Headshot for QDA“I showed up to Quarter Deck in November 2016 completely unsure of what I was getting myself into. I hadn’t worked out in over a year and before that had been ‘consistently inconsistent.’ Dennis took the time to sit with me and talk about my fears and what to expect. His background gave me reassurance that the workouts would be safe and effective. He and his team modify any workout to my skill level, making sure that every workout was challenging but also something I could accomplish. After two months, I had already lost 20 pounds and decided to meet with Dennis to talk about nutrition. Over the following eight weeks, I lost an additional 34 pounds by following the nutrition plan and working out at Quarter Deck consistently. Even more exciting, I can do things I never thought I could before, such as burpees, wall balls, Olympic lifts and more. Dennis not only pushes you and provides tough love, he has always been there to get me out of my head and calm me down when fear and doubt are taking over. Every person at QDA is endlessly supportive and encouraging. The community is a big part of the reason I keep showing up six days a week. They have supported me as I panicked, cried and struggled but also celebrated every success with me, no matter how small. Dennis has built a place where people work hard and support each other. He is an amazing coach and person, and I am so happy I finally decided to give QDA a try. I only wish I had started sooner!” -Liz, 30

11924335_1012162768816452_1459163907852191708_o“I’ve been thankful to have Dennis in some capacity – coach, nutritionist, chiropractor – for more than three years. I love that he’s a one-stop shop for my health and fitness-related needs. But, beyond that, I appreciate how much he cares about each of his clients. Regardless of your physical ability, he can help you set goals and give you the best possible tools to achieve them. My success is his success, and I love his innate ability to push me to accomplish things I never thought possible. Sometimes you need someone to believe in you until you are ready to believe in yourself. Dennis is that guy.”  -Jessica, 32

13615454_1232789056732007_3393921278369972659_n“My short CrossFit journey began four months ago. It has been an amazing adventure that has not only made me physically stronger but more confident in my workout goals. When I started this new chapter, I did not know what to expect… All I wanted was to be healthier and a role model for my children to live a healthy lifestyle and to know that it can start at any age. So after years of inconsistent workout routines, I was looking for something more. Not only did I find CrossFit, I found a community, or family, that had similar goals. Through training with Dennis Lesniak, I have seen just how far I can push myself and I have done things I never thought possible. I squat, run short and long distances, jump on boxes, and do all kinds of lifts. I have also learned to fail without being a failure.” -Mike, 36

1526631_10100242150964751_1113587942_n“People say you are in control of your own destiny, but sometimes you need someone to give you the tools and to push you to get there. Dennis did just that for me. After struggling to lose weight and becoming more upset with my athletic performance, I decided it was time to get my nutrition in check. I met with Dennis and found out how much he believed I could achieve anything I wanted. Dennis wants the best for his clients, and he would do or say anything to make sure you reached the goals you set – even if you needed some tough love to snap you out of it. Not only did Dennis help me with my physical health, but his guidance and belief in me improved my mental state greatly. Because of him, I am a better athlete, wife and mother. I am a different person because of his coaching, and I am thankful every day for this life-altering change he lead me on.” -Karen, 31

578857_340044489409438_1488417787_n“I approached Dennis’ former CrossFit gym on the advice of a student at UB who told me she had an instructor who was well versed in exercise science and nutrition and happened to be a CrossFit coach. I set up an appointment. After an initial nutrition meeting with Dr. Lesniak, I was given a meal plan and encouraged to exercise regularly at the gym. Two days a week at the gym turned into three days a week and then four and then five days a week. The results were awesome. I was eating right, exercising routinely and dropped almost 60 pounds. I felt great both mentally and physically. The community is the best. Motivation is no problem. Every day is a challenge. The associate coaches in the gym are also top notch teachers and trainers and the best in the business. If you are interested in becoming healthier or stronger, I would recommend having a conversation with Dennis and let him help you transform yourself.” -Marty, Master’s Athlete

11947558_10100799502667475_1576474365883653248_n“Because of Dennis’ medical and fitness background, I felt confident in working out my entire pregnancy. I was given appropriate modifications but always felt the intensity. With the adjustments to the workouts, I was able to work out alongside all my friends just like before. It was nice to have an atmosphere that encouraged pregnancy fitness instead of making pregnancy a disability. I’ve introduced many friends and family to Dennis and his adaptable class workouts. I never hesitate to send anyone his way because he is willing to work with any age, size and fitness level. All that he requires is effort. If you lack your own motivation…not to worry! Dennis will motivate you through example. His passion, dedication and countless hours at QDA will push you to do better. He genuinely cares about those he trains and, in return, you automatically want to give your best effort. Because of my fitness experience, I also go to Dennis for nutrition guidance and chiropractic care. My high expectations are always exceeded. I’m thankful for the holistic care he is able to provide. Lastly, Kristie – the office manager at QDA – is approachable, accommodating and provides great customer service. She wears many hats, but somehow she makes time to go above and beyond for the people at QDA.” -Jessica, 29

