Darren Savella will be making his way to Las Vegas this week to defend his 2017 win in the USA Men’s Masters Weightlifting Open. A Lompoc Native, he’s also a champion of our amazing town and small business owner; coaching all ages at CrossFit Ohana, with his equally talented wife, Caitlin, and charming daughter, Taylor.
While fitness with a focus on functionality is a must, he credits his success to eating clean, focusing on his technique and the support of his family. Darren grew up playing sports, hindered by asthma and a lack of education in nutrition, but found that with age and knowledge came the ability to dial in on his diet and technique. By spending the time to correct his foundation, he was able to not only cure his chronic knee pain, but more impressively, he was able to enjoy everyday life without asthma.
With a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology Exercise Science from CSU Northridge, Darren spent a lot of his early years helping others achieve their peak performance. When you’re in an industry that focuses on taking care of others, you often forget to take care of yourself. So, when Caitlin and Darren’s daughter was born, he made it his personal mission to be in the best shape he can be. Darren wanted to be a more active father and husband.
A friend of his, owner of CrossFit Inferno in San Luis Obispo, invited him to his first ever WOD (workout of the day) and from there on he was hooked. It was functional fitness, allowed all body types and all ages to improve and was a realistic way to help his fellow Lompocians be in the best shape they can be. When asked, Darren laughs good-naturally and says he couldn’t even do a muscle up or double-unders when he first started. His weightlifting technique needed a lot more tweaking and his ankles needed more range of motion.
The thought process behind CrossFit Ohana is that you should be getting better with age, not breaking down. A lot of people who attend regularly are in better shape than a lot of the younger athletes of today. That’s because they’re dialing in their nutrition, being consistent and constantly pushing themselves.
In 2017, Darren was 37 years old, and won his weight class (85kg) with a Best Snatch of 217lbs, and a Best Clean & Jerk of 282lbs. In 2018, at the young age of 38, he hopes to not only maintain those numbers but break his personal records and defend his title. Besides his family, what Darren is most proud of is the community they’ve built at CrossFit Ohana and the amazing people who attend day-in and day-out to better themselves. CrossFit Ohana boasts members that have gone on to not only lose weight, become more functional, but most impressively, cure their Type II Diabetes and get off all medications.
A common misconception is that to be a Crossfitter, you must already be in amazing shape or an athlete. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If you were a Doctor, would you require people to be healthy before they came to your office? CrossFit Ohana is home to military personnel, writers, artists, musicians, principles, families, grandparents and even great grandparents. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and has different levels of education, but that doesn’t matter when you walk through the door. We’re all family here and we all push ourselves through the WOD.
In the future, owners Caitlin and Darren, of CrossFit Ohana hope to expand the box; to include nutritional education, medical experts, as well as working more with our younger athletes. The key to becoming the best version of yourself comes down to your nutrition and putting in the work with consistency at your local CrossFit Box.
For now, you can cheer along with the CrossFit Ohana family as we support our Coach and friend, in his Olympic Weightlifting Competition in Las Vegas to maintain his Title. Follow Darren’s competition on their Facebook & Instagram accounts: @CrossFitOhana and leave your words of inspiration for him to see. You can LIVE STREAM the competition at: https://www.teamusa.org/usa-weightlifting/live
You can find more information on CrossFit Ohana classes, kids camps, and one-on-one coaching at: