15 Reviews on “Robert Santana PhD, RD, SSC”

Overall rating
  • James

    I first started training without Robert Santana in 2016 already having several years experience without a SS coach. Although I was skeptical of online coaching we quickly established the goal that I wanted to lose 30 lbs while making all my lifts go up. In less than a year I accomplished all my goals! my 5RM for all lifts went up as follows. deadlift up 75 lbs, Bench up 40 lbs, Squat up 25 lbs, and press up 47lbs, and guess what—I dropped 30lbs while I did it. Robert is extremely professional and knowledgeable. He’s generous with sharing his knowledge and experiences all to the benefit of the lifter. His new facility & gym Weights & Plates out of Phoenix AZ is the best thing to happen to our city for strength and health. Highly recommend Roberts online services and everyone should visit his Gym

  • Christopher A. Perry

    Robert Santana is one of the BEST Coaches in the Strength & Conditioning industry. His impeccable level of knowledge of exercise physiology, sports nutrition, biomechanics, and strength training technique far surpasses the average personal trainer today. Robert can provide insight on every aspect of your fitness journey and not only teaches you the How you do something, but also the WHY you do something. This is no ordinary come in a get a cookie cutter style workout personal trainer. Robert is a legitimate coach who will show you how your body works. He will show you how to properly build strength and properly prevent injury in every level of programming. One of the finest strength coaches around, who guarantees results the way they were meant to be achieved. I’ve learned a great deal from him and continue to learn more each day. Highly recommended.

  • Michael Donner

    I have been using Robert since March. I have been whittling away at that most difficult last 10 lbs. My progress has been slow but steady. I hit a new low two days after a long vacation. In and of itself, not gaining weight on a vacation is a major accomplishment, but to come back having lost a pound is kind of a miracle. I attribute this to the accountability of coaching and the specific plan laid out by Robert. The plan is working and I can easily apply it while traveling and going out on the weekends. As of today, I’m down almost 8lbs, but two inches from my waist. Thanks Coach!

  • Greg Tuculesu

    I’m 42 years old and Robert has been my strength and nutrition coach for over two years now. In that time I’ve put over 150lbs on my squat, 250 lbs on my deadlift, and gained a good 20lbs worth of muscle. Robert knows what he’s doing and is really good at helping you adjust your training when other life obligations get in the way. Hire this guy before his roster fills up!

  • Jeremy Connell

    Robert is known for his nutritional expertise, but don’t kid yourself, he is not just for weight loss. We were able to work together to get my squat to 500×5, my bench to 365×5, and my press to 225×5. He is a top notch coach, an expert in diet and nutrition, and just an overall good guy. If you are in need of a coach, do not hesitate, he is one of the best.

  • Mike Palios

    Two reviews in one…..

    1) I was in AZ for work and made the 30min drive to Robert’s gym. What a great facility…. I think there were 5 power racks, new bars and plates. What was most valuable was he is watching each rep of each lift. It was invaluable and worth the time and money to drive from the hotel. I’d do it again, without hesitation.

    2) I recently had a nutrition phone consult with Robert. Was extremely helpful as he was able to pinpoint a few items with which I can improve. I cannot wait until my gym opens up again to put his recommendations in to play. He also had patience for a couple of follow up questions that I forgot to ask him in the phone call.

    Strongest recommendation possible.

  • Jeff Hayes

    I began working with Robert at the start of 2022. I’ve been “working out” for roughly 25 years, but after listening to several of Robert’s “Weights and Plates” podcasts, I now understand that what I’ve been doing those years was “exercising” and not “training”. At 50 years of age, I set a goal of finally trying to put on actual muscle mass, with increasing my overall strength as the vehicle to do so. I found out about Robert through the Rennaissance Periodization website and then went about reading reviews from other clients he had worked with. As luck would have it, my daughter began attending ASU and I was able to fly out to Arizona to meet Robert in person prior to working with him. What struck me immediately was his overall knowledge, breadth of experience, and no-nonsense way of communicating what his plan would be for me should I hire him. After that first meeting, it was a no-brainer that I wanted to work with him.

