Alright. We are going to keep this short and sweet, no need for an advanced degree on this one. I am going to give 5 tips for starting a barbell club, because 5 is less than 6 and it sounds good. I have recently gone through the process myself as a CrossFit owner and hopefully, there are a few nuggets or 5 in here to help you take the step and get you headed in the right direction.
- Build the Barbell Club and they will come. First step, start it up. If you have a passion for weightlifting, own a gym, CrossFit, etc… go ahead and start one. You do not have to wait until you have a Nationally ranked weightlifter in the gym to start it up. There is very little cost involved. It is easy to do. It will add value to the current programs that you already have going. More is not necessarily always better, but if you can add a club/team atmosphere to a gym that compliments movements and programs that you already have in place you cant go wrong.
- Promote the Barbell Club and encourage participation. Having a Barbell club doesnt mean that you have to be a competitive weightlifter to be a part of the fun. Encourage veteran members and especially new members to get involved and come and learn. It is a great opportunity to come in for a dedicated amount of time to learn, hone, and sharpen the snatch and clean and jerk in a fun and healthy atmosphere. As gym owners, promote the Barbell Club to all members as it will only benefit and spill over into your members performance in the rest of your programs. Make sure your coaches are talking about and spreading the good word about the Barbell Club as well before and after classes.
- Create a Private Facebook Group for the Barbell Club. Everyone loves being part of a private group. The members that are part of the Barbell Club will have a place to post weightlifting videos of Klokov all day long, or of their daily lifts, or their daily struggles with the barbell in a fun and supportive atmosphere. I am personally part of a Barbell Club with The Strength Agenda, which comprises of members from all over the country. This private Facebook community/group page is probably the best part about the program. Most of us have never met, but have come to know each other and support each other through this group. Point being the Facebook group adds a lot of value and a forum for the members of your Barbell Club to mesh/gel and come together.
- Create a Competition team as part of your Barbell Club. Most people love to compete. Most people also stop competing after they graduate high school. With the growth of the sport of CrossFit and weightlifting this is changing and there now are many opportunities on a local level for weightlifters to take the skills they have been working hard at in the Barbell Club and display them on a platform. Competition is not for everyone and some have zero desire to compete, but just love being part of a group. That is great, but offering the opportunity for your members to compete as a team, to train together, and push each other, to help everyone get better and have an end goal/meet in mind to realize those goals is great stuff and highly encouraged.
- Get certified as a coach with USA Weightlifting and register your Barbell Club with USA Weightlifting as an official club. It’s very easy to do and the costs are very low. Support a great organization and be legit. It validates you and your club as an authority for anyone in your area that may be looking for a place to train and/or compete.
As promised, no rocket science or brain surgery here. Hope this helped and I good luck. Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.