Starting Strength Weekly Report

January 13, 2020

Starting Strength Radio
Starting Strength Channel


In the Trenches

mark rippetoe q&a at starting strength denver grand opening
Rip holds a Q&A with visitors at the Starting Strength Denver grand opening event last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
rippetoe leads the squat training camp at starting strength denver
Attendees - two-legged and four - at Starting Strength Denver's first Squat Training Camp held this past Sunday by Mark Rippetoe and Jared Nessland. [photo courtesy of Jay Livsey]
squatter and spotters on the platform in denver
Squatter and spotters on the platform at the Squat Training Camp in Denver. [photo courtesy of Jay Livsey]
hygieia strength and conditioning gym joannes marvin shaun pang ray gillenwater
Starting Strength Coaches Joannes Marvin, Shaun Pang, and Ray Gillenwater at Hygieia Strength & Conditioning in Singapore last week.

Best of the Week

Joe Rogan / Pavel “Which is best - barbell or kettlebell or machines?”
Robin UK

The first two minutes [of this video]: “Kettlebells promote functional strength.”   I’ll waste zero airtime deconstructing the low quality content of that sentence. What’s depressing is that Joe Rogan arguably has one the of the biggest global outreaches on the Internet for a huge demographic of males (and well done to him for achieving that). However, for someone such as Rogan who has spent so long thinking and doing the things in the domain of physical male culture should say the above and continue throughout the podcast to make less than well-informed comments on basic matters of phenomenology and (as most people do) - forget the raw scientific definition of what strength IS - is very disappointing.

  I wish I found Starting Strength years ago - it would’ve saved me a lot of wasted / non-optimised mental and physical endeavour and money. I can’t help but feel sad that the general public is exposed to ever increasingly vast swathes of either downright dishonest information, or in the main, seriously flawed information. Like you say, the health and fitness industry is particularly prone to this. Criminal.

Mark Rippetoe

The nutrition industry is particularly prone to it as well. This Friday SS Radio will examine The Game Changers. Watch for it.

Robin UK

Very surprised at Pavel crediting barbell training on the one hand whilst implying the barbell is a less safe option to kettlebells. Okay, he is selling kettlebells and that’s his thing, but rather disappointing to hear him say that about barbells which just is not logical.

Mark Rippetoe

He sells kettlebells, I sell barbells. Kinda predictable.

Robin UK

Predictable in terms of him falling heavily on one side of the coin but I was still surprised given his relative stature in the industry that he should say such a stupid thing re. his barbell safety comment. He should’ve at least issued some sort of a caveat. And Joe Brogan commenting about how brilliant kettlebells are for building functional strength for sport, well, I think you’ve already covered that one perfectly.

If I had to summarise that topic in one word, I’d reference your discussion with Stan Efferding and say “eggs.” The general public are being royally screwed. Nothing new under the Sun I guess....


It's funny that all these people who do kettlebell and functional strength exercises still ask me to carry the fucking cooler.

Mark Rippetoe

It's funny that they think a 500 deadlift is not "functional." If your function is picking things up, do the math.

Vinnie Boombatz

If I remember correctly Pavel didn't trash barbells. And of course he's going to say kettlebells are superior, it's his livelihood. But he did say barbells are very functional and effective.

Robin UK

3:55 “The barbell is not forgiving”

Neither is unprotected sex with parrots.

Correct performance technique in desired domains = commensurate rewards reaped (usually).


I remember it the same way. Probably because I listened to a lot more than 10 minutes of the podcast. He also did say that Bill Starr was one of the greatest strength coaches and referenced Starr's books as being great as well. I expected Pavel to be a quack but he did say a lot of good shit.

Travis Reid

This from the StrongFirst website:

"The kettlebell is the entry point into strength. Properly used, it teaches priceless movement lessons that prepare you for safe and effective barbell training. But the kettlebell can only go so far in the development of absolute strength. Enter the Barbell Course."

Pretty much sums it up - barbells are superior for strength, just as we already knew.

Best of the Forum

Starting Strength and Proprioception Issues

I found your videos on YouTube which lead me to buying Starting Strength and I’m reading through it right now. Long story short, my wife and I have always enjoyed working out together. She’s 31. I’m 35. In February of 2017 she was hit head on by an impaired driver. She suffered a TBI and several small strokes. She’s made a great recovery and is doing well, but as a result of her injuries her proprioception is screwed up. So during complex movements her body doesn’t move the way her brain is telling it to. So moving a free barbell isn’t an option for her. I think Starting Strength would be a great program for her but what can we do to make it possible for her? I’ve been looking at Smith machines or power tech machines but I wanted to get your opinion before we spend the money.

Mark Rippetoe

What is her status now? Can she walk normally, balance, stand up/sit down with no trouble? Any permanent paralysis or vision problems?


She went through a month of inpatient rehab and 8 months of 3 day a week outpatient rehab. She can sit, stand, walk, drive, and take care of herself. No paralysis or vision problems. She has some fine motor issues. She has trouble with hair and makeup and handwriting. She’s a physician assistant and has been back to work full time for almost a year now.

I should add that she's been doing beach body workouts since the spring of this year. She gets through the warm ups just fine but once the workouts start and the moves start to get more complex she has to struggle to get her arms and legs to cooperate. So she doesn’t end up getting much out of it and it’s frustrating for her.


Ryan, we are all pulling for you and your wife. She is a brave woman and its people like her who have to struggle through a TBI recovery that provide an example for the rest of us. She is amazing if she is at the point of considering to squat. I remember my Mom's recovery and all the balance issues. Many people can't consider how difficult it is, having to relearn how to stand and then walk again.

And it's not just her - your involvement and support in her recovery. Good luck to both of you. Please tell her some guy on the internet said that she is his hero. Because she is.

Mark Rippetoe

Where do you live? I see no reason for her not to start training with a bar. I have trained people far more profoundly disabled than her, and they got good results. But she'll need coaching, and I wouldn't recommend that she try to do this without it.


Thanks! White Hall, Illinois. It’s about an hour and a half north of St. Louis

Joe Jalosynski

There are two great coaches in St. Louis. Lots of good options for you.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.