Starting Strength Weekly Report

August 15, 2022

Hard-Eyed Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Texan, P Scale for Men, and Hair Loss – Rip answers questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • I Need To Be Here For A Long Time – After ALS tragically took her husband from her, Heather Barlog went to work getting her health in order. Heather has always been into fitness, but with Starting Strength Heather and her daughters have found their community and their power.
  • A 730 Pound Deadlift at Age 24 – Ray Gillenwater talks with Chase Lindley, aka the Vanilla Gorilla, about how he found Wichita Falls Athletic Club and the many lifting milestones he's accomplished.
  • Small Calves by Nate Mielke – “Don’t skip leg day, bro!” If you’ve ever heard these words, chances are you’ve had small calves at some point in your life...
  • A Perfect Pulling Position on Every Rep – Starting Strength Coach and owner of Hygieia Strength and Conditioning Shaun Pang gives detailed tips on setting up an optimal pulling position on every deadlift rep.
  • Weekend Archives: The Tarheel Connection by Bill Starr – There were many factors that contributed to the resurgence of activity at the York Barbell Club in the mid-sixties. One that is often overlooked...
  • Weekend Archives: How to do Dips – Rip and Chase show you how to do dips in a power rack and using chairs when access to equipment is limited.

From the Coaches
  • In this short video, Bill has some questions for Phil about Deadapalooza - the Testify Deadlift Festival (AKA the World's Greatest Deadlift Competition), which will be held on Friday, September 2nd, at 6:00 p.m.
  • Is your overextended back ruining your squat? In this video - the third in Testify's series of Saturday Shorts on fixing the squat - Phil Meggers quickly discusses and demonstrates how to solve this problem.
  • "I’m all pinkies, bro!” Phil Meggers discusses this mistake as well as others that fools make when spotting the bench press, and he also covers how to correctly spot the bench press.
  • Barbell technique is important for injury prevention in strength training. Learn how and why to minimize technique breakdown and form creep to reach goals & reduce injury risk.
  • Wondering what app to use to track your barbell training or powerlifting program or use with your clients? Find out on PRS Podcast Live Ep. 1.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

darin deadlifting a set of 405 at the starting strength seminar
Darin deadlifting 405 for a set of five during platform session at this past weekend's Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
nick coaches keith through the press teaching method
Nick Delgadillo coaches Keith through the demonstration of the press teaching method Sunday during the seminar at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
mia inman and nick delgadillo at wfac
Starting Strength Coaches Mia Inman and Nick Delgadillo posing for a picture during the weekend's seminar. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
isaac deadlifts 135 before heading off to college
Isaac Ahmed deadlifts 135 before heading off to college. [photo courtesy of John Chung]
chris palladino shows maryanne where to look during the squat
On Maryanne's 84th birthday, Coach Chris of Stronger Physical Therapyreviews the eye gaze position for her squat.

In the middle of her preparation for an upcoming half-marathon, Anjali deadlifts 70 kg for a set of five in her sixth training session at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
matt gemmill coaches fauska through a set of three deadlifts at 245
Matt Gemmill coaches Fauska Bashabe through a set of 3 on deadlift at 245 pounds. [photo courtesy of Starting Strength Katy]
ryan grinds out his last rep at starting strength cincinnati
Ryan Berlin grinds out his last rep at Starting Strength Cincinnati. [photo courtesy of Lucas Schroeder]
francesca heon owner of starting strength tulsa squatting
Francesca Heon, owner of Starting Strength Tulsa began her barbell training 14 months ago. A 59 yo grandmother who can squat 1.4x her weight is a rare thing to see… unless you’re in a Starting Strength Gym! [photo courtesy of David Heon]
rusty coaches his stepdaughter through a set of presses at wfac
Rusty coaches stepdaughter Rowan through a set of presses at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
78 year old bar squats 65 for three sets of five
78-year-old Bari Saunders squats 65 pounds for 3x5! [photo courtesy of Josh Wells]
mother and daughter show off their gains with a biceps pose
Diane Baker (mom/left) and Ronda Holladay (daughter/right) show off their gains. Stronger is Better. [photo courtesy of John Chung]

Best of the Week

Follow the Science

Mark Rippetoe

Remember this bullshit paper? Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men

Remember Stuart Phillips, the PI of this "study"? Same guy: Eleven papers corrected after nutrition prof fails to disclose patent, company ties

“Eight journals have corrected a total of eleven papers after one of the authors failed to list potential financial conflicts of interest. Two additional journals have also told Retraction Watch that they plan to issue corrections, which will bring the total to 13 or more.

Stuart Phillips is a professor and director of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Research at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The corrected studies — which now reflect Phillips’ links to companies or patents — are all related to his research on nutritional supplements and exercise.

One journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, issued a single correction for four studies authored by Phillips:

Dr. Stuart M. Phillips is listed as an inventor on patent (Canadian) 3052324 issued to Exerkine, and a patent (US) 16/182891 pending to Exerkine (but reports no financial gains). Dr. Phillips reports personal fees from Enhanced Recovery (donated to charity), equity from Exerkine (all proceeds donated to charity), outside the submitted work.

Exerkine is a biotechnology company in Ontario developing therapies for aging, according to its website. Enhanced Recovery is a sports drink containing whey protein, collagen and leucine.

Together, the corrected articles have been cited at least 72 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science. A study in PLOS ONE — “A whey protein-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplement stimulates gains in lean body mass and strength in healthy older men: A randomized controlled trial” — has been cited 41 times.”


With everything going right now..

“For me the world has always been more of a puppet show. But when one looks behind the curtain and traces the strings upward he finds they terminate in the hands of yet other puppets, themselves with their own strings which trace upward in turn, and so on. In my own life I saw these strings whose origins were endless enact the deaths of great men in violence and madness. Enact the ruin of a nation.”

Cormac McCarthy in All the Pretty Horses


Personal anecdotes are more trustworthy than "peer-reviewed" research at this point.

Best of the Forum

NLP or TM? Which weights to start?


First of all, thank you very much for all the knowledge you are providing. I bought a pass at starting strength network, both the grey and the blue book, and have read all of it once in the past (however I hadn't finished the squat chapter).

I have been training with weights for about a year, completely sedentary before that, but it took me some time to discover your content. I did the Stronglifts (a criminal copy of your content) novice linear progression from December 2020 to March 2021 until a squat of around 140kg for 3x5, and since then haven't progressed as fast because I was fucking around without knowing which program to do.

Do you think I should start your novice linear progression or should I jump straight to some of the versions of the Texas Method in the grey book?

For the NLP, how to choose the weights?

My current stats are:

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 167cm (5'6)
  • Weight: 140kg (very obese, so I will be on a moderate caloric deficit help me God)
  • Squat: 2 reps with 180kg in early July
  • Deadlift: 1 rep with 200kg in early July
  • Press: 2 reps with 70kg in early July
  • Bench: 1 rep with 100kg in early July
  • Row: 3 reps with 90kg in early July
  • Power Clean: never did

Sorry for the English errors, I am not a native speaker.

Mark Rippetoe

ALWAYS start with the novice progression, exactly as detailed in the programming chapter of the blue book. ALWAYS. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

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