Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 08, 2016

  • Nicholas Racculia delivers part 2 of Training Optimality Tested, analysing of training log data from the Starting Strength forums.
  • From the archives this week: The Leg Press. Rip explains how the leg press can be a valuable tool.
Training Log
  • Rip on Doctors and Exercise Advice:
    "Every day, I deal with the nonsense promulgated by doctors practicing outside their expertise."
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #19: Tom Campitelli joins Ask Rip to deliver hard hitting questions on cannibalism and the classic film, The Last Picture Show.

Under the Bar

squat bottom position stretch Coach Arin teaches the young boys of WSC, starting with the squat bottom position. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
bob learning barbell lifts At the age of 78, Bob decided he wanted to start to start training with the barbell. He bought THE book, started reading it and contacted FiveX3 Training to help "into practice what he [Rip] is preaching." [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
jake umholtz deadlift Jake Umholtz deadlifts 350x5 as he trains to get strong for football and powerlifting. [photo courtesy of Black Iron Training]
rip nick ft worth strength Last weekend Rip and Nick Delgadillo held a squat workshop for the staff of Fort Worth Strength & Conditioning. (1 of 3) [photo courtesy of Darin Deaton]
rippetoe coaches the squat Rip coaches the squat at the training event in Ft. Worth. (2 of 3) [photo courtesy of Darin Deaton]
training the squat After the theory was explained, everyone got under the bar to go through the teaching method and train the squat. (3 of 3) [photo courtesy of Darin Deaton]

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Best of the Week

Post Operative Barbell Rehab
Will Morris

On 6 January I underwent a triple right elbow surgical procedure consisting of a posterior elbow arthroscopy with osteophyte excision, a right Ulnar Collateral Ligament (Tommy John) reconstruction, and a right ulnar nerve anterior transposition, as well as a Palmaris Longus tendon harvest from the left forearm (I have an anatomical variance where I did not have a Palmaris Longus in the right arm). After surgery, I was placed in a bulky, posterior elbow splint locking me at 90 degrees of elbow flexion and a short arm cast on the left arm.

The first three days immediately post-op were pretty awful. The swelling in the posterior and medial elbow was legendary. I also had an ulnar nerve injury during the surgery, and it produced a fairly wicked neuralgia, coupled with pronounced weakness in the hand. At 5 days post-op, I had the surgical splint discontinued, and I was placed in a Bledsoe elbow brace with a range of motion lock and valgus stabilizing bar. Much like all post-post-op patients, I began with range of motion, and truthfully, my elbow didn't move a whole lot after the surgery. I spent the next week working on getting a functional range of motion (still can't wipe my own ass, wash my hair, or shave with my right hand).

This brings me to just about 2 weeks post-op. I started squatting, using only as much weight as I could balance on my back without causing any medial elbow pain. I started off with a weird Hulk Hogan like pose with my left arm in the standard position and my right arm (in the brace) extended as much as possible and resting my hands on the plates. My first day in, I was only able to squat 225 for sets of 5. The first couple of sessions, I could not bench the empty bar, so I used the (drops head in shame) Smith Machine with 5s on each side, and I was only able to pull 45# off the floor on deadlift.

I have been training most days, and after speaking to you, I bumped up to two a days. Today I was able to easily manage 315 on squats for sets across of 5s, and I was able to deadlift 135 for a set of 5, and bench 75 for sets across of 5s.

For clarification, for my particular situation, the rules of engagement are as follows:

  1. posterior elbow pain is of no concern.
  2. any medial elbow pain during any activity will cause me to immediately stop and wait a week before attempting that again.
  3. I am not doing any upper extremity training to the level of fatigue in order to keep from damaging the ulnar nerve any further.
Mark Rippetoe

Excellent progress, Will. Keep us posted as you Walk the Walk.

Best of the Forum

Osteopathologist advice on squats

Recently I was talking to an Osteopathologist and long story short, I told her about my gym exercises. When she heard the word squat she freaked out and she told me that it's the worst exercise for my back. After she finished, I told her that it actually makes me feel better when I complete my sets and she responded that the exercise is placing all the weight in the lumbar discs and that in the long run it will cause problems to the area.

My feeling is that she translated the problem into math: squat=body+bar

So, because bar is on the body and body is kept by lumbar discs: squat=problem.

Can somebody with knowledge on the subject enlighten me about her claims?

She told me exactly that: "the weight is sitting on the lumbar discs. You may not feel it now but after some years you will have problems with your back".

Mark Rippetoe

You propose to educate a terminally-degreed doctor on the adaptive aspects of the human stress/recovery response? You? A mere lay person? You are about to learn something yourself.

  1. Osteopathic physicians are regular old physicians with manual medicine training.
  2. Some are more knowledgeable about biomechanics than others
  3. I am an Osteopathic Physician (Hospitalist) who trained other physicians on Osteopathic Principles and Practices for about a decade
  4. Yep, doesn't know what she's taking about. But then, you'd be shocked at how many physicians routinely talk out of their ass with no evidence to support their claims.
Mark Rippetoe

I have a lot of respect for freshly trained DOs. I have learned quite a bit about manual therapy from them over the years. They often have a much better approach to diagnosis and analysis than MDs. The problems start when they forget their manual training and shift their practice to mirror the SOP of MDs.

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