3 Larwin Road, Cherry Hill, NJ

Author Archives: Alycia

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THIS YEAR: A Thanksgiving Post

Posted on by Alycia

Every day or every year, we are thankful. We might not always say it, but the gym is the best thing that has happened to us and we are grateful every day for the opportunity to bring CrossFit, PRs, gains, self -improvement,  and happiness to those around us.

This year, we are thankful for those who are new to the gym and have made it through those first few tough months were everything feels awkward, every workout is hard, and every lift is heavy.

This year, we are thankful for those special few members who have stuck with us for FIVE YEARS since our early days of running the gym out of a one car garage, on a front lawn, and in the street.

This year, we are thankful for Brad and Meredith Stadler for presenting us with the challenge and opportunity of managing a second gym, and thus bringing CrossFit to double the amount of people.

This year, we are thankful for our coaches who are committed to learning, improving, educating, motivating, and creating an intense atmosphere while keeping our athletes safe.

This year, we are thankful for those members who committed to writing their end of year goals on the whiteboard for everyone to see, and who stay after class day after day, working their way toward their goals, and in some cases, exceeding them early.

This year, we are thankful for our members who donated their food to those in need. Altogether, we raised 1,500lbs of food for area families and individuals.

This year, we are thankful for the members who bought their friends and family members out to take a free class, and did their part to help spread the word about CrossFit.

This year, we are thankful for those who took our nutrition advice and made changes to their diet and lifestyle. They are looking, feeling and performing better every day!

This year, we are thankful for our core members who stay after class and cheer on the next class,or who yell the loudest and offer a shoulder to lean on when workouts don’t go as planned.

This year, we are thankful for our monster athletes who show the others what is possible. The small and committed group who chooses to go above and beyond what is asked of them, and shows up day after day, ignoring excuses and focusing on the big picture.

This year, we are thankful for the DT1 members from other gyms that closed. Your community is still in tact, and we are excited to see how this new, larger group will become the new core group at DT1. Your willingness to adapt has not gone unnoticed!

This year, we are thankful for the EVERYONE who has walked through our doors, taken our classes, added to the positive atmosphere, worked hard, and left feeling better about themselves than when they walked in.

Thank YOU,

Alycia & Justin

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Member of the Month: Joey Andalora

Posted on by Alycia

Name Joey Andalora, 21 years old.

Years doing crossfit: 9 Months

How many times/week do you come? Just upgraded to Unlimited. 12:00 class

Athletic Background: Swimming, Track, Football, Lacrosse are some of my favorites.

Most frustrating part of CrossFit when you first started: Starting and staying at low weights when I was learning the technique of all the movements. I came into crossfit so use to being natural at everything I did involving sports.

I had a hard time easing into the sport and taking it slow. Looking back, I am glad I did take the time to learn and I am appreciative of all the coaching and time the instructors put into me.

One movement that you used to hate, but now you love: Clean and jerks. I have always envied Olympic lifters because of how cool all the lifts looked. I had never tried cleans or snatches before in my life until I started crossfit.

About 4 or so months into being at Aspire, I came to a 12:00 class on a Friday that Marisa was coaching. The strength part of class was EMOM Clean and Jerk. I think I was using 95 pounds which I though was heavy at the time. In middle of the EMOM, Marisa told me to hold her dog as she proceeded to use my weight as an example to show someone something. I made it my goal from that point on, that the next time clean and jerks were the strength, that Marisa wouldn’t be able to destroy my bar (with such ease and no warm up while I was holding her dog) as an example again. Thank you for the little push of motivation!

Favorite metcon (or type of metcon): Adderall (Minutes 0-10, 1 mile run & max rep clean and jerk 135. Rest 3 minutes. Minutes 13-21, 800 meter run & max rep snatches 115. Rest 3 minutes. Minutes 24-30, 400 meter run & max rep thruster 95)

One movement that you still struggle with the most: Overhead squat. When I first started I couldn’t overhead squat a PVC pole. I have upgraded to a regular bar and put weight on it but there’s still room for more improvement on the mobility side.

What are you concentrating on now? (getting stronger, squats, etc): Squats. I have track legs (long, skinny and weak). I need to come weekly to squat day for sure.

What’s your fitness goal for this time next year? My biggest goal is really to just improve in every aspect of CrossFit. When I get serious about something, I want to dominate it and do the best I can. I guess that would ultimately be to have no weaknesses in crossfit and see what happens from there.

