Since the beginning of 2010, Mark Rippetoe and staff have held Starting Strength Seminars throughout the United States and Canada, and more than 200 people have earned the Starting Strength Coaching Certificate. The formation of of the Starting Strength Coaches Association and inaugural Starting Strength Coaches Association Conference in 2012 marked the first step toward building a community of professionals around this system.

The transition of the Starting Strength Coaching Certificate to a Certification was announced at the second Conference in October 2013. Until that time, the certificate testified that on the weekend the certificate holder attended the Starting Strength Seminar, he displayed competence in lifting and coaching according to the Starting Strength model, and understood the mechanics, physiology, and programming material necessary to coach to our standard. While already a difficult-to-obtain, industry-leading standard, the credential did not assess the ongoing competence of the certificate holder.

The SSC credential will now become a certification. Retaining it will require triennial completion of a rigorous series of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements that ensure all SSCs stay current on our model and methods, as well as relevant research and ideas in the literature. It also ensures that everyone holding the credential is actively coaching, so that no SSC’s skills erode through lack of use.

Obtaining the SSC certificate has already been more difficult than any other fitness industry credential, with an average passing rate of 10-20% since 2011. We will now ensure that the same rigorous standard of quality is applied not only to the acquisition of the credential, but to its maintenance as well.


  • SecretaryNicholas Racculia : Primary organizer of the annual SSC conference; general communication/announcements of upcoming association events
  • Certification Committee — The Certification Committee communicates the MOC policy, answers MOC policy questions, adjudicates disputes/special circumstances, and makes refinements and revisions to the MOC policy.
  • SSCA Website
    • SSC Members: Provides a platform for SSCA announcements, MOC reading material and exam access, verification of certification status & record update process. SSC must register and login to access these features.
    • Public: Provides a directory for verifying certification and contacting Starting Strength Coaches
    • Upcoming Coaches: Provides information on the process of earning the certification

Annual Conference

Conferences are held each year and are open to Starting Strength Coaches. They provide an opportunity for professional growth, community development, and focused practical sessions. The conference also serves as the business meeting for the association.

Video Library

A public video library of presentations at the SSCA Conferences is maintained under Resources on StartingStrength.com under Starting Strength Coaches Association Videos. Look for content to be added each year.

Article Library

An extensive public article library is maintained on StartingStrength.com with many articles contributed by SSCs.