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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

Entries in rookies (11)

Pics of the Week: Champions Club Family

One of the things I've always wanted to keep at the Champions Club is our well-known "family" environment. This mean that sometimes we might not be able to play the music we want, or talk about the things we want, but to me this is worth it if it means we can have entire families hanging out at the gym at once.

One of the rookies this Summer is Mrs. Nevarez - mother to two of our Babies Session standouts JT and Natalie. Well, it turns out she has two kids even younger, and Natalie was babysitting them on Thursday.

New Graduates: Sam and Danielle

With our Summer rookie sessions under way, you know the New Graduate posts will roll in. On Tuesday, 8th grader Sam Butcher got her first rope climb during the warmup!

Sam was actually the middle school kid that started our session in the winter, and that grew to be very crowded by late spring. Hopefully this is a sign of many good things to come this Summer for this future Lamphere athlete.

Then this morning Danielle was the lone ranger at the 11 am session. We went over goals before the session and she mentioned that she wanted to be able to kick up to a handstand by the end of the Summer.

Welp, 13 minutes later...

Great job to both of you girls!

Beast Mode + New Graduate: The Walkers

While most of our rookie class is finishing their final week of school, Abby and Emily Walker are getting a head start on Summer 2018. They came in late-April as a recommendation from the Kavanaughs and joined out middle school session. They are both on board for the Summer and looking to improve their tennis game. Abby is in 8th grade and Emily is in 5th. Here was their workout yesterday:

This morning we had rope climbs in the warmup, and on the 3rd round Abby mnaged to get her first rope climb!

Keep up the good work both of you!

Champions Club Summer 2018 Official Signup

It's time kids! We're announcing earlier than usual this year in hopes to have things more organized (ha!) and give me a better sense of what numbers we're looking at. Some new things are detailed in this post, like assigned sessions, money stuff, a new parents team workout session, and our first-ever attendance competition. But the essentials are all set and the Champions Club Summer 2018 has the green light.


June 11 - August 31


$225 if paid before June 1, $235 if paid after. Exceptions will be made to families where parents are paying for everyone.

Session times

9 am

10 am (rookies)

11 am

4:30 pm

5:30 pm (rookies)

6:30 pm

How to sign up?

Email me at the session time you're committing to and bring in some form of money the next time you're at a session. Checks made to Champions Club Inc., cash, or Pay Pal are all cool. Chinese money (JAY!!) is not.

There are a few notable changes this time around.

Ten extra dollars, you say? Not really. Only applicable if paid after June 1. Last few Summers I didn't have a good sense of who exactly was in and who was out, plus I had to chase down some payments at the last minute. This is going to help me with session assignments (see next point), team workout times, and figuring out the coaching situation. As I mentioned before, there are exceptions. I don't expect Reggie, for example, to fork over 900 bucks (assuming James comes back) plus his regular May fee all before June, so we'll work out a payment plan there. Also if a high school or college kid is paying for themselves and doesn't have the money to front up right away, we can do a payment plan. But either way there will be some up front payment required. Be cool about it, please!

Assigned sessions. We are bringing back assigned sessions. Last two Summers were all over the place, and I think this will work better. Here's how it works: You pick a session time that works for you and other like-minded people and email me which one you choose. Then we try to stay on an 80/20 consistency with that one, meaning 80 percent of the time you hit that session even when it's a slight inconvenience, and 20 percent of the time you can give me a heads up if you need to wander. Again, certain exceptions with work or families will be made.

Let's say Coach Casey signs up for the 5:30 pm session with the rest of the parents and gets off work earlier than usual one day. The 4:30 session might have Shakes, Shannon, Murley, Jacob, and Craigen or something, and I'd want him to wait until the 5:30 to work out. Now if Coach has been good on attendance and finds out he's travelling on Friday for work, he can give me a heads up and come to a 9 am session before his flight leaves.

Having this kind of structure produces a better product both from me and you guys. A 30-minute inconvenience is a worthy tradeoff.

No-Pride Sundays Wednesdays for the Parents. The most anticipated addition to the Summer will be the return of the parents-only workout. Instead of doing it on the weekend, it will be held on Wednesdays at 6:30, right after the mobility session. I'm hoping we can catch better attendance and avoid the weekend travel conflicts we've had in the past. Parents are, of course, welcome to come to the mobility session before the team workout as well.

First theme workout is... Not sure yet, but it might be Spongebob. Either way, the kids team workout will still be on Saturdays. Time is TBD, but probably 10 or 11 am.

I thoroughly enjoy pitting you people against each other. To raise the stakes this year, everyone will be entered into an attendance contest. Basically you will be paired up with someone whom we deem as similar in expectations and whoever finishes with a better attendance percentage gets a prize. There's a few ideas in mind, and I'll finalize this before the Summer starts.

That wedding thing. Some kind of marriage is happening on June 16 involving two people from the gym. There will probably be some reduction of sessions around that time, but you can be assured the gym will still be open every day in some manner. Those days might not be counted against attendance. Not sure yet.

