Frequently Asked Questions
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- Individualized programming and interaction through the BLOC App that you can use right on your phone or computer.
- Breakdown of every single workout from your coach, and a rapid turnaround time so that you always have feedback before your next training session
- Access to an amazing community of all BLOC clients and coaches in our private Discord server, where you can ask questions, discuss training, programming, nutrition, and receive encouragement and support from others in the BLOC family.
Very simply, BLOC provides a combination of services that you won’t find anywhere else:
- We are barbell experts. Our coaches are certified Professional Barbell Coaches, and we are continually pushing to refine barbell coaching and education.
- We provide rapid feedback on every workout.
- We provide individualized programming constantly updated to meet your needs.
- We believe that strength fits every person and every lifestyle, whether you are an elite athlete or are trying to improve your quality of life.
Upon registration, you will receive a detailed questionnaire regarding individual goals, training history, past injuries, etc. You will also receive step-by-step guides to help with the following:
- Access and log-in to the BLOC App
- Get connected with your coach
- Join the BLOC community in our private Discord server
- Start training and uploading workout and/or nutrition data for your coach to see
After submitting your questionnaire, you will be paired with an Expert Strength Coach based on demographic, personality, client needs, and coach availability. We take your coach assignment very seriously and will endeavor to select the best coach for you. Strength coaching clients 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.
Nutrition Coaching: Your Nutrition Coach will add slots in your calendar in the BLOC App to upload pictures of your food over 3-5 days that will include week and weekend days. After you complete this Visual Food Diary, you will have a call with your Nutrition Coach to discuss a plan, which you will receive in an email 24-48 hours after the call.
There are a few must-have equipment requirements for online coaching from BLOC:
- A basic squat rack or squat stand
- A 20kg/45lb barbell (women and seniors may also need a 15lb barbell)
- Olympic plates—either iron or rubber bumper or both. Most men should start with around 400lbs of weight (4 45lb plates, 2 25lb plates, 4 10lb plates, 2 5lb plates, and 2 2.5lb plates). Women and seniors will also need at least one set of 10lbs bumper plates for learning the deadlift at lighter weights.
- A flat bench for bench pressing
- Fractional plates in 1/2lb-1.25lb increments
You can find some specific recommendations here: Beginner’s Guide to Basic Strength Training Equipment
We also highly recommend the following items:
- A pair of weightlifting shoes with an elevated rigid heel. Squatting and deadlifting in regular tennis shoes is unacceptable. They are soft and unstable for lifting weights. Check out this helpful guide on finding the right weightlifting shoe.
- A 3-4” wide leather weightlifting belt. Belts help us push our abdomen out against something tangible. They give us feedback that says “Yes! You are performing the Valsalva maneuver (bearing down) correctly.” For more on that, check out our Guide to Belts
- Weightlifting chalk. Known as ‘gymnastics,’ ‘climbing,’ or ‘weightlifting chalk,’ chalk reduces sweat, helps prevent hand rips, and improves your ability to grip the bar and helps to prevent a sweaty hand from slipping around the bar.
BLOC Nutrition may be purchased as either a standalone product or combined with an online coaching service (Professional, Exclusive, or Club coaching). BLOC Nutrition Coaches work to support your performance and body composition goals but do not provide medical nutrition coaching or meal planning services. The BLOC Nutrition service consists of a Visual Food Diary, a customized nutrition plan, weekly metric updates in the BLOC App, and monthly 1-on-1 consultation calls with your Nutrition Coach. Like online coaching services, Nutrition Coaching requires a three-month minimum commitment. Nutrition clients may also upgrade their service by purchasing additional, ad-hoc calls with their nutrition coach.
Any smartphone with internet access and a working video camera will allow you to take full advantage of BLOC services. You may find that using a computer (desktop or laptop) or a tablet (like an iPad) will add to your overall enjoyment of the service, though these are not necessary.
We use the following platforms for coaching and services:
- The BLOC App: Coaching and communication
- Zoom: 1-on-1 Nutrition Coaching calls
- Discord: Online community interaction (optional)
The BLOC App is proprietary software customized for Barbell Logic Online Coaching. It is an easy-to-use web app that allows your coach to deliver programming, you to upload workout data, including videos and images, and you and your coach to communicate regularly. In addition, the BLOC App keeps track of your progress automatically and can be used to track various performance and progress metrics.
For nutrition coaching services, the BLOC App helps keep track of your daily food and body composition information and forms the basis of your personalized nutrition plan.
Some things to know about the BLOC APP:
- The BLOC App is a web app (not a native app), meaning there is nothing to download. You can add the BLOC App website to your home screen for quick access:
- iPhone: From the website, tap the Share button, then tap “Add to Home Screen.” The icon appears only on the device where you add it.
- Android: Tap the menu icon (3 dots in the upper right-hand corner) and tap Add to home screen. You’ll be able to enter a name for the shortcut. Chrome will add it to your home screen.
