Force Barbell often gets associated with being a “hardcore” gym, a gym that is only for people who seriously know what they are doing and are serious about getting stronger and lifting weights. Honestly, this is so far from the truth.
I get that Force Barbell might look that way from a second-hand perspective, but the fact is that we have more people who don’t have a passion for competing in sports than we do people who have that desire. While we are always encouraging people to take that next step and step out of their comfort zone, the truth is that most people are just not ready for that yet.
I don’t know for sure, but I’m willing to guess that a lot of people have not made the trip to Force Barbell because they felt they wouldn’t fit in to the perceived gym culture and environment. In fact, I’ve heard from many people who are still members that when they first came in they had the expectation that the gym wouldn’t be the right fit for them, that we strictly only trained Powerlifters, or it would just be a bunch of meatheads hanging out lifting heavy weights and they would be pushed to do the same thing.
Here are a few testimonials from members who had a similar perception.
Noah – “When I first came to Force Barbell, I was worried I would be judged for being heavier and autistic. That was wrong. The people here accepted and worked with me. Over the past year, I have learned how to lift weights but also control my body.”
Adriana (Noah’s sister) – “When I first arrived at Force Barbell, I was overwhelmed by the people lifting heavy weights. I was worried I would never be able to lift the way everyone was lifting. Then I would meet the trainer who would teach me how to lift weights. The trainers at Force Barbell are in-tune with each lifter’s needs and work with the person with those needs in mind.”
Joe – “Sharon (wife) signed the kids up for Special Olympics Powerlifting. When I first walked through the doors, I told myself, this will not work for us. This was a very intimidating and a garage-like atmosphere, with all free weights. The trainer, Sean, was exceptionally patient and the family grew to become comfortable with him and the facility.
So, what is below the skin that makes Force Barbell? It is the trainers. Justin and Sean are excellent. They somehow remember everyone’s name, are very knowledgeable on the proper positioning for lifting weights, and most importantly, they’re extremely friendly. They welcome everyone who comes through the door as if they are their best friend. It is also the people. Everyone is extremely friendly, there is no tension between anyone and everyone encourages each other.”
James – “When I first walked into Force Barbell, I initially thought I had missed the mark. Music was pumping, barbells were being flung about and dropped loudly, a group of people were doing push-ups around what looked like a cage in the middle of the gym. I was concerned that everyone around me was in much better shape than I and I would never be able to catch up to anyone. It was smaller than I expected and crowded when I walked in. I thought I had made a mistake. From the moment I talked to Brittany, and later Tyler, I realized they were trying to include anybody who walked through the door of the gym as a member of their family. The more amazing thing though is the culture they have created in the gym. Sure, music is loud and the weights are heavy, but the people are different. When you walk through the door, you are there for one common goal…to be better than before you walked in. Members all lift, work, laugh, converse, and even encourage one another to be better every single day. You won’t believe the culture until you experience it.”
K-dawg – “When I first walked in the door, I was intimidated…for about two seconds. I was immediately greeted warmly by one of the trainers, which quickly broke the ice. Four years later, I love the caring each coach expresses and everyone’s positivity and encouragement. I’m not competing with others. I’m striving for my personal best with the help of Coach Justin, owner Tyler, and Force Barbell’s newest trainer, Tyler. I’m so grateful for the difference coming to Force Barbell has made in my life.”
Perception Often Doesn’t Equal Experience
As you can see from these testimonials, perceptions people have often do not lead to the reality of the experience of that perception. We can all recall first-hand experiences of this. Think of the last time you did something that was scary to you or was outside your comfort zone. Often, we come up with a million different scenarios in our heads of how that situation will go terribly wrong. Much to our surprise, the situation doesn’t go at all how we think it will go. The human brain is really good at preparing us for the worst possible scenario. While that might have been useful when we were still killing animals with spears or worried if we were going to get attacked by the next tribe over in the middle of the night, those defense mechanisms are no longer useful.
What Is Force Barbell?
Force Barbell IS a hardcore training facility. Force Barbell IS full of a bunch of meatheads who want to lift heavy weights, and Force Barbell IS a gym for Powerlifters. However, Force Barbell is ultimately a gym that supports people who want to perform at a higher level, regardless of their current skill or ability. Whether your performance goals are to move around with less pain during the day, look better in your clothes, or squat 600 lbs., support is given equally. Our commitment is to create a community where everyone who comes in feels comfortable being themselves, understands that where they are right now in their journey is okay, but they’ll also be given the necessary tools to succeed.
Our perception to the outside world may never change. That’s because we’ll never stop letting meatheads in the gym. We’ll never stop training people to be as strong as humanly possible and we’ll never stop providing an environment that’s open to everyone. When our job is to create a place where everyone can have a role, it’s hard to find a niche. Unless, that’s it.