About Seaward CrossFit

At Seaward CrossFit, we’re passionate about helping our clients reach and surpass their goals. Whether you’re training for sport specific performance, the sport of CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, or if you just want to look better naked, we will give you 100% of our energy, knowledge, and effort to help you succeed!

Our training methodology and programming is based on over 9 years of personal experience of participating in CrossFit training and also coaching for CrossFit Headquarters, as well as our staffs combined experience and education in the health and exercise sciences, gymnastics, rowing, martial arts, OPEX Fitness, USAW, and Baptiste yoga. Using this information, our goal is to help all of our clients achieve optimum fitness and health.

1127 Goodrich Ave
Sarasota, FL 34236
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (941) 706-3202

Seaward CrossFit Location

#TeamSeaward Coaches

Charles "Chuck" Bennington

Charles "Chuck" Bennington

Owner - Head Coach & Gymnastics Specialist

Charles “Chuck” Bennington has been intimately involved in the CrossFit community since his CrossFit Level 1 Certification in 2009. His interaction is not with just his local area, but the international CrossFit community at large. He has been coaching multiple levels of CrossFit clients on a daily basis for the past four years and spent three years as the Director of Operations at GSX CrossFit in Fort Worth, Texas.

Beyond typical CrossFit coaching, Chuck has been working for several years working with a team of some of the best individuals in the community to plan, coordinate, and execute various competitions to test athlete fitness levels, both in the individual and team settings. The events he has been a part of bringing to life in the last several years include 2010 CrossFit South Central Regional, 2011 Reebok Global Marketing Meeting, 2011 Life AsRx Tour, 2012 Life AsRx Signature Series, 2013 Xtreme Top Box Throwdown, and currently the Monster Series.

Currently Chuck travels the globe to improve people’s movement, and by extension their lives, as a lead coach for the CrossFit Gymnastic Certifications. In addition, he and his wife provide remote strength and conditioning programming as well as nutritional guidance for individuals across the country.

Experience:
CrossFit Gymnastics Lead Coach
CrossFit Level 1 Certification
CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certification
CrossFit Gymnastics Certification
CrossFit Endurance Certification
CrossFit Kids Certification
Attitude Nation Level 1 Certification
Author for Breaking Muscle

Vanessa Bennington

Vanessa Bennington

Owner - Head Coach & Nutrition Coach

Vanessa Bennington found her way in the health and fitness worlds through a unique combination of education, personal experience, and self-experimentation. During high school, she dropped from a weight of around 140lbs on her 5’4″frame, to barely 90lbs. As you may have correctly guessed, there was no small amount of anorexia and bulimia involved. Battling an endless fight with eating disorders, Vanessa eventually stumbled from fat-free diets and endless cardio to a more traditional "bodybuilding" diet and training plan. Things started to improve.

She fell in love with working out and exercising, but was weak, fatigued, depressed, anxious, and still unhappy with her body composition, despite trying everything she thought was correct. This pushed her to seek more knowledge and her first piece of traditional education was a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. As much as she enjoyed the idea of spending her days in the gym and training people as a career, she was concerned her small town in Louisiana would never provide enough clientele to support full time training. Back to school she went and back the eating disorders came. Still struggling with feeling physically awful and hating her body, Vanessa completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and continued through to earn a Masters in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

While finishing graduate school Vanessa found CrossFit and the Paleo Diet, she also began working in physician’s office that specializes in balancing hormones. Things began to click. A lifetime of improper nutrition and eating disorders had created hormonal and metabolic chaos. It wasn’t that she had spent almost two decades doing things wrong or not trying hard enough, it was that she had never tacked the entirety of the issues. Adjustments to her exercise, nutrition, medication, and supplementation brought balance to her hormones and lifted the crippling depression and anxiety. She had the quality of life she always dreamed of, physical strength she never knew she was capable of, and the body she had worked a lifetime for started to show the results of her efforts.

