Get ready to LIFT in RIB MOUNTAIN


B.C. Kowalski


Eric Thomas, along with sponsored athlete David Rock, in front of what will be Lift’s second location in Rib Mountain.

It was only June of this year when Lift Athletics, owned by Eric Thomas, Andy Schroeder and Korey Stern, opened its doors on Grand Avenue in Wausau. Even then, the owners said they had big plans — two more locations opened up by the end of the year.

Now, less than three months later, one of those plans is about to come to fruition. Lift’s owners just bought the former Dollar Mountain building in Rib Mountain, on the corner of Rib Mountain Drive and Robin Lane. And it’s going to have a little bit of a different focus than the original location, Thomas says. “We’re growing so fast over there (on Grand Avenue). It really took off,” Thomas says.

The new Lift location will have much of what the Grand Avenue location has, with its focus on CrossFit, group fitness and weight lifting. (For the uninitiated, CrossFit is a wildly popular fitness program that combines a variety of movements for a high intensity workout.)

The new location will focus not only on the CrossFit regimen, but also on being a complete fitness center with cycling classes and yoga, Thomas says. Perhaps most significant: The new location will have a drop-in day care, something not a lot of other health clubs in the area offer, he says. “It’ll have everything you could want in a gym.” Many people want to work out but have a hard time fitting it into their schedules with kids to take care of. Having day care at the club will help that segment of the population get their fitness in, Thomas says.

The Rib Mountain location is the second of three planned Lift locations in the Wausau area. The third location will likely be on Wausau’s west side, when the group finds the perfect location. A single membership will allow access to all of Lift’s current and future locations.

Thomas says he chooses the gym’s trainers — as well as athletes he sponsors through a supplement line he and his wife Faith owns — based largely on their character. The people who represent him serve a vital role in helping new people in the gym and creating a warm and inspiring environment, Thomas says.  

One of those athletes, David Rock, a former power lifter now focusing on bodybuilding, says it’s important to have a welcoming environment. ‘This is the first gym I’ve ever been to like that, where you walk in the door and every person in there is working,” Rock says. “The goal is to have an open environment where everyone feels welcome, because everyone starts somewhere.”

Thomas says Lift hopes to open its second location by Thanksgiving. Check out Lift Athletics on Facebook or at