CrossFit Gym

Get Out Of The Gym!

Have An Adventure In Delaware This Weekend

CrossFit isn't about spending countless hours in the gym for nothing. It's about increasing your fitness so you can go do all the things you love to with ease. CrossFit ultimately leads to a happier and healthier life, but you still have to live it.

That's why as a crossfit coach I am telling you to get out of the gym. Go out and try new things. Have an adventure!

Here are a few thing to try this weekend in Delaware:

1. Go Bananas on a High Ropes Course

Only a 30 minute drive from Newark is Lum's Pond State Park, home of Go Ape's high ropes course. This two to three hour tree top adventure features zip lines, rope and wooden walk ways and other obstacles.

It's a great way to get out of your comfort zone, especially if you are afraid of heights!


2. White Clay Creek State Park

Only a few miles away from downtown Newark lies White Clay Creek State Park, by far one of the most beautiful places in northern Delaware. The park stretches into Pennsylvania and has over 3000 acres of untouched nature, including 30 miles of trails.

There are plenty of chances to put some work in outside the gym including biking, trail running and, when it snows, even sledding. You can always opt for a more casual fitness experience and hit some frisbee golf too. No matter what you do be sure to leave your cell phone in the car. Have some undistracted fun!


3. Run a 5K

These past few months we've hit a ton of running in our workouts. If your ready to test yourself to a longer run find yourself a 5k. Almost every weekend there is a race to be found somewhere, whether on roads or on trails. is a great resource. Otherwise you can always ask our in house running gurus Andrew and Marshall what races are coming up.

4. Go Rock Climbing

Another great chance to test your fitness is to try out The Delaware Rock gym. If you are a beginner you have to sign up to go through a course, but if you've belayed and climbed before you can go through a quick test to get started. They have climbs ranging from beginner to expert levels, with over 14 different top ropes and a whole wall for bouldering.

If you are looking to use natural rock for your climb check out Alapocas State Park in Wilmington. The park is just as close, but check for availability before you leave.

Rock climbing is a great way to test your upper body, grip strength and flexibility.


5. Trampoline Parks

Friday night with a group of friends with nothing to do? Hit up one of the trampoline parks in Delaware. The closest one to Newark is Launch. You can schedule just a normal open time with friends or get a large group together and play dodge ball. Or if you've ever dreamed up dunking, they have a basketball hoop and a large foam pit set up so you can live out your fantasy.

6. Obstacle Race / Go Ruck

This is one adventure that many of us at CrossFit Petram can personally vouch for. Obstacle course racing a blast! 

A dozen of us went together during the early fall for Delaware Mud Run. We ran, got a little muddy, conquered some obstacles. Obstacle races come in a lot of different sizes all from a single mile with only a few obstacles, to 20 miles with dozens of obstacles. It's always best to get a small group together for your first race. Find one that's close and sign up.

7. Flag football/ Adult sports leagues

If you are new in town and are looking to make some new friends adult sport leagues are the place to be. You get to relive some of your gym class favorites like kickball, indoor soccer and flag football. Afterwards there are usually a few drinks to be had at a local bar or restaurant. Don't be afraid to ask other members about it. Several of them play in outside basketball, soccer and hockey leagues.


8. Bike To The Bay

If you are a cyclist you probably already know about bike to the bay, or as the attendees like to call it, buffet to the bay. There are fully catered rest stops every 12 miles, with distances from 20 to 175 miles you can ride. Best of all this event helps raise money for research for MS. To get registered for next year's ride just click the link below. You have plenty of time to put a team together.

9. Weightlifting Competition

If you find yourself showing up to early to class on heavy squat days and love to lift, you might not be interested in running a 5k. If that sounds like you check out some of the local weightlifting competitions around. There are USAW meets happening close by almost every month.

Find a competition 3 to 6 months out and get one of the coaches at CrossFit Petram to help you train for it. 3 of our 5 coach's have their USAW certification and can help you take your lifts to the next level. Whether you want to do some one on one sessions with them, or would like them to write you a program they can help you out!


10. Ice Skating

Not every adventure has to include a ton of work. If you are looking for a way to keep your entire family active this winter check out the ice rink on the Wilmington Riverfront. It's cheap, easy to get to and a perfect date night. It's a great alternative to drinking beer or watching a movie.


Your time in the gym shouldn't be the only hours of your week that you are active. Find something that you can consistently do three or four times a month, and have some fun. Whatever you are into get out and MOVE! 

Stay Safe With Midline Stabilization

Have you heard me shout this, "Backs Tight!"

I'm talking about about midline stabilization. In a nutshell, I am saying that I want the position of your spine to remain unchanged throughout every movement.

