Starting Strength Weekly Report

August 16, 2021

Alkaloids R Us Edition

  • Brussels Barbell, the first Starting Strength Affiliate Gym in Europe, is now open. Located in the heart of the European Institutions in Brussels, this is the premier strength training facility in the city. Make an appointment today.
On Starting Strength
  • A Caffeinated Juan, Immigration, and Milk in the States – Rip answers wide-ranging questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • A Tour of Starting Strength Plano – Brent Carter gives a guided tour of Starting Strength Plano.
  • Programming for Women – Starting Strength Coach Nick Delgadillo discusses programming considerations for women taking into account the effects of neuromuscular efficiency.
  • Stop Catching Your Cleans Like a Fool by Phil Meggers – The process of receiving (i.e., “catching” or “racking”) the power clean often poses a problem for new lifters...
  • Complications by John Musser – Boy, I know who you are, and I know who sent you. I got what you're looking for. Please, take your time...
  • Weekend Archives: Low Bar Position Stretch – Starting Strength Coach Paul Horn shows a way to improve your low bar squat bar position over time.
  • Weekend Archives: The Problem with “Exercise Science” by Mark Rippetoe – I talk to lots of kids who are interested in becoming strength coaches. I get e-mail about this every week, and we talk about it with people who attend our seminars every month. Most are in school for an “Exercise Science” degree...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

cody presses reps near his pr
OKC member Cody Lanier pressing near his record for multiple reps. [photo courtesy of Colby Iliff]
72 year old manny pulls a deadlift double at 330
Manny, age 72, pulls 330 for a double at Fivex3 Training, a Starting Strength Affiliate in Baltimore. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
apprentices learning programming at starting strength boston
Jason Varnum reviews strength programming fundamentals with other apprentices at Starting Strength Boston. [photo courtesy of Arthur Frontczak]
sol deadlifts 225 for triples at starting strength denver
Sol deadlifting 225x3x3 before heading off to freshman year of college. [photo courtesy of Jen Pfohl]
powerlifting or powernapping on the bench press bench
Powerlifitng or powernapping? You decide. [photo courtesy of Matt Hebert]
amanda prs her squat work sets
Amanda sets a PR on her squat work sets as she trains in Boise. [photo courtesy of Rachel Fox]

Best of the Week

Local gym does modified ss, only lets athletes clean


About 10 miles away there is a powerlifting/strongman/Olympic weightlifting gym that is about 3 stories. It has a floor dedicated to Olympic lifts that is just for the professional athletes that train there (Rugby, football, tennis players as well as some olympic weightlifters) and those they take into the weightlifting club who show promise.

They give people looking for a general strength plan a few options but one of them is essentially your program modified to their own which has you squatting only twice a week using a high bar and pulling one a week for 3 sets. Their last set has an AMRAP and they also encourage at least once accessory movement after the main movements are finished. Or an accessory day once a week.

But here is what I mainly wanted your thoughts on. When you join you pay a joining fee etc after a week trial to see if you rack your weights, stick to the program they give you and then they offer you membership. Once you've joined they give you some tests. They have a vertical jump test, they have some reaction tests using a colour board and based on that they allow you to try the Olympic lifts and then try for the weightlifting club.

They have 17 year old rugby players coming in and doing 32 inch verticals and these guys are given a totally different program and essentially get to go in everyday and train with a class coach who has them squat, clean, pull etc.

I came in last week on my second week of SS. I started at 55kg on my squat. I did the tests yesterday and he was like, “Bro you aint fast. Just get strong on linear progression and forget the power cleans and do the program until you can squat 450, bench 300 and pull 500. Then you will look good and be strong and that's the most you can hope for.”

Also what do you make of them doing high bar and increasing the pull volume? Seems a bit odd but the reason given to me was most people struggle to master a low bar squat and if left unsupervised will revert to lifting their chest, bombing the hole and other things, so simply making them high bar and increasing pulling volume does the job just as well.

Also what’s your thought about their novice program?

  • Bench 3x5+
  • Row from floor 3x5+ ​
  • Squat 3x5+
  • Press 3x5+
  • EZ curls 3x5+ (once strong enough switch to weighted chin-ups)
  • Deadlift 3x5
  • Bench 3x5+
  • Row from floor 3x5+ ​
  • Squat 3x5+

Mark Rippetoe

What is the point of this shit? My thoughts on training are here:

Believe it or not, I am aware of the fact that people do things incorrectly.

Best of the Forum

Barbell maintenance

Robin UK

Follow-up question to your barbell maintenance video during lockdown: What is the best kind of brush to use for a bare steel barbell - steel bristles or brass bristles? Some folks say steel bristles are too severe but I don’t really listen to some folks, only Rip on all matters barbell!

Mark Rippetoe

You're thinking too hard about this.

Robin UK

I know - it’s a curse!

Steven Z

I have a stainless steel Ohio Bar and I use a nylon brush and warm water with dish soap. Then just dry it really well. Makes the bar look brand new every time I clean it.

Robin UK

Eleiko sent me a brass wire brush when I bought their bare steel IPF competition bar but their care guide literature recommends steel wire brush for the bar. Rogue recommends a steel wire brush to clean a bare steel bar. That’s why I asked Rip for his thoughts. I’ll stick to the steel brush.

Mark Rippetoe

It doesn't matter. You're brushing the chalk, not the steel.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

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