About Us

Alex Megos climbing above Waterval Boven, South Africa. Photo by Ken Etzel

To excel at sport you need a combination of sport-specific movement and well-timed athleticism. Every mainstream sport has carefully developed drills for rehearsing sport-specific movement. How to train athleticism—the thread that connects all elite performance—is a harder question to answer. And that’s the Samsara journey.”

ZAHAN BILLIMORIA, FOUNDER OF THE SAMSARA EXPERIENCE

MEET ZAHAN BILLIMORIA

Like most of you, my story didn’t begin in the mountains.

I was born in London to Indian parents, and I didn’t discover the mountains until my family moved to Switzerland. Climbing the high peaks became the passion that shaped my ambitions and my training.

And then, at the age of 23, I had a climbing accident that nearly ended my career.

Like many setbacks, it was a golden opportunity. Since climbing was off the table while my body healed, I found a new wilderness experience in running and the study of steady-state endurance training.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve experienced podium finishes, international expeditions, world championship endurance events, and first descents. I’m an average athlete with an extraordinary hunger and drive for high performance.

Today I split my time between working as a UIAGM Mountain Guide, pursuing my own passion for climbing and adventure, big mountain skiing and working as an athletic coach. My work has been featured in Outside Magazine, the Financial Times, Forbes Magazine, and numerous Teton Gravity Research (TGR) films. I have trained JSOC Delta Force Teams, RedBull Global Athletes, and the leading freeskiers in the world through TGR and Patagonia. 

From deep diving into the mysteries of the mountain environment to exploring the enigmas of human performance— this is the Samsara Experience.

And now I develop training programs and coach teams of athletes to reach the limits of their own athletic potential. I’m here to share a method that helps ordinary people experience extraordinary human performance—wherever they take it.

Zahan has long been a mentor to me as a mountain guide so when the time came for me to seek coaching to improve my climbing ability, the choice was obvious. He understands the physical and mental demands I face in my personal climbing and skiing, at work, and in my education as a mountain guide.

– Aaron D., Big Mountain Snowboarder/Climber, Mountain Guide

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

Squeezing lemons and making juice

When it comes to training, there are two types of athletes: those who squeeze lemons and those who make the juice. If you’re banging out reps to fatigue, sweating your way through sprint repeats, you are definitely squeezing lemons. But are you making the juice? Are you moving the needle?

Training isn’t measured in what you did, but in what you become. It’s the outcome that matters. Training isn’t about what’s in the session. It’s about the performance that follows it. We aren’t here to squeeze lemons, we’re here to make the juice.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES 

The Samsara Experience

Breaking the barriers of human performance is part of a life well-lived.

If the study of human biology tells us one thing, it’s that humans are built for high performance. We are the most finely crafted biological specimens on planet earth, designed to be explosive, athletic, and capable of incredible feats of endurance and strength. 

Modern life can thwart our progress and detach us from our own physiology. Our ultimate purpose is to return to who you were designed to be—powerful, long-lasting, and athletic. That’s the journey to a better life experience.

The secrets of high performance lie in our biological code—not in gadgets.

Our philosophy is simple: If technology doesn’t enhance the biological process, it distracts from it.

At Samsara, we are students of human biology first and coaches second. This means we don’t pick at the buffet table of exercise. We don’t follow every fad or plug you into every gadget. We distill the physiology of high performance into training strategies that improve the way you perform and shape the way you live. 

Training should add more to your life than it takes away.

We adapt training to life—because training serves life. We believe training has to be net-positive; it must contribute more than it detracts. When training becomes a burden, a source of guilt, or a trigger for shame, there is a mismatch between the training and the life of an athlete.

And that’s not the point.

We are partners on your athletic journey, we help keep you going when you need it most—and adjust the training when life calls for it. The ultimate goal of training is to build a body that supports lifelong adventure, reduces what’s off-limits, and continually defeats your age.

Achieving full athletic potential requires a full-spectrum approach.

From split-second agility to all day adventure, experiencing the full capacity of every energy system—phospho-creatine, glycolytic, aerobic—is the joy of being human. We train athletes across the energy system spectrum and integrate the training strategies required for peak performance.