You’ve competed in Test Your Metal and the Rookie Rumble. Tell us about those, and what you learned about competing, fitness and about yourself, as a result. From the age of 6- 18, I competed every season in multiple sports. Test Your Metal was the first thing I competed in, in that 2 years since I graduated high school. I didn’t realize how much I missed competition. CrossFit is such a diverse sport and each comp is a makeup of multiple movements. Every other sport is the same thing for a whole game. Or the same movement for a whole race. The way you strategize in your head before a workout is like no other sport. Its as fun as it is challenging and that’s what I love about CrossFit. Both competitions were so much fun. Hanging out with your teammates and the people you workout with is an awesome time.

Whats your favorite type of music to listen to when you work out? Remixes. Anything that’s loud and catchy. I love when a remix to a song I like comes on because it takes my mind off the physical pain im in for a split second and that’s all I need at the time.

What’s your favorite way to warm up or whats your favorite stretch? I love walking in and getting on the foam roller and just losing up and cracking my back. Runners stretch is my go to stretch. And obviously a solid 400 meter jog is always nice.

How do you get pumped up for a workout or a lift? I usually look around at the people im working out with to get me pumped up because I just love to compete.

How has CrossFit helped you in your regular life outside of the gym? CrossFit has helped me in more ways than I could have ever imagined. My confidence has skyrocketed since I started just because of my overall fitness. Im in the best overall shape of my life witch is a total confidence boost.

It sounds cliché, but it’s the one stress free hour of my day. The one hour where I can just turn my phone off and be at peace while im there. Looking forward to a workout after class or work, definitely helps move the day along.

What are your hobbies, besides CrossFit? My hobbies are sports. I coach two swim teams year round so swimming is for sure one of my hobbies. Im obsessed with football and the NFL and other than that, I love to watch documentaries, mostly sport documentaries but ill watch anything if it’s a true story. I like to hang out with friends and go out. If eating counts than I guess that would be a hobby too.

What would you tell someone to get them to try CrossFit? I would tell them exactly how I got into CrossFit. Start by searching “The CrossFit Games” on YouTube and watch every video of every pro competitor from there. They’d be hooked in no time.

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Member of the Month: Andrea Duncan

Posted on by Alycia

Congratulations to Andrea Duncan, Aspire’s August Member of the month! Andrea came to our gym two years ago with her fiance. She was there for support and because she thought it would be a fun departure from her regular routine. She has always paid particular attention to form, and has been a great listener when it comes to taking tips from coaches.

Within the last year, however, she has gone from the quiet girl in class to one of our fastest improving women at the gym! Not only is she super speedy and great at the endurance workouts, she has really made some impressive progress to her lifts and her focus in the gym. You can catch her doing the extra credit or working on her goals while she isn’t killing it in the metcons! Congratulations, Andrea. Well deserved! We can’t wait to see your progress over the next year!

NAME      Andrea Duncan

AGE      26

YEARS doing CrossFit      Almost 2 years

Why did you first start CrossFit?       I heard about Crossfit from a friend and wanted to buy a month for my fiancé as a birthday present.  I went with him to a free class to check it out and really liked it.  I’ve always been active…with running and dancing…and had been on a belly dance team before I moved to South Jersey two years ago, but couldn’t find a dance class or team that had what I wanted down here.  I really wanted something to keep me fit.  I think Crossfit is perfect because I love the intensity, the mix of strength and cardio, and really need the structure of attending classes to keep me motivated.

What were your favorite movements when you first started? Have they changed over time?     When I first started, I really loved back squats because I understood the concept of them and didn’t need to think too much about what I was doing.  I hated any technical lifts that required speed and using momentum.  Now, I have learned to enjoy lifts like cleans and jerks a lot better than when I first started.  I still have a lot to learn, but enjoy the feeling when I have executed the movement correctly…it feels like a real accomplishment.

Which types of workouts are you favorite/best?  I love any workouts that involve a lot of cardio…runs, burpees, wallballs, box jumps, etc.  I also love/hate the crazy long metcons like 12 Days of Christmas and Filthy Fifty.  They are so awful, but there’s something great about feeling completely exhausted when you’re done.

You are a really fast runner. What do you attribute that to?  I learned how to run in high school on the track and cross country teams.  I’ve continued running since, but never on a team again…just on my own or with friends.  I think it’s just something I have to keep doing so my body never forgets how to pace itself and breathe.  The inhaler also helps.

