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Meet Vic McQuaide of CrossFit Dark Side in El Cajon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vic McQuaide.

Vic, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am one of the 3 owners (Corey Brinkley and Mandy Maeda) of CrossFit Dark Side. We love our gym. Opening a gym has been a goal of mine for over 30 years. CrossFit Dark Side opened 11 months ago and has exceeded our expectations tenfold. Growing up I played soccer for 4 years and raced bicycles for 3 years at a high level. Weights were a God send when I was 16 years old. I was skinny and a late developer so bullying was an issue. Weight lifting gave me self-confidence, helped me make lifelong friends and gave me a better overall outlook towards life. I see this in so many members who get their start at CrossFit Dark Side. We have people who have lost 90-180# and are loving life. They find something here while sweating and going 100%, a sense of belonging in our new community.

Has it been a smooth road?
The struggle was “REAL” prior to starting the gym. Coming up with funds, seeing gyms fail in our area, having a saturated market space, starting up a business with friends. After those scary thoughts we decided to do this and have not looked back. CrossFit Dark Side has grown like no other in our area. I believe it comes from many areas. As owners we are two Military vets and one active duty Sheriff. We have visited many gyms, gotten to know so many while working out and making friends in the community. We also compete at the highest level in our area. When we were handed the keys, we went straight to work. We are so blessed to have such wonderful members helping us build out our space. They worked hand in hand with us, painting our 6700 sf, installing rigs, storage apparatus, sweeping, sanding, branding… you name it. This Dark Side community is like no other.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with CrossFit Dark Side – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We take pride in having the best equipment and space: but our members/friends are our babies! We have a young lady who I call “The Champ” that has lost 85#… Wow right! Our celebrity is John Glaude who lost over 190# (prior to coming to the Dark Side) but has over 400k followers. His poise, determination and over-all outlook is amazing to say the least (he was on the Ellen Show). Our box has 5 coaches on staff (Corey, Kyle, Alli, Taylor and Suzy who teaches the kids class) but we have another 10+ that are certified to coach but workout at the Dark Side because they love the gym, people and vibe. Our goal is to make each and every member (all 150+ of them) feel important and most of all have fun. Having fun with results is the best.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love San Diego! I have lived and traveled around the world and I have always picked to stay in San Diego. My partners Corey and Mandy did not grow up in SD but eventually landed here and stayed here. Least part of San Diego, its getting crowded and very expensive.


  • Punch Cards $150 for 10 sessions
  • $150 per month, 45 classes each week offer discounts on First Responders, Military, Students and family add ons.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager 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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