Meet the CrossFit Coaches

ABOUT US

At EVF Performance CrossFit, our coaches go above and beyond the call of duty. They’re highly skilled and highly educated professionals devoted to providing expert training. With years of experience under the belts, you get the best from the best. For them, coaching isn’t a job — it’s a way of life.
  • Eric Von Frohlich

    Eric Von Frohlich is the founder and leader of the EVF family of companies, which include EVF Performance, CrossFit Upper East Side and CrossFit Columbus Circle. His storied fitness career began in 1995 when he worked as a trainer for middle school students. From there, he kickstarted his own personal training business specializing in calisthenics, metabolic conditioning, weightlifting, nutrition counseling and more.

    Over the past two decades, Eric has developed several signature programs including EVF 360, Practice and RoadFit. He’s one of the most sought-after fitness experts in the country appearing in major publications such as Shape, Fitness, Health, Redbook and Cosmo. He also consulted on the best-selling book “Younger Next Year” (Harry Lodge and Chris Crowley, 2007).

    If you’re looking for an authority in fitness, you’ve come to the right place.

  • Debra Strougo Frohlich

    Debra is a quadruple threat. She’s a fitness pro, marketer, entrepreneur, and mom. As the business partner and wife to Eric Von Frohlich, she’s a driving force behind EVF. She has more than 15 years of experience teaching at some of the nation’s most notable gyms including Equinox, Crunch, SCLA and NYSC. She’s consulted with multiple fitness brands and publications such as SELF Magazine.

    Debra’s fitness knowledge is rivaled only by her business acumen. Post-college, she worked at a start-up and learned what it took to survive in the digital publishing space. Later, she launched an online fitness community called Fitizens.co, and began her career as Director of Sales at NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism, and partnership organization.

    In 2005, she met her husband, Eric and the couple bonded over their love of health and wellness. Together, they created EVF and a new indoor rowing workout, which was the catalyst for Row House NYC.

    Because of Debra’s vision and unshakable work ethic, EVF Performance is a force to be reckoned with.

  • Jay Plansky

    Jay Plansky is a highly-qualified MD and FAAEM (Fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine). His athletic background includes football and lacrosse, as well as Muay Thai. Jay has always enjoyed working out and helping others. It’s one of the many reasons he wanted to become both a doctor and coach.

    “I am passionate about motivating athletes to work hard and surpass their expectations. If we all squatted a little heavier and did our burpees just a little faster, then maybe, just maybe, we could end world hunger, end poverty, and make this world a better place.”

    Certifications:

    • Board Certified Emergency Medicine
    • Catalyst Athletics Weightlifting (in progress)
    • CrossFit Level 1
    • Doctor of Medicine
    • Ringside Physician for USA Boxing
  • Ryan Hanley

    Ryan began his athletic career with soccer, baseball and swimming before moving on to martial arts. He also wrestled and played lacrosse in high school and practiced Jiu-Jitsu at college. After graduation, Ryan started training in gymnastics and parkour, which led to a huge television opportunity — “American Ninja Warrior”. He appeared as a contestant on Season 4 in the Eastern Regionals.

    Ryan has been a fan of CrossFit since 2007 so in 2016, he decided to become a coach. “I’m passionate about health, movement and encouraging others to achieve their best level of fitness.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • Animal Flow
    • KB Instructor Level 2
    • Titleist Golf Fitness Instructor
  • Julia Bassiri

    When it comes to training, Julia’s done a little bit of everything. She’s competed in gymnastics, soccer, swimming, field hockey, competitive cheerleading and track. But once she hit college, she opted out of team sports and discovered a new challenge – bodybuilding. It was a passion that only grew with the addition of CrossFit. It opened doors to not only a new workout but a new career.

    “As soon as I joined EVF, I was hooked on the experience, and even more so, the community. I knew I had to be a bigger part of it, and coaching seemed like the natural next step. I love bringing the room together and watching all the support and encouragement that takes place. The community that CrossFit forges is truly unparalleled.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • Kettlebell Athletics
    • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
    • Poliquin BioSignature Practitioner
    • Schwinn Cycling Instructor
    • USAW Sports Performance Coach
  • Mark Griffin

    Mark is a stuntman and martial artist turned CrossFit extraordinaire. In 2013, he watched the CrossFit Games as a traditional personal trainer and thought, “I’d rather be doing and teaching that to people.” Over the years, he’s earned multiple certifications that allow him to provide members with a comprehensive training experience. Mark is passionate about helping athletes achieve their personal bests.

