The Full Story
Moon's House operates as a personal training gym, meaning every single rep you do- whether in a private or group setting- is coached. You will be instructed thoroughly before doing the exercises, and cued effectively while doing them. Coaching and experience is what you pay for.
Chris Olson, SSC
Chris "Moon" Olson is a certified Starting Strength Coach since 2022.
The Starting Strength method completely changed his life and career when in 2017 he finally learned how to squat and deadlift without hurting his knees or low back.
A personal trainer since 2016, Chris began utilizing the Starting Strength method with all of his clients as soon as he realized that it works for virtually everyone.
Chris's ultimate aim has always been to help people in the best way possible. Proper, effective strength training is the best means he has discovered to do this yet.
It is a particular passion of Chris's to see barbell training give independence back to the aging population.
At Moon's House, you'll train for strength. Strength is the only aspect of physical conditioning that improves everything else along with it, and is the most valuable physical asset we can retain for aging. You'll train consistently, because that is the only way to get stronger. You will get stronger, no matter your age. That is a guarantee.
The starting strength method
The Starting Strength method of barbell strength training has decades of success. While helping you perform the lifts with the best and safest technique possible, we very carefully and effectively apply the biological principle of Stress, Recovery, Adaptation to make the most efficient and safest progress possible. Earning a Starting Strength Coaching certificate is among the most- if not the most- challenging and demanding accomplishments in the fitness industry.
Moon's House Strength follows the same rigors as those upheld in the Starting Strength method. We figure out where you are, meet you where that is, and go from there. We teach you how to lift safely and efficiently. We progress in a predictable, effective manner.
The method works for men and women, young and old, superb athletes and desk jockeys, those with creaky knees and those with achey backs. Everyone gets stronger. If you have a particular concern, we are happy to discuss it and let you know if we cannot accommodate.
Improving strength has the unique ability to improve more of your other physical fitness qualities along with it than an improvement in anything else. Endurance training, speed training, flexibility training, power training- none of these can justify the same claim.
Strength is the ability to produce force against an external resistance. Getting yourself up from a chair, out-muscling an opponent, and catching yourself after a trip all have one thing in common: you must produce enough force to overcome the obstacle. You can best develop that ability to produce force- that strength- with barbells.
I'm nervous to start weight training due to my age. Is it safe?Simply put, yes. In fact, it may be the thing that can keep you safe. Unfortunately, as we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density at an increasing rate. This leads to an increasing lack of strength, which in turn makes it harder to live independently. The vast majority of injuries of aging occur from falls. The best way to prevent falls is by being strong enough to support and catch ourselves- and not fall in the first place. You'll be amazed at what happens to your confidence.
I have back pain. Is it safe to lift weights?Lifting weights properly is how we stay strong. Pain, unfortunately, is sometimes hard to solve, and can be inevitable. Back pain is an unfortunate but incredibly common result of being a human. However, as difficult as it may be to accept, pain (especially in the low back) does not necessarily indicate an injury. In fact, many people find that with deadlifting and squatting properly, their back pain dissipates remarkably well. Lifting weights properly is the best thing we can do for our spine. A strong back in pain is better and more useful than a weak back in pain.
Lifting weights is intimidating. What is the gym environment like?The truth is, at a proper strength training facility, everyone is on the same page. We all want to get stronger, and we want each other to get stronger. Angry music and screaming is usually left to individuals training alone or in a big-box gym when allowed. There's a lot more laughing and smiling than scowling here!
What can I expect for my first session?Whether you train in a small group or in private sessions, you will always start with individual time with a qualified coach. The barbell lifts as we teach them require some skill practice, so before we start putting lots of weight on the bar, we need to teach you how they should be done. Your first week will be an introduction to most of the four main lifts, with the goal of getting you "under the bar" as best as possible. This will not require heavy weight, and you should not get extremely sore afterward. A little soreness may be inevitable depending on your prior experience, but it should be clear that soreness will never be our goal. Be very wary of those who applaud how sore they can get you. 100% of clients who were nervous going into their first session with us have remarked how much more manageable it was than they expected. This is how it needs to be.
Can my 13 year old train?This question has a few implications, but the most important thing to understand is that, done properly, strength training for kids is completely safe. The ability to train is the other implication. Training is simply the ability to progress strength adaptations for a very long time. In other words, someone ready to train can put weight on the bar and get stronger for years. Some children are ready for this, some, physically, are not. We've found that a child who is physically ready to train needs to be at Tanner Stage four or higher (a quick Google search will help identify). So, can a child not yet at stage four train for strength? Not very effectively... yet. The body will need to be ready to make the adaptations to get stronger. However, this does not mean she cannot learn the barbell lifts and put some weight on the bar. This would constitute practice, which sets a great precedent for training when she is physically ready. Plus, learning the coordination associated with the lifts is a major confidence booster.
Barbell training doesn't look like my sport. Why don't we do lunges?The idea of making training look like the sport is a grave misconception of how the human body works and adapts to stress. We get strong by training the most muscle mass through the greatest effective range of motion with the most weight we possibly can, because this allows and requires us to produce the most force. We choose our exercises based on these criteria. What you do with your strength is apply it to your sport in practice. To choose exercises that look like the sport- say, throwing a weighted baseball- is to train the body to perform a highly-technical skill in a different (worse) manner than it would be applied in competition. Throwing a 2 lb. baseball is a very good way to get worse at throwing a 5 oz. baseball. The basis for this idea is called the two-factor model for sports performance, and it has proven to be the best way to train an athlete for her sport: train for strength generally, and use that ever-increasing strength to improve the specific skills of the sport via practice. Train in the gym, practice on the field.
My teammates work out at a big facility with sleds, ropes, balance boards, and other fancy equipment. Isn't that stuff better for athletes?"The critical point of training, as per our definition above, is the ability to progress. While there is certainly merit to thrashing around with battle ropes, dumbbell lunges and tire flips for general exercise, they fail in the ability to train us for anything. Athletes, like everyone else, need to train their strength if they want it improved. And athletes should want their strength improved. That is why the barbell works. It can take a squat from 95 lb. to 315 in a matter of months (yes, really). How much more effective is a player on the field when his lower body is now capable of such greater force production? In every scenario, all else being equal, the stronger athlete is the better athlete. Battle ropes, dumbbells, kettlebells, and sleds cannot be improved in any reasonable measure, and they cannot improve you in any reasonable measure beyond a handful of weeks. But they can get you tired...
I feel great doing HIIT workouts. Can't I just continue doing that?The value of strength cannot be understated. Strength is what keeps us independent in autumn and virile in spring. This site and others are littered with reasons why you should value your strength. Distinction must be made between exercise and training. Exercise enthusiasts believe the best type of workout is one that produces the most sweat, heaviest breathing, and intense feelings of "having worked super hard" (these also tend to make us feel the most sore). Many popular social media exercise juggernauts reinforce this every day. What do these programs all share in common? High exercise variety, random "programming", little to no rest, sweating, breathing hard, muscle "burning" and subsequent soreness. But most of all, a lack of sustainable strength progression. Everything above is exercise in the purest sense- very strenuous exercise, but merely exercise nonetheless. Exercise is movement for right now, whereas training is movement to improve the future. The human body adapts to new stimuli fairly quickly (especially cardiovascular stimuli), which is why you see very little results on a program after 4-8 weeks if there is no progressive loading. That is why we program for small, systematic increases in strength each workout, so that you get stronger well beyond 4-8 weeks with us.