Barbells, Handcuffs and a Cop Who Started a Business

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart not just for those who serve and protect, but for those who do so while balancing an entrepreneurial bug.

Enter: Barbells and Handcuffs. Let me tell you the story about Marc Tanner.

Marc lives and works outside of Toledo, Ohio. He’s been a cop for a few years and works the midnight shift as a patrolman. His dad is also a cop and has served for about 23 years … also on the midnight shift.

Marc loves the world of drugs. More specifically, he loves busting people who sell them. He is incredibly passionate about narcotic interdiction. He happens to also be assigned to the bike unit, which is used for large events and community policing.

Growing up, Marc was a porker. I know that feeling – although for me it was called the “husky boy section.”

He was obese all the way up to his senior year of high school. Knowing that he wanted to be a police officer, he needed to make some serious changes.

To give context, at his heaviest weight, he was approximately 385 lbs. The real “aha” moment hit him when he attempted to enlist in the Marine Corps.

“The recruiter laughed at me, told me I was too fat, and was very harsh. At the time, I was devastated, but looking back, it was the best thing that could have happened to me,” he said.

Thru diet & exercise, he dropped weight down to 240 lbs. at the beginning of the police academy. And by the time he graduated he was down to about 200 lbs. He still continues to lift heavily and exercise daily.

And so his company was born in December of 2016.

“The reason that I started the business was to provide quality, affordable gym & lifestyle apparel,” he said.

“After personally being there, the only reason that I felt comfortable at the gym at my heaviest was fashionable clothing. I realize that this sounds funny, but being a person that isn’t comfortable in their own skin, clothing made me feel comfortable. I can now provide this at an affordable rate, that has high quality. I also have the ability to create designs with a law enforcement inspiration and also other fashionable first responder and fitness designs as we are a company by cops, for cops, and also supporters.”

They run a Facebook group that is free to join called, “Barbells and Handcuffs Locker Room.” The whole point is to provide motivation, support, and a platform for people to “meet” ask questions and vent in a safe space.

Marc desires to help others and insists it’s not about money.

“To answer the ultimate question, my ‘why’ is because I want people to know there are others out there, who will support you, and motivate you. People from all walks of life, and all parts of their fitness journey. We often have folks reach out and say ‘Hey, I’m having a bad day, can someone talk?’ and receive a large amount of support. I firmly believe, that aside from being a police officer, I was meant to also help others this way.”

Marc’s team is all about giving back through organizations such as The Police Unity Tour and the Officer Down Memorial.

People that are interested, can check them out at or find them on Facebook.

Kyle S. Reyes is co-host of The Whiskey Patriots and the Chief Executive Officer of The Silent Partner Marketing. Reyes is also an acclaimed keynote speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can follow him on Facebook.

(Photo courtesy DanSun Photo Art)