In House Competition and The Open Details

Getting in the competitive mindset

We are having an In House Competition this Saturday from 9am to 12pm-ish. All classes will be cancelled in lieu of the event. If you have not signed up on the board in the gym you MUST write your name down by today at 5:30pm. If you are not planning on coming in today and would like to participate please email [email protected] The competition is open to all members and everyone is encouraged to participate!

The Open Details

If you have not signed up for the open yet, what are you waiting for?!?!?! The deadline is fast approaching with the first workout being announced next Wednesday night. We will be programming the open workouts during all Friday classes throughout the duration of the open season. During these classes we will be judging and scoring the workout. Friday evening we will be expanding class times from 4:30pm – 6:30pm in order to accommodate everyone who would like to be judged and scored. If for some reason you cannot make a class on Friday you can be judged and scored on Saturday morning.

We are encouraging full participation in the Open and hope everyone is getting excited to throw down with the rest of the world! Check out the CrossFit Games website for more details.

More reasons to sign up for the open

Because Elisabeth Akinwale says so

If Nicho is ready, so are you

Why am I competing in the CrossFit Games Open?

What’s the deal with the open?


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New Class and CrossFit Games Open 2013

CrossFit Games

The 2013 CrossFit Games Open is rapidly approaching with the first workout being released on March 6th. As I mentioned before, we are encouraging everyone to register for the open. For those of you who are not familiar with the Open, it is the first qualifying competition for the CrossFit Games season. Anyone in the world can register as an athlete and compete in the open, and those who are crowned the fittest in their region will move onto regionals. To sign up for the open please register on the CrossFit Games site. If you need a little more assistance figuring it out you can watch this video.

When will we be doing the open workouts?

We will be integrating the open workouts into our daily programming every Friday from start to finish. Therefore, regardless if you actually sign up or not you will be doing the workouts anyway, hence there are no excuses not to sign up! If you cannot attend class on Friday you will have the opportunity to make up the workout on Saturday mornings, but we are highly encouraging everyone to try to attend a Friday class, especially Friday night so we can all compete and judge each other.

Still on the fence? Don’t think you’re ready?

Read this. Or this. And most importantly the below post from CF215 member Morgan Russo who is currently away at school in Syracuse.

“Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen? I have lived the answer this past weekend. Last Saturday was my first Rx competition in Syracuse and I felt pressured to do well in front of my CF 315 peers. Upon arrival, we found out our first WOD contained 7 reps of 95# hang snatch among other movements. My 1RM PR for hang snatch was 80#. Instead of dropping out or quitting I decided there is no failure in trying. I spent the entire 10 min AMRAP trying to complete one 95# hang snatch and never gave up. With one minute left most of the other athletes were completing their 3rd or 4th round while I was still struggling to achieve one rep. I kid you not, there were more people cheering me during that last minute then any other athlete. Even though I never got that rep I felt accomplished at the end of the day because I pushed myself. Michael Jordan said it best, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” The only way to fail during the Open is by not participating.”


New 8am class added to schedule

We have added an 8am class on Monday and Wednesday to the schedule. The next few weeks will be a test pilot to see if there is enough interest to keep it. As always, we recommend you pre-register on Mindbody for any class you plan on attending. Mandatory sign up will be enforced in the near future!

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The Whole30 Nutrition Challenge Winners and Wrap Up


Ok folks, here is the moment you have all be waiting for…drumroll please…after 30 days of full compliance the coaches of CrossFit215 have determined the winner of the Whole30 Nutrition Challenge. Congratulations Ross England!!! Not only did Ross complete the full 30 days with no slip ups, but he managed to accumulate an unprecedented 30 fitness points which included CrossFit workouts and active recovery/mobility days. If you were not keeping up with Ross’ blog documenting his journey, it is definitely worth a read.

I would also like to note there was a very close second place candidate, Amy Renkel. Amy also achieved a full 30 nutrition points and almost a perfect 30 fitness points. Like Ross, she also actively documented her nutrition journey via various social media outlets and is continuing her nutrition journey tackling the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Good luck Amy!

