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Starting Strength :: Getting Started :: Using this Website :: Mark Rippetoe



The Importance of Strength

Strength is the basis of your interaction with the environment.



The Starting Strength System

Strength is the most important aspect of one's physical existence, and a lack of Strength compromises both athletic performance and the quality of life as we age.


The Starting Strength System is a distillation of Mark Rippetoe’s experiences over three and a half decades as a competitive powerlifter, Olympic weightlifting coach, and gym owner, coupled with a systematic analysis of the physics of human movement under the barbell.


Barbell training is simply loaded human movement, and the Starting Strength System makes use of the most basic movement patterns that work the entire body as a coordinated system, gradually increasing loads that make the whole body stronger, in a logical, understandable, time-tested manner – the way athletes have gotten stronger for millennia.


Starting Strength is not a list of new exercises from the fitness magazines designed by Physical Therapists for injured sedentary people. It is not a way to use the newest machines in a corporate health club. Starting Strength is a systematic approach to the classic barbell training method of improving improving Strength – the most critical characteristic of successful athletes and healthy useful people.


The instruction, explanation, and analysis found in Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition are unequaled in depth and clarity anywhere in print.


Getting Started

Practical Programming can be useful starting out for those who are highly motivated and interested in why, but becomes far more valuable as you continue to train. Strong Enough and Mean Ol' Mr Gravity are supplemental books. Both have useful information, but they can also be saved for later.


Using this Website

  • Resources
    • Coaching – Look here for opportunities to get coaching, from instruction from Rip at a Starting Strength Seminar to working with Starting Strength Coaches.
    • Article library – Articles are organized by author. Scan through or use the Search box on the upper right to look for specific topics.
    • Video library – Videos are grouped by type: Starting Strength Series (interviews and lectures), Platform (practical instruction), and Discussion.
    • Podcast library – Podcasts are listed in reverse chronologial order.
    • The ForumsPlease make sure to read the Forum Information to get an idea of what to expect in each Forum category (Announcements) and for a handy way (FAQ) to get answers to common questions. Most of the forums are unmoderated. This means that they can be very rude and rough while at the same time exposing you to questionable advice from anywhere in the Universe.
  • Products
    • Seminars – Highlights our Seminars and links to our retail store website.
    • Books & DVDs – Books & DVDs are showcased on this page, along with a selection of t-shirts. These products are linked to our publishing company and retail store website.

Other Websites : Other websites with official content are the Starting Strength Coaches Association, WFAC and The Aasgaard Company. Associated services include the Starting Strength Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud, Vimeo channel and YouTube channel . Sites outside these are not officially associated with us or produced by us and we cannot vouch for the accuracy of their content.


Mark Rippetoe

Mark Rippetoe

has worked in the fitness industry since 1978. He was a competitive powerlifter for ten years, retiring from competition in 1988. For the next 10 years he announced most of the powerlifting meets in North Texas, while coaching lifters and training the members of his gym, the Wichita Falls Athletic Club, for strength and athletic performance. He retired from powerlifting involvement in 1997, to focus more on Olympic weightlifting.


Rip acquired a solid background in coaching the Olympic lifts as a result of his coach, Bill Starr, using them in his powerlifting training. He obtained his USWF Level I certification in 1988 at the USOC’s Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, followed by his USAW Senior Coach certification in 1999. In 2000 he was invited, as an Olympic weightlifting coach, to the Olympic Solidarity course at the OTC. He taught both the USAW Club Coach course and the Sports Performance Coach course from 1999 through 2005, and competed in the masters division for several years.


Rip coached national and international-level athletes at WFAC from 1999 through 2006, as well as the collegiate weightlifting team from Midwestern State University through 2010. He still coaches the sport on a daily basis at WFAC, and coaches the power clean and power snatch at our seminars around the country.


Rip was in the first group certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association for the CSCS credential in 1985. After 24 years of continuous certification, he became the first to formally relinquish that credential in 2009, due to his concerns about the direction taken by the NSCA.


He is the author of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, Practical Programming for Strength Training, Strong Enough?, Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity, and numerous journal, magazine and internet articles. He has been the owner of the Wichita Falls Athletic Club since 1984.


