USAW Clubs lend equipment so members can Keep Lifting

June 01, 2020, 7:02 p.m. (ET)

USA Weightlifting clubs across the country have remained dedicated to their members throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re highlighting how some of our local clubs have continued to support their members and teams while encouraging athletes to #keeplifting.


Lily Weightlifting

“We know that for our members, lifting is not only a hobby, but a form of self-care, stress relief, pride, a reminder that they aren’t alone, and have teammates in garages doing the same thing they are.  We wanted to give our members equipment  to support them to be as healthy, physically and mentally, as possible during quarantine.  We loaned out 14 bars, around 1,000 kilos, platforms, squat racks, dumbbells and kettlebells to help as many members as we could! We are still training at a distance, but looking forward to zoom calls ending, kilos and people returning to the gym so we can train together.”

@lilyweightlifting on social.


Palm Beach Weightlifting

“Our team is larger and stronger than it's ever been, so we wanted to keep that momentum rolling.  We loaned out 960kg of plates, twelve bars, and some additional LB plates and dumbbells.  In addition, we loaned out three platforms and squat racks to set up "Palm Beach Weightlifting Regional Training Sites" around the area where our athletes would take turns training in small groups.  Two of our newest lifters participated in the May Virtual qualifiers for their first meet! Both taking 2nd place in their age/weight categories and one qualified for Youth Nationals in Dec.  The team grew stronger bonds through the shared difficulties of the pandemic and distance situations, making our bonds in the gym even stronger.” 

@palmbeachweightlifting on social.


Black Flag Barbell Club

“It wasn't a question of motivation. It was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. We lent out literally all the equipment we had (barbells, bumpers, squat racks, etc). In the event that we were short on some items, we purchased additional equipment and had it shipped directly to the athletes who were able to train during the shutdown. We would be nowhere without our athletes, and they deserve anything and everything we can provide, shut down or not.”

@blackflagbarbellclub on social.


Wheelhouse Academy

“I'm sure there are plenty of gyms/club that deserve to be recognized for doing this. We are not only a lifting club with a dedicated team involved in weightlifting, but we are a fully functioning strength and conditioning gym that services other members who lift and compete. As the club owner I knew it was NOT what anyone signed up for. They signed up for community, feedback, direction, programming and to lift and train in an environment that has great equipment and supportive people.

So instead we wanted to find ways to add value during the pandemic by:

  • Programming conditioning workouts with a weighted option and a non-weighted /body weight option.

  • We also wanted to continue our "strength" program for those who had access to equipment and could follow.  

  • We partnered with Wright Equipment (they are local and just a few miles up the road) and took equipment orders for our members that wanted at home equipment. We then picked up the their orders and did curbside pick up.  

  • For those who could not buy or couldn't find what they wanted we loaned out just about every piece of equipment that we have. We are proud to say that we have received 100% back in good condition. 

  • Keeping people motivated was important to us so we held live zoom classes, zoom private sessions, zoom meal prep / cooking sessions where everyone purchases their ingredients and follows along at home, cooking together. 

  • We had "Beer Fridays" on zoom and cheered on many of our athletes as they competed / qualified online.  

  • Supporting local was also important so we encouraged the use of #wheelhouseatyourhouse in social media and gave away prizes to winners each week. Prizes averaged 75-100 dollars each week.  

  • We created a big give away called the Wheelhouse Lift Up campaign. The idea was to Lift up someone you know by nominating them to win the giveaway. So basically you couldn't nominate yourself. Instead you had to submit a 30 sec video telling us why your special person deserves to win (they were often people who were financially affected, or fighting in the front lines of Covid or mentally struggling through it all. We compiled prizes that equaled $650 for the winner.” on Instagram or wheelhouse.academybham on Facebook


Garage Strength

“We loaned and rented out over 15 barbells and thousands of kilos! Our goal was to keep our members strong and healthy both mentally and physically while at home. We had a Senior Pan Am team member and USAW Senior National Champion, Jacob Horst get diagnosed with Covid-19. When he got diagnosed, everyone who was exposed to him needed to stay away from the gym entirely. We had 85% of our club lifting in makeshift platforms in their garages and basements. Once Jake recovered, he was able to lift again but then former Senior Pan Am member, Hayley Reichardt was helping nurse her father back to health who ALSO was compromised by Covid-19 for over 3 weeks. She was training in her garage by herself during this time and sending myself videos daily. This was a tough time for everyone, but my goal was to try to keep their life as normal as possible. I tried to send everyone technical analysis on a daily basis and coach them up at home to keep things as normal as possible.”

