Three months before the world in many ways shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kevin and Bri Cummo of East Ridgefield CrossFit surprised members with a brand new space. Going from about 2,400 square feet to 6,000 square feet, the new gym features new machines and more space for classes.
“Nobody really knew that we were building out this new space. We had construction paper on the walls … We wanted to surprise a majority of our athletes,” Kevin Cummo said, mentioning that a majority of the equipment was moved over the course of one weekend so the new space would be ready by Monday. “It was awesome to see the look on some peoples faces (when they saw the new space). We even recorded some of the reactions and put it on Facebook.”
The gym has equipment for classes of many different forms. From weightlifting to biking, the gym offers classes core to the CrossFit philosophy, which Cummo describes as a “strength and conditioning program that derives results through constantly varied, functional movements, executed at high intensities.”
East Ridgefield CrossFit first opened in March 2017 in a suite five doors down from the current one. Cummo said he met his wife, Bri, at a CrossFit gym near Fort Vancouver, and the duo decided to open their own gym after getting married. Cummo said he and Bri chose to open up in Ridgefield as he saw a lack of CrossFit gyms in the North County area between Vancouver and Woodland.
According to Cummo, the North County and Ridgefield community has been “more than accepting” of the gym's presence in town, and the CrossFit community is really glad to have the gym around.
“Our athletes talk about how they love the fact that everyone (at the gym) gets along,” Cummo said. “There aren’t really any cliques that have formed, which is something we try really hard to stomp out. We try to keep it where everybody is just one big family.”
When health restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic limited gatherings and closed gyms, East Ridgefield CrossFit followed suit and remained closed. Cummo said the gym started offering Zoom classes and at-home workout kits for its clients to keep up their workout routines as people remained in their bubble. While weathering the pandemic was hard, Cummo said both the city of Ridgefield and members of the gym “came through” during the tough time.
“Not being able to run our classes was really hard,” Cummo said. “Luckily our members are awesome, our athletes are awesome and a lot of them continued to pay us and support us through COVID … We couldn’t have done it without them.”
For the last couple of months, East Ridgefield Crossfit — and many other gyms in the state — have held classes with limited sizes and workouts. Cummo said the process of "flip-flopping" between restrictions was "frustrating, for lack of a better word" and said he was excited to move forward into Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington reopening plan.
Now that Clark County and the rest of Washington state have moved into Phase 2, gyms can host up to 25 percent of the total capacity, which is 30 for East Ridgefield CrossFit. Cummo said the gym has reduced it’s class sizes to 14 people — seven on bikes, seven on rowers. “Everybody has their own equipment, so nobody is sharing any equipment,” he said about the health precautions the gym is taking. “We also sanitize everything and wipe down everything after each class.”
In the future, Cummo said he hopes to keep building “the community” of the gym and open the classes up to more people. In a non-COVID-19 world, the 6,000-square-foot gym could hold around 50 people at a time for every single class. Cummo said the gym increased the number of classes it held per week to offer more opportunity for members while class sizes were decreased during COVID-19. When things open back up again, Cummo plans to keep the additional classes.
“Well, we can’t cancel them now because the classes continue to grow and people like to come to them,” Cummo said.
For Cummo, seeing people improve in their fitness journey and complete their goals is one of his favorite parts of his job as a gym owner and trainer, especially the members he doesn’t get to see often.
“Sometimes, I’ll go a couple weeks without seeing a certain person … and when I see them for the first time, they’re hardly able to do an air squat,” he said. “I'll come back a couple weeks later and see them squatting with weight and able to do a full range of motion … and that is awesome.”
Cummo said CrossFit workouts and routines work for any skill level. Whether you work out every day or are trying to work on a new year’s resolution, there is a spot for you in the gym. While everyone in the gym may be doing the same workout routine at a given time, different weights allow for people of all skill sets to join the gym.