Gateway Classic 2019 Recap

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:

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.

John and Mark loading up the truck
Jason doing Jason-things. We pretty much let him do what he wants
Loading the truck
Always time for a quick picture when Gary has the camera
Kathy and Lauren making sure we collect at the door!
Boris and Stephanie giving Michelle some love after her lifts
Coach Lori looking on as Michelle pulls some heavy weight.
Coach Mark handing off to Mark

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.

Michelle finished with a top bench press of 170 lbs along with a 308 lb deadlift
Kristin squatted 270 lbs, benched 143.25 lbs and pulled 303 lbs
Brian had a great day on the platform benching 292, squatting 385, and pulling 407.
Mark hit some big lifts at the Gateway Classic finishing with 395 bench, 629 squat, and 650 pull.

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