A’ight, I am by far not the expert, but since I have been banned on the Starting Strength Facebook page, have run a SS NLP, have hired and been coached by an SSC, have attended a SS Pull Camp, I guess I may have some experience that is relevant here.
Starting Strength does certify coaches. You have to attend a SS seminar and be invited to sit for the test based on your ability to perform and coach the lifts during the seminar. The test is constructed response - essays - and it is lengthy. I’ve heard that many write as much as thirty pages in response to seven questions.
Many Starting Strength Coaches hold other certifications, such as CSCS. My coach, John Petrizzo, is a CSCS, and holds a PhD as in Physical Therapy (DPT) and is a tenured professor at a local university in Exercise Science. He is also a beast.
His wife, Rori Alter, is also a SSC, and a DPT. She is also a beast.
At my gym, I met her, and Nick D’Agostino, also a SSC. At Pull Camp, I met Pete Troupos, Brent Carter, and Michael Wolf, all SSC’s.
For the most part, they were all good peeps, with the exception of Brent Carter, who suffers from small man’s disease.
On the other hand, I am a member of the SS forum on their website, After the Fahves on Facebook, and SS on Facebook (I only got banned under one of my screen names - take that bitches).
And, with respect to social media, SS people all suck balls. They are very dogmatic, arrogant, condescending, and, if I didn’t mention it before, they suck balls.
A typical response to any question is, “did you read the book.” Which, of course, isn’t very helpful. I did read the book, but I either didn’t memorize it, or I struggled with understanding it, and asking if I read the book is just a shitty way of establishing superiority, something that many of the admins and SSC’s seem to feel the need to do.
Most of the time the responses are; eat more, shove your knees out, nipples to the wall, imagine a flashlight coming out of your ass pointing to the wall, eat more, the bar is too high, eat more, you’re not doing the program, eat more, and eat more.
My take is that the admins on the forums aren’t busy enough to spend their time coaching clients so they spend a lot of time on the web. The guys that are actually making money coaching, and are good coaches, are not on the web. Petrizzo, Alter, Wolf, Leah Lutz, those peeps, you never see them in the webz. They have a bunch of wannabe douchebags doing admin work terrorizing newbies asking questions, and, they suck balls. The dudes at Westminster Strength in Maryland are particularly bad, as is Joe Jaloszynski.
I’m actually surprised that Rippetoe lets these fuckwads tarnish the brand, but I suspect he’s got an exit plan. He’s turned a lot of the shit over to Wolf, Jordan Feigenbaum, and Austin Baraki. Wolf is okay, helped me a lot with my DL and cleans, but Feigenbaum and Baraki are know it all MD’s that are extremely patronizing. And, more interested in getting rich than actually helping - they have a concierge medicine service as new MD’s and Feigenbaum is shilling his own supplements - Gainzz or some shit like that.
So, the books are solid info, but the rest of the brand is, for the most part, a bunch of fucking assholes that have jumped the shark.
Just my .02