Starting Strength Weekly Report

August 01, 2016

  • Andrea Marcon is the winner of the July prize drawing.
  • Jim Steel on Time to Train: "Those that use the iron as therapy and as an escape really get it, because the mind and body are one – working, thriving, and alive."
  • From the Archives: Rip on barbells, including how to check that a bar is straight.
Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • This week's Ask Rip is taken from the Q&A at the end of the June Starting Strength Seminar. Topics include recovery "modalities" and the infamous strength standards.
From the Coaches

Under the Bar

graham schaller presses Graham Schaller finishes a 150 lb. set of presses. Dean GQ provides a useful visual cue. [photo courtesy of Nicholas Racculia]
teaching low bar position Woodmere S&C intern, Deena Green, helps to teach low bar position to a new trainee in the woman's barbell club. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
hannah deadlift training Hannah pulls a 165x5 at WSC, getting her training done after running barbell groups for women. Hannah is a coach in WSC and training to become a Starting Strength Coach. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]

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Best of the Week

Strength and Nutrition in Healthcare – Job Prospects

Just want to say thanks for the forums and all the good content you put out. Congrats on residency. I'm a current undergrad in NYC studying biochemistry and looking to work in health care after. Right now, I'm an EMT, plan to do paramedic after school for a few years because I've always enjoyed working in the field, and then onto Physician Assistant school when my knees want a break from patients needing transport out of a high rise! I was wondering if you have any advice, thoughts, etc on someone who wants to do work in a similar capacity as I imagine you are working towards i.e. combining strength training, nutrition with conventional healthcare.

Jordan Feigenbaum

It's going to be very hard to do anything in the S/C field unless you're in the S/C field coaching for some amount of time. My recommendation would be to get certified now and start coaching people, since this is the most time you'll have while still in academia. Then, based on your listed plan I'd skip working as a paramedic and either go straight to PA school or not go to PA school at all. Would be easier to get through that the younger you are with less other stuff going on (that presumably builds as you get older). I would continue to coach during this and then would try and get into some sort of sports med provider role with an ortho and/or primary care doc. Problem is, you won't get reimbursed by insurance for coaching or doing anything in the S/C field (or nutrition really- though the training on nutrition you get won't be very good either), so then that begs the question why PA school if you really want to be in the S/C field in some capacity?

I chose to get my MD because I need to be in control of what I am doing professionally and be able to set up the business model I want to. It'd be very difficult to do that as a PA, if not impossible. If you want to work in healthcare, however, then sports med or similar would be a way to go.

Best of the Forum

Power Snatches

I started my 2nd go at the novice program you describe in Starting Strength last Monday and ran into a problem. Apparently, I can't get the bar into the rack position due to me being stiff and having long forearms. If I elevate my elbows past ~45 degrees it sends the bar into my throat.

I searched around for a bit then found a thread on these forums where you said that power cleans can be replaced with power snatches. That is awesome and I've done my 2nd workout with power snatches today, but I'm unable to find a good guide for the exercise. I'd ask one of the instructors in the gym but I saw one of them teaching some girl how to half squat on a bosu ball so...

Do you know where I can find a more in depth description of the power snatch?

Mark Rippetoe

Since you have failed to read Starr's article, I shall provide a description. We teach the power snatch the same way we teach the clean, sometimes concurrently in a seminar if somebody presents with your problems. Like the power clean, it is a jump with the bar in the hands that terminates in its rack position. The differences in the two lie almost entirely in the rack position -- over the head at arms length as opposed to on the shoulders. The wide grip is designed to facilitate a shorter bar path to lockout. Take a grip that places the bar in your lap, between your pubis and your hip pointers, when you are standing erect with your chest up and arms straight. We teach both movements from the top.

Now, get the bar up over your head with your elbows straight and the palms of your hands facing the ceiling. The bar will be in balance here when it is directly over the shoulder joint. In this position, shrug up with your traps like you are not through pushing the bar up. This is the rack position for the snatch. Lower the bar from this position by unlocking the wrists first, then the elbows, and dropping the bar down your chest as close to it as you can get. Drop it and catch it, don't slow it down. This is the bar path it will make on the way up, and now you have practiced it on the way down. It must stay close.

From the hang position (same terminology used in SS:BBT for the power clean) unlock to the jumping position, in mid-thigh. Elbows are straight, in internal rotation, eyes forward and slightly down, feet in a jumping stance. Internal rotation reminds you to keep your elbows straight. From this position, jump up in the air as high as you can WITH STRAIGHT ELBOWS. Just let the bar follow the jump straight up. You should do this by sliding the bar up your thighs to the same position in your lap it touched in the hang position, and it will leave your body from there as it flies up. After you have determined that the snatch is in fact a jump with the bar in your hands WITH STRAIGHT ELBOWS, jump and catch the bar in the rack position. The elbows bend AFTER THE JUMP, as the bar passes out of the ROM where the elbows can stay straight, and you will see that you really lead this movement with your wrists. Wrists lead the bar up, and they are the LAST thing that extends. This must not be a pressing movement. Do this a few times, and then incorporate the "drop" under the bar as it passes close to your chest and then your face. Watch a few snatches to see what this looks like.

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