Pittsburgh’s Death Comes Lifting Appeals to the Rebel in Us All

Founder/Crypt Keeper Zak Bellante and his team provide Fitness for the Misfits.
Death Comes Lifting Yoga

PHOTO BY ZACHARY SHAHEN: ZAK BELLANTE, THE CRYPT KEEPER OF PITTSBURGH’S DEATH COMES LIFTING, HELPS THE MISFITS, PUNK ROCKERS AND REBELS IN US ALL STAY IN SHAPE.

If you’ve ever felt out of place in a gym, you are not alone.

Bethel Park High School graduate Zachary “Zak” Bellante, 28, never felt like a traditional gym was built for him. 

“I was a very sick kid,” he says. “I always had health problems and I was overweight. So, I got sick of being overweight and I starved myself. I was anorexic by the time I was 17.”

A rebel himself, Bellante wasn’t about to let someone else tell him how to become healthy. So, he learned about exercise and nutrition and hasn’t looked back. After high school, he became a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and sports nutrition specialist. He is also an EXOS movement performance specialist, and is certified in Crossfit L1, Crossfit Kids and yoga.

The “punk rock and heavy metal weirdo at heart” founded Death Comes Lifting (named after Misfits song, “Death Comes Ripping) in 2016 by starting his own punk rock and horror-based clothing line. Eventually, he formed his team of fitness experts to help the rebel in us all — even the older punk rockers — improve our wellbeing.

“I created a line of clothing for myself and my friends that quickly turned into what Death Comes Lifting is now,” he explains. “I want to wear what would make kids like me feel empowered when they come into the gym. The clothing line unintentionally filled that void.”

He is now the “crypt keeper” of his “Fitness for the Misfits” program with fellow certified trainers Roger “The Backwoods Beserker” Bailey, Megan Meyers, John “Frankenjahn” Simmons and Amanda “Mohawk Mandy/Buff Shady” Kenberg. Professional bodybuilder Todd Payette, a Mr. Universe finalist, and Casey “The Final Girl” Hempel recently joined the Death Comes Lifting team. 

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PHOTO COURTESY: DEATHCOMESLIFTING.COM

You can join the Death Comes Lifting army and check out the clothing line (like shirts that read “Lift Weights, Drink Blood” and “The Flexas Gainsaw Massacre”) via the website. You can also subscribe to their newsletter, check out some of the free workouts and listen to the podcast.

When the pandemic hit, Bellante began streaming classes online. He has kept his prices low (the devil himself would mock his basic monthly plan’s price of $6.66) to keep Death Comes Lifting’s programs affordable for everyone. 

“We’re for the people,” he stresses. 

Bellante has some simple tips for anyone, especially beginners, to follow in their fitness journeys.

“A lot of my clients are beginners, and I like to appeal to beginners,” he says. “For basic beginners – anything is better than nothing. Get up. Go for a walk a few times a week. Get moving. Definitely don’t forget to drink enough water. I feel like when we all try to start an exercise regimen, there are so many articles with contradictory info that tends to overwhelm and confuse people. You have to find what you like by trial and error. I try not to complicate things. Move more and try to eat clean foods. Stretch, walk and drink water. This can apply to anyone from the couch potato to an elite athlete.”

What other advice does Bellante have for those seeking to live a healthier lifestyle and keep themselves accountable?

“Motivation really comes from within. I try to provide inspiration with a reinforcing attitude. I make sure my clients remember why they are doing this,” he adds. “Then, once it becomes a habit, it’s like brushing your teeth.”

Bellante says fitness can feel overwhelming and scary, especially if you feel out of place.

“Come find Death Comes Lifting. We’ll help you out! I wish I had someone like me while growing up. That’s my motivation to get up and keep going. I steal this quote from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson all the time: ‘Be the person that when your feet touch the floor in the morning the devil says, ‘Aww shit.. they’re up.’ Also – don’t let the bastards get you down!”

Categories: BeWell