How we started...
Canton Barbell was started in May of 2017. After I received a bachelors degree in exercise science from the University of Akron in 2015, I began working as an exercise specialist for Akron General Lifestyles while also beginning to train clients independently through other facilities. After one year, I was full time on my own training clients. By 2017 I had decided that my vision included my own facility with its own unique atmosphere and culture.
Canton Barbell was started with the bare-bones equipment and has grown piece by piece as our community has expanded. We have now worked with over 100 clients of various backgrounds and with various goals
Michael Mercer graduated with a bachelors in exercise science from the University of Akron in 2015. Upon graduating, he started his career as exercise specialist and personal trainer at Akron General Lifestyles in Stow, OH. While working for Akron General, he began training independently during off times as well. As his business grew, he eventually branched off to strictly training independently and started Canton Barbell in May of 2017.
During his time as a trainer, Michael has worked with a large array of clients including weight loss, youth athletics, high school athletics, college athletics, post rehab, army, police, and more.
Walid Bardawil (Coach Wali) has been a Sports Performance trainer for 15 years. Coach Wali is a Stark County native and currently lives in Massillon with his wife Brittany and twin 2 year olds, Elias and Michael. He began his training career at Mentor High School where he was also an Assistant Varsity Football Coach. After 3 years assisting in the weight room, he became the Strength & Conditioning Coach in 2006 and would continue in that role until 2009. Mentor reached the state finals that same year as well as 2007. He also trained the girls track, volleyball, boys & girls basketball teams, as well as the girls soccer team. In 2009, he accepted an offer to become the part owner & head trainer at AIM Performance in Mentor where he was until 2014. Since moving back to the area, Coach Wali has been an Assistant Coach/Strength Coach at Massillon Washington (Strength Coach for all sports), Massillon Jackson, St. Thomas Aquinas, & Wooster Triway.
Along with training clients and athletes at Canton Barbell, Walid is also currently coaching defensive line at Green High School.