Starting Strength Weekly Report

June 21, 2021

Midsummer Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Scientism, COVID, and Cholesterol with Dr. Malcolm Kendrick – Mark Rippetoe talks with physician Malcolm Kendrick about the practice of medicine, science, and how it affects you.
  • Your Lats in the Deadlift – Starting Strength Coach Brent Carter discusses the role of the lats in the deadlift and demonstrates a way to cue the function of the lats while pulling.
  • Life After the Military as a Starting Strength Gym Coach – Army Veteran Jacob Pearce talks about his time in the military, readjusting to civilian life, and his road to becoming a Starting Strength Coach.
  • Buying and Using a Light Bar by Andrew Lewis – Not everyone can use a 45 lb bar for the press or bench press. These are typically lighter women and heavier, deconditioned people who cannot squat using a 45 lb bar. Additionally, a lifter pressing 50 lb should not be using a 45 lb bar for early warm ups...
  • To Be, Or Not To Be, A Pansy by Daniel Oakes – Oh Lord. My total testosterone is a pitiful 115 ng/dl, but the NHS has told me that I can't see an endocrinologist for a whole 20 weeks...
  • Weekend Archives: What Not to Do: Observations of Powerlifters Coaching Novices by Kyle Mask – After training for nearly a decade at a commercial gym in one of Nashville’s poshest neighborhoods, I firmly believed I had seen every possible iteration of tomfoolery...
  • Weekend Archives: The Phenomenology of Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe – The phenomenology related to a theory is an important step in the analysis of that theory. Another way to think about the phenomenology is as the accumulated empirical evidence of what has actually occurred...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

austin spots will on bench press work sets
Austin Khamiss spots Will Innocent's bench press as he does heavy sets across at Starting Strength Austin. [photo courtesy of Aaron Frederick]
austin coaches james on a heavy press
Austin Khamiss coaches James Schuman through a heavy press. [photo courtesy of Aaron Frederick]
royal training for strength at starting strength oklahoma city
Royal just turned 13 and is a star youth soccer player here in OKC playing for multiple teams. He is working at Starting Strength OKC to improve his strength to make him competitive against the bigger, older boys on the advanced soccer teams. [photo courtesy of Phoebe Hightower]
jd shipley teaches hip drive in the squat
JD Shipley runs through hip drive with Andre Smith at this past weekend's Squat Camp held at Starting Strength Houston. [photo courtesy of Josh Wells]
alex at the bottom of the squat
Alex Guillory at the bottom of the squat the training camp last Saturday. [photo courtesy of Jonathon Chung]
jd shipley and tony stein lead the training camp q&a session
JD Shipley and Tony Stein lead the Q&A session at the end of the Squat Training Camp. [photo courtesy of Jonathon Chung]
bousky visits starting strength austin all the way from singapore
Tim Bousky, a member from Hygieia Strength and Conditioning in Singapore, trains at Starting Strength Austin while visiting the US. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
inna and tori model the texas cafe classics apron
Inna and Tori put the new Texas Cafe Classics aprons to the test. [photo courtesy of Raina Butler]

Best of the Week

Warming up taking too long


I introduced my workout partner (not life partner, NFW) to SS for an ACL injury rehab. With that half tucked away, she is NDTFP but only squats and deadlifts and only 2x a week, primarily due to life/time constraints....and this issue I'm about to ask about. So, truly, asking for a friend.

The issue is warm ups seem to be either ineffective or taking WAY too long and we can't seem to suss out the middle road. Maybe pertinent she is hyper flexible due to Elher-Danners syndrome and also has the corresponding lack of proprioception.

She is 6'1", 220 lb. Squats are currently 5x3@165 lb. DL @185 lb

Keeping in mind we've tried a slew of warm up scheme, her basic is

  • BWx10
  • BWx10
  • 45x10
  • 45x10
  • 95x5
  • 115x5
  • 125x5
  • 155x5
  • 160x3
  • work sets

The issue is, per her, she does not feel warmed up with that scheme and the work sets both look and feel pretty bad. She's been back and forth at this weight due to the form being so bad as we try to add more weight. We've tried 3 lb, 2 lb and even 1 lb increases and she gets pinned at 168 lb and form looks like corresponding hell. We deloaded her a couple times to no effect. But now I find an interesting data point.

Out of utter sheer frustration she did the above, and then 3 sets at 165x5 and tried a 4th set because of the observation the last reps on set three were not feeling too bad.....and she proceeded to destroy the 4th set. and 5th. and 6th. I've never seen her form and speed so good. She proceeded to do 9 fucking sets and capped it with 5 @ 170 and they were easy.

Her conclusion is only after 3 working sets was she feeling properly warmed up. And I'm having trouble arguing. The issue is that scheme is taking a fucking hour. Our last test cut that scheme in half, had her do 3x5 of her working sets....and it didn't have the same effect. She didn't feel warmed up.

What the hell are we missing? Can you suggest a better warmup scheme....or something? I feel like we are missing the forest for the trees.

A last side note, her warm ups and squat set don't seem to carry over to DL in that without way too many warm up sets, the pattern repeats. Jerky form, struggles, etc.

Mark Rippetoe

You're missing the fact that human perception is inadequate. These are far too many warmup sets. It doesn't matter what she thinks, because she doesn't have the experience to know. If she does a couple of empty bar sets, 95x5, 125x5, and 145x2, she's warm. And she's obviously not doing the program at all, so she probably needs a better coach, one who charges money so she'll listen.

Best of the Forum

Social Media Presence??

Isaac Medina

How necessary/important would it be to establish a social media presence if I'm wanting to become a Starting Strength Coach?

I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I've seen that there are no SSCs or SS gyms in New Mexico, so I figured I'd have to market myself a little harder if I'd want to be successful.

Mark Rippetoe

Your marketing as a coach is almost entirely word-of-mouth, IOW your effectiveness as a coach. Social media has become an evil system, and the farther away you are the better.

Oso Rojo

I've watched three specialty gyms go under in Santa Fe and that is a perfect demographic for a gym, aging population with high income. So I suspect the big issue is education in the market. Two of the three I have used in the past and they had great equipment but were targeting top athletes. From what I see of the market you need to target 40 - 45 and older with above average income. That pays the bills. The local athletes just provide the volume. I think you can do well in Abq with some direct marketing and education to the groups you want to target. You have a solution to a problem they may or may not know they have, but definitely don't yet know they need it. So get in front of them, make sure they know they have the problem, and then tell them how you can help them. Go out and recruit a full schedule of clients, and then start farming them for who they know that needs help.

My wife asked me about social media for her business. I told her to stay away, she and I are not in the age demographic for that and even if we were it's a lot of work for questionable results.

Mark Rippetoe

Social media has always been a place where people can pretend that their opinion is both qualified and somehow matters, and the problem with it is that we have come to accept their premise. Twitter and FB are not the real world, and the more time you spend on it the more the illusion of reality soaks into your mind, whether you want it to or not. It taints everything with the viewpoint of its owners/managers, and we are happily playing along. We are the product Tw and FB are selling. It's best not to depend on it.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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