Starting Strength Weekly Report


May 22, 2017


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  • Ask Rip #47 – Rip answers questions on using a cambered bar, weightlifting shoes, heartburn, and The US Strengthlifting Federation.
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

graham schaller starts a pr power clean
Graham Schaller starts a PR power clean at the Starting Strength Seminar held at Westminster Strength and Conditioning last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]


Best of the Week

Did this study just prove The Novice Effect?
Bryan B.

When you boil down all the "yada-yada-yada" in this 'study'; did they inadvertently prove the Novice Effect? I tried to break it down in the manner so eloquently presented by Sully, et al. in the series of videos a few months back; but I got a headache trying.

I felt this study used an awful lot of words for not much substance. Perhaps bigger and more experienced brains can tell if there is more to this?

Physical Fitness of Police Academy Cadets: Baseline Characteristics and Changes During a 16-Week Academy

P.S. I'm trying to anticipate all the arguments that will be used by my administration as to why cardiovascular fitness is superior to strength training. While I have been collecting and studying the various articles written on the SS website, I'm also trying to learn their position to better argue against it in an upcoming interview for a future physical fitness instructor position within our police department.

Mark Rippetoe

The only arguments for endurance training over strength training would be:

  1. Police officers never have to exert force against any external resistance in the execution of their duties.
  2. Strength training produces no cardiovascular training effect.

Neither of these statements are true. As for the study, it's the standard JSCR stuff. Test a shitty program, publish the results.

Bryan B.

I just thought I'd share with you the mindset of my Deputy Chief regarding strength training. Here is his reply to my request for the department to purchase the SS poster featuring squat guy vs treadmill guy:

"Truth be told… I shot it down. I read it. I don’t agree. Everything I’ve ever been taught via the East Bank Club fitness training, Cooper Institute 40 hour class making me a “trainer”, and the FBI National Academy class on health and fitness says VO2 max (cardio-pulmonary fitness) is THE most important part of physical fitness. I disagree with the FACT: Strength is the most useful of all aspects of fitness and the one that affects all others. I also disagree with the pictures – start here – Squat guy; not here – Treadmill guy.

Most people equate aerobic exercise with good overall fitness, but training for strength is MUCH more beneficial.

WHAT???! Are you F*****g kidding me? Who vetted this poster?

The jigsaw puzzle pieces I tend to agree with. However, Cardiac / Respiratory Endurance (cardio-pulmonary fitness) should be #1 – and NOT watered down.

See the inserted page from the CDC website – Heart disease kills 1 in 4 Americans. In 2013, cancer became the #1 killer (in people under 85 – If I make it to 85… I won’t be worrying about weight rooms). If you exclude people under 18, and over 85 – Heart disease is still #1.

So… as I get off my soapbox, I will part with this; “Nobody is dying from small bi-ceps, but heart disease is killing people every day.” I heard that from (our former Chief) years ago – I thought it was profound at the time. When I got the FBI Academy – where they live, eat, and breathe – FITNESS! I found it was part of their mantra. Apparently that’s where (our former Chief) got it from. It is far more beneficial to do a sustained exercise over a period of time that elevates your heart rate and breathing rate vs strength training. It is even more beneficial when you vary the intensity of the sustained exercise that elevates your heart rate and breathing rate."

After a severely edited reply, I explained that it was my understanding that genetics and a poor diet were much bigger factors in heart disease than lack of cardio. I also thought that VO2 max was similar to SVJ regarding genetics and trainability.

Again, his reply:

"Amen on the diet first. But I’m NOT a believer in the weight room much anymore, and neither is the NHL, NBA, MLB, the US Olympic committee… (I purposely excluded the NFL – bulk has a place there) Current fitness pros are big believers in body weight exercises, plyometrics, cardio-pulmonary training, flexibility, and agility training. (His son's) hockey team employs a coach full-time, year round – a $100k/year job to train the AAA players at all levels – either 2, 3, or 4 days a week depending on their age range. (His son) does box jumps, skips rope, agility runs, medicine ball work, push-ups, floor crawls, lunges, white board, planks, 400 meter runs with resistance, dynamic stretching, etc… RARELY do those kids get to play with weights. Resistance bands, body weight exercises, etc… Barbells are dead my friend. Athletes now train movements, not muscle groups anymore.

Your body was in better health doing 3 miles on the centennial trail then lifting a combined #1000 pounds.

The poster’s a NO because it does imply strength training is superior to cardio-pulmonary exercise." "...strength is certainly not more important than VO2 max – how well, and how much your body can pump, replenish, and pump again – oxygen rich red blood cells to your muscles.

Cardio first, flexibility and coordination second, strength third… that’s my training and experience."

Although I've never used the word in a half century on this planet, I believe "flabbergasted" most aptly describes my response to this reaction over requesting the SS poster. I can't wait to see his reaction when I outline a strength training proposal for the department.

Brodie Butland

There are plenty of obvious softballs with this dude's responses. What does he think happens to someone's heart rate during a weight training session? When law enforcement is charging after a suspect, what do officers use to take him down and restrain him? What do studies show with respect to the systemic changes in insulin resistance and inflammation (both linked to heart disease) resulting from high-intensity training?

But the problem, as you probably have discovered, is that this dude simply isn't going to even consider anything that goes against his preconceived notions – no matter what arguments you use, no matter what studies you pull out, no matter what results you demonstrate, no matter what facts you present. In my judgment, developing strength training proposals is a waste of your time...but if you want to try to piss up a rope, then good luck and I hope that someone a little more open minded gets to make the call.


Best of the Forum

Scottish Hip
jamiet

I've done some searches on the board regarding hip anatomy and can't seem to find much on this subject.

There is a well-known spine doctor on the internet that puts a case forward that people with certain hip anatomy shouldn't be squatting to depth or they are risking impingement and back injury.

Apparently there are features of the hip that can make for very powerful squatters including things like where the acetabulum is arranged on the pelvis and their depth.

Do you think these variables would have a significant impact on an individuals potential strength gains considering that total body power is developed from the hips?

Mark Rippetoe

Our experience with many thousands of people does not make us concerned about this. Our method of teaching the squat accounts for any individual differences in hip anatomy, and over 10 years of holding seminars we have found about four (4) people who could not squat below parallel Saturday morning. These people were either very old or otherwise detrained to the extent that they were not strong enough to handle their bodyweight at depth. Quite simply, knees-out permits depth, and anyone who disagrees is welcome to attend our seminar to learn about this and see how it actually works for a very diverse group of people. But I understand that it's probably better to just continue writing about "the Scottish Hip" since T-Nation pays pretty well.

Now, if you'd like to pretend that some people can't get to correct squat depth – and that you are one of these people – in lieu of learning how to squat correctly, please proceed.


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