Starting Strength Weekly Report

September 21, 2015


SS Coaches' Updates & Blogs

Under the Bar

press teaching starting strength seminar Dana Zilber oversees a press platform at the Brooklyn Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
strength training programming Jordan Feigenbaum leads the Starting Strength Seminar programming lecture with a discussion of the stress/recovery/adaptation cycle. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
squat training starting strength Phil, age 64, squats 230x4x4 at Chicago Strength & Conditioning as he trains for the Starting Strength Fall Classic. [photo courtesy of David Abdemoulaie]
charm city strongwoman events The 2105 Charlotte Bohn Charm City Strongwoman Memorial Contest was a great success, raising over $19,000 for the Susan Cohan Colon Cancer Foundation. Events included a truck pull, press medley, deadlift medley, stone over bar and keg relay. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
charm city strongwoman winners Christina Tyrrell of Westminster Strength and Conditioning (left) won 1st place in the Lightweight Novice division. Kelly Adams of Fivex3 Training (right) won 1st place in the Lightweight Open Division. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
deadlift pr 390.5 Cassandra Garcilaso locks out a new PR of 390.5 at the SPF/GPC World Championships on September 13th in Las Vegas. [photo courtesy of Cassandra Garcilaso]

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Best of the Week

Gout and lifting

Last week I woke up with excruciating pain in my foot. It's still there to some degree and my doctor has said it's gout due to my high protein diet. I also have psoriasis, which means my uric acid levels are higher than the average person to begin with, so my doctor said that a high protein diet is bad news for me. However, I have done some Googling and I came across an article '10 myths about gout' and according to that high protein is not a problem but the source of the protein is. It says that meat will cause a big rise in uric acid but plant based protein will not due to its alkalinity. Is it possible to get as strong eating chickpeas and hemp, etc as it would if I were to eat meat? I would like to keep getting stronger but gout pain is unbearable. Also, I've heard that a palm full of protein should be eaten at each meal but would this same rule apply for plant based protein as I think they contain less protein than meat?


I was here with the same issue about half a year ago. For me the gout is rather "special" because I'm 27. Some advice was given to me, and I'll just try to pass on what works for me:

  1. Every gout is different. Different people react to different things. Find what's your problem, think what did you eat / drink the day before you woke up with a red tennis ball instead of your toe.
  2. Beware the sweets, or fructose in particular. Fructose seems to be a big deal in elevating UA. I found out sweet is what triggers the attack for me.
  3. When in acute phase - diclofenac works the best. Also, elevation and heat. Heat helps to dissolve the crystals in joints, which is the inflammation trigger.
  4. Meat is often not such a problem as doctors tell us.
  5. The real deal is not really the joints / foot, it's the kidneys. Kidneys don't like high uric acid levels.

Also, allopurinol can deal with the shit and I have no problems training. And hey, uric acid acts like a strong antioxidant and high blood levels are associated with considerably lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Welcome aboard.


Like you, OP, I have high uric acid levels (per my yearly blood work) and have been dealing with gout for years (47 y.o. male, family history as well). Early on, I found that eating a healthy serving of pineapple or cherries daily or every other day (or drinking 10 oz tart cherry juice) managed the gout flares pretty well to the point that they never impacted my training. I've also found that with the pineapple, cherries or cherry juice, I haven't had to modify my diet in the least and eat beef 5-7 days/week. Give it a try before you swear off meat.

Best of the Forum

I am training for a military-associated assessment, and I have a question
Matt Rippetoe

I've been doing Texas Method for two months now and have yet to stall. However, I need to train for a test consisting of the general push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, etc. I'll be training for this for a couple of months, but I don't want to lose the strength I've gained. I watched the roundtable on military programming, and I believe I heard that Bill Starr used an "in-season" program as follows:

  • Monday - Squat
  • Tuesday - Bench/Press
  • Wednesday - Deadlift

I'm just wondering if this is the general idea, or if there's anything else I should know.

Mark Rippetoe

I think you'll find that all the military guys on this board will tell you the same thing: the test is cake if you're strong. And if you interrupt getting strong to train for the test, the test won't go as well.

Read: Why Does the Army Want Me Weak?

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