Starting Strength Weekly Report

July 19, 2021

Roll it Up Edition

On Starting Strength
  • The Power Equation – Rip discusses power and its application to sports performance, training for power, and the misapplication of power training in strength and conditioning.
  • What it Takes to Become a Starting Strength Coach – Inna and Rip discuss the qualities an apprentice should have at a Starting Strength Gym and the steps to becoming a Starting Strength Coach.
  • Making a Non-Sweet, Savory Shake – Stef shows you how to make a protein shake that doesn't taste like dessert.
  • Under-recovery by Carl Raghavan – Training hard is one thing, but recovery is everything! If you’re struggling to make linear progress on Starting Strength, you are most likely under-recovered – not over-trained...
  • Your Back Is Never off the Clock by Robert Santana – Watching people move under a bar teaches you all sorts of things. Bad habits, bad ideas, and bad genes all encompass the problem that is “bad form”...
  • Weekend Archives: The Truth by Jim Steel – I am a college strength coach, and I am struggling. I am struggling with the state of strength training today. Whether it is training athletes or training the general population, there are a few basic tenets – commandments if you will – that have been thrown out the door...
  • Weekend Archives: Physical Potential by Mark Rippetoe – “Genetics” is a term bandied about fairly loosely in sports. A good definition of genetic potential is whether the athlete possesses the active genotype necessary to excel in sport...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

ben prepares to squat 315 three plates for the first time
Ben stares down the bar for his second set of five at 315 lb at Blackmetal Strength Training. It marked the first time he squatted three plates. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
jj bowness pulls 400
JJ Bowness pulling 400 pounds at Starting Strength Boston. JJ is on track to break his pre-pandemic deadlift record of 425x5. [photo courtesy of Jason Varnum]
vicky presses with the 45 lb bar for the first time
Vicki pressed the 45 lb bar for the first time, completing three sets of five for her work sets at Starting Strength Denver. [photo courtesy of Jen Pfohl]
tulip dog with log book and belt
Tulip has her log book ready and belt on. Let's go Starting Strength Plano! [photo courtesy of Matt Hebert]
family portrait at starting strength dallas
James, Liz, and Jackson pose for a family portrait at Starting Strength Dallas. [photo courtesy of David Hernandez]
andrea spots abigail on the bench press in austin
Andrea Mates spotting Abigail Horsey on the bench press at Starting Strength Austin. [photo courtesy of Jack Berger]
tyler holmes squats 515 at ironfest 3
Starting Strength Coach Tyler Holm squats 515 lb for a PR third attempt at last weekend's Testify IronFest III in Omaha, NE. Tyler and his wife, Brianne, competed in the Open Male/Female division and took 2nd place with a combined 426.60 Wilks points. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
brianne locks out a pr 317.5 deadlift
Brianne Holm sets a PR with this 317.5 lb deadlift for her third attempt at the Testify IronFest III. Brianne and her husband, Tyler, competed in the Open Male/Female division and took 2nd place with a combined 426.60 Wilks points. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
jeremiah prs with his second press at testify ironfest
Jeremiah Jarecke presses 182.5 lb for his second press PR of the day at IronFest III.Jeremiah and his daughter, Aubrey, competed in the Open Male/Female division. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
aubrey locks out a pr deadlift of 155
Aubrey Jarecke pulls 155 lb for a PR on her third attempt at last weekend's IronFest. Aubrey and her dad, Jeremiah, competed in the Open Male/Female division. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
jaymie pulls 315 to clinch first place in the open male/female ironfest division
Jaymie Oehler deadlifts 315 lb for her third attempt at IronFest III. With this pull, Jaymie and her son, Nathan, wrapped up 1st place in the hotly contested Open Male/Female division with a combined 438.90 Wilks points. Jaymie's husband, Tom, and her son, Michael, took first place in the Open Male/Male division, so the entire family brought home the hardware! [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]

