Mississippi Barbell

The Source for Weightlifting in Mississippi

Mississippi Barbell, formerly known as Mississippi Weightlifting Club, is a strength sport nonprofit for the state. It was the first USA Weightlifting sanctioned Club in the Mississippi and remains the largest.

Our organization trains and promotes Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. We serve as a resource for anyone looking to compete at the local, national, or international level and for anyone who wants to improve their lifts for sports performance. Mississippi Barbell is open to all levels of athletes from any walk of life, at any age, who want to become better athletes and have fun along the way. We want to sharpen ourselves and all interested Mississippi athletes competitively. In order to be the best, you have to train with the best. And that is exactly what Mississippi Barbell aims to be.

We are located at 1907 Spillway Rd. Brandon, MS 39047

All content is property of Mississippi Barbell.

Mississippi Barbell Named USA Weightlifting Athlete Development Site

501(C)(3) nonprofit Mississippi Barbell has been named one of only 13 USA Weightlifting Athlete Development Training Sites in the nation.

Mississippi Barbell is one of 7 clubs in the South East region with this prestigious olympic weightlifting distinction from the national organization. The South East region includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

What Is An Athlete Development Site

USA Weightlifting Director of Development Program Suzy Sanchez said, " the new training site designations . . . give our members and new coaches somewhere to go to learn from high level athletes and coaches without having to travel too far."*

The sites "run development camps for existing and beginner athletes at a low cost to help our members further their knowledge of weightlifting and the Olympic lifts."* 

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How Was Mississippi Barbell Chosen

"All of the training sites were selected based on their ability to host camps and to provide knowledge to new members and athletes. Each training site has a proven record of activism in the sport as well as continued development of national and international level athletes." Suzy Sanchez said.

Since its inception in 2012, Mississippi Barbell started & organized olympic weightlifting in Mississippi. Over the course of the last few years they have developed athletes that have gone on to be be the first to represent Mississippi on all major national level stages for USA Weightlifting. In addition to hosting the first USAW meets in Mississippi history, Sheppard & Smith have continued to direct every meet and expanded the sport to the Gulf Coast.

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Mississippi Barbell remains the largest USAW club in the state and has coached the following:

  • 57 current athletes

  • 36 athletes qualified for national events

  • 3 CrossFit Regionalists

  • 4 masters medalists

  • 3 international powerlifting medalists

  • 2 World Champions

  • 2 American Record Holders

  • 2 CrossFit Games athletes

  • 1 international Skeleton medalist

  • Athletes from ages 5 through 83

What Locations Are Official Athlete Development Training Sites

Both Mississippi Barbell locations are Athlete Development Training Sites in order to better serve the South East Region.

Tyler Smith, the highest ranked coach in the Mississippi, will helm the Brandon, MS location. The Brandon location serves the following areas:

  • Jackson, MS
  • Brandon, MS
  • Flowood, MS
  • Clinton, MS
  • Gluckstadt, MS
  • Richland, MS
  • Florence, MS
  • Madison, MS
  • Ridgeland, MS

Amber Sheppard, head coach and USAW assistant certification instructor, will continue to lead the Gulfport, MS location. The Mississippi Barbell Gulf Coast location serves the following areas:

  • Gulfport, MS
  • Biloxi, MS
  • Ocean Springs, MS
  • Bay St. Louis, MS
  • Pascagoula, MS
  • Kiln, MS
  • Long Beach, MS

Don't see your city listed? We are always open to athletes and coaches of any location through our remote training programming.

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What You Can Expect From This Partnership

Coach Tyler Smith & Amber Sheppard will be utilizing their combined 21 years of experience and backgrounds to help athletes and coaches develop their full potential for olympic weightlifting.

Harnessing what they've learned after internships with individuals like Coach Gayle Hatch, Matt Bruce, Justin Thacker, and Danny Camargo and developing their own athletes, they will continue to educate coaches and athletes with seminars and clinics like they have been for the past 4 years.

Mississippi Barbell's doors are always open to fellow coaches to come train or schedule a skull session. Bring your middle school, high school, or collegiate coaching staff with you or have them come to your schools. Mississippi Barbell's coaching staff is here to help you harness your athletes' full potential on and off the field.


