Meet The Trainers

Dustin Quarles, Exercise Fitness Specialist

Meet Dustin

Dustin is a graduate from The University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. While primarily working with athletes in the past, he finds it more rewarding working with novices & teaching all age groups what it takes to achieve their goals. Outside the gym, Dustin is an avid hunter and is up for any outdoor related activities.

My diet: Consuming fruits and vegetables packed with micronutrients is numero uno! Vitamins and nutrients should be everyone’s priority as they are the best fuel for energy. After the fact, I will adjust my diet to fit my protein requirements with lean beef, chicken or protein shakes.
My workout: HIIT training paired with the 3 essential muscle building exercises- deadlifts, squats, power cleans. Afterwards I will focus on isolation exercises.
Client success: When I think about all of the success that my clients have had, two people stand out the most and those would be our winners of our first ever Total Transformation Giveaway. In less than 6 months, both clients were able to lose a combined 100lbs with my guidance. But like I’ve always said, they put in ALL the work. I was there only for direction & motivation.
My strength: Education and motivation are my top priority. I enjoy educating my clients on how to reach their goals in the most effective and time efficient manner to ultimately create a lifestyle that is maintainable on their own. In addition, my ability to think on my feet and create variety with each and every workout keeps my clients interested and looking forward to their next workout.

“Education and motivation are my top priority. I enjoy educating my clients on how to reach their goals in the most effective and time efficient manner to ultimately create a lifestyle that is maintainable on their own. In addition, my ability to think on my feet and create variety with each and every workout keeps my clients interested and looking forward to their next workout..”

AJ Short, MS, CSCS

Meet AJ

AJ is a certified strength and conditioning coach and is currently working on becoming a certified nutrition coach. He has a varied background with experience coaching in the private sector as well as the high school and collegiate levels. AJ enjoys watching people progress and push themselves to limits they otherwise might not have gone to. He believes getting in shape can positively effect ones’ life in so many ways.

My diet: Lean meats, eggs, oatmeal, rice, protein bars, protein shakes, fruits & veggies

My workouts: Strength training, GPP Work, hiking

Client success: There’s a story behind every client success and I’m just happy to be a part of helping them reach whatever goal we set forth. Whether it’s gaining weight while improving sports performance or wanting to shed a few pounds to play with your kids/grandkids.

My strength: Every person has a different training age. When it comes to nutrition and exercise, one size doesn’t fit all. My strength is being able to adjust to the client and find what works for them.

“Through my own experience, I’ve learned that it’s a process. Having a support system and someone to hold you accountable goes a long way towards helping you accomplish your goals. I strive to be that person for all of my clients.”

Mary, Certified Personal Trainer

Meet Mary

Mary has been a Certified Personal Trainer for over 20 years and is also a Certified Nutrition Coach. She knows that it’s hard to get motivated but with her experience discovers ways to help you find out what drives you to reach your goals.

Mary wants you to enjoy your workouts; they’re going to be difficult but she does her best to make them fun, too!

My diet: I make sure I get a lot of fresh vegetables, fruit and other whole foods; aside from that I don’t worry about it too much.

My workouts: High-intensity strength training and sprinting workouts. I also play soccer and softball a few times a week.

Client success: With so many different clients over the years, I have had many success stories. I am grateful for every little victory or accomplishment they have, whether it’s that they dropped 20 lbs. or that our training has helped someone get in and out of the car just a bit easier.

My strength: I am comfortable with clients of any age and fitness level, working to move you toward your goals.

“You always work a bit harder when you’re with your personal trainer,” says Mary, “But don’t forget; more isn’t better… better is better!”

Nicole Duke, Exercise Fitness Specialist

Meet Nicole

Need that extra encouragement to work out after a long day? Or that push to finish your last few exercises? Nicole will be there to support you through the workout and strive to help you reach your goals.

