Gastonia, North Carolina 28052

A gym where you can build strength and health for life.

A gym where you can build strength and health for life.

A gym where you can build strength and health for life.A gym where you can build strength and health for life.

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We are a family owned and operated gym.

Old School Barbell Training


Old School Barbell Club is really two different gyms in one. We provide a gym that caters to Olympic and Power Lifters, and the average person who is interested in a no nonsense approach to physical fitness. We focus on basic resistance training. 

Training Expertise


I am a certified  Level 1 Olympic Weightifting Coach and SafeSport certified with  over 45 years of competitive Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Expertise. I personally instruct every single individual who wants and needs my expertise. Instruction is always included with your membership. I believe in providing a fair and complete value to my clients.

Your Success is Our Goal


I want to share my experience and knowledge with you. I want you to  exceed my accomplishments. Old School Barbell Club is not a big box corporation. My gym is more like the neighborhood family owned hardware store where you receive the best service. I want to be your partner in your self improvement.

My Weightlifting HISTORY


My Weightlifting History


I'm John Zolidis and my weightlifting history began way back in 1975 at Vince’s Gym in Cleveland, Ohio. Vince’s was located on the 4th floor of an old building in a rough neighborhood of Cleveland. It was not a health club or fitness center that attracted housewives, fitness buffs, or businessmen.Only the strongest most determined men chose to train there. Vince’s was a pure muscle head gym that was run by Vince Lubowicki. Vince won the Senior National Heavyweight Olympic Weightlifting title in the 1930’s. He was one of the first men to snatch over 300 pounds and exceeded the world record in the press by 30 pounds. He was a very powerful man and a very knowledgeable coach. I remember seeing him deadlift over 700 pounds for repetitions after age 60. 45 years later I still train on his basic power-bodybuilding program

Under Vince’s instruction I managed some good lifting. I deadlifted 700 pounds as a teenage middleweight in 1980. Over my lifting career I lifted in 4 powerlifting national championships and finished in 4thplace at the 1981 YMCA nationals as a light-heavyweight. My best lifts outside of competition were done around 185 pounds bodyweight. My best efforts on the powerlifts were:

Squat =  645 pounds 

Bench Press = 390 pounds

Deadlift = 725 pounds

In Cleveland I had the opportunity to train with many national and world champion powerlifters including Vince Anello, Dave Schneider, Tony Fratto, Frank Picha, Rickey Dale Crain, John Black, Jack Sideris, Roger Estep and even Olympic Gold Medal Olympic Weight Lifter, Chuck Vinci.

I was introduced to the sport of Olympic Weightlifting at the Westpark YMCA by Wally Grossman. Wally had been a 3 time NCAA small college Shot put champion and held the college shot put record for many years. Wally went on to win the National Collegiate Olympic Weightlifting championship. After all that he turned to bodybuilding and won the Mr.Ohio in 1974. Later I moved to Seattle Washington, where  I met Senior National Olympic Head Coach John Thrush and began to excel at the Olympic lifts. In Seattle, I got to train with national champion Weightlifters including Dean Goad and David Santillo. I helped coach Dean at the Senior National Championships and was there with him when he made his first 400 pound Clean & Jerk to secure 3rd place at the contest. I also helped coach David Santillo when he won a national championship. Dave just barely missed qualifying for the United States Olympic Team.

My best results on the two Olympic lifts were:

Split style Snatch = 264 pounds

Split style Clean & Jerk = 325 pounds.

Additionally I military pressed 331 pounds. The lift I am most proud of was a Dumbbell Clean and Press with a pair of 125-pound dumbbells for 5 repetitions.

What I liked best about weightlifting and powerlifting were the friendships I formed over the years with all the great lifters. I’m still in touch with most of them and they all inspired me to push myself further. The one thing that all these champions had in common was that they all followed a simplified basic program and worked hard on the basics. There is no secret program or quick path to success. It takes consistent hard work over months and years to get to the championship level. I want to help you become a better lifter and a better person.

Have A Blessed Day,

Johnny Z

Your Friend in Christ

Membership rates


Old School Barbell Club  is outfitted with 4 Rogue Power Racks.  4 Rogue Ohio Bars 1 York Power Bar, Rogue Bumper Plates with calibrated change plates. York Legacy Olympic plates. 2  Deadlift platforms and 2 OL areas. Olympic Benches, Incline Benches, Curl Bench, and a GHD. Dumbbells from 5 thru 100 pounds. A full line of Cybex and York selectorized exercise machines. The equipment I am most proud of are the 2 Rogue Bella Women's Bars. The proceeds for their purchase went to Breast Cancer Research.


Employment OPPortuniTY

I am looking for personal trainers with clients. My personal trainer fee is just $10 per client per

I am looking for personal trainers with clients. My personal trainer fee is just $10 per client per


Event Details


326 W. Main Ave.

Gastonia, NC 28052

telephone (980)-888-7173

January 2020

The Gym is open Monday thru Saturday

January 2020

The Gym is open Monday thru Saturday



Monday thru Friday  open 10:00 am close 8:30 pm. Saturday open 10:00 am close 3:00 pm