StrongMoms Barbell Club

We help moms get STRONG with weightlifting.  We love lifting and we love moms.  All of our programs are designed with the postpartum body, postpartum function, and postpartum needs as the highest priority.  Get started with our 3-week Essentials program to feel the difference for yourself!  

StrongMoms Barbell club is run by Cori McDougald, who resides in Kansas City, Missouri.  Read more about Cori and the rest of our coaches in the COACHES section, below!

We have two brand ambassadors; Ashley Schaeffer & Sydney Courtney.  Ashley and Sydney write guest blogs from time to time, help us coach, and live the SMBC life to the fullest.  Check out these badass moms when you get a chance!  Do you want to be a brand ambassador?  Shoot us an e-mail at strongmomsbarbellclub@gmail.com 

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Cori (Safe) McDougald

Head Coach Cori McDougald grew up Olympic weightlifting under the watchful eye of her father USA Weightlifting coach and instructor, Scott Safe.  At age ten, she decided to do her first weightlifting competition and fell in love with the sport from that point on.  She would take the bus to her dad’s old weightlifting equipment shop (Formerly Safe USA, Safe Strength) and make as much noise as possible with her 15lb kids bar and plexi glass plates in the back storage area.

Throughout childhood and adolescent years, Cori competed in Olympic weightlifting nationally, winning multiple schoolage and junior national championships.  She then competed in the 2004 Olympic Trials for Weightlifting.  From there, she started an Olympic weightlifting team while attending the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.  After graduating from college, she found herself training and coaching in Chicago.

Cori developed and ran Windy City CrossFit’s Olympic lifting program, which is where her love of program design sparked.  Cori completed OPEX (formerly OPT) CCP Program Design course and started training not only Olympic weightlifters, but also CrossFit athletes and members who wanted specific training for their goals.

Cori has experience training CrossFit athletes addressing needs of both Olympic weightlifting and energy system demands.  She also trains clients with a variety of goals such as prenatal and postnatal strength training, strength training, injury prevention and injury rehabilitation.  She particularly enjoys training female athletes, Olympic weightlifters, and CrossFit competitors.  She has coached weightlifters at the national and international level.  

Cori's primary profession at the moment is taking care of her son, Thorson.  Thorson was born in January of 2017 via C-section. Cori also enjoys spending time with her dogs, Boomer (pitbull) & Jellybean (doberman).  She enjoys traveling, hiking, biking, and climbing with her husband, Damon.


  • NSCA - Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

  • ACE - Certified Personal Trainer

  • Certified Postnatal Fitness Specialist

  • Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach

  • USA Weightlifting Level 2 Coach

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

  • OPEX (formerly OPT) CCP Level 1 Coach - Assessment & Program Design


Renee Eades

Coach Renee spent several years as a software engineer before changing career paths into massage therapy out of her desire to help people. She then recognized the need for nutritional counseling and physical fitness to help her clients progress into healthier lifestyles so she became an ACE certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor in 2012. She coached her own HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) bootcamp for a year and a half before joining a nearby CrossFit gym and brought her class with her. Her HIIT program became very popular and was expanded into 5 days/week, 5 classes/day requiring an additional coach. Even though she was coaching HIIT classes she was doing CrossFit classes for herself and very quickly found she had a passion for barbells. She loved it so much she got her CrossFit Level 1 certification and turned her HIIT class members on to barbells as well.  

She has always had a focus and passion for training women, as she knows first hand the pressures of society on them to look a certain way. She believes in empowering women with physical and mental strength and the courage to love and appreciate their bodies for the amazing vessels they are. She teaches them to focus on not what their bodies look like, but what their bodies can DO. As the mother of 3 girls she strives very hard to be a good role model of strength, perseverance and work/life balance.

Outside of the gym, she enjoys traveling, biking, fishing, dancing, volunteering, hanging with girl friends, and spending time doing anything outdoors with her daughters and husband.


