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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer!

See schedule here.


Entries in summer 2014 (26)

Theme Workout Announcement: Army

Every Summer we try to bring back a Theme workout from the past; this Summer, by the request of Elizabeth Banet, we are bringing back the Army workout from Summer 2014.

In the old CrossFit Journal printouts, they used to feature "The Grinder" section, which was a team workout designed for Army members stationed overseas to do with minimal and improvised equipment. The test run we did in 2014 went well, so we're going to try it out again on Saturday at 9 am with a few modifications.

Hope to see you there!

Theme Workout Announcement: Shark Week/Hawaiian Mashup 2017

In Summer 2010 we had two separate workouts: Shark Week and Hawaiian (which was coincidentally our first ever theme). In 2014 we mashed them into a single theme and the format worked out really well, so we've been rolling with it ever since. And now it's back!

Hawaiian/Shark Week Mashup - Sat. @ 9 am

Here's the 2014 highlights:

Last year we hosted it here at the gym. Not sure if we're staying home or going to the hill yet. You'll have to wait and see!

Summer Hype 16.4

Each Summer we try to unveil something new to the gym. In 2014 Ryan finished my favorite addition so far: the garage door pull-up bars.

To the new folks, the story behind these is pretty epic. Despite seeming so simple, it was, without doubt, the most difficult project either of us ever took on - including inventing a 10-person GHD machine. The story can be recounted in the classic post, Band of Brothers.

Some Days Even My Lucky Rocketship Underpants Don't Help

When I was nine years old I really needed a new pair of basketball shoes. Up to that point, I sported whatever Velcro pair was given to me by my parents. But this time was going to be different. I was 9 fergodsakes! And it was about time I got to pick my own shoes.

So I told my parents I wanted the Nike Flightpoiste models Jason Kidd wore every game. They looked something like this:

Also worn by the likes of Penny Hardaway, Bonzi Wells, Alan Houston, and... drumroll... Mikki Moore

I rarely asked my parents for anything, so I figured there was a good chance they would grant me this one wish - especially considering it was something that would be getting used over and over. But my dad would not give in that easily, so he made a deal.

He gave me a little piece of yellow paper with the words "pushup," "situp," "calf raise," and "sprint" on it. Then he explained to me that I had to do 20 of each every day and put a check mark after each one. If I continued that for one month straight, he would buy me the pair of shoes I wanted.

So every day after school I would line up in front of my house and do 20 sprints on the sidewalk before my usual hour of shooting in the driveway. Then I would hit the push-ups, situps, and calf raises before I went to bed (as you can probably tell, I always did extra calf raises). After I finished the exercises I opened my dresser, took out the yellow piece of paper, and checked off what I did.

By the end of October, I had 40+ checks by each exercise except sprints - proving to my dad that I did more than what was required. Needless to say, he was impressed. So he showed the sheet to my mom, who then went out to buy my shoes later that night.

I sat in the family room for an hour with my basketball in hand and nothing but socks on my feet, eagerly waiting for my shoes to come back so I could be Jason Kidd in my driveway. Then I heard the garage door open and my heart stopped! They were here! My mom handed me the bag. I reached in and pulled out a box that was, surprisingly, not Nike. Or Reebok. Or even Converse.

It was fucking New Balance.

These clods:

"Your dad likes these ones, so I figured you would too" were the last words I would hear before I realized that I was not, in fact, going to be Jason Kidd. I was going to be Matt Bonner.

...........

Jason Withorn had the best work ethic I have ever seen in the Champions Club. In the late-spring of 2013, Jason came up to me with a proposal: he decided he wanted to be a serious track athlete and was ready to make whatever sacrifices necessary to start the process. After he showed me his goals, I gave him my realistic expectations based on the previous season where he ran for me at Foley and, together, we compiled a gameplan that is now known as the To Do(n't) List. This was a big step in realizing that, assuming you didn't hit the genetic lottery, becoming elite in anything is more about what you don't do that what you actually do.

So Jason gave up a lot of television, family time, social events, and other sports to focus more time on training. And it clearly paid off in the Summer 2013. While Katie Bromm was that Summer's star attraction, Jason quietly finished #5 in attendance (90%) and had numerous Beast Modes that set this sophomore up for a great track season.

