At CrossFit Aspire, we provide as much coaching and information regarding nutrition and fitness to our members as we can. It’s our intention to create a gym full of independent thinkers who can analyze their bodies, their food intake, the research that surrounds fitness and nutrition, and can come to smart conclusions about what they need to become the best version of themselves.
Below is a growing list of local and online resources professionals that can help.
Get Level 1 Certified
The CrossFit Level 1 Certification is a weekend long immersion into the fundamental movements, as well as the theory and processes behind CrossFit methodology and workout programs.
Check the righthand sidebar of the CrossFit.com website to see when the nearest CrossFit Level 1 certification is coming to an affiliate near us! (PS – currently, the two closest affiliates that consistently host Level 1 certifications are Guerilla CrossFit in Montclair, NJ and CrossFit KoP in King of Prussia, PA.)
Stay injury free
Your first stop on the journey toward total joint/muscle/tendon repair should always be the least invasive. We recommend several area doctors and resources, each with their own methods and specialties. The thing they all have in common is that perform manual therapies to help find the source of your discomfort and naturally heal your body using methods that release tension, increase mobility, restore suppleness, and improve stability.
**WE HAVE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE!**
Dr. Eric Nelson is our in-house sports chiropractor. He has worked with countless athletes including Olympic competitors, X Games athletes, collegiate level competitors, runners, triathletes and CrossFit athletes. He specializes in Active Release Technique (ART) and Graston technique and uses these to help restore proper joint, muscle and tendon function. He may also prescribe at-home exercises to help strengthen or stabilize.
Nelson Chiropractic Center
CrossFit Aspire (Tuesdays/Thursdays)
289 White Horse Pike, Suite 201. Atco, NJ 08004 (M,W,F and Sat)
Dr. Nelson’s Hours at CrossFit Aspire:
Tuesdays, 7:30am-2pm and 4-7pm
Thursdays, 9-12pm and 1-4pm
Our other favorite nearby resources:
Todd Fluck of Integrated Manual Therapies specializes in Structural Integration and Myofascial Therapy, meaning he focuses on the integrity of the fascia, which is a large sheath of connective tissue that runs throughout your body. If that gets too tight it can throw your whole body out of alignment and cause chronic pain. If you have tried other therapies such as the ones listed above, but you still suffer from reoccurring problems, this may just be the person who finds the source and fixes it once and for all. His therapy is not covered by most insurances, FYI.
Integrated Manual Therapies
16 Rockhill Road (inside Apple Physical Therapy) Cherry Hill, NJ 08034. (About 1 minute from the gym)
Molly Philips, DC is our favorite doctor for spinal alignment and adjustments. Very often, chronic muscle tightness is actually a result of misalignment at the spine. Bones get shifted out of place, and pull on tendons or strain muscles, which results in the feeling of muscular tightness. Molly has a knack for getting to the root of the problem in just one or two visits. She does not take appointments (walk-in only!) and charges a flat rate of $35 for all visits.
Molly Philips, DC
341 B Haddon Ave
Westmont, NJ 08108
Mobility WOD is a free online resource run by Kelly Starrett, DPT with 365 videos on self myofascial release (ie: the stuff we do with the foam rollers and lacrosse balls) as well as other physical therapies. This is great for reminding yourself to keep on top of stretches and mobility while you are in good health, so you prevent future injuries. He also published a book, Becoming A Supple Leopard, for those of you who are looking to get even more into depth with your knowledge of mobility and movement.
Buy cool new shoes
CrossFit athletes love their shoes. Most of us wear minimalist sneakers for the conditioning workouts, and many of us slip on a pair of weightlifting shoes for many of our lifts. The minimalist structure of the sneakers allows you to strengthen and use all of the little muscles in your feet, and they give you much better control and stability when performing exercises in CrossFit. The weightlifting shoes provide a hard, flat bottom and a slight heel lift which allows the athlete to get into an optimal position for lifting, which providing a steady and stable surface.
CrossFit Aspire members receive 10% off at the Haddonfield Running Company and the New Balance stores in Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel.
Our favorite brands of sneakers are: Reebok Nano 2.0 and 3.0, Inov8, and New Balance Minimus.
Learn about Food
CrossFit Aspire Nutrition Guide: You will receive this emailed PDF within one month of beginning your membership at CrossFit Aspire. Read it twice through before asking us any questions you have about what to eat, and why. In a nutshell, our recommendations are to eat only real foods – mainly meat, eggs, seafood and vegetables when possible. Supplement with fruit and nuts as snacks. Never eat grains, sugar or dairy. Severely limit your alcohol intake.
The Paleo Solution: This is an in-depth, yet readable account of why you should be eating the way that we recommend, and what goes on in your body when you do, or don’t eat that way.
Ron Torrance’s Blog: Ron is a doctor and a member at CrossFit Aspire. He writes about eating Paleo and gives tips and encouragement for those just starting out!
The definitive collection of all Paleo Resources: Free Paleo
Cook good food
**We have TWO In House resources for great Paleo food**
Robson’s Farm weekly vegetable drop off. Sign to receive their weekly newsletter. Choose ONLY the vegetables that you want, or get a mixed box for $25. Your veggies will be delivered to the gym on Tuesdays at 4pm. No obligation to order after the first week. Order only when you want fresh, locally grown vegetables!
Paleo Cuisine pre-packaged, flash frozen 100% paleo meals! You can create your own custom order and have it delivered to the freezer at the gym on Wednesdays at noon, or you can choose from the loose meals and sides that are in the freezer and pay as you buy.
