Starting Strength Weekly Report

December 14, 2020

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On Starting Strength
  • The Equipment Episode – Mark Rippetoe discusses equipment racks, bars, plates, and personal equipment. What to look for, Rip's preferences, and what to avoid.
  • Chase Lindley Presses 405 lbs – Starting Strength Coach Chase Lindley does a 405 lb press during the WFAC Strengthlifting Fall Classic held at WFAC in November 2020.
  • The Olympic Lift Prescription – Sully discusses the 3 criteria for determining whether you should train the Olympic variants (the power clean and power snatch) after forty. These lifts are wonderful, but dispensable, and unless you have the desire, the aptitude, and the tolerance, they shouldn't be a part of your program.
  • Collars on the Bar by Mark Rippetoe – Collars are designed to keep the plates from sliding off of the barbell sleeves. That's all they are for. If the plates are not sliding off, you don't need collars. That said...
  • Do Your 3s, Ladies by Nick Delgadillo – Even to this day, after this has been discussed many times, I regularly see videos of women grinding through and failing sets of 5 on the squat in the first couple of months...
  • Weekend Archives: Discovering Strength: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Perspective by Frederick J Barnes – In the United States, over 300,000 people will fracture their hip in the upcoming year. [1] This is a devastating injury, usually occurring in people over the age of 65 with brittle bones from osteoporosis. Three-quarters of those...
  • Weekend Archives: Abs by Mark Rippetoe – In every weight room in all the countries of the world since the dawn of training with weights, the single biggest distraction from the actual task at hand has been abs. Or rather, an obsession with/ misunderstanding of

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

barb locks out a deadlift at a starting strength seminar
Barb locks out a deadlift at this past weekend's Starting Strength Seminar in Wichita Falls, Texas. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
jules starting a squat at wfac
Strength Co. coach Jules at the top of a squat at the seminar. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
kyle locks out a press
Starting Strength Austin apprentice Kyle locks out a press yesterday on the platform in WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
josh wells coaches the deadlift
Josh Wells coaches the deadlift demonstration at the Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
adam and his closest relative observe the power clean
Starting Strength Coach Adam Fangman and his closest relative observe the power clean platform session at the Starting Strength Seminar held at WFAC last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
training annino strength in ct
The training continues up at Annino Strength and Conditioning in Moodus, CT. [photo courtesy of Cody Annino]

Best of the Week

Girlfriend Doesn’t Understand Starting Strength
Mark Stanton

Reporting from beautiful California! I've been doing starting strength for 6 months now and have had an amazing transformation. I've gone from 6'2 185 to 6'2 230 and have 5 rep maxes of 415 on the squat, 495 on the deadlift, 285 on the bench press and 175 on the press at 26 yrs old. The problem is my girlfriend has been giving me a lot of grief about the weight I have gained and the amount of meat I eat. I'm worried I will have to give one of the two up.

Before I did starting strength, I did calisthenics training and cardio and was a very lean/fit person, but not very strong. I was vegetarian as well and ate two meals a day to stay thin. My girlfriend used to always compliment me on my fitness and it was something that helped our relationship. The change occurred when I stumbled upon a video from starting strength early this year, and decided to try strength training. I have pretty much lived by the book, following the meal guide in practical programming and increasing my numbers first linearly and now less linearly as I get closer to my natural limits. I gave up being vegetarian and have meat with almost every meal.

My girlfriend at first was supportive, but she's gotten more and more upset with me over time and now openly complains about my increased weight and eating habits. I try to explain to her the benefits of being strong, and showed her some starting strength videos but she doesn't seem to get it. She shows me studies about how increased weight is associated with higher risks of heart disease and cancer and argues that what I'm doing is unnatural. She really hates Rip in particular, and says things like "why do you take fitness advice from a fat, bald, pink old man?". Sometimes to get under my skin, she will say things like "you look a little flushed today; all that red meat you are eating must be turning you pink". We go on a hike once per week, and now she leaves me in the dust on the trail to make fun of the fact that I don't have as much endurance as I used to. She says things like "you're harder to kill now? I'll see which one of us survives when we are running away from a bear". Or "You're pretty useful now, if we ignore everything you do outside of your squat rack."

I am a relatively unattractive man and it was very difficult for me to get my girlfriend in the first place. I'm at the point where I don't think there's much else I can do and I will have to choose one or the other. I'm at my wits end and am just looking for any kind of advice on how to get through this.

Mark Rippetoe

You look better now. Get a smarter girlfriend. The problem is California.


If this is a real story, because the "fat, pink man" bit smells funny, you need to dump her. None of what she's been saying to you is what a mentally/emotionally healthy, mature, adult female should be saying to anyone, let alone to her partner.

Basically, what she's telling you is that by focusing on yourself, her narcissism is no longer being fed. This is a dangerous position for you to be in. Very dangerous.

Punch out, Maverick.

Mark Rippetoe


Maybe. But instructive anyway.

Best of the Forum

The Feasting Holidays Food Thread
Mark Rippetoe

Your recipes and pictures go here.


The past few years, my wife has made a pretty good pecan pie. About a week ago, I mentioned your aunt’s pecan pie recipe to her (replacing the white syrup with good old Mrs. Butterworth’s). Well, today, she made the pie with Mrs. Butterworth’s, and I dare say that it may have had as positive an impact on my life as your books did. As always, my wife, son and I are ever in your debt.

  • Jalapeno peppers (or red / yellow / orange sweet peppers if you prefer)
  • Ground sausage
  • Cream cheese
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bacon
  1. Brown sausage
  2. Mix sausage cream cheese and cheddar cheese together
  3. Prepare peppers split and seed
  4. Stuff peppers with cheese / sausage mix
  5. Wrap stuffed peppers with bacon
  6. Pellet / charcoal / wood smoker at ~325 until bacon is done

I’ve been making maple syrup pie the last few years, from an online recipe. I imagine it’s similar to Rip’s Aunt’s pecan pie (maple syrup version) except without the pecans, but I haven’t checked the Karo bottle to be sure. And being a Yankee, I use Grade B pure maple syrup instead of Mrs Butterworth.

Original recipe is behind a paywall, but here’s the republished version:

I use a store-bought Keebler shortbread crust, as I have no interest in messing with unnecessary baking.


I've started making a curry pumpkin soup for these fall feasts and it always goes down very well.

  1. Sautee a couple of onions and a bunch of minced garlic and ginger
  2. Add spice mix (salt, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon) and cook into a paste.
  3. Put in a blender and add 3 cups of stock - blend until smooth.
  4. Add one more cup of stock to help get everything off the sides of the blender and add back to the pan. Add in 2 cans of pumpkin puree and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Mix in 16 oz of single cream


Not really a recipe, per se, but my sister's method of serving turkey is to make it well ahead of time, brew up a very large pot of gravy, then carve the bird and mix all the meat into the gravy pot. An effective antidote to the dreaded dry breast meat. Plus, there's a lot of gravy.


I made a turkey sous vide this year. After thawing the turkey, I quartered it. In a hot as hell skillet with butter, I seared the skin of all the pieces. I used gallon ZipLoc bags for the boneless breasts and the dark meat. (4 bags total). Since I only have one sous vide, I did the turkey breast at 131 for 24 hours while the dark meat was in the fridge. After the breasts were done, the dark meat went in the bath at 149 for 24 hours. Thanksgiving day, I brought them up to temp in the oven.

When I carved into the breast, they were the juiciest I had ever seen. Dark meat was so tender the bone pulled out easily. All of the leftover juices in the bag were used to make some serious gravy. If you guys have the patience, I heartily recommend trying sous vide.

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