Starting Strength Weekly Report

June 10, 2019

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Training Log
  • Do I Need a Deload Week? Emily Socolinsky addresses this commonly asked question.
  • From the Archives: Bill Hannon and Mark Rippetoe on the appropriate use of the "get under it!" cue in the press.

In the Trenches

thor puppy at wichita falls athletic club
WFAC member Thor hangs out in Rip’s chair. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]

Meet Results

Results - June 1, 2019 USSF PDX Spring Classic

Results - June 1, 2019 CSC Strengthlifting Summer Meet

Best of the Week

Low Bar Squat Critique

I recently came across a blog post on the internet:

“Low bar squats are a powerlifting invention that does not offer benefits to a noob. This modification of the original exercise allows you to lift more weight by increasing the stress on the hips at the expense of the quadriceps, but the shift isn’t beneficial to the average novice.

The high bar back squat is a better leg builder, arguably easier to learn and far more shoulder friendly.

Mark Rippetoe and his army have been doing their best to justify the implementation of the low bar squat through all kinds of maneuvers. One of them would be the assessment that the low bar squat is better than the high bar because it hits the almighty posterior chain harder. This is indeed true – one of the fastest ways to grow a big booty is to do low bar squats a.k.a. cheated good mornings. But as I already told you, this comes at the expense of leg development.

The fans of low bar squats will tell you that the movement gets you stronger faster by allowing you to lift more weight, but that isn’t true. You are not getting stronger faster, you are simply doing a squat version that gives you an opportunity to lift more. More weight on the bar does not always equal more strength. If this was the case, doing rack pulls would make deadlifts obsolete.”

Is he right? If not, why?

Mark Rippetoe

Obviously a bodybuilder/physicist.


Gear aside, how does one cheat gravity?

More weight requires more force production which is equivalent to more strength.

Also, rack pull ROM != deadlift ROM.

So, Not.

Travis Reid

I would be interested in reading the authors explanation of their statement "More weight on the bar does not always equal more strength," if only for the comedic value.

Brodie Butland

The problem here, as is typical of many criticisms of Starting Strength, is that it discusses lifts in terms of “part development.” We are told in this critique that low bar squats are bad because it “comes at the expense of leg development.”

So let’s start with first principles—what the blue bloody hell does this even mean? Do the quads not have to extend the knee in a low bar squat? Do the hamstrings not have to perform their primarily isometric function? Do the adductors go quiet on a low bar squat but are destroyed, bro, on a high bar? As a general matter I pay no attention to claims if they don’t bother to define their terms in a way that I can understand.

As Starting Strength makes clear, we don’t care about “doing insert-body-part-or-muscle-group-here.” We care about maximizing our force production as an entire unit because that’s how we interact with our world. If that’s not your goal, then fine, do something else—but that’s our goal and why we program the way we do.

Best of the Forum

Eating Enough

Sooo I'm definitely new here and to the program. Just five weeks in and I'm feeling great. Just as a measure of performance I took my squat from 155 to 230 and I'm up from 165 to ~175. My goal weight is ~190lbs and for a 5'7 23 year old guy that's going to look damn good IMO.

The hardest part is 1. getting under the bar for more weight in the squat every other day and 2. eating enough F-ing calories in a day. I know this has been addressed, but after a quick search I wasn't able to find any post that had any true list of tips for getting enough food. I would love to hit 4500-5000, but I'm struggling to hit 3500 calories with a gallon of whole milk and 2 meals which I know is not enough. I currently don't eat anything before my morning lifting session which is something I'm trying to address. I know I need more to fill my day because if I go longer than 4 hours without eating I'm miserable and grouchy especially during the week, but it doesn't actually take much to fill me up and make eating a chore again.

Is there anything I can do with timing that would help out other than adding the small-mediumish meal before the workout??? I've been hesitant to use protein supplementation because I think I'm a grown up and should be able to do this without it, but I'm coming to the realization that maybe I can't.

Any tip and tricks and ideas and face-punches would be great especially if they're constructive!!! Thanks so much for the time.

Robert Santana

So a gallon of whole milk is going to give you 192 carbs, 128 protein, and 128 g fat. How large are your meals?

The general recommendation that i like to give young, novice, males is to eat >300 carbs and their body weight in protein or more. That's a good start for most. My guess is that most of your calories are coming from fat and you aren't getting enough carbs and/or protein. Without knowing what else you eat I cannot definitively say that.


Ok well I'm feeling a little better about my caloric intake now. Sorry for not including my other meals. The other two meals typically consist of a palm-sized portion of meat and a slightly larger amount of a carb typically rice or sweet potato and some form of green. I try to add a banana at some point as well, but I think that needs to get increased as well. I'm hanging out around 35g of protein per meal and 40 grams of carbs and frankly I don't measure the fat because I get enough from the milk. I would be interested in going to 2% or something like that so I can increase my protein and carbs from my meals because even drinking the whole gallon of whole can be a challenge most days.

I've kind of stalled at 175 and I've maintained my BF percentage as well throughout the program which is partly why I'm thinking I need a little more food.

Robert Santana

Don't worry about the weight on the scale so much, worry about the weight on the bar. If you are getting stronger you are going to get bigger. Get your carbs figured out first. if you are making progress continue eating the way you are eating. If progress stalls add more carbs. If carbs get too high beyond a practical level (~i.e. 500-600 carbs) then add more fat.


Honestly, I’m not sure how you could get a good amount of protein without some sort of supplementation.

Have you considered creating a smoothie in a blender? Mixing in some oatmeal, protein powder, nuts, milk & whatever else you want is a great way to jam in some calories without the feeling of fullness you get from eating the equivalent solid foods.

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