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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

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


Entries in murley (121)

Saturday Highlights: Jurassic Park Theme Workout

Yesterday marked the return of our Jurassic Park Theme Workout - which debuted back in Summer 2015 - and had a total of 17 in attendance! Two weeks in a row of great Theme Workout attendance definitely makes me less of a cranky elf. We modified this one a bit; changed clean & jerks to just cleans, and did 2 reps before rotating instead of just 1. We also did the full minute on the second rotation. Due to the numbers, there were short transition times after the dinosaur attacks to get us organized.

The winning team was Murley and Fry!

Danielle and Cecilia were close in second place, followed by a few other teams. We even got a surprise guest appearance from Pat! Overall it turned out pretty well given the complexity of this workout compared to, say, 80s or Disney. Big ups to everyone that showed up! I'll keep you guys posted on when the next theme is.

Check the results here.

Check the photo gallery here.

Saturday Highlights: SpongeBob Theme Workout

If you were in attendance on Sunday, you were in for a real treat of a workout. Our SpongeBob Theme went down with no speed bumps and posted 19 people in attendance. Here's a video recap. Shouts to Murley for chopping it up!

Great job to everyone who showed up! Stay posted to see if we have another Theme Workout coming this Saturday...

Champions Club Player's Anthem: A Wedding Invite

Too soon! Don't do it! Reconsider!

Read some liter-

-ature on the subject

You sure?

Welp, it's happening like The Hill on a sunny Sunday or a bathroom break for Mrs. Kroll and Mama V before a jump rope workout. When, you ask? June 16, just like the jerseys show. Still don't believe it? I can't blame you, but I would love for you to come see for yourself. We're doing an informal BBQ/hangout of sorts at the gym, and I would love to invite the Champions Club. Here's the specifics:

Who? Chris Sinagoga (me) and Nicole Murley

Really? Yes

When? Saturday, June 16, 2018. 3:30 pm*

Clothes? Yes please! Shoes are optional, I suppose. Anything casual is cool. I'll be in shorts.

Food? Yes! Awesome food! (But no alcohol**)

What's after food? Not sure exactly yet but we'll have the basketball hoop out, some games like badminton or bag toss, probably Super Smash Brothers, NBA Live '98, and Mario Tennis for anyone wishing to receive a thorough beatdown.

How to sign up for this feast? Click here, here, here, or here. But not here.

Will there be dancing?


Only if we are very unlucky. I swear workouts happen in the gym sometimes...

Oddly enough, this will not be the first wedding held at our warehouse, and we'll be sure to touch up the place a bit beforehand. I'll employ Mrs. Pip to direct the cleaning efforts if that makes you feel less likely to catch an airborne disease from Jacobsweat. I sent out a mass email to the group I sent for Summer 2017; if you did not get the email, it's either because you weren't on that list for whatever reason, someone from your family who got the email will pass the message to you, or I neglected some fine points of the email technology. This invitation is for all good-standing Champions Club members of past and present. If you are unsure if that includes you or not, you can always call or email me, but it probably includes you. Don't feel obligated or make a special trip if you're in a different part of the country, but if you're in the area and want to share a delicious meal with the Champions Club, we'd love to have you.

*the actual wedding ceremony will be at a church and is for relatives only and people standing up. The food and hangout is for everyone, and the dinner officially comes out at 4:30 if I'm not mistaken.

**this is my call, obviously. There is a bar two doors down that surely supplies an abundance of beer if anyone really wants to drink. Just please don't bring it back with you.

...........

One of the things that has helped me in running the Champions Club is having the ability to say "no" when I need to. The wedding stuff has given me plenty of opportunity to practice this as well. If you offer to help, or participate in any way and I decline, obviously it's either already being done or it's not going to happen. But honestly, I appreciate the gestures more than the actual acts themselves. Also, I think I'll have some family from California coming in that I get to see once every 7 years or so, plus other cousins and such I don't see that often, meaning I might have to say "no" to you guys more than I would otherwise like.

Finally, the people standing up on my end are not, by any means, the only guys that have influenced me, but they might be familiar to you!

Until then...

- Chris

Beast Mode: College Kids on New Years

We had a small New Year's Group of College Kids come in and work out. And it was about then I realized that the original College Kids aren't really in college any more, so I may need to adjust their collective name. Anyway, we took the opportunity to use some equipment we don't always put to use, mainly the rower and the bike. It was originally going to be 4 rounds of 1:30 on a "cardio" station, :45 on dumbbell thrusters, and :15 on pull-ups. But Bubs came in 20 minutes late, so we added an extra round and sit-ups into the cardio rotation. Here's how it looked.

