Starting Strength Weekly Report

August 12, 2019

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In the Trenches

garvin deadlifting at wichita falls starting strength camp
Garvin rode a motorcycle from Canada to WFAC for a squat and deadlift camp held last weekend. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
rip coaches eric in the squat
Rip coaches Eric during the squat portion of the training camp. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
delise deadlift pr set of five
Delise PRs her set of 5 deadlift. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
iggy dog woodmere fitness club
Gym dog of the week: Iggy at Woodmere Fitness Club. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week


My first post to Starting Strength forums!

No questions, just a sincere THANK YOU to Coach Mark Rippetoe and all of the Starting Strength / Aasgaard Company staff (past, current, and future). Ten years ago I was hit by a distracted driver so hard that my F150 rolled over four times. Four. Times.

My neck and back will never be the same BUT with Starting Strength, some excellent medical care, and some perseverance I'm back in the fight.

Now I'm a Master's Class lifter (aka old guy). No dramatic PRs. No super cool videos. Just "functional" (insert Rippetoe air quote movement here) strength so I can watch my kids grow up and be the best husband I can be (well maybe not the best but you get the idea

Fives? "E tan e epi tas!"

Mark Rippetoe

Four times? Do you remember the last one?


I remember all of them. We had just left the dump/recycling center on the way to a Cub Scout event. I had all four kids in the car (at that time 8, 6, 5, and 3). It was a beautiful October day so the windows were down... we were not the first car through the intersection... not the second or third. FOURTH car through intersection and this (expletive) distracted driver hit us full speed (45 mph? 55 mph? higher?) missing my oldest son's legs by about 4 inches. His car slammed into our front axle therefore fully transferring force.

Then I moved into super slow motion. I made a conscious decision to twist around and check on the kids... I was worried they had taken off their safety belts OR had an arm out the window (neither happened thankfully). I knew I was setting myself up for failure by twisting around but I didn't care: as a parent, my only thought was are they OK?

I remember thinking "when the hell are we going to stop rolling over?" I kept talking to the kids throughout trying to keep them focused inside the car and on me. Amazingly we landed on our wheels. First responders were amazed... witnesses thought we were dead. All my issues relate to soft tissue and nerve impingement, no broken bones. I have "permanent" tinnitus in my left ear, and had disabling pain in back and other extremities (like can't breathe can't move) UNTIL I went through some excellent chiropractic care that decompressed my neck and most of my back AND discovered YOU on Art of Manliness (thanks internet search!).

Low Bar squats and Deadlifts made my body stronger... bye bye back pain! (sorry I guess I need to move this to testimonials). I had never Pressed before and low and behold I could do it and make progress.

I guess my point is 1) THANK YOU and 2) the Starting Strength focus on "regular people" not D1 or pro athletes is changing peoples’ lives for the better.

Best of the Forum

Physical Therapy Fraud

I work as a Strength & Conditioning Coach at a High School and the worst part of my job is having to witness the absolute bullshit that the Physical Therapists prescribe when they enter my gym floor. Yesterday I watched 3 Physical Therapists stand around to "teach" a box jump to a highschool kid coming off ACL reconstruction. Today I was surprised to see them take the same kid to the Squat Rack... but I wasn't surprised to see all 3 of the same PT's stand around "spotting" the kid through a quarter squat, and then proceed to teach him some ambiguous deadlift like movement where the bar never touched the floor, but the knees bent, and emphasize a vertical back angle. I want to feel bad for these people, but I can't when I think about the salaries they collect for teaching people terribly incorrect technique on the most basic of barbell movements.So very frustrating. "Ohh you have Patellar Tendonitis? Let's do Pistol Squats for that!" Where did all this bullshit come from and why won't it go away?

Mark Rippetoe

Is Physical Therapy Fraud?

Excellent question. Where did it come from? How do nominally intelligent people come up with this shit, and then remain convinced of its value?


One of my wife's friends had her left hip replaced in August. She has been in "therapy" to this day. She still has pain. I suggested the Barbell Prescription. She would have none of it.

It appears that a lab coat and/or a framed certificate on the wall counts more than reality.


IanMcArdle, as a practicing physical therapist I am sorry you have to witness this bullshit. I practice in an outpatient facility in a hospital using starting strength barbell/compound movements as well the principles of the strength, recovery and adaptation cycle. I almost feel obligated to repossess the tens of thousands of dollars I paid to the university I obtained my degrees from, and give it to the Aasgaard Company as I have learned more about rehabbing injuries from Starting Strength and it's content. I receive a great deal of weird looks from my co-workers having patients squat, press, and deadlift, or perform some variant of these movements for their rehab. Bottom line is there is no education in the physical therapy curriculum regarding the benefits of barbell/compound movements or the stress, recovery, adaptation cycle. Also as Rip has stated on many occasions, it’s easier to teach a theraband shoulder external rotation exercise instead of a properly executed overhead press, so therapists opt for the former. They haven't learned this stuff and from what I have seen so far in my department most are not interested in learning it or scoff at it. The thing that irritates me the most is for years the therapists in this department have created a culture of hot packs, ice, massage, easy exercises, and passive treatment modalities that the word has gotten out and patient's expect it. They are so confused and almost mad when I have them actually perform some taxing exercises. It may take a while before this bullshit changes.

Tucker Benjamin

In not a PT (ATC) but in my own personal experience in my initial practice I felt the need to complicate to validate the time spent in my education. I am now coming around to doing the simple things right but a lot of my peers will continue to insist that their special methodology that is "evidence based" (and we all know if you read it in a study it must be true).

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