Overall, we had 29 athletes officially participate in the challenge, though I know there were many of you following along as well who were not documenting your points. At least 17 athletes (not everyone has put their points on the board) went the entire 30 days with 100% compliance. If you were one of those individuals you have earned a $10 credit towards food (paleokits, krunch, dried fruit, water, etc), merch (t-shirts), or supplements (protein, fish oil). Please contact Perrin or Micah to redeem. For those of you who need to remeasure body comp with Micah, please set up your appointment!

We also retested our benchmark workout on Friday and had some amazing improvements across the board. If you want to see the results check out the Wodify Whiteboard. Some of the highlights include Amy R 1:12 faster, Michelle V 1:08 faster, Zach B 0:49 faster, Ross E 1:24 faster, Mike A 1:36 faster, Micah 0:30 faster, Alaina 0:09 faster.

Now that the challenge is over some of you have been asking what’s next? I highly suggest checking out the Whole9’s page Life After Your Whole 30. They have tons of great information about what your next steps should look like, and how you can maintain all the gains you made through the future. We hope that everyone who participated in the challenge found something valuable in their experiences duringthe past 30 days. The Whole30 is not necessarily something we recommend or expect everyone to be able to maintain for the rest of their lives, but it is an experience we believe can be extremely valuable in increasing awareness of what you are putting in your body and understanding how it effects your quality of life and performance in the gym. As always, please feel free to reach out to any coach if you have specific questions regarding nutrition. Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed!

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What Are You Working For?

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful


It’s hard to believe that January has come to an end and February is already under way. While the success of both the Partner Throwdown competition and Whole30 challenge are fresh in everyone’s minds, I want to address a topic that I have only been able to touch on with certain individuals seeking advice: goals and goal setting. Everyone should have goals. Most of us either store them in our head or don’t spend any time thinking about them at all. Why is this so important? Setting goals gives you clarity on what you ultimately want. It forces you to think consciously about the things you want to achieve and materialize the goal into reality. It’s easy to just say in your head, “I want a strict handstand push up in 3 months” but if you don’t write it down, map out a plan, and practice handstand push up progressions, will you magically be able to achieve that goal one day? Probably not. Which brings me to my next point –  writing down your goals keeps you accountable. The words written down on paper will test your commitment. Instead of just talking about what you want, you will feel more obligated to take action.

Goals help you achieve your highest potential. Without them it is easy to get by just going through the motions and staying in that comfort zone we all get used to. Sorry, but being comfortable is not what we do at CrossFit 215. If you want to stay comfortable you should probably go find an elliptical and a shake weight. Familiarity is your nemesis. It prevents you from growing and reaching your highest potential. Just as we expect you to hit that wall ball target every time, we want you to strive to stretch beyond yourself. Hit your targets. Hold yourself accountable.

One of the reasons I fell in love with CrossFit to begin with was its natural ability to force me to uncover potential I didn’t know existed. When I was pushed out of my comfort zone, I accomplished so much more then I could have ever imagined. I have also gained the courage and mental fortitude to tackle obstacles in life I would have never conceived possible. In fact, for many years, I chose not to set goals in fear that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish them. Looking back now I realize what a huge disservice that was. Fear of failure will always prevent you from being the best you can be.


Muscle ups took me two years (Photograph courtesy of Matt Godfrey Photography)

There is no failure except in no longer trying. – Elbert Hubbard

I watched this video today and it inspired me to re-examine the question, “what are you working for?


If you don’t know what you are working for, spend some time figuring it out. Your goals don’t have to just relate to the gym either; they can be anything. Write them down. I would even encourage you to share them with friends, family and the world if you choose. Here are a few of my goals I carry with me in my wallet. This same picture is also the background of my phone. Some of these have specific timelines attached to them, while others are more generic ideas I wanted to document on paper to keep myself consciously aware.

