The RIP Training Cessnock Story


Our coaches

Coach Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

Founder & Coach
In early 2012 Tom left year 11 at school to study his cert 3&4 in fitness and follow his passion for training and helping others. Through studying for his fitness certificate Tom found CrossFit and was captivated. He soon began travelling 30 minutes each way to the closest local affiliate which was at the time run out of the owners garage. From there Tom began to pursue coaching within the CrossFit community and has since coached all over the hunter valley, Newcastle and in Sydney. Tom finally realised his dream of opening his own affiliate when RIP Training opened in January of 2020. Tom now has a new purpose beyond just coaching as he strives to make RIP Training a place that makes the community of Cessnock better.

Some of Tom’s qualifications include:
CrossFit Level 3 (Certified CrossFit trainer)
Diploma of fitness
CrossFit kids
Australian Defence Force Fitness leader
CrossFit specialty course; Mobility, Gymnastics, Football, Strongman

Coach Taya Forester

Taya Forester

Head Coach & Client Success Manager
Taya has been physically active for the majority of her life with her main focus being dance, It began at the age of 3 and continued through to her early adult years taking her to a variety locations and events competing at a state level. Taya found CrossFit in 2011 and whilst training CrossFit for the past 13 years she has became a mum of 3 and continued her love of CrossFit with transitioning into coaching in 2021, Taya’s passion is instilling the key foundations, movements and community of CrossFit into peoples everyday life, she currently coaches our group classes and kids classes.

Her qualifications are:
CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
CrossFit Kids Trainer
Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness
Nutrition Coach

Coach Lou McNeill

Lou McNeill

Group Coach and Nutrition Coach
Lou’s experience in sport and training started early as she spent all her childhood and teenage years doing archery with a span of 8 years on the Australian team competing internationally before gaining a place on the Olympic training squad but retired due to injury at 19. Since finding CrossFit 5 years ago Lou has undergone massive changes in her life in which she achieved massive weight loss and gained a tonne of knowledge in nutrition. Lou’s passion is helping create a strong community where everyone feels welcome, seen and enjoys their training each day.

Her qualifications are:
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
CrossFit Weightlifting Level 1
Precision Nutrition Level 1

Coach Lizzie Robinson

Lizzie Robinson

Group Coach & Social Media Manager
Lizzie’s has had plenty of exposure to fitness her entire life as she grew up in a family of avid runners and swimmers and water polo players. Lizzie followed her families example and swam competitively for over 5 years whilst also playing water polo, participating in local running clubs, joining a league tag team and gaining experience as a lifeguard. Lizzie started training at RIP at the age of 16 and began coaching in early 2023. Lizzie loves to train and is passionate about sharing that love with others.

Her qualifications are:
CrossFit Level 1
The Gymnastics Course (online)

Coach Kris Thomas

Kris Thomas

CrossFit Coach
Kris Joined RIP in mid 2021 after moving to the area and wanting a change from his previous training of Muay Thai and Martial arts. Since getting into CrossFit Kris has developed a passion for movement that has seen him dive deep into working on mobility and Olympic Weightlifting. Kris now runs mobility classes and group CrossFit classes and is passionate about getting people to move better, get out of pain and manage their body.

His Qualifications are:
CrossFit Level 1

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