My diet: fresh fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, oats, yogurt, and lean meats
My workouts: Resistance and weight training, HIIT workouts, and hiking
Client success: I am working with a client who was previously working toward losing weight for her wedding. Following nutrition guidelines and an exercise regimen, she lost 20 pounds in the six months before her wedding. She came back from her honeymoon with a new goal to increase her muscle strength. I’m incredibly happy that I can help her work towards and achieve her goals.
My strength: With a background in Exercise Physiology, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of different aspects of the health field. I use different resources to try and cater exercises to each client’s ultimate goal, whether it is more of a strength or weight loss fitness journey.

“Getting in shape takes time, effort and patience,” says Nicole. “As a personal trainer, I enjoy being able to be there for others and encouraging them as they not only change physically but as they grow in other aspects of their life as well.”

Erica McNew, Exercise Fitness Specialist

Meet Erica


Batter Up! While playing softball at Cleveland State, Erica learned that the amount of hard work you put in will be reflected in the results and outcomes. After a season ending injury her first year she came back stronger than ever, becoming one of the top offensive players in the league. With that same work ethic and determination she finished her career as the batting champion of not just the league, but of all of Division I.

My diet: Egg white omelette with jalapeños, tomatoes, and spinach. Grilled chicken and quinoa, Rosemary red potatoes, baked asparagus, Greek yogurt, wheat grass shakes.

My workout: Strength training, resistance band work, swimming, high intensity interval training.
Client success: My biggest success in addition to bringing a client knowledge is being their number one fan. I find joy in watching my clients go from having initial feelings of intimidation, weariness, and uncertainty towards working out and their goals to seeing each and every client blossom into a fitness fanatic that loves the skin that they live in. One of my clients struggled with eating out, low motivation, and accountability. Two of her main goals were to tone up and lose weight. Within the first eight weeks, after nutritional recommendations, pushing her to her limits, and helping to hold her accountable she was able to lose 6 pounds, and nine and a half total inches in addition to gaining muscle tone.
My strength: Strength training, Olympic lifts, resistance band work, modifications to exercises.

“Having had multiple sports related injuries, I am able to help motivate others in similar situations” says Erica. “I let them know that nothing can stop them from reaching their goals.”

Dominic Gray, Exercise Fitness Specialist

Meet Dominic


Holding yourself accountable is a common barrier to reaching fitness goals. Dominic is a trainer who specializes in accountability. Having trouble sticking to a set workout schedule? He can fix that. Motivating others, as well as driving them to meet their fitness goals is what he takes pride in most!

My diet: Apple cinnamon oatmeal, Greek yogurt, lean chicken breast, tuna, steak, salmon, ground turkey, asparagus, fruit and protein shakes.
My workout: Hypertrophy training, HIIT, and strength training.
Client success: I have a special relationship with each one of my clients. Being there for every step of their fitness journey is such an awesome experience. Watching clients set goals, the process it takes to achieve them, and the accomplishment they fell when reaching those goals is what I love about my job.
My strength: The ability to motivate as well as develop unique workout programs to cater to my clients no matter what their fitness level may be.

“As a personal trainer, I have the ability to impact the lives of others in a positive way on a daily basis,” says Dominic. “It is the most amazing feeling to be a part of other fitness journey.”

Tom Bakalarz, Exercise Fitness Specialist

Meet Tom


Overweight, out of shape, and stuck in a fitness funk? Tom Bakalarz knows what it’s like. He’s been there, done that. And he knows the ropes when it comes to eating healthy, working out, and believing in yourself to reach your goals.

My diet: Turkey, chicken, eggs, spinach and cottage cheese are my staples. I have learned to love broccoli, at least I keep telling myself that, because I know the science behind the health benefits of this vegetable.
My workout: Strength training with a 5-3-1 rep scheme with some classic lifts. High-intensity interval training and time ladder workouts for cardio.
Client success: One of my client’s was a 60-year-old guy with high blood pressure. It was a problem that really put his health at risk. And he wanted to do something about it. He worked hard for a couple of months. Then one day during a treadmill workout he started to tear up. It was the first time he ever ran a mile without stopping. And a few weeks later he was off all blood pressure medications.
My strength: My biggest strength is adaptability. I can help people identify the right training plan to meet their needs and reach their goals.

