Good and not so good training gyms in the Bay Area

Having been up here in a week or so and visiting several training gyms you get an idea of what gyms are putting out really good quality training environments and lifters. Below is how I rank and decided which gyms to go to IF you want to excel in your sport and reach your highest potential.

  1. Coaches: who are the coaches on staff? Do the coaches have experience? Do the coaches teach Weightlifting and are producing Weightlifting talent and or material? do the coaches have some credentials even if minimal to make them credible? Are the coaches strong?
  2. Training Environment: is there a competitive training environment? Are there other lifters there who compete and are strong? Are the other lifters there stronger than you?

Everything else is not important. Having nice equipment is NOT a factor to be stronger. You can train at an old run down grimy gym with rusty bars but the coaches and competitive environment is unparalleled.

TOWEL SERVICE: if you are at a gym and they have towel service…probably not the place you want to train IF you want to be the best!

FITNESS: if the word FITNESS or FIT is in the name of the gym probably not the best training environment. HOWEVER, more and more fitness gyms are including bumper plates and platforms so this might change the game and possibly be an acceptable training environment. Example: Fitness SF

BRAND NEW EQUIPMENT: this can go both ways. Just because a gym has brand new nice equipment doesn’t mean it’s a great training environment. Usually, when they have brand new gear monthly dues skyrocket! You can find a gym where the equipment isn’t new but acceptable and have great coaching and great lifters.

Below are a handful of Bay Area gyms. There are others that I have not put on the list but you get an idea of what is available.


Hard to argue with success but one of the best Weightlifting gyms in the US. Coach Doherty and Ben Hwa lead the coaching there.


Probably the most competitive training environment in the Bay Area.

SPSlogo cropped

Brand new gym, brand new equipment…but what else??? Arguably the best training facility in the US for Weightlifting.


Jim Schmitz…one of the greatest American Weightlifting coaches ever. The Sports Palace can also be a historical museum of Weightlifting.


Great equipment and platforms. No coaches BUT making an effort to provide Weightlifting for all.


Good coaching from Rob Earwicker and the gym is developing some strong talent.


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