Staff

Meet the CFSE Coaches

We are dedicated to making you become the best athlete possible.

Rob Blake

Rob Blake

Owner/Trainer

- CrossFit Level 1 Certified
- CrossFit Level 2 Certified
- CrossFit Endurance
- CrossFit Strongman
- USAW 1 Certified
- Kettlebell Certified
- CrossFit Gymnastics Certified

I had been actively coaching in the fitness industry for over 10 years. Once I began CrossFit, I knew I wanted to give back to the community as much as it had given to me. Fast forward to 2013 and CFSE was built. I wanted to give people a comfortable, welcoming, and fun environment where they can accomplish more than just physical results.

I highly enjoy our community. Everyone has their own limitations, but they don’t let that stop them from achieving their goals. Being surrounded by all of these likeminded people on a regular basis, motivates me to be the best coach and friend to our members.

Emmy Simpkins

Emmy Simpkins

Owner/Trainer

- CrossFit Level 1 Certified
- CrossFit Level 2 Certified
- Certified CrossFit Trainer (L-3)
- CrossFit Strongman
- Sport Specific Training (Soccer/Basketball)
- 2014 East Regional CF908 Team Member
- 2016 East Regional Individual
- 2016 Elite Wodapalooza Individual
- 2017 Elite Wodapalooza Team Member
- 2017 East Regional Individual
- 2017 Dubai Fitness Championship Competitor
- 2018 Elite Wodapalooza Individual

I began CrossFit in the Fall of 2011. I was a Division 1 College Soccer player at Rutgers University, and towards the end of my career, I kind of “let myself go”. I had gained nearly 20lbs and was on the verge of losing my starting position on the team. I contacted the nearest CrossFit gym, and the rest is history. If you would have asked me in 2011 if I ever thought I would be a competitive CrossFit athlete AND an owner of a gym, I would have laughed in your face. However, CrossFit has changed my entire view of “health” and “fitness”. The things I have learned about myself within the 4 walls of the gym, have transformed how and why I do everything outside of the gym.

I must admit though that I didn’t only “fall in love” with CrossFit because of the results I was seeing, but because of the community and friendships I had now gained. I will forever call these people friends, family and I was lucky enough to meet my life partner, Emily, through CrossFit. Together, we enjoy an active lifestyle with our two dogs, Atlas and Massimo. None of this was possible without me just walking through those doors in 2011. Sometimes the greatest things in your life come from just :20 of courage.

Dan-Freire

Dan Freire

Head Trainer

There is something special about being present among others willing to do something challenging for the sake of bettering themselves. Back in 2013, I was immediately drawn by the inclusiveness of the community and to the humble mantra of acknowledging areas of improvement and working on them continually.

A healthy dose of humility was just what I needed to begin to ask myself, “In what other life areas can I improve?” CrossFit helped spur a sense of accountability and motivation outside of the gym walls. How can I improve my eating? Am I being the best friend I can be to so-and-so person? Is sitting plopped in front of the TV the best use of my time?

Being involved with CrossFit has resulted in some important life changes for me and for many others, as well. I love being surrounded by our close-knit community and being able to help them become the best versions of themselves.

Dimitri Agiovlasitis

Dimitri Agiovlasitis

Trainer

CrossFit Level 1 Certified
Sport Specific Training (Football/Wrestling)

Started CrossFit in 2013. I was an overweight meathead lifter working on just putting up big numbers at the local WOW. Let’s just say my first year was very humbling. Coming from a wrestling and football background, I considered myself in “shape”. CrossFit showed me a different level of fitness. After experiencing not only my own improvements but others as well, it became empowering. That’s when I knew I wanted to coach to feel that “high” of helping someone do something they didn’t believe they could do.

Ed Junquet

Trainer

- CrossFit Level 1 Certified
- Sport Specific Training (Lacrosse)
- CrossFit Gymnastics Certified

I began CrossFit in my garage in 2013 after playing lacrosse in college at Kean University. I followed the Main Site (crossfit.com) workouts for a long time and really enjoyed working out with friends in my garage- introducing CrossFit to any of my friends willing to give it a go. We started out with a just barbell and some metal plates. Eventually building a squat rack, gymnastic parallettes, medicine balls out of old basketballs, and finding whatever equipment I could on Craigslist. I love helping people move better. To help them see the potential they have in themselves is one of the greatest things about coaching.

Jon Hoyt

Trainer

I got into Crossfit as a shot in the dark at trying something new after getting sick of the same old weekly routines. There was something about the idea of learning gymnastics skills, olympic lifting skills as well as increasing my general fitness levels that appealed to me. Fast-forward and Ive never looked back. If you asked me when I walked into my first class that I would be walking on my hands at any point in my life, I would have laughed. Through Crossfit and its approach to teach skills through progression and scaling, towards each individuals skill levels, anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Coaching is a much different mind set from working out yourself. It takes understanding each individual and finding a way to connect with each of them during a class. While at times it can be frustrating because you have full belief in an athlete but they dont quite have full self-belief (at first), there is no more rewarding moment in coaching then when an athlete accomplishes something they never thought they could. I've seen many firsts through coaching at all levels whether it be their first banded pull-up, their first time inverted in a handstand, their first muscle up, and many weight lifting PRs. To this day their is no more satisfying feeling then being there and seeing the excitement on their face and them thanking you for your help, support and belief in them.

Chuck Labas

Trainer

- USAW 1 Certified
- CrossFit Level 1 Certified

Before starting CrossFit in 2012 I was very overweight and very out of shape. I didn't care much about what I was eating, and I was mostly sedentary. When I decided it was time for a change, I was lucky enough to find a CrossFit gym with fantastic coaches and a welcoming community, and I was hooked. Over the last several years I've been living a whole new lifestyle thanks to the help and motivation from the coaches and members with whom I've had the pleasure training. When I was presented with the opportunity to become a coach, I knew it was a chance for me to give back that same help I'd gotten from so many others, and I'm thankful to be among the best coaching staff and community our sport has to offer. My goal is to help make our gym a place where everyone feels welcome and motivated to improve themselves every day.

Brian-Wiltbank-intro

Brian Wiltbank

CrossFit Kids Coach

- CrossFit Kids Certified

Ever since becoming a member at CrossFit Speakeasy, I knew I wanted to be a part of something really special. Over the past few years, my commitment to fitness has become stronger because of this community.

I have always been into sports and working out, but this atmosphere puts it into a whole different category. I am always pushed to be the best I can be. Not only as an athlete, but even more so as a person.

My philosophy on fitness is that it is a lifelong pursuit, beginning in the early stages of life. As a health and physical education teacher being my profession, I believe that all kids should have some sort of fitness regimen. Not only does fitness make one feel better about themselves physically, but also improve one's mental and emotional well being. This is so important for the development of an adolescent.

I strongly believe that providing a CrossFit Kids program here at Speakeasy is going to strengthen our community even more. But more importantly, this program can change the lives of so many kids for years to come. I look forward to sharing my passion for fitness with the next generation.

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Erin Casey

Nutritionist & Daycare

- CrossFit Level 1 Certified
- Precision Nutrition Certified

I started CrossFit in 2015 at CFSE. I must admit my initial thought of CrossFit was “I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to get big and manly like these girls who do CrossFit.” Eventually I gave it a try and was amazed to see it was a lot more than that. Lucky for me I searched for gyms close by and came across CFSE. I showed up for my first class where Rob explained the workout was 1RM back squat and a 5k row - gross! Considering I never rowed before in my life, it was no surprise I was the last one on the rower. But, I knew I wanted to keep coming back when the rest of the class was standing around me cheering on someone they met 30 minutes ago. From that moment I knew I found a new “home.”

Because of the community and coaches at Speakeasy I constantly strived not only better myself but those around me. I later went on to obtain my CrossFit L1 and my Precision Nutrition certification. When I was asked to help with the daycare services offered at Speakeasy, it was a no brainer. To be able to help parents get to the gym, enjoy their class, and better their lives not only for themselves but for their children - how could I say no? Being the second oldest on my mother’s side and one of fifteen cousins on my father’s side, I’ve been changing diapers and babysitting since I was in the second grade. Spending time with kids is something I thoroughly enjoy, it’s something I get to do not something I have to do.

I’ve since helped some of those parents and other members of CFSE to complete their health and fitness journey by assisting with their nutrition. I, was one of those people who worked hard in the gym but never focused much on my nutrition - I plateaued after a year of CF. Nutrition plays a huge part in my continued health and fitness journey. Becoming Precision Nutrition certified allowed me to obtain the knowledge to help other up their nutrition and lives. This is just another way I get to help and encourage people to be their best self!

Fatima-intro

Fatima Alves

Head of Daycare Services

My name is Fatima Alves, I’m 51 years old and a mother of 2. I became familiar with Crossfit when my daughter joined CrossFit Speakeasy. As she became active, I became more interested myself. Attending events when she participated, getting to know some of the coaches and her friends. I could remember thinking “I could never do this, and this can’t be good for the body”. Little did I know I would become a member.

I began my journey in August of 2015 not only as a member, but as a Child Care
Provider at the gym, the best decision I made. I have become more aware about why we should be eating healthy and exercising on a daily basis. This has helped me physically and mentally. I have met incredible people that are always ready to support, listen, as well as push you when needed.

I have worked as a special ed secretary in the school district for the past 21 years. I believe my experience in my position has helped me become a reliable and responsible person watching over the children that attend the Child Care. The Child Care Center is also very fulfilling for me, not having young children of my own anymore, I truly enjoy every minute being with them.

CFSE is not only a gym, it is a community full of friendships.