Products

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  • “I was never taught like this before in 6 years of high school football, 3 years of college and 13 years in special operations. Would have been good to have at age 20ish.”
  • “Great three days! I love how confident I feel about my lifts now.”
  • “I have been to multiple seminars and certifications (NSCA, ACSM, etc.) but have never actually been taught how to position the body correctly. You’re right that the barbell moves much differently than PVC!”
  • “Worth the price of admission for day 1 alone- and for Rip’s sense of humor.”
  • “Well worth the money! Learned more in 3 days than I have in the past 3 years.”
  • “It has been a real eye-opener to learn that most of my previous education has been wrong.”
  • “Very complicated ideas and processes were made simple to understand and apply- Quickly!”
  • “Great time under the bar and lecture. Better than any other seminar on lifting.”
  • “The seminar will significantly reduce the amount of time I will need to teach the lifts to anyone.”
  • "I have learned the most this weekend than in any other educational seminar/schooling I have been involved with.”
  • “Perfect extension to “the book”…Direct, honest- no “bullshit” or “sales”...and Rip made me laugh.”
  • “Every coach needs to attend this seminar. You may think you know these 5 lifts, but what you discover is you don’t!”
  • “Learning about strength, the how’s and why’s of getting strong has fundamentally changed my opinion and knowledge of the subject in a profoundly helpful and life changing way.”
  • “The best thing for me about this is that I feel as though it will be possible to translate these teaching progressions to my staff and realistically expect them to apply it to clients.”
  • “Actual value for money – very rare in any industry.”
  • “In 25 years, the most satisfying workshop I have attended.”
  • “Appealed to all types of learners – Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.”
  • “I loved the simple processes to coach each lift, and the platform coaches were all excellent.”
  • “Great background lectures followed by concise point-by-point instruction for coaching/performing the lifts.”
  • “Great seminar with thorough discussion of all movements, biomechanics, and physics behind them.”
  • “The Q & A session was great and brought out several interesting discussions.”
  • “I liked the format of analyzing the lift, teaching it, then practicing.”
  • “All the coaches were professional and demonstrated superior knowledge of the lifts, and did a great job. My ability to coach has improved because of them.”
  • “Coaching section was very valuable- it was nice to hear someone verbalize good coaching practices.”
  • “Out of all the different certifications and seminars I’ve been to, this one has had the greatest impact on my ability to coach.”
  • “This seminar should be the gold standard to which all others are compared”
  • “The depth of material presented was refreshing. The content allows understanding of the why’s and the mechanics behind the movements.”
  • “I am looking forward to the continued application of these concepts to enable me to drive adaptation progressively and consistently. Thank you!”
  • “I’ve never been to a similar seminar. This one set the bar pretty high.”
  • “Outstanding experience with not only doing the movements but also coaching experience. Thanks to all the staff!”
  • “The individual attention was amazing, not only as a coach but as a lifter.”
  • “Thoroughly enjoyed it. I came to learn and accomplished that.”
  • “This seminar was at a different level than others I have attended. Much more educational.”
  • “The subject matter was as detailed as it could possibly be and easily understandable as well. Great seminar.”
  • “I liked different platforms, different groups, and different coaches. The variety is effective and different perspectives/eyes on the movement is helpful.”
  • “Best mix of hands-on and lecture setting. Worked well for an uncoached individual”
  • “The principle-based approach creates a very valuable training experience beyond merely the five basic exercises covered.”
  • “I really liked the depth of the material, the consistency of the SS Model and its general applicability. The staff was very knowledgeable and approachable.”
  • “Very impressed with how a relatively complex subject was broken down into easily digestible bits of information that are immediately applicable to improving the exercises."
  • "The seminar was very hands-on. The Staff Coaches were very effective at improving lifters’ technique faults, despite having relatively few sets to do so.”
  • "The seminar is on par with undergraduate and graduate coursework I have taken, in its clear building of a topic: from model to practice to mastery. All lectures and 'labs' were presented in an extraordinarily logical way."
  • "It is so refreshing to see some integrity and excellence in this field! No nonsense, simple, and effective information delivered thoughtfully and in depth!"
  • "Compared to other fitness certifications, this has been the most informative and thorough."
  • "The quality of coaching, deep knowledge of the staff, and accessibility to high quality experts is amazing and very useful."
  • "Exceptional coaching. All questions were answered in depth, with explanations, and practical examples of good and bad form."
  • "It’s clear that a tremendous amount of thought has been brought to bear on the design of this seminar. This includes not only the core content, but also the manner in which it is communicated and delivered."
  • "Each individual gets specific feedback, and it is invaluable to see the coaching that other lifters receive."
  • "This is the second SS Seminar I have attended and I am finding it difficult to express how valuable to my training it has been because there is so much fantastic information provided. The 3 days will provide months of return on the investment."
  • "It is apparent that Rip and the Staff have put a great deal of thought into developing the model, presentation, and practical application of the seminar."
  • "Very well organized. Great to start with mechanics and physics and build from there. The coaches are very knowledgeable and communicate very well."
  • "This was one of the best educational experiences in my life of two Master’s degrees and a partially completed Doctoral degree. Fantastic and accessible presentation of biomechanics. Please come to my school and fire the biomechanics instructor."
  • "This seminar has set me up for a lifetime of successful, productive strength training. Great coaching and technique demonstrations, with a good coach-to-athlete ratio."
  • "The coach to attendee ratio is great. Each athlete receives feedback and no one is overlooked because a coach is trying to supervise too many lifters. The information presented is well thought out and delivered in a way that all can understand."
  • "Content was thorough and very clearly presented. As a coach, the teaching models and clear, concise, and direct coaching method is so helpful and effective. Being coached by the different seminar staff, each with their unique feedback, was extremely beneficial. The practical sessions broke up the seated lectures very well so there wasn’t down time or fluff."
  • "I’m a graduate student and this was easily one of the best educational experiences I’ve had. 100% graduate level or higher."
  • "Well, I’m not sure what a ‘similar’ educational experience would be…this was pretty singular. It was a whole lot to take in, but very well organized."
  • "The level of detail and reasoning was well beyond many, if not all, certifications and undergraduate classes I’ve experienced. The material is well laid out and applicable. I learned a lot as an athlete and as a coach."
  • "I enjoyed the entire seminar, but what stood out most were the coaches. All the coaches were great at what they do; I received great feedback on my lifts and coaching."
  • "The seminar is similar in nature and quality to graduate/doctoral level education. The staff coaches provided exceptional coaching, feedback, and academic discussion."
  • "The seminar was superbly organized and well presented. Great combination of hands-on experience with academic grounding using a variety of learning and teaching styles with superbly knowledgeable instructors."
  • "The difference between the seminar and the coaching on the lifts I received in high school is incredibly vast. What you guys do is remarkable. How much I learned in three days is incredible."
  • "The expertise of Rip and the coaches was incredible. It was obvious that it takes a lot of effort to put this seminar on, but the staff made it look very easy. GREAT STAFF!"
  • "Compared to Crossfit Levels 1 & 2, Oly, Kids, Football, Endurance etc… Rip is more knowledgeable and experienced than anyone I have trained under."
  • "The seminar was extremely thorough and clear. Although the material was very complex, it was demonstrated and taught simply, making it easy to learn."
  • "A wealth of information, clearly presented. It was an honor to be a part of this and to be instructed by such profoundly knowledgeable people. Thank you. I will not only recommend this to anyone who will listen, but I will also advocate for a Starting Strength Coach in Pittsburgh."
  • "Excellent organization, information, and communication. Rarely do Strength & Conditioning seminars hit those three aspects well."
  • "I learned so much about technique that will greatly improve my lifting, and I learned the “why” behind it. The depth of content was amazing."
  • "The whole seminar was exhaustive and thorough, and truly an incredible value in terms of dollars per hour."
  • "This was the most fun and educational seminar I’ve been to. Finally some people that have a clear knowledge of physics/mechanics of the lifts are, and the ability to convey it. Much more effective instruction than other seminars I’ve attended."
  • "Every person involved with this seminar helped me more in two days than I’d gotten in the previous two years."
  • "The staff was excellent and very helpful. It was definitely worth traveling from Sydney, Australia for!"
  • "The depth of information and attention to detail were great."
  • "I’ve been to every seminar and conference known to mankind, including at least 4 from USA Weightlifting. The justification of the rationale (for performing the lifts this way) was bulletproof. Anytime I speak, I like to give people things they can use and why. This seminar was the standard in that respect!"
  • "The intimate attention of the staff at each station to better your communication as a coach and as a lifter was fantastic. The rotation between coaches allws you to experience different styles and personalities to see a variety of coaching."
  • "This seminar was by far the best I’ve attended. There was more information in three days of this seminar than I got in four months of a certification course I took at a community college. The attention and professionalism of the staff will make me a better coach and athlete."
  • "The depth that all the coaches had when evaluating our lifts was extremely helpful."
  • "Worth every penny! Will highly recommend attendance to anyone interested. Great instruction, great staff, and fun."
  • "By far the most content and quality of any similar educational experience I’ve had."
  • "It was a pleasure to be coached and educated by such a knowledgeable staff. Lots of good laughs, too. Thank you."
  • "I was really scared to attend because I didn’t think I would belong or have any business being here. However, I felt totally welcome and it was just an amazing, almost life-changing experience. Thank you all SO much. Seriously."
  • "This was the single best strength-specific seminar I’ve attended. I just wish it was a day or two longer."
  • "Cheaper than college, and learned more."

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