^^ Dundore and Heister, on Penn Ave in Wyomissing, has some great treats for your gut bacteria!

Click image to link to Human Microbiome Project

More and more research is shining light on how important our microbiome is to our overall health.  Here’s another, investigating how gut bacteria may affect the ageing process. (link to full article)

“As part of their study, scientists working with Dario Riccardo Valenzano at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne treated a number of 9.5-week-old killifish with antibiotics to clear out their intestinal flora. They then exposed these middle-aged animals to the intestinal contents of younger, 6-week-old killifish in an aquarium. When the animals ‘taste’ the particles swimming around them, they also inevitably absorb the in the faecal remains swimming in the water. In this way, the from the young fish are successfully ‘transplanted’ into the older organism and colonize its gut. The older fish that receive the young intestinal microbiota not only live considerably longer than fish that were exposed only to their own gut or to those of animals of the same age, these ‘geriatric’ killifish, aged 16 weeks, are also as agile as young .”

Now, I’m not saying to go eating anything unsavory, but this is some interesting research!  What will the future bring?


All Out In Berks - Volunteers Needed
We’re in need of volunteers for the All Out In Berks competition we’re hosting on April 1st.  The event will run from about 8 AM - 1 PM, and will be a fun time encouraging some awesome athletes and seeing some incredible feats of athleticism!  A bunch of other local gyms are participating, so it’ll be a great way to meet some others who share your passion for fitness.  If you’re in, sign up at the front desk today!  If you have questions or would like to volunteer, email Melissa.  We have a few more team slots open, so spread the word and sign up today if you want a spot!


Landon Weaver Fundraiser
After the AOIB, grab a bite to eat and support a family in need.  A fundraiser for fallen PA State Trooper Landon Weaver will be held at Clinger’s at the Airport on April 1.




April Challenge
Our April attendance challenge is gearing up!!  See the previous post for more details.  A lot of names are on the sign-up sheet already - be sure to add your name to the list before the challenge begins!




CrossFit Open
The CrossFit Open workouts are a great way to sharpen your skills at recognizing good and bad movements / reps.  One more workout remains in the Open, to be released Thursday evening at 8 PM.  If you’ve got a little time to spare after Friday PM class, Saturday 9:15, Sunday, or Monday’s PM class, please stick around!


Nutrition Seminar
We’re hosting a nutrition seminar with Weik Nutrition April 5th at 6:45 PM.  Pre-registration is required; at least 10 atttendees needed to hold the seminar.  See previous post for more detail.




In-game run with the Fightins!
Get a team together and run with Corps Fitness and the Reading Fightins during the game on April 15th.  More details in yesterday’s post!




Got the Nerve Triathlon
A great race for beginners and seasoned athletes, Got the Nerve takes place May 20th this year in beautiful Mt Gretna, PA.  Not interested in racing?  Consider volunteering your time - locally in Wyomissing May 17th / 18th, or at the race site May 19th / 20th.  This is a great event for HS students to gain some community service hours, as well!  More info and links are available at gotthenerve.org



Free Intro and Ongoing Open Gym Times
The next FREE INTRO will be Saturday 3/25 at 9:15 AM with Chris
Open gym times are continuing thanks to our PSU student trainers!
We have added:
Mon-Fri 6:30am - 1pm and 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Sat 10:30 - 11:30am
Sunday 9:30 - 10:30am


Motivator of the Month!
Who motivates you?  It can be a trainer, staff member, or fellow class participant.  Ballots and the ammo can (where completed slips should be placed, are located in the Cafe area.  Fill one out to nominate a Motivator of the Month!  First drawing will be March 31st!




New: Membership Rate for College Students!
We understand full time college students are strapped for cash, so we’re introducing a student rate for full time students (12+ credits per semester) to attend Corps Fitness for $70 / month (unlimited membership).  Must present a valid school ID when purchasing.


NO DOUBT nutrition is uber-important in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re never training that mid-section, you’re never really gonna have abs.  We’re not talking just superficial crunches here, but whole-body core strength and muscle recruitment (more on whole-body strength in another post).  Abs are muscles, too, and they need fuel and regular work to bring out their form.

