Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 29, 2016

Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • Internships: Beau Bryant & Eric Shugars join the podcast to discuss the very successful internship program at Westminster S&C.

Under the Bar

ramin hook grip 340x5 Ramin S. works on his hook grip with 340x5 at Horn Strength & Conditioning in Los Angeles. [photo courtesy of Paul Horn]
Nigel Greene pulls a PR 500# Nigel Greene pulls a PR 500# on his 49th birthday. [photo courtesy of Nigel Greene]
troy may 405 deadlift Troy May - Aasgaard Company, Asia - deadlifts 405. [photo courtesy of Troy May]
laura deadlift set up Laura, eyeing her prey as she sets up for the deadlift. [photo courtesy of Feral Fitness]
Shu trains for ultimate frisbee Starting Strength Coach Diego Socolinsky coaches a new lifter through his work set. Shu trains to get stronger for ultimate frisbee. [photo courtesy of FiveX3 Training]
Hector Duenas III works on his squat 12-year-old Hector Duenas III works on his squat in his garage gym. [photo courtesy of Hector Duenas Jr]
Inna Koppel coaches women using the SS method Starting Strength Coach Inna Koppel coaches women using the SS method at her all-women facility on Long Island, NY. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
squatting after acl repair Karson squats 295lbs for 3 sets of 5 on his LP five months after having his ACL replaced. His rehabilitation started one month after surgery with 3 sets of 5 using a 25lb bar. [photo courtesy of Silverback S&C]

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Best of the Week

Training with a Stent

My father and I are going to purchase equipment for a home gym in the upcoming months. He would like for me to train him.

He had a stent put in last year and his cardiologist advised him not to do any big effort. Can he perform the basic lifts with a stent? Also, can he perform HIIT intervals on the airdyne?

He is 62, 5 ft 11 in. 175 pounds, skinny fat with no previous history of strength training. He has diabetes and had a heart attack in his mid 40s.

Mark Rippetoe

I know of no reason why he would die the first time he performed a squat with an empty bar, and I know of no reason why he could not then adapt to 50 pounds and safely squat that weight. And then 55. And then 60. Etc. I may be wrong. Has he been advised to never do anything with his stent?


I had a stent put in after a full blown MI two years ago at 58, and got just the opposite advice. Exercise every day. I've been lifting seriously for a year and a half now, and have never experienced any problems. I had a follow-up stress test a few months ago, and have lessened my odds of another MI from 50% in the first 3 years to 4% in the next 10. I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I'd suggest your dad get another opinion. Both the Canadian and American Heart Associations emphasize daily exercise.

Mark Rippetoe

The problem is that both the Canadian and American Heart Associations mean "walking" or maybe "jogging" when they say "exercise."

lou t

I had 2 stents in the main artery 5 years ago at 55. My cardiologist suggested I not do any strenuous activity for 90 days or so. Weight training, he felt is fine just don't strain. I took 1 year before I started serious strength training again. I have been lifting heavy now for about 2 years. I go for a checkup every 6 months, nuclear stress every 2 years.

Even though my doc doesn't approve of the kind of heavy lifting I'm doing, he knows he's not going to talk me out of it.

I've come off all med's except a statin and aspirin.

Best of the Forum

Working around idiots

My son expressed some interest in lifting weights and I started him on your program this fall. Before we began, we had mandatory viewing of the Starting Strength video. I also have all your books, so I'm well versed in the plan.

Now he is getting ready to play high school baseball. Unfortunately his coach (who is a full time phys. ed and yoga teacher has the boys at mandatory weight training two times a week. I shit you not...this is the program he has the boys on:

  • They start with sprints
  • Then they do 200 reps of abs (various exercises--mostly crunches)
  • 1 set of bench press
  • 1 set of squats
  • 1 set of curls
  • 1 set of tricep extensions
  • 1 set of dumbbell rows
  • 1 set of wrist curls
  • 1 set of overhead press
  • 1 set of cleans
  • 1 set of pushups
  • 1 set of pullups

This seems like an utter waste of time to me and I'm not sure how to proceed. Continue the SS program as written without variation? Encourage the kid to quit baseball (kidding)? Have the coach killed? Please advise.

Mark Rippetoe

Do you know what the term "sandbagging" means?

John Petrizzo

I deal with this all the time with the kids I train. Almost all of them have to go to the weight room under the guide of their sports coach at some point during the year. The programs are invariably worthless. I tell them to go and do the absolute bear minimum necessary to keep the coach happy without compromising their recovery for their actual training. This usually works out pretty well.

The only thing that bothers me is the fact that I am sure many of these coaches think their programs work great when the kids performance on the field improves dramatically, when in reality, it has much more to do with the fact that their squat strength has doubled.

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