P-GoalsOur job as coaches is help you set and achieve your goals. Any one of us will tell you the most rewarding part of our job is watching our athletes accomplish what they personally set out to do. I challenge all of you to set goals and map out a plan to achieve them. As the Open approaches, I highly encourage all of you to sign up and participate. This is your chance to compare yourself against the world. Show us what you are working for. We will be right next to you cheering you on every step of the way.

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A Day in the Life – Rubi Wiswall

Today marks the LAST day of the Whole30 Nutrition Challenge. For those of you who have stuck to it for the full 30 days – congratulations! Participants will have until the end of the week to get their points up on the board and we will announce winners.

  • What is your name?  Rubi Wiswall
  • What is your profession? Manager/CEA of [G] Wis Concepts and Dance Instructor 
  • When do you wake up and when do you go to bed?  I’ve been waking up around 7 which is pretty late for me but the winter time has been making me hibernate.  I go to bed at 9:30 if at all possible.  
  • Have you participated in a paleo nutrition challenge before? If so, what were your experiences (positive and negative)?  The first Whole30 I did was last January and it was basically the best month of my life.  I slept like a rock and felt focused and energized all month.  The second time I did it was in July and  I added the 21 day sugar Detox in as well… it did not go well.  I was incredibly tired and run down and foggy for two weeks so I gave up.  This experience so far hasn’t changed how I feel day to day yet, but I’m hoping byday 30 I’ll be feeling more rested like the first one.  
Studley (not Rubi)

Studley (not Rubi)


    • What did you eat for breakfast?  at 7am I ate 3 eggs with onion, red pepper, mushrooms and baby power greens seasoned with curry.  I also drink tea throughout the day, and I started with an organe zest bag and a mint bag.  RW-1
    • What did you eat for lunch? at 10:30 I was already hungry, so I made Fish seasoned with lemon/rosemary salt and orange zest; Collards sauteed with yellow peppers and onions; baked cauliflower florets with curry, paprika and cumin (the collards and the cauli were already made).  Drank 1/2 a Kombucha
    • Did you consume any snacks? If so when (late morning, late afternoon, before bed,etc.) What did you eat? I try not to eat snacks, and knowing I was tracking my meals helped me not to eat any today! RW-2
    • What did you eat for dinner? at 3:30 I ate 3 humane, organic hot dogs (not exactly Whole30, but I allowed them for my personal challenge) with sauteed baby bok choy with garlic and scallion, topped with whole grain mustard.  Also ate an apple with a little coconut oil.  I knew I was going out during the evening so wanted to fill up early so that I wouldn’t need anything while I was out.  
  • What did you eat/drink pre and post workout (if applicable)?RW-3
  • What do you find most challenging about the Whole30, and/or what do you miss the most?  The hardest part for me is giving up wine.  I’ve been eating Paleo for over 2 years, and I don’t really miss the crap I used to eat b/c I don’t miss how it made me feel.  But good golly do I love my wine.  
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Many Thanks for a Great Day (Photo link included)


Throwdown-4Every day is a gift to be able to wake each morning, albeit very early and in sometimes freezing weather, and go to “work” and do what I do. I am thankful for each of these days. Once in awhile I am especially thankful for some days more than others. This past Saturday was one of them. I wanted to take a minute and speak on a couple particular parts of the past event at CF215.

We are not going to save the best for last, let’s get right into the biggest thanks for the day. Events like this do not happen, they do not run as smoothly as this one did, and the athlete experience is not as awesome as this one was without great volunteers and judges – I had the BEST! The team from 215, and a few others, worked hard all day long. They had minimal rest and downtime, which is what allowed them to keep everything on time. I can’t say enough about what you guys all did, I hope this will convey my thanks.

We had some great sponsors, including Kill Cliff, Hylete, Wyebrook Farms, WODFuel, Rocktape, and Simple Brands. A special thanks to Wodify, it really helped us, and you guys the athletes, to be able to stay up to-date with scores and times. If you have not tried or looked into Wodify, I highly recommend it.