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • Kettlebell Athletics Level 1
    • NASM Certified Personal Trainer
  • Alex Prakken

    From baseball and football to dance, Alex has a diverse fitness background that eventually led him to CrossFit’s door. “In college, I was very into the Insanity workouts, but I quickly got bored with the program. During my senior year, my roommate invited me to try CrossFit.” Alex’s first training session was intense, but he forced himself to continue.

    “I got so hooked on the culture and programming of CrossFit. The workouts are always different keeping you on your toes. The training totally reinvigorated my fitness journey. By becoming a coach, it’s my goal to help other athletes find that same passion.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Anatomy
    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Gymnastics
  • Jenna Tomsko

    Jenna leads the coaching staff and athletes as Head Coach of our Upper East Side location. She studied dance for 15 years and competed in both swimming and long distance running. “I moved to New York to become an actress and singer after graduating from college. I soon discovered I was just as passionate about fitness as I was about performing.”

    Jenna began personal training at a small local gym but wanted to do more. She knew as soon as she started CrossFit that it was where she belonged. “I’m passionate about our community, making people stronger and preparing for anything. I want to continue to learn and grow as both a coach and a programmer.”

    Certifications:

    • AAPT Certified Personal Trainer
    • Kettlebell Concepts Level 1
    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Alicia Mazurek

    Alicia has been an athlete her entire life. At the age of 2, she was already on a pair of skis. She played collegiate sports, ran the NYC Marathon and began cycling in preparation for an 180-mile charity ride. Later, she started CrossFit and fell in love with the training. She promised herself that she’d earn her Level 1 certificate and four years later, she did.

    As a coach, Alicia specializes in mobility and movement. “I believe CrossFit gives you a platform to try something new and get celebrated for it. I loved the confidence and strength – not just physical – I gained, and I’m passionate about passing it on to others.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CF Movement & Mobility
    • CF Strongman
  • Hugo Rivera

    Hugo background spans traditional bodybuilding, CrossFit and various martial arts, including Muay Thai. He’s also a SEALFIT Immersion Camp 4 and Sealfit Kokoro 11 graduate. So, how did he accomplish so much so fast? “I became completely enamored with physical fitness, health, and wellness at a young age. All of my down time was spent teaching myself how to work out (effectively), lift weights, swim, run and eat balanced meals.”

    Hugo is a student at heart who’s always willing to try something new. When he was introduced to CrossFit, he felt like he’d found his calling. “I had a real ‘a-ha’ moment. I got my Level I and proudly began coaching and the rest is CrossFit history!” Hugo specializes in gymnastics, Olympic lifting, mobility and mentality.

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Gymnastics
    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Mobility
    • USA Weightlifting Level 1 (in progress)
  • Guthrie Lewis

    Guthrie focuses on more than just movement. He wants all his athletes to have a unique experience of being both challenged and entertained. Who said fitness has to be boring? Guthrie strives to push his athletes to their limits and make the impossible possible. “I love being able to help people accomplish their goals. Being a part of someone’s journey to improve is extremely rewarding.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • NSAM Certified Personal Trainer
    • USA Weightlifting Level 1
  • Garen McRoberts

    Garen has been in the gym since he was a kid. Baseball was his first love, with running a close second. But as he got older, he grew tired of the same workouts and decided to try something new. “My friends were raving about CrossFit, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Years later, I’m still in love with the methodology and the community. I believe that in order to achieve optimum results, there has to be a balance. Why strengthen one area when you can strengthen them all?”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
    • NCCPT Personal Training
  • Matt Bronson

    While attending high school, Matt successfully juggled ice hockey, skiing and tennis. “I continued to follow the yellow brick road, which led me to my life’s work. Following a 17-plus-year career on Wall Street, I got the opportunity of a lifetime: One that led me to use my skills to help others improve their lives.”

    As a coach, Matt wants his athletes to give their best THAT day, moving well and pushing beyond mental and physical limitations.

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Kids
    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Alex Miller

    Alex grew up with a serious appreciation of musical theater. So much so that he went on to study it in college. But his senior year brought a new outlet – CrossFit.

    After earning his Level 1, Alex wanted to give back to the community as a coach. So, he opted to become a CrossFit coach. “EVF Performance CrossFit is such an inviting place. It’s filled with people who make you better in and outside of the gym. Every day, they make me want to be a better person and coach.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Carissa Mueller

    Carissa is a real-life EVF success story. “I stumbled into the gym for a Free Intro class looking for a more efficient workout. I absolutely loved the training and fell in love with the methodology. About a year later, I decided to give coaching a shot. It’s been such an important part of my life that I felt compelled to take it a step further.”

    She placed 61st in the North East Region in the 2016 CrossFit Open and served as alternate for the 4th place CrossFit Games Team Dynamix.

