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Entries in mrs. pip (61)

Beast Mode + Workout Notes

The workout on Friday was probably the first time in a while that I felt like I really messed up at the sessions; we needed to do the back squats from the racks so we could go heavier. But this really got me thinking a lot about barbell strength and lifting heavy weights. This is a topic that I ponder and has been covered on this site a handful of times - most famously in the editorial What is Strength? from the glory days of 2015. This topic also popped up in my head while watching college football over the weekend and seeing players continuously tap their helmet to ask for a sub, and also at our basketball open gym while noticing how much more our kids complained about getting fouled when they were tired. And also watching Planet Earth II.

I really, really think CrossFit hit the nail on the head with how they approach building strength. If you can do a 400-lb. deadlift then big ups to you. If you can do a 300-lb. deadlift in the middle of a brutal workout with running and pull-ups mixed in, then you are a different breed of beast.

Strength, in real life, is very, very rarely expressed at full rest. The ability to be strong, - in as many varieties as possible, while being tired is something that I need, you need, my grandma needs, baby Josh needs, and Shea Patterson needs. (Chase Winovich seems to have that covered.) A lot of attention was given last year to Saquon Barkley cleaning 400-lbs.

This is absurd. I would also love to see what his capacity would be doing Elizabeth (even if he needed to up the weight to 155 or 185 pounds). I think most coaches and programs will be blending strength with conditioning sometime in the future - probably when the younger coaches move up in the ranks - but until then it's mostly theoretical, though backed with some good anecdotes.

As far as our gym goes, it's tough to judge purely by numbers because of the variety of athletes. Alexis Anthes is a high school sophomore with 3 months of CrossFit experience and an average strength base coming from Coach T. NuNu is an 8th grader who's feet might well have never both been off the ground at the same time before joining in May. Jay is Jay. Mrs. Pip is Mrs. Pip. Saporito, Elizabeth, and Cecilia are all back in college. I would say Katie Shakes has a perfect capacity of being strong while tired, but then I'll watch her do a push-up in Cindy and reconsider.

Mostly, I judge things based on my gut feeling. We had to get our technique on point at the end of the spring/start of Summer, then we needed to build some stamina in the legs and feet. Now I really think it will help us to feel some heavier weight in the workouts. I don't like it. And Murley/Shannon might not come back until we're through this phase, but I think it's a big part of getting a great effect from workouts like Friday or today. I don't really want any 500-lb. deadlifters, or 300-lb. cleaners, but I would like to see what kind of capacity we can develop with heavier weights within the confines of a workout.

What does this look like? Well as luck would have it, our 8:30 am session did a nice job of showing us this morning.

Normally, Mrs. Pip would have been at 65 lbs., Schornack at 25 or 35 lbs., and Mrs. Kroll at 35 lbs.; here they were at 85, 45, and 55 respectively. Not huge increases, not a weight that would be a big sick of injury, just a little extra something that might require them to slow down a bit and really zone in on the lift. I thought the technique was really good considering it was the third round. Yes, it was technically supposed to be a power clean, but as long as the squat position looked good I wasn't going to mention anything; they already had enough on their mind. Either way, all three were able to keep their positions pretty well with a weight heavier than usual.

More to come!

Beast Mode: Moms in the Morning

This morning we had Mrs. Kroll, Mama V, and Mrs. Pip take on the rope climb/squat workout. In between a warmup consisting mostly of chatting about laundry and other mom things, they put in a great session of work. Here's their highlights:

Beast Mode: Parents Park Workout

On Wednesday, the parents went on a little field trip around the corner to Exchange Park to do a little improvised workout. The goal was to experience finding a way to get a good workout in with the best possible situation around you. Parks provide a great opportunity for this. Check out the highlights:

Along with the video, there is a photo gallery to go with it that can be seen here. Great job guys!

Quote of the Week vol. 227: The Dark Side of Mrs. Pip

"The only difference between feedback and criticism is how you take it."

- Tim Grover (Michael Jordan's basketball trainer)


Interesting that I had this planned as my quote of the week when the following conversation happened last night at the 6:30 session:

Me: "Mrs. Pip, have you ever been mean to anyone?"

Mrs. Pip: "Well... yes, one time in 6th grade."

Me: "What happened?"

Mrs. Pip: "Well there was this one girl who was always nasty to me. And so I told her, 'I don't really care for you. And I don't care for your red hair.'"

That is certainly a close walk on the line between feedback and criticism Mrs. Pip! How dare you!

PSA for Change of Shoes

This is Mrs. Pip walking into our gym on a random October day.

She is coming off a full day of cleaning (buildings and dirty diapers). So of course she walks in to our gym with fresh cleaning supplies for me and loads up before her workout session starts. When we begin the warmup, she will find the nearest Mrs. Carey and "squats", and by squat I mean gossip about laundry and dishwasher soaps and such. Mrs. Carey, of course, just nods and smiles until I look at them, at which point she critiques Mrs. Pip's form. All in all they probably finish about 4 exercises in total for the warmup, andin between each one Mrs. Pip will straighten out the Abmats, hang up a stray jump rope, or anything else that happens to be remotely on her way to the next talking station. Then when we break off to get a drink of water before mobility or technique, she finds something to clean again. Her technique for cleaning is absolutely flawless from floors to mats to equipment... everything really except actual cleans.

All arms. Just the way she likes it.I do my best to give the place a full cleaning twice per week, then do the quick cleanup every night. Basically I try to stay ahead of Mrs. Pip, but it's too freaking hard. And she doesn'teven have a key to the place! Any time she sees something that looks dirty, she takes it upon herself to fix it.

This, you heathens, looks dirty:

A change of shoes is ask I ask for. Do it for me Mrs. Pip.

CFJ Feature: Me (Again)

So as Mel posted on the side, I was featured in a recent CrossFit Journal article where they interview affiliate owners about a preset list of questions ranging from their best desicions, worst decisions, free time, and surprises. I gave this back in late-September and thought is was going to be left on the shelves, but over the weekend I glanced at a picture of The Freaks in the parking lot and knew that was it.

10 Questions with CrossFit Athletic Group

Notable mentions:

  • Mama V, Mrs. Pip, Mrs. Carey
  • Brian the Trainer
  • Shannon
  • Coach T
  • The infamous "raising my rabbits" excuse

Also, credit to Nate for sending me the original files of the pictures. Besides the one above, his were featured and a main reason why I was allowed to conduct an interview in the first place.

Pic of the Week: Crawford and his Coach

Many of the fall sports around the area held their annual banquet at some point this past week. Warren Mott Cross Country was in that camp, as theirs went down on Wednesday. As you know, we have quite a few runners on that team that are part of the Champions Club now, or at least were for a while - Andre, Kenny, Hickey, Parker - and the guy that started that connection was Brendan Crawford. Yes he's annoying, yes Avery can beat him up, and yes, he's still one of my favorite athletes to have in the gym. He's in that Katie Shakes camp as far as just being a plain, old-fashioned good kid.

At the banquet on Wednesday, somewhere between dinner and their coach getting silly-stringed, a few of runners interrupted the procedure in favor of a special announcement: they gave Crawford a trophy and nominated him as an honorary captain. He brought it to the gym on Thursday and the first person he hold was Mrs. Pip, who took a lot of time to work on his nutrition over the past year.

Crawford finished the season very well, and is looking to run at Macomb Community College next year.

Congratulations kiddo! Keep up all the hard work!