Starting Strength Weekly Report

July 17, 2017

Training Log
  • In Chin-Up vs Pull-Up, Rip explains the difference between a chin-up and a pull-up and why chins are preferred for the strength trainee.
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #50 – In this Starting Strength Seminar edition of Ask Rip, the topics are RPE training and the religion of global warming.
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

niki sims coaching squat back angle
Starting Strength Staff Coach Niki Sims points out Cole’s back angle during the squat platform session at the Denver Starting Strength Seminar held at Cutthroat CrossFit. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
platform cred
Platform cred: Left, Starting Strength trainee Dominic Kerchner buries a personal-best, double-bodyweight 227.5kg squat. Right, newly-certified SSC Christian Conti-Vock deadlifts a personal-best 250 kg. [photo courtesy of Erin Conti-Vock]
scott battiata 500 lb squat
Scott Battiata earns a 500 lb PR squat at this weekend's Black Iron Invitational [photo courtesy of Black Iron Training]

Best of the Week

SSC Preparation

I am a practicing physical therapist in the Chicago land area. I came across your videos on YouTube several months ago with Brett McKay on performing the squat, press, deadlift, and so on. I have also been an individual who enjoys training, but has also suffered from some reoccurring back issues. To make a long story short all the "core" exercises (I know how much you love that word) did nothing for me, but deadlifting and squatting as you instruct in your books have made it to where my back doesn't bother me anymore. I have read Starting Strength and am working on finishing Practical Programming as well. I am doing the linear progression (LP) right now and have experienced awesome increases in strength. My goal is to become a Starting Strength Coach in the future and bring this stuff into the PT world as it is desperately needed. I plan on going through the books several more times. I have also ordered Brooks and Fahey physiology, plan on attending a seminar in the future, and watch platform videos. Is there anything else you would recommend? Thank you for helping my back not bother me anymore, and also thank you for all the work you guys do.

P.S.: I am aware of your feelings on PTs from watching several of your videos (of which I enjoy thoroughly), and what you have said has really opened my eyes in my profession.

Chris Kurisko

There are several great coaches located in the Chicago area. I would strongly suggest you start working with one of them soon. It will help you get further along a lot quicker, and that will be helpful because becoming a competent coach in this model takes time. And you are in luck, there is a seminar in Chicago in November, so you can get a head start on preparing to make the most out of that experience.

I have helped develop a few SSCs and am in the process of developing several more. My words of advice would be to: Get to a seminar, read all of the material, get as strong as you possibly can, work with a coach or several, and start coaching as many people as you can once you are more familiar with the material.

Best of luck. Don't be afraid to reach out for help.

Best of the Forum

Pull-ups and Rotator Cuff

In "Strong Enough" you wrote that high volume pull-ups helped you avoid rotator cuff surgery. Can you fill me in on how the pull-ups help, and if the hand position (pull-up versus chin-up) is of any importance here.

Mark Rippetoe

Since that book was written, I have had surgery on both shoulders. I used chin-ups and presses as the only rehab exercises I performed. I did NOT ONE SINGLE REP of any PT-type isolation movement for the shoulder. I am about 9 months post-op on the second surgery and I pressed 200 lbs. Monday night. Chin-ups help because they strengthen the whole shoulder under tension, so that the cuff is not impinged during the exercise. In fact, I was doing chins about 4 weeks post-op from the first surgery, a cuff tear repair. The second shoulder was an osteophyte removal/modified Mumford repair with no soft-tissue involvement, so it was much easier.

Dave M

Something isn't adding up for me in this discussion. What caused the cuff tears in the first place? You talk about chin-ups and pressing being your only rehab, but if pressing and chin-ups weren't effective enough PRE-hab to prevent shoulder injury, shouldn't we be looking elsewhere for rehabilitating and protecting the shoulder for the future? Based on your writings I would assume you were doing pressing and chining regularly before the surgeries.

Mark Rippetoe

I spent a long time doing only bench presses, which is why I tell you guys not to do that. Bad for the shoulders.


So, you learned from your own mistakes and actively advise us to learn from them? You're a strange man, Mr. Rippetoe.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

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