Things you can continue to expect and see in 2018:

  • Designated USA Weightlifting camps for athletes
  • Designated USA Weightlifting clinics for coaches
  • Specific clinics and camps (i.e. Snatch only, Youth only, Advanced Athletes Only, Beginners Only, etc)
  • Sports Performance Courses
  • Coaching Clinics
  • USA Weightlifting meets (Mississippi will be hosting 3 next year in Hattiesburg, Brandon, and Gulfport)
  • Youth weightlifting
  • Masters weightlifting
  • Collegiate weightlifting
  • High school weightlifting
  • Gym and barbell club programming

Have any questions? Want to visit the Mississippi Barbell facilities? Comment here or


* Reprinted from USA Weightlifting

Mississippi Barbell Opens Second Location And New Kid's Program

Please see the following press release on our exciting new venture with Gulfport CrossFit to bring olympic weightlifting and youth weightlifting to the Mississippi Gulf Coast area.

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Gulfport CrossFit has been a pioneer in our Gulfport fitness community for 5 years.  We continuously strive to bring expert coaching and diverse sports programming to the Gulfport community.

In addition to being Gulfport’s first CrossFit gym, we hosted the first and only USA Weightlifting meets on the Mississippi gulf coast with Mississippi Barbell.

That’s why we are honored to bring two new programs to Gulfport, Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Bay St. Louis, Long beach, Pass Christian, and Saucier:

(1) organized Olympic weightlifting with Mississippi Barbell Gulf Coast; and

(2) GPX Kid’s Fit, a fitness and sports performance program designed for ages 6 and up.

Mississippi Barbell Gulf Coast

Mississippi Barbell was the first USAW club in Mississippi and remains the largest in the state. Like Gulfport CrossFit, Mississippi Barbell strives for excellence and innovation while safely and effectively developing athletes of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.

In the last 5 years their expert coaching staff, Amber Sheppard and Tyler Smith, have become the highest ranked weightlifting coaches in the state. Together they developed and brought the first Mississippi teams to all major National weightlifting championships. They have been sought out for seminars, coaching certifications, and athlete development by coaches, schools, and universities across the Region.

Headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, Mississippi Barbell works with Youth (aged 6 and up), Junior, Senior, Masters (35 and up), and special populations.

Mississippi Barbell Athlete Accomplishments

·        39 athletes qualified for national events

·        3 CrossFit Regionalists

·        4 masters national and international medalists

·        2 international powerlifting medalists

·        2 World Champions (IPF)

·        2 American Records (powerlifting, USAPL)

·        2 CrossFit Games athletes

·        1 international Skeleton medalist

Now Mississippi Barbell is expanding to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and will be working out of Gulfport CrossFit.

Led by Amber Sheppard, she will be bringing her 17 years of competitive experience to the area for Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. Having interned and worked with Danny Camargo, Justin Thacker, Gayle Hatch, and Matt Bruce, Coach Sheppard knows and understands athletes, how to coach them, and what they need in their programming to excel to the next level.

Join Coach Sheppard on site Monday and Wednesdays 5:00 -7:30 pm and Saturdays 9:00 am until to develop your technique, improve your sports performance, and get expert coaching right in your backyard. You will have full access to our weightlifting area in Gulfport CrossFit at any time their group classes are occurring.

 Can’t make it in? Sign up for personalized remote programming with the Mississippi Barbell team and train at your own pace and at the facility of your choosing.

Mississippi Barbell Gulf Coast Services

Our services are available to all athletes and coaches regardless of gym affiliation.

·        On site Olympic weightlifting coaching with Coach Sheppard at Gulfport Crossfit

o   Coach led group weightlifting sessions

  • Monday and Wednesdays 5:00-7:30pm, Saturday mornings
  • Free 5 day a week program included with all on site memberships
  • Access to train with our Olympic weightlifting equipment at any time Gulfport CrossFit is having class (even if Coach Sheppard is not on site)
  • Ask our expert coaches questions and upload videos in our closed Facebook Group

Pricing (per month)

·        Current GPX Members: $59 unlimited access. Family discounts available.

