Siouxland Stories: Record-breaking weightlifter carries on friend’s legacy through Big Iron Gym

Siouxland Stories

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A power lifter in Siouxland holds multiple world records. He is now training the generation of lifters and at the helm of a newer gym.

“Big Iron Gym started out of Omaha, Nebraska, by my coach, my friend, Rick Hussey. He started the gym and the power lifting team. I would drive there three days a week and he was one of the best coaches in the world. I was into powerlifting at that time. I felt pretty lucky and fortunate that it was only in Omaha to find the best trainer in the world,” said Shawn Frankl.

And it was the best trainer in the world that helped Frankl secure world records.

“Because of him and my teammates, I was able to set two world records, which are still stand today. One is in the 198 pound class. I squatted 1,055 which is a world record. I benched 850, and I deadlifted 750 at that body weight. My total is 2,630 at 198 and that’s a world record still today,” Frankl said.

Shawn also holds the world record for the 220 pound class, but said it’s his support system that helped give him the edge.

“I had a lot of people that helped me, it’s not something I could just do on my own,” Frankl said.

And then Shawn lost a key component of that network. Rick Hussey, the owner of Big Iron Gym, lost his battle with cancer.

“But he wanted to keep the gym going. We had numerous conversations about that and how he wanted me to keep it going. It was a little bit harder with me having a family here in town to go to Omaha and do it. So I just opened up this one here. It’s been a blessing, not just in powerlifting, but just normal people that just want general health, weight loss, staying in shape,” Frankl said.

Shawn explained that he’s building a legacy in Siouxland of strength in body and in community spirit.

“We’ve got some of the best members, some of the best support system. I don’t even look at it like it’s my gym, I look at it like it’s another family to me. It’s a group of people will to help each other out. Whether it’s inside or outside the gym, everybody’s willing to give a hand on anything that somebody’s got going on,” said Frankl.

Coming up on the 20th anniversary of September 11, Shawn organized a powerlifting meet at the gym.

“All the proceeds are going to the first responders. We wanted to do something where we’re giving back to the local people here in Siouxland, so we thought what better way, than on September 11, do a powerlifting meet. And all the proceeds, we’re going to give back,” Frankl said.

Something he said everyone should consider doing.

“Really, more than anything, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing in your life. I just think whatever you’re doing, wherever you’re at, you can probably be used to give back in some sort of way. So I challenge people. I don’t care what gym you’re going to do, I don’t care what you’re doing in your life, just give back, because there’s probably somebody out there that needs it,” Frankl said.

And that’s the culture he’s working each day to instill in the members he trains at Big Iron Gym in Sioux City.

“It’s unique, it’s not like your normal gym. People are always wanting to help. That’s what makes the gym: the people, it’s not the equipment, it’s not the building, it’s the people, that’s what makes the gym,” Frankl said.

If you’d like to directly support the cause this September 11, you can contact the gym directly at 712-899-8164.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News

Trending Stories