Gain Self Esteem while Working on Physique


Isabella E. Bush

Pull, squat, jerk! Gracie Rice performs her final clean and jerk attempt at Youth Nationals. Freddie, the coach, also Rice’s uncle, encouraged her to try Olympic Weightlifting, which she eventually did and really enjoyed it.

Owner and coach of Dorman’s Sports Performance, John (“Freddie”- the first name he goes by) Dorman, opened his business about six years ago. Dorman originally started out as a professional hockey player, but he then hurt his back in 2012 by working out incorrectly. 


I had the opportunity to get some feedback. Dorman said, “I was incredibly blessed to be able to live out a childhood dream and play professional hockey for four years before a back injury ended my career. During my time playing, I was constantly in the gym preparing for the season, so I was always a gym rat before I opened Dorman’s Sports Performance.” 


During the rehab process, he found a love for weightlifting. After a while, he decided to open up his own gym called Dorman’s Sports Performance. He wanted to make sure people wouldn’t go through the same problem that he did while working out.


Dorman said, “During the rehab process of my back injury, I decided that I needed to take a different step in my journey and help other athletes prepare better so they wouldn’t end up in my position. A good friend of mine, Zach Haulman, convinced me that I should do the gym thing and so here we are almost seven years in. It’s been a cornerstone on my business and has made me a better coach. I feel like all of the challenging workouts make me physically and mentally stronger and makes me understand things better about life.” 

Dorman’s Sports Performance offers CrossFit, sports performance, group fitness classes, Olympic weightlifting and open gym memberships. Freddie opened Dorman’s Sports Performance August 15, 2015. 

Clients who want to begin working out at Dorman’s Sports Performance enroll into classes. Then, they become an official member of the gym and can work out at their convenience. Most of the members here participate in either Olympic Weightlifting or Crossfit classes. Olympic weightlifting focuses on strength and power, while CrossFit focuses on strength and conditioning. Some athletes also participate in the barbell club. The barbell club focuses on mostly Olympic weightlifting.

I had the opportunity to get some feedback from three Olympic weightlifters. Gracie Rice said, “I like the team and how the barbell club members support you and cheer you on. It really just makes you feel good. I also like the confidence lifting gives me.”

Sarah Mallery said, “Dorman’s has helped me with my strength and body movement in many ways, but has also helped me make close relationships.”


Lindsey Kepner said, “I got involved in weightlifting because I was always involved in a competitive sports. All through college, I played soccer and whenever I graduated from college, I was looking for another competitive sport to play, so I originally got into CrossFit and that led me to weightlifting.”


With competitions, members either participate in home meets at Dorman’s Sports Performance in Altoona or they leave the area to compete in more broad competitions. Olympic weightlifting competitions put athletes in different divisions depending on their age and weight. During weightlifting competitions, athletes will receive awards for best performances in both snatch and clean and jerks. This gym usually participates in fifty or more competitions a year. Competitions push athletes to the next level and allows them to get a better learning experience based off of their performance. 

To this day, Freddie still coaches at Dorman’s Sports Performance and plans to compete again in the future, as he continues to train in the gym every day he can.