San Rafael Barbell is specifically outfitted with powerlifting cages, racks, blocks and lifting platforms designed for quality and safe strength training. For lifts, we use dedicated bars, competition bumper plates as well as any variety of banded or chained lifts. Our gear is well maintained and clean. We are extremely proud of our Strength Training and Weightlifting Gym. San Rafael Barbell is outfitted with every tool necessary to bring out the beast in you. There is no better match to a CrossFit athlete, than a dedicated strength program designed specifically to accompany them. Come in on your own accord in specific time windows and work on your strength. This is where we turn Bears into Gorillas.. and sometimes even Power Bunnies! San Rafael Barbell is also available to non CrossFit members for $165 per month call or email us today to find out more!


San Rafael Barbell is happy to announce 'Simply Strength', a self guided strength workout programmed by us using the Cube Method by Brandon Lilly. Each week three strength workouts will be programmed for strength members. You will have the freedom to come in at any time during any regularly scheduled CrossFit Class to complete the strength portion of your programming.

Strength is the foundation for all athletes, especially CrossFitters. A good strength program will keep the body safe and injury free. We saw the need for supplemental strength training and quickly implemented it. Our Strength program is easy to follow and based off sub maximal lifts. This allows the user to easy incorporate it into their all ready busy workout schedule, as well as see gains with out putting the body under so much stress.

Our program includes both Front and Back Squats, Bench Press, Deadlifts and Press as well as movements for the assisting muscles, grip strength and abdominal work. Inspiration comes from Brandon Lilly's Cube Method which has helped some of the best Power Lifters of our time. The stronger you are, the less susceptible you will be to injury. So what are you waiting for? You can never be too strong! Cost is $30 per month for TCF members and $165 per month for non CrossFit members.


Olympic Weightlifting consists of the Snatch and Clean & Jerk, two beautiful moves that take skill and time to perfect. The Snatch got it's namesake just as the move is preformed, by "snatching" the weight off the floor in one smooth motion. The Clean & Jerk use to be called the "Continental & Press". The lifter would roll the barbell up the body and to the shoulders and then, with pure might, strictly press the barbell over head. Over the years, lifters began perfecting the moves to make them the most efficient as possible.

Olympic Weightlifting is a large part of CrossFit and even if you don't plan on competing in a Weightlifting meet, good movement is important to keep you safe and make you as efficient as can be at moving large loads long distances. There is nothing more beautiful then watching these moves preformed well. A lifter can improve tremendously under the watchful eye of a coach. Good movement paired with a straight bar path makes for a good lift. I invite you to get to know Olympic Weightlifting and hopefully you too will love it. Our Olympic Lifting class, Oly Strong meets on Tuesdays at 5pm and Sundays at 10:15am for the low, low price of $55 per month; which also gives you access to our Simply Strength Program.

  • 16/04/2014in Strength Training

    5 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

    One thing I must give credit to CrossFit for is making it acceptable to be a strong woman. I know, there is so much controversy over this issue, why would a woman want to look like a man, that’s not sexy… but I want to pass over the superficial and get to the reality. I...
  • The Shocking Truth About San Rafael Barbell’s Strength Program

    This post is long over due but I am always so concerned about tooting our own horn (for fear of sounding conceded) that often times amazing feats go by the wayside, well not this time. Last month Chad competed in and dominated his first Power lifting meet. In his first return to lifting in over...
  • 23/12/2013in Strength Training

    The Love of Your Sport

    The other day I was training a new client and introducing her to all the movements of CrossFit, lets call her Shanna to protect her identity (although Shanna does not need “protecting”, she is one tough cookie!). Shanna is a fit individual who has been mountain biking for several years and was able to do many...

  • Are Athletes Ever Really Satisfied?

    Through out my 42 years on this earth I have done my share of wondering and trying to figure things out, some things I have figured out but there are still several things that perplex me… Like why some people feel the need to shake hands with a limp, flaccid grip and think that it...
  • Searching For Your True Love

    The other day I was talking with my weightlifting coach and we were discussing the talent of young CJ Cummings. If you don’t know who he is, he is a 13-year-old bad ass 69 kg weightlifter from Savannah, GA who recently set a record of 118kg (261lbs) in the Snatch and 146kg (322lbs) in the...
  • You Know You’re a Weightlifter When…

    5) You become obsessed with the red plates and make it a goal to get them on your barbell. You use to think that bumper plates were cool because they are so big and brawny but there is something about the red plates that is mesmerizing and you must have them and once you have...