  • ACE – Certified Personal Trainer

  • ACE – Certified Group Fitness Instructor

  • Crossfit Level 1 Trainer

Sydney Courtney

Sydney is married with two adult children. She is the Affiliate Owner of Goat House CrossFit, and is also a Games Brute Strength athlete with individual program design under Coach Nick Fowler. When she isn't coaching class or personal training sessions at her affiliate, she's putting in her own training for competitive CrossFit. Otherwise, her time is spent with her husband and children.

Sydney has been active her who life taking acrobatics K-12, horsemanship in her youth, middle and high school cheer, track and volleyball.

Her personal athletic achievements include CrossFit Games Masters Qualifier 2018 (placing yet to come), 2017 - 56th worldwide and 2016 - 53rd worldwide, Wodapalooza 2017, Granite Games 2017 with the Strongman Event win, Heart of America Team Competition 2017-MidWestern Built Masters placing 3rd and earning a check!, Garage Games Master's Tour MO Pride First place 2015 and the Garage Games Winter Ice Storm First place 2015. 

Other adult achievements include 2012 Kansas US Weight Lifting Open 53K class 2nd place, 2012 Iron Turkey 53K class 1st place, 2012 Midwest Off Road Events Ladies Champion, 2013 Midwest Off Road Events Ladies A 2nd place, 2012 Off Road Cup Ironwoman 3rd place and Team Captain in the 2002 Outward Bound 170 mile relay in Colorado covering 4 mountain passes.  

Sydney has suffered two major off-road dirt bike racing accidents. The first one, in 2009, while racing through the woods, she landed a jump badly which resulted in a shattered knee joint surface, displaced tibia and fibula and fractured shin. After surgery, plates and screws, and 14 weeks of non-weight bearing rehab she was ready to get back to serious fitness. She remained active during recovery, but now with the "okay" to start weight bearing, she began personal training sessions in Olympic weightlifting and CrossFit with a strength and conditioning coach that was recommended by a friend. Weight lifting is the number one exercise for increasing bone density and it paid off. Sydney gained strength and balance through this training.  One of which lead her career in personal training, as well as, her competitive fitness goals. Additionally, it developed her desire to help others too.

As mentioned, Sydney has two children. Both were c-section deliveries. She hasn't experienced any negative side effects, but knows woman who have leaking issues. Being able to keep these woman moving and staying fit while rehabbing is a new passion. In the gym, Sydney helps these woman strengthen their pelvic floor with a variety of movements that are easily incorporated into their warm up and or workout. In particular, she has a member who has followed her programming along with physical therapy and has improved her incontinence and has avoided surgery which was recommended. Working with Cori & Renee at StrongMoms Barbell Club to further educate and help woman is exciting! 

Sydney is passionate about coaching all levels and ages of athletes. She is dedicated to coaching her clients towards their goals be it being fit for life or competition. Witnessing their progress and achievements and overcoming adversity is most rewarding and motivating! 


  • Goat House CrossFit Affiliate Owner 2015 to present

  • CrossFit Level 2

  • USAW Sports Performance Certified - 2013 to present

  • CrossFit Games Master's Qualifier - 2016, 2017, 2018

  • Fittest in Kansas 50-54 - 2016, 2017, 2018

  • Wodapalooza 2017

  • Granite Games 2017

  • Brute Strength Athlete/Coach-Nick Fowler 2016 to present



Marissa Tonkovic - Yoga

Marissa got her start practicing yoga while attending graduate school in pursuit of her MFA in photography at Illinois State University- somewhere in between 2011-2014. There she loved the idea of yoga but was consumed by her studies only practicing when her schedule allowed because - let’s be honest - life in grad school can be a bit of a challenge. She found it grounded her and provided her with balance.

Fast forward about 3 years and after the birth of her daughter Leica (yes she is named after a camera), she fell in love with yoga all over again. She has spent the last year practicing yoga with her daughter by her side. She feels yoga is a very powerful practice that can not only stretch you out but can empower you to do anything you put your mind too.

Yoga is so powerful it has helped her thru her postpartum anxiety and has brought her even closer to her daughter. She recently completed her RYT200 thru Shiva Rae’s Samudra Global School of Living Yoga under the careful guidance of Monica Mesa Dasi, Heather Ritenour-Sampson and Susan Harp. She believes that yoga is accessible to all beings; especially mommas and their kiddos.

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