At age 11, Dane told his father he was going to get strong to be a state championship athlete. He picked up weights, started to compete, and hasn’t looked back since. Now, as the owner of Garage Strength, Dane trains southeastern Pennsylvania’s elite athletes, including four state champions in three sports, three national champions, and a world team member. He trained under and with numerous Olympic champions and a world record holder, and has coached multiple times as a special invitee to the Olympic Training Center.
After founding Garage Strength in 2009, Dane grew it into Berks County’s premier Olympic weightlifting and sports performance center. His unique, intensive training programs are based not only on tested and proven methods of optimal athletic development but each athlete’s skill and need.
Dane began his athletic career at Schuylkill Valley High School, where he ranked as an All-State defensive lineman, and two-time Berks County lineman of the year.
He remains the best shot putter in Berks County, holding a shot put record previously broken before man walked on the moon, and reached his sixth-grade goal of a PA State Championship in the event. He finished in PA’s top four in both shot put and discus in high school before continuing to throw for Penn State University, where he was a five-time Big 10 place winner, track and field team captain, and four-time Academic All-Big 10 scholar athlete. He was also an NCAA championship qualifier and four-time regional qualifier. He is a two-time USA Indoor Track and Field national qualifier.
In addition to those accolades, today Dane’s training programs produce even more impressive numbers:139 state and national qualifiers in 7 sports
73 state and national medalists
61 high school athletes that continued to NCAA athletics
10 state champions
10 GS athletes earned scholarships in ten different sports
6 Olympic trials participants in 2 sports
6 national champions
5 international team members
6 NCAA All-Americans
4 American Record Holders
DJ Shuttleworth (Big Deej)
If you’ve spent any time around the Garage, you know that DJ’s nickname used to be Small Deej. Then he became a high school athlete, met Dane, and went on to compete at the college level. Now he’s back in Reading, bigger than ever, and plays an integral role in the Garage Strength coaching staff.
A three-sport high school athlete, DJ went on to play outside linebacker at Wilkes University, where he was named team captain for two consecutive seasons and earned his B.S. in Accounting. During school breaks he would come home and train at Garage Strength, always working to improve his ability on the field during the season as well as in the off-seasons.
After completing his degree, DJ took on the challenge of becoming a full-time coach at Garage Strength as well as a competitive Olympic weightlifter and co-owner of Earth Fed Muscle. Along with Dane, DJ coaches Garage Strength’s multiple national champion weightlifters and elite athletes in nearly every sport. He has qualified for and competed in two national competitions himself, as well as placed or won his weight class in multiple local weightlifting meets.
DJ prides himself on pushing every Garage Strength client, whether a student athlete or someone on the road to weight loss, to their peak ability. He has seen the heights any athlete can achieve through hard work and dedication, and loves to bring that focus to his Garage clients’ workouts every day.
Weightlifting and high intensity sports can quickly identify where your body’s weaknesses are, and that’s even before you put yourself through the grind of training every day. Nobody knows that better than Caitlin, Garage Strength’s resident yoga instructor and assistant trainer.
A natural athlete throughout her childhood, Caitlin played field hockey at Rutgers University, where she was the team captain for three seasons and was named to the Northeast Regional team during her senior year. She later worked as an assistant coach at Rutgers and has been the assistant coach at Hamburg Area High School for two years.
Caitlin suffered a herniated disc during her field hockey career. After eight months of rehab, she turned to yoga to begin building her core strength and stability. Her practice continued after her injury and beyond college, focusing on the Ashtanga and Vinyasa styles of yoga.
Every week, she draws upon her recuperative and strength-based yoga experiences to help build the Garage Strength community’s ability to enhance recovery, gain a better awareness of physical mechanics, and improve focus.
Caitlin’s yoga style and classes are most inspired by Kelly Yarpezeshkan, a teacher she studied under in 2011. Yoga with Kelly was a seamless integration of movement and breath with philosophy, lifestyle, and ethics, giving Kelly’s students a truly holistic way of approaching their overall health. Yoga is not just a workout to stretch sore muscles, but a way to manage stress, approach difficult situations, and treat a multitude of ailments.