Is CrossFit for me?


Is CrossFit for me?

We have lots of conversations with individuals who are looking to achieve their fitness goals, connect to a new community or just change up their routine and ask that question. Our answer is categorically yes. Why are we confident in that answer?

  1. This is a complete fitness program. What does that mean? Your life looks different each day, so should your training. We balance short, fast efforts with longer, more cardio based days – this keeps things interesting, but also makes you able to train and recover effectively. We also don’t shy away from weights, instead – we teach you how to move heavy lifts safely.

  2. Our expert Coaches. Before you can coach a class with us, our staff first must be certified and then have a minimum of 1 year of experience and learning our methods. As an athlete, you can expect a personal training level of attention in a group format.

  3. We do this too. From our Coaches, to the gym owner – expect to see us not just coaching classes, but testing new programming and also doing it right alongside you! If your Coach doesn’t train like you – why are they your coach? We know this works, that’s why we know it will work for you.

  4. Longevity. Our members stay with us for years and we’re intensely proud of that. We don’t just know our members, we know their kid’s names and what they do for a living. We’re invested in you as a human being, not just as a member taking a class.

  5. High standards. We’re not interested in you having an “ok” class or mediocre results. Our methods are the basis for getting you in the best shape of your life and moving with excellence – that’s our goal and what we strive for with each athlete in each class.

You’re reading this because you’re interested in achieving your goals. Not “kind of” achieving your goals, but crushing them and finding new ones. We want you to be who kids point to and want to be when they grow up. We want people to look to you when it’s time to change the water cooler. This is why you train. Not just to occupy an hour and get sweaty, but to experience something different and build total fitness. CrossFit isn’t for everyone. It’s for anyone who wants to achieve the best results possible, push themselves and do amazing things – we believe that’s you.

Let’s get started.

Farm to table Fitness


Micro gyms are the new fine dining restaurants. I love the Netflix series “Chef’s table” for the reason that each story follows a similar arc (Joseph Campbell fans out there will get it as well..). The featured chef’s grew up in and absorbed their community. Next – they left it to learn a trade, in this case cooking. Whether through a school, going to France, etc. and through an apprenticeship – they left to learn. The third phase is the return to their community and finding uncommon success through their ability to combine technical acumen with a community imperative of authentic experience (food that locals respect and non-locals wait a year for a table). World class comes from the intersection of ability, authenticity and passion.

Fitness is becoming the new food culture. In our hierarchy of needs, the ability to move and stay alive is just after food (hence the purpose of that food). As our lives shift away from hunting and gathering – we have to cultivate ways to stay active and healthy. Cue – join a gym, running/fitness group or hire a trainer. Prior to the rise and proliferation of CrossFit and it’s style of class (60 minutes of training in a group setting that pushed high intensity and varied movements), if you wanted to be active – you joined a big box gym (rows of treadmills, free weights and lots of things attached to cables) or you did sports, primarily endurance events (running 5ks, marathons, triathlons).

In the late 90s, Greg Glassman got kicked out of a big box gym for running classes using a combination of gymnastics, weightlifting and cardio activities. Training itself became a sport, CrossFit was born and the industry shifted. With the cultural acceptance of higher intensity training saw the rise of spinning, boxing, even yoga started to incorporate “power” movements and structures. Not to mention lots of “micro” gyms utilizing combinations of weightlifting, cardio and classes.

To bring it back to the food example. 20 years ago, if you wanted Italian food, you went to Olive Garden. Now you can go get farm-to-table, organic produced wheat pastas, hormone free chicken and sauces with tomatoes from a farm whose picture is on the menu. Olive Garden is out of business. Fitness is heading the same way. The ones who thrive, will embrace this shift as those Chef’s have, creating an experience and connection to something bigger than just a plate of pasta, but a feeling (and it better taste really, really good).

For fitness this means,  if your Coaches are parroting a workout, substituting knowledge for volume and hoping nobody gets injured – your days are numbered. This is the same as the restaurant whose staff reads you the special and gets you your food just before it’s cold – you’re not coming back.

This also means that no single program, methodology or approach is for everyone. It’s about finding the unique aspect of what you do and doing it better than anyone else in the world. It’s about asking that question of yourself as a Coach every day. If that happens, the community grows, people get what they want, the reviews and Michelin stars of the fitness world happen. If it doesn’t you’ve preyed on someone’s desire to trust their self-improvement to your skills as a “coach” and our industry is unfortunately rife with this. We choose the methods that we do because we believe in their impact, efficacy and efficiency. It’s also how we ourselves train – it doesn’t mean we don’t value other approaches, it means this is our piece of the world. The smaller the menu, the better the food. I’ve been asked why we don’t offer yoga classes. The answer is because we can’t do it well enough. It’s not our subject area and if you want to do yoga – you should absolutely seek out the best in yoga instruction. If we offer it, it will be because we believe it’s done in pursuit of the highest expression of that movement and for the greatest benefit of our members.

We obsess over barbell starting positions the way chef’s do for olive oils. We plan out workouts like the courses in a fine dining meal, each element building on another. We aren’t the only gym in the city or certain world who does this nor are we perfect every time, but the question we ask every day is how could we be better so that you can be better. What would it take to build the strongest community possible and the fittest, happiest members? That doesn’t mean you’ll be comfortable, it does mean you’ll get better and we will too – that’s our promise.

Words matter. Creating inclusivity in the gym.


Today, we’re getting deep into science by asking a question. “Does metal have a gender?”

Now, before you think too deeply about this – let’s skip to the answer. No, it’s metal. This is why in our gym, when describing the barbells that are available for use, you’ll hear our Coaches refer to them by what they weigh (20 kilos, 15 kilos or 15 pounds), not who has historically gravitated towards using which of those weights and what gender they identify with. To some, this may seem trivial, to others it can be transformative, to everyone it’s an example of why words matter – especially in the gender charged space of fitness.

Let me start by saying that our gym isn’t perfect – our goal is to always be learning how to best support our community. Our job is performance – helping you change from something to something else (gain weight, lose weight, get faster, improve a workout time and so on). The words that we use in that process can either enhance or derail that process far faster than the physical aspect of that process. Let’s give a quick example. A new athlete comes to train with us who happens to identify as a man and today’s class calls for pressing a barbell overhead. Let’s also say that this man doesn’t have the best shoulder position because he works at a keyboard all day. If the Coach instructs the class to grab “men’s or ladies” bars, this guy is likely to use a bar too heavy for his shoulders and get injured. The Coach could have been super attentive to watching movement, have a great attitude and even playlist, but their word choice set this athlete up for a potential injury.

Now, what if you identify as transgender? You’ve just been told that for starters you don’t belong because there isn’t any equipment for you and that’s even before we even get into what’s happening with your shoulders. If our goal is performance, all we’ve just done is derailed that process by using a few words.

Words also matter when it comes to what you say to yourself as an athlete. For starters, are you calling yourself an athlete? You should be, because you are one. There are no try-outs to be an athlete, if you’re moving your body with a purpose, congratulations – you’re in. How many times do you hear someone say “I’m not an athlete” or claim how they won’t be able to do a lift or movement. Our self-talk has a tremendous impact on our performance. Tell yourself you will or won’t do something and guess what – you’re right. However, what if you give yourself the opportunity to embrace what’s at hand? The doors open.

The language that we use in the gym as Coaches starts that process. The more closed we make discussions (gendering bars for example), the more closed our athletes will be as a result during their internal conversations. Our words matter because they are either creating growth opportunities or fixed outcomes. Beyond creating a space that is inclusive of gender and physicality, what you hear will have an impact on what you say in your head. Let’s not forget that inclusivity also applies to goals too.

So, while you might shrug it off, we don’t and that’s what makes our approach different.

We deal in helping you conquer the unknown and achieving what you never knew you could. It starts with words and raising the bar on that standard.

Why our experience means a better workout for you.


You need an uber or lyft, someone to drive you somewhere. You have two options. The first driver has been driving for 6 months and the second driver has been driving for over 10 years. Who do you choose?

Now, what if you also knew that the driver with 6 months of experience spent them at a race car driving school and passed their certification course with flying colors. Also, the driver with 10 years of experience was in 2 fender benders in the past year and otherwise has been driving recreationally before deciding to pick you up.

That might change your opinion, right? This is the difference between time and experience. 10 years of passive getting behind the wheel or much less time, but more directed learning and application.

We can improve with time, but only if we’re gaining valuable experience as well. This relates to fitness because it’s easy to fall into routines. In fact, our body loves routine, it allows for us to stay away from the edges and at a core level makes us feel safe so that we can survive. Think of all the routines in your life. However, we know that achieving our true potential means getting out of routines, pushing our boundaries when we can allows us to express who we’re meant to be and our individual gifts.

