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Thread: Questions for my path to becoming an SSC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
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    2

    Default Questions for my path to becoming an SSC

    • starting strength seminar october 2021
    • starting strength seminar december 2021
    • starting strength seminar february 2022
    Firstly; I apologize for the long post. I have tried to keep this brief, with some explanation prior to the questions.

    I have decided that I don’t enjoy working for other people and have chosen strength coaching as my next, hopeful career path, with the long term goal to open my own barbell strength training gym, potentially a Starting Strength Gym (Starting Strength Milwaukee has a nice ring to it). I have begun the process of working towards that goal, and have a few questions and would like some feedback on my plan.

    I have completed my NLP (barring the Clean, started late in the program), read the blue book once, and am reading Practical Programming. I will read through both again before I attend the seminar in December.

    First Question: is it worth it to get tested on the platform in December, expecting that I will fail due to my lack of coaching experience? I lean towards yes, as I assume there is feedback provided on my ‘coaching’ on the platform and why I might pass or fail, which would be helpful in knowing what to work on as a developing coach.

    I am coaching a few people in person and online and offer form advice at my current gym, if asked. I watch form check videos weekly, and compare my recommendation to the coaches posts. I am considering opening up a home gym as a business. My current gym does not guarantee access to a squat rack or barbell, since they are fairly limited (two racks, two platforms, and five barbells, compared to a sea of treadmills and cable things). I would also want the business for, moderate, legal protection. While I am confident that I can explain and demonstrate how an exercise is performed correctly, the United States seems to be…sue happy in this day and age.

    I need the experience in coaching, have to start somewhere, and there are no barbell strength coaches I am aware of in the Southeast Wisconsin area that don't specifically focus on power lifting. Seems like a good market to get into.

    Second Question: thoughts on the business idea? I read through the “Raising the Bar 2.0” article, and would follow that format in some form or another; professionally written waiver, LLC, etc. I would also create a simple website that lists my services in the area and hopefully would bring in more folks I can train. I would not claim to have the SSC certification, or utilize any of the relevant trademarks until I have earned them.

    Future Plans: as stated previously, I plan on reading Starting Strength and Practical Programming again, probably a few more times after. I am signed up for the Seminar in December, and will likely sign up for another one in 2022. I will probably sign up for the online coach courses in 2022; funds are going to be tight with setting up the home gym this year (will be completed whether I set up the business or not). I’ll read the books again, as well as a couple additional books recommended about physiology and anatomy.

    My background: I have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and have worked as an engineer since 2017. I am 28, 270 lbs, 6 ft, with the following lifts (weight (lb) x sets x reps):

    Squat: 440 x 1 x 5 (following the Texas method, increasing 5 pounds a week on intensity day)

    Deadlift: 560 x 3 x 2 (following the Texas method, I assume, of increasing 5 pounds a week, while trying to maintain 5 to 6 reps)

    Press: 215 x 1 x 5 (I press 4 times a week, following the Texas method, but press light and bench heavy on Wednesday. I then do pin pressing on Saturday, since I assume I will stall at the forehead and want to delay that as long as possible. Increasing 2.5 pounds a week on intensity day)

    Bench: 225 x 3 x 5 (I haven’t focused on a heavy bench, and am still progressing linearly, benching once a week, increasing 2.5 pounds a week)

    Clean: 140 x 5 x 3 (Like I said earlier, I started the Clean very late. I am adding 5 pounds a session, and Clean twice a week. I was nervous about learning the lift, but decided to stop being a coward).

    Let me know your thoughts on any of the above. Tried to do my homework as much as possible before posting, since we are all busy and I hate to waste time. In the end, I figure I can keep working as an engineer while working towards this, and if coaching doesn't pan out I still have engineering to fall back on.

    -Clarke

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2,473

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCSteppe View Post
    First Question: is it worth it to get tested on the platform in December, expecting that I will fail due to my lack of coaching experience? I lean towards yes, as I assume there is feedback provided on my ‘coaching’ on the platform and why I might pass or fail, which would be helpful in knowing what to work on as a developing coach.
    Up to you, but lots of people have found that the extra stress of the test detracts from their ability to learn from the experience.

    Getting started at a coach development camp is more focused and less pressure. Nick et al should have more of these scheduled any day now.

    The Coach Prep Course is designed to get you up and running. It's one of those things where you get more out if you put more in. We have some who do the minimum, but others engage students and instructors actively. If you post more coaching attempts and more programming cases in the course, you'll get more out of it. I recommend you look into it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2021
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    9

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    Clarke,

    A resource that will help you a lot, given what you've described, is working through the coaching prep course. (Starting Strength Coach Prep Course – The Aasgaard Company) I found it invaluable for my studies toward becoming an SSC (which I'm still working on). Between now and December, at a rate of one module per week, you should be able to complete more than half the modules. This will enrich your seminar time on the platform --whether you opt into the exam or not -- and in the lectures.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,826

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    You might also consider visiting Joe Jaloszynski in Appleton.
    Sign up for the SS Indianapolis early-interest list for exclusive content.
    I answer all my emails: ALewis@StartingStrengthGyms.com
    Until Starting Strength Indianapolis is open, I'll still be coaching out of my Ohio gym: BlackmetalStrengthTraining

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2021
    Posts
    2

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    Thank you for the advice. It seems that this online coaching course is heavily recommended. I'll look into starting it soon. Are there any additional resources I should invest in (textbooks for example) prior to the start of the course?

    For the seminar, are folks who are not opting in for coaching evaluation still 'teaching' peers on the platform? Is so, I assume to a lesser degree or with a SSC more readily available for fixing errors?

    I will reach out to Joe as well; unfortunately it is a rather far drive (approximately 2 hours). I tried reaching out to David Abdemoulaie, through email (admittedly, I should have gone through the Starting Strength Apprenticeship application), in Chicago as he is closer, but haven't heard back yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,826

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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by WCSteppe View Post
    Thank you for the advice. It seems that this online coaching course is heavily recommended. I'll look into starting it soon. Are there any additional resources I should invest in (textbooks for example) prior to the start of the course?
    The prep course is fantastic, and for a guy with an engineering background, you'll pick up the material just fine. You may need to buy an anatomy textbook or two. There's a list of recommended texts here, but I would just buy them as needed, not all at once.

    Quote Originally Posted by WCSteppe View Post
    For the seminar, are folks who are not opting in for coaching evaluation still 'teaching' peers on the platform? Is so, I assume to a lesser degree or with a SSC more readily available for fixing errors?
    Everyone coaches and everyone is coached. A platform (SSC) coach is at every platform (3 to 6 lifters each platform) to make sure each student is getting the correct coaching. So non-testing lifters will coach each other and the SSC will say things like "Is he driving his hips?" and other helpful tips. That said, the platform coach will make sure each lifter gets their money's worth. You're not just left to flounder.

    Testing coaches are given more space, but the platform coach can tell very quickly if they need to step in and take over.
    Sign up for the SS Indianapolis early-interest list for exclusive content.
    I answer all my emails: ALewis@StartingStrengthGyms.com
    Until Starting Strength Indianapolis is open, I'll still be coaching out of my Ohio gym: BlackmetalStrengthTraining

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