Hi! I’m Dr. Sara Solomon, and I have a BSc in Physiotherapy, I’m a CrossFit L1 Trainer, and I’m currently studying to become a movement specialist (StrongFit Coach). I’m part of the StrongFit mentorship program! I’m very passionate about my Strength Academy! I’ve been testing it on myself (in my home gym) since January 2016, and it has significantly improved my muscle imbalances, aches and pains, strength, mobility, aesthetics, and confidence! I can’t wait to share this with you! Check out my transformation photos in the tabs section below. Warning: I was an imbalanced mess in my before photos!
If you want to build (or rebuild) a solid strength foundation so that you can exercise/move properly, get stronger and become more mobile, then this program is for you!
It’s a HOME strength training programdesigned to improve your movement mechanics.
It will help you plug holes in your strengthfoundation so that you can improve your muscle imbalances and get stronger/more mobile.
You will learn how to identify and improve your muscle imbalances.
You will learn StrongFit Principles (external torque, internal torque, the concept of the arch, breathing).
You will learn how to train to balance your nervous system.
You will learn how to train to maximize results and minimize DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
You will learn how to recruit the correct muscles when exercising. You will learn how to identify when you are not using the correct muscles. This will decrease the risk of training-related injuries.
You will learn that strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming what you thought you couldn’t do.
IMPORTANT: Please add email@example.com to your email contact list BEFORE your order is placed so your workouts will be delivered via email on time. Otherwise, emails may end up in your spam folder. The workouts and facebook group invitation will be sent to the email address you use for your purchase.
Welcome to my Strength Academy! This is a HOME strength training program. It is based on the principles of StrongFit so that you will learn how to move well.
It's for anyone who:
is a beginner to strength training
wants to plug holes in their strength foundation so they can get stronger and more mobile
wants to learn how to exercise properly
wants to understand the science of moving well
wants to learn how to identify and improve their muscle imbalances
prefers to train in the privacy of their own home
is tired of getting injured from exercising
wants to become a badass
This is a monthly online membership program. As long as you are a member, you will
receive (via email) 3 written workouts every Sunday to the email address associated with your PayPal account.
be able to log into the Strength Academy at DrSaraSolomon.com to access the:
thorough exercise demonstration videos. Detailed written explanations are also provided. This library will continue to grow over time (I encourage you to master the basics before jumping to the more advanced exercises).
the theory, which includes the principles of StrongFit(torque, balancing the arch) and how to identify and fix muscle imbalances.
Sara's personal workouts!Yes! There is a section called, "What's Sara Doing?" It features my written workouts with 60s video demos.
have access to me (Sara) in the private facebook group. If your facebook name is different than the name/email you used for your purchase, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your receipt and your facebook name. I pop into the facebook group once a day. You can post questions about the theory and the workouts. If you are not sure if you are doing an exercise properly, you can film yourself doing the exercise and post it in the facebook group for my feedback. I want you to post your progress and daily wins in the facebook group! Note that if you cancel your membership, you will be removed from the facebook group and the Strength Academy.
The workouts follow a progression. Everyone starts at the beginning, regardless of when they join. The workouts take about 60 minutes, but I recommend you block off 90 minutes. This will give you more than enough time to read through the workout, mentally prepare, watch the exercise video tutorials, organize your equipment, and do the workout. You can do them on consecutive days. Do whatever works for your schedule. Just remember that longer workouts are not better. Don’t turn it into a marathon. Keep it intense. I encourage you to do what you enjoy on the other days of the week. If you love long distance running, yoga, CrossFit, indoor cycling classes and bodybuilding at the Globo Gym, then DO IT! Except now you can apply the principles of StrongFit to everything you are doing … even your activities of daily living!
Please refer to the "Equipment Required" Tab for details about the equipment that you will need.
Watch The Video
Your Questions Answered!
Thanks for sending me your questions! It helped me put together this detailed video! I explain everything you need to know before joining my Strength Academy!
•is it a home program?
•what equipment do I need to get started?
•how many workouts a week?
•can I tailor it to my schedule?
•can I still do my other favourite workouts?
•can I do the workouts in a gym?
•why should I join? what will I learn?
•will I learn how to improve my muscle imbalances?
•will I learn how to improve my strength and mobility?
•how long will it take to get results?
•can I see what the Strength Academy looks like on your website?
•will I learn about internal and external torque?
•how do I access the 3 workouts a week? is it a pdf that is emailed to me? when?
•will I also get access to Sara's workouts? does this also include her globo gym workouts?
•do you provide video exercise demonstrations? written explanations too?
•will the exercise video library have more exercises added to it over time?
•can men join?
•what if I'm a beginner? do the workouts follow a progression, regardless of when I join?
•is there a facebook group? Will Sara and Gys be in the facebook group to help me?
•is it a monthly membership? How much is it? Can I cancel after 1 month?
•is this for me?
•can you show me examples of the types of exercises I will learn how to do?
Join my Strength Academy to discover how to improve the muscles that are holding you back so that you can move better and get stronger (and more mobile), instead of always getting injured.
In December of 2015, my body hit rock bottom. I had chronic left low back spasm, excruciating right knee pain and decreased mobility in my left shoulder. I was visibly asymmetrical. I couldn’t lock my left arm out overhead, I couldn’t deadlift without hurting my low back and I couldn’t squat or go up and down stairs without experiencing horrid knee pain. I was always getting injured when exercising.
Why? Because I had multiple muscle imbalances. I had been using the wrong muscles for decades. The wrong muscles were overworked, hypertrophied and sore, and the correct muscles were weak (they weren’t doing their job).
We weren’t born with movement instruction manuals. The way that we move will either feed our imbalances or fix them.
I didn’t do any sports in my childhood or adolescence, but I studied in awkward postures for decades. I carried a heavy book bag in my right hand throughout my entire education (~22 years). Then I practiced dentistry for 10 years in the same awkward position (leaning to the left and shrugging my left shoulder up). To add further insult to my imbalances, I started exercising religiously in 2005, but the way that I was exercising was feeding my imbalances. I knew something was horribly amiss because I always got injured when exercising, and I never made any progress with my training. I couldn’t even do 1 chin-up.
Hitting rock bottom was the best thing that happened to me. You can only go up from there. I decided I wanted to fix my imbalances once and for all. I wanted to become a StrongFit Movement Specialist so that I could help others do the same. Pursuing the StrongFit education helped me connect the dots that were scattered in my head from my Physiotherapy education. I’m grateful I have that degree, and I’m grateful for my StrongFit mentors. I’m also very grateful to be able to share what I learn with you. I do not take you or my platform for granted.
In January of 2016, I started learning how to identify my muscle imbalances, the causes of them, and how to fix them (this wasn’t taught in Physiotherapy School!). I spent a good year plugging the holes in my strength foundation, and it paid off. There is nothing more exciting than learning how to move with the correct muscles! That’s when good things start happening! One year later, I no longer have low back spasms (I can deadlift 265 pounds for reps without any back pain), my right knee pain is so much betterthan before, I can lock out my left arm overhead (and hold a handstand for the first time in my life!), and I’m getting so much stronger! I can do weighted chin-ups!
This has completely changed my life. I’m not the same person I used to be. Not only has training to improve my muscle imbalances helped me improve my aches and pains, strength, and mobility, but it has also helped me improve my aesthetics, relationship with food, and confidence. I can do things with my body that I never thought I’d be able to do in a million years. There are no words to describe how empowering that is.
I used to be a PRO fitness model. Back then, I dieted and exercised to be skinny. I used to rely on my appearance for false confidence. My goal was to weigh 120 pounds, even if it meant eating 1200 calories a day and doing 60 minutes of daily cardio. I was miserable, weak, insecure and felt like a constant failure because I was always bingeing and gaining weight.
I’ve come a long way. Today, I fuel my body so I can be a badass. I weigh 140 pounds and I eat 2000 calories a day. I am leaner (more chiselled) today than I was when I was only 120 pounds. I feel strong and confident. #GainingWeightIsCool
I realize everything happens for a reason. My experiences helped me establish who I am not, and that helped me discover who I am. I am NOT insecure and weak. I am confident and strong! Perhaps this sounds like a sweet lemon, but I’m actually grateful that I "f😮cked” myself up with my diet and exercising. I’m grateful that I had nearly every muscle imbalance under the sun. It forced me to learn how to “unf😮ck” myself.
