Starting Strength Weekly Report

January 27, 2020

Starting Strength Radio
  • Ultralearning – Scott Young, author of Ultralearning, and Mark Rippetoe discuss apprenticeships and self-teaching and how strength coaches benefit from this approach as part of the Starting Strength Coach Development process.
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Starting Strength Channel
  • Teaching the Bench – Head coach Jared Nessland, SSC teaches a new lifter the bench during the first week of training at Starting Strength Denver.
  • Starting Strength Coach Robert Santana describes his method for getting lifters to their first chin up using a lat pulldown machine.

Training Log
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

nixon deadlifts 225 at his first session
Nixon is all smiles at the top of his last deadlift. He had never touched a barbell before coming to our training camp in Orlando. And after some encouragement from the rest of the participants, he gave 225 a shot, and absolutely nailed it. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
richard sets up for his second squat warmup
Richard sets up for his second squat warm-up at Phalanx Strength during last weekend's Squat and Deadlift Training Camp in Orlando. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
santana presents the nutrition linear progression at woodmere fitness club
Robert Santana presents the Nutrition Linear Progression at the Nutrition Camp held yesterday at Woodmere Fitness Club. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
nutrition camp group photo woodmere fitness club
Weights & Plates dietitians Robert Santana and Audrey Friedman pose with attendees at the Nutrition Camp. [photo courtesy of Woodmere Fitness Club]
stan efferding coaching the starting strength method
Stan Efferding lectures and coaches the Starting Strength Method for the Squat and Deadlift alongside SSCs at The Strength Co. in Villa Park, California. [photo courtesy of Mike Minigell]

Best of the Week

Self coaching
Tom Cashmore

I would like to know your thoughts and advice on those of us who do not have constant access to a coach in real time. Yes I have done the online coaching, and it did help somewhat. Going to come to a seminar and or make a pilgrimage to a Starting Strength gym to spend some time with an SS coach in the near future. In the meantime I have been self coaching my lifts, reading the books and video taping my lifts for self critique. I also always watch your podcasts and keep trying to learn. Many of us I am guessing do their best to self coach in between online coaching and seminars. What is your advice and thoughts on us out here trying to fly solo?

Mark Rippetoe

Video all your sets, and be honest with yourself about what you see. That's the primary problem with self-coaching. The books were designed to be used by individuals trying to learn the material. They have been under constant revision since the inception, and I think they serve their purpose for people who will use them correctly. But this turns out to be a minority of people, so coaching is usually necessary. See you at a seminar.

Tom Cashmore

...yes looking at booking a seminar for this coming summer. Thank you


As someone who's been going at it alone thus far, never stop scrutinizing your form. When you go "ok, I think I've got the hang of this now" and stop worrying about it, you'll suddenly find 50 pounds later that you're not doing it right anymore. Form creep is a sneaky bitch. Reread the blue book often. Sometimes just a sentence you didn't quite absorb in there before makes a world of difference.

Best of the Forum

Eccentric Portion of the Squat
Scott Beall

We have muscles that maintain the upright position at the top of the Squat that work to extend the hip and knee joints. These include the adductors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

On the eccentric phase of the Squat, these muscles seem to resist rapid flexion more so than resisting extension. Any other words, how could a series of muscles that extend the hip and knee joints work to resist extension. I would imagine that resisting extension would be the exclusive job of the hip and knee flexors (Hamstrings, Rectus Femoris, TFL, Iliacus, Sartorius).

Am I missing something here?

Mark Rippetoe

This is precisely what they do. The eccentric role of the extensors is resisting flexion. The load on the bar does a fine job of resisting the extension all by itself.

Scott Beall

Excellent. This is precisely what I imagined was going on. On "The Squat" portion of our SS Seminar notes, it is written, "When the squat begins its eccentric phase, all the muscles that will ultimately extend these joints... come under active load as they resist extension on the way to the bottom position."

I tried and failed to understand how extensor muscles could resist extension. Unless I am reading the text incorrectly?

Mark Rippetoe

By exerting the force of tension as they lengthen. This is called an "eccentric contraction," although the term should be "eccentric action" to avoid this confusion.

Phillip Muhoray

Aren't they resisting *flexion* then? According to OP, the notes say that the extensors "resist extension" on the way down. But there is no extension to be resisted at this part of the squat, since all the joints come into flexion. Or am I missing something?

Mark Rippetoe

Aren't they resisting *flexion* then? According to OP, the notes say that the extensors "resist extension" on the way down. But there is no extension to be resisted at this part of the squat, since all the joints come into flexion. Or am I missing something?

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