“When I decided to make some changes in my life, it helped me develop healthier habits,” says Tom. “Health and fitness became a passion and a career for me. It’s exciting to share my experiences and training to help people reach their own personal goals.”

Nick Owens, Exercise Fitness Specialist

Meet Nick


You never really know what you’re capable of until you try. It’s an idea Nick believes in to help people get in better shape. And he’s not afraid of a challenge either. He’s beat two Tough Mudder courses that require strength, speed, endurance, and a little bit of crazy.

My diet: Eggs, oats, fruit, and plenty of lean meats and vegetables.
My workout: High-intensity weight training, bodyweight exercises, TRX and basketball.
Client success: One of my clients was on the verge of having a hip replacement done at the age of 60. He wanted to avoid it if possible, and was willing to try. For a couple months, he followed a training plan to strengthen his hip, increase range of motion, and flexibility. And it worked. He no longer needed surgery. All his hard work made the physical tasks required by his job easier, too.
My strength: I know people respond best to encouragement and support from someone they trust. Personal training allows me to make a difference in somebody’s life. I love being able to develop relationships with people and help them achieve their goals for muscle building, strength training, weight loss, or other health and fitness goals.

“When you do something hard, it changes you,” says Nick. “I like helping people find out they’re a lot stronger than they realize.”

Josh Edie, Exercise Fitness Specialist, CPT

Meet Josh


Meet the guy who’s a walking encyclopedia of exercise science, biomechanics, and nutrition. Josh is a highly-experienced, results-driven personal trainer who regularly helps other EFS trainers and their clients develop exercise and nutrition strategies for success.

My diet: One of my favorite meals I have on a weekly basis is steak, a sweet potato, and broccoli or asparagus.
My workout: Hypertrophy training and strength training
Client success: I worked with a client who was suffering with fibromyalgia and a few other health issues. In under a year, her health and fitness improved, she didn’t need as much medication, and she was able to jog steps again. Helping her was one of the most motivating things I’ve done as a trainer.
My strength: Weight gain. I graduated high school at 100 pounds and learned how to gain weight and build muscle.

“Personal training is a perfect fit for me because I love health and fitness and enjoy helping people,” says Josh. “I’m always inspired by interacting with people and watching the changes that take place in their lives.”

Nithanial Decker, Exercise Fitness Specialist, CPT

Meet Nithanial


Some people have a way of turning the negative into a positive. That’s a good way to describe Nithanial, who grew up around family members with poor health caused by a lack of exercise and good eating habits. He recognized that many health issues are preventable with diet and exercise and decided to make it his mission to help as many people as possible live healthier. Launching EFS Personal Training with Joe Vilkoski is proof he’s making a difference. Helping an injured competitor complete the final obstacles of a Warrior Dash is pretty cool too.

My diet: My diet is pretty simple and fairly strict. I have oatmeal and fresh fruit every morning with a protein shake. Then I eat a variety of proteins such as chicken, steak, and turkey, plus lots of green veggies and sweet potatoes.
My workout: Four-day bodybuilding split to increase muscle mass. Cardio three times per week for 30 minutes for cardiovascular health.
Client success: I worked with a 60-year-old woman who was overweight and living and overall poor lifestyle. Through exercise and better nutrition, she lowered her percent body fat and didn’t need meds for diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure anymore. She was so happy she cried when she told me her doctor took her off all those meds.
My strength: Building lean muscle and strength training. I enjoy these types of workouts myself and have struggled my way through my own experiences. This self-education helps me relate to the issues clients come across in their journey and gives me a way to show them how to improve.

“Being a personal trainer is all about inspiring, educating, and empowering people to live healthier lives through diet and exercise,” says Nithanial. “It’s exciting to be building a team of like-minded trainers to help me change more lives than I could ever imagine doing alone.”