Get Real-Time Feedback On Your Lifts From Our World-Class Coaches 

The Starting Strength Coach Credential is the Most Advanced in the Industry

Mark Diffley, SSC

Mark Diffley has been involved in barbell coaching for over a decade. He discovered Starting Strength in 2011 while coaching CrossFit and received his Starting Strength Coach (SSC) credential in January of 2013. Mark has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and was immediately hooked by the mechanical analysis and logic found in the Starting Strength method. Mark is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and a former firefighter in the Atlanta metro area. In the Spring of 2021, he moved to Austin, TX to be the Head Coach at Starting Strength Austin. Mark is excited for the opportunity to teach The Method and share the benefits of strength training with an even greater audience.

David Laws, SSC

David has spent the last decade providing bodywork and massage therapy. In that time he worked with thousands of bodies from stay at home moms to professional athletes. In September of 2020, David worked with a client who had muscle mass and a tissue feel unlike anyone else. The client was a member at Starting Strength Austin. This inspired David to join Starting Strength Austin as a member. During that time he experienced drastic changes in his body and a huge improvement in his quality of life. He then decided to pursue the Starting Strength Coach credential in order to teach the method and help others experience the same life changing improvements. David completed the credential in July 2022 and is now coaching the Starting Strength method for the Austin area.

Brian Payne, SSC

Brian is a 21 year combat veteran of the United States Army. He served in the 75th Ranger Regiment as an enlisted Soldier and as an officer, he had the privilege of piloting the UH-60 Blackhawk for over 17 years. He has competed in collegiate indoor volleyball and currently holds NRA certifications as a chief range safety officer and firearms instructor. Fitness has been a crucial part of Brian's entire life and his passion is to teach, coach and mentor those around him to be better athletes and human beings. In April 2022, Brian became a Member of Starting Strength Austin and about six months later his passion to teach, coach and mentor led him to transition from Member to Apprentice and pursue the Starting Strength Coach credential.

Andrea Mates, SSC

Andrea Mates has been a teacher in various capacities for 20 years and recently transitioned to teaching strength training with barbells. In 2013 when she nearly dropped her then 3-year-old daughter, she realized she wasn't strong enough for her mom duties. After reading Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, she taught herself the lifts and became stronger than she ever thought possible. When Starting Strength Austin opened in April 2019, she was recovering from a long illness and joined to be coached back to strength. In October 2020, she became an Apprentice Coach at the gym and completed the Starting Strength Coach credential in November 2021. Andrea has a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from UCLA and bachelor's degrees in Russian language and Public Policy from Duke.

Jeff Bernitz, SSC

Jeff began training with the Starting Strength method in 2020 and began work for his SSC credential in 2021. He started training to alleviate back pain from an injury, and after the program fixed his back to get him stronger than he had ever been, he began training as many people with the method as would listen. Jeff likes seeing people transform as they get stronger, especially those who never saw themselves enjoying barbell training. He has a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, postdoctoral training at ETH Zurich, a Bachelor's in Cellular Biology and Japanese from San Diego State University.


No More Wondering What To Do At The Gym

Your Coach Will Guide You

Learn what exercises to do and how many reps/sets you need
Know how long you have to rest between sets
Train with our world-class Coaches and get stronger faster, safer and more efficiently

No Gimmicks, No Fads, No Sales Desk

All You Need to Get Stronger and Nothing More

A Platform Reserved for You

No more waiting for equipment. Your personal training appointment includes a platform reservation with all of the equipment you need to perform the exercises that are prescribed for you.

Digital Logbook App

Unequivocal, numerical progress - tracked in your own digital logbook. Available exclusively to Starting Strength Gyms Members.

No Sales Desk

The gym is for training, not sales. We dislike the pushy-gym-sales-guy as much as you do.


Equipment Designed by the Creator of Starting Strength, Mark Rippetoe

Train With Our Custom Designed Equipment


There is no better tool for the job of getting stronger. Infinitely scalable. The elderly and de-trained may start with a broomstick. Some of our strongest trainees lift over 600lbs.

SS Power Rack

Each platform has a 600lb, bare steel, c-channel power rack. This is an indestructible piece of equipment. Multi-purpose, for anything and everything you need related to strength training.

SS Bench

Our red oak butcher-block bench is plain and perfectly designed, made 10” wide (versus 12”) to keep you honest on your bench setup.


Make Rapid, Measurable Progress, Guaranteed 

Regardless of Your Age or Fitness Level


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