There’s a saying you’ve all probably seen on t-shirts and the like that goes “Train Insane or Remain The Same”. Well…..maybe you don’t have to be “insane” about it….BUT, there are things you can do to improve skills, improve times, improve strength.

When’s a good time to do that? Open gym times! Come in before class….stay a little bit after class. Check out the schedule. There are Open Gym times offered every day of the week. Make use of that time to practice a skill that you still need to perfect! Or make use of that time to work on something you wish to improve. Get at it…..or remain the same…



Corps Fitness prides itself on being a unique gym….you are not just a membership number, or an anonymous figure that punches in and punches out of the gym. Through Chris Kaag’s leadership and promoting the philosophies that we have at Corps Fitness, Corps Fitness draws individuals who not only want a fantastic workout, but individuals who believe in being a part of something bigger. While it is the philosophies behind Corps Fitness that make CF what it is, it is also the PEOPLE that get it…..the PEOPLE who believe in CF that make CF the best place around. Emily McDonough is one of those people, and today, we spotlight her and give her props as one of those people who truly get the value of Corps Fitness. Read on…

BACKGROUND: Tim and I have been married for almost 4 years and just moved to the area in Dec. 2012. I’m originally from the Lehigh Valley and am blessed with 2 wonderful parents who’ve supported me in all my life endeavors, both personal and academic. My 2 sisters and brother mean the world to me, as do their children. I teach 7th grade English at Boyertown Junior High West. I have the best colleagues and students who make each day an adventure!

YOUR START AT CF: I was a Long Term Substitute at Wyomissing while looking for a contract job - at that point, I was still living in Allentown and commuting every day. I considered joining a gym here to get my sweat on after school and started googling places. Chris’ “mug” popped up on the screen, and I was like, “Hm. I’ll have to look into this.” Long story short, that didn’t happen until I actually moved here a few years later. I tried a free class with a friend of mine and thought, “Man, who in their right mind would willingly endure this torture every day?” A few months after that, our gym closed for renovations, and Tim and I jumped ship. We were nervous at first because we had never been part of a fitness community where people actually gave a hoot if you showed up or not. I think I really “got it” after participating in 8 grueling days of Summer Hero Week 2014. The support I received from new and seasoned members was truly inspiring. Honestly, joining CF was the best decision Tim and I ever made (besides getting married of course!). We’ve come to realize that CF isn’t just a fitness community - it’s a fitness family.

MEMORABLE/MEANINGFUL CF EXPERIENCES: This question is virtually impossible to answer because everything we do at CF is meaningful to me. From calling the cadence to assisting new members to volunteering at IM ABLE events, everything has its purpose. Something I’m most proud of is competing in last year’s All Out in Berks with Maria Nawa. I was worried about embarrassing her, but we had a blast and created some awesome memories. The energy in Building 7 that day was off the charts due to every single athlete giving it 110%.

SUCCESS STORIES AT CF: I’ve been an athlete all my life. I played field hockey in HS and college. I took up running after that because it was something at which I was pretty decent. In doing so, I gained about 20 lbs. and was pretty depressed about it. Joining CF gave me the opportunity to challenge myself in a different way; I was able to lose the weight and the negative thoughts about myself. I’d say that’s a success story! I don’t think there was much that I couldn’t do before joining CF, but I will say that EACH DAY pushes me to my limits. After the final round each class, I collapse and think, “What in the heck just happened?”. But the feeling is so damn addicting that I can’t wait to do it again.

FAVE/LEAST FAVE EXERCISE: Rope climbs became a fave of mine after last year’s challenge. Oh and tire flips - I like them too! On the flip side of that, I despise polar bear crawl….with a passion. It’s not a pretty sight.

WORDS/MOTTOS YOU LIVE BY: Since joining CF I really try to live by the “No Excuses” mentality. Also that very little (if anything) can be accomplished without perseverance and a positive mental attitude.

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE CF TO NON-CFERS: Honestly, I can’t even begin to describe it. One needs to experience it for him/herself to really understand what goes on inside Bldg. 7.

