Starting Strength Weekly Report

January 07, 2019

  • Starting Strength Careers: Check out the Careers page if you're interested in becoming a professional barbell coach or to see current open positions for coaches and apprentices.
  • Stef Bradford and Nick Delgadillo announce the launch of the Starting Strength Coach Development Program including a Coach Prep Course, Coach Development Camps, and apprenticeships. The program is designed help to prepare apprentices, interns, and future SSC candidates to take the practical, oral, and written examinations for the Starting Strength Coach certificate.
  • Extension cords are the most mistreated piece of equipment in gyms everywhere. Mark Rippetoe shows you his perfected method for ensuring maximum life and ease of use of your extension cords in How to Properly Roll Up an Extension Cord.
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #68 – In this New Years Day episode, Mark Rippetoe answers questions about Starting Strength Equipment, coach development, and Starting Strength Gyms.
From the Coaches
  • Rori Alter goes through the Starting Strength deadlift teaching method in a tutorial that carefully breaks down and highlights details in each step.

In the Trenches

daniel cathers barbell row
SSC Grant Broggi coaches Daniel Cathers on the Barbell Row at The Strength Co.’s Villa Park location. [photo courtesy of Ron Mitchell]
moore on his way under a clean
Matt Moore on his way under a 295 lb power clean attempt during the Starting Strength Seminar power clean platform session at WFAC last month. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Best of the Week

Injured Hand at Work. Now What?

I have been doing the Starting Strength program since mid-October and I love it! I have always kinda lifted weights since high school but now I actually look forward to getting up early and getting under the bar. That is until last Friday at work I dislocated 3 fingers and broke 1 on my left hand. I have a casted club for a hand now and have no choice but to suspend the program. But by no means does that mean I will stop going to the gym all together. I was told it will be a 12 week recovery process with some physical therapy so I do expect to lose my progress. What exercises should I do that won’t sacrifice my form and do not involve using the hands? I have an idea of the exercises I can do like squats with a machine where the pads are on the shoulders and lower back extensions. I’m just curious to see what you guys say. Thanks.

Mark Rippetoe

Sounds like the Safety Squat Bar is your only option. What did you do to your hand?


Left hand: dislocations at middle knuckles on pointer, middle and ring fingers and 2 fractures on ring finger. extension attached to drive end of a pneumatic nut runner grabbed the fabric of the glove and twisted bending my fingers backwards. hand is in a cast and probably will be for a while. I have never seen the safety squat bar before and I wish my gym had one.

Mark Rippetoe

Reading about that really makes my butthole draw up. You get to learn how to squat with one hand. We've seen it done.


HAHAHA. Well I guess I could just place my left arm on top of the bar and use the right hand as directed.

Best of the Forum

Squatting with only one hand

I have recently been trying to help a friend of mine learn how to squat. The trouble is he only has one hand, his right hand is essentially a "ball," I believe due to a congenital defect. It isn't sensitive or anything (he can do dips with the ball supporting his weight on the one side), as well as machine-bench presses.

Now, the issue is that when we were trying to set up the squat his bad hand can only hold the bar beneath the ball, essentially at the wrist. If we then try to use the good hand "properly," it creates a notable asymmetry as on one side the bar is at the wrist and on the other side it is close to the fingers. Beyond that positional game, it also causes an asymmetry in back tightness. The most intelligent way I could think of to deal with this would be to place the bar at the crevasse of the wrist on both sides. We gave this a shot with just the bar, and he said it felt stable. We only went as far as to slap on 10 lbs to bring the weight to 55 lbs and he said it felt okay.

The take home question is: do you see anything objectionable about attempting to squat like this? I thought that, since the arms don't really support the bar, if he was able to use his wrists to drive the bar into the musculature on his back, it shouldn't ultimately be a problem, but would like to hear your thoughts.

Mark Rippetoe

This guy has already solved a lot more problems than learning how to squat. If you're training with him, get him under the bar and tape his hand to the bar if it slips off. But I'll bet he can learn to balance it just fine.


I really appreciate your answer. Thank you.


My younger brother has exactly the same problem and I also recently taught him to squat. While it seems to be a little more difficult to secure the bar in a stable position, I also think the best way to do this is to place the normal hand on the bar a bit closer to the wrist, so that it is at the same height as the other side. He still has a slight asymmetry in elbow position, but as long as the bar remains even (to the greatest possible extent), I think that is okay.

He squatted 160 lbs yesterday at a bodyweight of 143 lbs, so it seems like it´s working for now.

By the way, he can even press, although it´s a bit more difficult to find a balanced position. We set the safety pins right below the rack position just in case the bar slips off his right hand, but that didn´t happen until now.

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.