Frequently Asked Questions
- Individualized programming and interaction though TrueCoach that you can use right on your phone or computer.
- Regular video-conference calls with your coach
- 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 Slack group, where you can ask questions, discuss training, programming, nutrition, and receive encouragement and support from others in the BLOC family.
Very simply, BLOC provides several services that are not provided by any other online coaching service. The first, is that we are the only service to offer ONLY Certified Expert Strength Coaches. We actually have more than 40 Expert Strength Coaches on staff to serve you.
Upon registration and payment, you will receive a detailed questionnaire regarding individual goals, training history, past injuries, etc. You will also receive a “Getting Started” document with step-by-step guides to help:
- Access and login to TrueCoach
- Get connected with your coach and the BLOC community in our private Slack group
- Start training with videos on how to perform the lifts correctly, how to video yourself, and how to upload those videos for your coach’s review
- Answer any questions you have with our detailed FAQs
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. You 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.
The basic equipment needs to join BLOC are:
- A basic squat rack or squat stands
- 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.
Also highly recommended:
- A pair of weightlifting shoes with an elevated rigid heel.First off, squatting and deadlifting in regular tennis shoes is unacceptable. This is because they are soft and absorb shock for a reason, and we don’t want shoes to absorb shock while lifting. We actually want them to transfer energy from the floor through the feet and body and into the barbell. Buy a pair of lifting shoes for squat and deadlift (and press and bench press for that matter) and lift in these. If you buy a nice pair, they’ll last for years and years. Any weightlifting shoe is fine, though Adidas and Nike probably make the best options. Here are some links: http://www.roguefitness.com/shoes/weightlifting-shoes
- A 3-4” wide leather weightlifting belt.Yes, definitely. 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.” The keys when ordering/buying a belt are:
- It must be made of leather and the same width for the entire length of the belt.
- It needs to have a single prong (not double), or a lever buckle.
- It needs to be ~10mm thick. (5mm is not enough, and for most people 13mm will be too much, unless you get a lever buckle and are already pretty dang strong.)
The best option (by far) for belts currently is to order through Dominion Strength.
Most new clients will be just fine ordering a 10mm thick, 4”, single prong leather belt from them.
You may be interested in the lever belt instead (it’s really personal preference).
For those of you with short torsos and long legs, you may opt for a 3” belt.
- Weightlifting chalk.Known as ‘gymnastics,’ ‘climbing,’ or ‘weightlifting chalk,’ chalk reduces sweat, helps prevent hand rips, and improves your ability to grip the bar. It should be used for working sets in the deadlift, press, and bench. It’s impact on the deadlift will be noticeable, and although you are not pulling in the press and bench, chalk still helps to prevent a sweaty hand from slipping around the bar. Chalk ‘blocks’ are generally easier to use than loose chalk and make less mess. Here are some links: http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-gym-chalk and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OTT7D1C?psc=1
Our Nutrition Linear Progression is a step-by-step guide to achieving healthy eating habits and ultimately a healthy lifestyle. Similar to the incrementally adding weight to the bar, our team of Registered Dietitians and Nutrition coaches will incrementally add habits to your nutrition toolbox to ultimately formulate an individualized diet plan that you can take with you for the rest of your life. Your coach will support you and hold you accountable to help you make incredible changes.
Any smartphone with internet access will allow you the technology needed to work with BLOC. This means ANY android or iPhone will work just fine, as long as it has a working video camera and internet access.
Additionally, 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.
TrueCoach is a 3rd party software formulated as an easy-to-use web app that we use for all your programming needs. TrueCoach has virtually no learning curve at all – it’s that simple and easy to use. TrueCoach sends you emails each day you train with the specifics of your workout. But you can also open the web app at any time on your phone and see all of the details of your workouts for that entire week.
Additionally, when you train, you enter your feedback during your session directly into the TrueCoach so that your coach can see how the session went. (For example, if you were programmed to “Squat 175lbs for 3×5,” you might write “Completed all 3 sets at prescribed weight. 3rd set was quite difficult. Had a hard time staying on my mid-foot.”) You can also communicate with your coach directly on TrueCoach about anything program related. For example, “Hey coach! I normally train MWF, but this week I’ll be training on TRS.”
TrueCoach also allows you to track macros and keep assessments and benchmarks like waist or other body measurements, PRs, etc.
The most important thing is that we are able see your entire body, from your feet to the top of your head, and your hands if it’s a Press. All videos should be taken in landscape mode (wide) and not in portrait mode (tall).
Place your phone 2-3 feet off the ground (on a box or bench, etc) about 10+ feet away and angle it toward you. If you don’t have a tripod, you can lean it against something like a dumbbell or water bottle.
The best angle is at 45-degrees between the front/side or rear/side (see below for best placement for each lift). Video angles directly from the side DON’T work very well because the weight plates are in the way.
An instructional video for how to video your lifts properly can be found here.
Videos are uploaded and shared with your coach directly in the TrueCoach site. Remember to trim your video, so it doesn’t show 2 min of you chalking your hands, putting your belt on, approaching the bar, etc. Directions on how to trim and easily upload your videos directly from your phone can be found here.
*Be sure to title your video with the date, weight, reps, and which set it is.
The primary way you’ll communicate with your coach is through TrueCoach.
We also schedule video conference calls with our clients every couple of months so that you can get some facetime with your coach to cover any “in-person” questions you might have about your goals, programming, nagging injuries, etc.
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. Because of this, you will continue to pay your monthly rate on the same day each month until you formally cancel in writing.
Any changes to your membership that effect 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 Interns. Our Interns 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 BLOC Interns. Clients have a different intern 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 Intern is to graduate to a full BLOC Staff Coach. Clients in the Club level of service may elect to keep a specific Intern-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.
No. Nutrition coaching is not included at the Club level of service. Clients in the Club level can upgrade to the Premium level of service, which includes full nutrition coaching, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 Interns are the top performers of a rigorous academic program. They have already proven that they are a very good coach and are on their way to becoming a full BLOC Staff Coach. The Interns 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 Interns. Many of our interns 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 Interns. Your Senior Staff Coach is your point of contact for all your training questions.