Four Weeks until CrossFit Total!

In four weeks we will be doing the CrossFit Total on Saturday, 3/15. We will be running small heats every 30 minutes.  Over the span of 90 minutes, each athlete will complete a max effort Back Squat, Press, and Deadlift. This event is for EVERYONE! ask coaches more about it. Regular classes will cancelled that day.

Crucible Prep this WEEKEND!
“Next Crucible Prep Clinic is this Sunday Feb. 23rd 8:00am. Topic will be pre & post event mental preparation. “Event” means marathon, obstacle course, business meeting, crossfit class, interview, presentation, etc. This stuff is useful in all parts of life.” – Coach Kyle

For any of you who have not yet taken this clinic with Kyle, you are missing out on something important. It is not any particular skills or movements, it’s mental fortitude. Everyone should try this clinic once regardless of their goals. I promise you will accomplish some things beyond what you believe you can.

Foundations Class
These classes started this week, and are in addition to Tuesday and Thursday 6am class. We will still be doing the Olympic lifts in the other room going forward on Tuesdays. The foundation classes will be un-scored and we not have any complex strength lifts in them. All strength work done will be in super-set format. There will also always be a conditioning piece and their will be no scoreboard. There are only a couple spots available for tomorrow so sign up tonight.

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Upcoming Events & Schedule Updates

For those of you looking for some competitions, there are a few popping up in our area. they include everything from novice competitions to masters, Olympic lifting. It’s no secret how myself and the rest of the coaching staff at 215 value competing. It serves so many purposes and can take on any vehicle necessary to assist in focusing your training.

Masters of the Universe @ CrossFit Generation – Registration: Begins February 17th
What: A fitness competition for all masters athletes
Where: CrossFit Generation in Horsham, PA
Who: All athletes age 35+
Cost: $60
WODs: All athletes guaranteed at least 3 WODs
Divisions: 35-39, 40-44, 45-50, 50+
Standards: Be able to perform most basic CrossFit movements – deadlift (m:200+/f:135+), put weight overhead, full ROM squat, run, row, etc.

Generation Spring Classic 2014 – An Olympic Weightlifting Competition

CrossFit Generation and the Generation Barbell Club are excited to host their first weightlifting meet sanctioned by the USAW. This meet will offer both Open, Novice, and Youth sessions. The Open lifters will be on Saturday and the Novice/Junior/Youth/School Age Sessions on Sunday. “Novice” means you have competed in fewer than two sanctioned meets as of April 12th 2014. Please choose your division accordingly. All Open Lifters are required to wear singlets and and weightlifting shoes.

You MUST be a registered USAW member to compete. If you’re not yet registered, click here to do so: https://www.usaw.hangastar.com/Login.aspx. USAW cards must be presented at the registration table of the event.
Register Here

For those of you who have been focusing on your lifts this is a great way to gain some experience. The novice competition does not require anything but you! If any of you are interested don’t hesitate to contact me, I will help you prepare for this event and will be there that day to help you at.

Daine Fu – A Beyond the Basics Olympic Lifting Seminar @ CF 215

Spend a full day with Coach Diane Fu of FuBarbell at CrossFit 215 in East Falls, PA learning how to identify, assess, and correct movement faults found in Olympic-style weightlifting. This course is appropriate for coaches, trainers, and athletes above the beginner level looking to improve upon their own technical proficiencies while gaining an understanding of how to help others address similar issues. Previous experience with the Olympic lifts is required along with an understanding of basic weightlifting terminology.

Attendees should be prepared for an active day of practical work separated by brief lectures. Lectures will cover topics ranging from mobility to improve positioning, technical details of the lifts, problem solving movement errors, and program considerations for the beginning to intermediate weightlifter.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to perform the snatch and clean & jerk under actual working loads and receive feedback, coaching and corrections from Coach Fu throughout the day.
Register Here

Schedule Updates @ 215

Endurance Sundays
Sunday’s Endurance class will be a rowing class for the next couple weeks. Some of you took Meg’s rowing clinic a little while back and there was some great feedback from it. Meg will be teaching a 10am and 11am rowing based endurance class on Sundays. Brush up on technique, or learn new skills while training your aerobic system.

Foundation Classes
Tuesday and Thursdays @ 6am we will be holding foundation classes. These classes will be geared towards those athletes not looking to focus as much on strength and the heavier side of what we do. What you will not see in these classes is any Olympic lifting or any isolated strengths. All strength done will be done in super-set format.

