Backyard Barbell is an old-school powerlifting gym in San Jose, CA. This 24-hour gym is well-known for its supportive and knowledgeable coaches, mainly Diego and Chandler, who focus on technique, nutrition, and overall strength training. The gym atmosphere is welcoming, inclusive, and free of distractions, fostering a positive environment for lifters at all levels.

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced lifter, Backyard Barbell offers personalized training programs that help you achieve your powerlifting goals. This gym is also equipped with high-quality powerlifting and some strongman equipment, ensuring you have everything you need for effective workouts.


  • Open 24 hours, convenient for any schedule.
  • Experienced and supportive coaches, especially Diego and Chandler.
  • Inclusive, welcoming atmosphere for all members.
  • No mirrors, fostering a focus on lifting without distractions.
  • Comprehensive training programs with focus on technique and form.
  • Quality powerlifting and strongman equipment.
  • Warm and encouraging gym community.
  • Personalized training and nutrition guidance.
  • Regular updates to training programs.
  • Use of competition-grade weights and equipment.


  • Inconsistent coach punctuality, particularly Diego.
  • Not suitable for those seeking general fitness or cardio training.
  • Mix of coach styles can affect training experience.

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Reviews (20)


I have worked with Coach Diego for 9 months now, and it has been one of the best training experiences of my life.I came to Backyard Barbell with virtually no weight lifting knowledge. I had lifted weights in the past, but never had any formal coaching. From day one, Diego was deliberate in correcting my technique before progressing to heavier weight. When I couldn't figure out how to drive my legs on bench, we kept drilling the basic movement until I was able to perform it correctly.I was also impressed by the level of attention Diego gave to each client in the group. I had done small group training before and felt neglected by previous coaches. Diego always asked me at the end of each session if I had any questions for him. He would often stay later than our scheduled time to show me a new exercise or refresh my memory on something we already covered.In addition to coaching movement mechanics, Diego covered nutrition and equipment. Whenever I was approaching a max-out session, he would remind me to eat properly and be well rested. Diego showed me how to properly size and wear protective gear such as knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and a powerlifting belt. He recommended brands and even provided links to purchase the products.If you want a coach who gives you all the ingredients for success, then look no further. If you show up, and follow his program, Diego is going to make you the strongest person you have ever been.


I’ve been working with Coach Diego for 9 months and have absolutely loved every minute of it and appreciate his dedication to seeing me grow with my strength physically and mentally.I started with zero lifting experience and could barely squat with any weight. Now I’m accomplishing lifts and weight I never would have imagined.As a woman, I was always scared to enter gyms and feel comfortable and safe. Coach Diego makes sure everyone, especially his female clients, feel safe, welcomed and equally important when it comes to being part of the Backyard Barbell family!


I've been working with Diego for 8 months now at Backyard Barbell. I can't express enough how fantastic my experience has been! From the moment I walked through the doors of BB, I knew I was in great hands with Diego.First and foremost, let me start by saying that Diego's sense of humor is absolutely contagious. I genuinely look forward to every session, not just for the physical gains but also for the uplifting atmosphere.Diego has respect for every individual who steps foot into the gym. As a newbie to powerlifting, I initially felt a bit apprehensive and intimidated. However, Diego immediately created an environment where I felt comfortable and supported. He never made me feel judged or inadequate, instead offering encouragement and celebrating even the smallest victories. This level of respect and inclusivity makes the gym a welcoming space for everyone, regardless of their fitness level or background.Additionally, Diego's responsiveness is second to none. He's always attentive and genuinely interested in my progress, which created a strong sense of accountability. Whenever I had a question or needed guidance, he was readily available, providing valuable insights and personalized advice. It's clear that he genuinely cares about his clients' success and goes above and beyond to ensure we have all the support we need on our powerlifting journey. His programs are updated weekly and he sends a message out to everyone letting them know when they're updated.Thanks to Diego's expertise and guidance, I've experienced tremendous growth in my lifts. From learning the correct form to gradually increasing weights, his comprehensive training program has been instrumental in my success.If you're considering a trainer for powerlifting, I wholeheartedly recommend Diego. His programs will help with your gains, his respect keeps you in the gym, and his positivity and humor makes you actually want to come to the gym on hard days. Truly cannot recommend Diego enough!As for the general vibe of Backyard Barbell, it's also immaculate.In my 8 months of lifting here, I've had nothing but positive experiences. Everyone at BB is supportive and encouraging. Unlike commercial gyms, the vibe at BB is purely focused on making progress in your lifts - no matter where you started. If you lifted 50 pounds last week and you get 55 this week, people will celebrate your progress with you, even if they're in a rack repping 400 pounds on squats.


Been coming here to train woth Diego for almost a year and a half and it remains one of the best decisions I've made in a while. Highly recommend for people wanting to learn how to powerlift.


