The origins of Starting Strength come from the field of Geology, shockingly enough. The creator, Mark Rippetoe utilized the principles of science to the powerlifting competitions that he attended in college.
This, in turn, turned into a very popular online forum and a series of textbooks, both of which helped thousands of people. After that, he started training coaches to utilize and apply the method that he designed to help others achieve their health and strength goals.
Very soon, the demand outgrew the number of credentialed coaches and Mark knew that a franchise model would be the best way to give more people access to his teachings.
This would then allow more coaches to be brought into the fold so even more people would be able to benefit from the Starting Strength method.
One of the most interesting aspects of this method is that it utilizes a very specific definition of the word “strength” to measure and map out improvement for those that utilize it. This is powerful because “strength” can be so subjective depending on who uses the term.
They define strength as “the amount of force that you can exert against an external resistance.” So now that they have a definition, they can measure and show improvement in the strength of their students.
Some of the people that benefit the most from this type of training are the elderly or those that have been injured, as well as women. This is because their day-to-day quality of life is more vastly improved by becoming stronger.
Jarrod Schaefer was first credentialed in early 2018, after working under someone who was also credentialed by the creator himself. The franchise agreement for Starting Strength Austin occurred later that year, making this location the first.
Earlier in his life, Jarrod had issues with obesity and eating disorders. His constant search for different types of exercise and diets led him, as well as his background in martial arts and running led him to enter the world of bodybuilding.
He had the look, but he felt weak and malnourished from the strenuous diet he had to follow. Something had to change. Later on, his interest in business led him to help some of his family members run their businesses. So when it came time to pick a career path to follow, it was a natural choice to choose the thing he loved the most.
He then started searching for a way to find some sort of training or credential that would give him an edge in the health and wellness market, and the exclusive nature of Starting Strength was too appealing to pass up.
His desire to be a coach has since evolved into an interest in owning a business, and Jarrod intends to own three Starting Strength gyms so he can expose as many people as possible to the method while training new coaches.
The long-term goal is to see the improvement in the lives of those he teaches and trains. This is because his life has been “immeasurably improved” from changing the definition of “fitness” to “getting strong” rather than worrying about your body weight or looking a certain way.
Health defined as a functional goal is far less dangerous than obsessing over body fat percentages or one’s physical appearance.
One of the most challenging aspects of successfully running this business is that it targets a very specific demographic that thinks a certain way, as opposed to a normal gym that allows its patrons to use the facility as much as they want, choosing what they want to do.
The Starting Strength method doesn’t fit into that model, causing them to create a totally unique and interesting business model to be able to apply their principles to a large gym-going population. The ability to show measurable improvement in his clients will soon allow Jarrod to be able to grow this location and open many others.
His only concern while growing is to make sure that the method is not compromised while membership increases.
As far as his credentials, Jarrod is one of the few coaches that had the pleasure of being coached directly by the founder Mark Rippetoe himself, meaning that he’s sure to do a great job of driving the method forward into the future.
He wants to leave a legacy in the Austin area, and that’s his deep-rooted motivation for devoting himself fully to this business model.