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Entries in the freaks (113)

Goon and Goblin Resurgence 9/18

This one is sure to draw some chatter, and again comes from Jacob.

Who would be in your all-star session? You can pick anyone from any era in Champions Club history, yourself and 5 other athletes.

Couple notes:

1. This is not necessarily based on how athletic the people are, just who you would like to be in a session with the most.

2. You cannot clone yourself Reggie.

3. This is obviously all in good fun. If you are thinking of getting offended from being left off a list, think again. There's stiff competition. Any time you are pitted up in a popularity contest against Mrs. Pip you will lose. Unless, of course, you are Mrs. Pip.

From the Vault: Filthy Fifty

Summer 2013 was definitely a great one in Champions Club history; lots of faces we should recognize as grown-up and college-bound by now. One of the highlights of the Summer was the Filthy Fifty in mid-August. We did a group video mashup of all the sessions. Check it out.

Never know when these benchmark workouts will come up...

Athlete of the Week: Ricky Carey

"Chris, I've decided to be the Athlete of the Week this week."

- Ricky Carey at last Sunday's mobility session.

Ricky Carey is a ladies man, he's a visual cue on Olympic lifts, he's the wackywavinginflatablearmflailingtubeman, and now he is a Seer worthy of an O in Professor Trelawney's class. Or we have just sunk that low... apparently all you have to do is tell me you're going to be the Athlete of the Week and I'll cave in if it's August. Either way, Ricky was on point all week.

On Monday Ricky posted a good time while doing the double-up climbs each round. On Tuesday he looked every bit as good as Sap on the torturous slow front squats using 145 lbs. On Thursday Ricky surprised everyone by doing unassisted pull-ups and topped it off by doing full-ROM GHD sit-ups. His best workout of the week, in my opinion, was at the 5:30 session on Friday's thruster/double under workout; he finished in 14:48, showed great form on double unders, and probably should have been bumped up to 95 lbs.

As a cherry on top, Ricky's team won the Army Workout today!

Ricky is definitely one of those kids that flies under the radar here, and has been since he joined in 2011. Think about it: this is Ricky's 7th Summer with the Champions Club. His high school career was marked by a very drastic uptick during the Winter of the Freaks (2013-2014) that continued through his senior year, and since he's gone away to college he's still managed to keep a steady increase in his fitness. He's training for a half marathon in October, so hopefully he finishes the Summer strong before heading back to Central.

Coach's Corner: More With Tempo

Among other things, this has been the Summer of tempo lifts. On Tuesday we worked slow sets of 5 front squats with everyone in our constant attempt to develop more movement control - and therefore strength. Here is the last sets from the 11 am and 6:30 pm sessions.

Carter: "OOWWWWW"

A couple points of note:

Rack position. The front rack archetype is one of the fundamentals shapes our shoulder need to be able to go through, and is very prominent in things like throwing and tumbling. In the front squat, the main limiting factor for most in keeping the elbows up isn't the wrists, and it's not necessarily the shoulders (although improved mobility will help). It's actually midline strength. At the bottom I yell out "elbows up" as a means to make sure the athletes are not breaking any position of the midline. I'm sure they noticed how much harder this made the lift.

Gravity. The more I am learning about strength and conditioning, the more I am beginning to realize the role of strength: resisting gravity when needed. If we are exaggerating the skill/technique of a movement, then we are working with natural forces (gravity, muscle/tendon elasticity). But in real life, we will not always have the perfect technique to serve what nature is offering us. Or maybe we will be blindsided by a linebacker. This is where strength comes in to help us keep our position relative.

Movement control. In order to keep position, we need to control how our body moves. This is what I refer to as movement control. This can be as simple as bracing the midline, or holding the figure-4 Pose in running. When you speed a movement up, athletes can find flow that can help them with the skill/technique; when they slow it down, it helps on the other end of the movement control spectrum. The front squats in the video above are a great challenge to the athletes' position. Watch Elizabeth go through her front squats; how many moving parts are there? Is her head moving? Her arms? Her belly? Not really. Watch Crawford (with 3 years less CrossFit experience); how many moving parts do you see? Was he able to control the squat movement to the tempo of my counting? What about Kroll?

Now this is all fun for me to talk about, but the thing I really value is intensity. So when we see movements with the squat performed at high intensity, I am interested to see if this translates as well as I think it will. Just some things to keep in mind...

Athlete of the Week: David Saporito

...or "Div" as Mrs. Fitz to elegantly created for him. But yeah, I know we could probably give this award to David every week, but this week, man, he was hitting on all cylinders.

