Client Stories

Caitlin “I have shocked myself with how far I’ve crushed certain goals.”

Caitlin sits down to chat with Coach James about what brought her to CrossFit Jungle Gym one year ago and how she is now feeling better, faster, and stronger.

Caitlin’s Success Story

Introduce yourself:

My name is Caitlin and I just had my one year anniversary at CFJG.”

Why did you come to CrossFit Jungle Gym?

“I first found out about the gym and joined because my sister is a member and loves it here. I could see how much it improved her health and fitness but also the comradery and the community that she felt a part of. That’s how I first came, because my sister Melissa is here and it’s been great to workout with her and become part of the community. “

Tell us about some of your successes over the last 90 days.

“So over the last 90 days I have shocked myself with how far I’ve crushed certain goals that I thought were going to take me a very long time to work on. For example, I had a goal of improving some run times and I had a feeling that I had succeeded but I hadn’t realized how far I had come. Between coming to workout more often but also participating in run camp, I jumped levels that I didn’t realize I could in 90 days and I’m still surprised. I’m glad there’s a coach here to verify that it’s real. That’s the biggest one because that’s been a hard goal of mine.”

What was your most recent sign of progress?

“I think that the biggest sign of progress that really struck me was how I feel during and after class and group workouts. I can distinctly remember struggling to get through them, struggling to know what I was capable of at the beginning of a workout and working through it. Now feeling like I can handle the workouts that I may be working really hard but I’m able to do them and feeling stronger, feeling faster, feeling better about how I’m working out and how I’m feeling after.”

What would you say is the biggest obstacle we helped you overcome in the last 90 days?

“I would say the biggest obstacle would be the consistency and accountability that I need being here. So just what I get out of coming to class multiple days a week has been – everything that happens at class has put me that much closer to reaching or completing goals, just coming to regularly scheduled classes. Also, knowing the things we’re working on is keeping me accountable for the things that I want to accomplish. You’re set up for success in group classes here.”

There is a Caitlin sititng at home, watching this video, what do you say to the other Caitlin’s in the world, who are sitting in the same shoes you were, what do you say to them?

“I can remember once sitting at home thinking, yeah it’s probably doable but it’s going to take forever to feel good about it or to feel comfortable working out together. I would say stop wasting your time thinking about how it’s going to take forever. I was talking to coach James earlier about how for a while I was coming a couple days a week and really now that I’m coming it’s part of my routine. It feels so good to be part of the team and to feel myself feeling better. Just get going, its so easy to keep going and feel better and feel part of a great group. That’s enough motivation once you get started, you’re not going to be sitting home watching me chat.”


WOD 10/27/20


Bent Over Rows


3 Rounds For Time:
400m Run
30 Box Jumps 24/20
20 Tuck-ups


WOD 10/24/20


6 Rounds

400m Run

6 Chest to Bar Pull Ups

12 Back Squats 115/75

100m Farmer Carry (2 dbs, kbs, plates)

6 Diamond Push Ups

12 Deadlifts


Should I Add a Weight Vest to my Workouts?


This week was our annual trip to Wildwood Crest NJ, for a week of beach. Ordinarily I would go to a Crossfit like gym in West Cape May that I have gone to for the last few years. This year however because of the pandemic, I had to pack my own gym, so into the car went 2 dumbells, my kettlebell, jump rope and at a last minute suggestion, my weighted vest.

I bought my vest a few years ago at a Crossfit gym going out of business. The price was right and it fit pretty well. I haven’t really used it that much though. The pipe dream of sometime using it for it a small part of Murph always looms in the periphery! LOL! So, on Day 3 I put it on and went for a mile run. It definitely made the run harder, hotter, more fatiguing and did change my gait pattern a bit. So I decided to do a little research about just how helpful it can be.

A study done at the University of Mexico had untrained women walk on a flat treadmill wearing a weighted vest about 15% of their body weight. They burned about 12% more calories compared to those who did not wear the vest. According to the Journal of Science and Medicine, wearing a vest will improve speed and performance. The study had runners do 10 sec sprints with a vest and then immediately tested without the vest on a treadmill.

Based on my reading, here is a list of vest wearing benefits.

  • 1. Increase strength and endurance
  • 2. Increase in cardiovascular endurance
  • 3. Strengthens your core
  • 4. Improves posture and balance

Here are some activities you can do wearing a vest:

  • Walking or running
  • Crunches
  • Planks
  • Pushups
  • Hiking
  • Squats

As always, it’s important to evaluate your fitness program with your coach to make sure you are ready to add a vest. Body weight exercises should be in perfect form. Start with a small amount of weight, 5-10% of your body weight. Make sure the vest fits properly and doesn’t alter your body position in a negative way. Start slowly and gradually increase the walking or running distances or the volume of body weight exercises. And of course, don’t over train with the vest and allow sufficient time to mobilize, stretch, hydrate and recover. Vests are a great tool to add to your arsenal and add something new to your workouts!

By Nancy Shapiro, L1 CrossFit Coach, Masters Athlete


WOD 10/3/2020


For time:

  • 15 OHS 95/65
  • 400m run
  • 15 Cleans
  • 400m run
  • 15 Thrusters
  • 400m run
  • 15 backsquats
  • 400m run
  • 15 snatch
  • 400m run
  • 15 shoulder to overhead
  • 400m run
  • 15 front squats
  • 400m run
  • 15 deadlifts
  • 400m run
Client Stories

“All around feeling so much better after being here” Jason

Jason started at CrossFit Jungle Gym about 3 months ago to improve his fitness and mental health. After completing our first 60 days program he sat down to chat with coach James about his experience.

Jason’s First 60 Days Interview
So why did you come to CrossFit Jungle Gym?

“I was going down a bad direction and I needed to get all aspects of my life together, fitness, mental health, everything. Coming here with the group setting and everybody to back you up. It’s been 3-4 months later and fitness has gone up, my mental health is great. Just all around feeling much better after being here.”

What was the biggest obstacle we hoped you overcome?

“I would say the consistency. If I started slacking, I think there was a week where I hit one day that week. James sent me a message and I was in 3 times a week every since.”

What are you looking to accomplish next?

“My next goal is I would like to get a 5k under 30 minutes and a longer term goal is I want to do a triathlon.”

Is there anything you would want to say to anyone at home who was in the same shoes you were in?

“The first thing you need to do is be self aware and say you need to make that change. Come in, you show up once, talk to the coaches and have all the motivation once you come in. They’ll help you through the first 60 days, the program they have. The motivation from them and the community of being here. You’ll start to do three days a week and you’ll make that consistent and after a month you’ll feel so much better.”