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Imagine a school where you can major in powerlifting, and the dean is “Mad Scientist” Chris Duffin, one of the few people who can deadlift 1,000-plus pounds for reps. The good news is you don’t have to use your imagination because it’s real. While you might not receive a degree, you will learn some valuable tips and tricks that can be used in the weight room or as a fitness instructor. 

We asked certified personal trainer (CPT) and GGR Performance Editor Anthony O’Reilly to write our Kabuki EDU review based on his month-long experience with the online training program. He’ll share his insights into the program’s extensive video library, the Kabuki app programming, and whether he thinks it’s worth enrolling. 

RELATED: The Best Powerlifting Barbell

We’ve Used More Than 20 Online Workout Programs 

The Garage Gym Reviews team loves going back to school. Our expert product testers have received certifications for personal training, nutrition coaching, and even home gym design. On top of that, we’ve used more than 20 of the best online workout programs to see how they stack up to in-person training. 

We’re able to assess these programs to see how they stack up to in-person training because we’ve been on both sides of the equation. Our expert product testers—which include competitive triathletes and weightlifting coaches—look at how well a training program explains exercises, customization options, ease of use, and accountability to let you know if they’re worth your time and money. 

We would never recommend anything that we wouldn’t use for ourselves or our clients.  

Kabuki Edu

Kabuki EDU

GGR Score: 4.14 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Extensive video library
  • 1-on-1 coaching available
  • Access to Kabuki Strength app
  • Free version available
  • Lectures from industry experts
  • Do it on your own time

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great for people of all fitness levels
  • Thousands of videos
  • Advice from industry experts
  • Available in iOS and Android

Cons

  • Self-guided lessons may not be best for everyone
  • 1-on1- coaching is pricey

Bottom Line

Our testers loved Kabuki Edu's extensive video library and well-explained videos from fitness experts.

A Quick Look at Kabuki EDU

Kabuki EDU is an online fitness subscription created by Kabuki Strength, which manufactures some of the best safety squat bars and other strength training equipment, like dumbbells. The online module has thousands of videos on subjects like strength fundamentals, flexibility and mobility, how to fix your squat setup, and nutrition. 

There are three packages: Kabuki EDU Free, Kabuki EDU+, and 1-on-1 coaching. Each tier comes with its own benefits, including discounts on Kabuki Strength home gym equipment. Our review is based on the Kabuki EDU+ package, which comes with thousands of online videos and free Kabuki app programming.

Your “professors” include powerlifter Dr. Stefi Cohen, one of the strongest women people on the planet; Dr. Aaron Horschig of Squat University; Kyle Young, head coach of USA Powerlifting; and the “Mad Scientist” himself, Chris Duffin. 

RELATED: Kabuki Strength Trap Bar Review

Before You Buy

  • There is a free version, but you get access to fewer videos and only one month of app training. 
  • You must sign up for one-on-one coaching to receive personalized training 
  • Monthly subscribers get discounts on Kabuki Strength equipment 

Is Kabuki Edu Worth It?

The team at GGR has signed up for more than 20 of the best personal training apps—Anthony has tried six apps himself—and in our opinion Kabuki EDU offers some of the best value for people looking to have a career in the fitness industry or just want to expand their knowledge on topics like nutrition, hypertrophy, or powerlifting. 

Our one caveat is this program is best for self-guided learners, so if you’re someone who prefers a more personalized touch then we’d recommend something like the Future app.  

The Kabuki EDU+ package costs $29 per month, which gives you access to more than 300 hours of lectures and training guides, free Kabuki app training, 10% off Kabuki Strength equipment, and access to the company’s annual Education Week (a virtual event with more than 50 speakers). 

While we didn’t try the 1-on-1 Coaching tier, it also seems like a good value. Yes, $250 per month is a lot, but you get everything in the Kabuki EDU+ package plus personalized training from some of the industry’s most respected experts. That sounds like a good deal to us, but you might disagree. 

Great for:

  • Those pursuing a career in the fitness industry
  • Anyone who wants expert weightlifting advice from the world’s best coaches and athletes 
  • People who prefer self-guided lessons 

Not recommended for:

  • Anyone who prefers personalized training
  • People who are just looking for workout programming 
  • Those on a tight budget (though there is a free program with no price tag) 

Kabuki EDU Specs

Price per monthKabuki EDU Free: $0
Kabuki EDU+: $29 per month
1-on-1 Coaching: $250 per month 
FeaturesKabuki EDU Free: 15+ hours of content, 5% off Kabuki Strength equipment, one month of free app training.

Kabuki Edu+: 300+ hours of content, free Kabuki app programming, Kabuki Education Week access, 10% off Kabuki Strength equipment.

1-on-1 Coaching: Access to all Edu+ content, guided personal training intake, weekly communication, professional strength programming, exclusive discounts on Kabuki Strength equipment. 
Types of classesPowerlifting, Nutrition, Hypertrophy, Strength Training, Mobility, Flexibility, Sleep & Recovery, Coaching.
Operating systemiOS and Android
Best forCoaches, Powerlifters, Bodybuilders, Fitness Enthusiasts

Class is in Session: A Personal Trainer’s Experience With Kabuki EDU

Anthony O’Reilly, a certified personal trainer and GGR’s performance editor, gives his thoughts on his month-long experience with Kabuki EDU. 

Kabuki EDU is sort of like an online university, except there’s no attendance, and you can hop in and out of any elective you want on your own time. Seriously, I spent a month perusing the site’s thousands of videos available, and I’m still at the tip of the iceberg. 

I’ve had a personal goal of improving my flexibility and mobility, so I spent most of my time watching countless videos on how to improve shoulder health, hip flexion, core stabilization, and thoracic extension. After about four weeks, I definitely feel more flexible and confident in my movements, and I’ve incorporated many of the exercises and drills into my daily regimen. 

RELATED: Hip Flexor Exercise

One of the first things I noticed about Kabuki EDU is how well each instructor breaks down their lessons. Even more complicated lessons like “Anatomy & Physiology of Sleep” were led by instructors who were able to make change out of five-dollar words and explain everything in plain English.

They also explain how things like mobility can make you a more effective lifter. 

There were some exercises in the videos that even I, a certified personal trainer, was unfamiliar with. This is where the program’s “library” comes in handy. Kabuki EDU has an Exercise Index with video instructions on how to properly perform just about every exercise out there. 

This gives Kabuki EDU a nearly perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 for instruction. Why the half-point deduction? Unless you sign up for the 1-on-1 Coaching package (which is $250 per month) everything is self-guided. You, like myself, might prefer that option, but I realize that’s not the case for everyone. 

RELATED: Kabuki Strength Duffalo Bar In-Depth Review

One thing I will rate a 5 out of 5 is Kabuki EDU’s interface, which makes it incredibly easy to find the videos you want. You can filter by skill/discipline, muscle group, movement type, equipment, and coach (if you find a favorite). 

Kabuki EDU Courses 

Here are a few examples of the lectures or lessons you can find on Kabuki Edu: 

  • Strength Fundamentals 
  • Movement & Topical Videos 
  • Guided Solutions 
  • Nutrition Masterclass 
  • Advanced Methods 
  • Fix Your Own Back 
  • Recover to Win 
  • Sleep & Recovery 
  • Effort, Force, and Heaviness

RELATED: Best Muscle Recovery Tools

Kabuki Strength App Programming

As a certified personal trainer who’s tried dozens of training apps, I believe the Kabuki EDU+ package is worth it just for the free access to the Kabuki Strength app. I say that because this app is a one-stop shop for all your fitness needs. Here are just some of the features you can find on the Kabuki Strength app: 

  • Workout programs 
  • Macronutrient calculator 
  • Physique tracker 
  • Exercise library
  • Access to all Kabuki Edu videos 
  • Weekly and monthly reports
  • Step tracker

I’ll be honest. I didn’t take advantage of most of these features and spent my time trying out the various training programs available—there’s even a few options for home gym owners (bonus points for you, Duffin). 

The app’s personalization scored an automatic 5 out of 5 because you can tailor it to your schedule and lifestyle. After picking a program, I went with “Strong & Mobile,” which you can add to your calendar based on what days of the week you typically train or simply visit the module when you have time. 

Each day, I opened my app to see what exercises were on the menu and how many reps and sets I had to do. Kabuki once again nails it with instructions, providing videos on how to do every move along with notes that provide tips on things like breathing. 

RELATED: Kabuki Strength Discount Code

Accountability

Just like with the Kabuki EDU website, the Kabuki Strength app is a self-guided program unless you purchase the 1-on-1 coaching. That means there’s no trainer reminding you to do your daily workout—and again, that might work for you, and it might not. Training is second-nature to me, so I didn’t need a reminder to check my app for my daily movements. 

You’ll also have to remember to log each exercise you do for it to be tracked in the app—this is something I struggle with (thank you, ADHD), but you’re probably different. 

How to Download Kabuki Strength App 

There are instructions in a private chat channel on the Kabuki EDU website (that you can only see after signing up) on how to download the app (available for iPhone and Android) for free with a 100%-off discount code. You’ll still have to provide a credit card number, but you won’t be charged as long as your Kabuki EDU membership is active.

After downloading the app and creating your account, you’ll enter some basic information (such as your height, weight, and activity levels) and answer some questions about your fitness goals. 

Kabuki Strength App Community 

The Kabuki Strength App comes with free access to a Discord server—imagine a giant online chatroom—where you can discuss your training with coaches and fellow trainees. 

Pricing 

Here’s the pricing structure for Kabuki EDU:

  • Kabuki Edu Free: $0 
  • Kabuki Edu+: $29 per month 
  • 1-on-1 Coaching: $250 per month 

Kabuki Edu Vs. Future App

Future

Future

GGR Score: 4.43 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Virtual training from qualified coaches
  • Personal plan designed to help reach your goals
  • Great interface
  • Use our link for 50% off your first month

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Incredible user interface; very well designed and intuitive
  • Choose your own coach based on your personal preferences and goals
  • Lots of variety in your workouts

Cons

  • No real-time coaching from your trainer
  • $199 per month membership cost

Bottom Line

An online training program that's staffed by real-life humans, and one of our favorite fitness apps.

Kabuki EDU is better for self-guided learners, while the Future app is better for those who need a personal touch. Both have a similar price point, but the Future App is slightly less expensive. 

I’ll be comparing Kabuki EDU’s 1-on-1 coaching tier with the Future App, both of which give you access to an online personal trainer. While we’ve extensively used Future—GGR founder and home gym equipment expert Cooper Mitchell is on year three and counting—we haven’t tested Kabuki’s coaching, so I’ll be judging this based strictly on the value. 

Woman doing barbell rows with an online personal trainer in her living room

Kabuki’s coaching comes with more benefits, such as discounts on strength training equipment and an extensive video library. The Future App focuses on training and, like Kabuki, has handy videos on how to perform exercises. 

As we stated in the beginning, this is going to be a matter of personal preference. Kabuki offers weekly communication with coaches, whereas the Future app lets you text and chat with your personal trainer (who you’ll pick when signing up). 

For more, check out our in-depth Future App Review.

Kabuki Edu 1-on-1 CoachingFuture App
Price per month $250 $199
Operating Systems iOS and AndroidiOS and Android
Exercise Library? YesYes
Community?YesYes

Customer Experience 

You can reach Kabuki EDU through the app, including the Discord server or its various social media channels. You can also email info@kabukistrength.com.

The app is relatively new, so it’s difficult to gauge the community experience outside  my personal testing. 

Customer Reviews

As of this writing, there are zero customer reviews for the Kabuki Strength App or Kabuki EDU. I will update this if and when there are new customer reviews. 

Final Verdict of Our Kabuki EDU Review

Here’s the bottom line of our Kabuki EDU review: There’s no other fitness programming that offers this much value. Not only do you get access to dozens of workout programs and an incredible training app, but you also get to tap into the minds of some of the best coaches and athletes out there. 

I think the Goldilocks package is the Kabuki EDU+, but even the 1-on-1 coaching is a good deal since you’d probably spend a similar amount on an in-person trainer, plus there’s additional benefits. 

So long as you’re good with self-guided learning, we recommend enrolling in Kabuki EDU right away.

Kabuki EDU Rating

Kabuki Edu

Our Kabuki EDU review was written by a certified personal trainer who used Chris Duffin’s program for a month. Here are his honest thoughts.

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 29.00

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.14
Value – 4.5
Ease of use/functionality – 4.5
Progress and stat tracking – 3
Features/resources – 5
Community – 4
Compatibility – 3
Platform availability – 5
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Kabuki EDU FAQs

Is Kabuki Strength good?

Kabuki Strength is one of the most-respected strength training equipment manufacturers, especially for specialty bars like trap bars, deadlift barbells and safety squat bars. They’ve now developed one of the best online personal training programs on the market. 

Who is Kabuki Strength?

Kabuki Strength is a strength equipment manufacturer founded by legendary powerlifter Chris Duffin. They make high-quality pieces of equipment for home gyms and commercial gyms, such as Olympic plates, specialty barbells, squat racks, and the famous Transformer Bar and Kratos flywheel. 

RELATED: Kabuki Strength Transformer Bar Review

Why are Kabuki bars so expensive? 

Kabuki Strength power bars are pricey because they’re made in American factories from high-quality materials, have exceptional knurling, corrosion resistance, and are made for some of the strongest people in the world (we’re talking people who rep 800 pounds for deadlifts).

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