“Low-Calorie diets make it nearly impossible to build any significant muscle and ultimately leave you spinning your wheels.  People who subscribe to these diets also experience lower energy, poor sleep, decreased performance, and potentially a bad relationship with food.  Not a great formula for a strong-looking core.”
-M. Millner

Abs Are NOT Made in The Kitchen by Mike Millner

“While dieting and eating correctly is an absolutely crucial part of the six pack process, it may not be as important as you once thought.
Abs are not made by dieting, they are REVEALED by dieting.
And if you don’t have the proper tools in place (i.e. well developed ab muscles), then all the dieting in the world won’t give you a nice pair of abs.”
- Fitmole.org

Abs Are NOT Made In The Kitchen: The Truth About How To Get Ripped Abs

What are your thoughts?


Happy Valentine’s Day, CFers!

6:30 PM Functional Fitness for Runners - continues TONIGHT!
Are you a runner, or do you want to become a runner!  Check out our great new partnership with A Running Start!  Don’t be scared by the “run-centric” aspect of this class.  Come on out and give it a try, learn what it’s all about, and see how it may benefit you.  This 6:30 PM time slot is something that has been requested by CFers, so we’re hoping it’s well utilized!
The CrossFit Open will take place from Feb 23 - Mar 27.  If you want to register (gives you access to website to see how you’re ranked among others nationally), visit https://games.crossfit.com/.
It’s not required to register online - you can still do the workouts at Corps Fitness during the times we’ll set up.  Corps Fitness does not get anything for you registering; it’s a personal thing if you want to.
We WILL need judges for the workouts - the judges course is available online.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it appears to be open and ready at any point (and a good way for XF to make $10 a pop…).  No doubt it’s a good way to learn the movements and what IS vs ISN’T a rep in CrossFit.  We’ll gather a list of all who take the judges course and can then score workouts when they come up.  If you take and pass the course, please email Gretchen to let her know.  We’re looking into adding times immediately after and possibly immediately before regularly scheduled classes, but we need to know how many people we have to plan it all out.

The All Out In Berks is changing over to a PURELY CrossFit competition this year.  Workouts have been announced - check the link for more info, and recruit some friends to partake!

Ongoing Open Gym Times
Open gym times are continuing thanks to our PSU student trainers!
We have added Mon-Fri 6:30am -1pm and 6:30pm-7:30pm,
Sat 10:30-11:30am
Sunday 9:30-10:30am

Personal Training

Our very own Jay V is now a certified personal trainer!  Check out the info above for a great opportunity for someone looking to get started on a fitness journey….or for someone looking to achieve specific fitness goals!

CF Market

Michelle’s kimchi is in the house!!  Sign up and purchase a quart today!

AND…we have Raw Honey!!!
Fellow CFer Emily Bundy brings to us raw honey from her family business, The Honey Bee Tree. There are delicious and beautifully packaged jars of honey for sale in the cafe (and information as well).
Why honey, and why RAW honey? Raw honey is unprocessed, pure, unpasteurized which helps to retain all its natural vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients. Additionally, honey is a good source of anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties!

Check out the display in the Cafe. Purchases can be made at the front desk. Thanks Michelle and Emily Bundy for bringing these delicious items to CF!!

Even MORE Talented CFers
Also, did you know CFer Nancy is newly into the knitting business?  Knits by Nance is open to orders for these awesome beanies!  Let her know if you’re interested - $20, any color!


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

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?


Is sugar toxic?

Here are a few articles fervently supporting this theory…
Time: Sugar is Definitely Toxic
“After nine days of having their total dietary sugar reduced to 10% of their daily calories, however, they showed improvements in all of these measures. Overall, their fasting blood sugar levels dropped by 53%, along with the amount of insulin their bodies produced since insulin is normally needed to break down carbohydrates and sugars. Their triglyceride and LDL levels also declined and, most importantly, they showed less fat in their liver.”

Sugar Science: The Toxic Truth
“There is growing scientific consensus that one of the most common types of sugar,fructose, can be toxic to the liver, just like alcohol.”

