Starting Strength Weekly Report


January 23, 2017


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  • Heard the common doctor and magazine advice to use low weight for high reps for strength training? Here's why that's bad advice for anyone interested in efficiently, effectively, and safely developing strength.
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In the Trenches

zac squats 365 at a seminar
Zac squats 365 for a set of five at the Starting Strength Seminar that took place this past weekend at Gig Harbor Strength & Fitness in Washington. [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]
Seminar FAQ

Q: Where do seminar attendees come from?

A: Everywhere but Antarctica. So far. Things tend to be the most global for seminars held at Wichita Falls Athletic Club in Wichita Falls, TX. Below is a map of that spread from the December 2016 event.



Best of the Week

Linear Progression philosophy from PPST
Xplora

I've read SS and PPST and started a linear progression 6 weeks ago after 5 months on Wendler 531, hitting my first stall with that programme. I've only been working with barbells for 12 months now and didn't have much structure prior to that. I'm a club level cyclist so I'm skinny as hell, but I've gained 14kgs in the last 12 months, which was a big deal for me as a classic hard gainer.

Now, I've got a ton of confusion from a few statements in these books, but I am happy to take them at face value. My first question is "what is the overarching philosophy for the SS Novice program, particularly as you hit the end of that progression?"

I'm feeling like I'm hitting the end of my run as a Novice quite quickly, obviously since some of that novice period was spent doing 531. At 83kgs, doing fives across, I have squatted 107.5, benched 62.5, pressed 47.5 and deadlifted 130. I haven't put on ANY weight during this couple of months, but I have had all the issues like stress, sleep, eating, a break, plus a ton of riding at times. Given the assumptions laid out in SS, I would have assumed that this wasn't an issue for a very serious increase in weight and strength. I know I'm not biologically explosive, I work best for 45-90 second efforts, rather than 5-10, so I know I won't be a powerlifter, but surely this wouldn't run out after 25 pounds on the squat?

When I look at what I need to do next, PPST implies that I should move from 5s across to 3s across, then singles. Maybe I've mixed up the Texas Method stuff with Novice programming, but would a fair assumption be "we want you to add some weight to the bar, every single time, in a planned fashion, even if you are dropping reps to achieve that, according to the plan" during the Novice period? I don't have access to affordable coaching, but even allowing for mistakes in pounds conversion I don't think I am even in the ball park

Andy Baker

If you have not put on ANY weight during your training thus far, then you are simply expending more energy than you are consuming. So you probably need to cycle less and eat more. Really any other items of conversation are irrelevant if your caloric intake is exceedingly inadequate for barbell training.

Joseph Santaniello

As a fellow cyclist, I agree that (particularly as you suggest you are a hard-gainer), you are not eating enough. I've seen often that cyclist and other endurance athletes are too afraid of losing conditioning to allow themselves to focus enough energy on weight-training. If you really want to make progress in the strength department, carve out a 3 month long chunk of time where you really prioritize it. You probably will surprise yourself with how little (if any) conditioning you lose, and endurance is built up pretty quickly when you resume big miles again anyway. So no more than a few 45 minute (at most) easy spins per week as a recovery aid and to keep your sanity while you work the strength. And eat! Also you don't know that you aren't good at 5-10 sec as you probably haven't trained that in anywhere near the volume or intensity you have trained longer duration, so don't sell yourself cheap!


Best of the Forum

Rip’s Chicken Fried Steak
Dilan

Rip, I read an interview with you recently where you claimed to make a mean chicken fried steak. I, being from England, have never heard of a chicken fried "steak". What is it, and how does one make it Rip style? I need to make a few new dishes on X-mas day, and there will be Amerrycuns present.

Mark Rippetoe

It is a steak fried in a pan like a piece of chicken. Use a tenderized pork cutlet for the best flavor, or beef if you prefer. The cutlet must be either tenderized like a cube steak or beaten with a meat hammer. Salt and pepper the steak, roll it in flour, dip the rolled steak in a batter made of egg and milk, then roll it again in flour. Fry it in a heavy skillet in a half-inch of bacon grease, fairly hot, turning it only once when brown. It is traditionally served with cream gravy made with the drippings in the pan. I have made it for friends in the UK, to a warm reception.


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