David Abernethy was the Co-Founder of Tsunami Barbell, LLC. He enjoyed nearly twenty-five years, as a college athlete and Coach playing and coaching for the following schools; Methodist University 94-96, Western Carolina University 96-99, Clemson University 99-2001, Ole Miss 2001-2003, Western Kentucky University 2003-2005, Clemson University 2005-2012 and Furman University 2012-2018.
Abernethy grew up on a farm in North Lincoln County, North Carolina and gives credit to his baseline of strength to working on that farm with his father and grandfathers. He played youth league and middle school sports up to high school that included baseball, basketball and track. In the 9th grade he was able to play football for the first time and fell in love with the sport. In high school he competed at a high level in football and track and won many accolades as an athlete. Abernethy’s parents gave him his first barbell set and weight bench when he was in the 8th grade and that is where his love for strength training began.
Abernethy Started his college career at Methodist University as an offensive-linemen and enjoyed two years there as a starter at left tackle. He then transferred to Western Carolina and finished up his career as a two-year starter at right guard.
Upon graduation from Western Carolina, he was awarded a graduate assistant football coaching position under Head Coach, Bill Bleil. As a player he was coached by many great coaches but one stuck close and that was John Sisk. Coach Sisk had become an assistant strength coach, under Joey Batson at Clemson and Coach Sisk introduced Abernethy to Coach Batson. Coach Batson then gave Abernethy his first start in College Strength and Conditioning as a graduate assistant at Clemson University. Abernethy served there from 1999 to 2001 and was given his first full time strength coaching job in the SEC at Ole Miss. His first full time job came by another mentor he met at Clemson in Coach Ruben Mendoza. Abernethy served at Ole Miss from 2001-2003 where he then was hired by head football Coach David Elson as the Director of Strength and Conditioning at Western Kentucky University. He served as the director at WKU from 2003-2005. In 2005 Abernethy was afforded the opportunity to come back to Clemson and serve as the Senior Assistant until 2012.
At this time is where he met Mike Ramsey and Scott Williams and a strong relationship was formed. Also, during Abernethy’s time at Clemson, he met an Engineer by the name of Gordan Brown. Gordon met with David early in 2011 and brought his composite technology to brainstorm on how to effectively move composite materials into the strength and conditioning field. After several months and dozens of meetings a composite flexible barbell was created in which we know today as the Tsunami Barbell.
While at Clemson research had to be done to see what the bar was doing and how it affected human movement. Dr. Tony Caterisano and Dr. Randy Hutchinson from Furman University met with Abernethy at Clemson and came up with some effective ways to study the bar. This created a relationship that still exists in which the Tsunami Barbell has been included in five white paper studies that have been published.
Abernethy was awarded the Director of Strength and Conditioning position at Furman in 2012 and then became Assistant Athletic Director in 2016. In 2018 Mike Ramsey brought Abernethy to Total Strength and Speed to be the company’s Director of Education and Sales.
Abernethy also serves as a mentor to coaches through the CSCCa and is a certified master level strength coach, MSCC. He also serves his community in the Clemson area as a Youth League Coach for football, basketball, baseball and flag football.
Abernethy has been married to Kelli Iddings Abernethy of Denver, NC for 18 years and they have two children; Madilyn 14 and Brooks 10.