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John Hughes, NASM CPT, USA Powerlifting Club Coach

Before he was an avid acolyte of the iron, John was just another high school athlete; he played golf, soccer, and ran cross-country. In college, he was a varsity cheerleader, and helped propel the Campbell University cheer squad to a National 3rd place finish for co-ed stunt performance.

After moving to Rochester from North Carolina, John found a love for lifting that nothing else could quite fill. Throughout his time in Rochester, he competed in bodybuilding, specifically the men’s physique class, with a top finish of 3rd overall. If you asked him though, he would say his true passion was and continues to be powerlifting.

Ever a lover of heavy lifting, John worked as a personal trainer for World Gym, earned his Certification as a Personal Trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as well as a Nutrition Specialization in July of 2015. During his brief stint as a World Gym trainer, John moved into dedicated work with the fledgling MCCF Barbell Club, eventually taking over the program and replacing it with the newly created East Ave. Barbell, a strength training group that you’ve no doubt already read about ad nauseum .

During all this, amidst the last of his bodybuilding shows, John began his own personal competitive powerlifting journey, taking first in weight class at his first meet and best overall lifter at his second. John currently holds the WNPF New York State record for the Deadlift in the 181 open class, the Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate New York State Record in both the Squat and total for the 181 Amateur class, and has the #7 highest ranked Squat in the 83kg raw class for USA Powerlifting in New York state.

Despite his success as a powerlifter, John’s true passion lies in coaching athletes and building a lifting community. John has coached several national-level lifters through record-setting meets, and has helped add hundreds of pounds to East Ave. Barbell athletes’ totals.

Although you’ve now seen the word “powerlifting” repeated in this a good number of times (10 counting this sentence), John has worked with athletes all across the strength and conditioning spectrum, including CrossFit competitors, football and rugby players, olympic weightlifters, strongman competitors, and even softball players!

Outside of the gym, John enjoys playing guitar, hiking, traveling, movies, and any opportunity to spend time with good friends. John has recently relocated to Japan with his wife, but continues to coach remotely and build the East Ave. Barbell brand from abroad. John is currently pursuing his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) designation.


Competitive Highlights:

2013 Mr./Ms. Buffalo
- 3rd Place - Men’s Physique Class B

2015 RPS NYS Championship
- 1st Place - 181lb raw classic class

2016 WNPF Can/Am Nationals
- Overall Best Lifter - Men’s open classes

2017 RPS NYS Championship
- 1st Place - 181lb raw classic class
- Set NY State records for Squat and Total

2018 USAPL Rochester Rumble
- 1st Place - 83kg open class