Coaches

Gary SorrentinoOwner/Coach

Gary is the owner and coach of CrossFit OSA. As a high school baseball and basketball player and college rugby player, Gary always looked for ways to further improve his athletic performance and overall health. In 2005, his training career started with the goal of get bigger and stronger. In 2009, his focus shifted away from bodybuilding, and towards power-lifting. Finally, Gary found CrossFit towards the end of 2010, and his life changed for the better.

Gary’s addiction to CrossFit soon grew in the following months. He began working beside the owners of CrossFit Danbury to absorb as much knowledge as he could and begin to understand the fundamentals of CrossFit. Upon completing his CrossFit Level 1 Certification Gary began teaching multiple classes a day, dedicating his life to CrossFit, both as a coach as well as an athlete. Since then, his life has been dedicated to CrossFit, as both a coach and an athlete. In November, 2011, Gary earned his USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sports Performance Coach Certification. He has since worked with kids, high school and college athletes, moms, dads, fire fighters and the like.

Gary is 100% dedicated to his clients/athletes. For the past 6 years, his focus has been on learning about every aspect of fitness & nutrition. Gary has found that reading books, blogs and studies, watching instructional DVDs/videos, attending seminars, and learning through trial and error are the tools that have allowed him to continue to grow both as a coach and an athlete. He believes that competing as an athlete is essential to developing a full understanding of fitness as a coach.

“Although people may differ in what they want to achieve, they all share one goal… the desire for self-improvement. This is what I want to help them accomplish.” – Gary

Accomplishments:
– 2012 Team Regional Athlete
– 2013 4th Place CrossFit New England’s East Coast Throwdown
– 2013 3rd Place CrossFit North Havens Couples Crush
– 2014 CrossFit Open 32th (Region)/356th (worldwide)
– 2014 Northeast Regionals 22nd Place
– 2014 1st Place Branford CrossFit’s Winter Team Throwdown
– 2014 1st Place CrossFit Mid-Hudson Summer Throwdown
– 2015 1st Place Fittest Alive In The 845 Competition
– 2015 1st Place CrossFit Danbury’s Scream & Clean
– 2016 CrossFit Open 17th of 12,500 (Region)/161th of 106,000 (Worldwide)
– 2016 East Super Regional 24th place
– 2016 Madhatter Mania 1st Place
– 2016 Granite Games Qualified Pro Division
– 2016 2nd Place CrossFit Solstace Best in the Boroughs
– 2016 2nd Place Branford CrossFits WODUp Nation competition
– 2017 Qualified for/Competed in Wodapalooza RX division
– 2017 CrossFit Open 16th of 15,525 (Region)/127th of 201,961 (Worldwide)
– 2017 East Super Regional 25th place

Credentials:
CrossFit Level 2 Certified
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
USA Weightlifting Level 1
CrossFit Powerlifting Certified
CrossFit Kids Certified
NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist
American Red Cross CPR/AED Certified

 

 

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Neil LauriCoach

While growing up, Neil was always participating in sports and staying active. Throughout middle school and high school, weight lifting and playing sports like football, lacrosse, wrestling and track were top priorities. Fighting through many injuries, it never slowed him down or kept him away from the gym. After 5 concussions and dislocating both of his shoulders in high school, he was told he wouldn’t be able to play again. After three weeks of hard work and a lot of painful stretching and therapy, he was back for his homecoming game and to finish the rest of the season. It has always been a goal in his life to get bigger, stronger and faster over time. Doing research on new movements and practicing to become a better athlete was his main focus.

After high school, fitness was becoming more of a passion then a hobby. After talking to Gary repeatedly about CrossFit, he had to see what the big deal was about. The first time Neil came to CrossFit, he was 248 lbs and struggled to breath walking up the steps to his first ever CrossFit OSA encounter. Now at 210 lbs, stronger, faster and the more fit than ever before, he is making goals and achievements he wouldn’t think to be possible. Progressing from performing 20 regular pushups to 20 handstand pushups took time and patience, but encouragement and dedication overcame the struggle and accomplishments were born.

CrossFit has changed Neil’s life with nothing but positive aspects. It became an addiction for him, to say the least. Waking up in the morning battling through muscle fatigue and aches was a treat for him, knowing he made it through another day of a tough workout. Neil’s main goal is to help share the same effect on everyone he teaches and to the show them what the CrossFit life is all about: more then working out but fighting through a struggle.

Neil is currently commuting to college majoring in Exercise Science and focusing on more seminars to help improve his and others health and fitness.

Accomplishments:
– 2015 1st Place CrossFit Harrisons Powerlifting Meet Middleweight Division
– 2016 1st Place CrossFit Harrisons Powerlifting Meet Middleweight Division

 Credentials:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Kids Certified
CrossFit Sport-Specific Application Certified
American Red Cross CPR/AED Certified

 

 

Courtney Ellingham – Coach

Courtney’s fitness career began in Middle School. Her main sports were basketball and cheerleading, all the way up until her senior year in High School. Getting into a good college then became her main focus. While attending UConn, for her degree in chemistry, she put sports on hold but still attended the gym regularly. She started CrossFit in the beginning of 2011 and has been addicted ever since. She’s competed in many local competitions, spartan races/mud runs, and tackled some huge milestones in the CrossFit world.

As an original member, she continued to gain knowledge as she spent more time at the gym. She’d stay for multiple classes to listen to the coaches teach, and also do her own research at home. After shadowing a few classes, and helping newer members work on technique, she discovered a passion for coaching. As she helped more and more people, she became interested in becoming a part of the coaching staff. Then in 2014 she attended her Level 1 course and obtained her CrossFit Level 1 Certificate.

