By JOHN T. WARD
They’re out at dawn, and at dusk, grim-faced, schlepping kettlebells along the sidewalk, squatting as they go, alarming patrons of the Count Basie Theatre and drawing double-takes from motorists stopped at traffic lights.
No, they are not the undead. Far from it. They’re clients of Sean Webber, and they’re getting their asses kicked. By choice.
At the corner of Monmouth and Pearl streets in Red Bank, in what was once an auto repair shop, Webber has opened Crossfit Triple Threat, not a gym but a “box,” in the parlance of the “crossfit” movement, which aims for maximal physical readiness for any challenge, whether it be lifting kids or improving triathlon results, he says.
“Our specialization is that we don’t specialize,” says Webber, a 40-year-old from Rumson. “We find your weakness, whether it’s endurance, agility, strength, and work on it until you’re ready for just about anything.”
Programs don’t change depending on the client, only the intensity. It’s an approach loaded with blunt talk, as in this bit on Webber’s website:
We reserve the right to show you the door and refund your money if you complain, whine, half ass it or don’t show up and put in 100%. We are not another key card to have on your key chain. We are a family.
Respect us, we’ll respect you.
But it’s not just for hard cases. Though the box attracts high school athletes looking to improve their prospects with colleges and some “fire-breathing moms,” Webber says workouts can be tailored to 80-year-old women and kids, too.
Hours and prices are here.
The box puts to use a property that’s been dormant for a couple of years, since the departure of Circle Skate Shop, a skateboard retailer. In July 2009, the borough zoning board approved a plan to create 12 apartments above retail stores there, but there’s been no development owing to the state of the economy.
The site’s present owner, Antonio Vlahos, couldn’t be reached for comment. Webber says he understands that his stay could be cut short by a revival of the project, dubbed “Siros of Monmouth.”
Meantime, he’s got a box and a growing clientele.
“We use the whole building, and the parking lot, and the streets,” he says. “We move all the weights outside and run people back and forth like sled dogs.”