Al Heinemann. Head Coach. Owner.
I am the father of two young girls and when not coaching I am spending time with my family. Or, exploring the mountains. Or, both.
I have focused on coaching the barbell lifts since founding Terminal City Training in 2008. In 2010 this led to opening the Terminal City Barbell Club. I have experience in athlete preparation and platform coaching in both raw powerlifting and weightlifting (Olympic lifting). In powerlifting I have coached several provincial champions and I am proud to have been an early proponent of coaching female lifters at a time when very few women stepped up onto the platform.
I have experience as a competitive age-group distance runner, distance running coach, and more recently as a track coach for elementary school children.
Over the past 10 years I have coached many, many individuals in the fundamental barbell lifts. Avoiding specialization in a specific niche discipline I have focused on barbell lifts more broadly with a sense of being a part of the long history of the physical culture movement. I have developed my gym philosophy along these lines, creating a space where all kinds of lifters and athletes train together in a spirit of mutual assistance and friendship.
My own athletic background is broad, spanning the range from infantry soldier, distance runner, martial artist of many disciplines, to tactical athlete. My current personal initiatives lean towards mountain rescue, mountaineering, tactical athleticism and grip strength competition.
Erin Graham. Coach.
I’m delighted to join Al and the Terminal City gang. I’ve been training here since November of 2015, and love the feel of the place as much as I love lifting. Which is A LOT. So it’s a great honour to start working as a trainer here.
I’ve been lifting weights since 1981, and competed in Powerlifting competitions in the 1980s and ‘90s in Alberta and BC. I was also a referee for the BC Powerlifting Union (BCPU) from 1995 – 2001.
Back then, I started training because the pizza place where I worked had a deal with the local gym: they would get free pizza and all the restaurant staff would get super cheap gym memberships. I am asthmatic, and team sports and track were always difficult for me. I was one of those ‘plucky’ kids at the track meets and the ‘participaction’ days—lumbering and wheezing around the gym or the playground, every once in while stopping to shove my thick glasses up on my sweaty nose, lean heavy on my knees and gasp for breath. Everyone else would be roaring ahead of me. Last to be picked for teams, you know, the whole thing. But never mind, I kept active no matter what.
When I found black iron, I fell in love immediately. I could rest between sets as long as I needed, and it turns out that I got pretty strong, pretty fast. I’m mostly self-trained, but happened upon some generous people, including Bob Hindley, who coached me to the BC Winter Games in 1994 and 1995, and the Canadian Powerlifting Union Nationals in 1995; and Al here at Terminal City, who suggested I get my canfitpro certification, (which I did in the fall of 2017) and has patiently coached me to get strong again after some injuries and health challenges.
I’ve always trained, learned and taught with others, and working in a gym has been my ‘dream job’. Most recently, for the past 7 years, I was a sessional instructor in UBC’s Teacher Education Program, and I taught in the Community Mental Health and Addictions Worker program at Stenberg College as well. Mostly my work experience has been as a mental health worker at the Kettle Friendship Society and the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. For many years, too, worked, volunteer and paid, in a feminist rape-crisis centre. And I planted trees when I was young, waited tables, tiled roofs, did stand-up comedy and told stories to audiences of between 6 and 250. Lifting has been a constant through my various adventures and lives, and helps keep me steady through all the stormy and sunny days. I want the same for you.