News & Events← Older posts Newer posts → July 22, 2011
It’s been a while since we’ve done a physical challenge as a team, and we’d like to get back into it! Why? Because it’s fun, and what’s the point of getting strong and fast if you aren’t going to put your skills to use?!
If you are the competitive and/or adventurous type, here are a few upcoming events for you:
McGuire Mud Run, Saturday, Sept 10th.
6 miles of trail running and obstacles through muddy terrain and water. It’s a blast. It’s dirty. And you’ve love it.
Who’s doing it? Marcella is participating, Meghan said she’d want to do it, and I’ve heard some chatter around the gym from other people who would like to do this. Here is a link to the website to visit to sign up.
What does it cost? $40. Worth every penny.
What you should do: Write in the “Comments” section if you would like to participate. Let’s get a team together!
CrossFit 215 Partner Throwdown. Saturday, Sept 10th. CrossFit 215 in East Falls, Philadelphia.
This is a partner competition in which teams of 1 male and 1 female will compete in 3 WODs that are based off of the CrossFit Hero WODs. Guys and girls who can complete most Hero WODs without scaling and/or who have multiple unassisted pull ups are encouraged to sign up.
Here is a short video clip from one of the workouts at last year’s CrossFit 215 throwdown:
Who should do this? Athletes who are consistently displaying the highest strength and conditioning numbers in the gym. If you aren’t sure if you are a good candidate, ask Justin or Alycia.
What does it cost? $75 per team, so $37.50 each person. FYI – its free to spectate, so if our some of our members end up competing, we better see the others there, cheering them on! This a great source of motivation for spectators. The intensity of the workouts and the crowd is enough to give you months of elevated enthusiasm.
What you should do: Tell Justin or Alycia that you are interested, and we’ll set up teams. The workouts will be announced the week of the competition and we will provide free team coaching on movements/transitions/timing,etc.
CrossFit Aspire Open House/In-House Competition. Tentatively Saturday, Sept 17th.
Every day in a CrossFit gym is a mini-competition, in a way. But what if you were really competing against the other members, and against yourself? What if there were prizes and a crowd cheering? Would that change the way you worked out? We think so.
We’re still in the planning phase, but we’re hoping to conduct and in-house competition/Open House/Bring a Friend day. The day will likely include food, music, prizes, free massages, and sneaker/clothing vendors as well.
We are looking to have an ‘all levels’ competition, in which our members can compete against one another, and with their friends/family who came out to visit, as well as an ‘Advanced’ competition in which our best athletes (if you are on the leaderboard, this means YOU) face off against one another. This will be a unique chance to see some of our top athletes from the evening classes compete against the morning crew.
More details to follow!!!
If you know of any other upcoming events/races/physical challenges that you’d like to us to compete in as a team, please let us know!Posted in News & Events | 2 Comments July 15, 2011
We’re adding morning classes through the end of the summer (and possibly beyond).
Our 6:30 class went from a less populated to one of our MOST populated class times within the past few weeks. There will now be a 7:30am class EVERY WEEKDAY to help even out the number of people in each class. This will help classes run smoothly and eliminate uneccessary waiting/sharing during lifting, modifying metcons, or running over class time in the 6:30am class.
We hope you’ll appreciate the added classes and will come out to the new 7:30am class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We will re-evaluate the schedule when the school year begins. For now, we’ll see you at any of the 4 classes that we offer every weekday
QUESTION: What class time works BEST for your schedule? It can be a class time that we DO or DON’T currently offer.
PLEASE answer in the comments section or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want your response to be private. Your feedback will help us provide the best experience for you, our members.
Posted in News & Events | 12 Comments July 8, 2011
Life at CrossFit Aspire is all about looking better, feeling better and performing better.
If you don’t already know, we now provide you with the tools to do all three!
In addition to providing you with the workouts, equipment and coaching during class, we also offer you these awesome things for home/gym use. We bought in bulk and priced them accordingly, to save you money.
Foam Rollers – These are amazing tools for loosening up your tight muscles, restoring the sliding surfaces between your muscles and tendons, and breaking up scar tissue or muscle tightness. To use, simply put the majority of your weight on the roller and roll up and down, and back and forth across whichever muscles are tight. This is a perfect recovery tool to use while watching TV or relaxing. It’ll help you recover faster from workouts and feel move comfortable getting into all of the required positions.
