Why Is Your Gym So Expensive?

Let’s talk about the white elephant that we hear often –Why is Our Gym So Expensive.

Like any good consumer, we always search for the most cost effective item or way to get something. Why pay more when you can get something for less? This checkbox can easily be crossed off by your chain gyms in the area. They advertise, no commitment or as little as $10 a month. But then what happens after the first month or two. For most, unless you have an inkling of what to do, you find yourself bored of your routine or maybe lacking motivation. Ultimately, the goal you set may have stalled in terms of progress or you didn’t see much progress at all.

What you’ll see is not all gyms are created equal. I struggled with trying to reason with myself why one place was more expensive than the other. I could go to a local fitness club for much cheaper or go to a smaller facility with staff that would learn about my needs and goals and meet me where I was at. I took a leap of faith going to a smaller gym to see if I’d notice any gains or changes.

So I finally cancelled my regular gym membership and jumped all in. Despite the higher coaching costs, the few sessions I did attend, I really was in awe at how out of shape I was! This is coming from someone who thought, I’ve done half marathons and triathalons. I even taught group fitness classes at the gym…so how hard would CrossFit be?

To quickly wrap this up, after 9 years, I still love CrossFit and it has gotten me into the best shape of my life. I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. I NEVER though I would ever be able to do perform pull-ups or climb a rope. And I’m no longer wasting my time trying to figure out what the next plan of action is to help me towards my goals. CrossFit has taken care of my programming, providing a coach and helping me eat better, and the accountability of the other athletes in the class doesn’t hurt either. Oh and I actually look forward to working out! 

Quick side story – one thing that many people don’t know is that I HAD hypothyroidism (autoimmune disease, which slows your metabolism) that I was taking daily medication for, otherwise, I’d gain weight easily and wouldn’t be able to lose anything. After I had started CrossFit, my blood levels showed marked improvement and I’ve been able to get off of my medication! That’s a HUGE win for me.

For anyone on the fence that might be thinking, “I can’t afford it.” I would argue that you can’t afford NOT to do it if you need the results. It really works. You can spend the money now on a membership, or you can spend the money later on ridiculous medication and all the other fees associated with chronic disease. Your health is an investment that many of us neglect and pay for later in life. But if you take action now, as they say, “health is wealth”, you’ll prolong living so that as you age, you avoid that downward spiral towards decrepitude.

May Committed Club 2020

There is no better distinction at Bear Mountain CrossFit than to be recognized into the COMMITTED CLUB “CC”.

To be accepted into the Committed Club you must have trained at least 15 times during the month and checked in on the laptop.

Being a part of the committed club is an honor and a testament to fitness gains. Here are the folks who did so last month.

Congratulations to the May 2020 Committed Club!!! #SquadStrong

Ginger Canfield 41
Gina Rosenbaum 39
Denise Napolitano 36
Emily Kasper 36
Bri Buonagurio 34
Amy Diaz 32
Jenilsa Rosa 29
Nancy Del Monte 25
Sarah McCay 25
Michelle Berman 23
Michael Rodman 21
Natalie Arcila 20
Cynthia Chan 19
Leanna Manwaring 19
Jade Grossi 17
Kathleen Martin 16
Marianne rodriguez 16
Michele Love 16
Theresa Incardona 16

BMCF Update: How To Support Your Gym and Community

It’s crazy how things have changed in the course of the last few weeks. As we move into a new “normal” for the time being, we’re all adjusting and learning how to deal with new schedules, working from home (or finding new work for many who have lost their jobs due to the situation, sadly), balancing family and supply chain planning with some food and household items on back-order etc.


All the while, I cannot put into words how proud I am of the BMCF Community as a whole. Our team has been working their tails off to move everyone to Remote Coaching and ensure you don’t skip a beat on your fitness journey,  personalizing every person’s workouts for their goals based on their specific equipment access, schedule, and movement needs, making sure everyone is setup with TrueCoach, making phone calls, texting, emailing, and doing everything we can to take care of you. The BMCF Community itself is setting up video calls with each other to work out together, calling and checking in with each other, posting in the BMCF Facebook group to encourage and keep each other accountable, and just genuinely having an amazing attitude through everything.