1471254_10202772829825963_453555044_n“I’ve been training with Dennis for more than five years, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Dennis gives you exactly what you need even when you may not realize it. He will push and motivate you to be better and to give your best, even beyond the workouts. If you’re having a down day, Dennis is there. If all you need is a little drive to keep going, Dennis is there. Nutritional help, yet again, Dennis will be there. All your needs and wants in one place. My first year of training with Dennis, I competed in the 2012 CrossFit Games Open and came in 542nd place in the Northeast. Just one year later, after putting in work with Dennis, I was able to come in 23rd. My third year training with Dennis, I qualified 10th in the Northeast. So whether you’re training for a sport or seeking a healthier lifestyle, Quarter Deck Athletics is the place to be. I wouldn’t go anywhere else. Being a Marine Corp veteran, I can say Dennis can easily put a drill instructor to shame. Yet, on the flip side, he can motivate my wife in a completely different way that works for her. Nothing beats the teamwork atmosphere, high expectations to achieve your goals, and encouragement to push year after year that Dennis instills in all of his members. Start NOW and don’t look back.” -James, 28

1395795_10151778841918149_1001365577_n“Dennis is hands down the BEST coach I have ever had. He knows exactly when to be your cheerleader because you have no confidence. He knows exactly when to push your limits to see how much you can accomplish. He knows exactly the type of coach you need him to be. He is tough. He is fair. He will kick your butt when you need it. Dennis expects so much of you that you want nothing more than to make him proud.

“When I started with Dennis in 2012, I couldn’t run a quarter of a mile without stopping. It took me eight minutes to do 20 burpees. I was overweight. I had no confidence. I had zero self-esteem. I had high blood pressure. I was getting married in a year and I was miserable. Dennis helped me physically and emotionally change who I was for the better.

“I walked down the aisle a confident, strong, healthy person. Not only was there 65 pounds less of me, but I was confident. More sure of myself than I have ever been before. I felt beautiful like every bride should feel marrying the person of her dreams.

“Two years passed after I got married. I stuck with it. I ate well, I did everything I was supposed to. Then, in October of 2015, after being married for two years, I fell off the wagon. I got lazy. I stopped working out. I ate what I wanted and seven months later I stepped on the scale and realized I had gained 25  pounds.

“I was ashamed. I felt broken. My confidence was where it was four years ago. I kept waiting. For what, I don’t know. I realized I would never be ready. You will never be ready to start your change, you just have to bite the bullet and start. So, I did. I sent Dennis a message and I saw him the next week. Never once did he ask what happened. He never made me feel guilty or feel bad about myself. We picked up right where we left off.

“It has been a struggle knowing what I once could do and wondering if I would ever get back there. To my wedding weight. To be able to lift what I once could. Well, let me tell you I am crushing what I once was. I am stronger and faster and getting more confident by the day. It is because of Dennis and the work that he puts in every single day. He gives you the advice that you need. It may or may not be what you want to hear, but it is what you need. He cares about every single one of us. He listens. He watches. He pushes. He has changed my life forever. Let him change yours, too. You will not regret it.” -Isabella, 36

375628_10101138292948758_803246014_n “It was 2013, and I had reached an impasse in my life where I was no longer participating in competitive sports and was looking for a new outlet. Physically, I had gained weight, lost prior strength and become lazy. Mentally, I was getting complacent and could see myself heading down a path that would be much harder to come back from. Like most people, I tried the traditional gym route but found myself paying for a membership I didn’t use, and when I did go, my time was poorly spent. That’s when I found Dennis Lesniak. Almost immediately I knew I found what I was looking for. His motivational style, unlike any coach I have ever known, relentless pursuit of my best effort and his unwillingness to let me settle for anything less, set me on a new course. There is no substitution for hard work, and trust me you will work harder than you ever thought you could, but know that Dennis will put that same hard work right along side of you.” -Joe, 31

11401039_10206985154330415_6090043057885822244_n“Nearly four years ago, I walked into the doors of a CrossFit gym for my very first class. My best friend and I were trying out a new gym together and sat quite nervous waiting for our class to start. We made eye contact with who we knew was our coach for the upcoming class and looked at each other saying, “I’m scared.” He walked right up to the both of us and introduced himself. That was the owner and coach, Dennis Lesniak. With a huge smile and encouraging words, he made us feel a little less intimidated by this foreign, new sport. From that day on we were hooked, and life as I knew it was forever changed. The fun, safe, competitive, happy place the gym became for me and all of its members was very much a second home. It was a place to de-stress and enjoy some laughs after work. Dennis, our fearless leader, pushes each athlete to his or her absolute potential. He provides a safe gym, always concerned first with the proper technique before moving up in weight. However, his intensity is what I love the most about Big Den! You want someone to push you, call you out on your BS or remind you what you came to the gym to do, there truly is no better man. His honesty and sincere care for all his athletes is what sets Dennis apart. And sometimes his jokes are funny, too. He holds the weight of all our problems, injuries and complaints on his shoulders and never flinches. He works out alongside us showing his drive and also his struggles. I would follow him anywhere he goes because I trust in the programming and I trust his process. And, I’m always excited for what he has yet to show the world.” -Victoria, 28