Tell us about your strength gains/focus over time. When/why did you start to push yourself harder and make strength gains?     Compared to how I was when I first started Crossfit, I am lifting weights and doing things I never thought I could have done strength-wise.  I have come a long way not only with how much weight I can lift, but also with paying attention to good form.  I attribute all that to the coaches here…everyone is so awesome and dedicated to making every one of us improve, while still doing so safely.

What type of music do you like to listen to while you are running or doing CrossFit?    I usually don’t listen to music when I run only because I get so distracted by earbuds always falling out of my ears!  I like a lot of the music that’s playing at the gym, but love Fall Out Boy’s “The Phoenix”…I think that’s my jam.

What’s your favorite warm up to do?  There’s nothing like a little 400m run and some stretching.

If you could do a WOD with one celebrity or character from a TV show/movie, who would it be?  Thor, for sure.

What do you like to do in your spare time, other than CrossFit?   I like to paint and draw.  I’m kind of a granny and knit/crochet a lot.  Also, when I get the chance, I volunteer at a cat shelter.

How has CrossFit helped you in other aspects of you life?   It’s given me a lot of confidence.  It’s really addicting and I feel like the rush you get after a workout is always motivating me to want to do other activities and improve myself in other ways, too.

What advice would you give to a beginner who has never done any weight lifting before?     Two years ago, I was apprehensive about weight lifting…I had definitely never done it before (other than my little 5 lb. dumbbells in the comfort of my living room with my workout DVD playing).  I remember the night I went to inquire about joining and seeing lots of women lifting barbells full of weights.  I was so impressed and wanted to learn how to be strong like that!  Crossfit has been perfect for that.  The coaches will make sure that you learn at a pace that is good for you and will never put you in a position where you can get hurt.  You will find that if you put in the time and want to improve, you will.


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On Goal Setting…

Posted on by Alycia

We’ve all been there. We start a healthy habit, athletic endeavor, or skill-based hobby. At first, it’s going well. It’s all new and we love it. Then, somewhere along the way, we get frustrated and end up”taking a break”, never to return again.

What happened?

We didn’t plan for success.

We planned for the start, but not for the work that’s put into the middle and the end. 

Let’s change it up a bit.

Let’s start from the end and work our way back.

This week in the gym, you will be given a goal Setting Worksheet which will outline ONE main goal that you will accomplish by the end of the year.

This worksheet will help you describe your MAIN goal, you current status at it, and how much time per week you plan on investing on reaching your goal.

On you’ve filled it out, hand it to your coach. We will collect and review all goal sheets and get them back to you with strategies, movements, mini-goals, and a timeline to help you reach your goal by 12/31/15.

Finally, you will be able to say that you picked something to accomplish, you broke it down into manageable chunks, you checked your progress and you accomplished your goal.

Your coaches will be checking in on your progress, asking you what you are working on, and will be available for extra help or assistance with your skills and lifts.

The best part of this is that you won’t have to sacrifice any other parts of your workouts to accomplish your goals. You’ll be getting PRs in all aspects of your training, in addition to working on your main goal!

Just as you won’t get fit by watching the CF Games on ESPN, you also won’t accomplish your goal by reading your assigned work. You need to DO THE WORK!

Let do this!!!

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June Events at the gym

Posted on by Alycia

June 6th * CrossFit Aspire * 12pm:  Free Functional Movement Clinic with Dr. Nelson. He will assess your movements and give you exercises that will improve your form and allow you to lift more weight! EVERYONE should take advantage of this free class!

Call 856-767-8800 to reserve your spot!

June 13th * CrossFit Aspire * 9am: IN HOUSE PARTNER COMPETITION! Rx and Scaled Divisions. This is all for fun! We’ll be doing 3 WODs, with different partners each time. We’ll pick for you. Just show up! RSVP here. 

June 21st * CrossFit DT1 * 10am: Gymnastics Clinic with Jess Saxon! RSVP here. 

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Shop for Aspire apparel online!

Posted on by Alycia

Want to work out AND look good doing it?

Check out our latest gym swag.


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Memorial Day Schedule

Posted on by Alycia

We’re having one big “MURPH” workout at DT1 on Monday, Memorial Day at 10am, followed by a BBQ directly after. (All classes at CrossFit Aspire are canceled)

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Member of the Month: Chris Swiers

Posted on by Alycia

When did you first start Crossfit? I first started Crossfit last summer
(Summer 2014) right when I moved to NJ.