From the Vault: Michael Without the Secret GHD

Everyone in attendance got a good taste of one of the original CrossFit Hero workouts, Michael. Run 800 meters, 50 hip extensions, 50 sit-ups. We had a session of 12 today and were able to hit the workout without any problem thanks in part to our Secret GHD machine that fits 10 people at once (5 per side). Yes, might feel like riding the Gemini at Cedar Point, but it gets the job done and has since Ryan built it for us before the Summer 2014.

What did we do before the secret GHD, you ask? Well, improvise as the Champions Club always does. Here's Shannon, Murley, and Katie Bromm on their attempt at Michael from March, 2013.

Case Study: The Z-axis

I, Chris Sinagoga, can deadlift and squat more weight than Jacob at this time. And if I overheard correctly, Carter the Blob can deadlift more than Jack Trastevere. If that isn't an attention-getter, then I don't know what is.

...........

In the days before Summer 2012 was going to begin, Ryan Richard and I went out to Hyperfit USA (the Playboy Mansion of Michigan CrossFit gyms) to buy some equipment - the silver bars, the white rope, black box, and the black mats, to name a few. One of the coaches asked Ryan about some of his workouts and seemed genuinely impressed with the numbers. But he did say one thing in specific that I still remember:

"The thing you need to focus on now is not necessarily hitting a pr every time, but keeping everything within a certain range."

This also falls in line with Matt Fecht's former Quote of the Week about what would happen if people pr'd every time. And it also is parallel with the Pass it On post from December. And probably a ton of other things that has been up here on the site. But on a bigger scale, this was formalized on February 1, 2009 in the CrossFit Journal. Up until this point, Coach Glassman made waves in the exercise community by putting a scientific definition of fitness out for the world to test. But he realized that this formula - work capacity measured across broad time and modal domains - was limited. So he added a Z-axis to his graph that would account for longevity.

Graph of fitnessGraph of health

If fitness was defined as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains" then health could be defined as "fitness through the years."

In other words, your health and fitness is not determined so much by peaks and valleys as it is by consistency as you age. Whenever I get the chance to talk to other CrossFitters and coaches, this is the one thing I try to emphasize most because I think this is our specialty at the Champions Club. If your attendance is consistent, you can bet you will be in a steady-climbing constant ready-state for the next 10 years, and theoretically beyond that. That is a bold statement and avoiding pitfalls takes efficient coaching on my part, tons of patience on your part, and great communication from both sides.

...........

Elizabeth Banet had a Summer 2015 for the record books that resulted in a banner. She beat out a group of 5 athletes at their peak during the best Summer the Champions Club has ever witnessed. She was not a human being, plain and simple. And with all that being said, I am even more impressed with what she has done this Summer.

Biff made one good decision on Monday, April 24 to come in to the 6:30 session after a few months of hit-and-miss attendance; she stayed within the restrictions of what her fitness was at that time. Then made another good decision the next day. And then one more the next day. And she kept making good, daily decisions; all of a sudden I looked up in July thinking, "dang...this might be the fittest Elizabeth has ever been!" The same story can be said for her sister, Jacqueline. During the early winter, Jackie caught a bout of Mono; not only was she out of it for a few weeks, but she never could quite get that consistency back even when she was healthy. That is, until she did. And now she beats Elizabeth in most workouts.

Similarly, Summer 2016 Nicole Murley is probably the best female "CrossFiter" to ever call the Champions Club their home. I'm sure there is some level of bias, obviously, but when I think about the all-around demands of CrossFit workouts, you really can't say she's outside of the top 7 in anything, scaled or unscaled. She was not as fast as Shannon, not as strong as Shakes, not as flexible as Elizabeth, but her all-around ability was Mario with a Star in Mario Super Sluggers for the Nintendo Wii. In fact, Murley was on pace to challenge Shakes for the banner when she got a phone call about a Chemistry teaching vacancy at Riverview Gabriel Richard. Despite it being a year earlier than anticipated, she had to take it. As a result, her CrossFit ability decreased. But how much exactly? Here's her Filthy Fifty times over the years:

January 15, 2012 - 26:50 as rx'd pr

August 4, 2012 - 24:08 as rx'd pr

January 13, 2013 - 23:37 as rx'd (minus box jumps - 20 in. box) pr

August 13, 2013 - 18:55 (16k/14#/45)

