Starting Strength Weekly Report

September 12, 2022

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In the Trenches

lauren at the bottom of a squat at a self-sufficient lifter camp
Lauren at the bottom of a squat during last weekend's Self-Sufficient Lifter camp at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
nick delgadillo coaching bob into the correct press grip
Nick Delgadillo working Bob into the press grip during the demonstration of the lift at Saturday's camp. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
christine snatches 65 kg at testify strength and conditioning
Christine snatches 65 kg at Testify Strength & Conditioning as she continues her preparation for Testify's Christmas Classic weightlifting meet, which will be held on December 3rd. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
coach adam martin watches kumar lock out the last deadlift rep at starting strength cincinnati
Head Coach Adam Martin watches as Kumar locks out the last rep of his deadlifts. Kumar joined Starting Strength Cincinnati 2 months ago and loves the support he receives from the gym community. [photo courtesy of Lucas Schroeder]
chris coaches dave into the correct deadlift start position
At Starting Strength Chicago, Chris coaches Dave into the correct deadlift start position as his training partners look on. Saturdays are for deadlifting! [photo courtesy of Alex Ptacek]
cameron pulls a work set of deadlifts at starting strength tulsa
Cameron, a founding member of Starting Strength Tulsa, pulls his work set of deadlifts as Darin watches to make sure the bar stays in contact with Cameron’s legs. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
starting strength boston's newest member working on deadlift form
Here’s Chris, Starting Strength Boston’s newest member, working on proper deadlift form. He received a “Starting Strength Intro Package” gift certificate from friends and loves the program. His training goal is to build a foundation of strength for overall health. [photo courtesy of Michael Shammas]
michael prepares to pull a deadlift personal record at starting strength cincinnati
Michael prepares to pull a lifetime PR at Starting Strength Cincinnati. [photo courtesy of Lucas Schroeder]

Best of the Week

Opinion on MX-5?

Nick Klemetson

Hey Rip.

Long time, no chat. I hope all is well.

I was just wondering what your opinion was on the car I ended up choosing recently. Years ago, I remember you had a 3/4 ton diesel and a BMW.

My only requirements were a convertible and a manual transmission. I tried 4 series BMW convertibles, and the Z roadster, but they either weren't manuals or the price wasn't right.

I started searching through other models. I was looking for something small and agile where I could throw the top down and head to the beach or lake. I ended up settling for the smallest of all, a 2018 Mazda MX-5. I barely fit in, but I love it. It's the most fun I've ever had driving.

I'm just curious about your thoughts on the MX-5. Awesome roadster where fun-factor is the no. 1 priority? Or, glorified go-kart only suitable for teenage girls?

Mark Rippetoe

Hi, Nick. I've never owned a Mazda, never owned a two-seater, and I've never known anybody with an MX-5, so I have no opinion on it.


I have a 2002 NB Miata and drive it every day. It's much older than yours and I haven't driven any of the newer models but I can speak on the older ones. My thoughts are exactly as you said, the car is a blast to drive, handles well even with its stock and worn suspension. My car has the 1.8 with 142 HP so it makes less power than yours but it's also lighter so there is *some* equalizing there but what they lack in brute force they make up for in fun factor. No Miata, or MX-5 as they are now known, will be mistaken for a race car but the light weight, nimbleness and small size make them an extremely entertaining car to drive and they will surprise many higher HP cars in the right situation, such as an autocross track. I'm not very familiar with the newer engines but the old ones are as durable as you can get. All in all, they are terrific, fun cars and they never stop being fun. You're going to really like it. Even though they will never be a fast car, the old saying holds true here - it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow.


It's my favorite toy. A 2016 ND Club with BBS wheels and Brembo brakes. Not a chick's car. It's a driver's car. I went from a Cobra replica to this. Don't miss the Cobra but I do miss the V8 soundtrack.

Ray Gillenwater

It's considered to be the best bang for the buck driver's car on the road. Anyone I've met that has one raves about it. An auto-crosser's dream. They look much less effeminate these days. They'll surely become more of a cult-classic over time too. A naturally aspirated, lightweight car with a manual transmission and Japanese reliability? Hard to go wrong.

Best of the Forum

Help Mark, I think I might secretly be a coward


Hello, first a little bit of background about myself. I am 26 years young. I have a history of lifting through high school and played football. When I was 22 because I quit lifting seriously around that time and started doing work as a bouncer while in university and put my time into Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing as they were more appropriate to the work I was doing.Fast forward to now and I am back into lifting the whole hog. Started Starting Strength Novice Phase 1 in October.

Now here is my issue.

Yesterday I missed my Friday workout. I am in the process of applying to Law School and had to spend the day with some people going over some paperwork and references.

Today is the first day I failed. Today my working sets were to be as follows: Squat: 255, Press: 80, Deadlift: 300

I got into the gym, hit the bike for 10 minutes, did my warm up sets and....Hit my first working set of squats and I fucked it, I'm not sure what I did but I was only able to get 4 reps on my first set, even though earlier this week 250 felt fine (i even switched the app to only add 5lbs this time). This pissed me off so much I think I fucked up my next set as well I was only able to get 2 and on my last rep I heard my lower back crunch (kind of like when you play linebacker and meet the fullback or running back in the gap). I was so pissed off I moved on to the press, crushed those lifts and didn't even attempt my Deads today. I told myself I was worried about my back but now that I am home, I feel as though my ego was the only thing that got hurt.

So here is my question...Am I just a coward? Why did I fail at such a low weight? What do I do now...I already backed off the weight and I know the blue book says to attempt a weight for 2 workouts to account for a possible bad day but man am I pissed off.

Mark Rippetoe

Do today's workout on Monday. Stop being a coward. Finish all the sets and all the reps.

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