Meet the CrossFit Coaches

MEET THE COACHES OF FACTION

Faction Strength and Conditioning, Memphis’ very first CrossFit box, was founded by Doug Larson, Mike Bledsoe and Rob Connor on the belief that the highest standard of training and a strong community environment should be the center of everything they do. They soon brought on David Gross to complete the most awesome leadership team that has ever walked this planet! Or at least we like to think it is.

Our top-notch coaching staff are required to do 3 additional months of training after receiving their CrossFit L-1 certification before they are officially Faction Certified. We believe that knowledge + experience + specialization is the perfect equation to creating a remarkable training experience for our members.

Our coaches are dedicated to constant learning and understanding the ever evolving “whys” and “hows” of training. We know that creating a fitness regimen that our members can’t wait to be a part of everyday requires more than just a well planned workout. It needs to be a great overall experience filled with safe and smart training principles, plus a whole lot of fun.

  • David Gross

    CO-OWNER / TEAM LEADER

    David Gross is Head Coach and Co-owner at Faction Strength and Conditioning. He specializes in the prescription of strength and conditioning through personal assessment. Individualization is the core of the training programs he develops for his athletes. “Of course no two athletes are the same – I believe their training program should reflect those differences. Many people come into Faction with an idea of what they want to achieve – I specialize in working with them to refine that goal into something that’s attainable and prescribed for their unique needs. I make sure there’s a good mix between what they want and what I know they need. That’s how we develop Faction athletes for life.”

    Coach David connects with our athletes further upstream to identify other factors in their lives that may be holding them back from reaching their strength and aesthetic goals. “I consider myself a life coach. I’ll make you sweat, but our relationship is more than that. We’re always working to be better than yesterday, and sometimes that means discussing how negative lifestyle habits are getting in the way. My athletes are awesome. Most are very open-minded to our disruptive way of coaching – and if they’re not at first, they quickly blow past their inhibitions and self-imposed limits. That’s what I love about coaching at Faction. The physical body is a reflection of the mind, and we have some great minds to work with as a solid starting point.”

    To say Coach David is passionate about helping his athletes reach their goals is an understatement. Helping others succeed is his #1 motivator and has been for most of his life. “Coaching is in my nature. I started coaching strength and conditioning when I was in the military. I happily made this my second job, and it quickly became my passion. Through much uncertainty, I made the decision to leave behind the career stability of being in the Navy to be an unpaid intern at a gym. Some thought that I was crazy, but I had a vision – it was a little blurry at the time, but it was there and I was passionate about it! Through much trial and error, and some great mentors (now my business partners) I’ve found my calling at Faction Strength and Conditioning. My passion for coaching and our community grows with every passing WOD.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit L-1
    • Crossfit L-2
    • Crossfit Coaches Prep L-2
    • CrossFit Mobility, Gymnastics
    • Weightlifting
    • OPEX program design
  • Michael Knolton

    Coach

    Michael Knolton is a CrossFit L-1 certified coach at Faction Strength and Conditioning and is our resident mobility expert. “I’m passionate about fitness and helping our athletes achieve it, but what I really love most is seeing the dedication of my athletes who come in everyday to bust their butts even after a long day of work. We have an awesome community of people who inspire each other to always be progressing. While our trainers are great, you can’t teach athletes how to be genuinely good people and fun to be around – they make our job just that much more fulfilling.”

    Like the many of Faction’s coaches, Coach Michael brings a lifetime of competitive training whether it by way of collegiate sports or strength training as a hobby in his spare time. He is also a 2 time Delta Throwdown Champ! “I attribute many of the successes in my life to fitness – it puts you in a positive mindset even when things don’t go as planned. I want to help others change their lives for the better with fitness as well. Strong bodies supplement strong minds.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit L-1
    • CF Mobility
    • US Weightlifting Level 1
    • Eleiko Strength Coach
  • Jordan Tingle

    Jordan Tingle is a CrossFit L-1 certified coach at Faction Strength and Conditioning and is a very well-rounded coach. “Initially, I found Faction as a client. I attended classes and fell in love with the movements, the atmosphere, the instruction, and most of all, the people. I started Crossfit because my competitive sporting days were over, and I missed the competition and the camaraderie associated with having a group of people pushing each other and rooting for each other to succeed.

