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Brandon J. Van Parys, Lance Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, 20, of New Tripoli, formerly of Schwenksville, was killed Feb. 5, 2007, when he was struck by a grenade while on patrol in Al-Anbar Province in Iraq. He was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

 

“He’s a hero,” Alan Van Parys told WFMZ-TV. “He gave his life protecting his battalion commander. How can you not be proud of that?”

He said his son had been motivated to join the Marines by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Before Van Parys’ deployment, his father said he told the family, “I’ve done this training, it’s time to put it to use.”

 

Corps Fitness Foundation: Act and think as a unit; Individual Action in Teamwork

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Marine Lance Corporal Adam Loggins, of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marineswas killed while serving in Iraq.

 

He is described as a fun-loving young man who was serious about serving his country as a Marine.   He was motivated to join the Marines after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and was determined to do his part for the country.

 

His dad said, “during our last talks, he told me that he would not be able to live with himself if he did not do this. He did not want to look back at his life and wish he had done something.”

 

He also said, “Adam had experienced many things in his very short life. He packed a lot of living in his 27 years and brought joy to his family and friends.”

 

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Cpl. Keaton G. Coffey was just weeks away from a new chapter of his life. He was due to marry his fiancé in July, but was killed on May 24, 2012 while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

 

“He had an attitude and a heart of service,” said Bob Dennis, a family friend. “He put himself out for other people.”

 

Corporal Seth Sheppard, Sgt. Alfred Nieto and Cpl. Nathaniel Hoy gave personal reflections on their experiences with Coffey and just how much he affected their lives for the better.

 

“Only once, only once in a very long while does that Marine come around,” said Nieto. “That Marine has everything to be great; eagerness to learn, passion to be the very best at everything he is taught and extremely humble. When people talk about having the mythical ‘it,’ Cpl. Coffey could very well have been the definition.”

 

Corps Fitness Themes: Being a Part of something bigger than yourself;

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FINALE DAY WORKOUT INFO!
*Meet at Happy Hollow Playground (1100 Wayne Ave, Wyomissing) by 8:50AM. Honor Roll bio read and warm up starts promptly at 9AM. We will meet on the Wayne Avenue end.
*If you have a weight vest, please bring. If not, consider bringing a weighted, snug fitting backpack. 15 – 20 lbs in weight. NOTE: Not everyone needs a weight vest/backpack. But, if you have one to use, or to share, please consider doing so.
*Consider carpooling from Corps Fitness to Happy Hollow. Make arrangements with other CFers to meet at Corps Fitness, and jump in a car together to get to Happy Hollow.
*Wear sneakers that are good for running.
*We start at Happy Hollow, but finish at Corps Fitness!
*After-party begins when ALL are finished with workout.
*Still options available for hand cycles in lieu of run.
*At return to Corps Fitness, please remember we will be accepting donations to the Semper Fi Fund www.semperfifund.org.
*Hope to see Many, Many people there to conclude this Hero Week with a great Finale!!

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Hero Week Day 2
We honor Captain Todd M. Siebert, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines who died February 16, 2007 while conducting combat operations in Anbar Province, Iraq.
Relatives said Siebert always wanted to be in the military, often dressing like a soldier in the backyard when he was very young. “Probably 70 percent of his life was dedicated to being in the military”, said his brother Tom Siebert.
He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Navy Unit Commendation.
He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Dorothy, his wife Darcy and 2 children, Nicholas and Alicia, a brother and 2 sisters.
We also honor Donald M. Marler. US Marine Corporal Donald M. Marler of St. Louis, MO died on June 6, 2010 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
His personal service awards include: the Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Donald was an enthusiastic athlete and a faithful son, grandson, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Most importantly Donald was a passionate Marine who placed service to his country far higher that anything else.
Today we did “The Don”….a 10 exercise, 66 rep chipper. We did it for a reason. Mental mindset. You didn’t know what you were going to get when you walked into the gym today. You never know what curveballs life is going to throw your way on a day to day basis, so why should your workouts at Corps Fitness be any different. But hopefully, with a Corps Fitness “Can Do” attitude, you take those challenges head-on with the mental readiness to get it done. And then there’s INTEGRITY. Every rep. Best Form. Every Round. Best Effort. No further explanation needed.
Nicely done folks, grinding your way through an “everything under the kitchen sink” kinda day!