Foam Rollers : $15
Mats – Yoga mats are now available at the front of the room. Grab one can write your name on it in sharpie so that you can keep it at the gym for when we have yoga class, when we do push ups (if you use your knees) or when we do anything that might feel better with a little padding underneath you (think thigh touches or sit ups)
Yoga Mats: $5
If you are struggling to get double unders, or even perfect single unders, a rope that is custom-trimmed to your personalized length might help aid in the process. You are welcome to leave the rope here (use a piece of tape to wrap around the handle and write your name on it) or take it home to practice on your own.
Jump Ropes: $15
What better way to show off your ever-improving body than by sporting a CrossFit Aspire T shirt or Tank Top? T shirts are printed on soft American Apparel 50/25/25 T shirts and are available in Men’s (S,L,XL) and Women’s sizes (S,M,L). Tank Tops are printed on soft tri-blend Bella tank tops and are available in Women’s sizes S,M,L,XL. All shirts run a little small, so try before you buy!
T shirts: $20
Tank Tops: $25
Posted in News & Events | 3 Comments June 23, 2011
We have some great news!
Jay Holonia is officially a part of the CrossFit Aspire Trainer Staff. As of the first week of July, he will be coaching one of our evening classes every week. Jay is our most senior member of CrossFit Aspire; he’s been with us since June 2010 and has attended classes with great regularity for the past year. Because of that, he has seen incredible gains in strength, has lost weight, and has improved his stamina and work capacity.
In addition to being a great CrossFit athlete, Jay also has his CrossFit Level1 certification and CrossFit Olympic Lifting certification, is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and has spent the past year researching the CrossFit program and the movements it incorporates. He has a great eye for movement and has some very intelligent advice to give. He has been informally helping us during the evening classes, correcting people’s form and offering tips.
He will now be running his own class on Thursdays at 6:30pm. As with most evening classes, there will be a main coach (Jay) and a supporting coach (Justin or Alycia).
We are proud to have Jay as part of our staff and we look forward to another great year of progress, athletic gains, and now coaching!
Posted in News & Events | 1 Comment June 10, 2011
To All Members:
We ran a ‘deal’ on LivingSocial ( an email-based daily coupon company) on Thursday, June 9th. We promoted a 6-class package at a discounted rate and we got a great response! The quantity purchased exceeded our expectations – as of 11pm on Thursday, we sold 145 coupons and there are still 6 hours left in the promotion.
Over the next few weeks, there will be an influx of new people into the gym. Your classes might be larger, and there will be a lot of new faces in the gym. To accommodate, we’ve purchased more bumper plates and bars, and we’ll continue to outfit the gym as necessary.
Justin and I will do everything in our power to make sure that classes run as normal, with minimal interruptions or changes to the pace of class. We want to show our new guests a great time and we also want to preserve the quality, intensity and flow of your workout.
What you can do to help:
1. If you are already familiar with the movements that we will be doing as skill work or strength, please feel free to start on those at your own pace after the warm up. No need to listen to us teach the basics while you can be working out!
2. If you notice a new person is confused, make an effort to show them what to do. It only takes 2 seconds, and it’ll help the whole class run smoothly.
3. During the met-con, work out as you normally would. Do not compromise your own workout. It is our (Justin and Alycia’s) job to make sure that things run smoothly, that the new people experience CrossFit properly, and that our existing members get a good workout in.
4. Show off! Show the new people what CrossFit is all about, tell them about your own experience with CrossFit, and show them how strong and fast you’ve become as a result. Tell them how you eat, why you eat that way, and what it’s done for you. Tell them why CrossFit is so cool.
5. If you need a spotter, someone to look at your form, or if you have a question that you need answered, feel free to ask some of our more senior members and/or Jay Holonia or Tom Lexa – they are both CrossFit Level 1 certified and they know their stuff. Also, after June 19th, Dave Hampton and Beth Walker will also be Level 1 certified (yay!).
Thank you for being respectful and patient over the next few weeks.
More people who join the gym from this promotion = More equipment and fun stuff for you.
