WHO: David Cross, EvoFitness.co.za
LOCATION: Cape Town, South Africa
SPECIALITY: Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Kettlebell, Bodyweight and Strongman.
I first met David when I did an interview on him for Men’s Health and the Belly Off Club a long time ago. The Club is all about weight-loss success stories (one of my favourite parts of working for the brand) and David was one of the most powerful comebacks, having lost a huge amount of bad weight (see his “before” pic below). This health turnaround motivated him to make a career change to personal training and becoming a strength-based athlete, and he then opened up his own gym called Evo Fitness in Claremont in 2010. He became a specialist in lifting iron and other old school lifting techniques, and I interviewed him again for Men’s Health, this time for a feature on kettlebell training and what it can do for you (see opening spread below). He has now moved Evo Fitness to an impressive space in the Foreshore, and he has filled it with some of the best muscle-making equipment I’ve ever seen in a private gym. It’s 700 square metres filled with heavy-duty squat cages, Eleiko plates and tools, strongman toys, lifting platforms, competition kettlebells and more. He’s also got some brilliant coaches working in his team (like the two co-owners, De Waal Gerstner and Jarryd Roos, to name a few), making this a place of both brains and brawn. This is a mecca of metal and muscle, but there’s no bro science happening here – David and his team rely on tried-and-tested methods (which they themselves use) and the latest science to help you achieve your goals. There’s a number of different membership and coaching options, all detailed on their site.
David leads by a lifting example. He recently broke a national powerlifting record in his age category in his last competition – 265kg deadlift (photo below). In the Iron Gladiators competition in Durban, he also hit personal bests in his squat (230kg) and a 140kg bench – and that was with a shoulder injury. He’s a little unorthodox, he’s taller than his weight category peers; he uses a high bar, ass to grass weightlifting squat (instead of a wide-legged powerlifting one); and he uses a hook grip in his deadlift. But that unconventional streak typifies David and what he does in both his training and coaching – he’ll find what works for you and he’ll adapt your training to get the best results you’ve ever had. He’s also working on launching his own website (www.davidcross.co.za) soon, and that’ll offer online nutrition coaching and customised training plans. If you’re looking to start writing your own success story, start with David – he’s changed his life, one rep at a time, and can do the same for you.