Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 27, 2023

Favorite Things Edition

  • Starting Strength OKC has begun offering free women's squat classes every Saturday! RSVP here or stop by the gym to signup.
On Starting Strength
  • Why You Should Attend a Seminar – Rip talks about what happens at a Starting Strength Seminar and how attending the seminar will help your training and understanding of the Starting Strength method.
  • How Does a Weightlifting Belt Help You in the Gym? – Starting Strength Coach Ray Gillenwater discusses how a weightlifting belt helps you train. He talks about what to look for when choosing a belt and how to properly wear one.
  • What Gear Should You Have? – In the final episode of this series, Nick D and Caleb Causey from Lone Star Medics discuss field medicine and what gear to get and from where.
  • The Deadlift vs The Clean by Mark Rippetoe – The mechanics of pulling a heavy barbell off the floor is controlled by the interaction between the musculoskeletal anatomy of the human body and the weight on the bar...
  • Presentación de Libro, Starting Strength en Español – Harilaos Fafutis presenta su traducción en español del libro Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training en su gimnasio, explicando la importancia de la fuerza física en nuestras vidas.
  • Weekend Archives: West Coast Impressions, a Random Journey by Ken Leistner – I have written often about living and training in California in the late 1960s, especially about Zuver’s Hall Of Fame Gym. In every case I enjoyed reminiscing...
  • Weekend Archives: A Clarification on the Squat Grip – Mark Rippetoe teaches the proper grip for the squat and addresses the misconception that the elbows should be way "up" and that the shoulder should be in over-extension for a secure and correct grip.

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

heather hands off a bench press to brooke
Heather gives her daughter and fellow Starting Strength Cincinnati member Booke a lift off prior to her bench press. [photo courtesy of Adam Martin]
joseph locks out the fifth rep of a set of presses
Joseph Douglass locking out the last rep on a set of five during the 4:45 PM session. Joseph is number one on the leaderboard at Starting Strength Memphis for the press. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
eighth grader drew squats 225 for fives
8th grader Drew squats double plates for fives as he continues getting ready for the annual Strengthlifting Challenge meet at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Drew is working on consistency from rep-to-rep, which includes working on keeping his knees out a bit more. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
jed setting a pr set of 200 lb squats
Jed setting a new squat PR of 200 lb for 5 at Starting Strength Boston. Jed is slim, but has put on noticeable muscle mass after training for 5 months. [photo courtesy of Stephen Babbitt]
dave sets up for deadlifts on his birthday
A happy birthday in Birmingham, UK as Dave sets up the deadlift to mark his 59th birthday. [photo courtesy of Byron Johnston]
ethan works to develop his coaching skill at starting strength austin
Apprentice Ethan Bynum watches Thomas Hogan's bench press to develop his coaching eye as he works toward the Starting Strength credential at Starting Strength Austin. [photo courtesy of Andrea Mates]
boston apprentice rob works with a new lifter on the deadlift
Apprentice Rob instructing David on his deadlift. David just joined Starting Strength Boston and is starting his novice linear progression. [photo courtesy of Michael Shammas]

Best of the Week



It's been pretty much set in stone that the standing vertical can be improved 10 to 25 percent by increasing strength during the novice phase. Yet why is it that I can improve my box jump so much more? I can do a 48 inch box jump but only a vertical jump of 25 inches. Does this mean one can dunk as basketball with enough strength training or is dunking a basketball more of a vertical style jump. I feel when doing the box jump I'm pretty much just getting better at the skill of pulling my knees to my chest while jumping. Mind you I'm not a novice and don't care about jumping the science behind it just interest me.

Mark Rippetoe

A box jump and a SVJ are completely different things, a box jump being a measure of how good you are at pulling your knees up, while SVJ is a measure of how quickly and how much you can recruit motor units into contraction. Dunking a basketball is a running start.

Best of the Forum

Supraspinatus Tendon and bench


I recently spoke to a DPT who loves your shit. He did the NLP back when only the first edition was out and the guy reminds me a lot of Doc Morris here.

He mentioned that he has his patients with shoulder impingement contract their traps and shrug a tiny bit on bench press to clear the acromion process away and allow some room for the supraspinatus tendon.

Do you see any risks of injury or performance issues here, or is this a relatively safe way to bench for trainees with shoulder impingement issues?

I was wondering how this change of technique would scale with heavier weights since it doesn’t feel like I can get as tight with the shoulders slightly shrugged.

Mark Rippetoe

Doesn't seem like a good idea to me, since the impingement occurs between inferior AC surface and Superior surgical neck of the humerus. I can't picture a shrug in any direction that would unimpinge the joint with the humerus in anterior adduction. We use the humerus at 70 degrees to unimpinge, and we've never had any problems. This is brilliantly illustrated and explained on pp 157-59 of the blue book.

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