I first came to Backyard Barbell 8 months ago to try out powerlifting for the first time. Under the training of Coach Diego, I have developed a strong passion and foundation for the sport.Over these months, Diego has patiently mentored me through my powerlifting journeys. He works well with understanding the individual needs and circumstances. Beyond the lifting aspect, Diego has supported me with nutritional planning, mobility work, and mentally with positive feedback. Even though I first came to the gym with wrist problems, we worked together to navigate around the pain while addressing the lifestyle issues outside the gym that caused the pain.Diego's passion for powerlifting and knowledge in coaching is very apparent through conversation and action as he willingly and repeatedly stays after hours to watch my lifts and provide effective feedback. Invested in my success, he provides personalized programs and communicated very effectively with me, treating every individual with respect. He has instilled discipline and technique that has helped greatly me progress in the sport.The environment is very supportive and the passion for powerlifting is in the atmosphere. Diego holistically works with his clients to become stronger powerlifters, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who wants to try out powerlifting.


I have been working with coach Diego at Backyard Barbell for a little over 8 months now. I came into this gym as an amateur lifter initially wanting to just work on my form, but quickly fell in love with powerlifting and strive to compete.Diego worked patiently with me on every aspect of powerlifting -- both the physical and mental hurdles that come with the sport. He made sure to help me develop proper form and technique but also other aspects such as mobility and nutrition to make me not only a better lifter but also physically healthy and functional.Diego works with each individual at their own pace, but he also makes sure to challenge you to levels that you thought you could never hit before. He is extremely passionate about lifting and coaching, and is also very responsive to any questions that you have whatsoever. He gives personalized programs (including warm ups, mobility routines, etc) every week to work on your weaknesses. During the session, he always has great feedback and always asks if we have any questions. He frequently stayed over-time after the session is over with me just to answer any questions, show me a new exercise, or work on my form if I was still struggling. He also works around your schedule if you have to go out of town (work, travel, etc) and has mutual respect and support regardless of your experience level.If you are a complete beginner looking guidance to get started or an intermediate/experienced lifter trying to push past your limits or plateaus, then I would highly recommend to train under coach Diego.


Backyard Barbell is an old-school powerlifting gym. The first thing I noticed is that, there are no mirrors. No one is showing off, but minds their own business with the weights. Everyone I met so far in the gym are helpful and also showed respect and support for the beginners like me. I never felt out of place, even when I joined the gym.I took group training sessions with my coach Diego Rivera. He started from the very basic movements, what to do, what not to do etc. He stressed the importance of diet, hydration, sleep and stretching again and again over many sessions. Please listen to him :)As I progress further with heavier weights, I started getting pains in different parts of the body. Diego is knowledgeable and suggested different exercises, additional stretching movements to get rid off those pains. I am super happy and thankful to have Diego as my powerlifting coach.I started from no experience in powerlifting and able to do squats @ 360 lbs, bench @ 215 lbs, deadlift @ 365 lbs, in just 8 months. See the videos in this review.I highly recommend Backyard Barbell and Diego for your powerlifting needs.

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I've been lifting here for nearly a year with Diego as my coach, and I have gotten substantially stronger, bigger, and overall healthier during that time. The gym itself has everything you could possibly need as a powerlifter, with some strongman equipment too, and there's enough weights, racks, and platforms that you're never waiting around for something even at peak times. The overall vibes are really great too---always someone willing to spot you if you need it, for example.Diego has been great as a coach. I actually want to learn the sport of powerlifting---not just have someone tell me to do this lift or that lift---and Diego has been extremely accommodating. He teaches me the *why*, not just the *how*, so I feel like I understand the mechanics of the lifts, how to use supplementals and accessories to improve performance on the competition lifts, how certain stretches and exercises improve mobility, how to set up a training schedule and a nutrition plan, and so on. He's never given me a "just because" answer when I ask about why we're doing what we're doing. He's also great at helping me push my limits in the gym, while still staying safe. Finally, I travel a lot for work and my schedule can get kind of crazy sometimes, and Diego's always been great about working around my schedule so I can get my gym time in. If you actually want to learn how to become a powerlifter, I cannot recommend Diego enough.


Backyard Barbell is a fantastic old-school style powerlifting gym. At first glance it is not a very big gym, but you definitely have enough space to lift without feeling cramped. All the equipment is very good quality as well.I've been lifting here for close to 3 years. I've worked with coach Chandler about half that time, and currently with coach Diego.Both are excellent coaches and awesome people overall. They are very knowledgeable, and able to answer any technical questions with thorough explanation.The programming is very well designed. You will be taught proper form and corrected constantly. Your weaknesses will be worked on in the programming, and you will see excellent results.Backyard Barbell is one of, if not the best, powerlifting gym in the Bay Area.


I have been going here for almost 2 years. Diego is a great coach and really pushes me without the sugar coating or BS. I’m not a fan of the new fad of constant videotaping (for influencing vs review of form) and hyping over every lift as I’ve experienced at a few other gyms. I’m more about form, seeing results and finishing the workout so I love the feel of this gym, very no nonsense. It’s a great powerlifting gym. I do see a hand full of strong man equipment but it’s mainly powerlifting focused. As a lesbian, I feel very comfortable and welcomed as the other members are very diverse.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Except the peak hours, this place remains quite free or moderately crowded.

This business has a rating of 4.8-star.

This business has 20 reviews.

The address is: 1630 Remuda Ln, San Jose, CA 95112, United States .

The contact number is +1 408-500-5929

This service is listed under Gym .

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