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Starting Strength Seminar


The Starting Strength Seminar is the first of its type in the fitness industry. Led by Mark Rippetoe, the SSS teaches the methods of basic barbell training detailed in Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and Practical Programming for Strength Training. This method deconstructs the five basic barbell exercises down to their elements in skeletal and muscular anatomy, and then derives a system for performing and coaching them based on the biomechanics of the loaded human body moving in a gravitational framework.

The Starting Strength Seminar is an intensive exposure to all the information from which the Starting Strength system is derived. The 3-day format allows for an in-depth exploration of the theoretical basis of the system, as well as a thorough under-the-bar practical session for each exercise. The basics of coaching, biomechanics, lifting efficiency, and safety are developed into a logical and effective system of barbell training that forms the best possible foundation for any strength and conditioning program.

The Starting Strength Seminar offers different levels of completion. Attendance at the seminar provides an educational experience in barbell training that is absolutely unavailable anywhere else in the fitness education market. Competence in the system will also be evaluated by the staff on the ability of the participant to demonstrate understanding as both lifter and coach in the practical sessions, as well as an exam that can be taken after the seminar. The attendee that passes the examination and has shown the ability to apply efficient mechanical analysis and to adequately coach the Starting Strength method is granted the Starting Strength Coach designation.

It is recommended that the candidate come prepared with a background in weight training, a working knowledge of muscular and skeletal anatomy, familiarity with the foundational texts, and a willingness to communicate effectively.


Background reading:

A good foundation will allow you to learn more during the seminar. This is true even though theory and teaching methods are updated continually and are significantly advanced from the current published foundational texts (Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training). It is recommended that you be familiar with these, as well as the Active Hip 2.0 and The Novice Effect articles available at Reviews of basic skeletal and muscular anatomy may also be helpful.

Course Schedule and Requirements

Program Schedule:

Physical prep:

Please do not make good training during the seminar difficult by depleting your reserves and creating extreme soreness with ambitious and/or silly workouts in the week leading up to the seminar. Excessive volume is the main enemy here. Please use common sense. You will be working up to relatively heavy sets on each lift as your form allows (~85-90% of 5RM for squat/press/deadlift/bench press and 90-95% of 3RM on power clean).

The Starting Strength Seminar offers one level of completion for learning and practice at the seminar:

The Starting Strength Seminar also offers completion as a Starting Strength Coach:


  1. Attendance certificates are distributed at the completion of the course on Sunday to all those who meet this requirement.
  2. Platform evaluations of lifting are distributed by email by midnight Tuesday following the course to all attendees. Emails are sent from to the registration email address. If you do not find your platform report in your email Wednesday after the seminar, contact to request a resend.
  3. [Note that the steps 3-5 below apply only to those attempting to earn the Starting Strength Coach designation.]
  4. Starting Strength Coach Exams will be distributed by email as attachments to the platform evaluations for those who have completed the course and passed the platform assessment as both a lifter and a coach.
  5. Starting Strength Coach Exams are due to by the deadline announced at the seminar, 14 days from the distribution of the exam on the Tuesday following the seminar.
  6. Starting Strength Coach Exam results for those attempting the Starting Strength Coach certification are given via phone. The attendee that passes the written examination and has shown the ability to apply efficient mechanical analysis and to adequately coach the Starting Strength method is granted a Starting Strength Coach certificate. These are mailed out following the notification of results to all candidates.