Let’s have a great JUNE!
When you took your first CrossFit class, you probably thought to yourself (after the blurry vision and dry heaves subsided), “Hey, that was a great workout. Sign me up”.
And since you’ve been here, you’ve gotten to participate in a bunch more great workouts. From farmers carries to waiters walks, and everything in between, you’ve been exposed to things that people in ‘regular gyms’ don’t ever get a chance to do.
Since you’ve been here, you’ve also gotten something that’s a lot more meaningful than just a ‘great workout’ … something that has the ability to affect other parts of your life outside of the gym.
You’ve gotten a glimpse into what’s possible for YOU.
You didn’t think that lifting hundreds of pounds up off the ground was possible. Until you did it. You didn’t think getting a muscle up was possible, until you tried it. You didn’t think you’d ever get your first pull up. And then you got it.
Sure, you’ve gotten a little stronger and fitter since you started, but the truth of the matter is, it was always a possibility for you. You just never gave it an honest try.
So when you are filling out your Healthy Habit forms, and as you embark on a month of daily improvements, remember that it IS possible for you to do this without skipping a day. You may have halfheartedly tried and failed in the past, but you never put the time and effort into it that you will this month. You never had 40 other people on your side to help you out. You never were held accountable. And you never really tried very hard at all.
As you begin your 30 days of healthy habits, remember that just like your lifts in the gym, you always had the capacity to do this habit. You just never knew it was possible. Until now.
Good luck!Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment April 27, 2011
Let’s talk about Habits.
Most people have a few (or many) bad habits that they’d like to break. A lot of time and energy is spent trying to break these bad habits, and the stress of failing to do so, causes people to have even more anxiety about their current habits.
What we don’t put nearly enough focus into, however, is creating new habits. Good habits.
Good habits are neat because they are small additions to our regular life that help make us better people. As we get used to one good habit, another one usually follows, as we head on the path toward a healthier and happier life in general.
Getting exercise, meeting new people, trying new things….those are all good habits that you started the day your joined CrossFit Aspire.
Everything you do during the 1 hour a day that you spend in the gym is helping to create or maintain good habits (Learning the Olympic lifts, working on your endurance, perfecting your form on all movements, increasing your mobility, etc). But there are 23 other hours in every day. What are you doing during THOSE hours to complement your good habit of getting exercise?
THE TASK: Pick 1 good habit and do that thing every single day for 30 days.
THE DETAILS: The point of this challenge is to help get the rest of your life step with the pace of improvement you’re seeing in the gym. The point is that going to the gym for 1 hour, no matter what you do in there (even heavy deadlifts and “Fran”), won’t counteract your so-so diet, high stress lifestyle, or your lack of sleep. In order to make sustainable improvements in the gym, and to be a healthier person in general, all three things – Movement, Eating and Sleep must all be in sync.
How do you achieve this? Pick a Good Habit that fits the following criteria:
Quantifiable/Measurable: “I will get 8+ hours of sleep ever night for 30 nights” is a good challenge. “Sleep more” is not.
Positive: Starting a new habit is something to be happy about. You WILL see better results if you think of the challenge as the addition of something positive to your life, rather than deprivation. “Eat only meat, fish, eggs and vegetables at every meal for 30 Days” is a good one. “No processed foods, grains, or sweet things that taste good” is a bad one.
Specific: Don’t leave any room for doubt or any gray areas. Try not to make this harder than it is. This is YOUR challenge, and you set the rules. So make them clear for yourself. “Work on my mobility every night for 30 Days” is not specific enough. “Foam roll my upper back and pain ball my forearms ever night for 10 minutes” is a better option.
Challenging: Because, well, this IS a challenge! This is your opportunity to push your limits, find the outer edges of your comfort zone, and perhaps cause a shift in your life’s priorities. Those of you who eat 95% only real foods might not want to make their habit to start eating 100% only real foods. You can get to 100% without much effort. That’s not where your wellness weakness is. It’s more likely to be hiding in your sleep habits, stress levels, or elsewhere. If waking up is a struggle every morning, then your good habit should likely include getting to bed earlier. If you feel run down and stressed out during those 23 hours, then maybe these 30 Days should revolve around time management, cooking in bulk (so you don’t have to rush around every night), or re-prioritizing one part of your life.
