The 2013 Evolutio CrossFit Coaches of the Year

Three weeks ago, we were lucky enough to meet Susan Lipscombe and Karl Nevin up amongst the Rooftop of Dreams, so called for the outdoor/indoor box with breathtaking views of the Melbourne City Skyline.

As soon as we stepped foot in CrossFit CBD we knew there was something special about the place. Not only is the Rooftop of Dreams an inspiring place to train but we could tell that the members had all bought in to Karl and Susan's passion. They had devoted themselves unquestionably.

We would like to thank everyone throughout Australia for their nominations. Our job was an extremely tough one, as is evident by the extra four days we had to take to decide on the Best Coach in Australia for 2013.

It's hard to ignore a submission which has included 21 Testimonials from members. This is what we received, enjoy the read and please share. It lifts the bar for Coaches and Owners throughout the Country.

Congratulations Karl and Susan from CrossFit CBD you are the Best Coaches of 2013 in Australia as decided by the team at Evolutio. You both win a place on our Level 1 Injury Management and Prevention Coaches Course accredited with the Fitness Board Australia, worth $275 each.

Steph Moore and Cat Macgregor win themselves a place on our next workshop worth $75 each


Here's the Submission for Best Coach in Australia for 2013


" CrossFit CBD is located in the heart of Melbourne CBD on the rooftop of a 3 story building. As such, it seems to be a box that attracts nomads, travellers and generally awesome city slickers who are not originally from Melbourne. As a born and bred South Australian and New Zealander, moving to a new city was a daunting task with few friends or relatives for security. Joining the “Rooftop of Dreams” or “ROD” as the coaches aptly named it, has been and remains to be one of the most rewarding things we have done. Not only have we become fitter, faster, and stronger; we have been able to re-create the idea of a family, or a home away from home. The credit of this belongs to Karl and Susan.



The way that Karl and Susan have embraced the idea of a safe, fun and all-encompassing community is what keeps us and all of the other members coming back day after day to slog it out, wodding on the ROD. This and their second-to-none knowledge, commitment, belief, and love of CrossFit, which they instil upon all of us, is what makes these two outstanding individuals the perfect candidates for The Best Coach(es) in Australia.



But don’t just take our word for it - here is what some of the other members of the Rooftop of Dreams had to say about Karl and Susan, and why they think they are the best in Australia.


1.        Steph Moore:

"I am constantly overwhelmed by the level of personal support they both show on a daily basis. The amount of text messages I have received checking in on me regarding injuries or progress no matter whether the issue was as small as a ripped hand; has been incredible. I know they always have my back and won't relent in providing educated advice until the problem is solved. These two continue to go selflessly above and beyond to enable their members to flourish in a safe and extremely fun environment, ‘Wod on the Rod’."



2.            Cat MacGregor:

“Karl and Susan have always encouraged me through the movements that I find the most difficult, such as ‘skin the cat’, forward rolls, handstand push ups, and generally anything involving being upside down. I was able to attempt these moves only because they stood by me and were there to catch me if I fell (literally) – I wouldn’t have had the courage to do this if it wasn’t for the massive amount of trust I them.”


3.            Jen Beaudry:

“Karl and Susan always emphasize the quality of the movements over speed or load and continually remind us--nicely!--to check our egos at the door. But, when we get a PB of any kind (new skill mastered, heavier weight lifted, or faster time), they are the first ones to congratulate and high five us. They have worked hard to foster a friendly, enjoyable, non-competitive environment that makes the rooftop of dreams feel more like a home.”

4.            Brendan Maggs:

“What makes Susan and Karl the best is their constant self-education. They attend copious seminars on all manner of topics, bring experts into the box to consult on physio and treatment and encourage us to express our fitness outside the box. In short, we become better athletes because Susan and Karl consistently improve their ability to make us better athletes”

5.            Ziryan Kamal:

“Susan and Karl are the main reason Crossfit CBD has such a unique culture. From the first day you step through the door they make you feel welcome and part of the team. Their Knowledge, skills and positive/fun loving attitude makes CrossFit CBD the best box in town. Amazing coaches and people!”

6.            Laura Andrew:

“Susan and Karl are two of the most professional, supportive, knowledgeable and friendly coaches I've ever had the pleasure to train with. They have created an extremely close-knit community on the "Rooftop of Dreams", where good form and fun are prioritised, newcomers are welcomed and PRs are celebrated. I always look forward to WODing with these guys, and can't thank them enough for everything they've taught me.”



7.     Samantha Szostak:

“There is never a day that goes by that I don’t excitedly count the hours until Crossfit and that is due hugely to Susan and Karl our coaches. From day one they made me feel so welcome and are always inspiring, passionate, knowledgeable and always going the extra mile for all our members. They are two people that make such an impact on so many peoples’ lives and greatly deserve to be acknowledged for this.”



8.    Simon Bartlem

“I have been doing Crossfit for close to 12 months now, only about 5 of which have been done with coaches Karl and Susan at Crossfit CBD. The time they take to ensure I understand the movement components has seen me improve dramatically in this time. They don’t just keep telling you the same thing over and over, louder and louder. They take the time to get to know you, understand the way you look at things and then deliver the mechanics in a way you can understand. Aside from taking the time to make me the best athlete I can be, they also make me feel like I am part of something bigger than just a box. They make me feel like they personally care if I do well or not. It’s not a cult, it’s a family.”

