Molly Leber

Molly's Credentials

About Molly

You can find Molly in, and around the gym almost every day. She's a great resource for questions, events, and will always be up for a paleo challenge, or a good tailgate (she's awesome at both!). Look for Molly getting her Olympic Lifts on followed by a CrossFit WOD. 

CrossFit New Haven

Sean Cady

Sean's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate

About Sean

I was never into sports in high school or college. The most I ever did was road bike or mountain bike with friends. To be honest, I generally disliked playing sports except for badminton and soccer because they are awesome. I was a computer gamer. I could crush the newbs on my Counter Strike: Source server or grind on Diablo 2 all day. After college and a few years in the working world, I moved into an apartment with 3 of my fraternity brothers. One started doing CrossFit and got me into it. I figured I needed a bit of change in my life and CFNH looked interesting.

I started CrossFit on ramp at CFNH in June 2012. I didn’t really think CrossFit was as crazy as everyone made it out to be. Sure, I was sore the next day, but that's normal, right? I decided I liked CrossFit, but I was only there for a bit of fitness, not much more. It took a year before I started getting into it. I started doing Olympic lifting classes and enjoyed those. I found a few people I enjoyed working out with and who pushed me to be better. It was about a year and a half into it when I got hooked and really started striving to be better everyday. I felt like a direct part of the community and also was really happy with how CrossFit improved my life.

Fast forward another year, and I found myself looking for a house. I dropped pins on my map for places I need to be close to: work, family, and CrossFit New Haven. CFNH and its community had become a major part of my life. After things settled, I started the process of becoming a coach to help the CFNH community even more.

I enjoy helping athletes overcome something they thought was too difficult. I was in their shoes and I know I can help them with their goals. As I grow into my coaching role at CFNH, I’m sure I will find my specialty. But for now, I am working to get better everyday.

Mike Haggerty | CrossFit New Haven

Mike Haggerty

Mike's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1

About Mike

Athletics have been a part of my life ever since I could remember. It started with soccer, baseball, and basketball, then as I got older I added crew to the mix, and then eventually in college I played rugby for our school. One of my prouder moments as an athlete was being named captain of our rugby team and helping our team place 11th in the country for Division II after moving up from Division III just the year before. I loved the responsibility of being a captain. It not only pushed me to become a better athlete, but also I began to take on the role of a teacher (or coach) and setting a good example for the rest of my teammates became my biggest priority. And that became much more rewarding for me than making a good play on the field.

I started Crossfit for the same reason most people do – because the same old gym routine got old – yes, even bicep curls get old after a while (sort of). Joining CFNH has been the best decision I have made since moving to New Haven. The membership community, the workouts/programming, and the coaches at our gym are all exceptional on all levels. The last person to finish a workout never finishes without at least one person cheering them on. I decided to become a coach because I have always been driven to help other people achieve their goals. I do this in my professional career as a financial advisor and will do the same here at CFNH.

My promise as a coach is that no matter what your athletic ability or level of fitness is, if you have a goal, and are willing to put the work in – I am going to give you 100%; and most importantly, I will help YOU continue to give 100% each and every day - even when you feel like you just 'don’t have it', or you aren't seeing results as fast as you would like.

CrossFit New Haven

Jeff "Poot" Stevens

Jeff "Poot"'s Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certificate

About Jeff "Poot"

I started doing crossfit in 2012 after a year long extensive rehabilitation from a knee injury, which left me crippled and depressed. Feeling a lot of self-loathing I thought, "how can I punish myself?" Answer: CrossFit.

Having virtually zero experience in any kind of sport I found a haven in Crossfit New Haven (see what I did there?). I needed to find myself, see what I am made of, and push beyond my limits; but most importantly, i need to have  supportive coaches to teach me the very fundamentals of fitness and training. I was a blank slate, a very out-of-shape-and-overweight blank slate. It is this support that inspired me to become a coach. I realized the impact the four walls and giant two doors had on my life and I wanted to give back to the coaches and athletes that make this community so great.

Now I am just starting my journey as a coach; I don't have any specialty as of yet, with the exception of being a smiling friendly coach always willing to help. Every one of our members is a real inspiration to me, and I hope to help make ourselves our best selves.