Experience:
Licensed Family Nurse Practioner by the Texas Board of Nursing Board
Licensed Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) by the Florida Board of Nursing
Certified Family Nurse Practitioner by the American Nurses Credentialing Centre
CrossFit Level 1 Certification
CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certification
CrossFit Gymnastics Certification
CrossFit Kids Certification
Attitude Nation Level 1 Certification
Author for Breaking Muscle

Johnny (John J. Lay)

Johnny (John J. Lay)

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
USAW Advanced Sports Performance Coach (Level 2)
Certified Boxing Instructor

Fitness came into my life with the US Marines, and never left. I have competed and trained people for Triathlon, Marathon, Obstacle races, Adventure race, Military service, and of course CrossFit competition.

In a way this is easy for me to describe my Coaching Philosophy, make it fun. Yes, we all want the movement we don’t have, but it is very much a 1st world problem if you don’t have kipping handstand push-ups. Striving for your goals and pushing yourself should be daily in everything we do, beating yourself up and being seriously depressed because you missed a PR shouldn’t happen. Smile, try again tomorrow, and find a new scale or progression. Remember this is about long-term health and wellness, not who can dead-lift the most on a Tuesday afternoon. I also love to equate movements to peoples personal experience with sports or activities. I compare the Snatch to the golf swing; there are about 30 things that can go wrong from bottom to top. You can usually find simpatico body mechanics in activities of all sorts.

Favorite Quote - I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life, your right to say it!

No hidden talents to speak of, I am a bit of an artist, craftsman, and poet. Written poems mainly for family, and most recently have personalized (painted) aluminum tumblers for friends and family. My favorite food is New York strip with baked sweet potato. What most people don’t know is, I love high action, manly movies; Gladiator, Sicario, 13 Hours, American Sniper, but every stinking time The Devil Wears Prada is on I have to watch it. I cannot explain, I just love that movie!!! HaHaHa! Pet peeves - untidiness, and when people call me over by curling one finger, actually cannot stand that one, please don’t.

Ben Gallaher

Ben Gallaher

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

I was always an active kid and not much has changed. During my school years, I played competitive Australian Rules Football, basketball, tennis, cycling and many other team sports. Once I was old enough, I bought my first motorcycle and haven‘t stopped riding since. I also started study martial arts in my late teens and still continue training today. My wife actually dragged me to my first CrossFit class in 2014 at Seaward CrossFit. I tried a few classes and it didn’t seem that bad. I have met so many amazing people here and have been training daily with #teamseaward even since.

I developed my teaching/coaching philosophy during my many years of elementary school teaching and martial arts training. I am fascinated with the technical side of movement and share my own understand with athletes in a way that makes sense to them. Being able to use an individual athlete’s current understanding and relating that to improving or learning new concepts is the key. Build upon what they already know really helps the process.

Favorite Quote - I saw this on a whiskey commercial years ago and for some reason it really resonates with me. Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken

People have described me as a man with many talents but a master of none. It is easier to answer the question what haven’t I done, than to ask me what I have done. I am fascinated by many things and love to try something new. I love to make, fix and destroy things with my hands and I seem to be on the top of many peoples lists if they are asked who they would choose to be suck on a dessert island with. Yum, I love dessert!

David Pedersen

David Pedersen

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Pose Method Running Certificate
Marine Corps Endurance Certificate

My name is David Pedersen. I have been doing CrossFit since May 2012. When I left the Marine Corps I wanted to find somewhere cool to workout and could push me like the marines did. I am truly blessed to find my soul mate at a young age that I did. I couldn’t be happier to have Leesha in my life. God has blessed me with a great family and a even better CrossFit atmosphere that I can be apart of everyday. I love coaching and helping people find their true happiness through fitness and wellness. I am currently pursuing a degree in exercise science and kinesiology at the University of South Florida. I believe that moving better is more important than moving faster. Better will turn into faster and will last longer.