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HERO WEEK DAY 1
We honor Lance Corporal David P. Lindsey of Spartanburg, SC who died May 25th 2007 while serving in Iraq as an infantryman with the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. He was scheduled to return home in August of that year.
Lindsey’s father said “he was proud to be a Marine and proud to serve. He always wanted to be like his father, grandfather and uncle and serve in the military.”
His sister shared a part of a letter Lindsay had written since being stationed in Iraq. It painted a picture of who he was. It said, “We have been watching Flags of our Fathers. It’s about the Marines on Iwo Jima and the flag-raising on top of the mountain. I tell you, where the U.S. troops were outnumbered and had the disadvantage but still went face to face with dangers and still took the objective; those men and women are true American heroes (like Pops).”
Also in the letter he wrote, “this is my promise to y’all. Iraq is bad, but it isn’t going to stop me (like father, like son). I’m out here on the front lines so y’all can sleep in peace tonight.”
We also honor Marine Staff Sergeant Daniel Hansen who died February 14, 2009 in Farah Providence, Afghanistan when and IED he was working on detonated. His twin brother, also a Marine, described Daniel as someone who excelled at everything, always wanting to be a hero at everything. He was a “Marine’s Marine”.
When every future Marine arrives for boot camp, they stand on yellow footprints; footprints where many stood before them, some having made the ultimate sacrifice. In every story you hear about our fallen Marines this week, the feeling of PRIDE in being a Marine is what resonates. Squad leader calisthenics called about by our Sgt Kaag was the lead-off to our first day of Hero Week. At Corps Fitness, we too have pride in what we do, the effort we give, and the unity in which we do it.

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HW Honor Roll

HERO WEEK STARTS THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 25TH!!!!
We are ready to roll with our Summer ’17 Hero Week, and this installation will honor fallen Marines and our Pags (on the 6th anniversary of his death, 6/29), as well as pay tribute to the foundations of Corps Fitness.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE ADDITIONS AND CHANGES:
**Sunday, June 25th – 10:00AM Class (ONLY CLASS)
Monday 6/26 – Regular Class Schedule
Tuesday 6/27 – Regular Schedule (8:30AM class WILL be the Hero workout) Spin Hybrid will be as usual
Wednesday 6/28 – Regular Schedule
Thursday 6/29 (Pags) – ****Regular Schedule PLUS 9:30AM Class option to do the Hero Workout (8:45 Spin hybrid as usual)
Friday – Regular Schedule
Saturday 7/1 – FINALE 9AM! Stay tuned for details regarding our finale!!!
Saturday 7/1 – Send Off for Ike Nawa after class. More details to come!
And don’t forget to sign up for a t-shirt at the front desk. Design shown below (thank you Matthew Jackson!!)

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Did you know that May 11th is National Corps Fitness Trainer Appreciation Day?  Well, it’s new… but since everything apparently needs to have a ‘day’ nowadays, it was really only a matter of time…

But, seriously, let’s hear it for our Corps Fitness Trainers!!  They don’t just show up for an hour of class a few times a week.  They spend countless hours outside of CF planning, re-thinking, second-guessing, and educating themselves to try to come up with the best programming, most challenging and creative classes, and motivating all of you awesome CFers!!  Oh, and did I mention they also workout / train in several classes a week as well?

So let’s give a big THANK YOU to our trainers!  We appreciate everything you do!!  Even if sometimes it leaves us delirious in a puddle of sweat and we want to get you back (but we don’t have the energy)…

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A little blast from the past, in the form of a 2011 CrossFit post.  We’ve reiterated many topics on the Corps Fitness blog over the years, all of which are worth repeating.  As much as CrossFit has changed over the years, this attitude is what got Chris interested in 2008, and what has kept Corps Fitness on the affiliation roster since that time.  Though we’re one of the “originals” we are very different than the typical CrossFit “Box” in many positive ways.  Let’s keep it that way!!

