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CROWN POINT | For three years as a child, Josh C. Lambert, diagnosed with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, either used a wheel chair, wore a leg brace or was in traction.

“The leg brace caused severe curvature of my spine leading to scoliosis.” Lambert said. “Because of this disease I was continually told by doctors not to do certain sports and not to lift heavy weights. Most patients can barely squat due to no cartilage in the hip joint. I started at a young age with squats and other hip strengthening movements so I could maybe play the sports I wanted to and prove the doctors wrong.”

At that point, Lambert said, he decided that if he couldn’t participate in some sports at least he could coach athletes.

“So began my obsession with Olympic-style weightlifting, Strongman and sports conditioning, coaching and training,” said Lambert, owner of CP Barbell Athletics.

Since 1995, Lambert has earned 11 certifications including: personal trainer; nutritional specialist; health and wellness consultant; advanced personal trainer; sports conditioning specialist; master level personal trainer; pre- and post-natal exercise specialist; Qigong instructor; USA Weightlifting Sports Performance coach; and USA Weightlifting Advanced Sports Performance coach.

CP Barbell Athletics, which Lambert hopes to franchise in the near future, opened in December at 566 N. Indiana Ave. Current programs include: “The Listen Program,” a diet and exercise program designed by Lambert; the 80/20 program for losing or gaining weight; and many specialty classes including jerks, cleans, snatch, levels and dead-lifts.

“We also have classes just for men and just for women including Men-Barbells and Beer and Ladies-Weights and Wine,” Lambert said. “These two group classes begin with technique throughout the lifts and end with a cold one or glass of wine with some discussion. All classes are for both the beginner and advanced weight lifter.”

Lambert has lost 40 pounds and roughly 16 inches in less than six weeks through “The Listen Program.”

“It has been a long time coming for 'The Listen Program' but I believe it will help many people in the future,” Lambert said. “I am also a firm believer that it does not take 70 to 80 percent diet and 20 to 30 percent workout; it takes quite the opposite. If only people would work on the programming of their workout they would see the diet will come along.”

Lambert describes weight lifting as challenging.

“These movements are not a TV attached to an elliptical or a machine weight we sit down at,” Lambert said. “These are Olympic movements. We stand all the time and that’s what makes you strong while burning a ton of calories. The snatch and the clean and jerk are not something you can watch on YouTube and perfect.”

Lambert said he works in seven different levels from ground to above the head in order to teach the whole movement.

Raised on a Crown Point farm with parents highly involved in the community, Lambert plans to follow in their footsteps.

“Fit-Comp, Lift Comp and Charity Comp are just three of the competitions I am looking to get out there throughout the region,” Lambert said. “These competitions are for people who want to have fun and compete at the same time. I am looking forward to having some competitions and coaching at local events like the Corn Roast, Crown Point Taste and possibly at a car cruise night over on Beacon Hill.”

The Charity Comps can be held anywhere and will consist of fitness and lifting events with all proceeds going to a local charity of the winner’s choice, Lambert said. Lambert, who has an autistic niece, lifts for autism awareness during April.

“Last year I lifted over 200,000 pounds and this year I will do no less than 500,000 pounds myself,” Lambert said.

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Senior Copy Editor

Jeanette is a journalist with The Times Media Co. who has worked as both a reporter and editor. She has a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.