Looking for a new gym? Anthony and Valerie Oliveira just dropped anchor in Concord

For Anthony Oliveira, life has come full circle.

A world record holder for the squat began his fitness instruction journey in 2014 when he was interning at Brian’s One 2 One Fitness in Concord. After working at the gym for a year, Anthony moved to Ohio to train with some of the top power lifters in the world at Westside Barbell.

Then late last year, Anthony and his wife Valerie purchased One 2 One from Brian Silfies and gave it a new life as Anchor Athletics and Strength.

“It just seemed like a no brainer to be honest with you,” said Oliveira said. “I was like, alright, if we can make this work financially, we should just do it.”

For Anthony, owning a gym meant he could work alongside his wife, an opportunity he refused to pass up.

“My wife has worked in kitchens or as a waitress forever, and bartender and stuff,” said Oliveira. “So [it was great] to be able to get her out of that and into a situation like this. Where she really enjoys coaching people. She’s very good at what she does.”

The transition between owners has been smooth. Silfies said there’s no one he’d rather see take over the business he ran for more than a decade.

“Anthony was the first person that came to my mind,” said Silfies. “Because Anthony interned here, worked here, he trained here, and then he went to West Side. He knows a lot of people here already. He’s one of the best lifters in the world, he’s had the best coaches in the world. He’s probably the best online coach in the world. I still care about this place, it’ll always be a part of me and my legacy, I think. And I wanted somebody that I could really trust to do a great job. He was number one.”

The Oliveiras said they want to take what Silfies built and add their own stamp to it.

“It’s just fresh eyes,” said Oliveira. “I think he laid a foundation, the culture here is great. I think we can elevate that culture.”

Training student athletes and helping them reach their full potential is a core part of the mission for Anchor Athletics and Strength, which Oliveira hopes to grow.

One thing about Oliveira is he’s a colorful guy, literally. He’s got lots of tattoos, which he isn’t trying to hide.

“I know that the way that I look, with all the tattoos and everything,” he said “Like I look a little wild, and I’m very aware of that. But I truly believe that if the coaches give us a chance to get athletes in here they’ll be stoked on the results.”

Valerie said she was most excited to get involved with the community and with local athletes. She stressed that Anchor is not just for athletes interested in power lifting. In fact, they will develop individual plans for each athlete, tailored to his or her sport and goals.

“If kids are coming here they’re not getting pushed towards that,” Valerie said. “They’re focusing on their sports specific stuff because ultimately, that’s what pays pays for college and that’s what gets them the opportunities, not necessarily power lifting. So we want to make sure that we weren’t going to be straying from that. That’s why we put athletics first in the name.”

The athletic component of the business is something Anthony is on the process of overhauling. Despite his background in lifting, he said his focus for athletes is pivoting them away from primarily barbell work.

“Just because your squat goes up doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a better football player. But if your 10 yard sprint or your shuttle run gets better, you will be a better football player, 100%. We actually want to shift the focus to have the culture being very turf oriented, very explosive. Jumps, sleds, that sort of thing.”

Located at 2 Pillsbury St., in Concord, in the same building as New Hampshire Public Radio, it’s common to see student athletes doing drills in the parking lot after school.

“Strength is obviously super important, but we’re trying to shift the focus to a little more work on the turf,” Oliveira said. “Because if you get better on the turf and you get better on sleds, better jumping, better at sprinting. That will 100%, carry over to your sport without question.”


Leave a Comment