This is core to what CrossFit is as a method. Constantly varied. Not unplanned and random. Quite the opposite. In order for CrossFit to be effective, there MUST be a plan that makes sure that you as an athlete don’t fall into certain routines or develop habits that limit your progress. Why is this important? Because our approach is the professional driving school option in place of just getting behind the wheel for 10 years. Our approach is a deliberate one to test and evaluate how to make you better and then have a hell of a good time doing it in class.

We don’t want you wasting your valuable time when you want to train with hours spent in the gym without results or connecting to a community. We deliver the maximum effectiveness in the shortest time possible so that you can get on with you life and live it fully. That’s what we offer.

What’s your choice? Time or experience? Cutting edge performance or the right lane. Here’s the secret, you don’t have time to go without experience – let us help you get there.

Three basic nutrition principles


Imagine you are going on a road trip. You’re going to drive from Philly to your cousin’s wedding in North Carolina. You packed the car, you’ve left early. You’ve also decided to disconnect the monitor for the gas tank so when it runs out and the car abruptly stops, you’ll be forced to figure out some way to fuel it and see if you can complete the trip. When the car starts to sputter, you’ll just turn up the music.

Your cousin would be pissed. You wouldn’t ever do that. Instead, you would monitor the gas, understand your relationship to your fuel source, see where gas stations were so that you could arrive happy, on time and enjoy the trip.

If you’re in the gym without a plan on fueling your body – this is exactly what’s happening. The good news is that you don’t have to, there’s a better way.

3 basic principles

In all of the conversations that we’ve had around nutrition over the years and the varied plans relative to goals, needs and bodies, here are three things anyone can benefit from with regardless of diet or goals;

1. Sleep.WTF.. You said this was about food”. Remember, this is about fuel, and your body being able to effectively process that fuel. Sleep is one of the absolute most overlooked parts of recovery and building your body. Some simple ways it helps nutrition include improving digestion and regulating hunger. Set a goal of 8 hours, track it and watch how it changes your body.

2. Water. “Like a cleanse??” No, just actual water. Not with sugar and not 4 gallons a day. Carry a bottle so you know how much you’re drinking. Don’t like regular water? Try some with bubbles or a slice of lemon. Try and get at least half to 3⁄4 of your bodyweight in total ounces per day. That’s all, drink when you’re thirsty.

3. Eat whole foods (not necessarily AT Whole Foods..).  As often as you can (I know we just told you to drink from a water bottle), try and not take your food out of plastic, but instead start with it in its natural form. Why is this good? It means you’ll eat foods that have fewer preservatives and are less processed. It also slows down your eating process and preparing foods gives you more insight into what you are actually eating or feeding others (yay cooking!). You’ll also create less waste – double win.

 Wait, isn’t there more to it?

Our Precision Nutrition Certified Coaches would love share stories of transformation, success and developing individualized maps to get there. However, our approach to anything we offer is how can we make the maximum impact with the smallest dose. Start with the basics, do them well, then start to dive down the rabbit hole.

Two questions you should ask your Coach before you train with them


We are in the golden age of unsupported health and fitness advice courtesy of the internet. Gone is the need to demonstrate proficiency before being a trusted source of information, just flash a set of abs and a smile. In its place, many have shown results (let’s say abs in 8 minutes for example), without a grounding in reality. They have shown a map, without no sense of the actual territory within it (your life). That’s where actual professionals come in, and that’s what you should seek out when you start a training program. Here are two good questions to start with when you begin that journey.

 Question 1:

“How will what I’m doing help me achieve my goal?”

 First, this means communicating a goal, which is incredibly important. Do you really need to be jumping rope on top of a balance ball? Should I be doing hours of intense cardio per week? Maybe, but probably not. What is the point of what you’re doing in the gym and do you (and your Coach) truly understand it? If not, it’s hard to know if your valuable time and money are being spent well.

 Question 2:

Does your Coach use these same methods?

You’ve joined a gym, paid a trainer, signed up for a class – all because they come with a knowledge to help you achieve a goal. This means that you’ve given your hard-earned money to a subject matter expert. If they’re having you do things that they don’t or wouldn’t do – why should you do it?

 This also ensures that whoever you entrust with your goals is practicing and learning, not just giving you 60 minutes of chit-chat with weights. Just because someone is a professional doesn’t mean that they don’t need to continue learning, it is actually the opposite. We define professionalism by someone who keeps learning and refining their craft. You deserve to be getting a five-star dining experience, not the test kitchen of Instagram.

