Head Coach David Spitz

head coach dave spitz

Dave Spitz has been at the helm of California Strength's weightlifting team since its inception back in 2007.  Dave started Americanweightlifting.org with the singular mission of inspiring a weightlifting movement within the United States.  Having spent a great deal of time training in Bulgaria, he brought back Ivan Abadjiev and Alex Krychev in an attempt to implement the same system here in the United States with American weightlifters.  

Fast forward through the late 2000's; American weightlifting greats like Donny Shankle, Jon North, Caleb Ward, Jared Enderton, Spencer Moorman, and Scott Hisaka all trace back to the training halls of California Strength and have left their own mark on weightlifting history.

Supporting a full-sized weightlifting team is no easy task as we contribute to the costs of training stipends, travel and housing for competitions, medical insurance and supplementation. Any donation you can make is welcomed gratefully by the team and will be used for the athletes. All donations are tax deductible.


Team Training Videos


A post shared by Wes Kitts (@weskitts22) on

Wes Kitts (105kg)

175kg Snatch | 210kg Clean & Jerk | 380kg Total

Originally from Tennessee, Wes began his athletic career as a D1AA Tailback at Austin Peay State University.  Following graduation, Wes continued his athletic career competing in both Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit which resulted in being drafted to the New York Rhinos (National Pro Grid League) where Wes was selected as the Player to Watch in 2016! 

Do not be fooled by his humble attitude and southern accent; as a 105kg weightlifter Wes currently holds PR's of 210kg in the Clean & Jerk and a 170kg Snatch!  Wes has an extensive background in coaching both the Olympic lifts as well as weight training for sport performance and will be a great addition to the California Strength family for years to come. 

  • 2015 American Open Champion
  • 2016 Russian Grand Prix Bronze Medalist
  • 2016 National Champion

Follow Wes on Instagram @weskitts22

Schedule a Personal Training Session with Wes by emailing him directly at weskitts@californiastrength.com


A post shared by Rob Blackwell (@robblackwell) on

Rob Blackwell (94kg)

160kg Snatch | 183kg Clean & Jerk | 339kg Total

Rob is currently the longest standing member of California Strength's Team at 6 years and holds current PR's at 160kg in the Snatch and a 185kg Clean & Jerk!  Having success at the National level seems to be routine for Rob, as he has claimed medals in both the 85kg and 94kg weight classes and looks to continue to add to his total.  

Not only is Rob a successful weightlifter, but he has also enjoyed success in the National Pro Grid League after being the 1st male drafted in 2015 and a 1st round / 3rd pick overall for the LA Reign.  Rob offers personal training and coaching in Olympic lifting, strength work for CrossFit, as well as working with California Strength's Youth weightlifters.

Follow Rob @robblackwell on Instagram.

Schedule a Personal Training Session with Rob HERE.


David McKellar (94kg)

Snatch | Clean & Jerk | 305kg Total

Follow David on Instagram @davidmckellar1


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Stephen Ngo (69kg)

126kg Snatch | 145kg Clean & Jerk | 271kg Total

Follow Stephen on Instagram @ngoflexsteph


Jason Starks (105kg+)

161kg Snatch | 195kg Clean & Jerk | 356kg Total

Follow Jason on Instagram @jasonstarks1979


Dominic Stolle (77kg)

126kg Snatch | 155kg Clean & Jerk | 280kg Total

Follow Dom on Instagram @dstolle_77


A post shared by Jake Pudenz (@jake.pudenz) on

Jake Pudenz (105kg+)

152kg Snatch | 188kg Clean & Jerk | 340kg Total

Follow Jake on Instagram @jake.pudenz


Ajay Goel (56kg)

84kg Snatch | 104kg Clean & Jerk | 108kg Total

Follow Ajay on Instagram @ajayakamilk

Sam Duval (105kg+)

Snatch | Clean & Jerk | Total

Follow Sam on Instagram @


California Strength Youth Team

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Jaden Washington (85kg)

Snatch | Clean & Jerk | Total

2016 Youth National Champion.  Follow Jaden on Instagram @_j_wizzle


Julius Weisberg (85kg)

Snatch | Clean & Jerk | Total

Follow Julius on Instagram @juliusweisberg


Lift for California Strength

If you believe you can be a part of California Strength as a supported athlete please review our requirements and application process. There are varying levels of support offered to athletes, with benefits ranging from gratis coaching, allowance for travel expenses, education & stipends. We support our athletes in their professional pursuits to develop careers in the industry concurrently with their weightlifting training.