Why you should attend a Starting Strength Seminar Why you should attend a Starting Strength Seminar

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Thread: Why you should attend a Starting Strength Seminar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Why you should attend a Starting Strength Seminar

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    I attended the Seattle/Redmond Starting Strength Seminar in February 2013, and wanted to give feedback on how this extraordinary experience has benefitted me as coach, lifter, and man in general.

    As coach:

    - If you are a strength & conditioning coach (or if you have vague plans to coach anything someday) you must attend the seminar. It is a Masterclass on coaching. As a former D1 track & field athlete, I've worked with regionally & world renown coaches in both field-specific events and strength and conditioning. Rip's coaching is at a different level altogether from what I've experienced. My jaw dropped watching him get a room of 25+ non-athletes to power clean with impeccable form in under an hour. After this "power-clean" miracle, I changed the way I coach. Rip conveys incredibly complex information with elegant simplicity. Further, he has an eerie ability to find the perfect cue to suit individual personalities & experience levels. With a one simple gesture, he unfucked a hard-wired issue I had with hyperextension during the press. He teaches you the models and methods to coach in this way. I have become a vastly better coach in the 4 months since the SS Seminar. Numerous clients now squat with form that I envy as a lifter. Just beautiful.

    - The benefit to clients has been staggering. I do not coach in a STRONG gym. Far from it. Before the SS Seminar, the gym in which I worked focused on a demographic of mostly females aged 25-55. Hardly the SS demographic. The workouts were wholly metabolic circuits. After the seminar, I thought hard about moving to a different gym or starting up my own small black-iron studio. But I stayed on and convinced the owner to let me start up a Starting Strength program. In 2 months, I've drawn about 30 clients over to the SS program. Some highlights:
    * Last Friday, I had a 20 y/o female squat 230X5X3...and she is not yet done with LP. She was recently accepted to the University of Washington. She mentioned her lifting #s to the crew coach...and was promptly offered a tryout for a place on the team (UW was ranked 4th in the nation btw). I have no doubt that the baseline of strength she's gained over the past few months (coupled with raw athletic talent) will propel her to all-american levels of performance and a scholarship. Thanks SS.
    * A 95# female recently deadlifted 265#. Cool.
    * I have several 55 y/o+ clients who feel young and healthy again. Chronic aches and injuries are clearing up following 2 months on LP. Minimal prehab/rehab mind you. It's the lifting itself that's the therapy. John Sullivan's article is for real. I've seen the obvious results.
    * I've taken a D3 linebacker's squat from a stalled 385 to 450 in less than a month. His broken through his plateau, and is just starting to realize his true strength potential. He'll be squatting 500+ and cleaning 300+ by the start of the season. Huge benefits for him.
    * I work down the street from Amazon's HQ. This means lots of male clients walk in with IQs upwards of 160 and bodyweights well below that. They're the perfect candidates for SS. I now have a gaggle of nerds experiencing classic SS gains.

    As lifter:

    Won't belabor this. I fully expect I'll hit a 1500# total @ 220# within a year. My log's down in the intermediate forum. The WA state raw record is 1560 in the 220# class. I'm aiming for that. Had I not attended the SS Seminar, I'd be dicking around with some terrible mash-up program of Eric Cressey, Mike Robertson & Rip. In short, I'd be weak and small.

    As a man:

    I'm calm. I've got my balls back. Having soaring testosterone (all natural) feels great. People don't fuck with me and I, in turn, feel something like compassion/benevolence for the first time in my life. I married a Freyja look-alike who would have dismissed the 180#-shitbird-version-of-me. I've woken up, tuned out the bullshit, & now walk around in the state of awe & wonder.

    Get thee to the Seminar.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    Among the lessons I’ve picked up here is that consistent training with smart programming, good nutrition, and sleep will produce steady results. I was more skeptical about the emphasis on working with a coach. “Find a good coach” Rip said without compromise. So I did.

    Then, yesterday, my world changed when my brother and I each broke the 1000lb total mark (my final numbers: squat 380, bench 215, deadlift 445). Plenty of folks on here will find that to be rather insignificant. I can only say that when you arrive in your forties with a painful, weakened body that the “best” physical therapists can’t seem to help - there is a psychological acceptance in tow. “This is the way of things” goes the inner monolog. Along comes Rip and it starts to change. Now, at just under three years of following Starting Strength and at age 46, the monolog has changed. I’m solid. The door to strength is open. That is what a 1000lb total means to me.

    Rip, your vision and effort to create a cadre of no-bullshit Starting Strength Coaches is changing lives. The rep-by-rep coaching I’ve been receiving on the platform, every training session, is only one step removed from the source. My squats are below parallel and my knees are out. I hope the cadre grows and the Starting Strength Coaches Association continues to gain recognition and maintain the highest coaching standards.

    John, thank you for being my coach. The work you did with us on the platform yesterday was sublime as it has been throughout my training for the total. A 500lb deadlift is beckoning. Working with you is joyous and highly fucking effective.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Default Thanks

    John: At the key moments in the preceding week and on the day of our total, you convinced me to go for more than I thought I could and you were right each time. You also convinced me to stop after the last deadlift miss and I think you saved me from worsening the hamstring injury I came into this with (its aggravated anyway, but not crippled). In the week leading up to the event, you taught me correct form for bench and squat after years of not realizing I was doing it wrong. Now I get to say "I did it" and I'm reminded of this:
    "If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, you did it." -Bear Bryant

    Rip: My brother is right that it must be the best thing about the work you're doing is the development of a cadre of coaches. If John is an example then you're going to have far reaching effect.

    Thanks to you both. I think you've got us started.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    I appreciate that, Ben. John is a very good example of what we're trying very hard to do, and sometimes get done.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I appreciate that, Ben. John is a very good example of what we're trying very hard to do, and sometimes get done.
    Even when you don't manage to achieve what you're trying to do, you still achieve more than most. I'm a case in point: my lifting and coaching wasn't good enough to get the chance for the coaching certification, but I'm still a far better coach than I was before the seminar - and my clients and gym members have felt the benefits, everyone's lifts are better in total weight and movement quality.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    starting strength coach development program
    very motivating post... now the question, for me, is: how do i find one in Italy?

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