“For me working out is more about my mental health than physical…the physical benefits are just a bonus.” ~Sandy Puzio

Each month we bring you a story about one of our awesome athletes at Salus. We feature this person because they have something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. Not only that, but this person supports their fellow classmates and encourages them to reach their goals, too. This athlete embodies what we believe the Salus Community should be all about.

The first word that comes to mind when describing Sandy is “consistency.” Sandy makes her health, both physical and mental, a priority by consistently attending class. She has no issue modifying movements because she knows moving her body is important, even if slightly different from what’s prescribed. She knows that 8:30 hour is essential to making her a better mom when she continues her day. And that squat depth is so pretty!” ~Coach Erin Winters

 

Our November 2022 Athlete of the Month is Sandy Puzio.

Sandy Puzio, Athlete of the Month November 2022


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started at Salus in the summer of 2021. I had been doing CrossFit for a few years and circumstances forced me to look for a new box. Changing gyms can be really difficult and I always found it would take me a year to be comfortable and enjoy my workouts but this time was much easier thanks to the coaches and the people at Salus. Even in the temporary space I could tell I ended up where I belonged.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I feel much stronger and while I am still cautious, I am less afraid to lift heavier weights and try new things. I still lift a lot less than everyone else but getting stronger. I am also learning how to be more efficient on the cardio equipment, especially the rower. I have a long way to go but looking less like a monkey going no place than before at least.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Not necessarily doing anything new but definitely moving better and more consistently. Learning to use my legs to lift more instead of relying just on my arms.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I am definitely stronger and feeling leaner than I ever have.

Sandy, Athlete of the Month

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

Salus allows me to get a great workout in an hour and I never leave feeling like I didn’t get enough of a workout that’s for sure. While I still watch what I eat, I don’t feel like I need to watch every calorie to get the results I want the way I did with other workouts.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Salus is such a great box. Great people, great coaches, great programming. I really like the consistency of the programming- you know what to expect each and every day.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

For me working out is more about my mental health than physical…the physical benefits are just a bonus.

I always feel better when I am done which is all the motivation I need. There’s something to be gained each and every day. There are days when the WOD is not in my wheelhouse at all and I laugh that I came anyway but I’m never sorry I did. My day is always better when I start it with class.

An added bonus is that my teenage daughters think it’s pretty cool that mom has muscles lol.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I really like any WOD with a couplet of cardio and weights like a few rounds of running and push jerks.
I tend to like a chipper a lot too.

If I had to pick a lift it would be the Bench Press.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

You don’t have to be a “CrossFitter.” There are so many ways to modify the workout and still get the same benefits. There’s always something to be gained each and every workout.

No one is judging or worrying about what anyone else is doing other than to encourage you to push through.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

I would really like to be able to do a legitimate toes to bar one day.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

It would definitely have running and no gymnastics or rope climbs.

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I am a beach lover so for me it would be a day spent on the beach reading a great book.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

My favorite healthy dish is any really good salad with a piece of grilled salmon on it.
Favorite splurge meal would be chicken cacciatore with broccoli rabe.

14. If you could be a superhero/superstar who would you be and why?

I never wanted to be a superhero, adventure is not so much for me- I prefer to stay close to the ground and right side up. I would be Jennifer Anniston for all of the obvious and shallow reasons…I even have a daughter named Emma.

15. Favorite motivational quote?

Probably be something simple like “if it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you” because it is really the truth.

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I am a sports fanatic, especially the New York Yankees. I like watching all sports and teams and really like listening to sports radio. I wish I had considered a career in sports broadcasting.

“I get more excited cheering others on and seeing them crush their goals then I do my own.” ~Dan Unkel

Each month we bring you a story about one of our awesome athletes at Salus. We feature this person because they have something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. Not only that, but this person supports their fellow classmates and encourages them to reach their goals, too. This athlete embodies what we believe the Salus Community should be all about.

Our October 2022 Athlete of the Month is Dan Unkel.

“After the American flag outfit, how could we ever forget! Dan has always been a good listener, always has felt coachable, he always did his best and looking at the long term Dan has improved his lower body strength a ton of his skills with the barbell. Gymnastics movements have improved a great deal, too.” ~Coach Gino

“Dan is just a nice, humble hard worker and always gives words of encouragement.” ~Coach Scott

“I know Dan first as his former competition partner and as his coach second. Working side by side with him, you get a first hand experience as to how his calm, focused demeanor helps him crush workouts (and keep his partner calm, too). Dan sees the work in front of him, puts his head down, and gets it done regardless of how lofty the challenge. During class, he always makes an effort to support others around him while staying committed to improving his own performance.” ~Coach Erin

“Dan always shows up ready to work and with a smile!!! And he is One of Salus’ humble first responders!!! 🙌 did you know he delivered a baby at a gas station a few weeks ago when he was on duty!?! 😯” ~Coach Melissa

Dan Unkel Athlete of the Month October 2022


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I joined Salus in January of 2018. I joined because I needed a change in my boring exercise routine, I would either lift weights or run, but never both at the same time or for any period of time.

