Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 15, 2021

Transmission Edition 

On Starting Strength
  • Driving Cool Stuff Fast with Fred Ashmore – Mark Rippetoe and Cannonball Run record holder Fred Ashmore discuss cars, driving, and Fred's car collection.
  • Fixing Your Wrist Position in the Squat – Starting Strength Coach Andrew Lewis demonstrates a way to ensure your wrists are tight and neutral when you set up for a squat.
  • Cues, Context, and Timing – Starting Strength Coach Grant Broggi discusses bad cues, timing of cues, and communicating with lifters effectively.
  • Criticisms of The Contemporary Approach To Trauma by Daniel Oakes – Axiomatically, the world already has or will hold a tragedy for everyone. As someone who has seen a psychologist and achieved (if you can call it that) nearly all of the “trauma points”...
  • Which Bench? by Mark Rippetoe – In some gyms you have a decent selection of equipment. Keeping in mind that the bench press is the only major exercise that can actually kill you, there are two ways to set up...
  • Weekend Archives: The First Rep by Daniel Raimondi – The novice progression begins by finding a weight that can be performed with good technique, which slows the lift down slightly. This represents enough of a stress...
  • Weekend Archives: Back Pain and Back Strength by Mark Rippetoe – The reality is that your back hurts because you are a bipedal, upright human over the age of 30, you can't alter this fact, and the best way to make it stop hurting is to make it stronger with squats and deadlifts...

From the Coaches
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In the Trenches

lolisa bench presses at starting strength dallas
85-year-old Lolisa gets her benching done on Tuesdays. Three generations of her family train with Starting Strength Dallas. [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]
2021 starting strength gyms meetup
Starting Strength Gyms franchise team and owners at an undisclosed location during the inaugural SS Gyms meetup last week. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
aubrey first competition clean and jerk
Aubrey Jarecke cleans-and-jerks 34 kg for her third attempt at this weekend's Testify Leprechaun Lift-off weightlifting meet in Omaha, NE. Aubrey set a clean-and-jerk PR with this attempt and went 6-for-6 at her first meet. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
christine racks a 68kg snatch in competition
Christine Miller goes 6-for-6 at this weekend's Testify Leprechaun Lift-off in Omaha, NE. Here, she snatches 68 kg for her third attempt. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]
Chris Charvat goes 5-for-6 and set PRs in the snatch, clean-and-jerk, and total at this weekend's Testify Leprechaun Lift-off weightlifting meet in Omaha, NE. Here, he snatches 131 kg for his third attempt. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning]

Meet Results

2021 Testify Leprechaun Lift-off weightlifting meet 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 Justin Decker. The Best Lifter Awards were determined using Robi points.

Best of the Week

Why no center knurl: 15kg and 10kg SS bars
Jesse A. Marks

Why do the 15kg and 10kg Starting Strength barbells not have a center knurl? When using these bars to train older or weaker folks is there any special consideration I need to take? In particular, during the low bar squat I am wondering if not having a center knurl will cause any issues with the bar sliding. I have heard that using athletic tape can help to create some friction&emdash;is this necessary? I'm interested in hearing what you have to say about this matter and why you designed these bars to that specification because I am considering purchasing one or more of these bars. Thanks!

Mark Rippetoe

The demographic for which those bars are designed do not use heavy enough weights that a center knurl is necessary. It adds expense and not value. By the time a center knurl is useful to the lifter, the 20kg bar is being used.


Do some lifters actually need a center knurling? In my experience, bar security (in the squat) is unaffected by the presence of a center knurling and not-sand-papering-your-neck security (in the clean) is greatly compromised.


I have a big roll of athlete / rock climbers tape in my gym bag for when I'm away from home and stuck using a crappy gym which doesn't have centre knurled bars.

It works a treat for me, those non centred bars are whippy mind you!


Eleiko oly bars would be very slippery without the center knurling. Fortunately, I convinced my managers here at globo gym to get me a Texas Power Bar - it's the only rusty barbell in the gym and many of my friends and members pass it over to me when I walk up to the racks.

Mark Rippetoe

That's why you don't want a chrome-plated bar for general strength training.

Best of the Forum

The proof’s in the puddin’...

I've listened to podcasts and heard arguments against the model and program, etc. and I understand that you still get many, many comments from people who just don't get it. They just don't believe in the simplicity of adding 5 lbs per workout on the 5 main lifts and how that will incrementally improve strength - the most influential and "impactful" of all human adaptations.

My understanding is that Chase has been training with you a really long time (or HAD trained with you for a long time). Have you ever considered posting his numbers from when he started training with you, years ago, up to his current PR's? My assumption is that his numbers are pretty good. Maybe you wouldn't have to answer as many stupid responses and could just post the numbers over and over again and let them argue with the numbers. I thought this might be a way to just show these people what results will occur if/when they follow the program (or, even as you say, "Do AT the program") and follow the model over a period of time (years).

Mark Rippetoe

Let's ask Chase.


I believe my starting numbers were as follows: Squat 65lbs, Press 33lbs, Bench 75lbs, Deadlift 85lbs

Now my numbers are: Squat 637lbs, Press 350lbs(in training), Bench 405lbs, Deadlift 675lbs, and Powerclean 150kg. This is what training consistently for 10 years has done for me. Not where I want to be but I'm still working on it.


That's about what I figured. It’s proof of consistent, incremental progress over the long term - no gimmicks, gizmos or complicated programming; just adding weight little by little on the 5 lifts over 10 years. Thanks for sharing.


How do you keep your waist so trim, Chase?

If I were to wear my belt that tight I would probably bust an O-ring.


It's amazing what happens when Rip gets a hold of someone young and one that listens.


Can we ask Chase his height and weight?

Good work there Chase.


I'm 6'1 at a BW of 245

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