Training Log

Starting Strength in the Real World

The Launch of Starting Strength Online Coaching

by Matt Reynolds, SSC | November 24, 2016

starting strength online coaching

The “online coaching” industry has exploded in recent years with unqualified trainers selling cookie-cutter exercise programs that lead the blind masses into mediocrity. The general population doesn’t just need a program. They need quality coaching.

There has never been a greater need for quality coaching in the online setting than now. With over 500,000 copies of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training sold to date, but with only 120 Starting Strength Coaches (SSCs) in the world, the demand for good coaching far outstrips the available supply. At best, if every SSC coaches 10 clients in-person, our coaches can only reach around 1200 people. Every SSC on the planet has a full load of clients, and there aren’t enough of us to go around.

As a group, SSCs are dedicated to spreading the message that simple, hard, effective barbell training can change lives. It can take athletes to the next level in their performance, help parents and grandparents keep up with their children and grandchildren, and improve everyone’s general fitness and health – and we all know that stronger people are harder to kill.

The message has been received worldwide. A few people without direct access to an SSC may travel once or twice a year to get high quality in-person coaching from an SSC, but even they need daily guidance to optimize the results of the Starting Strength program. While nothing beats in-person coaching from an SSC, we have developed the next best way to have keen eyes and the best minds in the business supporting their training, no matter where they are located.

 Enter Starting Strength Online Coaching

Starting Strength Online Coaching (SSOC) will be the centralized source for Starting Strength Coaches to offer online coaching services. Through this platform, we will reach thousands of people who would not otherwise have access to a Starting Strength Coach, thereby filling a gap in the online community. We can help far more people train productively and avoid common mistakes along the way.

SSOC brings the Starting Strength system of standards and quality controls to the online coaching arena while giving our outstanding coaches complete autonomy to coach their clients as they see fit. It will operate through a professional, easy-to-use, streamlined platform that offers continuity across the system, while providing the best online coaching on the planet and outstanding customer service.

ssoc fitbot screenshots

How it Works

Starting Strength Online Coaching provides high-touch, personalized online coaching from Starting Strength Coaches and unsurpassed customer service. This includes:

  • 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, with a rapid turnaround time so that you always have feedback before your next training session
  • Access to the 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

ssoc forum screenshot


The cost for SSOC will be $299 for the first month, and $199/month auto-draft after that (3-month minimum commitment, then month-to-month).

HEADS UP: For the first 500 clients, we will offer introductory pricing of $279 for the first month, and $179/mo auto-draft after that, grandfathered for life. We are confident that this introductory price will sell out very, very quickly, so don’t wait. We will not offer this introductory rate again, and we don’t offer discounts for special demographics. So get in quickly if you want to snag the cheaper rate for life.

To keep things simple, there is only one pricing option: Online Coaching, which includes programming, video breakdown, and general eating-for-performance guidelines.

Note 1: We are not a nutrition coaching service – we do not offer highly-detailed nutrition coaching/consulting at SSOC, as those services are outside the scope of our expertise and certification. Detailed consulting beyond the general dietary recommendations will be left to the discretion of the individual coach based on client needs and the coach’s qualifications and willingness (depending on applicable state law).

Note 2: For those desiring introductory pricing, it will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Do not sign-up for introductory pricing and request a “hold” on your membership for a period of time. Clients are expected to begin service at the time of sign up.

The Demographics

We work with virtually any demographic: novice, intermediate, advanced, male/female, young/old, overweight/underweight, and trainees both inside and outside the United States. We have capable, experienced coaches who are able to handle any of these populations. Not everyone will follow the standard Novice Linear Progression (LP), but everyone will follow the Starting Strength method of performing the lifts to the best of their ability and the programming model based on that individual’s level of training advancement.

However, it should be clear that we coach for performance first and aesthetic improvement strictly as a byproduct of that performance. Additionally, we coach for strength using the basic barbell lifts. So, if you are a competitive bodybuilder, competitive CrossFitter, someone seeking nutrition coaching only, or don’t have access to barbells or a squat rack, then this service is probably not for you.

Getting Started

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 demographics, 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.

Our Coaches’ Support for Better Customer Service

SSOC is proud of our team of coaches and staff. Each SSC (and each of their clients) will be on a “team” with four other coaches (and their respective clients).

Each team has a “Team Leader” who will support the coaches on their team and help maintain Starting Strength standards and our quality of service. If a particular coach can’t respond to a client’s videos within 24 hours because of travel or work, then the Team Leader (or other coach on the team) will provide video breakdown and feedback to help cover, on occasion, for the primary coach.  By working in teams, we can provide the highest quality in continuous/unbroken service to our clients.

Our initial Team Leaders are Michael Wolf, Niki Sims, Austin Baraki, Paul Horn, Nick Delgadillo, and Dan Flanick.  Every coach and every client at SSOC will be on one of these teams. As we grow, we’ll add more teams and more team leaders.

Ultimately, we believe we have developed an efficient system that will allow you to maximize your time with your coach and help you reach your goals faster than is possible training on your own. If you’ve been searching for help, but don’t have access to an SSC because of location, schedule, or cost, then Starting Strength Online Coaching could be the answer you’ve been looking for. Make an investment in your future by investing in strength this December. You won’t be sorry.

Our service will launch on Dec 1, 2016, at 10:00am CST.

Be ready.

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