Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 11, 2019


Starting Strength Channel
  • The Bench Press Prescription – Jonathon Sullivan, MD, PhD, SSC discusses why and how the bench press meets the requirements of a barbell prescription for the aging adult.
  • Starting Strength Coach Nick Delgadillo helps a lifter set his low back in the deadlift when cueing "lifting the chest" isn't getting it done.
Training Log
Gym Spotlight
  • Woodmere Fitness Club is a Starting Strength Affiliate Gym on Long Island, NY with a special focus on bringing effective strength training to underserved populations. Inna Koppel's Barbell Club offers Starting Strength small group coaching for both beginners and seasoned lifters, as well as regular camps and seminars.

In the Trenches

starting strength dallas owners and rip
Rip and the owners of Starting Strength Dallas - Brent, Andrew, and Stephenie. Coming soon. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
millie 51 kg clean and jerk
Millie hits a 51 kg (112.4 lbs) clean-and-jerk for her third attempt at this weekend's annual Testify S&C's Leprechaun Lift-off Weightlifting Meet in Omaha, NE. Millie went 6-for-6 and set PRs in both the snatch and clean-and-jerk. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]

Meet Results

Testify Leprechaun Lift-off Weightlifting Meet - Full Results - For the women, the Best Lifter Award (Morgard the Manatee) went to Bianca Irlbeck, and for the men, the Best Lifter Award went to Salvatore Badali. The Best Lifter Awards were determined using Sinclair Totals.

Best of the Week

Micro plate deadlift and squat

I have read on this forum that you may not want to micro plate these two lifts and stick to 5 lb jumps. Less than 5 lb jumps do not produce adaptation. Thoughts?

Mark Rippetoe

Depends entirely on your age, sex, and bodyweight.

  • Age 45
  • Sex M
  • Weight 210-215
  • Squat 255 3x5
Mark Rippetoe

I don't think squatting 257 x 5 x 3 would be a productive use of your time. You should be able to make 5-pound jumps up into the mid-high 300s. Also see: The First 3 Questions


Sounds good. I guess it's time to put on the belt. Wasn't sure I could make it to 350 on the NLP.

Mark Rippetoe

Maybe you won't. But you haven't tried yet, so you don't know.

Best of the Forum

Thoughts on Shoulder Bursitis
Philipp Muhoray

Hi Rip, [If needed: Male, 29, 200lbs at 5'10", bench: 190, ohp: 120]  I've started lifting in April and recently been diagnosed with bursitis on my right shoulder (via MRI).

Does this indicate that I'm doing something wrong on the bench and/or overhead press? I've searched the forum but couldn't really find your opinion on this topic – i.e., what causes it and how to deal with it.

My doctor said that my humerus was elevated by too strong delts and too tight back muscles (that can't do their job). Now I should roll around on a Lacrosse Ball to loosen my back, and stop pressing. I guess that’s not what your advice would be at all. Do you have any general thoughts on this? 

Mark Rippetoe

The doctor thinks that your right humerus was elevated and mashed into your subacromial bursa because your right deltoid was "too strong," and that back muscles that are "too tight" cannot do "their job"? After looking at the relevant anatomy, does this sound even remotely plausible to you?

Will Morris

What is your occupation?

Philipp Muhoray

@Rip: It doesn't seem plausible. My thoughts were: If my back muscles are too tight, why aren't they actually pulling the humerus down? Didn't really make sense to me afterwards. But I'm fairly new to this and haven't gotten the whole picture yet.

@Will Morris: I'm a programmer, but not the good kind like you people (for strength), but for computers.

Mark Rippetoe

The "back" muscles attached to your humerus keep the head of the humerus seated in the glenoid fossa. This is discussed in the blue book. I think you're beginning to get the picture.

Will Morris

Subacromial bursitis is heavily influenced by certain occupations. Occupations that require a lot of computer work are notorious for causing subacromial bursitis.

Mark Rippetoe

And by benching incorrectly. This is also discussed in the book.

Will Morris

Absolutely. My subtle point was that the physician gave him a bullshit non-answer as to what caused his problem, instead of the known answer of, "Your job causes this. Sitting on your ass in front of a computer all day has made you weak. Learn how to bench, press, and deadlift correctly and you will be fine."

Philipp Muhoray

Thank you both very much for the help! I will reread the pressing chapters, post some form checks for the bench press, and quit my current job. (or maybe I'll just keep getting stronger until my occupation is not a problem anymore).


I had three corticosteroid injections (one subacromial bursal and two intraarticular all by an orthopod). I also had physical therapy. None helped. I suffered through it for a total of over a year, figured I'd have to give up surfing (which I did), and then came across SS. I found Paul Horn in LA and he was great. He walked me through the program although I'd already read part of the book. I just didn't feel comfortable starting the lifts purely from the descriptions. I told him about my reticence to do squats (lateral meniscus tear post surgery but that's another story). He said "You're going to do squats." I told him about my shoulder and my reticence about the bench press and OP. He said “You're not going to do bench presses. You are going to do OP.”

My ortho told me never to lift barbells. Paul emphasized that he wasn't a doctor and couldn't tell me what to do but he still encouraged me to try. I told him I was a doctor and therefore didn't trust orthos and that I promised not to sue him if he messed me up. I'm pretty sure I signed something saying I couldn't sue him anyway but I wisely never read that stuff. I was 57 at the time and had never lifted barbells except for a brief period in high school. In fact, other than surfing and martial arts, I was never an athletic guy. I was pretty scared about starting this process to be honest.

After a few weeks, my knee pain was almost gone proving that low-bar squats down to horizontal didn't destroy knees, at least not mine. After about two months, my shoulder pain was almost gone despite going from 45 to 85 lbs (I know, I’m a weakling but I'm only 5'6" and weighed 155 at the time). Now, I’m at a point where I’m OP’ing 115 (yep, still a weakling going up in increments of literally one pound). However, now I have to think about which shoulder had both subacromial bursitis and a rotator cuff tear (proven by MRI).

Incidentally, that same shoulder was tweaked recently when I tapped out late from a Kimura (a nasty jiu-jitsu shoulder lock). I pushed through OP’ing and was again back to new in a few weeks.

Your results may vary but I'm back surfing at age 60. Perhaps you should see an SS coach and get your form checked out?

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