Starting Strength Weekly Report

January 23, 2023

To-Do Edition

On Starting Strength
  • The Drivers Edge – Rip talks with Rick Schwalenberg and Cathrine Hatcher, owners of The Drivers Edge, about high-performance driving, dream cars, and continuing education.
  • Knowledge is Power by Steven Villarreal – Why is the squat chapter 64 pages? Why so in-depth about anatomy? Why am I looking at a picture of a wrench? All these questions...
  • Career Advice for Prospective Coaches – Ray Gillenwater and Head of Recruiting Inna Koppel discuss important career advice for becoming a coach and some current openings at Starting Strength Gyms.
  • Music Teacher Turned Starting Strength Coach – Music teacher turned Starting Strength Coach Michael Shammas discusses how he found Starting Strength and what drew him to a new career as a Starting Strength Coach.
  • Cómo Hacer el Press de Banca – En este vídeo instructivo, aprenderás desde cero las posiciones y movimientos correctos del press de banca.
  • Translation: Quem quer ser um novato? Você! –Portugese translation of Who Wants to be a Novice? You Do! translated into Portugese by Rafael Graciano Baldez Neves.
  • Weekend Archives: My First Search for the X-Factor: York Barbell by Jim Moser – I had been Olympic Weightlifting about three years when I got the idea to drive to York Barbell to see if I could find what Tommy Suggs so rightly refers to as the X-Factor...
  • Weekend Archives: From Heart Patient to Lifter by Mark Rippetoe – I have trained heart surgery patients several times, and I know that one of the things they all are is scared – sometimes this is useful if it acts as motivation...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

marth pulls a pr at fivex3 training
Martha, age 72, pulls 200 lb x 4 to earn a PR for reps. Three weeks into the new year and going strong. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]
shay prs her deadlift during her linear progression in columbus
Shay is moving through her NLP nicely with a 145 pound PR deadlift under the watchful eye of Bruce Trout at Starting Strength Columbus. [photo courtesy of Megan Yeh]
camisha takes amber through her first set of power cleans
Camisha walks Amber through her first set of power cleans at Starting Strength Cincinnati. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
inna koppel teaches bar placement at a starting strength training camp
Inna Koppel teaches the proper bar placement this past Saturday during the Starting Strength Squat & Deadlift Training Camp in New York. [photo courtesy of Chris Palladino]
chris palladino teaches a lifter how to set his back at a starting strength training camp
Chris Palladino teaches a new lifter how to set his back in the deadlift at the training camp held in Long Island.( [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
cody annino adjusts back position on a lifter during the teaching method for the squat
Cody Annino coaching Brian into the correct back angle for the low bar squat at training camp held this past weekend at Starting Strength Boston. [photo courtesy of Rebecca Skinner]
rich sets up to deadlift at the starting strength training camp in boston
64-year-old Rich sets up to pull his top set of 5 deadlifts during the squat and deadlift training camp at Starting Strength Boston. [photo courtesy of Rebecca Skinner]
maddie works on leaning over as she squats 75 kg for a triple in omaha
Maddie works on getting leaned over as she squats 75 kg for a triple under the coaching of Phil Meggers at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. Maddie trains at Testify along with her mom and dad. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
paul pressing at starting strength cincinnati
Starting Strength Cincinnati member Paul makes quick work of his presses as he is coached by Camisha. [photo courtesy of Luke Schroeder]
marcus sets a pr of 315 for a triple at starting strength columbus
Marcus hits a PR squat of 315 for 3 after several months of training at Starting Strength Columbus. [photo courtesy of Bruce Trout]

Best of the Week

2.5” vs. 3” wide lifting belt?


I’m probably overthinking this but here goes.

I bought a 4” belt from “Best Belts” that I love the workmanship of. I’m 5’6”, 185 lbs. I love the belt for squats but I can definitely feel it “cutting into” my hips during deadlift set-up and to a lesser extent at the bottom of a squat. I want to buy a thinner belt from the same company. They come in a 2.5” and 3” size. I’d rather buy just one.

Which would be a better call? 2.5” or 3”? Would there be a downside to just getting the 2.5” size and be certain it won’t cut into my waist/hips for either type of lift? I’m guessing that I’d use the belt for both squats and deadlifts.

Mark Rippetoe

I don't know how much luck you're going to have getting a belt from Best right now. They seem to be barely functioning. Why don't you try a single-ply 3" belt from Dominion? If you like it, fine. If you don't I'll buy it from you. If you decide you'd rather have a two-ply instead, I'll still buy it from you. You will have no problem with the quality.

Best of the Forum

thank you and a hip replacement question


Hello everyone, long time reader, first time poster.

51, 5'10", 225
SQ 230x5x3
DL 305x5x1
Press 172x5x3
Bench 300x5x3

First off, I want to say thank you for your great material and clear instructions and put another testimonial in the pile. Getting a little bit older, I had fallen into the trap of thinking heavier weights were something I should start backing off of. The outcome of that was less strong, more back pain. Reading your material and thinking about the body's ability to adapt set me right.

I had one hip replaced in the fall of 2020. I let it go way too far before getting surgery, but I am fine now. Between never learning to deadlift or squat properly prior to Starting Strength, and a really painful hip, my lower body stuff was weak and imbalanced and I was always tweaking my lower back from squats or day to day life.

Up to now I have been purposefully slow to increase the weight on the sq/dl to prevent doing something stupid to myself or my new hip. But now I can feel that things are falling into place with learning the form and getting the imbalance ironed out. Strength wise, I feel capable of keeping those weights moving on up now.

Does anyone have any experience or specific recommendations for what kind of weights move you from 'no worries' to 'excessive wear' on an artificial hip?

Mark Rippetoe

I've never heard of anybody having problems with a hip prosthesis. Knees, yes.


I had a hip replacement 18 years ago, now I'm almost 69. That is tough to answer. However, I went from a few years off squatting and deadlifting up to a 400# squat and a 430 deadlift within a couple of years time. However I did not go back until I felt that my surgically corrected hip was stronger overall to take on the stress. I had limped for approx 5-6 years. There is no blue print other than I would say start slow and keep building your strength. The wear and tear depends upon the materials in your hip, size of ball and socket replacement and the skill of your surgeon. I too had that question, but I believe that you will know it when you start to feel it. I was my own experiment and had always deadlifted and squatted before hip issues. I also ended up power cleaning 185 at age 58 after an 18 year lay off. I have since given them up because they are not going to help other than cause an injury. If you listen to the Doctors they will say "Don't Lift" although there are no studies to the contrary. Keep up proper nutrition and I feel that age, genetics, will play a part into how high you wish to go.

Mark Rippetoe

Sounds like you may have a local-doctor problem.

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