Now my passion is helping other people “unf😮ck” themselves so they can have healthy relationships with food and fitness.So if you’ve run your metabolism into the ground from years of restrictive dieting, or if you have muscle imbalances that are holding you back, then I’m your girl! This is my passion! I live for this and I would be honoured and excited to help you.
I’ve attached some photos of my transformations below.
In the first photo: The before photos were taken between 2011 and 2013. Back then, I dieted and exercised to create a calorie deficit. The after photos were taken in late 2017. I never thought I would ever be able to do handstands or pull-ups, let alone weighted pull-ups! I’m 40 years old! I started training and fuelling for performance in the summer of 2016. It took 1.5 years of calorie adequacy (2000 calories a day) and consistent strength training to build my current physique. Calorie adequacy is paramount if you want to get stronger and sculpt a beautiful physique. I recommend you check out my Fat Loss Fast e-Book to learn how to fuel your performance.
In the second photo, the before photos were taken at the beginning of 2017. The after photos were taken at the end of 2017. You can see just how bad my muscle imbalances were in the before photos: I had upper left trap dominance, my hips and spine were shifted (I looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa), and I couldn’t lock my left arm out overhead. No wonder I had pain in so many locations!
I already know what your next question is. How long does it take to fix muscle imbalances? How long does it take to learn handstands and pull-ups? How long does it take to fix your metabolism and get ripped? The answer is: as long as it takes!I’m still working on it! Yes, there will be setbacks along with the way, but the amplitude of these setbacks will diminish over time. The key is to be consistent and focus on your daily wins instead of your setbacks. This is how you end up WINNING!
In the final photo, you see my 1 year transformation. I’m very proud of the hard work that went into this transformation. I still have a long road ahead of me, and I’m very excited to be travelling down this road. Loving the daily process is the secret to success.
What did I learn from this 1 year transformation? Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming what you thought you couldn’t do.
Are you ready to become a balanced badass? Let’s get this party started!
Although this is a home program, you will need to invest in some equipment. I've provided you with a list of the items you will need for this program. I realize that a lot of my existing followers already have an extensive collection of home gym equipment. If you don't have a home gym yet, don't panic. It took me years to fill mine up with everything you see in my living room gym. But it was worth the investment. I LOVE training in the privacy of my own home (with my cats), especially when I'm learning new exercises (I don't like being watched or judged by strangers when I'm learning a new move, ya know?).
I had to invest in this equipment too so I know it adds up fast! I didn't buy everything at once. I saved my money, and purchased these items over time (I prioritized purchasing the sandbags firstand then eventually I invested in the exer-genie/tug rope). Your other option is to invest in a gym membership (as long as it has a sled, tug rope, lat pulldown machine and sandbags).
TeamSS pink Sandbags: I recommend you start with 60, 80 and 100 pound bags. The sandbags do ship internationally. You can fill the 60 pound bag with 40 pounds if you are new to sandbags. Then you can add another 20 pounds of sand as you get stronger. You can also start with a 20 or 40 pound soft med ball, or a 40 pound bag of kitty litter. I started with kitty litter, and it was stiff and uncomfortable, so I put a pillow slip around it.
Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Medicine Ball (soft and/or hard)
Pec Sticks: Yes, plural, just like the sandbags. I own 3 different pec sticks: 45kg, 30kg and 20kg. This is the 45kg Pec Stick that I purchased. It's very challenging, and I do indeed use it, but I mostly use the 20kg one. I'd recommend everyone buy a 20kg Pec Stick.
Exer-Genie and a Tug Rope. The exer-genie is a home gym substitution for a sled. Use code DRSARA for a discount. If you have a basement gym with lots of room, or a long driveway (in a nice climate year-round), then get a real sled (prowler) with a tug rope.
