Erik Castiglione - Head Coach/Owner

A native of West Hartford, Erik has had a lifelong passion for fitness. He was a member of the Duffy Elementary School Runners Club and early morning gym, and participated in a number of youth sports throughout elementary and middle school. While attending Conard High School he focused on football, wrestling, and baseball. He graduated in 2005 as a CT scholar athlete and a captain of the CCC West Champion wrestling team. He was first introduced to CrossFit in the spring of 2005, and started cherry-picking WODs shortly thereafter.

After obtaining his BS in electrical engineering from Yale University, Erik became one of the first members of CrossFit Relentless. He moved to Philly in early 2010 to work for the Navy as an electrical engineer and earn his MSEE from Villanova. While in Philly, he began competing in local CrossFit competitions, and became a part time CrossFit coach.

After a few years with the Navy, Erik was able to turn his love of science from engineering to exercise science and physiology, and became a full time coach. He became part owner of two boxes down there, and continued to hone his knowledge and coaching ability.  In 2015, he became Philly’s first CrossFit Level 3 coach.  He moved back home to West Hartford in early 2016, where he is now the owner and head coach at CrossFit Relentless. Erik seeks to help people of all athletic backgrounds and abilities improve through intelligent program design and the highest quality coaching.

CrossFit Level 3
USAW Level 2 – Advanced Sports Performance Coach
CrossFit Movement and Mobility
CrossFit Powerlifting
CrossFit Kids
NSPA Certified Speed and Agility Coach
NSPA Certified Sports Nutrition Coach
NSPA Certified Weightlifting Performance Coach
Hybrid Athletics Strongman (now known as CrossFit Strongman)
CrossFit Level 2
CrossFit Level 1
USAW Level 1 – Sports Performance Coach

Shannon Santos - Coach


22 years old, Born and raised outside of Springfield, MA I’ve always been social and I’ve always been involved with sports. From youth soccer, youth lacrosse, youth swimming, later transitioning to 4 year, 3 season high school varsity sports of Swimming, Volleyball, and Track & Field. I always found that I was built differently, stronger than most other girls on the teams without even trying. But I never put that strength to good use.

After graduating high school I became a typical gym rat. 7 days a week at your local globo gym doing whatever seemed to be right getting minimal results. I had always been strong but I had never been trained how to use my strength properly. That all changed the day I did my first WOD at my first CrossFit gym. I was instantly hooked. It was the perfect social outlet, interacting with other people in the class, getting the best workouts I’ve ever gotten, and moving a barbell like it was a second nature. I had found my niche. Less than a year into my CrossFit journey my coach at the time suggested that I get certified to become a coach, I passed my certification and began to learn under him, later taking over for him when he moved away.
As my time coaching and doing CrossFit continued, I discovered my love for the barbell movements. Specifically the Olympic lifts. I later went for my USAW sports performance coaching certification becoming more educated in the sport of Olympic lifting. Doing multiple Olympic lifting meets and even placing at most of them in either 1st or 2nd place.

I don’t know where I would be now without my CrossFit journey. CrossFit has taught me so much about myself as an athlete and a person and it has even given me a direction of where I want to take my professional career outside of the gym.

After 2 years of coaching and a total of 3 years of doing CrossFit have found through that I love helping people. I love the idea of changing lives through health and fitness. I am currently in school getting my associates degree in allied health science with a focus on medical assisting. Once that is complete I plan on going for my bachelors in science in Nursing and then further down the road my masters.

I strive to make connections with our members and to make their hour of working out in the class the best hour of their day.

USAW Level 1 Sports Performance Coach
CPR/ First Aid certified

Derek McDermott - Coach

From year-round sports as a kid to collegiate ski racing, I’ve always been an athlete. So I decided to attend the University of Connecticut and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning. In 2008, I moved to Memphis, TN to get my Master’s degree, and I was lucky enough to be roommates with two of the guys that started CrossFit Memphis, now of Barbell Shrugged fame. As they introduced me to CrossFit, it forever changed my life.

My original motivation to try CrossFit was in hopes to find a new way to use my competitive drive, something that I struggled with after college. In those first 9 months, I quickly realized I was becoming a better athlete than I ever was during my competitive years in college. It also didn’t take long for me to understand the parallels between my kinesiology background and the CrossFit ideology. It truly was a real life example of the science I learned, but with some tweaks to make it even more effective for the general population. Fast forward to 2011, and I moved back to CT for a job opportunity. I tried to get by without CrossFit as my workout regimen, but it’s hard to duplicate the efficiency and community that comes with it. I found my way to the Relentless Nation that summer and haven’t looked back.

Currently, I find it equally enjoyable to coach others to their goals and PR’s as much as I enjoy hitting my own. Watching someone’s first pull-up, muscle-up, or bodyweight snatch is just purely awesome. Even better, is watching the physical and mental transformations that occur with our athletes regularly. I pride myself on being able to reach the 20 year old athlete, as well as the 60 year old grandmother who wants to be stronger in order to carry her new grandchildren around.

CrossFit Level 2
CrossFit Level 1
B.S. in Kinesiology – Strength and Conditioning/Exercise Physiology
National Strength and Conditioning Association: C.S.C.S.

Gary Boivin - Coach

I’m coach Gary Boivin. I’ve been in the fitness world for over 10 years (Crossfit level 1 certified for 3 years). I started as a personal trainer working for a conventional gym and also worked in a personal training studio. I’ve trained all types of people with different goals including high school football athletes aspiring to be competitive D1 football players and the everyday person that just wants to be healthier and get in better shape.

My passions for fitness and health are second to none. I moved into CrossFit because I loved the competitive aspect of it as well as the functionality. I coach because I like pushing people to places that they never thought they could reach.

CrossFit Level 1

Rick Wells - Coach

I began weight training for collegiate baseball in 1986 with the intent of becoming stronger. I
quickly realized the benefits and never looked back. My long range goal is to be vital in old age
and that ambition has kept me in the gym for over three decades. Training and fitness have been
the most consistent pursuit in my life. More so than the 21 years I have served in the United
States Marine Corps Reserve and the 20 years as a public school teacher. This quest brought me
to CrossFit. CrossFit has added a tangible level of excitement, anticipation and fun to my
training. The community is fantastic!

I was briefly introduced to CrossFit in 2006 by a fellow Marine, and I visited the website a
couple of times. I did a few workouts, but really did not understand the concept. I was re-
introduced to CrossFit in 2010 when my wife gave me a membership as a present, and I was
hooked. Six months into the box, I was certified and coaching. Coaching is a very gratifying
part of my day, and I enjoy working with kindred spirits, people I admire, and dedicated
athletes. I’ll see you at the Box!

More Coach Bios Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!