8 Eastman Street Cranford NJ 07016...908-272-7400

News / Events

I have thought about turning this blog into more of a discourse on technique and specific methods, but frankly the thought of doing that just doesn’t appeal to me.  All day long, we the coaches are barking out orders and commands for you all to obey.  “Knees out! Butt back! Elbows up! STAY TIGHT!”  I absolutely love coaching all of you in the gym, but I honestly believe I have more to offer you than just making you better at weightlifting and CrossFit. 
read more

"Making CrossFit Personal"

I have thought about turning this blog into more of a discourse on technique and specific methods, but frankly the thought of doing that just doesn’t appeal to me.  All day long, we the coaches are barking out orders and commands for you all to obey.  “Knees out! Butt back! Elbows up! STAY TIGHT!”  I absolutely love coaching all of you in the gym, but I honestly believe I have more to offer you than just making you better at weightlifting and CrossFit. 
   And that is why I started writing this blog.  To give you all something more than just what we do inside the box; to coach you in and outside of the gym.  Like Big Jay once said, I want “to be the catalyst” to help you becoming a more awesome you. 
   I do not claim to be anything special by ANY stretch of the imagination, but I have two things that make me a valuable asset to all of you.  First, I have a life full of experiences that have allowed me to see the really really ups of life, as well as the really really downs of life.  And second, I have a unique perspective of all of you.  I see you almost daily.  I see virtually every emotion you are capable of having.  Excitement and anxiety before a WOD, elation after a PR, fear before attempting a big lift, uncertainty when deciding between scaling or going Rx, anger after screwing up on your 38th straight failed attempt at double unders, and of course pure hatred when told you will have to do burpees for dropping an empty bar.  These two things allow me to address you – as I stated earlier – from a very unique and I believe helpful perspective. 
   What I have seen in this gym, as far as progress, has been absolutely remarkable.  The atmosphere in the gym is everything I hoped it would be when I first met Josh, Steve and Tom.  The camaraderie continues to grow as well, and I love the sense of community our gym continues to foster.  After all, it is that community (in my opinion) that defines CrossFit as something “special” and different than other types of gyms. 
   And while I will always promote the expansion of this wonderful community of ass-kicking people, I want to caution all of you: DO NOT lose yourself.  Remember why you signed up at CrossFit Koa.  Search inside yourself – yes I know how corny that sounds but do it! – and ask yourself why the hell do you continue to beat yourself up with grueling WODs and strength training day in and day out?  If you are unable to answer that question, there is a problem. 
   CrossFit is not and should never be generic.  It is and ALWAYS will be for you.  It is for each and every one of us.  It is for Grandma just as much as it is for Rich Froning Jr.  It has meaning, it has value and it is personal to each of us as individuals.  For some it’s strictly a way to compete, for others a way to burn fat, and for others it could be just a way to meet new people.  All of those things are perfectly acceptable… because the beauty is the person who came to meet new people will ALSO burn fat and the person who came strictly to compete will also meet new people.  It is one of the things I love – truly love – about CrossFit Koa.
   But you need to make it personal.  You cannot benefit from what our gym has to offer if your only goal is to be someone else or to beat someone else.  Take away the music, the “3-2-1 GO” and the bars slamming all around you, and what do you have?  Does CrossFit help you with your confidence?  Does it help you vent your frustrations with all of life’s difficulties?  Does it satiate that burning competitive desire inside you that you haven’t felt since high school? 
     At CrossFit Koa, I believe the hour you spend in our box training should be the best hour of your day (other than seeing your loved ones of course).  It is a time you are allowed to be selfish – heck I encourage you to be selfish – and focus strictly on making YOU better.   The benefit of your training should last long after the sweat dries and the pain subsides… but first you must answer that question: what do CrossFit and CrossFit Koa mean to me?
 