CrossFit is the perfect combination of cardio and lifting for me…and because Erin Winters handed me a glass of Salus Kool Aid and told me to drink it.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I will be the first one to admit that I am nowhere near where I want to be as far as my fitness level goes, but Salus has helped me to get closer to it and realize what my weaknesses are. (ahem….cardio)

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Bar Muscle Ups. It feels so good when you fire yourself over that bar knowing I can do something that not many people in this world are capable of.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I’m always sore…in the best way possible.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

I’ve done two nutrition challenges and have learned a lot doing them. I have seen a noticeable difference each time. I understand what I need to put into my body and although my children, work, work schedule (steady midnights as a police officer) doesn’t help with nutrition, sleep and stress, the tools that Salus has provided me with has put me in a much better place then if I had never walked in those doors.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

I have told anyone that will listen that Salus will be the best decision you could make as far as trying to reach your fitness goals.

The people, the atmosphere, the comradery…there is no gym that can duplicate the motivation you get walking into this building with these people.

I get more excited cheering others on and seeing them crush their goals then I do my own.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

My family and my job.

We are a very active family (Cameron-Gymnastics, Cali-Basketball, Mason-Football) and I want them to know that I wouldn’t ask them to do anything that I wouldn’t be willing to do. I work out and they know that, they ask me to workout with them and I’m glad they do. I want to be able to run, jump, and throw with them whenever they want. Also, it helps to stay in shape so I look good in uniform or a full American flag workout outfit.

Dan athlete of the month

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

The easy answer is Bench Press. I try and never miss bench day, but if I had to pick a favorite WOD, I would go with all the lifting, DT !

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Be patient and don’t look around. Don’t worry about what everyone else is lifting or capable of right now. You’ll get there.

You’ll amaze yourself if you just give yourself the time.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Get my nutrition back on track. When is the next challenge? I need to set time aside to meal prep and put the effort into getting back to where I want to be.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

How about a birthday WOD 5/7/80, I’ll be 43.

5 rounds of 7 bench press (Gino can pick the weights), 43 box jumps and 80 dubs.

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Vacation anywhere near the beach with the girliest drink I can find. Don’t judge me!!!

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy-Egg white’s with turkey and salsa on a spinach wrap.

Splurge Meal-Taco’s or Buffalo Wings

14. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?

Based on my job, I’d have to say either Superman or Spiderman. To try and help people in any way I can before they are hurt or become a victim is why I go to work each and every day. After 18 years on the job, nothing has changed for me. It gets disheartening to hear negative views about police officers but I’m also comforted by the effort that my men, women and I put forth despite the negative narrative.

15. Favorite motivational/Inspirational quote?

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is that good men do nothing.” -Edmund Burke or maybe JFK

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I was a State Champion football player and Track athlete in high school and went on to play both in college. To me, CrossFit is me not letting my inner athlete go and why I refuse to scale most WOD’s even though it is probably the smart thing to do for me at 42 years old.

 

“I want to be able to stay strong and active for as long as I can.” ~Charley Sweet

Charley Sweet Athlete of the Month

Each month we bring you a story about one of our awesome athletes at Salus. We feature this person because they have something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work. Not only that, but this person supports their fellow classmates and encourages them to reach their goals, too. This athlete embodies what we believe the Salus Community should be all about.

Our September 2022 Athlete of the Month is Charley Sweet.

“Charley is a smart CrossFitter, he knows when to push himself and knows when to scale things. He focuses on the right details and sees the value in the long term benefits of his time in the box.” ~Coach Gino

“Charley is a great member who always find time to fit a workout inside his busy routine. When he comes to class he always work hard and gets the job done💪” ~Coach Camilla

“Charlie doesn’t let “can’t” get in his way. His persistent attitude shines through during class while tackling technique, specifically in his lifts. He always seeks to challenge himself while being receptive to coaching cues.” ~Coach Erin

We’re so happy to have Charley as this month’s Athlete of the Month and an awesome part of this community. Enjoy his interview below.

Charley Sweet Athlete of the Month September 2022


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started Salus in January of 2021 when we were still working out outdoors. There was something primal about being out there in the cold, putting in the work. I joined because my old gym was too far to drive every day, and I just needed a change from where I was.

charley sweet athlete of the month

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I’ve been doing CrossFit for about ten years. For the first 3 or 4, I was super competitive with myself and made great strides and improvements. After that I started to sort of level off into the athlete I am today.

