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.


Read MoreRead More

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.

Read MoreRead More

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.

Read MoreRead More

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.

Read MoreRead More

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.


Read MoreRead More

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#

Read MoreRead More

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


Read MoreRead More

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…


Read MoreRead More