Congratulations Colin

Athlete of the Month – Colin Hudson

When you are a four season athlete there is no such thing as an off-season. If Colin wasn’t playing organized sports, his time was spent training in more exotic ones. He was certified to scuba dive, had snowboarded backcountry in Park City, and had surfed the Great Barrier Reef before he was legally allowed to drive a car. He was Captain of his Rugby and Soccer teams in high school and had completed a mini-triathlon before graduating. Colin went to West Chester University where he played Club Rugby and Soccer. Then the grown-up years began. “My entire life, I ate like an athlete. I was hungry all the time and I could eat anything and not gain a pound. The problem was when I finished school, I still ate like an athlete but my activity level dropped to zero.” Fast forward and Colin found himself in an office job at a desk all day, out of shape and well North of 220lbs. It took one bad beach picture, a cigarette in one hand and a beer in another, to give him the motivation he needed to get back in shape. He started at home with P90X and a poor attempt at his own nutrition plan but still managed to lose 20 lbs. In 2012 Colin walked into his first Crossfit gym. “Actually, that was my first time in ANY gym.” His sports background helped him pick up the CrossFit moves fairly quickly and he immediately gravitated towards the barbell. He joined the mainline barbell club and competed in a handful of Olympic lifting meets. Lifetime numbers include a 225# snatch, 300# clean and jerk, and a 435# back squat. He moved to Conshohocken and found Crossfit Thermal the same year they opened. He’s done the Crossfit Open every year since. Colin wants to thank all of the coaches and community members of CrossFit Thermal for all the motivation and support throughout the years. “Best part of my day is recovering on Thermals floor after a spicy WOD.”

The 8 Serving Challenge – 21 Days To Look and Feel Better

Ok Thermal, its time to announce our annual Spring Nutrition Challenge. For the past few years we’ve tried to add something unique and fun to our challenges. The idea of counting calories, starving yourself or having certain foods be off limits 100% of the time tends to be less attractive and thereby harder to stick with. This season we are flipping the script and going with a challenge that aims to INCLUDE certain foods, as opposed to avoiding or limiting them. This approach also pushes out poorer choices. To amass the needed 8 servings, you’ll have to make better choices throughout the day (since 8 servings of fruits and vegetables is tough to consume in one sitting). So while “anything goes” in the diet, you will likely find yourself reaching for the piece of fruit over a poorer choice to stay on track.

The Challenge
  • Eat 8 servings of fruits and/or vegetables (total) a day.
  • No foods are restricted during the challenge but only fruits and vegetables count towards the 8 servings.
  • Total calories (and macronutrient grams) are up to the individual based on their fruit and vegetable choices, as well as the other foods in their diet.
  • Dried fruits/vegetables and juices do not count towards the total.
  • Macronutrient Flexibility. By allowing any fruits and vegetables as “fair game” it is up to the user how many carbohydrate grams they consume. This means it can be molded to fit both lower and higher carb needs. It could be very low carb at ~25 grams per day (e.g., all celery) or closer to ~215 grams (e.g., all Japanese yams).

Hopefully, we don’t have to list all the existing fruits and vegetables!  You know these. Here are a few exceptions that can be confusing:

  • Avocado: A fruit! Count it.
  • Coconut: A fruit!  Count it if you eat it as the fresh meat.  Liquid (milk and juices) and dried (flakes) coconut products do not count.
  • Corn: As in corn on the cob or whole kernels, count it!  Corn derivatives (i.e., cornmeal, popcorn (derived from dried kernels)) do not count.
  • Grains (like quinoa or buckwheat) do not count.
  • Legumes (beans) and peas: Except for peanuts, count them!
  • Olives: A fruit! Count them.
  • Nuts: Do not count towards your total.  
  • Tomato derivatives (e.g., salsa, tomato sauce): If the entire ingredient list is vegetables and spices, count it. Most tomato sauces, salsas, etc., however, include water, oil, and/or sugar in the ingredient list, such that they do not count.  

Why 8 Servings?

Eat 8 servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day and reduce your risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. There is not often consensus in nutritional literature, but it is almost universally accepted that consumption of fruits and vegetables are good for your health. This ultimately begs the question of how much?

Research has found improved health associated with amassing 8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Further, 8 per day is a target similar to other research regarding health outcomes and can meet (or exceed) the USDA recommendations. The 8 serving target is also at or above recommendations set by other organizations such as the World Cancer Research Fund and the World Health Organization, as well as standards set by some European countries. And – its a challenge so it has to be a little bit tough.

Important Details

Challenge Dates : 4/22 through 5/13

Cost $20

Each participant will be added to our private Facebook group and receive ongoing support and guidance throughout the challenge. Participants are encouraged to be active and share successes over the course of the 21 days.

Weekly Prizes for participation and a Grand Prize based on overall success!

Most of all – lets have fun, encourage each other and see if we can teach ourselves to make better choices long term.

