Starting Strength Weekly Report

January 04, 2021

Revolution Resolutions Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Questions from the Lovers - Fix It In Post – A live Q&A episode in which Rip takes call-in questions from Starting Strength fans.
  • Starting Strength and Our Coach have Given Us Our Life Back – After working with Starting Strength Coach Christian Conti-Vock for 3 months, George and Deb describe their experience in overcoming chronic back pain, managing type 1 diabetes, and improving performance in day to day life.
  • Coach Recruiting - Careers in the New Fitness Industry Update – Starting Strength Gyms coach recruiter and Starting Strength Coach Inna Koppel discusses updates to the Starting Strength Coach pipeline and answers commonly asked questions about working at a Starting Strength Gym and the recruitment process.
  • How to Talk to Your Friends and Family About Strength Training by Andrew Lewis – It can be frustrating to try to help friends or family members start lifting. It's obvious that strength training will help them improve their lives and health, but they seem so resistant to the idea...
  • How to Safely Handle the 45s by Mark Rippetoe – The bread and butter of barbell training is the 45-pound cast iron plate. They were invented in the United States decades ago, they are not kilos, all black iron gyms have them...
  • Weekend Archives: My Experiences with Starting Strength by Colin Webster – Mark Rippetoe was kind enough to post on his forum about the existence of my humble blog, so I thought I would try and return the favor and post about just a few of the things I’ve learned from him...
  • Weekend Archives: The Standing Overhead Press by Mark Rippetoe – Pressing a barbell overhead is one of the oldest exercises in the gym. It might well have been the first exercise invented after the first barbell was discovered in the first gym...

From the Coaches
  • If you lift, you've got to take care of your hands - don't let nasty calluses and dry skin get in the way of your training. Phil Meggers covers the 4 steps of hand care and also reviews an udderly terrific moisturizer - Bag Balm.
  • Do you know the 4 rules for determining who lifts next at a weightlifting meet (i.e., an Olympic weightlifting meet)? Make sure you do so that you’re not caught with your singlet down when it’s your turn to lift.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

inhyuk eun and his dog in korea
Starting Strength Coach Inhyuk Eun and his best friend out and about in Korea.

He writes:

Hello, Rip & Stef.

We are really far away, but listening to your podcasts every week. It doesn't feel too far.

It was a very difficult year for me. In short, there were clients who were too worried about the Covid 19, so they arbitrarily stopped the training. And the government ordered the gyms to close from time to time. But in the meantime, Me and Mr.Kim were able to complete the two of SS Camps successfully. And I could help the passionate clients who wanted to make home-gym in this small piece of land not to stop their training. It was one of the most rewarding moments I have ever felt this year.

Korean media treats Covid 19 like something very scary and dangerous one. Most people find it difficult to escape from that image. I regretted seeing people training in masks, and over time I've even seen many gyms shut down due to government orders or their financial issues with lower clients. Now, the economy is shaking, I feel, I feel people getting depressed.

Podcasts 'The war on Death' and 'Episodes with John Horgan' have helped me a lot to keep my mind straight in this situation. I will work hard, hoping that I can have a good influence on my people here like you and Stef (like your STAFF, too!).

Thank you very much, Thank you very much, Thank you very much!

See you in the US next year. Always be healthy and be fun! Your sense of humor is one of the best, I mean it.

Happy new year!

Inhyuk Eun

craig bench presses at WFAC
Craig works through a set of bench presses at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]

Best of the Week

Started TRT today
Will Still

Let me start by thanking you for that interview with Jay Campbell regarding TRT. It was a game changer for me.

I am 51, 5' 8" and 188 lbs. Based on symptoms I had been having, such as stagnation in my training, low energy levels and sex drive, shitty sleep and being overly emotional, I had been wondering for a couple of years if my test level was declining. I asked my GP to check it several times over the last few years, but I always received the typical "you're lifting weights, it;s fine" response. After watching your podcast, I had a conversation with my cousin who is an MD, and was surprised to hear that he has been on TRT for about two years. He echoed all of the benefits that you and Mr. Campbell discussed and referred me to his doctor. After a phone interview with this physician, who is also 51 and has been on TRT for 10 years himself, I had blood work done that revealed a total T level of 383 and a free T level of 47. He said that while my numbers were considered to be in the low average range, my age, symptoms and the fact that my numbers would likely continue to decline qualified me for treatment. Well, this morning he showed me his sub q injection technique and sent me on my way with 100mg of test cypionate in my right love handle. I will pick up my prescription at the pharm today, and begin injecting myself next Monday. I will continue with weekly injections for 6 weeks, until my follow up appointment and labs, after which I can alter my injection schedule to twice a week, every other day, or daily. I was quite surprised at how affordable the treatment is! The cost is about $42 for a 3 month supply.

No insurance is involved, which is fine by me. I have high hopes that this therapy will once again allow me to progress in my training and provide me with the other benefits that you and so many other guys whose opinions I trust, have spoken about. Thank you, Coach.

Mark Rippetoe

I wish it was that easy for everybody. You did the right thing by following up with a second opinion. Lots of people don't.


Congrats! You should do glut IM instead of love handle subcutaneously.


Why is the glute IM better than sub-q?


Faster absorption.

My advice seems to be a bit outdated, so disregard. I was under the impression that sub cu had a higher chance to cause hematocrit problems and the slower release of test was suboptimal and less reliable.

It would seem that the current research shows a similar result from both methods with test cyp.

I’m definitely a novice when it comes to this stuff and it’s interesting to see that both of these methods work fine.


Yes, both are fine according to what's being said now, but sticking myself in the belly just seems kinda cringe inducing to me for some reason.


It should unlock your potential for slow, steady progress, but I wouldn’t expect skyrocketing PRs.

My levels were lower than yours (305) at the age of 33 and it definitely helped me overcome the wall I was hitting and made training a lot more rewarding and enjoyable. The most noticeable difference was my mood and energy levels throughout the day. I stopped taking my SSRI after a couple weeks on T and I don’t plan on ever going back on that shit.


My lifts have gone up 10+% since starting (and my body weight has gone up about 8% as well) not quite six months ago, but like the others note, the most significant benefits have been to energy, mood, and sleep. Those were the reasons I went on TRT. That said, I will take the gains in PRs that came with it!

Best of the Forum

Best time of day to train?
Robin UK

My first reference points of enquiry are always your Starting Strength and Practical Programming books before asking any questions - both of which I read and enjoy re reading regularly. I’m wondering if you could please elaborate a bit more about what you personally believe is the best time of day to train, assuming the presence of “ideal” lifestyle conditions to focus on Strength Training.

Mark Rippetoe

The best time to train is the time you can regularly set aside to train. Consistency is necessary.

Robin UK

Thanks for that Rip. Assuming consistency and other variables in one’s lifestyle being ideally placed to be able to be synchronised with optimised strength training in mind, I’m curious if there is an actual biologically ideal time to train as a jump off point? I attended a seminar with Dorian Yates in 2006 and his preferred time was always 11 am after 2 feeds. He obviously selected that slot for a reason and had full time to devote to his endeavours. Some "science" literature focusing on circadian (most of it polluted by crappy data, I fully acknowledge this) suggests that strength and power is at its peak window in the afternoon, as is evidenced by weightlifting/muscular performance sports appearing to be witnessed in the afternoon. I recall from somewhere on the forums that you yourself prefer training late at night. So I guess I’m just trying to discern all things considered, is there an “ideal“ time to train, None-withstanding the superseding overarching conclusion that "Do whatever works best for you."

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