August 16, 2014 - 18:53 guys rx'd

Last Friday - 18:38 guys rx'd (minus 14 med ball/20 box)

Judging by just her times, I would definitely look at Friday as anywhere from a win to a major win. Assuming she would have done a 2016 Filthy Fifty in around 18:00 with guys rx'd, this is not too far off. For her to be in the 17-minute range at this exact time, she would need to not be a teacher, have another year of Cross Country eligibility, and be generally interested in doing CrossFit on a regular basis. None of those conditions were realistic on August 18, 2017, so with that being said, she was at-worse 2 minutes slower than her peak self. Again, I would take that as a win. And if you look at it from another perspective:

Filthy Fifty times for other teachers: DNF/TL;DR

...........

I actually don't know for sure that I can deadlift more than Jacob at this exact moment in time; my max is probably in the high(ish) 300's, so if he can do that with a herniated disk then so be it. But either way, I am going to let MS Paint illustrate how I see it:

In this theoretical world with Jacob and I starting CrossFit at exactly the same point in fitness and time, he has a couple options: 1. deadlift as much as possible as soon as possible and live with the results or 2. accept his limitations (mobility, midline strength, coordination, arm length), and take a slower approach to his lift - which should turn out much better in the long run. In other words: prioritize the Z-axis, or don't.

I did a post about framing while running a while ago - essentially the more compact you keep the frame, the better your running will be. Same can be said for your fitness. In my opinion, the Pretend Jacob model would be better than the Jacob model despite taking much longer to hit the mutual maximum weight because there is less down time. Now, if he was competing in a weightlifting meet, or just wanted to be as strong as possible right now, I cannot argue against that. My opinion would just be that it is smarter to go the long-term route. Ideally you want to be in a position where you can, at any point in time, say, "I can come pretty close to my best right now", and there is too much time "under the curve" for my liking. In the grand scheme of things, the weight difference on the plus side only matters if you value your deadlift number over everything else. Again, I can only speak on what I think is best to value, but to each their own. I just know I would be embarassed if, for example, one of my track kids asked me to sprint a 400 with them and I had to decline because I wore out my knees overtraining for a marathon.

The longevity expression of CrossFit is an area that I rarely compromise on; sometimes Matt Fecht has to be ready for a race in a month, or Big Kris needs to be able to run 5 miles before going off to Air Force, etc. But this realization of the Z-axis in our fitness, coupled with the idea of having a "constant ready-state" are both integral in our training. And this is precisely why I am so impressed with Murley's Filthy Fifty time, and Elizabeth/Jacqueline's overall Summer. Whatever their training was leading up to these events provided a solid base that made it really, really difficult to fall completely off the cliff. They each made small, smart decisions on a daily basis to help their long-term health and now they could reasonably say they have a chance to pr for anything that comes up (with the exception of Murley's Cross Country race, obviously). Going forward they might get greedy and see if they can eclipse their prime, or they might get greedy in a different way: prioritize other things in their life and see how little they can manage to deviate away. And it might be a different answer depending on what time of year it is. Whichever they choose, you can bet they will be somewhere in the ballpark of fitter than most of the girls they will ever meet, whenever they meet them, in 20 minutes or 20 years from now.

And if they are really lucky, they'll be Mrs. Carey, who is coming up on 8 years into CrossFit and still on the steady climb up.

Army Workout Recap

Earlier this morning we brought back the Summer 2014 Army Theme Workout with a few twists in the mix. First, we had an even group of 12, so we did teams of 4 instead of 5. As such, we took out the ring dip station in an attempt to keep the rotations even. Next we took out the partner deadlift because Coach T's monster sandbags are not here any more and added a bar swing in place, we subbed a medicine ball run for the double unders, and last but not least, Binno came up big for us and brought some 60-lb. logs from his house we could use for the cleans in conjunction with the tire flips.

After people got the hang of it, it seemed to go pretty smoothly.  The playlist was also very interesting; Binno managed to find an Army Cadence station on Spotify, which sounded exactly like you would imagine. The winning team consisted of Elizabeth, Murley, Saporito, and Ricky. You can see the full results here. And I managed to snap a few pictures that can be seen in the August '17 Daily WODs photo gallery.

Great job to everyone today, good looks to Elizabeth for bugging me over and over to bring this one back, and I think we might have room for one more theme workout between now and Harry Potter. So be on the lookout.