Possibility of two rookie photos on the loft? We've had anywhere from 9-19 kids at our Sunday middle school session. I would prefer to move away from the twice per meek option and have sessions for them every day. If the numbers look good, I'd definitely like to make another Rookie session time slot in the afternoon. Maybe 3:30 pm or 7:30 pm? Let me know! Update: it's looking like 5:30 will be an additional rookies session.

And don't forget about the Babies who aren't really Babies any more. On a similar note, we've had anywhere from 7-17 kids at our Babies session on Sundays. I'm going to keep them at 1 day per week, but might change the day if they need to. The 1 pm slot is still open. Price for that group will be $75.

Refunds. All payments are refundable before the start of the Summer. If you sign up for a session, then we take that session away or change it, or you don't want to work out next to Mrs. Carey (understandable), then you'll get your money back. Once we get rolling there are no refunds. The more you show up, the more you get out of the money paid. You have the potential to average paying $2.74 per session. Or you have the potential of paying $225 per session, which would be a very expensive session, indeed.

Summer at the Champions Club is awesome! With fewer distractions and obligations we've seen kids and parents really shine during these months. This is always my favorite time of year at the gym, and I have a feeling this time around is going to be another good one. We've had an influx of New Kids on the Block during the spring months, roaring Babies and Middle School sessions, and a steady stream of college kids coming back around. Remember, your attendance has a bigger effect than just your own fitness; you (yes, even you) being at the gym helps everyone else at that session. You are another athlete to compete against and complain with. You are a major point of support, without even knowing it, just by being there.

If you make the committment for the next 3 months to carve out one hour of your day to help yourself and the people around you, it is going to have an impact beyond expectations. This is where a parents form like Voltron and collectively combat adulthood. This is where a Rookie Class gets their picture on the loft and become household Champions Club names like Banet, Bromm, Crawford, and Carey. This is where Theme Workouts return. This is where The Freaks became The Freaks. This is where Shannon pr'd on Helen twice in a single day. This is where Kris Campbell climbed up the rope.

Dude... Kris freaking Campbell climbed up the rope!

Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018 kids. There is truly nothing else like it. I hope to see you on board.

Beast Mode: Summer Rookies

Earlier this week we did 5 rep max deadlifts. It was our first time deadlifting in awhile and it was looking a little inconsisent as expected. For the most part though, everyone started to fix things up after a few sets. In fact, two of our best movers on the day were Summer rookies (and both Berkley natives) Olivia Harbert and Isaac Dawkins. Both of them topped out at 85 lbs. Check it out:

As much as I hate to admit it to her, Olivia moves very well for how new she is. Even during the Summer she seemed to come straight out of Fundamentals with a good sense of where her body was. She is coming back this winter after a fall packed with soccer stuff, so hopefully she can add some consistent attendance to go with her natural athleticism.

Isaac, on the other hand, had none of the coordination Olivia possesses. This might be due in part to the fact that he's a 7th grader with a size 12 shoe. During the Summer 10 am session, Isaac took a very long time to get a feel for what his body was doing for any given movement. He came back to us late last month and has been routinely at the gym 4-5 times per week. Slowly but surely, I'm seeing some improvements in his coordination and strength.

Keep it going kids!

New Kids on the Block: 10 am session

Well, this took an entire Summer to develop, but starting about 2 weeks ago we finally had a consistent 10 am crew.

Avery Maslowski

As many of you know, Avery joined us in the winter. She had decent attendance, but nothing like she has displayed so far this fall. She will sometimes jump around to the 11 am or evening session if she can't make 10 am, but that doesn't stop her from leading the way for the rookie group - both in good form and workout intensity. We might have a good one on our hands here folks! Avery seems to be cut from the Katie Bromm mold - long legs, coordination pending, talking rarely.

Emily Gurney

Emily (pictured on the right) was part of the initial kids crew in the winter of 2016 - along with Josh Ellsworth. She came here through her mom - a P.E. teacher in Warren Consolidated who attended one of Murley's clinics. Emily stopped coming in for a little over a year, but has picked things back up this Summer. Still, her attendance might be the most inconsistent out of the crew so hopefully we can see that increase like it has the past two weeks. This incoming 10th grader has some upside as a runner for sure. Emily seems to be a soccer-first version of Maria, matching sass-for-sass the coaching efforts of myself or Murley.

Mrs. Dawkins

Mrs. Dawkins has been a very important addition to the Champions Club rookie session this Summer, and one of my favorite people to coach at the moment. She is completely open and honest with her limitations of fitness, and that, I think, has been the main part in her crazy improvement over the past two months. Her running and conditioning have seen the most improvement in my opinion, as welll as her midline control. Plus, as you are about to read below, she also works out in the same session as two of her kids. Yet, I never catch a hint of the over-protective helicopter parent we have all seen in one way or another. This is Mrs. Anderson minus the squat mobility.

