One of our newer coaches, Brooke joins us to talk about her coaching practice out of Black Iron Training in Lansing, MI.

What is your professional background and when did you become a Starting Strength Coach?

I’m a fairly young coach, so I didn’t have any careers prior to becoming a SSC. I received a bachelor’s degree in Management from Michigan State University (MSU) last spring and I earned my credential after attending the Chicago seminar last November.

 

What made you decide to become a coach?

I originally began coaching at Black Iron Training for college credit at MSU. I enjoyed it, but my plan was to finish up my degree and go to graduate school for organizational effectiveness or psychology. I saw Starting Strength as being for “science-y” people (science isn’t my best subject), and I’ve always been fairly risk-averse, so entrepreneurship was scary too. But there was something about this type of coaching that made it hard for me to leave. I loved playing a direct role in improving the quality of life of the people around me. I loved the constant push to better myself so I could, in turn, better my clients. I loved being exposed to new challenges in my work regularly. Last summer, I took some time to reflect on what I wanted in a career and where I saw myself years from now. That’s when I realized the benefits of becoming a coach far outweighed my concerns, so I took the plunge!

 

Do you have a coaching specialty or work with a particular demographic?

I like coaching lifters with psychological disorders. It adds in a whole new layer of complexity to training. I’ve found that I need to be more flexible with my coaching style, motivational techniques, and even programming in order to accommodate some of these lifters. There’s a lot of patience involved and going above-and-beyond the call of duty to build relationships. But it’s well worth the extra effort. Lifting becomes a positive outlet for pent-up psychological stress and in many cases I’m given the opportunity to change a person’s negative thought patterns, especially about themselves.

 

I also work with some of our German clients at BLOC. I’m not proficient in German yet, but I do coach clients who only write in German so that’s another goal of mine!

 

Tell us about the gym or facility you coach out of. Where can people find you online? 

I coach at Black Iron Training in East Lansing, Michigan, with SSC Chris Kurisko. It’s inside of a hockey arena, which is pretty cool! We even have windows that give us a good view of the rink when we’re training. I also have an LLC called Eisenbär Strength Training. I haven’t done much with the website or Facebook page yet, but my contact information is there!

 

You can also follow me on Instagram as @brookehaub

 

What is your favorite lift and why? What is your PR for that lift?

Favorite lift is the overhead press. I like how simple yet technical it is. You’re just trying to put a heavy weight over the top of your head, but there are multiple ways to do that and not everyone will move the most amount of weight with the same one technique. So part of my love for it is partly learning the mechanics of the press variations, part executing these different movement patterns myself! The most I’ve ever pressed is 110lbs.

 

What is your favorite quote about lifting, or life in general?

For my coaching, I have the motto: Lifting should complement your life, not compete with it.

 

I’m passionate about lifting, as are all SSCs. I spend most of my day coaching (online or in-person), training, and studying to improve my coaching. It’s a huge part of my life, but it’s easy to forget that that’s not the same for everyone. My clients may have different priorities. They have hectic work schedules, busy family lives, and other interests outside of the gym. They’re not all destined to be die-hards trying to tap into their absolute potential as a lifter. (I’d even argue that most of them aren’t.) It’s more important to me to figure out what’s realistic than what’s optimal for lifters. How do I keep this person training and making steady progress when life gets crazy? Can I create a program that will allow someone with less-than-ideal life circumstances to get stronger? It’s forced me to broaden my programming knowledge to fit the individual goals of my lifters, not force them into a mold of expectations or ideals I have for them.

 

Brooke coaching the start position at a recent Squat & Press camp.

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