When Traver Boehm and Eric Malzone opened CrossFit Pacific Coast three years ago at 209 Anacapa St. in Santa Barbara, they had about five consistent customers.
It has now grown to more than 150 members and will celebrate the grand opening on Saturday of its new location at 220 E. Cota St.
The 3,000-square-foot facility will feature a shower and changing room, front desk, merchandise stand and three times the available workout space. The new space will allow the owners to expand their membership, provide more training room, and offer nutrition and fitness seminars.
“We couldn’t be happier about our new location,” Malzone said. “All the extra space will allow us to offer new options and provide an even better experience for our members.”
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program defined by constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements. Every routine is different; it takes people out of their comfort zone, Boehm said.
Although each class is typically an hour long, most of the hour is usually spent warming up, stretching and preparing for the workout of the day, which can last anywhere from 10 minutes to more than an hour. Each group competes against each other with time-based workouts, but the peer-to-peer support adds to the tight-knit group, said Christina Luciano, CrossFit kids program director and Goleta school teacher.
“It has become a huge part of my life; now it’s like a second family,” Luciano told Noozhawk last year. “We’re a close-knit group of friends who have become a part of our daily life.”
Boehm and Malzone were former water polo teammates at Boston College who needed a new take on fitness. After school, Boehm headed to Los Angeles and took up acupuncture, worked in personal security and started mixed-martial arts training in Los Angeles. When he faced off against an MMA fighter who trained with CrossFit, he was sold.
Meanwhile, Malzone was pursuing a marketing-oriented career and playing for a masters water polo club in San Francisco when his friend told him about it.
“Traver got me into it a few years back when he was using CrossFit quite a bit to supplement his MMA training,” Malzone said. “Compared to his last fight, he looked dramatically different. He got me into talking about where we wanted to open a gym and joked about moving to Santa Barbara.”
Although the duo personally funded the business and launched it in the middle of a recession, they noticed that more people spent money on their health. The walls of the studio at 209 Anacapa St. are decorated with the names and photos of CrossFit members, leader boards that proudly showcase various personal records, and discarded gym memberships.
“The heart of any CrossFit gym is the community within it, and we couldn’t be happier with the way Santa Barbara has embraced us and our gym,” Boehm said.
CPC members will also have access to yoga, mobility classes, private training, youth classes and a CrossFit and yoga combination.
The grand opening will begin at 5 p.m. Saturday at 220 E. Cota St. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce and a raffle with proceeds benefiting H.E.E.A.L, a Santa Barbara nonprofit that provides therapeutic exercise, art and wellness programs for those who are going through grief and loss.
“I couldn’t imagine what I could do without this,” Malzone said.