Tenacious Strength Society is the home of TSS Barbell.
TSS Barbell was founded with three members and a single coach in 2016. The club began hosting team practices in a small shared space and quickly became one of the fastest growing teams in Texas: Over the last four years, TSS Barbell has gained just over one hundred active members.
Today, our Team Training sessions are hosted within 2,600 square feet completely dedicated to weightlifting: Our training hall has ten IWF set-ups; two sets of custom jerk blocks; multiple squat racks; Chinese squat stands; a power rack; pulling blocks; and twenty bars collectively from Eleiko, DHS, Uesaka, ZKC, Pendlay, and Rogue. Additionally, our facility is outfitted with dumbbells, kettlebells, a custom belt squat machine, an Assault Bike and a variety of other pieces to meet all training requirements.
We are proud to offer our members a space to relax and reflect in our Recovery Room: This space is equipped with an infrared sauna, couches, energy drinks, a refrigerator, and wifi. TSS has partnered with a local provider to offer in-house massages services to all members.
We do not believe that “one size program fits all:” Every member on our team, remote or in-house, receives individualized programming written weekly by coaches Jilly Jaworske and Brittany Rucker. 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: These sessions are open to all members, regardless of experience level, to complete their individualized programming under the observation of our USAW-certified coaches with the support of 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 and in 2020, we earned the designation of “Community Development Site” from USA Weightlifting. These are our current Community Outreach programs in San Antonio, TX:
Mission 22 x TSS Barbell
In 2019, TSS Barbell decided to partner with Mission 22, an organization that resonated with our military and prior-military athletes. Mission 22 is a non-profit that works to actively support our veterans who suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues. According to a Department of Veterans Affairs study, each day, over twenty veterans take their own lives. As part of our community outreach strategy, we are donating twenty-two percent of all profit from our annual holiday meet, “Scrooge: A Weightlifting Meet.” All additional donations will go directly to Mission 22 to support our veterans.
TSS Barbell recognizes that many active duty military members and veterans struggle mentally during the holidays and would benefit from the support of our community during this stressful, isolating time. Military members based in San Antonio who may not be able to head home for the holidays need more support than ever from organizations like ourselves who coach and interact with this population. We have invited all active duty USAW members to compete at half price with proof of military ID at our local meet “Scrooge: A Weightlifting Meet” in 2019 and each year going forward. Additionally, all active duty members and veterans who are not competing, but wish to spectate and have a welcoming place to go that Saturday will receive free admission to our event with military identification.
TSS Barbell hopes that by reducing the cost of entry, we will encourage veterans and active military members to visit our gym so they can connect with the large percentage of our membership who are also military and can empathize with those whom are struggling. By opening the door to this specific population that comprises nearly thirty percent of the residents here in San Antonio, we hope that struggling veterans will discover our supportive weightlifting community and possibly get involved in our sport.
TSS Barbell and our members comprehensively understand the benefit of learning a new sport like weightlifting and how it can actively assist people of all backgrounds, not just military members, with managing stressors. As of 2019, TSS Barbell offers all active duty military members fifteen percent off our monthly membership rates to show our appreciation for their service. We hope to collaborate with more non-profit organizations in 2020 to better serve our community.
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. In 2019, ROWC met their goal of qualifying and funding a men’s team to University Nationals. ROWC had multiple members medal and place in the top five of their respective weight classes at Under 25s/University National Championships in 2019. The trip to compete was funded by the profits raised by our local weightlifting meet, the Roadrunner Weightlifting Classic, that ROWC members organized in May of 2019 and with the guidance of Jilly Jaworske and Brittany Rucker.
After another year 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.
Founder, Co-Owner, Meet Director, Head Coach
USA Weightlifting National Coach Jilly Jaworske has taught athletes of all ages and experience levels over the course of the last decade. She began coaching whilst attending the University of Miami for her undergraduate coursework and studied both Exercise Physiology and Economics. After beginning her graduate work in Advanced Nutrition for Human Performance, she quickly realized her passion was not in nutritional coaching and rather, in bio-mechanics and human movement. Jaworske found her niche in educating and coaching athletes one-on-one to develop both their kinesthetic awareness and eventually, their own unique weightlifting techniques. Presently, Jaworske loves working with beginner athletes (whom have never even lifted a bar); athletes competing at the National Senior level; and every other kind of athlete in between who has the desire to grow as both an individual through the medium of weightlifting.
Jilly Jaworske has competed at or qualified for every national Senior meet, including the Senior National Championships, since 2015. She has been ranked nationally (top ten) in multiple weight classes at the height of her athletic career. Jaworske was awarded her first national medal at the Under 25 National Championships (2016) and holds retired Texas State records in the 69kg weight class (2018). In 2018, Jilly was invited to compete in the Pan American Trials session at the Arnold and declined in order to coach her athlete competing instead: She placed fourth overall in her respective weight class at the Arnold. Jaworske has been coached by and learned from some of the best coaches in the United States including Colin Burns (Ronin Weightlifting); Ursula Garza (Texas Barbell); Max Aita (Juggernaut Training Systems); Spencer Arnold (Power and Grace Performance); and Sean Waxman (Waxman’s Gym).
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 highest junior level throughout high school. Near the end of her junior career, Jilly traveled the country as a working student, competing in the international show rings whilst working under world-renowned trainers Stacia Madden (Beacon Hill Show Stables); Polly Howard (Fox Meadow Farm); and Pan-Am medalist Debbie Stephens.
Jaworske founded TSS Barbell in 2016 with three members to the club’s name: One of the founding members was Jaworske’s former student and now business partner, Brittany Rucker. Alongside two major shoulder surgeries in 2018, she opened TSS Barbell’s first brick and mortar location alongside Rucker in San Antonio, Texas. Jaworske is currently enrolled at the University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX) and is pursuing research in Physics.
Co-Founder, Assistant Head Coach
NASM-CPT, CES, FNS
Brittany Rucker was one of TSS Barbell’s original three founding members (2016). Over the years, her role has shifted and developed into the Assistant Head Coach for our club. Certified as a USAW Advanced Sports Performance Coach, Rucker has coached athletes of all ages in the sport of weightlifting, including multiple Youth National Champions; a senior Texas state champion; senior athletes who have placed in the top five at USAW national meets; and both Texas state and national record holders.
Brittany Rucker has competed locally and nationally at the American Open Series since 2017 and placed top five at the Texas State Weightlifting Championships. She has learned from and been coached by some of the most respected weightlifting coaches in the United States including Mike Gattone, Pyrros Dimas, Sean Waxman, Jilly Jaworske and presently, Cortney Batchelor. Rucker competes nationally for CB Weightlifting, Batchelor’s USAW club (2019). Rucker 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, Rucker played basketball from an early age until her senior year. She was All-State in three sports throughout high school. While in college, Rucker raced professional motocross for two seasons until a career ending injury in 2014. She was introduced to weightlifting through her participation in CrossFit and fell in love with the sport immediately. Rucker began to coach the snatch and clean and jerk while lifting under her now business partner, Jilly Jaworske. Rucker and Jaworske opened TSS Barbell’s first brick and mortar location in San Antonio, Texas in 2018. Rucker is currently enrolled at San Antonio College and is pursuing a degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.