For a few more blasts from the past, check out the 2011 and 2012 Open workouts… WOW!  How far we’ve come…  I wish those weights were used in 2017!

Self Improvement Courtesy of CrossFit RVA

The secret to success in CrossFit is not dependent on conditions and objects found external to the body, nor is it dependent on heaven sent DNA. The barbell doesn’t care how bad your lungs hurt and the pull-up bar certainly doesn’t care how fried your forearms are. Likewise, most of us don’t hit the genetic jackpot for athletic ability and are instead left to toil with our mediocre abilities. However, accepting mediocrity without ever having the desire to improve is an admission of laziness and shows apathy for our well-being and health. The rest of this article will be used to delve into the deeper nature of CrossFit and self improvement.

There is only one requirement for being a better CrossFitter and living a healthier life and anyone can meet it: work hard at the things that are important to you. That’s it. There are no tricks and gimmicks and there’s no elixir that’s going to make you breathe fire. Accept that there is no short cut to strength and power, accept that your inflexibility will remain inflexible unless you mobilize, and accept that you won’t ever run 26.22 miles unless you train intelligently.

Once you recognize your weaknesses and deficiencies and the path laid before you, realize you have the power to change if you want it bad enough for yourself. There’s no amount of urging and cheerleading that someone else can do to make you deadlift 500 pounds. Only you can prevent forest fires can put the work in on the front end to prepare your body properly (i.e. your muscles and central nervous system). And I know that there’s no amount of pleading that I can do that will make you want to come to the gym (maybe offering high fives to people with good attendance will help?). You have to want to be at the gym. Once you realize that you can be a better human and decide that you want to change for yourself and no one else, we can help you. We have the technology tools to make you better.

Here are some keys to improving your performance (and your life):

1. Work as hard as you can in the gym and you will never be a failure. Your health is an individual pursuit and therefore, success is subjective. You don’t have to do a sub-3 minute Fran to gain respect from anyone. Our favorite (and most successful) athletes and trainees are the ones who push themselves harder and further every day they step foot in the gym. They work just as hard at the movements they suck at as they do at the movements they are naturally inclined to perform perfectly. You don’t need a PhD in rocket science to understand the necessity of commitment.

2. Practice technical movements that require coordination outside of workout time. Do you really think you’re going to magically acquire the ability to do double unders at the end of a Filthy 50 if you haven’t practiced for weeks beforehand? Practice is practice and performance is performance. Workout time is the time for you to perform; the time for you to showcase your skills. If you haven’t developed the skills (double unders, pistols, Olympic lifts, bo staff skills, computer hacking skills, etc.) with practice, expect to be mediocre. How many takes did it take to make this awesome version of “Chopsticks”? More than one and lots of practice beforehand.

3. Nutrition. Input = output. Your body is a machine. If you think of yourself as a high octane vehicle such as this one and you think about what type fuel would be optimal for maximum performance, I’m guessing you wouldn’t choose peanut oil. Sure the car might run, but why would you want to put crap (if you use google chat, type in “~@~” minus the quotation marks to your friends for funzies) into a fine tuned system? Likewise, you can’t expect to put garbage into your system and expect it to operate at maximum efficiency. Your output (performance) is directly related to what you put in (food). Food is fuel, yo.

4. Your flexibility is murdering your performance. Unless you are a yogi, which I know you’re not, you can improve your flexibility. Better positions equate to better biomechanics, which equate to better expression of power and movement. If I told you that you could add 25 pounds to your deadlift by mobilizing and stretching your posterior chain for 10 minutes a day, would you do it? Take responsibility for your nasty, crunchy, tight bits.

5. Consistent attendance. If you come in once a week to work out, sorry, you’re never going to get better at anything. Your lifts will always be sub par and your conditioning will be awful until you decide you want to take advantage of the program for which you are paying. Any program worth its weight in salt is dependent on adherence. In other words, the program doesn’t work and can’t work unless it is executed as written. The program is in place, we just need you to do it.