Chad Wilson

  • Chad Wilson grew up in Columbus, Ohio and his love of athletics and lifting weights began at an early age. In high school where he played football and wrestled he began to learn a lot about lifting weights. This love of learning continued on thru college where he played football and studied exercise science. During his college days he also began to love the sport of Power Lifting. He even got a chance to lift at Westside Barbell where he continued to learn more about the sport and methods of Power Lifting. Wilson moved to California in 2004 where he met the love of his life Meshelle. Chad continued to lift weights in a traditional setting but the gym scene grew tiresome and that is when he discovered CrossFit.
  • Chad competed for the Tamalpais Crossfit gym team in 2011 & 2012 at the Nor Cal Regionals. In 2012, with the help of his much stronger wife, they set a record in the DB Snatch/ Sprint partner WOD. Wilson also holds a PWA (Pacific Weightlifting Record) in the Clean & Jerk of 131 kgs in Masters.
  • Though Chad's love for CrossFit is strong, he has recently returned to his roots and has been concentrating more on Power Lifting. His eye for coaching the Bench, Deadlift and Back Squat is impeccable and his down to earth approach is refreshing.
    • CrossFit Level 1 Certified and has
    • CrossFit specialty certification in Westside Barbell
    • CrossFit specialty certification Gymnastics

Meshelle Mifsud

  • Meshelle is Co-Owner, CF Coach and Olympic Weightlifting Coach at Tamalpais CrossFit. Together, with her awesome husband, Chad, she established 1 CrossFit World Record 2012, topped the CrossFit women's snatch ladder 2012, and holds 7 Pacific Weightlifting Association records. She competes regularly in Olympic Weightlifting at the National level and continues to build a reputation as one of the strongest women on the West Coast.
  • Meshelle’s love for CrossFit started the moment she picked up a barbell in her first class. She has been participating, coaching and competing in CrossFit since 2008. She is CrossFit Level 1 Certified and has CrossFit specialty certifications in Westside Barbell and Olympic lifting as well as a certification for USA Weightlifting Level I Sports Performance.
  • Meshelle is a vegan and takes pride in changing peoples assumptions that vegans are weak.
    • 2014 World Masters Champion
    • 2014 National Masters Champion
    • Currently holding 4 National records and 7 Pacific Weightlifting Association records
    • CrossFit Snatch Ladder leader in 2012 at 185lbs.
    • CrossFit Level 1 Certified and has
    • CrossFit specialty certifications in Westside Barbell,
    • CrossFit Self Defense and
    • CrossFit Olympic Weightlifting
    • Certification for USA Weightlifting Level I Sports Performance.

Michael Papes

  • Michael is Co-Owner CrossFit Level II Coach and Personal Trainer at TCF. Michael has also been a devotee of Taekwondo, to the level of Master, as well as an apprentice in Iyengar Yoga at the Yoga Circle of Chicago. A personal trainer for over a decade, Michael has distinguished himself from his peers both through his dedication to his clients and his extensive skill set.
  • Never completely understanding or embracing the “fitness” industry model, Michael found salvation in the CrossFit method. An instant convert from the moment of exposure, Michael quickly immersed himself in CrossFit and its methods. Taking all he has learned and pouring it into CrossFit, Michael has a unique and clear direction for the future. “I will pursue excellence in teaching CrossFit and will literally make the world a better place”. Michael is also
    • CrossFit Certified Level 1 Coach
    • CrossFit Certified Level 2 Coach
    • CrossFit Certified in Nutrition
    • CrossFit Certified Science of Exercise
    • CrossFit Certified Gymnastics
    • CrossFit Certified Olympic Lifting
    • Chasing performance: Movement, mobility & Maintenance
    • Master level Taekwondo


Norbert Schemansky (USA) was the first weightlifter in history to earn four Olympic medals, despite missing the 1956 Olympic Games due to back problems.
In 2000, Tara Nott Cunningham became the first US weightlifter to win Olympic gold since Chuck Vinci in 1960.
Tamio "Tommy" Kono a U.S. weightlifter in the 50s and 60s. Kono is the only Olympic weightlifter in history to have set world records in four different weight classes.