Everyday Paleo: A perfect resource for the beginner chef who is cooking for a family, or learning how to cook without grains,sugar or dairy. There are plenty of delicious recipes here at the website, and in the cookbook.
Looking for some ‘weird’ ingredients that come up in some of these recipes? Here’s where we go for some of the non-traditional ingredients:
Whole Foods: This is our headquarters for grassfed beef, free range chickens, organic and free range eggs, organic sweet potatoes, Bubbie’s Sauerkraut, Native Forest brand coconut milk, and bacon (from the deli counter).
Wegmans: A good spot for finding a big jar of coconut oil, Thai cooking spices and pastes, heavy cream without any weird ingredients (we use Organic Valley) and most vegetables that you might not be able to find at a Shop Rite.
Trader Joe’s: Best prices for almond meal, mixed nuts/fruit (beware of sugar content in the dried fruits), almond or sunflower butter, Kerrygold butter, and beef/pork roasts. They also sell Applegate Farms hot dogs (organic, uncured, all Grassfed beef), and I believe they might carry coconut aminos ( a soy-free soy sauce alternative).
For basic meats and vegetables, find a local CSA and farm. They are your best bet for getting quality meat from animals that were raised/treated right, as well as seasonal and fresh produce. Most of the meats/produce you see in the stores are a bit older than you probably think! Go for the fresh, local options first.
The Collingswood Farmer’s Market ( Saturdays in the spring, summer and fall)
Treat yourself (and stay healthy!)
If you are eating only real foods (meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds) there are a bunch of great local places to get a good meal and not feel restricted. Here are some of our favorites. Know of more? Email us and we’ll add them to this list!
We’re lucky that we live in NJ! All area diners have omelettes! Create your own with a meat or two and veggies, or choose from the list and omit cheese when necessary. Always remember to request “No toast” so you don’t have it there on your plate.
The Pop Shop in Collingswood has incredibly huge omelettes. Choose from one on the menu or create your own!
The Silver Dollar Diner in Cherry Hill across from the Cherry Hill Mall sources most of their ingredients locally from small farms and manufacturers. You can get grassfed beef, organic eggs, and local bacon and sausage. Yum!
On a Budget
Wegman’s salad bar has shredded chicken, bacon pieces, hardboiled eggs, baby spinach, and usually a cooked veggie or two. Load up on toppings and olive oil and eat upstairs in the bistro! They also have $6 and $8 meals with a hot entree (opt for the chicken or salmon) and two vegetable sides.
Chipotle: Order a bowl, no rice and no beans, extra fajita vegetables and either the Barbacoa (BBQ beef) or Carnitas (shredded and seasoned pork), with salsa and guacamole. It’s really delicious, not too expensive, and super fast if you’re on the Go.
Elevation Burger: Grassfed burgers that can be served in lettuce wraps. Try the the hot pepper relish and caramelized onions on top – yum!
Whole Foods salad and food bar are great options for a quick meal as well. The prices are a little higher than Wegmans, but there is a great variety of options and they list all ingredients in each dish. Be careful at the hot bar – a lot of sauces contain wheat.
A Proper Meal
Kuzina by Sofia on Route 70 in the Sawmill plaza is a great option for really delicious appetizers, meats and fish. Greeks are known for their lamb and beef dishes, and their chicken oregata is the best chicken dish I’ve ever had at a restaurant! Request No Pita bread on the table, and eat around the cheese or ask to not include it, and substitute Horta (slow boiled greens in a lemony sauce) for rice or as necessary.
Mikado (the newly renovated one on Route 70) has some of the best sushi rolls around! They have a huge menu of ‘special’ rolls, and they usually have no problem wrapping your roll in cucumber instead of rice. Or opt of the sashimi, if you are avoiding rice.
IndeBlue is a small BYO Indian restaurant in Collingswood that has consistently amazing, inventive dishes that walk the line between authentic and creative. Their lamb and chicken dishes have some of the most amazing coconut/tomato/spice based sauces!
The Pop Shop, previously mentioned in the breakfast section, has build-your-own burgers and HUGE (really huge) salads. One of our favorites is the spinach salad with warm bacon dressing (probably made with a little sugar, so avoid if you are on a strict Paleo diet) with chicken added on top. Ask for No Croutons and No Cheese.
Dmitri’s, a tiny BYO in Northern Liberties (they also have two other locations in the city) that serves up fresh fish and delicious meats, Greek style. They will gladly substitute cucumber chips for pita bread, for scooping up babaganoush.
Cantina Dos Segundos is across the street from Dmitri’s and has some great Mexican-inspired dishes featuring plenty of meats and veggies. They also have a great brunch menu, and some of the best chorizo we’ve ever tasted.
El Camino Real is also in Northern Liberties, about a 2 minute walk from the aforementioned places. It has Texas style BBQ, plenty of meat platters to choose from, including a great brisket and mixed BBQ platter. Try the Pig Wings!
Honey’s Sit N’ Eat serves up Southern homestyle meals and some of the best greens/brussels sprouts side dishes we’ve ever had! They also have a great brunch, but be prepared to wait 1+ hours for a table between 10:30am and 1pm.
Garces Trading Company has a great duck salad and charcuterie as well as steak frites on certain nights of the week.
Fogo De Chao is a meat lover’s heaven. Servers come to your table all night with meat that slides off of a skewer and falls right onto your plate. The salad bar has some really good sides/toppings for you meat as well! Come Hungry!
Any good steak house. They are always good for meat & veggies!