Happy New Year!



2014Happy New Year to all of our 215 family, their friends and their families. May 2014 bring you all you wish for.

CrossFit 215 and its staff wishes you strength for 2014. The strength to set your goals, go after them, and take them down hard.

We have big plans for 2014 with some exciting changes to our programming and some additional program offerings. Make sure you come on Saturday for Wellness Day: 2014 Kick Off to hear more about them.  No matter what your goals are for the new year, we have a way for you to accomplish them. Some of these programs include a strength exclusive program, competitive on ramping and more… Make sure you get in here Saturday for full details on everything.

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Holiday Schedule


Holiday Schedule and Changes
This week will run as normally scheduled with the exception of a the following:
Tuesday – 7pm class is cancelled
Wednesday – All classes are cancelled. There will be a 9am and a 5pm. Expect something fun!

A 7am class has been added to schedule on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on going forward.

On Ramp – Monday, January 6th @ 7pm
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WHO WANTS TO TRY CROSSFIT? The next cycle of On Ramp begins NEXT MONDAY. On Ramp is a prerequisite for entering group classes. We will teach you all of the fundamental movements we use here at 215, including gymnastics skills, Olympic weightlifting movements, and rowing technique. We have two options to complete the prerequisites. Our group program consists of five classes  + 2 general classes over three weeks running Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at 7pm with potential for schedule changes. If you cannot make the group class times we also offer one-on-one personal training sessions as well. If you know a friend or family member who is interested in joining please contact [email protected] for more information. We are also running a special for January, gift the OR for a reduced rate and then get a credit towards membership when they sign up.

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Happy Holidays


Wellness Day – Saturday, January 4th
Due to the holiday, and people being out of town, we will not be holding the clothing swap or bowling tournament tomorrow. Instead the clothing swap will be taking place on Wellness day, Saturday, January 4th.

Nutrition_20Wellness Day will consist of a couple different speakers and a 2014 year opening benchmark competition. The competition will be you vs you, you will measure yourself against three markers. We will then retest this in 2015. Starting at 9am, there will be a nutrition clinic. Then there will be some additional wellness speakers. During this time we will talk about and help you plan a variety of nutrition goals for 2014. While some people may want to take on a Whole 30, we will also be talking about a variety of other ways to improve your health by way of your intake. Anyone who wants to get anthropometrics (body pinch) that day can as well. While a simple body fat score is not given, anthropometrics are good way to gauge improvements in body composition. Following our speakers, at 11am, we will start testing. There will be T-shirts made and orders will be taken the day of.

Holiday Hours for Next Week

Tuesday (24th) – 6am, 12pm, 4pm, 5pm
Wednesday (25th) – NO CLASS
Thursday (26th) – 9AM only
Friday (27th) – 6am, 5pm only. There will be NO noon or 6pm class.
*Any day not mentioned is class schedule as usual. Wodify will reflect all these times

IMG_6107We will be running a couple specials for the remainder of December and the month of January. These specials will all go out in a newsletter this weekend. Check in with me on Monday if you do not receive it. These specials include personal training for skill work and gifting the on-ramp, with a little kicker back to you as well.


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A Tribute to Mike Jenkins

1270411_10101278881258579_391946195_oThe world of strength sports lost a lion last month. Although I never met him, Mike Jenkins effected many people close to me. We will be honoring Mike Jenkins’ memory with a workout that CrossFitters around the country have been performing in celebration of his life. This is the workout that Mike had programmed for his athletes at CrossFit Gamma to do on Thanksgiving, the morning after he passed away. He was a champion of a person; his presence in our community will be greatly missed. Here is an article Coach Cassie wrote about him back in October.

 1424456_10100358951051207_1994342852_nCassie Haynes, JD, MPH, Co-Founder, Trap Door Athletics, CrossFit L1 Certified

“I can’t even touch my shoulders, so that makes muscle ups difficult,” the owner of CrossFit Gamma in Hershey, PA says as he shows us his shoulder immobility and outrageous biceps, noting the three inches of space between his fingertips and shoulders. A ‘muscle-up’ is a pull-up that transitions into a dip, requiring vast mobility and stability through the shoulders. The skill is a staple for elite CrossFitters (though in the actual sport of gymnastics, it’s simply the preparatory movement that athletes use to get on top of the bar or rings to begin their routine.)

