Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 17, 2022

Deadline Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Kimchi, Rip's Race Car, and Astigmatisms – Rip answers questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • Simple, Hard & Effective. How Starting Strength Gyms Are Designed – Ever wonder why all Starting Strength Gyms look practically identical? Simple, hard, and effective. The thought process put into the Starting Strength method directly translates into the gyms themselves. Every detail is precise, down to the floor transitions. Every piece of equipment is custom-made in the USA. When you break down a Starting Strength Gym, they're a work of art.
  • Ray's Presentation from the '22 Gyms Conference – SS Gyms Co-Founder, Ray Gillenwater, addresses the Owners and Coaches at the 2022 Gyms Conference with a few important updates and announcements.
  • Don’t Be an Idiot by Amanda Sheppard – I have learned many things over the course of my career as a strength coach, which is just under a decade. Some were harder lessons...
  • Why You Won't Do the Program, Part 6 by Mark Rippetoe – And after all, why would you listen to a fat man tell you about a fitness program? Aren't fit people skinny? Isn't that the point of exercise...
  • Weekend Archives: The Cheerleader, the Consultant, and the Coach by Carl Raghavan – All sorts of people in the fitness industry are quick to call themselves a coach. It’s a great way to make themselves seem more legit...
  • Weekend Archives: Strength vs. Endurance: Why Are You Wasting Your Time in the Gym? by Mark Rippetoe – When you consult a medical person about exercise, the standard recommendation amounts to a prescription for a certain number of minutes per day or per week...

From the Coaches
  • Getting fat to get strong? What to do if you're a skinny fat novice on this week's Weights & Plates podcast.
  • Gripping the bar for the Olympic lifts shouldn't be complicated, but there are a few simple things you must do to ensure you're getting the most out of your lifts. Phil Meggers explains and demonstrates in this video, which is the third in Testify's series on the correct grip for each lift.
  • Applying the Starting Strength moment model to the sumo deadlift in this week's PRS 10 minute tip.
  • Leg drive in the bench press: forgetting to use your legs when you bench or just not sure how? Let's fix it fast. Phil Meggers discusses and demonstrates how in this video, the fourth in Testify's series of Saturday Shorts on fixing the bench.
  • Lowering the deadlift back to the ground should be the easiest part of the lift, but for many lifters - usually newer lifters, but not always - this portion of the lift presents some difficulties. Phil Meggers presents a few simple solutions . . . with the help of The Princess Bride.
  • Understanding Chiropractic Care and strength training through a clinical coach's lens on the PRS podcast.
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In the Trenches

jeff warming up his bench at starting strength boston
Jeff warming up to bench 3 sets of 5 reps each at 260 lb at Starting Strength Boston. He came close — only missing the last rep on his third set. [photo courtesy of Michael Shammas]
shreya pulls 200 in cincinnati
Starting Strength Cincinnati member Shreya pulls 200 while her father and fellow member Sivarama looks on. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
john works with laura on the squat platform at wfac
John works with Laura during the squat platform session at the Starting Strength Seminar this past Saturday at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
paul pulls a set of five deadlifts in his novice progression
Paul continues his novice linear progression as he gets set to pull a set of five reps at 69 kg at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
steve cleans 142 for a triple in tulsa
Steve at Starting Strength Tulsa cleans 142 for three as he focuses on staying out over the bar. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
carl raghavan teaches hip drive at a starting strength training camp in munich
Carl Raghavan teaches hip drive to Marco at last weekend's Starting Strength training camp in Munich. [photo courtesy of Jochen Steinmaier]
carl cues the active shrug at the top of the press
Carl coaches JM to use an active shrug for the press lockout. [photo courtesy of Jochen Steinmaier]
cincinnati open house group photo
5 visitors, 5 new members. Guests at the most recent Starting Strength Cincinnati Open House took a second to grab a picture with owner Luke Schroeder. [photo courtesy of Adam Martin]
douglas the border collie poses at wfac
Douglas poses for a portrait at WFAC during Starting Strength Seminar downtime. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week

Chinups-To-Failure questions


In May of 2008 you defined here what chin-ups to Failure means: "Failure" means not getting your chin over the bar.

Do you see any benefit in keeping records of how much of the last rep one was able to do? Like saying 9.75 or 9.25 or 9 reps, depending on how far the chin traveled, if any, in the path from the very bottom to the very top?

In the last rep, do you see any benefit in holding statically until "static failure" in the position where one could not continue going upward any further?

Mark Rippetoe

Fleischman, you ask really stupid questions. It's an assistance exercise. What difference does it make if you got 9.25, 9.5, or 9.75 reps if you didn't get 10? Have you actually read any of the books?

Best of the Forum

Hot and Cold - Stress or Recovery?


I tried saunas and cold showers to aid recovery for years. I feel they were actually mini stress events which added nothing (at best) in my endeavors to lifting more weight. Better sleep and more food took care of that.


1) Why do so many elite sports teams and ex phys journals promote the values of hot and cold therapy because I’m really not sure the theory transfers into reality.

2) In my experience, a hot bath does a better job of deeply relaxing the muscles than a sauna. Sauna after effects made me feel tired in an energetically drained way but the bath made me feel “bone deep super relaxed”. Why is this so and am I alone in observing this?

Mark Rippetoe

1. This is Athletic Trainer mythology. My experience was the same as yours: a serious contrast shower is very stressful, and actually made me break a cold sore on several occasions (I was rather dense). Same as ice bags all over athlete's knees and shoulders -- seems like it ought to help, but it really doesn't. But the momentum is there, and they're going to keep doing it.

2. I haven't had a bath in years, so I don't remember. I like saunas, but I don't have one so I don't get to use it.

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