 

 

I love Bob Ross.  Or should I say I loved Bob Ross (may he rest in peace).  Do you all remember Bob?  Channel 13.  PBS.  I would catch his shows at random times and always considered myself so lucky if I caught him at the beginning of his painting session. 

read more

Bob Ross and CrossFit - that's right Bob Ross

 

 

I love Bob Ross.  Or should I say I loved Bob Ross (may he rest in peace).  Do you all remember Bob?  Channel 13.  PBS.  I would catch his shows at random times and always considered myself so lucky if I caught him at the beginning of his painting session. 

   There he stood, Brady-bunch style clothing with an afro to match, holding on to his palate of colors that included my all time favorite: van dyke brown (here is a video of him making mountains… listen closely for the van dyke brown!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MghiBW3r65M)

   The guy was a genius.  You would watch him painting a picture, see him start something – like one of his famous “happy little trees” –and you would swear he screwed it up. Five minutes later you would be thinking, “My goodness if that isn’t the happiest most perfect little tree that ever did exist…”

   Bob knew exactly what type of brush to use, exactly what colors to mix, and exactly how to make images come to life.  And little did Bob know, but he was providing us with the perfect metaphor for CrossFit.

   CrossFit is Bob Ross painting a beautiful mountain wintry scene with snow-capped mountains.  We are the legendary Bob Ross (dare to dream!) and the blank canvass is our body, our mind, our lives.  CrossFit – much like Bob’s paintings –require many different “colors” to help us achieve our goals.  What would happen if Bob just slapped van dyke brown all over the canvass?  Not pretty.  Well that is the same thing when you ignore the other “colors”, which is to say the other aspects of CrossFit and fitness.

   The 10 general physical skills as defined in CrossFit are: endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, accuracy, agility and balance.  These are your colors you need to help make the perfect picture. Forsaking any of these skills will come at a cost.  Strong as a bull and can run for days… but are completely inflexible?  You are an injury waiting to happen.  You ar eincredibly flexible but don’t believe in weight training because it might make you “bulky”?  Enjoy having a hunched back and not being able to pick up your grandchildren because you are completely broken down after age 50. 

   Pay attention to more than just fast times on the board and lifting the most weight in class.  Find your weaknesses.  Do not wait for them to pop up.  Actively seek them out.  Then like Bob Ross painting a beautiful lake by a log cabin, pull in all those “colors” (don’t forget the van dyke brown!)and create a masterpiece out of what was once just a blank canvass.  After all, painting a beautiful scene like Bob Ross requires a lot of brushes and colors. You are the canvass and you have 10 different “colors” to make a breathtakingly beautiful picture.  Use your brushes – the barbell, the kettlebell,the pull up bar, etc. – and get to work!!

I am not usually a big fan of these kinds of commercials.  Call me skeptical, but when a billon dollar company concerned primarily in making even more money tells me “Hey dude… you should work harder”, I tend to get a little annoyed.  But I think Nike – in its attempt to get you to go buy more of their stuff – has stumbled upon something genius; something that makes CrossFit, CrossFit Koa and our members so special…  and so great.

read more

"Greatness"

I am not usually a big fan of these kinds of commercials.  Call me skeptical, but when a billon dollar company concerned primarily in making even more money tells me “Hey dude… you should work harder”, I tend to get a little annoyed.  But I think Nike – in its attempt to get you to go buy more of their stuff – has stumbled upon something genius; something that makes CrossFit, CrossFit Koa and our members so special…  and so great.

“… Greatness is not some rare DNA strand.  It’s not some precious thing.  Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing.  We’re all capable of it… all of us.”

Let me define the phrase “all of us” = Me. You.  Everyone on the planet.  All of us

This commercial can invoke so many different feelings for so many different people.  My fear is that people will see something like this and just brush it off as nonsense.  For people to go through life and believe that they can never be “great”… that honestly makes me sad. 

