Outlier Barbell

6332 Riverdale Street
San Diego, CA 92120
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About Outlier Barbell

Where is your gym and how did it come about?
Located in San Diego, CA, the Outlier Barbell Club began as a single Saturday morning technique class to augment training at Outlier CrossFit in 2011. As the popularity of the class grew, it became apparent that there was both a demand and a necessity that a more robust and regular program needed to be established. After much deliberation, Outlier CrossFit expanded its operations to include a barbell club in 2013 under Erwin Caalaman and Michael Baumgarten.

Tell us about your Catalyst certified coaches.
Erwin Caalaman had been a CrossFit coach since 2008 until converting to a full time weightlifting coach in 2013. Along with the catalyst athletics certification, he’s USAW Level 1 certified. He graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of San Diego, and is currently applying to Physical Therapy schools.
Michael Baumgarten is also a CrossFit coach who jumped ship to focus completely on the sport of Weightlifting in 2012. He hold USAW level 1 and Catalyst level 1 certifications, and is very passionate about the sport. Mike is former Army Ranger and is currently working on a degree in anthropology.
Mike Gray has never done a Crossfit workout in his life. Started at Mike Burgeners with Greg Everett in 2006 competing in the sport since that time and has qualified and competed in the American Open twice. Is currently a Catalyst Athletics Team Member, seminar instructor as well as a contributing author for the Catalyst Athletics website. He has been in the Navy for as long as most of our members have been alive. He has a Catalyst Level 3 certification.

Why did you choose to go with Catalyst Affiliate?
We chose Catalyst because they have provided the most comprehensive source of information on Olympic Weightlifting. And personally, the progressions used to teach the lifts made the more sense than any other method that myself or my colleagues have come across. Bottom line, Catalyst Athletics puts out a quality product in terms of both their educational products and athlete development.

Tell us about your layout and your equipment.
We have 9 platforms arranged on opposing walls with a walking path down the middle. The platforms are offset such that nobody has to lift while staring directly at somebody else during lifts. Between each platform is a complete set of plates organized in wooden DIY plate racks from plans we found on Catalyst Athletics website. Behind each platform is a whiteboard for our members to use to transcribe workouts, or keep track of totals. At the end of the two rows we have two squat racks and two sets of jerk blocks spaced similarly to our platforms. We have separate room called the armory which houses equipment for accessory work; such as dumbbells, benches, T-bar, stretch bands, ab-wheels, etc.; and our barbells which range in manufacturer from DHS , Eleiko, Werksan, and Pendlay. While we are attached to a larger CrossFit space, the building layout is such that the majority of the barbell space is secluded from that side.
What kind of programming do you use?
New members who are also new to weightlifting will be programmed by Erwin to help them learn the lifts while being able to get some work in on strength as well. We have a program that is available to all members that is either a Catalyst Program or some stuff from Coach Burgener from when Mike Gray was up there in 2006-2009. Our more competitive lifters--those who have either qualified for a National meet or are close--will be programmed by Mike Gray.

What are the days and hours that are currently available?
We currently offer coaching from 4-7pm Monday through Thursday, and Saturday from about 9 to noon, or whenever everyone is done. Otherwise, members our barbell club are welcome to use the space whenever the CrossFit side is open.

Any special rituals or rules that is specific to your club?
“Clarking” the bar results in an immediate 10-push up penalty. We also keep a running tally of PRs for the barbell club. Once we amass 50PRs as a team, we celebrate somehow. Usually with copious amounts of meat and cheap canned beer.

What makes your club special from others?
We make lifts, not friends. Not really but we like saying that. Honestly we want to bring up or cultivate lifters who respect the sport the way we were taught too. In that wearing hats on platforms isn’t tolerated, walking in front of people while they are lifting isn’t done and slamming bars that don’t belong to you just doesn’t happen.

If you could invite one lifter to come train with you who and why?
We have to say Zlaten Vanev, because if we don’t then Mike Gray will throw a fit. 

Where can people follow you on social media?
People can find us on our Facebook page or on instagram
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