JoHannah Hamilton | CrossFit New Haven

JoHannah Hamilton

JoHannah's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification
  • West Hartford Yoga 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training (2014)

About JoHannah

Before CrossFit, "athletic" was not an adjective I used to describe myself. I stopped playing tennis in high school when the coach made everyone run an 8 minute mile AGAIN because I didn't make it in time, and I still pretty much have one running pace whether my life is in danger or not. About 8 years ago when I was teaching elementary school, I started to really get into yoga, and about 5 years ago I realized that I wasn't going to be able to *wish* myself into the life I wanted. I started making a lot of changes in both what I ate and how much I exercised. I started CrossFit with a friend through a LivingSocial ad, and shortly after finishing my on-ramp, joined CrossFit New Haven. I've changed a lot in the past four years here, and found a family that has kept me going through tough times, in and outside of the gym, even when they didn't know it. After I completed my yoga teacher training, CFNH brought me on to coach our yoga classes twice a week. As a student of both CrossFit and yoga, I don't know how I would do one without the other. Yoga makes me aware, and more importantly curious, about the limits my mind creates about what I can or can't do - CrossFit pushes me past them. In the same way, I ask a lot of my body in a workout, and yoga balances that intensity with restoration.

As a coach I encourage our athletes to challenge their own limits and get the most out of their workout. My favorite moments are when an athlete says to me, "I can't believe I just did that!" and when the whole class rallies around the athlete who is almost done and needs that extra push. I would love to help you see what you're capable of! If you're interested in personal training sessions, doing a one-on-one on ramp, or individual or group yoga instruction, please don't hesitate to let me know at

Mike Pozika | CrossFit New Haven

Mike Pozika

Mike's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification
  • Retired NHFD after 20 Years

About Mike

I have been a lifelong athlete who has always enjoyed trying new things and being challenged. Besides playing various sports I spent most of my adult life working out in "Globo-Gyms". My focus shifted to endurance events over the last few years and I have been able to complete numerous road / trail races, Obstacle Course Events (OCRs), and CrossFit competitions. Among the highlights were completing a couple Dopey Challenges (5K, 10K, Half, Full Marathons consecutive mornings) at Walt Disney World, completing a few 50K trail races and two Spartan Beasts at Killington.

I retired from the New Haven Fire Department (NHFD) in December of 2014 after a twenty year career. I was a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) my entire career and also served as a Lieutenant for sixteen years.  I served on the unions Executive Board and sat on the Health and Safety Committee. I had become an ACE certified Peer Fitness Instructor as well.

Once I began crossfitting in 2013 I instantly noticed my endurance increase as well as my strength and I felt I was better prepared at my job as a firefighter. Later in that year I registered for my Level 1 Certification. All my instructors were tremendous to work with and top level athletes, they included Austin Malleolo, Spencer Hendel, Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet and Dave Lipson. This was the first step of my unsuspecting journey to becoming a coach.

In April of 2014 I had suffered two full thickness tears in my left shoulder and unfortunately required surgery. This was a rough period of time to say the least and I spent lots of time soul searching. For seven months I was in physical therapy (70 sessions) and dealt with a series of complications. During this period of time I made the decision I would be retiring from the fire department and transition into something I really wanted to do... coach at CFNH! I was going from a career of helping people in need to one that I was still helping people, just with achieving their goals.

I am a masters athlete and I have adapted to what my shoulder allows post surgery. I understand the importance of scaling and modifications during and post rehab and realize the frustrations of the athlete through my experience. I use the same programming as you the athlete and you will see me taking part as an athlete beside you in class.

CrossFit New Haven has been instrumental in my life since I began that January day in 2013. I have made so many strong friendships and have been privileged to be part of their lives inside and out of the box. As I have aged and had to overcome an injury I have still been able to increase strength while improving endurance. This has given me the opportunity to take part in some amazing events and find ways to push myself. As a coach, I hope I can be a part of giving that back to the athletes.

Fun Facts:
     I became an ambassador for INKnBURN athletic apparel in March 2016.
     I can't swim. What a scene at "Walk the Plank" Tough Mudder Mount Snow.
     I do hate running... I love the events and locations though!
     My CrossFit Math is no reflection of my actual math skills.  "How much is on the bar?"
     My favorite movement is the Close Grip Bench Press (CGBP).


Email Coach Mike at:

Ralphie Sylvester | CrossFit New Haven

Ralphie Sylvester

Ralphie's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification
  • CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified Trainer

About Ralphie

I have always been an active person, playing sports consistently throughout my life. During high school I found a passion and talent for extreme sports. This led to the realization that there is so much more to being an “athlete” then simply fitting into a conventional mold. Each person that is active, and wishes to excel, is using his or her fitness in a manner that is worthy of being admired. This idea remained with me post college, as I searched for that perfect “athletic outlet”. Being in the North East, I found ways to remain active no matter the season; snowboarding, swimming, hiking, club sports. The need for physical challenges led to partaking in winter overnight hikes along triple­summit routes. Anything that would test the bounds of my abilities physically and mentally. However, with the responsibilities of life such times were few and far between. Spending hours at the air­conditioned local chain gym trying to push myself had become tiresome. It was at this point that a friend of mine said, “Hey, I think you’d really like Crossfit”. After the first workout I knew I was hooked. The full­bodied functional fitness that Crossfit fosters cannot be denied. “I just don’t want to lose my explosiveness” is how I would phrase it. Whatever “explosiveness” means to you, as a Crossfit Coach I am intent on helping you realize that there is nothing you cannot accomplish. The community aspect creates the perfect environment for each and every person to succeed in whatever they set their mind to. The programming allows each person to consistently challenge his or her self each and every day. No matter if you are someone that is totally new to any form of fitness training or a professional athlete. The most amazing thing about Crossfit is that regardless of where anyone is in his or her fitness, everyone in the room is working exactly as hard. That is ultimately what drives me; to see people push themselves to be even just a little better than they were yesterday. When you get a community of people all set on that goal, anything is possible.