Since I began Salus, I have become much more aware of being consistent. Being as good of an athlete as I can, be but still able to perform in life on its terms.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

No, not really. I may be better at dubs than I was, but not by much on the reg.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

More gray hair; I’m turning 50 in a few weeks…

via GIPHY

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

Since I started Salus, I have also started a career change. I started the process of going back to school to get an RN license about the same time I began Salus.

Going to the gym in the morning to start my day on a positive note has a whole new meaning to me. Not only do I see fitness and health through a new, maybe more educated light, but I am really learning about the long term effects of staying consistent with my fitness. Pushing too hard and getting injured or just too sore to move is not helpful.

But pushing every time to do the very best I can on that day keeps my competitive juices flowing and, hopefully, keeps me in the best shape of my life for the rest of my life.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

It depends on the friend I’m talking to.

A fitness friend: I tell them that it’s the place with real CrossFit, amazing coaching and a super supportive community.

If I’m talking to a not-so -fitness friend, I call it my “happy place.”

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

My why is easy: I want to be able to stay strong and active for as long as I can. Salus is the fountain of youth.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

My favorite WOD is the one that leaves me with more energy than when I started. Sometimes a short hard one and sometimes a long chipper. Usually I can make any WOD work for me by scaling it to suit my needs for the day.

Charley Sweet Athlete of the Month

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Don’t be in a hurry, play the long game and make the commitment to your health and fitness.

You will get better and stronger and faster.

You’ll see your body transform in a healthy amount of time.

You will be able to do more for longer if you stick with it…it’s not a quick fix.

Listen closely to your coaches, they all want you to succeed!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

I just want to get to the gym tomorrow. Everyday I come is an accomplishment.

11. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I love to be outside. On a bike or a walk with a backpack.

12. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

I love food and I love to cook good food so don’t really think about food as healthy or not healthy. I’m hungry, I eat, and if I’m not I don’t. My only real rule is that I don’t eat a couple hours before going to bed. It’s a guarantee for a bad night’s sleep and I’d rather be hungry.

13. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I’ve lived in 13 different cities/towns.

via GIPHY


Through this monthly recognition, we are showcasing those dedicated members for their hard work and accomplishments and show the community that anyone can be a CrossFitter.

All you have to do is make the choice to give it a try, set goals, work hard and challenge yourself. You may be surprised at what you will accomplish! It’s not that this person is able to RX every workout or lift the most weight. What makes an Athlete of the Month is that every time they come to the box, they try their hardest, give the workout their all, and then some.

They go above and beyond by spending extra time to work on specific skills, are welcoming of others and encourage other athletes to do their best, too. They really embody what CrossFit is all about and work to make CrossFit Salus the community and family that it is.

Each month we will choose a different Athlete and post some fun facts about them to help you get to know them better. Have a nomination? Let us know who by sending an email to angela@salusnj.com.

via GIPHY

William Barnhisel on “Dad Strength”

william athlete of the month

Each month we bring you a story about one of our amazing Salus athletes. This person has something special. They give their best in every class (and then some), they are hungry to learn and always ready to do the work without complaining. Not only that, but this person supports their fellow classmates and encourages them to reach their goals, too. This athlete embodies what we believe the Salus Community should be all about.

Our August 2022 Athlete of the Month is William Barnhisel. William came to CrossFit Salus in 2019 looking for a place to drop in during the holidays. Now living in the Middletown, NJ area, Bill and his wife, Lauren are regular members. You’ll find Bill crushing the early evening WODs bringing his positive energy and baby Bill Jr. with him!

“Bill is so much fun to coach—he gives 100%, has never seen a barbell he can’t wait to move, and crushes those gymnastics movements. He is a real pleasure to have in class.” ~Coach Lisa

“Bill is a pleasure to have in class . He quietly crushes every WOD and has a real sweet family.” ~Coach Scott

“Bill is one of our most well rounded male athletes, he has a great mind set, great energy and loves a challenge.” ~Coach Gino

We’re so happy to have William as our August Athlete of the Month and as an awesome part of this community. Congratulations Bill!

William Barnhisel Athlete of the Month August 2022


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started full time when my wife (Lauren) and I moved to Middletown in the Summer of 2020. Previously, I would drop in periodically when Lauren and I would come down from the city to visit her family.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I have definitely gotten stronger on most of my lifts as well as HSPUs.

I think this is because mainly we consistently do lifting at Salus or because now I have dad strength with the birth of Little Bill. Our old gym in the city was so small and so busy it was hard to program lifting.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Strict HSPUs I always struggled with, but I have definitely gotten better at those and can string larger sets together now.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

Well when first starting Salus I had a little more COVID weight, you can only get so far with a 50lb dumbbell in a 500 sq ft apartment you are sharing with your wife and 80lb dog. So I dropped the COVID weight by fall of 2020 and have been pretty consistent since then.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

I have always used the gym as my de-stressor. So Salus definitely helps with that. It’s a combination of zoning out for an hour a day and just focusing on the task at hand, getting the endorphins going and having fun with the other members.

