Frequently Asked Questions

Got any questions or concerns that aren't answered here? Contact us!

We may end up adding your inquiry to this list.

  1. Do you work with complete beginners?

  2. Can you help me if I'm already experienced?

  3. Can you help me if I have chronic pain or an injury?

  4. Do I need to have a home gym or gym membership?

  5. Where do you conduct your personal training?

  6. Do you offer workouts in the client's home?

  7. Do you negotiate your prices?

  8. How do you take payments?

  9. Will I be expected to do super-hard workouts?

  10. What if I'm not satisfied with the workouts or recommendations?

  11. How will you keep track of my workouts or progress? 

  12. Do I have to send you before/after photos? 

  13. Do you offer meal plans?

  14. Are your workouts and group classes basically Crossfit?


 

  1. Do you work with complete beginners?

    Absolutely! No prior experience is required. In fact, beginners are often easier to work with because they haven't ingrained any bad habits of form and are more responsive to training in general. We'd be honored to teach you good form and training habits right from the start! Please don't think for one second that you need to "get into shape" before you see a professional.  
     

  2. Can you help me if I'm already experienced?

    Yes! We've helped many lifters, runners, athletes, etc. who came to us with 10+ years of previous experience; they still got incredible results! Our head coach Matt has a great deal of knowledge and lifting experience, but that never stopped him from training under a dozen different coaches over his career. He has also been hired by several professional peers who wished to improve their skills and knowledge; these are people who already had a broad understanding of the science and practice of exercise, most likely a great deal more than you, but that still didn't stop them from seeking out help. 

    So long as you can check your ego, we can certainly help you reach the next level. If you really are so advanced that there's not much we can do to help, we will be the first to say so!  

     

  3. Can you help me if I have chronic pain or an injury?

    That's one of our strengths! We've worked with so many people who have struggled with joint pain or had an injury they needed to train around. More people than we can remember have said "I can't squat, it hurts my knees" and then were squatting pain-free within a few weeks of proper instruction. This is part of the value of having a quality professional help you. 

    That said, it's important to understand you cannot hire us specifically to FIX your pain; that crosses an important ethical and legal line into the domain of physical therapy and medicine.

    We can absolutely show you how to workout without aggravating your issues. There's a great chance that, like so many other people we've worked with, your joint pain will improve or go away entirely; that is one of the greatest side-effects of smart, safe instruction! 

    In other words, "fix the pain in my knees" cannot be our goal, but "show me how to strengthen my legs without hurting my knees" is totally fine! The former example is only appropriate for a physical therapist or doctor; the latter example is well within the boundaries of good coaching. 

     

  4. Do I need to have a home gym or gym membership?

    Only if you have goals that specifically require a piece of equipment, which is pretty rare. For example, if all you want to learn is how to bench press, but you have no access to weight equipment and can't meet us for private training, we would need to work on other goals and exercises.

    That said, be careful not to confuse your goal for what you think you need to do to reach your goal. If your goal is to have a bigger chest, don't tell us your goal is to build your bench press; that's confusing the means for the ends. As a client, you definitely know what it is you want to achieve, but as the professional, your coach better understands how to get you there.

    Also, never underestimate how much progress you can make with little to no equipment if you have an expert designing your program. Our head coach Matt spent his first year of serious strength training working with a heavy sandbag that he built for about $30, and he got incredible results with it. Less is more when you have expertise.

     

  5. Where do you conduct your personal training?

    In and near the beautiful parks of Boise! If that doesn't sound awesome to you, consider the following:

    Significantly lower risk of transmitting COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.

    “I think outdoors is so much better than indoors in almost all cases,” said Linsey Marr, an engineering professor and aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech. “There’s so much dilution that happens outdoors. As long as you’re staying at least six feet apart, I think the risk is very low.” - NYTimes

    A great deal of research shows natural settings have a powerful  effect on both physical and psychological health.

    A study of 20,000 people . . . found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t. - Yale School of Environmental Studies

    We have a LOT of equipment, including barbells and weight plates. It's very easy for an expert coach to train any movement or muscle group without needing a particular machine.

    Nearly every gym has a policy against personal training on their property. While many trainers may do so anyway, we understand and respect these rules; we would never disrespect the gym owners by training you "on the down low." 

    Our head coach has worked in several gyms over the year, yet he still took every opportunity to bring clients outdoors for their session whenever possible. One day The Lifting School will be a brick and mortar place and you know what? We will still conduct classes, sessions and group activities outside every chance we get! 

    With our coaching you can get everything you need from a session outdoors, but you don't get sunshine and nature inside of a gym. The pros/cons land heavily on the "train outdoors" side. Just try it and you'll see!

