Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 20, 2023

Snapdragon Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Best of Comments from the Haters! – An extraordinary edition of Starting Strength Radio to commemorate episode 200, a compilation of the best of Comments from the Haters!
  • Every Week I'm Challenging Myself – Denise Salcido from Starting Strength Denver talks about her strength journey and why she never uses her home gym anymore.
  • Owner of Two Gyms at Age 30 – Ray Gillenwater talks with the owner of Starting Strength OKC, Colby Iliff, about opening a second gym in OKC.
  • Motivation by Carl Raghavan – Why are you here? What's your “why”? What's keeping you motivated to train? You're spending all this time in the weight room – for what?...
  • Doc by John Musser – Doc was old now, impossibly so, it seemed. Still, he had recently decided there were things to be done...
  • 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: The Mathematical Nature of Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe – Few things could be simpler: use a few exercises that work as much of the body at one time as possible, find out how strong you are now...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

rip works with ryan at the starting strength seminar
Rip works with Ryan Jensen during the Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
sarah locks out a deadlift at the starting strength seminar
Sarah Magie deadlifts during the Starting Strength Seminar held at WFAC over the weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
jon coaches shea during the platform session at the starting strength seminar
Jon Nir coaches Shea Manzo during the squat platform session of the Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
john haun locks out a rack pull
The owner of Starting Strength Memphis, John Haun, locks out a rack pull set of five at 465. He’s slowly ramping back up after being sick. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
brussels barbell new floor space
Brussels Barbell, Europe's only Starting Strength Affiliate, has just gone through a massive expansion after 16 months of operation. The overall floor space as well as the number of racks has doubled and there is now an area for general conditioning when appropriate. Small group training has gone from five to eight lifters at a time and this will be the site of regular Starting Strength Training Camps in the future. [photo courtesy of Steve Ross]
amanda coaches gabe in the deadlift
Beaverton Head Coach Amanda Sheppard shows Gabe, an avid surfer, how to set his back for the deadlift. A strong back will help him ride the Oregon Coast waves for a long time. [photo courtesy of Jen Smith]
evelyn prepares to squat
Evelyn sets new Squat PR of 150 lb x 5 at Starting Strength Boston. She loves training with her fellow moms in the 9 am class. [photo courtesy of Michael Shammas]
paul in the middle and the lockout of a 320 lb deadlift pr
Because it was his birthday week, Paul got a testing week at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. He set PRs in his squat, bench press, and he then finished his day with this 320 lb deadlift for a final PR. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
paul takes a deep breath before his last rep in a set of squats
Paul takes a deep breath as he prepares to brace for his last squat rep while training at Starting Strength Cincinnati. [photo courtesy of Adam Martin]
group photo of tori and her 5th grade class after a deadlift tutorial
Inna Koppel visits Tori's 5th-grade class to do a presentation during Health Week at the school. Each student received a milk jug following a deadlift tutorial and a proper flexing session. [photo courtesy of Raina Butler]

Best of the Week

Should I lose weight?

Daniel Town

Hey guys, I'm 175cm (5'9 ?) weighing in at 93kg (205lbs). My numbers are as follows: SQ 165k 2x3, BP 121k 3x3, Press 81k 3x5, DL 190k 1x3

I did a dexa scan recently and am 21% body fat with 70kg of muscle. I went from a skinny dude to a pretty decently size man, I feel as confident as ever. Sadly, my wife thinks im too big and wants me to cut.. I need some advice..... at first I was wanting to hit 100k and cut/maintain, looks like it's not going to happen. What's the ideal bodyweight for my height? I want to be able to keep pushing up my numbers.

Robert Santana

This is a good start if your goal is to lift competitively. If you want to settle your wife down, I wouldn't lose more than 5-7 kg, while continuing to move the needle on the lifts. What is your waist circumference?

Daniel Town

I am 37.5inches from the bellybutton around. Will my numbers take a hit when loosing weight?

Robert Santana

Most likely, especially on squat, bench press, and press. Deadlift may go up. Depends on how you approach the weight loss and how low you go.


This reminds me of a call in on a similar topic where Rip told the guy to get a new wife!

Robert Santana

That is always an option.

Best of the Forum

Minimum Effective Dose for Maintenance/Detraining-Prevention

Adam S

If a lifter decides to take a month off of progressing for whatever reason (to focus on college exams, busy work periods, etc.), but is still able to lift 3 days a week, what would be the minimum effective dose for the maintenance of strength / prevention of detraining?

For example it would make sense if a lifter's last squat workout was 350 for 3 sets of 5, that the lifter simply repeat 350, 3x5, for every workout of the month. But if the goal is to maintain strength are these exact parameters required? Would 2 sets or 1 set with 350 workout be enough? Similarly with frequency, is 3 days a week required?

Mark Rippetoe

Just so I understand, you have the time to train 3 days/week, but you'd rather just fuck around instead of making any progress during these three workouts. Is this correct?

Adam S

No, I promise this is not a scenario I am considering LOL. I was trying to find a real-life example that would help with the question, but I realized the one I provided was lousy.

More specifically: we know the optimal amount of stress that results in a strength-increasing adaptation - for novices this is 3x5, three days a week, adding 5lbs a workout. I am curious as to what amount of stress is required to maintain a strength adaptation? You have mentioned before that, unlike cardiorespiratory adaptations, strength adaptations are more persistent. For the maintenance of these respective adaptations, it would make sense to me that a strength-stressing event would need to be less frequent then a cardiorespiratory event.

Knowing how often/much stress would help me get an idea of how persistent strength adaptations are. I apologize that this is an unmeaningful question, but I am just really curious about this.


If you lift the same weight each time eventually you WILL regress - the body has nothing to adapt to, so it won't. To quote JM Blakely "if you want a plateau you'll get one. There are many in the powerlifting game who work in construction all day, then train at night. Stop making excuses for yourself.

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