Attainable: The flip side of choosing a habit that’s too easy to follow, or that’s not very far off from how you live right now, is choosing one that will never work in your life. Getting 8-9 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep in a pitch black room might not be a feasible goal for a shift worker, new parent, or police officer. There are certain things that we can’t change instantly (our boss, the amount of attention our kids need, the amount of hours in a day), and there are things that we can change (the amount of time spent on the internet, what we do while we watch TV, how we plan our meals) that can impact the success of our new habits. You have the knowledge to distinguish between the two.
You MUST commit to doing your Good Habit EVERY SINGLE DAY for an entire 30 Days.
If you miss a day, repeat it. You won’t end up finishing with the rest of us, but you won’t be far behind, and it’ll help teach you not to forget!
If it’s a gym-related habit, like foam rolling, practicing your pull up, taking a long walk every morning, make sure that you have the equipment, availability and space that will accommodate your habit.
If it’s a nutrition-related habit, make sure you have the proper info (pick up a copy of our Nutrition Guide), an arsenal of recipes, and go food shopping for real foods on Day 1.
If it’s a sleep or time management issue, make sure you have a clear cut plan, and not just a singular goal. You must know how you are going to squeeze that extra hour out of the day, how you will spend it, and how you will deal when stress or an emergency comes up.
Over the next week, you will be writing down your habit and keeping it in your Progress Folder.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD HABITS: These are created for people of various backgrounds and lifestyles. Choose one that makes the most sense for YOU, or come up with your own.
I will eat only meats, fish, eggs, vegetables at every meal, and limit my fruit and nut intake to 1 serving of each per day.
Water will be my only beverage. Period.
I will get 8+ hours of uninterrupted sleep in a pitch black room. I will be in bed before 10pm to accomplish this. (This entails light-blocking curtains, and covering the LED light on my alarm clock)
I will spend my leisure hours working on a hobby, spending time with my family or reading a book. My TV will not be on at all during this challenge.
I will take a lacrosse ball or foam roller to the tightest spots on my body and spend at least 10 minutes per day working on increasing my mobility.
I will practice my handstand (or double under, or pull up, or knees to elbows) for 5 minutes every single day.
Do I have to do this? No. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Should you? Yes, we think so!
Why are we doing this? You pay us to get into better shape. Eating well, sleeping well and living well are all a part of that. And because things like this are always easier and more fun when you do it with a group!
Can I do a Paleo 30 Day Challenge? Yes, use this time to challenge yourself in a way that will most benefit you at this moment. Check the thirty posts in the “30 Day Nutrition Challenge” category of our blog for helpful articles, hints, tips and stories to help you along.
I’m a mess. Can I choose more than 1 good habit? Yes, you can choose multiple, but limit yourself to what you think is actually feasible. If you change everything at once, you have a better chance of getting stressed out or not following through with any of the habits.
Post additional questions to the COMMENTS below. Good luck!
You walk into the gym, you put your stuff away, and you look at the whiteboard. You go over the movements in your head, formulating questions. How heavy should I go? Is there a rest built in after the rounds? What the difference between a Clean and a Snatch again?
After you’ve obssessed over your own impending experience with the workout, do you notice the times and numbers of those who did the workout earlier in the day? Do you just scan the list to see who lifted the most, and who went the fastest and leave it at that? Do you look and say “Wow, Shamus lifted 3,000 pounds today”, or “Nick got one billion rounds in that metcon”, and then just walk away? Or do you use the number of other members to push yourself harder?
The power of the whiteboard is this - It provides instant standards by which you can measure your own performance in the gym. By now, many of you know roughly how much you can lift. My suggestion is that you choose someone in the gym who can lift about the same, or a little more than you can do. Keep an eye on that person - take note of their scores and weights on the whiteboard, and CHASE THEM.
Better yet, take it one step further and perform BETTER than they did.
Use the whiteboard as a source of motivation to push yourself harder than you could on your own. Use the weights of those who worked out earlier in the day as a way to set, and exceed your goals for the day.
And to the athletes in the 6:30am class – look at the blank white board as a chance to amaze the night time members. Go heavy and go hard, knowing that 20 more people will be staring at your numbers, trying to beat them. Think about the next morning when you walk into the gym. Wouldn’t it be nice to set the bar so high that no on else reaches it? Also, know that your scores help the entire gym get fitter. Your achievements help enhance the caliber of all of our athletes.
It’s no coincidence that Jay’s lifts usually come within 5 pounds of Dave’s, or that mine come within 5 pounds of Beth or Jill’son certain lifts. We use the accomplishments of others to help push ourselves harder and give ourselves tangible goals for the day.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Now that you’re all pumped up to set PRs and crush some metcons, remember to pay attention to the numbers of someone who is VERY close to your own strength or metcon numbers and DON’T BE STUPID when lifting. Don’t choose the heaviest weight on the board and try to beat it, if your previous numbers weren’t even close. We want you to be monster athletes, not broken crazy people.
Lift Heavy. Go Hard. Be Awesome.Posted in News & Events | 7 Comments March 10, 2011
You like CrossFit. You like this gym. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t keep coming back for more.
You can help us make your experience at CrossFit Aspire an even BETTER one by doing the following:
1. Make efforts to meet the people around you, especially those who have joined within the last few weeks. CrossFit is intimidating to everyone in the beginning, so try your best to make our newest members feel comfortable. You might make a friend along the way.
2. Check the WOD section of crossfitaspire.com to see our daily workouts, videos, pictures of yourself and other members, helpful tips and articles, recipes, and links to other cool sites.
3. If you are on Facebook, please “Like” our page. We re-post a lot of the articles and recipes from our website, as well as other videos, articles, and info from other gyms in the CrossFit community. Plus, you can chime in, talk with other members, and with us, about CrossFit, food or whatever you want.
4. Once you are a fan of our page, take a moment to “Share” the content that we post with your friends and family that you think would enjoy CrossFit. Or simply re-post them to your wall. Crossfit grows organically, through word of mouth and online sharing.
5. Take a few postcards from the front table and keep them in your car or bag. You never know when you’ll run into someone who’s looking to get back into shape, or who wants to join a CrossFit gym.
6. Email Alycia with your thoughts/suggestions for how we might improve the gym. We sometimes can’t see our own faults or inefficiencies, so your suggestions would be a BIG help!
7. If you belong to a group (a sports team, networking group, co-workers, church, PTA, book club, social club) and you think that CrossFit would be a fun group outing for your members, let Alycia know. We can put together a class just for members of your group (6 or more people), so they can all try it out together without worrying about how they’ll look in front of CrossFitters. Class would include a fun workout, light snacks and waters, and a playlist that you think would suit your audience (i can’t believe not everyone loves punk and metal music. weird.).
Your enthusiasm is integral to our success, and to creating an amazing gym with tons of great classes, equipment and people. Thank you so much to those who have already invited friends and family to a class.Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment February 28, 2011
There are many elements of the sport of fitness (aka CrossFit) that have a tremendous amount of appeal to beginners and seasoned athletes alike. The variety of workouts, level of coaching, intensity of metcons, the community that forms, the PR’s, the stopwatch, the benchmark workouts…there area ton of reasons why people come back…and come back…and come back…and come back.
We think CrossFit is great; otherwise, we wouldn’t have opened the gym. But too much of a good thing, can be, well, too much. To go from couch potato to CrossFitter takes time, consistent effort, and smart training. Here are a few tips for all of the newbies (and some of you old-bies, too) to help keep your body in top shape as you begin to get into the best shape of your life:
1. More is not always better. Four Crossfit classes per week are better than two, but that doesn’t mean that six classes is better than four. If you roll out of bed to go to your sixth consecutive day’s workout and every muscle is sore, stay home. Shift your focus from quantity to quality. If you are going really heavy during the lifts, and you’re pushing yourself to your limit during each and every metcon, you might be best off with an extra rest day thrown in there every once in a while. Use the rest day to practice a sport, go for a light jog or a walk, or just hop on a foam roller while watching TV. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Rest and Recover. Recovering from a workout, believe it or not, isn’t about getting your breath back or waiting until you stop sweating. Recovery is what happens to your muscles, joints, tendons and brain when you leave the gym. You can work hard for 1 hour a day, but what about the other 23?
