Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 15, 2021

Yep, Snowed In Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Questions from the Lovers - The Positive Experience Episode – Mark Rippetoe answers call-in questions live from Starting Strength Radio fans while ensuring absolutely no one has a positive experience.
  • Using Bent Bars in the Gym – Starting Strength Coach Nick Delgadillo gives you some tips for using a bent bar to help with shoulder or elbow issues in the squat.
  • Wear Your Lifting Shoes When You Deadlift – Starting Strength Coach Brent Carter gives seminar attendees some of the many reasons to wear weight lifting shoes when deadlifting.
  • Barbell Etiquette by Carl Raghavan – I can’t stress enough the importance of barbell etiquette. To me, it’s more important than table manners. It demonstrates that you respect the weight room and the people around you...
  • Loss Aversion and Strength Training by Capt James Rodgers – Very often you will hear that a lifter is stuck – something like the bench press getting stuck at 225 lb. It’s usually one of a few recurring numbers...
  • Weekend Archives: Buying Your Own Belt by Grant Broggi – In 2011 while stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma I began going to a local gym owned by Jim Denofa, who is now a good friend of mine. I had been weight training for some time...
  • Weekend Archives: Squats and Your Knees by Mark Rippetoe – The idea that below-parallel squats are bad for the knees is complete nonsense which, for some reason that escapes me, will not go away...

From the Coaches
Get Involved

In the Trenches

ryan deadlifts at wfac
aj deadlifts at wfac
Coached by Rusty Holcomb, Ryan (top) and AJ (bottom) deadlift at WFAC. [photos courtesy of Bre Hillen]

Best of the Week

Tom Brady causing a rethinking?

So I know we traditionally prescribe big explosive movements/exercises (deadlift, cleans etc) so football players can hit and be able to take hits. I guess what’s shocking to me is that Brady has defied the logic, by not doing them ever over the past few years. Any hs/college/pro coach would be irate at his defiance!

And I know he isn’t taking as many hits or as hard of hits as younger guys, but you’d think as an older guy, he wouldn’t need to take as many or as powerful hits to go down for an extended period of time.

That to me seems nuts, and maybe we need to reevaluate the importance we place in such lifts? Which I love doing btw.

Mark Rippetoe

You seem unfamiliar with D1 and pro-level S&C. Your suggestions have already been adopted. I guess it worked!


You should totally stop doing your 5s and get on the TB 12 program. Report back in a few months and let us know how that works out for ya!

Barry Charles

Someone will say this eventually. Which is to say it’s been taught here thoroughly.

Trying to emulate what an extraordinarily gifted person does is not useful. Figuring out what ordinary people need to do to optimally improve their performance is.

Any population will have 67% of the people as average in that context. That’s math.


Regardless of what TB does for training, he's a big dude at 6'4". Any decent kind of training will make/keep him plenty strong for what he needs to do, although I am ignorant of what training he actually does. Plus at the QB position most importantly he needs is a good arm which is somewhat genetic.

QBs also don't take the punishment and late hits they used to take, although Mahomeboy got rocked a few times in SB55


Brady is a genetic freak (not only physically but mentally too). He could probably just do Zumba for exercise and still dominate.

Also, you can't design a strength programme to get the general population stronger based on genetic freaks. It would be like designing a car maintenance course based on Ferraris.

Buddy Rich

Well, here it is. Tom Brady’s workout routine. This is indeed his trainer: Video


He doesn't look like any sort of genetic physical freak to me.

Now, he does love deliberate practice and is willing to get it done so mentally he has put himself on a different level by doing that.

His attention to detail and deliberate practice is what makes him successful. He does all this band work nonsense for strength which seems opposite of what one needs in the NFL but given that he is a QB I think that makes a huge difference. He actually tried to get his linemen in New England to follow the same program but it's my understanding none of them did and they continued to lift heavy.


I would estimate that Brady’s ability to avoid injury can be attributed to great instinct and situational awareness.

Eric Larousse

Genetics are a great thing. The only thing absolutely necessary to be good at a sport is to play the sport. Brady is not not an explosive phenom in the vertical or 40 times but he does have an above average arm which you are born with or without. Throwing the ball a million times is enough for his arm strength and being situationally aware at the qb position is something he has gone over so many times it would make the average man sick.

Best of the Forum

Mean Ol Mr Gravity

I was just reading Mean ol Mr Gravity and there is a point on the Deadlifting and Shoulder Impingement thread where you say in reply to someone "If the bench press doesn't bother the shoulder, chances are it's not going to make it heal either"

Any chance you can elaborate on this as I often also see you tell people to drop the bench if it hurts their shoulder. Just wondering what you base the decision on and why sometimes training through pains helps and other times it doesn't. I am still struggling with shoulder pain but can so far bench through it without too much trouble. I found this intriguing!

Mark Rippetoe

Context is very important. What is the source of your shoulder pain? Diagnosis?


MRI showed inflammation of the bursa and a slight thickening of something. Doc did cortisone shot that did nothing. UK based, so did all the usual physio but that did nothing. In the end, nothing was working so I thought f!*k it and just started training again with a reset. Pain has not improved much day to day but it doesn't really hurt to train either. In fact, it temporarily feels slightly better after the warm up and the work out!!

I was just really interested in the quote about if something doesn't hurt then it wont help cure. I thought that was an intriguing notion and wondered what was behind that in general, rather than at me specifically. Is working through pain and causing further inflammation a way to bring extra blood to an area a way to help expedite fixing something or is this based on something entirely different.

Mark Rippetoe

In a general sense, if your foot hurts, it won't help to work on your hand. Specifically, the idea is that inflamed tissue is edematous, and that massage or other pressure, as from working the area through its ROM, pushes the fluid out of the tissue, enabling the inflammatory process to more effectively heal the lesion.

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.