When you say the word "overhead," Sap immediately says, "pissed". It's an instinctive reaction and serves as a protective mechanism for both his shoulders and his pride. Yet, Monday starts things off with a 7 minute workout including overhead squats and (for Sap at least) a brief rest station for more overhead squats. So basically David sis 7 minutes of Overhead squats with an empty 45-lb. bar. The cool thing was, he slowed the movement down, kept his knees back, and did a good job managing his shoulder position to boot. Then things started to play to his favor.

On Tuesday we had strict pull-ups and med-ball cleans - which, again, he showed a great ability to go fast and keep form around 90% good. Then Thursday and Friday really showed the true fitness levels of this former track athlete. Thursday's run, L-pull-up, and hip extension workout was a rough one, indeed. Sap did the full 1200-meters on the run, and managed to hold a pretty solid "L" shape on pull-ups until the final round. Then yesterday he used 50-lb dumbbells on the workout and still finished in a time that made me rethink that he should have gone to 60's (again, with respectable form). This week, Sap did overhead on Monday, overhead on Tuesday, overhead on Thursday, and overhead on Friday and still managed to show improved form and his traditional motor.

Do we have an Athlete of the Summer candidate? Has his attendance been good enough? Who knows, all we know is David Saporito killed this week and he can take this award to Red Oaks and demand a pay raise for his caddie services.

...

... okay, I'll give in. And on top of all this, his farmer's walks didn't look how they did back in April.

That improvement alone should be good for Athlete of the Week.

Pic of the Week: Freaks Hangout

The Freaks worked out at the 4:30 session on Monday (which coincidentally had 16 people in it). This was the scene at 8:30 pm.

Four hours after their session started, they were still here doing absolutely nothing productive, yet enjoying every second of it. Ashley Fry even jumped in. As I wrote about before, the days are just packed during the Summer. There is nothing like it!

Summer 2017 Wishlist

The Champions Club Summer 2017 official sign-up is not quite ready, seeing as we are waiting on a few last-minute decisions. We did a wishlist in 2015 based on who I thought would fit well into sessions. This time around the wishlist will be different. Seeing as this might be the Summer of the Great Returns, I did a recruiting board. The star rankings are not based on ability, but based on what I would expect their attendance/community contribution to be like if they signed up.

Important: this is only done for people who were not in the Champions Club last summer. I think it would be kinda weird if we did it for new people. And a post involving everyone we have would take a lot longer than I would care to spend on a post. So read this like you would a Rivals board: you have the players on your team already, and you are looking for additions. Enjoy!

Jacob Augustine

5-star prospect

A big burly boy with sweat glands stemming from every possible inch of surface area of his body, Jacob has been rumored to make his return to the Champions Club this Summer in hopes to round out his overall fitness and learn some techniques to help his coaching over the fence. Boom or bust type prospect with a history of both booming and busting. And sweating.

Pros: Great community contribution. Unrivaled in recruiting persuasion.

Cons: I'm going to have to buy more 45-lb. bumper plates and Lysol whipes.

David Saporito

5-star prospect

After deciding he'd had enough of not being allowed to run the open 800m, Sap decided his time on the Eastern Michigan track/CC team was done, and he is looking to get back in "CrossFit shape." Despite being a runner, he's always had good strength and coordination that has helped him excel in the gym. Now that he is back home for the Summer, he is considering making his return to the place where his CrossFit career started in the fall of 2013.

Pros: Community involvement/recruiting persuation rivals Jacob. Shows up all the time. Kind of funny.

Cons: Physical liability from training with track people the past few years. Might not have a soul.

The Babies (collective unit)

5-star prospects

With the help of patient families like the Bodways and Asmars, and Matt Fecht's basketball camp, the Babies group has been a critical addition to the Champions Club since February. They are rabidly energetic and are very consistent in their attendance every Sunday. They currently include Simone, Sydni, Jacqueline, Drew, Conamora, Zeena, Ender, Lily, and Kyle/Haley (not pictured). While we technically had Babies sessions the past two years, it was nothing like what this Summer's might turn out to be.

Pros: The future of the Champions Club is looking at us.

Cons: Requires anywhere from 3-4 coaches at a session for safety. Potty-training might be an issue.

Elizabeth Banet

4-star prospect

Since school has been out, Biff has been steadily returning to her usual form. While taking last Summer off... wait... she was here last Summer? My bad. On to the next one then.

