Starting Strength Online Coaching provides high-touch, personalized online coaching from Starting Strength Coaches and unsurpassed customer service. This includes:
Individualized programming through a convenient, user-friendly app (FitBot)
Regular video-conference calls with your coach
Video breakdown and rapid feedback of every workout from your coach
Frequently Asked Questions
- Individualized programming delivered through a convenient, user-friendly app (FitBot) that you can use right on your phone
- Regular video-conference calls with your coach
- Video breakdown of every single workout from your coach, and a rapid turnaround time so that you always have feedback before your next training session
- Access to an amazing community of all SSOC clients and coaches in our private forum, where you can ask questions, discuss training, programming, and nutrition, maintain a private training log (for streamlined client/coach communication and video breakdown), and receive encouragement and support from others in the SSOC family
Very simply, SSOC provides several services that are not provided by any other online coaching service. The first, is that we are the only service to offer ONLY Certified Starting Strength Coaches. We actually have 30 Starting Strength Coaches on staff to serve you.
Upon registration and payment, you will receive a detailed questionnaire regarding individual goals, training history, past injuries, etc. You will also receive a “Getting Started” document with step-by-step guides to help:
- Access and login to FitBot
- Get connected with your coach and the SSOC community in our private forum
- Start training with videos on how to perform the lifts correctly, how to video yourself, and how to upload those videos for your coach’s review
- Answer any questions you have with our detailed FAQs
After submitting your questionnaire, you will be paired with a Starting Strength Coach based on demographic, personality, client needs, and coach availability. We take your coach assignment very seriously and will endeavor to select the best coach for you. You will then perform a diagnostic, “test,” workout that will give you and your coach a baseline to work from. Upon completion of this workout (and form review), your coach will begin doing all of your programming, online coaching, and video breakdowns.
Pricing for Starting Strength Online Coaching is $279 for the first month, and $179 each month after that. The additional $100 in the first month covers all your setup, getting you assigned to your coach, setting you up on FitBot, the Forum, walking you through any questions you have, and taking you through your first test workout. You will always be charged on the same day each month, so if you signed up and paid $279 on the 5th of the month, then you will not be charged again ($179) until the 5th of the following month.
SSOC requires a three-month minimum commitment, because we know it takes that long to really get in the groove of training and make some long-lasting notable changes in your body. After that first three months, we continue to have a very low attrition rate, because the results speak for themselves. Because of this, you will continue to pay $179/mo on the same day each month until you formally cancel in writing.
Because the amount of individual attention we provide each client does not change when additional family members join our service, then we do not offer an additional discount for them. The same applies to police/fire/military, seniors, and college students. We have worked hard to keep our overhead low, so that we can pass on a great rate to everyone, and believe that $179/mo is an absolute STEAL for the services provided, by the best coaches on the planet.
Any smartphone with internet access will allow you the technology needed to work with SSOC. This means ANY android or iPhone will work just fine, as long as it has a working video camera and internet access.
Additionally, you may find that using a computer (desktop or laptop) or a tablet (like an iPad) will add to your overall enjoyment of the service, though these are not necessary.
FitBot is a 3rd party software formulated as an easy-to-use web app that we use for all your programming needs. Fitbot literally has virtually no learning curve at all – its that simple and easy to use. FitBot sends you emails each day you train with the specifics of your workout. But you can also open the web app at any time on your phone and see all of the details of your workouts for that entire week.
Additionally, when you train, you enter your feedback during your session directly on your phone into the FitBot app so that your coach can see how the session went. (For example if you were programmed to “Squat 175lbs for 3×5,” you might write “Completed all 3 sets at prescribed weight. 3rd set was quite difficult. Had a hard time staying on my mid-foot.”) You can also communicate with your coach directly on FitBot about anything program related. For example, “Hey coach! I normally train MWF, but this week I’ll be training on TRS.”
FitBot also allows you track macros and keep assessments and benchmarks like waist (or other body) measurements, PRs, etc.
We use a private Forum that is only accessible to our coaches and clients. We use the forum for two primary reasons.
A) You create a private “training log” on the forum to post all your training videos for your coach to break down for you and discuss form coaching. Your coach will always break down your videos and respond to your questions within 24 hours, so that you always have feedback before your next session.
B) You have the opportunity to ask questions of any of the other coaches (and clients) on the forum. It is a great way to foster the SSOC Community as we interact with each other and have great discussions on training, programming, nutrition, injuries, setting up in-person training sessions with each other, and even fun discussions in the Off-Topic sessions.
The most important thing is that we are able see your entire body, from your feet to the top of your head, and your hands if it’s a Press. All videos should be taken in landscape mode (wide) and not in portrait mode (tall).
Place your phone 2-3 feet off the ground (on a box or bench, etc) about 10+ feet away and angle it toward you. If you don’t have a tripod, you can lean it against something like a dumbbell or water bottle.
The best angle is at 45-degrees between the front/side or rear/side (see below for best placement for each lift). Video angles directly from the side DON’T work very well because the weight plates are in the way.
An instructional video for how to video your lifts properly can be found here.