It’s a great community at Salus.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Eh ok, Kidding. Lauren and I have made most of our friends in Middletown from Salus.

There is just something about CrossFit people.

On the whole they are great people who enjoy the same things so it’s easy to make friends and enjoy the community.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

For me it is really my stress management. My job is pretty stressful, so my workouts are essential.

I always feel better no matter what happens during the day.

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

I love Murph. I know it’s a long one, but just something about chipping away at it while keeping in mind WHY we are doing it is just so motivating.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Take your time figuring everything out, especially on the technique. No one really cares how much you can lift or what you can do.

We are all there for our own reasons.

It takes a while for some of the movements to click. I’ve made the mistake when I was younger by trying to go too heavy too fast on some of the lifts and have injured myself. Some of the members have been doing this for years, so don’t feel intimidated when they are lifting much heavier or doing movements you don’t know yet.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

My mobility.

I sit most of the day for work, so my back and hip flexors get pretty tight. I want to get to a point where I can comfortably sit in a full squat for minutes without being uncomfortable.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

I love long chippers, so some combination of hang power cleans, shoulder to overhead, HSPUs, double unders and bar muscle ups with a 25 minute time cap.

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

I’m a busy body. So I love my projects around the house. Lauren sometimes gets annoyed with, “why can’t you just relax?”

I don’t know why, but I usually need to be doing something.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

My favorite healthy dish is soy salmon filets I make on the grill. I started doing it for lent last year on Fridays and now it’s one of our staples at the house.

My Favorite splurge meal is homemade pizza, when it’s made I eat far too much of it!

14. Favorite motivational quote?

“Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” I think this goes back to my busy body nature, again it annoys Lauren sometimes haha.

15. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I’ve been to 46 states. Most of it came from traveling during my wrestling career, but I think it’s pretty cool I’ve seen so much of the country.

Only states I haven’t been to are: Wyoming, Idaho, Washington and Alaska.

Collin Martin, Athlete of the Month

Like many, Collin joined after a long break away from fitness during COVID. But he’s back and improving more than ever! Just hear what some of our coaches have to say:

“Collin definitely has a competitive streak. He has definitely been working on improving his level of performance, technique and positioning to reach that next goal.” ~Coach Gino

“I can confidently say that Collin is laser focused. You can tell he spends his class time soaking up as much as he can from our coaches. He pushes himself and is eager to attack his weaknesses.” ~Coach Erin

“Collin is constantly pushing his own boundaries, willing to try unfamiliar movements, back off to work on form, and also work heavy. He is very coachable, and constantly working to improve.” ~Coach Lisa

“Coaching Collin is always a pleasure. Every workout, I can see his mind thinking “how can I attack this workout.” He never compares himself but constantly tries to beat what he did yesterday.” ~Coach Anthony

Congratulations Collin! Meet our July 2022 Athlete of the Month!


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I joined in May 2021 after a 15-month CrossFit hiatus. My wife and I moved to Middletown from Jersey City during the pandemic.

I was mostly working out at home as a result of Covid, either running or hitting the Peloton, and I wanted to get back to the challenging/intense workouts that CrossFit provides.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I have definitely gotten stronger, especially over the last few months. I ran a marathon last fall so my attendance was spotty, and I wasn’t really pushing myself on the strength side of the equation.

Since this past winter I’ve tried to challenge myself a bit more with heavy lifts, and to not take the easy way out on the metcons (like choosing a weight that I knew was way too light.)

I’ve set a few new PRs on lifts lately as a result.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Both my overhead squats and squat snatches have improved a lot. That might sound crazy for anyone who has witnessed them, but they are so challenging for me that little increases in weight here and there are big accomplishments for me (I’ll challenge anyone in the gym for the “worst mobility” title!)

When I first started CrossFit, I would avoid classes where these lifts were programmed; now I seek them out since I want to keep improving.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

The good news is that I have gotten stronger, but the bad news is that I still have the “quarantine 15” and don’t fit into a lot of my clothes! Angela might have a new nutrition client soon…

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

I try to take the 6a class when I can fit it into my schedule since it helps me get focused for the day. I get the feeling of accomplishment right away, and then I’m ready to tackle my job knowing I got the workout out of the way.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

It’s a great community where everyone checks their ego at the door.

No matter how strong you are or how quickly you finish a workout, everyone is supportive because what matters most is that YOU push yourself and YOU make sure you’re getting the most out of each workout.

My friends have said it looks intimidating, but at the end of the day, everyone is there for the same reason.

And the coaches are all incredible—the coaches at Salus are all passionate and invested in the success of all of us.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

I love competition, and while my “glory days” are behind me, this still allows me to get the competitive juices flowing. That can technically mean against the other people in the class, but more often than not it’s just about pushing yourself to the limits. I love the idea of workouts that say “go do XYZ as quickly as you can.”

