Tenacious Strength Society is the home of TSS Barbell.
In 2016, Brittany Rucker and Jilly Jaworske founded sanctioned USAW club, TSS Barbell. The club began hosting team practices in a shared space with three registered members and grew to just under 90 active USAW members in less than three years. Presently, the 2,600 square foot facility houses a training hall with ten IWF set-ups, two sets of custom jerk blocks, multiple squat racks, a power rack, pulling blocks, and twenty bars from Eleiko, DHS, Uesaka, ZKC, and Rogue. Additionally, the facility is outfitted with dumbbells, kettlebells, and a variety of other equipment to meet all athletes’ accessory work requirements. TSS is proud to offer athletes a space to relax and reflect in the Recovery Room: This space is equipped with an infrared sauna, couches, energy drinks, refrigerator, and wifi. TSS has partnered with a local provider to offer in-house massages services to all of its members in the Recovery Room.
TSS Barbell does not believe that “one program fits all:” Every member on the team, remote or in-house, receives individualized weekly written by one of the USAW Advanced Sports Performance coaches. Each athlete’s program is written with their age, experience, goals, schedule, and lifestyle in mind. Four times per week for two hours, “Team Training” is held: Team Training is open to all athletes, regardless of experience or ability, to ask questions, complete their individualized programming under the observation of two USAW-certified coaches, and connect with their teammates. Outside of Team Training hours, all in-house team members have 24-hour access to the facility to complete the remainder of their training.
In 2019, we earned the designation of “Community Development Site” from USA Weightlifting. These are our current Community Outreach programs in San Antonio, TX:
In Summer of 2018, TSS Barbell partnered with Rackspace, a cloud computing company, in order to provide free, educational weightlifting experiences to their employees. Rackspace is located in San Antonio approximately ten minutes from TSS Barbell. Rackspace converted the entirety of a local abandoned shopping mall into functional space for their 3,000 employees. Each month, TSS Barbell coaches provide free weightlifting seminars for all “Rackers” in exchange for the use of their “Factory” to host our sanctioned weightlifting meets.
One to two times per month, TSS Barbell coaches teach snatch and clean and jerk technique to Rackers in their employee-only CrossFit facility. Every other month, Rackspace opens up their event center to the public for TSS Barbell to host sanctioned weightlifting meets. Not only are the meets are open to all USAW members to participate in, all Rackers are encouraged to attend to gain exposure to a new sport. This partnership allows TSS Barbell to host larger local meets in a safe, climate-controlled, 5,000 square foot facility at a very low cost. Since TSS Barbell’s partnership with Rackspace, the size of our local weightlifting meets has grown from roughly thirty participants per meet to an average of fifty participants per meet. TSS Barbell’s goal in 2019 is to continue to grow the size of their local weightlifting meets to an average of sixty participants per meet, as well as to form an official USAW sanctioned club, Racker Weightlifting, within Rackspace’s existing CrossFit facility.
Roadrunner Olympic Weightlifting Club (ROWC) was founded by five of TSS Barbell’s USAW members. It is the first weightlifting club for recreational and competitive purposes at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). The objective of this organization is to develop and promote the sport of weightlifting at the collegiate level. ROWC’s long-term goal is to qualify and fund a men and a women’s team to University Nationals in 2019 and beyond.
After two years of active participation by all members, ROWC will be eligible to be considered as a funded, club sport at UTSA. Currently, TSS Barbell is assisting with hosting and funding the club until more funding from the University is allocated. Presently, all active ROWC members train at TSS Barbell. Jilly Jaworske and Brittany Rucker have acted as mentors to each of the club board members and played an active role in founding this organization. TSS Barbell will also be hosting a “Try Weightlifting For Free Day” for UTSA students in late January to promote the club.
Jilly Jaworske, Co-Founder, Head Coach
Certified as a USAW National Coach, Jilly has coached athletes of all ages in the sport of weightlifting for over nine years, including a youth national champion and multiple senior athletes who have placed in the top five at USAW national meets.
Over the years, Jilly has competed nationally at Under 25 Nationals, American Open Finals, and Senior Nationals since 2015. Jilly received her first national medal in 2016 at Under 25 Nationals. She has been coached by and learned personally from some of the most accomplished coaches in the country, including Colin Burns, Ursula Garza, Max Aita, and Spencer Arnold. In 2018, Jilly attended the OTC’s Women’s Coaching Camp to gain insight from our nation’s top coaches and their staff.
Prior to weightlifting, Jilly was involved in the equestrian community from a very young age. She began seriously competing in the hunter and jumper divisions at nine years old and progressed to ride at the top junior level through age 18. Near the end of her junior career, Jilly traveled the country as a working student competing in the international show rings and worked as a working student under world-renowned trainers Stacia Madden, Polly Howard, and Pan-Am medalist Debbie Stephens.
Jilly graduated from the University of Miami in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education: She found CrossFit early on in college while transitioning out of her equestrian career. Her senior year of college, Jilly interned under Danny Lopez-Calleja (Team Soul) and competed at the 2013 South Regionals with Peak 360 CrossFit. She was introduced to weightlifting by Cuba’s former national coach, Camilo Garcia. While coaching a youth CrossFit class, Jilly met Spencer Arnold. Spencer worked with Jilly for a few hours and convinced her to compete more seriously in weightlifting. Jilly competed for Power and Grace Performance for nearly two years before joining Juggernaut to pursue the dream of Southern California living. While on Juggernaut, Jilly met international team member and national coach, Colin Burns. Colin Burns and Cortney Batchelor have served as mentors to her both as an athlete and a coach.
Alongside two major shoulder surgeries in 2018, Jilly opened TSS Barbell’s first brick and mortar location, assisted in growing TSS Barbell to nearly 90 members, and was invited to compete in the Pan American Trials session at American Open Series I where she placed fourth in the 69kg category.
Brittany Rucker, Co-Founder, Assistant Head Coach
Brittany Rucker is a founding member and current Assistant Head Coach for TSS Barbell. Certified as a USAW Advanced Sports Performance Coach, Brittany has served as a competition coach at both local and national events for athletes of all ages. Athletes under Brittany’s guidance have progressed from learning the basics of weightlifting to competing on a national platform.
Brittany has competed locally and nationally at the American Open Series since 2017. She has had the opportunity to learn from some of the most respected weightlifting coaches in the United States including Mike Gattone, Pyrros Dimas, and Sean Waxman. Brittany attended the 2018 Team USA Youth Training Camp in order to hone her coaching skills and deepen her understanding of athlete development.
As an athlete, Brittany played basketball from an early age until her senior year and was All-State in three sports throughout high school. While in college, Brittany raced professional motocross for two seasons until a career ending injury in 2014. Brittany was introduced to weightlifting through her participation in CrossFit and fell in love with the sport immediately. She began to coach the snatch and clean and jerk while lifting under her now business partner, Jilly Jaworske. Jilly and Brittany founded TSS Barbell in San Antonio, Texas in 2016.