 Know the territory

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that if your Coach considers the principles of your training to be the same as theirs, if they’re walking the path as well – you’re off to a great start. That’s using a pre-determined map of experience in the real world which happens to be your life and making sure you stay happy and healthy.

What should you expect in a CrossFit class?


“Ok, class, today we’re doing an EMOM of power snatches at 60% and building followed by a 12 min AMRAP of  four pistols, two muscle ups and one clean and jerk. Ready? 3,2,1…” CUE THE ANXIETY. What does any of that even mean? Let’s clear a few things up..

What should you expect in a CrossFit class?

Physical training is designed to challenge your body, not stress you out. Let’s start by defining CrossFit. Constantly varied, functional movements performed at a (relatively) high intensity. In our gym, constantly varied means that you won’t work the same part of the body or type of training (sprint efforts to longer, steady-state) on the same day each week, this allows for you to avoid stalling on a plateau and not improving. We carefully program out weeks and months ahead of time to measure overall volume (how many times per week you are squatting or pressing for example) and then writing fun and challenging workouts.

What is the flow of a class?

Each class is planned out to the minute, allowing for a fun and safe environment. Each day’s workout is different, but here’s a sample peek behind the scenes:

  • Minute 0-5: Welcome the class, gather warm up equipment

  • Minute 5-15: Warm up – a series of movements to prime your body for the session ahead and allow the Coach to watch how each athlete is moving that day.

  • Minute 15-35: Strength or skill development. Some days this portion will focus on a weightlifting movement or maybe gymnastics. This is where each athlete is honing technique and receiving Coach feedback on movements.

  • Minute 35-40: Workout explanation and set up. Most days, the workout will incorporate some or all of the movements we’ve been working on in the strength/skill portion of class. The Coach will explain the point of the workout (either accomplishing a task, or working out for an amount of time).

  • Minute 40-55: Workout! Here’s where we dial in the relative intensity part of the definition of CrossFit. Each athlete in class will perform the same workout, however the load they are using may vary by a hundred pounds or more. How do you know what’s right for you? Our Coaches coordinate a plan with every athlete in class ahead of time.

  • Minute 55-50: Wrap up! The class isn’t over until everyone gets a fist bump and recognizes the hard work that EVERYONE put in for the day.

“So, I’m only going fast for 10-15 minutes of the total hour?”

Yes, the reason there comes back to intensity. We want to achieve the maximum benefit from the minimal dose. Crushing your body for an hour isn’t hard to do, dialing in the intensity for your session with a Coach is how you’ll see the most benefit and greatest overall return. Expect to balance the energy of a group class with the personalization of private training – that’s how we provide value to our members.

“I’m not great at all the movements..”

That’s why you have a Coach whose entire job is making sure that you are challenged, safe and have an awesome time in your class. There’s ALWAYS things to learn (even for us! We do this stuff too!), that’s part of the fun, pushing yourself, but in an effective and structured way. Let’s get started!

Could a burpee save your life? – Peggy’s story


“If I were to fall down, I wouldn’t be able to get up, I don’t know what I would do.”

Here’s how the much-maligned burpee, can potentially save your life.

Meet Peggy, that quote was one of the first things she told us. Peggy is 76 years old, a cancer survivor, retired dancer and complete badass. She contacted us about 9 months ago asking if we could help her with a few goals. The first was to be able to get off the floor and back to standing if she fell, because after years of chemo, she had been robbed her of much of her strength and balance.

“Let’s learn the burpee”

 There are two rules of training in our CrossFit classes. One, methods will only be taught that have direct utility in the real world. Two, that the movements be coached to be appropriate for everyone regardless of age, ability of experience in each class. Cue, the burpee.

If you were to fall in the street, and need to get back up quickly, you would be doing a burpee (ok, maybe you could skip the clap over-head…). Therefore, we started by breaking the movement into parts; a squat, a plank, a push up, balancing back to standing. Peggy’s needs weren’t any different than anyone else’s, just the methods to learn and achieve them, and so that’s where we began.

 13

That’s how many burpees Peggy did, unassisted during a workout of the day a few weeks ago that was a 3- minute burpee test. Peggy came in looking for greater self-sufficiency, to take back control of her life, to learn a burpee. Now, she does them as part of class warm ups (with a smile) and along the way she’s learned all the rest of the movements we use in CrossFit classes. And that’s the point. To understand, and not be limited by our bodies, but rather embrace our body. So, next time you’re doing burpees, say a breathless “thank you” for the body you have and if you’re in the 6am class, watch out for Peggy closing on you…