As you grow as a Samsara athlete, you will gain awareness and learn to manipulate the ‘volume controls’ of your own strength, endurance, and movement. You’ll become an independent thinker in charge of your own journey as a biologically adaptable organism.

We are here to enhance every dimension of human performance through a full spectrum approach—training and rest, coaching and physical therapy, strength and endurance

– ZAHAN BILLIMORIA, FOUNDER AND COACH

Tim Cohn and Z enjoying the roadside action on Beartooth Pass. Photo by Fred Marmsater

The Samsara Staff

Zahan Billimoria
Founder + Coach

“Every athlete has a next level and a new dimension of performance within them. We’ll help you find it.”

Follow Zahan
Dr. Esther Smith
Physical Therapist, DPT, CERT. MDT

“Every athlete deserves to explore the edges of human potential through movement.”

Meet Esther
Kristen Sargent
Athlete Manager, Adventurer

“Every human deserves to dream big, and our bodies provide the foundation to chase those dreams.”

Contact Kristen

The Samsara Athlete Team

Click photos to learn more

Aaron Diamond
Mountaineering & Climbing
Aaron Diamond
Mountaineering & Climbing
I’m Aaron Diamond, a full time mountain guide and educator based in Jackson WY. My main focus is splitboard mountaineering and adventurous traditional climbing. I’ve been working with Z since 2018.
Z has long been a mentor to me as a mountain guide so when the time came for me to seek coaching to improve my climbing ability the choice was obvious. Z understands the physical and mental demands I face in my personal climbing and skiing, at work, and in my education as a mountain guide and is able to design a program around my ever changing schedule.
The effects of my training are noticeable. I am climbing grades harder and confidently onsighting pitches I was to intimidated to even get on before working with Z. Training with Z has made me safer at work and while climbing with friends.
Susan Simms
Mixed and Ice Climbing
Susan Simms
Mixed and Ice Climbing

It wasn’t until my fifth child turned two that I finally decided to start climbing mountains. My first time tying into a rope was to climb a 10-pitch multipitch slab face on the mountain I grew up staring at every day outside my front door. I followed up that experience by climbing a mountaineering route on a ridgeline local climbers established to train for their ascent of Everest. A month after that, I tied in to climb the Exum Ridge on the Grand. A month later, I summited Rainier. When I got back, I went right into the deep-end, lead climbing on traditional gear. A year following, I traversed Mont Blanc.

When you start climbing in your late thirties with a family to look after, you have no time to waste!

Since starting up my local alpine slab, I’ve been exploring climbing all over my home state of Utah, as well as further afield in France and Italy, Yosemite, Red Rocks, the Pacific Northwest, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, and Quebec. My favorite genre of climbing also happens to be the most mentally and physically demanding for me, mixed and ice climbing. I’ve also expanded my exploration of the mountains through trail running, back-country skiing, and recently paragliding.

It’s been 3 years now, and pursuing my climbing and other endeavors means being careful about managing the time I spend in the outdoors, as every hour spent away from my family is precious. It also means being smart about training. I started building what fitness I could for climbing by picking up bits here and there, but moving well in the alpine demands specific training and better overall athleticism. I was drawn to Samsara as it was one of the only programs that focused specifically on training for this type of movement. I could also do it at home. With five kids, I don’t have time to spend hours in a gym dragging tires around. Zahan gets it. We don’t waste time, we push harder, and I’m getting stronger.

At 41, I feel I am finally discovering the potential that my body has, and it’s a joy to experience the freedom that comes from being able to confidently move through the mountains I grew up only staring at. The most exciting part is that I’m just getting started.

Aaron M
Trail Running, Skiing and Climbing
Aaron M
Trail Running, Skiing and Climbing

I originally started training with Samsara to prepare for a Denali trip. I was living and working in a large mostly flat city at sea level (Tokyo) but Zahan still managed to craft a regime for me that prepared me for the mountains. I have since moved closer to the mountains and I enjoy the fruits of Zahan’s training almost every day, running on trails, ski touring and climbing in the alpine, in a way that I wouldn’t have thought was within my physical capabilities before I started with Samsara.