An impressive man (for a multitude of reasons), Mike Jenkins stands 6 feet and 6 inches, weighing in at 375 lbs. (he’s walking around pretty lean these days). The first time we shook hands I was sure I felt my metacarpals begin to fold in half. My 172-lb. weightlifter’s frame looked like a delicate flower next to his—to be clear, no one has ever compared my likeness to that of a delicate flower.

The proud owner of one Hershey’s newest affiliates, Mike comes to CrossFit from the world of Strongman. The 30-year old’s Strongman career began in 2007 when after only one month of training, he took the title of Maryland’s Strongest Man. After sealing up the amateur circuit with his win at the Amateur World Championships in 2010, he was awarded pro Strongman status and a competition seat among the strongest athletes in the world.

In 2012, Mike took first place at the Arnold Strongman Classic, setting three world records. A week later, he outdid himself once again setting another world record and winning the international contest, Giants Live, re-qualifying him for the 2012 World’s Strongest Man where he placed 5th overall. Most recently, Mike placed 4th overall at the 2013 World’s Strongest Man.

Hearing Mike talk about Strongman is pretty awesome, but what trumps his excitement for manipulating heavy objects is his passion for working with young people. We stepped into his facility (outfitted appropriately in green and purple, the signature colors of Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk and the inspiration for CrossFit Gamma’s branding) and amidst all of the atlas stones, one of the first conversations we had was about his career at the Milton Hershey School running after school and weekend programs, along with special athletic events. We jokingly asked if the kids were afraid of him. His eyes got huge and his smile (just as big as his muscles) got wider as he informed us that the kids were not afraid of him, they adored him.

It’s not difficult to see why—Mike’s enthusiasm is contagious and the size of his heart matches his superhero-like presence. He is obsessed in the best way possible with what he does and confident in the ability of fitness and sport to transform the lives of young people as well as adults. Sports have more or less molded Mike into the man he is today.

“Without sports, I wouldn’t have my education,” says Mike. “It’s just like anything else out there, it’s an outlet in so many different ways for so many different kids. You find that kid who might not be the next Michael Jordan, but maybe sports help him get to go to a good school and he winds up changing the world.”

Mike didn’t quite blend in when he was young. He was 225 lbs. in the 6th grade; too big for football, he adapted to soccer where there were no weight restrictions. He found that while he was twice as big as many of the boys he played with, he was just as fast. He began weight training in middle school and by the end of his freshman year of high school, he was cleaning 225 lbs., bench pressing 315 lbs., and back squatting over 400 lbs.

I asked Mike what he would say to his 12-year-old self, or any young person who was struggling with fitting in and navigating their way through sports.

“I would tell that kid that the things that come easy in life probably aren’t worth doing. Everything of value in life comes with hard work, and if you’re working hard and negative people are constantly telling you that you can’t do something, you probably won’t do it. Sometimes it’s not easy to walk away from the cool crowd, but trust me when I say to ditch the naysayers and surround yourself with people who believe in you.”

Seven years ago, folks laughed when Mike told them that he had his sights set on the title of Strongest Man in the World. Well, there are less than a dozen men on the planet who can give Mike a run for his money. No one is laughing now—except for Mike.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sportsdoc/Worlds-Strongest-Man-contender-talks-with-our-CrossFit-expert.html#

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Birthdays and PRs!

 “You have competition every day, because you set such high standards for yourself that you have to go out every day and live up to that.” -Michael Jordan

IMG_6064“Quick question before you lift… do you think I’m a medium or a large in those pants?” -Micah

The In House Competition was an amazing experience this weekend, chock full of PRs and a birthday. I cannot say enough about how proud I was of everyone. Yes, Adam, even you. I had so much fun working side by side with all of you. I wanted to tell you a little more about my experience.