Amanda Zapatka | CrossFit New Haven

Amanda Zapatka

Amanda's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certification
  • CrossFit Running and Endurance Certification

About Amanda

I have competitively played sports since the age of 5 and haven't looked back since! I became an athlete and loved competing in anything and everything! (From tying my shoes faster than my sisters, winning a game of H-O-R-S-E, to report card grades!) At Amity High School, I captained both the soccer and basketball teams and earned the title of Athlete of the Year as a Senior. In college, I continued playing sports as a D1 soccer player at Fairfield University. After graduation and my career in sports ending, the feeling of belonging to a team was missing. It was in May of 2008 that I was introduced to CrossFit. After finishing my first workout I thought, "How could a D1 athlete be THIS tired?!?!" I looked around the room and saw not only my best friend and former D1 athlete, but moms and "older" people doing the same workout! It was then that I realized CrossFit was legit.

My CrossFit journey has taken me from newbie to Games athlete in 2010 and now to a lover of a great workout! I can empathize with all athletes that walk though our doors - from experienced competitors to those who need modifications for injuries.  I love CrossFit for the results it brings, for the community, and for the support you get to succeed. As a trainer, I want to help my athletes reach their goals – no matter how big or small – to live a healthier, happier life.

John D'Agostino | CrossFit New Haven

John D'Agostino

John's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1, Level 2, Endurance, Strongman, Olympic Lifting, Movement & Mobility Trainer
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified Coach
  • 1997 State of New Jersey Junior Varsity Catholic Math League Champion (antiderivatives FL)
  • 15x Marathon/Ultramarathoner

About John

John (a.k.a. “Dags”) has been a gym-rat his entire life, participating competitively in everything from basketball to marathons and ultramarathons, to innertube water polo. John first started CrossFit in 2009 in order to complement his running training, but was quickly drawn to the myriad dimensions of fitness that CrossFit training afforded beyond mere speed. To that effect, Dags is committed to CrossFit New Haven athletes’ skill development, across the entire spectrum from novices to competitive athletes, basic footwork to advanced power and endurance development, and helping enhance each of our athletes’ strength and conditioning knowledge and ability.

Email Dags at:

Whitney Doel | CrossFit New Haven

Whitney Doel

Whitney's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 1 Certification
  • CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified Trainer

About Whitney

About Whitney:

As a lifelong athlete in a variety of sports from track to volleyball to triathlons to swimming, I've always been drawn to fitness in some capacity. I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Florida where we played sports outside all year long. In middle school and high school I narrowed my interest specifically to swimming and swam for both my school and club teams.  I remained active in college and afterward, though my time was limited for sport endeavors and the pursuit of fitness became more challenging to keep up with.  A few moves North landed me in Connecticut and working out in a "globo" gym for the first time ever. I didn't know what to do, which machines to use, or in what frequency as I always had a coach to help me with this.  Fast forward two years and intro CFNH.  I learned about CFNH from a friend and showed up on the first day it opened. I was so humbled by the workout and my perceived fitness vs. my actual fitness so I signed up right there and I’ve never looked back. 

Following a few years as a CFNH athlete I began to realize that I had something more to offer and started the road to coaching, first with the CrossFit Kids Classes, then the regular classes, and now Olympic Weightlifting as well. I LOVE coaching! It's a rare opportunity to help people truly discover their potential and passion through fitness, and then see them thrive, and grow, and become more confident. My favorite coaching moments are when an athlete has that "ah-ha" moment during a lift when the timing, adjustments, and components of the movement sync up to make the perfect lift - the one you've been telling them would come with patience and perfect practice - and suddenly the gates are open and this athlete has become a weightlifting machine!  I am truly grateful to be part of such an incredible community of support and love. Joining CFNH has been one of the best decisions I've made in my 30+ years of life. CFNH and its members have become my home and family away from home. There is some kind of magic that happens when you mix sweat, love, clanging barbells, and loud music together with an awesome group of like-minded people.

