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No Excuses Weekend is upon us…

Posted on by admin

Labor Day Weekend.

For most people, it’s a great excuse to take it easy, after a summer of taking it easy. Summer hours at the office, summer break at the schools, casual Fridays, long weekends at the beach, international travel with the family…certainly those things warrant a long weekend of crappy food, drinking and wasting time, right?

Luckily, you’re smarter than that and you’ve seen what happens to yourself after letting things slide for the summer. You know that you’re better than that and you’re eager to get back on track.

Welcome to No Excuses Weekend.

This weekend is about making preparations to make sure that your fall, winter and spring are AWESOME. Even better than last year. It’s about making sure that you are setting yourself up to be healthier, in better shape, leaner, stronger, faster, more radiant, more less-stressed, more well-rested than you were at this point last year.

If you spent more than a few minutes this summer thinking “I wish…” , ” I should….”, “I really need to….”, then No Excuses weekend is for you.

WHAT TO DO on No Excuses Weekend.

1. Make a list of your top 2 things that you want to accomplish now that the summer is over. Just pick two for now. You can always add more things later in the year.

2. Use the weekend to prepare yourself for taking action and making progress toward completing your goal.

Want to kick your sugar habit? Raid you cabinets and get rid of everything that has ingredients you can’t understand, remove all sugar (obviously) and go food shopping for grassfed meats and fresh vegetables. Scour the internet and 25 new recipes that only use whole foods. (HINT: Google “Paleo + Recipe)

Want to see more results at the gym? Start going more often! Don’t waste your money – come to every class that you paid for. If you are only coming twice a week, consider bumping up to 3x week. Also, listen. Listen to our recommendations, our movement cues, our pleads for you to go faster,  to not stop, to keep moving. Intensity is a big part of why CrossFit is effective. Get intense. Give 100% at every workout.

Want to stop feeling fat? Remove all grains from your diet. (grains = wheat, rice, corn, oats)

Want to recover faster from workouts? (Those of you who have trouble sitting down or walking after a workout…I’m looking at you) Buy a foam roller and a lacrosse or tennis ball and USE THEM EVERY NIGHT. Roll around on your ‘sore bits’ and ask Alycia or Justin for tips.

Want to learn more about nutrition? Download Robb Wolf’s Paleo Podcasts on iTunes. They are free, hour long, sometimes geeky Q&A sessions regarding how we should eat, why we should eat that way, and how to implement it.

Want to have more energy? Start going to bed 30 minutes earlier than normal. In a few weeks, push it back another 30 minutes.  Invest in heavy, dark curtains that block out all light. Also, avoid fruit or carb-heavy meals in the morning and afternoon hours.

Want to look better? Do all of the above.

Want to feel better? Ditto.

Want more people to like you? Start being nicer to them. Say hello and make eye contact. Ask questions. Listen.

Want to be less stressed? Organize yourself. Start by throwing/giving a bunch of things away. The less you have, the less you’ll have to stress about.


Why should you do these things on Labor Day weekend?

Because everyone else is too busy doing nothing. The world (and the space in your head) is slightly more ‘open’ than it is on other weekends.

The opportunities for positive change are right here and are more apparent than ever.

And on this one weekend, nothing is standing in your way.

No Excuses.


Posted in News & Events | 1 Comment

A little CrossFit here, a little CrossFit there. New signs are ready!

Posted on by Alycia

We have 30 lawn signs to disperse around the area in hopes of spreading the CrossFit word.

The question is…


You guys live all over South Jersey, so I’m hoping that you can recommend some key intersections/busy spots/traffic-ridden stretches of road that might be ideal for posting one of these signs.


If we get a new member because they saw our sign at your suggested location, you’ll win a PRIZE! No limit on the number of prizes you can win, so start suggesting!!!

Put your suggestions in the COMMENTS section of this blog post.


-Alycia and Justin



Posted in News & Events | 10 Comments


Posted on by Alycia

You asked and we listened. Our class schedule is growing to accommodate your schedules :)

We’ve decided to keep the 7:30am classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, making a consistent 4-class/day schedule throughout the week.

On the weekends, we’re adding an additional SUNDAY class at 1pm. This class is perfect for those who struggle to get here during the week, and are looking to fit in an extra WOD.

The first Sunday 1pm class will be on Sunday, September 18th.

The classes will be taught by Jay or Beth, with random guest appearances by Justin or Alycia (as class participants, not trainers. It’s our day off!)

We hope you appreciate the new class. As we continue to grow, be on the lookout for further additions to our class schedule.

Posted in News & Events | 1 Comment


Posted on by Alycia

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!

Bad@ss CrossFitter Francine at the Merrill Mud Run last weekend.

Justin, Alycia and other CrossFitters from the 2009 McGuire Mud Run. We must have been extra careful - we aren't nearly as muddy as Francine...





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!!!

The warmup from the last "Bring a Friend" day at CrossFit Aspire


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

Two morning classes EVERY weekday!

Posted on by Alycia


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 alycia@crossfitaspire.com if you want your response to be private. Your feedback will help us provide the best experience for you, our members.

Thank you!!


Posted in News & Events | 12 Comments

Stuff We Have = Stuff You Want

Posted on by Alycia

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

FRONT: This is a post-workout close up. Please don’t mind the sweat ;)


Posted in News & Events | 3 Comments

CrossFit Aspire Trainer Staff Update: NEW TRAINER!

Posted on by Alycia

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

Living Social Promotion!

Posted on by Alycia

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!

Posted in News & Events | 1 Comment

Healthy Habit Post #1: Know what’s possible

Posted on by Alycia

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


Posted on by Alycia

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?

If this is you outside of the gym, please take us up on this challenge!

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!

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