Article written by Talia VanDoran for LiftBigEatBig.com
What do you get when you take Olympic weightlifting, old school philosophy, and sweaty athletes working their asses off hitting beautiful lifts in a small strip mall in Marietta, GA? That’s right MFers, Coffee’s Gym!
Just walking into this Mecca of all things chalky and broken in, you can feel the energy of over a dozen National champions and a hella ton of blood, sweat and tears. Coffee’s is like a ray of sunshine in the shit storm that has become so many of the gyms we see today. One large room filled with squat racks, benches, dumbbells and other assistance equipment is only the side note to the most important space of all; the platform room. It’s crowded, loud and weight is being moved with aggression and intent. It’s like I’ve died and gone to weightlifting heaven. The only thing that could make this place even more boner inducing is strongman equipment….ohhhh wait….THERE IS STRONGMAN EQUIPMENT. Well, shit. I guess this place couldn’t get much more perfect.
Coffee’s has been around for 30 years and John Coffee, the Boss Man, has been involved in the sport of weightlifting for half a century! John found his calling in coaching and, more specifically, coaching women. The pictures of his accomplished athletes hang proudly all over the walls of his gym. As a female athlete, this is nothing short of motivating and inspiring. John Coffee himself is a focused and introspective coach. Watching his lifters with purpose and taking no prisoners while doing so. I’m on my best behavior at all times. This is no small feat considering I have the mouth of a sailor and the attitude of a thousand meat-hungry vegans! Teehee.
After my first visit in June, the Coffee’s crew had been extending me regular invitations to come back and train. As I’ve gotten into my transition from powerlifting to strongwoman, I’ve kept Olympic lifting as accessory work to my normal programming. This has helped me exponentially in the way of developing explosiveness and becoming a more dynamic lifter. It only made sense to make the drive to get some Coffee’s love as soon as I could make it back. Utilizing resources is of paramount importance for any athlete. You go to the experts to better develop your craft. My craft is lifting heavy shit and learning how to lift heavy shit better. Coffee’s Gym is in my arsenal!
Not only does Coffee’s house some incredibly talented Olympic weightlifters, they have a friendly crew of burly strongmen that have been keeping this girl busy. My Saturday started off with Farmer’s walk and sled drags. After working up to an 80ft 150# farmers, I hit some heavy sled drags and tried to keep my quads from exploding off my body! After a short rest I walked my big ass into the platform room for some hang cleans and power cleans with the Oly gurus. A perfect ending to an otherwise perfect day.