Starting Strength Weekly Report

April 29, 2019

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In the Trenches

joanne pruszynski pulls 205 for a lifetime pr
Joanne Pruszynski pulls 205 for a lifetime PR. Joanne is coached by SSC Scott Acosta at Studio Fit in Richmond Hill GA. [photo courtesy of Scott Acosta]
andrew jackson teaches squat bar position
Andrew Jackson teaches bar position for the squat during the Starting Strength Seminar held at Westminster Strength and Conditioning last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
kim krongaard squats at the starting strength seminar
Kim Krongaard squats during the Starting Strength Seminar at Westminster Strength and Conditioning last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Meet Results

2019 WFAC Strengthlifting Challenge

Best of the Week

Training Martial Arts Students


As you probably know, Judo and BJJ students require explosive power, especially Judo. I got a hold of this program that you may have approved. I have some questions about it.

  1. Why is it 2 days a week lifting instead of 3? Is it because the athlete will get tired with all the martial arts training?
  2. How do we determine intermediate? Is it when we work to the stall and then reset once? When we reset, what weight do we reset to (is it the 5-10% I read in The Reset: Why and How) I understand from this thread that is difficult.
  3. Under intermediate, what does it mean reps are done at interval for the power clean?
  4. On the days we are not lifting: We've watched the videos on the prowler but we do not know how far we push it and how many sets. Do we follow Death By Prowler?
  5. Farmer's walk. How far do we walk with the weight? Do we increase this each time?
  6. Under intermediate, what is the + sign for? Is this where we add weight?

So here is what we think you have approved: Two day per week lifting programs for judo.

The Texoma Judo Novice Strength Program

* Based on Rippetoe's Starting Strength- modified.

* Three weeks on, one week deload. Work to the stall, then reset once.


  • Power clean 5x2
  • Squat 3x5
  • Bench 3x5
  • Chin 3x10-15


  • Power clean 5x2
  • Squat 3x5 (or front squat 5x3)
  • Press 3x5
  • Deadlift 1x5

The Texoma Judo Intermediate Strength Program

* Based on Wendler's 531 for the power lifts.

* Based on Grimes' scheme for Olympic lifts.

* Notated as week1/week2/week3. Week 4 is deload.


  • Power snatch 6x2/6x2/3x2,5x1 (work for heaviest set)
  • Squat 1x5+/1x3+/1x5,1x3,1x1+/deload
  • Bench 1x5+/1x3+/1x5,1x3,1x1+/deload
  • Weighted chins 3x5-10


  • Power clean: 10@60s/10@75s/10@90s (same weight every set. Reps are done on the @ interval. e.g. 1 per 60sec, etc.)
  • Front squat 5x3/7x2/10x1 (work to heaviest set)
  • Press 1x5+/1x3+/1x5,1x3,1x1+/deload
  • Deadlift 1x5+/1x3+/1x5,1x3,1x1+/deload

Program notes:

  • You do this. That's it. I'd recommend another day or two of agility work, complexes, and sprints/prowler work, but that's another topic.
  • You add a bit of weight to power cleans each week (not every day). It should feel a little lighter on B day. This is practice day.
  • You can back squat both days if you want (that's what I recommend starting out). If you feel tweaked, if deadlifting is hard after squatting, or if you just want to front squat, then you can alternate.
  • If you can do 3x15 dead hang chins, then you need to add weight to keep the reps between 10 and 15.
  • If you have extra time at the end, do farmers walks. Great ROI.
  • All work sets sets are "sets across" (same weight for each set). Do 3-4 warmup sets (always start with the empty bar) to get there.
  • Add ten pounds per week to squat, five pounds per week to your presses, and 5 or fewer pounds per week to power clean.
  • Once the weights feel heavy the gains slow, work for 3 weeks and deload for 1 week.

E.g. for squats:

  • week 1 405x5x3
  • week 2 415x5x3
  • week 3 425x5x3
  • week 4 225x5x3 (or go play soccer)
  • week 5 435x5x3 (or 425x5x3 if you need to)
  • etc.

***When you record your workouts, it is weight x reps x sets.

Mark Rippetoe

Never seen it.


