Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 16, 2020

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  • Strength Makes Life Better – Nate Moe helps his mom overcome training obstacles, estabilish the habit of training, and reap benefits of improved health and ability.
  • From the Archives: Mark Rippetoe on the importance of focusing on recovery and growth - not staying lean - when your goal is getting big and strong.
Training Log

In the Trenches

pete troupos adjusts the power clean rack
Pete Troupos works with Austin Khamiss and Victoria Silva during the power clean platform session at the Starting Strength Seminar held at WFAC last weekend. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
amanda sheppard squats at the starting strength seminar
Amanda Sheppard squats during the March Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
michael kugler squatting at starting strength austin
Michael Kugler putting up an easy set of 5 at 335 lb. A member of Starting Strength Austin from day 1, he's taken his squat from 135 to a 415 PR in less than a year. [photo courtesy of Ashley Schaefer]

Meet Results

The 2020 Testify Leprechaun Lift-off Weightlifting Meet was held on the 14th in Omaha, Nebraska. For the women, the Best Lifter Award (Morgard the Manatee) went to Katlyn Sawtelle, and for the men, the Best Lifter Award went to Colin Shantz. The Best Lifter Awards were determined using Robi points. Full meet results

Some highlights:

jonny hansen 125 kg clean and jerk
Jonny Hansen goes 5 for 6 on the day as he sets PRs in the snatch, clean-and-jerk, and total at this weekend's Testify Leprechaun Lift-off weightlifting meet in Omaha, NE. Here, he nails his third attempt clean-and-jerk at 125 kg (275.6 lbs). [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning
millie worthington 70 kg clean
Millie Worthington cleans-and-jerks 70 kg (154.3 lbs) for a PR on her third attempt at this weekend's meet. With this lift, Millie set PRs in both her clean-and-jerk and total.  [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning
abby sharp 71 kg clean
Abby Sharp at the bottom of her second attempt clean of 71 kg (156.5 lbs). [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning
milo meggers pr work
Milo does some publicity work for this weekend's meet. Milo is available for hire and accepts payment in the form of food. Any food. [photo courtesy of Testify Strength & Conditioning

Best of the Week

Nutrition for long workouts

Many of my clients do BJJ before or after they lift, and I'd like to provide some guidance on making it through 3 hours of training (BJJ and lifting combined). My current recommendations are:

  1. if you're going to go from lifting to BJJ, get a protein shake in between with some carbs in it: oats, bananas, etc.
  2. if you're going to go from BJJ to lifting, drink a powdered sports drink of some sort before/during your first exercise warm ups.

I've also been looking into purchasing a large tub of powdered sports drink for my clients' convenience. What would you recommend for the above situations?

Thank you for your time.

Robert Santana

Ideally you wouldn't do both on the same day. In a perfect world they would be performed on different days. In a less perfect world they'd be performed on the same day with lifting first. If fighting is the priority then fighting would happen first. I'd take in some maltodextrin before the workout, dextrose during, and. probably not go to solid food until after training. The same rules apply to both modes of activity. They are high intensity and thus require glucose quickly. Maltodextrin releases a little slower than dextrose so it's good pre-workout. Dextrose is better intra because it is immediate and the simplest form of sugar.

Alexander Dargatz

I can't guarantee it's not just placebo effect, but taking a dose (~8g) of BCAA before workout and mixing another into the sports drink seems to help me a significant (=noticeable) deal in these situations. In addition to the simple carbs, of course.


Thanks again. My gym is immediately adjacent to the BJJ academy so, for scheduling, it's logistically more simple for them to train right before or after BJJ. I usually try to have them lift before BJJ if they can.

Best of the Forum

Nosy Old Gym Guy

Today was squat volume day and I was busy with 5x5 @ 365 when I was approached by another older gentleman who asked me if I knew how horizontal my back was. He said that my back should be vertical and that I was going to get hurt.

I explained to him how low bar squats work and I did my best to sound as knowledgeable as an SSC and explain our structure. (I think I did a decent job).

He seemed surprised that I knew what I was talking about and said that he sees so many inexperienced lifters get hurt and that he thought he was doing the right thing by letting me know about my horizontal back angle.

Without having a coach around I'm always concerned that my back angle is too vertical. This fella kinda hooked me up and unknowingly let me know that I actually had the proper form and I could now start focusing on other issues like shoving my knees out further and the girl in the yoga pants deadlifting in the corner.

Thanks nosy old gym guy.

Mark Rippetoe

This is the kind of thing that keeps proper squatting from propagating through gyms all over the country. Less assertive people would have deferred to his obviously informed-by-experience judgement.

Which is why those few moments when you actually see someone squatting low bar to depth as per the SS method are pure joy. They are few and far between but they do happen.


I start off by asking “How did you learn to squat like that?” They immediately get a little defensive. They might say something like “the internet” or “a book.” I will say Starting Strength, right? and the discussion that follows is awesome. Two fellow travelers in a foreign land.

Jake Leuty

Or you could say something really weird to get him (and everyone else) to leave you alone. "WOW... maybe that is why I keep shitting myself when I squat. Do you have any experience with that? Do I smell? Can you lend me some Depends?" Maybe this is why I lift at home...

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