Pros: n/a

Cons: n/a

Mrs. Kroll

4-star prospect

With her son, Robert on the verge of getting his driver's license, there is a chance Mrs. Kroll might be able to make time out of her probably-busier-than-it-should-be schedule to make a committment to the Champions Club Summer. She's been in the Champions Club consistently since 2015 for 9 months out of every year, but has yet to put together a consistent Summer. Will this be the first?

Pros: Unconditional loyalty. 100% buy in. Easy pickins to make fun of. Everything you love about our moms!

Cons: Extra explaining is required. One of the bathrooms will always be occupied.

Mr. Fitz

4-star prospect

Despite aches and pains that have been naging at him since a youth, Mr. Fitz has tried to work around whatever was feeling sore on that particular day. In April, he had to make the call to walk away from CrossFit for good. Or, at least, he said it was for good. But after some mobility sessions, rest, and a general life without Mr. Z, Reggie, and teasing Mrs. Fitz in public, Mr. Fitz has given some hints about making a comeback for the Summer.

Pros: Very coordinated. Strong upper body. Dresses in kilts. Makes fun of Conor and Mrs. Fitz.

Cons: Walking on eggshells with injuries, etc. Might also be Jigsaw from the horror movies.

Sydni Golfin

4-star prospect

The amazin' Asian. Blazin' Blasian. Champions Club OG and teenage psychiatrist to Bubs and Murley. Heartthrob of at least one handsome lad in the gym. At least. Sydni was about as involved in the Champions Club as one could possibly be during the Fieldhouse/New Old Weight room days. That also led through to our first Summer in here. Then school got in the way, as well as back poison. We have not seen her for a full Summer since 2013, but I am holding out hope that things might change.

Pros: It's Sydni!

Cons: She kinda told me no already.

Erica Gibbons (formerly Krueger, but pronounced Kreeger)

4-star prospect

Erica technically joined last Summer as part of a Henkel thing that didn't really pan out. So for the records, 2017 would be her first official Summer with the Champions Club crew. Over the course ofthe last few months, Erica has made herself at home with Kroll, Crystal, Mama V, and the rest of the 4:30/5 pm crew. And quietly, she has become one of our best movers. Pistols, handstand push-ups, squats, Olympic lifts, and now even kipping pull-ups. If she commits, and her job across the street stays the same, watch out for this one to be on the Summer dream team.

Pros: Great technique. Starting to break out of her shy phase. Checks the website sometimes.

Cons: Lives an hour away. Refuses to get asthma checked.

Alan Wisniewski

3-star Prospect

Alan spent some time with us during the Summer 2012 before heading of to Penn State to play basketball. He meshed very well with Jacob, Morrow, and the handsome crew. Alan was on the Groves coaching staff the past two years and I got a chance to know him decently well. Very cool dude who is looking to be a mid-level contributor at the Champions Club this Summer.

Pros: Very personable. Impeccable social skills for any audience. Basketball player. Surprisingly funny.

Cons: Will require special modifications for hip extensions, GHD sit-ups, and all max effort days. Also kinda soft.

Kris Campbell

3-star prospect

Kris signed up for Fundamentals in the spring of 2014, and yet has never participated in one single legendary Champions Club Summer. Rumor has it things will be different this time around, but we will see for sure come June 12.

Pros: Legit D-1 lineman. Great community involvement. Solid dance moves for a big man.

Cons: Tends to beat me in wraastling. It hurts. Also leaves for Air Force at the end of July.

Mrs. Fitz

3-star Prospect

Mrs. Carey aside, Mrs. Fitz might be our most consistent mommy counting this school year. She joined at the tail end of last Summer, but, assuming she signs up, this will be her first full Summer with the Champions Club. She helped bring in the Mr., and has been progressing very nicely as an athlete over the past few months.

Pros: Great attitude. Good blend of strength and endurancre. Very gullible. Shows up a lot.

Cons: Spells her name wrong on the whiteboard.

Alex Faust

3-star prospect

Another rumored recruit from 5-star Jacob's outreach. Faust came in as part of the Northwood invasion in the epic Summer 2013. After a stint in Kansas City for work, Faust settled back in to the metro Detroit area and made his Champions Club return in the Summer 2015, and eventually won himself the Athlete of the Fall later that year. He's went AWOL shortly after. Will he make a return this year? I certainly hope so.

Pros: I mean, look at the picture.

Cons: I mean, loos at the picture.

Lindsey/Kasey Eason (package deal)

3-star prospects

Kasey first joined the Champions Club for the Summer 2015 (widely considered our best Summer to date). She never quite had the attendance her cousin, Jay, displayed, but she still fit in very well and made guest appearances throughout the year. She took last Summer off for reasons unknown, but came back this spring and brought her sister, Lindsey with her. This combination should prove to be a good showing this Summer, assuming they sign up.