Meals. As much as you’d like to, you can’t erase bad eating habits with an extra hard workout. Think about what you are eating and what it’s doing to your body. Before you eat anything, ask yourself “Is this helping or hurting my body?” Just about all of your meals throughout the day should consist of Grassfed/free-range meat, fish or eggs, with a big serving of vegetables cooked in oil, butter (from Grassfed cows only) or topped with avocado.
Sleep. Get more of it! Turn out the lights 30 minutes earlier than you normally do now. Your body needs this time for cellular repair, and your brain needs some down time, too. Sleep in a pitch black room; invest in some heavyweight curtains that block out all of the light. It’ll dramatically affect your quality of sleep.
Lifestyle. Avoid unnecessary stress. The body is meant to handle a certain amount of acute stress, but long periods of chronic stress tend to throw the hormonal system all out of whack, resulting in fatigue, depression, belly fat, and other unsavory physical and mental symptoms. Exercise = good stress. A high stress job, unruly kids, late night boozing, and relationship unrest = bad stress. If you are having stress issues, try to identify (or create) one fraction of your life that is completely stress free. It might only the length of a TV show, a chapter of a book, a new hobby or a morning cup of coffee in silence, but be sure to find it and take advantage of it as much as possible.
Muscle and Tendon Repair. You are currently engaged in a training regimen not far off from that of a high level athlete. Your body is constantly adapting to new stresses, and is being pushed around, flexed and stretched in ways it isn’t used to. Initial signs of a hard workout, which include sore and tight muscles, should not be ignored. If you have chronic soreness or tightness in any part of your body, invest in a foam roller, a lacrosse ball, and spend some time at at the Mobility WOD Website to find new ways to become mobile and pain-free.
3. Scale It! The weights in our metcons are chosen on an individual basis, so that everyone can scale the weight to a level that will guarantee they finish within a few seconds to minutes of everyone else in the room. The quantity of reps and rounds, however, can also be adjusted. This presents the opportunity to scale UP or DOWN, depending on your ability. You know your body best, and as you work out here you will get to know, and push, its limits. Pushing your limits is great ( our advice is usually to go heavier, move faster, dig deeper), but working through pain, or grinding out super-slow reps, in a stubborn effort to get the work done, is not smart. If you see something on the board that seems utterly impossible, ask one of the trainers about scaling options. For the most part, we stick to short and intense metcons, but days with close to 100 reps of one movement do sometimes appear, and if your body isn’t equipped to handle the repetitive stress, it might be wise to scale back.
4. Exercise in cycles. Our life runs in cycles of intensity and down time. Intensity is necessary to survive (gotta pay the bills and keep yourself and your family healthy) and downtime is necessary to thrive. School breaks, vacation, weekends, social time, reading, etc are things that occur regularly to give your body and mind a break. Your training program should also provide you with periods of downtime. In addition to taking a few rest days per week, try setting aside 1 week every 4-6 weeks when you lift at sub-maximal weights, and leave a little gas in the tank during your metcon. Sure, you numbers won’t look as impressive on the whiteboard that day, but you are training for life, not for the whiteboard and a little break from the intensity is good for your body. Then, you’ll have no excuse for not crushing the workouts for the following 4-6 weeks. Some of you might benefit from this more than others, or find it suitable at different times in your training, so we’re leaving this one up to you to fit in on your own.
5. Consult a Professional. If you have joint, muscle or tendon pain that persists, book an appointment with a physical therapist, chiropractor or sports massage therapist ASAP. If your pain isn’t life-altering, avoid heading to the orthopedist right away (most are surgeons), and stick to a manual therapy for some natural relief first. A few sessions at any of these medical professionals, and some at-home rehab exercises, and you should be good as new. By routinely getting your body assessed and corrected, you will almost certainly avoid serious injuries that result in surgery or an inability (gasp!) to continue your workout program.
As your trainers, we want you to be healthy and strong. Our CrossFit gym is a place of high energy and intensity, filled with healthy and happy athletes. Let’s keep it that way. Happy Training!Posted in News & Events | 1 Comment ← Older posts Newer posts →