Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 06, 2017

Training Log
Starting Strength Channel

sam burger sets up his pull
Sam Burger sets up to pull 275x5 in The Barbell Club at WFC. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]

Best of the Week

SS Coaches: Training your parents

Just curious: SS Coaches are you currently training your parents? I would imagine that's a "yes" for most of you since that's what you are passionate about. Also asking because I'm wondering if you, even as SS Coaches, have had resistance from them?

Michael Wolf

Some of us have successfully gotten parents or other family members into this. But many haven't. Our families are like everyone's families. Often stubborn, often not supportive of what we do, often stuck thinking of us the way they did when we were kids and unable to accept we know more about something than they do. Of course not always, but you know the same resistances that anyone else can get from family about anything.

Whether or not someone can actually COACH a parent or family member will depend on the particulars of the relationship, but it is often a process fraught with difficulty.

I started working on my mom in 2013, and she finally took a lesson in 2015 - I thought it would be better if I didn't do it myself, and thankfully my good friend Dr. Petrizzo taught my mom to squat and press. She was also more comfortable with this since he's a physical therapist. She finally started training regularly over a year later, about 6 months ago. After John's original lesson, I've been able to do a couple sessions where I coached her, but had to approach the sessions a little more delicately than my usual. But I'm so happy she's regularly training that I'm OK with that. I still think it was a good idea for me NOT to have been the one who first taught her.

All that said, it's completely understandable for anyone's family or parents not to be lifting. Family relationships are often complicated and it's not so simple to get people into doing something like this.

Katherine Bickford

My brother and I have jointly coached our parents. It took my mom awhile to come around. Just like any trainee, it helps if they get there on their own, and they need to want it for themselves and not to please you. Sully's book will be a big help to anyone who wants to get their folks under a bar, my mom is now obsessed with "the extreme sport of aging."

Best of the Forum

Question about MMA/Boxing – “Natural” Weight Class

I'm a fan of MMA, and I know now that fighters cut water weight to make weight for a weight class - so a LHW wouldn't weigh 205 on fight night, for example. I'm just curious as to see your opinion on strength training for these guys - should they focus on NOT putting on muscle, or put on muscle and strength and fight at a higher weight class?

Mark Rippetoe

Depends on age, frame, and other factors, for all weight-class sports. As a general rule, I don't like to see guys remain small, and I certainly as hell don't like to see kids abused by their coaches with assignment to lighter weight classes than they should be in. If an adult wants to stay in a lighter class, fine with me, if it's for the right reasons. Staying artificially light so that you don't get beaten in a heavier class is not the right reason, because you don't know until you've been there that you wouldn't do better at a heavier bodyweight.

Andy Baker

One of the most interesting stories to watch is Anthony Johnson in the UFC. Talent coming out his ears but insisted on fighting at 170 lbs and had kind of a mediocre initial run in the UFC. Its rumored he was cutting up to 35 lbs in the final day or so. Now he is back in the UFC in his second stint as a LHW. Still cutting weight to make 205 but appears to be just as quick and fast as before.


I have a theory about this. Say if a guy trains to a 500lb squat and puts on 50lbs of muscle to weigh 250lbs. Then does full time MMA training and loses weight to 205lbs over a period of six months or so with only sporadic heavy weight training. Surely the muscle memory (or whatever Rip wrote about this in the book- I forget off the top of my head) would come into play? Said fighter would still retain much of the strength he developed while also being in peak cardiovascular condition to fight for 25 minutes.

Mark Rippetoe

Right. But I'm thinking 225 instead of 205.

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