CrossFit – in my opinion – provides each and every one of us with a platform to be great.  Every day is a chance to do something you have never done before.  I mean, how often can you win a world championship?  Summit a mountain?  Finish a marathon?  All great achievements that come so rare in a life time (if ever at all!).  But inside the gym, the opportunity for greatness awaits you each and every single time you walk in the door.  Each time you push through the “suck”, or each time during a WOD you block out that voice in your mind that begs you to just quit, each time you lift one more pound than your previous efforts… that is you being great.   

And that greatness is not something to be taken lightly.  It is something to be proud of.  It is something to carry out into your every day life; something that makes you smile when confronted with adversity in the world.  Where there world sees insurmountable odds, we CrossFitters see another chance to be great.

That is what this commercial is talking about.  Nothing separates us from being great except for our own fears and misconceptions.  Greatness is defined by YOU as an individual, not by society as a whole. 

Remember that when you walk into the gym.  You aren’t just training to lose a few pounds.  You aren’t just training to look better in a bathing suit.  You are training to be great.  Do not let the opportunity pass you by…

When I first started CrossFit, I certainly was not “drinking the Kool Aid"…. I was friggin CHUGGING the Kool Aid. Whether it was the rush I got from finishing a WOD or the countless videos of smoking hot chicks doing muscles up and lifting huge weights, I instantly fell in love with CrossFit. I loved everything about it, and I began to tell anyone who would listen aaaaaaall about it.

read more

Haters gonna hate...

When I first started CrossFit, I certainly was not “drinking the Kool Aid"…. I was friggin CHUGGING the Kool Aid. Whether it was the rush I got from finishing a WOD or the countless videos of smoking hot chicks doing muscles up and lifting huge weights, I instantly fell in love with CrossFit. I loved everything about it, and I began to tell anyone who would listen aaaaaaall about it.

Naturally, not everyone agreed. And I could not understand why. Didn’t they know CrossFit cured cancer? Stopped wars? Put a man on the moon? Was responsible for bringing down the Berlin Wall? I was so madly in love with CrossFit that any dissention sent me into a defiant frenzy, forcing my beliefs about the greatness of CrossFit down the throat of just about everyone I spoke to. Like a young puppy who chews on everything, I didn’t realize my energetic behavior was actually more detrimental than helpful in terms of conveying the validity of CrossFit.

However, I have come a long way. I love CrossFit more than ever but understand that it cannot actually stop wars (not yet, anyways). It is a phenomenal way to obtain a high level of fitness, but not the only way. It is a community saturated with people full of inspiration and dedication… but then again so is the body building community that we tend to mock from time to time. And now, as CrossFit grows in popularity, and the “haters" come out to voice their opposition, I have learned how to address their concerns in a much more diplomatic way.

I simply tell them, "Shut up. You suck." Kidding.

Let’s go over some of the top “issues" people outside the community often have with CrossFit and see if I cant tackle them one by one.

  1. “CrossFit makes you weak."

    People still mistakenly believe that CrossFit is nothing more than 20:00 + AMRAPs of body weight exercises. Wrong. And as a member of CrossFit Koa, you can certainly attest to that. Strength work is a KEY component to our programming, as we understand the importance and value of being strong in relation to everyone’s health. And for those who believe CrossFit makes you weak, please explain this to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiROq__YTXA&feature=related (and this guy wasn’t even a top finisher at the Games!)


  2. “CrossFit makes you bulky."

    Popular one with the women. And despite posting countless articles from trainers and scientists and nutritionists telling you “YOU WILL NOT GET BULKY", it still seems to be an issue. Unless you are a 1970s Bulgarian female weightlifter on steroids, lifting weights is not going to make you bulky. Will it create more lean muscle? Burn more fat? Make your arms look more defined, as well as your traps and delts perhaps? Yes. If less fat and more muscle means you look “bulky", than I would like to go on record as saying that I LOVE BULKY GIRLS!!!! Get off the treadmill. Stop running and running and running… and start lifting weights. Please.


  3. “CrossFit is dangerous."

