Lucky are those that brave the early morning to train under Coach Donny’s gaze as there is little in this world as stirring as hearing a man talk on subjects that he is truly passionate about.

These subjects are strength and conditioning, and himself. Coach Donny is always available to talk about either of these subjects. At length. Even if you don’t want to.

Aarron Cunningham AKA Coach Donny, (f) D, Metadon, Megalodon, Meg, Lo, Don, Shankle, Shank is a long-time member and Coach at CFN, first joining late 2011. He has seen people of wildly varying abilities and walks of life take the courageous first step to take charge of their health and cross the threshold into CFN’s inner sanctum; giving him a soft spot for all those that perspire beneath the ever watchful sockets of the Red Skull.

He understands that we may all be equal, but no two of us are the same. We all have different drivers, goals, hopes and likes and Coach Donny is nothing if he is not a pragmatist. Fitting his own training and coaching around full time work, a young family and a robust series of hobbies, Coach Donny is more than happy to discuss strategies and goals to keep your training on track – particularly if there can be a segue when he can turn himself into the topic of conversation.

The iron within CFN’s hallowed halls been kind to Coach Donny, his health, body composition (apart from his calves – they’re pathetic) and athletic performance all seeing marked improvements once he committed to changing his training and eating habits for the better. He has been lucky enough to represent New Zealand at the recent World Master’s Games in Weightlifting and top the gym rankings in the 2015 & 2016 CrossFit Open. Consistent training still sees Coach Donny improve month in and month out, which is just as well; Coach Donny yearns to feel the steely embrace of the Skull Throne once more upon his well-developed glutes.

If you see a barbell in your future, Coach Donny wants to be part of that ride. When you’ve got a moment to spare after a hard training session, check the records board for Donny’s name, grab a barbell, pull up a chair and put some time aside to talk to Coach Donny about the iron. There’s gonna be a quiz.

Get some from Functional D today.


AUT Certificate of Sport and Fitness
CHEK Exercise Coach
CHEK Biomechanics
CrossFit Trainer Level 1

Sporting Achievements

CFN’s Fittest Male 2015 & 2016
CFN Open – Male Runner up 2017
NZ Rep – Weightlifting World Master Games 2017 4th
NZ Rep Weightlifting Master World Cup 2017 (October)
NZ Rep Kartsport New Zealand – Rotax World Finals 2014