What is your athletic background? I have played a little bit of every
sport under the sun. Baseball, football, and basketball were my high
school days and golf from high school on. It wasn’t until late in
college, however, when I discovered
The school’s fitness center where I started basic lifting and the rare
cardio session.
What was your number one hesitation in starting? High intensity training
for speed and strength did not sound like my cup of tea. I was afraid I
would start too many workouts and not have the physical or mental
capacity to finish. That fear I perpetuated within myself was quickly
You’ve made a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Which movements
or areas of fitness do you feel made the most improvements? Olympic
lifting for sure. The clean & jerk and the snatch are so difficult for me
and I have put in a lot of time and work to improve efficiency and

How many times per week do you come to the gym? I try and come every
weekday for at least a class.
Ol has your diet changed since starting Crossfit? When I started
Crossfit, I wanted to maximize my experience both in the gym and in the
kitchen, starting to change my diet into a more Paleo basis. Since, I
have discovered that for me, it was more important to follow the idea of
Paleo as opposed to living by the book. Eating more of the
right foods on a daily basis like lean poultry, grassfed beef, greens,
natural carbs, and the good fats were more consistent with feeling good
and proving results than strict dieting day in and out. I have also tried
to cut down on the craft brews, so that helps too.

You recently got your first muscle up. Tell us about that! It was a
surreal moment for me. I was in between squat sets and I had been close
on a few recent muscle up attempts. I figured I would just jump on the
rings and not think about the components that make up the movement except
“hips”. I remember grabbing the rings then the next thing I know, I am holding myself at the top of the muscle up and not knowing how the heck I got up there. It was
invigorating and I was proud. The scariest part of the success, however,
was trying to figure out how to get down from up there.

What other skills are you trying to master? More consistent muscle-ups!
It is such a technical movement that challenges me to the brink of
my sanity. Some days they can be strung together and somedays I can’t
get over the rings. But more practice daily makes it more comfortable.

How has CrossFit affected you in your everyday life? I feel more
confident and capable. That is for certain. But most importantly,
Crossfit has influenced me to be more committed to achieving my goals. I
am committed to coming to the gym every day I can possibly make it in, to
getting one more rep or being one second faster, and to pushing myself
toward achieving my goals outside of the gym in my business life and
personal life.

What is your favorite music to work out to? Whatever is on the Marvin
Tan playlist. I never knew that listening to “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit
on repeat could be PR fuel, but it is.

What are your favorite ( and non favorite) lifts and why? My favorite
lifts are the Olympic lifts. The clean & jerk and the snatch just feel
right when you hit all the positions, and the feeling reminds me of a
well-struck golf shot. Non favorite? Thrusters. Thrusters are my
nightmare. I have literally had nightmares about Thrusters.

What is your #1 goal in the gym for 2015? To PR all of benchmark workouts
we come across this summer and to prove to myself that I am stronger and
faster than last year when I first started.

What would you tell people who are interested, but apprehensive about
starting Crossfit? Just do it. I was so nervous on my first ride to
Crossfit Aspire for class that I almost turned around. But after that
first hour, I just wanted to get back for tomorrow’s workout. Then the
next day, I left with that same feeling. After a while, I noticed that
the urge for tomorrow¹s workout wasn¹t going away. I got hooked on the
lifts, the metcons, the community, and the coaches. You are going to get
hooked, too. You just need to give it a try.

Click here to see Chris in our community video for Aspire!

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February’s Member of the Month: Jarrod Holzman

Posted on by Alycia

Jarrod Holzman

Years with CrossFit (and CrossFit Aspire) 2 years total, all at Aspire

Prior fitness experiences: Initially a cross country runner logging 50-60 miles a week circa year 2000. Post highschool was conventional globo gym lifting and “cardio”

Hobbies (other than CrossFit, which is the only hobby that matters):  Traveling, eating, and drinking beer in every corner of the world.

What made you get into CrossFit? I got pretty bored of conventional lifting and running, lost motivation, and the results, or lack of, came to a stand still. I was looking for that perfect combination of strength as well as endurance and CrossFit seemed to be the answer. 2 years later im still here and I feel like my overall fitness is more well rounded and continues to improve.

What was one of your earliest memories from the gym? Not sure exactly how early it was, but most painful may have been Justins infamous programming of Venom II followed the next day with Bear Complex.

