Catalyst Athletics Closes

In an announcement on both their website and social media outlets, Catalyst Athletics has announced they’ll be closing their Sunnyvale, California gym effective April 30th.

PART 1: Catalyst Athletics is undergoing a dramatic change. We’re returning to our weightlifting roots—the garage gym. After 8 years of running our current 5,000 square foot facility in California, and almost 15 years in the gym business, we’re relocating to a small town in central Oregon and exiting the commercial gym business. April 30th will be the last day of the gym’s operation. If you weren’t here with us locally in the gym, you won’t notice any change. Our publishing, seminar and online operations will all continue in the same way, and our competitive weightlifting team will not only continue, but be able to thrive in ways our current location has prevented. While it wasn’t an easy decision for us, this move will allow us to better do what we truly love, which is coaching competitive weightlifters while providing education to lifters and coaches around the world to support the sport’s growth. We love being able to provide a place for lifters of all skill levels to come and learn and train, and we realize that this gym’s closing will leave a very real vacuum of weightlifting opportunity in the area, but the gym as a business distracts us from our primary purpose and limits us in a number of ways. Going forward, we’ll be focusing on our competitive lifters and their development, as well as recruiting and developing new young lifters. Lifters need financial support, but that’s only one part of a complex equation. More important is the need for heart, grit, toughness, atmosphere, coaching, competition and a true love of the sport. These things thrive in the garage environment with the right people and the right motives. Catalyst Athletics is returning to the roots of American weightlifting and focusing on exploiting and nurturing the unique qualities of American lifters and coaches rather than scrambling to mimic the systems of other countries. We want to help preserve what we believe is a special and disappearing mindset and way of life.

A photo posted by Catalyst Athletics (@catalystathletics) on

Catalyst’s announcement comes less than two months after MuscleDriver USA went public with their own facility closing and the beginning of bankruptcy proceedings.

From Catalyst’s announcement, it doesn’t sound like their team and brand is in close to the same position as MuscleDriver’s, which is currently liquidating their manufacturing and competition assets. In their post, Catalyst’s team mentions they’ll be moving operations to Oregon and suggests they’ll be concentrating resources on a smaller group of elite and developing weightlifters in a “garage gym” environment.

Catalyst Athletics is a big brand in American weightlifting, and for the vast majority of their fans, their physical location was secondary to the content, seminars, programming, and training advice they put out. Still, the facility factored heavily into all the above through pictures and social media posts, and it will be jarring to see the background and setting for their countless videos and posts change with the move.

Let’s just hope their new, smaller headquarters has a good camera setup and plenty of lighting, because we’ll still be following along.

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BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day. David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.