Starting Strength Weekly Report

June 01, 2015

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Under the Bar

Jacob Caron deadlift PR Jacob Caron (JTC_MN) deadlifts a PR of 167.5 kg (369.17 lbs) at the USAPL Twin Ports Raw Open in Duluth, MN on Saturday, May 30 2015. [photo courtesy of Jacob Caron]
powerlifting yuriy bench Yuriy's first bench attempt at Fivex3 Training's Powerlifting Meet last Sunday. The meet was a fundraiser for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
powerlifting carroll county high schools Starting Strength Coaches Beau Bryant, Angie Bryant, and Eric Shugars officiate during the deadlift at the first annual Carroll County High School Powerlifting Chanpionship held May 30 by Westminster Strength & Conditioning. [photo courtesy of Eric Shugars]

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Best of the Week

Decline bench

I'm doing my own experiment on why I prefer decline over flat. Flat tears my shoulders up. Decline has been criticized for short range but isn't the goal of arched back and flat foot to reduce distance? Please explain why decline is frowned upon as an inadequate exercise?

Mark Rippetoe

It's fine with me. Just don't miss a rep by yourself.


The decline press is a rather useless exercise because the angle of the back in the decline position shortens the distance the bar can travel, decreasing the amount of work done by decreasing the range of motion. By decreasing the difficulty, the decline press increases the weight that can be used in the exercise, which in turn leads to inflated perceptions of one's ability - it is essentially masturbation, much like that which is possible with a 30-degree leg press or a half-squat.

Best of the Forum

Not recovering between workouts since second daughter born...

I've made fantastic progress with HLM [heavy-light-medium, increasing weights once a week], working my way to a set of 500x5 squats just a couple months ago. My second daughter was born on Cinco de Mayo (my first is 1.5 years old), and after a short hiatus from lifting, I came back to a linear progression with a light day, setting squats down to 405x5 for 3 sets to start. I've stalled super hard, missing reps on the light day of all days, on the 6th training session since being back.

Been fighting sickness and lack of sleep, so I'm certain I'm just not fully recovering between training sessions. With your experience training with a handful of children, what can I do to have a productive training program, since I can't really do anything about the stuff outside the gym?

Andy Baker

You're like an old dude now. Shitty recovery and volume will crush you. Use intensity to get back to where you were. Implement more singles training on your heavy days and 5s on you light/medium day

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