What are your favorite and least favorite movements? Im in a love hate relationship with snatching. It involves alot of technical skill, as well as strength and mobility and i love the way it looks and feels when done properly. I think its the best overall single lift to test these skills. That being said, Im lacking a little on the technical side and have some shoulder mobility issues in the overhead position that have gotten much better but still not where i need them to be.

Have any of your least favorites become your favorites? Yes, hated cleans but eventually it clicked and they’re getting much better. Still hate power cleans

What is your favorite workout song right now? F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit – Jay Z and Rick Ross

Who do you ‘chase’ in the gym? When it comes to Metcons I chase Chris L, he’s quick and keeps it moving. Recently though, its been Casey, dude has some strong lifts and even though i havent worked out with him in a while, i always like to see what Brad Stadler is up to.

What gets your motivated in class?  Good music, attentive coaching and advice, as well as the constant drive and motivation to be better than I was last week. When i feel like a coach is fully invested in what im doing it pushes me to perform. All of these items can be found at Aspire

What is your “goat” ( the one movement that is your biggest weakness) and what are you plans for improving it in 2015? See love-hate relationship above. I plan on working on my technical skills, paying more attention to the nuanced movements that can make or break a certain lift.

You love to cook, and your Food Swap meals are always a favorite! Explain your experience with cooking, learning to cooking, and seeking/making new things? When i began CrossFit i was focused on getting the best results possible, and as we are all aware, eating the proper food plays perhaps the biggest role in getting the results we want. I always thought i was eating the “right” foods i.e chicken breast, whole wheat, and of course the low fat version of everything. I was getting nowhere fast with conventional exercising as well as conventional diet. With the inclusion of CrossFit I started getting results again; looking better, feeling better, and getting stronger. I  got very focused on the nutrition aspect of fitness and proper fueling for performance and health. With conventional exercise in my rear view mirror i left my conventional diet and found Paleo/ Primal. Over about 18 months of using the Paleo/Primal template i’ve learned not to be dogmatic about it and to eat what works for me. For example, white rice is my post workout savior where sweet potatoes just didnt do the trick (simple starch vs complex carb). All of these things led to my desire to control exactly what i was eating in order to get the results i desire, even if it is the occasional doughnuts and pizza, haha. What initially started as work is now routine. Im always trying to make new things in order to keep it interesting, sometimes to the point where i make more food than i need but i want to try a new recipe.

What are the most significant changes that you’ve seen since starting to eat Paleo/Primal? Results; I can see and feel the results of proper nutrition. My athletic performance has improved and i feel healthier than ever. I dont feel hungry all the time and maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day, no more riding the blood sugar rollercoaster.

What would you say to a person who wants to ‘get in shape’ before starting CrossFit? I would ask them if they “get in shape” for football by playing tennis. Point being, you get better at a sport by performing that specific sport and associated movements. There is nothing wrong with cross training, in fact its great, but CrossFit is scalable for every age and ability level so there is no reason to “get in shape” prior to starting because “getting in shape” is an inherent characteristic of CrossFit. Plus its nice to look back at where you started and see how far you’ve come.

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This week…

Posted on by Alycia

Dear Week,

I’m ready for you. Whatever you have planned, and whatever you throw into the mix, I’m ready for it.

52 times this year, I will do the following things to get me ready for you. Each week I will be a little better than the last. And this will be my healthiest, happiest year yet.

This week, I will buy clean food and cook for the week. All of my meals will be prepared at home. Those that cannot, will be purchased with careful consideration and attention to ingredients.

This week, my workouts will go into my calendar as non-negotiable events. I will not ‘make time’ to work out. My workouts are part of my pre-existing plan. They will not be missed.

This week, my workouts this week will include at least one movement that I need to work on. I am committed to turning this weakness into a strength of mine.

This week, I will help someone in the gym. If I see someone struggling, I will be there with an anecdote, a personal story, a sympathetic ear, or a helpful piece of advice.

This week, I will not settle for anything less than perfection in my technique. I might not lift the most weight, but I will do it better than everyone else in class. I will be a good example for the others.

This week, I will say ‘No’ to a sweet treat or unwarranted food cheat. I will continue to do this until it feels natural ad becomes my default reaction.

This week, I will turn off the TV or computer 10 minutes earlier than usual at night.

This week, I will write down one reason why last week was great. (Review at the end of the year for maximum happiness)

This week, I will become a better person.

For my family, my gym friends, my coaches, and myself.


(your name goes here)


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