Coaches & Owners

JOHN BADARACCO (Co-Owner)john@cfsyn.com

I have been involved in fitness and athletics all of my life.  I knew at a young age that taking care of my body and exercising would benefit me for the rest of my life.  In 1994 I started my own personal training business.   For years I worked with clients helping them get fit but something was missing and I could never put my finger on it.  In February 2009 I was introduced to CrossFit.  For the first time in my life the true definition of fitness was clear to me.  I was given a road map on how to get fit and help others do the same.  Working out is now fun, challenging and motivating.  I am in my mid-40s and can honestly say I am in the best shape of my life.  After my experience with Crossfit I knew I had to share it with others.

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified coach
CrossFit Olympic Lifting certified
CrossFit Mobility Certified
CrossFit Judges Course
ISSA certified personal trainer
Certified Massage therapist
Mind Body certified trainer (Through John Doulliard)
Certified Yoga Instructor
CPR/First Aid Certified
Rebock cycling certified

Experience:
Co-owner Crossfit Synergistics
Co-owner of the Frozen Ropes Baseball and Softball Training Facility 2006 to present
Owner of Mind the Body massage therapy and fitness training 1994 to 2006
Personal trainer Wellesley Athletic Club 1994-1996

Achievements:
CrossFit Games Masters 2014: 43rd place age 45-49

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GLENN D’AVANZO (Co-Owner)  – glenn@cfsyn.com 

I have been teaching wellness and nutrition for 25 years, as well as coaching sports and personal training since 1987. I have a Bachelor in Science from Springfield College and a Masters in Education from Framingham State College. I have been a competitive athlete all of my life and have personally trained clients of all ages for over 25 years. I have had multiple knee surgeries and shoulder surgeries, including a shoulder replacement. I was told by doctors that I would never play baseball, rock climb or lift weights ever again. CrossFit has not only allowed me to prove them all wrong, but has rekindled my innate desire to compete by helping me discover that fitness can be a sport and anyone can be an athlete. CrossFit has revived my health and fitness and elevated that of my students and clients. My experience coupled with my passion can lead you closer to your goals. “If you can believe it and conceive it, WE can achieve it”

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Coaches Prep (CPC Level 2)
CrossFit Kettlebell Certified
CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified
CrossFit Kids Certified
CrossFit Defense
CrossFit Strongman
CrossFit Judges Course
Y.M.C.A Advanced Physical Fitness Specialist,
Red Cross First Aid/C.P.R,
Bachelor in Science, Springfield College
Masters in Education, Framingham State College
Teacher of the Year Mapherd High School Wellness
Lowell Sun Baseball Coach of the Year

Experience:
Founder of Mudville CrossFit, the first Public School CrossFit Affiliate in MA
High School Strength Coach and Fitness Supervisor, Littleton and Holliston High School
Personal Trainer ACSM
Plyometrics Instructor, Gold’s Gym Natick MA
Fitness Director, Ashland Nautilus
Trainer , Waverley Oaks Athletic Club
Fitness Supervisor, Newton Y.M.C.A.
Co-owner Crossfit Synergistics

Achievements:
Ruckus Master Champion 1st place 2011
Ruckus Master Runner up 2nd place 2012
Establishing Holliston High School as the first public school CrossFit Affiliate in MA
MA-PHERD’s “Teacher of the Year” for Physical Education / Wellness. – 2007
Holliston High School’s “Teacher of the Year” 2002
Littleton High School Baseball Coach 88-2001 & Lowell Sun Coach of the Year” 1996

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CHRIS COLLINS 

After have been told by my doctor that competitive contact sports were no longer an option due to numerous shoulder injuries, I felt lost. I decided to give triathlons a try, but the monotonous training was providing me with little to no satisfaction.  That’s when I serendipitously ran into Coach Glenn. I tried the free Saturday class and knew then that Crossfit was the answer I was looking for. I want to share my story with everyone I meet, and help change their lives the way Crossfit has changed mine.  My goal is to help kids and teens train in a way to help prevent the unnecessary injuries I suffered at a young age.  Favorite quote: “It’s all in the hips”  Coach Chubbs Peterson

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified coach
Crossfit Kids Certified
CrossFit Mobility

Experience:
High School Lacrosse coach
Collegiate Athlete
Triathlete

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EMILY SHANKS

Playing sports and being active have always been a part of my life.  The decision to pursue this field in college was a natural progression for me.  I received my Bachelor of Science at Salem State University.

After college I became a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor.  I worked for 3 years as a Senior Fitness Specialist and Group Exercise Director for the corporate employees of EMC.   In 2010 I tried CrossFit for the 1st time and was instantly hooked!  CrossFit made me evaluate not only the way I was staying fit and healthy but also the way I wanted to educate people on reaching their optimal fitness and health.  Coaching CrossFit was the next logical step for me.  I have my CrossFit level 1 certification and am excited to be coaching at CrossFit Synergistics.  For me, CrossFit is pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone in a fun and effective way.  CrossFit gives you results! Its evidence based programming full of high intensity, constantly varied functional movements will not only make you love the way you look, but you will feel good from the inside out!

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified coach

Experience:
CrossFitting since March 2011
Exercise Director for corporate employees of EMC
Collegiate Soccer

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MICK DUDLEY

Mick

 

Being raised on 70 acres of farmland, the trait of hard work was instilled in me at a young age. Many summers consisted of cutting wood, yard work, and stacking the shed full of wood for the cold winters. As I grew up, sports were a big part of my family’s life. In high school I played hockey and baseball at Governor’s Academy in Byfield, MA where I received an athletic and academic scholarship. I attended Governor’s Academy up until my sophomore year when I relocated to Western Massachusetts to play junior hockey for the New England Jr. Coyotes. I went on to play hockey at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. At UMass I had the privilege of playing on a championship team, and then coaching them to the playoffs the year after I graduated. Once college hockey was over I needed something to keep me in a competitive environment.

I always knew about CrossFit, but because of my team sport background, I doubted CrossFit because it did not seem sports specific. However, after looking into it more I quickly learned about CrossFit’s focus on functional fitness, and that it can be applied to not only every sport but that it’s for everyone. After my first workout I knew CrossFit was what I needed. I attained my Level 1 certification in July 2013. In October 2013, I started an internship position at CrossFit New England. There, I have completed the coach’s on ramp program, which is a 6 week internship that teaches you the proper way to effectively coach athletes both in a class and individually.

CrossFit is a way of fitness that has changed my life both physically and mentally. I believe that CrossFit helps a person not only within the four walls of an affiliate but in the outside world as well. It challenges a person physically and mentally and proves to them that they are capable of doing things they never thought were possible. Workouts can be tough and challenging at times but it is the fight deep down inside that will get you through. A quote that has stuck with me since I started CrossFit is from former Navy Seal, Chris Irwin.  Irwin states, “You may not be the strongest or fastest but you must be the toughest.” Not everyone has all the skills or strengths as they start out in this sport, but with the right mindset and motivation, you can achieve your personal fitness goals and surprise yourself along the way. When workouts get grueling and intense, hang in there and fight the good fight.

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Olympic lifting certified
CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
CrossFit Judge certified

Experience:
Reebok Spring Cup Team Competition 2014
Kill Cliff ECChampionships Staff 2014
3rd Place Finish CFNE East Coast Championships (Scaled) 2013
1st Place Finish at EverProven CrossFit Competition (Scaled)
Captain, UMASS- DARTMOUTH Ice hockey team 2010-2011

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JONO WHITEHEAD

jono

I have always been heavily involved in athletics since I was young and found a passion to compete in any sport. I competed in rugby, squash, swimming, cricket and hockey.  My career was set to play rugby, but unfortunately due to a torn meniscus twice I had to stop playing.
In Oct 2011, I found Crossfit. At first I had no interest in it; the workouts looked ridiculous, hearsay of a “cult” and I thought what I was doing was better. My friend who was a coach kept telling me to come down and try it, day after day, week after week. Finally, I went to a free class. It was a simple workout – or so I thought! 400m run, 50 squats, 40 sit ups, 30 KB swings, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups and 400m run. I was dizzy, breathing fire, but I was hooked! Since then, my fitness has gone through the roof. I’ve never been this well-rounded physically in both strength and conditioning. I’ve become heavily involved in Crossfit and it’s taken me all over the world. I coached in the UK at my home box, Crossfit Plymouth, for a year. I was fortunate have the opportunity to coach in Kuwait at Crossfit Circuit Plus where I worked for 18 months. This showed me a different style of coaching. I had to be more patient.   I was confronted with the language barrier, the cultural differences and dealing with a society where physical activity wasn’t important. I am truly grateful for where Crossfit has taken me and the opportunity to coach at these boxes. In doing so, it allowed me to become a better coach, athlete and experience the reward of being part of a community.

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Coaches Prep (CPC Level 2)
CrossFit Gymnastics Certified
CrossFit Football Certified
CrossFit Kids Certified

Seminars:
Chad Vaughan Olympic Weightlifting 2014
China Olympic Weightlifting camp 2014

Experience:
Asia Regional 2014 – 25th
Asia Open 2014 – 15th
Asia Regional 2013 – 6th
Asia Open 2013 – 48th
DWF Team CF Comp 2012 – 22nd
South Island Showdown Team Comp 2012 – 1st
Central Manchester Team Comp 2012 – 3rd
Reebok CF Comp 2012 – 16th
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MIKE SMITH

smith

I grew up in an athletically active family, and was involved in a wide variety of sports from a young age.  A competitive swimmer from the age of 5, I also ran track and cross country and played basketball for my high school teams.  I swam at the collegiate level at D3 Middlebury College, where I was also a member of the crew team during the spring sprint season.

After college, I dabbled in rec league basketball and triathlons, and eventually got into mountain biking, which ultimately led to racing road bikes.  It was here that I found parallels to his swimming background, from the mental aspect to the spirit of training and competition.  By 2008, I was riding 250-300 miles a week.  With the birth of my daughter in spring of 2009, however, that training regimen quickly fell off.  No longer was he the former collegiate athlete who had a big engine and a well of competitive desire… instead I was overweight, out of shape, and desperate.  I’d heard a good friend and fellow cyclist talking about CrossFit, and decided to check it out.  The competitive component of CrossFit and the supportive community stoked my desire to improve and succeed.  After 3 years of hard work, I regained the best all-around fitness level I had attained since college, and wanted to help others achieve goals that might have at one time seemed out of reach, so I set about studying and training to become a coach.

As an athlete, I have always had a curiosity about human movement and physiology, and being the inveterate bookworm I was, read everything I could get my hands on about programming, strength and conditioning theory, and exercise physiology to better understand the stimulus-response equation of CrossFit. As a former swimmer, I was well indoctrinated in the paramount importance of good technique in athletics. I am excited by the prospect of teaching and helping others succeed.

Outside the gym, I work in the wine business as a sales manager for a Spanish importer.  I am an avid cook and gourmand, and have enjoyed honing my cooking to accommodate a more athletically inclined diet (with the occasional indulgence, of course!).

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certified
Ironman 70.3 Finisher
Competitor, Carolina Fitness Challenge 2012 and 2013

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ALEX BUCKLER

DSC03319DSC03261

I started CrossFit as a way to get into shape for my final year of high school basketball.  I had played basketball all my life and wanted to get a step up on my fellow teammates to earn some valuable playing time on the court.  In just two short months, I went from finishing in the middle of the pack on sprints a year before to winning every sprint without keeling over and gasping for air.  I knew after my high school basketball career I would want to pursue CrossFit and take it more seriously, although, I never thought it would change my life.

