The sport of weightlifting in the USA is under appreciated!  As a newcomer to the sport since 2012, my esteem of good lifting has inspired me to build this wonderful facility.     

As a former competitive gymnast, cheerleader, and globo gym goer, I began Olympic Weightlifting as  a result of finding the sport of CrossFit. But I really  loved learning more about the sport of Olympic Lifting.  After getting my Level 1 CrossFit Instructor certification I pursued the education offered by USAW and passed their Level 1 Sport Performance Coach test, taught by 1992 Olympic Coach Roger Nielsen, in October 2012.  

My pursuit of quality education and instruction from the sport's experts such as Glenn Pendlay and James Tatum in 2013, Greg Everett and Catalyst Athletics in 2014 brought me to my next endeavor of becoming a Local Area Referee in 2014.  Training athletes in my garage gym at home, enabled me to develop my programming and instruction of the classic lifts and thus began the planning stages of the ultimate lifting gym for the Raleigh area. 


L to R: Vasily Polovnikov, CrossFit Durham
L to R Dave Rubin President of NCLWC, Erin Drake, Barry

Robert Drake, USAW Coach  

Split jerk position (OTC)
Our first competitor, Kirstin Shaffer 69kg.
L to R: Glenn Pendlay Erin Drake, James Tatum

Erin Drake 

USAW Club #13040


USAW Advanced Sport Performance Coach (2015) 

Attended Masters Weightlifting Camp, Olympic Training Center (2017)

USAW Local Referee (2014) 

Catalyst Athletics Coaching Seminar (2014, 2016) 


USAW Sport Performance Coach (2012)

CrossFit Level 2 Certificate (2015) 

Pyrros Dimas looking on at full extension
First training space, my garage at home.
Robert with Glenn Pendlay at North Raleigh CrossFit
With Zygmunt Smalcerz, '72 Olympian, OTC, Colorado Springs

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Robert with Greg Everette in Allen TX, Catalyst Athletics Seminar 1
Lto R: Erin Drake, Pyrros Dimas, Robert Drake
Ursula Garza helping Erin to find the right stance. Allen TX Catalyst Seminar
Pyrros and Robert joking that Paparazzi had arrived