Meet the CrossFit Coaches

WORLD CLASS COACHES

Our coaches are experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated. There's no better coaching team anywhere around. Not only do they know what they're talking about and doing when it comes to prescribing health, fitness and the proper techniques to achieve results, they also practice what they preach. Meet your coaching team.
  • Steve Johnson

    Head Coach, Owner

    Steve has been a lifelong athlete, and in applying his athlete’s drive and work ethic, went on to qualify 4th in the world for the CrossFit Games in 2015 in the ultra-competitive Masters 45-49 division. And while he’s a workhorse dedicated to his personal fitness, he’s truly passionate about having a positive and lasting effect on people’s lives.

    Steve originally owned and operated a Jiu Jitsu studio and found CrossFit when he and his business partner brought in a third partner who ran a CrossFit affiliate. He immediately found a connection with the strength and conditioning program, saw it as an opportunity to help people improve their lives, and over the course of 2 years, became the sole proprietor of CrossFit RDU. He tirelessly strives to provide the best training experience so that his members continue to prioritize fitness in their long, healthful lives.

    In Steve’s words: “We coach effort in every aspect. Physical and mental. There is nothing better to see this sink in and change a person’s life. It’s not about the outcome, it’s about the effort and the results will come.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Weightlifting
  • David Lynn

    Coach

    David was a collegiate and high school athlete, having gone on to play football and run track and field at UNC Pembroke. There, he received the Most Outstanding Student-Athlete award and was the regional champion in the hammer throw. With all that athletic background, David was missing the high-intensity workouts and environment after he finished college with a degree in Exercise Science. David tried CrossFit when an affiliate moved into the gym where he worked out and he loved it. Today, he’s passionate about being the best coach possible, Olympic weightlifting and applying his fitness to playing sports recreationally.

    In David’s words: “I just love to see people improve. Especially when they think they won’t ever be able to do something and you help them start to figure it out. There is a look on their face that is awesome to see.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Weightlifting
  • Harper Thorsen

    Endurance Coach

    As a former Division 1 and Division 3 soccer player at Redford University and Roanoke College respectively, and a long distance runner after college, Harper has a ton of endurance experience and the tools to help people build a solid, efficient engine. CrossFit has changed his definition of fitness and his view of being “in shape.” While he has a great appreciation for endurance, his training methods before CrossFit had become tiresome. He loves the variety and efficient training methodology that CrossFit provides and truly loves sharing the knowledge he’s gained over the years.

    In Harper’s words: “Seeing people improve themselves in any aspect of their life is one of the most rewarding things I have experienced. Helping people better their lives is a reward in itself.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Endurance
  • Bryce Lawlor

    Coach

    Bryce was a collegiate level soccer player with a multi-sport background. He prides himself on being a well-rounded in the sport of CrossFit as well as in life and believes balance is an important part of a healthy, fulfilling life. He loves that CrossFit requires a balance of many different training methods and exercises, but as a coach, his goal is to develop his coaching expertise in the gymnastics domain.

    In Bryce’s words: “It’s a pleasure to interact with people who have a good attitude and are self-motivated enough to do what it takes to be better. The trait of an athlete of being “coachable” is not always easy to find. Our members exemplify all things that are coachable, which is why they find such great success.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • First Aid/CPR/AED
  • Nikki Prier

    Coach

    Nikki is an accomplished softball player, having played for 12 years and 4 of those as a starter at Jacksonville State University. She was awarded All-Conference for 3 years, and then conference MVP in 2009. After the end of her softball career, CrossFit became her sport of choice. It is her fitness program and competitive outlet. She knew within 6 months of starting CrossFit that she wanted to coach. RDU motivated her to be her best, as an athlete, then a coach. What she loves most about RDU are the amazing environment and great people.

    In Nikki’s words: “I am passionate about seeing the growth of our athletes. Seeing our athletes develop and do things they never thought they could do in the sport of CrossFit is the best part of the job!”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Philip Farmer

    Head Strength Coach

    Philip has an elite pedigree in powerlifting and strength sports. He has won 14 titles and holds 7 records throughout various organizations, from the youth level to men’s overall championships. He’s a sponsored athlete of 11 years with more than 30 years of strength and powerlifting experience. Today, he applies all his knowledge and experience to helping others achieve their own strength goals. Philips also loves to explore new places and has enjoyed the gift of travel that his elite level competitions have given him.

    In Philip’s words: “The gift of right and proper lifting technique was given to me and I want to give that gift to others who aspire to be their best. I love to see my students do things they never thought were possible.”

    Certifications:

    • Multiple-time US Powerlifting Federation Champion
    • International Powerlifting Federation World Champion
  • Erin Sayre

    Coach

    Erin was a competitive swimmer while growing up and went on to college with a swim scholarship. When a back injury sidelined her, she took an interest in coaching. After she found CrossFit, which initially looked intimidating to her, Erin started studying endurance and strength and conditioning to become a CrossFit coach. Today, she coaches at RDU and is a swim and high school strength and conditioning coach. She is passionate about being a part of young people’s lives and helping them navigate their personal path into a healthy adulthood.

    In Erin’s words: “My favorite thing in life is teaching life through sport and building community through common goals, passions and circumstance. I also get a kick out of helping people reach goals that they once considered unattainable! Anything is possible after all!”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Endurance
    • USA Club Swimming
    • ASCA Level 2
    • CPR/AED/First Aid
  • Armand Lotman

    Coach

    Armand has a love for University of Southern California football, the Lakers and Seahawks, but is passionate about his family. As a coach, he is motivated by the RDU community, and loves CrossFit but admittedly has a bias toward the barbell. He’s found CrossFit in 2010, when he searched online for “Tim Tebow workouts” and came across the 2009 CrossFit Games.

    In Armand’s words: “I love seeing my community push themselves farther than they ever thought possible. And seeing that confidence and accomplishment in their eyes and in their hearts.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • Tactical Kettlebell
    • B.S. Exercise Physiology
  • Pete Marston

    Coach

    Pete was an Infantry officer in the Army, a collegiate hockey player, and an amateur waterskier. He’s been CrossFitting since 2011 and found himself in a good position to coach after taking the time to just learn more about fitness and nutrition for himself. With his training, and experience and knowledge in hand, Pete dedicated himself to coaching and helping people learn how to achieve their optimum fitness.

    In Pete’s words: I love… “helping people recognize capabilities and potential that they never fully recognized.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • USAW
    • CrossFit Rowing
    • CrossFit Endurance
  • Laura Marston

    CrossFit Kids Coach

    Laura is a lifelong athlete with a passion for teaching kids. She initially became certified as a means to learn more about CrossFit for herself. As she dedicated herself to learning about fitness, she realized she wanted to develop a program inclusive of whole families. She went on to obtain her CrossFit Kids certification and now enjoys teaching kids about the importance of leading healthy, fit lives into their adulthood.

    In Laura’s words: “I especially love to coach kids — it’s incredible to watch them learn new skills, build confidence and ultimately develop a lifelong love of exercise as something fun!”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Kids

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