Starting Strength Weekly Report

September 19, 2022

Contrast Edition

  • Registration is now open for Fivex3 Training's 2022 Stronger Together Partners Meet in Baltimore, MD. Sign up
On Starting Strength
  • Testosterone and Depression – Rip and Trevor Rachko discuss the benefits testosterone can have for someone with depression and the downsides of taking SSRIs.
  • Back Extension in the Squat – Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi explains some common errors with back position during the squat and how to fix them with new lifters.
  • Nutrition Priorities For Strength Trainees – Ray sits down with Nick Delgadillo to discuss nutrition for strength training.
  • Getting Strong by Jim Steel – The TENS unit (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), is losing battery as I drive down the road. I can tell this is happening because...
  • The Importance of Mindset by Michael Jones – “What happened on rep 5?” I ask my lifter, after yelling at him to reach back in the bottom of his last rep, then watching his technique fall apart. “I dunno...
  • Weekend Archives: Swogger's Revenge by Matthew Swogger – On 11 June 2004, around midnight, I fell 40 feet off a building and broke my back. Since that time, I have been through an interesting rehabilitation...
  • Weekend Archives: Pajama Boy Redux: The Male in Modern Society by Mark Rippetoe – The route from Beowulf to Pajama Boy has been a very long downhill slide. Popular culture has always shaped our standards and expectations...

From the Coaches
  • Do these three things to get yourself into the strongest position at the bottom of your squat. Phil Meggers explains in this short video.
  • Fix these three errors for a stronger and more efficient deadlift. Phil and Becky Meggers explain and demonstrate as Addy, Anna, Milo, and Parker all help out.
  • Episode #11: Integrating Physical Therapy and Strength Training – Learn how SSC Dr. Rori Alter, PT, PRSCC integrated being a barbell coach with her practice of physical therapy to level it up.
  • What is a box squat, how do you perform it, and why might you do box squats or where might you see them in your programming? Phil Meggers explains in Testify's weekly article that comes out every Friday.
  • Wrist pain while squatting is not uncommon but it’s not something you need to experience forever. Join the Progressive Rehab & Strength Podcast for a discussion of why you have wrist pain with squats and how to fix it.
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In the Trenches

justin locks out a lifetime pr deadlift at starting strength cincinnati
Starting Strength Cincinnati member Justin pulls a lifetime PR under the guidance of Head Coach Adam Martin. [photo courtesy of Lucas Schroeder]
francesca heon squatting at starting strength tulsa
Francesca Heon, owner of Starting Strength Tulsa, squatting big! [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
cody power cleans 75 for triples at testify strength and conditioning
Cody power cleans 75 kg for triples at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Cody doesn't know it yet, but he's going to be lifting in the annual Christmas Classic weightlifting meet, which will be held at Testify on December 3rd. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
andrew lewis coaches the squat grip at a starting strength training camp
Andrew Lewis shows some cues and details to getting the grip right in the squat at the Starting Strength Squat & Deadlift Camp held at SS Tulsa this past weekend. Mistakes with the grip can lead to elbow tendonitis. No elbows hurt after this camp. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
will focuses on setting his knees to the correct position in the squat
Will focuses on getting his knees forward, not too far out, in the squat at the training camp in Tulsa. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
clay locks out a deadlift warmup at a starting strength training camp
Clay locks out his second warm up of deadlifts during the Squat & Deadlift camp. Andrew watches to make sure Clay puts the bar back down over the midfoot. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
shreya deadlifting at starting strength cincinnati in her second week of training
Shreya caps off her second week of training at Starting Strength Cincinnati with coaching from Camisha Noble. [photo courtesy of Lucas Schroeder]

Best of the Week

Has anyone attended a seminar that was sponsored by a public safety agency?


Have you had anyone attend a seminar or become a SS Coach that was sponsored by a public safety agency? e.g Police, Fire, EMS, so on. With the idea they would instruct their agency on how to perform the movements?

I am tempted to get my feet wet with the administration and see if they would pay for me to attend. We don’t have anyone who is qualified to teach barbell movements. We have 2 gyms but they will buy more “cardio” equipment as the whole mindset is we just “need to run.” The department has paid for stranger things in the past so me pitching the idea isn’t crazy.

I am seeing if you have any suggestions or ideas on this idea. Or if you had anyone in the past mention anything to you.

Mark Rippetoe

We have had several agencies send people to the seminar over the years. Before they ask, there is no discount.

Best of the Forum

question about getting into the strength training industry


My question for Mark is: if he was starting over today (meaning just starting out in strength training) where would he begin, would he still do the same things, and where does he see the greatest opportunities for the future?

I'm asking because I'm looking to change careers. Im almost 50 yrs old and I was thinking about getting into strength training and conditioning. I've worked in psychology for 10+ yrs and then switched over to investments and trading for another 10 yrs. However, what I’ve learned in business or at least in our financial system is that it’s all BS and fraud. One big ponzi scheme, as I feel all of our systems are now. It was probably always this way but now the powers that be just don't seem to care anymore about hiding that fact (probably b/c we as a country are bankrupt-financially, morally, ethically, and spiritually). That being said I've always admired you for your bluntness and honesty about things as well as your lifting methods. I've lifted for years and I must tell you as I've told many others before that your method works. Bar none and that's why I use it. There's a lot of garbage out there. Back in the earlier days I find This was not the case with strength training. There was a lot less information but what information was available seemed to work. Anyways, I was just wondering what you would do in my shoes or what advice or direction you could point me in? Thank you again for your time and advice. I really appreciate it.

Mark Rippetoe

Tell us about your training history.


I can relate to the OP, 45yo here (turn 46 this summer), and I'm burnt out on my current professional career plus the office I work in is all about the covid drama (I'll never forget seeing my boss wearing a face shield, mask, and gloves when "he" made a rare venture into the office where I was maskless and fine) and they recently announced that they've hired a diversity consultant. Yay! I just don't fit in there anymore. I'm also the only person who kept coming to the office to work throughout the entire covid drama and I've never been tested or jabbed despite all of the propaganda thrown my way through work emails (free personal day for anyone who shows HR proof of vaccination!!!!). How insulting that my concerns over the shot are so trivial that they would be swept aside at the thought of a day off of work. Unbelievable. It's like I've been living in a twilight zone episode since late March 2020.

Anyway, I fantasize about ditching the cubicle for the coaching life but the nearest SS gym is too far for me to drive to and from during the week. Honestly, after a full day of work I'm done mentally. It drains me. Are "weekends only" apprenticeships a thing? Am I too old for this shit? I don't want to enter an industry that will just cast me aside in 5 years either. As for training history, other than the obligatory bodybuilder type of training we've all done, I've trained seriously for strength since 2013 starting with Wendler's 5/3/1 of course. Through the years I've paid for coaching from RTS and others and I attended a SS seminar in 2017. Currently I get personalized programming from Andy Baker.

Mark Rippetoe

The reason I asked about training history – Mike hasn't responded, so we know his situation – is that you cannot coach what you haven't done yourself. We currently have no weekend-only apprenticeships, but you don't have to intern at a SS Gym to obtain the certification. You do, however, have to be actively coaching the method. When you accumulate the experience, sit for the exam and then think about your options.

What Makes a Good Coach?

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