    Before I found Faction, I worked out at a traditional gym and did the typical bodybuilding cycle. It got boring quickly! One day, I saw the Crossfit Games on ESPN, and it looked awesome and challenging as hell. That’s exactly what I wanted.

    I used to work out to improve myself as an athlete, related only to the sport I played at the time. I learned that Crossfit is a sport in itself. Of course, that also caught my eye in my early days as a CrossFitter.

    Now, as a coach, my favorite thing – other than picking up new skills from my fellow coaches – is helping the athletes here get better at anything and everything. Crossfit does that. It allows people to push themselves and hone skills inside and outside the gym. I’m honored to be a part of that. Let’s do this!

    Certifications

    CF-L1

    USAW”

  • Shereen Myers Bienz

    Coach/Operations

    Shereen Bienz is a CrossFit L-1 Certified Coach at Faction Strength and Conditioning. Coach Shereen specializes in spotting slight nuances that can improve her athletes’ competitive performance. Brings to Faction a very diverse athletic background and has gleaned many different coaching styles from her lifetime of experience. “I played soccer for 18 years, was a competitive runner for over 10 years, played Lacrosse for 4 years and plenty of intramurals in college. Needless to say, I’ve had many coaches with different coaching styles. My own coaching style is a culmination of what I’ve taken from the most impactful coaches I’ve had over the years. I know that I’m doing it right when something clicks – that ‘ah ha’ moment is so rewarding. Sometimes it’s a single cue that makes all the difference.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit L-1
  • Sue Lipscomb

    Coach

    Sue Lipscomb is a CrossFit L-1 Certified Coach at Faction Strength and Conditioning. Coach Sue specializes in helping her athletes get fit while having fun. As an ex-cheerleader and step aerobics instructor, her passion lies in helping people find a form of physical activity they truly look forward to doing. But don’t let her pep fool you – her focus is 100% on getting her athletes the results they always dreamed of. “To be fit and healthy, you need a program that works for you as an individual. I’ve seen women drag their boyfriends into my aerobics classes, of course most didn’t enjoy it. I’ve seen men drag their girlfriends with them into the weight room, and they didn’t look like they wanted to be there either. There’s no one-size-fits all fitness program, which is why I love coaching at Faction where individuality is so important. We used the same fitness methodology for each of our athletes, but it can be tailored to the individual. That’s the only way it’s going to be a lifelong change.”

    Coach Sue was introduced to CrossFit by her son who noticed her boredom with lifting free weights and running at their local globo gym. “I immediately became hooked. I found myself wanting to be a better athlete so I started studying CrossFit material and took a coaching course Faction offered. I absolutely loved it. I decided to get my Level 1 and go from there. I love to work with all people young and old and I especially enjoy teaching Fundamentals to new aspiring CrossFit athletes. The effect CrossFit had on me as a new athlete was unforgettable and life changing. I love to recreate that feeling for my new athletes as well. It’s an awesome thing to be able to pass on.”

    Certifications:

    • CrossFit L-1
    • CrossFit Mobility
  • Kurt Mullican

    Coach

    “In 2009, I began CrossFit by learning how to do a wallball shot and throwing up grape flavored pre-workout into a tiny wastebasket in the “free weights” section of a community gym in my hometown of Lebanon TN. I was obsessed, and the next thing I knew, I was on a plane to Vegas to take my L1. Fast forward a couple of years, and I was opening my affiliate.  I used to mop the mats on Sunday while watching that week’s episode of Shrugged. When I heard they were doing the Muscle Gain Challenge, I immediately signed up. In the year following, I did several weightlifting meets, began working part-time for Barbell Shrugged, and was on top of the world. I spent the next year training in weightlifting and competing, getting my USAW cert, Eleiko Strength Coach Cert, and coaching the Muscle Gain Challenge, as well as Flight Weightlifting full-time.  About a year ago, I sold my affiliate and have worked from home ever since. I got really good at making coffee and dancing in the kitchen in my underwear. Under the “wonder what’s next” category of mental notes I carry, there was moving to Memphis to be closer to my friends and coworkers. That was at the top of the list for a good while. A few chats with David and Mike Bledsoe later, I packed as little as possible and moved my whole world to Memphis… and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

A TRAINING EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER

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