WHY CF?: It’s my family now. You wouldn’t abandon your family, would you? It’s a place I feel at home with people who care about me, who acknowledge my successes, and who support me in my failures. I’ve made some amazing bonds with people I might never have encountered otherwise. CF has become a really important part of my life, not just a place to work out.

LAST WORDS: CF isn’t about the individual. It’s about something greater than “you”. It’s more than a workout or a WOD or whatever you choose to call it. It’s more than PRs and reps and AMRAPs. It’s about getting your ass kicked every day with some really cool people, no matter what the exercises are or who is leading the charge. It’s about being part of a team atmosphere where we are all accountable for each other. Each day brings on a new challenge that we might not be ready for, but we should feel lucky to have the chance to face it together!

~ Maybe you know Emily, and maybe you haven’t crossed paths with her at CF yet…..but if you haven’t had the opportunity to work out alongside of her, when you do get the chance, it won’t take long before you quickly realize that she is the real deal when it comes to epitomizing all that we uphold at Corps Fitness! Thanks for sharing Emily!!



In 2015, Corps Fitness established a Mentoring program. Most seasoned CFers can demonstrate on cue the differences between a push press, a thruster, a cluster and a man-maker. Or they could demonstrate the differences between a deadhang, a kipping, a butterfly, a banded or a jump pull-up. And then again, maybe some seasoned CFers cannot.

However, no doubt, we do HUNDREDS of different kinds of exercises (and spin-offs of them) at CF. And, we have a variety of formats. You never know what you are going to get when you walk in the doors at CF. You have to think on the fly and be all in, both physically and mentally, when you take a class.

So, enter the new person. For those coming to CF for the first time, it can be overwhelming. Hence, the mentor program. Sign up to have a mentor, and that person becomes your “go-to” person at CF. A mentor can do pre-class explanation and demonstration of exercises. They can give suggestions for scaled distances, scaled repetitions and scaled weights. And they definitely can hold you accountable to move with urgency and purpose in the midst of the workout. All good, right?

Right. But, truly, regardless if you are designated as a mentor….regardless if a new person comes in and hasn’t elected to have a mentor….we are ALL still mentors anyway. Like Cody in the pic below helping a newcomer….and Karen, helping a few learn the kipping technique….We are all there to hold each other accountable for moving with urgency and purpose. We are all there to help correct form or set someone straight if they are doing an exercise wrong. We are all mentors (even to the seasoned CFer who still doesn’t remember the difference between an ammo can heave and an ammo can press)…..We are Corps Fitness.



Noobs, newbies, future CFers… whatever you want to be called, WELCOME!!  We hope you enjoy the CF family as much as the rest of us have been for years!  If you have any questions, please ask anyone and they’ll get you pointed in the right direction.  Take a cue from seasoned CFers: we’re all accountable to each other, so pay attention, hurry from station to station, push yourself, and have fun!  Talk to someone at the front desk about your CF Mentor, and then take it away!

CF Intro class 06.13.15


So we’ve alluded to the Mentoring program in previous blog posts, but here’s the scoop: 

Beginning March 1st we will have our Mentor Program kick off!  This program is geared toward anyone (new to CF or current CFer) who is interested in having extra support through your CF Mentor by your side.  The Mentor Enrollment Form (layout below) will be added to the backside of your waiver with information on what class time you plan to attend.  You’ll be paired with one of the mentors from the list at the front desk.
The price for the Mentor Program will be 1 month for $110. **if you’re a current CF member and would like to have a Mentor, you can pay the Mentor price for March and your existing membership will be extended by a month.  If you have any questions or concerns please see the front desk staff for details.
What Having A Corps Fitness Mentor Can Do For YOU!
• Partner with you in all classes to make sure you are following the format correctly and also performing exercises properly.
• Hold you accountable for coming to class.
• Answer any additional questions you have about the class, the format of the class, the exercises, and questions about the gym in general.
• Assist you by suggesting appropriate scaled repetitions, distances , etc. in the course of the workout.
• Your mentor will be YOUR Go-To Person to get started at Corps Fitness for one full month.