Starting Strength Weekly Report

March 23, 2020

Starting Strength Radio
  • The Cancer Industry with John Horgan – Mark Rippetoe and John Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology, discuss smoking, cancer medicine, and the high cost, but marginal benefit of testing and treating some cancers.
  • Submit a question
Starting Strength Channel
  • Quarantine Tips - How to Clean and Press – Rippetoe gives some quick tips on performing the clean and press. Useful for when you are forced to shelter-in-place, but have some equipment laying around from your CrossFit days.
  • Shaun Pang gives you a useful way to think about the hips in The Press.
  • Ready to finally learn to clean? Mark Rippetoe breaks down the teaching method for the power clean in short videos designed to be easily referred to by lifters and coaches. In Part 1 - Learning the Three Positions, Rip teaches the three basic positions for learning the power clean.

  • Phil Meggers sets up some questions to ask people in your life who aren't yet training to prod them to rethink their neglect of their physical strength: Would you rather...?
  • From the Archives: Geoff Bischoff considers strength training as spiritual training to develop virtues of Diligence and Courage.
Training Log

In the Trenches

message from woodmere fitness club new york
Woodmere Fitness Club shares a reminder to the Starting Strength community.

Best of the Week

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 PRs? 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.


Can we ask Chase his height and weight?

Good work there, Chase


I'm 6'1 at a BW of 245

Best of the Forum

Delay the Program?

My son is a 14yr old high school freshman. After his first season of football he decided it would be a good idea to get strong for next season. We both started the program and have completed 18 workouts. We’re both untrained newbs so I figure a bunch of 10lb jumps will be easy. However, while it has been easy for me (34 5’10” 250 lbs[fat as hell]), it’s been difficult for him (14 6’2” 190). He stalls a lot and progress has been slow and difficult. That came as a surprise to me. He is counting calories(he needs to eat more) and averaging 180g of protein/day. He sleeps ok but should probably get more hrs/night. Def Tanner stage 4 or whatever, he’s hairy, has a low voice, balls dropped ect.

I’ve just recently heard about his gym class at school. They run at least 3 miles/week and sometimes 2 miles at a time. He says he runs hard and usually finishes 2nd or 3rd in the class. Is this likely the culprit that is slowing down his lp? Perhaps he should wait until summer to get back on his novice progression?

Mark Rippetoe

The running and not eating enough is killing his novice progress. If you can't get him to eat more, he'll have to wait until the fools at school stop interfering.

Andy Baker

If he’s in football, does he have to take PE as an elective??? See if you can get him out and transferred into an art class or something and he can color and play with glue sticks for an hour or so each day.

Alexander Dargatz

I just love the practical approach here. To get your kid to be a better athlete, get him out of PE and into art class! =D

Mark Rippetoe

And to get him better educated, home school him.


So he talked to his football coach yesterday who told him he has to do one year of PE. Only varsity counts toward a replacement for pe class and next year he’ll get some varsity anyway. So I think there are 2 options.

  1. Do the program while sandbagging and doing just enough to pass the class.
  2. Delay until PE class is over. 

Both are suboptimal but I think I like #1. I’m going to leave it up to him though. Thanks for the input guys, it is backwards that physical education is the class that’s causing these problems.

Mark Rippetoe

Right. And PE is the only class at school with problems like this, so everything else is Okay.

Jeff LC

The big overarching solution though, is to get him to eat more.

You say he's eating 180g of protein. Well, tell him to have a glass of milk at each meal every day for a week. The next week, add a glass between meals and one before bed. the next week, just do it every 2 waking hours. And then finally start adding some protein powder to it, on top of whatever he's already eating. If he slowly adapts to eating more, while training hard, he will become comfortable with it and will start gaining weight, and then his progress will stop stalling as much.

3 miles a week may be detrimental but it's also a small amount and I'd say the not eating enough is a bigger factor, right? So, he just needs to re-eat those 3 miles of calories lost.

Jake Leuty

Obviously, you have tried 5 lb jumps, right?


Running a few miles a week is not going to derail progress, especially for a young high school kid who is growing. I would never tell a young kid to be LESS active. Do LESS running, jumping, swimming, playing basketball etc. Think of all the Soviet and Chinese kids in sports schools training for weightlifting. They have them lift several times a week but they also have them doing GPP activities like all the ones I just mentioned and more. It makes them better athletes, improves coordination, increases work capacity etc.

The problem is he's not eating enough and as you say probably not sleeping enough. Fix those 2 problems and his numbers will explode. Also if 10 lb jumps are too much go to 5 lb jumps. Slow progress is better than no progress.

Justin Smale

It sounds like he may not fully understand the connection between getting stronger like he wants to and eating more. Being strong for football sounds nice, gaining weight to do that might not fit with his image of himself right now. Flashing back to my 14 year old self, pretty sure I would have equated gaining weight and possibly getting "fatter" while getting stronger with the risk of less attention from love interests. Also part of that flashback would include knowing sooooo much more than my parents about pretty much everything, so you may have to wait for him to come to this conclusion himself.

For context on the running, when I did my first kick at the LP can, I went from 165-170ish lbs to 200 lbs in 4 months while running that much EVERYDAY (I live close to work and refuse to pay oodles of money for either transit or parking). This is as a mid-30 year old. For a kid his age that should be nothing, I say his stalls are the result of a light fork rather than running shoes.

Mark Rippetoe

I ran while I was training in my 20s. Quite a bit. I would have been a better lifter had I not done so, and had I gone up to 242. He can compensate for the running with his fork. Good luck with that.

Starting Strength Weekly Report

Highlights from the StartingStrength Community. Browse archives.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.