Owner, Strength & Conditioning Coach, Weightlifting Coach, Powerlifting Coach

"Don't give up.  Don't ever give up."
-Jimmy Valvano
  • Master of Science in Sport & Health Sciences, American Military University

  • Bachelor of Science in Education, Exercise Science, Specialization in Exercise Programming, Bowling Green State University

  • National Strength & Conditioning Association Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist

  • American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer

  • Level 2 USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach

  • USA Powerlifting Club Coach

  • American Red Cross CPR/AED Adult, Child, & Infant

  • American Red Cross First Aid

  • Weightlifting & Powerlifting Competition Coaching

  • Strength & Conditioning for Athletes of all Levels

  • Increasing Muscular Power & Strength

  • Training Clients of Special Conditions including Autism, Visual Impairments, Parkinson's Disease, Hypertension, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, among others

  • Snatch and Clean & Jerk Development

  • Increasing Muscle Mass

  • Strengthening Bone Density

  • Developing Mental Toughness & Work Ethic

  • Increasing Self-Confidence

  • Creating a Passion for Lifting Weights

  • Strength Training in Advanced Age Populations

  • Enhancing Motor Skills & Exercise Techniques

  • Working with Clients of Various Injuries including Rotator Cuff Tears, Hip Labral Tears, Chronic Back Pain, Hernias, among others

Notable Experience, Awards, & Continuing Education:
  • 2019 The Arnold 3x Silver Medalist in Weightlifting

  • 2019 Masters Pan American Games 3x Gold Medalist in Weightlifting

  • Coached at USPA National Championship

  • 2x Coach at The Arnold

  • Graduate of CHFP Weightlifting Coach's Academy (2019)

  • 100% Passing Rate for Federal Law Enforcement Cadet PFT Assessments and United States Army APFT Assessments

  • 1st Degree Tae Kwon Do Black Belt

  • Donny Shankle Weightlifting Seminar (2017)

  • High Performance Weightlifting as Sport, for Sport Seminar with Olympic Team USA Coach Harvey Newton (2014)

  • California Strength Weightlifting Seminar with Coach Dave Spitz (2014)

  • Georgetown University Strength & Conditioning Experience

  • OCB Atlantic Supershow Men's Bodybuilding Overall Champion (Division) (2012)

  • Bowling Green State University Award Recepient for Outstanding Contributions to the School of Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies (2010)

Joe VanCleve is the product of a proud, hard-working family from a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio.  He has been training and coaching individuals in Washington, DC since 2010, and he takes great pride in helping others feel great about themselves.  Joe was a natural athlete, competing as a starter and co-captain in varsity football, wrestling, and baseball at Bishop Fenwick High School, and a martial artist mastering the craft of Tae Kwon Do.  When Joe stepped away from team sports, he never lost interest in training and getting stronger and he was always amazed at what the human body was capable of.  Joe stands only 5'2 tall, and his drive and heart led him to succeed in many things that didn't seem possible to most.  Joe truly believes the strength he has developed in the gym directly translates to his strength in life and he feels blessed to share that gift with the world around him.  Joe, who can deadlift over 3 times his own body weight also has a lot of hobbies outside of the gym.  On his free time, he loves to spend quality time with his wife, Angela, and he enjoys writing, cooking, music, and anything Star Wars.  Joe believes in a balanced lifestyle and pursuing true happiness through hard work and dedication.  Think Joe sounds like the coach for you?  Reach out to him at 


At age 64, I was trim and relatively healthy but aware that I was losing body strength when I started working with Joe VanCleve as my exercise trainer. More than six years later, at age 70, I am still trim and still relatively healthy but my body is remarkably strong. I can squat over 100 pounds, do sets of pushups with a 25 pound weight on my back, and complete sets of lunges with 40 pounds in each hand.


How did this happen? Joe brings a wealth of education to his work. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Exercise Sciences and that education guides the exercises he selects for each client. Joe cares passionately about the progress his clients achieve as much as his clients care. Maybe more. The work that each client invests towards a personal goal is Joe’s meat and potatoes! It nourishes him. But equally important, Joe has a personality that makes you believe in yourself as much as he believes in you. When he turns his green eyes and wonderful smile in your direction, of course you will lift that weight or complete that set of pushups. At that moment, there is no alternative!


After six years, I have arms and legs and back muscles that are the envy of most women. I wear sleeveless dresses with complete abandon, knowing that my torso has muscles and delineation. Occasionally, people will ask me where I got my arms. Not at Bloomingdales, for sure. I got them through hard work and because Joe VanCleve is a dynamite trainer.


I had the wonderful experience of meeting Joe VanCleve for a physical evaluation and will return as his full-time student soon.  You see, I have an arthritic spine and suffer with pain and numbness that is being medically controlled.  Joe agreed to see me, to see if he could help me with strength training.  I am completely impressed with Joe; he did not push me to hard and was extremely thorough in his evaluation of my abilities.  He took the time to ask questions, walk me through some exercises, and show me some things I could do.  He even cared enough to ensure I watched my posture to prevent strain on my back.  

His professionalism did not stop with the initial evaluation; he took the time to write my Rheumatologist a letter to get concurrence on a physical fitness plan that would help me.  She stated, and I quote "Stick with this guy very few trainers care enough to ask these kinds of questions and create a plan like this."   I have every intention on working with Joe and look forward to his guidance to help me strengthen my body.  

I recommend him to anyone thinking about ways to improve their physical fitness.  Whether it be as a professional lifter or someone like me, that wants to be able to pickup a grocery bag without hurting.  



2020 Dedicated Strength, LLC:  Professional Fitness Coaching 
1802 11th St. NW 1B Washington, DC 20001  phone: (202) 810-LIFT