Our next Crucible Prep Clinic with Coach Kyle will be next Sunday, February 23rd


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Thanks for a great weekend!

For those of you that were there this weekend, whether it was as an athlete, judge, volunteer, or spectator, I don’t need to tell you what a great day Saturday was. The event went extremely smooth and this is mostly thanks to an awesome group of volunteers, second only to all the time and effort Cassie, Mather and Rubi put into producing an amazing event. I am so appreciative that the three of them allowed me to be part of it and look forward to collaborating with them again some day. I am sure I can speak for all of us when I say thank you to all of you who volunteered your Saturday. We had a great group of judges and volunteers who were dedicated to throwing the best competition possible.

My only regret in ever being part of the production side of a competition is that it is nearly impossible to be a coach on any level close to how I would like to be. While I think I may have missed some of you compete completely, I am so proud of Kyle, Taylor, Anne Marie, Jeff (if you’re reading this Jeff), Patrick, Dave, Lauren and Erica for going after it Saturday. There were more than a few PRs and more than enough effort and determination to go around. For every one who competed, and for those who didn’t, I make this promise to you… The Summer Scorcher is coming up in July and I will be there as a coach only if we get people to sign up. Lets represent 215 even MORE than we did this weekend. Those of you doing Raising The Bar (RTB), I forgot to mention that a requirement to RTB is that you must sign up for some kind of competition within the next six months. It can be any type of competition. But back to this weekend, I was so proud of how many of you, and how each of you, represented the 215.

The last couple weeks has left us having to cancel a bunch of classes do to the weather and I wanted you to know how much I appreciate your patience and understanding with this. I also want you to know I know how frustrating it can be to not be able to train as you plan to. So to show appreciation for both Saturday and with the weather, of these things, Cassie and I will be here all day Saturday providing open gym and tutelage for anyone who wants it. This will give you a chance to do some goat work and/or make up any training programming you were itching to do that you were not able to make it in for due to class cancellations. If you have something specific you want to work on email one of us so we can make sure we block off some time for you. See you all Saturday!

Clothing Swap
This Saturday the Clothing Swap is back on. Cleaning out your closet? Looking to unload some clothing and maybe pick up some new-to-you threads at the same time?  Bring your clean, gently-used duds to the gym on Saturday, anytime for the CrossFit 215 Clothing Swap. Both ladies’ and gentleman’s clothing. What doesn’t get swapped will be donated to Goodwill on Monday. Clothes can be dropped off and/or swapped at CF215 anytime. No guarantee how long we will be there. You most donate in order to swap people. No showing up empty handed.

As mentioned previously, we have two Facebook groups. Our Members Only page and our Warrior Women of CrossFit 215 (women only) page. It’s hard to search out and friend each person so here are the links to both pages for those of you that are yet in them. Click on the link and request access, once you do some one will approve your request.
Members Page
Women’s Page
We are also doing a Whole 30 day challenge starting this Monday which will be managed and hosted via Facebook as well. Please contact me via FB if you would like to participate.




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This Weekend


Saturday is the the second annual Winter Warmer. This year it is being held at a closed Sports Authority in Montgomeryville. This event is being thrown by a couple of your own including, Cassie, Mather, Rubi and myself. We would love for everyone to come up and hang out and see some of the best athletes in the area throw down. We also have 6 athletes from 215 competing, including Coach Kyle.

As a result of this weekends event, classes Saturday are CANCELLED!

Sunday’s Endurance class is going to run a little differently this weekend. We will run three endurance classes that will overlap slightly. Each class will still be sixty minutes long, Sign up as usual on Wodify.

Raising The Bar (RTB)
For those of you who already have information and are thinking about doing RTB, there will be a mandatory meeting this Tuesday at 7pm. This will be an info session only.

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Cheating: A Cautionary Tale

With all of the buzz surrounding the 2014 CrossFit Open, last year’s competitive exercise “scandals,” and the additional measures put in place this year to mitigate the widespread panic of miscounted burpees, box jumps with questionable extension, and WODs that were or were not performed at Affiliates or on military bases, I wanted to address the subject of… shhhh… cheating.

We’ve all be there.  Whether we know it or not, whether we say it out loud or keep it in.  We’ve all miscounted reps or bullsh*tted a box jump or ten.  If your chin has been close but not quite there, lemme get an “amen” (CrossFitters world-wide say “amen”).  But shady reps and questionable depth, they come back to haunt you (and your reputation as an athlete).

