We love seeing you at CF, but make sure you’re getting outside, too!  Read more from National Geographic about your brain on nature here.

“These measurements—of everything from stress hormones to heart rate to brain waves to protein markers—indicate that when we spend time in green space, “there is something profound going on,” as Strayer puts it.”
– F. Williams



Starting this week we’re offering a Monday / Wednesday / Friday NOON class slot.  Take a break from work and jump in!


Second Session of our Kids camp is next week!  10:45 to Noon each day for one week.  There’s still time to sign your child up for this motivating week, but please do so as soon as possible so we may get a head count and order t-shirts.  First child $50, additional kids from same family are $45.  The first session was a huge success and we thank all who participated!!  A very motivating bunch of young CFers!

July’s Challenge is DOUBLE UNDERS!  7/25 – 7/30: Grab a jump rope and a timer, do as many as you can in 2 minutes.  Record your results on the chart on the white board.  Even if you’re not great at DUs (read: need to practice more), give it a try and you can have a baseline to improve on!
– Mark your calendars and reserve your spot!  We are excited to host an Introductory Self Defense class on Friday, August 5th from 6:45 – 8:45PM open to ALL, ages 12 and up.  Check out the flyer is posted on website and at gym for details.  This intro class is led by Keith Neff and an RSVP to Melissa is required to reserve your spot.  Non Corps Fitness members are welcome, so spread the word.
– The Kaag Challenge is extended indefinitely, so be sure to get in touch with Chris or Melissa for a time slot!  CFers have been gettin’ it done week after week – congrats!!

– Long time CFer, turned Soul-Cycle Instructor Sam Scaffidi will be offering a class at SoulCycle in Ardmore, PA as a fundraiser for her IM ABLE participation in the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon in November.  Sam was a die hard CFer when she was in the area, and speaking from personal experience, she will kick your butt in her Soul Cycle class too!  So get your sweat on for a good cause and to support a great CFer!  Details and registration for Sam’s SoulCycle event can be found at this link

– Know any teachers or nurses who want to join the CF family?  Check out the top of CF’s fees page for more information!  The availability of these offers is limited, so get in today; they won’t last forever.
– A reminder to check out the CF Loyalty Program and Incentives we announced April 1st. You can also earn points via membership and merchandise purchases!  Check out the link for full details, and start earning today!  For newbies looking to take advantage of the incentives, remember you must attend an intro class first.  After that, you’re be eligible for 2 weeks of free membership and then an additional month at $70.
– We’re in the process of rolling out a new way of introducing newbies to CF!  Stay tuned for details!!

– Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday SPIN classes are all on hiatus for summer.

Next Free Intro will be Saturday, July 23rd.

Friday PM – John
Sunday – Ed


Corps Fitness is based on the experiences of founder, Marine Corps Sgt Chris Kaag. We are now designated as the Official Training Facility of Recruiting Substation Reading and we host groups of poolees, or young men and women who have joined the Marine Corps and are getting ready to leave for the life changing 3 months of bootcamp at Parris Island, SC, for a CF style workout.

Bootcamp is not just a physical challenge but also emotional and psychological. The Marine Corps trains to combat all of these challenges and produce individuals who are able to overcome any challenge and be leaders. Corps Fitness runs the same way and it is an honor to be able to train these hopeful young future Marines.

They did not EARN the title yet but they are making the preparations to make that happen! Huge thank you to all of the active duty Marines and CF’ers for adding to the guidance & motivation during workout sessions!

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In hot, humid conditions, especially if there is a heat advisory in effect, we have a BLACK FLAG DAY at Corps Fitness.  Every CFer needs to be aware of the special considerations to take during days like this.  You will get extra breaks for water and to cool down, but please come prepared, listen to your body, and scale / step out accordingly.  Here’s how the military does it.

Image source: nhpr.org

Be smart about working out in the heat!  If you experience any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, STOP WORKING OUT AND TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related disorder. It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. When heat stroke occurs, the body temperature can rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not given.

Symptoms Include:

  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Chills
  • Throbbing headache
  • High body temperature
  • Confusion/dizziness
  • Slurred speech

First Aid

Take the following steps to treat a worker with heat stroke:

  • Call 911.
  • Move the sick person to a cool shaded area.
  • Cool the person using methods such as:
    • Soaking their clothes with water.
    • Spraying, sponging, or showering them with water.
    • Fanning their body.


Avoid exposure to extreme heat, sun exposure, and high humidity when possible. When these exposures cannot be avoided, take the following steps to prevent heat stress:

  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as cotton.
    • Avoid non-breathing synthetic clothing.
  • Gradually build up to heavy work.
  • Schedule heavy work during the coolest parts of day.
  • Take more breaks in extreme heat and humidity.
  • Take breaks in the shade or a cool area when possible.
  • Drink water frequently. Drink enough water that you never become thirsty.
    • Approximately 1 cup every 15-20 minutes.
  • Avoid alcohol, and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
  • Be aware that protective clothing or personal protective equipment may increase the risk of heat stress.
  • Monitor your physical condition and that of those around you.

Black Flag Day


A little food for thought this weekend.  Carry on!

Image credit: Eat to Perform

“Calories by themselves aren’t all that useful.  I mean sure, you need them to function but what I mean is they aren’t necessarily going to add up to “less calories equals magazine cover ab shot”.  In fact almost the exact opposite is what allows for muscle to be built.  Unless you are new to resistance training (either weight lifting or body weight movements) it’s going to take a real smart approach to maintain and build muscle.  It’s really this constant focus on fat that is keeping people stalled.”

“An Argument for Sanity

If there is one thing that I’m learning with Eat To Perform is that there are two camps that really stand out.  “The Clean Eaters” and the folks that enjoy most of the foods above, sometimes responsibly and sometimes not.  The simple fact of the matter is this, both could benefit from knowing the approach of the other and why it does or does not work.  It’s this polarizing point of view on food that leaves people feeling judged and frankly doesn’t lead to whole lot of enlightenment.

If you are a health professional (trainer, dietitian or even a doctor) if you aren’t teaching your folks some level of flexibility, are you really helping them? Let me put that differently: if you tell someone their life will be better if they do the Tour De France every 4 months, that’s not all that sustainable is it?  The reason I am using the Tour De France as an example is because it represents the type of extreme you are prescribing and it’s leaving everyone obese.

Do you honestly think these folks have never dieted or tried reducing their intake of processed foods? Admit it, you haven’t spent a whole lot of time doing the research and what you are offering as the solution is ACTUALLY the problem for a lot of people.  Painting your clients in a corner like that isn’t helping and if you are fit you know that you don’t eat like that and if you do eat like that you’re missing out on a lot of genetic potential.

I am not arguing for processed foods or even alcohol.  I am arguing for sanity and understanding. and if the first thing we are starting with is an approach that doesn’t foster building and maintaining muscle then we are really missing the boat.  Muscle is the main driver for metabolism and expanding your metabolic rate.  Teaching people a way that makes their body more inflexible shouldn’t be the goal.  This is why demonizing foods misses the real point and the real point is that you shouldn’t be dieting all of the damn time.  That way when you do it will be more effective especially when you do it with a more enlightened approach.”

-Eat to Perform

ML Filthy 50 – Some of the 5:30 AM Crew

Many of you may notice the black shirts with yellow writing around CF, and especially today during the Mike Lawrence Hero Workout.  These shirts were designed by friends of Mike and distributed to friends and family shortly after his diagnosis to show support and solidarity in his fight against lung cancer.  He fought hard to the very end.  Please honor Mike today in the best way we know how!

Read past posts on Mike, including his Sunday CFer interview and about CF’s banding together after his passing.


Did you know?  CF’s first Summer 2016 Kids’ Camp starts NEXT WEEK!  We’ve heard from several CFers who expressed interest in signing up – please do so ASAP!  This year’s camp is planned and led by CFers who are also school teachers and have experience working with kids of all ages.  Sign up today at the front desk or by using the link below!!

Corps Fitness Kids’ Camp is a week-long physical fitness experience that combines a motivating and positive child-appropriate workout with lessons on being Respectful, being Accountable for your work, learning to work as a Team, becoming a Leader and understanding how to Persevere in an activity despite its perceived difficulty level. Workouts are fun, yet challenging, and are conducted by educator Emily McDonough and Corps Fitness owner, Chris Kaag.

Please visit http://corpsfitness.net/summer16/ for more information and to register!


microbiomehq.com: click image for link to article

Not the courageous type this time, but the literal type.  Your guts contain loads of information that make you who you are, maybe more so than many other organ systems!

Some signs your digestive microbiome may be out of whack include intestinal issues, mental issues (depression, brain fog), stress, weight issues, and skin conditions.  Surprisingly, you can change your own microbiome for the better if you work at it.  A few tips include: getting dirty and sweaty, incorporating more fermented foods and good veggies into your diet and reducing sugar and meat / animal products.  Check the links to learn more!

A couple more interesting articles here and here.  Enjoy!

Friday Food for Thought – Are you really human?