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About Us

At Brightside Barbell we are working to create a gym where folks can walk in and feel at home, like our space is a place where they can show up to train and be unapologetically themselves. 


The fitness industry as we know it is problematic and even abusive at times. We are constantly bombarded with images and rhetoric that serve to tell people that they are not *enough* and that they need to change. We are committed to creating a more inclusive space where misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, racism, body shaming, and diet culture are not casually accepted as the norm. 


Whether your aim is to PR your Clean and Jerk, learn a new skill, relieve joint pain, celebrate or improve your relationship with your body, or just show up and hang out with your friends, we aim to provide incredible coaching and programming to help you have a good experience and reach your goals. 


We’re not perfect, but we’re committed to continuously questioning the status quo, pushing the fitness industry and community to be better, and unlearning the societal B.S. we’ve all been taught. We strive to build a community of people that share our values and want to get stronger physically and otherwise, without the toxicity that is often so ubiquitous in fitness spaces. 


Will you join us?

Our Philosophy


Brooks, Founder & Head Coach

Coach Brooks (they/them) has over a decade of experience in fitness coaching including CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, personal training, corrective exercise, and nutrition. Coach Brooks holds a CrossFit Level 2 certification and a USA Weightlifting Level 1 certification. In addition to coaching, Brooks has worked in PT clinics and adaptive athletics programs around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Coach Brooks graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Francisco State University with a B.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Therapeutic Exercise and Neuromuscular Science.


Emily, Co-Owner & Business Manager

Emily (she/her) is a Bay Area native who has lived in and around Oakland for the last decade. She spent her youth as a competitive swimmer but spent most of her 20s living a sedentary life. Seven years ago, she finally joined a local CrossFit gym and met Coach Brooks. The variety, the camaraderie, and the friendly competition kept her motivated in a way no other "dry land" workout experience ever had before. You may see Emily around the gym as a regular class member or hunched over the desk making sure bills get paid. Emily holds a BA in Physical Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from Mills College.

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