19 Reviews on “Amanda Sheppard, SSC”

Overall rating
  • Ryan Adams

    Amanda has done a fantastic job coaching and programming; she pays close attention to flaws in your training to make sure you are becoming as strong as you can with each workout.

  • Jim Clair

    I’ve been a competitive athlete since I’ve been a kid. I started serious training when I was 17. Needless to say, I’ve worked with a lot of coaches. Amanda is easily one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. Her honest approach, dedication, and knowledge made a world of difference with my body. At age 40, I’ve packed on 35 pounds of mass. Something I didn’t think possible. All my nagging ski injuries have cleared up. Amanda has made the workouts addictive, focused, and fun. Again, I’ve worked with top sports trainers, and top bodybuilding trainers, Amanda blows them away.

  • Pawan Nelson

    Amanda is an excellent strength coach. I’ve worked with her for about a year now (both online and in person), and I’ve been blown away by the results. Her programming choices, cues, and advice have gotten me stronger than I’ve ever been. Highly recommended.

  • Katelynn Barbosa

    Amanda is the best of the best! I have been working online with Amanda for four months and worked with her in person for three months at SS Denver prior to that. I have been pregnant the entire time and I am currently working with Amanda exclusively online as a 33 weeks pregnant woman.

    I believe she is the best of the best and I have been lifting for seven years and worked with several SSCs. My opinion is pretty commonly held among clients who consistently work with her. Amanda knows everything one can know about proper form, anthropometry, mechanics, etc and can find any form fault in any given lift in one session but I think that pretty much anyone with an SSC is capable of all of this. That’s the beauty of the SSC credential. They don’t give it to just anyone.

    What distinguishes Amanda is her approach and demeanor. She is a hardass and expects a lot without being negative or making you feel bad about yourself. She doesn’t let you get away with poor form, missing sessions, trying to go light on weight, or doing something lame like wearing a belt while lifting 60%. But she is also supportive, believes you can do it, and celebrates your achievements. She genuinely cares about clients and invests in your success. This is a much harder quality to find in an SSC than something who knows all of the moment arms and squat mechanics. I know the concept of nocebo isn’t popular in the starting strength community but I believe in it and I have never seen Amanda be a nocebo. She is the opposite of that, positive but also holds you accountable.

    I cannot recommend her more highly for either in-person or online coaching. She is great with all clients, pregnant, new, experienced, superstar young dude, and old person trying to get strong alike (she has also coached my 73 year old mom who loves her).

  • Sonny Krug

    Amanda is a total badass. Unfortunately, I only got to train with Amanda for a little over a month in Denver, but in those few weeks, I’ve gained a substantial amount of strength. Amanda is very dedicated to her work and no improper movements/ form miss her eyes. She’s very knowledgeable, which makes it a pleasure to pick her brain, be it specifically about starting strength mechanics or the fitness industry in general.

    She’s the best of the best!

  • John Erwin

    Amanda is a great coach! She’s passionate about making people strong, encouraging, patient, has an eye for detail, and is constantly problem solving. One of her best attributes is how she’s constantly trying to adapt her message ask you can understand wha she’s seeing and how to get your brain and body to correct it. During my LP I got stuck on squat and develop constant pain, but she reset me, gave me time to heal and my body to adapt from years sitting at a desk to get back the range of motion necessary to lift correctly, and I just had to my first working set of 225lbs! She’s the best!

  • John Theodore

    Amanda is a great mix of a compassionate, confident and assertive. If you tweaked a body part, she’ll be understanding and cut the weight back so you build back stronger. If you’re being a baby, she’ll let you know to push through so you get yer gainz. Her programming and optimal biomechanical form coaching are superb. Having her at your side when lifting, gives you a big confidence boost. If you’re worried you’ll have bad form and get injured, that worry is quickly quelled as she immediately gives you feedback on improvements for your form on each rep. The satisfaction from getting instant feedback from a great coach is very rewarding. She gave me dozens of tips over the months and each one immediately made the next rep go up more easily. She got promoted to head coach in Portland, we’ll miss her in Denver quite a bit.