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

Murph! I’d be happy with adding in another mile in there somewhere!

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Just stick with it. It can be intimidating at first, especially when you don’t know the lifts and exercises, but over time it’s going to get you in great shape. And listen to the coaches!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Bar muscle ups.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

Murph but with 5ks at the start/end

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Trying new restaurants and golfing when I can

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy: grilled chicken and veggies
Splurge: Tomahawk ribeye with all of the unhealthy sides: mashed potatoes, Mac and cheese, creamed spinach.

14. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?

My dog Eli. He’s a weirdo so I’d love to know what’s going on in his mind..

15. Favorite motivational quote?

“ To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” -Steve Prefontaine

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

-Every year I do a “beer mile” with my friends. I’ll be happy to provide more details off the record…

-I was once flown to Singapore for a 3.5 mile race.

Maxson & Joshalynn Athlete of the Month

We couldn’t be more excited to share this month’s featured Athletes of the Month! Max & Joshy have, of course, been doing CrossFit since day one. From flipping car tires in the prekids class to learning double unders in the kids class to clean and jerking a 60 pound barbell in the preteens class…they are now officially old enough to graduate once again to the CrossFit Teens class! But, it’s not just their physical strength that has developed over the years. We have witnessed them experience breakthroughs mentally and emotionally… which we’ve seen carry over in all aspects of life.

So proud of you both! Congratulations on being featured Athletes of the Month!


How and when did you start CrossFit?

Max: I started CrossFit Salus at the year 2012 and I started because my parents go to the gym and they inspired me to go.
Joshy: I started in 2012 and when I was 2 years old… because of my parents.

How is your performance changed since you started at CrossFit?

Max: My performance has changed cuz I am now I feel able to do pull ups and heavier weight heavier barbell movements and I’ve actually been able to do more double unders.
Joshy: My performance has changed a lot. Now I can do a lot of kipping pullups. I can do pretty heavy weight for weightlifting and I’ve also gotten better at my double unders.

How has your body changed since you started a decade ago?

Max: My body has changed because I can clearly see the muscle growing on my body now…more than I did when I was younger. And I’m able to perform things that I couldn’t do before.
Joshy: For me, I definitely see more muscle on my body!

How does CrossFit impact other activities like gymnastics or basketball?

Max: CrossFit has helped me to jump higher and it’s easier to block people in basketball or score layups in basketball…so I thank CrossFit for that!
Joshy: For me, CrossFit has helped me a lot in gymnastics. I can also do a lot of things in track. It’s like a big circle, CrossFit helps me with my legs a lot and you need strong legs for track and gymnastics. CrossFit has also helped me learn how to breathe correctly in my other sports.
Max: Also, after I’m done sprinting, I’ve learned how to control my breathing so I can recover faster.

How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?

Max: Well, mostly I say that you should come to my parents gym and get buff like me.
Joshy: I tell them it’s like a fun class where you get to workout and it’s not a boring class. It’s fun because of the way the workout is designed, the music and being with my friends.

What keeps you motivated to keep going?

*Both point to Mom*
Max: You. But also just the fact that if I keep working out, I’ll build muscle.
Joshy: If I go, then I’ll be strong and I can prove everybody who called me weak, wrong.

What is your favorite exercise?

Max: My favorite exercise is jump rope.
Joshy: Kipping Pull-Ups

What advice would you give somebody new who walked in to CrossFit?

Max: I would tell them to go with the flow and try your best because nobody judges you.
Joshy: If they were scared, I would tell them that it’s going to be ok and I would also partner up with them and help them.

What is your next goal to accomplish?

Max: Probably being able to do six or seven strict pullups in a row.
Joshy: My first goal would be get a PR on the clean and jerk (higher than 55#) and also I would like to get 15 kipping pullups in a row.

If you could design you own workout what would it look like?

Max: It would start with strict pullups, then pushups then calories on the rower, double unders and end with more pullups.
Joshy: First I would have kipping pullups, then we would have to do handstand walks, then run around the building then deadlifts!

What’s your favorite thing to do for fun?

Max: Playing Minecraft and basketball in the front yard.
Joshy: Going on my new beam.

What’s your favorite healthy meal?

Max: Wahoo’s
Joshy: Sushi

What’s your favorite fun meal?

Pizza!
Pizza!

If you could be a superhero who would you be and why?

Max: For a superhero I would probably be Doctor Strange because – if you think about it – he has basically every superpower because he can open up different universes and he has (or used to have a timestone).
Joshy: Millie Bobby Brown because he’s an actor in a movie that I really like and she’s a kid/teen and I’d love to be in a movie like a kid, too. Or maybe Captain Marvel because she can do everything. She’s really radical.