Unfortunately, Brian and I got the boot from the track program before the 2014 season and Jason could never quite adapt to the new style of coaching, and did not beat his pr's from his freshman year. However, this appeared to light a fire in Jason. He proceeded to dominate Summer 2014.

  • 1 RM Overhead squat: 207.5 lbs
  • 1 RM Split jerk: 215 lbs
  • Helen: 7:53
  • Filthy Fifty: 18:51

As far as CrossFit goes, Jason did not have a peer. Long workouts: check. Short workouts: check. Max effort: check. Mobility: Check. Good form: The best. And with 99% attendance, the Athlete of the Summer award was all his. Jason was about as well-prepared and well-rounded as a 16 year old kid could be.

...........

Sometimes preparation just ends up being a participation trophy.

The Summer 2013 set us up with a solid formula: build up a steady group through the school year, bank on a late-spring New Kid influx, rely on word-of-mouth to recruit a 10 am session, and schedule the sessions accordingly. Considering the outcome that produced, we followed the procedure for Summer 2014 and everything seemed to be lined up for another great one.

But all of the luck that fell our way in 2013 seemed to be reversed in 2014. We had inconsistent numbers due to work schedules, sports, crappy excuses, endless ride issues, and a Flood Armageddon. Still, we made the best of what we had in front of us. We introduced a few great team workouts, had a ton of Beast Modes, saw the overall form improve, and our thinking evolve past just the gym. Bottom line: the people who showed up consistently, like Jason, were given a better product than they received the year before.

Unfortunately, we also learned that there is no substitute for community. And by the end of the Summer, we saw the residual effects. Katie Bromm had to take a little break. So did Ricky. And our star athlete, Jason, decided to move on from the Champions Club in the late-fall.

In summary: we did the prep work, put even more time in, got better, and as a result lost the previous Athlete of the Summer for a month, and the current Athlete of the Summer for good. Expected blessings rarely come, dude. That's reality.

This wasn't a case of being ahead of ourselves like 2011. It was just plain bad luck. In all fairness, it's hard to force yourself to do something if you don't see the end goal being realistic at that time. Both Jason and myself found that out the hard way. I'm not sure if the answer comes with more progression, less obsession, or just plain cheating. But what Jason - and the Summer 2014 - showed us is that sometimes preparation doesn't pay off. However, in the process we learned a work ethic and humility that, if it stays, makes winning even sweeter. Dealing with failure is, in my opinion, the most important factor in becoming great. As my dad said, "If you haven't lost, then you just haven't played anyone good yet."

Jason and I still talk. There were never any hard feelings - mostly due to the mature way he handled leaving the gym. In reality, he was given a less-than-average athletic build and made a freaking machine out of it - which happened to drain all of his mental drive in the process. It happens. And how has he responded? He moved on and made the next play. And that speaks to his character more than any workout could. 

From the Vault: Flood Armageddon

It was on this day last year when I was wrapping up the 7 pm session only to see Mr. Jabara pull in the parking lot to pick up Tyler. I had not left the gym all afternoon, so I did not see the carnage outside. Mr. Jabara told me to look down the street and I saw this...

So Jay and I were left to walk home by ourselves and play our traditional game of HORSE in the downpour only to see Murley of all people running around like a stranded hound dog looking for a home.

It was quite an interesting day and if it wasn't for the kind actions of myself and Jay, Murley probably would have been washed away by the flood. Post your favorite flood memory to comments.

We've been crunching the numbers...

... and so far this summer is shaping up to be better than last year. The average attendance for this week, including the mobility day, was 39.8 as compared to 37.2 for the first week of the Summer of 2014. 

We had 43 people on the first day this year vs. 42 last year, both pretty impressive considering a lot of kids are still in school.

On the first mobility day of summer 2014, only 29 people showed up. This year we had 34.

The biggest session in the summer of 2014 was the 9 am gaggle of girls. There were 12 of them flocking to the warehouse that monday morning.

Seems like nothing compared to the 10 we had at 6 pm finishing their mobilities out in the parking lot to make way for the 15 people at the 7 pm session.

All in all the attendance has been pretty good this week. Now we will just have to see if we can beat last summer's first team workout. Only 13 people showed up. I don't want to jinx anything, but I THINK we might be able to make it happen!

From the Archives: The Secret Life

Could any video ever made at 32301 Stephenson Hwy ever surpass the brilliance of this masterpiece?

We have this summer to find out...