·        Non GPX Members

o   $89 once a week training

o   $119 twice a week training

o   $149 unlimited training

o   Family discounts available

o   Personal training sessions

o   Small group training sessions

  • Grab a friend (or five) and work with Coach Sheppard
  • Coaches only sessions also available
  • Pricing per person dependent on size of group; email us for rates


·        Remote Programming

o   Access our Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting programming at any time

o   Train out of your garage, another gym, or wherever convenient

o   Ask our expert coaches questions and upload videos in our closed Facebook Group

o   $59/month


·        Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting meet coaching



Gulfport CrossFit Kid’s Fit

As a parent myself I know you guys come in day after day busting your tails so you can live a long and healthy life alongside your kids. You work hard to set a good example for them so what better way to share your day then to have them join you at Gulfport CrossFit!

Our newest program, Kids’ Fit, is now up and running Monday and Wednesdays 4:15-5:00 pm. We will have make up classes by appointment only on Fridays and Saturdays dependent on coach availability.

We are fortunate to have Coach Sheppard with Mississippi Barbell at the helm of Kid’s Fit. She has worked with athletes ages 6 and up (and those with disabilities) for over a decade.

In addition to running Mississippi Barbell for the last five years, she has been a competitive strength athlete for 17 and coordinates and coaches youth Athlete Development Camps for USA Weightlifting in the SouthEast Region.

Not only will your kids learn how to exercise, weightlift, and move properly with our expert coaching staff, but they will also be doing so in a fun and safe environment.

Early Bird Pricing

3 days a week personalized program included in all packages

Family discounts available

o   Once a week: $69/month

o   3 months paid in full: $189 then $69 autodraft monthly for month 4+

o   6 month contract (autodraft): $55/month

o   Twice a week: $99/month

o   3 months paid in full: $269 with a shirt then $99 autodraft monthly for month 4+

o   6 months contract (autodraft): $85/month



If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at GPXcoach@hotmail.com or msweightliftingclub@gmail.com.


We look forward to seeing you in the gym!


Patrick Burgess, Owner Gulfport CrossFit

Amber Sheppard & Tyler Smith, Founders Mississippi Barbell

Mississippi Barbell History Is Mississippi's Olympic Weightlifting History

Creating the first USA Weightlifting club in Mississippi didn't happen overnight nor was it easy. Our long-time followers know our history but for those who are just finding us we've compiled a time line of Olympic weightlifting in Mississippi.





  • Local graphic designer Lauren Mashburn designed our state meet logo
  • Coach Smith became a licensed Occupational Therapist (he is also a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant)
  • Coach Sheppard began writing forStrength Agenda
  • Female lifters joined the team and helped us win 1st place Men and Women at the Gayle Hatch meet that year




  • Our current facility grew to 8 platforms, 14 bars of various weights, a power rack, and multiple pulling blocks/jerk blocks
  • There are now 4 other Mississippi USAW Clubs; we remain the largest
  • The third annual state meet was held
  • Coaches Smith and Jensen were elected to positions on the Southern LWC
  • We continued to host local mock meets
  • We partnered with Gulfport Crossfit to bring the first USAW meet to the Mississippi Gulfcoast: The GPX Open
  • The largest teams we've had from Mississippi attended Junior Nationals
  • Athletes qualified for all major national events
  • Our first international powerlifting medal was procured (and a World Team spot)
  • Our Youth program grew to include girls and boys from ages 6 through 12
  • Coaches Sheppard and Smith collaborated on another Performance Menu article (Training Special Populations)

History In A Nutshell

4 years of operation.

57 current athletes.

33 qualified for national events.

3 CrossFit Regionalists.

4 masters medalists.

2 international powerlifting medalists. 2 CrossFit Games athletes.

1 international Skeleton medalist.

1 World Champion.

Mississippi's First and Largest USAW Organization

Every week we will publish a new blog on a variety of Olympic weightlifting topics. Contributors will include our coaches as well as Guest Posts.

If there is something you want to know about please comment what it is here. Follow us on facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on our athletes' progress.