Lastly I wanted to say thank you to all the athletes that showed up that day. Your effort and performance was nothing short of extraordinary, from both divisions. There was some heavy ass weight moved and some relentless determination that definitely deserves some acknowledgment. I saw a couple athletes tackle a rope climb for the first time and I was very proud of you. For those of you reading this that did not compete, and who have not yet, you need to find the next competition near you and sign up. It is just simply amazing what you can accomplish when put in the right environment and surrounded by the right people. Competition brings out the best in all of us and this weekend was nothing short of that.

To my 215 family, thank you for all you continue to do and be. I promise to provide you with all the support you need to accomplish any and all of your goals, inside and outside of our facility.

Throwdown-1Throwdown-2Congratulations to all of our top 3 Teams. Special congrats to Team Mojo and S. Mountain CF for winning the Scaled and Rx divisions respectively.

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Airdyne Photo Shoot Project

Matt LOVES the air dyne!

Matt LOVES the air dyne!

We will have Matt Godfrey Photography in the house today during all classes (except 6am, sorry guys…the man has to get his workout in too) to photograph athletes completing a 1 minute airdyne test. If you would like to participate just show up! If you were in the 6am class and would like to come back and do it again tonight feel free 🙂 Some of you were a part of Matt’s “I Am CrossFit215” project a few years ago. To all the newbies, here is your opportunity to be part of CF215 history!

Matt also photographed our partner throwdown event on Saturday. Photographs of the event and a link to his gallery will be up soon. Stay tuned!

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*UPDATED* Partner Competition

Friday AM Update – Parking

For those of you who have not been here before, or visited us at our old location in Sherman Mills, we moved around the corner. Our new address is 4012 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia but it shows up inaccurately on GPS. Please use our neighbor’s address 4024 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia PA 19129 as a reference point if you’re using a GPS device or Google Maps. There is very limited parking available on the street. We highly encourage you to park in either Sherman Mills (3502 Scotts Lane Philadelphia) parking lot, or in the lot on the corner of Ridge Ave and S Ferry Rd about a 1/4 mile away. The S Ferry Rd lot is 50 cents/hour, but will be an easier walk up the street. Both are about a 3-5 minute walk. Please do not park in the lot at Dobson Mills Apts across the street.

Check back for more updates as the day goes on. Please email [email protected] with any pertinent questions. 

Monday PM – Workout Announcements!!
Scaled Division:
Workout #1 – Clean Complex
Teams will have 10 minutes to find a max weight in the following complex: 1 Clean + 1 Hang Clean + 1 Front Squat + 1 Shoulder to OH. Each athlete (male and female) will have their own bar, one athlete works at a time and weights are shared between both athletes. Score is the sum of each athlete’s highest weight completed.
Workout #2 – Max OHS in 2 Minutes @ 95/65#
Immediately following the clean complex, right into 2 minutes of max rep OHS. One athlete works at a time. Score is total reps combined for the two athletes in the 2 minutes. Workout #2 is a separate score / place finish from workout #1.

Workout #3 – Row / Farmer’s Carry @ 50/35#
Each team will have one rower, two sets of farmer’s carries and 8 minutes to accumulate as many calories and distance as possible. Each calorie equals one point and each quarter length of the room is one point (down and back is 8 points, approx 40m). Score is max points in 8 minutes.

Workout #4 – 21-15-9: Thrusters / Burpee Lateral Hops (BLH)  @ 95/65#, 12 Min Time Cap
One athlete working at a time stadium style. Athlete #1 completes 21 thrusters, then athlete #2 completes 21 thrusters. Athlete #1 completes 21 BLH, then athlete #2 completes 21 BLH, etc… Score is time to complete workout.

Workout #5 Final – TBA
Field will be cut to top six teams. Scores will be erased and winner take all FINAL!

Rx Division
Workout #1 – Row / Farmer’s Carry @ 60/45#
Each team will have one rower, two sets of farmer’s carries, and 8 minutes to accumulate as many calories and distance as possible. Each calorie is one point and each quarter length of the room is one point (down and back is 8 points, approx 40m). Score is max points in 8 minutes.

Workout #2 – Snatch Complex
Teams will have 10 minutes for each athlete to establish a max effort Snatch + Hang Snatch + 2 OHS. Score is combined weight of highest completed complex for each athlete. Immediately into….
Workout #3 – Max Double Unders in 3 minutes
Directly after the 10 minutes clock above expires, athletes will have 3 minutes with one athlete working at a time to complete as many DU as possible. In order to begin a DU attempt, there is a buy-in of 2 pistols per leg (can alternate legs but don’t have to). Then that athlete may begin one set of unbroken DU. Once they break the other athlete MUST go. That next athlete must complete the same pistol buy-in. The two may alternate back and forth as many times as possible for 3 minutes. Score is total DU.

Workout #4 – 21-15-9: Squat Clean Thruster (SCT) @ 95/65#, burpee lateral hops, Pull-up (12 min time cap)
One athlete working at a time stadium style. Athlete #1 completes 21 SCT, then athlete #2 completes 21 SCT. Athlete #1 completes 21 BLH, then athlete #2 completes 21 BLH, then pull-ups and then back to SCT for 15 reps, etc… Score is time to complete workout.

Workout #5 Final – TBA
Field will be cut to top six teams. Scores will be erased and winner take all FINAL!

Please post all questions to the comments below. Any questions, including standards will be answered below. A final summary of standards will be covered the day off the event.

Monday Update AM
Tune back later tonight for the releasing of the workouts. I wanted to get some times and stuff out now so people can start planning their weekends. Thank you in advance to all the volunteers coming this weekend to help out, it is going to be a very well run event thanks to you. Judging will be top notch.

We are asking all volunteers / judges who are around to stop by Friday night at 6:30. We will be having a staff briefing then to discuss assignments for the day and flow of the event. If we are all on the same page prior it will reduce questions during the day. We also have a few things to move around which we could use your help with.  Friday night is mandatory for all judges as we will also be covering standards. There just won’t be time to do this o Saturday so PLEASE try and make it Friday if you are planning on judging.

SaturdayJudges / Volunteers please arrive at 7:30. Coffee and light breakfast will be served. ATHLETES please arrive between 8:00 and 8:30 for registration. Through out the day we will be using WODIFY to track scores within the individual workouts. There will be two screens through out the facility you can check in with each. You will also be able to see this via your mobile device. The public scoreboard is located HERE.

Sponsors – We will have Steve’s Original Paleokits, Krunch, water,and other products for sale, as well as Stronger Faster Healthier single shot recovery protein. We have also partnered up with Mavuno Harvest dried fruit company, whose products will be available for sale. Additional sponsors for the event include Kill Cliff recovery drink, who have provided a recovery drink for each athlete. Hylete and WodFuel has provided coupons for for EVERYONE that shows up Saturday and gifts for the top finishers. Additionally there will be prizes from Wyebrook FarmSimple Brandz, and Rocktape for all of the winners.

Check back later today!!

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Thursday 1/31/13 Announcements

Hi 215ers!

We have been super busy preparing for the Partner Throwdown competition being held at the gym this Saturday. Please note, all classes will be cancelled in lieu of the event. Additionally, we have a few more announcements regarding other changes and events coming up in the next few days.


The Open Registration is Here!

For those of you who were not around for the CrossFit Games season last year, we welcome you to join our team for the Open this year! The Open consists of five workouts over five weeks starting March 6 and ending April 7. Athletes from around the world will all complete the same workouts over the five weeks to determine who will move onto regionals. Last year our team qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Regionals and we would love to repeat again this year! We are encouraging every member to sign up and participate. You can register on the CrossFit Games website and join our affiliate and team to participate. There will be more details regarding what days and times we will be judging the workouts in March. If you have any additional questions about the Open don’t hesitate to ask a coach.


Cubby Clean Out

In order to make room for the 100+ athletes we are expecting on Saturday we are asking anyone who currently has personal belongings in the cubbies at the gym to take them with you by Friday night. If you do not take your things we will be removing them and storing them elsewhere and will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items. Additionally, we moved a large cubby in the women’s locker room that can be used to store personal belongings after Saturday. We are looking to also put cubbies in the men’s locker room so the area in the hallway can be used exclusively to store gear temporarily and not permanently.


