Getting involved in something you’re passionate about is important, but sharing this passion with others is what keeps the Barbell Club at Keene State College motivated.

While the Barbell Club cannot officially call themselves a CrossFit club, it doesn’t keep them from demonstrating and incorporating some of the same techniques.

“I started a petition my sophomore year to get the club started and my junior year the club and workouts started,” Barbell Club President Nicole Morano said.

Morano is also a head coach, along with Vice President Brendan Snyder.

Contributed Photo / Nicole Morano

Contributed Photo / Nicole Morano

Morano said she started the club after she had been spending a lot of time at CrossFit Keene and realized she could do what she was doing at the facility, but spend less while working alongside others who wanted to  participate on KSC’s campus.

“My favorite part is sharing my passion and love for crossfit with new people to the sport and also people who have been doing it for a mixed number of years,” Snyder said.

The classes are held every day during the school week, twice a day. The workouts consist of working on specific skills: gymnastics, weightlifting and running, among others.

First-year member Jenny Lindley said, “It is not just a physical game, it’s mental too. If you tell yourself you can’t do it, you won’t be able to.” Many members found out about the club because of social media, where most of the club’s advertising is done.

“Members bring friends and then Brendan and I stay with the new members during sessions so they can get a feel,” Morano said.

The Barbell Club also puts on events such as Barbells for Boobs. The event was a fundraiser as well as a competition. The competition portion was split up into beginner, intermediate and advanced CrossFit competitors. Each person competed in various skills such as weightlifting and squats.

The club was able to get  a grant from Pepsi in order to fund the event. Nearly $3,000 was collected and donated in order to aid people in getting breast exams.

“In order to participate in the competition, people were asked to donate ten dollars,” Morano said.

The Barbell Club is working on coordinating with CrossFit Keene and being able to use their facilities with the members of KSC’s club.

“We are currently trying to establish a relationship with CrossFit Keene gym to see if we can go there but we are still in the process of it, but I think if we had that relationship with them where were just able to pay and use their gym, then we could advertise our club more effectively,” Morano said. Although the club has yet to commit to its relationship with CrossFit Keene, the members are building relationships with one another.

“I have a love for CrossFit and the people are great; it’s definitely improved my social game,” Lindley said.

Everyone has different goals but ultimately everyone is looking to improve and enjoy the social aspect of CrossFit, according to Morano.

“I feel that barbell club has the potential to be a staple on campus. As the interest and the word about the club spreads I hope that we can be a piece that makes the campus more interested in fitness and health. I’d love to qualify for the Crossfit Games and have another member of Keene State Barbell Club competing right there next to me,” Snyder said.

Mary Curtin can be contacted at

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