@garagestrength / Garage Strength Farm on social.


Providence Barbell Club

“The Providence Barbell Club loaned out over 1000kg in weights, 16 barbells, 6 squat stands, and all of our dumbbells and kettlebells so that our members could #KeepLifting during this period of time. We know that people who devote their lives to this sport treat its tools with respect; we've been happy for them to house the equipment during this period. At the end of the day, our members have some sweat equity in this Club and have earned the right to use our equipment while we've been shut down.”


Allsouth Barbell Club 


“We knew if our athletes had the gear they would train even if they couldn’t come to the gym. We are a competitive club, and athletic training facility with multi-sport athletes, so training had to continue knowing seasons and competition would inevitably return. We had to #keeplifting 

We loaned out nine 15kg bars, thirteen 20kg bars, as well as 2935kg of bumper plates and change plates, taking care of thirty-one athletes from our club and five from the GA Weightlifting Community. Coach Andy helped build three home platforms and provided squat stands and matting for others to lift on.”

Follow them on social @allsouthbarbell and @coach.andyc as well as Allsouth Barbell Club on Facebook.


Kansas City Weightlifting

“KC Weightlifting has always been a community gym. Our members range in age from 7 to 70 and we have competitor lifters in every age group. Once Kansas initiated the stay at home order, we knew we wanted to support our gym family. As the gym owner, I did not know what the pandemic would bring but knew we wanted to keep our lifters lifting and competition ready. We are proud to say that we managed to support 40 lifters with 19 barbells, 92 sets of plates, 17 sets of dumbbells, 8 sets of kettlebells, 5 sets of weight racks, and 2 sets of jerk blocks. Our head coach continued to work with our athletes by providing their Olympic lifting programming via text or email and met with members virtually.”

Follow them on social   @kcweightlifitng- Instagram and KC Weighting – Facebook


Austin Barbell Club


“Barbells and plates are useless if not being used for training. The decision was made with no hesitation. Our athletes have big goals and we want them to achieve the impossible. Training can be therapeutic for many. So without question, our athletes needed to #keeplifting during these difficult times.  Our club loaned out a total of 1452 kg, 9 Squat racks, 8 sets of pulling blocks, 10 barbells, we built several make-shift platforms and moved our entire program to online format in the course of 2 days.  All so our athletes can #keeplifting”


Follow them on social @austinbarbell or on FB austinbarbellwl


SoCal Weightlifting Club

“We are SoCal Weightlifting Club, located in Newport Beach, CA. As soon as we were forced to shut down our facility we realized we needed to find a way to make sure as many of our athletes as possible could continue training. We loaned out every barbell except a few female bars, and every plate we had in the gym. We loaned out accessory equipment, squat racks, and even matting from our gym floor. We recognize how important training is to our athletes. It's the love of the sport of weightlifting that is the foundation of our community, so we recognized it as our responsibility to ensure everyone could keep lifting no matter what. The combination of our owners' and coaches' generosity, time, and dedication to their athletes, along with the perseverance of our athletes has kept our club united through COVID-19.”

Follow them on social @socalwlc  @onyx_straps @southernpacificlwc 


West Virginia Weightlifting

“With so many of our lifters being West Virginia University students, many of our members had to go back to their hometowns/home states. We provided as much as we could - 7 bars, 5 bumper sets and perhaps more importantly provided constant support and communication during this challenging time. Many of our athletes were incredibly resourceful - 4 of our lifters made their own squat racks and many more were incredibly creative, using what they had.”


crossfitridgeline coachguyton wvu_campusrec westvirginiau wvweightlifting #mountainstrong