ESCF Team

 
 
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Dan Stearn - owner

A.K.A. The Wodfather

Coach Dan opened the doors in 2010 as a way for him and some friends and clients to train. What began as a mere passion project, quickly swelled into a burgeoning business that would become his life’s work. Nearly a decade and two locations later, he couldn’t imagine his life without ESCF and its people.

His enthusiasm for Crossfit and for everyone who walks into the gym is not only apparent, but infectious. He genuinely cares about his people and loves helping transform their lives. Dan is the reason why so many people have come, and so many end up staying.

When he isn’t coaching, Dan divides his time between his family (including three beautiful children, who all CrossFit — yes even his infant) and training jiu jitsu.

“I have met so many amazing people and have countless incredible memories, moments along this journey. I am truly honored to be a part of such a special community!”


Justin Servino - HEad coach

It’s been rumored he lives at the ESCF. It’s also been rumored he hasn’t eaten solid food since 2009. Neither can be confirmed nor denied, but the chances of seeing him train or slug back protein (sans water) when not coaching is estimated to be in the 97th percentile. And if you said he’s addicted to CrossFit, you’d definitely be right.

“My journey began somewhat atypically in a small apartment complex gym, alone. After spending an undisclosed time [post-workout] lying lifeless on the ground and wondering what I just did, I needed more. This was not only the most effective training methodology I encountered, but the most alluring. It was wildly challenging, constantly varied, all-encompassing, and resurrected the competitive spirit I had so desperately missed post-athletics. I spent the next two years obsessively educating myself while being “that guy,” doing clean and jerks next to an elliptical machine in a local globo-gym. I was very popular…

During that time, I also found a passion for sharing this knowledge with others and decided to pursue it as more than just a hobby. based on several recommendations, I contacted ESCF and can honestly say every positive thing I had heard was validated within my first day. The moment I walked through the doors, I felt as though I had been there for months. While each individual’s reasons for being here may vary, they all share the commonalities of being supportive, welcoming, and wanting to better themselves. It starts at the top, with Owner/Coach Dan Stearns, who has an unrivaled ability and desire to motivate and help all of his members. He’s as genuine a person as you come across and truly cares about his people (yes, he pays my salary, but it also happens to be true).

Starting CrossFit and joining ESCF are two of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can think of no better place to work and spend the majority of my time. It is a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of this community. If you feel like challenging yourself, improving your health and fitness, or just want to meet some great people, stop on in!”

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Hugh Barr - coach

A.K.A. Hughdini; Lt. Barr; The Fittest of ESCF

If you believe coaches should be fittest in your community, then Hugh Barr is your man. Plenty have tried to best him in the many solo and team competitions he’s participated in over the years, and many have fallen. His resume includes countless victories at local CrossFit events, a 105th place finish in the 2019 masters Online qualifier (for the CrossFit games), a medal of valor for heroic acts in the line of service (FDNY), and a steamy spread as “Mr. August” in the annual NYC firefighter’s calender (link coming soon).

You might be wondering, is there anything this guy can’t do? Sure, but coaching certainly isn’t one of them. From the moment he joined the ESCF staff, he was an instant hit among the members. Come on in on a day he isn’t winning competitions or rescuing the people of NYC and you can meet this stallion of a man. Or just look up that calender shoot (may or may not be from 2013).

“Initially, I found crossfit in 2012 but was not consistently training. In mid 2016, I decided to dedicate myself and went to four local Crossfit gyms in one week, pitting them against one another. Empire State won me over with their genuine sense of community, constantly varied programming, and vast schedule of classes. I felt right at home immediately and never looked back.

As a Lt in the FDNY, I have found nothing prepares you for high stress, high intensity situations like Crossfit. My recovery time on the job is a fraction of what it was when I was simply lifting weights and running. This is the definition of functional fitness and it has endless applications.

I am now lucky enough now to be coaching at Empire State. This has made my bond with the gym and its members even stronger. I thoroughly enjoy watching our people progress by way of consistency, work ethic and overwhelming dedication. Being able to pass along ideas which I have found useful on my journey and seeing the results in others makes coaching incredibly rewarding.”


Mike Fiore - coach

A.K.A. Fiore; The beard; Judge Dredd; The No Repper

Resident strongman and head judge of the empire state crossfit family. Coach Fiore has served as an official judge in several crossfit sanctioned events over the years, including the regionals level competition. The last time he trimmed his beard his deadlift decreased by almost ninety pounds, but on the bright side no one was able to recognize him so it didn’t really matter.

Besides his beard, the other prominent quality you will notice is Coach Fiore’s genuine joy for coaching. He loves two things: pushing others beyond what they believe themselves capable of, and “no repping” people (especially select members… or just one… killians…and maybe Springs. Sorry guys). Fiore is quite good at both. Despite the banter you may witness, some of his closest friends are members of this community. If you want to learn how to lift heavy weights, or you’d like to watch adult men trade insults like a couple of pre-pubescent brothers, stop on by the night classes and check Coach Fiore out.

 
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LEigh Randall - coach

A.k.A. Bones; The shredder

Coach Bones is a walking advertisement for ESCF and anti-aging. He has the mind of business titan and the body of a 25 year old bodybuilder. He often intimidates the other men from removing their shirts in his presence, but don’t let the exterior fool you; Leigh is as accomodative a coach as there is.

He is one half of the duo that runs the popular fundamentals class (for beginners) and advanced express on Sundays. If you take a class with this gentleman, you will be guaranteed two things: world class coaching; and an experience full of shred.


