Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 21, 2016

Training Log
  • In Defense of The Squat For Old People, Nick Delgadillo counters the loud minority of Internet Fitness Experts (IFEs) who claim that the squat is of limited use and, in some cases, downright dangerous.
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From the Coaches

Under the Bar

mean ol mr gravity Mean Ol' Mr. Gravity at altitude. [photo courtesy of Redacted]
Jan Mayheu deadlifts Jan Mayheu deadlifts 160 lbs at 6 weeks into her pregnancy. [photo courtesy of Tim Mayheu]
Elisha Graff pulls 275x2 Elisha Graff pulls 275x2 in the WSC barbell club. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
Bob deadlifts 305# Bob, age 63, deadlifts 305# for a set of five with a hook grip. [photo courtesy of FiveX3 Training]
Louise learns the press Louise learns the press during Fivex3 Training's Starting Strength Training Camp held last Sunday in Baltimore. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinksy]
Brice Collier pulls 315lb Brice Collier pulls 315lb for the first time since cutting down to 180 lb from 210 bodyweight. [photo courtesy of Brice Collier]
barbara taylor uspa champion Barbara Taylor, 58, took 1st place in her age group, 2nd place in the open division, and was awarded Best Lifter in the masters division at the USPA California State Championships. Pictured here with her handlers, Paul Horn and Ness Oszast of Horn Strength and Conditioning. [photo courtesy of Paul Horn]
Carson Lauffer pulls 335 lbs Carson Lauffer pulls 335 lbs for a new personal record at 69 years young at Greysteel Strength and Conditioning in Farmington, MI. [photo courtesy of Jonathon Sullivan]
Chris Kurisko hands off 225lb Chris Kurisko hands off 225lb to Lewis Strong at the latest Starting Strength Training Camp in Michigan. [photo courtesy of Chris Kurisko]
Vanessa Bessa deadlifts 155 Retired combat medic Vanessa Bessa deadlifts 155. Training is part of her recovery from injuries sustained from a car bomb while on duty. [photo courtesy of Chris Kurisko]

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Best of the Week

Why is icing suggested for injuries?

I iced a lot on my surgeries, I was told to do this to keep the inflammation down. Going through #4 now. I have a always been curious, if inflammation is your bodies natural way of healing by sending blood and nutrients, etc. to the injured area, why would you want to stop this by icing? Is it better in the long run to ice for other reasons and that's why it’s suggested?

Mark Rippetoe

The only injury helped by icing is a muscle belly tear. It is essentially useless for anything else, unless you just like the way it feels. I don't think there's any evidence that icing actually interrupts or otherwise mediates the inflammatory process. Will/John/Sully?

Will Morris

Takagi, R, et al. Influence of Icing on Muscle Regeneration After Crush Injury to Skeletal Muscles in Rats. J of App Phys. February 1, 2011 vol. 110 no. 2 382-388

To sum this up, the researchers found the icing group actually showed decreased essential markers for inflammation and remodeling. This is not to be taken as a positive finding.

Use it for the local numbing effect. Nothing else. Don't overuse it.


Why is it good for muscle belly tears?

Mark Rippetoe

Probably because it constricts the bleeding. Possibly because it promotes blood perfusion as the tissue tries to warm itself after the bleeding has stopped.

Will Morris

N=1 case study. I know ice isn't much of a benefit for acute inflammation, other than the analgesic effect from the area becoming numb. That said, I had a lot of swelling after my elbow surgery, and once I was able, I put a warm compress on it just to see what would happen. I thought potentially it would increase the compliance of tight tissue, perhaps help with the swelling, and might make range of motion exercises easier to perform. I put the warm compress on for 8 minutes, and about 30 minutes after I took it off, my arm looked like Greg Valentino's arms. The increase in swelling was amazing. So, based on my findings, I'd say stay away from warm compresses during the acute inflammation stage.

Best of the Forum

Thank you – Tom Campitelli and Jordan Feigenbaum

I wanted to write and acknowledge the outstanding "mega camp" put on by Tom and Jordan in Melbourne, Australia this weekend. I've been lifting on my own since I read the Good Book, and have never been formally coached or had form critiqued other than by myself on the sets I endlessly video. I thought I was making reasonable progress technically, but couldn't pass up an opportunity to have everything fixed by the gold-standard bearers.

Whilst I'm happy to say no dramatics were required, the small changes to stance/grip width/sequencing in real-time, being encouraged at the right times and being validated by coaches as credentialed as these two individuals has dramatically improved my trust in my execution of the lifts.

More than my own gainzZz, what was particularly impressive was the ease with which the coaches molded their messages depending on the confidence (and competence) of the attendees. There was considerable variation in age, anthropometry, experience and current strength level - none of these variables would have been known to the coaches beforehand, and none of that posed a problem despite the exigencies of time.

The theory parts of the lecture were handled with panache by Tom and Jordan, who found a way to deliver the key messages about the model and its effectiveness whilst (I know that word is your pet peeve at the moment, Mark) being scrupulous in keeping to time.

The barriers to attendance included the AUD exchange rate and the timing of the camp on a long weekend. Suffice it to say, it was worth every penny for such high quality instruction. I hope future camps and possibly even a full seminar will be stewarded in Melbourne by these 2 gentlemen. They are sterling ambassadors of the Starting Strength brand and the coaching credential.


I was lucky enough to attend one of the camps in Sydney as well as a private coaching session with Tom a couple of days earlier.

I'd organized the session with Tom to work on my Power Cleans and Bench Press (lifts not covered in the camp). I don't think it's going to come as a surprise to anyone that I found Tom to be an awesome coach, able to identify and fix issues quickly and simply and give me good cues to rectify. He fixed my Power Clean/Deadlift set up from the floor with about 3 words.

As for the camp, it was amazing to me just how much stuff we covered in only 9 hours.

All of the lecture component was very detailed and interesting but at the same time, simply and logically presented such that someone with a non-scientific background (me!) found it easy enough to follow along and take notes for future reference.

The coaching provided by Jordan and Tom was simple, quick and easy to follow. As with shombre, I’m happy that no dramatic fixes were required, but all the little tweaks (set up, grip, stance width etc) were precisely what I’d hoped for in having experienced coaches watching my lifting.

A massive thank you to Tom and Jordan for making the trip to Australia. I'm glad I attended and will proceed with my lifting with more confidence.

If you get a chance to work with either Tom or Jordan, take it.


I attended the February 18 Sydney Sunday workshop and was impressed by the level of analysis and coaching competence. With 2 or 3 subtle cues and seemingly minor individual adjustments my three lifts were dramatically improved. As a perpetual novice my initial interest was in ensuring my lifts were safe and stable, and this was more than achieved.

Some insights for those considering a seminar:

  1. As a long time observer of trainers/coaches in various gyms in Sydney the superior expertise was clear and obvious.
  2. High quality coaches were supplemented by high quality participants. The group on the day was a mix of rationally minded recreational and aspiring competitors and even some other trainers. All of who had great scientific, personal and professional insights they were able to share over the day. A great unexpected bonus.

Also Jordan's got a pretty good chance of dominating the open mic exercise physiology standup comedy scene, wherever he decides to start it. Laughter being great medicine, just normally not to be applied when you're pressing.

Thanks, Tom and Jordan, and other participants. A highly beneficial experience. Please come back to Sydney.

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