What is your most favorite inspirational or motivational quote?

Max: This is from a book: “It’s not what you have, it’s what you don’t have that counts.” Meaning you have to work together with others to solve something – like the mystery in the book.
Joshy: Don’t Be Afraid To Work Hard Enough To Find Out How Good You Can Really

What’s a fun fact not many people know about you?

Max: I don’t think many people know that I was born at 10:33am in Oxnard California.
Joshy: Something a lot of people don’t know is that when I was born, I had to stay in the hospital for 21 days. So even though I was born first, Max got the first ray of sunlight.

“I want to continuously challenge myself and stay physically active for as long as I can.” ~Alex Lautenschlaeger, Athlete of the Month

alex, athlete of the month

Like many individuals, Alex started CrossFit looking for a new way to stay active during COVID. As a former collegiate athlete he wanted a challenging activity that also satisfied his competitiveness. He says, “The mental challenges that each workout presents always is a great way of proving to yourself that your mind and body are oftentimes capable of way more than you think.”

“Alex comes to each class ready to make that hour count. He stays very focused as he works on the proficiency of each movement, be it strength or the metcon. He is always receptive to coaching cues and eager to put them into practice.” ~Coach Erin

“Alex has been steadily improving since he began. He’s VERY coachable and moves extremely well.” ~Coach Scott

Congratulations Alex! Meet our May 2022 Athlete of the Month!


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started at Salus in October 2020. I wanted to be more active and find a new challenge.

It was a combination of me missing the competitiveness of college golf and the desire to get into better shape and use the extra time I was gifted due to remote work (COVID).

It was also super easy to start and try a class, which was nice.

The intro class with Gino introduced me to all the movements and gave me confidence to start in a group setting.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I am more flexible and stronger than I was before I joined Salus.

It’s great to see how my performance has changed when looking at Wodify.

The mental challenges that each workout presents always is a great way of proving to yourself that your mind and body are oftentimes capable of way more than you think. Aside from the physical aspect, I believe that the workouts at Salus are a great way to improve mental toughness.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

CrossFit and the programming at Salus forced me to work on my weaknesses.

I wasn’t able to do double unders or toes to bar before and my pull up strength has increased significantly. Learning how to kip has helped me string together multiple reps and complete larger sets.

Any gymnastics movement is especially challenging for me and being able to do pull-ups and toes to bar confirms that I made progress since I first started.

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I gained a few pounds in muscle mass and my jeans fit a little tighter around the thighs 😀

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

The nutrition reset challenges that Salus offers have helped me and my wife identify healthy alternatives to certain foods, which still helps us to this day.

I overall make better choices when it comes to what I eat and how sleep and recovery affect my performance.

The team WODs on Saturday mornings also help me to make better choices on Friday nights 🙂

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

I describe Salus as a group of likeminded people who have a passion for fitness and support and encourage each other regardless of skill or fitness level.

The community is the biggest reason why I enjoy coming to class.

It’s great to see how passionate the coaches are and how they “walk the walk.” The coaches do the workouts themselves and compete in CrossFit and weightlifting events, which is cool.

Everyone at Salus is trying to become a better version of themselves and is genuinely interested in the success of the other members.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

I am very fortunate to be healthy and I want to continuously challenge myself and stay physically active for as long as I can.

I also want to set a good example for my family and friends and hopefully inspire them to be more active and to maintain or develop healthy habits.

Seeing the ‘older’ members at Salus whoop my behind in every workout except Rowing and Rope Climbs (special shout out to Gino for programming that WOD!!) is also very inspiring to watch. I want to be in such great shape later in life as well!

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not Wall Balls, Rowing or Running. I enjoy back squats and really any kind of Team WOD because I always find a little extra motivation when I work as part of a team.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Just keep showing up consistently, don’t be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone and listen to the coaches and you’re on your way to becoming the best version of yourself.

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

I want to move into the Rx workouts more consistently.

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

3 rounds for time

15DB snatches

30 wall balls

500m row

Finish the WOD with a single heavy clean

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Hanging out with the family and maybe sneak in a few holes at the golf course.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Chicken, rice & veggies.

Splurge: Wiener Schnitzel, fries or potato salad and a good German beer

14. If you could be an animal what would you be and why?

I’d be a bat so I am more comfortable upside down and I can bang out more HSPU’s!

15. Favorite motivational quote?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”. Henry Ford

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

I worked on the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Tour as a professional Caddie for a while.

“I sleep much better at night, I eat better, overall I feel better about myself.” Matt Eaton, Athlete of the Month

All the Salus Coaches agreed that Matt Eaton was a great choice for the April Athlete of the Month! We couldn’t agree more with Coach Melissa, “He gives 110% at every WOD no matter the time of day!”

