Starting Strength Weekly Report

June 25, 2018

Training Log
  • Adam Skillin describes rehabbing an adductor tear by stressing the injury and forcing it to recovery and to a healed state in Peter's Adductor Rehab.
Starting Strength Channel
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

mike ford deadlift
Mike Minigell coaches Mike Ford during the deadlift platform session at the Starting Strength Seminar held at Valens Strength and Conditioning in San Diego. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
group picture at the san diego seminar
Group picture from the Starting Strength Seminar held at Valens Strength and Conditioning in San Diego. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
todd hunt 135 pound press lockout
Coaches Chris Kurisko and Jonathon Sullivan watch as Todd Hunt puts up a 135 lb press at a Press Training Camp earlier this month. [photo courtesy of Lesia Mcquade]

Best of the Week

Exercise order on Starting Strength

In your book, you mentioned that the exercises in the program should be performed in that order, but I have a question regarding squatting first.

The idea of doing-what-is-harder first makes sense to me, but some strength coaches (which are not as smart as yourself, but they are still respected) claim things such as this: “No matter how hard and heavy is your bench/press, it will never screw up you squat. But virtually every heavy squat will screw up your bench/press”

The argumentation here is that heavy squats screws heavy bench due to their longer ROM and the absolute weight involved. So even though they are two very different movements, as you always pointed out, your body is a system, and energy is energy. So supposedly, the “squats take away energy” and screws benches and presses.

So the my question is: Is this bullshit? Or it does make sense swap the order of the exercises and leave squats for last?

Mark Rippetoe

Squats make you tired, correct. They also make you warm. If you bench/press after you squat, you adapt to benching/pressing after you squat. And then you deadlift after squats and benches/presses. You adapt to that too. Later, when it's time for more complicated programming, you may split the week into lower body/upper body, as our 4-day split routine does.


For most people, squats are the most psychologically stressful and difficult. If you can just get those done, there is some semblance of "relaxing" mentally the rest of the workout.

Also, the only alternative is to deadlift, bench, squat which is just a horrible idea, because no one wants to squat heavy after they deadlift heavy. Deadlifts are just so god damn hard and taxing, doing anything near maximal afterwards is a bad idea.

Eric Schexnayder

Hear, hear. If I can make it through my squats alive, the presses and pulls are actually exciting and fun. Last week I told myself, "just one more squat set, and then you get to Press."

If I told myself squats could be last, I would probably end up not doing them.


What if you are doing a lighter, higher-rep day on squats, but were going to do a normal, heavy deadlift set of 5? Which would work better, squats 3x10 deadlift 1x5 or the reverse?

Mark Rippetoe

It has been written. That which has been written shall be obeyed. Your pathetic attempt at "reasoning" pales in comparison to the wisdom I have brought the world. It has been written, and you shall obey.


Best of the Forum

Gauging Soreness

How do you approach gauging where an athlete is in the recovery/adaptation cycle between sessions and whether or not to continue resting or get the lift in with the 2.5 pound incremental increase, or scale back and decrease the weight in the working set of the movement.

I am a novice trainee. My training background is 3-4 years in high school where I lifted weights like a bro and did so inconsistently. Since high school I have gone into the weight room 3-4 times a month and done some low weight bench presses and lots of barbell curls. Over the past year I have been reading Starting Strength and Practical Programming at a casual pace out of interest in the subject material and I have been practicing the squat, dl, press, and bench press in the weight room but not performing the program.

I am 6'5" 295.

  • Squat: 45x5, 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 275x5, 285x5x3 (work sets)
  • Press: 45x5, 95x5, 115x5x3 (work sets)
  • Deadlift: 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 285x5, 305x5x3 (work sets)

My bench press was done on Tuesday with limited upper body soreness

  • Bench press: 45x5, 135x5, 185x5, 205x5, 225x5, 235x5x3 (work sets)

I just performed this workout the past Saturday, 4/7 and I have been so sore in my legs that it hurts to take full strides walking and I would have to use the desk to help sit down at work and use my chair arms to get up at home.

I am set on breaking through the soreness and completing at least 3 months of the SS protocol. I am still on the fence whether or not to increase working sets by 2.5 pounds and completing workout #2 which is four days removed from my workout #1. I sleep 8 hours and tend to usually overeat high protein meals with a lot of calories. I am always hydrated, and I have had no significant injuries outside of a bad ankle sprain 2 years ago.

Mark Rippetoe

Was this your first workout?


Yes, first workout since February.

Mark Rippetoe

Yes, this is very odd. After a 3 month layoff and after a workout that was not done according to the program, you're sore. Crazy. Inexplicable. I'll have to consider the ramifications of this completely weird phenomenon.

Will Morris

When you first start conducting the program as prescribed, you do not worry about soreness. When your day comes to squat again, you just do it...whether you are sore or not. After your first workout in three months, I'd worry less about stress-adaptation, and just do the program as prescribed. It is a little early to start worrying about deloading and resetting.


The type of soreness that was present on my day to squat was so bad it took me 10 seconds to stand and sit and when I tried to do a bodyweight squat to below parallel my hamstrings clenched so hard that I fell right on my ass. I understand general soreness that lasts 24-48 hours. However, soreness that prevents you from conducting layperson movements and leaves your muscles tight and stiff will not allow you to squat.

That being said, I realized that I did not follow warm-up set instructions and went too high on warmup sets, thus overloading myself and setting myself back. I’ll get it right this weekend. Three perfectly performed sessions next week.

Thanks for your input and direction.

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