Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 22, 2021

Reverb Edition

On Starting Strength
  • Best of Comments From the Haters! – A very special edition of Starting Strength Radio to commemorate episode 100.
  • For the Ladies - Doing Your Threes, Gaining Weight, and Staying Strong – Starting Strength Coaches Inna Koppel and Nicole Rutherford discuss their experience coaching women, the use of threes in the NLP, and the value of strength training for women.
  • Setting Up Your Rack for Pin Presses – WFAC Coach Rusty Holcomb demonstrates how to set up the power rack for pin presses to avoid death, injury, and mayhem.
  • Trainers Who Think They’re Physios by Carl Raghavan – Trainers, get your clients off the floor and under a barbell. Focus on what you’re trained to do, not on specialized exercises for issues you’re not trained to diagnose...
  • Sweats or Shorts? by Mark Rippetoe – Ah, the age-old question. Which is better? The decision to wear sweat pants or shorts depends on...
  • Weekend Archives: Yinyang: Technique and Strength in the Martial Arts by Dave Longley – You do not have to be strong to do Martial Arts. There. It has been written. Without a shadow of a doubt, my opening sentence is true, and true in all cases. As you continue reading, you may feel your fury rising...
  • Weekend Archives: by Mark Rippetoe – It is fashionable these days to appear concerned about what is currently interpreted as “inequality.” Inequality can be accurately defined as any diversity in the outcomes of...

From the Coaches
  • Luke Schroeder discusses his strength journey and how a passion to help other people led him to opening Starting Strength Cincinnati on the Fitness Candor Podcast.
  • Do your feet barely reach the ground when you bench press? Phil Meggers covers an easy solution for those who have shorter legs, and this solution often helps those who bench with back pain as well.
  • When you’re new to some task, like lifting, there are always a few tips and tricks that will seem rather obvious to you years later, so in an effort to speed things up a bit, Phil Meggers covers several ideas that might prove useful to you.
Get Involved

In the Trenches

dale trains at starting strength denver
Dale taking time from ski season to knock out 255 for 5 at Starting Strength Denver. [photo courtesy of Jay Livsey]
62 year old kathleen deadlifts 185 for 5
62-year-old Kathleen finishes 185x5 and is on track toward a goal of 225 before Thanksgiving 2021. [photo courtesy of Starting Strength Denver]
jen locks out 255
Jen locks out 255x5 before the weekend hits! [photo courtesy of Jay Livsey]
starting strength austin apprentices
Apprentices Austin Khamiss, Jacob Pearce and Sam Ishiki with Inna Koppel at Starting Strength Austin. Find out more: Working at a gym.
jordan fixes the squat grip for a lifter
SSC Jordan Burnett adjusts Tommy's on grip position at the recent Training Camp held at Starting Strength Dallas. [photo courtesy of Brent Carter]
satana teaches nutrition at starting strength houston
Robert Santana leads the Nutrition Camp at Starting Strength Houston.

Best of the Week

Let’s Talk Pants & Underwear

Starting Strength has certainly made me bigger and stronger. This has improved my life in a large number of ways, except one: Nothing fucking fits. My hips are now much larger than my waist. Buying bigger waist sizes allows the waistband to make its way over my hips, but then when it gets around my waist, it starts to fall down. I then have to bunch the fabric up and cinch it with a belt.

I just learned that some clothing manufacturers make “W” sizes and that has helped. So, a 38R is for untrained males and a 38W is for trained males. This helps accommodate the hip/waist ratio problem.

Underwear is a different story. They don’t make 38-40W underwear and my thick thighs rub frequently and cause lots of chafing problems. Has anyone found a decent underwear manufacturer that can accommodate men with bigger thighs and hips and a somewhat smaller waist?

Mark Rippetoe

You still wear underwear? Why? I guess you don't travel much.


I’ve always had a fear of zippers after that scene in Something About Mary.

Mark Rippetoe

I turned the movie off at that point, since I've never had any trouble keeping track of where my dick is. Underwear take up a lot of room in a bag on a 2-week trip, so I eschew their use.


This sounds more like a skin problem than an underwear problem. I've just had boxers for years and my thighs touch but don't chafe.


I have always had very fat thighs and they always rub. My everyday go to are Hanes boxer briefs comfort flex fit or something like that, they're 55-60% cotton and 3-5% spandex. 5% is enough to reduce the rubbing but doesn't give that weird spandex feeling. I also wear them on shorter (under 5 mi) hikes. Longer hikes I wear fully synthetic to get rid of all the friction but you get that weird spandex feeling.