Pros: Combo deal to hold each other accountable. Related to Jay Junkin.

Cons: Complain about push-ups and other shoulder movements. Related to Jesse Junkin.

Matt Morrow

3-star prospect

Matt Morrow is the first person in the history of the world to officially sign up for a Champions Club Summer. It was back in the Old Weight Room. 2010, to be percise. He's been a fabled member of the Handsome Gentlemen's Club, inventor of the elbow muscle-up, and has since gone off on his own to focus on Olympic Lifting. Can Jacob pull a turn-around for this one?

Pros: Very handsome. Polite. Funny. Strong. Thick. Solid. Tight.

Cons: Kinda soft, like Alan. Maybe too handsome.

Kyle Anderson/Mike Morrow (Combo Meal)

3-star prospects

These two young guns made their home in the Champions Club during the Summer 2015 as rookies who led the way to our best Summer in the books. Kyle Graduated from Michigan State this spring and already made a guest appearance on a mobility day. Mike hangs out with Jacob sometimes, and therefore is bound to get roped in here at some point. Will either stick?

Pros: The two formed a great duo of movie-talking/NBA debating/good-form loving college males.

Cons: Kyle sweats more than Jacob I think. Mike panics while doing cleans.

Avery Maslowski

3-star prospect

If Renee Shelton was a little less Renee Shelton, she would be Avery Maslowski. Just a freshman, Avery came over to the Champions Club in the late fall as part of Shannon's Cross Country group. We've already seen big improvement in coordination and strength, and she's brought her younger brother, Drew, in for the Babies session.

Pros: Lots of potential to be a legit high school athlete.

Cons: Not really sure there are any. Ride issues maybe? But probably not.

Craigen Oster

2-star prospect

Unlike his handsome counterparts, Craigen has yet to put a Champions Club Summer under his belt. I mean, he did technically sign up for Summer 2012, but his attendance was not where I was expecting. However, he seems eager to get back at it this time around, and he's always been a very easy kid to coach. So I have a feeling this college kid might out-play his ranking.

Pros: Barefeet bandit. Likes Hip Hop. Younger siblings. Good community fit. Coaches outside here.

Cons: Might still have blisters from that fateful track practice in 2013. Sorry bossman!

Steve Carey

2-star prospect

This news came to me earlier in the month from the mother of the household, but assuming a work schedule can be situated, Champions Club OG (Summer 2010 origins) Steven Carey might be looking to make a return. Last I remember from him, he was a Carey - coordinated, strongish, dreadful upper-body pushing ability, and a good community person.

Pros: A Carey. Plus has ties with OGs like Sydni, Ryan, and maybe even Gabe or Landrith.

Cons: Might have long hair now. Please don't have long hair.

Erica Potter

2-star prospect

EP came to us for Fundamentals at the end of the Summer 2013 and has been with us for a few Summers already. Taking last one off due to work schedules, she came and talked to me earlier this year about the possibility of a return for 2017.

Pros: Great chemistry with The Freaks. Good work ethic.

Cons: Inconsistent attendance. Sometimes falls over things, a la Matt Fecht.

Emmanuel Myles

2-star prospect

Emmanuel has been up and down in the Champions Club since he joined in the winter. He's very athletic and has an incredibly high cieling as a runner if his training catches up to his body.

Pros: Might be best athlete along with Sap/Aaron Sexton. Teaches dance moves to Mrs. Carey.

Cons: Working at Wendy's has not helped his diet, or attendance.

Mrs. Owusu

2-star prospect

Despite having a low-star rating, I think the potential is very high for Mrs. O. Having to cart Emmanuel and his younger siblings around doesn't help her attendance, and neither does working in Canada. But once track is over and she can focus on herself a little bit more, look out for this new mommy to have a breakout Summer.

Pros: Diet has remained on point. Good mobility. Good role model for kids.

Cons: Attendance needs better showing.

Pat Luetz

2-star prospect

As our second-newest Champions Club member at the time of print, it will be difficult to know what to expect from Pat. He already paid for the Summer, so we know he's in. And he's shown a quick transition into our group that is rare for outsiders. So if I had to make a guess, I think Pat is going to out-perform his 2-star base ranking by Summer's end. So we will have to wait and see.

Pros: Really obsesses over good form. Embraces being coached. Brings in food.

Cons: Has not seen enough at-bats. Can't get cleans to save his life, yet.

...........

There you have it. Am I missing anyone? Hope to see you all in Champions Club t-shirts by July!