One aspect CrossFit and staying in shape changes, that many don’t notice over time, is not only your physical strength and fortitude, but your mental fortitude as well. You’re strong. You have more grit than most and it shows. Instead of getting overwhelmed, all of you stepped up to the plate, took this challenge head on, and are making the most of it. It’s amazing to watch!!



  • Everyone is getting constant contact from their assigned Coach via TrueCoach.

    • Accountability has been amazing. We get to check in with you each day you workout, make sure the workout is perfectly suited to your goals, and then follow up and make sure it went as planned.

    • You’ll also be getting personalized recommendations outside of just the workouts. Don’t be surprised if we help you with your schedule, stress management, or even a little nutrition help. Our goal is to be there for you, however you need.

  • The BMC Facebook Group is a HUGE nexus of communication and interaction for us. Please take advantage of it -if you aren’t in it yet, it’s worth making a private Facebook account and just joining the Athlete Community. Staying connected is important!

  • We’re doing a couple live Zoom events each week.

    • Periodic large Zoom workouts

    • Other ideas are coming.



A couple of small businesses have come together to help support gyms during this time as well as provide savings to gym’s communities. Here’s how it works:

 Every time you make a purchase online from one of their websites using our code RECOVERY4865 (Expiration: April 5th):

  • FREE shipping from Born Primitive + 50% of the profits from your sale back to our gym

Don’t forget to use code RECOVERY4865 at checkout, and pass the message along to help spread the word. We are thankful to these brands and what they’re doing to help support our community!

I also highly recommend shopping at as many small businesses as you can. Amazon, Walmart, Target etc have enough revenue and capital to weather these kinds of storms (for the most part), but there are many, many small businesses that are facing a difficult future during this.  Feel free to post other small businesses you know of in the athlete community, we’d love to helps support them.

For BMCF, you can support us by sharing your experience with our Online Coaching program with your friends. Since it’s 100% online, they can be in another state or even country and we’ll still be able to help them. If you know anyone struggling to stay on track and home, please send them our way.

All in all, we couldn’t be more thankful for you and your example for your family, friends and community. Thank you for all you do and please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can help you more.


To really understand a company, is to understand why they do what they do. Here’s our story about how Bear Mountain CrossFit came to be and our “WHY”.


A friend of mine suggested I try CrossFit out since I was coming off of endurance sports. I had been doing half marathons and triathalons, but they were becoming too time consuming, and I was getting bored. All it took was a Google search, and I started CrossFit in 2010 at CrossFit Metropolis in NYC. Trying to make it in the concrete jungle in Manhattan can be quite challenging and I often found it difficult to escape the hustle of city life, but something changed when I walked into that CrossFit gym. All that outside noise seemed to disappear, and that one hour gave me some weird freedom where you actually felt present and in the moment, not worrying about anything. I didn’t realize the fringe benefits that came along with it..it’s got to be that good ju-ju feeling I got (maybe it was the endorphin high after the workout, lol).

After a few months at Metropolis I pursued my L-1 and had the opportunity to sit in the shoes of being a CF coach. I cannot even put into words the pure excitement, pride and joy it brought to me to be able to work with individuals for their betterment. I come from a Human Resources background, specializing in wellness, and I understood that if I can get others to see the benefits of what CrossFit can bring, the return on investment would be limitless – who doesn’t want good health, less doctor visits, less ailments as we age! Not to mention, the supportive environment and extended family you get at an affiliate. After coaching as a hobby for several months, I quit my HR job and took on something I was finally passionate about. Not only has CrossFit created a place I could go to, or a community I could feel embraced by, it also changed me mentally by empowering me and challenging me every day. It changed my perspective on fitness and re-affirmed that to improve upon ourselves and our relationships/families, we must invest the time to take care of ourselves.


