Coach Bio

I used to ditch gym class.  I was not an athlete, and I hated any activity that required me to throw a ball.  Although I spent a lot of time hiking, kayaking, and water skiing, most of my recreational activities involved alcohol and drugs.

In 2009, after my substance use disorder led to serious consequences, I decided to commit to a sober lifestyle.  I went back to school and earned a bachelor’s degree and a personal training certification.  I worked as a strength coach in Chicago before landing my dream career with Phoenix Multisport and Per Ignem CrossFit.  I am honored to be a part of this team and to say that we are truly saving lives through fitness.  I have personally experienced addiction, homelessness, and incarceration, but today I am a successful coach, a graduate student, a wife, and a mentor.  Per Ignem has given me the opportunity to share that experience and help others find a similar path.

In working with a variety of clients, I have learned that I need to adapt my training style to the individual.  If a person is struggling, it is always my fault.  It is my job to find a better approach that may be unique to the individual.  If you hate running, I won’t ask you to train for a 5k.  But I will find challenging and exciting ways to help you reach your goals.


Master’s Degree in Exercise Science, Concordia University, currently enrolled
Bachelor of Behavioral Sciences, Ohio University
Certified Personal Trainer, International Sports Science Association
Level 1 Nutrition Specialist, Precision Nutrition
CrossFit Level 1 Certificate
CPR/AED, American Heart Association

Comments From my Clients

“Dana is a highly motivated trainer who has helped me  surpass my personal fitness goals. What I appreciate most about Dana is her ability to quickly adapt training programs to maximize strengths and improve weaknesses. She has unique way of getting clients to reach their potential while keeping a friendly demeanor.”  - Chad Carroll BSN, RN, CNRN
                                                                                                             Clinical Application Analyst at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

“She is truly a rising star in the industry. I've worked closely with Dana for years and I have to say that I learn something new every time I train with her.”  -Andrew Peck
                                       Director of Operations at Moran Consulting, Inc.

“Dana Smith began training my son and me over a year ago. Both of us have enjoyed significant progress in strength and body composition. Dana knows exactly how to motivate her clients at a challenging level without going too far.”  - Steve Lord
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Teacher at St. Ignatius College Prep

“Dana has been my trainer for approximately one year and she has helped me tremendously in not only transforming my body, but the way I approach my workouts. She is extremely knowledgeable about fitness and nutrition.” - Tomas Vazquez, P.E., M.E.E.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Principal Consultant at Sargent & Lundy

Check out more of Dana’s recommendations on LinkedIn: