Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 19, 2015

SS Coaches' Updates & Blogs

Under the Bar

Brent Carter illustrates squatting kinematics Starting Strength Coach and licensed teacher, Brent Carter, illustrates effective squatting kinematics at the Focus Personal Training Institute. [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]
benedictine barbell club Starting Strength Coach Karl Schudt gives a presentation on Starting Strength and the Strength Registry to the new Benedictine Barbell Club at Benedictine University. [photo courtesy of Karl Schudt]
coaching the barbell press Starting Strength Coach Emily Socolinsky coaches new client Patrick on the press at Fivex3 Training in Baltimore, MD. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
learning to deadlift Carol Bournstein, at 68, learns to properly deadlift at WFAC with Coach Nick Delgadillo. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
warming up at a starting strength training camp Luke Vincent completes his second warm-up set of 5 at the Starting Strength Training Camp held in Winston, GA on October 10th. [photo courtesy of Steve Hill]
tim squatting at feral fitness Tim trains his squat at Feral Fitness in Saratoga Springs, NY. He is rapidly developing his strength using linear progression. [photo courtesy of Feral Fitness]
training for the starting strength fall classic Laurie gets ready to squat 250# for a single in preparation for the Starting Strength Fall Classic under the watchful eye of Starting Strength Coach Diego Socolinsky. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
John Musser instructs Executive Protection professionals John Musser preaches the importance of Strength to Executive Protection professionals at the Executive Protection Institute's (EPI) Class 77. [photo courtesy of John Musser]
Using barbells for rehab after surgery Not accepting the fatal flaw of physical therapy, at Riata Therapy we use the barbell and Starting Strength to initiate and progress lumbar rehabilitation after surgery. [photo courtesy of Darin Deaton]
coaching the deadlift SSC Nicole Rutherford coaches the deadlift during Westminster Strength and Conditioning's women's strength program. [photo courtesy of Beau Bryant]
Barbell training after polio Ron had polio as a child, and has no use of his left arm, shoulder, or lat. But that doesn't mean he can't get strong with the squat, deadlift, press, and bench press. [photo courtesy of Matt Reynolds]
Brent Howard training the squat Brent Howard, a local private school football / basketball coach, completes his last working set. He is using Starting Strength with all his athletes and sees this as critically important since he works with few natural athletes. [photo courtesy of Steve Hill]
Gaby V's PR deadlift training Gaby V. pulls a PR 225x3x2 at Horn Strength & Conditioning in Los Angeles. Gaby's persistence and dedication to training is an inspiration to everyone around her. We're very lucky to have such a driven individual at our gym. [photo courtesy of Paul Horn]
68yo pulls 315 deadlift Glenn Bournstein, 68 years old, pulls a PR 315 lb deadlift while visiting WFAC. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

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Best of the Week

Deltoid spinal part exercises?
Mr. Chubbins

My deltoid spinal part got really sore and started burning today while doing the annual fall cleanup. I was using a gas powered hedge trimmer with a lot of sweeping the trimmer up and down and holding the thing at head or above height. Based on my anatomy app the area that was sore is the spinal part of the deltoid, and it works lifting the arm out, please correct me if that is wrong. What accessory work can I add to strengthen this area?

I squat 260, press 162.5, deadlift 300, can't do a chin yet, and my knees are too problematic for power cleans. Still on linear progression (LP) except for Texas Method (TM) on press. M, 42, 260lb. Nothing else hurt or got sore today, although I am a bit tired tonight.

Tom Campitelli

I've never heard the posterior deltoid referred to as the deltoid spinal part, but I digress. Getting sore is not an injury. It will go away. You did something to which you were not accustomed and it made you sore and tired. You will live to fight another day. With that in mind, I have the following prescription for accessory work for you (sets x reps):

  • Squat 3x5
  • Press 3x5
  • Bench Press 3x5
  • Deadlift 1x5
  • Chins every workout

Best of the Forum

Triples for females?

My wife has started lifting with me and I'm doing my best to help her do the program. Her form is really good, but I'm wondering about something I read you say a while back re: reps for females vs. males.

There were a couple of threads that touched on the idea of using sets of 3 for female lifters instead of 5s. Basically what came out of those threads was that you were looking at making this the standard protocol for women, and there were a number of members that were going to start following said protocol to see how it worked. Any updates to your thinking on this, or from the lifters who've tried it out?

Jonathon Sullivan

I have coached two women >50 yo and one in her 30s who have made excellent progress with triples on the squat and the pressing exercises. In the case of my two older ladies, I moved one of them (50 yo) to 3s after she had repeated failures and setbacks in the last rep or two of sets of five. Moving her to 3s allowed her to continue LP and make serious progress. The other one (64 yo) I started with triples. I continue to have them all do a single set of five for the deadlift workset, and 5 sets of 3 for cleans and/or snatches.

Obviously, this is entirely anecdotal and purely pragmatic. YMMV. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say.


Using triples, while training women, has been a very useful tool. And not just for older women. I had a young pilot who at times flew twice a day in the Texas heat before training but we were still able to add weight to the bar using triples instead of stalling out on a 3x5 scheme.

Jordan Feigenbaum

Most of my clientele are of the female persuasion and age 33-60. We've had lots of success pushing 5s for a long time, although I have seen that they respond well to increased pressing volume and microloading. Additionally, I find that I have to move to weekly progress after 2-3 weeks and doing an intermediate setup with volume sets of 5s and PR sets of 3 on intensity day work well. I haven't had much success with triples for volume work unless we were working up to a heavy triple then doing back off sets of 5's to accrue the volume. Just my experience.

Gillian Mounsey

My personal opinion and experience is to use 5s for as long as possible because of their ability to build the best strength foundation. Triples seem to be great to push past a sticking point but don't require the same physiological adaptations as 5s.

I will go to triples with female clients once they have graduated to the intermediate phase. I will often go back to 5s once the stick has been overcome. If I stick with triples, I increase the overall volume by adding sets such as a 7 sets of 3 scheme. In my opinion this helps to achieve the adaptation that we get from 5s.

Gwyn Brookes

This makes so much sense! I switched to triples when I was having recovery issues, but eventually made the decision to go back to sets of five because I really wanted to grow, was ready to eat to make that happen, and I felt that fives were more conducive to growth. I may very well use triples again when I get stuck, but right now I'm very happy with fives still.

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