Daring Deadlifts

Written by May Phan Category: Health & Fitness Issue: February 2018
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Test your muscles’ mettle in these Valley powerlifting gyms.

Not since Arnold Schwarzenegger pumped iron have would-be beefcakes been as obsessed with lifting weights as today’s deadlifting dudes and dudettes. The workout, which entails lifting a weight-loaded barbell or bar off the ground to hip level and then lowering it back to the ground, can be daunting – and even head-scratching, to observers skeptical of the sometimes extreme weights. But it’s by no means unattainable. Check out these gyms across the Valley that offer powerlifting training to manifest your inner Hulk through deadlifts, squats, bench presses and more.

Relentless Power Gym
Owner and competitive lifter Mike Early says that powerlifting is worth the physical effort because of the achievements you can earn. “When you hit the big personal records, the numbers [in weight], it’s a rush.” Early says each lifter receives individualized training. He structures his coaching on “power bodybuilding”: Gymgoers don’t just lift heavy weights for two repetitions; they are taught to “pull back” and reduce their weight to improve strength long-term. Private training costs $30 per session; monthly memberships run from $30 to $40. A day pass is $10.
5816 W. San Miguel Ave., Glendale
602-769-0778, relentlesspowergym.com

Fit Phoenix
Coach Matthew Foreman says this style of weight training requires strength, skill and “a tremendous amount of discipline,” but is open to people who simply want to learn. The facility offers group classes three times a week, which teach power lifts as well as assistance exercises to develop specific muscles used for lifting. The gym also offers CrossFit, cardio and strength classes. Class prices range from $119 to $169 a month, and powerlifting classes range from $145 to $165 a month. Newcomers can try a free one-week trial.
902 E. McKinley St., Phoenix
602-254-5301, fitphx.com

Revolution Training System
Powerlifting is like “bungee jumping, because some days, you never know if you’re going to get there,” says Revolution co-owner Michael Peltz. The core of the facility’s approach to powerlifting is about building strength, which Peltz defines as “priming” the body’s nervous system to lift heavy weights. The facility offers weekly kettlebell classes, boot camps and strength training classes for men and women.  Unlimited gym access is $150 a month, and a six-week women’s class costs $300.
606 W. Southern Ave., Tempe
602-579-3608, revolutiontrainingsystem.com

Mike Early, owner of Relentless Power Gym; photo by Angelina aragon