Starting Strength Weekly Report

July 13, 2020

High Pressure Dome Edition

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  • Jim Steel on why now is the time and why it has never been more critical to get strong.
Training Log
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

greg locks out a press at a starting strength camp
Greg locks out a heavy press at this past weekend’s Self-Sufficient Lifter Camp in Wichita Falls. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]
delise correct bottom position of the squat
Delise shows the correct bottom position of a squat at the Starting Strength Self-Sufficient Lifter Camp at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]

Best of the Week

Social Media Presence?

How necessary/important would it be to establish a social media presence if I'm wanting to become a Starting Strength Coach?

I live in Albuquerque,New Mexico, and I've seen that there are no SSCs or SS gyms in New Mexico, so I figured I'd have to market myself a little harder if I'd want to be successful.

Thank you for your time, and if this is a stupid-ass question, please feel free to chew my head off haha.

Mark Rippetoe

You're marketing as a coach is almost entirely word-of-mouth, IOW your effectiveness as a coach. Social media has become an evil system, and the farther away you are the better.


That’s the question I forgot to ask at the seminar!

Glad to hear it. I can’t be bothered with social media.

Oso Rojo

I've watched three specialty gyms go under in Santa Fe and that is a perfect demographic for a gym, an aging population with high income. So I suspect the big issue is education of the market. Two of the three I have used in the past and they had great equipment but were targeting top athletes. From what I see of the market you need to target 40 - 45 and older with above average income. That pays the bills. The local athletes just provide the volume. I think you can do well in Abq with some direct marketing and education to the groups you want to target. You have a solution to a problem they may or may not know they have, but definitely don't yet know they need it. So get in front of them, make sure they know they have the problem, and then tell them how you can help them. Go out and recruit a full schedule of clients, and then start farming them for who they know that needs help.

My wife asked me about social media for her business. I told her to stay away, she and I are not in the age demographic for that and even if we were it's a lot of work for questionable results.

Travis Reid

I agree entirely with Rip. I've recently ditched all my social media and I've never looked back.

Mark Rippetoe

Social media has always been a place where people can pretend that their opinion is both qualified and somehow matters, and the problem with it is that we have come to accept their premise. Twitter and FB are not the real world, and the more time you spend on it the more the illusion of reality soaks into your mind, whether you want it to or not. It taints everything with the viewpoint of its owners/managers, and we are happily playing along. We are the product Tw and FB are selling. It's best not to depend on it.

Buddy Rich

As a customer, the first place I’d look? The Starting Strength Coaches Directory. A listing there has to be better than any social media presence.[ed. note: And for online help from SSCs, Starting Strength Online Coaching]

Best of the Forum

The infamous 20RM Squat
Daniel Cavallari

You mentioned several times the hellish nightmare that is an honest 20RM squat and, given my experience with volume squatting, I totally believe you.

My question is this: other than some masochistic inclination or a lack of means to strengthen your will in less destructive manners, why would you subject yourself to this? When is it right to program a 20 rep squat?

Mark Rippetoe

At this point of remove from the experience, and looking back on what it actually accomplished for my lifting, I can't recommend them for anything other than the learning experience and the psychological test.

John Petrizzo

I agree with Rip. When I first got into lifting, I ran a 20 rep squat program after reading "Super Squats" by Randall J. Strossen. I got my squat up to 325x20 before I quit. As Rip alluded to, the program will definitely test you mentally, but I don't think it accomplished anything other than that. In reality, all of the 20 rep squat programs that I have seen are basically just a squat LP at a less effective rep range for actually getting stronger. Increasing my 20 rep squat had very little carryover to other rep ranges and given the amount of effort they take, they are not something that I would do again or recommend for others.

Mark Rippetoe

And everyone I know who has actually done them will tell you the same thing. That book temporarily ruined a lot of people's training.

“When is it right to program a 20 rep squat?”


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