SPEARFISH — A new youth powerlifting club in Spearfish seeks to help members build friendships, confidence and power.
The COVID-19 pandemic helped lead to the club’s formation, as powerlifting practices and meets were canceled in 2020.
Club owner Angie Albonico said she has two sons, one of whom participated in Special Olympics powerlifting for a short time. She recalled everything shut down, especially Special Olympics.
“We’re an active family, but there is nothing through the schools or through the community that they were really interested in, except for lifting,” Albonico said.
Her younger son also enjoys working out.
Albonico interviewed gyms, coaches, and other people. She was able to start the club in about six weeks when she created a partnership with Downtown Gym in Spearfish.
First practice sessions began right after Labor Day.
Membership features five or six lifters between the ages of 13 and 19.
Practice sessions at Spearfish’s Downtown Gym (646 North 5th St.) are scheduled from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. That was by design.
“I chose that time frame because statistically, that’s when children get in the most trouble, is right after school,” Albonico said.
Albonico does not want this endeavor to be just a powerlifting group.
“I want it to be a mentorship program as well,” she said.
Club members do not have to enter powerlifting meets if not wishing to do so.
Shane Graveman owns Downtown Gym and coaches the lifters on positions and proper technique. He also works to build friendships inside the club.
Each day in the club poses a different schedule.
Albonico said a Tuesday practice session may include dead lifts, with Thursday emphasizing bench press and squats.
She said the club is trying to start keeping up with recording each member’s progress. Albonico attempts to keep a weekly blog that Graveman provides for her, so parents may read about the progress being made.
Graveman is currently the lone head coach. However, his daughter Taylor occasionally helps him.
Five membership options are available: month-to-month, three-month courageous, full-courageous, six-month power, and full-power 6 month. Individuals may visit the website youthpowerlifting.com to learn.
“They don’t have to meet any requirements except have a good attitude and be willing to learn,” Albonico said in describing potential members.
She added they must also be healthy.
Absences are excused, but Albonico would like for those individuals to provide advance notice.
“We understand that life sometimes gets in the way,” she said.
Call Albonico at (605) 641-5859 for more information.
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