hasslefree_logo_512by512Training on Fridays at Hassle Free Barbell in San Francisco is like training with extra rocket boosters behind your back. You don’t even need pre-workout because the energy is like taking pre-workout! There is a special intensity in the air on Fridays that makes it feel as if someone had turned off gravity. Welcome to Hassle Free Barbell club on Friday night.

This past Friday Kevin Doherty stayed later than usual. Was he here because he was preparing for some special secret coaching? Was he here late because someone was going to hit some major special lift? No not really. He stayed late because his wife had the car. HAHAHA!!!

This last Friday saw 3 special lifters going for it. Deangelo made an attempt of 205kg clean and jerk. He missed his first jerk but came back on the second attempt of 205. He cleaned it and jerked it but his left elbow buckled and would’ve been called for a press out. That is what I saw from my vantage point. Just calling it as I see it. Never the less, 205kg is 205kg and it’s heavy as F%*K!!!!!!!!

A little later this high school baseball kid named Michael Lee who is like a work horse shows up with intense energy breaking records he set earlier in the week!!! WHO DOES THAT??? Mike Lee does. Earlier in the week he snatches 95kg after several tries. This Hassle Free Friday he snatches 96kg!!!!

Later that same night Nicole Tran who is a tiny but determined lifter sets a snatch PR but earlier in the week sets a squat PR!!!! I’m like, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?” Coach Steve Rogers is going to work with a hard ass complex of a power clean plus front squat and power jerk!!!!!!! DAMN!!!!

Then not that much time goes by Mike Lee is on the jerk blocks attempting yet another PR with 119kg jerk. He misses twice so they bump up the weight to 120kg because he almost had the last miss. It’s either PR or ER at this point. He sets up everyone is silent giving Mike room to breath and Mike un-racks the bar. Not going to lie, it looked heavy for Mike. He looked shaky but stable. He takes a dip for the jerk…then drives…and BAM!!!!! LOCK OUT!!!!! He sets up his feet and recovers his feet and puts the bar down. Yet another PR for the day and another PR for Mike Lee.

Collective Training

There is no question that the collective energy of the group will launch the individual potential of each lifter. The combined energies from everyone in the group will elevate your performance and help you reach your highest potential. This is why it’s so important to train in a group and especially with other lifters much stronger than you. Having someone else to chase after gives you a reason to try harder, to lifter more kilos, to make heavier attempts.

The collective is greater than the individual.

Lessons Learned

The most important lesson that I got from Hassle Free Fridays is that everyone there wants to see you succeed. Everyone there is competitive and training for their next competition. The group is more important than the individual. Moving forward, set up your training days with groups of people so that your performance and everyone else’s goes through the roof. This place is special and it’s hard to argue with the success Hassle Free has achieved in the last decade. I feel honored to be lifting with such a great group of people and especially under the guidance of coach Kevin Doherty and Ben Hwa.


Josue Cano

Welcome to Hassle Free Fridays!

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