9. Anna Turner:

“Karl and Susan are two of the most humble and dedicated people you will ever meet. It makes no difference if you PR your back squat at 30kgs or 130kgs, can do 1 pull up or 100. Every victory is celebrated with a ring of the PR bell. They know our strengths and weaknesses. They know when we are struggling and when we are simply being lazy and need a push. They have done such an amazing job of creating a challenging yet enjoyable environment and a thriving community that we often forgive Karl’s terrible jokes. In my time at CrossFit CBD i have asked approximately 3,546,664,211* questions and have been met with patience and a well thought out answer every single time. I am  no longer scared of box jumps, an unassisted pull up seems doable (one day) and its the first place I have been where my strength is encouraged. There is so much more I could say but the fact that I keep coming back night after night is a testament to the coaching of Karl and Susan
* estimation - may not be accurate”

10. Mihali Kouros:

“Karl and Susan’s focus on technique and form ensures that I am always confident in the WOD movements, and their support throughout my knee ligament injury (from soccer) has been second to none.”

11. Tarah McDonald:

“For their complete dedication for fostering an inclusive, supportive and positive culture at CrossFit CBD, Karl and Susan are the perfect candidates for CrossFit coach(es) of the year. Not only are they incredibly competent at what they do, they both have a fantastic approach to coaching. From Susan’s encouraging and reassuring words to Karl’s depthless knowledge and hilarious cues (elvis knees!), they are all round fantastic people who give so much to the community they have created on the Rooftop of Dreams (CrossFit CBD).”

12. .Charith Gurusinghe: “

Coaches Karl and Susan are amazing professionals. Their technical knowledge, dedication and competitive drive have helped me push beyond my physical and mental boundaries. Both of them are always there to make sure you get it done right and safe. They are extremely motivating and look forward to seeing you push to your limits and more often than not they are more enthusiastic about my PR’s than I am. I can’t thank them enough for all the support and opportunities they’ve given me in my CrossFit journey.”

13.        Crystal Roulston:

“Susan and Karl have this amazing way of making you feel like you can achieve so much. Their positive attitudes, continual encouragement, patience and advice is astonishing. To me Susan and Karl are not just coaches, they are my dear friends, and I feel so lucky every day that it is them yelling at me for one more round or one more rep. Not even a billionth of how I feel about them.”




14. Jac Mathieson:

“Comfortable, confident, challenged and the 20” box jump = Karl and Susan. The moment I walked into CrossFit CBD, Karl and Susan instantly made me feel part of the family, they have pushed me to challenge myself, made me feel comfortable when I’ve tried and failed and given me the confidence to get up and try again. After failing on the 20” box jump I didn’t want to ever do one again! Karl and Susan stripped it right back for me adding another couple of inches every couple of weeks. The feeling of finally regaining the 20” box jump was amazing… and all the credit goes to Karl and Susan!”

15. Rick Nooft:

“Karl and Susan are both amazing people and the best Crossfit coaches in Australia. They have a special way of making every workout fun but brutal and pushing you when you need it and letting you laugh when you need it too. The welcoming environment they create at CrossFit CBD makes us all more positive and stronger people and I’m proud to be a part of the family.


16.        Chandri H:

“Susan and Karl are two amazing people. Even though you may be on the verge of giving up both physically and mentally their encouragement makes you believe in yourself and work much harder to achieve your goals. Injuries are sometimes inevitable at Crossfit, however they always ensure you are working in a safe environment. They always emphasise good technique and keep a watchful eye to make sure that you maintain your form throughout the workout. Our coaches always put Crossfit CBD members first and I am extremely grateful for their commitment.”

17.       Yannick Chan:

“Karl and Susan have been really supportive from day one. They’ve constantly provided invaluable advice to help me move better and get stronger day after day. The workouts programmed are always fun and challenging. As coaches, they’ve helped me push myself out of my comfort zone while making sure I’m always performing each movement safely. The results so far have been amazing and I know I can count on both of them to help me achieve my fitness goals. They’ve given me the perfect introduction to CrossFit and now I am completely hooked!”

18     Rachel Flavin:

“I still remember Susan’s face during the open last year...the WOD had toes to bar in it which I had never done in my life. She kept encouraging me during the whole workout, gasping as I got close but alas I never managed a single one. In the photos she looks more excited about my near misses than I was! This speaks to me that our coaches are excited about every achievement or attempt whether you’re lifting 20kg or 100kg for the first time.”

19.        Joey:

“Karl and Susan encouraged me and nurtured my every achievement, from my first kipping pull-up to my first barbell lift (not exaggerating I was on the broom stick for a while)

20.         Fiona Ryan:

“When I first started I could barely move in a WOD – their coaching has enabled me to challenge myself and do things I didn’t think would be possible….I’ve come from very humble beginnings on that damn broomstick trying to get my technique right but am very proud of my achievements and acknowledge it would never have been without CBD! … it’s not just the coaching but also the great community they have created here.

21.    Cat Warlow


Alex Drew is the director of Evolutio. A business in Australia which aims to bridge the gap between CrossFitters and Health Professionals. He is a Physiotherapist, CrossFit Level 1 and Powerlifting Trainer

Alex Drew

Raised as a sandgroper over in W.A, Alex was handed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and asked to leave the university lecturers in peace for good.  As a matter of filling his time, he also graduated from the Royal Military College as an Infantry Officer in 2008 after finally pointing his rifle in the right direction and making his bed to an elite level.

Moving to Melbourne in 2010 in an episode similar to that movie Coyote ugly, Alex has since worked in a few sports physio clinics across Melbourne, coached CrossFit, done power-lifting training courses, walked a 45km mt buller trail run and worked at North Melbourne football club.

Alex founded Evolutio in 2013 to provide a hub for the next generation of great physio minds to work together on high level athletes. 

He writes on business, leadership and mens health.