Allow me to regale you with a little story about a little cheater:

I was “sick” on the Friday of the multiplication table test in Ms. Kahn’s 3rd grade class at Dicken Elementary.  I recall holding the mercury thermometer up to my pink bedside lamp that morning, Ferris Bueller style, making sure it didn’t get too hot (my babysitter had told me that if you have a temperature of 104 or more it means your brain is cooking, so I was careful to make sure it didn’t rise past 102).  My mother called the school, then her boss, as I snuggled up on the couch for a day filled with TV, ginger ale, and grilled cheese and tomato soup.  Pleased with my successful scheme and lost in the Flintstones and daytime reruns of The Cosby Show, I forgot entirely about what the following Monday would bring… The Make-up Test.

Still oblivious of my fate and high on my three-day weekend, I dressed for school on Monday morning, donning my favorite troll doll earrings.  We were in the midst of a science unit on the solar system, space being my absolute favorite thing at the age of 8.  Plus, Monday’s meant music class, for the double whammy of Monday awesomeness.  As afternoon recess came to a close, I was looking forward to a little QT with Charlotte’s Web during reading time, but what was this?  Ms. Kahn was coming towards me with a sheet of paper that looked strangely like a… test.

“Cassie, why don’t you grab your pencil and head to the library to take your make up test,” said Ms. Kahn.

Gulp.  ”Ehhh, what make up test?” I responded, thinking fast.  I was pretty good at crying on the spot, but that wouldn’t really help me out in this situation.  I’d never tried fake fainting, and while I was (and still am) a pretty talented little actress, I wasn’t sure that this was really the time to try out an untested gimmick of such epic proportions.

“The multiplication table test from Friday,” she responded with way more enthusiasm than the circumstances dictated.  I mumbled a “hold on” as I trudged towards my desk to find a pencil.  I lifted the top of my desk, and as I opened my sparkly Trapperkeeper to pull a (matching sparkly) mechanical pencil from the (equally sparkly) plastic case, a half-sheet of paper fell out.  As if falling from the (even sparklier) hands of God herself, floating on angel wings into my lap, was a multiplication table – with all of the answers filled in.  A study guide from the previous week.

Math has never been my strength.  Anyone who has seen me take 6 minutes to total the weight on a barbell knows this.  I snuck a peek over at Ms. Kahn who was distracted by a kid in my class, notorious for eating his boogers (neither here nor there).  I crumpled up the study guide and shoved it in the pocket of my jeans. Grabbing my pencil and the test from Ms. Kahn, I all but bounded down the hall towards the library, returning to class less than 5 minutes later with my completed test and a triumphant smile.

Ms.  Kahn graded my test while I read a chapter in Charlotte’s Web.  After reading time, Ms. Kahn announced that she had awards to give.  This was not unusual, as she frequently gave students awards in recognition for being good little humans.  Imagine my surprise when she asked me to come to the front of the room, stating that she had not one, but TWO awards to give me.  On little pre-printed certificates, she had neatly printed my name in purple magic marker, and filled in “Highest Score on the Multiplication Table Test” on one certificate, and “Fastest Test-Taker in the History of Third Grade” on the other.

She smiled as she handed them to me.  The class clapped.  I put the certificates inside my desk and asked permission to use the bathroom.  As I walked down the hall to the bathroom, I felt numb.  I had done something awful.  I had never cheated before.  I stood inside the bathroom stall and pondered my best course of action.  I could come clean, but then everyone would know I cheated.  No one would think I was smart or trust my high test scores ever again.  I was one of the smartest kids in class, I just wasn’t that good at math.  As I tossed around my options, the feeling in my stomach got ickier and ickier.  In the end, I decided I would keep my mouth shut, the justification being that if I had studied, I could have actually earned those awards without cheating because I was definitely smart enough.

At the end of the day, as Ms. Kahn congratulated me again on my “job well done,” I looked at her face and saw it.  She knew I had cheated.  At that moment, she was giving me an opportunity to come clean to her, but I did not take it.  I thanked her and went to go catch my bus.

Twenty-three years later, I remember all of this in perfect detail.  I have played these events over and over in my head.  At critical times in my life, when I have been faced with decisions concerning honesty and judgment, I have played these scenes again and again.  Like a rerun you’ve seen a million times, I know how it ends, and it’s a constant reminder that the cheat will eat at you.

