Our knowledgeable staff, effective programs, and attention to detail are what set us apart from other gyms. Each class begins and ends with high-fives between athletes and coaches to cultivate connection within our community. Our coaches know our athletes on a first-name basis and are dedicated to supporting their continued progress in training.
ABOUT DAVID SUTOR
YOUR GO-TO FOR: power tools and all things strong.
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and Endurance Coach, Westside Barbell Conjugate Influenced, Olympic Lifting Certified, USAW Sports Performance Coach, 10+ years experience as Powerlifting Lifter and Team Strength Coach, Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.
LIKES: training and development podcasts, documentaries, statistics.
Before opening Defined, David was a multi-sport athlete and played basketball, volleyball and rugby. Through team sports, he found his passion for coaching. While working at a martial arts gym and designing gyms for the military, David was introduced to CrossFit. Having trained with mentor and friend, Ed Coan, David currently holds five national lifting records.
With over a decade of coaching experience, his greatest passion is helping athletes improve their athletic potential by building a strong foundation. In 2010, he and co-owner, Noal, founded Defined to spread the rigorous, inclusive and community-centered mission that the gym is now known for.
David is the creator of the Strength Cafe and Powerlifting programs at Defined. He is known for his positive coaching style and dad jokes.
ABOUT NOAL DUBOIS
LEADS: Defined’s USAW Weightlifting Club
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 2 Coach, USAW Sports Performance Coach, 10+ years CrossFit, WeightLifting, Gymnastics, Powerlifting and Recovery and Mobility Coach, Nutrition, BA Business Communications with a Minor in Public Relations from Bridgewater State University.
LIKES: traveling, boating, roller blading, rock climbing, swimming and martial arts.
Noal got hooked on CrossFit in 2009 after completing his first workout at a commercial gym in Lakeview. He was humbled by this experience and realized that his previous workouts didn’t prepare him for this type of training. He saw the profound effects that functional fitness could have on many people’s lives and knew this was the path for him. In changing his own lifestyle, he wanted to spark other’s health journey.
Noal studied and taught Jeet Kune Do martial arts for over a decade while transitioning from corporate sales to co-owning Defined. In 2010, Noal and David founded Defined to build a space that could support a diverse community, functional programming, and a versatile coaching staff.
Noal pushes athletes to perform at their highest level and achieve goals they never thought possible. He knows the work it takes to be your best and isn’t afraid to put in the sweat that he encourages out of his athletes. He’s been a CrossFit Games Regional team competitor and leads the gym’s primary strength and conditioning program and Weightlifting Team. He has a passion for the application of biomechanics to sport and utilizes his knowledge to build strong athletes and diverse programs.
Outside of the gym Noal also owns and runs a financial planning practice: mentoring and educating individuals and families on their own financial fitness.
ABOUT CARA SABIN
TRAINING GROUPS: Foundations, Nutrition, Weightlifting
CERTIFICATIONS & SPECIALIZATIONS
CrossFit Level 2 Coach, CrossFit Kids Trainer, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Kinesiology, pre and post-natal training, Precision Nutrition Level 1, CHILL Meditation Teacher Certification
LIKES: traveling, strong coffee, healthy cooking, Chicago culture.
LOVES: Ollie, her French bulldog, and high-fiving herself.
Cara combines art with athletics pulling from over a decade as a professional dancer in Chicago. She has taught and toured nationally and internationally as a member of The Seldoms and found strength training and Crossfit while looking for a smarter way to advance her dance career. Her first CrossFit experience—which happened to be on a first date—left her rethinking everything she’d ever known about functional fitness.
Cara believes that health is happiness and became a coach to share the impact that this community can have on the quality of our lives. She leads people to find their strength while having a bit of fun in the process. Teaching is her love, and it gives her the opportunity to help people connect with their bodies and with their potential, both in and outside of the gym.
Cara is Defined’s General Manager and the co-founder of The Lunge Ladies, LLC: an all-female strength training group.
ABOUT SARAH GONSIOROWSKI
YOUR GO-TO FOR: Defined social media, copywriting, and high kicks.
TRAINING GROUPS: DEFCON, Foundations, Hyrox
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Bachelor of Arts in English, with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa, CPR/AED and First Aid Certified, specializing in project management, community events and campaigns, and creative content creation. Co-Founder of The Lunge Ladies, LLC.
LIKES: coffee, traveling, sustainable fashion, writing, and dogs.
Sarah is a dance artist, writer, and strength coach. She has toured and performed both nationally and internationally as an ensemble member of The Seldoms, an issue-based dance company in Chicago. While working as a trainer for lululemon and other Chicago-based studios, she was introduced to CrossFit by friend and Defined Coach, Cara Sabin. Coached through her Foundations by Coach Noal, she quickly learned to love the benefits and results of functional training and how it complimented her professional dance career.
As a competitive athlete and lifetime mover, Sarah is passionate about teaching people to train with purpose and learn the “why” behind the movement. CrossFit has empowered her to see opportunity in discomfort and redefine what strong looks and feels like. She organizes and manages Defined community events, fundraising campaigns, and brand communications.
Sarah coaches daily programming, DefCon and Foundations at Defined and co-owns The Lunge Ladies, LLC: a women’s strength training group. She believes that movement keeps us connected, and that women should always have a place at the table—and on the training floor.
ABOUT ROBERT OLIVIERI
KNOWN FOR: Mentally preparing you to get through any workout–and always snacking
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer, B.S. Human Resources from Illinois State University, Wellness Floor RA, Campus Tour Guide, Middle Management Institute Co-Chair
LIKES: ROMWODs, traveling, reading non-fiction, the 9PM News, cooking, grilling, eating, hosting friends, rock climbing, swimming, and roller coasters.
A gymnast since childhood and a high school varsity swimmer, Robert has always been an athlete. He fell in love with CrossFit in 2014 and got his L1 certification in May of 2016, and his L2 in November of 2020. He has gained a vast knowledge of functional movement at a high intensity since he began coaching over 6 years ago. He loves to work with each athlete on their goals and provide one-on-one feedback.
Robert brings unstoppable energy to every class and is relentless in bringing out the best in his athletes. He is passionate about his own fitness and pushes himself in class, alongside other athletes.
Ollie loves cardboard boxes and dinnertime. He excels at greeting athletes and reading the room.
ABOUT MIKALA THOMPKINS
KNOWN FOR: her relentless support and encouraging coaching.
TRAINING GROUPS: Powerlifting, DEFCON
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer, Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education, with an emphasis in English, High School Instructional Coach and English teacher, 2016 NAACP Educator of the Year, ITCCCA South Division Track and Field “Coach of the Year” 2012 & 2013, AAPF State and National records’ holder for Open division and Sub-masters, and undefeated personal record of “Overall Best Lifter” at multiple AAPF competitions.
LIKES: living a block away from the gym so that she doesn’t have to walk far and can conserve her energy to pick up some heavy stuff with her strong friends.
LOVES: living—not simply existing—as her highest self, amongst family and friends who enjoy just being present together; celebrating each day she wakes up to her 14-year-old yorkie, Ms. Twixie; relentlessly supporting others in becoming the best version of themselves in every capacity, stopping at nothing; seeing all obstacles as opportunities for growth; and striving to continuously evolve into the best version of herself to be of better service to others.
MiKala was a D1 track and field collegiate athlete and has always been mindful of staying active since graduating college. She was the girls Head Track and Field coach for Edwardsville High School and led them to an IHSA State Championship for the largest division in IL. When she found CrossFit in 2014, it was a mind and body transformation—and she fell in love with its constant challenges and the ways it continued to motivate her to become a better version of herself.
