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Brownsville coaches find strength in the pandemic


BROWNSVILLE (KVEO) – Matthew Barba and Rodney McClanahan have many things in common. They’re both from the RGV, they both love power lifting, and they run off of helping athletes in their community get stronger. The two have known each other since 2008, but not until the pandemic have they been able to manifest decade long dreams.

“This was our dream,” Said Barba. “We wanted to have a facility where we could get all the schools together, all different uniforms all different colors, but we’re all under the same roof getting better.”

The pandemic forced student-athletes to attempt work outs for their perspective sport(s) via Zoom or by following work out plans at home. But for Barba and McClanahan, that doesn’t suffice. After all, being a student-athlete is an around-the-clock job.

“I know it’s tough. I hear it everyday from them,” Said Barba. “”Man we’re doing bodyweight squats” you can only do so much. Resistance training is king, that’s what’s gonna prepare you for your next step performance, and the next level.”

So Barba called all of the High School Football coaches he knows in the RGV, and told them he’d offer an hour-long session three days a week of intense, tough powerlifting for players. Not long after, Hard Knox filled with all different team names and school colors.

“It’s not just for any specific school or kid like that you know we want every kid that can make it here, possible.” Said McClanahan.

“It makes my heart happy because that’s what every coaches dream is, is to see different kids, again different schools but they’re all working together for one common goal and that’s to get better.

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