Nowadays I spend most of my coaching with a focus on Olympic Weightlifting and strength training.  I’m passionate about young people and fitness, and I look forward to the opportunity to share that passion with you.  Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re interested in learning more about weightlifting or have a teenager who is interested. You can reach me at

I look forward to seeing you at the gym soon!

Carla O'Brien | CrossFit New Haven

Carla O'Brien

Carla's Credentials

  • CrossFit Lvl 2, Concept2, Mobility, Endurance, Kids, Olympic Lifting, Gymnastics, Scaling
  • USAW Lvl1 Coach

About Carla

Carla is the co-owner of CrossFit New Haven.  Carla is a former professional ballet dancer who started CrossFit on a dare by her husband, Eric, in 2008.  Eric said it would improve her road race times.  CrossFit became the next step in her journey in health and fitness.   Her motivation after her dance career was to educate others while continuing to stay in shape with a combination of running and dance.  Carla has taught and performed with several schools and professional dance companies for many years. After her retirement in 2005, she remained on the New Haven Ballet's board of directors.   While teaching dance, she switched to running.  Since then, Carla has completed many races from 5K’s to a marathon.  Carla holds both a BS and MBA in healthcare fields.

Carla competes at national and international olympic lifting events.  In 2014, she started the New Haven Weightlifting Club at CFNH along with Aaron and Eric.  She coaches and trains with the NHWLC as well as the CFNHE Endurance Team.  Carla has a special interest with athletes who would like assistance with their nutritional needs.  Carla offers nutritional consulting to all members of CFNH.  “I love coaching and working with our members on their own individual life goals.  To be able to be part of that process and pass along a love for fitness and knowledge of keeping your body in the best shape it can be, gives our athletes the most valuable gift; their longevity.  No matter what your age or fitness level, CrossFit provides you a new quality of life”.  Carla, and Eric, have two wonderful children; Casey and Jack.

Email Carla at :

Eric O'Brien | CrossFit New Haven

Eric O'Brien

Eric's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level I Trainer, CrossFit Movement & Mobility, Olympic Weightlifting, and Gymnastics
  • CrossFit Power Lifting Certified with Louie Simmons

About Eric

Eric is a former collegiate diver, having competed at University of Rhode Island, a Division I school. Eric also was a track and field competitor and swimmer & diver in high school. Eric spent his youth playing baseball and has remained a passionate fan of baseball throughout his life. Eric has many years experience as a coach himself, sending his own Branford High School divers to the CT State Championships every year he coached. Eric also coached little league baseball for Greater Hamden Baseball.

“Finding CrossFit brought me back to my days at Rhode Island; great coaching, motivation, skill work, variety, intensity and community. That friendly competiveness pushes us all to go further, to work harder, and to never quit. CrossFit and CrossFit New Haven have reenergized and refocused my life. I train CrossFit, I teach CrossFit, I am CrossFit. To me, this is home.”

A Co-owner of CrossFit New Haven, Eric is a regular trainer on the CFNH gym floor. Eric is committed to helping his athletes achieve their fitness and lifestyle goals no matter what.

Email Eric at:

Aaron Poach | CrossFit New Haven

Aaron Poach

Aaron's Credentials

  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer Certification
  • USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Level 2 Coach

About Aaron

Hello and let me welcome you to CrossFit New Haven! I am the Gym Manager and Head Trainer here, which basically means I don't have a "job," but that i get to do something I truely love every day. My passion is working with people to help them better their lives in some way. I've always had a nurturing mentality, starting as co-captain of the middle school basketball team and captain of the baseball team, and continuing through college with many leadership positions in various organizations. I pride myself in being a leader and educator and use my skills to help our members make themselves better. Baseball was my primary sport growing up, but I played everything - you name it and i've probably played it or at least tried it. Sports, movement, and motion have always been a passion of mine and I love how CrossFit expresses each of those in different ways. I love to have fun, and to me working out with friends is a great time!

I started Coaching CrossFit in late 2012 through our Intern Program, and became an official CrossFit New Haven Coach and CrossFit Trainer in March of 2013 after 3 years of practicing CrossFit. A year later in 2014 I took over as the Gym Manager and soon after, received my CrossFit Level 2 Certificate and became the Head Trainer. Since then I've immersed myself into Strength & Conditioning and am currently working toward my CSCS certification. I have also received both my Level 1 and Level 2 USAW Sports Performance Coaching Certifications. I love programming for people and watching them progress toward their goals, whatever that may be. 

Specialties of mine include Olympic Weightlifting, personal programming, and personal training. You can find me programming for, and Coaching, both our CrossFit Class Workouts and the New Haven Weightlifting Club's pogram. I am happy to discuss personal programming, personal training, or talk about how you can get started here at CrossFit New Haven. Hope to see you out there!

Email Aaron: