Courtney Valerious - Director of Training/Coach
I have been an athlete since I can remember and fell in love with fitness very early on in life. I graduated from Indiana University in 2007, with a Fitness Specialist/Coaching degree and earned a scholarship as a varsity athlete. As a rower I became obsessed with the process of finding how far my limits can be pushed. Post college, I worked for Naval Spec War as a contractor for the BUD/s Preparatory Program where I was able to take what I had learned as a rower to the next level. Developing my credibility as a female coach in an all male, military environment was a learning experience that has greatly contributed to the coach I am today. It was at the navy base in 2008 where I discovered CrossFit and began training with coworkers. The competitive structure of CrossFit had me hooked immediately. I coached division 1 rowing at both Indiana University (while pursuing my M.S. in Applied Sports Science) and at the University of Iowa. I left my career as a Big Ten collegiate coach to open the Dog House and create a community that is built upon a high level of performance. Developing and coaching people is my passion. Whether your dream is to lose 100 pounds and do one pullup, or clean and jerk 200 kilos I am deeply rooted in the process and will provide you with the opportunity to achieve things you never thought were possible.
*Courtney currently competes in Olympic Weightlifting and is one of the top ranked 75k lifters in the country.
- Bronze medalist 2013 National Championships (bronze in snatch, clean and jerk, & total)
- Bronze medalist 2013 American Open (bronze in clean and jerk and total)
- Silver medalist 2014 National Championships (bronze in snatch & clean and jerk, silver total)
- Gold medalist 2014 American Open (gold in snatch, clean and jerk, & total)
Dominik Pieklo - Coach
I was born in Poland, where I lived until I was six. I remember being a physical kid, playing outside and getting yelled at for getting my clothes dirty or tearing holes in them. Athletically gifted, I played different sports on the playground like basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis and always did well. However, my passion was captured by martial arts at a very young age. I remember watching a Bruce Lee movie and I was in awe of the movements, physicality and speed he demonstrated. I was hooked and fully in love with the martial arts discipline and started learning Kyokusin Karate. I continued studying karate for the next 15 years winning several forms and match competitions, earning a brown belt.
While in school my passion for movement took me to gymnastics. In high school I joined the gymnastics team where I gained a new appreciation for the level of skill and strength required by this discipline. The strength element of gymnastics pushed me towards weightlifting, and I bought a bench and weights set inspired to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In my pursuit of bodybuilding I stumbled upon CrossFit while researching and watching workout videos on the web. I immediately recognized the Crossfit montra and it resonated with me on many levels. I loved the gymnastics elements, the olympic movements, the strength and endurance it promoted. Deep down I knew that this is how one should exercise for optimal performance.
I began working as a fitness professional in 2006 and have been consistently implementing CrossFit into my training philosophy. This is the way to train for a general physical state of well-being. Crossfit is profound in its effects on the human body and mind. I love that it is an open system ever evolving and not bound by dogma or traditions. My goal is to keep getting stronger, faster, more flexible and mobile because I love the way being fit feels. I love to train and enjoy every step of the journey. I live it, breathe it, it is my passion and I want to share it with everyone!
I incorporate that same passion when I coach. I focus on form, movement and its mechanics, drawing from my experiences in martial arts, gymnastics and from studying different movement disciplines. I believe we need to be able to move in as many ways as possible as it grants us more freedom. Good form in movements promotes strength, explosiveness and more importantly prevents injuries. While coaching, I believe in providing timely and accurate instructions, directions and feedback that will carry you into higher levels of fitness, performance and overall health.
*Dom is currently training to dominate life in all facets. He tears up the local competition scene in both Olympic Lifting and CrossFit.
Amanda Gucwa- Coach
I started my fitness journey as a kid growing up immersed in several sports. I chose to specialize in both basketball and soccer. In high school I was named all conference and also all area for basketball, and all conference and all area as well as leading scorer for soccer. I was inducted into my high school's hall of fame for soccer where I still hold the record for most goals scored in a single season.
During college, I completed an internship at a fitness club where I shadowed personal trainers and was able to receive a very applied introduction to the fitness industry. I knew instantly, that working with clients as a personal training was what I was meant to do. After graduation I began training clients and it was then that I discovered Crossfit. The athlete in me loved the competitive comraderie and I fell in love with this style of training. I decided to get my Crossfit level 1 certification and have been applying CrossFit principles to my style of training ever since. It has been about 5-6 years and I am still loving it, I'm the fittest I have ever been in my life, and I'm continually learning more and more! The community, competition, and constant room for improvement and growth is what keeps me striving to be better everyday. Now not only do I get to see myself make gains and get stronger but I get to help others on their fitness journey as well and I would not have it any other way!! I am thankful everyday that I get to be a part of this amazing Dog House family and coaching staff, and cannot wait to see what the future holds with all of our current athletes and athletes to come!
Joseph Gaydaychuk- Coach (coming soon)
Natalie Torres-Escanio- Coach (coming soon)