This week we traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to visit Justin Thacker at The LAB Gym.
In this show, we talk about good coaching qualities, creating a strong weightlifting gym, and what numbers you should have to be balanced in weightlifting. There is a ton of content in here!
Justin has been on the show a few times a while back, but it’s the first time Alex and I have gotten a chance to sit down and really get to know this amazing coach and super cool dude since becoming hosts.
The LAB Gym is one of the most unique facilities I’ve ever been to. When you walk in it’s like a shopping mall of fitness. There are 5 different facilities within one. There’s weightlifting (24 platforms), CrossFit, a dedicated cardio room (with a big ass tv), a “Globo” side for those who want to get the pump on or knock out some accessory work, and strongman. When you walk in, you know immediately, “This is a place to get strong.”
And this dude knows how to do it. Thacker has over 15 years of strength training & coaching experience. Not just coaching, but an accomplished olympic weightlifter, strongman, and powerlifter. Some lifts including a 313.5# snatch and a 1 arm 405# deadlift.
If you go in on a Saturday, you’ll find Justin sitting in his coaches chair with pen and paper, watching the athletes, taking notes. They all come to him for advice and they trust his expertise. And you know what? It’s because he earned their respect as the leader. Sure he owns the place, but he is present, and active in their training lives.
I can’t explain how refreshing it is to visit a gym and meet an owner who is still extremely active and involved in coaching the members. It’s tough operate a gym AND be the head coach. I see owners battle with this all the time. They started it because they LOVE to coach. But then at some point they have to step back and manage the business and the coaching often suffers as a result.
A tip of the hat to Justin Thacker for recognizing that and continuing to pursue what he loves. Even if it’s a hard ass grind.
- Check out Justin’s ultimate resource for Olympic Weightlifting coaches and athletes, World Class Weightlifting.
- Watch Justin’s simple progression and warmup drill method for the Snatch on TechniqueWOD
- See what Justin’s up to on instagram (@the_lab_gym) and what’s going on at The Lab Gym.