He makes it happen. Always showing a commitment to his health and rotating between the morning classes to be sure he gets his time in at Salus. As Coach Erin puts it, “He truly makes that time count by challenging himself with each workout.”

Not only that, but “Matt is very respectful of the WOD stimulus and works really hard in every workout,” says Coach Gino.”

“Matt is great, very coachable and listen to correction. His engine is crazy!!! Sometimes I blink and he’s done,” Coach Camilla.

Congratulations Matt! Meet our April 2022 Athlete of the Month!


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started in September of 2021.  I moved to Middletown from Fanwood and needed a new gym. 

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I have gotten much better at a lot of things, most notably handstand walks and overhead squats. 

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Handstand walks. 

4. How have you changed since you started CrossFit?

CrossFit overall has changed my life drastically. Since starting everything above has gotten much better.

I sleep much better at night, I eat better, overall I feel better about myself. 

5. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Since I moved in January I left a great gym with an awesome community. I dropped into a bunch of gyms around Jersey but couldn’t really find one that lived up to my previous gym until Salus.

Overall the coaches are amazing, the facility has everything you could want, the community is incredible, and the programming fantastic. 

6. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

I enjoy pushing myself and feeling good about what my body and mind can accomplish in the gym.

What I can accomplish in the gym sets the tone for the rest of my day.

I also try and be a good role model for my kids and hopefully they find their way into a healthy/active lifestyle sooner than I have. 

7. Favorite exercise?

I have a lot that I like. I would probably have to say bar muscle ups, rope climbs, and box jump overs are my favorite movements. 

8. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Listen to your body and your coaches, try to have fun and really celebrate all the PR’s even if they are small ones.

The accomplishments may not seem like a lot in the beginning (they are) but when you look back a few months or even a year or two you will notice how far, how quickly you have came. 

9. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Get better and more consistent on my hands.

Would love to get a 25 foot unbroken handstand walk. 

10. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

5 rounds for time

  • 15 box jump overs
  • 3 rope climbs

11. Favorite thing to do for fun?

CrossFit

12. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy – Salmon and broccoli

Splurge – pizza

13. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?

This is a tough one to answer. I normally don’t think like this. I am happy with being myself. 

14. Favorite inspirational quote?

I have a few but this one fits with my precious answer. 

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Bill May “Practicing a healthier lifestyle allows me to be a good example not only for my children but to my friends and family.”

Progressive improvements over time yield big results. And our next Athlete of the Month, Bill May, is a solid example of that.

“Bill has definitely shown a strong level of commitment,” said Coach Gino. “He has made a lot of improvement in his technique in a lot of the movements we do in CrossFit. Not only that, but he is always supportive of others in the class and doesn’t hesitate to make things fun with great dad jokes.”

Congratulations Bill! Meet our March 2022 Athlete of the Month!


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

My CrossFit journey started in July 2021. I had been working out at a local gym for years and lost my motivation. I was basically just going through the motions for years. CrossFit has piqued my interest for a while but I just never pulled the trigger until some friends that were members motivated me…. Basically The Crocker’s forced me to join.

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

My strength, mobility, technique and stamina have improved significantly.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Yes- Upside down push ups (aka handstand pushups), double unders and crab walks 🙂  . Honestly,  I don’t  think I could do a pull up without assistance when I started. 

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I’ve lost weight and built muscle.

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

My energy levels have increased which has allowed me to keep up with my kids longer.

My eating habits and recovery habits have improved dramatically.

I’m more diligent about making sure I eat healthier and get enough sleep in order to live a healthier lifestyle and refuel for the next day’s workout.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

Fuc*ing Awesome!

It’s a tremendous group of men and women at all levels that come together as a community to support and motivate each other.

The coaches are fantastic and all have a ton of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm.

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

The gratification of overcoming the daily mental and physical challenge is something that I really enjoy.

I’ve seen an increase not only in my strength but my mental toughness and confidence which is carried over into other facets of my life.

Practicing a healthier lifestyle allows me to be a good example not only for my children but to my friends and family.

8. Favorite lift?

The Power Snatch

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Go light, work on technique, and keep going, it gets better!

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

Bar Muscle Up

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

20 Min AMRAP of:
40 Double Unders
20 GHD sit ups
15 Turkish Get ups
10 Wall Walks

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Hang with my family but I would say that’s probably not their favorite thing to do. Also I, love spending time and fishing on Lake Champlain.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Healthy Dish: Salmon, Brussel Sprouts and rice.

Favorite splurge is any dessert …. I love my sweets

14. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?

A King Cobra- their venom is powerful enough that a single bite could kill a Bull in under 3 hours. It can cause dizziness, blurred vision and often paralysis which is very similar to how I feel after most WODs.

15. Favorite inspirational quote?

“Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” ~Unknown

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

Hmmm, I’m pretty open but I would say for most of my life I thought I was half Italian but found out recently that I’m actually greek…’Opa!’

