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Meet Brad Stone

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brad Stone.

Hi Brad, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Born and raised here in St. Louis, I have been an athlete all my life. Baseball was my sport of choice, and after an award-filled college career, it became more than my passion. It became my profession. I played for six seasons in the Florida Marlins system, including two seasons at AAA. While I was in AAA, I tore a muscle in my back. That was the beginning of the end of my playing career. After I was done, I found my way back into the gym. I had always been a gym rat, but on the client-side rather than on the coaching side.

I had always done pitching instruction and had a steady supply of kids who wanted to know what I did in the weight room. It just so happened that my strength coach at the time had his own facility. His space and time meshed well with my people, so I began acquiring education and experience. My career as a strength coach had begun. Shortly after my first child was born, an opportunity emerged from what could have been a tragedy.

I was terminated from the gym I worked at for almost three years, just a week after my daughter was born. This could have been terrible for our family, but through perseverance, patience, and determination, I took the chance and opened my own facility, Stone Strength Systems in Brentwood!

It was in this home I honed my craft and developed my coaching style. I had the chance to work with hundreds of clients from all walks of life with a vast array of goals they hoped to accomplish. Here, we helped three people lose over 100lbs, clients set personal records they never dreamed they could, and people who lived with pain found that they no longer hurt. I found what I was meant to do.

We spent almost five years in our first location until the city bought the property and forced us to move to our new home in Crestwood. My staff has grown in our new home as has our client base. We continue to provide for the fitness needs of our community and work to serve our clients need in a new and changing landscape.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road to where we are today has been a tough one. Aside from my injury and baseball career ending, I have had several large-scale hardships to overcome in the past few years. Covid and the shutdowns were hard for everyone, and we were no exception. We had to pivot from in-person training to a brand new, virtual format for our gym and learn to survive in this brand-new landscape, all on the fly.

While Covid was a test of the resilience of my business, my largest personal struggle to date was my divorce. I was caught completely off guard when my marriage came to an end. The events that lead to our breakup were completely unforeseen and soul crushing. I was broken.
For a year, the process of dissolving our marriage and nailing the custody arrangement tore away at my spirit, but I had a business to continue to run and employees I was responsible for. It is often in our darkest hours we find what we are truly made of. Through these trials, I have learned so much about myself, the importance of mental health, how fitness, in my case, powerlifting can be a pathway to healing. Surviving that ordeal was the hardest thing I have had to do as an adult, but what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My gym, Stone Strength Systems, specializes in strength training. Our philosophy is centered around it. No matter your goal, whether you want to lose weight, get bigger, be a better athlete if you focus on getting stronger, you will get there faster. Seeing the weight on the bar increase will happen before the number on the scale changes or how you see yourself in the mirror. Strength is the umbrella under which all other aspects of physical fitness fall.

Our focus on strength has helped former athletes reach fitness levels and strength milestones they never had while they were playing. Our clients have even transformed their entire lives. They’ve told me how they found the courage to apply for new jobs, leave unhealthy relationships, and do things they never imagined for themselves. What we do, is more than just work out or lift weights. We change people’s lives.

My favorite client story is about a nurse I worked with. When she joined our gym she was shy and kind of mousy. Over time, she learned how to move better and got stronger. Not just how much she could lift, but how she carried herself. Her confidence had improved, and she was a different person now.

One day, about eight months into our time together, she came in to train and told me plainly, “I did it.” I asked her, “did what?” She went on to tell me how she applied for a promotion and got it. Furthermore, she then went on to tell me about leaving a toxic relationship. She had put up with a man who didn’t treat her well for years, unable to see her own value. She had been inspired by the confidence she developed in the gym and found the courage to stand up for herself and get what she deserved. This is what we do. We help you see the potential inside and bring it out.

Alright, so before we go, can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
We love working with other local businesses and individuals. We regularly partner with other groups for events and charity, and we love hosting groups at our facility for team-building exercises and group workouts.

We are open to talking with anyone who has ideas and wants to collaborate. Our realm is the physical one and exercise has a ton of benefits. We would love to help facilitate any individual or group that is looking for ways to change things up.

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