    Carissa is passionate about the pursuit of excellence. She believes in human development through physical challenges. “I love making myself better and showing others how they can do the same.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Joseph Strickland

    Joseph is a former football fanatic who played for three seasons at the collegiate level. “I set a goal, worked my butt off and was allowed a walk-on spot. It was the first in the program’s history and the best decision I’d made at that point.” Unfortunately, football turned the gym a chore, instead of a joy. After graduation, Joseph went almost a full year without working out.

    Later, a chance viewing of the CrossFit Games changed everything. Joseph researched and found a local box and decided to start training again. He eventually began working reception at the facility, and they sponsored his Level 1 certification. “I’m passionate about movement, form, and technique. I love efficiency more than big numbers, and solid movement that promotes longevity.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • David Kirschen

    Dave is an active pro powerlifter, who was briefly ranked No. 1 nationally in his weight class (2014). Since then, he’s stayed in the top 5 every year he’s competed. Dave originally began training at EVF Performance CrossFit because of its convenient location. Soon, he discovered there was more to the community than meets the eye.

    “When the opportunity arose, I joined the staff and began teaching a strength class, which has since morphed into EVF’s competitive powerlifting team.” Dave eats, sleeps, and breathes strength training. His love of lifting knows no bounds!

    Certifications:

    • B.S. in Physical Education
  • Beau Whitman

    Beau specializes in gymnastics and has 12 years of experience and a spot on the U.S. Junior National Team to back it up. He’s also a former state champion and top 10 nationally ranked high school pole vaulter. Later, while attending Lehigh University, he competed in Division I’s track and field. It was during college that Beau discovered CrossFit and saw it was a great way to balance Olympic lifting and his gymnastics training.

    “I have always wanted to be a coach. And I enjoy helping people accomplish their athletic goals. I believe in continued learning no matter what field you’re in. It keeps me on my toes and allows me to use new methods that can benefit my fellow athletes.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Jared Tunkel

    Growing up, Jared competed in multiple sports but soccer was his favorite. He played for the LI ODP (Olympic Developmental Program) and continued for four years in the NCAA. “When I graduated college, I found CrossFit as an outlet for my competitive nature. Over time, I sustained too many injuries playing soccer and decided to shift my focus.” Jared has qualified for and placed at numerous local and regional competitions. In 2016, he competed in his first CrossFit Open.

    “I am passionate about human performance, whether it’s in sports or returning to sports post-injury. I believe in safe, efficient movement and of course, heavy lifting.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Nicole Lee

    Nicole is Chief Operating Officer of EVF Performance. She spent nearly 4 years as a coach at CrossFit Upper East Side after leaving a 10-year career in corporate taxation to start a family. “I thought it would be a great way to motivate, teach and train as many people as possible.”

    Now she marries her passion for fitness and her professional expertise to lead EVF’S business operations. Nicole has her bachelor’s in Accounting, with an MBA in Taxation and is a licensed CPA.

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Kids
    • CrossFit Level 1
    • CrossFit Level 2
    • CrossFit Weightlifting
    • NASM-CPT
    • NASM-CES
    • Neurokinetic Therapy Seminar (in progress)
  • Julia Zygnerski

    Julia is the Director of Sales and Membership Services at EVF Performance. She ensures newcomers know exactly what EVF has to offer. A self-described tomboy, Julia spent her youth rollerblading, climbing trees, swimming, biking, playing handball and running. It left a mark that would influence her future career.

    Julia’s professional background includes serving as Member Services Manager at Reebok Sports Club/NY. She also went on to teach spinning and cardio kickboxing classes. Her goal was to convince clients that exercise was the first step to achieving a better life.

    Certifications:

    • AFFAA Cardio Kickboxing
    • AFFAA General Group Exercise
    • Mad Dogg Athletics Spinning
  • Allie Seligman

    Allie is the Studio and Communications Manager at EVF Performance. Before joining the EVF team in 2014, Allie worked as a journalist and career services writer. She found EVF as a member shortly after moving to New York. “I love seeing people set and exceed their goals. I talk to lots of people who want big changes in their bodies, fitness levels and lives — seeing those changes come to life is an awesome feeling.”
    She oversees communications across EVF locations and manages day to day operations at CrossFit Upper East Side. “It’s easy to come to work when you know the members, coaches and staff are genuinely happy to be here. Getting to wear Lululemon to the office doesn’t hurt, either.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit Level 1
  • Colin Gray

    Colin is a sales assistant who has a genuine lust for life. “I feel that it’s prudent and necessary to be passionate about anything you involve yourself with. For me, that would be helping others, lifting weights, writing music, reading, and eating!” Colin went to school to become a physical therapist but quickly realized he needed a change of pace.

    “I prefer working with people before they get injured. That way you can teach them proper habits to avoid needing a physical therapist in the first place.”

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