Starting Strength Weekly Report

December 24, 2018

  • Strong Enough? Thoughts on Thirty Years of Barbell Training is now available in audiobook format through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
  • Strength and Joint Health, Pt 5 – CJ Gotcher discusses interventions for dealing with tendinopathy from good to absolute silly bullshit including supplements, cryotherapy, and stretching.
Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
From the Coaches
  • FiveX3 Training advises drilling an important skill for health and longevity – Get Down and Get Up. Watch their video to see how they approach it.

In the Trenches

andrew finishes his pull in the clean
Andrew Soderstrom finishes his pull nicely during the power clean session at a recent Starting Strength Seminar at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week

I want to be a “helluva 275”

I’m a 310lb 6ft 2in male. I'm currently running HLM and am on schedule to deadlift 500 and squat 405 before the new year. Current lifts:

  • SQ: 380x4x5
  • DL: 475X2X3
  • BP: 300X4X5
  • OP: 175X4X5

I feel that the time has come for my priority to shift from getting stronger to losing weight. My 3 goals for next year are, In order of importance:

  1. drop to 275 lbs (for sake of specificity lets say by April)
  2. maintain current strength levels
  3. decrease time spent in the gym( I’m a grad student and i currently spend 3 hrs easy, 3 days a week training)

What kind of programming should I use to accomplish these goals? And what should my nutrition look like?

Michael Wolf

If you want to drop 35 lbs in 3 months and maintain current strength levels, while spending less time in the gym...all I can really say is good luck. I think that is very likely an unrealistic combination of goals. You could probably do it in 9 months and more or less maintain strength, possibly even set some new PRs in the earlier stages. You could do it in 3 months and spend less time in the gym, but you will lose strength when you cut 3 lbs per week for 3 months. You won't lose all your strength, and you'll be able to get it back when you stabilize, but during a cut like that, you can't expect to not lose strength.


Ok let’s drop goal 2 then.

Michael Wolf

Moderate volume, moderate intensity, fairly large caloric deficit.


So how does this sound four a 4 day Heavy/light split?


  • Heavy squat 70% 1rm for 5x3
  • Power Clean/snatch 3x5
  • Conditioning 10min


  • Heavy press 70% 5x3
  • Paused bench 89% of Friday 5x3
  • Chins
  • Conditioning 10min


  • Heavy deadlift 70% 5x3
  • Light squat 80% Monday’s weight 5x3
  • Conditioning 10 min


  • Heavy bench 70% 5x3
  • Pin press from forehead 80% of Tuesday 5x3
  • Barbell row 5x3
  • Conditioning 10 min

If I've been doing 5x5s on most lifts since March, does this constitute moderate volume and intensity? Is 40 min. enough conditioning work for the week? I’m thinking somewhere between 2000–2500 Cal a day with 200 g of protein.

Michael Wolf

Not a bad stab, I'd adjust a few things. Intensity is fairly low here, you're going to need to do something heavier than 70% 1RM sometimes. Singles at 88–92%, and doubles and triples at the same % of 2 and 3RM, respectively – at least one of those should be done every two weeks, if not every week. I'd also probably only deadlift one set of five and a back-off, especially if you're doing 15 cleans and snatches the other day.

Food wise, you might want to ask Santana, but I'd probably have more protein, like 250 g. Total cals will depend on where you're starting from, but weighing 310, going down to 2000–2500 in one shot seems drastic to me. You're probably eating 4000 or so to be where you are with training, assuming you're not doing much else. If so, going down to 3000 is still a pretty big jump. 250/250/110 gets you down to 3000.

Best of the Forum

What would your mobility routine look like?

First of all, thank you for all you do to make such great strength training information so easily accessible.

I recall reading in a forum post of yours from several years back that you "think that for most people, mobility work is probably a good idea, but that many S&C people get fixated on it at the expense of getting strong." If you were to recommend a mobility routine (that does not interfere with getting strong) for the average lifter, I was wondering if you could describe what it would look like. Thanks!

Mark Rippetoe

It would look just like the 5 major exercises done for several sets of 5 with the empty bar.


Using the empty bar works fine. I'm terribly stiff, so I was trying to do all these ridiculous mobility exercises prior to the workout. For a fatty, this shit is like a workout in and of itself. And it wasn't really that awesome. Then I went with the SS recommendation to simply use the empty bar along with warmup sets to work into the "stretch." Works as well as if not better than the other BS. That and shoulder dislocations prior to OHP and squats.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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