Josh Leonardis

  • BS, Salisbury University

  • MS, East Carolina University

  • PhD Candidate, University of Michigan

  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach

  • American Open Qualifier

At East Carolina, Josh primarily studied locomotion but spent his free time investigating how weightlifters move. He has presented his weightlifting biomechanics research at national and international conferences. Upon graduation, Josh landed in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he worked as a research biomechanist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an institute within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Shortly after moving to Morgantown, Josh worked to establish himself in the world of weightlifting—he co-founded and opened CrossFit Ridgeline, and established and developed the West Virginia Weightlifting Team. Within a few months, West Virginia Weightlifting Team athletes under Josh’s supervision had qualified for Youth, Junior, and University Nationals and the American Open. By the time his two years were up, Josh was responsible for close to two-dozen national meet qualifications.

Josh eventually left Morgantown to pursue his PhD at the University of Michigan, where he currently studies biomechanics. Josh’s research focuses on the use of novel imaging techniques to investigate how the in vivo mechanical properties of soft tissues manifest themselves as joint-level (dys)function.

In his free time, Josh enjoys reading, cooking, and coaching—sometimes all at once. He is an ardent believer in a fun, systematic, empirically driven approach to both programming and coaching. Under Josh’s supervision, you will become a better weightlifter and will have a good time doing it!

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