MiKala found Defined when she moved to Chicago in June 2016. She was concerned about two things: finding a place to live and finding a CrossFit home. But it only took one visit to Defined and she was SOLD. Finding Defined meant finding her new love and passion for Powerlifting, after having a serious surgery in 2017. Focusing on her strength returning, she was able to discover strength she never knew she had, leading her to compete in multiple AAPF competitions, winning “Overall Best Lifter” and breaking multiple state and national records in all three lifts: squat, bench and deadlift. This experience has shifted her mindset into inspiring others to discover their limitless potential and strength in and out of the gym.
MiKala believes in a safe, energetic, motivational, and fun environment. She encourages athletes to dismiss all mental roadblocks in order to grow into the best version of themselves. For her, Defined is a place where people can learn to break through barriers—physically, mentally and emotionally. We have infinite potential.
She is currently in graduate school, full-time, for Education Administration
ABOUT ALLYN DOYLE
TRAINING GROUPS: DEFCON, Weightlifting, Foundations
AKA: Principal Wright
EXPERIENCE:CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, M.Ed from the University of Notre Dame, M.Ed in Administration and Supervision from Loyola University, CPR/AED Certified.
LIKES: running, cooking, exploring Chicago’s food scene, discovering coffee shops, coaching soccer and basketball at her school.
Allyn is a natural and talented athlete. She was a 3-sport Varsity athlete in high school—cross country, basketball, and softball—and a Varsity Cross Country team member and captain at Saint Anselm College: a two-time U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division-II All-Academic Team; named to USTFCCCA Division-II All-Region Team in 2011. She is now a competitive CrossFit athlete and her accomplishments include: Granite Games Community Team competitor (2017, 2018), Wodapalooza Intermediate Team of 3 competitor (2018, 2019), and Wodapalooza Intermediate Team of 4 competitor (2020).
Being an educator, Allyn loves watching athletes’ progress and enjoys helping others recognize their capability. She believes that CrossFit provides people with so many great opportunities to challenge themselves and to test their limits—which is what makes her such a fun, compassionate, and patient coach.
ABOUT BEN RACZKA
TRAINING GROUPS: DEFCON, Tough Mudder
YOUR GO-TO FOR: extra fun warm-ups and exceptional playlists.
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer, Associate’s Degree in Business Management
LIKES: volleyball, softball, running, biking, collecting vinyl, being front row at pop concerts.
In his younger years, Ben recalls: “I was never very active, nor in the best shape. I was also too nervous to be a part of any sport or team activity.” As he got older and more confident in himself, he started getting involved in other team sports. When it came to fitness, he stuck with traditional gyms, although they didn’t motivate him.
Several years ago, he was introduced to CrossFit and quickly became hooked. He found it to be a great way to socialize, meet new people who had similar interests, and to get a kick-ass workout.
After moving to Chicago and joining a newer box, he found himself getting involved with coaching, which inspired him to get his Level 1. Not only was it an opportunity to learn more about the sport and improve upon his own goals, but it also allowed him an opportunity to work with newer athletes who might find themselves feeling nervous or unsure. For Ben, coaching is a rewarding experience, and he always looks forward to helping athletes achieve their goals.
Ben leads fun themed workouts, programs for Defined Conditioning, and regularly coaches our Summer Beach Workouts.
ABOUT MATT LESH
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer, Bachelor of Science, Master’s in Business Administration
LIKES: sports, biking, cooking, music, traveling, reading, podcasts, philanthropy.
Matt started weight training while playing sports in high school. He continued working out at commercial gyms, participated in running races and triathlons, until he found CrossFit by accident in 2013. He lived near Defined when it was located on Belmont Avenue and saw athletes running around the neighborhood. He signed up for Foundations and has been a member ever since.
Matt was intrigued by the coaching staff, constantly varied functional workouts, class structure, high intensity, and community. He was drawn to coaching because it was an opportunity to learn and give back by developing relationships and sharing his knowledge. In addition to coaching, Matt is a skilled athlete that has been training with the Defined community for almost as long as we’ve been in business.
ABOUT SAM PATRICK
EXPERIENCE: BFA in Dance, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Sam joined the Defined Team in 2020, and began a more serious CrossFit journey shortly after. Inspired by the coaches and athletes around her, she soon began to see the infinite benefits of movement and training. A cheerleader for all, Sam values community, connection, and the joys of learning amongst teammates.
