Tenant Spotlight: Eastie Fit

Shipbuilding, meet bodybuilding. a new fitness facility in the shipyard is helping the community form healthy habits and be the best version of themselves.
Javy and Sandy Caraballo

Javy and Sandy Caraballo are the faces behind EastieFit, a CrossFit facility within Boston Harbor Shipyard & Marina. 

Javy has been in fitness for over twenty years. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a Master’s in exercise physiology, and owning his own facility “was always the pipe dream.” He opened CrossFit Jeffries Point in 2013 with his wife, Sandy, and operated the East Boston gym offering classes and training until they found out they would have to move in 2022. “I’m not leaving East Boston,” Javy decided, as doing so would be like completely restarting the business. EastieFit opened their doors in the shipyard in the fall of 2022. 

CrossFit is a global company with four different “levels" of certification. As a CrossFit facility, all EastieFit instructors have a minimum of level one certification, some have gone on to earn level two and three. There are also additional branches such as gymnastics, weightlifting, running, etc. that instructors can earn certifications in. Despite being affiliated with the official CrossFit brand, all CrossFit gyms can have their own unique feel. Javy compares it to going to a pizza shop. You can have your same pizza “order,” he says, “but it doesn’t taste the same at every pizza shop.” Each CrossFit facility has its own "flavor."

Javy recalls his experience going to the gym back in Puerto Rico. “You might work out for thirty minutes,” he says, “but you are there for two hours” chatting with others and developing a sense of community. When establishing his own gym, it was important to Javy to not make people feel like they show up just to “check a box,” but instead can form relationships with people and go grab coffee after a workout or visit the beach on the weekends. CrossFit innately has this because of its group class structure. 

Athletes at EastieFit

In addition to the team and community focus, at EastieFit “we say no to the spirit of comparison,” says Sandy. Which is why you will not find a single mirror inside the gym and athletes are expected to adhere to the “shirt-on” policy. “It only takes one little thing to discourage” people from committing to a gym, says Sandy, which is why they make a great effort to maintain a welcoming and encouraging environment at EastieFit. “You have to check your ego at the door,” says Javy.

The group classes bring athletes together of all skill levels. “People always ask me, ‘Do you have advanced classes? Do you have beginner classes?’” says Javy, “and I say, ‘yes, they’re called the 6 am class, the 7 am class.’” The instructor is there to create common ground among all participants, regardless of their ability.

Athletes start their journey with EastieFit by joining a 21-day challenge to make sure “it’s a good fit for both.” Javy and Sandy recommend coming at least twice a week or eight times per month to maintain a certain level of commitment, otherwise “it’s not going to work.” Javy and Sandy are “not going to sell you something that is going to break your bank or leave you frustrated.” If an athlete decides that they are ready to commit to their fitness and finds a connection with EastieFit, they can purchase a membership that gives them access to group classes and equipment during open gym sessions.

The three pillars EastieFit focuses on are eat, train, and sleep, and they give athletes one new habit per month to help them improve these areas. Last month, for example, was to stop drinking caffeine eight hours before going to bed in order to achieve better sleep. The staff follows along with the lifestyle practices, too. “Everyone knows that I, too, won't be drinking coffee,” says Sandy, “and by not drinking coffee, I’m making room for water.” They also take time to explain the "why" of these habits. "We are nerds," she says, and they take time to educate athletes on exactly how each of these simple practices impacts their health. 

Athletes at EastieFit

EastieFit also provides athletes with ways to track their progress, because according to Javy, “you cannot change what you do not track.” The weight scale at EastieFit includes a bioelectrical impedance machine to measure water, muscle mass, and body fat. This gives athletes a way to understand their body's composition and measure their practices.

The EastieFit community is very local. With the exception of one trainer from Chelsea, the entire staff is made up of East Boston residents. Athletes, too, are primarily from East Boston, as well as Chelsea, Revere, Winthrop, and other surrounding towns. Though they do have a handful of “longtime clients who have traveled further just to train with us,” says Sandy. 

The Caraballos love being in the shipyard because of the convenience. Having such local clientele means athletes are able to ride their bikes and scooters to class. They love the amount of foot traffic in the yard as well, and have had multiple people call to learn more after they ran by the gym one day. And of course, they like being located on the waterfront. “There are health benefits of getting out and running and being in the sun and looking at the water,” says Sandy. Safety is an important aspect as well, and they like being in a safe neighborhood that they can feel comfortable running through. 

Their favorite exercise? “We like to lift,” says Sandy, “we like to pick up heavy things from the floor. That can be a barbell, kettlebell, sandbag. That could even be your kid!” They also love to eat. “We love Mexican food,” says Sandy, their favorite spot in East Boston is Jalisco

A goal of theirs for the future is to “get education into the hands of young people sooner,” says Sandy. “Youth need education in terms of healthy habits,” and it is no secret that developing habits early on help them stick and carry into adulthood. 

Learn more about EastieFit and how you can get started on your fitness journey by visiting their website.