Starting Strength Weekly Report

April 26, 2021

Thieving Dogs Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Q&A Episode - Welcome to Starting Strength Network – Rip and Nick talk about the change to the Starting Strength Network and Rip answers questions from subscribers and fans.
  • Kathleen Improves Her Health and Improves Her Life – Kathleen, a member at Starting Strength Denver, discusses starting barbell training after cancer treatment, getting stronger and improving her physical existence, and learning to take charge of her health.
  • Racking the Power Clean – Starting Strength Coach Phil Meggers explains and demonstrates the proper rack position for the power clean.
  • Why I’m Opening Starting Strength Boston by Arthur Frontczak – Do you have the latest gadget? Does your vacuum clean the floor when you’re not there? Can your car park itself? How many screens can you watch a movie on at home? The latest technology...
  • The Ideal Image of a Woman by Inna Koppel – The barbell as a cultural icon representing strength has been unjustly assigned only to men. Although the benefits of barbell training to women are the same...
  • Weekend Archives: Protein and Barbell Training by Robert Santana – Most, if not all, strength trainees have been told at some point in their lifting careers that they need to consume protein to get stronger and build muscle mass...
  • Weekend Archives: A Clarification on the Squat Grip – Mark Rippetoe teaches the proper grip for the squat and addresses the misconception that the elbows should be way "up" and that the shoulder should be in over-extension for a secure and correct grip.

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

sol at the bottom of a front squat
Sol at the bottom position of a front squat at Starting Strength Denver. [photo courtesy of Amanda Sheppard]
alex about to pull a heavy set of five deadlifts
Alex about to pull a heavy set of five at Starting Strength Denver. [photo courtesy of Amanda Sheppard]
jesse cleans up his deadlift at the starting strength camp
Jesse cleans up his deadlift at the Squat and Deadlift Camp held at Starting Strength Houston last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week

Pros and Cons of Building a Home Gym


I thought I'd take the opportunity to provide my view of the pros and cons of having my own home gym (though not comparing this to a true black iron or Starting Strength Gym).

Pro: No waiting
Con: Waiting for 19-year-old girls doing crunches with 25# plates on their abs on the platform.

Pro: No waiting
Con: Waiting for people doing pull-ups on power racks when there are specific, usually vacant, dedicated pull-up bars elsewhere.

Pro: No drive to gym
Con: Having to drive to gym with concomitant loss of will in the morning.

Pro: Can bring any drink to the platform you feel like whenever you like.
Con: No officious employees pointing to the “No Food or Beverages Permitted” sign.

Pro: Garage refrigerator a few feet away
Con: No refrigerator

Pro: Not having to use liquid chalk.
Con: Wife still makes me use liquid chalk.

Pro: No 35# plates to contend with.
Con: 35# plates blocking the 45s.

Pro: No pretty girls to distract you.
Con: No pretty girls to distract you.

Pro: Can listen to any music you like (in my case the blessed silence of the morning).
Con: Having to listen to 70s disco music.

Pro: Can fart whenever you like.
Con: Tend to hold farts in or at least try, particularly if there are pretty (or even not-so-pretty girls around.

Pro: No one to interrupt you for stupid stuff when you’re in the middle of a heavy lift.
Con: Wife comes downstairs between 4th and 5th rep of a potential PR to remind you to take out the trash. Gets indignant that you’re even upset about it.

Pro: No one who "needs" to walk around you practically touching you without waiting for you to finish your set.Con: People putting their hands on you to reach for a 2-1/2# plate while you’re struggling with your last heavy squat rep.

Pro: No one talking to you.
Con: Some guy accusing me of “showing off”. ME with a 185# squat at the time.

Pro: You can buy whatever equipment you want.
Con: It’s always more expensive than you’d thought, especially when building the platform.

Pro: The ability to do different exercises at different times on the same day.
Con: See driving and waiting Cons.

Pro: Four day cycles aren't so problematic.
Con: See driving Con.

Pro: Doing something you love to do in blessed solitude.
Con: Doing something you love to do… alone.

Pro: Taking complete responsibility for doing your own work-outs with virtually no barriers.
Con: Not being able to pay others to do your work-outs for you.

Have I left anything out?


Mark Rippetoe

This is fairly comprehensive. Maybe the amusement provided by fools.


Points 1&8 are the most substantial cons to consider.

Best of the Forum

Power clean fundamentals


Is there much of a difference between a power clean and a deadlift to muscle clean? I can see performing a power clean might be more beneficial to an athlete but from a straight strength and mass building perspective is there much of a fundamental difference? The only difference I can come up with is maybe the fluid motion of a power clean with the correct form and the posture of the body would generate more torque and the ability to lift slightly heavier. But with the way you teach the lift with a jumping shrug motion is it fair to say performing a deadlift to muscle clean motion would be nearly as beneficial as the power clean, if not more effective because the technique would be easier to learn.

Mark Rippetoe

How much weight can you "muscle clean"?


Judging from his other post, I think he’s referring to hang cleans. I also think he’s scared to power clean, because I remember feeling the same way over a decade ago when I was trying to transition from hang cleans to power cleans.

My advice, Blyon, is to be humble and take some weight off the bar and learn how to power clean exactly as it’s written in the blue book.

Forget about what you are comfortable with and learn the power clean the correct way. Once you get good at it, you’ll realize it’s far more technical and fun than the cleans your football coach taught you.


What is an adequate amount of weight for you to answer my question? I feel like you're just asking me a loaded question but I’ll play ball. I’m almost a month into your program and just recently started incorporating cleans into my workout. Yes, when I say muscle cleans I mean hang cleans except I’m not lowering myself into a squat position to catch the bar so I felt saying muscle cleans was the more appropriate term for the exercise. I’m very slowly adding weight to the bar to make sure I’m in a linear progression while getting my form down but if I had to “max out” I probably could go 225 for reps. I’m not trying to question your methods just asking a simple question? If you were to tell me there is a huge difference between the two I would say ok and work on getting my power clean form right otherwise I’m seeing progress and just wanted to know if my train of thought had merit. No disrespect I just like being told why opposed to “because”

Mark Rippetoe

First, words have definitions. A "muscle clean" and a hang clean are two different things entirely. A muscle clean and a muscle snatch are performed without momentum -- they are not accelerated through the top of the movement, just pulled into lockout slowly for a warmup of the ROM. We don't use them for even that, because the movement pattern is wrong when done this way -- it's a row, not a clean or snatch -- and it's stupid to warm up an incorrect movement pattern.

Second, you asked about a "muscle clean," a movement that cannot be performed with anything much heavier than 95 pounds. Since we are training for strength here, heavy weight is required -- much heavier than you can "muscle clean." Thus, my question.

Third, in order for an exercise to be useful in our system, the weight must move over the longest effective ROM (explained elsewhere), and this is why we don't use the hang clean as an exercise.

I understand that you're not questioning my methods, but this board operates at a higher level than Reddit, so be more careful with your language. Answering "why" is the primary difference between us and everybody else.

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