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Behind the Champion with Erica

See the interview here.


Entries in the freaks (115)

New Year's Eve Workout Poll

In the past we have done a New Year's Eve Workout starting at 11 pm and ending right as the crystal ball drops. If we can get enough for it, we'll do it again.

So post to comments if you are available to do a workout on Sunday, December 31 @ 11 pm. If we can get a group of about 8 or so then we'll do it.

Note: there will also be a regular team workout session earlier that day, as well as a regular workout the next day.

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.

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.