Meet Results

Testify Strength & Conditioning's IronFest is a team competition with male/male, male/female, and female/female divisions in both open (at least one lifter under 40 years old) and masters (both lifters 40 years old or older) categories. July 10th's meet had 14 teams, and first place awards went to Charlie Sattler and Amy Haymaker in the Open Female/Female division, Sharon Foster and Julie Snyder in the Masters Female/Female division, Tom Oehler and Michael Oehler in the Open Male/Male division, and Nathaniel Oehler and Jaymie Oehler in the wildly popular Open Male/Female division. Full meet results

Best of the Week



I have 4 questions:

  1. Do iron plates usually have a shorter diameter than bumper plates?
  2. There are some bumper plates I'm interested in buying. Their diameter is 450mm with a 51mm ring diameter. Is this a conventional size for deadlifting? Eg the deadlifts people do at Starting Strength Gyms, etc.
  3. If I deadlift with these bumpers, will I be making it too easy on myself? I'm just wondering if they are too big, meaning that I'd be lifting from a higher than ideal position off the ground?
  4. The bumper plates have a steel internal ring. Is this normal for bumpers?

Mark Rippetoe

  1. Standard plate diameter is 45 cm, iron or bumper.
  2. By "ring diameter" I assume you mean the inside diameter (ID) of the hole in the middle. Approximately 2.00 inches is also standard.
  3. These are the same plates everybody uses. We make it harder by putting more weight on the bar.
  4. Bumper plates have a steel or iron core, around which the rubber is formed. You are seeing that part of the plate.


I was also hoping to make a platform with the dimensions you've previously suggested but I haven't got the space for an 8 foot by 8 foot square platform. So, if I use b grade plywood or better, and have 3 layers of just 1 sheet of 8 foot by 4 foot...with two 13kg 1 square metre gym mats on top, would this protect a garage floor to a similar level as the 8 foot by 8 foot design? If not, do you think it would still be enough for protecting the floor? I currently deadlift 175kg for a set of 5 and am improving. The thickness of each of the sheets I was planning on buying are 0.75 inches.

Mark Rippetoe

The plans for the platform are in the book.

Best of the Forum

Strength in Golf


Just wondered if you have any thoughts on Bryson DeChambeu's alleged strength training and weight gain (up to 220 from 190) over lockdown and the impact it's had on his game and golf in general? I wonder how many college golf programs will be adding strength training to their regimen.

Personally I think he looks a little heavy but in a sport that only requires occasional explosive movements and very little cardiovascular involvement maybe it's the right way to go. However, this might be the tipping point for professionals being required to use weighted balls as it's tough to defend against this amount of power.

Oso Rojo

I think Tiger resolved that a long time ago. He was the first one that I remember talking about strength in the gym related to strokes on the course. If you look at the long drive competitors they are all seriously jacked guys.

Mark Le Comte

Gary Player was on the strength/fitness wagon long before Tiger. He did add some distance, though was a relatively small guy. For the long drivers look back at Jason Zuback.

The common perception is that adding strength causes players to lose their touch for short game shots. Personally, I agree that it could cause them to play some shots too hard until they adjust i.e. strength and practice are two different things.

I just wish Bryson had done this without a whole bunch of isolation muscle activation hooha. I still think there is a lot for golfers to learn from discus throwers.


Yep! Tiger is IMO the most influential golfer of our lifetimes re-shaping the direction of golf. I VIVIDLY remember fatasses like Fuzzy Zueller claiming golf was more about technique than strength. Tiger comes along and soon the golf courses are having to lengthen courses thanks primarily to Tiger and his influence on golfers getting stronger. They had to adapt or become extinct. Sound familiar?


I feel like this is another step on from Gary Player and Tiger Woods, they both added general fitness and mobility which obviously included strength but I feel Brandon's approach is something that could be more easily replicated with training. The modern swing is about keeping the arms quiet, holding the club face and rotating with the body which has plenty of cross over to the barbell exercises.

Thanks for the links to previous articles Rip.

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