Nicola Barrett, California State University Water Polo, SA Ladies Water Polo
David has been more than just a strength coach to me in the past 9 months. Since going through extensive shoulder surgery in February 2014 and struggling to find any motivation to put the hard work in than I ever have before, I needed someone by my side that would share the same passion and motivation that I had, to reach my new big goals. David was, and still is that person from thousands of miles away.
Playing international Water polo has been an honour for me for the past 6 years, but with it came great challenges such as dealing with injuries and keeping my body in the best shape possible while living an “on the go” lifestyle. After finally pushing myself to the point of needing surgery I knew I needed to start getting on track with my strength training and nutrition to optimize my performance and prevent injuries. That’s when David absolutely changed my life. One month post-surgery, I began training and working on my nutrition with David at EVO Fitness. Not only was I smashing every single one of my PBs 6 months after my shoulder surgery, but I was feeling and looking better than I ever have and it did not stop there.
My strength became obvious in and out the pool and I started performing at a whole new level all because I had the best strength and nutrition coach around. David has always been encouraging and extremely motivating which has helped me through those down days when training was tough and I felt like my goals were far beyond my reach. I could not have asked for a better coach by my side through my journey to reaching the Olympics.
These words really do not do justice to the impact David has had on my life. I will be forever grateful to all he has done and continues to do for me without hesitation, to help make my dreams a reality.
If you are truly serious about pushing your performance to a whole new level, being stronger physically and mentally than you ever could imagine, and want someone who will give their all to make you the best version of yourself, then David is that person.
Warick Burke - General Manager Old Mutual Wealth - Cape Town
I began training with David Cross and Evo in Jan 2014, I had previously gym’ed (not trained…we’ll get to that later) at some well-known commercial gyms but was feeling like I wasn’t really making any real progress. I came across Evo in Sports Illustrated interview and what they had to say really resonated with me. I went to go and see David not sure what to expect, and from the first meeting was truly impressed. We talked about goals and what I was hoping to achieve and how they could help me on that journey. This wasn’t going to be going to gym for the sake of “exercise”, this was about achieving something, setting goals and then working towards them. When I started my training I had come off a period of losing a lot a weight and starting to look like I was in getting into shape, but I wasn’t feeling strong or all that happy with my physique. After my first session I realised I was definitely not strong at all! The best thing was that instead of feeling embarrassed, David made me feel good about where I was at, he found the positives to talk about and then put a plan in place to address the weaknesses (and there were a lot of them). I had never really used an Olympic barbell in anger in my life and initially thought there is no way I will be able to squat, deadlift and do a set of proper pull ups. Well that was then, 12 months later I have more than doubled my initial squat and deadlift numbers, can now squat 1,5 times bodyweight and quickly working up to 2 times bodyweight deadlift, I can even do some weighted pull-ups!
David has also been doing my nutrition plan for me and I am eating 3 times the amount of carbs that I was and am still getting leaner. I have put on over 10kg of lean mass and lost 4% bodyfat, for some context I started out at 74kg, and am over 40 yrs old with shoulder that never fully recovered post-surgery (So not some bullet-proof, massive 25yr old who can pile on lean muscle at will…). Finally they helped me do this by only training twice a week. I would love to train more at Evo but between work and family I just do not have the time, the point is that this is not an excuse, but to show how David has managed to find a way to help me train and achieve my goals working within my practical constraints.
Fiona Garner - Category Manager Walt Disney - Cape Town
I started training with David in October 2013, and at that point I had been stuck in a pattern of eating a restrictive low calorie diet with complete avoidance of carbohydrates. My training was a cardio rut of spinning, and running, and whilst I would sometimes lose weight, if I didn't keep up the cardio and super restrictive diet, I put it all back on. I chose to see David after doing yet another restrictive diet eliminating entire food groups, and was very despondent after not losing a single kilo. In fact, I was at my most out of shape ever, whilst only eating 1 000 calories a day on average.
I initially regarded David's approach of lifting heavy weights and eating carbs along with other food groups, with skepticism. Firstly, as a girl, I did not think that lifting heavy was feminine or something women "should do". I did not think it was 'me'. I thought 'me' was Pilates and running. I thought the only way for me to lose weight was to eat very restrictively...and even then, I wasn't happy as I was 'skinny fat'.