What does that really mean? Naturally, your spine has an “S” shape of sorts. For some of us that “S” shape is very dramatic, and for others that shape is more subtle, (“|”). Whatever the case may be for you, it is important that you engage those core muscle groups (abs, spinal erectors, gluts) to enter into that stable position at the start of, and throughout, every lift. Lifts include but are not limited to; deadlifts, cleans, snatches, or even just picking the bar up to move it and/or change plates. When you lose that “S” shape, and move to more of a “C” shape with your back rounding (or hyper extending) you’re not only compromising the success of the lift, but you’re upping the chance that you’ll tweak some muscle in your back.

While we tried to avoid the pain, it happens to the best of us...

Does this mean I’m injured/broken?

No, not always. You should always consult with your physician if you believe there is a true problem or something more serious. More often than not proper rest and (active) recovery can help move your rehabilitation along.

What can I do if I get low back pain?

o Take it easy, but remain active. Perform exercises that are comfortable for you and that do not increase your pain (emphasis on increase). Let a coach know, and we will gladly help you pick a movement that is safe for you to perform.
o Heat and stretching can be helpful in relieving some of the “tightness” in the area, but remaining active and correcting the fault are the two of the most effective ways to promote strength and healing.
o NSAIDS (Advil, Aleve, etc…) can also be helpful in reducing inflammation and managing pain.

- Coach Marshall


Weekly Hell Yea!

CrossFit wants to give Brandon Ambrosino the honor of being our member of the week! Brandon has been coming in with consistency that can only be found in our stellar 6AM group, but this weekend Brandon caught all of our attention. 

In a workout with handstand pushups, Brandon absolutely destroyed the movement. I told him they looked great afterwards, and he advised that he hadn't been able to string them together like that until today. A complex movement like that takes time to become proficient at, but somehow in the heat of the workout, Brandon was able to string several together flawlessly!

Not only did the HSPU look tremendous, but Brandon had the poor fortune of ripping his hands while performing the chin ups in the circuit. I recall him looking at me, showing me his hand, running to the bathroom, and grabbing a paper towel to grip so he could complete the workout! Talk about grit (not to mention being very considerate of the equipment).

Thank you Brandon for being an awesome part of CrossFit Petram. IF YOU SEE BRANDON THIS WEEK BE SURE TO GIVE HIM A HELL YEA!

4 Stupid Simple Healthy Recipes To Try This Fall

Eating healthy is already hard, but it gets even worse during the fall. You have holiday parties, more carbcentric food and the ever tempting pumpkin spice *insert snack or drink here*.

Just because people around you are falling into food traps doesn't mean you need to too. Try these four hearty and healthy dishes this fall. You'll be glad you did!

Bonus Challenge: Pick one recipe and commit to cooking it this week!

Bacon and Egg Stuffed Sweet Potato

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 raw medium sweet potato (~400g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices turkey leg bacon (uncured & nitrate free, I prefer Applegate brand)**
  • Seasonings:
    • fresh rosemary
    • pepper
    • sea salt

** – denotes Optional ingredient


  1. Set oven to 400F.
  2. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for about 45 minutes until they are soft, yet still a little firm.  If they are too soft, we will not be able to use them.
    • TIP: if the sweet potatoes are too thin or not thick enough, I advise baking two sweet potatoes. Then, you can skim the tops off – about 1/3 off the top – of the baked sweet potatoes, making it easier to carve a hole deep enough for the egg.
  3. Slice the sweet potatoes in half and carve out part of the inside in order to make a hole for the egg.
    • Use the leftover sweet potato to make a delicious mash with cinnamon and coconut oil, or you can use it as topping for my Shepherd’s Pie recipe.
  4. If you use bacon, wrap one slice of turkey bacon around the inside hole in the sweet potato. If it is easier, you can slice the bacon into individual pieces and then wrap around the inside of the sweet potato.
  5. Crack an egg into a bowl. First pour the egg white in the hole, then add the egg yolk.
    • If you are worried about overcooking the egg yolk in the oven or undercooking the egg white, then only add in the egg white. Bake the sweet potato with only the egg white and when the egg white is nearly finished, about 90%, remove it from the oven, add the egg yolk, then place it back in the oven to finish baking.
  6.  Bake these in the oven for 25 minutes at 400F, or until all the egg white has been cooked.
  7. Season, garnish and devour. Serve immediately while warm.


Approximate macros for 1 serving with 1 slice turkey bacon and ~200g sweet potato:
295 calories,17g protein, 41g carbs, 7g fat, 7g fiber, 17g sugar

Sweet Potato Bisque


  • 2 large sweet potatoes (10-12 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium tomato-vegetable juice blend or tomato juice
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, preferably hot, drained
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 15-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  1. Prick sweet potatoes in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it just begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in juice, green chiles, ginger and allspice. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently; cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-size pieces. Add half to the pot. Place the other half in a food processor or blender along with broth and peanut butter. Puree until completely smooth. Add the puree to the pot and stir well to combine. Thin the bisque with water, if desired. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Thin with water before reheating, if desired.

Ultimate Slow Cooker Lasagna


  • 1 ½ lb lean ground beef (if possible grass-fed)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 medium zucchinis (sliced)
  • 3 cups (~24oz) tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 2 large vine tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 ½ cup 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
  • Seasonings:
    • 1 ½ tablespoon rosemary
    • 1 ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon Spice Cave Land paleo seasoning (garlicky and herb flavored to give it extra flavor)


  1. Prepare the zucchini. Using a mandolin make thin slices of zucchini to cut strips. Slightly larger than the thickness of a nickel.
    1. IMPORTANT TIP: after you cut the zucchinis it is very important that you allow them to dry on a paper towel for about 20 minutes. Why? They tend to carry a lot of water and if you don’t, you’ll end up with a lot of water liquid in the slow cooker from both the steam and the zucchini.
  2. Prepare the meat. Spray a skillet with olive oil and set on medium high heat. Toss in garlic and brown for about 2 minutes. Next, toss in the meat and chop and cook for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the seasonings to the meat and continue to chop and cook until the meat is fully cooked, about another 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the meat. Stir thoroughly and ensure there are no large chunks of ground meat. If so, chop them up with a wooden spatula. Season to taste with sea salt & pepper. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Mix together egg whites and cottage cheese in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with olive oil and build the lasagna. Add a little meat sauce and then zucchini strips, cottage cheese mixture and then repeat.
  7. Add meat sauce to the top layer of zucchini strips and then cover with mozzarella. If desired you can toss in basil for extra flavor and aroma.
  8. Cook for about 4 hours on normal/medium heat.
    1. After it has finished, in some cases, there may be a small layer of water covering the top layer of cheese. It is likely from steam and water from the tomatoes and zucchinis. Just scoop it out using a measuring cup or large spoon.
  9. Slice and serve.

Approximate macros for 1 of 5 hearty servings:

345 calories, 50g protein, 17g carbohydrates, 8g fat, 3g fiber, 11g sugar

4 Ingredient Healthy Chili

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 2 cans (30oz) kidney beans (no salt added)
  • 2 large vine tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • spray olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Seasonings:
    • Chili
      • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
      • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
      • 1 tablespoon garlic & onion powder mix
    • Couscous
      • 1 tablespoon garlic & onion powder mix
      • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil



  1. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray with olive oil.  When the skillet is hot, add the ground beef and chop and cook so that it is as fine as possible (with no large chunks). While the beef cooks in the skillet, add the seasonings and continue to chop and stir.  This should between 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the beef to a slow cooker, then add chopped tomatoes and the kidney beans WITH the liquid (do not drain the cans).
  3. Stir, then cook the chili in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low heat, or 4 hours on high heat.
  4. Chop the top of cauliflower head into pieces to create individual florets, then add the florets to a food processor.  Pulse blend until it becomes grainy, resembling couscous.
  5. Add olive oil to a nonstick skillet and toss in the cauliflower couscous. Add the seasonings to give it some “personality” and flavor.  Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes and then remove from the skillet.
  6. Once the chili has finished cooking, enjoy it with cauliflower couscous.

9/12 Hell Yea!

This week, we have not one, but TWO members of the Petram community who have really pushed themselves, and who the coaches and I have decided need to be recognized for their efforts in the gym. 

Kelsey DeBoda, one of our prior members of the month, has been tinkering between scaling her workouts and hitting them RX when possible. This past Wednesday, the workout included squat cleans are 95 pounds for the ladies. Kelsey went ahead and attempted the workout with the prescribed percentages, and while it may have taken her longer than it normally would have, she was able to mark RX at the end of her workout. Pushing yourself past your comfort level is how we all grow, but to actually pull that weight on the barbell is easier said then done. Coach Nick came over to me and told me about how great it was to see our members pushing themselves and showing the improvement we all seek.

But Kelsey was not the only one who impressed the coaches with that workout. Vince Disabella stepped up to the plate and made an effort to make all 60 of those pull ups as pretty as possible. Coach Nick mentioned he was impressed with Vince's effort in hitting the full range of motion on each of his pulls ups. I also had the pleasure of working out with Vince in a team workout a few weeks ago, which Vince said to me, "We'll be lucky if we finish two rounds and change". After about 8 minutes of hell, Vince and I were able to say we completed 3 sets of the workout with a few extra reps. I don't know if I could have gotten that much work in without Vince pushing me!

So if you see Vince or Kelsey this week, be sure to give them a HELL YEA!

The Story Of The 20 Mile Journey...

Build Consistency In CrossFit and Fitness Will Come

In 1911, two teams led separate expeditions on a race to the South Pole. The journey over the most extreme weather and terrain on Earth was over 1800 nautical miles which is almost a round trip from Chicago to New York City. The press covered the beginning of this 100 day trek intensely.

The first team was led by Robert Falcon Scott. His team would march as far as they could on the good weather days, and then rest when the weather turned. Some days they would march 40 or more miles, while the other days they would only march 5.

The second team was led by Ronald Amundsen. His team dedicated themselves to marching 20 miles a day. On days during rough weather or terrain it may take them longer, and on good days it would take them shorter, but they were consistent.

In the end it was Amundsen's team that won. His consistent approach led to his victory while Scott's team perished in the Antarctic after reaching Amundsen's flag at the South Pole.

Your Own 20 Mile Journey In CrossFit

This story is very similar to our members' journeys. Some will take Scott's approach where some weeks they will hit 5 workouts, 3 yoga sessions and maybe some extra strength work. Others will take Amundsen's approach. Whether they are swamped at work or there is 4 inches of snow they will make it 4 days a week no matter what.

After being in different CrossFit gyms for nearly a half decade it is obvious to me that those that are consistent in their effort ultimately reach their goals more fully and quicker. Many athletes get distracted by trying to find a silver bullet to take them to the next level. They are always the ones starting the newest and sexiest lifting program or showing up with a 20 pound vest for Murph, but never able to stick to any one thing.

The unfortunate fact is that there is no secret. It's about consistently showing up, ready to work your ass off, every day. Some days you will feel great, other days not so much. The only important thing is that you show up and that you trust the process.

Consistency, no matter how small the effort, will always beat short term intensity.

-Coach Nick

Eat Clean, Train Dirty

Nutrition - Why it's important to eat clean:


There is benefit of vegetables as primary source of carbs

Don't Be Like Mike  Stay Away From Simple Carbs Like Bread and Hamburger Buns

Don't Be Like Mike

Stay Away From Simple Carbs Like Bread and Hamburger Buns

       -Eating whole foods is proven to keep you fuller for longer. Foods like vegetables are packed with fiber, an indigestible component that absorbs water and slows digestion. When in the stomach, fiber dense foods absorb water and hang out in the stomach a little longer than foods not containing fiber. They slow down the process of digestion and are referred to as "slow burning carbs." This more slowly digesting energy evenly spreads out throughout the hours following a meal with high fiber foods.

Eating foods with little fiber, highly processed foods or refined grains such as pizza, cereal, snack bars, bread, etc cause rapid digestion. This means that the carb source or sugar in the food is absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream. This causes your blood sugar to skyrocket quickly and then drop within an hour or two. With a quickly fluctuating blood sugar level, you'll always be reaching for another snack. Your body is still processing the food you just ate but the hormones released during this process tell your body that you are hungry and need to eat again. This is damaging for many reasons and is a prime enabler of type 2 diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases. 


What's wrong with dairy?       

Hormones play a huge factor in mood regulation. As I said above, when you digest food, hormones are released into the body. One of the main food groups that throw hormones out of whack is dairy. Dairy contains high levels of sugar. Yes, most often that sugar is natural but your body does not know how to determine natural from added. Regardless of the source sugar causes the blood sugar spike and a rush of insulin to the blood to relieve the sudden spike.

Insulin is a fat promoting hormone that is released in response to sugar (carbohydrate) in the blood. When insulin is present, it reduces the amount of sugar in the blood by sending some back into the cells to be used as energy. The remaining sugar is stored as fat. The more sugar you take in, the more is being stored as fat. Along with fat storage, insulin spikes also cause sugar cravings, overeating tendencies, poor mood and over prolonged periods of time, cause inability to control blood sugar naturally in the body.


Strike 2 for dairy!

In relation to hormones promoted by dairy, milk is produced by impregnated cows. Cows who are preparing food for their young to help them grow and flourish. In order to do that, estrogen is produced and is a major component in the milk along with some testosterone. When we drink milk we are receiving those sex hormones which we have in normal amounts already in the body. When we consume them from outside sources like milk, it can cause our natural levels to be thrown off. This can be especially damaging to our body composition and mood regulation. Just remember what milk is. Baby cow food designed to plump up the young calf and help it to grow strong. We as human adults do not need to be supported in this way or "plumped up." Therefore, dairy is not essential for us and actually quite damaging.


Have any other questions?

Shoot me an email -

-Coach Megan



Movement Demo Series - Other Movements

Over the past few years CrossFit has put out videos demonstrating proper technique during the foundational movements. Unfortunately they have been disorganized and many CrossFit beginners never get a chance to see these awesome clips.

Below are videos demonstrating different movements done in typical CrossFit gyms. These movements don't fall into one of the previous categories but are useful at creating well rounded athleticism.