Starting Strength Weekly Report

December 21, 2020

On Starting Strength
  • A Conversation with Chase Lindley – Mark Rippetoe and Starting Strength Coach Chase Lindley discuss his recent 405 lb press PR, growing up at WFAC, and his path to the Starting Strength Coach certification.
  • What You Need to Do Starting Strength – Starting Strength Coach Ray Gillenwater runs through the basic equipment you need to get started with barbell training.
  • Why Barbells to Get Bigger and Stronger – Rip discusses the Starting Strength method exercise selection criteria during a Starting Strength Seminar at Wichita Falls Athletic Club.
  • Introducing Your 14 and 15 Year Old To Strength Training by Tom Bailey – We want the best for our kids, don’t we? We’ve made so many mistakes in the gym, let alone in life, that we don’t want our kids to do the same. We don’t want them to waste time, to go down dead ends, to get frustrated and quit...
  • Quit Skipping Your Deadlifts by Nick Delgadillo – Making sure you show up to the gym consistently is the single most important thing you can do in the long term to ensure you actually get strong. Lots of sub-optimal programming has been used by lots of people...
  • Weekend Archives: Why Fives for Strength Training? – Starting Strength Seminar Staff Coach Brent Carter explains the continuum of rep ranges and why sets of five work best for strength training.
  • Weekend Archives: Deadlift Mechanics: The Obvious Can Be Obscure by Mark Rippetoe – The human skeleton is the system of levers that we use to interact with our physical environment. It is operated by a system of “motors” – little tension engines called “muscles” that operate the levers of the skeleton by generating...

From the Coaches
  • Phil Meggers reviews the merits of his favorite all-around barbell - the Starting Strength Bar by Texas Power Bars.
  • If you’re new to training, the topic of what to wear when lifting seems rather straightforward. Put on a shirt, put on some shorts, and you’re good to go, right? Not so fast. In Lifting Clothes: The Good, the Bad, and the Bloody, Phil Meggers covers a few important considerations.
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In the Trenches

john wilson back after another attack
John Wilson’s first day back to training after adding another notch to his belt: the COVID virus, stage 4 cancer, and several other slight obstacles. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
bjorni ginger obi warm up the gym
Gym dog session with Bjorni, Ginger, and Obi, warming the place up during the week before the Friday Christmas concert and gathering. [photo courtesy of stef bradford]

Best of the Week

Post-workout vision changes
Matt James

Two weeks ago, about an hour and a half to two hours post workout (heavy squats, volume deadlifts), I had a sudden vision change. Vision got hazy on both sides and was seeing pronounced halos around lights. It cleared up in about 20 minutes. At the time I doubted that it was related to the workout at all given the timing. I got in with an ophthalmologist the next day. Pressures were perfect, he dilated my pupils and my retinas looked good as well. Discussed a few possibilities including ocular migraine or "something neurological" and to bring it up with my GP at my next physical. He also doubted that it was workout related.

Last week, again after my heavy squat/heavy deadlift workout, it happened again about 30 minutes post-workout, as I was sitting down to eat. Only lasted about 10 minutes, and was slightly worse in the right eye than the left. Left eye cleared up in 6 to 7 minutes. I train on a 4-day TM split, so I've had several workouts in the past 2 weeks where this has NOT happened, just the two squat workouts I mentioned. On the most recent workout I did catch myself holding my valsalva in my mouth on one of my squat singles (I've been working hard to break the habit) but I don't believe I do this regularly any more. Any ideas? I'm still not sure why it would happen that long after the workout, but the fact that it's happened twice in a row on my heavy squat day is suspicious.

Mark Rippetoe

Sounds like a visual migraine, but I have never heard of this happening as a result of training.

Matt James

That's where I'm leaning, too. The eye doc said that stress is often a trigger for visual migraine. I realize it's not probably what he meant, but squat/deadlift workouts are systemically stressful, after all.

At what point do you think I should worry about this enough to do a follow-up exam?


Sleep, stress, and diet are factors for ocular migraines, and yeah workouts can push things over the top against this base. How do these things look, Matt? Esp if you've suddenly changed things up (low carb to Christmas gobbling, for example).

Matt James

Sleep is good, at least hasn't changed. Stress has been about the same as always too. Diet: I have been eating more lately to try to keep my body weight moving up, but overall I've been keeping my macro ratios about the same, just eating slightly more. Only real change is that the workouts have been getting more grindy as I have been doing heavy singles on the squat for the past few weeks.

Addendum: Dr. Google suggested that dry eyes could contribute to the problem. I did get some basic eye drops which I applied the last time this happened, so it's possible that the quicker resolution of symptoms that time could be because of that. Who knows.

Jovan Dragisic

I used to get this, not from lifting. The first dozen times were just this vision blurring thing, then some were followed by pretty hardcore migraine headaches. Never repeated after the three or four bouts of headache. This shit is probably emotional, it will tell you what is wrong with time. Keep a dose of painkillers



A) Allergies

B) I've read that the increased intraocular pressure can force fluid into the retina faster than it can drain under normal conditions. A poor valsalva is likely to blame and I can attest to having the same experience.

Best of the Forum

Lat pain and weighted belt

I've been having left lat pain on the days I do chins (70x5x3) and dips (130x5x3). Have you ever observed someone getting lat pain from a weighted dip belt?

I stopped doing weighted dips and it seems to have correlated well. Any information would be appreciated.

Mark Rippetoe

They bother my lat insertions at the shoulder too, so I can't do them weighted. Dips never bother my lats.


I’ve tweaked what I thought was my lat doing dips, but turned out to be serratus anterior.


It feels more like it's along the muscle belly toward the origin.

Like I said, it could just be a correlation. I can't think of a good reason why it would bother the muscle belly of the lat and not the erectors/spine.

Mark Rippetoe

The erectors are strong, and they are only in isometric contraction.


I was thinking more because the weighted belt is pulling on a narrow band on my back - like being constantly pulled into lumbar hyperextension. I don't see a reason why this would affect the muscle belly of my lat though.

Mark Rippetoe

I wasn't thinking in terms of the pressure of the belt, but rather the distal load on the lats. Maybe I don't understand the question.


You answered the original, but imprecise question.

The precise question is "Can you think of a reason why excessive mid/lower back muscle soreness (approximately the muscle belly of the lat) would correlate with heavy belt-weighted exercises such as the weighted dip and chin?"

Does that clarify my question?

Mark Rippetoe

I cannot. The only mechanism would be contact pressure, and that doesn't seem likely.


Alright. Thank you. It's probably just a correlation with something else causing it.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

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