Client Stories

Chelsea “I just really feel the difference in my body.”

Chelsea recently completed her first 60 days at CrossFit Jungle Gym and was able to take three and a half minutes off her first workout time! Not only is she feeling more motivated, but she has seen improvements in her weightlifting, such as her cleans. See Chelsea’s full story below!

Introduce Yourself

My name is Chelsea Kennedy.”

What brought you to CrossFit Jungle Gym?

“I previously was very into CrossFit for about four years, but then I had four surgeries. I just wanted to get back into shape.

Tell us a little bit about your success over the first 60 days

“Definitely a huge difference. I came in here and I remember my push ups in the first workout I was so out of breath and felt so out of shape. Today it felt so good and I felt so motivated. I just really feel the difference in my body.”

How much time did you take off your first workout?

“Three and a half minutes.”

What was your first sign of progress?

It was the first time that I did cleans. I remember trying to do cleans at home with just my barbell and I struggled with just the barbell. I came in here and was able to put weight on it again after the first couple of weeks. I remember thinking that I can do this again. I wondered if I would ever get back to that spot.”

What would you say the biggest obstacle is that we helped you overcome during your first 60 days?

“Definitely motivating me. I’m a full time grad student and I have two toddlers. The coaches just motivating me to come in here, sending me texts and being so encouraging.”

What are you looking at doing next?

“I’m going to keep coming in here three days a week. I want to get my weights back up to somewhere around where they were. I have to be patient but I want to start working in that direction.”

Is there anything you would share with somebody sitting at home, who’s basically in the same shoes you were in before you signed up?

“Yes, don’t be afraid to come in and give it a try. It’s scary the first time but I promise you if you come in and give it a try, you will walk out feeling so empowered, so strong and so good. So do something that scares you.”


WOD 12/9/20


8×1 (building)


– Shrug+Hang Power Clean


15 mins

For Load:

200m Row

Push Jerk + Split Jerk

(From rack – building towards 1 rep max, 1 attempt per round)


WOD 12/3/20


Front Squat


25 Minutes

400m Row/.5 Bike

8/5/3/1 Front Squat


WOD 11/24/20




For Time (6 cap)


Toes To Bar


Client Stories

Kristen : “It’s just really nice to be back in this environment. And in a great environment here at CFJG.”

Kristen recently talked to Coach James about what brought her to CrossFit Jungle Gym a few months ago and how she has progressed over the last 60 days!

Introduce yourself:

Hi I’m Kristen, I’m a Hamilton resident for a couple years now and I teach middle school.

What brought you to CrossFit Jungle Gym?

“I came to CrossFit Jungle Gym coming out of the pandemic – I needed some normalcy in my life, I needed to get back to the real world. A lot of the places that I had been weren’t open yet. I honestly did a Google search to see what was open and you guys were really close to me. I was like lets go see what they are all about and here I am 60 days later.”

Tell us a little bit about your success over the first 60 days.

“So I honestly, just doing the In-Body Scan, wasn’t expecting to see the numbers as good as they were. James was really proud of me – so that was exciting. But it was nice to have that desire to come to workout again. The pandemic I was all over the place, it was really hard to kinda figure what was, despite having so much time to push yourself and get back into that rythem. Now that I’m back, coming 3 maybe 4 mornings a week, depending on how the week panned out. Feeling that normalcy and getting up at 5am and getting mad when I have an obligation that stopped me from coming. It’s just really nice to be back in this environment. And in a great environment here at CFJG.”

What was your first sign of progress that you’re moving down the road that you wanted to?

“There were a couple little signs. I shared this with you earlier, when I go to put my hair in a ponytail and I see that little line right there – that means there’s a muscle in there. That’s one of those moments where I was like – this stuff is working.”

What was the biggest obstacle that we helped you overcome over the last 60 days?

I think my biggest obstacle was just the mental piece. I do coaching, I’ve been going to the gym for many years and I know my stuff. I still get intimidated sometimes, coming back. CrossFit sometimes has that reputation for being a little intimidating. I didn’t know what the environment was like here. Walking in from day one, meeting James, working through those first 60 days and easing into it was just great. It made me feel super comfortable. Everyone here has been really encouraging and willing to push in a helpful way so it’s really nice to find an environment like this and it really pushes me to be better myself.

There is a Kristen at home right now watching this video, what do you say to them?

All you have to do is set your alarm and show up. If you can get up and get here everything will come into place. Before you know it, you’re going to want to show up everyday. Put the nerves aside, put the reservations aside just get up and do it.”


WOD 11/6/20


3 Rounds For Time

 .5 Bike /400m Row

5 Hang Power Snatch


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


Master Athletes – Benefits of Training Dynamic Balance

When you were a kid, you did all sorts of activities that challenged you balance and proprioception without even thinking about it. You ran forward, sometimes backward, hopping or spinning in a circle until you were dizzy. All these things trained your brain how to react, balance and stabilize itself.

As we get older, we stop playing or we don’t move in as many directions and this can cause a decrease in your ability to do movement patterns that need neurological fitness as well as strength. Learning new skills like double unders, box jumps, running or handstands can seem daunting and take an endless amount of time.

Optimal dynamic balance happens when your visual (eyes), vestibular (inner ear), and kinesthetic (skin) provide the proper feedback to the central nervous system (CNS), which enable your body to activate the muscles when and how they need to.

Reasons to Incorporate Dynamic Balance Training:

1. IMPROVE STRENGTH-this is an effective way to strengthen hips, gluts, abdominals and back muscles. It can also improve awareness of a neutral spine and braced position.

2. IMPROVE COORDINATION AND REACTION TIME- Dynamic balance should be a reflexive response and can greatly reduce the risk of the accidental fall.

3. IMPROVE RUNNING- the gait cycle whether walking or running requires the body to maintain control over your center of gravity as you transition from one leg to the other with opposing arm swing.

Here are some examples of dynamic balance activities that can be easily incorporated as accessory movements or part of your warmup.


Adding balance exercises to your workout routine will enhance your ability to perform your favorite activities and also add variety to your warmups. You can also do these at home if you can’t make the gym. Try adding a few exercises 2 or 3 times a week. Get creative and see the improvements. Have fun!

By Nancy Shapiro, L1 CrossFit Coach, Masters Athlete


WOD 10/6/2020


For Quality


  • Supinated Barbell Bent Over Rows

For Time:


  • Push Press


  • Box Jumps 24/20


  • Burpees

Level Method Modification: Upper Body Push

  • Brown and Up – 95/65
  • Blue III to Purple III – 85/55
  • Orange to Blue II – 65/45