Dr. Dennis Lesniak, DC MSACN CF-L2
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 his Master of Science in applied clinical nutrition and 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 2 certification.
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 to many podium finishes in both 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, overcome a health condition or disease, or lift 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 girlfriend and their dog Carlo. He also enjoys writing on his blog.
Steph is a life-long 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. She has enjoyed training and competing in CrossFit over the past five years but now dedicates much of her time in the gym to helping others navigate their health and fitness journeys. As a Level 1 CrossFit trainer, she has spent the past three years coaching athletes of all levels, especially those new to CrossFit.
Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from St. Bonaventure and is currently a finance manager at M&T Bank. When she’s not coaching or fitnessing, you’ll find her MMMBop-ing to Hanson or Instagram-ing the adventures of #TeamSmooches.
Erica has been a personal trainer for more than five years, starting during college and continuing after at local fitness facilities. In 2015, Erica took an interest in CrossFit at Dr. Lesniak’s 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 November 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 emphasis on food as medicine.
Erica graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2013 with her Bachelor of Science in human movement science. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College. 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. She also likes to watch documentaries, read, and has a slight coffee obsession.
At QDA, Shana is new to coaching but she’s been an enthusiastic CrossFitter since 2013. Four years ago, she began following the Paleo Diet and CrossFit seemed to be the natural next step. After stumbling through her first WOD at Dr. Lesniak’s first affiliate, she was hooked. In the last year, Shana began shadowing Dr. Lesniak and the other coaches in a pursuit to become a coach herself. In April 2017, she earned her CrossFit Level 1 certificate. Since then, she has been assisting classes and honing her own coaching style.
Shana values the importance of functional movement and a whole foods diet. She loves helping people realize their potential. Not coming from an athletic background herself, she knows the importance of perfecting the basics, understanding that a solid foundation of movements makes everyday life easier for her and QDA’s members.
Shana earned her Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University at Buffalo. In her free time, Shana loves to compete in local competitions and spend time with her daughter who inspires her to pursue and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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 works 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.