MEET YOUR COACHES
The Starting Strength Coach Credential is the Most Advanced in the Industry
Head Coach and Operations Manager
Mark Diffley has been involved in barbell coaching for over a decade. He discovered Starting Strength in 2011 while coaching CrossFit and received his Starting Strength Coach (SSC) credential in January of 2013. Mark has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and was immediately hooked by the mechanical analysis and logic found in the Starting Strength method. Mark is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt and a former firefighter in the Atlanta metro area. In the Spring of 2021, he moved to Austin, TX to be the Head Coach at Starting Strength Austin. Mark is excited for the opportunity to teach The Method and share the benefits of strength training with an even greater audience.
Coach and Operations Assistant
Austin Khamiss’ interest in becoming a Starting Strength Coach grew shortly after completing his novice linear progression. He caught the “lifting bug”, and wanted to spread it to anyone and everyone he could. At the start of 2020, while teaching middle school math in San Antonio, Austin took the opportunity to coach the high school track and field athletes with the Starting Strength method. He continued to teach and coach in San Antonio while Apprenticing at Starting Strength Austin through Spring of 2021 when he made the decision to become a full-time Coach and move to Austin. Austin will take the platform exam (his first of two tests) to become a certified SSC in August! Austin holds a bachelor's degree from St. John’s College, Santa Fe, where he studied the “Great Books”, focusing primarily on philosophy, literature, and the history of science and mathematics.
Andrea Mates began lifting in 2013 after nearly dropping her then 3-year-old daughter. Realizing she wasn't strong enough to keep her kids safe, she read Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training (aka The Blue Book), taught herself the lifts, and became stronger than she ever thought possible before becoming a member of Starting Strength Austin when it opened in April 2019. Andrea has trained back from multiple surgeries and a long illness. In October 2020, she decided to make the switch from member to Apprentice Coach, all while working full-time teaching high school computer science and middle school remedial math and being a mom of two. Because becoming stronger has improved her own life so much, it has been her goal to become a Starting Strength Coach for a number of years - Andrea has just recently retired from teaching to focus full-time on her pursuit of becoming a Starting Strength Coach. Having taught in various capacities for 20 years, learning to teach the barbell lifts through the Starting Strength Coach Development Program and Apprentice Coaching at Starting Strength Austin has been a natural transition. Andrea has a doctorate in Applied Linguistics from UCLA and bachelor degrees in Russian language and Public Policy from Duke.
Aaron Frederick began strength training about 9 years before becoming a member of Starting Strength Austin in June 2020. In January 2021, he decided to make the switch from member to Apprentice Coach.. He is currently working through both the Starting Strength Coach Prep Course and Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Program with the intent to bring a more diverse skill set to the gym. Aaron has served 20 years in the U.S. Army where he undertook and spearheaded each unit's Fitness Training Program with great success. He will be retiring from the military at the end of this year to pursue his dream of becoming a Starting Strength Coach. Aaron brings a passion to help others achieve their goals and a desire to watch others find the same fulfillment in training that he has.
2943 W Anderson Ln
Austin, TX 78757
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