Starting Strength Weekly Report

August 29, 2022

Good Boy Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Strength Standards, Combatives, and the Army – Rip talks with Matt Larsen about his recently released Combatives Belt system, and why he chose the squat, bench, and deadlift as the test for the strength standard. Matt Larsen, the father of Modern Combatives, is a former United States Marine, United States Army Ranger, and Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame combatives instructor. He is the Director of Combatives at The United States Military Academy at West Point.
  • Why Would A Surgeon Move To Tulsa, Oklahoma & Open A Gym? – David Heon is a medical surgeon from Ohio who moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the opportunities. You may not know the secret yet, but Tulsa is a place to be! Low cost of living, great art and culture scene, warm weather, lots of space, and super business friendly. Mark Rippetoe himself said that if he was a young coach again, he'd live in Tulsa. Seeing the success of the cross town Oklahoma City Starting Strength Gym, Dave set out to bring a gym to Tulsa.
  • Growing up with Rip – Ray Gillenwater talks with the head coach of Starting Strength Katy, Josh Wells, about growing up around Mark Rippetoe and how he found Wichita Falls Athletic Club.
  • A M.A.P. to Understanding the Starting Strength Model of the Lifts by Mia Inman – A Starting Strength Coach (SSC) needs to be able to integrate the fundamental principles upon which the model is based, i.e., Mechanics (Physics), Anatomy, and Physiology...
  • The Lat Machine by Mark Rippetoe – If you are operating a bare-bones garage gym, a lat machine is probably not on your equipment list. It is too expensive, too tall, takes up too much...
  • Weekend Archives: The Snatch-Grip Deadlift by Robert Santana and Mark Rippetoe – One of the common errors we see in a squat is the flexion of the thoracic spine out of the hole. In fact. In Active Hip 2.0, Rip stated...
  • Weekend Archives: Nothing New Under the Sun by Mark Rippetoe– As the old saying goes, and it indicates the timelessness of good ideas. Starting Strength takes advantage of good ideas, like basic barbell exercises and arithmetic...

From the Coaches
  • Hydration, Halting Deadlifts, and... Booze – After a detour to discuss the merits of halting deadlifts, Coach Robert and Trent explain the basics of hydration and fluid intake and why it matters for lifters in the gym.
  • How long should you rest when working through the Starting Strength Linear Progression? Between warm-up sets? Between work sets? Phil Meggers explains...along with the usual shenanigans.
  • Is your silly stance hampering your squat? Too narrow? Too wide? In this video, Phil Meggers and Mike Sharp of Testify Strength & Conditioning quickly discuss and demonstrate how to solve this problem. This is the fifth video in Testify's series of Saturday Shorts on fixing the squat.
  • What is a tempo squat, how do you perform it, and why might you do tempo squats or where might you see them in your programming? Phil Meggers explains in Testify's weekly article that comes out every Friday.
  • Peeing when powerlifting is a specific kind of Urinary Incontinence that must be addressed through training. We discuss 3 reasons some pee when they powerlift and how to address it.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

patti gets her deadlift fixed at a starting strength training camp
Patti cleans up her deadlift during the Squat and Deadlift Camp at Starting Strength Beaverton. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
steve squats at the starting strength training camp in beaverton oregon
Steven squats during the Squat and Deadlift Camp held at Starting Strength Beaverton last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
andrew lewis performs the first squats at starting strength tulsa
First set of squats at Starting Strength Tulsa. Andrew Lewis coached by Darin Lovat. [photo courtesy of David Heon]
julie benches while sharon spots at testify strength and conditioning
Julie benches 83.5 lb for sets of five while Sharon is ready to spot if needed. Julie and Sharon are both mothers, grandmothers, and in their spare time, they compete in several lifting meets each year. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
eric sets a pr bench press of 225 at starting strength boston
Eric is one of Starting Strength Boston’s founding gym members. His bench press started out at 95lbs last summer. Here he is at 42 years old setting a new PR single of 225# with Michael coaching. Congratulations Eric! [photo courtesy of Michael Shammas]

Camisha teaches Brooke (14) the deadlift while her mother (and fellow member) Heather looks on at Starting Strength Cincinnati. [photo courtesy of Lucas Schroeder]
west point marathon team member learning to squat
West Point marathon team member begins to learn the squat during an introductory session. The team hopes to improve performance by augmenting their training with intelligently designed barbell training. [photo courtesy of Greg Hess]
monica with easy set of 100 kg squats
Monica doing an easy 100kg x 5 with more in the tank at the training camp in Bergen, Norway. Carl Raghavan cues her to stop knee slide during the set. [photo courtesy of Caroline Waight]
carl raghavan coaches thomas in bergen norway
Thomas struggles to set his lower back and keep his hips from shifting in the deadlift at the recent training camp in Norway coached by Carl Raghavan. [photo courtesy of Caroline Waight]
starting strength cincinnati members david and kevin 100 sessions in the gym
Starting Strength Cincinnati members David (left) and Kevin (right) both achieved a huge milestone...100 completed sessions with the gym! Owner Lucas Schroeder presented them with trophies to honor the occasion. [photo courtesy of Adam Martin]

Best of the Week

Clarification on your advice “Nobody can get big and strong on 2500 calories”


I’m 6’1”, 150 lbs, in my forties and just six months into weight training. Until not too long back, my weight used to be in the high 130s, which I inexplicably never felt was too skinny because it never seemed to come in the way of anything athletic I wanted to do.

