Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 01, 2021

Muzzled Edition

On Starting Strength

From the Coaches
  • Phil Meggers demonstrates a useful deadlift drill and shows how setting your back incorrectly can actually help you set it correctly before you pull.
  • Phil Meggers shows you how to make a simple and cheap chalk stand so you don't have to bend all the way down to reach that silly chalk bucket you've been using.
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In the Trenches

pete troupos and jason varnum demonstrate setting up bar position in the squat
Pete Troupos and Jason Varnum demonstrate how to set the bar position correctly for the deadlift during a Starting Strength Seminar held at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
marco squats during a seminar at wfac
Marco squats during a Starting Strength Seminar at WFAC. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
maggie at wfac with bone and shed
Maggie keeps her focus at WFAC despite the many distractions behind her. [photo courtesy of Bre Hillen]

Best of the Week

Nutrition questions and background

I am new to the forum and am looking for some nutrition advice (I posted this in the Mark Rippetoe Q&A forum and he accused me of being a troll, which I promise I am not). I am a 27 year old 6 foot tall male and I currently weigh 135. You can probably guess by this description alone that I am severely underweight AND you guessed it, quite weak for my size. To put it in context my 5 rep max on my back squat is 135. I can deadlift 245 for 5 reps and I can bench 145 for 5 reps and I have been training consistently for 7 years though I admit some of that time was spent doing dumb Crossfit exercise but I always had a strength component. I currently eat about 3200 calories per day (I have been tracking diligently for years), and when I increase my calories I notice that I just move more to compensate for the additional energy. I eat about 400 grams of carbs per day, 300 grams of protein, and maybe 30 (ish) calories of fat. I'm not sure where to go with my calories. I want to get stronger, despite having hardgainer genetics, and I am open to any and all suggestions.

Robert Santana

You are underweight and weak and you have not been training you have been exercising for the last 7 years. Now you are training and you need to eat more. There is absolutely no reason to eat 30 grams of fat and you can probably get away with dropping that protein to 225-250 g/d. Eat 100 grams of fat and 450 grams of carb with 250 grams of protein and see how that breakdown feels. Fat gain should be the least of your concern right now.


Thank you for the feedback and not accusing me of being a troll. I will give this a shot. I cannot lie that aesthetics has been a major focus of mine and that has held me back from achieving strength goals. I listened to the three episodes you did on Starting Strength Radio and really enjoyed the content. Thank you again for your reply!

Best of the Forum

Gaining weight for a 59 year old
Malc Hales

I am a 59 year old male, who lives in Brighton, England. I was a national 100m sprinter from the age of 11-38, I also played defensive back in the European leagues during the 80s. I represented England in international games during this period. It definitely helped that I lived and trained in Houston for 5 years early to mid 80s for my football and sprinting skills. I also coached both sprints and D backs for a 10 year period in the 90s.

I have been training the Starting Strength way since mid way through January, when I found your channel. I have found it to be exactly what my old sprint and American football coach used to train me on back in the day.

I weigh in at a "healthyish" 80 kilos and I 5’9” tall. Although I do have all the aches and pains of a 59 year old ex sprinter/football player, I can still carry out the squat, deadlift, bench press, chins and shoulder press to an acceptable standard. I do 3 sessions over a 7 day week, although last week only 2 due to fatigue.

It's my weight that gives me a few headaches. I try to eat a well balanced diet, around 2700-3000 cals a day with about 110 grams of protein. I drink a protein shake 1st thing (4am) before work, but the rest is real food. I was wondering if you would recommend that I drink a weight bulk drink last thing at night, to help my body recover and hopefully gain a few kilos? Or will that be a waste of my hard earned ££s? Any other thoughts would be thankfully received. My weight has risen 1.5 kilos in the 2 months I have been training your way.

My 3x5 reps: Squat has gone from a 80k to 110k, deadlift 80k to 120k, bench 65k to 90k, shoulder press 20k to 35k, a max chins of 10 now.

Would really appreciate your thoughts.

Mark Rippetoe

First thing, double your protein intake, now. Get your calories up to 3500, now. I think you'll find that things are different next week.


You've heard from Rip, you don't need to hear from me. But I am a busybody and Rip can be a bit brief, so my trainee's perspective is, both your progress in the lifts and your weight gain seem a bit slow for an SS novice who probably has good genes for athleticism and a good deal of muscle memory for strength. I have never been 59 years old, but I bet if you follow Rip's prescription you'll have faster gains. Also you don't mention supplementing with creatine; if you aren't doing it, that would help as well.

Mark Rippetoe

And TRT if it's available.


I agree with Rip (age 50 here). Also, I'm skeptical about your sleep if you're rising at 4AM. Are you falling asleep at 8PM? If not, you need more sleep. 8 hours a night is not a joke or recommendation but a mandate.

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