    I have a hard time keeping my cool when this one comes up. This is pure stupidity and ignorance at its finest. The claim is that by performing complex movements at such high intensity the risk of injury is great. Hmmm… well lets not even get into the fact that UNLIKE EVERY OTHER GYM, we train our members on HOW to do all the movements first, then proceed to back up that instruction with daily reviews and constant coaching. But let’s talk “danger". By that definition, skiing is dangerous. Running (which is a SKILL people) is a dangerous. Swimming in the ocean. Playing pick up basketball. Football. All sports. Paintball. Rock climbing. Surfing. Snowboarding. Hiking. Trail running… all of these activities (and countless others) require a great deal from your body and have the potential for injury. Perhaps these people believe we should live in a bubble.

We live in an era where people are running 100+ mile endurance runs in 10,000 feet and higher elevation in times your mind cannot even imagine. Watch the Olympics and behold the worlds best athletes perform. Do not sit back and tell me that the human body cannot handle CrossFit. Do not tell me that when there are men and women throwing up HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of pounds over their heads, swimming across ridiculous bodies of water, running distances that boggle the mind, that some thrusters and pull ups are “dangerous".

Get out of the culture that is creating obese, lazy people. The culture that is constantly telling us “You can’t do that." As a CrossFitter, you will learn to reject that notion EVERY single day. We don’t understand “can’t." If it can be done, we will learn how to do it. We will work at it. We may fail – many times – but in the end we will win. Because even in failure we will be getting better and better and better...

Phew... got a little worked up there. So there you have it… just a few examples. CrossFit is not some miracle pill. It is not without its imperfections. It is a constantly evolving entity that has one focus: to make your lives better (there is that word again!). And because of that, in my humble opinion, it is the best thing out there. And it is going to be around for a loooooong time…

I wish I knew what “it” was. Everyone always talks about “it”, but no one seems to be able to define what “it” is. I know that sometimes I have “it”, and at other times, I definitely DO NOT have “it”. I can usually tell during warming up whether or not I am going to have “it” for that day. Sometimes I will grab the 45 lbs. bar and I swear it feels like it is at least 250 lbs. Probably not going to have “it” that day…

read more

"It"

I wish I knew what “it” was. Everyone always talks about “it”, but no one seems to be able to define what “it” is. I know that sometimes I have “it”, and at other times, I definitely DO NOT have “it”. I can usually tell during warming up whether or not I am going to have “it” for that day. Sometimes I will grab the 45 lbs. bar and I swear it feels like it is at least 250 lbs. Probably not going to have “it” that day…

But what I have learned is that you do not have to have “it” every single day. Success isn’t based on whether you performed your best on any given day… it is about your determination to produce the best that you can on that particular day. For instance, take an Olympic weightlifter who trains his/her butt off for years and years for just two events: the snatch and the clean and jerk. A life dedicated to just 6 total lifts – three attempts at each – to win a gold medal. Their training sessions are grueling, constantly putting themselves under weights I wouldnt even attempt to lift off the ground, let alone throw over my head. They sacrifice time, relationships, fun, and whatever else necessary to prepare themselves for that one moment. And when the time comes, when their name is called and they walk to the bar for lifts 1, 2 and 3… do they always make the lift? No. In fact, many will walk off the stage having failed at a weight that they hit numerous times in practice. They can only give their all on that one day and hope and pray it is enough.

We are not Olympic athletes (well not yet anyways) but we are CrossFitters. You come into the gym every day, and as your trainers we ask A LOT of you. We ask you to push past your comfort zones into places you never imagined possible… and then we ask you do it again tomorrow. That is not easy, people.

Some days you will not have “it”. Some days you will do 10 pull ups with ease, and on others you will need a band to get you through a work out. Some days you will fail at a weight that you once did numerous times. Some days you will run 400m and swear it must have been 40000000m by the way your lungs and legs feel.

I am here to tell you that that is OK! It is ok to feel like that. To be honest, I love that many of you feel that way sometimes. It tells me that you will not settle… you are not happy with being good, you want to be better. Striving for “it” in every single workout, in every single occasion of your life, will lead you to success I promise you.