My fiancee and I decided it was time to leave the city for more space in the ‘burbs. So we made the move to Westchester where I started training at Empire State CrossFit. The universe must’ve been conspiring to put the pieces into place, because after training at ESCF for a few months, their sister gym “The North” was in need of a head coach. Within a year of coaching, I fell in love with the community that surrounded me, and took a leap of faith and became owner. Granted – this all happened the same year I was getting married!

<h2 style=”text-align: center;”>BLINK AND NOW IT’s DECEMBER 2017</h2>

As newly weds and owners, we poured our hearts and souls into our new adventure. In an effort to stand apart, we re-branded to reflect our growth, and more importantly, our community. We’ve decided that “Bear Mountain CrossFit” best exemplifies that. The “bear” is a symbol of strength, power, and support. Which is everything we so strongly believe in. Our logo represents change, growth, and a brighter tomorrow… As we often hashtag “Stronger Together”. All it took for me was that one year to see how special a place this is and how I wanted to continue to grow the community we’ve built.


Fast forward to where we are today, and to all our members (current &amp; past) and all our friends and family who have supported us, thank you for allowing me to live out my “Why”. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to show you why CrossFit is a great program – and not strictly for the benefits of the physical means, but from the relationships and extended family that it fosters.

January 2020 Committed Club

There is no better distinction at Bear Mountain CrossFit than to be recognized into the COMMITTED CLUB “CC”.

To be accepted into the Committed Club you must have trained at least 15 times during the month and checked in on the laptop.

Being a part of the committed club is an honor and a testament to fitness gains. Here are the folks who did so last month.

Congratulations to the January 2020 Committed Club!!! #SquadStrong

Scarlin Thompson 28
Katelyn Young 25
Ava Biemer 24
Chris McCarthy 24
Eric Jackson 24
Leanna Manwaring 24
Mike LePere 23
Anthony Guglielmo 22
John Doino 22
Jenilsa Lopez 21
Brenda Hutcheson 20
Erin Cullen 20
Jade Grossi 20
Luzia Cordeiro 20
Matt Galotti 20
Natalie Arcila 20
Amy Diaz 19
Ann Healy 19
Bob Wuttke 19
Emily Kasper 19
Ian Abayon 19
Ana Sanchez 18
Lauren Lopano 18
Marcel Martin 18
Denise Napolitano 17
Elissa Sheehan 17
Javier Cruz 17
Kathleen Martin 17
Mia Leone 17
Michael Hess 17
Rachelle Perez 17
Robert Martinelli 17
Elizabeth Castro 16
Ginger Canfield 16
Kevin Clement 16
Matt Rivera 16
Terri Noll 16
Alex Elliot 15
Edison Zhinin 15
Joseph Cosentino 15
Nancy Del Monte 15
Teresa Gristina 15
Vincent Cuccia 15

Dear Coach: What Should I Eat Before a Workout?

February is here! Where did the time go? We’re going to do a weekly installment of FAQ we’ve received through the years from new members and some of our veterans.

Topic of the day: Pre/Post Workout Meals

Now, what you do before the gym is just as important as what goes on during the 60 minutes you spend in class. We’re going to use a popular car analogy when it comes to “fueling up”. It’s the tale of the fancy and sexy Ferrari and the old-er car that gets us where we need to go.

Say we’re driving and our car is soon to be approaching empty. We pull into the gas station, open the gas cap and we need to fill up. Our Ferrari is a sleek and well oiled machine. Its acceleration is off the chain, and gives a smooth ride. We’ve got a need for speed! 

Question: Do you fill it with regular or premium gas? 

Answer: PREMIUM. The car is made for performance (if you want to it to prrrr like a kitten when you drive). 

Scenario two. We’re in the older car and pull into the gas station. This car takes us from point A to point B. We’re running out of gas.

Question: Do you fill it with regular or premium gas?

