Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 20, 2017

  • The Barbell Prescription Lecture Series – During the first week of April, Jonathon Sullivan will tour the Mid-Atlantic States presenting a provocative case for some of the best medicine that can be prescribed to directly delay or reverse much of the Sick Aging Phenotype. That medicine is strength training.
Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • Ask Rip #44 – Rip fields questions on shoulder stability and rehab, good pants for lifters, and the course of study a future coach should pursue.
From the Coaches

In the Trenches

ted squats at a starting strength seminar
Ted finishes up his last set of five squats at the Starting Strength Seminar held at Horn Strength and Conditioning in Los Angeles. [photo courtesy of Nick Delgadillo]
starting strength training camp coaching scene
The coaching scene at this past weekend's Starting Strength Training Camp at Black Iron Training in Lansing, Michigan. [photo courtesy of Chris Kurisko]

Best of the Week

Getting my foot in the door with coaching experience?

I've just started my Starting Strength journey a few months ago and I know I have a long way to go before I can consider even taking the Starting Strength Coach test at a seminar. I know that the first thing I need to do is to get through my own novice progression and spend a good amount of time in my intermediate progression. I can do that with time, training, food and sleep. The next thing I'd need is coaching experience. You guys recommend to have at least a thousand hours coaching regular people through their own novice progressions.

This is where I'm a bit unsure how to proceed. How can I start to coach people if I don't have the experience? It's been recommended to me to coach friends and family but it's very difficult to get people interested in strength training who aren't already interested. You can lead a horse to water... I'd be willing to train people for free if it helped me get experience.

Do you guys have any advice on how I'd be able to get my first "clients"? Is it just a matter of letting my results speak for themselves?

I'm just an ordinary engineer full time and I don't have any exercise degrees or anything close to a physiological background.

How did you guys start getting your first clients?

Steve Hill

The general progression is for you to have some moderate amount of success yourself, then leverage that trust that then builds into coaching others. But the "How to Become an SSC" thread(s) on this site have a lot of other suggestions beyond this on how to build relatable experience. But by hook or by crook, you have to figure out a way to start coaching people. There’s not magic formula, and I'm pretty confident that no two SSCs got there the same way. If it's important to you, you're passionate about it, and you're willing to work at it for YEARS, you'll figure it out.

Leah Lutz

It sounds like you're pretty new to this, and it's fantastic that you're excited and eager to coach others. I think it's important to keep in mind that even if you don't have experience coaching others, people want to see that you have experience. So as Steve says, this takes time and effort on your part. Be very committed to your own training and progress, read the SS articles, watch the videos, engage in conversations about your training and why you are doing this when people want to know, and just be reasonably interactive with people.

Keep in mind that a lot of people see others doing new things, starting a new training program and such. What really makes a difference for others is when they see someone stick with and change (get stronger). If you do that and are a nice person, people will be interested in what you are doing, no exercise degree needed.

Best of the Forum

What is the correct way to prepare psychologically for a new PR?

I would like to hear your opinion regarding the right way to prepare myself psychologically for a new PR, getting "in rage" and removing any sings of hesitation and fear before approaching the new weight.

Mark Rippetoe

Depends on who is making the PR. Karwoski had his own method. A 75-year-old lady on her third week of the program just lifts a heavier weight because her coach loaded it on the bar. You will develop your own methods as you work through the program, as part of the learning process.

Chris Kurisko

You have to master the execution of the lift and do the requisite preparation work. As long as you have done that, you just have to not mess up. If you have followed the steps of linear progression, you should know what you are capable of doing.

A big mistake I see novices making is forgetting about what the hell they are doing. Almost all tweaks and errors I see during heavier attempts come from not paying attention. Stay focused on every single rep.

Time under the bar will teach you a great deal. Learn what you can from credible sources, but ultimately you have to find your way.

Mark Rippetoe

One of the biggest mistakes I see conventional (non-technique-trained) lifters make is the focus on what they are lifting – i.e. what's on the bar – instead of how they plan to lift it. The heavier the weight, the more focus there must be on the technique, specifically the part of the lift you know you must pay attention to. Psyche can be a huge distraction. Focus on the technique you must execute.

CJ Gotcher

I'm convinced that the ideal mental approach to the bar varies on the athlete. Some people need lots of arousal and noise and others need to dial it down and internalize. Here's what I've found seems to help regardless of your "rev type":

Establish a ritual to your physical bar setup. Build in the habit of approaching the bar in the same way, in the same order, every time. Bring that same mental and physical setup to the bar in competition, just dial up the arousal as needed. Done this way, you have confidence in your approach, and it's easier to notice the small variations in stance/efficiency that creep up as the weight gets heavy.

As the weight gets heavier and the roaring in the ears gets louder, it gets harder and harder to focus on complex technique cues. Dial in your technique in your warmups, then pick either your most important cue or a generalized "master cue" for your PR attempts and trust that the rest will happen. Depending on how I perform on the previous session, warmups, and opener (in a meet), my master cue for the squat has been either midfoot balance or aggressive hip drive. I try not to "talk" these cues to myself or I spend more time thinking than acting. I try to feel my point of balance and feed the most accurate info to my instinct to execute as necessary.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

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