Goal: to get to deadlifting 2x bodyweight and 1.5x squats for at least 5 reps, so if my weight continues to be 150 lbs, my 5RM goals would be 300 lbs and 225 lbs respectively. A few weeks back, I had worked up to 245 lbs and 182.5 lbs respectively before I got injured and have been forced to back off a bit, so I’m questioning my caloric intake.

Caloric intake: I was aggressively eating “hard” for my first 4 months making close to 2500 C, but for the last 2 months have switched back to eating just by hunger, but still close to 1 gm/pound protein. Eating just by hunger usually makes me eat closer to 2000 C. Eating at least 2500 C every day makes me very full and is not easy for me.

Given my modest goal above, can I stay around 150 lbs eating just by hunger — which means around 2200 C — and accomplish it? I don’t mind getting bigger but am not necessarily looking to get big, just strong enough to lift 2x and squat 1.5x bodyweight a few times. Or is it folly to expect to work my way up to even that goal at not-even-2500 C while staying injury free?

Mark Rippetoe

If you're not a troll, you're posting on the wrong board. Either way, NO.

Best of the Forum

NLP Redeux / NDTP


I'm back for a second run of NLP, unfortunately. I would describe my current level as pre-phase I. I'm not exactly "broke legs Brian" right now, but I am unable to perform the entirety of the A/B sessions on the same day. I have taken your 3 day approach and extended it to 6 days with deadlifts being their own day (I am doing some light arm work those days as well). Squats, press/bench are performed on alternate days. After finally getting a barbell on my back for squats (thanks for the video a couple of weeks ago), I have quite a bit more soreness and I assume is impacting both deadlift and squat. I'm now 45 y/o which is several years older than when I ran my NLP originally.

How I got here - long Covid in the fall. 45 days sedated and on ventilator, +10 days tracheotomy and continued IV diet. +15 days hospital/rehab. I lost ~65lbs during my stay in ICU, but I have regained 15 of that to a whopping 175 now (225 prior). Other complications which are probably not relevant. When rehab started, I was unable to stand. My first steps unassisted occurred 12/10. My upper body was impacted of course, but I was able to use my arms to situate myself in bed and I was able to use some very small dumbbells. I'm on supplemental O2 24x7, typically between 4-6 liters when training and 1-3 when at home. I quit PT once it was no longer required for leave benefits, 1/31.

Squats and especially deadlift tax the hell out of me. My rest between sets is about 5 min for warm-ups and at least 10 min between work sets, but I am totally spent afterwards. Press and bench are not nearly as taxing. My heartrate elevates and stays much higher than before. Lung capacity has been greatly reduced of course. I have been told the damaged tissue will not heal, but I continue to wean myself from supplemental oxygen.

Would I be better off to reduce deadlift to a single day during the week or continue as-is, performing it 3 times per week on its own day? Thoughts on conditioning? Prowler is not an option (if I could even push one). Only alternative I've come up with is farmer's carry, but I will need assistance with my O2 tank if I go that route. I've gotta think I will be able to run a full A or B workout in the coming weeks, just not there yet. Given my situation and age, will the end of NLP look remotely similar to my first?

  • Height: 6'
  • Squat: 50
  • Bench: 95
  • Press: 50
  • Deadlift: 105

Mark Rippetoe

What is your testosterone status?


Male. Have not tested levels recently, but had planned to ask the primary care Doc for labs. I assume it is low.

Mark Rippetoe

May not be male. Why has this not been addressed? This is a very shitty situation you're in, and this hormone assay should have been done a long time ago.


At this point, focus has been almost completely on pulmonology and cardiology. Primary doc has had little to no involvement, it hasn't come up with the other 2. My impression so far has been that the medical community is still fumbling with how to handle patients with similar histories. Not a lot of guidance thus far with regard to improving quality of life. "Ride a recumbent bike for 5 minutes a day..."

Mark Rippetoe

THEIR focus has been on their specialty. Duh. And you, who should know better after watching these fools for the past 2 years, have left your health in their hands, instead of being responsible for it yourself. You know your test is low. You know that the hormonal background of your physiology is critical to your systemic response. Do something about it today.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.