I will never care about what your numbers are, what your times are, how much weight you moved, or how many reps you have finished. I only care about one thing: did you do everything in your power to get better today? Answer yes to that question and you will not only be great in CrossFit, but you will be one heck of a person as well.

 

I sometimes feel silly saying I “do” CrossFit. After all, what does it really mean to “do” CrossFit? In my opinion, it makes what we do sound like something based off a set of DVDs I bought off of an infomercial at 3:00am. And that, obviously, just isn’t the case.

So what does it mean to “do” CrossFit? What separates those of us who actually chose to come into the gym each and every week and subject ourselves to workouts, movements, routines that we would normally never ever even consider trying? Based off of my experience, here are just a few of many ideas…

read more

"I Do CrossFit"

I sometimes feel silly saying I “do” CrossFit. After all, what does it really mean to “do” CrossFit? In my opinion, it makes what we do sound like something based off a set of DVDs I bought off of an infomercial at 3:00am. And that, obviously, just isn’t the case.

So what does it mean to “do” CrossFit? What separates those of us who actually chose to come into the gym each and every week and subject ourselves to workouts, movements, routines that we would normally never ever even consider trying? Based off of my experience, here are just a few of many ideas…

- First and foremost, being a part of a CrossFit program means you are dedicated to a legitimate strength program. You understand the value of getting stronger, and its long-term health benefits. You understand that if you want to be healthy at 60, 70 and even 80 years old, developing a strong body NOW is going to make that possible. Our strength program isn’t just about lifting huge numbers, but about making you a healthier individual capable of combating anything and everything from poor posture to aches and pains. FACT: no pill or drug on the planet has the ability to do for your body what exercise can. And becoming strong is an integral part of what we do.

- Second, CrossFit requires you to continuously work towards increasing the intensity in a workout. What does that mean? It means first perfecting your technique, so that you may move as quickly as possible without injury. Once the technique is acceptable, it is time to push hard. This is done through adding weight, or increasing the amount of reps/rounds in a workout. If you are not willing to work on your technique, you will not be able to move forward, and you will miss out on the benefit of CrossFit programming. Working towards increasing your work capacity is a large part of what CrossFit is all about.

- Finally, CrossFit is about finding weakness and attacking them. Think about all of your skills and abilities like ingredients in the kitchen. If you only have a limited amount of “ingredients” to work with, how great of a meal can you really make? Conversely, if you have a great deal of options to include in your meal, how much better will it be? Work hard at what you suck at. Stop letting that jump rope kick your butt in double unders. Tell those bands that soon enough you won’t be needing their help on the pull up bar. Learning and mastering new skills will not only change your body and increase your fitness, but it also feels pretty damn good. Just someone who gets their first unassisted pull up or rope climb or handstand push up or first 5K how they feel afterwards…

Get strong. Crank up the intensity. Crush your weaknesses. Just a few of the things it means to “do” CrossFit. Maybe you have a different perception of what it means to you, and that is the beauty of this community: it can be whatever you want it to be. But if you are serious, if you are truly committed to this and want to see changes, remember these three things. Be sure to give attention to all three every time you are in the gym, and I promise you change will come.

 

If you purchased the Living Social deal for CrossFit KOA please check back often as we will post directions on how to start and how to register for the Foundations Classes. All new members are required to take the 3 days of Foundations. These are offered on consecutive days and are limited to 10 people per class. We will be adding more Foundations classes to the schedule so check back often.

read more

Living Social Participants

If you purchased the Living Social deal for CrossFit KOA please check back often as we will post directions on how to start and how to register for the Foundations Classes. All new members are required to take the 3 days of Foundations. These are offered on consecutive days and are limited to 10 people per class. We will be adding more Foundations classes to the schedule so check back often.

 

You have many months in which to redeem this so if you are going away on vacation etc. that is okay, your month does not start until you take your first Foundations class.

Pages