Starting Strength Weekly Report

July 05, 2021

Slide Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Horror Movies – Rusty Holcomb joins Rip on Starting Strength Radio to discuss their favorite horror movies.
  • Rip Coaches the Split Snatch – Mark Rippetoe puts on an impromptu split snatch coaching session with Starting Strength Coach Brent Carter.
  • Rip Makes Beans and Cornbread – Mark Rippetoe demonstrates how to make beans and cornbread from The Floral Heights Cafe in Wichita Falls.
  • Foreword to the Spanish Edition by Hari Fafutis – There are only a few things in life that a person needs to learn and do, having drunk from the fountain of wisdom and thus trying to live a good life – a life worth living. These things probably end up revolving around...
  • Women's Olympic Weightlifters Should Take a Knee if Trans Athletes Are Allowed to Compete by Mark Rippetoe – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the women’s divisions in Olympic sports by permitting New Zealand to enter a congenital male...
  • Weekend Archives: My Cues are Not the Same as Your Cues by Carl Raghavan – A client of mine inspired me to write about this topic after we discussed it during a recent training session. The gist of our discussion? My cues are not the same as your cues...
  • Weekend Archives: “Core” Stability “Training” by Mark Rippetoe – It is a matter of pride to me that I can go through an entire weekend seminar without once using the “C”-word. Out of a concern for my participants and my reputation...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

xavier deadlifts at an orlando coaching development camp
Xavier on his last set of deadlifts during our recent Coaching Development Camp in Orlando. The focus for these camps is learning the teaching progressions for the lifts, as well as how to spot and correct common errors. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
donna learns to rack pull from pete troupos
Donna started off with learning to rack pull at a family coaching session with Starting Strength Coach Pete Troupos in Orlando. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
ross log press pr
Fivex3 member Ross hits 200 on the log for his third attempt, a Log Press PR at a Strongman Contest, The Cannonade, in Westminster, MD on July 3, 2021. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]
ross 585 lb mammoth deadlift pr
A 585lb PR for Ross on the Mammoth Deadlift bar for max weight at the same event. The bar was 10 feet long. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]
emily socolinsky 150 lb stone
SSC Emily Socolinksy lifts the ~150 pound stone at the Cannonade strongman competition this past Saturday. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]
emily socolinsky 150 lb stone
SSC Emily Socolinksy hits 110lb log press for her second attempt on the log in the same contest. [photo courtesy of Fivex3 Training]
mark diffley coaches dez deadlifts at starting strength austin
Head Coach Mark Diffley coaches Dez Dalton through her deadlifts at Starting Strength Austin. [photo courtesy of Aaron Frederick]
mark diffley coaches dez deadlifts at starting strength austin
Starting Strength Dallas founding members Angel, David, and Matt pose with a 2 year member appreciation gift from the gym courtesy of Pita's Planters. Here's to another two years of growing stronger! [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]

Best of the Week

Elite bench press bodyweight and grip width observation


It seems that in terms of elite-level competitive bench pressing, in general, those in the lighter weight classes have a relatively wider grip, and those in the heavier weight classes have a more narrow grip. Do you have any thoughts on analyses on why this seems to be the case?

Is it as simple as lighter lifters lifting absolutely lighter weights and can get away with a technique that places the pecs and delts in a less safe position, vs heavier lifters who may be more prone to injury with a wider grip, at the weights they're handling?

Thanks for any insight you may have on this topic.


There is a maximum grip width set by the rules. So for a short, 65 kg guy the grip is wider in relation to his body than for a heavy weight tall guy.

Same thing can be observed in snatch.

Mark Rippetoe

How to Fix Powerlifting?


Even accounting for morphology, larger elite raw benchers use an absolutely closer grip, not just relative to their frame and shoulder width. They grip the bar well within the maximum legal width, whereas most lighter weight elite raw benchers take a max legal width grip.

I just thought it may lead to an interesting discussion about why that seems to be the case.

Best of the Forum

Rest times


Hello. I mentioned on another thread that I’m going to push my rest times up to see how long I can keep the LP programming up. Today it took me 2 and a half hours to get through a 3x5 squat and 3x5 bench and three sets of chins.

Soon it will get quite silly as rest keeps going up, but I don’t watch Netflix, so lockdown is a good opportunity to carry out this experiment.

What are the longest sessions you yourself have done, have witnessed the lifters back in your powerlifting career days do, and the longest sessions you have coached someone through?

I imagine coaching the general population, you need time efficiency in programming, but what about when you train athletes? Is there ever a good reason to just keep increasing rest times beyond say 20 minutes and have 3+ hour sessions?

Mark Rippetoe

I am no longer "training" in the sense that you are. I train in my own gym while I'm working in the office, so I don't matter. We'll ask the board.

Robert Santana

I used to rest longer when I was hitting a new PR every workout or every week. I typically rested for 5-8 minutes when it got to be an all out grinder but as I advanced through training and PRs became less frequent, I shortened my rest breaks to 3-5 minutes. As a coach I rarely have to assign anyone >5 minutes unless the load is Actually Heavy in relation to bodyweight. That said, some days I’ve been more like Rip working and lifting intermittently and that seems to work okay too. How I don’t get “cold” with this approach, I have no idea.


So in the past I’ve used 5-8 minutes and then when it has stopped working I have reprogrammed. Today I was taking rests of 15-17 mins on my squats 466x5x3 (bodyweight 260). Like I said, it’s making silly long sessions, but I keep PRing so I just want to see for myself what happens if I keep extending the rest. There’s no way I’d have made 466 without that rest. 15 minutes after the first set and I only just made the second set. Took 17 minutes and had a much easier third set.

Robert Santana

If both your squat and your deadlift are increasing then it may be worth it provided it is practical with your lifestyle. If your squat is the only thing making progress then I'd say it's not worth it unless all you want to get stronger at is squatting.


Well the experiment ended itself. On the first set of squats at 471 pound the 5th rep was such a slow grinder that it was obvious that no amount of rest would produce a second set at that weight. I dropped to 424 pound for 2x5 with 10 minutes rest as per the advanced novice section of PP.

For the first set of bench I did 290 pounds but only managed 4 reps, with the 5th rep failed. So I did the same weight for 2x3 afterward at 10 minute rests. I will continue with 3x3 for the rest of LP.

It was a chin up day, so I don't know if the deadlift will progress yet.

But I think I know where I am in the grand scheme of things. I am an advanced novice. I also know now that there is a limit to inter-set recovery and I can’t escape what the book tells us what will happen.

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