     

  6. Do you offer workouts in the client's home?

    Yes. If you live in the Boise area, we can arrange to meet you in the comfort of your home or yard for your training sessions, for a small additional travel fee. In addition to whatever exercise equipment you may have, we can bring additional weights, bands, accessories, etc. Your coach will wear a mask the entire time and will sanitize our equipment right in front of you for your safety and peace of mind. 

    If we've never met however, the first time we meet will not be in your home. Let's arrange to meet somewhere in Boise first and get to know each other before agreeing to conduct sessions at your place. If you're creepy as hell... it's going to be a hard pass. 
     

  7. Do you negotiate your prices?

    No, we do not. We understand many trainers may do so, but out of respect for all of our paying clients we do not adjust prices other than general promotions and sales. We don't think it's fair to have a "politeness tax" for clients who are unwilling to haggle, and in our experience people who focus on trying to get a special personal discount make HORRIBLE clients. Again: no, we do not negotiate our prices. 
     

  8.  How do you take payments?

    We will email you an electronic PayPal invoice that can be paid with a debit or credit card, bank account or PayPal balance. You do NOT need a PayPal account to pay with a debit or credit card. 

    We also accept cash for in person services and classes. We will send you a PayPal invoice then mark it as "paid" and you will be sent an electronic receipt for your records.

    We do not accept checks or any other method not listed above.

     

  9. Will I be expected to do super-hard workouts?

    Not at all! This is a perfectly legitimate concern; many people try a class or a trainer and get thrown right into the deep end before they even know how to swim. We've personally met far too many people who have been seriously injured with inappropriate workouts. That is NOT an inevitable consequence of hard exercise, it's a red flag that things aren't being properly tailored to your level and needs. 

    We show people a smarter, safer way to train. You do not have to sacrifice your joints to build strength, size, speed, etc. That doesn't mean we can't help you achieve great things; we've helped many people build up to lifting hundreds of pounds regularly without pain or injury! The key is intelligent progressions and fitting the program to the client, not the other way around. Let us know what your goals are and we can give you a realistic idea of how much time and effort that can take; people are often surprised at how much progress they can make without killing themselves every workout.

    Even if your goals do require that you work up to more strenuous efforts over time (eg you want to run a half marathon but you can only run a couple of miles right now), the key point is that we will work up to that over time, steadily increasing your discomfort tolerance as you adapt to the progressive overload. 

     

  10. What if I'm not satisfied with the workouts or recommendations?

    We know it's intimidating to take that first step and we don't want you worrying about buyer's remorse.

    That's why every new client gets a money back guarantee for the first 2 weeks from their starting date! We want to make getting started as smooth as possible for you. We're confident you will see the difference in our approach, but if for any reason you get through your first week and decide it's just not something you want to continue, let us know and we will give you a full refund. Any critical feedback you have will be very appreciated, but it's never required.

    We also don't sell any packages longer than 3 months for first-time buyers. We have no desire whatsoever to lock anyone into a long-term commitment or contract before they fully understand what it is they're getting themselves into!

     

  11. How will you keep track of my workouts or progress? 

    We use Google Docs for all of our workout, diet and measurement logs. These are shared online files that both you and your coach can access and view at any time. This allows you both to share notes within the log and make dynamic modifications as needed. Don't worry if you've never used online documents like these before; we've put together some simple instructions that show and explain the basic features so you'll be confident and capable in no time!
     

  12. Do I have to send you before/after photos? 

    Absolutely not! There are so many different reasons to exercise besides changing one's appearance, so body shots are never a requirement to work with us. If you do have aesthetic goals, progress photos can be very helpful but if for any reason you're not comfortable sharing personal photos that's totally fine! We can track progress with weigh-ins and measurements, how clothes are fitting, etc. and of course you can always keep photos for yourself and just let us know they're showing progress without ever needing to actually send them to us.

    If you do choose to share photos of your progress with us, we will never share them with anyone else or use them for marketing. Yes, we have plenty of great before/after shots from our clients but we choose not to reinforce the all-too-common perception that the main (only?) reason to exercise is just to change how you look. Health & fitness is so much bigger than that.

     

  13. Do you offer meal plans?

    That is not something we offer for a couple important reasons:

    First and foremost, only a Registered Dietitian (RD) or licensed physician can legally prescribe meal plans to a client and we don't currently employ either type of professional. While we are well aware it's common practice in the fitness industry for trainers to give meal plans to their clients, we respect this boundary and are thus legally and ethically obligated to help you with your nutrition in other ways.

    Secondly, we want to teach our clients the knowledge and dietary habits necessary to carry them forward long-term, long after we've eventually stopped working together. We can help you log your intake and make intelligent adjustments, we can teach you accurate information and helpful habits, but even if we could tell you exactly what to eat for every meal, that isn't necessarily the best strategy for your continued success.

     

  14. Are your workouts and group classes basically Crossfit?

    NOPE!