I didn’t play team sports growing up but I was athletic and loved challenges. I joined the Army at 17 and fell in love with health and fitness. CrossFit led me to my first barbell and I was hooked. For about five years, I lived at the gym. And all of a sudden, I didn’t. Pregnant with my third son, I wanted a fit and healthy pregnancy. Those weren’t the cards I was dealt. I was sick, tired, and miserable. And heavy. I had gained 60 pounds in just 9 months. Read more >>
- Tara, Virginia Beach, VA
Sam is amazing. I came to her looking to be the athlete I have always wanted to be. With her encouragement and knowledge, I’m not only losing weight and inches, but gaining confidence and stamina. I appreciate her motivating attitude and her help in and out of the gym. She keeps things realistic but doesn’t let me lose sight of my long term goals. No doubt Sam brings a lot to the table and is so willing to share her knowledge and experiences with me. Thanks Sam!
- Lindsey, Virginia Beach, VA
Sam is an amazing coach. It is evident just in talking to her that she has done her research and has allowed her own experiences and hard work to grow her into both an impeccable coach and an elite athlete. She is knowledgeable and humble. She is the one who first planted the seed of pursuing strength and powerlifting in my head, and I am so glad she has been the one to guide me this far in my journey. Two years ago, I never imagined I'd be putting up numbers like I am now, and I have Sam to thank for getting me here.
- Jordan D., Richmond, VA
At the age of 50, I had reached a point when I realized I needed to change my lifestyle. I was gaining weight, had little to no energy, and was frankly unhappy with the way I looked. I asked my son (a long time member of The Iron Asylum and serious and dedicated power lifter) to check into trainers for me. He had taken notice of Sam, and how she trains, and promptly referred me to her. I liked her from the minute we met! After each session, I couldn’t wait until my next. That was January 2017, and I am still at it! I’m down 30+ lbs, lost a ton of inches, and wearing sizes I didn’t think I’d ever see again. But Sam inspired me to do even more; she inspired me to compete. I signed up for my first meet at the age of 51, and continue to compete. I have learned so much from Sam. She is extremely knowledgeable, patient, personable, and always inspiring. I couldn’t have ever dreamed that I could achieve what she has inspired me to achieve, and she continues to push me to bigger and better goals. Thanks Sam!
- Leah, Virginia Beach, VA
No less dramatic than it sounds, Sam has changed my self-image and the way I view my body. I started training with her in October 2016 and came her to with some fitness experience. I wanted to decrease my body fat and increase my strength after 2 children and years away from the gym. I've reached those goals and enthusiastically continue forward in this journey with her. She brings forth the best in me as a woman, listens to my goals and even mildly tolerates some complaining! Her work ethic and passion for her career is contagious. Sam uses her professional and educational experience to guide me through any struggles I experience. My favorite time in the gym is one on one personal training with Sam, but when I am alone I have complete confidence with the machines and weights because she has instilled in me proper form and safety. If you know Sam, it's easy to agree that there isn't anyone like her and there definitely isn't anyone more qualified to help you reach your fitness goals. I definitely enjoy the recognition I get from friends and family about the differences in my body, but my peace of mind and body confidence is even better!
- Daniellle B., Chesapeake, VA
As a highschool graduate with no prior coach I looked to Sam to be my first. I have been very satisfied with the results that she has helped me achieve. She not only made me stronger physically but mentally also. My lifts have increased exponentially in just a short time period of about 3 months. I'm moving weights I never once thought I'd be able to.
Sam is not only a great coach but a great person as well; always ready to offer a helping hand or crack a smile. I highly reccomend Sams coaching/programming to anyone who desires moving some heavy weight and seeing amazing progress.
- Michael W., Virginia Beach, VA
I met Sam in the fall of 2014 when she became my personal trainer. She taught me to set SMART goals that were Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Within a year I had lost 40 pounds and 60 points off my cholesterol. There have been many bumps along the road with minor injuries or health events but with Sam's guidance the path of exercise health has remained clear.
My world is not powerlifting, but it is going "9 for 9" in life at 70 years young. I often remark "Thank you Sam" in amazement when climbing stairs without needing to catch my breath or squatting to pull weeds for an hour. Sam Strong is more than weight on the bar, it is lifting yourself up and making life improvement through strength exercise.
- Richard B., Chesapeake, VA
Sam is by far the greatest coach I've ever had. She's helped me surpass all my goals when it comes to lifting. Any time I have any questions she's is very responsive, I am happy to have her as my coach. She is simply, the best!
