Although Marietta Barbell (formerly Cagle’s Gym) accommodates those interested in powerlifting, Olympic lifting, Strongman/Strongwoman training and strength training, the center is not just a strength gym. Many all-round athletes train there, including high school athletes, body builders and everyday people.
“Marietta Barbell is a neighborhood gym,” Leslie said. “We want people to feel comfortable coming in and working out and getting in shape.”
Leslie, who grew up in DeKalb County, uses his experience to help others get fit. Competing in powerlifting for more than 30 years with numerous state, national and world powerlifting championships, Leslie was first introduced to the sport at Albany State College. At his first college meet in the 148-pound weight class, Leslie broke a national record.
“It really surprised me,” he said. “It surprised a lot of people.”
Powerlifting consists of a squat, bench and deadlift. Lifters get three attempts in each category, and the best lift from each is added together to determine scores.
“It’s a strength sport,” said Leslie who won his first national title in 220-pound weight class.
Among his numerous wins, Leslie garnered five world titles and seven national titles. The world title is the highest win in powerlifting since it is not an Olympic sport.
“I always train like I’m going to a contest,” Leslie said. He has earned more than 250 trophies worldwide.
With great success, Leslie wanted to help others train at international and world powerlifting level as well as encourage fitness in everyone — the reason for Marietta Barbell.
“I’m happy with what I’ve done. I felt like it was time to give back,” he said.
He currently trains people from all walks of life as well as world powerlifting champions Kevin Thomas, Marcus Brandon, Bob Lovelace, Tom Bowman and Wayne Watts. Ty Tucker, who will attend the upcoming World Powerlifting Alliance World Championships, is also one of Leslie’s clients. Bowman and Watts will attend the upcoming World Powerlifting Congress World Championships.
“(Powerlifting) is fulfilling. It’s very challenging. You always want to push yourself to do better,” Leslie said. “It’s is an individual sport. Everywhere I walk into I think to myself that I am the strongest guy in this whole place. I want to be stronger than the 300-pound guy down to the 100-pound guy. I’ve done that.”
He was named Champion of Champions and Best Lifter on a world-class level in five meets. Leslie said powerlifting is a great sport.
“It gets very exciting. I fell in love with it at the very first meet I went to,” he said.
Marietta Barbell is located at 24 Alexander St. To learn more, visit www.mariettabarbell.com or call (678) 653-1188.