Beat the Weight teaches powerlifting to people of all ages, enriching the lives of disempowered populations through structured strength training.


We partner with human services organizations and provide plug-in programming both on- and off-site, enhancing the therapeutic and rehabilitative work already being done.


What's powerlifting?

It's a barbell sport made up of three primary lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. People of all ages can participate. No experience necessary.

Why powerlifting?

Because powerlifting makes people strong. Physically, of course, but what’s remarkable is what it does to a person’s inner life. Regular, structured strength training builds esteem, self-control, grit, and a cooperative spirit. We believe that learning to lift heavy things helps students better answer the question: How do I get up when life weighs me down?

Are you a gym?

No, but we own a gym. We opened the South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club in 2010. We have 3,000 square feet of space, five tons of plates and bars, and over 80 regular members.

So we bring our clients to your gym?

Yes, and we encourage you to do so. That’s what the Center for Community Alternatives does with their clients. Or we can train on-site at your facility. In that case, we’ll work with the weights you have or bring equipment to you.

How much time does training take?

Training sessions are 60-90 minutes. 1, 2, or 3 days per week. All of this depends on your clients’ schedules. We adapt to you.

What are your qualifications?

Our head coaches—Paul and Rebecca Steinman—have several Senior-level certifications from USA Powerlifting, the nation’s leading drug-free federation.

How did all this start?

With a movie. Paul & Rebecca were the subjects of the documentary WEIGHT, a film released in 2016 by First Run Features. The movie’s themes were the inspiration for Beat the Weight.

I’m interested. Now what?

Great, let’s talk. We’d love to tell you more about our work and figure out how, together, we can build strong people from the outside in.

Most of the people who train with us have never before lifted weights in a serious way, and most come to us as part of a larger rehabilitative, therapeutic, or developmental program. Powerlifting is not necessarily a skill they're seeking when we first meet. So when clients step into the gym for the first time, we make them feel safe, comfortable, and in control.

Before we put weight on a bar, we talk about a lot of things – what "strong" is, what powerlifting can do for body and mind, gym etiquette, the culture of the sport, and our own personal experiences with failure and loss.

This video, recorded during South Brooklyn Weightlifting Club's Introduction to Powerlifting class, shows Coaches Paulie and Becca welcoming a group of new lifters and preparing them for the work ahead. This is the kind of counseling that happens throughout the Beat the Weight sessions.


BarBend, the online home for all things strength, visited us during a training session and wrote about what they saw. Click through below.

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