Sometimes participating and running these events can be really stressful, so I wanted to say I’m sorry if I was a bit short with anyone. I had such an awesome time competing with Patrick and Stew. For those of you that are aware of my scoring error, you will understand why I say, congrats to those two, you were champions of the day. You have both worked so hard here at 215, and it definitely showed. You guys were strong, focused and relentless.

For me personally, the Squat Ladder was the highlight of my day. In training with my fellow competition athletes, I am constantly chasing them, occasionally right on their heels with an occasional victory. Mather, Jeff, Kevin, and Kevin generally get the best of me in most workouts we do. As we approached the ladder, my only goal was to stay with Kevin Dunn. I did not concern myself with what each weight was. i watched Kevin hit each one, saying to myself now I’m going to hit that weight as well. The theme the whole day for me was “micro goals”, something drilled in my head the weekend before training with Kyle in his Crucible Prep. It made a huge impact on me that day. It was one bar at a time. In fact, the limiting factor in my OHS is usually locking out over head, and since I was simply concerned with each lift, I forgot to care about how much weight I was putting over my head. Once I managed to surpass Kevin, who didn’t have his best day OH squatting, I focused on Mather. For a guy who out lifts me in most categories, matching his score was a huge victory for me.

The best part about the whole thing, with each of us just focusing on our job and our own individual lifts, we somehow ended up winning that event. The same thing happened again for me with the HSPU. When on most days, I may fall out of the handstand, lose my balance or misplace my hands, I decided today was the day that I was not going to let any of those things happen. 28 HSPU later, I’m not sure I could repeat that again today if I tried. I even remember falling out of the handstand, catching myself and thinking, no F’ing way!!!!

I know we saw a lot of this stuff on the FB page but I wanted to just list all of the accomplishments one more time in hopes that those of you that missed this past weekend will really see why it is so important to participate in things like this. So here the role call of accomplishments from Saturday:

Kelli Young:
Back Squat 153# (30#)
1:50 HS hold when she wasn’t even sure she could kick into a handstand #BAM!

Adam Sheppard:
Back Squat: 235# (10#)

Amy Renkel:
OHS 115# (12#)

Michelle Vega:
Back squat 163# (20#) yay!

Erica Parise:
OHS 143#
HSPU in a minute, 27

Zac Dennis:
205# (10#)

Taylor Hayes:
Back squat 193# (10# from a  few weeks ago)
Pistols in a minute: 18

Becca Julian:
Front squat: 163# (10#)

Erin Barnes:
HSPU in a minute, 23
pistols in a minute,19

Carolyn Kibelstis:
Front squat 163# (10#)

Lauren Malazita:
OHS 135# (18#)
Pistols and HSPU – Period!

Mather Wiswall Wiz – OHS 235#
unbroken wall ballz – 70

Leah Russo – OHS 133# (38#)

Jeff Wingleton – OHS 245#

Annemarie Aponte – Back Squat – 193# (30#)
Malu – PR’d max cuteness

Nikki Hirsch Schwartz
OHS – 105# never tried one past 73# before

Kate McGinley
Front squat #153 (3#)

These events will be happening every two to three months so keep an eye on our event page; the next one will be the first week in January.



Although seeing Amy PR her OHS was amazing, the best part about this picture following her successful lift for me is the thought of removing that clipboard to see the full excitement of her teammate.

Clinic Series – Skill Shop, Wednesday @ 5:30 PM
Tomorrow night I will be doing a skill shop to help with a couple of the things that may have been hindering you from doing some of the higher order programming. Tomorrow night will include, but not be limited to, Double Unders, TTB/KTE, Kipping, and Touch N Go work. This is part of our free clinic series (Unlimited members free, $10 for other members). Please sign up on Wodify.

Army / Navy / 215 – Friday Night @ 6:30pm
Pleas come join us Friday night for round two of our duel against the Army and Navy academies. They both won round one, but we are f’ing hungry. I have hired some LBL judges, and there will be some adult beverages and light food provided. We will have a donation jar there to help offset the cost of the night. So please come out and support your team.

GoRuck Event – Weekend of February 14th
Looking for your next event to train for? Or even a place to practice what you’ve been doing with the Crucible prep? Or how about just a good ol fashion team event? Here it is. Join Coach Kyle, myself and other 215’ers for GoRuck’s February event in Philadelphia. More details to follow, but mark your calendar.

