Sam founded CrossFit Virtuosity (with former partner Keith Wittenstein) in 2008. Although her original role was administrative, she soon found herself thrust in front of a group of athletes as a coach. It took quite a few months to get over her fear of speaking in front of a group, but to her own surprise Sam warmed to coaching, and now she looks forward to every class.
Behind the scenes, Sam has worn every imaginable hat, from hanging the drywall in the locker rooms to coding the website to negotiating the lease. She juggles running CFV with taking care of an exhausting toddler-and-baby combo, which is really only possible thanks to the endless patience and flexibility of her husband Mark.
Sam loves every day she gets to spend in this magical place.
The myth of Ariel Fernandez begins in Queens, New York, where he is rumored to have grown up amongst many brothers (perhaps as many as 5!) Details are sketchy, but we hear he attended Baruch College, and played baseball in the minor leagues (a story that may serve to explain his immense strength.)
As a member of Team Virtuosity, Ariel went to the CrossFit Games in 2014, and competed at CrossFit Games Regionals in 2017. His training regimen is impressively extensive, including legendary warm-ups that routinely take him over an hour. Years of consistent mobility+strength+CrossFit have made him the strongest and stretchiest coach we know: we’ve seen him get absurdly close to full splits, as well as front squat over 400lbs. And his conditioning ain’t bad either!
Ariel writes all of our CrossFit programming, and only sometimes forgets that the rest of us are mortal. Make sure to thank him if there’s a workout you particularly enjoyed (once you’ve scraped yourself up off the floor.)
Noelle began her strength journey after she gave birth to twins, and found herself carrying around two increasingly heavy babies-slash-weights. Her resultant shoulder pain led her to an exploration of bodywork that (in typical Noelle no-half-measures style) became a career, turned her on to the world of physical culture in general, and eventually led her to try CrossFit with us.
In addition to being one of the most gifted bodyworkers we’ve ever had the privilege of having torture/massage us, Noelle is a natural coach. She describes her coaching style as “your badass mom,” so expect some tough love!
As an athlete in her 50s herself, Noelle specializes in working with older athletes, particularly women. She dreams of a world full of strong, kick-ass 40-, 50-, 60-, 70-, 80-, and 90-plus year-olds who are fully embracing their physicality and staying self-sufficient throughout their golden years!
Ursula is a strength athlete who competes in Powerlifting at the national level. Over the years, she has applied her athletic abilities to a diverse range of sports including Olympic Weightlifting (in which she was also nationally ranked), CrossFit, ice skating, tennis, and wrestling.
We first met Ursula when she began training with our Steve’s Club (now FYR Brooklyn) program. She was only 16 but already freakishly strong and athletic, and she hasn’t stopped getting stronger and more athletic since then. She joined our coaching team in 2016, and has been surprising almost everyone, male and female, who thinks they can definitely outlift her ever since.
Ursula graduated with a psychology degree in 2020, and is currently working on a masters degree in data science.
A true polymath, Eric is a writer, baker, and ceramics aficionado in addition to accomplished athlete and engaged and enthusiastic coach.
He started CrossFit while pursuing a masters degree in fiction writing, and he strives to bring the same imaginative, engaging, and detail-oriented approach to his coaching. He especially loves seeing athletes surprise themselves and surpass milestones.
His favorite workouts are anything to do with rowing, running, and dumbbells. He’s also a total perfectionist and a glutton for punishment, and loves to spend time drilling the movements he finds most challenging!
Originally from Philadelphia, Mike moved to New York almost 10 years ago. He was always interested in fitness but didn’t find his passion for health and fitness until 2017 when his roommate at the time sent him a Groupon for three intro classes to CrossFit. He’s been hooked ever since!
Mike enjoys the ability to show up every day with a set workout to focus on, the community CrossFit builds, and the personal training each class brings. He works full time in recruitment however has always been interested in coaching. When Virtuosity was looking for new coaches he jumped at the opportunity immediately.
Mike lives with his wife Annie and their two cats Birdie and Bogey. When he isn’t at the gym he enjoys running, cooking, and traveling. He is currently in process of obtaining his CF level 1 certification.
Coach Spenser has been a mainstay of our lunchtime classes since all the way back in 2016, when he joined us fresh off the boat from Iowa, where he had just wrapped up his MFA at the University of Iowa. His positive attitude, unfailing friendliness, and consistent shirtless-ness endeared him to us immediately.
We have only become more enamored over the years as we have watched him dedicate himself to improving first as a CrossFit athlete, and then as a coach, kicking ass at both endeavors.
Spenser wears the consistency crown, with a years-long mobility practice that has allowed him to perform full splits, and un-hunched his writers’ shoulders so that he can get into a great overhead position for sexy gymnastics like handstand walking.
In addition to his athletic endeavors, Spenser has forged an impressive writing career, publishing work in (to name a few) The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post, and Men’s Fitness. Most recently he co-authored “HWPO” with 5-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser.
Shamil started CrossFit 6 years ago in Toronto. He was immediately hooked, especially enjoying the Olympic lifts and more advanced gymnastics. Since becoming a coach, Shamil has fallen in love with leading people through the process of mastering these technical movements, and seeing them accomplish things they didn’t think they were capable of doing.
An early bird at heart, Shamil starts his day working out with his morning crew at the crack of dawn. His favorite workout is “Diane”, and anything with a lot of gymnastics.
Outside of the gym, Shamil works as a product designer. He’s Canadian, grew up in South Africa, and has since lived in London, Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, and now NYC.
Kyle, aka “KD”, came to Virtuosity seven years ago shortly after moving to NYC from Illinois. He was looking for a fun part-time job that he could do while also working freelance in the photo industry, and began working at the front desk with zero CrossFit experience.
Eventually he dipped his toe into the workout waters, and found that he was a natural athlete! He’s that annoying person that’s like, “Oh that’s a muscle-up? Let me try it!” and then gets one immediately 😉
After a few more years, he decided to try his hand at coaching. He loves the Virtuosity community, supporting people as they grow as athletes, and seeing them reach their goals.
Outside of the gym, Kyle is an artist and photographer, whose work focuses on political and social justice issues with an emphasis on queer communities. Check out his work at www.kylesdunn.com.
In addition to being a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach, Mike is a licensed Physician Assistant working in intensive care units throughout Westchester and Long Island. He’s always been fascinated by how what we eat affects our bodies over the course of a lifetime, and how the choices we make can help optimize our sleep, recovery, and overall well-being.
Mike’s approach to nutrition is focused on creating sustainable and balanced choices that allow us to enjoy the food that is all around us, while also staying conscious of its nutritional value.