This seems like such a poor man’s butchered program. I’m no expert at all but have made progress doing ss as written while training mma 3x a week, I was 24 and just made sure to eat as much as possible. I currently use an HLM routine and when my training picks up I don’t add any drop sets and realize that I’ll be lucky to maintain my lifts, and when I focus more on strength I back off MMA a bit. No need for this long winded nonsense imo but I’ve been humbled on this subject before

Mark Rippetoe

More importantly, explosion is not trainable to any significant degree, while strength is quite trainable for years. Who cleans more weight, the guy with the 500 deadlift or the guy with the 200 deadlift? Who is more powerful? Who can jerk your ass around harder? And why in hell would anybody except a competitive Olympic lifter waste time doing front squats? And the upshot here is this: what's the fastest way to get stronger? My thoughts on that are detailed here.


This makes it much simpler then. For now, we can just stick with the basic SS program for 99.999% of all students, right?

I think practical programming is the only book I haven't read so I just ordered it.


Stick with simplicity. LP works, but it doesn't go as long, because they're so beat up from both the sport and the lifting. Heavy/Light/Medium and 4 day split works very well for BJJ. Although it also works really well with everyone else.

You need to keep the focus on their sport. If you prioritize the lifting to the detriment of the sport, they will resent you and quit. Progress will be slower because you'll make accommodations for the sport side. HLM allows you to make on the fly modifications that won't ruin the programming.

Mark Rippetoe

I'd rather see them squat/press/deadlift on day 1 and squat/bench/deadlift on day 2, adding weight once or twice a week, and that's all. It would be hard for sports practice to curtail progress on this simple approach.

Best of the Forum

Beta Blockers

I have been prescribed beta blockers for anxiety. Could it affect my training? They obviously have an effect on heart rate etc.

Mark Rippetoe

Yes, they will affect your training. What are you anxious about?


Lost my job and have a mortgage unfortunately.

My major concern is safety. It seems a bit dodgy to be under stress and taking medication that affects my heart while lifting weights. Do you consider it dangerous?

Mark Rippetoe

It's probably not dangerous, but it is unproductive for your training. Takes the edge off, but you don't want your edge off under the bar. And there are probably better ways to deal with job loss, in my opinion.

Simma Park

I was on beta blockers long ago for problems with unexplained syncope. They didn't help with much of anything. What they did do was make me tired and make it really hard to achieve any kind of intensity when exercising.


I think it does reduce ability to get heart rate up which is what it's supposed to do, but you can select a particular drug within the class than minimizes the disruption and shows less exercise restriction than others. Nebivolol is much better than atenolol in my case. Atenolol and the first gen beta blockers reduce cardiac output, lead to metabolic inefficiencies, and increase central aortic pressure. Newer beta blockers such as nebivolol do not reduce cardiac output and are vasodilating which isn't all bad. I found switching from atenolol to nebivolol greatly improved my ability to workout probably too close to where I was before treatment. Ask your doc what he thinks.

Jonathon Sullivan

You couldn't put me on beta blockers for love or money, especially not for anxiety. My two cents.


I was prescribed beta blockers for severe anxiety and high blood pressure last year, serendipitously. I couldn't take them because of my asthma so they tried aropax/paxil instead. Shit worked wonders and it actually improved my training because I could focus and have quality rest. I would look into it.

I didn't make the decision lightly, I did a lot of research and spoke to doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, cardiologists and friends. Best of luck.


Beta blockers may impair your ability to generate a high heart rate in response to a stressor. There are a number of alternatives to treat anxiety medically, depending on whether it's chronic generalized anxiety or if it's panics.

Simma Park

I also had really low blood pressure at the time. I think the beta blocker was a roundabout way of treating me for a psychological cause which didn't exist, which I told them didn't exist, but no other cause seemed possible. I stopped taking it after a few months, because it was making me tired, and it wasn't helping anything else.

It did mostly go away, but it took years. Regular high-intensity exercise helped a lot and made the episodes much less common. It still happens now and again. I get that prodromal I-better-find-a-seat feeling on occasion when I'm walking around and I've been hard on myself or have gone through extended periods of not training due to work or injury, but it's thankfully pretty rare these days.

Jonathon Sullivan

Beta blockers block reflex tachycardia, decrease catecholamine release, promote autonomic dysfunction, fuck up glucose and fat metabolism, and can lead to sexual dysfunction. There are a host of other potential side effects, as a cursory web search will reveal. There are better alternatives for most if not all indications. If I had hypertension, I'd go for an ACE inhibitor or an ARB. If I needed an av nodal blocker, I'd rather go with diltiazem (although not by much).

The great thing about beta blockers is they're cheap. Perfect for an under-insured population.

And beta blockers for anxiety is just dumb. There are plenty of anxiolytics that dont have such profound cardiovascular and metabolic effects.

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