Starting Strength Weekly Report

December 03, 2018

  • Strength and Joint Health, Pt 4 – Starting Strength Coach and Doctor of Physical Therapy Will Morris discusses medical and exercise interventions for arthritis in part 4 of the Starting Strength Coaches Association science panel discussion on Strength and Joint Health.
Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • Arizona Seminar Q&A, 2 – Rip and the Starting Strength Seminar Staff share Chase Lindley stories and answer questions during the Phoenix seminar about relative strength and training people with joint replacements.
From the Coaches
  • Andy Baker has a 6 week cycle set up for pulling for speed for those who aren't Olympic weightlifters, but use the lifts in their training.

In the Trenches

eunsun park warms up the squat
Starting Strength Coach Kyoungha Kim coaches Eunsun Park through a warm-up set at the Squat Training Camp in Seoul this past weekend. [photo courtesy of Inhyuk Eun]
sunghoon park middle of a pull
At the following Deadlift & Clean Camp, Sunghoon Park works through the middle of a pull under the direction of Starting Strength Coach Inhyuk Eun. [photo courtesy of Kyoungha Kim]
crystal riner coaching at a coaching development camp
Crystal Riner runs Keith Joseph through the squat teaching method during the first Squat Coaching Development Camp held at Iron City Athletic Club last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
john claassen birthday pr of 225 at 92
In celebration of his 92nd birthday, John Claassen pulls a new PR of 225 at Greysteel Strength and Conditioning – an object lesson in the perils of training according to the principles of volume-sensitivity and intensity-dependence outlined in The Barbell Prescription. [photo courtesy of Jonathon Sullivan]
cassi niemann adjusts hip position in the deadlift
Cassi Niemann adjusts Tavar's hips in the start position of the deadlift at last weekend's pulling camp in Richmond, VA. [photo courtesy of Alex Beasley]
iron city ssc acme lifters
Starting Strength Coaches Nicholas Racculia, Graham Schaller, and Nick Delgadillo along with Iron City Athletic Club coaches after a training session with the group of lifters from ACME Providers.
scott squats 185 lb
Scott K. squats 185 lb while Jordan Stanton SSC prays to the Iron Gods for favor in the battle against gravity. [photo courtesy of Stanton Strength]

Meet Results

abby sharp 80kg clean and jerk

Abby Sharp hits an 80 kg (176.4 lbs) clean-and-jerk for her third attempt at this weekend's 3rd annual Testify Christmas Classic Weightlifting Meet in Omaha, NE. Abby went 6-for-6, took 1st place in the women's 71 kg junior division, and qualified for both the 2019 USAW National Junior Championships and the 2019 USAW National University & Under 25 Championships.

Results - Testify Christmas Classic Weightlifting Meet

7th barbells and bbq strengthlifting meet
Group photo from the 7th Barbells and BBQ Strengthlifting Meet at Hygieia Strength & Conditioning, Singapore.

Results – 2018 7th Barbells and BBQ Strengthlifting Meet

Best of the Week

Getting the most out of CrossFit

I am a male in my mid 40s and started CrossFit about a year ago because it was (and still is) the only place I can do deadlifts in the area where I live. I also had to get in shape. In the past year, I found out on my own what I think your opinion on CrossFit is: barbell training is awesome, but the workouts can be brutal and for my age too many reps, many times to the detriment of form.

Despite any issues, I love CrossFit. I am in much better shape than I was a year ago (probably best shape ever in my life) and enjoy the small gym feel and social aspects (however silly that is).

My question: if CrossFit is the only place I can do barbell training, can I do it in a way that is age appropriate and still beneficial without causing any harm? I know when my form starts to go... but can't stop halfway through a workout.

Do you have any advice? Use less weights? Don’t finish workouts? How to get the most out of CrossFit?

Mark Rippetoe

If you are incapable of stopping a workout when you know your form has fallen apart, then you cannot do the workout without the potential of causing harm. Thus, CrossFit cannot be done productively by you. I think Coach Glassman would tell you the same thing.


When I saw the title of the thread I could not wait to see how this would end. Remarkably restrained and understated, Coach.

Lajos buddy, there is a lot of history here, this Xfit stuff as opposed to strength Training. The bottom line here is the belief that strength is the most important “modality” for reasons too many to list. Get your deadlift up by focusing on disciplined programmed strength training, and you may be pleasantly surprised at what happens to your Murph or whatever times, let alone your daily natural activities.

Please for all that is holy do not get injured with bad form because you are doing reps against a clock.


