The internationally renowned workout program, CrossFit, was founded in Santa Cruz, so it’s no surprise that some of the most influential athletes and dynamic gyms are based here as well. Meet Paige Nutt – the Founder, Co-owner and Head Coach of the Santa Cruz fitness center, Studio 831.
As a business owner, dedicated athlete, and active mother of two, Paige is all too familiar with a community-oriented, high-intensity, and constantly varied lifestyle. At the core of her work is a passion for connecting with people by sharing her expertise and understanding of the health benefits, empowering nature, and celebratory, family-based feel of fitness.
Paige’s journey in becoming an athlete, coach, and studio owner started at a young age. She played sports throughout childhood and at 18 years old became a cardio Kickboxing instructor. When she found CrossFit shortly after it burst onto the workout scene, she participated at one of the first Competitive Crossfit Games, held on the Castro family ranch in Aromas.
In 2005, Paige opened Studio 831 on the Westside at the age of 23. Fast forward 11 years, and the local business has just won a 2017 Good Times Award as the Best CrossFit Gym in Santa Cruz. Through Studio 831, she has created a lively space for people to experience functional movement, individual progress, and supportive, enduring friendship. Paige’s work and perspective exemplify the strength, agility, balance, coordination, and community that she and Studio 831 seek to encourage in others.
Local Santa Cruz: What inspired you to become a coach and open Studio 831?
Paige Nutt: I was involved in school sports and traveling Softball from a very young age. I loved competition and the family aspect of a team. I always took on the role of warming up my team, stretching them out and researching the best method to do so.
I battled with body image as a young thin girl and wanted to look like a skinny gaunt model. I found that my energy levels, strength, and mental clarity were affected by this. A very close teacher of mine at Santa Cruz High came to me and helped me look at my goals and priorities as a competitive athlete. My endurance and strength became the focus and my teacher helped me to shift my energy in a healthier direction as an athlete. I wanted to help my teammates understand why diet and strength were so important. It was empowering as a freshman in high school to focus on strength. I wanted to be STRONG.
From that point on, conditioning and sport specific training was my passion. I knew I would one day work with young women and help people find a way to understand their body and align their lifestyle with their fitness goals. I know human beings need support, care, understanding, I wanted to be the link for a person to reach (and see) their athletic potential.
What’s most challenging/rewarding about CrossFit training and coaching?
Often times people come into the gym HUNGRY!! It is a beautiful thing….. But we believe in building a client’s base and strengthening their body’s foundation before layering on the “sexy” or exciting advanced multi joint movements. It is a challenge to help people slow down and understand how to move properly when they are motivated. Speed is not always the best when it comes to teaching a person how to be strong, safe, and in tune with their body’s imbalances or old injuries. It is extremely rewarding when someone is willing to look at their habits or lifestyle and make a shift that supports their goals. It can be such a seemingly small change to their life but the rewards are so great in the way their body responds and feels!! I love helping my clients find their way into a fitness program they love and that they look forward to every time they walk into the gym. I place a very high focus on creating a community that supports one another and encourages one another. Our community at Studio 831 is the greatest reward anyone could ever experience. There is love and gratitude for one another. Everyone has their own specific place, we are all working at our own level and our own pace based off of our personal goals.
What makes CrossFit unique from other forms of fitness?
There is so much that goes into CrossFit and so many ways of coaching. I think that is exactly what makes it so wonderful and exciting. There is freedom for every gym to express our own ideas as far as designing and creating a program that expresses our core values. CrossFit is also a program which relies on the encouragement and support of its peers to stay motivated, show up every day to work out with pals, and all encompassing support. We supply nutrition, sleep, flexibility, and recovery information to support the longevity in one’s training.
How do you stay active with your personal training – what are your fitness routines?
My best friends work by my side and are clients at the gym. I have all the support I could ever dream of in this house! I have a coach/mentor that sends me individualized workouts based off of my goals and lifestyle. We align my workouts with my work schedule, kid’s activities, and my sleep habits. I workout alone but surrounded by my Studio 831 family.
How has the Santa Cruz lifestyle and local community influenced your work and experience as an athlete/coach/studio owner?
The beach lifestyle and surf lifestyle have been very influential in the way we train and stress the importance of enjoying the outdoors! We encourage our clients to get outside and enjoy Santa Cruz’s beauty. The training and the work we do inside the gym builds resiliency for our clients to play outside! From surfing, to biking, to sailing, hiking, paddling, running, swimming and more…. We hope to make our friend’s lives safer and stronger so they can go out and live. We also encourage our members to take advantage of our wonderful local farmers and sustainable fish market. We are so lucky to have quality food to fuel our friends and Studio 831 provides information on how to find the best quality and local sources. We put on fun events outside of the gym at the beach and parks to enjoy Santa Cruz’s beautiful climate.
What fitness programs are you currently offering at Studio 831 that people can be aware of?
Personal Training, Sport (or life) specific training AKA: exclusive coaching which is an individualized training program based off of each clients needs, lifestyle to support their goals, AND their goals! We also have small group training (limited to 6 members in a group), CrossFit, Cross Training (Xtrain) and Teen CrossFit classes. We plan to work with the high schools sports as Strength and Conditioning programs are needed in the off season.
Learn more about fitness with Paige Nutt at santacruzstudio831.com.
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