Answer: Either would do. Regular if we’re honestly just using the car to get through the day to day errands. 

You my friends are the FERRARI (although sometimes we might feel like the older car, lol). We come to the gym 3-4+ days a week and are tackling some high intensity workouts, lifting weights that challenge us, and are working our muscles and heart to encourage long term health.

Going back to the original question – we often get asked, what should I be eating? This can get complicated but let’s just go over a few key points.

Dialing in the timing of your meals and their composition around your workouts can help you with recovery, and in turn help you reach your goals much faster.  The better you recover from a workout, the better the next workout will be.  You will make that hour at the gym a lot more productive with the proper nutrition.  

Start with focusing on your pre- and post- workout nutrition one day at a time.  

Pre-Workout Meal

  • 1-3 hours before working out
  • Provides you with physical and mental energy 
  • If you train very early in the morning, (5:45am classes), you may not have time for a pre-workout meal.  Make sure that your meal the night before was nutrient dense and well balanced (carbs, proteins, and fats).  
  • Protein: Eat plenty of lean protein before your workout.  You literally break down your muscles during exercise and weight training.  Protein keeps amino acids stocked while promoting protein synthesis.  
  • Carbs: Fill up on slow digesting carbs.  Exercise depletes your glycogen and glucose levels, so you need carbs to replenish them!
  • Fat: Keep your fat intake low in your pre-workout meal.  Fat slows down digestion.  You don’t want to feel uncomfortable in the middle of a hard WOD!

Immediately Pre-Workout OR During Workout

  • 30 minutes to immediately before a workout
  • My 5:45am classes, this option is ideal for you!
  • Only refuel mid workout if it’s a very long workout.  
  • Protein: Whey protein shake.  It is a very fast digesting protein.
  • Carbs: Stick with really fast digesting carbs such as coconut water.
  • Fat: Avoid fats completely as they slow down your digestion.


Have this meal within an hour of your workout.  This meal helps with your recovery tremendously.

  • Protein: To promote muscle maintenance and growth.
  • Carbs: To replenish glycogen stores and help with recovery.
  • Fat: Slows down digestion, so keep this very low.


Protein Sources (low fat sources)

  • Chicken breast (skinless)
  • Lean ground beef
  • Egg whites
  • Lean steak
  • Turkey
  • Egg whites
  • White fish
  • Low fat greek yogurt
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Whey protein
  • Casein protein (best at bedtime because it is slow digesting)


Slow Digesting

  • Sweet potato
  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole grain breads/ cereals
  • Vegetables
  • Quinoa (also has a great source of protein)


Fast Digesting

  • White potato
  • White rice
  • Fruit
  • Gatorade
  • Rice cakes
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles


  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Nut butters
  • Nuts
  • Cheese

In summary, avoid high fat foods around your workout time.  

Have a meal with lean protein, slow digesting carbs, and low fat 1-2 hours before your workout.

Bring a shake with carbs + protein to your workout (Whey Protein +  coconut water).

Eat your post workout meal within an hour of your workout with lean protein and a mix of slow and fast digesting carbs.  

Pull-Up Program

So you’re trying to get your first STRICT Pull-Up. What’s it take to get that first pull-up? Well it takes work…and I mean consistent work to strengthen your upper body. We’ve created this video library using the pull-up segments from Box Programming to help you get closer to that strict pull-up.

How to follow the program:


Find the thinnest band you can perform a pull-up with.  Document the color and how many reps. We’re looking for at least one rep.


We created the below video library to help you along as well as the PDF file. It should take you about 30 minutes to perform the strength and accessory work if you are diligent about keeping strict rest periods. Make sure to focus on quality versus quantity when it comes down to weight and band selections.

Log your info on our pull-up tracker to keep you accountable!


The goal is that the program is able to help bring you closer to your first strict pull-up. If you’re able to perform more reps with the band you used during test out, or using a thinner band, that indicates a marker of success and you’re getting CLOSER to that pull-up.