Redemption WOD – Saturday @ 10pm
Join a bunch of your fellow 215ers at CrossFit T1 on Saturday for a great event and a great charity. For more information on the event check out their website. Click Here


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Upcoming Events

We have a lot of awesome stuff going on in December, so make sure you check your calendar. Anywhere from a great charity to some good old bowling, erg bowling that is.

In House Competition – TOMORROW!!! @ 9AM
The in house event is this Saturday @ 9am. It is open to all, in fact participation is encouraged by all. Many posts have been written over the years about competing and why, we as a team here at 215 feel it is important to your development as an athlete. Yes! we are all athletes in our own ways. So here are two of the better articles written on the subject. Part 1 …… Part 2

This weekend will begin at 9AM. At that time we will divide up into teams of three, all same gender teams. There will be three workouts for the day. The first one will be strength based, all three athletes will compete in this. The second and third workouts will involve two of three members of the team each. So one person will do all three and the other two athletes will each do two workouts. The final will include all three members of the team.

Us vs Them, and by them I mean Army and Navy – Friday, December 13th @ 6:30pm
Next Friday night come watch 215’s Competition team take on the academies of the Army and Navy. We have a score to settle with them and we need the support of the entire community. It’s time for you to see what all that training in the back room is all about. The event starts at 6:30, bring some adult beverages and a loud voice. See you there.

Redemption – Saturday, December 14th @ CrossFit T1
Fitness for Life is the formal program in which the funds raised from Redemption will be used to sponsor youngsters as well as adults that meet the requirements to earn a yearly membership to any Crossfit in their area.

Come Join us at CrossFit T1 in Willow Grove Coach Carlos’ annual fundraiser. Car pools will be leaving CF 215 @ 9am. There will be no 10am class that day, only a 9am.

Holiday Party Happy Hours – One Part Clothing Swap, One Part Bowling Tourney (erg) – Saturday December 21st 1pm-5pm
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, December 21st at 1pm for the CrossFit 215 Holiday Clothing Swap.  Both ladies’ and gentleman’s clothing.  What doesn’t get swapped will be donated to Goodwill on Monday, December 23rd.  Clothes can be dropped off at CF215 anytime between Thursday 12/19 and Saturday prior to the event.

Directly after the clothing swap, promptly at 2pm we will begin the first annual 215 Bowling Tournament. Not real bowling but bowling on an erg. If you have not done it yet, it is all the rage these days with the kids, and by kids I mean 215ers. Here is all you need to do, find yourself a team of 2 guys and 2 gals, and show up that day. I would definitely recommend practicing for this event, we’ve got some ringers here. For more information on how bowling works talk to Kevin or myself. This will be a happy hour as well so even if you decide not to participate you can still come and enjoy some cold ciders, or other adult beverages I guess…


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Exciting New Changes to the 215 Team

Thanks for an awesome turnout at the Holiday Potluck on Saturday. We are certainly not short on amazing cooks and some questionable pool players (you know who you are). I always appreciate all the time people put into cooking and we never seem to run out of food, so thanks for all the leftovers. Now on to the latest news:


Welcome, Cassie!
I was hoping to make this announcement Saturday at the potluck but we didn’t end up having the intimacy I was hoping for. This is probably some of the most exciting and proudest news I have ever had the pleasure of reporting here on this blog. Many of you have already gotten to know the newest addition to the 215 staff, Cassie Haynes. I’m excited to officially announce that Cassie is joining us as Lead Coach for CrossFit 215. What does this mean? She will be teaching the majority of the general group classes, as well as come clinics and on ramps. Cassie’s background and experience is certainly an amazing addition to our team and I am more than excited to head into 2014 with her leading our coaching staff and continuing our unification. Having her a in a full time coaching role is going to have some great impacts on you the members of course.

The first of these changes is some schedule changes. In light of our growing staff, we’re now able to expand our weekly class schedule. Starting in December, we’ll be adding an additional morning class (exact time TBD – likely 7 or 8am), and we will also be beta testing some other addition classes. We’ll also be staffing an additional coach at select evening classes to ensure proper coverage for our most crowded sessions. You will also be seeing some specialty classes, in addition to the clinic series, during the week. More information on that to come by years’ end.

