Nicole is the co-owner of Valens Strength Online Coaching. She became a certified Starting Strength Coach in 2015 and owned Valens Strength & Coaching from 2017-2020 & switched to remote only coaching after Covid gym closures. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and Business Administration from McDaniel College.


Her mission is to help individuals live a stronger, healthier life; no matter their age or gender. She designs individual nutrition and training plans that deliver success and fit into everyones lifestyle. She will help you create goals that will lead you to your full potential and unleash your true strength.




  • 60 minute introductory training session via Zoom or Skype
  • Customized programming to meet YOUR goals
  • Form checks and timely feedback for the top work set of every lift, every workout (3-4 sessions a week) via TrueCoach
  • Receive feedback after every workout within 48 hours and receive programming for the week ahead every Sunday
  • Direct access to your coach throughout the week via TrueCoach
  • A monthly payment of $225/month with a 3-month commitment*. The monthly payment will remain $225/month after the 3-month commitment is over.



  • 60 minute introductory training session via Zoom or Skype
  • Customized programming to meet YOUR goals
  • Form checks and timely feedback for the top work set of every lift, every workout (3-4 sessions a week) via TrueCoach
  • Receive feedback after every workout within 48 hours and receive programming for the week ahead every Sunday
  • Direct access to your coach throughout the week via TrueCoach
  • Personalized nutrition plan with weekly adjustments and check-ins
  • A monthly payment of $275/month with a 3-month commitment*. The monthly payment will remain $275/month after the 3-month commitment is over.

*Membership options can be switched after the first month. A total of 3 consecutive months of training is required.


Visit https://valensstrength.com for more information


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15 Reviews

  1. Sean Pippin
    Sean Pippin
    June 24, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Nicole is an excellent coach. Within a few sessions Nicole had corrected a few form issues to alleviate some of the pain I had been experiencing in my knee/elbow.

    Nicole’s gym has a wide range of members in age and strength with a very friendly and welcoming environment. I would recommend Valens to anyone looking to improve their skills, strength, and wants a welcoming no judgement environment.

    1. Nicole Rutherford
      Nicole Rutherford (Listing owner)
      June 25, 2019 at 5:12 am

      Thank you for the kind words Sean! It has been great working with you.

  2. Abhishek Varkhedi
    Abhishek Varkhedi
    April 17, 2020 at 1:14 am

    Nicole has been my Starting strength coach for about 10 months now and I would say its been amazing. She is very knowledgeable and supportive. From the time you walk into the gym, she will encourage you and ensure that your lifting journey is excellent.
    Even in this COVID19 Pandemic, she has been encouraging all members to workout from home. She has been diligently posting workouts for every member.
    I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

  3. Dylan O
    Dylan O
    April 17, 2020 at 1:26 am

    Nicole has been my coach for over a year. She’s knowledgeable, supportive, and fun to work with. She creates workouts that are a match for my abilities and goals. When I hit my goals, she seems just as excited about it as I am. I’m not sure what else to say other than I’m glad to have her on my team!

  4. Michael Hinojales
    Michael Hinojales
    April 17, 2020 at 1:41 am

    I could not be more happy with Nicole! I got an online coach since I can not find a Starting Strength coach where I live. She is patient with explaining what I need to correct with my form thru chat, and is great with giving easy to remember tips so that I will be able to execute what she wants to be revised with my form on my next session. Highly recommended.

  5. Taylor Baumann
    Taylor Baumann
    April 17, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Before Nicole and Jason, I’d regularly peak because of injuries. The two of them changed that for me. I’ve regularly hit new personal records over the past year and a half. But more importantly, they’ve modified my form to reduce injuries and keep the workouts safe–my number one goal. They’re also easy to talk to and a pleasure to work with.

    Overall, I’m super happy with where I’m at in my program, and I wouldn’t be at this stage absent their training. You’ve molded me into a machine. Great work, guys.

