Site Search

Athlete Search

WOD Search

Photo Search





Monthly Archives
Build a Champion
Additional References

Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

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

Entries in max effort (211)

Coach's Corner: Avery

When people start to come in more often and their technique gets consistent, it makes max effort days much more productive in the sense that we can actually get close to our max lift.

Avery Maslowski is about a year and a half into CrossFit and we are really starting to see her movement look good. Last week we did 5 RM front squats and normally she would have stayed around 45-lbs. and done more reps. But this time we were able to work up in weight. Here's her last set at 85 lbs.

By all accounts, she had that last rep. But this was her first time actually feeling weight that heavy, and she wasn't familiar with the strugle it can take to keep form and keep the weight moving. As we progress, this is now something we can work on, but only because - even at her failed rep - her form did not change. If Avery's knees were caving in and her back was rounded, we'd have to adjust. In short, good technique gives up options.

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.

Beast Mode: Mrs. Carey Has Probably Done This Before But It's Still Really Impressive

We treated yesterday's max effort deadlift as technique emphasis for midline stability. Everything looked good overall and I got what I wanted out of the sessions. A few people had the juice going, so we let them move up. Mrs. Carey was one of them. Here's her final set at 220 lbs.

Definitely a tiny bit of rounding, but for a max lift this looked very solid. And even then, dude, Mrs. Carey is a freaking beast! She is the model of consistency at the Champions Club for sure, going on 8 years strong. They were doing a live-shot next door at the time of the lift, so we couldn't drop the weights, although Mrs. Carey made a few clangs while cleaning up her bar. We'll forgive her as usual.

Coach's Corner: Andre 3 Racks

Styles will change

They say change is dange-

-erous, as a king standing on a terrace


One day I will recruit enough people in here who will get every hip hop reference I throw out. Anyway, since a Summer of Dream Team status for Andre Saffar, he's tapered off a bit in attendance as part of wraastling, cross country, and now track. But within the last month or so we've seen his numbers climb back up into the reasonably decent category and his technique is coming along for the ride. Here's his final set of thrusters he did on Monday at 100 lbs.

Now the main thing to note is we saw definite breaks in his form on all three reps. The cool thing about it is we actually got to that point.

For the most part, our rookies (especially the ones coming to us as 7th, 8th, and 9th graders) take time to get accustomed to our movement standards. When we slow them down, or stop them, it's not because the weight is heavy, but instead because they lost coordination. I was expecting Andre to top out somewhere around 75 lbs for this workout, and once he hit that weight with perfect form, we kept creeping up.

His lack of shoulder mobility was a constant through the sets, but the main thing was his squat position. Loading order was good, arches were good, so we kept moving up. 95 lbs. even looked good, so we moved to 100 lbs. His first set at that weight was not as good as I was hoping, so he did another one, which is on video above.

So while the form on the last set was not perfect by any means, it seems we're at the point with him where we can start to challenge by adding a significant load.

Beast Mode: Shaka

I'll be honest, Alyssa Sciacca was probably in the top 5 most uncoordinated athletes I've ever taken through Fundamentals. Binno is up there, obviously. Avery is definitely in that category. And, of course, the infamous Jas. But the cool thing is attendance cures everything.

Shaka was rolling early in the year, then fell off a bit after she got that flu bug that was going around, but has regained her consistency for the past two weeks. Yesterday she topped off in her 1 rep max back squat at 100 lbs!

Not only is that 100 freaking pounds(!) but the technique and form is spot-on. It was really cool to see her progress up in weight because of how well she was making adjustments. She started doing 3 and 4 reps on the sets, then once her movement consistency picked up we moved up to 100 lbs. and only did one rep. As you can see, she nailed it!

Keep up the good work Shaka. I know it's not an easy drive, but we all appreciate you being in the gym!

Goon and Goblin Resurgence 3/12

This one comes from Marathon Matt Fecht, and is kind of a two-parter.

Max Effort Workout vs. Endurance Running Workout:

1. Which one do you like more?

2. Which one would help your overall fitness more?

Beast Mode: Banets Fatigued

Last week we did the CrossFit Open workout 18.2 with the slight stipulation that some overtime was allowed on the cleans if need be. For most of the kids who did it, we either allowed 15 minutes instead of the prescribed 12, or 5 attempts regardless of time. The purpose was to use fatigue as a way to challenge their clean technique and positions.

Jennifer and Elizabeth Banet both performed really well in both segments of the workout, but especially the cleans. More than anything, I really loved their failed attempts because of how little they deviated in their form. Check it out.

It's one thing to have good form on max effort days when you have full recovery between sets, but it's a completely different story when you are breathing heavy and your body is screaming at you. Jen and Biff did a great job of calming themselves before every lift for a brief moment. This helped them keep the movement looking consistent.