When you sign up for BLOC Coaching, you will receive an email invitation to join the BLOC App. Click the link:
- You’ll be prompted to create a password.
- Next, update your Profile as necessary. Please use your real name, as it helps us keep track of your membership and lets your coach know who you are.
- Fill out the rest of the profile information. Choose what email notifications you want to receive and whether you want to remain anonymous on the Leaderboard.
- Click save when you are done. You are now signed up and ready to go. You can return to the profile page to update these settings at any time.
From the login screen, click on the “Forgot Password?” link and enter the email address you signed up with to receive instructions on how to reset your password. If necessary, your coach can resend your email invitation to join the BLOC App.
There are a lot of features on the BLOC App, but it is intuitive and easy to use. Watch the video below for a complete overview of its use and features.
When you complete a workout and have added your comments and videos click the “Mark Complete” bar at the bottom of the workout. The bar will change from red to green and say “Workout Completed.”
From your “My Workouts” page, completed workouts will appear with a green border in calendar view, missed workouts will appear with a red border, and upcoming workouts will appear with a grey border. In List View, missed workouts have a red “Missed” notification, and completed workouts show a green “Completed” notification.
Upload times vary, depending on your internet speed. To check whether your video has finished uploading, click “refresh” from the workout page. When your video is ready to view, it will appear embedded in the workout. To check whether your videos uploaded to a past workout, click on the workout from the Calendar or List View on your “My Workouts” page. Uploaded videos will appear embedded in the workout.
You can always go back and remove or upload videos to past workouts.
From the Vimeo Help Center:
Troubleshoot video playback issues
Many factors can influence video playback, including some that pertain to your computer or device. If you’re not getting the best viewing experience on Vimeo, you might want to try these simple fixes.
- Switch to “Auto” in the quality menu, if available.
Auto mode automatically adjusts to the best quality of video for your current Internet connection and processing speed. We recommend using this default setting to avoid buffering delays. (If “Auto” is not available, switch to one of the lower quality options.)
- Check your bandwidth.
We require network speeds of 500 kbps or higher in order to stream our lowest playback quality (240p). You can use this speed test to get a general sense of your Internet speed during the time of the issue. Keep in mind that bandwidth can fluctuate, especially on Wifi or cellular networks.
- Disable any browser extensions, plugins, or add ons.
Third party programs can sometimes cause issues during playback— including blocked video segments, dropped frames, buffering, etc. If you’re having trouble, try disabling any active extensions one-by-one to find the culprit. You can also open your video within an incognito or private window of your browser for testing.
- Restart your router and modem.
Resetting your router or modem can help to refresh your connection and improve playback performance. Try disconnecting the power cord and then reconnecting to perform a hard reboot.
- Update your browser.
Browser software is constantly being improved upon. Make sure you are using the latest version of your browser for peak performance. The latest version of each browser can be found here.
- Close excess browser tabs or applications.
Keeping too many applications open can make everything run slower, including video playback. Especially on a mobile device, it’s easy to forget which apps are running. Make sure that you completely close or disable apps instead of just minimizing their windows.
- Clear your browser’s cache.
Although this may sound simple, refreshing your cache can help with many different issues, including playback. Learn more here.
- Disable/Enable Hardware acceleration.
Hardware acceleration makes resource-hungry operations run more efficiently, but sometimes doesn’t work well with older graphics cards. Try disabling or enabling this option within your browser settings.
You can upload images using the attachment button. On any comment section, click the small up and down right arrows at the end of the field. This will open the text editor. Use the paperclip attachment icon to add photos.
The BLOC App features a separate Nutrition Calendar. Your nutrition coach will have access to this calendar to assign and collect your daily nutritional information. The features are the same, but nutrition clients will more often need to upload pictures to their calendar.
To attach images to a workout: In the text field, click the small up and down right arrows at the end of the field. They will gain access to the text editor and can use the paperclip attachment icon to add photos.
The BLOC App collects information necessary for our strength and nutrition services. This includes some personal information such as your name, email address, body weight, height, location, and gender. It also includes relevant strength training and nutrition coaching information, such as the exercises you perform, what you ate, and videos and images that allow your coach to perform their services.
Some of this data is used to track your progress over time so that you can easily see the efficacy of your training. Some data is shared anonymously on the BLOC App Leaderboard, unless you choose to have your name appear on the Leaderboard. Data is not saved beyond what is necessary to provide our services to you, and your personal information will not be shared with any third parties for any reason.
First, let your coach know what the problem is. They may be able to help you resolve the issue quickly. If the problem persists, you can report issues though Barbell Logic’s Discord Server (BLOC_App_Questions). If you are not on the Discord server, ask your coach to report the issue.
Barbell Logic will automatically transfer all of your tracked metrics to the BLOC App, and we will send you a neatly archived spreadsheet of your TrueCoach workout history in July.
For the barbell lifts, follow the advice in this video as best you can.
In general, a three-quarter angle from the front or rear will give your coach the best information. Your coach can always ask for different angles or points of focus for filming.