Jillian Grubert - coach

A.k.a. Hammer

She may be the smallest coach at Empire, but Jill ain’t nicknamed Hammer because she likes to build things. She is a the definition of “practice what you preach,” and is amongst the hardest worker you’ll find. If you need proof, stop by her solo 3:45 class (that’s AM… like in the morning!). She is always looking for ways to improve her fitness and perform workouts that would leave mere mortals begging for mercy. Hammer never begs for mercy. Mercy begs Hammer for mercy.

“The day I walked through the door of Empire State crossfit in October 2014, I not only had the greatest workout of my entire life but the acceptance and support that existed within those four walls was life changing.

Who knew something like this existed. Instantaneously I was hooked. From that day forward this is a place I would call Home. This is where I gained confidence, got strong (not only physically but mentally). I was challenged and overcame those challenges and learned a ton about myself and along the way met some of the greatest people I will ever know. This is what I would build my life around.

A little bit about myself: I’m a wife, and mother of three amazing young boys. Other than crossfit I participate in competitive tennis, and practice yoga regularly.

In 2016 I earned my level one crossfit certification. My motivation for this was having the ability to help people feel good about themselves and gain from crossfit the same things I did. I wanted to spend my time paying it forward. See people grow and change in a positive direction. If crossfit has taught me anything, it’s that your Your brain is your biggest muscle.”

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Deborah Farber-Kaiser - coach

A.k.a. Coach Deb; D-Brah; The Boot

Coming from a collegiate rowing background, Coach Deb was no stranger to fitness, but LIKE MANY PEOPLE, Coach DEB WAS THE AVERAGE "GLOBO GYM" GOER BEFORE Finding CrossFit (AND BY AVERAGE WE MEAN SEVERAL HOURS/DAY, SEVEN DAYS/WEEK... EVEN WITH A BROKEN FOOT -- HENCE THE NAME, "THE BOOT”).

DEB'S CROSSFIT JOURNEY BEGAN MODESTLY IN THE BASEMENT OF SAID “GLOBO,” GYM — stumbling upon it WHILE LOOKING FOR A WAY TO IMPROVE HER FITNESS AND HAVE A GOOD TIME. BUT AFTER SEEING THE ANNUAL WODFATHER EVENT AT ESCF, HER DAYS AT GLOBO GYM WERE OVER. “Doing CrossFit by yourself was effective and satisfying, but nothing can compare to being surrounded by like-minded people or being a part of a community like this.

SHE FIT INTO THE EMPIRE FAMILY SEEMLESSLY AND NOT LONG AFTER JOINING, DEB DECIDED TO DELVE INTO THE COACHING WORLD. HER DEDICATION TO FITNESS IS ONLY OUTMACHED BY HER DESIRE TO share her knowledge and support OTHERs in their journey. YOU CAN ALMOST ALWAYS FIND HER HELPING OUT A MEMBER WITH THEIR TECHNIQUE, OR REASSURING AN ATHLETE WHO IS DOUBTING THEMSELVES… OR working out.


Jeff Corbin - coach

A.K.A. CNN

The other half of the popular fundamentals duo. Like his friend and co-coach [Bones], CNN touts an impressive resume in and outside the gym. When he’s not coaching or sculpting his exquisitely tanned abs, he is making deals as the big swinging… CEO of APPrise mobile.

“After being the typical gym goer for the better part of my adult life, nearly 7 years ago I stepped foot into Empire State CrossFit and have been a die-hard Crossfitter and Masters competitor ever since. I have always been focused on nutrition, health and wellness and coaching at Empire State has given me the opportunity not only to take care of myself and get into the best shape of my life but also to hopefully inspire others to do the same regardless of their age or other limitations.

When not at Empire State Crossfit or spending time with my family, I am the CEO of APPrise Mobile, an enterprise software technology company. (Empire State and its awesome community provides me with the perfect place to clear my head from the daily challenges that life and work present.) I received my Level 1 Crossfit certification and look forward to training every week with Coach Dan and especially to coaching our Fundamentals class on Sundays as well as participating in the weekly shred.”

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Brian Kim - coach

A.k.a. BK

WITH A BACHELORS DEGREE FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND A MASTERS FROM JOHN HOPKINS SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, COACH BK HAS THE BRAINS TO MATCH THE BRAWN. HIS FULL TIME JOB IS A MYSTERY TO MOST OF US, BUT ONLY BECAUSE WE'RE NOT SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND IT. YOU'LL FIND HIM MOST DAYS WORKING OUT AT THE 5 AM CLASS, OR PUMPING THE TUNES and giving sage advice on SATURDAYs AS COACH BK.

“I spend a lot of my free time reading about CrossFit-related topics and watching video clips in an ongoing effort to better educate myself and others how to work smarter and safer while improving our fitness. I started at Empire State CrossFit in June 2011 (during the yellow gym days!). I received my Level 1 Trainer Certificate in July 2012 and my Movement and Mobility Trainer Certificate in October 2012. In a nutshell, CrossFit has allowed me to reach a level of fitness I never thought was possible while giving me the chance to form lasting friendships with awesome people I might not have otherwise met.

The many memorable moments include being part of the ESCF contingent cheering on our first regional competitors in Canton, MA, and just about every Saturday morning class, because the workouts are especially fun and Saturdays bring the weekday morning/evening crews together so we get to make more friends.