Chin-Up Bar, Barbell, Bumper Plates, Squat Rack
I purchased mine from Rogue, but I encourage you to shop around. I didn't buy everything at once ... rather, I slowly added to my collection. I have a woman's 35 pound Bella bar, a 45 pound OHIO bar, bumper plates (2.5, 5, 10, 25, 35 and 45 pounds), a training bar (15 pounds), a PVC pipe and a landmine. I also have a Rogue HR-2 Half Rack with safety spotter arms, storage posts and a matador (for bar dips). Whatever brand you buy, make sure you can add compatible attachments to it in the future. I bought the rack so that I could have a chin-up bar and a squat rack in one space-saving station. For less expensive options: get a squat stands (you don't need the whole rack) and an inexpensive chin-up bar that attaches to your door frame. Just make sure your door frame will support it (my door frames were the wrong size and I had to return it).
Pulley System: I know a lot of my followers have lat pulldown machines in their home gyms (I'm so jealous!!!!). If you don't have access to a lat pull down machine (or a cable machine), then check out this inexpensive home option that I set up in my living room: Spud Lat Pulldown Pulley
Jump Rope. I know almost all of my followers already have my pink Buddy Lee Jump rope!
A treadmill. You'll need this for indoor sandbag carries. I know most of my followers already have this!
A box for box jumps, step ups, etc. (I have the Rogue Wooden Box)
loop bands (i.e. booty bands for doing clamshells)
I posted videos below to showcase the equipment, including how to fill and close sandbags, how to set up your exer-genie, etc.
Here is a photo of the equipment in my home gym.
Here is a photo of the women from my TeamSS who already got their pink sandbags!!! #WINNING!
Here's an instructional video guide for the home gym equipment used in this program:
Thought you might like a sneak peek of what the home workouts look like in the STRENGTH ACADEMY. Here is a video of me doing one of the finishers from the week 3 Strength Academy workout template. ☠ "200 Air Squats – exhale on the eccentric, inhale through the nose on the concentric. Every time you break, do 5 broad jumps and rest :30 seconds. Just keep chipping away in sets until you reach 200 squats. I did 4 sets of 50 air squats. My advice is to focus on the breathing. That gets you into a nice rhythm. I look like I'm skiing! 😂. I did cyclical air squats: external torque on the eccentric and internal torque on the concentric. You will learn all about torque and breathing in the Strength Academy. 👊🏻
Real Time 400m Sandbag Carry:
Pec and Shoulder Burner:
Shoulder & Triceps Burner:
Here are examples of exercises you will learn how to perform. This will also give you a feel for my teaching style.
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Several daily wins and an endorsement of sorts: since starting Strength Academy and working on the openers, the Quell pain-control device I used almost daily hasn’t been used in over 4 weeks. Years of pain gone because I’m learning how to use the correct muscles in the right way. My primary movements have been inner hamstring openers and sandbag carries. Being pain free is an uber win. ~Robert T
I have really been loving the program and learning so much. It has been frustrating at times but having the group support and Dr. Sara and Coach Gys giving feedback helps a lot. I can’t believe I am heading into week 4 already. So much more aware of my body. And definitely feel stronger. ~Andrea R
This excites me so much!! I know so many " fit" people walking around with sore traps, knees and hips, I thought it was par for the course!!! My two daughters that a world level dancers are stating to ask questions about how to strengthen the hamstrings, without back pain!!! At 47 it is exciting to maybe be an example for them in a way I never thought possible. Sara, thank you! ~Aileen V
I know the old way didn’t work because even at my “leanest and fittest” I was never strong ! I could hardly do a push up from my toes and couldn’t even pull myself up an inch on a pull up bar!! I’m excited to do it a better way this time. When you know better, you do better (looking back, my physique never changed either, I dropped fat yes, but then the next few years I spent working out I still looked pretty much the same so also did not see any returns on my actual effort). ~Kylie M
I apologize for doubting you. I was hesitant to jump into your new program. I’ve belonged to a gym since 2002. Hit a plateau and found you. I’m a habitual gym rat and thought I knew what I was doing. I signed up for the new program because I want to do things right. I’ve watched you the past year and you’ve had an amazing transformation. I’m jealous!! I can’t do a pull up. I can’t do a handstand. This was my first week of the program and I was very frustrated and wanted to throw in the towel. I’m still struggling but I get it now. I already feel stronger after one week! Looking forward to the rest of this journey. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom! ~Heather S
