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Alameda Barbell: Strength Training in San Francisco’s East Bay

Alameda Barbell is a strength training studio. We’re located in Alameda in San Francisco’s East Bay. We offer personal training by appointment, online coaching, and a limited schedule of strength and conditioning classes featuring the Starting Strength model of barbell training. While Alameda Barbell’s services are a good match for anyone who actually wants to learn to train competently with a barbell, we seem to have specialized in older athletes (40+) training for the first time, those who are getting back into training, and those who have had a hard time committing to a program.

Coaches

Troy DuFrene, MA, SSC

I’m a little unusual among Starting Strength coaches. Coaching is not my primary occupation. I’m currently training as a clinical psychologist and behavior analyst. This takes up a lot of my time. Most of my coaching takes the form of:

  • Private sessions for form checks,
  • Programming tailored to personal strength and conditioning goals,
  • and online coaching for folks out of the area.

We also offer small but focused group classes that meet three times a week in our lifting studio in Alameda. See the Get Started page for details.

My Background

I’ve been lifting for about ten years, and I passed the Starting Strength coaching exam in 2017. Since I’ve been coaching, I have seen a lot of clients who have dramatically changed their lives for the better doing the program. Whether your goal is weight loss, pain remission, or mood and general health improvement, I can say with confidence that I have seen clients who used the Starting Strength method to make that happen. But only if they actually do the program…

That is where my other line of work comes in. I am interested in strength-training programs as behavior interventions. Your commitment to lift three or four times a week is a major investment in your personal well-being. But if you can’t figure out how to make doing the program work for you, you won’t stick to it, and you won’t get the benefits from it. I often tell my clients that the most important workout is the next one. While I am not licensed to offer psychological or behavior analytic services (yet—do you hear that, ethics boards?), I offer insight from these areas to help my clients find the motivation and structure necessary to make training work in their busy lives.

Heather Garnos

Like Troy, I’m not a full-time coach. (I help run a leading independent publisher with a focus on psychology and behavior change.) I came to coaching out of a desire to help people find life-changing outcomes from strength like the ones that I personally experienced. I’m committed to taking the intimidation factor out of barbell training with supportive, compassionate coaching tailored to individual needs and goals. Our small-class format is a great venue for this work, and I’m also available for private sessions, programming, and help staying on track with your overall fitness and nutrition program.

My Background

When I signed up for a Starting Strength class five years ago, I expected to spend a few months replacing lost muscle mass caused by years of inactivity related to chronic pain. I hoped that by rebuilding my strength, I’d be comfortable engaging in the endurance activities that I’d enjoyed when I was younger. Instead I fell in love with the sport of powerlifting (something I’d barely heard of before Starting Strength) and found a community of people dedicated to helping all kinds of folks get strong and healthy, wherever they are in life. My own physical, mental, and emotional changes were so far-reaching that I was inspired to make this kind of change accessible to more people. Lifting became my main hobby and area of study; I’m currently preparing for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam.

I’ve dabbled in competition, but my real love is the training itself and working directly with people to overcome their fear and hesitation as they discover what their bodies are capable of doing. Transformation is possible, and the forms it takes may surprise you.