Gateway Classic 2019 Recap
It’s been approximately 2 years since we opened the doors at Brentwood Barbell. While our gym means something different to each of our members, one thing they would all agree on is that “getting stronger” is why we go to the gym. It seems popular these days to focus on everything but strength. Online coupons, 6 week skinny jeans challenges, 90-day transformations, and class passes are the norm. Simply put, we think these programs are marketing bullshit that ultimately don’t lead to lasting meaningful change. Instead, we’re slowly building a gym full of members that actually love going to the gym. Strength training kicks ass, it’s a ton of fun and empowering … and the word is getting out. Want to know how I know? Because a couple of weeks ago, I witnessed about 150 people show up in 10+ inches of snow to either lift or watch someone lift. When is the last time 150 people did that for a yoga retreat? The St Louis area has one hell of a strength community and this was our introduction.
One of our original goals when opening the gym was to host sanctioned powerlifting meets and ultimately become part of the competitive lifting community. As we have grown in membership, we have steadily improved in how we work with people and ultimately gotten our clients better results. This has lead to us meeting more of the lifting community in St Louis and building valuable relationships. Ultimately, it’s these relationships that led to us hosting this amazing event. Albert Alvarado, owner of Squat 2 Depth Apparel approached us a few months ago about hosting his first event (The Gateway Classic). Of course we jumped at the chance to get involved with the St Louis powerlifting community. Our experience working with Albert was nothing short of amazing, he literally streamlined every detail and put together a great list of event sponsors:
- St. Louis Barbell Co – provided a ton of high-quality equipment and event support
- Skull Smash Ammonia – provided a ton of high-quality equipment and product
- S2 – showed up and brought a bunch of pre / post workout goodies
- Squat to Depth – had their gear on display
- Iron Minds Podcast
- Shuttersport Productions – took some great pics of the meet
- Busy Body Meals – had some good eats on hand
- Barrel Brands – had some cool product on hand
From the beginning, the interest in this event seemed high. Originally slated for 30 lifters, that total was quickly achieved and an additional 15 spots were opened up. It only took another couple of days to fill those spots. In total, 45 lifters were signed up for the event, most of which actually showed up despite the horrible weather conditions.
The Brentwood Barbell Community Comes Together
To say that our gym community came together to help us prepare and execute this event would be an understatement. These guys helped us load equipment, clean the gym, take stuff apart, work the doors, shovel snow, sell food, cook food, clean the bathrooms, and direct traffic. They even came in on Sunday morning after the event to help us put it all back together so we could get our squats in on Monday morning. In the end it was multiple people giving up time with their families on the weekend, or taking the afternoon from work to help us out. I’m unable to fully express my gratitude for our gym community.
More on the Brentwood Barbell Lifters
The members of Brentwood Barbell weren’t only working behind the scenes, a few of them also took some time out to hit some heavy PRs at the meet. We had 6 total lifters registered for the meet but thanks to mother nature, we ended up with 4 lifters who were able to actually get to the gym that day and compete.
Each of these lifters will need unique considerations moving forward with their training and we’re excited to be able to help them reach their strength goals.
While this post included some of my favorite moments from the experience, keep in mind the actual list of everyone that contributed would be so long that it would comprise a small book. That’s how these events operate, they run on the dedication, commitment, and sacrifice of all involved. In the end, it’s a bunch people coming together to support each other as we push the human body. Pretty fucking cool if you ask me.
Finally, I have to thank my wife (Megan) and my daughters (Elliot and Isla) for putting up with my obsession in owning and running the best gym in St. Louis. For their patience I’m eternally grateful.
Thanks to everyone that came out, the lifters, the fans, our volunteers, Albert for putting together a top-notch event, all the sponsors, and the USPA. We are so grateful and can’t wait to do it again next year. #brentwoodbarbell #gatewayclassic #strengthcommunity