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The Powerlifting Team

RiverCity Barbell was founded in 2012.  Our gym’s goal is to empower our members to master the technique needed to safely and effectively perform all of the primary and accessory movements needed to powerlift, and eventually evolve to be able to coach other lifters on how to do the same.  The average new member adds 30 pounds to their squat, bench press and deadlift EACH within the first 12 months of training.  The latest training methods and programming are employed, and the atmosphere is second to none.  As a gym, RiverCity Barbell is proud to have 18 lifters who have achieved Elite totals, and 11 lifters who have totaled Pro. 

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Owners/Head Coaches Zac Whalen and Jim Phillips combine for over 2 decades of experience in the sport of powerlifting.  Zac Whalen has been ranked in the top 10 nationally for each of the last 4 years in the 220lb weight class.  His best lifts in competition are 870 Squat, 635 Bench Press, and 690 Deadlift and 3 lift total of 2175.  Jim Phillips best lifts in competition are 950 Squat, 775 Bench Press, and 675 Deadlift for a 2325 total.  His bench press is ranked in the Top 50 all-time nationally.  Both work full time jobs outside of the fitness industry, but have created RiverCity Barbell as a place for like-minded people to train, and to pass on the knowledge that they have gathered through experience.



Ken Wright

Ken is proof that age is just a number.  He started at RiverCity Barbell in his late 30's as one of our first members. He came in with very little experience, but quickly became one of our top lifters. To date, his best equipped total is 1740 @ 181lbs bodyweight, which he achieved well into his 40's.  His best lifts are a 700lb squat, 530lb bench press, and 540lb deadlift.  Ken is a great asset to the gym.  He leads by example with textbook form, and he provides in person coaching as well as writing detailed meet preparation programs.

Heidi Howar

Heidi is a multiple all time World Record holder in multi ply powerlifting, having competed in and won many of the highest level meets that the sport has to offer.  Her best lifts in competition are 620 squat, 400 bench press and 501 deadlift, with a total of 1505 in the 132lb weight class!  She is NASM certified as a personal trainer, and has over 10 years of experience helping others to reach their goals.  On top of being a world class lifter, Heidi is also one of the nicest and most approachable people you will meet in the gym.  

Nick Henwood

Nick is one of the youngest lifters at RiverCity, but he is also one of the most highly respected.  As a lifter, Nick has achieved his pro total in the raw division, totaling 1500lbs at 165lbs bodyweight, via 580lbs squat, 375lbs bench press, and 545lbs deadlift.  He is a student of the game, always looking for a way to improve his own training, or his peers.  Nick has often been the source of unique exercises to target weak points, or unique training programs that have yielded great results.  

Pro Lifters

Zac Whalen

Jim Phillips

Ali Crowdus

Nick Henwood

Shaun Morgan

Jonathan Cornwell

Jacklyn Cornwell

Derek Wade

Aria Attia

Michelle Forlenza

Heidi Howar

Houston Woods

Danielle Montano

LB Rohrig

Cassie Haynes

Joey Blair

Elite Lifters

Ken Wright

Ben Siegel

Steve Flaming

Grant Pullin

Alex Kleinberg (Sloth)

Leah Tong

Jagger Holbrook

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