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Meet Paul Norris of Extreme Athletics

Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Norris.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Paul. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in Florida so I grew up playing sports and really loved wakeboarding and surfing. I got offered a tennis scholarship in North Carolina but decided to stay in-state so I went to college at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

While getting my degree in Exercise Science, I was a sports performance coach for Velocity Sports Performance. That’s where I learned how to train athletes and construct sports specific programming. I was also interning with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball team as a strength coach so I started training athletes at a very young age. I decided to transfer to a Velocity Sports location in Irvine, CA to finish my last semester of college.

I landed in Newport Beach and integrated myself into the surf community right away. I got the opportunity to work with a lot of the local surf pros and teach them how to properly warm-up and train specifically for their sport. Ten years ago, there was no such thing as “surf training” and guys were just going to the gym and lifting weights. Surfing is not a traditional sport so there had been no guidance on how surfers should be land-training. Once I started to implement proper training for these surfers, I think it opened up the community’s eyes to what could be achieved thru proper training methods and I just ran with it.

At the end of 2011, I was burnt out on working for large fitness companies and wanted to do my own thing. That’s when Extreme Athletics was born, we opened in February 2012 and it’s been great ever since. We’ve made a name for ourselves in the surf community and in the fitness industry. We’ve been featured in ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Fitness Magazine, Grind TV and was also voted one of the Top 7 gyms in Orange County.

We work with a couple of surfers on the world tour and a lot of the local kids. Our youngest athlete is 8 years old and our oldest is 65. We believe that no matter what age you are, everyone can enjoy surfing!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Haha, has any company started smoothly? We actually got off to a great start when we opened! I ran a press release on Surfline.com and it got over 5,000 views and that caught the eye of ESPN.

So they ended up running a story on us 2 weeks after we opened. It blew my mind that a company as big as ESPN wanted to speak with us so I thought I was going to be rich, haha. I think the toughest thing was spreading the word and making the local community realize that this type of “surf training” was better for them than traditional meat head type workouts. That was the biggest hurdle, but then once our athletes started to win contests and the local pros were training out of our gym, that put everyone on notice. We started getting busier at that point.

Please tell us about Extreme Athletics.
Extreme Athletics is gym that focuses on training action sports athletes.

We work out of a 2500 sq. ft. warehouse in Costa Mesa, CA. We offer classes to kids as young as 8, all the way up to people in their 60’s who still enjoy board sports (surfing, skating, snowboarding). We’re known for working with a lot of the local surfers as well as athletes competing at the highest level.

I’m most proud of what we’ve accomplished at this point to being featured in major publications and training world tour athletes.

What sets us apart is our gym is very niche. We use a lot of balance equipment in our training and we try to give the best functional workouts in town. We’re not CrossFit or 24-Hour fitness, but a gym for athletes who want to train for their board-sport.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I probably wouldn’t have listened to so many outside influencers. People love to tell you how to manage your company or live your life. When I decided to open EA, I had a clear outcome of what I wanted to achieve and I let too many people give me their opinion on what I should do or how I should run this company.

Pricing:

  • 2 training sessions/per week = $120/month
  • 3 training sessions/per week = $135/month
  • Unlimited training/per week = $150/month
  • 10 session package = $175

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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