Isaac Dawkins

Isaac is good friends with Nolan (more on that below) and is an incoming 7th grader, who's primary sport is football. Isaac is probably the most-improved mover out of the group; we have seen him show much more control in his squat, hollow hold, and jump in recent weeks. He even is progressing on handstands quite will; push-ups may be a longer story. For that reason, Isaac reminds me most of Ricky Carey.

Sophia Dawkins

Sophia (pictured above with Emily Gurney) is Isaac's twin sister, and obviously also going into 7th grade. Her main sport is volleyball, and she also had a good gymnastics background growing up. This Summer she has been working around a lingering Achilles thing she tweaked back in the spring. Slowly but surely it seems to be getting better with the constant attention to mobility and position. Think of Anita Partyka, but a little more polite.

Nolan Wesner

If the last name sounds familiar, then you are on track. Nolan is Maddy's younger brother, and also happens to be in the same grade as Isaac and Sophia. Originally, Mrs. Wesner recommended Mrs. Dawkins and her kids to join the gym at the 10 am session, but did not include Nolan out of fear that he would overcome his sister in athleticism... or possibly because he didn't have a ride. However, once Mrs. Dawkins volunteered to drive the youngest Wesner, we added another member to the 10 am session. Nolan, another football/basketball player, is pretty tall for his grade, so the coordination is coming along similar to Isaac's. But still, he reminds me a little of Frankie Lama.

Andre Saffar

On a random day in late-July, Crawford pulls into the parking lot the usual hour and change early to his 11 am session. Only this time he was accompanied by one of his Cross Country teammates also fresh out of practice. Andre tried out a workout, liked it, and signed up the next day. By pure percentage, Andre probably has the best attendance. If that keeps up, look for good things coming from this incoming sophomore. He's a pretty close representation of Kenny Jensen, but a little bit faster.

Josh Howey

Josh is the older brother of Samantha, one of the standouts in the Babies session. He is going into 8th grade and he cannot decide between wraastling and football as his favorite sports. Josh has the best mobility out of anyone in the group and is now working on the movement control to go with it. And man, he is picking up fast. Cleans, push-ups, handstands, and hollow holds look pretty good considering his 2+ weeks with us; the main thing he has to correct is the knees-forward fault. Definitely reminds me of a shorter version of Conor.

Mrs. Howey

On Josh's first day with our 10 am session, his mother was the one to drop him off. Only, she didn't necessarily drop him off so much as venture in through the garage doors with him. She wasn't a stranger, though, seeing as she often brought Samantha to the Babies. Anyway, I noticed she was dressed in attire that could be reasonably passed for workout clothes, so I invited her in. One hour later, we had our second mommy for the rookie session. So far, the coordination part of the movements is the most challenging for her, but the mobility is ready once the motor control catches up. If anyone remembers Angie Kadawaki from the early days of this gym, this might be her in disguise.

Mrs. Bass

And last but not least, back for the second Summer in a row is Champions Club fan-favorite Mrs. Bass; badass P.E. teacher at Warren Mott. Unfortunately she could not convince her boys to return for another Summer, but we are still glad to have this one on board. Honestly, Mrs. Bass is one of the most inspirational people I coach. It is not often that P.E. teachers and coaches practice what they preech; Mrs. Bass is a glaring exception. If we could get her here even more consistently, it would make me a much happier Chris. Definitely some Mrs. Kroll in this one for sure.

Athlete of the Week: Matt Hickey

For the final time for the Summer 2016, the Athlete of the Week goes to 11 am goofball Matt Hickey.

The scrawniest of all the Summer rookies (which is saying a lot) had himself a great week of training in the midst of a full Cross Country schedule. In his fist time doing the sport, Matt got off to a good start this year by finishing in 22:54 and right behind Crawford (now a Varsity runner) in Mott's meet at Grosse Pointe North.

In the gym, his training has been as consistent as id had been all Summer, but I am really beginning to see consistent improvements in his form. For instance, on Monday they did a mini WOD with foam burpees and kipping pull-ups. Not only did Matt get the highest round total, but he managed to do it without losing the foam AND going no-band on pull-ups. On Thursday I tested him on the pull-ups again and he did 10+ rounds of a modified Cindy in 10 minutes without a band again. Both his kipping rhythm and pulling strength are coming along.

Another noticeable change is Hickey's squat form. Slowly but surely he is becoming more stable in the bottom position and his knees are staying still. His heavy (for him) Goblet Squats on today's Harry Potter workout were a good example of that - as well as his high speed squats on Thursday.

Believe it or not, Matt has been a little more mellow this week than he usually is. Whether that's a result from this nagging ear infection, or the realization that school is right around the corner remains to be seen. All I can say is Matt would be my vote for the classic Mikey Peterson M.I.L.F. award (Most Improved Limb Function). He's had a great Summer with us and hopefully this can keep up during Cross Country season and the rest of the school year.

Just remember, there is another Matt we all know who was the same size as Hickey at that age, and he's now a professional marathon runner. I'm not necessarily saying Hicks is willing to commit to a lifetime of mileage, but I can bet there will be some good things coming for this one in the future if he keeps up the work.