Starting Strength Weekly Report

June 12, 2017

  • Leah Lutz: Simply Stronger – "I never imagined the difference that strength training would make physically, and even more especially mentally, as I become more and more confident in myself."
  • The Press is the best exercise for keeping shoulders strong and injury-free. Rip explains why.
  • From the Archives: Marty Gallagher details Mike MacDonald's accomplishments and training approach.
Training Log
Starting Strength Channel

In the Trenches

kari pauses her bench press attempt
Kari pauses her third attempt bench press of 62.5 kg (138 lbs) at the USA Powerlifting NorCal Open in Elk Grove, CA. Kari went 9 for 9 and her total qualified her for USAPL's Raw National Championships in October. [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]

Best of the Week

Realistic Expectations

I'm starting the Starting Strength Linear Progression for the first time and would be grateful for your opinion on what realistic expectations for me on the program would be.

I previously did a 5x5 LP for about 12 weeks, after which I tried the Juggernaut Method for a while (essentially a modified 5/3/1). In hindsight I regret switching programs since I really didn't stall on any lifts except the press – I went to Juggernaut as it allowed me to do one main lift followed by an endurance/metcon workout 4x per week. Here are my previous best lifts from about 6 months ago (didn't max or re-test with Juggernaut since always sub-maximal):

  • Squat: 265x5 (300x1)
  • Deadlift: 327x4 (predicted 1RM ~350)
  • Bench: 180x5 (220x1)
  • Press: 105x5 (120x1)
  • 30 yrs old, 6'2" 203 lbs

Prior to the 5x5 program my best squat was around 220x1 and deadlift 295x1. I'll be starting the weights relatively low as it's been a while since actually going heavy on a LP and plan stick to the program as long as I can continue making gains, although I realize it won't be as long as for someone brand new. I'll also be cutting out the endurance/ metcon workouts per the program.

While I realize you can't give an exact number for a specific person, in your experience how long would you generally expect linear progress to last (or to what weight)? I'm thinking more in terms of "if you aren't making at least X amount of progress YNDTP." Thanks for your time.

Michael Wolf

Your squat will go to exactly 331.7862 lbs x 5 reps (one of which will be exactly 0.4 inches above parallel) x 3 sets, taking exactly 6 minutes 37 seconds rest between sets. Or else YNDTP.

There is no answer for this question, which has been asked thousands of times. You run the program until you can't anymore, making the small modifications along the way (advanced novice, a re-set, top set +back-offs) that allow you to squeeze a bit more out of it. You make sure you have read this article and adjusted accordingly: The First Three Questions.

That's where the LP will take you. No one can predict what the numbers will be.

Best of the Forum

Pathologies prohibiting training

At the Q&A in Brooklyn this weekend, one of the attendees said that he trains an individual who is (electively) in a hypocaloric (1200-1500 kcal/day) state. You identified this as an eating disorder and recommended that the trainer RUN, not walk away from the trainee, as this condition opens the trainer up to significant liability from the eventual injuries. We have seen you and other Starting Strength coaches train people with a variety of illnesses, and it is pretty clear that training either causes no further harm, or in many cases mitigates or reverses the effects of the disease. A severe eating disorder obviously does not fit this model, is impossible to train around, and can leave the trainer holding the bag when everything hits the fan. From a liability standpoint, what are some other "run, don't walk" pathologies?

Mark Rippetoe

I don't have a list, maybe Sully can help. But it would include any condition predisposing to death on your premises, or death that could be directly attributed to your activities with the individual. Certain types of heart conditions, obviously.

Jonathon Sullivan

For purposes of excluding clients in my own training business, I would consider the following to be absolute contraindications to barbell training:

  1. Uncorrected cardiac valvulopathy (aside from mitral prolapse)
  2. Abdominal aortic aneurysm, any form of aortic or vascular dissection, or any form of aortic graft
  3. Known uncorrected intracranial pathology (aneurysm, tumor, arteriovenous malformation)
  4. Known history of malignant ventricular tachyarrhythmia
  5. Children (I like 'em fine; parents are a different story)
  6. History of recalcitrant seizure disorder (frequent breakthrough seizures despite adequate anticonvulsant therapy)
  7. Splenomegaly
  8. osteogenesis imperfecta
  9. Imperforate anus

This list is for illustrative purposes only, and does not represent medical advice for any specific patient, injury, illness or condition. People with abdominal aneurysm and imperforate anus should see their doctor.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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