Coaching Program

Foundations of Athleticism

Science of Strength | Principles of Locomotion | Physiology of Endurance | Art of Coaching

Photo: Keegan Rice

Learn the Science of Human Performance

Our 8 week online course will give you the tools to transform the performance of any athlete, in any sport, into the most high performance version of themselves.

From split second power, to maximum strength, and all day endurance – the Samsara Method is a full spectrum approach to developing peak performance. This course is a gateway to a career in coaching (and a prerequisite to coaching at Samsara).

How Does it Work?

Foundations of Athleticism is held once a year and is an 8 week immersion into human performance. 

Independent Study: Each week you will be assigned a 3-5 hour multimedia module. We have designed the content to be easy to consume. Expect a mix of academic papers, podcasts and videos that you can listen to while commuting or even working out. 

Mentorship Calls: Each week join a private 1 hour FOA Mentorship Call with Zahan Billimoria and Esther Smith, live (and recorded) on Zoom. What does the science mean? How do I translate this science into training? Each session is designed to accelerate your understanding and grow your confidence as a coach.

In-Person Session Jackson, WY: Join us in person in Jackson WY on March 19 for a Live Movement Workshop where you will learn the Athlete IQ Movement Method, followed by an afternoon Q&A.

Why Samsara?

Whether you are a new coach, or a seasoned fitness leader, this program will transform your understanding of the human body and give you the tools to transform the performance of the athletes you work with.

Rooted in Science: In an age of bio-hacks and disposable gadgets, training can become a game of chasing trends. The Samsara Method has its roots in modern science, ancient martial arts, and an evolutionary understanding of human performance.

Athletic to the Core: We don’t build robots, we train movement-first. Our obsession is how we cultivate athleticism at its roots, so that you can perform better everywhere simultaneously.

Full Spectrum: Our greatest gift as human athletes is how broad our athletic capacity is. Our method is the simultaneous pursuit of explosive power, maximum strength and ultra distance endurance. We can be all those things at the same time, it’s in our DNA.


  • 8 Live Mentorship Calls with Samsara Coach

    (Z or Esther Smith)

  • Guided Reading

    (Book costs not included)

  • 3 Months of Basecamp Membership

    (valued at $297 or $99/month)

  • Unlimited Access to Samsara Training Library:

    Bodyweight, Athlete IQ, Training Plans, etc.

  • Weekly Live Workouts

    (LiveDojo attendance)

  • Synchronized Training & Study of Physiology


“The Foundation of Athleticism course was instrumental in helping me transition from being a self-coached athlete to working with The Samsara Experience as a coach.

Z and Esther fostered an encouraging community of like-minded athletes looking to expand their knowledge of how humans can use scientific principles to enhance their athletic experience. I enjoyed getting to interact with athletes from all different sporting backgrounds and learn from them and with them.

Having access to the group via chat helped build community and allow us to work through concepts as we engaged with the reading material. This made calls efficient and effective for my learning style. While there is a good deal of book learning involved with FOA there were also well timed movements and workouts that helped reinforce the book learning.

Learning something on paper only goes so far, but knowing it in your body is truly powerful. Z really tailored this curriculum for both the mind and body!”

– Scott Palmer, Samsara Coach

What Does the Course Cover?

Biological Building Blocks

  • Understanding the brain as the control center 
  • Muscles, what they’re made of, and how they work
  • The fascia system and force transmission

Principles Of Strength

  • 3 Laws: Length-Tension, Force-Velocity, Contraction Mode specificity
  • Mechanisms of force production: Neural, Muscular & Tendon
  • The relationship between strength & muscle size
  • How speed works

Samsara Philosophy of Strength

  • Go hard, go short, stop before failure, rest long
  • Why athletes should minimize muscle growth & maximize strength gains
  • How fascia training makes you stronger & faster
  • Connecting strength & movement: The problem with CrossFit

Rehab Principles

  • Tissue Capacity versus Biomechanics
  • Role of isometrics in tissue remodeling
  • Locomotion, biomechanics & resolving pain

A History of Athleticism

  • Divergence: What makes humans unique? 
  • Bipedalism: How and why we evolved to stand tall
  • Endurance: Distinctive features of the Homo Genus

Form Follows Function

  • Climbing – what our quadrupedal past tells us about our innate climbing abilities.
  • Running – the evolutionary basis for the world’s most popular sport.

Samsara Philosophy of Movement

  • Tensegrity and integrated movement
  • Training from the ground up: The science of ground force foot training
  • The trouble with Yoga for athletes: Locomotion as a movement philosophy

Biological Building Blocks

  • The brain’s role in endurance
  • Aerobic metabolism
  • The glycolytic system
  • The currency of life – ATP

Principles Of Endurance

  • Thresholds & training zones
  • The mystery of endurance – What’s stopping us?
  • Fat Adaptation & the MAF Method
  • Fuel. Understanding the principles of nutrition for endurance

Samsara Philosophy of Endurance

  • Go Long, go slow, avoid rests, train fasted when possible
  • How HIIT culture is killing our endurance
  • Fascia training & the next frontier in endurance performance

Every Human is an Athlete

  • Athlete as Identity
  • Mindset narratives that lead to success: Who do I do this for? Who do I owe it to? What will training feel like?
  • Training serves life, life doesn’t serve training. Programming within life’s boundaries
  • Training as a lifelong journey. The Forever Training Plan

Samsara Programming Approach

  • Training the Full Spectrum Athlete
  • Pattern. Load. Accelerate. The 12 week framework
  • Routine building, Habit Formation versus grind culture

Evolution & Biology

  • Training from an integrated fascia-driven approach
  • Locomotion as the foundation of athleticism
  • What science-based means to us: Collaborate with & accelerate physiology

Habit Formation

  • The 3 steps to Habit Formation
  • 4 Laws of Behavior Change
  • Supercharging your Habits (Positive visualization, Intrinsic Rewards)

Coaching Program

Foundations of Athleticism

Science of Strength | Principles of Locomotion | Physiology of Endurance | Art of Coaching

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