Starting Strength Weekly Report

February 07, 2022

Pinned Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Q&A Episode - The Economy, IF, and Rogan – Rip answers questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • What to do if You Can't Squat the Bar – Starting Strength Coach Andrew Lewis explains how to use a box if someone doesn't have the strength or balance to squat with a bar.
  • Sleep Apnea, CPAPs, and Sleep Studies – Ray Gillenwater talks about his experience with using a CPAP.
  • Developing Corps Strength by Gregory Hess – An Appeal to the Service Academies for the Prioritization of Strength
  • Simplicity by Daniel Oakes – Most thinkers are preoccupied with what the will is, whereas Rippetoe is concerned with how to best apply it...
  • Weekend Archives: Wanna Bet? by Bill Starr – For a competitive athlete to continuously improve in any sport, he must test himself against others on a regular basis. Not just at contests, but in training sessions as well...
  • Weekend Archives: How to Build a Home Gym by Mark Rippetoe – Not everybody who wants to train for strength can fit a gym membership into their lifestyle. Scheduling problems, the cost, travel problems from home or work, the absence of an adequately equipped facility...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

jacob prs the deadlift on his birthday
Jacob celebrated his 16th birthday and a deadlift PR on the same day. Congratulations Jacob on finally being able to get to the gym on your own and pulling 185lbs! [photo courtesy of Chase Lindley]
celebrating adam martin earning his ssc
Starting Strength Coach Marie Worhsam and owner Luke Schroeder present Adam Martin with his official "coach" hat after he successfully received his Starting Strength Coaching Credential. Way to go Adam! [photo courtesy of Pete Yeh]
josh wells and quincy demonstrate setting the back in the deadlift
SSC Josh Wells and Quincy demonstrate how to set the back for the deadlift at the Starting Strength Seminar this past weekend. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
starting strength coaches auditing the seminar in february
All the Starting Strength Coaches that came to audit the seminar in February. From left to right: Nick D’Agostino, Joey Goana, Alex Kosarie, Hayden-William Courtland, Christian Conti-Vock, Ryan O’Connell-Peller, and Paul Horn [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
starting strength san antonio apprentices tested at the starting strength seminar
Starting Strength San Antonio apprentices Matt and Jordan both opted-in for the platform evaluation at this weekend's seminar. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
tony stein coaches katherine squatting 205
Tony Stein coaching Katherine Langley through a set of 5 squats at 205. [photo courtesy of Matthew Gemmill]
sharon squats 160 at testify strength
Sharon squats 160 lb for sets of five at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
brenda deadlifts 130
Brenda Nguyen deadlifts 130#. [photo courtesy of Josh Wells]
ruchika deadlifts 98 pounds
Ruchika Bengali deadlifting 98#. [photo courtesy of Matthew Gemmill]

Best of the Week

Spanish Language edition of the Blue Book is ready

Mark Rippetoe

Translated by Hari Fafutis SSC, this beautiful version of SS:BBT3 is ready right now. Amazon will have it up as soon as they complete processing the listing. In the meantime, we ship anywhere in the world.


I'm assuming you have hired Mexican weather girls or Lydia Valentin to model the lifts? Otherwise, I'm not buying.

Mark Rippetoe

We will not sell it to you.

Best of the Forum

Curls instead of chins for pin firing?


A friend with an elbow problem can’t chin. Would dumbbell curls be a substitute?

Mark Rippetoe

Lat pulldowns would be the sub.


Over the past several years, I've struggled with persistent biceps pain and elbow pain. It has been variously diagnosed as C7 radiculopathy, biceps tendonitis, golfer's elbow, and/or tennis elbow. I've had MRIs, physical exams, and x-rays. The primary problem is that it completely inhibited my ability to progress the bench press and the press, and secondarily at times was a choke-point for my squat. Chins were also a major struggle--and I could not really progress to unassisted chins due to the pain.

I've read almost every post on this board (and others), including several that I started. I received lots of good ideas, and I played with most of them. I used a combination of exercises, which finally brought me relief in the past four months. Here are the exercises that helped me the most:

1. The pin-firing approach that I assume you're referring to--I did chins but using assistance bands liberally. Obviously, these were sub-maximal reps, but it enabled me to do a lot of reps. I typically aimed for an assistance band that enabled me to do between 12-15 reps for three sets. I did these once a week.

2. Hammer curls. For whatever reason, hammer curls aggravated my situation less than barbell or dumbell curls. I typically did these once a week, in the 15-20 rep range for three sets.

3. A series of physical therapy suggested stretching exercises (you can look them up on youtube or elsewhere for the actual movement): (a) Radial Nerve Glides, 5-8 reps, 2-4x per day, 5-7 days per week. Hold each glide at extension for 3-5 seconds; (b) wrist extension stretch (median nerve glide), 5 reps 4x per day, 5-7 days per week; (c) wrist flexion stretch (same as extension reps); (d) prone shoulder end range lift off (10 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 5-8 reps 3x per week).

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