  • Daniel Langton

    Amanda is a phenomenal coach!!! She has an exceptional eye for form and explains clearly and concisely what corrections need to be made in order for you to get the most out of every rep for every workout. Being more or less a complete noobie to weight training she took me from 0 knowledge on form and lack of confidence in the space to being able to make corrections on the fly and lifting more than I ever could have imagined!! She’ll be great missed here in Denver!

  • Sonia Lowe

    Amanda was my coach from July of 2020 until October of 2021 at the Denver location. Amanda is a great strength coach. I set goals for all of my lifts for 2021 and with her guidance I met them all. She is great about knowing what kind of encouragement I need and when I need it. She does a great job of helping me continuously improve my lifts through form tweaks and programming, which helps me lift more weight. I have osteoarthritis in both hips and my spine and lifting can feel a little scary when I’m having a flare up, but I have 100% trust in Amanda’s knowledge and expertise during this times. If you are in a position to hire Amanda as your coach, jump at the chance.

  • Nicole Castro

    Amanda is a fantastic coach. 10/10 highly recommend. She gives clear, kind feedback, always working to help me grow. I wasn’t sure about a weight lifting gym, as the stereotypes aren’t great for a LGBT femme like me. Amanda made me feel 100% welcome and encouraged. The supportive, fun-yet-serious atmosphere that develops in the gym is absolutely a result of her direct, kind, encouraging attitude, coaching, and leadership.

  • Ben Jones

    Amanda is a very knowledgeable and passionate coach. She gives you constant feedback on lifts and is always looking for ways to help you improve. I trained with Amanda at the Starting Strength Denver gym for a little over a year. I saw great improvements in both weight lifted and form on lifts. Coming in I know my form was bad which was the main reason I was seeking coaching. Amanda helped me continuously improve on my lifts every session. Amanda worked with me to develop a training program to get prepared for a powerlifting meet and then helped me program to lose weight. She also helped change the programing when I strained several muscles and am now coming back stronger that I was before. Amanda can create a training program to fit whatever your goals or needs are and help you get stronger in the process. Amanda is a great coach and I would highly recommend her to anyone who wants to train.

  • Sujin baek

    I am relatively new to strength training world and Amanda had been teaching me about a year. Since then, I become much stronger physically (and mentally too!) without any injuries! She focuses on proper form and technique in order to gain strength along with preventing from injuries. Also, she studies every form, habit and circumstance, and provides individual advice. Her teaching is straightforward and easy to understand even to a foreigner whose first language is not English(Yes, me). I am very happy that she’d been my strength training coach. Adding another 5 stars, Highly recommended!

  • Alex

    I worked with Amanda at Starting Strength Denver for about two months while in town for business. She fixed all of my lifts. We then continued on for about a year of online coaching after that. She helped me go further for my strength gainz then I thought was possible. I am especially happy with the fact she has helped me get to a body weight press at 250lbs my deadlift 510lbsx5 and my squat close to 500. I would definitely go back to have her coach me again .

  • Talia Peterson

    I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda at SS Denver and got a couple of months of online coaching with her after she headed to Beaverton.
    Amanda is an amazing coach, and I’ve seen some great progress with her in a very short time. I’ve been on the Starting Strength method for a little over a year and a half and was struggling with form and programming after a big bike crash set back my training. In an intermediate program, I am hitting PRs every week now, both in volume and intensity maxes. My form and understanding of the program is exponentially better.
    If you’re at all on the fence about hiring Amanda, let me stop you here- You absolutely should. Amongst SS Coaches (who are all head and shoulders above any other coach in this industry) Amanda is one of the best. Her expertise is absolutely worth more than you are paying.

