About Us



The FitFat Coach® owns and operates the TFC Barbell Club; Charlotte’s Premier Powerlifting Gym that lives by two principles: strength and power. How does one achieve those? Simple: lift heavy and lift consistently. We provide the coaching, equipment, and atmosphere to do just that.

We are dedicated to helping powerlifters and fitness enthusiasts reach their optimal level of athletic performance. Regardless of where you fall between novice and elite, our gym is designed 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. We are an organization intentionally created 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 strength training. In 2020, Jess launched the TFC Barbell Club: Charlotte’s very first African-American Woman owned powerlifting gym. 

Many have often asked why she chose to name her company The FitFat Coach. Primarily, Jess wanted an unforgettable attention grabbing name that would ignite inquisitive minds and she wanted to promote the philosophy that you don’t have to be thin to be fit, healthy, or strong.

Unlike most fitness coaches today, Jess has real life experience with the cycle of weight gain and weight loss. Because of this, she’s able to provide relatable coaching 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.


TFC Barbell Club is located in the heart of Charlotte's University area as we're just 4.5 miles away from UNC Charlotte and 2.3 miles away from the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail.

We're housed within the same facility that also hosts ShipWreck Crossfit, Prime.Fit.Prep Meal Planning, Art of Touch Massage Therapy, and Namaste Natara Yoga Studio.

Our gym is occupied with strength and accessory equipment for all of your fitness needs. Equipment includes:

  • Power Racks
  • Competitive Combo Rack
  • Deadlift Platform
  • Squat Belt Machine
  • Sissy Squat Platform
  • Leg Curl Machine
  • Leg Extension Machine
  • Calf Raise Machine
  • Lat Pull/Low Row Machine
  • TRX Suspension Trainer
  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Battle Rope
  • Hex Bar
  • Farmer’s Carry Bars
  • Resistance Bands
  • Plyometric Boxes
  • Speed Ropes
  • Slam Balls
  • Medicine Balls
  • Foam Rollers
  • Exercise Mats

Find & Follow Us

7517 Orr Rd. Charlotte, NC 28213


Monday to Thursday: 4PM to 10PM

Friday: 4PM to 8PM

Saturday: 8AM to 12PM

Sunday: 10AM to 2PM

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