Learn More About CrossFit with Michael Gardner, Crossfit 550 Head Trainer

CrossFit 550 in Ocean View, New Jersey, is For All Genders and Ages

Normally when someone thinks of CrossFit, they picture the extreme heavy lifters that are competing on ESPN and immediately think that they could never do that workout. Or the women see the big muscular men and say they do not want to gain too much muscle and look “manly.”

However, all of these generalizations are wrong. Anyone at any age or gender can do CrossFit. The ages in this class ranged from 15 to 58 years old.

“It’s awesome. It pushes us and is a quick workout but you see results fast,” Reid Cowan, 15 years old said

“I started this in July and I am 58 years old,” Eileen Whittington said. “I love that I never know what you are walking into and you just to do it, and do it to the best of your ability and everyone is very supportive. So everyday is a good day when you finish your wod (workout of the day.) I have been running for years and just wanted to try something different that would give me the strength that I wanted and it’s working.”

According to Michael Gardner, Crossfit 550 Head Trainer, Crossfit is very functional and the workouts vary so that they are never doing the same workout.

“We combine Olympic lifting, power lifting and body weight movements, gymnastics, and endurance sports and try to just focus on getting a good stimulus from the high intensity that is created from the workout,” Gardner explained.

Like any workout individuals should slowly ease into it. They also should take a demo class before they take an actual CrossFit class. The demo class allows the individual to learn how to perform all the lifts properly to help prevent injury.

CrossFit 550 offers a free demo class at 10:30am on Saturdays, so you do not need to worry about spending money on your first class. The trainers will also make sure that you start lifting at the correct weight so that you do not hurt yourself trying to lift to much weight your first time. As you get stronger you will increase your weight.

Most of the classes are timed and you try to complete against the clock while working out efficiently but quickly to beat your best time. Sometimes the classes can be done in groups and then the Crossfitters compete in groups against each other to compete for the best time.

However, not everyone competes against the clock. They just workout at their own pace and try to get it done effectively without getting injured. Either way everyone is very supportive in the class, and no one ever looks down or makes fun of you if you are not the first person to complete the workout.

This workout has gained popularity from people seeing it on TV, reading about it in magazines, and by word of mouth. There are still some individuals that are nervous to try it, but Gardner assures them there is nothing to worry about.

“Don’t be intimidated by it, everyone is always saying how intimidated they are because it looks ridiculously hard on TV but that doesn’t mean that your going to be doing those same workouts. It’s going to be scaled down to your ability as long as you have the right mindset,” Gardner said.



Dive in and Listen to Tammy Decker, Describe Aqua Spin Classes at the County Pool in Cape May Court House, New Jersey


Tammy Decker Aqua Spin Fitness Instructor. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo

Do you enjoy your regular spin class, but not the stress and strain that it puts on your joints? Well now there is Aqua Spin. Aqua spin takes the normal strenuous spin workout into the water, without the bikes and the pain.

Tammy Decker has been teaching fitness classes for over 30 years. She teaches yoga, pilates and aqua spin. Decker instructs the aqua spin classes on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 8am at the Cape May County Special Services pool.  It’s five dollars for a walk-in and $80 for 20 sessions. The variety of individuals that take aqua spin ranges from teenagers all the way up to people in their eighties!

Decker puts her own twist on the aqua spin session; she teaches the class in the pool without spin bikes like other aqua spin classes. For resistance she uses hydro-fit cuffs which she says is the same as putting your bike on the hardest gear.

Decker tells clients to bring a bathing suit and a towel because you will sweat in her 45 minute aqua spin class without even realizing it due to the water.

During her interview Decker will talk about a major life event that inspired her to start teaching aqua spin classes and the shocking amount of  calories individuals can burn in one class!


The aqua spin class warming up before class. The weights are pictured in front and they are used throughout the class. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo


Travis Dauria, Surfer, Flow House Manager and Rider: Flow House in Wildwood, New Jersey is a Must Try

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Travis Dauria Flowriding Photo Credit: Travis Dauria

Travis Dauria is the manager and instructor at the Flow House in Wildwood. He has loved the water and has been surfing ever since he was 14 years old. He is not only a surf instructor but he also guides American tourists through Costa Rica to surf the best waves for their skill level. Dauria has surfed all over the world including Brazil, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and up and down the East Coast. You might have seen him in Moondoggie surf magazine where he was featured in several articles.

Dauria discovered flowboarding about three years ago and fell in love with it.  He believes Flowriding is a great sport that allowed him to keep busy at night or when the waves were flat. I was able to sit down and talk with Dauria about the up and coming water sport.

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Travis Dauria Flowriding at night. Photo Credit: Travis Dauria

Q.   What is Flowriding and how is it different/ the same as surfing and snow boarding?

A. Let me say first that it is not surfing. The biggest hurdle is to get people to try it and you do not need to be a surfer to try it. It’s actually more rail to rail riding which is similar to snow boarding, but we have people everyday with no surfing, skate boarding, or surfing experience that come in and start Flowriding no problem.

A lot of people think you need to be a surfer or some surfers think that it’s not “real” surfing and do not want to try it, but Flowriding is for everyone no experience needed.

Q.   What does one need to know before they try Flowriding?

A. No matter your age or skill level you can always challenge yourself. The rider’s ages range from six to 60 years old. Some other requirements are you must be 42 inches tall to lie down and 52 inches to stand up surf. We also have everything here for you wetsuits, boards, all you need to do is just show up and have great time.

Q.   Are there any safety precautions

A. The main thing that we emphasize is to listen to the guards and pay attention to the instructors. They are the ones that are really going to get you to learn how to Flowride safely without any injuries.  The base of the FlowRider area is a trampoline, so it is soft and does not hurt when you fall off.

Q.   Are there competitions for Flowriding?

A. Yes, there are national competitions like the Flow Tour National Circuit, which goes around the country every year and a Pro/Am, which is an Amateur contest that is a fun, laid back experience for the new Flow Riders. Flow Riding will also soon be featured in the X-Games.  

Q. Would you consider Flowriding a workout?

A. Absolutely, Flowriding is definitely a workout because when you body board you are using your arms, biceps, triceps and your core to turn. You’re also using your legs to keep you centered on the board preventing you from falling off.

Once you start stand up riding you are really using your legs especially your back leg because you’re really using your quads to control your movement and turns. Flowriding is definitely a full body workout.

 Q. How much does it cost and how long can you try it for?

A. Regular prices at night in the summer are $30 per hour 7- to 11pm. Memberships are $50 per month then it is only $15 per hour once u are a member.


            Of course I had to try it too . I have to say as a surfer it is nothing like surfing. You are up against the force of 22,000 gallons of water being recycled three times every minute, which is challenging but fun at the same time. I will admit that my first few tries I got worked and thrown off the board, however, as I started to do it more I began to get the hang of it. I did not try the stand up surfing but I did get up on my knees, which I felt was an accomplishment.

          Flow House Wildwood is closed for the season but will be opening up again the weekend of April 19th, 2014 and they will be adding more to their already awesome set up so definitely check it out next year!


My second attempt at Flowboarding. I actually stayed on the board. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo


This is as close to standing as I could get…I made it to my knees which I felt was a HUGE accomplishment. Photo Credit: Alison Mastrangelo