Whatever name you want to call it – fudge, cheat, manipulate, scam, fake, short, deceive –  it sticks with you.  No matter how you try to justify it, dishonesty is, at the end of the day, dishonesty.  It’ll follow you around no matter what you do.  It’s up to you to either use it as a lesson, or let the cheat eat you up.

Not getting your chin over the bar is a choice.  “Miscounting” reps is a choice. Integrity, virtuosity, and principle are also choices. Athletes of CF 215 you guys are amazing.  Keep setting a high bar for competition, keep elevating your selves to be better, keep choosing wisely.

 Cassie Haynes, J.D., M.P.H.
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Programming Framework

A Throwback to Regionals last year

Today we started an eight week cycle leading up to a CrossFit Total. The CrossFit Total is the sum of the best of three attempts at the squat, the press, and the deadlift. For the full read on the workout and where it came from read here. We will be doing the Total on Saturday, March 15th.

For those of you that have specific goals and especially those athletes that are limited to the days that they train I wanted to give everyone an idea of what the training days will look like. So for the next eight weeks the programming schedule will look like this based on the days of the week:

Monday – Press + Conditioning
Tuesday – Olympic Lift
Wednesday – Lower Body Pull + Conditioning
Thursday – Upper Body Push + Conditioning
Friday – Benchmark / Open Workouts
Saturday – Squat + Partner Conditioning
Sunday – Endurance Training

This should allow athletes to self program a bit and if you need aligning your goals with training days please let me know and I will be happy to sit down with and figure that out. This programming is not designed for 5 days in a row of training. If you are unsure about what I mean by that or why also please see me or talk to one of the other coaches.

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Clinic Series Updates

We have a couple clinics this week with two starting tomorrow. Reminder: ALL Clinic Series are free for unlimited members, just sign up on Wodify. For 3x members, it will be $10 per clinic, contact me for access to register online.

Strongman – Sunday @ 9am
strongman_lead_photoThe new Strongman series  with Maya starts tomorrow, Sunday @ 9am. This series will run for 8 weeks, by signing up for tomorrow you are registered for the next 8 weeks. This is a great way to add some functional strength. Maya has a great style and approach to teaching strongman. If you’re still curious, reserve your spot and give it a try tomorrow.

Winter Warmer Prep Clinic – Sunday @ 12:30pm
Tomorrow at 12:30 there will be a prep clinic for those of you registered for the Winter Warmer. Specific programing will addressed depending on who shows up. Others are welcome to train with the competitors, so feel free to bring your training partners.

Rowing Clinic – Thursday @ 7pmP208631_1-184Rowing is an important skill we use on almost a daily basis. It’s time all of you learned how to do from a pro. Meghan Doletzky rowed as a Division I collegiate athlete at the University of Virginia. She currently works as novice rowing coach at Wilmington Youth Rowing Association. Are you having issues with your stroke, do you know if you are…? Ask a coach if this clinic is something you would benefit from. I can think of a couple dozen of you. Introductions start at 6:45pm, on the ergs at 7pm. This clinic will be 1 hour and is capped at 10 people, registration is open now.

*The next Crucible Prep Clinic will be in mid February.

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The Open is upon us!


A little Video to help you on your way! Click here

Okay folks, it’s that time of year. Registration is open, and it is time to get after it. Sometimes I feel like a broken record talking to people about why to compete, but you can never hear it enough, nor does it get old. Since we have some new family members, here we go again – and this time I thought I would add some pictures to go along with my lines.

What is the CrossFit Open? The Open is five weeks of workouts, with one workout coming out each week. These workouts will be programmed in class (and competition programming) so all of you will be doing them no matter what. We’ll probably do them on Fridays or Thursday (still undecided), and it will require splitting the classes up in two so we can count reps and each person can be judged to uphold movement standards put in place by CrossFit, Inc. In the end, all 215 athletes will have participated in the same five workouts used worldwide to asses fitness.  So since you will be doing all of this anyway, just go ahead and formally sign up for the Open.

Convinced yet? Yes?! Then here you go – sign up!  If not, consider the following:

Reasons to Join CrossFit 215’s Affiliate Team in the OPEN!

Reason 1:  We are a team and a family, and we need everyone’s support. Regardless of how you think you are going to do, we have people that are going to do well, and we owe it to them to be by their side both in the gym and on paper on our roster. Let’s show the world not necessarily how strong our team is but how strong our family is!


