Written By: Monica Fritsch
According to the Olympic Games website, Weightlifting has been an international sport since the 19th century. It’s been part of the Olympic Games for men since 1896, and women since 2000. It’s only grown in popularity due to the rise of CrossFit. Many CrossFit gyms have started their own “barbell clubs” in order to practice their Olympic Weightlifting skills.
“Most of us fell in love with Olympic Weightlifting because of CrossFit and we all still love CrossFit,” Newport Fitness coach, David Fairbanks says. “We just focus more on the lifting and progressions and less on metabolic conditioning.”
Fairbanks started Lion’s Pride Weightlifting in October 2017, at the request of Newport Fitness member, Julie Muehlenkamp.
“She also conveniently knew the exact time, date, and cost for the certification that I would need,” Fairbanks says. “She also just happened to be asking me a week before the certification was to take place.”
“I have known Dave almost as long as I have been at Newport Fitness, and always admired the way he has taken the time to coach even when he wasn’t ‘coaching,’” Muehlenkamp says. “He truly enjoys bringing out the best in everyone and helping them reach their potential.”
Newport Fitness Owner, Emily Wagner, has always been willing to allow Fairbanks to use gym space and equipment for his barbell club sessions.
“We love having Lion’s Pride Weightlifting accessible to our members to give them further focus on technique and another alternative to compete, besides traditional CrossFit,” Wagner says.
“There would be no barbell club without Emily,” Fairbanks says.
While having the space and equipment to start a barbell club is important, so is having a dedicated, passionate coach. Fairbanks is a fitness coach, Senior Process Analyst for DXC Technologies, and still finds time to coach his barbell club. In starting Lion’s Pride Weightlifting, he wanted the opportunity to build his own product from the ground up. His motivation for it all is providing the best life possible for his son, Bryce.
“My goal for starting my own business was to continue to create ways for me to help others and provide for my family.”
Lion’s Pride Weightlifting meets six days per week. The cost for an eight week cycle is $120 and $5 on Sundays, as a drop in. A company website is in the works, but the only publicity this far for Lion’s Pride Weightlifting is word-of-mouth. With currently 27 members and as many as 45 since the beginning, Fairbanks believes his communication skills and ability to maintain healthy relationships are the reasons for his success.
“People care that you care before they care what you know,” Fairbanks says.
While one of Muehlenkamp’s favorite things about having Lion’s Pride Weightlifting is you can’t hide your mistakes easily, you have other people to cheer you on.
“At the same time you are exposing all of your weaknesses, you have a whole group around you to help you reach your greatest strengths,” Muehlenkamp says.
Being a longtime coach at Newport Fitness has allowed Fairbanks to work with many people and improve his coaching skills. This is something he hopes to continue as Lion’s Pride Weightlifting grows.
“I just want to continue learning and helping as many people as I can.”