Matt Talley
Matt Weights.jpg

Coach Matt Talley

It is my passion to help people become physically and mentally stronger. 

I have trained hundreds of private clients 1 on 1 and in small groups for over 15 years, and I've taught a variety of fitness, self-defense and even rock climbing classes. I worked in several gyms for years before eventually starting my own training business in Seattle. I've also given paid presentations on fitness-related topics and personally trained a number of fellow trainers.


Personal Background

It all started when I was a teenager. I was very overweight, about 300 lbs. I had regular back pain, muscle spasms and several debilitating knee injuries (dislocations) from rather mundane activities. For example, the first time I dislocated my knee I was simply walking backwards, mis-stepped a bit and *POP*! I was bed-ridden for days and went on to reinjure it several times in the next year. Not even 20 yet and I had a "bum knee" that made me afraid of physical activity.

One day in my late teens, I'm hanging out with a friend and sat on my bed. The frame broke. It was pretty humiliating and for whatever reason it really shook me up on a deep level. I vowed to start eating better and to learn how to work out.

I'm the kind of person who tends to really get into a topic of interest. As a good friend once said: "Matt, you don't dabble in anything, you go all-in." I spent thousands of hours over the next few years reading forums, articles and books related to fitness and especially weight training. I bought DVDs and books from some of the best coaches in the world and studied their methods, and I read over a thousand articles written by industry veterans.

I myself have worked with many different lifting and martial arts coaches since I was young: powerlifting, strongman, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, rock climbing and parkour. I know how exciting it is to make incredible progress, have several "ah-ha!" moments as an important concept is explained well, and save years of effort and avoidable mistakes with the help of an experienced professional.

My personal best raw bench, squat and deadlift are 300, 400 and 500 lbs. respectively. The video above is a 300 lbs. front squat. Cardio is very important to me too; I love few things more than a long walk, jog, hike or bike ride with my wife.


Professional Background

My first training job was at the local YMCA, after I had developed a little bit of experience by training several friends for free. After several months with the Y, I was offered the chance to attain an advanced certification they offered that involved a 40 hours of class instruction by a couple professors of physiology. I learned how to do V02 Max estimation, blood pressure testing and body fat caliper tests and a handful of other assessment tools. 

After a year at the YMCA, I moved to Seattle and worked at a popular downtown gym for 2 years, training private clients as well as running a weekly semi-private strength & conditioning class. That gym ended up getting sold to another (awful, unethical) company so I put in my notice a couple weeks before the transition day and got out right before I would have been forced to sell shitty supplements and give people cookie-cutter programs. 

For the next few years I was a self-employed trainer for the first time and also did some independent contractor work for a local Parkour gym (strength training seminars for their coaching staff). After turning down an offer to join the gym and run their strength and conditioning classes, I created an LLC and trained privately for another 3 years before moving back to Idaho and forming The Lifting School.