Starting Strength Weekly Report

September 12, 2016

  • From the Archives: Marty Gallagher shares career highlights and stories of World and Olympic Champion Norbert Schemansky.
  • In More Fully Alive, SSC Leah Lutz talks about her success as an unlikely powerlifter. Part 1 focuses on her life before beginning strength training.
Training Log
  • Rip takes on soreness and how it is the result of eccentric work to which you are not adapted and not a goal of training.
Starting Strength Channel
  • Episode #34 - The Special Snowflake Problem: Dr Austin Baraki and Mark Rippetoe discuss the use of screening tests and the prevailing thinking that each person is a unique snowflake needing endless modification to tried and proven, albeit harder, methods.
From the Coaches

Under the Bar

jermiah bench training Jeremiah benches a plate for three sets of five. Since starting his linear progression eight weeks ago, he has added fifty pounds to his bench press. [photo courtesy of Horn Strength and Conditioning]
joe aryeh squat training Joe Aryeh squats 325x3x5 - still making gains on his linear progression at Woodmere S&C [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
bruce approaches 4 plates Bruce squats 380# for three sets of five. He's adding 5 pounds every workout - getting very close to four plates. [photo courtesy of FiveX3 Training]
aaron trains for his first meet Aaron Adlerstein pulls 235x5 at WSC. Aaron is training for his first meet, the Starting Strength Fall Classic. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]

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Best of the Week

Mistake as a coach

When you first started as a coach (or even now), what do you do when you make a negligent mistake when training someone?

My process has been as follows:

  1. Admit the mistake to myself.
  2. Figure out how to fix it.
  3. Figure out how to not make the mistake in the future.
  4. Admit the mistake to the client, if necessary.

I recall you mentioning at a seminar that you were unaware of the "women's 3RM is closer to their 1RM than men's" phenomenon and made a handling error for a woman at a weightlifting meet.

How did you get over that? It mentally burns me when I screw up something as a coach.

Mark Rippetoe

You learn from the mistake and grow as a coach. Obviously. People who can't admit they were wrong are cowards.

Mr Wilson

This rings true in all aspects of life, not just coaching. Any person who won't admit when they have made a mistake, is someone destined to stunt their growth as a human being.

Mark Rippetoe

Not to mention their credibility.


When I interview a potential new hire, I always ask them "Can you give me an example of a mistake you made and how you handled it?"

There's no real "right" answer but I want to hear something about "I communicate it, I escalate it, I fix it if possible, I figure out why it happened and how to keep it from happening again." That kind of thing. When people can't think of mistakes or give a kind of wishy-washy answer I know that they're either liars or idiots

Best of the Forum

Soreness relationship to intermediate

Does the amount of soreness you experience have any correlation to your readiness for intermediate programming? I started linear progression (LP) in January squatting 135 and got to about 300 with no noticeable soreness after the first few workouts. I am up to 335 squats now, and from 300-335 I started getting extremely sore between workouts, to the point where occasionally the soreness affects my form detrimentally. The squats recently have contained many more "grind it out" reps than previously. I've noticed similar phenomena on bench press (232.5 lbs) with chesticle soreness.

Noting has changed in my diet either. I've gone from 215 to 247 lbs since January 1. 24 year old male.

Mark Rippetoe

If soreness was an indicator of intermediate status, all CrossFitters would be intermediate. Soreness is the result of eccentric loading, and persistent soreness is the result of the lack of recovery, most often related to an inadequate protein intake. Count your protein intake, and make sure you're getting at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. What might have been adequate previously may well be inadequate as you approach the limits of 48-hour recovery.


As Rip said, it's due to eccentric loading and lack of sufficient protein /macros.

I would venture that the OP's reps are slowing down as the weight on the bar is going up resulting in increased time under tension and more soreness. He has probably also kept his diet around the same (as only a minority of lifters routinely schedule adjustments to their food intake [here's looking at you Jordan]) as when he began LP.

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