About Us


The FitFat Coach® owns and operates TFC Barbell Club; a powerlifting-based training facility built on purpose, progression, and privacy. We offer a training component that you won't find at any other fitness facility in Charlotte: a private or semi-private session.

We purposefully cap the number of individuals allowed in the facility at one time to ensure an intimate and safe workout. This is achieved through appointment-based sessions. Imagine a gym without anyone breathing down your neck or asking to work-in with you. No waiting for equipment or trying to beat the rush-hour. 

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 athleticism and ability to accomplish your competitive goals safely and efficiently by providing an elite training facility with a small membership footprint. 


TFC Barbell Club is occupied with strength, conditioning, and accessory equipment for all of your training needs.

Equipment includes:

Prostar Power Half Racks + Dip Attachment

Two Texas Strength Systems Powerlifting Combo Racks

Deadlift Platform w/ Jack

Rogue Ohio Deadlift Barbell

Rogue Ohio Power Barbells

Bells of Steel Power Barbells

Rugged Fitness Olympic Barbells

Strencor CrossFit Barbells

Axle Barbell

Rogue MG-3 Multi Grip Bar

Rogue SB-1 Safety Squat Bar

2" Curl Bar

Farmer's Carry Bars

Trap/Hex Bar

Cast Iron Plates (lbs)

Bumper Plates (lbs and kg)

Rogue Calibrated Steel Plates (kg)

Adjustable and Flat Benches

BC Strength Glute Benches

Rogue Rhino Belt Squat Machine

Sissy Squat Platform

45 Degree Leg Press

Lat Pulldown/Low Row Combo Machine

Leg Extension/Leg Curl Combo Machine

Rogue Donkey: Z-Hyper Reverse/Glute Ham Developer Combo Machine

Rep Fitness FT-5000 Functional Trainer 

Two TRX Suspension Trainers

Dumbbells: 5lbs to 150lbs

Kettlebells: pairs of 8kg, 12kg, 16kg, 24kg, 32kg

Slam Balls: 10lb, 20lb, 30lb, 50lb, 75lb

Rubber Medicine Balls: 10lb, 20lb, 30lb

Vinyl Shell Medicine Balls: 14lb, 20lb, 30lb

45 ft Turf w/ Sled

50 ft Sled Pull Rope

50 lb Sandbag

30 ft / 30 lb Battle Rope

50 ft / 50 lb Battle Rope

50 MM Rhino Rope

Post Landmine w/ Handle

Viking Press Attachment 

C2 BikeErg, SkiErg, & RowErg

PRx Pull Up Bar

Bicep Blaster

Bench Press Block

Resistance Bands

Plyometric Boxes (Metal, Wood, & Foam)

Jump & Speed Ropes

Disc Gliders

Ab Wheel + Ab Mat

Foam Rollers, Balance Pads, PVC Pipes, & Floor Mats


Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science 

UNC Charlotte, Class of 2014

Jess James is a lifetime 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; to a sprint triathlete; to a StrongWoman competitor – 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. In 2020, Jess opened TFC Barbell Club: Charlotte’s very first African-American Woman owned open-gym training facility. 

Many have asked how she came up with the name The FitFat Coach. Primarily, Jess wanted to promote the philosophy that you don’t have to be thin to be fit, healthy, or strong. Secondarily, she needed an unforgettable attention-grabbing name that would ignite inquisitive minds. 

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.