Ben Dann
Mountain Action Sports Cinematographer
Ben Dann
Mountain Action Sports Cinematographer
I am a freelance Cinematographer in the action sports industry and am based in Jackson, WY. Growing up in Jackson, skiing, biking and kayaking were baked into my identity. After going to school in Bellingham chasing a career in whitewater filmmaking I moved back to Jackson and started filming for TGR. Moving heavy gear in the mountains became the norm. My whole life I’ve been an off the couch athlete, but as I’ve aged training has become an important part of my life. Z has been integral in helping me implement it into my busy travel schedule.
I first met Z on a TGR winter camping trip back in 2017. He is an incredible mountain guide and a grade A human. It was easy to realize our relationship would carry far beyond the 14 days we sat in a tent waiting out a storm. Z knows what my body endures in the mountains moving camera gear around better than anyone. So who better to build a training program for me. He knows how much I’m on the move and he knows what kind of resources I have on the road. I’ve tried for years to find a program that fits my lifestyle, but none have ever stuck….Samsara did. Z’s knowledge base and dedication to physical health is an inspiration and easy to stay motivated with his drive and passion behind you.
Jared Steinman
Skiing and Climbing
Jared Steinman
Skiing and Climbing
I’m an outdoor educator living in Jackson, WY. I grew up in Northern Kentucky and moved to Wyoming almost ten years ago to work for NOLS. I’ve long been a skier, climber and lover of wild places. I turned those interests and hobbies into a career and after a few years of working year-round, wearing a heavy pack and relying on a base-level of strength training to get me through, I started to experience debilitating back pain. After working with physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists to get back to a reasonable baseline, I knew I had to take a different approach.
Z was recommended to me by a mutual friend and fitness coach. Z understood the demands of living and working in the mountains and advocated for a simple strength and fitness program that could be adapted to my dynamic schedule. What I most appreciate about working with Z is that he blends education and cutting edge training philosophies with an ability to listen, understand and tailor a training program for his athletes, all while providing encouragement and stoke.
Mehul Patel
Backcountry Skiing
Mehul Patel
Backcountry Skiing

Working with Z has been a gamechanger.  For this first time in my life, I am training with a purpose.  From the first call with Z, it was apparent that I was no longer going to be mindlessly training…but to train with an athlete mindset and work towards an identified goal….for me that was to drastically improve my abilities in the alpine backcountry.  Z’s approach is a perfect balance between relatable science/research and customized training, that have yielded solid results.  Over the past 8 months, I’ve seen noticeable improvement, but I know it’s only the beginning….I am truly excited for the next chapter of the Samsara training experience.

Background

Living in NYC for 15 years made had led to monotonous workout routines and short lived studio workouts.  Kickboxing had become a favorite of mine, but I still searched for a workout that was more than muscle defining or weight loss.  I needed a change and that came as soon as I discovered backcountry skiing in 2017.  My passion for the outdoors had been revived.

Transitioning to country life

Living in NYC can break you down.  I’ve been fortunate to balance the city grind by spending more of my time in upstate New York where gravel/road biking and running have become a part of my workout routine in addition to doing some human powered laps at the local ski hill.

How I found Z

I wish I could fully recall.  Not sure if it was an Instagram pumped ad or a post by John Collinson, but whatever it was, I was struggling to find an engaging workout regimen for my upcoming backcountry trip in April.  My search led me to Z.

What motives me to train

Just my general MO in life to improve constantly.  My passion for the backcountry is hard to explain, but I’ve just found it and I’m obsessed.  I want to make sure my body is in the best position to maximize my enjoyment while I am out there, and more importantly, make this a life long adventure I can partake in for years to come.

Dream Trips

I can’t get enough of the backcountry and British Columbia.  Nothing has recharged my soul like my trips to the Canadian Rockies and being detached from the world (no technology) for a week to give me the hard reset needed every year.  I am hoping to get out there a lot more. 

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