  • Deepak Warrier

    Amanda is a talented coach of the highest caliber who cares about getting her clients stronger, and knows how to make it happen. She has excellent attention to detail, communicates clearly, and has a positive, encouraging attitude. I have a lot of trust in her ability to choose the right dose of intensity and volume for each workout, and to adjust my programming based on what she sees and the feedback that I give her. She responds in a timely manner to the videos I take for online coaching, and her comments on those are always helpful and direct.

    Amanda structures the training to fit my goals, and checks in to make sure I’m meeting other important requirements like calories and sleep. She has a huge amount of experience and knowledge to draw from, and gives great advice when dealing with issues that can sometimes come up, like injuries or excessive soreness.

    I’ve been doing online coaching with Amanda for the past 6 months, and have also trained with her briefly in person at Starting Strength Beaverton. So far she’s helped me add roughly 150 lbs to my deadlift, 100 lbs to my squat, 80 lbs to my bench press, and 40 pounds to my overhead press. I was lifting on and off for a few years before that, but I made significantly more progress in a short time working with her than I ever did on my own.

    I’m grateful to have Amanda as my strength coach, and I’d definitely recommend her to anyone who wants a seasoned expert to guide them through the process of getting stronger, either online or in person.

  • James Falcon

    Amanda has been my online coach for the past year and has been consistently excellent over this period.

    As a middle aged newcomer to strength training Amanda has trained me to progress far beyond what I would have considered possible a year ago. I had worked my way through quite a bit of my linear progression before working with her and was starting to stall. She quickly sorted this and not only have my numbers gone up dramatically but my form is hugely improved. She gives detailed feedback on videos of training sessions, identifying form errors, providing clear instruction on how to address these and each week puts together a training program.

    For me the benefits of online coaching with Amanda have been:

    1. Being held accountable – knowing I need to submit my videos and that these will be scrutinised means that I do not miss training sessions and I want to show good form!

    2. Managing injuries – before I started with Amanda I had developed elbow tendonitis that was pushing me towards stopping entirely. She worked with me on addressing the form errors in the squat that were causing this and this has completely resolved. No need for expensive physio!

    3. Programming – this has been the biggest hidden benefit for me. Amanda takes all her knowledge and put together the programme. Moving on from linear progression can feel complicated and when you are time poor researching the ideal way to program can feel overwhelming. Amanda takes all this stress away and designs the most efficient training program that gets results.

    4. Additional advice – it has been so helpful to have an expert to hand to ask questions or who can tell when you are going to perform better in flat shoes over your squat shoes for example. She even gives advice on diet (hint – eat more!) which has moved me forward a huge amount.

    5. Numbers go up – it has been just continual improvement over this year and I’m hitting PRs every week. A year ago I was getting ready to stop picking up my kids as they were getting bigger and now they feel light! I’ve been able to increase all my lifts by at least 50%.

    I could not be happier with how things have gone over the past year. Amanda is tough in her programming, pushing you and making sure you work hard but in always in a positive and motivating way. She is an excellent coach and I’d highly recommend working with her.

  • Cody

    Amanda has been my coach twice, at SS Denver and through online coaching at Beaverton. I cannot recommend her enough. As someone who has run Starting Strength multiple times on my own, it is a completely different experience with a coach. Amanda is on point with her coaching cues and her feedback is very easy to digest.

    As someone who has experienced her coaching in person and via online I can attest that the quality of coaching she provides is amazing in either format. She really knows how to translate coaching ques in any format which is an amazing skill and really helped my confidence refining my technique on my lifts.

    Whether you are new to strength training or have experience and just want to improve, Amanda is the right coach for you.

  • Amanda Jefson

    I started my coaching with Amanda almost a year ago – I had been lifting for almost 12 years on and off. I was looking to find a coach that would help me with my form, be willing to work with me based on a hectic schedule, and pushed me while keeping me healthy.

    Amanda has been amazing on all fronts – she is always trying to help you improve and push you, clearly has a lot of knowledge and expertise in the space, but also respects ultimately what you want to get out of the program.