Sandra Andrews “The more I attend, the more I surprise myself with what I can accomplish.”

When the Salus Coaches discussed who should be our next Athlete of the Month, Sandra’s name came up multiple times. Sandra has come a long way over the past 6 months. “She is very coachable and willing to learn.” Not only has she made massive improvements in the gym by improving her lifts and body composition, but it has also positively impacted her energy and stress levels as well.

As a coach, it’s so inspiring to witness when people achieve PRs, but you just can’t beat the tears of joy over her 20lb clean PR back in January. You MUST watch the video we posted on our Instagram page. “She has definitely shown a lot of improvement.”

Congratulations Sandra! Meet our February 2022 Athlete of the Month!


1. When and why did you start at Salus?

I started at Salus in late August in 2021. I decided to try this after seeing my friend Yuliya transform herself after having her third child. We did a Rugged Maniac together (I love these kinds of races with obstacles) and we were talking the whole time and she convinced me to try CrossFit.

The main reason is because the workouts are always different. I like that! So here I am!

2. How has your performance changed since you started at Salus?

I definitely have more stamina than I used to. I can definitely lift more weight (slow and steady) and I can actually RX some of the level 1 workouts.

3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?

Yes, pull ups. I still need to work on kipping, but I can do a couple of pull ups when I used to not even be able to do anything close to that. And wall balls were my nemesis, but now they’re just annoying!! Lol!!

4. How has your body physically changed since you started?

I am not stuffing myself in my jeans anymore. I don’t weigh myself ever, so I have no idea if I have lost weight, but I definitely feel like my torso, arms and legs are getting more toned, but I have a ways to go before I look like Angela!!

5. How has Salus changed you in other ways?

I definitely think a lot more about the food I put in my body! If I am going to spend this time exercising I don’t want to undo that with what I eat!

Also, I used to get a lot of migraines, but I think the stress relief I am experiencing is really helping reduce my headaches.

6. How do you describe Salus to your friends?

I tell them that it’s crazy. I look at the WOD and I think, “ There’s NO way I’ll be able to do that, but I’ll give it a shot”. But the more and more I attend, the more I surprise myself with what I can accomplish. It feels so great to complete a workout. It’s always different and the coaches and participants are incredibly kind, encouraging and supportive!!!

sandra andrews

7. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?

So many things!

  1. I desperately needed to do something. I was literally not exercising at all for years. I saw the path I was headed down and it was no good!
  2. My husband and I have this dream hike we want to do called the Coast to Coast walk across Northern England. It’s 192 miles of the most beautiful scenery. This is part of my preparation for that.
  3. I want to have energy to run after my grandchildren – my 20 and 21 year old kids need to finish college and get married first, but, you know, I’m planning ahead.
  4. But really, I just want to be like Elaine’s description of George Costanza: “ He can lift 100 pounds right up over his head.” I am slowly getting there!!

8. Favorite lift or WOD?

Favorite lift is the Bench Press.

I don’t remember the name, but I really liked the New Year’s Eve challenge of doing the two WODs, one right after the other.

I never thought I would ever be able to complete them, but I did.

I was so surprised and pleased! It was fun to do it with everyone.

9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining Salus?

Have fun! Ask questions. Do not get discouraged, get determined! If you need a lesson in determination, just watch Yuliya work out!!! 🙂

10. What is your next goal to accomplish?

I really want to get better at kipping for pull ups and toes to bar. I need a lot of help with that. Everyone makes it look so easy, but my body and my brain are not talking. There seems to be a disconnect.

But I know I will get it some day! Oh and DOUBLE UNDERS!! UGH!!

11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?

If I designed a WOD it would look a lot more like: relax on a couch under a comfy blanket: 20 min.
sip a cup of tea: 5x EMOM for 10 min. Ha ha!
So, I’ll leave the WOD design to the professionals!

12. Favorite thing to do for fun?

Hiking in the woods with my husband, traveling abroad (haven’t done that in a while), reading a good book, watching a good movie, and going to Maine in the summer! Oh wait, you only asked for one thing! oops.

13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “splurge” meal?

Spinach salad with grilled chicken, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette – is that healthy??

Filet mignon, garlic mashed potatoes and buttery green beans and an ice cold Kane Head High!!

14. If you could be a superhero, who would you be and why?

I would be Black Widow (from the Marvel movies). She is tough as nails, can kick some butt and looks great doing it! 🙂

15. Favorite inspirational quote?

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

Gets me through every workout!

16. Interesting fact not many people know about you.

When I was about 6 or 7 I knocked my two front teeth out by stepping on a metal rake. Yes, think of the cartoons where they step on the rake and the handle flies up and whacks them in the face. That was me! 🙂 I am a little more coordinated now.