Monday Airdyne Photo Project

Our resident staff photographer and member Matt Godfrey will be shooting a new photo project at the gym during Monday night’s classes (4:30, 5:30, 6:30). If you would like to participate just show up! The subject heading should be enough information to figure out what it involves. Some of you were a part of Matt’s “I Am CrossFit215” project a few years ago. To all the newbies, here is your opportunity to be part of CF215 history!  Even if you attend an earlier class feel free to stop by at night and jump in.

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A Day in the Life – Amy Renkel

For those of you who haven’t met Amy yet, you are missing out. You will often find her in the 6am class sporting sweet tattoos, kicking ass, and taking names.  Since recently joining CrossFit215 at the end of December, Amy’s work ethic and dedication to training has been impressive to say the least. It was apparent the paleo lifestyle wasn’t completely new to Amy, and she jumped into the Whole30 Nutrition Challenge super motivated and hasn’t looked back since. If you haven’t introduced yourself to Amy, make sure you do! I have a feeling there are big things in store for her in the future and can’t wait to see where her Whole30 journey takes her!

  • What is your name? Amy Renkel
  • What is your profession? Account Executive at an advertising agency
  • When do you wake up and when do you go to bed? Wake up 5:30AM, Go to sleep by 10:30PM (latest)
  • Have you participated in a paleo nutrition challenge before? If so, what were your experiences (positive and negative)? This is my first paleo nutrition challenge although I started following the paleo diet a week before Thanksgiving last year. I didn’t really give up the sugar completely until this challenge and I’ve definitely taken note that it’s in a lot of foods I was consuming. Although it’s now Day 7, I can tell I’m not craving the sugars as much anymore, this has definitely been an eye opener.


1/11/13: I went to Crossfit 215 for the 6AM class and it just so happened to be the benchmark workout for the Nutrition Challenge. It was definitely a good one and I’m excited to see my results after the next 30 days. After class, I got home and made tacos for breakfast around 7:30AM. Yes, that’s right, turkey “tacos”! They were 2 pieces of romaine lettuce with ground turkey, tomatoes, and avocado slices. I also had ½ a sweet potato and a small sliced banana to make sure I could stay full.

I work in Center City so I hopped on the bus to be in the office by 9AM. Around 10:15AM I started to feel hungry so I had an apple with a handful of walnuts. This kept me full until lunch around 12:30PM which was 2 turkey burgers topped each with tomatoes slices and a side of mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots). I also decided I wanted a piece of fruit so I had a small orange after my meal.

I sit at a desk for work most of the day so I’ve noticed that sometimes I eat because I’m bored (of sitting, not work) so this challenge has been a good way for me to cut back on snacking. Around 3PM I always feel a bit hungry so I decided to have about 1 cup of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) and a hard-boiled egg.

I ended up having to stay later than a normal 5PM day but I had my clean snacks prepared! Around 5:30PM I had a few baby carrots and ½ an avocado (almost like instant guacamole 🙂 ) to get me by until I could leave work.

I left the office around 6:45PM feeling pretty satisfied with my choices for the day. When I got home, I prepared a unique dinner of sliced cucumbers topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs and tunafish mixed with pepper and paprika. I ate this with a side of butternut squash to make sure I was getting in my vegetables. Around 10PM I took 2 tsp of Natural Calm (which has been an awesome investment) to make sure I could relax before bed.

I can definitely tell after a week that this has been the best decision I could have made while still being new to Crossfit and learning everything about the workouts. I definitely have more energy than Day 1 or 2 and plan to continue this new way of life after the challenge. I do miss my Sriracha sauce which I plan to slowly ease back in after the 30 days unless I find an alternative in the meantime. I’ve also gotten past the sugar craving stage which a lot of blogs and others say comes and then goes within a few days. Excited to see how the next 20 days go!

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