Don’t forget to trim your videos!
The primary way you’ll communicate with your coach is through the BLOC App. The app supports direct messaging and comments for every workout. At your and your coach’s discretion, you may choose to use other modes of communication, including email or VOIP services.
Nutrition Clients: Monthly Nutrition Coaching calls use the Zoom VOIP service.
Yes. For all online coaching plans (including nutrition coaching) your first month is completely free. We want everyone to be able to try our services, so we make it as easy as possible to join with your first month free and a 10-day trial period.
Please note that the first month free offer applies only to people who have not had an active membership with BLOC for at least six months. If you are unsure whether this offer applies to you, please email email@example.com before signing up.
We want you to have as few barriers to training with us as possible. So, we offer a 10-day trial period at the beginning of your membership. For the first 10 days of your membership, you can cancel for any reason without incurring the three-month commitment and without charge. Once the trial period is up, your membership continues as normal with a three-month commitment beginning from the date you signed up.
Please note that the 10-day trial offer applies only to people who have not had an active membership with BLOC for at least six months. If you are unsure whether this offer applies to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before signing up.
BLOC requires a three-month minimum commitment, because we know it takes that long to really get in the groove of training and make some long-lasting notable changes in your body. After that first three months, we continue to have a very low attrition rate, because the results speak for themselves. At the end of your first three months, you will continue to pay your monthly rate on the same day each month until you formally cancel in writing by emailing your request to email@example.com.
Any changes to your membership that affect your billing, such as cancellations or changes in membership tier, must be requested in email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 7 days before your next bill date.
Having a strong family is important so we do offer a discount for immediate family members and spouses. Email email@example.com to learn more.
Physical Limitation Questions
Absolutely! As long as you have access to the basic equipment listed above (either at your home gym or a public gym) then you’ll do just fine with BLOC. Our coaches are excellent teachers and very patient, so we know it will take some time to get used to the movements. We won’t throw a heavy barbell on your back on day one. We’ll walk you through the learning progression at your own pace.
We actually get this question quite often. Usually you can put the phone/camera in a door way and capture everything we need to see. However, if the room is still too small, one excellent cheap option is to purchase this fisheye lens for your camera.
Absolutely. We understand the difference between “optimal” and “realistic.” Some people cannot perform low bar barbell squats because of old injuries. We are able to work around your physical limitation to optimize your strength gains and results. Many of our strength coaches specialize in training people with physical limitations and some of them even come from a medical or physical therapy background. We will work to pair you with a coach that will help meet all of your physical needs.
Yes you can. Again, there is a difference between optimal and realistic. We have coaches who specialize in working with traveling executives (or people with really strange schedules like fire-fighters or doctors who might work 72 hours on shift, followed by 96 hours off-shift). There’s no reason you can’t get strong because of a difficult work schedule.
You may join BLOC on two conditions:
1) You must have a parent/guardian sign you up and give parental legal consent.
2) You must have entered Tanner Stage 4 on the puberty scale: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanner_scale
If both of those qualifications apply to you, then you may join BLOC.
Of course! We love helping Seniors and even have coaches who specialize in your demographic! You still must have access to all the basic equipment needs, and on a very basic level, must be able to sit down and stand up out of a dining room chair without using your arms/hands to help. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Club Online Coaching option offers the same features as the Standard option, but instead of being assigned to a single coach, Club clients are coached by a pool of our BLOC Associate Coaches. Our associate coaches are the top performers in our Coaching Academy programs and are supervised by our Senior Staff Coaches as part of our BLOC Coaching Academy Program.
No. Clients in the Club level of service are coached by a pool of our associate coaches. Clients have a different associate coach assigned to review their technique and programming each week, so there’s always a fresh set of eyes coaching the client.
The goal for every BLOC Associate Coach is to graduate to a full BLOC Staff Coach. Clients in the Club level of service may elect to keep a specific Associate Coach-turned-Staff Coach if they upgrade to the Standard or Premium level of service. Email email@example.com to request an upgrade under a specific coach.
There is a three-month minimum commitment with the Club online coaching option.
With the Barbell Logic Online Coaching Club option you get custom programming for every workout and feedback on all of your training videos – no other online coaching service offers that level of service for $119/mo. The programming in the Club level of service is completely custom to the goals and needs of the client. The effectiveness of custom workout-to-workout programming cannot be matched by any template.
BLOC Associate Coaches are the top performers of a rigorous academic program. Each has already proven that they are a very good coach and are on their way to becoming a full BLOC Staff Coach. The Associate Coaches complete a comprehensive six-month Education Program as part of our BLOC Coaching Academy. Only the very best students in the Education Program move on to become BLOC Associate Coaches. Many of our associate coaches also already coach part-time or full time in gyms, and some already own their own coaching businesses.
When you sign up for the Club level of service you will be assigned to a Senior Staff Coach in charge of the BLOC Associate Coaches. Your Senior Staff Coach is your point of contact for all your training questions.