Sam manages Open Gym, ensures our space is clean and welcoming, and assists in retail production and organization. She is responsible for visual content on SugarWOD and has assisted with various design projects, including banners and seasonal logos and apparel.
Outside of Defined, Sam is a freelance dancer, photographer, graphic designer, and videographer.
ABOUT DANA PARAN
YOUR GO-TO FOR: Sneaker recommendations.
EXPERIENCE: CF-L1, CF-L2, USAW Sports Performance Coach, US Olympic Training Site Resident – Northern Michigan, Jr. Pan Ams Team Member, Jr. Nationals Champion, B.S. Exercise/Sport Science from Northern Michigan University with a concentration in Nutrition. DIY Ironman Finisher (12:43:42).
LOVES: Strength. Gymnastics. COFFEE. Food.
ABOUT JARRYD WIDHALM
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer, CrossFit training since 2013, experienced with and knowledgeable about knee injury rehabilitation
LIKES: Grilling, Stand up and Improv Comedy, bike rides by the lake, and Husker football.
LOVES: His Old English Sheepdog, Bondi. He’s 10 years old and they’re both growing their hair out.
Jarryd brings enthusiasm and positivity to everything he does. He is a consultant for an Analytics and Advice firm where he is focused on helping clients with Employee Engagement and Customer Engagement initiatives. He started doing CrossFit in 2013 in Des Moines, Iowa, and loved it from the first 2 minutes of the first introductory Foundations class, which included burpees!
Jarryd loves the constant variation and high intensity workouts at Defined Training. He is proud to be a Defined Coach and is looking forward to helping people achieve their fitness goals.
ABOUT SERGIO VALADEZ
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, American Powerlifting Federation Member, Spartan Race Finisher, double master’s degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from SIU Carbondale.
LIKES: Waking up at 5am, black coffee
LOVES: Traveling, cooking, baking, gaming, getting stronger
Sergio started his CrossFit journey back in 2013 and hasn’t looked back since. A former Charter Fitness member, his fitness routine once felt unorganized; and he relied on weight lifting machines, the treadmill, and an occasional racquetball game for his training. While his first CrossFit workout, Annie, left him feeling challenged and defeated, he chose to stick with it. He remembers telling himself: “Follow the process, and the results will come.” And then they did.
Sergio’s coaching style is genuine: he’s eager to share his passion for CrossFit with others, knowing its physical, emotional, and social impacts. CrossFit has taught him what it means to be comfortable being uncomfortable; which is why he prioritizes a motivational approach to teaching. He sees the potential in all athletes and will cheer them on to the finish line.
When he’s not on the training floor, Sergio works at IBM as a Sales Engineer. For 7 years, he’s helped clients manage personal data and protect themselves from cybersecurity threats. “All big nerdy stuff,” he says. But he loves his job and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
ABOUT ALYSSA SMITH
EXPERIENCE: CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University, CPR/AED and First Aid Certified.
LIKES: oat milk lattes, polaroids, Trader Joe’s, OG Mariah Carey.
LOVES: her family and friends, performing, helping people recognize their strength.
Lyss is a dancer and group fitness instructor from the suburbs of Chicago. She is currently a company member with Movementum Dance Project, and enjoys training to complement her dance career.
Lyss discovered her passion for coaching through a dance instructor job in college. Ever since, she’s made it her livelihood to help people of all ages discover the powerful affects movement can have on their lives. She has coached dancers ranging from toddlers to collegiate-level athletes, and has traveled both nationally and internationally teaching, choreographing, and staging routines for large-scale events.
Lyss discovered Defined through The Lunge Ladies, and instantly fell in love with their vast knowledge and approach to functional fitness. She brings a positive energy to the coaching floor and is constantly inspired by the Defined community.
Stan is Charlie’s younger, taller brother. He prefers to work from home.