Remember, it’s a process to develop that strength, so be patient. The pull-up fairy is coming!

Programming credit: Box Programming

PDF File

Week 1 

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4



“Quitter’s Day” is coming…How not to fall into the trap?

Did you know January 19 is “Quitter’s Day”—the date by which most people have given up on their New Years Resolutions? The new year provides an opportunity for folks to reflect on the year past and assess where change may need to be made. This often means we think big and have well intentions with our goals, but sometimes that backfires on us because we have no clue where to even begin.

We’re here to help you avoid falling into being a statistic for “Quitter’s Day”.

Here is our game plan for you, following what are known as SMART GOALS.

As a refresher, SMART goal principles say that what goals you choose should be

S – pecific M- easureable A-chievable R-elevant T-time-based

We tend to try to give ourselves a pass by saying, we’ll start on MONDAY or pushing back for a better time, but how about starting here


Sometimes we tend to bite off more than we can chew. Take a look at what you’d like to tackle first and let’s start with one goal. We’ll use the example of a handstand walk. I’d like to be able to do this in 3 months time – shooting for March 17th.


Grab a sheet of paper and a calendar. Goals take time, and without giving them the attention they need, you’re more than likely to put it off. Also, without figuring out what exactly to do, you’ll probably waste more energy trying to figure out a game plan than spending the time working on it.

This is when we fish for excuses. You might choose to wait until you’re better rested or put it off based on some random reason. Nope – not today! Let’s schedule it on our calendar, maybe even putting an alarm or alert on your phone to spend a SET amount of time working on something. For example, say I want to work on handstand walking. I’ll set 15 minutes after class, 4 days a week and when class is finished, I’ll grab my phone, and hit my timer. Once it dings. That’s it! I’ve done my required time.

Not sure what exactly to do, that’s why you have coaches who are there for goal setting sessions to help you with a plan! Going back to my handstand example: I need to practice kicking up so I don’t kick too hard. I need to do a freestanding handstand. I also need to be comfortable moving my hands off the floor.


So – I’ve decided to spend 15 minutes after class, 3 days a week working on my HS. First goal is to practice my kick ups!

This is way easier to attempt then me attempting to do everything at once. Simple is best!


I must be able to repetitively kick up without overshooting my legs 6 times.


Sweet! Time to move on to being able to work on my freestanding handstand for 10 seconds!


You should find yourself chipping away at your goals and seeing progress along the way!

Need another example?

Here is an example.

SMART goal: I want to be going to the  gym three times a week by February 4th, 2020.


  1. Set a weekly schedule for next week today. Put gym time on my calendar. This is an appointment. Like a job interview. I don’t miss job interviews.    
  2. One gym visit on Friday at 3:30 pm. I will leave work at 3:00 pm. I will pack my gym clothes and put the bag in my car Thursday night. 
  3. Two gym visits next week on Tuesday at 3:30 pm and Thursday at 3:30 pm.  
  4. Three gym visits per week starting January 20th. I will attend Tuesday and Thursdays at 3:30 pm, and Friday at 9:00 am. I will put these days in my calendar as appointments. I don’t miss appointments. 
  5. If I miss a day due to illness, I will restart the appointments as soon as I am well. Missing a day does not cancel out the goal.  

The specifics are different for everyone, but hopefully this will help you out. Give this a try! Let me know how it goes!  

What’s the truth about CrossFit? Myth #5 – CrossFit is for young people.

If you were to do a google search using “CrossFit” chances are you’d see quite a few strong men and women, who seem to be on the younger end of the spectrum. And while the statement is not false, it also is NOT exclusive to young folks. So let’s see if we can address this.

Reality: CrossFit is for EVERYONE (who wants to see a difference in their fitness level)

If you’ve been following our myth busters, you’ll recall we mentioned that CrossFit is universally modifiable meant to meet each athlete where their current level of fitness is. That means that in a class, we can have your 5 year old working along side their 35 year old mom and dad as well as next to their 65 year old grandparents. Isn’t that neat? All those individuals can perform the same workout because the basic difference is not the needs being met (they can all do the same movements, like a squat), but it’s in the loads and intensity level (aka how heavy and how fast they work).

