Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 14, 2022

Mostest Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Q&A Episode - Christopher Hitchens, Marriage, and Too Much Testosterone – Rip answers questions from Starting Strength Network subscribers and fans.
  • Email From a Triggered Member – Ray shares an email he received from a triggered member and why we are unapologetic about our views.
  • Teamwork and Business Development at Starting Strength Cincinnati – Inna Koppel interviews the Owner of Starting Strength Cincinnati, Luke Schroeder. They discuss running the gym, drinking beer, teamwork, and business development.
  • Observations on Working with a Coach by Phil Ringman – I hired a coach because I was stuck due to two fixable issues: poor technique and not knowing how to program effectively. Four months in, it's some of the best money I've ever spent.
  • Barbells Are the Isolations by Carl Raghavan – What am I talking about? Let me tell you a recent true story. A guy at a globo-gym watched me deadlift 5 plates for a triple (220kg/484lbs). He then approached me and said, “What do you do for your traps?” I sagely nodded towards my platform and replied, “I just did it.”
  • Weekend Archives: Five Important Things by Jim Steel – I have tried just about everything in training and nutrition, whether it’s been for myself with football training, powerlifting, or bodybuilding, or while being a strength coach on the high school and collegiate level for thirty years. I have learned a lot over the years...
  • Weekend Archives: Training and Discipline by Mark Rippetoe – I know that you have noticed the same thing I have in recent years: everybody’s attention span has gotten shorter...the average attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds, whereas it was 12 seconds in 2000.

From the Coaches
  • Food & Macros in Times of Scarcity – Robert and Trent offer some ideas about macros, inexpensive foods, and important tools and cookware that can save you money in the long run on this episode from the Weights & Plates podcast.
  • Stressed out by pull-ups vs chin-ups? What is the difference between the two? Which one should you do? Phil Meggers breaks it down in just a few minutes.
  • Weightlifting, strengthlifting, strongman, and IronFest! There are a lot of events coming up at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE - in fact, one each month for the next five months. Watch this short video to learn more, and then come join us or cheer on a friend!
  • When learning to snatch and clean (sometimes even after we’ve learned!), a common error is that of pulling the bar around the knees or - equivalently - making the back angle become more vertical too soon. Phil Meggers discusses how to fix this problem.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

kimya deadlifts 225 for a triple in her tenth week of training
Kimya joined Starting Strength Boston in January. Here she is deadlifting 225# x3 in her tenth week of training. [photo courtesy of Austin Khamiss]
Akash joined Starting Strength Orlando over 10 weeks ago. In that time he’s gone from having to squat the empty bar to 185x5x3. This after being told by his PT that it would take him a couple years to squat 185. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
josh finishes a set of deadlifts at starting strength cincinnati
Starting Strength Cincinnati member Josh Horsley finishes off a set of deadlifts as apprentice Nikki Barkley looks on. Josh is a member of the MWF 7am crew and has been with the gym since it's opening back in November and has added 150 pounds to his deadlift in that time. [photo courtesy of Marie Worsham]
freddy setting up for deadlifts at starting strength dallas
Freddy getting set up for his deadlift at Starting Strength Dallas. Freddy’s favorite thing to say is “don’t let the old man in.” [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]
iggy the dog ready to bench
Iggy prepares to do his chest day workout on the Starting Strength Bench. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
home base set up for dynamic effort deadlifts
When you do dynamic effort deadlifts every minute on the minute, you gotta get home base set up. [photo courtesy of Andrew Lewis]
jeff teaching hart how to deadlift
Apprentice Jeff teaching Hart Mason how to deadlift. [photo courtesy of Aaron Frederick]
trisha 225 set of 5 deadlift pr at starting strength denver
Trisha with a PR of 225x5 at Starting Strength Denver. [photo courtesy of Jen Phfol]
garm and friend at the oklahoma city gym
Garm and friend getting comfy at the gym in Oklahoma City. [photo courtesy of Gregory Herman]
sebastian with 265 for a set of five squats
Sebastian hitting 265x5 at Starting Strength San Antonio. [photo courtesy of Victoria Diaz]
alan deadlifting in oklahoma city
Alan, who is now 76, started strength training…at 76. Realizing he was a bit weaker in everyday activities despite being quite active, Alan decided to come regain some strength. With some insistence from his son who lifts, Alan and his wife Deborah, joined our OKC gym with the goal of getting strong enough to live life to the fullest. [photo courtesy of Chase Lindley]
francis squatting at starting strength plano
Long femurs? No problem for Starting Strength Plano member Francis. [photo courtesy of Christian Fox]