6. Recovery. Rest and recovery is so much more than getting your measly six hours of sleep a night. We see you for approximately one hour a day, maybe five days a week (unless we like you and you like us enough to hang out extra). For all you math whizzes out there, that’s five hours a week out of a total one hundred sixty-eight hours. You’ve got one hundred sixty-three hours to do with as you please. Your muscles don’t get stronger when you’re ripping them to shreds moving heavy things around at the gym, they get stronger when you are at home relaxing, recovering, and eating paleo treats. If you’re feeling worn out, ask yourself if you are giving your body adequate time to recover.

7. Be stronger today than you were yesterday. Mark Rippetoe sums up strength best with this quote, “strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” We know that there is intense love for long chippers and lung burning CrossFit style workouts, but we also know that the most difficult thing to develop in any individual is strength; it takes freaking forever and a half to get strong. Imagine for a moment that your max deadlift is 250 pounds. Now do (in your brain) “Diane” which is 21-15-9 deadlifts (225#) and handstand push-ups. Now imagine your max deadlift is 500 pounds. Now do (in your brain again) “Diane.” Which was faster? Corollary: stronger people do metcons faster (metcon stands for metabolic conditioning, basically, your cardio workouts) and are cooler and better looking. Only part of that corollary is actually true, you can decide which part is chaff. We want you to love 3×3 strength days as much as Fran and we want you to be totally enamored with max effort single days because that is your opportunity to show off your stuff. Strength and conditioning are inevitably tied together, don’t neglect either. Do your due diligence on lift days for more power.

8. Performance based fitness. Do you know why New Year’s resolutions fail and why people don’t stick to diets for more than a week or two at a time? First, because they are weak minded (suck it up, people), and secondly, and much more importantly, they don’t see change. CrossFit workouts are measured by a clock, by number of repetitions, and by weights. Conditions are repeatable and re-testable. I’m no science master (I only have my brown belt), but I’d say that’s solid experimental design. From workout to workout, our athletes can SEE that they are getting stronger and faster because they all have log books (right?). Tied in with performance, you should be setting goals for yourself. Training with no purpose is silly and it doesn’t do you any good. Want to deadlift 500 pounds? Write it down. Want to overhead squat your body weight 15 times? Write it down. Hold yourself accountable by telling other people your goals. You’d be surprised at how willing people are to help you achieve and who knows, you might inspire someone else to achieve at the same level.

Last, but certainly not least, we (the trainers) look at your health as a long term endeavor. We observe your performance on a day to day basis so that we can adjust it and make it better tomorrow. We look at the potential end product, not just the current “not as good as you could be” version. We always want more from you and while you should be proud of every accomplishment, you should ALWAYS be thirsting for more.

Work hard

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Congratulations to Emily McDonough on her successful completion of the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer seminar!  She passed the test and learned a lot!  (oh and G also successfully re-tested after initially becoming a Level 1 trainer in 2012)

Emily and I were so fortunate to be taught by some incredible CrossFit leaders, instructors, and athletes (all the same 5 people) last weekend.  We learned a LOT (did I say A LOT??) and we’re anxious to bring it all to Corps Fitness!

The instructors really brought home the concept of supporting your fellow athletes.  Denise Thomas (trainer at CrossFit One / Reebok HQ) was adamant that NO ONE is finished until EVERYONE is finished.  She brought some humor to it, but really hit on the fact that this is a community.  Nobody puts their stuff away until everyone is done.  If there’s one person still working, everybody damn well better be over near them making sure they push and get it done.  You don’t have to be a cheerleader; but you DO have to be encouraging and RESPECTFUL of everybody’s abilities and efforts.

Other (awesome) staff / trainers were Aimee Lyons (CrossFit King of Prussia), Sara Mills (CrossFit Reston / Fairfax), Dave Lipson (all-around goofy guy and established CrossFit athlete), and Joey Dill (CrossFit Hamilton).  Special shout out to Aimee and CrossFit King of Prussia for hosting!

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CrossFit L1 Seminar_KOP Mar 2017