Once I started focusing on CrossFit, I realized it was about so much more than just me.  All of the coaches truly inspired me to help others and become a coach.  I saw how they changed people’s lives on a daily basis, including mine.  The transformation of an athlete after a mere six months was unbelievable.  They were so much happier and sociable, and I knew I wanted to be able to make that difference just as the coaches have done with all the athletes at the box.

Fitness is now a huge part of my life.  Having just completed my first year of college, I look back and it’s scary to think about how different my life would have been without finding CrossFit.  CrossFit has allowed me to venture outside my comfort zone and change my life for the better.  Instead of gaining the freshman fifteen I actually lost the freshman fifteen!  Everyone always tells me how lucky I am to have started CrossFit at such a young age, but the truth is, even I wish I had found it sooner in life.

Favorite quotes:
“You don’t over-train, you only under recover”
“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right”

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified Coach

Experience:
CrossFitting since October 2011
1st place in Festivus Competition

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CJ HARPER

cj

I began my journey into fitness in my dimly lit basement with two 5 pound dumbbells and a bench. I was a young kid that simply wanted to be bigger and stronger than everyone else. I became obsessed with lifting weights and I eventually found my way into powerlifting and bodybuilding style of training. I benched, I deadlifted (with terrible form), and I did curls. I did the same thing day after day with little regard for nutrition or form. In March of my junior year of high school, I was able to bench 280lbs and deadlift 350lbs. The only problem was I had intense elbow and low back pain all the time and I was 235lbs of mostly fat.

This all began to change for me in physical education class my junior year with Mr. Glenn D’Avanzo. During this class I had my first taste of a CrossFit workout. The WOD left me in the ground gasping for air and although I was tired, I was excited to do a WOD again. After that day I began researching CrossFit more and more. I took a free class at CFS in June 2011 and enrolled in the teen’s class in July.

Since starting CrossFit, Fitness has become my life. I now attend Springfield College where I am working towards getting my bachelor’s in exercise science with a concentration in athletic performance. At Springfield College I am co-founder and co-president of the CrossFit club, as well as a member of Team Iron Sports, a strongman and powerlifting competitor club. My favorite areas of study at school are strengthening of the posterior chain and how it relates to force production capabilities, and muscular imbalances and how they hinder or enhance athletic performance.

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
CrossFit Strongman
CPR/ First Aid

Experience:
CrossFitting since July 2011
Competitive Amateur Strongman since April 2013
Co-president of Pride Fitness (Springfield college CrossFit club)

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LINDA D’AVANZO – Linda@cfsyn.com 

Linda Rope

For the first 8 months of my husband CrossFitting I was hesitant to jump in. After taking my time to comprehend functional training and realizing the variety kept me from getting bored I began training in our basement garage gym with my friends for early morning wods. I quickly discovered the addiction to the competition and camaraderie. Each month that passed I discovered I was achieving more and more goals. I took a foundations course and experienced the community environment of a CrossFit and it was just the remedy from the routine of the gym scene. I took my level 1 certification course simply to become a better athlete. Now I look forward to my training and coaching at CFS.

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified coach

Experience:
CrossFitting since June of 2009

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ALEX HABIB

alexh

I first heard whispers about CrossFit back when Glenn D’Avanzo was teaching at his non-profit affiliate at Holliston High in 2010. Though I was playing sports at the time, I never took the time to develop my fitness. That completely changed when I decided to try CrossFit out in 2012. A CrossFitter at my university met me at the school’s gym, introduced the movements, and we began my first CrossFit workout: Angie. As I laid on my back exhausted from what seemed like thirty minutes of hell, I knew that I stumbled onto something special. I received my Level-1 certification in July 2013 and have never looked back since. CrossFit has had such a positive impact on my life and coaching provides me with the fortunate opportunity to pass on my passion for CrossFit to others.

Certifications:
CrossFit Level 1 Certified coach

Experience:
CrossFit New England Intern 2013

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