Jim Kerns is a Marine Corps veteran from Columbus, Ohio who began working in the fitness industry as a personal trainer in 2007 shortly after returning home from Iraq and discharging from active duty. He was soon introduced to the sport of powerlifting by a crew of lifters at his gym who trained using Westside Barbell’s Conjugate Method. Jim quickly fell in love with the sport and began training and competing regularly. His thirst for knowledge led him to continually ask questions and pick the brains of more experienced lifters all while reading every piece of training literature he could get his hands on. Having discovered his passion in life, he enrolled in college and began pursuing a degree in Exercise Science in order to become a strength and conditioning coach.
Jim’s training and education was put on hold due to a deployment to Afghanistan as a member of the Marine Corps reserves and a subsequent move to San Diego following his stateside return. Upon settling in, Jim began to search for a powerlifting crew to join. At the time, places to train for powerlifting in San Diego were nearly non-existent. Undeterred, he set out to establish his own lifting crew and open a facility where serious lifters and competitors in the sports of powerlifting and strongman could have access to all of their training needs. This led to the founding of Deadweight Strength, which started out as nothing more than a hobby. The recent surge in popularity of powerlifting and the resulting demand for gyms and coaches led to Deadweight Strength becoming a full-time business in 2013.
In addition to competing in powerlifting (and occasionally strongman), Jim continues to coach lifters of all skill levels. He is also a National Referee with the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA) and is the USPA meet director for Southern California.