It has taken nearly 18 months for me to change that mindset of restrictiveness, and I still have some old negative thought patterns which I have to keep in check, but with the help of David as a nutrition and conditioning coach, I am well on my way, and can say that the journey of learning to lift and re-learning to eat ALL the food groups has been transformative in so many ways. For one, my body shape and composition has completely changed. I no longer soley focus on a number on a scale, and a fixation of being a certain 'happy weight' but on body composition and the gains I can make in the gym. Secondly, the physical strength I have for day to day physical activities...simple activities like carrying shopping bags are so much easier when you are strong. An unexpected, but awesome benefit, has been the empowering emotional and psychological strength and confidence that I have gained since I started lifting, and eating properly.
My journey continues, and thanks to David's coaching, this lifestyle has become an integrated part of my every day that I enjoy, look forward to and miss when I have to skip a training session. I have a new found love for lifting and love that I can eat whatever I want, within moderation, in a sane and sustainable way. This is no quick fix...but if you are looking to make life-long sustainable changes, I would highly recommend David.
Men's Health Magazine - South Africa - 2016+
David Cross, "who transformed his life and body, and became one of the best coaches in the country."
Lil Bianchi – World Champion Powerlifter – GPC - 2014 /2015/ 2016
David and I have worked closely for the better part of 4 years now, having a like minded approach to our businesses, our own personal journeys to strength and our passion for the growth of the strength industry in South Africa, it has been more than a pleasure working alongside this esteemed coach.
David has played an instrumental part of my growth and knowledge as a strength coach and entrepreneur. His guidance and advice throughout the development of OTG and our coaching systems has been elemental in our own teachings. His constant evolution and drive to make each athlete reach the top of their game is second to none.
David gives new meaning to the saying, "Train smarter, not harder" and this has carried over to my own training and that of the clientele of OTG Athletic.
I confidently intrust David with my clientele when travelling to Cape Town to continue with my own methodologies within their training. His knowledge of the strength systems is amazing, David teaches you how to listen, learn and improve.
I recommend David to anyone looking to improve their lifestyle through training and to anyone seeking to better any aspect of their physical fitness.
I have an immense amount of respect for his knowledge of the structure and function of the body and completely trust Davids work and will continue to work alongside him for years to come.
Owner of OTG Athletic, Resident Hottie, Facebook Warrior, World Champion Powerlifter, Holder of illegitimate World Record, Just a girl not a beastess, only woman in the world who looks damn fine driving a beaten Chevy Spark.
Tristen O’Brien – SA’s Strongest Man - 2012-2013
Having been in the fitness industry for the larger part of ten years now both as a Professional Athlete as well as having supplement stores, and now dealing with gyms and their owners on a day to day basis.
I met David and his team on a trip to Cape Town. The facility is state of the art allowing for training from the beginner right up to professional who requires very specific equipment. Not only is the facility a one of a kind, the people running it are incredibly well informed. I have used David on a number of occasions from help with nutrition to very small sport specific training tips.
I cannot recommend David & Evo Fitness enough, if you are serious about your training this is where you need to be, and David is the guy you need to see. I know it’s where I base myself every time I’m in Cape Town.
Daniel Hurlin – World Champion Powerlifter – GPC - 2014
After winning the Powerlifting World Champs (GPC) in Argentina, 2014, I realised that the crucial area where I was lacking as a complete athlete was in my nutrition. I knew that in order to reach the next level in my performance, I urgently needed to address this weakness. I didn’t even have to think twice about approaching David for help as he is a well-known nutrition and training expert in the strength world.
Since working with David, my physique has become a lot more efficient in terms of fat to muscle ratio. I am recovering much faster between training sessions but most of all I am gaining excellent knowledge regarding food and nutrition. I am looking forward to defending my World Title with David’s help in Las Vegas this year.
Chrissy “Chaos” Watson – Food Coach
I met David because of some profanities he left on my Instagram about doughnuts.
Fearing an almighty migration of my clients to a Red Bearded beast who hook grip deadlifted more than them and still ate shit (I mean Nutella, Coco pops and pastries) on a daily basis - I decided to guinea pig his methodology.
Now, as a Nutritional Therapist - I have all the knowledge to make myself a jacked little beastie. Practical application is another story.
It has been an informative and progressively rewarding 24 weeks working with him.
I have lost fat, gained muscle, and I eat an abundance of carbs (from relatively clean sources).
I have cried, bitched, sworn, threatened to fist fight him and have had many a moment of fear of failure.
But David has been a constant and consistent support system and has taken accountability of my journey. His no bullshit straight forward approach has allowed me to hold my theories lightly and start to enjoy the process. It is science after all.
I value his advice and the time and effort he has spent on me. (possibly one of his most challenging but fucking delightful clients).