Courtney has been coaching classes since early 2015, all while handling a full time career at PepsiCo, and going to school to obtain her Masters in Chemical Engineering. She’s a hard working woman who’s always willing to spend extra time with a member who needs it. She continues to attend seminars, and do her research, so she can constantly improve herself as a coach.

Accomplishments:
– 2013 3rd place CrossFit North Havens Couples Crush
– 2015 3rd Place CrossFit Danbury’s Summer Swolestice
– 2017 2nd Place CrossFit Danbury’s Summer Swolestice

Credentials:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
American Red Cross CPR/AED Certified
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering

 

 

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Michelle Ryan – Coach

Michelle was in to many sports growing up. She played baseball, basketball, as well as gymnastics. In 10th grade Michelle decided to join the Carmel Varsity Gymnastics team and quickly learned she was good at it. The longer she did gymnastics the more she fell in love with the sport. Her favorite part was practicing new movements & skills over and over until she mastered them. It left her feeling a great sense of accomplishment. The biggest take-away from gymnastics was the discipline, and how it carried over to other aspects of her life. In June 2013 she decided to try CrossFit. Being bored with the regular gym and wanting to lose some weight, she walked right in and signed up. Immediately after her first class she knew this was something that she was going to love to do and would work very hard at. Michelle began competing in CrossFit competitions just 4 months after joining CrossFit OSA. Competing was something she loved and still loves to do to this day. After three years of hard work and dedication in the gym, Michelle decided to go for her CrossFit Level 1 Certification. Not only does she love to workout and compete, but she also loves to coach everyday people & athletes, helping them work toward their personal goals. Michelle’s passion for coaching continues to grow with each class she teaches and every member she helps! She will continue to expand her knowledge through seminars and certifications to become a Master Coach.

Accomplishments:
– 2015 3rd Place CrossFit Danbury’s Summer Swolestice
– 2015 1st Place Fittest Alive In The 845 Competition
– 2015 1st Place CrossFit Danbury’s Scream & Clean
– 2015 Qualified for/Competed in Wodapalooza RX division
– 2016 1st Place CrossFit XTs WOD for Reese
– 2016 1st Place CrossFit Norwalks Baconfest
– 2017 Qualified for/Competed in Wodapalooza RX division
– 2017 3rd Place CrossFit Norwalks Baconfest
– 2017 1st Place Team New England’s Fitness Invitational
– 2017 2nd Place CrossFit Danbury’s Summer Swolestice

Credentials:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Kids Certified
American Red Cross CPR/AED Certified

 

 

Thomas Sprague – Coach

Thomas has been a fitness enthusiast since receiving his first bench and dumbbell set for Christmas at age 13. When he got his driver’s license, he couldn’t wait to join various gyms. He tried everything from traditional weightlifting to yoga. Out of the gym, he became an avid hiker, skier, snowboarder, and skydiver (he’s a licensed C skydiver). His true passion for fitness wasn’t unleashed until he ran into OSA’s coaches Gary Sorrentino and Neil Lauri. Neil was so excited about receiving his coach certification, Thomas decided to drive to Carmel and see what all the fuss was about. “I took the 9am class on a Thursday,” said Thomas. “I couldn’t lift my arms all weekend! I couldn’t wait to come back. I was hooked, as they say.”

CrossFit quite literally changed Thomas’s life, changing a hunched posture created from over 20 years of cooking to a strong vertical frame. Issues with mobility were also addressed with the expertise, kindness, and community OSA is known for. After a few months of dedicated mobility work, he went from struggling to overhead squat a barbell (45 lbs) to being able to do over 100lbs! After doing CrossFit for a little over a year he decided to sign up for the CrossFit Level 1 Coaches course. He was interesting in learning more about the sport and maybe even becoming a coach one day. After a few weeks of going through the coaches program he taught his first class and loved it. His interest in exercise and movement led to curiosity in the healing arts. He traveled to California to study True Body Intelligence (TBI); a practice using Ma Xing, Icentric Strength, and She King to help release tension, stress, and trauma in the body. He is now a full fledged practitioner of TBI. Sore? Thomas can help. Thomas is proof that with continuous work one can achieve a healthy body and mindset.

Four years after taking that 9am class in Carmel, “I feel amazing,” said Thomas. “My body is stronger, leaner and far more flexible than I knew possible.”

Accomplishments:
– 2015 1st Place Battle At The Barn 2
– 2017 Competed in The CrossFit Open RX’d

Credentials:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
True Body Intelligence Level 1 Practitioner
True Body Intelligence Level 2 Practitioner 

 

 

 

Rob Osborne – Physical Therapist/Coach

Dr. Rob Osborne is the on-site physical therapist and a part-time coach at OSA. Rob’s duties include participation and advising in program development, treatment for both acute and chronic injuries as well as keeping Gary healthy and ready for another run at the 2018 CrossFit games.

Rob was a late bloomer and didn’t step foot into a CrossFit box until 2015 while attending SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. Within a few months, he was asked to become a coach on staff and worked his way up to head coach. Rob gained valuable experience coaching athletes of all skill levels as well as experimenting with integrating his physical therapy practice into the CrossFit gym.

Rob is not interested in magic potions or simple fixes, but rather educating and helping others help themselves. This principle applies to both his physical therapy and coaching practice. He believes in making daily sacrifices that may suck today but will make you a better human and harder to kill in the long run.

Accomplishments:
– 2016 CrossFit Open 511th of 12,500 (Region)/5996th of 106,000 (Worldwide)
– 2017 CrossFit Open 143rd of 15,525 (Region)/1672th of 201,961 (Worldwide)

Credentials:
Doctor of Physical Therapy, SUNY Upstate Medical University
Bachelors of Arts, SUNY Binghamton University
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
Certified Rocktape FMT Performance Provider
American Heart Association BLS for Healthcare Providers CPR/AED Certified