Global Healing Center: Refined Sugar: The Sweetest Poison of All
“Refined sugar is lethal when ingested by humans because it provides only that which nutritionists describe as “empty” or “naked” calories. It lacks the natural minerals which are present in the sugar beet or cane.
In addition, sugar is worse than nothing because it drains and leaches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification and elimination makes upon one’s entire system.”

…an analysis…
NYTimes: Is Sugar Toxic?

“If what happens in laboratory rodents also happens in humans, and if we are eating enough sugar to make it happen, then we are in trouble.”

…and a few other points of view:
Stats.org: Glaring Flaws in Sugar Toxicity Study
“Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, said the study needed to be viewed “with some skepticism” because it was uncontrolled. It did not compare the children with a similar group who continued to eat a high-sugar diet. The comparison instead was made with their weight and health before the study while on their usual diet. “But it is well known that obese children underestimate and under-report food intake, particularly of soft drinks and snack foods,” said Sanders.
‘This is a fundamental flaw in the study. It is likely that the changes in metabolic outcomes observed can be explained by the experimental diet providing fewer calories than the children’s usual intake.'”

The Atlantic: Being Happy with Sugar
“The metabolic effects of fructose presented in ordinary human diets remain poorly investigated and highly controversial.”

Bottom line, it’s probably not great.  Do your research, use your brain, and decide for yourself.

featured image: theatlantic.com

memegenerator.com / ETP

If you’re using a fitbit to track your activity and food intake, here are a couple very informative articles on why it may or may not work out as you planned:

Fitbit: You’re Doing it Wrong, P Nobles
“The problem with eating inflexibly for too long is your body adapts to that. FYI — that’s also the reason you are under-eating your Fitbit burn by 700 calories and still not losing weight. The body searches for balance (homeostasis), so if you feed your body an inadequate amount for your activity level, it simply adjusts. That’s why what we teach is so important. You can only dig a hole for so long before you hit a point of resistance.”

“So, should you be eating the number on your Fitbit? I’m going to say yes, you should. This assumes you understand a bit about how things work, and if you don’t, we have a staff of 35 people who can help. But if you aren’t seeing results with your fat loss goals, it’s probably because you have been burning the candle at both ends for too long.”

PFFL: We’re All Athletes (Doing your Fitbit Right), P Nobles
“The biggest problem with the “calories in/calories out” crowd is that they miss the real magic. There’s no question that calorie counting is a great tool for making people more aware of how much they do and how much they eat. But if you keep banging that same “do more/eat less” hammer, your body will simply adjust (i.e., down-regulate).”

“What does that mean for you, specifically? If you are a 350 pound male with more fat to use, your intervals between PFFL periods might be shorter. If you are a 110 pound female, you might never need to do PFFL. Ultimately, it can be customized for anyone, and this is the point. “One size fits all” dieting is a myth. Everyone needs to get a little specific to see real results. Long story longer — if you are using your Fitbit as a way of creating a deficit,  you may see much better long-term results by eating what you burn, because that’s the way your body wants to work.”


Most Americans are getting way too much sugar. It shows up in hidden foods you might not realize: pasta sauce, yogurt, salad dressing, “healthy” breakfast cereal…  And sugar is a crazy addictive substance - for a good reason - it provides quick energy and fat storage that our ancient ancestors could use to get away from danger and/or hold on to extra calories in case food became scarce.  Why not create an innate drive to find and consume it?  The problem with modern society is that sugar is now everywhere and food is hardly every truly scarce.  So how do we adapt to modern times?

  • Eat real food (per Michael Pollan: not too much, mostly plants)
  • Eat like your grandparents would have.  No constant access to sweets, treats, snacks.
  • Make your own food, own the ingredients and the process
  • Maybe even start a garden or at least shop at a local farmers’ market
  • Plan your meals - less ingredient waste, more real food, less propensity for snacking when you know what you’re going to have next

Check out these links for more facts, opinions, and information:
Mark’s daily apple - definitive guide to sugar
Yuri Elkaim - Sugar Detox
Evolutionary reason why we love sugar