Thanksgiving Week Schedule
Here’s the rundown of classes for this week:
• Monday 11/25 & Tuesday 11/26: normal schedule
• Wednesday 11/27: 6am,12pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm
• Thursday 11/28 (Thanksgiving) & Friday 11/29: 9am only
• Saturday 11/30 & Sunday 12/1: normal schedule

Upcoming Clinics
We’ve solidified the next couple of sessions in our clinic series. Sign up on Wodify to reserve your spot.
• Crucible Prep – Saturday, November 30th @ 6-9am
Coach Kyle will be offering a second seminar this coming Saturday. It’s open to all members, regardless of whether you attended the first session. If you’ve been doing CrossFit for less than 6 months, or if you’re just unsure about whether this clinic is for you, feel free to talk to me about it. Because of the length of this session and it’s intricacies, there will be a fee of $10 for unlimited members, and $20 for all others.
Rowing clinic – Wednesday, December 4th @ 5:30pm
I will be coaching an upcoming rowing clinic for those looking to improve the efficiency
of their stroke, focusing primarily on mechanics rather than endurance. This session is being offered free of charge for unlimited members, or $10 for all others.

Also in the works are a number of additional new clinics focusing on various movements, including double-unders, mobility, squatting, and Olympic lifting Levels I – III. Stay tuned to the blog for details on dates and sign-ups.

In House Competition
Don’t forgot about our in house comp on December 7th, which is open to all levels – in fact i’m encouraging EVERYONE to sign up. Registration is up on Wodify so please register ASAP!! We will be doing it in teams of 3, same gender teams and we will be picking teams the day off. no matter your level and experience, you will be able to compete. Register here for In House Comp!!!

CrossFit 215 vs Army vs Navy – Friday, December 13th @ 6:30 pm
Army and Navy will be here again and 10 members of our comp team will be defending our honor against these two teams. We NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK to come out and support. We could use some help for volunteering but we are bringing in outside judges so all 215 members can hang out, drink and support our team. You are not going to want to isa this event so mark your calendars. Hope to see all of you then.

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Crucible Prep and Food Drive

Sign-Up is up and ready to go for Crucible Prep with Coach Kyle. I have received a couple questions about what exactly this is….? Well you have two options, you can wait and see who does it this week and ask them about or I can try and give you a little insight. I want to  be transparent that I am giving you this insight without actually asking Kyle what to say here, so here goes..

Tomorrow is about much more than just working out, or any kind of testing your threshold. It is NOT meant to break you down or crush. One thing you will find is that it is something that cause you ask yourself “why am I here doing this?” The better you can answer that question, the better you will do. Additionally, tomorrow is one of our longer clinics, as it will take somewhere between 2-3 hours. This is the only time the Crucible Prep clinic will be free. All of our free clinics are 90 minutes. So this is your chance to experience it at no charge to you. GO GET ‘EM!

215 Food Drive
The last couple years we have participate in a food drive and it’s important we do it each year. Rubi was kind enough to get the ball rolling so either tomorrow or the next day there will a box by the front door. As it turns out one of our members, Jillian works at a food bank near 215 so we will be contributing to there.

Next On-Ramp – November 18th @ 7:00pm
DO YOU HAVE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WHO WANTS TO TRY CROSSFIT? The next cycle of On Ramp begins NEXT MONDAY, November 18th at 7:00pm. On Ramp is a prerequisite for entering group classes. We will teach you all of the fundamental movements we use here at 215, including gymnastics skills, olympic weightlifting movements, and rowing technique. We have two options to complete the prerequisites. Our group program consists of five classes  + 2 general classes over three weeks running Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings at 7pm with potential for schedule changes. If you cannot make the group class times we also offer one-on-one personal training sessions as well. If you know a friend or family member who is interested in joining please contact [email protected] for more information. We are also running a special for the remainder of the year for referrals. Refer a friend and receive $30 off of your next month of membership.

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