Thanks for the advice. As I mentioned above, the only gym in my area allowing deadlifts and other barbell training is CrossFit.

Would you suggest setting up a power rack in my basement, getting a barbell and plates and doing strength training on my own?

Mark Rippetoe

This is the standard approach to having no place to train.

Best of the Forum

Clarification for the BJJ population
Joe Pears

I was wondering if you could provide some clarification on your opinion on using the novice program while training in jiujitsu. You said that for someone training intensely 5-6 days a week grappling the program would not be able to be done in additon as recovery would not be achievable.

However, most BJJ guys have branched out from the battle ropes circuit stuff and lots of them consider your program and Wendler’s the type we should be doing. Your explanation that training and exercise were different things is something starting to gain a lot of credence and is starting the slow death of the bosu ball.

So could you provide a concrete answer from your lips as to how much jiujitsu or MMA or wrestling, Judo, Kickboxing etc can do while being able to do your program and actually expect good results?

For example would three lifting days a week, three BJJ sessions a week while consuming 3-4500 calories be OK. This question is asked on every jiujitsu and MMA forum and we never have an authoritative answer from yourself.

I hear guys who train 6 days a week and barely eat say they are doing SS and end up giving it a bad name or guys just asking if they should do it and how much grappling to do while they do it.

We need clarification coach.

Nick Delgadillo

There has to be a distinction made between guys and gals who just "do" JiuJitsu/MMA/WhateverElse and guys and gals who compete. If a person is a competitive fighter, then they should program just like any other athlete competing in a sport. That means there will be times when they're focusing on strength and times that they'll be practicing skill. What the current focus is depends on the timing of the next event.

Someone who grapples 5 days a week will have a hell of a time doing the program unless they're willing to eat and sleep enough to recover. What's wrong with taking 3 to 4 months and doing the JiuJitsu or MMA class once or twice a week instead of every day? The answer is not a goddamn thing and at the end of those 3 to 4 months, you'll be a stronger, better conditioned, tougher fighter than if you fucked around with a little bit of lifting here and there to supplement the grappling stuff.

Once someone gets past the manic phase of martial arts training and starts to look for ways to not get their ass kicked anymore or be in better shape, I'll tell them to cut the MA training down (GASP!!!) to a couple of days a week and run a linear progression. Most folks are surprised that they perform better in their grappling/sparring even though they're not "doing cardio". Once that person is ready for an intermediate program, they'll add more of the MA training back in and adjust as necessary if they decide to compete.

It's hard to get fighters and martial arts types to understand how much of an impact strength will have on their performance on the mat. Everyone wants to act like it's the secret unattainable black belt knowledge that will make you a beast on the mat, but the reality is that there is NOTHING you can do in the short amount of time that I'll ask you to just lift that will increase your performance more than getting strong. We've all had to grapple with the dude who just walked in the gym from working on the farm for half his damn life and is strong as shit- maybe wrestled in high school- but hasn't spent a day in a JiuJitsu or MMA class and we all know how difficult it is to deal with someone like that. The point is, the strength will persist and will affect your output on the mat. As your skill level improves, you can apply that strength more effectively.

Mark Rippetoe

I have nothing to add to Nick's remarks. Specific questions?

Joe Pears

It is mostly people who just train and are not professional or amateur MMA fighters on most boards inquiring. The standard recommendation on many of them seems to be either structure it like this:

  • Monday - 1 hour technique class - 1 hour sparring
  • Tuesday - Novice program - mobility work
  • Wednesday - 1 hour technique class - 1 hour sparring
  • Thursday - Novice program - mobility work
  • Friday - 1 hour technique class - 1 hour sparring
  • Saturday - Novice program - mobility work
  • Sunday - rest or mobility work

General advice is just to eat all red meat, poultry, milk, rice and pasta in sight and get tonnes of sleep.

Or follow 5/3/1 and make much slower progress, but seeing as I am only squatting my bodyweight it seems like a far too advanced program for me to be following.

For the last few weeks I have just been getting my form down and I have been out of any training with an injury that has only just fully healed. I want to make sure my return will be a productive one and not something that just leads me to spinning my wheels while the high rep circuit crap did.

At the least I would like to grapple 3 days a week, otherwise I could not justify the money I pay. And while getting strong is something I see as desirable, getting better at the sport I like to do is the main reason for desiring it.

Nick Delgadillo

These are intimately related, especially for the not particularly gifted. I explained an optimal situation for a grappler who wants to get stronger. Anything different will be suboptimal, so you'll have to decide if that's ok for you or not.

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Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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