    After close to 9 months of working with him, I am seeing significant strength and size progress which I have never seen over my last 25 years. Following the Linear Progression phase of Starting Strength is working for me, like it has for many and I absolutely love the feeling of becoming, “harder to kill”. Robert has a fantastic motivational and humorous way of communicating and knows exactly what and how to say things to get my head where it needs to be.

    All in all, I could not have asked for a better coach and mentor to help me down this new strength and size road that I am now walking. I encourage anyone looking for a coach to engage with him if you are looking for a phenomenal expert in the field who can tell you the what, when, how, and why of strength training.

  • Craig Garber

    I’ve worked with Robert as a coach on both weight-loss and weight training. His competency levels are off the charts as far as knowledge and practical application, in both areas. This has allowed me to achieve amazing results. But beyond this, he’s also one of the most caring and supportive individuals I’ve ever met in my life, in or out of the fitness area.

    I want to specifically address my training, because although I’ve been lifting weights for over 35 years, I was a bit of a mess when I first connected with Robert for help. Over the last dozen years or so, a lifetime of lifting too much, with improper form and bad posture, had taken their toll on me. Every 6 months, there was another exercise my body could no longer perform, because of a seriously reduced or complete lack of range of motion, along with significant and restrictive pain. This caused me to bring in machine substitutes to work out pretty much every body part, over the years.

    Early on, when I started working with Robert, I was confused why he had asked me to do all these exercises I could no longer do. For instance, I hadn’t been able to do barbell bench or barbell press in well over 10 years. Robert explained to me that not being able to execute basic range of motion on lifting exercises like bench and shoulder presses, or hip hinge exercises like deadlifts, would only cause me even greater problems with respect to completing basic activities of daily living. Things like placing items into and removing items from kitchen cabinets… sitting down in the restroom, or lifting even simple weighted boxes up off or down onto the ground.

    I saw how sincere and passionate he was about this, and how much his focus was on my long-term physical well-being (and not on him “being right about this”) so it was easy for me to listen to him.

    Almost 4 months later and I can tell you I am SO glad I followed his advice. I am now on my way to setting new personal records on bench press, after initially struggling with just the 45 pound barbell. I’m still in such a state of shock and gratitude that every time I lay down on the bench and “things work” – it’s like a small miracle happening twice a week.

    Robert even recommended exercises and range of motion movements for my shoulders, that a personal therapist I worked with, never suggested. These movements and exercises have increased my range of motion WAAY beyond what it was when we first started working together. And although my shoulder pain is still limiting… I can see light at the end of the tunnel, as I recently started doing standing and seated presses for the first time in over a decade.

    Robert has gone so far above and beyond what I would have expected, it’s hard to put into words. His consistent support and encouragement pushed me to want to do better. Combine this with his years of wisdom and experience, and he has truly helped me go so much further than I ever would have imagined.

    It’s not often in life that you meet someone who actually does “change your life,” but I would look anyone in the eye and tell them Robert has definitely done this. And I am so very grateful for it.

    On top of that, he’s a sincere, fun guy with a positive, optimistic outlook on life, and he’s got a terrific work ethic you don’t often see. Just a first-class human being, all around. I would encourage ANYONE looking for fitness results, either through dieting, training, or both… to work with Robert. If you listen to him, you’ll walk away with amazing results AND a smile – and what’s better than this?

  • Audrey Goldblatt

    Robert Santana has been my strength coach for the past ten years. Where did the time go lol? Robert trained me in person for three years in CA before he moved to AZ and online for the past seven years.

    Before I met Robert, I “messed around” with weights in the gym and I was highly addicted to the stair master, but I never touched a barbell. To be honest, the barbell intimidated me. I had a “bad” knee that would cripple me for a few months after just a simple slip or after running a few steps to make the traffic light. I’ll never forget the day that Robert said to me, “Why don’t you just squat? I can teach you how.” The rationale was to strengthen the muscles around the knee joint to help stabilize it. I agreed and the rest is history – I have not had any further issues with my knee. I’m VERY grateful to Robert for this.

