The FitFat Coach® owns and operates the TFC Barbell Club; Charlotte’s Top Powerlifting Gym that lives by two principles: strength and power. How does one achieve those? Simple: lift heavy and lift consistently. TFCBC provides the coaching, equipment, and atmosphere to do just that. To help you achieve your goals, we offer the below plans:

  • Open Gym
  • Group Classes
  • Personal Coaching


TFC is dedicated to helping powerlifters and fitness enthusiasts reach their optimal level of athletic performance. Regardless of where you fall between novice and elite, TFC designs each session and class to keep you tested, focused, and committed.


Our biggest priority is improving your quality of life and ability to accomplish your fitness goals safely and efficiently. TFCBC is an organization intentionally structured to be relatable, specialized, and inclusive.



Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science 

UNC Charlotte, Class of 2014

Jess James is a 15-year powerlifter with a vast athletic background. From dabbling in youth basketball and softball; to throwing the shot-put, discus, javelin, and hammer in high school; to playing collegiate club rugby – Jess has seen, done, and felt it all.


In 2017, Jess created The FitFat Coach® with one mission: to inspire and promote female body positivity through powerlifting and strength training. Many have asked why she chose the name FitFat. Primarily, Jess wanted:

  • An unforgettable attention grabbing name that would ignite inquisitive minds.
  • To promote the philosophy that you don’t have to be thin to be fit, healthy, or strong.


In 2020, Jess launched the TFC Barbell Club: Charlotte’s very first African-American Woman owned powerlifting gym. This space is dedicated to powerlifters and fitness enthusiasts that can bond over a common passion: strength and wellness.


Unlike most fitness coaches today, Jess has real life experience with the cycle of weight fluctuation. Because of this, she’s able to provide relatable fitness and coping techniques for those trying to break the cycle. Jess’ ultimate goal is to help others achieve a strong and healthy lifestyle while continuing to improve her own.


"Jess helped me feel comfortable in the gym for the first time ever! I received incredible support and motivation on a daily basis. I've learned weightlifting techniques that have made me more confident. I'm stronger than ever and that's because of Jess. She's helped change my life!"

- Blair

"TFC is compassionate, caring and full of knowledge. I made the right decision in choosing Jess as my fitness coach!  She makes me want to work hard and do my best every day!"

- Tina

"TFC has helped me gain strength and confidence as an athlete. Jess has adapted to my needs over-time in order to help me reach my goals. I'm thankful for a coach that truly wants her clients to find success!"

- Maggie

"I'm 100% in love with myself since I started using my knowledge to become stronger, healthier, and happier."

- The FitFat Coach



TFC Barbell Club has 1,800 sq ft of space occupied with strength training equipment and accessory machines for all of your fitness needs. 


If you're looking to achieve your fitness goals on YOUR time, TFC Barbell Club is the place for you. Set your schedule, set your pace, and check in when necessary. 


TFC has over 15 years of athletic experience. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and has worked with youth, geriatric, middle-aged, and collegiate athletes. TFC has seen it all and done it all.  


Have a question even if you're not at the gym? No problem! TFC is accessible 24/7 via phone or email for her members and guests. 



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