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A Guide to Black Owned Businesses in Strength Sports

Over the last decade, hundreds of fantastic strength sports businesses and coaches have emerged to offer their expertise and product to the enthusiasts around them. At BarBend, we have one goal, and that is to provide large audiences across all strength sports with the resources they need to progress to their fullest.

We wanted to highlight how many awesome Black owned businesses there are within the strength sports world that you may not have heard of…yet. The goal here is to not only connect you with great businesses, but to grow this list over time.

Below, we’ve broken businesses into which strength sports they generally cater to. Note, most of the coaches and businesses below generally welcome every type of lifter, but we wanted to build some form of table of contents to help you navigate the article!

  1. Bodybuilding
  2. Powerlifting
  3. Weightlifting
  4. Functional Fitness

Author’s Note: If there’s a business that should be on the list that was left off, then please feel free to drop a comment down below so we can plug the business in!

Bodybuilding

Iron Addicts

The Iron Addicts gym is owned by C.T. Fletcher and is based in California. If you’re not in the area, then you can purchase Iron Addicts apparel through the website linked below!

Fortis EQ

Fortis EQ is bodybuilder and powerlifter Ryan Doris’ brand that offers a variety of service. Doris provides 1-on-1 coaching, programming, and nutrition plans.

Powerlifting

Barbell Commission

Barbell commission is an apparel company that was co-founded by multi powerlifting world record holder, Kevin Oak. They make training focused apparel for both men and women.

Sam Strong

Sam Strong is elite -63kg powerlifter Samantha Calhoun’s coaching business. She offers traditional coaching, game day coaching, and has options for those that are local.

Strength Studio TT

Strength Studio TT is elite powerlifter and world record holder Jamal Browner’s coaching business. Browner offers his expertise to other strength athletes looking to gain an edge.

Russwole

Russwole is elite powerlifter Russel Orhii’s brand that says apparel and coaching services. Orhii’s apparel brand is Get Better Today, which can be found through his main site below.

The CRCL

The CRCL is powerlifter LC McClain’s brand that provides coaching and apparel. On their site below, you can find apparel for men and women and a variety of coaching services.

Relentless Power Systems

Relentless Power Systems is a brand run by elite powerlifter Barbara Lee. Her company provides a variety of coaching services for lifters all around the globe.

View this post on Instagram

Deadlift day….my favorite 💪😎 I worked up to 295x5x3sets, and of course the 3rd set was the best set and didn't record 😡 I also filmed some content for my next YouTube video that should be up tomorrow!! Editing footage makes me want to put my head through a wall, but this is the part where you grow from being uncomfortable! I'll get better everytime! The link for my channel is in my bio, subscribe and stay tuned! Fueled by @get_diesel Team @relentlesspowersystems @grrrl_clothing Ambassador "RELENTLESS" FOR 20% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER! #WEARERELENTLESS #relentlesspowersystems #RPS #getdieselnutrition #powerlifter #squat #bench #deadlift #relentlessbabes #houstontrainer #liftalltheweights #allthereps #girlswhopowerlift #girlswholift #coach #attackweakness #influencer #lovetheprocess #onlineprogramming #youtube #howbaddoyouwantit #dowork #bodybuilding #texastakeover  #uspapower #handlebusiness #comebackchronicles #clapforyourdamnself #builtforthis

A post shared by Barbara Lee (@msbarbellbarbie) on

Beyond Average Training

Beyond Average Training is a coaching and apparel brand that was founded by Latonia Sumuel. Her brand offers a variety of services and has apparel for men, women, and kids.

Royster Fitness

Royster Fitness is a coaching brand that was founded by JamaRR Royster. In addition to coaching, Royster has an apparel brand called Inspiring a Stronger You.

Mark Harris II

Mark Harris II is a videographer that works in a variety of spaces, but has spent a considerable amount of time working with another strength sport athletes and businesses.

Marcellus Williams

Marcellus Williams, A.K.A the swolefessor, is an elite powerlifter that also offers coaching. We’ve linked his Instagram handle below where he an email provided for outreach.

Sir Gymrat Fitness

Sir Gymrat Fitness is a coaching business was founded by elite powerlifter Ronald Tarvin. His coaching services range from powerlifting to general fitness clientele.

View this post on Instagram

Nervous energy. I LOVE THIS SH*T. • • At the end of all this crazy stuff in the world, we’re gonna find out who the real go getters are. Not just from a training standpoint, but from a life/financial standpoint. Who’s sitting down waiting for a handout? Who doesn’t have access to a gym, so they’re deciding they’re not doing anything at all? I’m not saying you have to set up make shift gyms. Hell, lots of y’all need the break anyway. But you can be doing things to better yourself for the long haul as a competitor. Your mobility is shit? Well, here’s time to work on it. You’re outta breath tying your shoes? Well, here’s your time to work on it. • Very few of us will be anywhere near peak level performance when this ends. But you can speed up your return to that point by doing the little things you’d otherwise be neglecting in the meantime… 📸: @kaybrophoto #SGF #198

A post shared by Ronald Tarvin “Starscream” 🤖 (@sir_gymratfitness) on

Irregular Strength

Irregular Strength is a brand and company founded by raw bench press world record holder Julius Maddox. His company offers programming and consulting for motivational talks and appearances at events.

Okpoko Infinite Fitness

Okpoko Infinite Fitness is a company owned by Charles Okpoko who is an elite USAPL powerlifter. Okpoko Infinite Fitness offers coaching packages and apparel.

Weightlifting

Kings of Weightlifting

Kings of Weightlifting is a free after school weightlifting program that is run by Derrick Johnson and helps underprivileged youth based in Los Angeles, California. Learn how to donate below.

Functional Fitness

17. 13th Flow

13th Flow is a business that was founded by CrossFit athlete Elisabeth Akinwale and Kevin Brathwaite. They offer a wide variety of coaching services to help out any fitness enthusiast trying top improve their physical and mental edge.

View this post on Instagram

The CF community prides itself on being able to come together to do good. Imagine if they harnessed that power towards contributing to the eradication of systemic racism both within CF and in society. I get it that people are worried about their business or workout spaces. Black people worry about the same, on top of systemic racism in housing/education/healthcare/judicial system…every facet of life. It’s enlightening to see just how out of touch people are. Fascinating to watch the narrative shift away from racism and the need to face/address it. The powers that be are not leading the way. The masses are. The people looking to open up the dialogue, be patient even when they’re hurt or angry, be inquisitive even when they fear what they might find. This goes so far beyond CF. ______________________________ I haven’t been part of CF for the past four years. People will likely always see me through the cf lens because that’s how the ‘met’ me. Over the past few weeks, people of that community have continued to reach out to me, specifically about dismantling racism, talking about race, what it’s been like for them to exist in their Black/brown/indigenous/Asian/large/queer, etc., body in those spaces. People who have never considered these issues but are hungry to do/be better are also reaching out. So we’re going to keep talking about it here (sometimes), not because the cf brand matters, but because people do.

A post shared by Elisabeth Akinwale (@eakinwale) on

18. Lift Heavy Often As In Everyday

Lift Heavy Often As In Everyday is a company that was founded by CrossFit athlete Elijah Muhammad. His company provides a wide variety of coaching services and offers apparel.

*Again, please drop a comment below for any coach or business that we missed that should be on this list!

Feature images from @oakstrong and @msbarbellbarbie Instagram pages.

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