(Rebuttal) Reason 2:  “But I am not going to do well…”  The Open is not about your performance but your effort. I believe there can be no argument that putting a little skin in the game will aid you in maximizing your effort. It also shows that you are not afraid to show everyone where you are today. It matters none where you are today but more over where you go from here.

(Rebuttal) Reason 3:  “But I can’t do everything Rx…” Hopefully a few of you can tell a couple stories about what I am about to say on the members page or below here in comments. This I promise you: if you are staring up at the pull-up bar having never done a toes-to-bar, and that is all that separates from a score of zero and anything else, in that moment you will reach your highest potential, and if it is in you, it will come out that day. Many athletes have experienced getting their first Rx movement in the Open simply because there is no other option. THERE IS NO SCALING! and that is the greatest gift I can give you as a coach.
Reason 4: Once you get passed #2 or #3 above, it is so much fun competing as a team!

Now are you convinced?!?! GOOD! Here you GO!

If you have more questions, feel free to talk me or one of the other coaches. Registration is open, and I am waiting!




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Strongman is Starting Back Up!


ArmyNavyComp_012Congratulations to Navy on their victory in the annual Army vs Navy vs 215 Throwdown

Nutrition Clinic – Tonight @ 6pm
Nutrition_20Just a reminder that tonight is the replay of our Nutritional Clinic hosted by Coach Kyle. Kyle has been doing this talk for a couple years now and really has it dialed in. For those of you that missed it Saturday, he will be doing again tonight. This talk is for all athletes, regardless of where you are looking to take your nutrition. This is NOT a Whole 30 kickoff, while it can be used for one. Start time is promptly at 6pm so PLEASE be early. Assuming things kick off on time, you should still be able to make the 7pm class. you are also welcome to attend 5pm class and stay for the clinic after. This clinic is FREE for all members! It’s 2014, let us help you get your nutrition plan on lock!

Strongman with Maya!
mayaThis Sunday we are starting our first Strongman cycle for 2014. Maya and I have capped this at 8 athletes and it will run for 8 weeks meeting every sunday at 9am for 90 minutes. You do not have to make all 8 sessions but it is strongly recommended.  This time around Maya will be giving athletes homework for during the week. I will carve out time for you to come in and do this. The cost for this clinic series is free for unlimited members. For those athletes that are 3x/week, please contact me for more information. If you are planning on doing Raising The Bar (Hybrid Barbell Club), please wait for the next cycle of on-ramp.


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Wellness Day + Benchmark 2014

Ok boys and girls it’s time to kick 2014 into gear. Tomorrow we want to give some necessary tools to do so. Here is an outline of the day.

Starting at 9am, Coach Kyle will be giving a talk about nutrition. He will be covering the ins and outs of intake. This will include a thorough explanation of the macro nutrients,  and give you a great understanding of anti-nutrients. At the end of the day its about putting things in your body that make you healthier. Everything you eat falls into one of two categories: things that make you more healthy or things that make you less healthy. Kyle will spend an hour talking to you about how to keep your intake as healthy as possible. Following the nutrition talk, Philly Cow Share will be here to explain a little bit about what they do. We will be purchasing a cow so if you have any interest in purchasing a cow share be prepared to commit for a share tomorrow. For more details on shares check out the Philly Cow Shares website.

Next we will have a guest speaker, Bill Harvey. With over 30 years of full-time professional experience as a Rolfer and Craniosacral therapist, Bill offers sessions, classes and training at his offices in Manayunk. Kyle, myself, and various other members of 215 have been working with him for some time. He will be here to give an explanation of what he does and give some helpful tips for keeping your body functioning in 2014.

The Clean Complex and Grace will happen next. We will run a couple heats of each and all athletes will judge each other. The purpose of these workouts is to benchmark yourself against the 2015 version of yourself. Parts A and B will have rest between them.

We will be taking a break in between Grace and the AmRap for next part of our wellness clinic. During this time we will discuss goal setting and how to put the information of the nutrition talks into practice. While some of you may think that the only way to modify your nutritional plan is by way of a Whole 30, this is not only not true but might not be the perfect fit for everyone.

The last part of the day will be the AmRap. Following this workout, there will be a brief explanation of what the framework of CrossFit 215 and its programs will look like in 2014. We have some really exciting stuff in store for you, and you will not want to miss this. We will most likely wrap up before 1pm, but plan for then just in case.

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