When you walk into Starting Strength Oklahoma City, you’ll see seven identical racks and platforms and an array of barbells and weights. Screens in the front lobby display the personalized workouts for each member in that session. There are no machines, treadmills or equipment that you would typically find in a standard gym, because Starting Strength is not your typical gym. Instead, Starting Strength cultivates decades of experience combined with a systematic understanding of human physiology to provide a workout experience unlike any other.
The owners of Starting Strength Oklahoma City, Colby and Sierra Iliff, could not be more excited to bring this concept to the metro.
“The impact this is having on people's lives is beyond anything I could have imagined,” says Sierra. “To witness people achieve things they never thought were possible on a weekly basis is something I will continue to be inspired by.”
Workouts at a Starting Strength gym are individually designed and coached. New clients start with an introductory session, where a credentialed coach provides instruction on the form and technique of proper lifting movements, while establishing baselines of strength. Coaching sessions typically happen three times per week, with each session attuned to where each client is in their individual strength journey.
Classes are capped at one person per platform to ensure each member receives the highest level of attention and that every movement is carefully evaluated throughout the session. The Starting Strength Coach certification, which takes more than a year to achieve, is regarded as the most advanced strength credential in the industry today. Starting Strength has achieved success for members of all ages and backgrounds, and this widespread effectiveness brings wide diversity of clientele to any given coaching session.
“Strength training is critical for people of all ages,” says Colby. “This is especially evident in older generations. I’ve witnessed individuals go from getting stuck on a chair to squatting over 100 pounds in a relatively short amount of time. The impact that this training can have on seniors is truly significant.”
The Koprucu family of Edmond are living proof of the effectiveness of Starting Strength. Mustafa “Kujo” Koprucu is a retired Air Force veteran who didn’t start lifting until he was in his mid-40s. Kujo was familiar with the Starting Strength training system, so he became a member of the OKC location on the first day it opened.
“In 2020, my wife, Lewanna, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, and it really impacted her health. Once she was cancer free for one year, I suggested that she join me and start lifting,” Kujo explains. “She started with a 20-pound bar and very supportive coaches who specialize in helping people coming from all backgrounds and situations. She has literally turned into the poster child for Starting Strength due to her incredible transformation.”
Kujo and Lewanna, along with their 28-year-old son Konrad, attend three sessions at Starting Strength every week. As a family, they have enjoyed increased energy, improved eating habits and visible changes to their physical appearance in the 10 months that they have been members. Kujo currently deadlifts 380 pounds and Lewanna can squat over 130 pounds. Konrad, who started with 50-pound weights, can now deadlift 260 pounds.
“It’s the coaching that makes the real difference,” Kujo concludes. “They are very careful about form, so the coaches always make sure you are doing it safely and correctly. The program works 95% of the muscles in your body, especially the big muscle groups, so you develop whole body strength. It is a perfect program for novices and beginners, and the purpose is to get your body strong. And stronger is better.”
Starting Strength OKC is located at 12301 S Western Ave., Suite B3. For more information, visit okc.startingstrengthgyms.com or call 405.237.9380.