    I can’t recommend her enough – I’ve never stuck to a weight lifting program for more than 2 to 3 months and with Amanda I’ve been consistent almost a year and through a lot of schedule nonsense.

  • Linda White

    I discovered The Barbell Rx in February 2022 and was full committed to the Starting Strength technique. I purchased books for my current trainer who was utilizing a full body program with weights but lighter and more reps. I switched my programming in March and after a month when my trainer said, “I don’t know how to program for you” I contacted Rebecca Skinner at Starting Strength who suggested two different SS coaches, I read their reviews and set up a call with Amanda at the end of April and had a very positive feeling that we could work together. The goal is to get better at stressing the body – Amanda reviews form and bar speed to make programming changes.
    I am 68, have been treated for osteoporosis for years and want to avoid going back on the Bisphosphonates so I need to build stronger bones. I had been struggling with knee issues and my physical therapist said I was a candidate for a knee replacement. I love sea kayaking, and Amanda has listened to what I like to do and makes adjustments in the programming to allow me to go paddle two hours that evening or to do a multiday trip or attend a symposium.
    Amanda has been very patient in changing my back squat to be consistent with the SS formula. Because my knee had been hurting and I have a range of motion injury to an ankle, I was usually squatting to a box and probably not to depth. Instead of overwhelming me with too many things to change at one time she has been extremely methodical in making the corrections and providing new cues to incorporate. One of the first things was her recommendation to change my shoes to proper weightlifting shoes and get a narrower belt for my petite size. The good news, my knee doesn’t hurt and my spine is not going “snap, crackle, and pop” under the bar. I have total trust in her assessment when she has me load up the bar that I can handle it! I leaned how to do a Phase 2 overhead press with Amanda which has eliminated the shoulder problem due to years of being hunched over a desk and now helping my friend off load the 55# sea kayaks from taller vehicles is so much easier.
    In the beginning, Amanda would program my warm-ups for each lift in addition to my work set to help me learn and understand what my body needed to warm up for each movement pattern. I have now “graduated” and program my own warmups. Amanda’s programming is allowing me to move a lot of volume but to control the stresses so I can still go paddling and don’t become a victim of the couch!
    I am learning so much from her critics / reviews of my lifts. The ability to stop my video and draw a line that says your arm needs to be here, you are a little forward, you lost that lift because your elbows moved has been instrumental in dialing in my technique. My former in-person coach was good, but sometimes I couldn’t remember or “see” the form breakdown and where the correction needed to be made. When I review the videos I now make my own analysis and then learn more when Amanda provides her feedback. When I shared my concern about my A1C elevation, Amanda shared a study and encouraged me to add a 10 minute walk after every meal.
    The benefits of online training with a SS Coach:
    1. Accountability – you know you coach has a great eye and you put your best effort out there. You don’t miss a workout (unless you have been excused for a kayaking adventure). You know that Mark Rippetoe’s technique doesn’t accept any squat unless it is to depth.
    2. Improvement in technique – My deadlift has changed in so many ways and doing 183×5 was a totally different experience from when gravity would hold on to 150#. Working my way to 200#. My bench is now over 100#.
    3. Programming – Because I had been training prior to SS, the LP was quickly challenged. Amanda is providing custom programming to provide the maximum stress for the body and still letting me have a life. She has no hesitation to program adding more to the bar than I was on my own.
    4. Amanda respects the age but doesn’t let it stand in the way of the goals of strength training. In the last 4 months my % body fat has decreased, but more importantly my Skeletal Muscle Mass has increased. Who says you can’t build muscle as you age!

    Working with Amanda over the past five months has been a very positive experience. I have nothing but positive comments on Amanda’s qualifications and her ability to communicate expectations! Switching to the Starting Strength protocol and hiring Amanda has been a total game changer in my whole life. I can’t wait to see the gains that will be made as we continue to work together.

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