Dr. Dennis Lesniak, DC MSACN CCFT
Owner & Head Coach
Dennis has been immersed in the health and fitness world since 2001. It is, without a doubt, his passion. He puts as much energy and dedication into his practice as he expects from his clients – and they will agree! He is committed to helping each client achieve his or her best self through exercise, nutrition, and healthy living.
Dennis received his Bachelor of Science in exercise science from the University at Buffalo but he didn’t stop there. He earned a Master of Science in applied clinical nutrition and a Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College. He has held certifications with NCSA, ACSM, USAW, and many more, including CrossFit. He currently holds his CrossFit Level 3 certification and is the only Certified CrossFit Trainer in the Buffalo area.
Dennis doesn’t just talk the talk; he walks the walk. As a CrossFit affiliate owner since 2011, not only does he program the daily workout, or as we say – workout of the day (WOD) – but he does them. He’s right there, putting in the work alongside his clients. Additionally, Dennis has completed seven full marathons and a 50-mile ultra-marathon, and he was one of only 35 finishers of the 2011 Death Race. Now, Dennis continues to actively compete in CrossFit and adventure races. He LOVES a challenge, but we don’t recommend placing any bets. He always seems to win!
Dennis’ extensive education and degrees combined with his fitness background have provided him the ability to work with multiple professional athletes from the NFL and NHL as well as Division-I athletes in a multitude of sports. He has coached athletes to four different CrossFit Regional appearances, international competitions, including Wodapalooza and the Granite Games, and many podium finishes in individual and team competitions held locally and regionally. But you don’t need to be an athlete to benefit from Dennis’ services. The bulk of his clients are just like you and me – people trying to lead healthier lifestyles. Everyone has different goals whether it’s being able to perform your job pain-free every day, overcoming a health condition or disease, or lifting heavy weights. No matter your goal, Dennis will work with you to be successful because your success is his success.
When he’s not working, Dennis spends his time with his son, taking him on wilderness adventures, as well as with his partner Emily and their dog Carlo. He also enjoys writing on his blog.
Erica has been a personal trainer for more than seven years, starting during college and continuing at local fitness facilities. In 2015, Erica took an interest in CrossFit at Dennis’ first affiliate, however, as life would have it, it wasn’t until a year later (after leaving and moving back to Western New York) that she would “drink the Kool-Aid” and go all in with CrossFit. In 2016, she earned her CrossFit Level 1 certification.
Erica truly has a passion for helping others and loves watching people overcome obstacles and do things they never deemed possible. She coaches and trains athletes of all ages and abilities, reiterating the importance of movement at all stages of life. Her goal is to make everyday movements, such as walking up the stairs, easy at any age. Erica promotes a whole-foods diet with an emphasis on food as medicine.
Erica graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in human movement science and later from New York Chiropractic College with a Master in applied clinical nutrition. Additionally, Erica holds her USAW Sports Performance Coach certificate and is a competitive Olympic weightlifter. Outside of the gym, Erica enjoys spending time outdoors and gardening as well as watching documentaries and reading. She also has a slight coffee obsession.
Steph is a lifelong athlete – first as a competitive gymnast, and later, as a Division-I diver at St. Bonaventure University. She has tried her hand at many sports and fitness regimens but found love at first lift with CrossFit in 2012.
Using the foundations of the CrossFit methodology, Steph improved her movement patterns, gained strength, and rehabilitated old injuries. While she has enjoyed training and competing in the sport of CrossFit, she now dedicates much of her time in the gym to helping others navigate their health and fitness journeys. As a Level 2 CrossFit trainer, she has coached athletes of all levels since 2014. Steph focuses on gymnastics skill development and technique and loves to work with athletes that are new to Crossfit.
Steph earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from St. Bonaventure and currently works in consumer strategy at M&T Bank. When she’s not coaching or fitnessing, you’ll find her MMMBop-ing to Hanson or training for another Ironman.
Anne has always been active, enjoying outdoor activities and team sports when she was younger. After returning from a work assignment abroad in 2018, she was looking for a formal exercise program that would motivate her and improve her mobility and fitness level. She walked into QDA and never looked back.
The programming exposed her to lifting weights for the first time. Combined with the intensity of Crossfit, she found herself capable of doing things more easily and for longer periods. She trained for and completed a GoRuck Heavy just one year after joining QDA. In 2021, Anne achieved her CF-L1 certification. She hopes she can be an example to others that regardless of age, past or present injury, physical fitness level, or experience, you can benefit from CrossFit.
Anne worked in the consumer products quality assurance field for more than 23 years and holds a Bachelor of Science in communication, a Bachelor of Arts in biology, and a Master of Arts in organizational communication. When not at QDA, Anne loves to enjoy her retirement by traveling, hiking, and watching her husband cook exotic meals.
After years of living a sedentary lifestyle, Rich started CrossFit in 2019 in the “worst shape” of his life. From the first workout, he knew that QDA was for him. What started as three days a week quickly became four, sometimes even five days a week. This consistency along with a focus on nutrition resulted in life-changing results.
Two years later, Rich began coaching at QDA after earning his CF-L1 certification. He loves to help athletes perform movements and reach goals they never thought possible, and hopes that his transformation serves as an example of what can be accomplished with consistency and hard work.
Rich graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and is currently a high school math teacher at Cleveland Hill High school. Outside of the gym, you’ll find Rich spending time with his wife Carly and dog Diego who does doggy CrossFit (aka agility).
Matt considers himself proof of concept when it comes to QDA. He doesn’t come from a background of exercise, neither academically nor personally, and describes his background as much more “couch potato” than an athlete.
Matt joined QDA in 2017 and learned a love of CrossFit after seeing both physical and mental changes in himself. He’s lost more than 60 pounds and gained the ability to do things he never thought he could do. In 2022, Matt achieved his CF-L1 certification and began coaching out of a desire to share his experience with others.
Outside of the gym, Matt currently works at Northtown Volvo as a business manager.
AKC CGC-Advanced & Therapy Dog
Carlo is an All-American mutt adopted from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter in May 2017. He’s got a fat head and an even fatter heart. Carlo loves to hang out with his pals at the gym and offer some free kisses before, during, and after a hard workout – or anytime you get close enough to him. He earned his Canine Good Citizen-Advanced title from the American Kennel Club in 2018 and now volunteers as a registered therapy dog through the SPCA Serving Erie County’s Paws for Love program. He’s so cool he’s even got his own Insta.