Let me also add that there are many older athletes in CrossFit gyms that are absolutely crushing it.  I mean, these guys can blow past me in workouts. I’ve had the pleasure of working out with two highly competitive athletes (Amy Mandelbaum and Tracee Magee), and they left me in their dust. As they say, “Like fine wine, it gets better with time”. These ladies were unbelievable.

I’ve also had the pleasure of running competitions (The WODFather)  for our Masters Athletes for the last 4 years and these men and women are the fittest moms/dads, grandparents, great grandparents you’ll ever meet. If you want to see something impressive, you have to come watch these folks battle it out. The grit and tenacity is insane.

Now, to be fair, here’s a list of people CrossFit may not be for:

  1. CrossFit is not for people who AREN’T INTO community. We’re community-based, and we love that about our box.
  2. CrossFit is not for people who DON’T want results. It’s too hard to stay with it if you don’t wanna get better.
  3. CrossFit is not for people who REFUSE to be coach-able. Improvement demands a coach so we value coaching.

Otherwise, CrossFit is absolutely for YOU!

  • You the kid, and you the great grandfather.
  • You the fence builder, and you the soccer mom.
  • You the athlete, and you the coach.
  • You the sports fan, and you the Fixer Upper fan.

Don’t believe the lie that CrossFit isn’t for you if you’re genuinely looking to get results! Come try us for free. See you soon!

What’s the truth about CrossFit? Myth #4 – CrossFit is Dangerous

I really wanted to answer this question right out today, but I thought the better way to answer this question is to share a few stories with you:

  1. Traci came into our box feeling tired of being exhausted all the time.  Since she’s been with us, she’s down over 60 pounds, is one of the strongest women in the gym and is able to do pull-ups!
  2. Alex has been with us since 2017, and he’s down 20 lbs and has put on muscle! He joined CrossFit to find a new hobby outside of fixing cars, and needed to do something about being bored at the gym. He’s now constantly working on hitting new goals in the gym.
  3. I, EJ Shaver, 37, have been doing CrossFit for 9 years, and it’s helped me get off of medication for my thyroid issue. I’m the fittest I’ve ever been, and it’s prepared me for one of my toughest challenges, being a strong mom!

Those are 3 of over 100 stories I could tell you of success in our gym.

I tell all of our athletes 3 things when they’re thinking about coming on board:

  1. CrossFit is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It can be overwhelming at first.
  2. You’re going to be sore.
  3. Be patient. This stuff works.

The truth is, you do take a big risk when you start doing CrossFit. You risk muscle soreness, fatigue and some joint pain. If you’re working hard, there may be moments of vulnerability where you think about quitting. However, bumps and bruises are a part of life. CrossFit, not only addresses the physical, but it also touches on mental grit and strength inside each one of us. Sure, to the outsider, it can seem dangerous. But isn’t it just as dangerous to cross a busy intersection? When you factor in the guidance and constant coaching in our classes, your probability of getting injured is lower than trying to figure it out yourself. Isn’t that risk worth it versus aging in a way to requires daily medication or losing the ability to function life’s simple tasks.

Remember, your efforts towards health and fitness should be thought of as a marathon, NOT a sprint. Quick fixes are only temporary. We’re playing the long game, and if you happen to get a scratch or strain it pales into comparison than if you allow your health to slip out of your hands and it requires the assistance of doctors writing out multiple prescriptions or even worst, surgery to address issues that could have been prevented if you took a chance with CrossFit.

In closing, here is a trustworthy saying… Nothing great ever came easy. Risks are a part of life. Don’t be afraid to live your life to the fullest, and maybe its the “dangerous” things that we have to embrace from time to time so that we ourselves can become a little more dangerous.