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Open Field Practice Time, Fridays from 6:30-7:30pm

Any teams, schools, parents, or kids interested, see this post for details.


Entries in max effort (222)

Lifts 4 Gifts 2018 Format

As mentioned last week, Lifts 4 Gifts this year will take place at 9 am on Saturday right here at our gym. Remember to bring 20 bucks or some toys to donate, as everything will go to the Madison Heights Goodfellows and all the work they do to make Christmas a thing for families that wouldn't be able to do so otherwise.

This fundraiser has always been disguised as a Lift-a-thon of sorts with a few different formats over the years. This year we will be keeping it pretty simple (no deadlift ladder this time around).

Part 1 - around 15 minutes to find a 1-rep max back squat

Part 2 - around 10 minutes to find a 1-rep max strict press

Part 3 - around 15 minutes to find a 1-rep max deadlift

Sometimes the bar doesn't move and you just laugh about itMy role in this involves a lot more managing than coaching, especially with the numbers we've had in the past, so the best thing you guys can do is to get a sense of what general weight range you'll be in for each lift. As long as you're somewhere in the ballpark of 30-40 pounds on the deadlift/squat, and 15-20 pounds on the press things should go pretty smooth.

We'll have all the racks out and split everyone between them. The tricky part comes with the height differences; we'd rather have you at a rack that's a good height and bad weight than the other way around, we can adjust the weight if needed. Spotters will also be present on the squats from both sides.

This will be your best opportunity to set a pr. The reigns are off and people you know will be yelling at you to LIFT THE THING. We've had a pretty tough two weeks of workouts, but in the past that hasn't shown to be an issue at Lifts 4 Gifts. We don't really prep for this event and therefore it's definitely difficult for some of the newer people to have an idea where their numbers might be. As uaual, we prefer the We'll Figure It Out As We Go method here at the Champions Club. But here's a few recent(ish) max effort days that might help:

Back squat:

October 26 (1 rep max)

September 6 (5 rep max)

July 2 (2 rep max)



November 8 (3 rep max)

October 4 (1 rep max)



November 27 (5 rep max)

October 11 (5's and 3's)

April 17 (3 rep max)

Hope to see you guys there!

Beast Mode: Mrs. Tara and Mrs. Bennis

Thrusters are universally known as one of the toughest movements CrossFit has to offer. Doing a relatively heavy weight for 7-15 reps doesn't make them any more fun.

At the 4:30 session yesterday, the troublemaking duo of Mrs. Bennis and Mrs. Tara took their shot at 65 lbs. for what seemed like a half hour doing set after set of lots of reps. Here's their final one of the day:

Beast Mode: Mrs. Kroll and Mama V

My mornings have gloriously featured Mama V and Mrs. Kroll this entire fall. It's been equal parts entertaining and frustrating, but most important is we've seen their fitness take a dramatic uptick since the Summer.

Both hit 100-lbs. on their front squat yesterday. Check it out:

Beast Mode: Back Squatters

Lower turnout on Friday but still a good showing with a lot of prs. The 6:30 session was our biggest, and two of the most impressive athletes were Evan Pugh and Barry Brunke.

Evan is coming around with his technique quite a bit and topped out at 345 lbs.

Barry is getting the hang of things as well and ended his night at a surprising 155 lbs.

His mobility at the moment is preventing him from safely squatting any lower, but we'll work on it for sure. Good job to both of you!

Beast Mode: 5:30 Trio

Overhead squats are no fun and very uncomfortable, but nearly unrivaled in developing strength in the midline and balance. For that reason I decided not to skip over the max effort session yesterday and let you all grind through those positions. We did a lot of tempo stuff at light weight, and in some cases didn't move past 15 pounds for the entire workout. I was very pleased overall with the technique.

The 5:30 session was the biggest surprise of the day; Danielle "Ol' Tight Shoulders" Woorden, Mrs. Bennis Complaining Queen, and Summer 2018 rookie Owen Munk made up the crew I was responsible for. After extended technique work and spending time in the positions, they ended up looking really good. Mrs. Bennis finished with 60 pounds, and Owen and Danielle topped out at 65.

Beast Mode: Mrs. Kroll

I was really considering skipping the max effort deadlifts yesterday because I didn't think it would look good. Man was I wrong. Coach Casey, Evan, Schornack, Barry, Angie, Erica, and Jesse all flipped the script and turned out excellent form even though I was not expecting as much. And we also saw some very impressive numbers.

Mrs. Kroll has been quietly having a fantastic fall of CrossFit training hiding out at the 8:30 am session. Yesterday she topped out at an impressive 155-lbs. for her 3 rep max! I think that is actually more than her previous 1-rep max. Check it out.

Coach's Corner: Carter

On max effort presses today, we spent a lot of emphasis on midline stability. Often times we only see things like sit-ups, hollow holds, and knees to elbows as "abs" movements. But the best training of the abs, and the rest of the core, come from doing regular functional movements with as much range of motion as our body will allow.

The press, for instance, requires a very high level of trunk control because of how high the weight is above your point of support.

In the picture above, the tall tree needs to have an extremely strong foundation - at least, compared to the shorter trees - in order to keep itself from tipping over. Same goes for lifting. Holding 100-lbs. overhead requires more core strength than holding 100-lbs. at your shoulder, or at your waist. This is why the overhead press (and handstand) are such great exercises.

One of the ways we make it harder is by adding more moving parts. Keeping midline stability in the strict press: no problem. Now what about the push press where we add motion in the hips, knees, and ankles, as well as more overall speed? Here's what Carter looked like (strict press is at 80 lbs. and push press is 85 lbs.)

What do you think?