The easiest method, by far, is to upload them to YouTube directly from your phone and share the links with your coach in your training log on the forum. Remember to trim your video, so it doesn’t show 2 min of you chalking your hands, putting your belt on, approaching the bar, etc.
Directions on how to trim and easily upload your videos directly from your phone can be found here.
*Be sure to title your video with the date, weight, reps, and which set it is.
The primary way you’ll communicate with your coach is through the forum on your training log. However, you may also communicate with them via FitBot (if it is a programming issue) or via email (and even text) if it is an emergency and needs faster attention.
We also schedule video conference calls with our clients every couple of months so that you can get some facetime with your coach to cover any “in-person” questions you might have about your goals, programming, nagging injuries, etc.
The basic equipment needs to join SSOC are:
- A basic squat rack or squat stands
- A 20kg/45lb barbell (women and seniors may also need a 15lb barbell)
- Olympic plates – either iron or rubber bumper or both. Most men should start with around 400lbs of weight (4 45lb plates, 2 25lb plates, 4 10lb plates, 2 5lb plates, and 2 2.5lb plates). Women and seniors will also need at least one set of 10lbs bumper plates for learning the deadlift at lighter weights.
- A flat bench for bench pressing
- Fractional plates in 1/2lb-1.25lb increments.
Also highly recommended:
- A pair of weightlifting shoes with an elevated rigid heel.
First off, squatting and deadlifting in regular tennis shoes is unacceptable. This is because they are soft and absorb shock for a reason, and we don’t want shoes to absorb shock while lifting. We actually want them to transfer energy from the floor through the feet and body and into the barbell. Buy a pair of lifting shoes for squat and deadlift (and press and bench press for that matter) and lift in these. If you buy a nice pair, they’ll last for years and years. Any weightlifting shoe is fine, though Adidas and Nike probably make the best options. Here are some links: http://www.roguefitness.com/shoes/weightlifting-shoes
- A 3-4” wide leather weightlifting belt.
Belts help us push our abdomen out against something tangible. They give us feedback that says “Yes! You are performing the Valsalva maneuver (bearing down) correctly.” The best option for belts is the 3” belt from Best Belts, but they’ve been back-ordered a ton lately, so I’d call to make them guarantee that nothing is back-ordered. Here is the link: http://www.bestbelts.net/Powerlifting-Belts/The-3-Inch-Belt.aspxThis one might be your safest option for arriving quickly and is a great belt: http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-ohio-lifting-beltAnother option is Bob’s Belts: http://www.bobsbelts.com/belts.htm – get the “3.5 incher” or the “junior belt” – don’t let the name fool you. Either are great for anyone.
- Weightlifting chalk.
Known as ‘gymnastics,’ ‘climbing,’ or ‘weightlifting chalk,’ chalk reduces sweat, helps prevent hand rips, and improves your ability to grip the bar. It should be used for working sets in the deadlift, press, and bench. It’s impact on the deadlift will be noticeable, and although you are not pulling in the press and bench, chalk still helps to prevent a sweaty hand from slipping around the bar. Chalk ‘blocks’ are generally easier to use than loose chalk and make less mess. Here are some links: http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-gym-chalk and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OTT7D1C?psc=1
What if I don’t “do Starting Strength?”
Absolutely! Many of our clients are no longer novices. Remember that “Starting Strength” is both a method of performing the basic barbell movements correctly, as well as a linear progression for novice lifters. You can certainly be beyond the novice progression, but the basic method of lifting still applies to intermediate and advanced lifters.
We have many coaches who are skilled in working with intermediate and advanced lifters.
Of course! We have many competitive powerlifters, strongmen, and weightlifters who work with SSOC. We have coaches who specialize in just this sort of population and are happy to work with you.
Physical Limitation Questions
Absolutely! As long as you have access to the basic equipment listed above (either at your home gym or a public gym) then you’ll do just fine with SSOC. Our coaches are excellent teachers and very patient, so we know it will take some time to get used to the movements. We won’t throw a heavy barbell on your back on day one. We’ll walk you through the learning progression at your own pace.
We actually get this question quite often. Usually you can put the phone/camera in a door way and capture everything we need to see. However, if the room is still too small, one excellent cheap option is to purchase this fisheye lens for your camera.
Absolutely. We understand the difference between “optimal” and “realistic.” Some people cannot perform low bar barbell squats because of old injuries. We are able to work around your physical limitation to optimize your strength gains and results. We also have several doctors and PTs on staff as coaches, and often will set you up with one of those coaches as your personal coach if you have some physical limitations that will require a little extra help to work around.
Yes you can. Again, there is a difference between optimal and realistic. We have coaches who specialize in working with traveling executives (or people with really strange schedules like fire-fighters or doctors who might work 72 hours on shift, followed by 96 hours off-shift). There’s no reason you can’t get strong because of a difficult work schedule.
You may join SSOC on two conditions:
1) You must have a parent/guardian sign you up and give parental legal consent.
2) You must have entered Tanner Stage 4 on the puberty scale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanner_scale
If both of those qualifications apply to you, then you may join SSOC.
Of course! We love helping Seniors and even have coaches who specialize in your demographic! You still must have access to all the basic equipment needs, and on a very basic level, must be able to sit down and stand up out of a dining room chair without using your arms/hands to help. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org