The skin is definitely irritated. They make a slightly longer boxer brief, which I’ve tried, but they seem to get a little stretched out too easily. When I go up a waist size, then they’re too loose around my waist.

Maybe commando is the way around this. Any suggestions for the chaffing?

Oops. I misread this as you DO have chafing with the boxer briefs. I’ve never had issues before this with my skin so I’m assuming it’s a chafing issue. It’s humid here and I work a manual labor job, so maybe the humidity and sweat combined with rubbing?


As anyone who has done long-distance running knows damp cotton can be like sandpaper against the skin. Make sure your trousers are not making you get too hot and if you can't avoid the lycra breathable shorts people wear for running might be an alternative to underwear... or nothing at all will probably work too as Mr Rippetoe suggested.

If you don't want lycra, some runners use vaseline. Cyclists use chamois cream for the friction on the saddle.

Bill Anders

If you insist on wearing underwear (I'm not judging) check out the brand ExOfficio. I needed something that would prevent chafing while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (Mexico to Canada) and BodyGlide would only work so much. The longer pairs (9") of ExOfficio's cover a lot of the thigh and keep that chafing under control. Yes, they're a bit pricier than a lot of brands, but they last. I still wear the pairs that I used on the hike back in 2015 and have gone from 245 (pre-hike) to 185 (immediately post-hike) back up to 225 (at the end of NLP). They still do the job.


Thanks Bill. I'll give them a try.

Best of the Forum

I’m always hot and I think it might be your fault, Mr. Rippetoe

I'm always hot---in the temperature sensation sense. When walking outside in winter, the slightest physical exertion (i.e., that of walking) warms me up enough that I shed all my layers and walk about in a t-shirt. Naturally---as a millennial---this makes me rather anxious: won't everyone think I'm some kind of freak, meandering about in a t-shirt when it's 3C outside? Of course the alternative---continuing to don my clothes, visibly perspire from my face and develop some fierce pit stains is no better in this regard.

Now you may astutely say: well at least it's not a problem in summer, because *everyone* is wearing t-shirts then. But you'd be wrong to say that. In summer problems are worse. In summer, if I sit on a plastic chair and then later stand up, I will leave a 10" long fat sausage of sweat behind on the chair that curiously lines up where my buttcrack just was. Of course, knowing that this will happen gives me anxiety, which then makes me perspire more, increasing both the girth and length of said sweat sausage. In summer, my sweaty ass precludes me from wearing anything but the thinnest of shorts that dry quickly/readily, lest people think the dark, wet circle that forms on the backside of my shorts in proximity to my anus is of a more nefarious origin.

Aside from physical markers of my temperature discomfort, in all of these situations I'm also simply physically uncomfortable as well. I dread winter because regular people here heat everything to 22C or higher. I dread summer because I live in a land of no air conditioning and everything is 22C, all the time.

The reason why I'm writing to you about this is that I'm hoping to commiserate with you about it. See, I think it's likely a product of training and being over 200 lbs (so that I can be a *real* man). All that training and all that extra muscle mass must surely raise my basal metabolic rate which probably increases my heat production. But in reality I don't know jack shit about biology, so maybe you can enlighten me.

You also strike me as someone who most likely suffers from swamp ass---any tips?

Your Pal and Anxious, Sweaty Confidant, zft

Mark Rippetoe

How old are you?


Hopefully you're not saying that patronizingly (but I can see why you would). I'm in my late twenties; been this way since my early twenties (which is when I started lifting as well).

Mark Rippetoe

I ask because if you were in your late 70s the situation would be different than late 20s. It's normal for young lifters to operate at exothermic levels. It won't always be this way, so enjoy it while it lasts -- it is a sign of vigor, health, strength, etc.


I figured as much. I never thought it of as being physiologically bad, just incredibly socially inconvenient.

But, can we at least ask the board---any advice/wise words to avoid leaving a snail trail of sweat on chairs when you stand-up (i.e., how to address swamp ass)? It can be pretty humiliating in the right circumstances.


Gold bond’s. The green bottle. Spackle it on your taint generously.


You're probably part of the worried well, but if your heart rate is also high, I'd get checked for hyperthyroidism. If not, don't.


I have had this problem my whole life. I had it long before barbell training when I was under 10% body fat. I attribute it to the northern genes.

Luckily, there are several solutions:

  • Refuse to wear pants for religious or cultural reasons; Kilts really are quite an elegant solution here.
  • Lower the office thermostat to 18 degrees.
  • Adopt the "Egyptian Method" of sleeping, even during the winter.
  • Take advantage of the motorized carts in large stores.
  • Garden misters and tubing can be retrofitted to work with kitchen, break room or bathroom faucets.

Hope that helps!

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