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’s Youth Impact


Mississippi Barbell is the first and largest USA Weightlifting club in the state. Coach Smith & Coach Sheppard's main goal has always been to spread the sport of weightlifting across the Region.

In order to do so our nonprofit has generated youth programs to get children active and involved in olympic weightlifting. Some Youth train weightlifting as their main sport or use it to compliment their other activities like cheerleading, baseball, football, and volleyball.

In addition to working with athletes on their sports performance, Mississippi Barbell has also produced and developed numerous Youth & Junior national level weightlifting athletes

We now offer Youth Weightlifting at our Brandon, MS location and Youth Weightlifting and GPX Kid's Fit at our Gulfport, MS location.

Some of our youth athletes, aged 6-10, before practice one day.

Some of our youth athletes, aged 6-10, before practice one day.

What Makes The Mississippi Barbell Youth Program Different

Smith and Sheppard are the highest ranking USAW coaches in Mississippi & as such it is their number one priority to make sure youth athletes from ages 6 and up learn the lifts in a safe and healthy environment.

  • Our coaches have years of experience training youth and special populations. Tyler is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Coach Amber Sheppard has worked with special populations

  • Development is closely monitored and looks different from adult counterparts

  • Youths learn skills like speed, agility, and balance that are necessary to perform the lifts correctly before being allowed to do the olympic lifts

  • Youth athletes must go through progressions and their form is heavily monitored before they advance in their programming

  • 3 rep "maxes" are encouraged as opposed to having the children find one rep maxes and lifting very heavy until they have learned proper form and technique

  • Every child receives a training log to keep up with after they have completed two months of consecutive training. They will learn also learn math skills because they must count their own weight on their bars (don't worry, we check their math for them too)

  • Our Barbell coaches encourage our Youth to help us "coach". They watch their peers with us and tell us what they see

  • Our Junior and Senior athletes help mentor our younger athletes

Youth, aged 8-10, earning with a PVC pipe on their first day with Coach Sheppard.

Youth, aged 8-10, earning with a PVC pipe on their first day with Coach Sheppard.


In 2014 Mississippi Barbell partnered with local nonprofit Methodist Children’s Home of Mississippi to start a youth weightlifting program on their campus. MCH is the home of over 50 at-risk youth in the state’s care. After being supported & having the gym outfitted by Eleiko, Coach Smith & Coach Sheppard developed a youth program designed to generate not only future weightlifters but future leaders of Mississippi. Children between the ages of 12-18 came weekly to learn the snatch, clean and jerk: movements they would have never been exposed to in their previous environments. The children who attended the program have become more focused and look forward to their sessions.

We have Theme Days with our Youth olympic weightlifting program so the kids have fun too.

We have Theme Days with our Youth olympic weightlifting program so the kids have fun too.

Involvement With Local Middle Schools, High Schools, and Universities

Mississippi Barbell travels to gyms and schools around the region conducting seminars for Coaches and their athletes in an effort to promote safe and effective movements for athletes. The seminars help athletes move better & understand the origin of weightlifting as a sport within itself.

We bring Youth and Junior lifters from the team and allow them to help with the seminars as well. They help them coach and correct athletes and are used in demonstrations. By seeing other people move and learning how to effectively communicate with diverse groups of people these lifters become better athletes and in the long run, better coaches and leaders.

All proceeds generated from seminars and clinics go towards travel expenses for Mississippi Barbell athletes who range from youth to masters. Donations and fees also go towards promoting the sport of Olympic Weightlifting in the state.

9 year old youth athletes TG and KD with Coach Amber after their local cheerleading competition.

9 year old youth athletes TG and KD with Coach Amber after their local cheerleading competition.

GPX 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!

Our newest program, Kid's Fit, is now up and running Monday and Wednesdays 4:15-5:00 pm at Gulfport CrossFit. We will have make up classes by appointment only on Fridays and Saturdays.

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