Swings and Things

Be Like Coop and Sign up Today!!

Sign up – Pull-up Seminar $35

Sign up – Muscle Up Seminar $40

On Saturday May 4th, join us for a day of kipping and day tripping as we explore swings ‘n things to get you pulling up and over the bar (or rings).

Our 1 or 1.5 hour Event includes a short warm-up and:


Drills for Kipping, Chest to bar and butterfly pullups and or muscle ups.

Body Awareness

Contests and Prizes

With two seminar options, athletes will have an opportunity to choose which clinic they’d like to attend. Our first option runs from at 1:30pm to 2:30pm and will focus on pull-ups and its variations. Expect to see strict, kipping, butterfly and chest to bar pull-ups. Our second and more advanced session will run from 3:00pm to 4:30pm and will focus on the muscle up (bar and ring).

Returning for this Seminar are coaches Becky Caplan and Judah Frank. This dynamic duo bring with them a combined 34 years of USAG training, and coaching experience.

Prerequisites: To insure safety of all participants we will require 1 strict pull-up or willingness to work banded for the pull-up clinic, as well as one chest to bar pull-up for the muscle up clinic.


You can take on this workout solo or with a partner!

Join Travis Manion Foundation and various CrossFit gyms across the nation on Sunday, April 28th, 2019 for the Manion WOD as we honor 1st Lt Travis Manion and all of our nations heroes. You can officially register here for $29/person, which includes a Manion WOD t-shirt, or just show up on the day of the WOD and be a part of the cause.

Growing up in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Travis Manion was known for his strong leadership qualities, athleticism and academic achievement.

In 2006, Travis was selected, as an experienced Iraq War veteran from 1st Recon Battalion, to become a part of a military transition team (MiTT) with 10 other Marines that would train and partner with an Iraqi Army Battalion in Fallujah, Iraq.

On April 29, 2007, 1st Lt. Travis Manion, his fellow Marines and Iraqi Army counterparts were ambushed while searching a suspected insurgent house in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. Leading the counterattack against the enemy forces, Travis was fatally wounded by an enemy sniper while aiding and drawing fire away from his wounded teammates.

Travis Manion made the ultimate sacrifice that day. His selfless actions allowed every member of his patrol to survive.

For his actions, Travis was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Valor. His legacy continues to grow through the work of TMF, inspiring people to live with character and make an impact by serving others. Travis Manion made the ultimate sacrifice that day. His selfless actions allowed every member of his patrol to survive.

We can all remember Travis by carrying on the values that defined his life.

Path To Pull-ups

If you’ve watched the video and feel like you NEED this, please reach out to me at and be added to the first class of Path To Pull-ups.

What is It?

Its a template to follow 3 days per week to make you stronger at vertical pulling. Each day’s accessory work will take no more than 20 minutes and can all be completed in the Forge.

Why You Might Need It?

Have you ever felt frustrated on the pull-up rig? Can’t string toes to bar, can’t quite get that chest to bar rep, need to figure out the whole “kipping thing”? The list goes on and on. Some people put a ton of focus and emphasis on being able to do the sexy CrossFit style gymnastics but they never spend time dialing in the foundations of strength it requires to do these movements, and do them injury free!

How Much Dude?

Its freakin free! I’m over it guys, I really and truly want you all to have this movement down and I happy to help.

Intramural Open Update

Team19.2 Submissions% Participation
No Reptars1785%
Twerking and Jerking1680%
If you’re not first1575%
Last Minute1571.40%
Magic Mike’s1470%
Female RX
Individual Point Earners19.2 ScoreTeamTeam Points
Jamie Sobolewski423Magic Mike7
Karen Maley176 / 6:14No Reptars6
Lauren Bond176 / 6:40Last Minute6
Colleen Hennessey170No Reptars6
Meighan Doran167If your not first6
Male RX
Andrew Farris341If your not first7
Tyler Gould258No Reptars6
Vinny Joyce256 / 11:03Twerking and Jerk6
Chris Swiers256 / 11:08Twerking and Jerk6
Ryan Cooper254Magic Mike6
Scaled Leaders
Sara McKellin426If you’re not first3
Zack Reicker425Magic Mikes3

Team Standings

After two Weeks

1st Place

If Your’re Not First You’re Last 79

2nd No Reptars 78

3rd Magic Mike Lanasty’s 74

4th Twerking and Jerking 67

5th Team Last Minute 58

Athlete of The Month – Mike Lanasa

As a child, Michael was a bit pudgy and slow. Growing up in Maryland meant lacrosse was in the future. In about 3rd grade, Michael began swimming, playing football, and lacrosse. Participating in those sports meant he got faster and leaner, but he was not very graceful. In high school Michael continued football, lacrosse and swimming with football being his favorite. However, in his senior year of High School, he tore all the ligaments in his right knee and was told he would be lucky to walk again. Surgery was scheduled the day after the injury, and Michael lost 20 lbs in 4 days. The remainder of the year was spent in rehabilitation learning to walk again.

Then it was off to Drexel. Michael’s priority was not academics, hence ballooning to 205lbs and the struggling to stay in shape; off to the real world and work. Fortunately, he had a boss that dragged him to the gym by his ears and he was able to get back into shape but it wasn’t enough. Fast forward to 2017 and a trip to the doctor – high cholesterol and build-up in his arteries. This discovery encouraged him to make some drastic changes. May of 2017, Michael made the call to Vinny, who told him come in for an evaluation. After the first WOD, Michael was hooked. He could barely move, required a great deal of coaching, and lots of time with the PVC pipe but slowly progressed. The sense of community and encouragement from everyone was intoxicating, especially the 6am crew, and all the coaches are supportive patient. After a workout on Friday or holiday, you feel like you are in Dom Toretto’s backyard for a BBQ and Corona. Michael’s vitals are now normal and all is well so that he can spend more time on the boat with his wife and embarrass his 3 kids.

CrossFit Thermal – Open 19.1

Gearing up for this week, here is what you need to know about the Open! On Thursday night, CrossFit will announce this weeks workout, 19.1. CrossFit affiliates all over the world will be participating by completing the workout over the weekend. This year at Thermal, we’ll be doing the workouts on Friday during class times. This means that if you come to the gym on Friday at any regular scheduled class time, you’ll have an opportunity to complete the workout. If you are not doing the Open, but come in on Friday, the workout of the day will still be the Open workout, thus – you might as well do the Open and get in on the fun!!

  • 6am and Noon classes will function as normal, expect to get in and out within an hour.
  • Evening classes will run on a rolling heat style and we will have a heat sign-up sheet for organization.

Here are some previous links about the Open that have been posted over the past few weeks.

About The Open

This season at Thermal

In House Rules

2019 CrossFit Open Teams – CrossFit Thermal

If you’ve been keeping up with our posts about the Open, hopefully you’re getting excited, if you’ve missed some of the content, check out this post. Our Facebook page also has a few videos you can watch to get the gist of whats going on. For right now I wanted to let you know where we are with regard to teams. As you know this year we’re making the Open about fun and community with less emphasis on making it to regionals (which don’t exist anymore…tear).

Choosing teams is always a sensitive issue, but here at Thermal, we’re taking that right out of the equation; here’s how. Since your value as a participant is largely based on your ability to have fun, complete the workouts and show team support, randomizing teams from the outset is best. No one gets picked last, there are no clicks formed or people left out. That being said, you can still earn additional points for your team by crushing workouts in the Open. I’m all about inclusiveness but….it doesn’t suck to be good at CrossFit AND an awesome team player!! This methodology allows each teammate to have substantial impact regardless of ability.


We’ve selected 5 team captains for this event. Each team captain is a CFT veteran who showcases the ability to have fun, lead others, and drive the spirit of the Open. Congrats to Danielle Kugler, Ben Morosse, Colleen Hennessy, Mike Lanasa and Kevin Connolly. Thermal’s “Fire Breathers” have also been pre distributed to even things out in terms of performance. If you’ve competed in multiple CF competitions, multiple Open Seasons, and can likely complete every movement we could see in the Open, you may be on this list.

The Draft

The Draft will consist of taking everyone who initially signs up and placing them on teams at random. You are under no obligation to officially register for the Open on the CrossFit Games site to be part of this intramural event. Basically, if you plan to try even one Open workout, or you plan to be at the gym on any Friday in the month of March, you should throw your name in, why not, it will be fun, I promise!!


This is where it gets fun. After the initial draft is over and the teams are populated, teams may begin to recruit from the remaining membership base. For example lets say after the initial draft Ben’s Team – “Benny and the Jets”, sees Dave Root and Dan M hanging out doing some rowing after class, Ben, or anyone on Ben’s team can say “Hey Fellas, care to join Benny and the Jets and have a kick ass time for the Open this year?” If Dave and Dan say yes then they are in, Ben simply adds their names to the Google Sheet. Since you earn a point for each member of your team that completes the workout the bigger the team you have – the better! I will put some limits in place as needed so we don’t have major lopsided numbers. More to come…..

Athlete Of The Month – Erin !!!!

Erin has a background of playing team sports such as basketball and softball all the way through high school. After that, she participated in recreational team sports, took up distance running – completed the Philadelphia marathon in 2012, and participated in cardio-focused group fitness classes. Erin was interested in incorporating more weightlifting into her workouts and decided to give CrossFit a try. Erin joined Thermal, her first CrossFit affiliate, in October 2017. Since joining, she has benefited from learning more about weightlifting, resulting in improved technique and increased strength over time. She loves the challenge of the WODs and the great community atmosphere! Over the last few months, Erin was excited to PR her deadlift and complete a strict pullup and kipping handstand pushup! Erin wants to thank all of the coaches and community members of CrossFit Thermal for the motivation and support to break through barriers and help achieve her goals!


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