  6. Brian Dicks
    Brian Dicks
    April 17, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve been training with Nicole for the past two and a half years. I’d never touched a barbell before aside from perhaps two times benching in college. I walked in the door a lanky 6’5″ 185lb 40 something looking to get strong. Since then I’ve put a solid 40 pounds on my frame and got my deadlift to 585lbs. This would simply have never happened without the keen eye and high expectations of my coach. Choosing to work with Nicole has been without a doubt one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have referred many of my patients to work with her and each and every one of them have been grateful for the introduction.

  7. Sara Ramirez
    Sara Ramirez
    April 18, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    Nicole Rutherford is a fantastic online strength coach. She develops personalize programs, that are modified to her clients unique needs. She carefully analyze her clients lifts so that she can make key suggestions to optimize their next session. Nicole always ensures that you are safe and are getting stronger with her programs. Her sincerity and enthusiasm comes through with her responds. Nicole always gets back to you in a timely manner.

    I am a 60-year-old woman who was extremely apprehensive to begin power lifting. My husband bought me power lifting shoes for Christmas and they sat in my closet for six months. Eventually however I gave in and tried it. And now I can say with confidence that power lifting is one of the best thing I’ve ever done. I have gained so much strength and confidence in the last year and a half working out with Nicole: I have lost 16 pounds and have become much stronger. What’s more I recently had a bone density test that showed great improvement. My hypertension has gone away as well. I can contribute all these outcomes to my weight training and my coach.

    With the Covid-19 quarantine, I would’ve gone crazy without my training and my terrific coach. I train three days a week and look forward to each training day. I know I’m getting stronger and healthier which will help me fight off any virus. It’s truly been Nicole who has cheered me on during these uncertain times. I highly recommend Nicole as an online coach.

  8. Jason Varnum
    Jason Varnum
    April 19, 2020 at 3:04 am

    Nicole has been a great mentor for me since I started my strength training journey. She has been able to provide me the best form feedback and programming to help me achieve my strength training goals. I have been able to increase my squats by nearly 100 pounds above what I’ve done in my past. She has also helped me join the 300 lbs bench club and a rare press club of 240 lbs. I’ve been able to put nearly 20 lbs of muscle on as well since I started strength training less than 3 years ago. She is able to provide clear instructions using a very calm demeanor to help you get into the proper form and mechanics for every movement. The cherry on top is she is super sweet and bubbly!

  9. Aden C.
    Aden C.
    April 19, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Nicole is a fun and effective coach! I specifically sought out a Starting Strength coach/gym because of their reputation to successfully train people of all ages and experience levels. Over the last few months, my experience has been exceptional. I had never trained with barbells before. Never done a squat, overhead press, or dead lift. Through the hands-on and highly experienced coaching I received from Nicole and Jason at Valens Strength and Conditioning, I was able to quickly learn the four main barbell movements. Utilizing the novice Starting Strength program, I was able to add between 100 and 200 pounds to all my lifts within a few months. I highly recommend Nicole and Valens for anyone who wants to greatly improve their overall strength, health, and confidence.

  10. Vik Gulati
    Vik Gulati
    April 20, 2020 at 4:05 am

    I used to be an in person client. However then covid-19 happened. To be honest was a little skeptical about an online coach. But after three weeks of doing it this way, it’s working! Crazy thing is I get as much feedback as in person. Managed to make me feel accountable remotely! Still seeing results. May be a problem as when this is over I would even consider staying online.

    More importantly they will not let you advance without form! And to avoid injuries that is key.

  11. Red Pedroza
    Red Pedroza
    April 20, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    I have been working out for about 25 years on and off. I discovered starting strength about 10 years ago when a friend of mine read the book. We both set out to get stronger…well let’s just say knee issues in about 3 months I could not do it anymore. I got stronger but I also hurt my self in the meantime, didn’t seem worth it. I then decided to try it again but this time with a real coach, Nicole has been awesome through every workout in her attention to detail, I improve my lifts and form every time. My lifts are about what they were 10 years ago but with no pain at all, I feel great.
    I highly recommend anyone looking to get online coaching and wanting to get stronger with an awesome coach, Nicole will guide you every step of the way.