- Isabella M., Colorado Springs, CO
Sam has all the qualities of a great coach. She is highly educated and experienced. She tailors programming to your individual needs, especially when it comes to avoiding injury or recovering from injury. She communicates well, and has the patience of a saint (trust me, I've tested it). I'm especially impressed with her remote coaching, as I am a remote client. She reviews my lift videos and keeps a close eye on things. Lastly, you'd be hard-pressed to find such a great coach at such a moderate rate! Lastly lastly, I'd been powerlifting for a year before starting with Sam. In just 5 months she helped me put over 120 lbs on my total! Don't be weak! Be SAM STRONG!!!
- Amy S., Yorktown, VA
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach Well, Sam can do both! Not only an elite level competitor, she is also an elite coach. I trust her completely with my programming, attempt selection and everything else with my training. If you want to improve your lifting, fitness, or sport performance she will get you there. Pretty much guaranteed....if you follow her programming.
- Ryan E., Virginia Beach, VA
I’ve been working with Samantha since the start of 2017, both professionally and as a client. Samantha has been a tremendous help with my personal programming and mental mindset on the platform. With her support I’ve been able improve all 3 competition lifts at a lower body weight with significant improvements in the squat and deadlift this year [recent 524x5 and 529x4x2 squat, 607x5 deadlift, 380.3 bench @ 197-lbs, 39-years old].
Samantha has helped me ‘fine-tune’ my individual programming to allow for sufficient volume/intensity to progress without excessive fatigue that would historically bleed into future workouts leading to a significant reduction of the weight on the bar. With Samantha I’m just training more efficiently – not leaving a workout recked but not under-training either. Moreover, Samantha has helped me select appropriate exercises to increase training volume but still have good fatigue management.
Samantha provides feedback to my lifts routinely and offers solid critique with positive encouragement. She has a way of explaining why a lift could be improved (using sound logic) while still making me feel good about the attempt. Without good feedback I’d be lost (and have been). Samantha has a way of making me think. You know, she asks questions like, “Why did you do this? Why did you decide not to stick to the plan? Why can’t you stick to an RPE?”
Finally, training under Samantha’s guidance keeps the daily push/pull motivation strong – day in and day out. She sets the example of how to train, how not to complain, and just continue to become a better lifter. Happy to be with #TeamSamStrong.
- Jake B., Virginia Beach, VA
My experience working with Sam has been one of best decisions I have ever made! She is one of the top raw lifters in the nation, and her coaching shows it. She is very experienced and educated not only within the scope of powerlifting, but overall strength and fitness as well as helping with other important factors such as mental focus and positive encouragement. I've dealt with a fair share of injuries during my prep for Raw Nationals, and Sam was very receptive to my conditions and needs. She adjusted the program to keep me in the gym training and performing as optimally and efficiently as possible. I honestly would not have made it to Nationals if it wasn't for her encouragement and intelligent programming. Highly recommend!!!
- Kai R, Norfolk, VA
When I first started working with Sam my goal was just to get stronger and improve my technique so that I could execute the big 3 lifts safely. I didn't expect that lifting would become such a big part of my life and that I'd sign up for a competition. It's awesome that even for her online clients, she doesn't just copy and paste the same template for all of us to do; she really focuses in on your individual goals and points for improvement. My strength and my confidence have both increased tremendously since I started working with Sam, and I now have the "don't be weak" mentality every time I approach the bar. I'd recommend Sam as a coach to any lifter at any level!
- Aly S., Chesapeake, VA
I have known Sam for three years now and have been coached by her for the last three months. She is extremely knowledgeable and one of the hardest working people I know. Programming is always solid and she always pushes me to test my limits. I have absolutely no complaints and look forward to the numbers I can achieve on the platform in the future under her coaching!
- Dan K., Chesapeake,VA
Before being coached by Sam I had nothing but terrible experiences with coaches. After just one session with Sam I knew it was going to be a completely different experience. Sam answers all of my questions, explains why she wants me lift a certain way and genuinely cares.
Sam listened to my goals and has shown me those were "baby weight" goals. She is preparing me for my first powerlifting competition and pushing me to be stronger than I thought I could be. She always has such a positive attitude and is truly an amazing coach!
- Nicci P., Virginia Beach, VA
Sign up to get the latest on all things SamStrong500.com.