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 State and remains the largest. We are located in the metro Jackson, MS area. The organization trains and promotes Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting.  We serve as a resource for anyone looking to compete in meets and for anyone who wants to improve their lifts for sports performance. We are open to all levels of lifters 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 within Reservoir Crossfit at 131 Builders Square, Brandon, MS.

All content is property of Mississippi Barbell.


Here at Mississippi Barbell we pride ourselves in increasing our knowledge base and sharing that knowledge with our members and the community.


Amber Sheppard, Esq

  • Head Meet Coach, Co-Founder

  • Social Media Specialist

  • USA Weightlifting

    • Level 2 Advanced Sports Performance Coach (first female coach in the state with this distinction)

    • USAW Certification Staff, Assistant Instructor to Danny Camargo

    • USAW Committee Member

    • South East Regional Administrator

  • USA Powerlifting

    • Club Coach with international athletes

    • Referee for Mississippi High School Athletic Association

  • Contributing Writer

  • Sponsored by Lifting Large

  • Former Functional Fitness Trainer (5 years)
  • Justin Thacker ABC Method
  • Shadow Coach Experience
    • Danny Camargo
    • Matt Bruce 
    • Gayle Hatch
  • 14 years of competitive strength sport experience
  • Coached and qualified national lifters (American Open, Senior, Youth, Junior, University and Masters Nationals) and qualified a lifter for Masters Worlds.
  • Clients include:
    • World Champion IPF athlete and American Record Holder
    • National Masters medalists
    • Team USA Skeleton Team Member
    • 3 CrossFit Regionalists
    • Masters CrossFit Games athlete (2015, top ten performance in one rep snatch)
    • American Ninja Warrior participant
    • State powerlifting and weightlifting champions and record holders
  • Athletic Accomplishments
    • USAPL National Level Powerlifter and member of 2013 3rd Place National Team
    • 6x raw powerlifting state record holder
    • MS Powerlifting Athlete of the Year and Record Holder
    • 3 time team state champion
  • Juris Doctorate

Tyler Smith, OTR/L

  • President, Co-Founder
  • Club Programmer, Graphic Designer
  • B.S. Exercise Physiology and Kinesiology from Mississippi State University
  • Licensed Occupational Therapist
    • Master's of Occupational Therapy from the University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • USAW Level 2 Advanced Sports Performance Coach (first male coach in the state with this distinction)
  • 9 years functional fitness coaching
  • Shadowed The Lab Gym owned by Justin Thacker
  • Coached and qualified national lifters (American Open, Youth, Junior, University, Master and Senior Nationals)
  • Clients include
    • Team USA Skeleton Team Member
    • 2 South Central CrossFit Regionalists
    • State champion weightlifter
  • Athletic Accomplisments
    • National USAW qualifier
    • First place and best lifter awards (USAW)
    • Former competitive skateboarder
    • Tony Hawk Scholarship recipient
    • CrossFit Sectionals

Assistant Coaches

All assistant coaches have competed in USAW sanctioned events, shadowed under our Head Coaches, and are competent, qualified and current USAW certified coaches.

Only those listed here are affiliated in a coaching capacity with our organization.

Coach Sheppard (left) and Smith (right) with coaching mentor Danny Camargo (center) at a national event in 2014

Coach Sheppard (left) and Smith (right) with coaching mentor Danny Camargo (center) at a national event in 2014

Melissa Boguslawski

Amber "Amber Jr" Gaspard

Janice Ferguson

Melvin Jensen

Intern Coaches

Gates Willson