  12. Rich K
    Rich K
    April 25, 2020 at 4:46 am

    Prospective Lifter: you’ve come to the right place and you‘ve found the right coach.

    I’ve been working with Nicole for more than 2 years and it’s been an amazing journey. I used to be a DIY lifter – 6 years in a globo gym making very little progress (and at the time I thought I was doing great). At some point my squat got stuck at 185. I contacted Nicole and she started coaching me 3 days a week. My squat is now up to 405.

    Besides being an effective coach Nicole is a great person and a pleasure to be around. I highly suggest you hire Nicole to take you the next level.

  13. Ryan Patman
    Ryan Patman
    May 7, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    I have always wanted to get strong but have had very little training outside of high school sports >15 years in the rearview now. As a novice, I decided I needed to get some help and reached out to Nicole to coach me through the starting strength program. I have been training with her 3xweek for 4 months now, 3 months in small group at Valens gym where she is co-owner and 1 month online where I upload videos of my sets for her feedback via the TrueCoach application. I couldn’t be happier with the results and am regretting that I did not reach out for coaching sooner. Her enthusiasm for training, attention to detail, and clear communication have enabled me to dramatically improve my strength and overall health as I advance through the linear progression program. During this time, she has also provided nutritional planning and followed-up with weekly check-ins via email to discuss modifications to macronutrient goals and total calorie intake. With her help, I rarely feel hungry outside of mealtimes and haven’t experienced any significant muscle soreness during execution of the program. I now get to eat more while I continue to lose weight and her subtle modifications to my training have allowed me to continue progressing injury free with adequate time for recovery. Put simply, working with Nicole this year has me in the best shape of my adult life as I approach 40 – I highly recommend you reach out to her for help achieving your goals.

    Height – 6’4’’
    Starting bodyweight – 282 lbs.; Current bodyweight – 267 lbs.
    Starting waist measurement – 45.75 in.; Current waist measurement – 41.5 in.
    Starting Squat – 115lbs.x5repsx3sets; Current Squat – 305lbs.x5repsx3sets
    Starting Deadlift – 135lbs.x5repsx1set; Current Deadlift – 400lbs.x5repsx1set
    Starting Overhead Press – 45lbs.x5repsx3sets; Current Overhead Press – 145lbs.x5repsx3sets
    Starting Bench Press – 85lbs.x5repsx3sets; Current Bench Press – 225lbs.x5repsx3sets
    Starting Bodyweight Chin-ups – Nope; Current Bodyweight Chin-ups – 6repsx1set, 5repsx2sets
    What are you still reading for, send her an email today! 😊

  14. Chrissy Harter
    Chrissy Harter
    August 14, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    I have been receiving online coaching from Nicole for about 3 months now. We started working together right in the middle of the COVID craziness. I already had a home gym and had gone through the basic Starting Strength program on my own, and as I started to reach heavier lifts, I was worried about injuring myself and wanted a Starting Strength coach to teach me proper form and to help take my programming to the next level.

    In only 3 short months, Nicole has not only significantly improved my form on all the major lifts, but she’s also listened to my personal goals and adjusted my programming to fit them. We’re currently working on getting me to my first chin up, and have even incorporated some conditioning on top of the major lifts to help strengthen certain areas and improve my balance.

    In addition to being attentive to my needs and listening to my goals, Nicole is great at explaining exactly what it is I need to work on for each session, and it also helps that she has a super bubbly personality and sometimes makes me laugh out loud in her video feedback 🙂 . She’s an absolute joy to work with and most importantly, really knows what’s she’s talking about. She really wants you to succeed and is great at pushing you to do your best. I can’t recommend Nicole enough.

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