    Robert believes that getting stronger is always going to make you look better. His attention to form has enabled me to lift more weight than I ever imagined was possible! If you want an excellent coach, Robert Santana is your guy hands down! You are going to love his coaching style – a perfect combination of patience (even if you are a motor moron lol), creative cues, and smart programming. Hey, I wouldn’t have stuck with him for the past ten years if he wasn’t the best coach around.

  • Rachel Case

    I hired Robert to help me shed some pounds. It was a huge plus that he was a SSC as well. I started lifting with my husband, but that did not ‘work out’ lol. If you know, you know.

    Robert is very passionate about his work. He was always rooting for me, even when I was not in the mood. He never gave up and kept pushing me. Robert was able to modify my lifts and numbers as I progressed; and was very receptive when I needed a change. Robert is very knowledgeable about all things weights and plates.

    He worked with me for 3 years. I was able to shed some weight and also add some weight to the bar. I learned some new things about food and macros to help with my goals.

    Definitely recommend!!

  • Leo Martin

    If you want to get strong and learn how to eat properly, Robert will show you how. Don’t overthink this; just start working with him.

  • Josh S

    I was a relative latecomer to SS but think I found it just in time. I’d lost a lot of weight and fat but also a fair amount of muscle on a weight loss regimen the 6 months prior and knew i needed to build that lean mass back up, but didn’t have a direction other than the dime-a-dozen programs & apps I had stumbled across online.

    I happened upon Robert’s Weights & Plates podcast and through that discovered SS, which I now know lovingly refer to as the zen buddhism of strength training… so simple in its design and principles on the surface and yet so powerful when you dive in and stick with it. I still have a long way to go, but having Robert’s unique combo of sound dietary guidance and laser-focused training support has been the magic bullet for me. This is hands down the best coaching & fitness money I’ve ever spent and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to build lasting, life-long fitness habits.

  • Clay Blair

    I had trained for about a year and half on my own and after a biceps tendon rupture (not in the weight room) and repair I decided I wanted guidance from a professional coach as I rehabbed my arm and got back under the bar. Hiring Robert was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made from a training standpoint. Eight months post operation I’ve hit some new PRs and due to my form being cleaned up I have less joint and muscle stiffness (50 years old). I actually feel really good and believe I can keep achieving new PRs and still feel healthy. If you’ve considered hiring a Starting Strength Coach then I highly recommend Robert. His online coaching service was a very good value, and my only regret is that I waited a year and a half to do it.

  • Dave Comstock

    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Robert for just under 6mo’s now and he has definitely brought back a level of fun and engagement back into my training. For the past year or so I was putting the time in, but not really seeing much in the way of results that I was hoping for. Within a relatively short amount of time, Robert has helped me turn that around. It is also abundantly clear to me that his industry knowledge, responsiveness, and detailed oriented approach are all huge differentiators from other coaches in the industry. Robert has also helped me clean up my form on several lifts where things needed to be tightened up a bit which has also helped with my lifts. Overall, Robert has been a fantastic coach to work with and is a consummate professional in all aspects. Would highly recommend Robert whether you’re a beginner or intermediate/advanced lifter looking to take things to the next level.

  • Lea S.

    I began with Robert as an online client 4/2022, he worked with me in nutrition and weight training. I was not new to exercise or dieting but Robert was the person to help put everything in the correct gear. He has helped me tremendously with my lifts to include my form, my nutrition, and my mindset!

    Dr. Robert Santana is one of the best in the industry! He will show you the way you just have to put in the work and trust the process. The high level of knowledge that comes from that man is amazing!

    Online coaching with Robert was above and beyond what I expected it to be. Robert is very personable and responsive. He was very positive and always held me accountable. I enjoyed the online communication and how he was able to provide feedback fairly quickly. This is my first week (Jan 2024) training without him and I will sure miss him!

  • James Collinge

    I worked with Robert for 6 months nutrition coaching. It was a joy to learn how to eat to match my goals. His communication is clear and concise, while making me accountable for my choices.

    It enabled me to drop 10lb of fat, while keeping all my numbers at the level they were, or hitting small PR’s.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to use his coaching again, but the education it gave me will likely mean i will be able to do this myself from now on.

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