aid placed not so gingerly into the innards of my stomach, we headed back to the sorry excuse for a transport vehicle and attempted to revive the hibernating bear. 3 quarts of oil, several jumps, crossed fingers, and another slight push of the car later, we proceeded to wait about fifty minuets for a tow to end up at a place that could not solve the severe engine troubles that was tormenting the sick mind of the innocent scrap of metal. With a diagnosis and a clear conscience to leave the defeated monstrosity where it was, we headed back to home base. I proceeded to take a much needed nap on an amazing hammock and dreamt of ice cream, which had no real importance to me or my tummy. Instead of Stoney Creek, the nap continued and transitioned into disc golfing. With a thoroughly soaked foot and ego, we packed up and headed out “to the boonies” and had a bonfire with pizza and insanely large logs.

Since sleep isn’t that important, let’s skip that. Five thirty am wake up call to take one last shower because my poor witty eyewids were not up to the task of staying awake last night to take one was immediately followed by poor decision making. I decided to trim my hair since it was in desperate need and was about to be knotted up in such a matter as headphones in a pocket, due to my impending position of laying down for weeks as prescribed by the doctor. In my panic to not wake the sleeping beast and needing to finish before we left, I took off more than was necessary and my accomplishments were tossed right into the trash.

An hour car ride later on uncomfortable seating thanks to tow-a-away seats in the van, we arrived at the incision site a half hour early. Billed for more money, though we thought it was all taken care of, was the first encounter of the day. Next was peeing in a cup, which I made sure to hold all morning and was surprisingly successful at, though probably TMI. Overheating, hand shaking, and positioned flat to not faint, I got prepped for surgery. Everyone was amazing and I couldn’t have asked for better, but I got it anyways. The man of the hour pops in and wiggles my toes, announcing to the audience that my left foot was not hyper flexible like my right foot, and therefore I would most likely not need a lapitus fusion (where pins would be down by my ankle). I knocked on wood, knowing my luck, and went into a twilight sleep, as depicted by the anesthesiologist.

I’m out…I’m out…I’m out…I wake up. I saw two boots on my feet, no cast. I tried to smile but was still quite groggy from the cocktail pumped through my IV. Apple juice, peanut butter crackers, and a wheelchair ride later, I was on the road again and saw nothing from my view of the van floor. Then the fun began.

I could bear weight on my right foot to crutch around, but it was still numb from the local anesthetic. It was a comedic bout, me trying to crutch to my room with a floppy foot while my parents on either side tried to hold me up and my dog whining from the screen door for being left in the backyard during this very important time that he was clearly needed for. That, in itself, was an exhausting epidemic and I immediately knew my out of shape self would regret the next few weeks before I started back at the gym.

My BFFF came over a few hours later, bearing gifts and goodies, which luckily I was not so sleepy for, and then it happened. She tried to smash a bug, but it did not die. I thought it was a spider and tried to save it. My dog came in and sat down where I placed the bug infested dinosaur book. That was when I noticed a tick on my dog. Not burrowed in, just chilling, and it looked EXACTLY like the so called spider I tried to save. The day then consisted of checking every inch of my dog, stripping down to bare bones and vacuuming everything, and I mean everything. The panic only lasted…ummm technically still, since blankets, pillow covers, clothes, and sheets are currently still in line for the washing machine.

I was forced to eat food that was too much for my drug laden body and mind. I was forced to drink tons of water, so I might drown myself. But my dog, my friends, and family laughed at me, as I attempted to complain about the “extravagant” amount of so-called “vitals” that was being forced into my body. I got to go outside (because of course my most immobile week is sunny and eighty degrees every freaking day), and proceeded to burn my belly. I finally have as much time as I desire to devote to the eluding practice of sleeping, but can’t seem to fall asleep, though I blame the weather. The first week of the extravaganza this time around can be summed up as a lil’ bit of good, a lil’ bit of bad, and a delicate balance of sanity, as is chronicled of the life of rachael kroll, and shall continue as so.

Quote of the Week vol. 238

"That is unacceptable."

- Rachael Kroll after Elizabeth last night

So since a strong comeback from her foot surgery in the Summer, Kroll kept things going through the fall and early winter with prs and Beast Modes. Now she is in her last semester of college and finishing up her teaching stuff before being placed in a classroom to student teach in the fall. She is also working all the time, aaaaaaannnndd she's also prepping for surgery to debunionize her other foot at the end of this month. As such, she's only been able to hit the Champions Club twice per week if she's lucky. Yesterday on Elizabeth it showed, as she was the last to finish at the 6:30 session and struggled after the rounds of 21. When I went to give her a high-five after she finished, she refused and said the quote above. And this is why I love Rachael Kroll.

There is no reason for her to be happy after that workout. Shoot, even when you pr there is no reason to be happy after that workout. Elizabeth is the Dementor's Kiss of CrossFit when done truly for intensity. Kroll did not show as well as she had hoped, and there is no reason for me to try and make her feel better.

All I'm saying is: How many college-aged girls wish their "out of shape" was Rachael Kroll's "out of shape"?

When the time is right for Kroll to dedicate 5-6 days per week of training like her Athlete of the Fall self, she'll have a good base set up for her to do so, no doubt fueled by her "this is unacceptable" mindset. In the meantime, she'll have to settle for only being able to do 8 dips in a row instead of 15. What a shame!

Recommended reading: Case Study: The Z-Axis (and no Arlene, my Case Studies do not need to have cited sources and can use first person pronouns because like 65 people check the site and probably only 12 of them actually read the articles)

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 Profile Update #1

If you have been with us for awhile, you'll surely have noticed that there are a few things about this site that have been lacking lately. One of them is the Athlete Profiles section.

This was started when Brian and I first made the site as a section to feature our high school kids and give them a quick reference to show any of their coaches the work they've been doing in the weight room. This was, and still is, a great idea. Keeping it going has been difficult, as you can imagine, because of all the new faces that come around, and the old faces that came, left, and came back again. Div and Stev, that's you guys! And, of course, how can we exclude the parents? And the college kids?

So like I said, this is definitely a time-consuming thing to do - especially with the current Squarespace 5 website settings - but I still think it is worth the time once we simplify it a bit. Thankfully, Bubs has been doing a ton of work behind the scenes to update all of the numbers and format the pages. The only thing that needs to be done is link all the videos from around 2016 till now. Once we figure out where we've left off then we'll get rolling on it.

We also talked it over and agreed that it would be cool/fair to have you guys link your profile on any or all of your social media accounts. It would really help with getting our name out there and it would definitely make me more eager to keep them up to date.

I'll let you know when they are done. In the meantime here are two things you might need:


  1. Find your favorite picture of yourself on the site (use the Photos Search on the left) and let me know so I can use it as your profile picture.
  2. If you are a college kid and don't have one, the rule in the past was that after one year, write up a testimonial in the Testimonials section and you'll get one. Unless you're Rachael Kroll, then I make you wait 5 years because I am a bad person. Sorry again Kroll!


Bubs and Rachael have been in the Champions Club since the Old Weight Room, and June '17 is the first time I have taken a picture with them together. How?

Kroll's Birthday Reactions + Banetfight

It was Rachael Kroll's birthday yesterday and she sent in a workout for us to do today. Last night I showed the 6:30 pm session and they had interesting reactions - including one from Mr. Wonsil that is not safe for men, women, or children. There is also bonus footage of a Banetfight - which probably happens often with 8 kids in their family.