Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 22, 2021

Traction Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Physical Strength is the Most Important Thing in Life – Mark Rippetoe discusses getting strong as the overarching principle for the Starting Strength Method.
  • Your Scapulae, Your Shoulders, and The Press – Starting Strength Coach Pete Troupos demonstrates the movement of the shoulder joint and scapula when doing heavy presses, and discusses why pressing is safe for the shoulders.
  • Sirloin Tips with Mark Rippetoe – Mark Rippetoe makes the classic sirloin tips recipe from the Floral Heights Cafe in Wichita Falls.
  • Difficult Things by Jim Steel – My Black Labrador Rebel and I were just driving back to the house yesterday after going to Tractor Supply and buying some slippers. Yes, slippers...
  • Using the High-Bar Squat by Mark Rippetoe – I have been asked about this so many times that I guess I should address it, so I can copy and paste the link when I need to. Saves time...
  • Weekend Archives: The Coachable Client by Diego Socolinsky – A few weeks ago I was working with a new client at FiveX3 Training. It was his second or third training session, and we were having a little friction about programming and weight selection...
  • Weekend Archives: The Power Clean by Mark Rippetoe – When I first started lifting seriously, I had the good fortune to meet Bill Starr in the weight room at what was then Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas. I was a snotty-nosed little smartass at the time...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

colby iliff squats at a wichita falls seminar
Colby Iliff, owner of Starting Strength Oklahoma City, squats during the Starting Strength Seminar held at WFAC in early February. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
mark rippetoe in the studio recording more audiobooks
Rip in the studio recording new audiobooks for release later this year. [photo courtesy of Rusty Holcomb]

Best of the Week

Sensory deprivation tanks
Eric Larousse

Is float therapy good for recovery or is it a waste of 90 minutes laying there floating?

Mark Rippetoe

Depends on who you ask. The operator of the tank will say it is. Sleep is better.

Mark E. Hurling

The writers of both the old and retread Hawaii Five-O spoke highly of it for breaking the will.



Mark Rippetoe

The man is a literary Colossus. You'd better have your English Major ducks in a row before you read any of his posts.


What MEH does cannot be taught in school.

Mark E. Hurling

Some of us have good memories fore what happened back when.

"Ka ʻōwili ʻōkaʻi" (Hawaiian for: "Cocoon") is the first episode of the ninth season of Hawaii Five-0. It aired on September 28, 2018. The episode was written by Leonard Freeman & Peter M. Lenkov and was directed by Bryan Spicer.[1] In the episode Steve is captured and placed in a sensory deprivation tank while the rest of the team attempts to rescue him. The episode is a remake of the 1968 episode of the same name.[2] Source

Best of the Forum

Pin firing for shoulder pain?

I was very ill for a while last year, and during the months I was out of training (in which time I lost around 26lbs) my shoulder started to develop some chronic pain. I suspect it has to do with mild scoliosis I have, but regardless, since getting back into training it hasn't improved again (I'm squatting more than double bodyweight again, deadlifting over 500lbs, body fat around 13-18%).

The main time when it hurts is during a bench press. It starts on the lower part of the concentric phase, then hurts mostly throughout the eccentric phase. I can also elicit the pain by emulating that movement of my elbow behind my body without weight and while sitting upright. It's difficult to pinpoint where exactly the pain is, but it feels like it's coming from inside my shoulder and it's sharp. Also it bothers me during sleep. I've been using linear progression to recover my lifts, but my bench is sticking due to pain, while all my other lifts go up.

In the past I fixed elbow issues using your pin firing protocol and fixed a lat insertion issue using another healing protocol of yours (starting high rep low weight). They all worked amazingly well. I'm wondering what protocol you would suggest for my shoulder -- if any -- and which movement to do it with?

Mark Rippetoe

"My shoulder hurts" is not a diagnosis. In the absence of a diagnosis, I can't suggest anything.


Fair enough. Unfortunately I don't have the money to see a doctor right now and I'm sure as hell a good way away from being able to pay for an MRI. I'm afraid my only recourse is to try to solve it myself.

With some more research, I've come to the hypothesis that I have rotator cuff tendonitis from poor sleeping habits. Bench press and any incline press make it hurt more. Presses and chins feel fine. I don't think there's a tear because there was no injury event as such; just irritation.

After going through many threads on this on the site, I've seen that presses and chins are good rehabilitation and to stop benching until the pain goes away. With a hypothetical assumption that I'm correct in my hypothesis, what would be the more specific hypothetical protocol that you'd recommend in addition to what I mentioned? For example the amount of weight and volume, how many times a week, etc.

Mark Rippetoe

If the press doesn't hurt, train it normally.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

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