I like Sara because she has worn her weaknesses and vulnerability on her sleeve. She inspires me to plug away. ~Stacy S
I’ve worked out for years as well but lifts like deadlifts were never getting stronger without hurting my lower back... ... so I’ve followed Sara for a long time... got her fat loss plan a few years ago. So when she started talking about muscle imbalances and that she has been able to correct them I’m like ok I’ve got to learn this as well so I can get stronger and not injured. I know I have a lot of mind muscle connections and corrections ahead of me but look forward to be a stronger healthier version. I’m so eager to learn!! Thanks! ~Christie H
I wanted others who haven't yet joined the academy to see how this program has already changed my personal awareness physically and mentally. I started Sara's Strength Academy in January 2018. I took the first week to absorb the theory and videos, and started the workouts a week later. Before starting I questioned myself, my equipment, my need, my time and my goals but I stopped self doubting and decided to get going. No matter how perfect or flawed I might be I just needed to start. Once I started I dug into the workouts with a ton of enthusiasm. This program is different than anything I have done. That being said I'm thoroughly enjoying learning and becoming more aware of my body. I feel like everything I've ever done prior to this was jumping the gun. I'm aware now that however much I thought my base was built, it was not. I'm realizing that I can no longer put the cart before the horse. Some of the exercises have made me aware that my base is weak. I realize my fitness goals cannot be achieved until I build my base. This awareness has humbled me. Humbled me in a sense that I know what I want to do and now I know what I need to do. I need to face the hard stuff. The stuff I pushed to the back of my mind. The stuff that I thought I was better than. The stuff that I didn't think I needed. The stuff that will take time. The stuff that doesn't instantly gratify. I'm aware now that I sometimes I suck but that's ok. I'm aware that I'm not perfect and it's ok not to be. I usually pride myself on needing to have perfect technique in every workout. I'm now aware that it's ok to mess up. Whatever that mess up might be in my mind. This has been something that surprised me. I never realized this was a road block I was putting in my way until now. During yesterdays Strength Academy workout I was doing one of Sara's sandbag carries and I couldn't even do a quarter of the prescribed distance. This was so hard for me to face. I had to quit. That killed me. In my mind I failed. It was only today that I realized that I didn't fail. I realized I actually won. I didn't fake it and sloppily keep going just to say I finished. Instead, I succeeded because I humbled myself, my wonder woman mentality decided it was better to stop and be satisfied with what I was able to do well rather than to push and possibly injure myself or do it sloppily. I did the part I could do the best I could do. That's a win. I'm now aware that this fitness journey I'm currently on is just the beginning and I'm so excited to see, as I chip away through the program, all of the accomplishments that are in store for me. Today I am humbled. ~Jodie Q
SOUND ON! I need to brag. Cathryn from my Strength Academy completed her first 400 metre 60 lb StrongFit sandbag carry (without dropping the bag). She actually did it again a couple days later. She EARNED this accomplishment and I have mad respect for her. I remember my first time completing 400 metres with the 60 pound sandbag. It took me about 5 months to work my way up to 400 metres. I remember the moment I finally did it: I felt like a functionally independent badass capable of achieving anything! I knew just how much peserverance went into accomplishing this goal. I felt so much pride. This was a huge turning point for me: it made me start to respect my body. When I saw Cathryn's face after her achievement (you can see it in this video), it stirred up a lot of emotions for me. I knew exactly what she was feeling, and neither of us had to say a word to each other. It's a sandbag sisterhood thing. If you have 4 minutes and a sandbag, I can show you how to sweat while improving your strength, stamina and muscle imbalances ... all in the comfort of your own home. All it takes is 4 minutes. I must say, it's a pretty productive 4 minutes!
I'm so proud of Noelle for embracing the daily process, for finding value in doing the right things for her body. Noelle has been working on strengthening her inner hamstrings, glutei max, external obliques, and the rest of her internal torque chain, and it shows. I'm proud of her for taking the time to learn the material, watch the instructional exercise videos, and do the workouts.
One of the best features of my Strength Academy is the Facebook Group Community! This motivating and caring group is exclusively for my Strength Academy members. It's a safe place for you to post your questions about your exercise form and muscle imbalances, and to show off your progress. This is where you get help from me!