Meet Results

The annual Testify Leprechaun Lift-off weightlifting meet took place this Saturday (03/12/22) at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. For the women, the Best Lifter Award (Morgard the Manatee) went to Caileen Seguin, and for the men, the Best Lifter Award went to Colin Reis. The Best Lifter Awards were determined using Sinclair points. You can view a recording of the meet here or download the scoresheet.

rohan snatches in his first meet
Rohan Fichadia snatches 40 kg for his third attempt. Rohan lifted in his first meet and went 5-for-6 at this weekend's Testify Leprechaun Lift-off weightlifting meet at Testify Strength & Conditioning in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Phil Meggers]
christine snatches 71 for her second attempt
Christine snatches 71 kg for her second attempt. Christine went 5-for-6 and set PRs in the clean-and-jerk and total at the meet. [photo courtesy of Becky Meggers]
aubrey with a 34 kg third attempt snatch
Aubrey Jarecke hits 34 kg for her third snatch attempt. Aubrey went 6-for-6 and set PRs in the snatch, clean-and-jerk, and total. [photo courtesy of Becky Meggers]
sarah hits 60 in her third jerk attempt
Sarah Jones hits 60 kg for her third clean-and-jerk attempt. Sarah went 6-for-6 and set PRs in the snatch, clean-and-jerk, and total at this weekend's Testify Leprechaun Lift-off in Omaha, NE. [photo courtesy of Becky Meggers]

Best of the Week

Stupid “Core” Question


I was reading this article: “Core” Stability “Training”

This is a stupid question but I have to ask: If you are isolating these smaller muscles with these core exercises, doesn't that mean these muscles are not as strong as a guy/girl that deadlifts and squats heavy?

In other words, if a guy/girl deadlifts and squats sets of 5 and follows the program, aren't all of the "core" muscles going to be stronger doing that as opposed to isolating individual muscles?

I believe that is what you are referring to when you say these "core exercises" are just the stress encountered simply just picking up groceries.

Mark Rippetoe

Yes, big squatters and deadlifters have stronger "core" components than pilates do-ers.


LOL 2009. Holy shit. Was that the last time you touched this turd of a word?

Fucking people, man.

Seeking to work your "core" is bodybuilder-tier intelligence. Why the hell is novicejay thinking about this shit?

Mark Rippetoe

Somebody must have hacked his account.


Now, that's funny!

I was arguing with a trainer about rehab and he was trying to tell me that isolating exercises are a good idea. I said this didn't make sense to me because a dl or a squat would allow the person to use more muscles at the same time. This prompted me to search for your name with the word "core." He was trying to tell me that isolating the muscles makes them stronger since they are isolated and that even if you have a 500lb dl that your "core" can still be weak so you have to isolate those muscles to get them stronger. He gave me a silly example of a gymnast that can balance on rings but a guy with a 500lb dl can't balance on rings. I tried to explain that balancing on rings is not just strength but a developed skill that you obtain through deliberate practice. He even used the Mike Boyle guy who doesn't recommend barbell squats any longer. In the end, I was the "stupid" one and didn't know what I was talking about.

I honestly don't know why I try to have a discussion with these people. It appears hopeless.

Best of the Forum

How can I help my Grandmother?

Isaac Medina

I recently just started training my Nana at the gym. She's really beat up and wants to lose weight, have more energy, fix her low back pain, and be able to keep up with my baby (her grandson).

She's 5'2", 63 years old, and probably ~170-180 lbs. She's bent over when she walks because of her back pain (her husband says it looks like she's picking piñon up off the ground when she walks). She had a double knee replacement about a year ago and her knees are fine (no pain). She has a lot of injuries and I'm unsure of how to help her out with upper body strength.

She cannot get her left arm straight overhead (it's about 20-25 degrees relative to her spine when the ROM stops), so I've had issues with helping her press. We've been working with a broomstick at the moment.

She's leg pressing at the moment. Those are going fine. 60lbs for 3 sets of 10.

She can deadlift off of 1.5" blocks. Her most recent DL was 53x5.

She's also doing lat pulls and cardio for 20-30 mins 5x/week.

My question is what can I do to help her with her pressing movements? I haven't tried bench press with her yet, but I'm hesitant to do so with her just because of her shoulder flexibility. Have you encountered any people with bad shoulders like this and what did you do to help them?

Mark Rippetoe

When she lat pulls, do her arms get vertical to the shoulders at the top?

Isaac Medina

Oddly enough, yes. Not perfectly vertical, but more vertical than when she stands and raises them up.

Mark Rippetoe

So in tension the ROM is actually there, she just lacks the strength and stability to press up into it. Have her start by pressing the stick up the front of the rack, and work on the ROM using that as a guide.

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